School News & Notes

‘Be the Change’ Club Adopts New Slogan

George Mason High School‘s “Be the Change” Club may still live by the mantra “Don’t cross the line,” but its members have introduced a new saying: “Think before you speak.”SN_btc-celebrationEDITED.jpg

These simple words can already be seen on display inside the school on yellow posters, in hopes the sight of them shall help to create an environment where students embrace diversity through understanding and social acceptance.

Club adviser and mathematics instructor Joel Block has been asking teachers to post the yellow signs and to help point out to students when their language or what they are saying is hurtful. Teachers are then encouraged to back up students who are trying to help others work to change their bad habits.

SN_masonatOPHEDITED.jpgMason H.S. Ensemble Perform for Homeless

Providing musical entertainment on Christmas morning last month, the George Mason High School Chamber Ensembles played for three hours at the Original Pancake House during the restaurant’s breakfast for more than 400 homeless and disadvantaged patrons. The student ensembles have been busy bringing musical cheer to many organizations within the City of Falls Church.

The clarinet, brass and flute chamber ensembles performed at the Annual Falls Church News-Press Holiday Celebration, the Senior Center, Lion’s Club and the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce. Past performances have also included the Rotary Club, the American Association of University Women, Women’s Club, Cross Link and the Daughter’s of the American Revolution.

Longfellow M.S. Performs Alongside McLean H.S.

The McLean High School Choral Department will present its Winter Chorus Concert with Longfellow Middle School at 7:30 p.m. in McLean’s auditorium (1633 Davison Rd. McLean) tonight, Thursday, Jan. 15.

The Men’s Chorus and Women’s Chorus will hit the stage alongside the Longfellow singers who will be moving into the program once they reach high school.

Langley School Hosts Geography Bee

Ten students in grades 4 – 8 at The Langley School tested their geographic knowledge during the first round of the 21st annual National Geographic Bee on Thursday, Jan. 8. After the students tackled a series of challenging questions, Langley crowned its 2009 winner, eighth-grader Gabe Rodriguez.

Sponsored by the National Geographic Society, the opening round of the annual Geography Bee is held in thousands of schools across the country and is the first step toward naming a national champion. During Langley’s competition, participants were asked a series of oral and written questions about both physical and cultural geography, ranging from the locations of national parks to the names of rivers. They were eliminated from the Bee after giving a total of two incorrect answers, until only the winner remained.

As Langley’s champion, Rodriguez will now advance to the next level, a written examination to determine state competitors. The top 100 scorers on this written exam from each state will then face each other in their statewide Geography Bee, with state champions eventually competing for a $25,000 college scholarship in the national competition in Washington, D.C., in May.

The 10 participants in Langley’s school-wide Bee included: eighth-graders Michael Bauer and Rodriguez (champion); seventh-graders Nick DeMarco and Danny Rodriguez; sixth-graders Evan Drake (runner-up) and Milo Ferenczi; fifth-graders Mark Ahari and Theron Masters; and fourth-graders Caroline Morin and Douglas Sarasin.

They were selected to participate based on their performance on a preliminary qualifying test. Langley’s 4 – 8 graders were given the test prepared by the National Geographic. The two top-scoring students in each grade were then selected to participate in the school-wide Bee.

Founded in 1942, The Langley School is an independent coed day school for students in preschool – eighth grade on a 9.2-acre campus in McLean.

Musical Highlanders Put on a Show

The McLean High School orchestra will perform their Senior District Concert at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 17 at the school (1633 Davidson Rd., McLean). The orchestra is also conducting their Winter Fundraiser now through Thursday, Jan. 22.

Its members are selling cheesecake and ready-to-bake pies. Brochures and order forms are available on their activities Web site at under the Announcements section.

All funds raised will be credited to individual student accounts to offset the costs of their spring trip to New York, N.Y. For more information, e-mail Orchestra Director Gretta Sandberg at

Date Changes for Marshall H.S. Events

George C. Marshall High School announced date changes to two events listed in last week’s “School News” section of the News-Press. Colonel Evin Planto of U.S. Army Reserves’ visit to the school has been rescheduled for Friday, Jan. 16 from 11 – 11:45 a.m.

In addition, Marshall’s DECA-sponsored fundraiser will now happen on Thursday, Jan. 15 from 5 – 8 p.m. at Silver Diner (8101 Fletcher St., McLean).

For more information on either of these events that have had scheduling changes made to them, email Kanwal Sachdeva