Category Archives: news

Best Retirement Wishes for Root

After 28 years of service in F.C.P.S., art teacher Charlene Root will retire this spring. Root who has spent her time passionately teaching will be greatly missed by students and staff.


Root began her journey to becoming an art teacher in high school at Damascus High School in Montgomery County. “My biology teacher, who I really thought would be more supportive when I said I wanted to be a microbiologist, just laughed at me. But my art teacher was very encouraging, so here I am,” said Root.


Following high school, Root attended Frostburg State Teachers College in Frostburg, Maryland. She majored in art education. “My concentration areas were printmaking, applied design and drawing,” said Root. She then continued on to earn her Masters at George Mason.


Before arriving at FHS, Root taught one year, full-time, at Central Elementary. The following year, she worked a split job between Central Elementary and Taylor Middle School. On her third year, she was split between Warrenton Middle School and Fauquier. Root said she was much happier working with high schoolers and added, “I think I get along better with high school kids. They have a better appreciation for my sense of humor.”


Root recalled one of her favorite school memories which occurred in her first month of working at the school. “I went to the office and I asked the secretary where the annex was because it was a big place, and she said, ‘Well you’ve been substituting here for a long time. Don’t you know how to get around,’ and I said, ‘I’m a teacher here!’”
When asked what she would miss the most about the school, she said, “The interaction with the kids, their personal comments about what’s going on with them, or their questions of ‘What do you think about this Mrs. Root? What do you think about that?’”


Root wishes the art department well. “I hope it grows because I think that our population is not as big as it used to be or as big as it could be,” she said. “I’m hoping that whoever takes my job is really enthusiastic about pursuing the arts and is not driven by other concerns or interests.”


After retiring, Root hopes to relax and do what she wants. “Mostly that includes painting, doing woodworking and decorating my house.”

By Rachel Singleton – News Editors

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FBLA Crushes States!

On April 5-7, the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) represented Fauquier High School at the State Leadership Conference held in Reston, VA, where 15 students competed against other schools in the state. Out of these 15, five students scored high enough to move onto the national conference in San Antonio, Texas in June.


Students moving on to nationals include senior Samantha Lucas competing in Accounting 1, senior Jonah Patterson competing in Accounting 2, senior Chris Kiser competing in Economics, sophomore Rachel Singleton competing in Business Law and senior Fallon Goemmer competing in Agriculture Business.


Each individual competed at a regional level in order to have the opportunity to compete at states. If the students received a high enough placing, they moved on to the next conference.
“I was definitely really nervous before receiving the results,” said Patterson, “but once I received the results and saw I got second place, I was really happy.”


Kiser joined FBLA his sophomore year after hearing how fun the competitions were. “I was really excited when I got first place because it’s something I really wanted,” said Kiser. He hopes to have a lot of fun and place well at the upcoming national conference.
FBLA adviser Karen is very proud of her students. “I’m thrilled; this is the most individual competition contestants I’ve ever had to go to nationals,” said Chipman. “I think they are going to be great competitors.”


Going from a state level competition to a national level is no easy task. “One state, that’s great, but now they’re coming from 50 states and beginning to up their game,” said Chipman.

ore year after hearing how fun the competitions were. “I was really excited when I got first place because it’s something I really wanted,” said Kiser. He hopes to have a lot of fun and place well at the upcoming national conference.


FBLA adviser Karen is very proud of her students. “I’m thrilled; this is the most individual competition contestants I’ve ever had to go to nationals,” said Chipman. “I think they are going to be great competitors.”


Going from a state level competition to a national level is no easy task. “One state, that’s great, but now they’re coming from 50 states and beginning to up their game,” said Chipman.

By Amanda Arellano – Staff Reporter

Science Students Experience SKipjack Adventure

The cold winds blew in the students face as they observed the Chesapeake Bay from a wind-powered Skipjack.


On April 2, science students sailed with their teacher Jonathan Kraut out of the Annapolis Harbor into the Chesapeake Bay on a boat called a Skipjack.


During the field trip students were able to participate in many activities along with riding the Skipjack. Activities included water quality and PH testing, dissolving oxygen, oyster shucking and learning about the Chesapeake Bay.


According to Maryland Sea Grant, fishermen used the boat on the Chesapeake Bay for oyster dredging during the 19th and 20th century. However, as policies restricted oyster harvesting, the practice became almost extinct by 1960. Today, Skipjacks are an uncommon sight in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.


