Cheering for the achievements of McLean High School students and staff!

The Highlander newsmagazine wins a CSPA Gold Crown


Posted on March 22, 2017 by

The Highlander newsmagazine staff was presented with a Gold Crown at the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) journalism convention at Columbia University in New York City on March 17. This is their second year in a row to receive this prestigious award.

The Highlander is the ONLY high school newspaper/newsmagazine in the state of Virginia to win a Gold Crown this year!

CSPA’s Gold Crown is one of the highest honors in scholastic journalism. According to the CSPA website, “publications are judged on their excellence as shown by their design, photography, concept, coverage and writing.” Congratulations!

Sabrina Vazquez, Alex Mandanas, Emily O'Keefe, Anya Chen and Nick Monroy accepted the CSPA Gold Crown on behalf of The Highlander staff on March 17.

Sabrina Vazquez, Alex Mandanas, Emily O’Keefe, Anya Chen and Nick Monroy accepted the CSPA Gold Crown on behalf of The Highlander staff at Columbia University on March 17.

Musicians join All-State ensembles


Posted on March 6, 2017 by

Six of our students earned spots in the following All-State ensembles. Excellent work!


Jade Deatherage

Symphonic Band:

Daniel Arnold

Sarah Bonforte

Sarah Levy

Arman Parastaran

Concert Band:

Alex Simons

Three students make All-State Orchestra


Posted on February 28, 2017 by

Please join me in congratulating the following orchestra students for placing into this year’s Virginia All-State Orchestra:

Steve Han (cello)

Minseon Kim (violin)

Maxence Mouries (violin)

Steve Han and Minseon Kim both placed fifth in the state. The All-State Orchestra will perform at a special concert in April at Colgan High School.

Scholastic Bowl team finishes second in state tournament


Posted on February 27, 2017 by

This weekend, the Scholastic Bowl team competed in the VHSL State Tournament at William & Mary. The team, consisting of Justin Young, Mara Kessler, Carson Flickinger, Grace Chung and backup Evan Stoddard, finished in second place behind Robinson.  Justin was the second highest scoring individual in the entire tournament, which consisted of 24 teams and over 100 participants, earning him a spot on the All-State Tournament Team. Congratulations to the team and sponsor Jeff Brocketti!

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Highlander editor-in-chief Melanie Pincus named Virginia Journalist of the Year


Posted on February 21, 2017 by


Melanie Pincus has been named the Virginia Journalist of the Year by the Virginia Association of Journalism Teachers and Advisers.  Melanie, who is in her second year as editor-in-chief of The Highlander newsmagazine, works with teacher and adviser Lindsay Benedict.  Melanie will compete for the Journalism Education Association’s national award this spring.

Judges cited Melanie for her passion for reporting the news and for conducting outreach to middle school students to spread awareness of high school journalism and to provide information about media literacy.  She was also praised for her writing style, use of sources, professionalism in reporting about timely topics, skill at editing and providing feedback to colleagues, and keeping lines of communication open with the administration.  One judge stated, “Pincus’ portfolio looks like that of a college senior, with internships, awards, and hard news reporting that shows a hunger and knack for telling important stories. She takes stories that might appear mundane, such as teacher salaries, and explains them in a way that her readership will find compelling.”

It is a pleasure to work with Melanie, and this award is well-deserved!

Brendan Grammes earns second state title


Posted on February 21, 2017 by


Brendan Grammes won his second state title in as many years. This year he did it at the 152 lb. weight class. Brendan also set the all-time record for career wins, passing his brother Connor. Congratulations, Brendan!

Junior Sean Senft wins first place in MHS chess tournament


Posted on February 14, 2017 by

The McLean High School Chess Club completed its First Annual School Chess Tournament on Feb. 8, with junior Sean Senft winning 1st place and earning the honor of being MHS’s first school chess champion! The tournament was held over a period of four weeks with 30 students participating. Junior Austin Zhang won 2nd place and sophomore Nolan Fitzsimmons won 3rd place.  Trophies will be presented to the winners at the Chess Club’s next session on Wednesday, Feb. 15.

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