Murals: the Journey of a Senior Art Tradition at GAHS

By: Brandon Dung

The 600s hallway, also recognized as the arts hallway, is always a memorable place for current students, alumni, or any other visitors to Glen Allen High School. Everyone walks into the hall in amazement as they see the craftsmanship in each and every work of art. Some admirers even take pictures and selfies by them. As their final project, senior art students are invited to decorate the hallway with a beautiful mural of their choice. From the opening of the school, the walls have been getting filled as each senior class graduates, making it what it is now. Each mural is completely different from each other as well the meaning behind them, but the things that connects them all together, regardless of everything, are …

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Congratulating the Class of 2018

May has not only ushered in warm weather, but also the Class of 2018’s last full month as Glen Allen High School students. Whether it be higher education, entering the work force, joining the military, taking a gap year, or any of the countless opportunities this year’s graduates will have after receiving their diplomas at graduation on June 12th at the VCU Siegel Center, Senior Jags are eagerly anticipating graduation and their last day of high school.

Glen Allen High School has taken many actions to celebrate this year’s Seniors and their next steps after high school. Not only will all Seniors gain recognition on June 1st on their last full day of high school at the Senior Honors Assembly, but numerous other communal and individual…

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Les Misérables Sneak Peak

Get ready Jaguars for Glen Allen Drama’s upcoming musical, Les Misérables! These dedicated students have been working after school and even on some Saturdays to make sure they make it their best show yet. Les Misérables takes place during the French Revolution and explores identity, love, and relationships during the time period. The musical focuses on these themes through a tear inducing plot and soundtrack.

Previously starring in Jaguar Drama’s productions of Legally Blonde and The Little Mermaid, Jacob Durbin and Maddie Siepe star in Les Misérables as Jean Valjean and Cosette. Also starring in this year’s production are Lauren Grob as Fantine, Tessa Eddington as Éponine, Roman Fenner as Marius and many others, both veterans an…

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Civil Service Jaguars: Student Government Day

On Thursday March 15th, Glen Allen participated in the 61st annual Student Government Day. More than 100 students from high schools all over Henrico County were able to get a firsthand look at the inner workings of employees making up their local governments.

Each student who decided to participate with a local government official, including judges, members of the School Board and Board of Supervisors, and more. Once paired with an official, students then shadowed them for the day to better understand not only the position the official held and the roles and responsibilities that went along with it, but also to gain insight into how Henrico’s local government works.

Student Government Day officially began on Wednesday March 14th a…

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Jaguars and Tiaras: Mr. Glen Allen 2018

On Friday February 16th, Glen Allen hosted one of its most beloved traditions: the Mr. Glen Allen male pageant. Nearly every Jaguar showed up for this incredibly popular event, not only to earn Battle of the Classes points for their grade levels (points were awarded based on the amount of students from each grade level that attended), but also to show support for the men at Glen Allen and enjoy one of the most hilarious and entertaining events of the year.

As per tradition, the event was broken up into eight parts: the group dance, group roll call, individual costume portions, the talent show, formal wear, selection of the top five, questioning of the top five, and selection of the winner.

The event started at 7:00pm, the door…

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Murals: the Journey of a Senior Art Tradition at GAHS

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Some seniors taking art work on their murals in the front of the 600s hallway. These seniors have dedicated – and continue to dedicate – countless hours to their art in order to represent creativity in themselves, as well as in the walls of Glen Allen High School. Photo taken by: Brandon Dung.

By: Brandon Dung

The 600s hallway, also recognized as the arts hallway, is always a memorable place for current students, alumni, or any other visitors to Glen Allen High School. Everyone walks into the hall in amazement as they see the craftsmanship in each and every work of art. Some admirers even take pictures and selfies by them. As their final project, senior art students are invited to decorate the hallway with a beautiful mural of their choice. From the opening of the school, the walls have been getting filled as each senior class graduates, making it what it is now. Each mural is completely different from each other as well the meaning behind them, but the things that connects them all together, regardless of everything, are the achievement. Being able to paint a mural shows the dedication of a student willing to take visual arts for four to five consecutive years straight. The excitement of underclassmen as they watch seniors paint is evident, seeing themselves painting their own mural one day.