Kraut works with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in order to organize field trips and volunteer work for Fauquier to attend. Once the foundation offered a visit to the 119-year-old boat, he quickly took the opportunity.


Sophomore Sage Smith, who attended said, “It was cool experience overall. I just like boats and being out in the water.”


Freshman Sierra Theoret also enjoyed the trip and said the most memorable part was “being on the boat itself because it’s a really old boat, and it was just really cool.”


Kraut said the experience was great but the weather “was stupendously cold (…). The kids basically shut down because they were freezing but those that bucked-up should have had a very educational experience.”

By Rachel Singleton – News Editor

Something You Can’t Get Online

When walking through Old Town, there are shops and restaurants of all types, but notice there is no bookstore? Cammie Fuller and Rachel Sirene wanted to do something about this problem. They always had the dream and, with the relocation of Latitudes, an opportunity for the Open Book opened up.  

She heard the message from members of the community and wanted to make a change. On March 22, Old Town received a new store. A grand opening was held with a ribbon cutting and small contests. Fuller has loved reading since she was in second grade. It has led her to this adventure.

“With my role as librarian, I had people constantly asking me over the years if I would open a bookstore,” Fuller said. “‘You seem to really love books. Why don’t you open a bookstore, we really need one.’”

The Open Book is a general literature store, there are books for all ages.  There will be many genres and about 30 percent of the store will be children’s literature. Fuller believed that small bookstores were being overtaken by online retailers, but by talking with other bookstore owners she learned that bookstores are there to provide more.

“It’s not an algorithm, it’s actually somebody who is personally helping you find a book,” Fuller said.

Fuller’s personal goals for her business consist of joining the independent bookstore dialogue. She wants to create an environment where a politically divided nation might be able to be expressed and create conversation. She said a book may be able to change a life or make the world better.

However, it was not easy getting to this point. A business does not come about in a day. Fuller explained the list of people to thank goes on and on. Our librarians are on the list to thank, along with all the people in the community who gave advice and many different bookstores and their owners.

“Personally, they [family] have been an enormous support,” Fuller said.   

Fuller understands this store cannot exist without community support and hopes to educate people on how important it is to shop locally. They are going to make themselves relevant and make sure people feel heard about what type of books and events the Open Book should have.

Leading up to the big day, there was a pre-opening event.  On March 16, the Open Book held a program with the owner of Red Truck Bakery Brian Noyes.  He introduced his story and sold his book to all who attended. The Open Book wants to create a place where people love to come and find a unique read through members of our community.

By Catherine Smith-Staff Reporter

Burton the New Nigerian Prince?

About 14.5 billion spam emails are sent globally every day, according to statistics gathered by Propeller Customer relationship management (CRM). The Information Security Office processed a total of 11,158,253 email messages in 2016 with 9,054,752 of the messages being spam in.

On March 1, a strange email was sent out to faculty. It was sent from someone claiming to be principal Clarence Burton. The email said he was in a meeting and he couldn’t talk because they weren’t allowed to have phones. The messenger wanted the recipient to buy a Google Play card and insisted they would give the money back.

“I could tell that it was not from Mr. Burton because it did not come from his email address,” said Instructional Technology Resource Teacher (ITRT) Michelle Green. She said there were typos and the way that he signed the email was weird.

“I got on the phone with Mr. Burton immediately then I sent a staff email letting them know not to open up that email,” said Green.

School Security Officer (SSO) Sal Torelli also received the email and, like Green, knew it was fake immediately: “Mr. Burton would always call me on the phone if he needed something,” he said.

Torelli said the school handled the situation very well. “The school put an email out immediately saying to disregard the email,” Torelli said. “I’ll tell you that our tech people are on stuff right away.”

Shortly after the scam email involving Burton, a similar email was sent out claiming to be Dr. David Jeck. Manager of Information Resources (MIR) Todd Hickling sent out and email to all Fauquier County Public Schools concerning the mail on March 12 saying to not open the email. He advised if someone did, they should get the system they opened it on scanned and checked.

Similar to the texts students received last year saying “someone complimented you,” this email shows how crazy spam emails can be; they can reach all audiences and even write personal information to make them seem real. Luckily, the school was able to notify everyone that it was a scam before anything bad happened.

“There’s a lot of spam going on right now, (…) it’s been going around for years,” said Torelli. He said he gets spam every day, whether it’s at school or at home. “I got one the other day saying my credit card was compromised. It was Suntrust Bank, I don’t have SunTrust Bank.”

