On August 7, the Virginia High School League announced the finalists in their annual Writing/Photo/Design Contest. Sixteen Fauquier High School students were named finalists in the publications championships.The contest welcomes submissions from all public Virginia high schools. Winners will be announced at the Jostens-VHSL Publications Championships in October.
Junior Eryka Hackett, seniors Nicole Ward and Chris Perez, “No Place at All, Blossoming & A Tree for All Eternity”
Alumnna Nicole Layton (2013) and junior Ellie Avery, “That Small Room & Only Dancing”
Group AA: Newspaper
Straight News/News Feature
Alumna Sophie Byvik (2013), “Volunteers Coordinate Relief Efforts” and “School Meets New Principal”
Senior Abby Seitz, “The Hunger to Win”
Feature: Human Interest/Personality
Alumna Fiona McCarthy (2013), “World Traveler Aspires to Treat Horses”
Senior Patrick Duggan, “Hooker Hankers for Music”
Senior Abby Seitz, “School Sports Bring Long Term Consequences”
Senior Jake Lunsford, “Eating Disorders Plague Teens”
Alumna Sophie Byvik (2013), “Poverty is Not Shameful”
Bylined Personal Column/Opinion
Alumna Jordyn Elliot (2013), “Double Standards do Real Harm”
Senior Abby Seitz, “Adolescent Mental Health System Needs Reform”
Senior Abby Seitz, “Visual Spectacle a Dazzling Adaptation”
Front Page Layout
Alumna Sophie Byvik (2013), “Demolition of Main Hall Rolls On”
Alumna Sarah Thornton (2013), “Tolson Appliance”
Senior Natalie Smith, “The Price to Pay”
Freshman Andrew Frister traveled to Switzerland in mid March to play ice hockey with the Piedmont Predators travel team in a six day tournament. The team finished in third place out of eight teams. Frister has led his team in goal scoring the last two seasons, and in overall point scoring for the last three.
While in Switzerland, Frister stayed in the town of Aarau, which is about 30 minutes outside of Zurich (the largest city in Switzerland). While in Aarau, Frister stayed with the Leurenburgers, his host family for the duration of the tournament.
“It was actually really hard to communicate with them,” Frister said. “They only spoke very broken English. But they were really nice. They tried really hard to accommodate us. For instance they bought us bacon, which they wouldn’t normally have.”
Although it was a short trip, Frister toured the country and learned about some of the differences between the U.S. and European culture.
“I liked how everyone [in Switzerland] had small houses,” Frister said. “It is a really different lifestyle from that in the U.S. It was really nice to stay out in the countryside and get away from all the big cities. There was also a lot less fast food. The only thing I regret was not being able to go skiing. One thing I will remember is downtown Zurich. Everyone had their own little shops, and it was just cool to see all of their culture.”
Frister got into hockey in 2007 and described it as love at first sight.
“I just watched one game,” Frister said. “I instantly wanted to do that. All the hitting and the action was just exciting.”
Hockey is not exactly a finesse sport. The typical physicality of ice hockey frequently causes players of the sport to lose teeth; concussions have also become a major safety issue.
“I’m smaller, so I definitely try not to get hit as much as the other guys,” Frister said. “When you get hit, it causes you to slide around, and it can take you completely out of a play.”
Frister may be a freshman, but he already has plans to play hockey in college and hopefully beyond.
“I have learned to be a more independent person from playing hockey,” Frister said. “Most guys who play are much bigger than me, and they try to hit me as hard as they can. Playing against guys like that has really taught me to stand up for myself.”
Nothing gives a high school a colorful splash of character like a school band. Band teacher Andrew Paul shares this sentiment and aims to enhance school spirit through his new R&B band.
“I wanted to start a jazz band, but we didn’t have enough instruments for that,” Paul said. “But we did have the instruments to go in a different direction. It’s not really an R&B band; I just call it that because I couldn’t think of anything better to call it. We’re playing a little bit of everything.”
The R&B band practices every Monday for an hour and plays a variety of music stretching across multiple genres. Freshman Nick Thorpe, a veteran bassist, will be performing with the R&B band.
“I wanted to meet other musicians and stuff like that,” Thorpe said. “Bands are fun. In middle school I played bass at the spring and winter concerts, but this is the first time I’ll be playing for this school.”
Thorpe is primarily a metal player, but values the experience and versatility he gains from performing other types of music.
“It’ll be a learning experience,” Thorpe said. “I want to be a studio musician, so I feel like I need to get experience with different genres.”
Two-year guitarist sophomore Jacqueline Crabtree decided to join the R&B band so that she could have a place to play guitar outside of her house.
“I’ve played with a band, and I go to open mike at Drum N’ Strum, but this is my first time playing guitar for the school,” Crabtree said. “I’m a strings player, so I have to get used to playing with the all the horns, but it’s really cool to play with other musicians. It’s not too difficult, because it’s very laid back.”
