The Paw Print Heritage High School's online student newspaper Thu, 27 Feb 2014 17:02:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Sadie Hawkins or Sadie Notkins? Thu, 27 Feb 2014 16:39:41 +0000 Megan Collins and Brandon Scott give their thoughts on the upcoming Sadie Hawkins Dance

By Kenzie Scanlon

The Sadie Hawkins Dance is right around the corner and while some girls are planning the perfect way to ask, others are wondering if anyone will take the plunge.

Sophomore, Megan Collins is almost ready to go to. She has a guy to go with, a dress to wear, and all she’s waiting for is a hairstylist perfect her entire look.

Every girl that asks a guy to the dance wants to do so in a different and unique way, including Collins.

“What I did was I got a gumball machine, and put a notecard on it that said, ‘I chews you’, then another jar filled with Swedish fish and on that jar, a different card that said ‘Out of all the Swedish fish in the sea’ and lastly blew up a balloon and put a note inside of it saying ‘Will you go to Sadie Hawkins with me?’ It worked!”

Collins admitted that she was a little nervous only due to how she wanted everything to turn out the way she planned, but she wasn’t really worried about her date, Scotty Forbes’ answer considering they’re dating.

While some girls are devising a plan to ask someone, the boys have the chance to sit back, relax, and wait to see if any girl will go for the gold.

Junior Brandon Scott said, “Going to the dance would definitely be fun! But what I want to happen is for girls to realize how hard it is to ask someone. They don’t give us enough credit when we ask girls– and it’s not an easy process!”

Before any of this happened, the school had to vote on the type of dance and of course, the theme. One day during lunch, everyone was given a slip of listing the choices for types of dances, and the second question was a fill in the blank question that asked for every student to write down their desired theme. Winter break was coming up and an SCA video, announced that the results will be revealed after the break. With doing so, the only thing everyone could do was anxiously wait.

Once the nice long break came to an end, the term “Roarin’ Twenties” was floating around in the hallways, and with that being said, that was the theme for the Sadie Hawkins Dance.

This year’s Sadie Hawkins dance is definitely something different than the usual winter formal, but hopefully the turnout will be as good every other hosted at Heritage. For a good turnout, the crucial thing to be done is for the girls to take charge and ask away! The girls are the backbone of this turnout, but no pressure!

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Wrestling: A Rewarding Sport Thu, 27 Feb 2014 16:31:13 +0000 Wrestling may be difficult, but it will always be worth it to the team

By Luz Ulloa

Although wrestling is not as well-known as other sports here at Heritage, it’s a still a sport that many students are passionate about. Winning is very important to the whole team, just like every other sport. There are many things that the wrestlers go through to be able to wrestle. One major thing is to make sure they are not past the minimum or maximum weight allowance within the weight class they are assigned. Every wrestler would agree that wrestling is very demanding, both physically and mentally.

“Having to stay in weight is a pain in the butt. I mean don’t get me wrong, the fact that I’ll be able to wrestle when I do stay in weight is great, but it means I have to make sure I don’t eat too much junk food, and it sucks sometimes,” said freshman and Varsity wrestler Nick Yeganeh.

To the coaches and wrestlers, practices are crucial. The wrestlers feel like it truly does help them prepare for their matches, considering they always put as much effort as they can.

“[Practices] are often very physically demanding. The coaches always expect you to go your hardest. They actually get upset when you say ‘It’s just a practice’ because to them it’s more than that. It’s your way of gaining more experiences within wrestling. It’s all worth it though, because it really keeps you in shape,” said junior and Varsity wrestler Chad Kirkpatrick.

Before their matches, the wrestlers try to mentally prepare themselves. They concentrate on who they are about to wrestle and warm themselves up by jogging around the mats, jumping rope, jumping in place, and other various exercises. The wrestlers take everything they learn in their practices and past experiences onto the mat. They zone out everything but the coaches, who expect the wrestlers to listen to them while on the mat.