As each class continues to add onto the hall, the spaces become limited. For the past three years, students have been trying to obtain extra space for murals so that previous ones do not have to be covered. The Class of 2015 were granted an alcove to allow for their entire class to paint new spaces. The following year, however, students had to cover up past murals in order to make room for theirs. In order to avoid such tragedy, I led the initiative to obtain more space by talking to administrators, teachers, staff, as well as the former principal of Glen Allen High School, Gwen Miller. I rallied Glen Allen to the extent of creating a petition, gaining over 500+ signatures towards the cause, but ultimately the attempt was unsuccessful.

Many of the murals are nearing completion; all Jags should definitely walk through the 600s hall to check out these works-in-progress to see the amazing transformations. Visitors passing through might even see some seniors working on their murals who would love to chat about their inspiration and process! Photo taken by: Brandon Dung.

This year the Jags were able to get a brand new hallway for the Class of 2018, allowing eighteen new murals to be added. It also serves as the connecting factor for the area between the hall and alcove. The process begins with students forming a general idea of what one wants their mural to be. Then, the student will make it come to life on paper, fitting the design to a grid and making it proportionate to the wall itself. Next our murals are placed in certain areas so that it can accommodate space as well as complement each other. Finally sketching and painting on the wall begins which could take weeks until the finished product. As the year comes to a close for seniors, murals are beginning to finish as we leave our mark upon our former home, yet we will always be part of the Jaguar family.

Congratulating the Class of 2018

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May has not only ushered in warm weather, but also the Class of 2018’s last full month as Glen Allen High School students. Whether it be higher education, entering the work force, joining the military, taking a gap year, or any of the countless opportunities this year’s graduates will have after receiving their diplomas at graduation on June 12th at the VCU Siegel Center, Senior Jags are eagerly anticipating graduation and their last day of high school.

Glen Allen High School has taken many actions to celebrate this year’s Seniors and their next steps after high school. Not only will all Seniors gain recognition on June 1st on their last full day of high school at the Senior Honors Assembly, but numerous other communal and individual recognitions and celebratory activities have occurred and will occur leading up to it.

To celebrate May 1st, National College Decision Day where students must finally commit to a University if they plan on attending one, Sunrise Studios allowed Seniors to sign up to announce where they decided to go to school live on the morning announcements on May 7th during homeroom. Many students were thrilled for the opportunity to share with their peers where they planned on attending and making such an important and exciting decision, as well as making it a more communal experience. Upperclassmen watching got to support their peers, and underclassmen were reminded of one of the amazing opportunities a strong education can create.

Per tradition, Seniors were asked to share their “next steps” with administration so that a large banner listing all members of the senior class and what they plan on doing after they graduate from high school could be displayed. The banners listed the entire class’s post-graduation plans, displaying them in the commons to congratulate students on their graduation and the amazing opportunities they plan on pursing, as well as creating a sense of community for Seniors.

Students who received scholarships from Universities, whether they were accepted or denied, were formally invited to the annual scholarship breakfast on May 24th to celebrate their academic achievements and awards with administration, peers, and family.

Seniors were also encouraged to decorate a large paw print with their future plans, including military, career, or college. Many students pursing higher level education took the opportunity to display their school pride and decorate them with the colors and symbols of their University. Others shared where they planned on working, as well as what area of the military they wanted to go into. These were then hung up and displayed on the windows by the senior courtyard.

Not only are measures being taken to celebrate Senior Jags, but educate them for the hardships and independence they will experience as an adult graduate. For example, teacher Mr. Walton will be giving a lecture to the senior class about life and the journey they are about to embark on May 25th during J-Step. He has given these types of lectures for the past four years to graduating classes, and many students are eagerly anticipating the event.

Seniors are also looking forward to coming back to Glen Allen after their last official day of high school to further celebrate graduation. Student government collaborated with teachers to plan the Class of 2018’s Baccalaureate service on June 3rd. Additionally, after a mandatory graduation practice on June 8th, Seniors will be able to get food for free from a catering service, as well as participate in fun activities, at the senior picnic.

Les Misérables Sneak Peak

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Mathew Mitchel and Jacob Kutsmeda perform their roles as a prisoner and guard in a run through of the musical. Cast and crew work extremely hard to make sure their performance improves with every run through. Photo taken by Emily Bickford.

Get ready Jaguars for Glen Allen Drama’s upcoming musical, Les Misérables! These dedicated students have been working after school and even on some Saturdays to make sure they make it their best show yet. Les Misérables takes place during the French Revolution and explores identity, love, and relationships during the time period. The musical focuses on these themes through a tear inducing plot and soundtrack.

