Category Archives: news

Sorry, We’re Shutdown

This year, the U.S. government broke records by holding the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. The shutdown began last year on December 22, 2018 and lasted 35 days, ending January 25, 2019. The shutdown caused chaos throughout the nation; 800,000 federal workers, and many more government contractors were left without pay as they were either furloughed or still working but with out pay. As the effects piled up, the shutdown continued to affect Americans across the nation.

It all began with President Donald campaign promise. Trump wanted to improve border security between the US and Mexico by building a wall. He began putting his plan into action once he became President. He hit a bump when Congress refused to fund his $5.7 billion wall, according to US Today. Without an agreement on spending, the government went into a shutdown.

Many of the effects hit on a national level. Multiple government agencies partially shut down such as the FDA, SEC, EPA, TSA and DHS. This caused a halt in everyday routines such as food inspections by the FDA and airport safety procedures from the TSA. National museums were also closed during the shutdown. January 11 hit hard for many; federal employees missed their first paycheck and on January 25, the Federal District Court ran out of funds.

After 35 days of federal workers going unpaid, many issues arose for both the workers and their families. Soon, some could not pay their mortgages, rent, or other bills and some could not even afford food. Due to this, many businesses and organizations rose up to support those affected by the shut down. A few local businesses include Arlie, Field Main, Great Harvest, and Mod Pizza that have offered free or discounted food to government workers and organization such as Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) and For Immediate Sympathetic Help (FISH) that have offered meals and help in paying bills.

The Local Impact

The shutdown affected people all over the country, including locals here at Fauquier. Sophomore Evan Hamilton was one of those who was affected. Hamilton’s dad works for the government and according to Hamilton, it had been difficult. “It’s hard because my dad makes most of the family’s money so we [hadn’t] been making as much,” said Hamilton. Hamilton said that while his dad was able to get stuff done at the house, both of them wanted his dad to go back to work. “I do think the shutdown [was] for a good reason but [it got] a little out of hand,” said Hamilton.

Junior Megan Macwelch is another student who had been struggling due to the shutdown. “My mom [was] furloughed,” she said, “we [didn’t] really have a lot of money for food,” Macwelch says that she is frustrated with the government and believes they need to compromise and stop being stubborn.

Freshman Niamh Kierans was also frustrated as her dad works for the government in Nairobi, Kenya. “When I was there over Christmas, we had to be very careful with our money because we didn’t know when he was going to get paid next,” Kierans said. Kierans agrees with the other students impacted and says she believes the shutdown was very unnecessary. “[It’s] kind of ignorant of how many people lives are being affected and I think it’s cruel,” said Kierans. She said her dad was very worried about supporting himself and his family and the country was very worried as well. “I wish that our Congress could communicate better with the president but I also wish he would just drop the whole thing because the country obviously doesn’t want it to happen,” Kierans said.

The shutdown has hit teachers at FHS as well. Photojournalism teacher Phillip Nobblitt was impacted through his wife who is a government contractor and due to the shutdown, was without a job. Nobblitt says the shutdown hasn’t had serious effects. However, his wife was not being paid and he believes that if the shutdown had continued into the spring, his wife may have needed to get a new job. If that’s in a different state, he would of had to go with her. Nobblitt says that he has doubts Trump is really going to pay back some of the workers. “I don’t think a lot of the country understand that doesn’t mean everyone who is impacted by the shutdown is going to get paid back,” said Nobblitt, “my wife is not going to get paid back for the time that she missed, she’s probably not going to get her paid time of either.
The government shutdown ended on January 25, however, it will only be temporary. Trump signed a bill to temporarily reopen the government until February 15 to allow for negotiation on the spending bill. Trump spoke at the Rose Garden about his decision, explaining his ability to call a national emergency to have the wall built but said, “I didn’t want to use it at this time. Hopefully it would be unnecessary.”

by Rachel Singleton–News Editor

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Burton is Stepping Down

Principal Tripp Burton III will be stepping down from his position at Fauquier High School this June

On February 6, Principal Clarence Burton III announced that he will be resigning from his position at Fauquier High School at the end of this school year. Burton has been principal at Fauquier for six years since he came to the school in 2013. Many were shocked by this news and are anticipating what will happen next.

