34th Annual Lebanese Food Festival Comes to Glen Allen

Thousands of people flooded into Glen Allen to attend the 34th Annual Lebanese Food Festival from May 18th to My 20th. The festival has been serving authentic Lebanese culture to the Richmond area for thirty-four consecutive years now, providing cuisine, music, family fun, and other live entertainment.

The Lebanese Food Festival is mostly known for the myriad of different foods available to taste. Some more conventional favorites include lamb kabobs, cheese pies, hummus, and cucumber salad. However, the Festival also offered some more exotic options that are culturally specific to the Middle East, such as Zaatar bread, Shawirma, and falafel.

There were many options on how to approach dining on the festival’s diverse and delicious …

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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…

Read more

A New Twist to Testing: Learning Life Skills During SOL Periods

During past SOL testing periods, the weeks of testing have been filled with hectic schedules and sitting in classes for three hours where little to no productivity occurs. It would take two weeks for people to do 3 or less tests; it seemed longer than necessary for the standardized tests that could be done in a couple days.

Now, through a group of caring teachers, the SOL schedule has been revamped to be more efficient and more fun for the students and teachers.

The testing period is now three days, and for everyday a student is not testing they have the option to sign up for activities that involve life skills that are not usually taught in a class room setting. If you’re not interesting in learning helpful skills that can aid yo…

Read more

Trivia Isn’t Trivial: Quiz Bowl Competitions Allow Passionate Students Time to Shine

It’s quiz bowl season! Over the past few months, Science Club, Rho Kappa History Honor Society, and Mu Alpha Theta (Math Honor Society) planned their respective society’s quiz bowl tournaments. Though Math Bowl was cancelled after being scheduled for Wednesday, May 2, the students who were able to participate in the latter two learned to embrace their knowledge and extend their learning beyond the classroom.

On February 22 at 7:00 pm, the first of several competitions—Science Bowl—was hosted by the Science Club. Excited students formed teams of four or five, stepped up to the plate and answered multiple-choice and free response questions. The competition utilized a bracket format that pitted teams against one another until a winn…

Read more

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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34th Annual Lebanese Food Festival Comes to Glen Allen

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Thousands of people flooded into Glen Allen to attend the 34th Annual Lebanese Food Festival from May 18th to My 20th. The festival has been serving authentic Lebanese culture to the Richmond area for thirty-four consecutive years now, providing cuisine, music, family fun, and other live entertainment.

The Lebanese Food Festival is mostly known for the myriad of different foods available to taste. Some more conventional favorites include lamb kabobs, cheese pies, hummus, and cucumber salad. However, the Festival also offered some more exotic options that are culturally specific to the Middle East, such as Zaatar bread, Shawirma, and falafel.

There were many options on how to approach dining on the festival’s diverse and delicious menu. Customers could peruse the grounds of the St. Anthony’s Maronite Church and taste items a-la-carte, which seemed to be the popular choice. Festival-goers could also choose to enjoy a boxed meal that would include four mini courses for only ten dollars.

After finishing with their lunch or dinner, a vast majority of customers lingered to nibble on dessert, which is another one of the Lebanese Food Festival’s massive attractions. The festival presents a large assortment of Lebanese pastries and sweets which continue to be overall a best-seller. Year after consecutive year, the favorite dessert is Zalabia: fried dough served with sugar, Middle East spices, and a special syrup. Other best-loved confections include baklava and Kataif.

Although it is in the title, appetizing food is not the only magnetism that the Lebanese Food Festival has to offer. A family-friendly atmosphere and general family fun is the main goal of the festival. Guests are immediately greeted by lively Middle Eastern music and dancing to provide a view into both traditional and modern Lebanese culture.

All of the dishes I tried were delicious, but my favorite was the Loubiyeh, which is green beans cooked with onions, tomatoes, and spices. This dish is served over spicy brown rice and accompanied by two slices of pita bread. Photo taken by: Lauren Baugham.

I visited the Lebanese Food Festival on Sunday evening, and despite the rainy weather all weekend, the crowds were still massive. Richmond’s enthusiasm for the festival was apparent as the grounds were bustling and the people were lively. I tried a variety of foods: Bubbaghanooge, a spinach and cheese pie, Loubiyeh and rice, Zalabia, and baklava. All of the main dishes were accompanied by one or two thick slices of pita bread as well.

When May of 2019 rolls round, myself as well as the rest of the Richmond populace would definitely recommend visiting the 35th Annual Lebanese Food Festival! The festival will undoubtedly serve up amazing food and entertainment again next year.