Jacob Durbin nails a challenging solo as Jean Valjean. Without the patience and guidence of Mrs. Beckett and Ms. Garett, this challenging musical would not be possible. Photo taken by Emily Bickford.

Previously starring in Jaguar Drama’s productions of Legally Blonde and The Little Mermaid, Jacob Durbin and Maddie Siepe star in Les Misérables as Jean Valjean and Cosette. Also starring in this year’s production are Lauren Grob as Fantine, Tessa Eddington as Éponine, Roman Fenner as Marius and many others, both veterans and newcomers to the stage.

Behind the scenes crew works to move sets, manage sound, and control lighting. Carson Cofer and Brian Glessner are sound technicians, Lindsey Pitts runs the light board, and Dillion Burruss controls the spotlight. Picture taken by Emily Bickford.

The cast and crew have worked incredibly hard with the help of Mrs. Beckett and Ms. Garret to perform this classic musical to the best of their ability.

Come support your fellow Jaguars in Glen Allen Drama’s production of Les Misérables on April 19th, 20th, and 21st at 7:30pm! As always doors open at 7. Tickets will be sold during lunches of show week for $8 and at the door for $10.

Civil Service Jaguars: Student Government Day

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On Thursday March 15th, Glen Allen participated in the 61st annual Student Government Day. More than 100 students from high schools all over Henrico County were able to get a firsthand look at the inner workings of employees making up their local governments.

Senior Kalista Pepper and Dr. William Noel stand at the podium as she gives a speech about abolishing the Zero Tolerance Policy, believing punishments in cases should vary via the age and maturity of children. He is the director of the Disciplinary Review Office, who she shadowed. Picture taken by Andy Jenks.

Each student who decided to participate with a local government official, including judges, members of the School Board and Board of Supervisors, and more. Once paired with an official, students then shadowed them for the day to better understand not only the position the official held and the roles and responsibilities that went along with it, but also to gain insight into how Henrico’s local government works.

Student Government Day officially began on Wednesday March 14th at Hermitage High School, where students attended a ceremony that night.

There, students each swore the oaths required for their temporary position to both help them gain a better understanding of the job and truly grasp the responsibility the job held and that they would have to carry.

Kalista Pepper participates in a mock hearing to determine whether or not a student should be long-term expelled. Her shadow, Dr. Noel, frequently has to do this with students, and allowed her the opportunity to understand the experience first-hand. Picture taken by Andy Jenks.

The next day, students had to report for work early in the morning, 8: 30a.m to be exact, and lateness was not tolerated, as would be true in the real world; students were treated completely as adults and like they held the position. Students spent the rest of the day observing their government employee at work, as well assisting with and doing their job for themselves.

Glen Allen Seniors Kalista Pepper and Tri Nguyen pose for a picture after a successful mock Board of Supervisors meeting. Both students are currently in AP Government and were excited to apply what they learned in class to their real-life experience. Picture taken by Andy Jenks.

At the end of the day at 2p.m was a simulated meeting of the Board of Supervisors in the Board Room of the Henrico Government Center.

Senior Paxton O’Bryen, a current AP Government student, participated in the event this year. On her experience, she said, “Student government day was a very enriching view into the world of local government. It was amazing to see just how much goes on that we rarely think about.” She shadowed Judge Margaret W Deglau, a juvenile and domestic relations court judge. “As a judge, I was able to sit in on cases and tour the juvenile detention center,” she said.

Overall, students found student government day an unforgettable educational experience to apply what they have learned and step into someone else’s shoes, as well as for local government employees to have an impact on the youth around them and bestow their knowledge and experience. Anyone interested in learning more about the local government and the everyday workings at certain government jobs is encouraged to participate next year!

 

 

 

Jaguars and Tiaras: Mr. Glen Allen 2018

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On Friday February 16th, Glen Allen hosted one of its most beloved traditions: the Mr. Glen Allen male pageant. Nearly every Jaguar showed up for this incredibly popular event, not only to earn Battle of the Classes points for their grade levels (points were awarded based on the amount of students from each grade level that attended), but also to show support for the men at Glen Allen and enjoy one of the most hilarious and entertaining events of the year.

Mr. Glen Allen contestants put aside their competitiveness for a group dance. This was one of the most highly anticipated events of the evening. Picture taken by Maggie Nuckols.

As per tradition, the event was broken up into eight parts: the group dance, group roll call, individual costume portions, the talent show, formal wear, selection of the top five, questioning of the top five, and selection of the winner.

