Spartan Spotlight

The Monthly Newsletter for Broad Run HS October, 2021

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From the Principal

Welcome back, Spartans!

Thank you for a great start to the school year. Coming back after 18 months at home, with masks and new protocols, has been a challenge. Our students and staff have risen to the occasion.

Thank you to the staff involved in putting together a great homecoming week, especially so early in the school year. The football win was followed by great weather and a nice (and first) outdoor dance.

Congrats to our students and faculty in involvement through activities thus far this year. Fall sports are off to a great start. Battle of the Burn this year will be at Segra Field in Leesburg.

Our Band is competing locally in October. Students are working on a fall play for November. The debate team is getting ready for action this month. There is so much more going on.

On October 13, we will administer the PSAT. Seniors will have an “asynchronous” day. On October 6, there will be a senior meeting to give out information on Cap and Gowns needed for graduation. Quarter 1 ends on October 28.

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News from the SCA

A Very Special Homecoming

Homecoming this year was unlike any other, in more ways than one! We spent our first homecoming week in two years decorating our hallways, painting our murals, and celebrating our school, all with a board game theme. The class of ‘22’s theme was Candyland, the junior class had Clue, the Sophomores was Monopoly, and the ninth graders had The Game of Life. Spirit week consisted of Disney Day, Country vs. Country Club Day, Theme Day, and was finished off with Maroon and Gold day. Seniors won the spirit day competition, then the Freshmen, followed by the Juniors in third. Similarly, the Seniors won the mural contest, while the Juniors and Sophomores placed second and third. In hallway decorating, the placing of each grade was the same. Needless to say, the Seniors were the overall winners of spirit week, with the Juniors and Freshmen closely behind.

We spent our first Homecoming dance under the stars this year due to Covid restrictions, but we wouldn’t have had it any other way! Complete with a DJ, a LED lit tent, and a carefully decorated gazebo, it will be one to remember. Broad Run was the first in the county to have a Homecoming of this kind, ever, and did so beautifully.

Movie Night with the Student Council

The Student Council is overjoyed to inform you that Screen on the Green is less than a month away! On Friday October 15, 2021 at 7:30 we will be showing Black Panther in between the tennis courts and back of the school. Doors open at 7, and exclusively Broad Run students are invited. Feel free to bring your own blankets, chairs, and your best pajamas! We cannot wait to see you there!

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Testing Info

Broad Run hosted the SAT in August and the ACT in September. There were over 300 students registered for each test. Broad Run will host the SAT on October 2. If you would like your child to take either the SAT or the ACT at Broad Run this school year, please register them soon. Upcoming test dates at Broad Run are as follows: ACT (April 2, 2022), SAT (May 7, 2022), SAT (June 4, 2022).

Broad Run High School is offering the PSAT 8/9 for 9th Graders and the PSAT/NMSQT for 10th & 11th Graders on Wednesday, October 13, 2021. We will be operating on an adjusted bell schedule (LINK) as the PSAT 8/9 test runs two hours and forty-five minutes, and the PSAT/NMSQT test runs three hours. Since College Broad requires approximately forty minutes of demographic bubbling, we have allowed for four hours in order to administer the test. Students will report to all A block classes, which will meet for twenty-five minutes per academic block. We encourage all students to take advantage of this testing opportunity. Students will test in Alpha Order testing locations, which are available on the Broad Run High School Website (LINK). Students will receive a PSAT testing location letter, which will provide there specific testing location, testing proctor, bell schedule, and test timing by section.

Student specific testing information will be distributed on Wednesday October 6, 2021 during their 1st Block Seminar class. We encourage students and parents to check their email on October 8th and October 12th as important reminders will be sent with student specific testing information.

If you have specific questions related to PSAT testing please contact Mr. Kozikowski, Testing Coordinator.

Welcome to the Green Team!