Their head Varsity coach is Michael Hill, the assistant Varsity coach is Thomas Mangan, and the head JV coach is Tommy Heberer. The whole team and coaches agrees that having wrestling is something very important and personal.

“There are two parts I like most about wrestling. One, any person can beat anyone. It doesn’t matter reputation or growth. Second is that it makes you a better athlete in general,” said JV coach Tommy Heberer.

When thinking about wrestling, the first thing that comes to mind to most wrestlers is dedication. The sport is very time consuming. With all the time they spend together, they’re all more of a family.

In the words of sophomore, Varsity wrestler, and team captain Fletcher Davis, “I would tell someone that is interested in joining the team that although this sport is extremely hard, it will all count when you get your hand raised and win. Suffer through the pain and you will find success. If wrestling was easy, everyone would do it.”

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LGBTQ Community Takes Center Stage in Sochi Thu, 27 Feb 2014 16:16:17 +0000 The Olympic torch isn’t the only thing under fire

By Morgan Flanders

The Russian government has been against same-sex relationships (except for small periods of tolerance) since about 1606 when Tsar Dmitry was accused of being homosexual in order to have him overthrown. However, no laws were in place until 1832 when Tsar Peter the Great defined being homosexual as a criminal act, punishable with exile to Siberia for up to 5 years.

Presently, the Russian government has zero tolerance for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Questioning (LGBTQ) community. Furthermore, on June 30, 2013 Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill that bans the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors.” This law applies to both Russian citizens and foreigners alike, however the penalties are different.  Under this statute, foreigners who participate in public displays of LGBTQ affection can be subject to a fine of 4,000 to 5,000 rubles ($116.52-$145.65 US), deportation from Russia or sentenced to fifteen days in a Russian jail. The financial consequences for a foreigner using the internet or any form of mass media in Russia to display LGBTQ propaganda are much worse. Offenders can be fined between 50,000 to 100,000 rubles ($1456.48- $2912.96 US), or face the same threats of deportation or jail time.

The inequality for the LGBTQ community in Russia has struck many countries as a violation of human rights. The United States is one country taking action against Russia. President Barack Obama announced on December 20, 2013 that he would not be attending the Olympics and neither would Vice President Joe Biden. Instead, Obama sent Olympic figure skater Brian Boitano and ice hockey player Caitlin Cahow as part of the US delegation. Former tennis star Billie Jean King was also invited to attend but had to back out because her mother fell ill. All three athletes are members of the LGBTQ community and were selected as representatives not only for being proud American Olympians, but also to send a message to Russia that the US does not support the law.

Many countries had rainbows incorporated into their opening ceremonies uniforms. Germany had all-out rainbow outfits (although they deny that the color choice is because of Russian law) and Greece wore gloves with rainbow fingertips. In addition, American Apparel (a clothing company based in Los Angeles, CA) released a “P6” clothing line.  “P6” refers to Principle six of the Olympic Charter, which states that “any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement” The “P6” clothing has “Principle 6” and “sport does not discriminate on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise.” emblazoned on it.

President Putin declared, “We will welcome all athletes and all visitors to the Olympics. None of our guests will have any problems.”

He also explained that “the Russian people have their own cultural code, their own tradition. We don’t interfere, don’t stick our noses in their life, and we ask that our traditions and culture are treated with the same respect” in regards to many people calling for a boycott of the Sochi Olympics.

No matter your view point LGBTQ rights are likely to remain one of the biggest story lines of the 2014 Olympics as the opening ceremonies clearly demonstrated.


The following sources were consulted for this article:,,,, 

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Seatbelts Save Lives Thu, 27 Feb 2014 16:13:07 +0000 Seatbelt Challenge builds awareness for seatbelt use

By Morgan Flanders

Three Leesburg high schools took part in the Seatbelt challenge for the third straight year: Heritage, Loudoun County, and Tuscarora. Heritage won the challenge the first two years. This year’s challenge took place from December 6 to 13, 2013. The winner of this year’s challenge has not been announced.

