The All-Star basketball season started on Thursday, February 8th with a game again the J.R. Tucker Tigers. The stands were filled with Jags ready to support both teams in the fierce battle.
Senior Jag Kayla Buchanan said that she was “excited to see the school spirit rooting for the All-Stars on the court!”
Before the game began, there was a special performance of the National Anthem, sung by a student. The crowd, which was previously filled with noise and energy, quieted down to listen to her moving performance, cheering and clapping at the conclusion.
The game began with the Tigers taking the first shot, banking it and earning two points. Our Jags tried to follow with a 3-pointer, but missed, allowing the Tigers to score themselves another two points.
The Jags soon claimed the ball and scored their first shot of the game. As the clock reads 3:50 and half of the first quarter is over, Home read four points and the Tigers held six.
“Swish!” exclaimed Mr. Clement, the referee and announcer for the game, as the Jags scored, tying up the game.
As the first quarter came to an end, Home read ten and the Tigers were in the lead with twelve points. As the game transitioned into the second quarter, the GAHS Pep Band played to rally spirit within the players and the crowd.
Fellow senior Olivia Baugham was excited to hear the pep band, and she also was “interested in seeing the cheer team.”
In the second quarter, player #5 from the Tigers quickly makes the first shot, but the Jags do not lose spirit. Jag #20 makes a standing shot, causing a roar from the crowd. The quarter ends with an attempt at a 3-pointer from the Tigers, but the buzzer rings in, evening the score at 26 to 26.
At halftime, the Cupid Shuffle plays and everyone in the stands is encouraged to come onto the court and dance. The gym floor was filled with Jaguars and Tigers, dancing together and celebrating.
The third quarter begins with an epic 3-pointer by Jag #22, but the Tigers responded quickly. Our Jags had a quick team meeting to regroup, while the cheer team performed flips and stunts to hype up the crowd.
Going into the fourth quarter, Jag #3 played a determined game, scoring consecutively.
“Back and forth, back and forth,” Mr. Clement said, reflecting on the tied-up score.
At 1:30 in the fourth quarter, the Jags broke the 50-point line, followed quickly by the Tigers.
The exciting first All-Star game of the season ended in a tie of 59 to 59, concluding a close game between the Jaguars and the Tigers.
Over the past eight years, Glen Allen High School has continued to establish itself as a home to its 1700 students, fostering numerous traditions and hosting celebrations for a multitude of events. One of the Jags’ most beloved is Winter Spirit Week, a week of celebrating the holiday season and winter festivities. Jags in every class participated in this tradition somehow, whether it be dressing up on theme days, giving to the Christmas Mother drive, or attending one of the winter concerts that the music department presented.
To kick off Spirit Week, Jags dove right into themed dress-up days, starting with Flannel Pants Day on Monday. Tuesday was Cheesy Holiday Family Photo Day, which presented many Jags with the opportunity to dress up with their friends in silly group costumes. Wednesday was Candy Cane Day, so many Jags sported red and white stripes. Favorite Holiday Character Day was on Thursday and the Jags did not disappoint; senior Brenna Fano dressed up as Dr. Suess’s The Grinch, decking herself out in a handmade costume, green face paint, and even green nail polish. Friday was Tacky Sweater Day, a favorite among GAHS staff as well.
The 2017 Christmas Mother Drive was a success at Glen Allen, collecting both necessary items for people who need them and BOTC points for all classes. Glen Allen collectively brought in 449 cans, 118 pairs of socks, 759 books, 15 pairs of pajamas, 11 helmets, and 21 bicycles! The sophomores earned the most Battle points, scoring in at 33; the seniors followed in second with 32 points, the juniors placed third with 30 points, and the freshmen were in fourth with 27 points.
The Glen Allen Music Department put on multiple free shows for both the school and community to celebrate the holiday season. All sections performed, including the chorus, band, and orchestra. On Thursday night, the department played in the evening, welcoming the community into GAHS to celebrate unity and festivity. Sophomore Emily Trent played in the orchestra, creating a memorable night because “[her] family traveled from out of town to watch [her] play.” Senior Krista Macuno helped to accompany on the piano as well.
To end off the 2017 Winter Spirit Week, the music department played another show during school hours for students to attend. All three sections played again for the Jags; the chorus sang a diverse range of holiday songs, featuring senior soloist Roman Fenner for one song, the band provided a line of trumpeters, and the orchestra played a medley of music from Dr. Suess’s The Grinch.
