Broad Run HS's Newsletter April, 2023
I hope everyone had a nice spring break. Great things continue to happen in and around Broad Run. Our DECA students are off to International Competition in Florida, the performing arts spring musical was a huge success, debate students are representing the Spartans in state and national Competition, our Unified Sports Team has been well represented in numerous events, we had several students participate in the science fai,r and our spring sports are in the full "swing" on their season. There is always so much going on.
I would like to thank our PTSO outgoing officers: Marita Reidy, Vandana Vinay, Raman Sharma, and Colleen Miller. Your work to support the school and the PTSO has been impactful. On behalf of the faculty and staff, thank you! If any parents are interested in being on the PTSO Officer Board, please reach out. We need your involvement. Most importantly, I am sure to attend meetings and be in constant communication with the PTSO board on school matters.
Prom is May 28. AP Testing starts May 1, and SOL testing May 12. See information here. Graduation is June 1, and we will have a 2 p.m. dismissal for underclass students.
Hope to see you at an event soon!
Principal, Broad Run HS
AP testing will take place May 1 – May 12th. AP students, please check your College Board account email and your school email for important information! Information is also posted on BRHS Testing webpage.
AP students taking a digital AP test this May, please meet in the auditorium during Seminar on April 26th. Please bring your device.
SOL Testing Schedule
Reading – May 12th
Science (Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry) – May 15th
History (World History I, World History II, US History) – May 16th
Math (Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II) – May 17th
*ALL students need to check their LCPS email for important information about testing locations!
Reflections from Debate 2023 Before, Now, Above and Beyond
It struck me this morning that I have now been part of the Broad Run Debate & Speech Team longer than any of my teammates has been alive — most of the graduating seniors were born the year after I began judging for the team in 2003. That’s many hundreds of tournaments and 6-am bus rides and dozens of cross-country trips to States and Nationals tournaments ago — 20 years of perhaps the most valuable and enjoyable experience I’ve ever had.
I started judging when my son, Colin, was on the team; he had barely 30 teammates.
In the 2004 yearbook picture on the left, that’s Colin peeking over a head, third from the left in the back row. In this year’s team picture, on the right, 30 of our Farmwell teammates alone are missing, in addition to at least a dozen or so members who were at the Academies that picture day. Twenty years brings a lot of changes.
This all ends for me this Memorial Day weekend when I travel with four Spartans on a 10-hour bus trip to Louisville, Kentucky to compete at the NCFL Grand National Tournament, after which I return to Los Angeles forever and look forward to concerts to enjoy with my son (Boogaloo Assassins were this past Saturday and the Pixies and Modest Mouse are coming up in just a few weeks…).
This last year is the most memorable. So much has happened, many wonderful things that couldn’t have occurred without the wondrous team leadership we enjoyed this year. (A huge shout-out, also, to the wonderful Broad Run Administrative team: Dave Spage! Thank you for everything you and your APs have done to help this year finish so smoothly.) Our leadership team—Aaryan Kanhere, Ria Kaith, Riya Bundele, Samaya Talluru, Shyla Sarkar, Rithika Sriram, and Srisha Raj—ramped up the traditional roles of captain to capably meet challenges we’ve never faced before and achieved incredible milestones.
· 100 of our teammates competed in more than 30 tournaments this year, delivering thousands of speeches.
· Almost half of them–45–debated or performed in at least 4 tournaments each, and another 23 competed in 3 tournaments each.
· Our team registered an amazing 361 entries into competition from October through May.
Our seven captains made all that happen.
They spent hundreds of hours this year creating lessons and running practices and dissecting judges ballots with their teammates, building an energetic community. This is in addition to their individual competition accomplishments, which I must recognize here.
Ria Kaith has been our Speech Captain for two years and a part of the team for all four years of her high school career. She has competed in a number of Speech Individual Events, including Dramatic Performance, Declamation, Humorous Interpretation, and Duo Interpretation. In her very first year, she advanced to Declamation Finals at the prestigious Pennsbury Falcon Invitational in Philadelphia. During these past four years, Ria has competed in a total of 21 tournaments.
Aaryan Kanhere has also been on the team from his freshman year to his senior year, rising to lead the Student Congress team. I seem to remember him at some Public Forum practices that first year, but all of his tournament competition has been in Student Congress — that's over two dozen tournaments. During your freshman year, not only did he represent Broad Run at the State Championships, but he also competed at the Yale University Invitational.