The event started at 7:00pm, the doors opening at 6:30pm for any students who wanted to be there early and ensure they got good seating. Tickets had been available for purchase during school lunches prior to the event, but students were also able to buy tickets at the door if they had not purchased them prior.

Mr. Glen Allen 2018 opened with a bang, one of the notable events, the group dance, announcing the beginning of the event.

After the event was over, all contestants and their dates gathered for a group picture. Also pictured to the left are event organizers Ms. Carpenter and Mr. Dean. Picture taken by Maggie Nuckols.

Contestants dressed in white button-ups and dark shorts, a Mr. Glen Allen opening dance signature, to wow the crowd with their moves. Using popular music and, at times, risqué dancing, they easily wowed the crowd and got everyone excited for what was to come.

Afterwards, contestants did a roll call, getting into a semi-circle formation and introducing themselves to the crowd via the popular “roll call” song accompanied by a dance.

This year, Mr. Glen Allen was hosted by Senior Taliyah Dozier. Throughout the night, she had two different cohosts. Cole Tutwiler, a Mr. Glen Allen contestant last year and now freshman at George Mason University, was cohost for the first portion. For the second, last year’s Mr. Glen Allen winner and current student at James Madison University, Grant Schowalter, was cohost.

Participant and Junior Josh Holtzman gave it his all during the group performance. He, like all the other contestants, was dedicated to putting on a good show and potentially winning. Picture taken by Maggie Nuckols.

Both former contestants and cohosts also during the night stepped out from behind the podium host and back into the spotlight, reenacting their iconic performances from last year. Cole danced with his girlfriend, Glen Allen Senior Abby Dodd, and Grant replicated his unique act manipulating yoga balls.

Moving on to the next portion of the evening, contestants were introduced one at a time with and in their costumes they had picked out. Some notable costumers were Josh Holtzman as English teacher Mr. Towslee, Junior Jahin Ghazi as character Dwight Schrute from popular T.V. show, the Office¸ and Soham Apte as Math teacher Mr. Dean.

Afterwards, each contestant got to do a performance of their choosing in the talent show, another one of the most notorious portions of the Mr. Glen Allen event. Contestants brought their A-game this year, perfecting traditional acts and pushing the boundaries with new and, to say the least, interesting ones.

Senior Soham Apte performed an interesting act where he and some assisting Jaguars wore robes and spat and sprayed water around and at one another, Senior Thomas Gordon mixed good and bad in his “the best and worst band you will ever see” performance, and Senior Nolan McKinney sang, to name a few.

Senior Soham Apte and some of his fellow Jaguars performed one of the most interesting and unique talents in Mr. Glen Allen history. The act consisted of wearing robes, spitting water, and posing at times. Picture taken by Maggie Nuckols.

Contestants then transitioned into the formal wear portion of the evening, walking onto the stage in their best and most elegant wear, escorted by a female date also in formal wear. Adding a flare to the event, Junior Sam Joyner handed a judge a whisk during this portion. Afterwards, the top five contestants were announced, and these five were asked questions that determined who would finally come out on top and be crowned Mr. Glen Allen 2018.

After much deliberation, judges eventually crowned Junior Sam Joyner Mr. Glen Allen, and Senior Keegan Manning as runner up, ending the event.

First Ever Poetry Cafe Slams Glen Allen

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Students attending the poetry café were welcome to a variety of food before and during the poetry readings. Food was provided by Mr. Tolbert, who cooked the cupcakes and pigs in a blanket featured above, as well as Literary Magazine students, who cooked the brownies and other foods above. Picture taken by Morgan Deckert.

On February 14th, Glen Allen had its first poetry café of the 2017-2018 school year. All students were invited to attend in the library during J-Step for snacks, entertainment, and a chance to share their work with an enthusiastic audience.

Created by English teacher Mr. Tolbert, the poetry café is a way for students to have freedom of expression and an outlet for their creativity while simultaneously being introduced to new styles of writing and developing their writing skills.

Glen Allen’s Literary Magazine also helped create and host the event, members bringing in food and organizing the event. Additionally, all students who submitted and/or read their poetry were urged to submit their creation to the Literary Magazine to potentially be published in the 2017-2018 edition. This year’s Literary Magazine theme is “UnchARTed.”