Involvement at Glen Allen is a necessary part of every Jaguar’s high school experience. Glen Allen High School hosts numerous organizations to be a part of, providing many diverse opportunities to get involved within the walls of Glen Allen. From organizations as unique as Astronomy Club and as impactful as Jaguar Gents, students of all ages are involved with other and the Glen Allen community through membership. However, one of the most meaningful organizations to be a part of is Beta Alpha Kappa.
Founded in 2016, Beta Alpha Kappa, also known as “BAK,” is an organization composed of about one hundred upperclassmen, dedicated to mentoring and guiding the incoming freshman class through their trials and tribulations of their freshman year. Through this organization, upperclassmen have the opportunity to be a friend and a mentor to the lowerclassmen. Economics & Personal Finance and Business Law teacher Mr. Edwards said the he believes that BAK gives students the “opportunity to build more comradery…between the seniors and freshmen.”
BAK has been revamped for the 2017-2018 school year to make activities more engaging for the whole school. For example, the “thankful tree” by the attendance office was updated this year to make it collaborative, allowing everyone in Glen Allen to add a leaf. Mr. Edwards said that he hopes activities like the thankful tree “foster a new kindness in people.”
Not only are there mentorship opportunities in BAK, there are also leadership opportunities available within the club. Certain members are selected to be group leaders and other members are selected to be on the Curriculum Team, which is in charge of creating the lessons that the other members teach in their homerooms on Mondays.
Additional clubs that Jags could get involved in if they are interested in being a mentor or a leader include SODA, SheIs, and Jaguar Gents. Most high-schoolers probably remember their very own SODA mentors who visited their middle schools in sixth grade. Members of SODA have the opportunity to travel to local Henrico middle schools and interact with students by teaching fun lessons about life topics. SheIs and Jaguar Gents are gender-based mentorship programs.
During the 2016-2017 school year, a new honor society was introduced to Glen Allen. A chapter of Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society joined the lineup of many other honor societies hosted at Glen Allen. Rho Kappa is the only national organization for high school students in their junior and senior years that recognizes and celebrates social studies.
Rho Kappa provides national recognition for students and promotes an interest in, understanding of, and appreciation for history and social studies. One of the Rho Kappa sponsors, Mrs. Rutkowski, says that the purpose of Rho Kappa in Glen Allen is to encourage the Jags to “be advocates for history and explore history.”
Members of Rho Kappa will be a part of one of six committees; students were given the option to choose between some committees such as the Historical Events Committee and the Promotions Committee.
As a member of one of those committees, students have corresponding tasks. For example, members of the Historical Events Committee are tasked with finding speakers to speak on historic past- or present-day events. Glen Allen has already hosted some informative speakers from Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Richmond. Members on the Promotions Committee will advertise these speakers by creating posters, making announcements, et cetera.
The only requirements to become and remain a member of Rho Kappa are age, grade point average, and once accepted, participation. Rho Kappa is open to juniors and seniors only who maintain a 3.0 grade point average or higher. Once accepted, members need to obtain five “points” to remain in good standing; three of these will come from Rho Kappa group meetings, and the other two necessary can easily be filled since Richmond is full of history.
If you are interested in being a member of Rho Kappa, go to the chapter’s website to find out more information!
School libraries play an essential role in the process of learning. From an early age students are encouraged to read, but more importantly, to interact with what they are reading. Every April, the American Association of School Librarians encourages the celebration of school libraries, the staff who work there, and the programs they support. At Glen Allen, we have two librarians who work hard daily to ensure that our library is a productive, enriching, and exciting place to learn.
Ms. Hardin, who worked as an English teacher for twenty years prior to joining the Glen Allen staff, chose to switch her career to a librarian because of her passion for students. In her normal classroom the number of students she could interact with would be limited, but as a librarian, communication with every type of student is made available.
“I was not only driven to be a librarian by my love of reading – it was more about my love of collaborating with other people,” she said. As a collaborative person, she also loves planning all kinds of lessons.
“I get to plan projects with math teachers, science teachers, and every kind of teacher, whereas before it was mostly just English and history,” Ms. Hardin said. For example, she recently combined science and English when she worked with oceanography classes on a discussion board project that was based on the All Henrico Reads selection The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery.
