Spartan Spotlight

Broad Run's Newsletter March, 2022

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From the Principal

BRHS Families,

Winter sports are over, and spring teams are in full swing. Congrats to our Girls Swim and Basketball teams emergence as District Champions. Also, congrats to Alex Birchmeier, 2x State Wrestling Champion. Our DECA students are off to state competition in early March, and our Fine Arts performing groups are represented at state festivals, while many are involved in the upcoming spring musical. Our debate team continues to excel, and many other clubs and organizations are representing Broad Run well.

Thank you to our Black Student Union students and staff in organizing an assembly and other activities throughout February to celebrate Black History Month. Also, thank you to our English Department for hosting our eighth annual African American Read in.

Seniors, reminder to check the Class of 2022 page frequently for updates. Note Senior Awards are June 7, and Graduation Rehearsal is June 13.

Underclassmen are continuing to register for class for SY 2021-2022. Please be sure to select courses carefully, as changes may not be possible. All students are encouraged to challenge themselves through advanced or honors course work in at least one area of interest. However, be mindful of balance and workload, as level changes may not be possible at a later time.

Spring Break is April 11-15, and the 18th is a teacher workday. Prom is the April 29 at the Dulles Marriot. Writing SOLs will be given March 10-15. AP testing takes place the first two weeks of May, and SOL testing for English reading and other classes will be immediately after. The spring Musical this year is Once Upon a Mattress. I hope to see you at a game, show, or other event.


David Spage

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From the BSU: Black History Month at BRHS

Celebrating Black History

Black History does not just promote diversity; it celebrates it. February is the shortest month of the year, but Broad Run’s Black Student Union used all twenty-eight days to highlight the accomplishments of African Americans.

Students and staff were exposed to black history facts that recited over the PA. If students found themselves near Broad Run’s sacred Spartan Head, they encountered music melodies of Motown, Old “Skool” Rap and Hip Hop. Fridays were used to test the knowledge of students as they played Black History Trivia for prizes during lunch. Students were introduced to Garrett Morgan, Charles Drew, Phyllis Wheatley, and other significant African Americans.

This same cafeteria was the venue for Broad Run staff and students as they joined forces to show off their line dancing skills on the last Friday of February to Wobble, Cha Cha, and Cupid Shuffle.

The finale of the month brought the entire Broad Run student body together for the school’s first Black History Month Assembly. This program consisted of the chorus leading the audience with a rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, students uplifting their peers with African American lyrics, the sharing of musical presentation by Broad Run’s Alumni Kultural Reflection, students reciting original lines of poetry and a step routine performed by selected students and joined by one of Broad Run’s assistant principals.

The assembly was capped off by an inspiring and riveting speech delivered by Keith Willis, a former Virginia Tech graduate where he played football and basketball, earned two degrees and eventually made it to the NFL. This self-made entrepreneur’s words proved to be impactful as he shared life experiences. “The decisions you make today will impact your life, so don’t focus on temporary gratifications but focus your attention on what it will take to accomplish your long term goals” was just one piece of advice this dynamic speaker shared with the captivated Broad Run audience.

The BSU views Black History Month as an opportunity to share and celebrate the countless African men and women who have made a difference and still are making differences. This shortened month did not prevent these team of students of sharing stories that revealed how African American men and women changed the world and how we can, too.

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Debate News

The Debate & Speech Team Enters the “Postseason”

After five months' and 22 tournaments’ worth of competition, Broad Run’s Debate & Speech Team’s hundred-plus members have entered the four-month-long postseason. Teammates are now gearing up for qualifying competitions that lead to state and national championships. Led by nationally ranked team captain Ben Bressette, about 50 of his teammates are focussed on prepping for tournaments sponsored by the Washington Arlington Catholic Forensic League (WACFL), the National Speech & Debate League (NSDA), and the Virginia High School League VHSL).

The most demanding competitions are those of WACFL, a series of four tournaments this month that cover the debate events of Public Forum, Lincoln-Douglas, Policy, and Student Congress, as well as the Speech events of Oral Interpretation, Impromptu, Declamation, Duo Interpretation, Dramatic Performance, and Original Oratory. These 45 Broad Run and Farmwell classmates have qualified to compete in the WACFL Metropolitan Championship Tournaments:

Alicyn Kelly Duo Interpretation

Anna Oehler Oral Interpretation

Anshula Gaddam Duo Interpretation

Cerdiwen Thomas Oral Interpretation

Connor Tran Impromptu

Diya Deepak Declamation and Oral Interpretation

Jane Ellsworth Duo Interpretation

Jitesh Raj Impromptu and Duo Interpretation

Maanasa Raghavendran Duo Interpretation

Nancy Qiao Declamation

Shayan Wadiwala Impromptu

Shivani Row Declamation

Siya Kaith Dramatic Performance

Srisha Raj Original Oratory and Duo Interpretation

Vyasa Hari Declamation

Willaim Steffan Declamation

Aidan O'Mara Public Forum-Varsity

Anusha Agarwal Public Forum-Junior Varsity

Ben Bressette Public Forum-Varsity

Krish Jain Public Forum-Junior Varsity

Pranav Babu Public Forum-Junior Varsity

Siri Kalidindi Public Forum-Junior Varsity

Srisha Raj Public Forum-Varsity

Vaibhav Choudary Public Forum-Varsity

Aliza Ahmad Policy-Junior Varsity

Bhadra Kandangal Policy-Varsity

Bharathi Thambidurai Policy-Varsity

Khushi Mehta Policy-Varsity

Rachel Yeddanapalli Policy-Varsity

Rayaan Ahmad Policy-Junior Varsity

Abhinav Babu Lincoln-Douglas-Junior Varsity

Ananya Sista Lincoln-Douglas-Junior Varsity

Connor Tran Lincoln-Douglas-Junior Varsity

Jitesh Raj Lincoln-Douglas-Junior Varsity

Kaitlyn Levine Lincoln-Douglas-Junior Varsity

Rajasree Mohta Lincoln-Douglas-Junior Varsity

Vaishnavi Peddireddy Lincoln-Douglas-Junior Varsity

Avaneesh Babu Lincoln-Douglas-Varsity

Pranav Kotamraju Lincoln-Douglas-Varsity

Srisha Raj Lincoln-Douglas-Varsity

Aaryan Kanhere Student Congress

Amara Poling Student Congress

Anna Korunsky Student Congress

Aparna Dileepkumar Student Congress

Riddhisha Student Congress

Aaryan Kanhere Student Congress

Amara Poling Student Congress

Anna Korunsky Student Congress

Aparna Dileepkumar Student Congress

Riddhisha Haldar Student Congress

It should be noted that five of the teams have qualified to compete in the championships for multiple events, and one of them has set a team—if not league—record in this area. A search of team and league records cannot find an instance where anyone in the WACFL’s decades-long history has ever qualified in four events in a single year, something Lincoln-Douglas Captain Srisha Raj has accomplished this year. Srisha, a junior in her fourth year on the team, qualified for the WACFL “Metros” in two Speech events and two Debate events: Original Oratory, Duo Interpretation, Public Forum, and Lincoln-Douglas.

This past week, 13 members of the Speech team, under the leadership of captains Ria Kaith and Grace Martinez-Cora, competed in the WACFL Speech Metros. Seven of them placed high enough to move onto the National Catholic Forensic League Grand National Tournament, representing Northern Virginia:

Maanasa Raghavendran & Anshula Gaddam, Duo Interpretation (2nd)

Jane Ellsworth & Alicyn Kelly, Duo Interpretation (5th)

Anna Oehler, Oral Interpretation (4th)

Diya Deepak, Declamation (4th) and Oral Interpretation (3rd)

Shivani Row, Declamation (3rd)

Connor Tran, Impromptu (6th)

Diya, a sophomore, also competes regularly in Public Forum debate, performed so well that she qualified for the national tournament in two events — unfortunately she will have to be Solomon and choose just one of the two.

Seven of these eight will be joining 3,000 other competitors in Washington, DC over Memorial Day Weekend in one of the largest tournaments of the year in the country. (We say “seven” because “poor” Connor competed in an event that doesn’t happen at Nationals, but he has the honor of being Diya’s Public Forum partner at other tournaments, so he comes out ahead.)

The team coaches are pretty sure they will have to increase the number of hotel room reservations as teammates compete in the other four Metros scheduled for this month. They will undoubtedly add to the team’s delegation to the NCFL Grand National Tournament.

Over the next couple months, the team looks forward to getting competitors ready for VHSL’s upcoming Regional, Super-Regional, and State tournaments, as well as the NSDA State Qualifier for the National Tournament in June. Coaches Brinda Sinha, Andrew Yim, and Jim Dunning thank the team leadership and the families of our teammates for their support over what is a very long—but rewarding and fun—season.

News from Broad Run's Improv Troupe

Broad Run’s Improv troupe will be performing at Stone Bridge HS at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 5. Tickets are $6 (cash) and can be purchased at the door.