Montgomery Blair High School

Principal Newsletter January 2023

Dear Montgomery Blair High School Families,

Happy New Year! I hope that you and your family had a restful Winter Break. The first semester has flown by and ends on Friday, January 27, 2023. Students will begin their new second-semester schedule on Monday, January 30, 2023. If you have questions about your teen's second-semester schedule, please contact their school counselor.

Our Blazers continue to SOAR in the classroom and with extracurricular activities. This week, I was informed that we have 3 Regeneron Science Talent Search semi-finalists out of only 4 in MCPS and 9 in the state. Congratulations to Nathan Shan, Josh Wang, Celine Wu!

The Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS), is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math research competition for high school seniors. Each scholar receives a $2,000 award from Regeneron with an additional $2,000 going to our school to support STEM-related activities.

We continue to have students earn scholarships that cover their complete 4-year college experience. Congratulation to Daniela Luseko, one of only 13 MCPS students to earn a POSSE Scholarship which is a full ride to the University of Wisconsin–Madison.The Posse Foundation. identifies public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential.

After much anticipation of where our quarterback Kendell Anderson will play in college, he has committed to Army, The United States Military Academy at West Point. I look forward to seeing him compete in college.

Our It's Academic Team August (Gus) Vanskike, Ace Chen, Jacen Li, and alternate Henry Merrill, are continuing our tradition of excellence, and (SPOILER ALERT), they have advanced to the semi-finals in the competition. Our team is coached by Mr. Sean Rada. Tune in on Saturday, January 14, at 10:00 a.m. on WETA PBS ( and cheer on our Blazers!

Finally, I want to THANK YOU Blair family for all of your support. As a parent of adult children, I know the time and commitment that it takes to ensure our teens are giving their BEST efforts every day. We are partners in the education of our Blazers and please contact your teens' teachers, counselors, or grade-level administrators for guidance and support. Our team is listed below in the INFO section.

All the best,

Renay Johnson

Proud Principal

Blair Poms Perform at the Washington Wizards Game

Blair Poms at the Wizards Game

Our It’s Academic Team Advances to the Semi-finals

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Blair Students Earn First & Second Place at the University of MD High School Math Competition

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Respect and Safety in our Community

Please remind your teen that Montgomery Blair High School is a closed campus and students are not permitted to leave campus during lunch or the school day. Students with partial day schedules may leave campus at the end of their school day.

We do not lock students in the building but there are consequences for leaving school during the school day which violates school policy. Please speak with your teen about this important rule. In the event of a school emergency or lockdown, students who are off campus will not be permitted to re-enter our building. In addition, there is no staff supervision off campus.

After school, students can respectfully visit businesses as needed. I am disappointed to hear from our neighboring businesses that students are not behaving appropriately in their establishments and that is not the Blair Way!

PTSA Meeting, January 17, 2023 by Zoom

We hope that you can join us for our January PTSA meeting. MCPS Chief Medical Officer, Patricia Kapunan, MD, MPH, and Ms. Soriano, Blair Resource Counselor, will be presenting to parents on the Opioid crisis and post-COVID behaviors that are impacting students' achievement.

Topic: PTSA Meeting Dates:

Jan 17, 2023 07:00 PM

Feb 21, 2023 07:00 PM

Mar 21, 2023 07:00 PM

Apr 18, 2023 07:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 852 5050 4172

Passcode: PTSA

Counseling Department News

Happy New Year Students & Families! We are excited to share that our 2023-2024 School Year course selection process has begun! School Counselors will be meeting with students throughout the month of January to assist them in selecting their courses, with many opportunities for your student(s) to review and make any changes prior to the end of the school year! You can find that information and so much more in our Counseling Newsletter. Our CCIC Ms. Delos Reyes also has many updates for our students about upcoming workshops that can be informative, which can be found in the College/Career Newsletter. Be sure to check out the upcoming events that will be hosted by our department throughout the month of January!