Mrs. Tatum previously worked as a librarian at the elementary level. Her favorite part of that job was being able to excite young students and help them develop the love for reading that she has. At the high school level, Mrs. Tatum continues to inspire students to enjoy reading by being the sponsor for Glen Allen’s Book Club.
Another interest of Mrs. Tatum’s is search engine optimization. Being able to teach students how research works, how search engines work, and how to use them is a passion that is unique and useful.
“[Search engine optimization] is about how to get the best results. There is so much data out there, so how are we going to find the best of it?” she said.
Both of Glen Allen’s librarians have their distinctive specialties, but they also come together as a team to be the go-to’s for any student or teacher who needs help. Some tasks they perform include ordering books and supplies, serving as a brainstorming team for people to bounce project ideas off of, presenting different ways to research, and enlightening Jags about new technologies that are available for usage.
Above all else, Ms. Hardin and Mrs. Tatum are trying to prepare students for e college and the real world. They like to serve as a helpful hand that will guide students to the answers instead of simply giving them.
“It is about the process, the problem-solving process,” Mrs. Tatum said.
By definition, pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Dating all the way back to around four thousand years ago, this irrational number was useful for numerous occupations. For example, it was essential to early astronomers as they used telescopes to observe objects in the sky and to early architects as they figured out the angles of the buildings they were designing.
Centuries later, this mathematical constant has its very own designated holiday: Pi Day, celebrated on March 14th, since the first three digits of pi are 3.14. However, some people are unaware of what the actual meaning of Pi Day is; while most people were probably just hoping to eat a slice of apple or pumpkin pie and not celebrating a large part of mathematical history, the Jaguars were doing both.
Sponsored annually by the math honor society, Mu Alpha Theta, Pi Day at Glen Allen has become a tradition the Jags look forward to every spring. Members of Mu Alpha Theta set up a booth outside of the library and serve free pie – all a student has to do to receive a piece is accurately recite the first twenty digits of pi.
Junior Sarah Benton volunteered at the booth during B-Lunch. She said that her favorite part is “seeing the students’ excitement” when they win a piece of pie, but she also enjoys the positive attitude the Jags have even if they do not recite it correctly. The optimism Benton described is one of the many traits the Jags as a student body exemplify. Pi Day celebrations at Glen Allen are just one of the many ways the Jaguars make history fun and interactive.
With Ms. Barbara Bonner moving up to the administrative team, Glen Allen needed a new French teacher. So, Glen Allen welcomed Mr. Daniel Trice.
Mr. Trice moved from Sweden around the age of six to Kenbridge, a small town in Lunenburg County, Virginia. His family later moved to Lynchburg before Mr. Trice moved to Richmond.
Mr. Trice formerly worked at Rustburg High School and William Campbell High School. What sets Glen Allen apart from the previous schools Mr. Trice has worked at is the culture of the school. He was instantly impressed by the kindness of everyone and the way the students treat each other. He values the interactions he has with his students, whom he described as “open-minded.”
Originally, Mr. Trice studied film (translation and subtitling) at the University of Cordoba in Spain and the University of Messina in Italy. Mr. Trice switched his major to education to become a teacher and studied at Virginia Commonwealth University to obtain his Bachelor’s degrees in French and Spanish. After having studied foreign language for his entire life, even as a small child learning English, he understands first-hand that learning about another culture can “vastly improve [a person’s] life, as well as [their] ability to think, interact, and understand.”
As a French I and III-VI teacher, Mr. Trice obviously wants everybody to learn and understand the French language and culture. But he also thinks that it is extremely important that a student feels respected, and that they know their opinions, beliefs, and values matter. “Ultimately, I want to help them along the way to becoming a good person,” he said.
Being a teacher is satisfying to Mr. Trice because he believes that “if [a person] loves a subject, being a teacher is great because they get to work with that subject every day. They]get to relearn it with the students.”
Supporting the Jaguars is important to Mr. Trice; he is continually amazed by the arts and theatre departments and plans on attending many sports games to see his students play. He is also a member of Guitar Club, where he expresses his love for music. Mr. Trice plays the guitar, bass, and the keyboard and enjoys singing as well. He is also a travel enthusiast; he has traveled all over Europe, North Africa, Mexico, and the West Coast.
Learning from a mistake is the most valuable lesson Mr. Trice thinks students should learn. He feels that it is important to not get tripped over small mistakes, because a person can learn so much from it. “Ultimately, you have not learned anything unless you have made a mistake.”