Broad Run has an active Green Team this year! Our focus for the first semester is planting an official Monarch WayStation. If any community members would like to help, please contact club sponsor Cory Brunet at

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Debate News

Spartan Debate & Speech Emerges From the Pandemic Better Than Ever! (Most certainly larger than ever)

As tough as the Pandemic has been on students and the activities school offers them, the Broad Run Debate & Speech Team feels fortunate to not only have a very rewarding Pandemic Year of 2020/21, but to come out of it stronger than ever. We’re amazed that we’ve pretty much doubled the team size this year and now are 160 strong.

From August through May of last school year, Spartan debaters and speakers competed at more than two dozen tournaments. The team embraced the shift to the online competition world and made its mark many times over—

  • 78 members competed in a total of 29 tournaments, with 40 of them competing in at least five.
  • This resulted in 275 entries in more than 1,500 rounds of competition.
  • Broad Run was the runner-up in the team sweepstakes at VHSL’s State Championships.
  • Srisha Raj (sophomore) was the Lincoln-Douglas Debate State Champion and was 3rd Speaker at the prestigious Yale Invitational.
  • Ben Bressette (junior) placed Third in Congressional Debate at the national Tournament of Champions, hosted by the University of Kentucky (Lexington).
  • Ben also placed Second at one of the other two top national tournaments, the NCFL Grand National Tournament. (As far as we know, no other competitor in the National Capital Region has accomplished anything similar on the national scene!)
  • Ben also placed 3rd at the 28th Yale Invitational and 3rd at the Pennsbury Falcon Invitational.
  • The team captured Third at the Pennsbury Falcon Invitational among 101 schools from 22 states as a result of numerous Spartans performing well—

o Ria Kaith & Grace Martinez-Cora (sophomores) placed 2nd in Speech Duo Interpretation.

o Grace and Ria also placed 3rd and 2nd, respectively, in Speech Declamation.

o Grace was a Quarter-Finalist in Speech Poetry.

o Srisha Raj was a Lincoln-Douglas Varsity Debate Semi-Finalist.

o Pranav Kotamraju (sophomore) was a Lincoln-Douglas Junior Varsity Semi-Finalist.

o Tanush Madavarapu & Anirudh Addepalli (juniors) were Public Forum Junior Varsity Semi-Finalists.

  • 45 team alumni, grads of Broad Run classes from 2004 through 2020, represented our school as judges at those 29 tournaments

Coaches Jim Dunning, Brinda Sinha, and Andrew Yim are primarily happy that the team was able to provide a worthwhile activity of weekly practices and many weekends of competition for so many students for more than eight months of a very challenging year.

The coaches were surprised this year at the surge of new members. Just about all of last year’s members returned to the team (minus our departing grads), but there are nearly a hundred new members. Our Interest Meeting attracted 120 in a standing-room-only Library event.

They are very happy to see over half of them are from Farmwell Station Middle School. The team has benefited for years from VHSL rules that let 7th and 8th graders compete, and just two and three years ago about 15 or so joined the team; this year that number has more than tripled.

This, of course, is presenting logistical challenges to the team leadership and Team Captain Ben Bressette is assisted with running after-school practices four times a week by Rachel Yeddanapalli, Khushi Mehta, Bharathi Thambidurai, and Bhadra Kadangal (Policy Captains); Aidan O’Mara, Vaibhav Choudary, Abhiram Pasupuleti, and Sakthi Pakiaraj (Public Forum Captains); Grace Martinez-Cora and Ria Kaith (Speech Captains); Srisha Raj (Lincoln-Douglas Captain); Ben also leads the Student Congress team.

Practices started the second week of September, focused on researching and analyzing topics such as Resolved: The member nations of the World Trade Organization ought to reduce intellectual property protections for medicines and Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its protection of water resources in the United States, as well as learning how to navigate both the world of in-person and online debate and speech competitions (tournaments are still virtual for the next couple months until Pandemic conditions permit team to IRL).

Tournaments kick off the second week of October, so practices have been intense, especially with so many new members. Everyone is looking forward to a busy and rewarding year — if we can just figure out how to fit so many in just a half-dozen classrooms for practices each week.