Students eagerly wait for the poetry café to begin. Although many students were originally nervous to share their poems, the positive energy of their fellow students soon allowed them to share without fear. Picture taken by Morgan Deckert.

Each month will be centered around a certain format of poetry, this month being villanelles. Villanelles are nineteen-line poems with two repeating rhymes and two refrains. The first and third lines of the opening tercet are repeated alternately in the last lines of the succeeding stanzas and, in the final stanza, the refrain serves as the poem’s two concluding lines. However, students were also welcome to share poems that did not revolve around this particular structure, and many did.

Students and teachers around the school showed their support for the poetry café. Students, particularly those part of the Literary Magazine, enthusiastically advertised the event to students. Additionally, many teachers offered students extra credit opportunities to create poems and share them at

Mr. Tolbert introduces the poetry café to students. He even wrote and shared his own villanelle with the poetry café. Picture taken by Morgan Deckert.

the poetry café. Mr. Tolbert offered extra credit to his English classes if they created and presented a villanelle at the event. Similarly, Spanish teacher Ms. Lemco allowed her AP Spanish V students to write poems (an English and Spanish translation) and present them at the café for extra credit, which added to the diversity and enrichment of the event, as well as the fun.

Plans are already in the work for next month’s poetry reading, the “poem of the month” being sonnets. Sonnets are poems with fourteen lines that follow any of a number of formal rhyme schemes, and typically follow iambic pentameter (ten syllables per line) All students are welcome and urged to participate, sonnet or otherwise!

 

Exploring the AP Capstone Program

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As current freshman, sophomores, and juniors finalize their classes for next year, there is a lot of questions regarding classes, such as if there is too much work in a class, is it difficult material, or does this class help me later in life. New and unique classes have specific confusion over what the class teaches and what is the workload in that class; there is also excitement surrounding new classes, especially if they are an Advanced Placement class.

The AP Capstone program came to Glen Allen this year, and 20 curious students, sophomores and juniors, took on this new program. AP Capstone is comprised of two classes. First, AP Seminar, which focuses on the skills of team and individual presentation, research, questioning, and synthesizing an argument or someone else’s argument. Then, AP Research, which is a yearlong focus on an individual research paper that is submitted to college board at the end of the year.

These 8 lenses represent the perspectives that a student can look through while researching or arguing. The AP seminar program focuses on viewpoints in society and what their limitations are.

A class of AP Seminar started this year at Glen Allen with Mr. Towslee being the teacher. He worked very hard and went through a three year waiting period for the class to be administered at Glen Allen. Next year, AP Research will be taught by Mr. Zelenak once the current students finish the AP Seminar portion of the program.

Mr. Towslee had a few words to share with anyone that is considering taking the class, “Seminar is reading, writing, presenting, and thinking at a college level, but its multi-disciplinary. So, it’s not just for people who like English class, it’s for people who like history, sciences, and the arts. The students can get a say in what they want to learn and study.”

Into the third marking period, the coarse is in full force as students get most of class time to work with their teams to create their TMPs, Team Multi-Media Presentation. This project is composed of an Individual Research Report, done by every member of the group, and then the members of the group come together to showcase their research and formulate an argument on a topic of their choice.

If you do not particularly enjoy group projects, there is also an individual project that is created by each student. Both of these projects will be submitted to college board, along with a written part on the day of the exam, that will composite to create their AP score (1-5).

Students in the first year of the program, Alyssa Harris, a junior, and Mia Varghese, a sophomore, both enjoy the class and had some very helpful words, Alyssa stated, “The class workload is a lot, but the students get a lot of class time to work on their presentations. He also is very understanding and will work with the class if the class as a whole is overwhelmed.”

One of the only sophomores in the class, Mia Varghese, exclaimed, “I have learned a lot about questioning and synthesizing my ideas. My favorite part of the class is the group presentations.”

This is the 5-step QUEST model that holds the framework for how to ask, formulate, and then present a question. Questioning is one of the largest components of this program.

So, if you want to be more prepared for college and explore ideas you want to in school, apply for the AP Capstone program. Mr. Towslee recommends that only current sophomores apply for the class, but if you are very interested and a freshman, talk to Mr. Towslee about the class in room 213. That is also where you can find an application.

GAHS Celebrates the Holiday Season with Winter Spirit Week

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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.

Beta Alpha Kappa: Revamped

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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.”

The thankful tree is outside of the attendance office in the main hallway. Stop by and add your leaf to the tree! Photo credit: Lauren Baugham.