“The seatbelt challenge is a challenge sponsored by the Leesburg Police department, with the intent of reminding people to wear their seatbelts,” explained Heritage senior Cheree Ruck.

The name of this year’s challenge was the “Put it Together” Campaign. For this challenge, each high school was responsible for creating a video to showcase what the campaign is all about. The videos were then posted on the Virginia State Police YouTube and Facebook pages. The schools earned points based on how many likes and views their video received, and by facing a panel of judges. The campaign also included three other parts: A pre-survey at each high school on seatbelt usage, educational programs on seatbelt usage in the school and the community, and, at the end, a post-survey on seat belt usage.

The challenge always serves as a reminder to wear a seatbelt. According to statistics, people who wear a seatbelt are 40% less likely to be fatally injured than people who choose to be unbelted. The risk of not wearing a seatbelt is costly; victims who were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash are more likely to have higher medical bills, sometimes as much as twice the victim who had a seatbelt on. In many cases, unbelted victims even pay with their lives.

“It has actually, in past years, saved someone’s life,” said Ruck.

By introducing a campaign like the seatbelt challenge, more people will begin to understand the risk of riding in a vehicle without a seatbelt on.

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A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Shakespeare Theatre Thu, 27 Feb 2014 16:03:44 +0000 The drama students recently went on a field trip

By Grusha Singh

On January 2, 2014, the drama class attended a production of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington D.C.

The Shakespeare Theatre Company is a regional theatre located in Washington, D.C. According to their website, they focus primarily on plays by Shakespeare, but they also include works by other classic playwrights, such as Henrik Ibsen, Oscar Wilde and Tennessee Williams.

The company is a member of the League of Resident Theatres, which is the largest professional theatre company in the United States. According to Wikipedia, the theaters’ mission is: “To present classic theatre in an imaginative, skillful and accessible style that honors the playwrights’ language and intentions while still viewing their work through a 21st-century lens.”

“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” is a famous comedy with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. He is an American composer and lyricist known for his immense contributions to musical theatre. The plot displays elements of mockery, including puns, the slamming of doors, cases of mistaken identity and sardonic comments on social class. It was inspired by the farces of the ancient Roman playwright, Plautus. It tells the boisterous story of a slave named Pseudolus and his endeavors to win his freedom by helping his young master woo the girl next door.

“The play was really funny and I really enjoyed it,” freshman Katie Aylward said. “The main reason why we went there was because the play is really good and the theatre is nearby, so it was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.”

The students went to see the play as a way to wrap up their performance unit for the semester.

“Seeing productions is always a huge tool for improving ones acting skills,” Ms. Montana Brown said. “Plus seeing a show you really enjoy is a huge motivation for continuing to grow your own abilities.”

Since all of the drama classes went to see the performance, their objectives were all different. For some classes, it was the first professional production they had seen. For the more advanced classes, watching the play was simply a way to expose them to professional theatre. It was a different type of show than what they were used to seeing and many of the students felt like it helped them with their skills.

“We got to ask the actors questions after the play,” freshman Amanda White said. “I felt like it really helped me with my acting because there were so many monologues. Overall, it was a nice trip.”


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Once a Rival Always a Rival Thu, 27 Feb 2014 15:57:00 +0000 Heritage girls’ Varsity basketball team takes on Tuscarora

By Taylor Fraser

Let’s go back to the night of December 16th, 2013; and one of the most exciting games of the year.  Heritage is playing against one of their biggest rivals: Tuscarora High School.  The crowd is bigger than usual, filled with proud parents and dedicated students.  It has been an extremely close game with both teams going back and forth with the lead.

Within the last fifteen seconds of the game there is a technical foul called on Tuscarora’s head coach Michael Newkirk and senior Kayla Tibbs is selected to take a trip to the line for two shots.