In addition to welcoming Mr. Matthew Reinstein (you can read his introduction here), Glen Allen has also welcomed Ms. Jessica Burbic as a new Assistant Principal. Growing up as a Glen Allen resident herself, she studied at Hermitage High School until she attended school at Longwood University for her undergraduate degree, then Virginia Tech for her graduate degree.
Ms. Burbic formerly worked at Quioccasin Middle School, which is where she fell in love with teaching. She decided to become an Assistant Principal because she “love[s] being able to support teachers and students,” which makes her fit perfectly with the rest of the Jaguar staff.
The reason Ms. Burbic decided to work in the school system was because of her third grade teacher at Glen Allen Elementary School. “She was so enthusiastic; I felt like her energy never went away, from the moment we got to school to the moment we left,” she reflected. “She was tough, she had high expectations, and she knew what our potential was, so every day she would push us to become better,” she said.
In addition to being a motivating force, Ms. Burbic says that her teacher had “a different way of connecting with every single student,” which something that she values now. “I love building relationships with students, getting to know them – their passions, their interests, and using that information to best support them,” she said.
She has definitely already become involved with the Jags. Ms. Burbic is the sponsor for the Freshman Class of 2020, which she is excited about. Dabbling in a little of everything is what she feels suits her most, due to her extroverted personality. “I love to talk – I’ll walk up to a random table of kids at lunch and I’ll just start talking. I love it,” she said with a smile.
When asked what her favorite part of GAHS is, she quickly responded, “The kids – you guys are amazing!” Her enthusiasm for teaching was apparent as her eyes lit up with her response. To Ms. Burbic, working with students is about more than just learning what is in the textbook; she feels that an important part of education is developing yourself as a person, and she understands that the teachers and administrators around can make the difference. “I want make kids feel good about themselves and help them realize that they can accomplish big things,” she said.
Being patient is the most valuable advice Ms. Burbic has to offer the Jags. She says that “sometimes it is important to take a step back and think before you react to a situation,” which is definitely advice that everyone should consider. “I think, in this world, we’re so quick to try to find an answer that sometimes we miss the important things,” she said. “In the end, it’s about the journey, not the destination.”
This year, Glen Allen has welcomed Mr. Matthew Reinstein, a former employee of the CTE Resource Center, Wilder Middle School, and Pocahontas Middle School, as a new administrator.
Mr. Reinstein fell in love with teaching when he was in the exceptional education program at Wilder Middle. As a person who has always wanted to impact his community, Mr. Reinstein has a passion for teaching because his job allows him to do so. “I am exactly where I want to be, doing exactly what I want to do,” he said.
Besides the wonderful student body and staff, Mr. Reinstein loves the energy of our school and how there are opportunities for every single student to get involved in here at GAHS. And, on the topic of involvement, Mr. Reinstein has immersed himself in Glen Allen’s clubs and organizations already. He has signed up to be a part of Key Club, is a sophomore class sponsor, and is a part of Beta Alpha Kappa.
He said that BAK is similar to something he had experience with at Pocahontas Middle. “BAK is program I believe in greatly,” he said. “I think that any school would benefit from that type of atmosphere,” he continued. Mr. Reinstein believes that programs such as BAK help develop a school climate and culture that is unique, and one that helps guide students that need it.
Mr. Reinstein plans on being very connected with the Jaguars by being an example and figuring out what they need as individuals. He commented that this requires building relationships with students, which is the part of teaching he has always enjoyed most. With a laugh, he added, “I know that sounds a little bit cliché, but I mean it. I really mean it.”
The hobbies and interests of Mr. Reinstein include country music, fly-fishing, and all kinds of sports. During his high school experience, he had a sports coach who influenced and mentored him. “He was very challenging and held me to high standards, but that was a good thing,” he reflected. “He found a way to push me, which has carried over into my life now,” he said.
Being open-minded is a philosophy that Mr. Reinstein seriously believes in, as well as figuring out what kind of person you are and what your values are. He also believes that as a school, as Jaguars, we need to show the world what our values are.
“I think it is time to start figuring out who Glen Allen is,” he said. Especially after a tough 2015, Mr. Reinstein’s point is extremely valid. “So let’s put the message out there – this is who we really are. Don’t brand us, we’ll brand ourselves.”