“I’m mostly surprised,” said senior Morgan Gatti. “It seemed pretty out of the blue since he hasn’t been at the school that long.” Sophomore Paige Shorey agreed, saying, “it was kind of out of the blue.” Shorey also said that she was very curious about who the new principal would be.

Burton said that his decision was because of his family moving away. Burton plans on continuing in the education field wherever his family moves. “I’m going to stay in education,” said Burton.

With the announcement of the principal’s resignation, many are concerned about the selection and integration of a new principal. “It’s going to be a huge adjustment for the school, getting new leadership in,” said Assistant Principal Kraig Kelican. He said that despite this, he has no other concerns, as FHS has gone through this process before. “I just hope we get a quality candidate in.”

Kelican said Burton has contributed and improved the school in many ways, especially statistic-wise. “He’s very focused on detail and he has tremendous skill in data collection and data analysis, and like for SOL scores and that kind of thing,” explained Kelican. “He was able to develop comprehensive plans to improve scores and graduation rates.” English Department Chair Lindell

also had many kind words to say about Burton. “Burton is a rational, compassionate leader, who always makes decisions based upon what he believes is just, morally right and best for the students here at FHS.” Palmer said although he may not always agree with Burton, he “truly [believes] that he has noble intentions and truly cares about this school and community.”

Many staff members say that he will be missed and a few can recount fond memories they’ve had with him. Palmer said that Burton has a unique sense of “awkward 80’s movie humor” that he loves, but many students don’t understand. “I’ll […] never forget the day I saw him zip down the main hallway on a scooter. I believe he was demonstrating a point to his freshman team, but at that moment he was living his best life,” said Palmer.

Burton says he is proud of what the school has accomplished in his time being here and emphasized that it was a group effort. “We’ve done so many things, it’s not an ‘I’ thing, it’s a ‘we’ thing.” One thing Burton is most proud of is the use of advisory. “The use of advisory has been good for everyone,” he said. “students like it, not only for extra help and time to do homework, but also for a break in the day.”

Burton says that one thing he will miss most about the school is the people. He said he loves the great relationships within the school and “just the power of positive relationships and how much they really matter for everybody.” Burton has high hopes for the future of FHS, saying, “[I hope] it continues to be the great place it was before I got here and has been when I’m here and that it will continue to be the center of the community.”

by Rachel Singleton–Sports Editor

Warrenton Christmas Parade is Bigger and Better Than Ever

The FHS track team brings holiday spirit to Main Street.

The spectacular Warrenton Christmas Parade made its way down Main Street this past Friday night, boasting unicyclists, fire trucks, boy scouts, and even a cow. The parade attracted thousands of people from near and far to view the wonderful spectacle with their own eyes. The Town of Warrenton Director of Planning, Brandie Schaeffer, stated that “The whole community rallies around a good parade and this is our best.” Schaeffer also commented that this parade was  “the largest parade we have had to date” with ninety-four floats. The crowded streets and loud cheers proved to many that this was one of the best parades our town has ever had.

Included in the parade were many of Fauquier High School’s students, club members, athletes, and members of other participating businesses and organizations. One participant, Hans Burch, said he “enjoyed being in the parade because [he] got to hang out with his friends on the track team.” The FHS band was also very prominent in the parade, marching down the streets with great pride, and blending in with the rest of the parade with their red, white and black uniforms.

The end of the spectacular parade was marked with the annual Christmas tree lighting at the courthouse by Mayor Carter Nevill, and concluded with fireworks, signaling an end to the parade, but the beginning of Old Town’s holiday season. Gumdrop Square also began this past weekend, filling streets with excited children and adults, ready for a day of shopping and a photo with Santa. The Warrenton Christmas Parade continues to grow each and every year, and to many, is the greatest annual event in Warrenton.

by John Tedeschi–Staff Reporter

2018 Trip to Spain is an Unqualified Success

Spain is a beautiful destination for FHS students every November.