The band is currently working on “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne, “Louie, Louie” by Richard Berry, and “Chameleon” by Herbie Hancock. Students who are interested in joining should contact Mr. Paul in person or via e-mail.
“The music we’re rehearsing is flexible for pretty much any instrument that shows up to rehearsal,” Paul said. “Unless someone shows up with bagpipes, we’re pretty much covered with the music we have.”
The band is early in the rehearsal process, but Paul is already preparing performances.
“We’re planning to play at the faculty/student basketball game, we have an end of the year concert, and we’ve got something planned uptown for later in May,” Paul said. “We might play before or after school one day; you can never tell.”
Every Monday night at 7:37, teenagers around the county gather to have some fun and explore their relationships with each other and God at Young Life centers in their communities.
“I want to use the word ‘shenanigans’,” senior Bailey Hilton said. “You’re doing something fun and crazy, but learning about God at the same time.”
Young Life is a nationwide youth group that focuses on building relationships with strong foundations based on Christian ideals. Hilton began attending Young Life her freshman year after receiving encouragement from her field hockey teammates.
“I finally went one day, and I never left,” Hilton said. “I think when you go [to Young Life] you’re able to build better relationships. It’s not all gossip and drama; everything means a lot more.”
The group is known for some crazy and wild-themed meetings, such as the Donut Olympics, slip-n-slide kickball, and the annual scavenger hunt. The meetings consist of short, entertaining skits to get students from all three high schools involved.
Junior Kevin Aud attended the middle school Young Life program, Wyld Life, and carried it over into his teen years. Aud’s older sister, alumnus Shannon Aud (2008), was a Wyld Life leader, so it was natural for him to follow in her footsteps.
“It’s a lot of people getting together and having fun,” Aud said. “Hot girls and Jesus, too!’ is what one of our leaders, Bob, says. You’ve got nothing better to do on a Monday night.”
As the leader of the Fauquier Young Life chapter, alumnus Matt Walker (2004) has worked his way up through Young Life, starting as a Wyld Life camper. Walker made strong connections with his leaders that held throughout his high school years and helped get him through hard times in his life.
“The most rewarding part of leading these kids is seeing each student find God,” Walker said. “They’re making relationships with each other and Him that are really deep and mean a lot. I like to help them figure out what really matters.”
Walker hopes to expand the crowd at Young Life meetings. Accepting everyone, Young Life is a good way to get involved with friends and still have fun.
“Young Life is for everyone,” Walker said. “Try it once and I promise you will have a good time.”
The meetings take place in The Loft in the office center next to Vocelli’s. Music contributes to the atmosphere of the meetings, which are mainly student run. Senior Collin Steves plays the guitar and sings at the meetings. The goal is to get everyone involved and singing along.
“I got to play electric guitar at [Lake Champion] my sophomore year,” Steves said. “Camp was something awesome. We were on the top of this mountain in the middle of nowhere. You turn all your cell phones off, and you’re in a cabin with mostly strangers. It’s all about relationships; you wake up early and do all this crazy stuff.”
Young Life organizes summer camp programs across the country. The Fauquier chapter travels to Rockbridge every summer, and campers come home with lifelong memories.
“You got to go somewhere that wasn’t just Warrenton,” Hilton said. “And you got to be with these people you were about to get really close with. I would call it an adventure. We had over 10 girls in our cabin and even now we’re all close.”
For senior and FFA secretary Kacie Tinnesz, growing up around farming culture was a motivating force in joining the group.
“My brother was in FFA when he was still in high school, and I had grown up with all the rednecks,” Tinnesz said. “It was just natural. When a leadership position opened up, I decided to go for it. I like actually being in a leadership position; it makes me feel important. [The challenging part was] getting everyone to cooperate and actually getting the group to come together.”
As FFA secretary, Tinnesz faces many responsibilities, from keeping track of meeting attendance to dealing with secretaries from other FFA groups. Her experience with FFA has contributed to her decision to pursue a veterinary career.
“It was a good way to get perspective from the agriculture side instead of the science side,” Tinnesz said.
Tinnesz has also gained experience through FFA animal and crop competitions, like Junior Stockman’s.
“It’s an opportunity to show off what we know,” Tinnesz said. “I’ve done a lot of vaccinations at FFA competitions. Last year my cattle working competition came in seventh, and this year we came in sixth, so we’ve moved up a spot.”
Tinnesz plans to pursue her interests at Virginia Tech.
“I know that I’m going into veterinary science, and I could have gone through either the college of science or the science of agriculture,” Tinnesz said. “I figured that they really want girls in agriculture, so that would be a good path for me. I’ve always loved animals since I was little, [and] I love anatomy and all that jazz. Combining the two just kind of made sense.”
She gathered early vet experience on her first three jobs, working summers at horse farms in Opal.
“One morning I came in and a horse was down, and as soon as I got there, I knew something was off,” Tinnesz said. “I turned out to be right – I made the right call by calling the vet.”