The gym is completely silent all Heritage fans hold hands and cross their fingers hoping for good luck.  Tibbs misses the first shot but swishes the second.

According to Tibbs “I was a little nervous because I had to make my free throws, but after I made [the second] one and tied up the game, I felt we definitely were going to win the game… It gained us momentum.”

Back in the main gym, there are eight seconds left on the clock and Heritage is currently tied with Tuscarora, 50-50.  Everyone’s heart is racing as they wonder how this game will end.  Now with only seven seconds left on the clock, Heritage inbounds the ball, sophomore Mikahyla Winslow takes it down the courtdrives into the lane, and goes for a left handed layup.  She scores, but there are still three seconds remaining in the game.

Heritage is playing very tight defense trying to keep the lead but also trying not to foul Tuscarora; but hoping to draw the foul which would send them to the line to get a more comfortable lead.  Tuscarora breaks the press, whips the ball out to guard Alexis Bailey at the top of the key.  She quickly catches and shoots for three, but misses. The clock slowly ticks 3, 2, 1 the buzzer goes off, Heritage has beat Tuscarora 52-51, people in the home stands are chanting and jumping for joy.

During the game Tibbs racked up a whopping twenty-nine points. She said, “I felt good about the game.  I think we played very well overall as a team.  Going into the game I think we were a bit nervous and we thought that we couldn’t play with Tusky, but in the end we battled and got the W.”

Though Tibbs will be graduating this year, freshman Lana Zjajo hopes to prove herself and show her talent. This game was Zjajo’s first big matchup against such an intense rival.

When asked about the thoughts and the pressures of playing Tuscarora Zjajo responded, “All I was thinking was beat Tuscarora. I felt some pressure because I wanted to beat them so badly.”

For Heritage to be able to pull out a win at the very last seconds of a game takes a great amount of teamwork, inspiration, and motivation.

Zjajo reported, “As a team when we needed to play well we did, but at the beginning of the game we weren’t very motivational to each other, but as the game went on and score got closer we started motivating each other more.”

Motivational speaker Denis Waitley once said, “Success is almost totally dependent upon drive and persistence. The extra energy required to make another effort or try another approach is the secret of winning.”

Even after playing an hour and a half of intense basketball the girls showed the extra effort and because of that, they were able to earn a win in one of the games that meant the most.

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Reviewing The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug Tue, 25 Feb 2014 17:06:14 +0000 The second part of The Hobbit Trilogy has recently been released

By Grusha Singh

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug is a 2013 fantasy and adventure film. It is the second installment of the three-part film adaptation based on the famous novel by J.R.R Tolkien called The Hobbit. It was preceded by The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and the third movie will be released sometime in December 2014. The Hobbit film trilogy serves as a prequel to the events that take place in The Lord of the Rings. It tells the tale of hobbit Bilbo Baggins, who is convinced by the wizard Gandalf to accompany thirteen dwarves on a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug.

Being an enthusiastic fan of the Lord of the Rings movies and the first Hobbit movie, I was very excited to see this film. Director Peter Jackson definitely did not lower his standards while making the second installment. The movie received positive reviews and ratings from critics and the audience.

The movie started off with Bilbo continuing his quest with Gandalf and the dwarves. They ran into the usual troublesome obstacles and then continue to travel to the Lonely Mountain, while being actively pursued by the Orcs.  They arrived at Mirkwood Forest, got captured by the Wood Elves and eventually escaped. Meanwhile, Gandalf was investigating the Nazgul tombs and trying to figure out what’s happening. The rest of the film consists of them meeting several new people, staying briefly at a port city near the mountain and encountering more problems. They finally reach the Lonely Mountain and finally meet Smaug. I cannot give away any details at this point because I don’t want to spoil the film for those who have not seen it, but I will say that Smaug was incredibly scary and striking. This is a dragon you will never forget.