On November 14th, seven FHS students including teacher Ms. Rodriguez took two flights to arrive to Spain. There were seven students including me who took the program. Once we arrived to Spain, we went to the city of Palencia. It was a completely different life in my visualites. Everyone was from different countries around the world and walked to go to one place to another. Each student had a host from Spain who took them all around the city. The city was very interesting because everything was so close, and there were so many people who wore different clothing, spoke different languages, and their attitude towards people seemed so calm and happy. We attended a school in Spain called “La Salle”, which was a private school that contained only 800 students. Everything around Spain and the cities was fantastic to me, and everything I saw wherever I went was something I  never saw before. After Palencia, we went to Madrid, which was a wonderful place to see. Everything appeared exactly how it was explained and there were many people from Italy and they were very interesting to talk to about their life in the city.

Everyone in the group had a unique experience and enjoyed everything about Spain and met many different people. Junior Tim Anikis attended the program and saw many things that he would like to learn more about. “The trip to Spain was very exciting and interesting, I learned [about] a completely different culture there and [did] many new activities [that]  I’ve never done before.”

Ethan Hawes, who is also a Junior is another student who also attended the program. He enjoyed everything there and it was his first time there. “

Spain was a new life there. The school program was different and we had learned how they kept everything under control. There was always something to do and we enjoyed every minute of it.

by Luis Rodriguez–Staff Reporter

Dealing With Anxiety in Today’s World

Anxiety plagues people from all social statuses all over the world.

Anxiety is expressed in many different ways depending on the person who is suffering. It is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease–typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. In the United States, there are about 40 million people who suffer from anxiety, which is 18.1% of the population. People may experience anxiety physically or mentally, and can be treated by medicine and/or counseling.(“Facts & Statistics”) If someone feels like they are experiencing anxiety symptoms, see a doctor. Never self diagnose because it may not be accurate.“It’s like a mental breakdown in your head that you can’t get out of,” sophomore Julie Lukoins said.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is the most common teen anxiety disorder. Moreover, teens with GAD typically experience excessive worrying and low self-esteem.

A few physical symptoms of anxiety may include panic attacks, shaking, nausea, headache, shortness of breath, and more. Some mental symptoms include feeling like the world is slowing down or speeding up, worrying that you are losing touch with reality, and worrying about what might happen in the future. Almost half of people who struggle from anxiety also struggle with depression.(“Panic attacks and panic disorder” 2018)

“Anxiety to me feels like you have someone in your ear telling you that everything you do is wrong or you should fix this,” freshman Tyler Young said. “It’s like your mind and your heart are in two different places, and it feels like you’re always lost.”

What causes anxiety is still being researched, but brain scans of people suffering with various anxiety disorders have often shown evidence of chemical imbalances. The United States is considered one of the most anxious nations on earth. Anxiety disorders are more common among females than males. Variations of anxiety include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), agoraphobia, specific phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). (“Facts & Statistics”)

Anxiety is the most common form of mental illness in the United States. It is estimated that approximately 10 percent of teenagers and 40 percent of adults suffer from an anxiety disorder of some kind. Although this illness may be treated with medicine and counseling, 2/3 of adults with anxiety do not receive treatment. Teenagers with anxiety receive treatment less frequently, and only 1 in 5 teens who suffer do. (“11 Facts About Anxiety”)

“When I am having an anxiety attack I start to panic and my heart beat increases,” sophomore Lilly Shilling said. “I feel that everything is spinning and my head starts to hurt,”

It is recommended that if you or someone you know is suffering from anxiety, to consult to your doctor to recieve help.

by Dakota Santee–Staff Reporter

Are Freshman Groups Worth It?

Freshman students study in a lobby area during homeroom.

A new policy at Fauquier High School has freshman attending monthly group sessions during homeroom. During these meetings in which the same students gather, group advisors (FHS faculty) have students participate in getting-to-know-you activities.

Principle Clarence Burton, whose idea it was to create these groups, believes that “the major goal, the overwhelming goal, is to help students get to know [other] students really well. That way they have a person here that they can feel more comfortable with, and that they can go to.” He also feels that “it’s more of the connection piece, the relationship piece” that is important when it comes to meeting with the groups. According to a poll, most of the teachers and administrators working with the freshman groups think they benefit students. The majority of the students, on the other hand, do not find these useful.

