The GMHS Hitching Post

George Mason High School Newsletter - February 2020

MYP Logo Image


It is an exciting time at George Mason as we approach the celebration of our students' learning in the International Baccalaureate MiddleYears Programme (IB MYP). Over the next three weeks, 10th grade students will complete their Personal Projects, and are expected to submit a report and process journal, as well as have a product to present at the Personal Project Showcase on Wednesday, March 11, 2020.

The Personal Project is a culminating project for MYP students. This project, which is required by the International Baccalaureate and is an integral part of the curriculum at GMHS, invites students to set a goal, design an action plan to achieve their goal, and reflect on their process as they progress toward the goal. Students have been provided time in school and prompted to work on their own to complete the project. They will receive feedback from their advisors in March and complete their own self-reflection before the projects are marked for a grade internally, and then moderated externally by the IB this spring. Students that achieve a mark of 3 or above on the 7 point IB scale will receive a note of successful completion on their GM transcripts.

As we approach the Personal Project showcase on March 11, 2020, we ask that you encourage your child to participate in this valuable project, by completing it to the best of their ability. Tools provided for student success are located in Schoology on the Personal Project Course Page. If the student needs further support, please reach out to the advisor.

Feel free to contact me or our Personal Project Coordinator, Carey Pollack, with questions or concerns.

Matt Hills



IB MYP Logo Image
Personal Project Showcase Logo Image


February 20

College 101- An Overview of the College Process

7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Mustang Café

College 101 will be an information session aimed at Juniors and their parents but all GM students and parents are welcome to attend. An overview of the basic timeline for the college admissions process for junior year and senior year will be explained

February 22

Art Auction, Food and Fun for ANGC

Famille Cafe

1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

A Fundraiser for the Class of 2020's All Night Graduation Celebration. You can donate to the All Night Grad Celebration anytime here. See the fundraiser flyer here.

March 8

Daylight Saving Time Starts

March 11

International Potluck Dinner

Personal Project Showcase

5:30 p.m. - Dinner

7:00 p.m. - Showcase

Mustang Cafe and Auxiliary Gym

March 13

Professional Day for Teachers

No School for Students

March 25

Early Release Wednesday

Dismissal -- 12:10 p.m.


The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) [Revised] Image

March 26, March 27 and March 28

Spring Play

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) [Revised]

7:30 p.m. -- Auditorium

$5 for Students and $10 General Admission




Date: Wednesday, March 4th

Award-winning journalist and writer, Elaine Weiss, Bio author of The Women's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote -- Sponsored by The League of Women Voters

Big picture


Date: Wednesday, March 18th

8:30-9:30 - Parent Coffee: Introduction of Speaker, Nils Ahbel, and opportunity for question and answer session.

9:48 - 10:48 Auditorium - All 11th and 12th grade students (limited space for parents)

“The Truth about Alcohol and THC - Facts that Can Save Your Life!” --Sponsored by the Falls Church Education Foundation

Description: Come see Mr. Nils Ahbel discuss how your body metabolizes THC and Alcohol over time. Mr. Ahbel is a skilled speaker and master teacher who is passionate about educating young adults and communities so that they may better understand the effects of THC and alcohol. This interesting and informative talk could potentially save lives.

If you you have any questions in regards to the presentation or if you would like to opt out your child, please contact Dave Serensits at



International Dinner Image

March 11

Snow Date: March 18

Mustang Café

5:30 p.m.

International Dinner

Sophomore Personal Project Showcase

7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Main Gym & Auxiliary Gym

A Night of Family Fun


"Power in Diversity"

All Are Welcome!

This year the GMHS International Dinner and Personal Project Showcase will be held on Wednesday, March 11, at 5:30 p.m. in the Mustang Café and both gyms. The International Dinner is a "potluck" event hosted annually by the GMHS International Club and sponsored by the PTSA and ESOL/World Language staff. Open to all, it is a casual and fun celebration of our diverse Falls Church community with a delicious array of ethnic foods and entertainment with an international flair. Following the dinner, the Personal Project Showcase begins at 7pm as the GM Sophomores highlight the individual interests and efforts of their chosen projects. The IB MYP Personal Project is a culminating opportunity for students to produce a truly personal and creative outcome and to demonstrate a consolidation of their learning in the MYP. Family and community members are encouraged to view the wide variety of projects in the gyms and to talk with our impressive students about how these works were created. The whole evening is a fabulous family event and is a heart-warming celebration of the wonderful community we have at George Mason, and in Falls Church City as a whole.

Dinner attendees should bring a favorite entrée, side dish or salad for 8-10 people to share. Disposable containers are advised or please label your dish if you want it returned. If you do not have time to cook, bring a family size dish from one of your favorite local restaurants!! Do you love to cook? Do you have a unique/famous food or drink from your country? If yes, participate in the potluck dinner and sign up here, or with the link below:

International Dinner Dish Participation

After dinner there will be entertainment including personal project performances. Can you dance, sing, or play an instrument? Is there a song/dance/demonstration from your country that you would like to share? Is there a song or poem about global awareness/world peace that you would like to perform? If yes, sign up here or with the link below to perform at this year’s International Night!

International Night Performance Sign Up

Volunteers are always needed to help with dinner, and as a PTSA sponsored event, it cannot happen without volunteers. If you would like to help by contributing extra food or to be part of the kitchen crew, please sign up here: here

If you have any questions, please contact Tina Kao at or Jennifer Gray at We look forward to seeing you there!

A special "Thank you" to the George Mason High School PTSA for its support of this event.



Mulch Madness Fundraiser Sponsored by the GMHS Athletic Boosters Association

Order now at the Mason Fan Shop (MASON FAN SHOP). Top quality double-shredded hardwood mulch delivered by Mustang Athletes directly to your home! Bags are $5 each for 3 cu. ft. Delivery date to Falls Church area homes is Saturday, March 28th. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year. Please help support the GMHS Athletic Boosters in our mission to support Mason Athletics. Deadline to order mulch is March 18th.

For questions, please contact our Mulch Co-Chair Laura Hodges at



Find out what the All Night Graduation Celebration is all about here.

Donations accepted here. Thank you.


Over the course of this school year, local artwork found in the hallways of GM will be published in our GMHS Hitching Post. Artist names will be acknowledged if available.



Does your student need a tutor or a quiet place to study? Check out the link below:

Saturday Learning Lounge


Keep Calm and Check Parent University

Did you know that FCCPS has a resource for parents that pulls together all of the parent education opportunities across the schools? Anything that helps parents get smarter about school and parenting is included in Parent University.


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You can find current and past issues of the GMHS Hitching Posts from Principal Hills on the GMHS website at the link below:

Principal's Newsletter