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.

A New Twist to Testing: Learning Life Skills During SOL Periods

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During past SOL testing periods, the weeks of testing have been filled with hectic schedules and sitting in classes for three hours where little to no productivity occurs. It would take two weeks for people to do 3 or less tests; it seemed longer than necessary for the standardized tests that could be done in a couple days.

Now, through a group of caring teachers, the SOL schedule has been revamped to be more efficient and more fun for the students and teachers.

The testing period is now three days, and for everyday a student is not testing they have the option to sign up for activities that involve life skills that are not usually taught in a class room setting. If you’re not interesting in learning helpful skills that can aid you for a life time, then there is a sport or study hall option.

Some of the life skills being taught are mindfulness, practical outdoor skills, cooking, sewing, how to present yourself effectively, and so much more, mostly taught by Glen Allen teachers.

Mrs. Hach, an US History teacher and STEP Mentor, and Mrs. Cancro, a Chemistry teacher, are teaching students how to make simple meals and snacks in 5 steps or less. The themes for each day is: Backyard Barbecue for Tuesday, Mexican for Wednesday, and Italian for Thursday. Mrs Hach stated, “These activities are made to de-mystifying these things that seem hard like ‘Oh I can’t cook I’ll just go by Chickfila and get chicken minis instead of making breakfast myself.’ But if they can see that these activities are easier maybe they can do it themselves next time.”

Ms. Vogt was crucial in the decision to make this schedule change and the planning behind it. She was pushing for this schedule because “The end of the year is usually a waste of time. A lot of videos are watched and a lot of food is ordered, but no real work is done in most classes.”

This three day testing period starts tomorrow; hopefully, students can take away important skills that they would not usually learn at school, and this SOL schedule can become a regular tradition.

Come back to the Paw-print for a Recap of all the activities and pictures.

SOL Sign-up Website

SOL Schedule

Trivia Isn’t Trivial: Quiz Bowl Competitions Allow Passionate Students Time to Shine

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It’s quiz bowl season! Over the past few months, Science Club, Rho Kappa History Honor Society, and Mu Alpha Theta (Math Honor Society) planned their respective society’s quiz bowl tournaments. Though Math Bowl was cancelled after being scheduled for Wednesday, May 2, the students who were able to participate in the latter two learned to embrace their knowledge and extend their learning beyond the classroom.

Science Club officers Logan Cunningham and Mary Kate Lantzy announce the beginning of Science Bowl. Eight teams competed in multiple choice and free-response rounds, with Ion the Prize coming out on top. Photo Credit: Cassie Coughlan

On February 22 at 7:00 pm, the first of several competitions—Science Bowl—was hosted by the Science Club. Excited students formed teams of four or five, stepped up to the plate and answered multiple-choice and free response questions. The competition utilized a bracket format that pitted teams against one another until a winner was determined by the completion of a free-response packet. As expected, Team Ion the Prize took home first prize, as they’ve done time after time.

Patrick Wright, a senior member of the winning team, said that science is the future. “It can be really beneficial to society, especially with environmental science, which is my favorite because it’s very important to study it so we can protect our environment for generations to come.”

Junior Kelly Brown added, “You can explain almost everything through science.”

Many of the participating students are members of extracurricular organizations involving their interests, and several want to explore their passion for science in college and their future careers.

The winning team, Ion the Prize, works on a free response question. Patrick Wright, a member of Ion the Prize, said that science “is the future.” Photo Credit: Cassie Coughlan

Brown continued, “I want to be a biomedical engineer… I wanted to make prosthetics for the army because my family has been in the military, and I’ve seen people without limbs.”

Wright reflected, “I do Envirothon, which is an environmental competition. We went to states last year and we hope to go to States again this year. [During the competition,] you take a bunch of different environmental science tests—forestry, aquatics, wildlife, and you have to give an oral presentation on a project that you create. I am really interested in environmental science, so I’m studying that in college, hopefully get my Masters in that, and hopefully teach it.”

Fellow senior Mary Kate Lantzy, an officer in Science Club, helped plan the event by writing the script, creating questions, and recruiting team members. She added, “I am interested in science because it has always been my favorite subject, and I’m interested in doing medicine… I interned with a neurosurgeon over the summer, and he really inspired me.”

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On April 25 at 7:00 pm, Rho Kappa History Honor Society hosted History Bowl. Using two different question formats, five teams—mostly consisting of juniors and seniors—answered questions on everything from The Scientific Revolution to World War II. It was a celebration of knowledge that ended with the dominance of a team of veteran quiz bowl members—Mason Fristoe, Jeff Cheng, and Michael Traylor.