The plot developed very smoothly, with good transitions and plenty of action to keep people on the edge of their seats. The special effects were quite impressive as well. The actors did a good job of portraying their characters. I also enjoyed the fact that Bilbo really developed and had a great character arc. I could really see his bravery and tenacity growing as the film progressed.

However, there are several people who did not have positive things to say.  Readers of the book were complaining that the movies are not being consistent with the events that happened in the novel. Peter Jackson has taken events from The Silmarillion (A collection of Tolkien’s works) and added them to the movies. I personally do not see anything wrong with adding those things, especially since Tolkien has written it, so it’s not like Jackson is making up his own ideas.

There was one thing; however, that I thought was a bit unnecessary to the plotline. For example, the romance with Tauriel and one of the dwarves and it took up a lot of time that could have been used to show other things. Some may have found it entertaining, but I thought it was dispensable.

Overall, I give the film a 9.5 out of 10 rating. I thought it was a brilliantly created film, with amazing costumes and special effects. All members of the cast did an amazing job as well. I left the theater happy and I am looking forward to the third and last installment of this awesome film trilogy.

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The Trip of a Lifetime Tue, 25 Feb 2014 16:56:40 +0000 Over the summer Ms. Biggers visited Cuba through a cultural school program

By Lorraine Orlowsky

On July 6th, Ms. Maria Biggers, one of the Spanish teachers at Heritage High School, left the comfort of a democratic society to visit the communist country of Cuba.  Since Soviet involvement in Cuba during the mid-twentieth century, the country has lived under a totalitarian regime.  On February 7th, 1961, the United States government enacted an embargo, prohibiting commercial, economic, and financial involvement in the country.  As a result, Ms. Biggers needed approval from the Cuban government and a license from the American Department of Treasury.

Two other teachers joined her on her trip; a Latin American History teacher who aspired to better her knowledge of the culture, and a French teacher working on improving her Spanish.  All three educators applied for a program known as the Cuba Explorer.  Once in Cuba, the three teachers stayed in the Hotel Presidente, a structure built sometime between 1928 and 1930.

“In its heyday, The Hotel Presidente was the highlight of Havana, the capital city of Cuba,” said Ms. Biggers.

While in Cuba, Ms. Biggers and her companions learned a lot about the environment around them. For example, the Cuban government provides free education for their people with an emphasis on literacy.  But there’s a catch: the education is not always accurate.  Teachers are instructed to educate their students on the country’s history based on their government’s ideals.  This government has such a strong hold on the public that the almost 100% graduation rate at these schools stem from fear.  The kids have no choice but to go to school or they risk the endangerment of their families.  While the students are provided with uniforms, the schools have no money for computers and use old textbooks that date back to Soviet involvement during the 1950s and 60s.  Because of Cuban taxes on tourist currency, schools cannot keep monetary donations. Instead, Ms. Biggers brought school supplies that they could keep.

As an effect of their communist society, healthcare is provided to all citizens in Cuba, but ration cards are needed for food.  Those outside the cities have plenty of natural resources because of their agricultural production, but they do not have the infrastructure to properly transport it into the cities.

Relating to the poverty in Havana, Ms. Biggers said, “I remember walking through the city and seeing what I thought was a bakery, but I wasn’t sure, because there was only a single loaf of bread in the window.”

Ms. Biggers described the people of Cuba as the “sweetest people” and said that the ones she met love meeting Americans.  However, their government instructs their citizens on what to say and what to do when outsiders enter their country.

“Since I can speak Spanish, it was easier to talk to the people there, but the only way the taxi and bus drivers would speak to us was when they were out of their vehicles,” said Ms. Biggers.

