Spartan Spotlight

Broad Run High School's Monthly Newsletter

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From the Principal

BRHS Families,

As we wind down the calendar year and are in the Holiday seasons, I want to again state my gratitude to the entire BRHS community. This year has been like no other; each day has been a gift and a challenge. I believe that we are all stronger and will be better because of our collective resilience. We are a community that cares for one other.

As we implement Hybrid schedules in the second semester, it will remain very important that students, parents, and staff stay in constant communication. Please check the BRHS web site frequently for updates. Students, check your school email. Parents, make sure your email and phone number in the school database system are correct.

We will begin planning for the 2021-2022 school year in February. Please be thinking about your courses and interests. Seniors, be sure to order your cap and gown and stay tuned for senior information regarding potential activities and most importantly graduation.

Happy New Year, Broad Run!

Mr. Spage

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Information for the Academies of Loudoun

To all LCPS Families:

Below are links and information for this unique opportunity: (direct/forward all questions to

Academies of Loudoun

2021 Winter Admissions Cycle

Application Portal – Will go live on 12/7/20

Also, please share the following schedule with your parents:

Parent Information Sessions - 2021 Winter Admissions Cycle
(All sessions will be virtual and hosted via Webex)

Academies of Loudoun 2021 Winter Admissions Information Virtual Sessions (via WebEx)

Wednesday, December 9 6:30 p.m. View the Session Live Stream

Tuesday, December 15 6:30 p.m. View the Session Live Stream

Wednesday, January 6 6:30 p.m. View the Session Live Stream

Saturday, January 16 10:00 a.m. View the Session Live Stream

Thursday, January 21 6:30 p.m. View the Session Live Stream

Monday, February 8 6:30 p.m. View the Session Live Stream

Target Audience: High school students grades 9-11 and their families.

*Interpretation Request
- Please email if you require interpretation services to attend an information session. Please include preferred date(s) and language(s). NOTE: All requests must be received no later than five (5) business days prior to your selected information session.

Debate & Speech Successfully Roll Into the Pandemic Competition World

In the first month of the 2020/21 competition season, Broad Run’s storied Debate & Speech team has sent over 70 Spartans to a half-dozen local and national tournaments despite the challenges the COVID-19 Pandemic presents to the high school universe. At the local level, Broad Run has sent more competitors to tournaments than any other school in the National Capital Area.

Competitive debate and speech at the college and secondary school levels have been fortunate that some tournaments successfully transitioned to the Google Meet/Zoom world as early as last May, managing to maintain the key aspects of competition in the virtual world. Although the pandemic wiped out spring state and national tournament plans for Broad Run speakers and debaters, team leadership began meeting as early as June to ensure their classmates would be ready for the fall season.

The team captains and coaches recognized that competition for the coming year would be primarily online and knew their greatest challenge would be replicating the team practice experience in a world where members would be meeting from their bedrooms instead of in person four days a week after school. Captain Abhi Kaushik and the rest of leadership team—Ram Malladi, Reshteena Abdullah, Ben Bressette, Calvin Will, Bhadra Kadangal, Rachel Yeddanapalli, Rohil Kapur, Bharathi Thambidurai, Sulaiman Yamin, and Khushi Mehta—met frequently over the summer to design a virtual multi-room structure that successfully met both individual and group development.

Outreach campaigns to returning and new members—including those from Farmwell Station Middle School—resulted in over 100 students joining this year’s team. Planning efforts were effective enough that the team was able to start practices even before classes started.

For some, competition began early as well. Public Forum debaters Vaibhav Choudhary and Abhiram Pasupuleti paired up to compete in the Duke Invitational in mid-September. A couple weeks later, Lincoln-Douglas debater Srisha Raj, Congress debaters Ben Bressette and Aaryan Kanhere, and Public Forum debaters Vaibhav Choudhary and Aidan O’Mara “travelled” to the historic Yale Invitational. Ben placed Fourth among 291 competitors from all over the United States and Srisha captured Third Speaker out of a similar 108 entries. (That’s Ben, third from the left in the second row of his Student Congress chamber.)

A very pleasant surprise for us at Yale was to “run into” team alum and Broad Run grad (‘20) Leleda Beraki who, in her freshman year at Yale, joined its debate team and was working the tournament.

These initial online debate experiences encouraged the team to not only prepare itself for competition in this new world, but to find creative ways to keep the social element alive.

Because speech and debate are expressive activities, one of the refreshing aspects of practices and tournaments is that cameras are on. The daily practices are a much-needed complement to the classroom world of icons and, while the team members work hard, there’s a lot of jovial banter between the mock rounds and speech recitations. Happily, the students are finding fun ways to create and obtain enjoyable social interaction in the hours of practice they attend every week.

The team captains have been successful in preparing and developing their teammates for competition. These students are already qualified for “post-season” competition in the DC region league: Ben Bressette and Aaryan Kanhere (Student Congress); Bhadra Kadangal, Rachel Yeddanapalli, Khushi Mehta, and Bharathi Thambidurai (Policy); Tanush Madavarapu and Anirudh Addepalli (Public Forum); Bryan Torres, Ram Malladi, and Avaneesh Babu (Lincoln-Douglas); Ria Kaith, Shivani Row, Diya Deepak, Maanasa Raghavendra, and Anna Oehler (Speech) — Ria shone in her most recent tournament, capturing an astonishing top rank in each of her four rounds in Declamation Speech.

The team continues its MasterClass Series into this Pandemic Year. We kicked it off last year with comedian and Broad Run alum Patton Oswalt coaching the Speech team for an afternoon, followed by a presentation from George Mason law professor Ilya Somin on politics and ignorance. This year, the team hosted a discussion with Georgetown philosophy and business professor Jason Brennan about voting and democracy, just in time for the Lincoln-Douglas debaters to spend a Saturday arguing over “Resolved: In a democracy, voting ought to be compulsory.”

The team also maintains its vital connection to its legacy — it must provide a complement of adult judges at each of the tournaments it enters and Broad Run is the only team in the region that exclusively uses its alumni (as opposed to the more common practice of having parents judge). This is a tradition started by retired coach Ron Richards, one we’re fortunate enough to benefit from in this challenging year. Coaches Brinda Sinha, Andrew Yim, and Jim Dunning are extremely grateful to the dozens of team alumni who continue to remain part of our community years after they graduate. So far this year, over two dozen of them have given up their Saturdays to judge, ensuring current members are able to compete. Some of these alumni have remained with us for many years, a 2007 grad among them.

The team is looking forward to a full year—now through June—of dozens of local, state, and national competitions. We appreciate the enthusiastic support the school’s administrative team—Dave Spage, Jenn Hvozdovic, Darnell Barbour, Chad Runfola, Ryan Young, Matt Griffis, and Elizabeth Bowen—is providing (in addition to Maria Treon and Nereida Gonzalez-Sales in High School administration); this has been key to our ability to offer a rewarding and enjoyable activity to so many Spartans.

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Broad Run Debate & Speech Leadership Team

Top Left to Right: Coach Jim Dunning, Coach Brinda Sinha, Abhi, Rohil, Ram

Middle Left to Right: Ben, Rachel, Khushi, Bharathi, Bhadra

Bottom Left to Right: Reshteena, Suli, Calvin

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From the Library

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From the SAS Team: Resources for Students and Families