Links embedded above:

Counseling Newsletter:



January Counseling Events:

Mrs. Makeyda Soriano, NCC (she/her)

Resource School Counselor
Montgomery Blair High School

Phone: 240-740-7220

School Counseling Website:

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Second Semester All Period Days

Based on staff input, Blair will be increasing the number of all-period days to explore how this may improve academic opportunities and support for students. We feel that in 5-day weeks, the adjustment of one day to an all-period day will even out the amount of time a student spends in each class per week and minimize the gaps between classes if school is disrupted due to weather closings. Additionally, through strategic use of the all-period day, teacher’s will have the ability to more equitably serve their students, check for understanding and provide academic support in a more timely fashion. Student attendance is still required on all-period days as key learning will still take place.

For the 2022-23 school year, the following days have been identified as all-period days:

  • Wednesday, February 8
  • Wednesday, February 15
  • Wednesday, March 8
  • Wednesday, March 15
  • Thursday, March 30 (Last school day of MP3)

We will be seeking student and parent feedback as we try this schedule enhancement during the year. If the trial is successful, we will expand the use of all-period days in 2023-24.

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Senior Parents / Guardian Meeting

Very Important Senior Parent Meeting:

Don’t miss this meeting. This will be the only opportunity you have to hear the latest information for the journey to graduation. This meeting will include information regarding Senior Events and most importantly Graduation. The meeting will take place at Montgomery Blair High School Auditorium, on March 14, 2023, at 7:30 a.m. or 6:30 p.m. We will provide you with all the need-to-know very important information for all upcoming events and address your questions.

Graduation Tickets: Due to our school stadium capacity and our senior class being 750+ students strong, each senior will receive 5 tickets for family and guests to attend graduation. If your family needs more than 5 tickets, we encourage students to speak with their classmates who will not be using all of their assigned tickets.

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Student Service Learning (SSL) Hours

Please ensure your seniors have completed all their SSL Hours. For any organizations please ensure they are approved by MCPS. Please see the information below for SSL information.

All opportunities (including in-person):

Virtual/remote opportunities:

For additional tips on how to search for opportunities, please go to

SSL Activity Verification Forms ( for service completed should be turned in to your school’s SSL coordinator.

The SSL Hour Due Dates and Deadlines:

Qualification for Certificate of Meritorious Service (240 SSL hours or more): March 30, 2023

SSL forms for all services performed for potential grads/seniors: April 14, 2023

The Need to Check ParentVue:

As we approach semester II, your senior will need your assistance now more than ever with attending classes and completing assignments. Please regularly check attendance and assignments to ensure your student remains on track to graduation. If you have questions, please follow up with your child’s Counselor or Administrator (Mrs. Pettis-Jones)

Counseling Team Information:

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Diversity & Inclusion

I Know My People Are Strong: Black Lives Matter At School
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Blair Academies

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Blair Math

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Blair Social Studies

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Richard Wiener Holocaust survivor shares his story with students

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Kindness Corner

My name is Farzaneh Nabavian and I am the Parent Community Coordinator (PCC) at Blair , I also am the PCC for Takoma Park Middle School and Takoma Park Elementary School. You can visit my website to learn more about what I do as well as a wealth of resources.

I am always looking for ways that we can assist our students and families and provide them with resources. I work collaboratively with the administration and school staff. The Kindness Corner at Blair high school is now in its 3rd year! It has been a great success with the support of Ms. Johnson, the administration team, school staff, Blair HS PTSA, community members, and community organizations. We are so grateful for all the contributions we have received in many ways to support our school community and continue the mission of the Kindness Corner! We appreciate your kindness.

In 2022, we had three Freebie Fridays and we will continue having them in 2023. Freebie Friday is an event in the Student Activity Center on a selected date during lunch and it is open to ALL students at Blair. We have lots and lots of items for students to look through and get what they want FREE!! Ms. Johnson has been there at every single one supporting the event.

At our last event, we met Arvin Kim, the Student Member of the Board of Education, and he got a bit of exposure to Kindness Corner!!