The issue has only been getting worse as technology advances and it becomes easier to do. However, advancing technology also allows for spam filter programs to be created in order to fight the problem. While this is good news, it is unknown if spamming will ever be eliminated because no one can stop a scammer from pressing that send button.

By Rachel Singleton-News Editor

Snow Days or Stress Days?

Ask any fifth grader, they would jump for joy at the whisper of the words snow day. But this isn’t fifth grade anymore and in high school, snow days have been less exciting and more stressful.

Snow days can be a time to rest, procrastinate or be productive. “I enjoy snow days because they let me relax,” said sophomore Abby Marino. “If I need to finish work or study, I have more time (…) Dr. Jeck is a blessing.”

Many know our superintendent Dr. David Jeck from his twitter account where he posts about school cancellations along with other things. “I think it’s informative and effective for people who have social media,” said sophomore McKenzie Hurley. “But it’s also really cool because kids can tweet him and he responds.” While many enjoy the excitement of receiving the no-school notification, some do not.

When you add creeping deadlines and tests on to the loads of work, stress becomes common among students. With constant snow days, some students feel like they need to spend more time in class to grasp the material.

“Snow days are great when they are really needed but when the superintendent calls off school for a little bit of snow that hasn’t affected the roads is kind of ridiculous,” said senior Hannah Johnson. “We could be using those days to go into school and save the built in snow days for a much larger storm.”

Teachers are also feeling the pressure from the lack of time in class. “They’re nice to have a day off and relax,” said math teacher Roseanna Lantz, “but it causes the instruction to fall behind….so it really hurts the students as far as having consistency in learning the material.”

With interrupted curriculum, teachers and classes  fall behind and have to re-learn the material after being out of class for several days because of snow days.

A question among students is whether spring break will be shortened because of constant snow days. The Fauquier County Public School (FCPS) Administration have not agreed to shorten our spring break up until now, although there are built in make up days, May 29 and May 30 along with banked hours.

“I am very thankful that the state allows us to ‘bank’ time,” said Dr. Jeck. “If they didn’t, we’d have real problems from year to year…especially in years like this wherein we have missed a lot of days.”

With unexpected events caused by snow days, we now know how to prepare. Is it time to tweet Dr. Jeck or sleep in?

By Amanda Arellano-Staff Reporter

DECA’s Hardwork Pays Off at States

DECA students accompanied by marketing teacher Tiffany Chappell participated in a trip to Virginia Beach, VA to attend a State championship. Starting on Friday, March 1, the students competed in a two-day competition and hoped to place for nationals.

Chappell could not have been more excited about it. “It’s very different from Districts. The students get to interact with over 3,000 DECA members from across the state of Virginia,” Chappell said. “They get a lot of experiences in networking with others as well as competing in their event.”

Junior Cynthia Cortes-Flores exhibited the same level of enthusiasm. “It was really exciting and nerve-racking because it was my first time going, so I didn’t really know what to expect (…) I had a lot of good memories made and it was just a lot of fun,” Cortes-Flores said. “It’s like a different experience because at districts it’s like not as competitive, but then when you go to states it’s like there are all these people going to do the same thing and it’s just really cool to see this happening.”

When they first arrived the members got straight to work. “We had a study session Friday night where we all got together and prepped for the competition,” junior Pooja Parbadia said. Competitions were on the second day where each student competes for a trophy in their category and a spot at states.

“We had five students that got on stage Saturday night in the mini-awards, they placed in either an exam or role-playing. Then on Sunday, we had one student, Pooja Parbadia, that placed at State for Personal Financial literacy, so she’ll be moving on to Orlando (Nationals),”  Chappell said. Parbadia was exhilarated by her win. “[Qualifying] was really cool because we weren’t there for the final ceremony because we had to go home because it was supposed to snow really bad, so I found out on the bus and it was such a weird feeling because I never thought I would actually go to ICDC [Nationals].”

DECA has daily homeroom practice sessions in preparation for the real thing. “We start in January preparing for the tests that they take in February (…) I’ll usually take them aside in class and work with them a little bit as well,” Chappell said.  “After the test in February, I still have them come as much as they can (…) and give them study materials (…) We do role-play together and the kids help each other and basically, it’s getting them in here during Advisory.” Chappell said.

Although DECA requires a lot of hard work and dedication, students find it well worth it. “After we finish doing our events we just get to relax and have fun and go to the beach and hang out and all that stuff so it was really fun,” Cortes-Flores said.

By Celeste Pollack-Copy Editor