Participants (from left) Jeff Cheng, Roman Fenner, Chae Han, Abby Ringberg, and Peyton Showalter ponder the answer to a question asked by Mrs. Rutkowski, the sponsoring teacher. The competition consisted of two rounds, with representatives from each team participating in round 1. Photo Credit: Cassie Coughlan

“I realized that history was not just this fact-memorizing force, no. [Studying history is necessary] for you to truly appreciate what we’ve came from—our society, and how it was shaped and formed,” Jeff Cheng reflected in the wake of his team’s victory.

“I love learning about modern history of third world countries that Americans really don’t know about. I like to read up on Cambodia, Pakistan, Bangladesh—all those countries [about which] people don’t care,” Jeff pondered, regarding which aspect of history he enjoys most.

Christian Wachter, a member of the runner-up team, said he enjoys another facet of history—government. “I really enjoyed this year in [Government] because it is more about the institutions and the US government and it isn’t just one set time period… Just thinking about who’s actually running the country and why are they doing what they’re trying to do. It really gets behind that motivator for why the people who can really craft history are doing the things that they’re doing.”

On his decision to join a team with fellow seniors Tri Nguyen, James Vithoulkas, and Roman Fenner, Christian said, “Roman asked me, and I was like, ‘I like answering questions…’ And I like history, and I was hoping that there would be a little bit of government and politics.” The creation of their team name was “really spearheaded by Roman, but I think it was because both him and I were in Les [Misérables] (the school musical). Our team name was Versailles on the Prize—which obviously is a reference to France. We loved Les Mis and we were both singing some of the songs, and it was fun.”

After they signed up and created team names, the teams of students participated in two types of rounds. The first involved one member from each team coming forward to a central table. Mrs. Rutkowski—one of the sponsoring teachers of Rho Kappa—began by reading very difficult, specific statements aloud. Eventually, the statements became easier to decipher, and once a participant could pinpoint a historical figure she was describing, he buzzed in with the answer, earning his team points.

Team Versailles on the Prize, consisting of seniors James Vithoulkas, Tri Nguyen, Roman Fenner, and Christian Wachter, earned second place at the History Bowl. Christian said he enjoys “hearing those stories, those compelling stories” throughout history. Photo Credit: Cassie Coughlan

For the second round, each team chose a category out of a list on the screen, with the team in last place choosing first. One at a time, each team would answer a series of questions about the category they chose, working together to determine the answer. The number of questions they answered correctly translated to the number of points they earned.

Ashley Meyer, an officer in Rho Kappa Honor Society, talked about the planning around History Bowl, saying, “We used the questions from Mr. Boggs, who runs the quiz bowl stuff for the school. Mr. Boggs and Ms. Rutkowski worked together to separate out history ones… We used a quiz bowl format by using two different types of rounds.”

She elaborated on the importance of History Bowl, saying, “We wanted to have History Bowl so kids who like showcasing their knowledge and competing have a chance to—because some [students] focus more on academics than athletic, competitive sports, so this is their chance to showcase their knowledge in a more fun way.”

Christian added, “History is the most vast collection of stories and people and foreign actors and resolutions and exciting incidents that you would possibly hope to find, and there are all of these amazing little bits and pieces and people that are just so interesting that you would never hear about. You live in a different time, but there are certain things that are compelling regardless of when you lived, and so I really enjoy that.”

Jeff thoughtfully pondered, “We may think of it as—this won’t give me a job—but it really shows you how you wouldn’t be in this position if it weren’t for history. If you don’t really appreciate history—Santayana once said—you’re doomed to repeat it.”

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.

2018 Student-Faculty Basketball Game Photo Gallery

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Click here to check out some pictures from the 2018 Winter Pep Rally, including the Student-Faculty Basketball Game! Photo credit: Maggie Nuckols.

All-Star Basketball Season Starts with a Tie

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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.

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!

 

Ideas Worth Spreading, Lessons Worth Learning: Center for Education Students Give TED Talks

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Raise your hand… Studies show… There are three things… Remember this…

Phrases that teachers regularly, casually proclaim gained a powerful new meaning on the lips of students. And on January 23, students had an opportunity to speak out. For choosing happiness, for the #MeToo movement, against cell phone addiction and against stigmatization. Twenty-six juniors experienced their ten minutes of fame, greeted by (mostly) eager ears and (mostly) open eyes.

But the beneficiaries of this spirited celebration of ideas weren’t solely the spectators; the students themselves were transformed by the extensive preparation process.