If you have any questions or know of anyone at Blair HS that may benefit from PCC and/or Kindness Corner, please share my information.

Cell: (240) 506-8576

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InfoFlow Show

InfoFlow Episode 8.072 - 1/12/23

Our Project Literacy Club, a national literacy movement of educators & students committed to increasing access to diverse books & promoting a love of reading

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Blair Athletics

The winter teams are in full swing! Not only are there wins and successful competitions, but within teams and programs as well as across programs, we are having many successes. More and more, our Blazers and Blazer coaches are supporting each other’s events and supporting each other’s events. What a terrific community! We have reached the midway point of the season. Tickets to boys' basketball, girls' basketball, wrestling, and indoor track are all available through GoFan. The link for Blair's home events is on Blair GoFan home page.

Swim & Dive (Coach Labriola)

Blazers Swim and Dive are having a strong start to the season. They continue to compete in a highly difficult division up against some of the best in the county. Swim & Dive competes across the county at various pools. See the Blair Athletics winter schedule for specifics.

Wrestling (Coaches Grover, McMahon, McCaw, Rogers, and Funyas)

Wrestling has had a very strong start to their season with the latest victory being 39-38 over Damascus. Blair wrestling was the first in the state of Maryland to host a varsity female tri-meet this year! They will also host a female wrestling tournament on January 27, the day before their JV Blazer Brawl tournament on the 28th. See the Blair Athletics winter schedule for specifics.

Indoor Track (Coaches Johnson, Lindo, and Bosse)

The Blair Indoor Track team is now under the tutelage of Coaches Johnson, Lindo, and Bosse. They have been competing at all the MCPS meets and attended the Howard County Winterfest before winter break. Many successes and PRs are already happening. A school record being broken and perhaps more to come. See the Blair Athletics winter schedule for specifics.

Boys Basketball (Coaches Mensah, Gonzalez, Charles, and Melton)

The Boys' Varsity Basketball team is coming off a tough MCPS December schedule, but a successful winter tournament. The boys' varsity won the St. Johns Catholic High School tournament. Many more games ahead for the team. Anthony Gonzalez is at the helm for JV and we look forward to the continued success of the entire program. See the Blair Athletics winter schedule for specifics.

Girls Basketball (Coaches Launi, Richardson, and Warner)

The girls' basketball program has been progressing every day under the coaching of Launi and Warner. They are currently 4 – 4 and headed into the bulk of their season healthy and ready for the second half. This young program is determined to go into every game to compete. Coach Warner is leading the JV program for Blair girls' basketball, this is her first year here. We look forward to the rest of their season. See the Blair Athletics winter schedule for specifics.

Bocce (Coaches Moran and Terry)

Bocce is back with a full complement of student-athletes and a few games in. They are practicing hard and ready to roll through the end of their season before heading into playoffs in late January. See the Blair Athletics winter schedule for specifics.


We love our senior student-athletes! Senior recognition happens at the last home competition of each sport. The Indoor track team and the Swim & Dive team will have their own recognition as well as at a Blair home event, TBD. See the Blair Athletics winter schedule for specifics; senior nights are highlighted in yellow.

SPRING SPORTS! Blair has the full complement of spring sports. Our spring sports teams are Baseball, Softball, Boys Lacrosse, Girls Lacrosse, Track & Field, Boys Volleyball, Coed Volleyball, Boys Tennis, Girls Tennis, Gymnastics, and Allied Softball. The Spring Sports Informational meeting will be held at lunch in the small gym on January 19th.

County Sports Zone also has all schedules for all sports:

As you start planning for summer vacations, fall sports will start on August 9th, 2023.

If you should ever have questions, concerns, or comments, please reach out to Athletic Director/Specialist Rita J. Boulé at Stay safe and healthy! Let’s Go Blazers!

