South Lakes High School is buzzing as it prepares for the Seahawk Student Showcase event, set for Friday at 7 p.m. at the school.
Representatives of the SLHS Student Government Association say the student body is excited for the show.
“I went to the showcase last year and was blown away by all of the amazing acts,” said student Isabel Edgerton. “I’m excited to see all the talent that South Lakes has to offer.”
Performances including singing, dancing, guitar-playing, acting and more are lined up to be part of the show. A panel of judges including Fairfax County Public Schools board member Ryan McElveen will rate the acts and award prizes for the top performances.
The show is open to the public, with tickets at the door costing $5. Advance tickets are currently being sold to students for $3.
For more information, visit South Lakes High School online.
Image courtesy South Lakes High School SGA
The fourth annual Maker Faire NoVa event will take place Sunday, March 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at South Lakes High School and Langston Hughes Middle School.
Featured “makers” at this year’s event will include HackRVA with their giant spirograph, miniature racing quadcopters and more; and DorkPod with their experimental personal-mobility device, among others. More than 100 makers in total are expected to share their knowledge through hands-on projects, demonstrations, workshops and more. Robotics, drones and 3D printers are just some of the many types of technology expected to be on display.
From a press release:
“Maker Faire is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, the Maker Faire provides an opportunity for ‘makers’ to show hobbies, experiments and projects. Tagged ‘The Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth,’ this glimpse of the future and inspiration is a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness.”
The event was known as the Mini Maker Faire in previous years. The “mini” has been dropped from the name this year as the event’s scale and scope have expanded, according to the press release.
In 2016, nearly 200 Maker Faire events were held worldwide.
Advance tickets are $2 for children ages 2-18 and $13 for adults ($10 for seniors) and can be purchased online. Ticket prices increase by $2 at the door. A family ticket package is also available.
Photo from 2015 Mini Maker Faire event by Jennifer van der Kleut
Police: Bodies Found in County Park Linked to Gang Activity — Two sets of human remains were located Friday in a park near Falls Church. These are just the latest apparent victims of gang activity in Fairfax County, Police Chief Edwin Roessler said. [WTOP]
Registration for SLHS Summer Sports Camps Underway — Signups are now available for youths looking to participate in summer camps for basketball, field hockey, football, lacrosse and volleyball. [South Lakes High School]
Another Round of Metro SafeTrack Work in State — Work on the Blue and Yellow lines in Northern Virginia began over the weekend and will last into April. This is expected to be the final round of the work. County supervisors Sharon Bulova and Cathy Hudgins are urging patience from commuters. [Washington Post]
Feds: Herndon Man Previously Jailed for Bank Robberies Strikes Again — Bruce Wayne Higgins Jr. served four years in prison after robbing banks in D.C. and Arlington in 2009. Now law enforcement says he committed heists at five more banks in December in Baltimore, Ocean City and Atlantic City. [NJ.com]
The Unified Prevention Coalition of Fairfax County will present “Saturday Night in the Suburbs” on Wednesday, March 8 at 7 p.m. in the school’s lecture hall. The event will feature a panel of high school seniors talking about drug and alcohol use, teen parties, parent supervision, social media, and teen-parent communication and resiliency.
Jennifer Lewis-Cooper of the Unified Prevention Coalition will facilitate.
“Parents find this to be somewhat eye-opening,” Lewis-Cooper has said about the event. “We will not ask the panel specific names, dates, places of events or put them on the spot — their job is not to ‘snitch’ on others, but to educate parents to understand what teens are dealing with and help parents to set better limits.”
Parents of middle school and high school students are encouraged to attend, and only adults will be admitted. Exhibit tables with information and local resource materials will be available.
For more information about the event, call 703-938-8723 or email [email protected].