Outside, they would talk freely about the environment around them.  While the country boasts free healthcare, education, and a lack of discrimination, the inhabitants of Cuba do not enjoy their lifestyle.  They are proud of what they have achieved.  The people of Cuba have thrived thus far by creating tourist industries and businesses that specialize in repairing old vehicles.  Since the ban on trade with Cuba, cars cannot be imported into the country.  Instead, the citizens depend on fixed-up, old automobiles, the newest ones dating back to the 1960s.  Many prospering repair shops have been created to help support this situation.  The people of Cuba are proud of such accomplishments, and enjoy sharing their success with others, but the improper distribution of wealth and their constant fear of their government prevent them from doing so.  Because of this, the people of Cuba now rely on the minimal visits from tourists to help support their declining economy.

When asked if she’d ever like to return to Cuba, Ms. Biggers replied, “In a heartbeat.”

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Run, Boys, Run! Tue, 25 Feb 2014 16:47:20 +0000 Every high school student has heard of a Sadie Hawkins dance, when the gender expectations are reversed and, for once, girls ask boys while boys silently worry. For all the stress that girls endure, waiting for the big question before the dance, it’s only fitting that boys are forced through some of the same worries this time. The question is how did the concept of the Sadie Hawkins dances begin? Its origins are, to put it mildly, a wild tale.

The story begins with American cartoonist Al Capp. His comic strip, “Li’l Abner”, ran from 1935 to 1977 and focused on Abner Yokum. Abner was a tall, gullible 19-year-old “hillbilly” living in his parents’ little cabin in Dogpatch, a tiny town in rural Arkansas.  In Dogpatch lies the story of Sadie Hawkins.

According to the comic book released on November 15, 1937, Sadie was a homely young woman who nobody wanted to marry. Her father, worried that he would have to support her for the rest of his life, decreed an annual Sadie Hawkins Day. He gathered every eligible young man together and announced a foot race. The catch? Sadie would be running after the bachelors, and whoever she caught first had to marry her. Since then, Sadie Hawkins Day was a terrifying and almost brutal holiday in Dogpatch, when every woman desiring a husband could chase down a single man and drag him kicking and screaming to the altar and to marriage.

“Li’l Abner” had a huge influence on American entertainment. It reached over sixty million readers of a thousand newspapers in twenty-eight countries. Abner’s marriage was plastered on the cover of Life magazine in 1952, and his catchphrases have made it into the dictionary. Outside the comic universe, Capp’s support of female cartoonists earned them national recognition, and he was one of the first comic strip artists to include social and political commentary in his work. The comic even inspired Harvey Kurtzman to create his own famous comic strip “Mad”. Out of all Capp’s contributions to American pop culture, however, Sadie Hawkins has left the most lasting impression.

The very first Sadie Hawkins activity known to take place in the real world was on November 9, 1938. Over two hundred colleges held Sadie Hawkins Day events in 1939. The 1940’s saw the celebration take off throughout America. By 1952, Sadie Hawkins occasions, which over time morphed into dances, had occurred at over forty thousand different venues and quickly became popular at high schools and colleges across the nation. It has slightly declined in popularity over time, but is still a well-known tradition.

Considering how much injury and terror existed in the original Sadie Hawkins tradition, young men everywhere must remember to be thankful that this is just a high school dance and nobody has yet taken Beyoncé’s advice to “put a ring on it”.

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A Performance at the Most Magical Place on Earth Tue, 25 Feb 2014 16:40:54 +0000 Heritage choir, band and a few string students performed at Disney World

By Devon Nguyen

Have you ever wondered what it was like to perform at one of the most iconic theme parks in the world? Many Heritage band, choir, and string students can answer this question after performing at Disney in December; this was specified in January of the same year, and sign-ups for this trip began in the following month. Discussed and put into preparation since 2012, this excursion to Orlando, Florida took place December 4-10, 2013.

Choir instructor Ms. Heather Vereb said, “People were really excited. We announced it at Heritage, and then we also went down to the middle school because they would be rising 9th graders taking our classes, and they wanted the opportunity to go so they were really excited.”