Girls Wrestling Team

Congratulations to our Girls’ Wrestlers!🏆👏🏽

Marryam Funyas - 1st place

Mckinley Jovanovic - 1st place

Leila Morales - 2nd place

Jacklyn Heath - 3rd place

Charlotte Goldberg - 6th place

Also so proud of our varsity lineup for fighting hard at the weekend Iron Horse Duals.💯

Don't Miss the NCAA Eligibility Center Information Night for coaches, students, and parents/guardians

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Blair’s New Mural by English Language Development Students

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Media Center News

The love of reading is alive at Blair! The Media Center Staff were thrilled to hold our 2nd Annual Free Book Fair on Wednesday, December 14! This was truly a labor of love on behalf of the entire community! We had well over a thousand books donated to the Free Book Fair, and our Project LIT @Blair students did the work of heroes in getting the books attractively displayed in time for our lunchtime event! Thanks to a core of dedicated student volunteers who spent many (many, many) hours in the weeks preceding the event, we pulled it off! Also - thanks to the many donors to our ongoing (more info below), we raffled off lots of free new books during our Free Book Fair! We look forward to another event in the spring.

Thank you, parents and other community members, for your support of our multifaceted media programs here! As part of our extension beyond the classroom, you have contributed nearly $1,700 to our First Book fundraiser that helps purchase the free new books we've raffled off over the years. During the upcoming months, we'll continue to sponsor more of our Free Book Giveaways.

Down the line, we are thrilled to be part of upcoming events in celebration of Black History Month. The Media Center will host a Sankofa Showcase in the Media Center on February 24 during lunch! We'll also host an event (yet to be planned fully) celebrating the National African American Read-In during the month of February, and will, of course, have LOTS of new, free books to raffle off!

As always, we are happy to help parents with ParentVUE questions. If you need help, please use this form and we can work to get your account up and running:

Andrea Lamphier

Montgomery Blair HS

51 University Blvd., East

Silver Spring, MD 20901


Scholarship Opportunity

The deadline for the Ruth and Norman Rales - Patricia Baier O'Neill Scholarship is Jan. 20. Do you know a high-achieving student who has taken rigorous courses and has a weighted GPA of 4.69? They may qualify for a $10,000 scholarship.

HBCU College Fair, February 17, 2023

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School Staff & Information

If you do not receive log-in information for your teen, please contact Ms. Melissa Young, Latino Achievement Coordinator,, or Ms. Andrea Lamphier, Media Specialist,

Student Schedules:

Student schedules will be available in ParentVUE and StudentVUE on Monday, August 23. Parents and students will need to log in to the report using the student’s ID and password. Report Link:

Scheduling, Transcript, Social Emotional Wellness Questions, Contact Your Teen's Counselor

School Counseling Department: 301-649-2810

All Things College and Career: Contact Jazmine Delos Reyes, College and Career Coordinator.

Melissa Young, is our MyMCPS/Synergy Parent Portal Staff Liaison,

Health Room: Full-Time School Nurse: Anisa Harris,

Health Room Tech: Angela Romero,

Principal's Administrative Secretary, Claudine Biggs,

Attendance Office: Roxanne Fus,

Blair Security Office: Adrian Kelly, Security Team Leader.

Financial Specialist: Donna Franklin,

Parent Community Coordinator: Faye Nabavian,


Renay Johnson: Principal,

Joseph Fanning: Grade 9, A-L, Administrator,

Tracy Pettis-Jones: Grade 12, Administrator,

Lavina Carrillo: Grade 11,

Rahman Culver: Grade 10, M-Z, Administrator, Culver,

Adriana Burgos-Ojeda: Grade 10, A-L, Administrator,

Ramona Washington: Grade 9, M-Z, Administrator ,

Peter Ostrander: Magnet & CAP Programs,

James Funk: School Business Administrator,

Montgomery Blair High School

Montgomery Blair High School is a nationally recognized award-winning high school located in Silver Spring, MD. Celebrating 88 years of tradition, pride & excellence! The mission of Montgomery Blair High School is to ensure that all students graduate equipped with the skills to navigate their chosen paths successfully.