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.

Meet Ms. Neagle, Teacher/Cheerleader

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By Cassie Coughlan

Unassuming, yet joyful; humorous, yet thoughtful, Ms. Neagle, a sophomore and junior English teacher, has found a way to make a difference in the lives of her students in just her first year at Glen Allen. One of the newest–and proudest–Jaguars, she can often be found laughing with students, leading Pep Club, or teaching a meaningful lesson. Her cheerful, contagious sense of school spirit extends beyond the classroom.

Growing up encouraged by her teachers, Ms. Neagle, who just began her fifth year of teaching, knew that she wanted to be in the classroom. “I actually grew up in Henrico County and I went to Henrico High School and I had amazing teachers who I got really close with—especially my English teachers, and so they pretty much inspired me. But also, my mom taught in Henrico County for over 30 years… so just seeing how she would get close to students and help some of them… inspired me as well.”

Ms. Neagle believes she was destined to become a Jaguar. “I know [the Glen Allen area] really well, and as soon as the school was built and I knew I wanted to become a teacher, it was always a destination I wanted to end up at. Once I found out I was coming back [to Virginia], I immediately looked at the openings, and when I saw there was one here, it just felt right to me. Then I got a job, so it was pretty much like destiny!” she proclaimed.

Ms. Neagle draws students in with her enthusiasm and cheerfulness. Because she’s excited to teach, her students are excited to learn.  Junior Matthew Zuniga, one of Ms. Neagle’s students, is motivated by “how joyful she is, how happy she is all the time… She’s still trying to make everything positive. She makes everything fun.” Fellow junior Bruce Richardson adds, “[She makes learning fun by] making everyone a part of the class. We all have a say. We’re all learning, but at the same time, having fun while doing it.”

Bruce recounted one memorable assignment, during which the students read In the Hands of Angry Sinners by Jonathan Edwards and had to angrily preach in front of the class about a topic of their choice: “My angry figure title was ‘Referees in the Hands of Angry Athletes’. I basically said how athletes get mad at referees for making bad call.”

By inspiring her students to infuse their work with personality, Ms. Neagle creates an atmosphere of appreciation and self-expression. “I like to incorporate ways for the kids to use pieces of their lives as ways to learn. Over Thanksgiving, I’m actually going to have them do this project. It’s called Story Corps.” Allowing family members to record and preserve meaningful interviews online, Story Corps encourages asking questions such as “How do you want to be remembered?” and “What are your hopes for the future?” Its goal is to create a sense of connectedness and compassion.

Ms. Neagle continued, “I think it’s really important that we try to get to know all students as individuals first and try to figure out what kinds of things do they like, what kinds of things motivate them, and try to incorporate how we can use that to make everyone succeed. I think it’s important to get to know who you’re talking to so you can change your lesson to fit those people,”

“I try to integrate some things that might be meaningful beyond the English curriculum, beyond the content of the subject. Things that they can look back and read or see and say ‘I’m really glad I did that as an assignment. I may not have liked it in the moment, but when I look back on it… [it was worth it].’”

Beyond the classroom, Ms. Neagle sponsors Pep Club, and wants to expand the club’s footprint, saying, “We really want to grow it and get more students involved so we can do some really fun things! I think GAHS is already a very spirited school, but we can do even more.  Pep Club is going to start recognizing Jaguars of the Month, 8 students from all four classes to be featured for being great contributors to the GAHS community, so we’re really excited about that, but we can do even more with more student input.”

 

In all, the students overwhelmingly saw Ms. Neagle as a steady, positive presence in their lives. Ms. Neagle said, “I feel like I try to be very patient. As much as it may not seem like it’s the case to every student, I really do care about every student and want what’s best for them. I probably want them to succeed more than they want to succeed.”

More information about Pep Club:

Nominate students for Jaguar of the Month here!

Staff

Adviser: Melissa McLamb
Co-Editors: Elaina Coviello & Maggie Nuckols
Section Editors: Lauren Baugham & Morgan Deckert
Photography & Graphic Design: Bailey Steele
Social Networks: Jamison Crenshaw & Claire Bernard
HoGA: Emily Bickford & Oscar Gamez
Interactives/Monthly Flyer: Ashleigh Russo & Kelly Riggan
Writers: Kaylee Bagley, Cassie Coughlan, Paxton O'Brien, Sara Beth Stansberry, Brian Fadool, & Joshua Holtzman