In addition to being an essential part of FFA, Tinnesz played a vital role in establishing a pre-med club. Although the club only lasted through a few meetings, Tinnesz believes the effort was worthwhile.
“It never really got off the ground, but it was a fun thing Mrs. [Sinead] Arndt and I did to share our love of anatomy with other people,” Tinnesz said. “[The club] was just a way for people to get an idea of what the anatomy class was like, without actually having to take the class.”
Tinnesz, whose favorite subject in school is anatomy, balances difficult classes with a job at Tractor Supply Co and FFA. If she could change something about her career in high school, cutting down on classes would be the first on the list.
“I’ve really been pushing myself this last year,” Tinnesz said. “It’s all really stressful, but I’m glad I did it.”
Students inspired by the mysteries of mathematics can now participate in co-curricular activities in Math Club, sponsored by math teacher Ann Meyer. Led by juniors Sierra Aceto and Jennifer Elliot, the club meets every other Friday.
“Our main objective right now is just to show people that math can be fun,” Aceto said. “Everyone’s welcome, and if students don’t understand a topic, we’ll teach you so that you will understand it.”
Meyer decided to create Math Club as a forum for exploring the more exciting aspects of the subject that cannot be covered in class.
“The way our math curriculum is structured, we rush through everything,” Meyer said. “We don’t get time to explore and savor the beautiful parts of math. I wanted kids who are really interested in that to explore it.”
Math Club plans to have activities outside of the school.
“At the moment, there’s a lot of planning going on,” Aceto said. “We have an idea set in motion about a possible field trip to New York for next year. But anything involving math that seems interesting, we’d do.”
The club hopes to join Mu Alpha Theta, a mathematics honors society, to take part in competitions and other national events. To become part of Mu Alpha theta, all members must sign a petition to start a chapter.
“To be in Mu Alpha Theta, you have to have completed Algebra I and II and have to be enrolled in a course beyond that,” Aceto said. “So not all freshman and sophomores are eligible to join yet.”
Math Club will also have representatives from colleges come speak about scholarship opportunities available by participating in the club.
“It’s nice because it’s getting together with other people who are interested in the same thing,” said Aceto. “Finding math fun is something most people find strange, so it’s cool to understand that it’s something that can be used around the world constantly.”
On April 19, Suzannah Simmons, a graduate of St. John’s University, spoke about learning math by reading ancient mathmeticians, emphasizing that math is more than just formulas.
“[Math] is a way of seeing things and thinking about things,” Meyer said. “The math universe isn’t just about memorizing formulas, but about the philosophy of math – the systems those formulas operate in.”
During meetings, members play games and learn about more obscure elements of mathematics.
“We don’t get to touch on many things in math class that can really be interesting,” Elliot said. “We’ve talked about math puzzles, paradox cases, but sometimes we just play math games or do logic puzzles. Sometime in the future, I know we’re discussing hexaflexagons.”
On April 26, 35 students from Kettle Run and FHS competed in a robotics workshop, although the results were not known at press time.
Two groups from technology department head Harold Mullins’ Engineering and Design class were given three weeks to design and assemble an advanced unmanned ground vehicle. Supplied with a fictional contract from the Department of Defense, the teams became their own small engineering companies.
“Students can look at [robots] as a way to help ourselves, to help others, and to do things that may be hazardous to humans,” Mullins said. “[Robotics] is just one aspect of engineering, and being able to have communication, to work together as a team, and to engineer as a team, is important.”
Each of Kettle Run’s four teams and FHS’ two were led by a project manager, and supported by a financial manager and a systems engineer. Senior Brandon Keithley, one of the project managers, looks forward to seeing the fruits of his leadership and teamwork.
“It will be fun getting to see what the other teams have designed,” Keithley said. “It’s also fun getting to design something that you created yourself.”
Various elements of the robots were judged by representatives from the Defense Acquisition University, a training hub for the Department of Defense.
“The robots had to be able to detect hazardous materials, go over an incline of a minimum of 15 degrees, and complete a Lost Communication test,” Mullins said. “The LostCom test programs a robot so that it will turn itself around and go to a specific point if it loses communication technology while exploring a hazardous area.”
Senior Sam Eleazer valued the introduction the project gave him into what engineering would be like as a career. He also discovered that teamwork isn’t just a term.
“A project like this shows you that the work is really on you and your team,” Eleazer said. “You can’t try to do everything yourself. You and your team have to focus on working together and getting things done”
Senior Tom Piggott, who worked with Keithley as a co-program manager, appreciated the experience and what it brought out of his teammates.
“There’s a sense of competition between the students because we’ve put in weeks of hard work,” Piggott said. “A project like this brings out the team-work aspect in people, and it took a lot of work and time, but overall it was worth it.”
~Maddie Lemelin, features/arts director
Fauquier High School's student newspaper. By the students, for the students.