Before the first TED Talk of the day, Center for Education students set up the auditorium and practice their speeches. In preparation, they wrote a research paper and gave a one-minute preview of their talk to their teacher, Mrs. Ennis. Photo Credit: Cassie Coughlan

Mrs. Ennis, the sponsoring teacher whose Instructional Design class completes this project year after year, reflects on the students’ development of stage presence, saying, “I think it’s really interesting to see the way you come across to other people versus how you think you come across. I think it allow them to think from another perspective—just because something sounds interesting to them doesn’t mean it’s interesting to other people. I like that it gets them to think that outside of just what they would be interested in.”

 

“I think it’s really important to have that public speaking ability, especially coming out of high school. It helps better prepare me for real life, when I have to give various presentations and put together papers,” emphasized junior Ben Jackson, who gave his TED Talk on the Yemeni crisis.

Ben spoke not just about how the Glen Allen community can help the people in Yemen, but how students can increase their awareness about all humanitarian crises by keeping informed on events happening across the world.

“So I’m really interested in current events, so I looked up some of the major things that were going on and the humanitarian crises that were happening,” Ben explained. The students must select a topic dealing with education, the social sciences or contemporary issues— “not just something random that they happen to be passionate about,” added Mrs. Ennis.

Ben continued, “I really liked the research aspect of it; knowing that I could pick a topic that I could just lose myself in the research. And it felt more like something I’d be doing in my free time, rather than an actual school assignment.”

Junior Monique Hunt gives her TED Talk–“#Time’s up for Sexual Harassment”–on social media movements and how we can change the narrative. She was one of several students who appealed to their teenage audience and spoke about modern issues. Photo Credit: Cassie Coughlan.

Sean McCracken, a fellow junior, gave his TED Talk a title—“Why the College Board is Corrupt”—which reeked of controversy. He excitedly said, “I was really passionate about my subject, and I liked being able to just educate the audience about what my subject was about. A lot of people in the audience were probably be college-bound, and I thought that, if they are going to be dealing with the College Board, they should know how it operates and some of the flaws that are in system.”

 

Mrs. Ennis added, “[It’s important for students to have a voice] because they’re not given the opportunities to. [Teachers] stress following your dreams and getting a job that you love—having purpose in life. In the school system… I don’t think there’s a lot of opportunities for kids to find what they’re passionate about. And I think how do you expect them to know what they want to major in, what they want to do after college when they don’t find that voice now or play around with it? I think that sense of purpose is really important, and this gives them that sense of purpose.”

Both students said that, because they were given autonomy in choosing their topics and structuring their performances, they were able to enjoy the assignment more fully. Even the research portion gained new meaning when the students had the ability to nurture their own curiosity. In writing his TED Talk Sean said, “I took a lot of information from the research paper and tried to restate it in a more interesting way. And I took out some of the more specific numbers, because I thought those might bore people. Basically, I just paraphrased my paper, took out some of the unnecessary information, and tried to make it a little more interesting.”

Junior Nancy Hoang speaks about learning to accept change in her TED Talk: “Why We Need to Stop Fearing Change and Embrace It.” Many students welcomed the opportunity to inspire their viewers through structuring their talks around a positive message. Photo Credit: Cassie Coughlan.

By giving a TED Talk, these students were given an oft-unheard voice and an opportunity to make a real difference. Mrs. Ennis considered the unifying impact of sharing one’s ideas with the world, saying, “I think some of my favorite moments have been kids that don’t talk in class. It’s a lecture-based class that I teach them in initially, so I don’t get to see them talk a lot or they don’t want to talk over strong personalities. And I love getting to see them voice their own stories to a huge population. My favorite moment actually comes from this year. We had a really introverted student, and I did not have a 100% faith that he was going to make it up on that stage. And he surprised us all. He prefaced it [with the fact that] this was going to be something that was really scary for him, and he got up there and did it, and did such a good job, and it was really cool that he got to accomplish that.”

“I think the TED Talk creates a common fear in that I’m not sure there’s a lot of people who are like ‘Oh yeah, I’m gonna rock it up there, I’m gonna do great and not put a lot of effort.’ I think even the most outgoing or the most confident students have a sense of unknowingness about it. I think that’s what unites them—this common fear of something that none of them has ever done before. I also think that they’re just super supportive. Year after year I get emails from parents just saying how proud they are of the other Center students who come, they support even the quietest ones in the class. And that they come and they watch all the TED Talks throughout the day. I think that’s really cool.”

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