Citizens Advisory Committee Meets Tonight — Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler is scheduled to speak at the Reston District Station’s Citizens Advisory Committee meeting tonight. The committee will meet at 7 p.m. at the Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive). [Fairfax County Police Department/Twitter]
SLHS Indoor Track Records Set — Senior Devyn Jones (pictured) set a school record in the 55-meter hurdles (8.31 seconds) during the state indoor championships last weekend in Hampton. In addition, the team of Sophie Halkett, Aly Rayle, Jordan Anderson and Olivia Beckner set a school record in the 4×800 meter relay (9 minutes, 20.2 seconds). All five record-setters earned All-State honors, as did Sean Casey, Jack Eggeman, Mary Gregory, Stevie Jones, Alex Loukili, Timiebi Ogobri, Peter Sepulveda, Jack Watkins and Don’ta Whitley. [South Lakes High School]
Magnet Program Lottery Registration Underway — Parents wishing to enroll their students in the magnet program at Hunters Woods Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences, or other magnet programs in the county, must register their intention online. The lottery process began Monday and will end March 27, with the lottery itself to be held in early April. [Fairfax County Public Schools]
Running Women Welcome in Group — Registration is now underway for the 2017 Reston Runners Women’s Training Program. The group will meet every Monday from April 24 to June 12. The Reston Runners Women’s 5K is set for June 17. [Reston Runners]
Photo of Devyn Jones courtesy South Lakes High School track and field/Mary Ann Magnant
Lake House/Tetra Review On Schedule: Michael Sanio, RA Board of Directors vice president, said at Thursday night’s meeting that the independent review of the Tetra/Lake House purchase remains on track to be submitted by StoneTurn Group by midnight Tuesday. Sanio said RA’s Tetra Review Committee is “very pleased with the progress” that has been made, and that the review will be made public once it has been seen by all board members. [Reston Association]
South Lakes High Student Government Honored — The South Lakes High School SGA is one of 21 statewide that have been recognized with the Virginia Student Councils Achievement Award for 2016-17. [Fairfax County Public Schools]
SLHS Sophomore Selected for IT Award — Anika Kumar has been selected as a 2017 Virginia affiliate winner of the National Center for Women and Information Technology Award for Aspirations in Computing. Kumar, who became interested in computers when she took a class in middle school, has produced her own video game. [Fairfax County Public Schools]
Teen Job Fairs Slated for March, April — The 2017 Fairfax County Teen Job Fairs and Resume Building Workshops will be held at Chantilly High School, Oakton High School, West Springfield High School and South County Secondary School. [Fairfax County]
Photo of Lake Anne sunrise this morning via Instagram user @annemusicmarkets
Bao Bao Passed Through Reston on Journey Home — The famed panda born at the National Zoo left D.C. for good Tuesday, heading off to live her life in China. She was transported by truck from Washington up the Dulles Toll Road to the airport, where she left on a FedEx 777. [Reston Patch]
SLHS Girls’ Basketball Team Falls in Playoffs — The South Lakes Seahawks girls’ hoops team was defeated Tuesday night in the first round of the 6A North Region championship, falling to T.C. Williams by a score of 51-43. [Alexandria News]
Qur’an Spiritual Retreat Slated for March — The Al-Madina Institute is readying to hold its annual conference, bringing leading scholars to examine both the external and internal dimensions of the Qur’an. The event will be held March 3-5 at the Hyatt Regency (1800 Presidents St.) in Reston. [Al-Madina Institute]
Bills Targeting Student Debt Fail in Richmond — A number of bills designed to help students refinance student loans or increase oversight of lenders have died in the General Assembly. One such bill, which would have created a “Borrower’s Bill of Rights,” was sponsored by Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) of Reston. It failed to advance out of a legislative committee. [Virginia Gazette]
(Updated 2:15 p.m. after the victim in Route 28 crash was identified by authorities.)
Crash Leaves Woman Dead on Route 28 — A fatal single-car collision at about 2 a.m. in the northbound lanes near the Dulles Toll Road interchange left the road closed for several hours. Gabrielle Perry, a 22-year-old from Leesburg who was a passenger in the vehicle, was killed. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said the driver, 26-year-old Andre Glenn of Sterling, is facing a DUI charge. [Washington Post]
SLHS Swimmers Break Records at States — Gianmichel D’Allesandro, Michael George and Anna Redican (pictured) all set individual Seahawks records last week at the state championships. The boys’ 200-yard medley relay team, consisting of Hunter Ellis and Tyler Ellis along with D’Allesandro and George, also set a record. The event also marked the end of coach Scott Brown’s 23rd and final season with the team. [South Lakes High School]
‘Sisterhood’ Event Promotes Togetherness Among Cultures — The Reston Chapter of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom recently co-hosted a unity vigil for Muslim and Jewish women. The event took place in McLean last week. [McLean Connection]
Photo of sunrise this morning at Reston National Golf Course via Twitter user @JonnyMacGolf
The Fairfax County Executive’s new budget removes funding for youth with intellectual disabilities leaving Fairfax County Public Schools in 2017.
The people of Fairfax County are not that uncaring. You are not that selfish. I know because I have seen how amazing you are. But the County’s budget introduced Tuesday cut all funding for the youth with intellectual disabilities who will be leaving the school system this year.