Our Public Forum team is by far the largest segment of the overall team, comprising debating-duos totalling about half of our membership. Consequently, we were fortunate to have a kind of hive mind quartet to lead it, Rithika Sriram, Samaya Talluru, Shyla Sarkar, and Riya Bundele. In looking through the many team pictures I have from over the past four years, it’s challenging to find a picture that doesn’t have the four of them together — they have not only led together, they have competed together.
Shyla and Riya joined the team in eighth grade and Rithika and Samaya jumped on board the following year, in their common ninth grade. In those four to five years, the four have combined for a mind-numbing 52 tournaments of competition as partners. Samaya and Rithika, in their freshman year, advanced to an exciting Finals round at the Pennsbury Invitational, helping Broad Run secure a Third Place in the overall Sweepstakes out of over a hundred schools. In addition to those 52 tournaments, the four of them have also put in countless hours supporting the large number of teammates, often forgoing competition to coach them at tournaments. Most recently, we witnessed three Broad Run teams capture all three podium positions at the WACFL Metropolitan Championships, an unprecedented feat thanks to the “hive-mind’s” leadership and support.
When it comes to defining competitive spirit and achievement, it is hard to ignore 46 tournaments in six different debate and speech events. Srisha Raj, our Team Captain, is that definition. At her very first tournament in eighth grade, Srisha took First Place in Impromptu Speaking, awkwardly besting her own Speech Team captain. She went on to compete in five more tournaments that year, adding Lincoln-Douglas Debate to her repertoire. Since then, she has focused on Lincoln-Douglas — becoming the Lincoln Douglas Captain her junior year — but that hasn’t kept her from successes in Original Oratory, Duo Interpretation Speaking, Extemporaneous Speaking, and Public Forum debate, averaging an incredible nine tournaments a year. She’s the only person in Northern Virginia to qualify for four separate events at the WACFL Metropolitan Championships in the same year.
Srisha also was the Lincoln-Douglas State Champion in her sophomore year and nearly repeated that accomplishment the following year, coming in as the State Runner-Up. She is wrapping up her high school career by representing Broad Run over this Memorial Day weekend in Louisville, Kentucky in Lincoln-Douglas at the NCFL Grand National Tournament.
That 46 tournaments is a team record, by the way — I checked through the team archives and the next closest is 30.
I certainly could not have made it through my final year on the team without the amazing leadership of these wonderful people, but I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to salute the individual competitive achievements of these Magnificent Seven.
—Coach Jim Dunning, 2004-2023
Broad Run Crew Team Hosts "Ergathon" Fundraiser
Row, row, row your boat--or in this case, your erg machine--gently down the stream of fundraising success. On March 6, the Broad Run Crew team pulled together an exciting "Ergathon" event in our very own cafeteria, all in the name of raising funds for their beloved team.
What now seems like a Broad Run tradition, the Ergathon fundraiser 2023 has been up and running for about six years, allowing BR Crew Club members to enjoy their beloved sport with helpful sponsors. Many families came together to create yet another year of sweat, smiles, and Spartan crew. “We don’t get any funds from the school or the county, so we have to come up with funds on our own,” sophomore Hema Chanamolu said. Without these donations and care from the community, many students would have to pay at least a thousand dollars to participate in the sport. The fundraiser gave students the opportunity to show off their strength, eagerness and love for the sport.
The Ergathon took place in the school cafeteria, with two rows of ergometers (indoor rowing machines). The members had to row for an hour and thirty minutes, and their goal was to complete as many meters as they could as a team within those 90 minutes. Members took turns on the ergometers and were cheered on by family and their fellow teammates. The exhilarating atmosphere was charged with rowers taking turns on the machines and pushing themselves to row faster to make the fundraiser successful.
The goal of the Ergathon fundraiser is to raise money for the club – specifically, the equipment. Coach Michael Love said, “We are trying to replenish our equipment inventory, buying nicer and newer boats and technology.” The team just recently bought some eight-person and four-person boats so they could compete more successfully. Another objective is to use the money from the fundraiser to buy CoxBoxes: technology that can record the stroke rate, gauge the speed of the boat, and monitor how much faster the team is going.
But this isn't just a fundraiser. It's also an opportunity to showcase the team's skills and spirit. The sound of the erg machines whirring in unison, the sweat on the rowers' brows, and the cheers of their teammates and supporters all create an electric atmosphere in the cafeteria. In the end, the Ergathon was a resounding success. The team raised significant funds, but more importantly, they demonstrated their commitment to each other and to the sport of crew. It's this kind of spirit that makes the Broad Run Crew team a force to be reckoned with, both on and off the water.--By Shivani Row, Saniya Yamin, and Arzoo Qureishy