With the trip serving both for pleasure and for work, the students had to work hard before they could play hard. Choir students had to memorize more than fourteen songs. To be even more prepared, they had gone through a choir camp during the summer where they learned several Disney arrangements. This included “Candlelight Processional,” a retelling of Christmas accompanied by a celebrity narrator, mass choir, and orchestra. Whoopi Goldberg was the celebrity narrator when Heritage performed at disney

“I was really excited. I love Disney. I’ve gone fifteen times now, and I was just really excited to have gone with my friends,” said freshman and men’s chorus member Jake Smolsky.

Sophomore Brandon Quan, a member of the Heritage Singers, said that, “There was a large crowd and it was very exhilarating. I felt a little bit nervous about the performance but I also felt happy because I was going with some friends.”

With over a year’s worth of planning put into the Disney week long trip, the band, choir, and string students all agreed that it was a magical performance, at the most magical place on Earth.

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Exam Exodus Tue, 25 Feb 2014 16:34:38 +0000 There are many ups and downs to the cancellation of the midterms

By Kaleigh Mullins

With as much work as students do at the end of each semester, exams were just the icing to our cake of anxiety. Luckily, this year an abundance of snow hit our area, leaving roads icy and unbearable the week of midterms. As the week went on, students were relieved to know they had another day to get last minute study sessions in before the big day. Once it seemed impossible to take the midterms, the school board made a final decision to completely cancel them altogether.

Even though many students would agree cancelling the midterms was a fantastic idea, there are always draw backs. Since midterms are taking a hiatus, there is not much of a chance to bring up a grade. Although, there is was a chance to take the exams, there are few high school students, with enough work as it is who will take the initiative to schedule an exam. Even if a student did take their midterms, there was no definite chance that their grades would go up. Loudoun County Public Schools made the decision to if a student were to take the exam, it would attach to their grade whether it affected the grade positively or negative.

Even though most of the students’ semester grades are staying the same, it doesn’t make the cancellation necessarily bad. Many students worked hard to achieve a high grade and a midterm could easily disrupt that. Midterms are 20 percent of the semester grade, which could easily create a disaster on report cards if a student was unprepared.

Everyone, however, knows the age old ritual of studying, which is exactly what many students did, except all of their flustered studying was for nothing. Of course, teachers are saying studying and ‘mastering’ subjects will help students in the long run, but it still doesn’t make up for weeks of studying that are completely wasted.

Thankfully, because of exams being cancelled on Wednesday of the week long snow day, the cancellation gave students time to relax and throw their study guides in the air and straight into the trash.


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Rumor Has It Tue, 25 Feb 2014 16:28:48 +0000 Coming clean with how many Physical Education credits are necessary in order to graduate

By Haille Giannini

“Is it true that freshman have to take PE or all four years?” asked sophomore Alexa Stapleton.

“I hope not,” said freshman Kelsey McGowan.

Many conversations like the one above have taken place throughout the years and are often followed by side comments blaming Michelle Obama and her obsession with youth health.

Rumors of a necessary four credits for Physical Education have spread like wild fire through the halls of Heritage High School. Virginia requires students to earn 2.0 physical education credits for graduation, with 1.0 credit given per school year. The Physical Education Standards of Learning for Virginia Public Schools were last revised in 2008. If any changes were to happen to the curriculum then your PE teacher would notify you.

While most students are relieved to hear this news, others don’t even seem to care. Those students who enjoy the competition and action have the option to take advanced PE. Advanced PE is just an extent of the mandatory class. Those active students have a chance to have a full block of competition and movement, as opposed to a desk.

“This rumor seems to pop up every year. You are only required to take two years of PE,” says Physical Education department chair and PE teacher Mr. Lucas Boring.

So if you happen to hear a clueless conversation, help clear the air with some factual information.

Just for future references, if you ever have any doubt on what the state requires for graduation the Loudoun County public schools website is a great source for any information regarding the topic.

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