The state has a program called the Medicaid Waiver, which provides support to Virginia individuals with developmental disabilities, enabling them to live and thrive in our community. But there are over 11,000 Virginians on the wait list for those services. My daughter, Beth, who has Down syndrome, has been on that wait list for years.
Because Fairfax County is a caring community, for years and years the Board has chosen to provide some support to those waiting for the waiver so that they can continue to be active after leaving FCPS. Each year, a new group of students graduates, and the county has realized that FCPS has invested and believed in them and we shouldn’t now abandon them to the sofa. The County has provided some support so these young people can continue to stay active, safe and, hopefully, find employment in the community.
This year, my daughter Beth leaves FCPS. Tuesday, we were heartsick to be told the County Executive did not think she or her graduating classmates were important enough to make the budget. But I know this is not true of our community.
Beth was born here and has always lived here. She was included in Terraset Elementary, Langston Hughes Middle, and South Lakes High School — with the support of amazing teachers and classmates. She was in a Reston Girl Scout Troop for over 10 years, earning her Gold Award — with the support of leaders and community members. She was on the SLHS Swim Team for four years and the Glade Gators for 13 through the support of cheering coaches, parents and friends. She was a part of a wonderfully inclusive SLHS Choral Program with Ms. G, and Dance Program with Ms. Girdy. She was “Defying Gravity” as she danced at Broadway Night. She was twice SLHS Homecoming Princess.
All along the way, the Reston community has supported her. She could have done none of it alone.
So I know that Fairfax County is a caring community. Can you please let the County Executive Ed Long (703-324-2531) know that we are? More importantly, please let the Board of Supervisors know that the budget must include support for these young adults as it has in the past.
Beth has spoken to Supervisor Cathy Hudgins. We know that she cares. Let her and the other supervisors know that we value these young people with intellectual disabilities and will support them.
Mary Nell Clark
Member Assessment is Due March 1 — In case you’ve forgotten, there is only a week and a half left to pay member assessments. Reston Association’s Member Services office will be open additional hours (Saturday, Feb. 25, from 9 a.m.-noon; and Wednesday, March 1, from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.) if you need to take advantage of them. Fees can also be paid online. [Reston Association]
South Lakes High Track & Field Stars Advance to States — Olivia Beckner, Sean Casey, Ronak Cuthill, Mary Gregory, Sophie Halkett, Devyn Jones, Alex Loukili, Timiebi Ogobri, Aly Rayle, Peter Sepulveda, Jack Watkins and Dont’a Whitley will all represent the Seahawks at the state Indoor Track and Field Championships next weekend in Hampton. [Reston Patch]
Metro Call Center Hours Reduced Starting Next Month — Citing a five-year decline in call volume, Metro’s Customer Information Call Center will cut its hours of availability beginning March 1. Metro says fewer customers are using the call center as they rely more on sources of information including mobile apps and social media. [WMATA]
Princess Aghayere is making a name for herself during her sophomore season on the University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team.
The 2015 South Lakes High School graduate was named the Ivy League Player of the Week for her performances last week on the hardcourt. She posted a career-best 21 points during a Friday victory over Columbia, and followed it up the next day with a 12-point performance in a win over Cornell.
Some of her highlights from the weekend’s action can be seen on the Ivy League Sports YouTube channel.
On the season, Aghayere is averaging 5.6 points per game, tops among the team’s non-starters.
During her career at South Lakes High School, Aghayere earned first-team All-Conference recognition three times, and was second-team All-State twice. She also lettered in cross country and volleyball.
Aghayere is enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences at Penn, on a pre-med track. In a video released by the school earlier this year, she discussed her background and her goals for the future.
The defending Ivy League champions, the Quakers are undefeated (7-0) in conference play so far this season.
Photo via Don E. Felice/PennAthletics.com
Police: Reston Woman Rammed Vehicle During Argument — Police in Herndon say 24-year-old Kimberling Serrano had her two kids in the car when she followed a man after an argument and intentionally struck his vehicle three times. [Herndon Police]
Students Honored for Musical Talents — Top Fairfax County vocal and instrumental students were recognized recently during the annual James A. Bland Music Competition, co-sponsored by the Reston Lions Club and Reston Community Center. Among the honorees was Lauren Spar from South Lakes High School. [Reston Connection]
Skydiver from Reston Hurt in Florida — Nikolay Likhachev suffered a head injury and a compound leg fracture after an accident near Daytona Beach. Likhachev had successfully completed more than 200 jumps, according to the incident report. [Daytona Beach News-Journal]
Redistricting Reform Rejected in Richmond — Bills that advocates hoped would stop gerrymandering in Virginia were voted down in committee Tuesday. One of the measures — a constitutional amendment stating that “no electoral district shall be drawn for the purpose of favoring or disfavoring any political party, incumbent legislator or member of Congress, or other individual or entity” — was sponsored by Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax), of Reston. [The News Leader]
“I actually was able to get an internship with Disney World, which was my dream job,” she said. “I was offered a regular full-time position, but I ended up getting sick.”