A school guidance counselor and freshman group advisor, Mrs. Scott, suggested that “we only have these groups for a certain amount of time, instead of the entire freshman year.” She also commented, “while they can be useful, [the freshman] have better things to do with their time. As we get closer to SOL time, some kids go to see other teachers to work on them. Some of our kids are going to have to go do that because that’s more of a priority anyway. It just gets busier as the year goes on so I think that through the first semester would be most effective and after then, I’m not so sure.” Mrs. Scott is somewhat in the middle when it comes to this situation, and has mixed opinions on whether or not the groups should be completely cast aside. While they help students connect with each other and get to know new people, they can also take up time that could be used for studying.

Although some students find these meetings helpful, the majority think that the groups are pointless. Like freshman, Sawyer Morris states: “I don’t enjoy [the freshman groups], because they don’t help at all. We just sit there and talk a lot, that’s it.” Multiple other freshmen have the same view as Sawyer when it comes to these meetings. Several groups do fun get-to-know-you activities, while others sit and do nothing productive. “They are just a waste of time when we could be getting work done.” While researching this article, the general answer students gave was that they don’t enjoy them and don’t make much progress with anything during that time.

While most students aim to get rid of these groups completely, teachers find them useful and would like to continue them in the future, even if only for a short period of time. It has not yet been discussed or decided if the groups will continue to meet, and with the contrasting opinions of the freshman students, teachers, and group advisors, no one will be able to predict what will come of these groups in the future.

by Ella Tedeschi and Helena Lovell–Staff Reporters

Student Directors Flourish in FHS Theater Department

In early November the Fauquier High School Theater Department gave eight seniors three days on which to prove their directing skills. On November 1, 2, and 4, audiences entered the FHS auditorium to see four polished one-act plays. Unusually, this fall’s productions were chosen, casted, and directed by two seniors each, with only minimal guidance from theater teacher Emmett Bales (who normally would direct one full play in the fall). One play’s student-directors were also its authors.

Directing is a complex task that combines set design, blocking, and coaching of actors and crew.  “I could probably improve on choreography,” said Johanna Huber, co-director of a condensed version of “Snoopy! The Musical,” by Larry Grossman and Hal Hackady. “I’m not really a dancer, so choreographing the songs for Snoopy was kind of a challenge and it’s definitely something I’d like to get better at.” Bryce Moore, who with Fenris Foerster, co-wrote and co-directed “Landslide,” describes the challenges of planning ahead: “A lot of things we didn’t plan for came up late in production.” For example, props sometimes went missing or lighting design wouldn’t turn out how the directors had envisioned it.

Having only two months to rehearse increased the pressure on all involved — but especially on those students for whom this was the high point of their high school theater careers. “I’m looking forward to seeing all our hard work on stage and to seeing the audience’s reactions,” Zach Bern commented before opening night.  Bern and Ashleigh Champlin first abridged and then co-directed Neil Simon’s romantic comedy, “Barefoot in the Park.” Huber explains that opening night is “like the reward at the end of the journey.”

By 6 p.m. Sunday, November 4, all of the one act plays had run their full course. All eight of the student directors left the auditorium having learned a lot. One surprise was how much work it took to direct a full show. “I realized that people came to me for everything about [the show] and I had never experienced that. It was weird and gave me newfound respect for other directors.” Camden Gillespie, co-director of Almost, Maine, a romantic comedy by John Cariani, said, “I think all directors go through a phase where they believe the show could be a failure, and thankfully my cast and crew pulled everything together to the best of their ability.”

Why bother with all this hard work? “Directing is an aspect of theater that is so important. It often gives you the opportunity to learn and teach things you might miss out on as an actor or crew member,” explains Moore. Huber reflects, “I think it’s a really good learning opportunity for other people who are seriously interested and dedicated in the arts.” When asked how he felt about giving the reins to his students on this large production, Mr. Bales responded, “I knew every one of them would succeed.”

by Niamh Kierans–Contributor