After a long series of doctor’s visits, Katz was diagnosed in 2014 with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), a condition that causes an increased heart rate when standing upright — resulting in dizziness, migraines and more. Because of it, Katz was forced to give up her photography position at Disney World and return home to Reston to her parents, Gina and Bert.
Now 25, Katz finds herself traveling down a new path in life, raising awareness for rare diseases and chronic illnesses. She has started an awareness campaign called Spoonspirations — the name of which is a reference to “spoon theory,” a term coined by lupus patient advocate Christine Miserandino about how sufferers of such conditions must ration their energy.
“She wanted a way to describe it to people who don’t have a chronic illness, so they could understand,” Katz said. “Basically, it’s kind of like if you get up to walk the dog, you use three spoons out of your 12 total spoons for the day.”
Through Spoonspirations, Katz is using her love of art to spread the word about chronic illness. Katz studied graphic design as well as photography, and she has designed a number of different pieces of apparel for various related causes.
She is raising money for research in the process, as all proceeds from sales of the clothing are given to chronic illness organizations. In 2016, she said, she raised $8,000 that was donated in large part to Dysautonomia International and the Dysautonomia Support Network, organizations she became acquainted with through her personal journey.
This year, Katz has become involved with rare disease advocacy organization Global Genes. She will travel to Southern California at the end of the month to participate in a fashion show for the organization as part of World Rare Disease Day.
“Everyone is walking in honor of someone who has a rare disease,” she said. “I’m the only one walking who actually has a rare disease.”
Katz is hopeful that she will be able to make more connections during the event to help her expand Spoonspirations and raise more awareness for the hundreds of millions worldwide suffering from chronic illnesses.
“Rare diseases affect approximately 350 million people worldwide and often times are invisible,” she said. “So you never know who might be affected.”
Photos courtesy Nisa Katz/Spoonspirations
Looking for something to do this weekend? Here is a sampling of what’s available in Reston:
- The South Lakes High School Chorus is presenting its Broadway Night event tonight and Saturday.
- Reston Town Center events this weekend include a kids’ cooking class at Il Fornaio, cartoon skate at the ice pavilion, Super Bowl festivities at American Tap Room and Mon Ami Gabi, and more.
- Potomac River Running will be putting on its For The Love Of It 10K, beginning at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive), Saturday morning.
- Reston Community Players will close out their run of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” tonight and Saturday at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road).
- Project-based charter school Ideaventions Academy (12340 Pinecrest Road) will be holding an open house Saturday.
- Art exhibitions “CUT” and “Springtime in Winter” remain on display at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market Street) and Reston Art Gallery & Studios (11400 Washington Plaza W.), respectively.
- Del. Ken Plum will be at Lake Anne Coffee House (1612 Washington Plaza N.) on Saturday morning to discuss issues with his constituents.
- Red’s Table (11150 South Lakes Drive) won’t just be offering beer specials Sunday during the Super Bowl, but it will unveil its new bison chili as well.
- Kalypso’s (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will host a Super Bowl party Sunday, featuring regional foods from New England and Atlanta. A raffle will also be held to benefit Camp Sunshine.
Dinner Held to Support Police Families — A group in Great Falls raised over $5,000 for Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), an organization that supports families of officers killed on the job. 2nd Lt. Anthony Lampe of the Fairfax County Police Department’s Reston District Station addressed a dinner audience, talking about his department’s recent brush with violence against police. [Reston Connection]
South Lakes Girls Win at the Buzzer — The Seahawks’ varsity girls basketball team won with a last-second layup last week. Alivia Damper passed to Kendra Williams, who scored the winning basket just before time expired as South Lakes beat McLean, 51-49. [DMVStream.com]
Seahawks Player Headed to Delaware — Sticking with SLHS sports, football player David Kroll is a top college recruit on the offensive line. He was planning to play for the University of Richmond, but he has now changed his plans and is committed to the University of Delaware. [Washington Post]