Category Archives: Clubs

McLean National English Honor Society named 2014-2015 Outstanding Chapter


Posted on October 4, 2015 by


Congratulations to the sponsors of the National English Honor Society, Christina Shin and Lisa Beskenis! Our chapter was named the Outstanding NEHS Chapter for the 2014-2015 school year.

According to NEHS Director Dave Wendelin, “Of particular importance to the review committee were ‘Operation Gratitude,’ ‘Youth Mentoring,’ and the ‘Speak Up Initiative.’ These outreach efforts must have been so welcome to the soldiers receiving  letters as well as to the students at Haycock Elementary and Stanton Elementary who had the opportunity to interact with and learn from your members.”

This week, the McLean NEHS chapter inducted approximately 50 new members.

Thank you for a great year, Highlanders!


Posted on June 19, 2015 by

Today, June 19th, marked the last day of the 2014-2015 school year.  This school year, our students have found success in and out of the classroom.  I have enjoyed sharing the many accolades our students and staff received over the course of the year here on Reilly’s Raves, and I can’t wait to continue with it next year.

This year’s graduating class is well-prepared to take on the next challenges in their lives.

*The Class of 2015 has 8 National Merit Finalists.

*As a class, 95% will be attending a post-secondary institution, 6 students will attend U.S. Service Academies, 5 students will enter the United States Armed Forces, and 2.3% will enter the workforce and engage in other activities to determine their future goals.

*This year’s class will be matriculating to 137 colleges and universities throughout the United States and abroad.

*The Class of 2015 has been offered and accepted over 8.1 million dollars in scholarships.

A special thanks to our PTSA officers: Elia Femia, Alison Senold, Sophia Bruner, Kirsten Huber, Jeannie Thomas, and Laura Przypyszny.  Their continued support of our students and teachers remains appreciated by all.  Also, thank you to Beth Raymond and Jen Herzberg for organizing our faculty luncheons, and to the Abi-Najm family for providing the staff a delicious end of the year lunch from Lebanese Taverna.  Finally, I’d like to thank all of the parents and students who made special treats and brought food Friday mornings. The staff truly appreciates your generosity and thoughtfulness.

During the summer, I will send updates about the opening of school as the date draws near. Students who have graduated will be removed from receiving Keep In Touch messages and rising freshmen will be added during the summer. To add or remove your email address from a school, go to   Please check the McLean High School website for updated information, and I will send out KIT messages to keep you informed.

On behalf of the faculty and staff at McLean High School, we wish everyone a safe and relaxing summer!

Debate Team spreads “Speak Up” mentoring program to DC elementary students


Posted on June 7, 2015 by

Members of the Debate Team work with Stanton Elementary School students as part of the "Speak Up" program. (Photo courtesy of Christina Shin)

Members of the McLean Debate Team work with Stanton Elementary School students as part of the “Speak Up” program. (Photo courtesy of Christina Shin)

Members of the McLean Debate Team’s mentoring program called “Speak Up,” which empowers youth to use their voices to engage with their community, recently worked with youth from Stanton Elementary School in DC. It went so well that they have been invited back by the school. Keep up the great work!

College Partnership Program awards scholarships at reception


Posted on May 28, 2015 by

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Last night at the FCPS College Partnership Program Senior dinner and reception, $1000 scholarships were awarded to three deserving seniors out of 65 applicants. Kayla Waysome (second from left) was honored as one of the recipients. Two other seniors, Natalia Chavez (second from right) and Felix De Anda (right), who applied for the scholarship attended the program with their parents. Thank you to Tara Lodwig (left) and Jim Menderson for all of their hard work with this inspiring program!

Students presented with awards at May 21 ceremony


Posted on May 27, 2015 by

Congratulations to the following students, who were presented with awards at a ceremony in Student Services on May 21.

Alexandria Valley of the Scottish Rite Glass Scholarship: Jaqueline Rhodes



American Association of University Women McLean Branch Math Achievement Award: Kathryn Howley

2 Howley


American Association of University Women McLean Branch Science Achievement Award: Gulenay (Rose) Saydahmat

2 Saydahmat


Anastasia Stewart Chunilal Foreign Language Scholarship: Genesis Pedraza



Anna M. DeConti Math Award: Michelle Vaccaro



DECA Principles of Marketing First Place, Virginia: Olivia McAuliffe



Virginia Association of Journalism Teachers & Advisers jDay Write-Off Contest:

Broadcast Division, First Place: Lama Al Rajih

News Writing Category, Third Place: Hee Young (Christine) Cheon



Juniper Networks Engineering Scholarship: Hye In (Lauren) Yeom



Michele Shoemaker-Liebel French Awards:

Academic Excellence: Rebecca Hall

Love of French: Christine McCulla



Nancy Lancaster Lindjord Memorial Scholarship: Katherine McGinn



National Merit Washington and Lee University Scholarship: Heather Pincus



President’s Volunteer Service Awards

Gold Award and Certificate of Excellence: Olivia Powell

Silver Award: Eva Femia

Bronze Award: Emma Chamberlayne



Raudenbush Spanish Awards

Spanish 1: Monica Fontana

Spanish 2: Jiwon (Gwenyth) Choi

Spanish 3: Omar Allabadi

Spanish 4: Hannah Aronson

AP Spanish: Lizzy Brown-Kaiser



Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Medal Award: Richard Ohr



Scholastic Art and Writing Award, National Medal: Shin Ae Choi



Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County: Soobin Wang



U.S. Figure Skating Gold Level Achievement: Victoria Boinest



McLean Nominee for VHSL Charles E. Savedge Scholarship: Andrea Delgado



Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Emerging Leader Scholarship: Jack Holland


Last weekend, the crew club earned multiple awards at the state championships at Sandy Run Park in Occaquan. The men’s lightweight 8+ boat, comprised of seniors David Kenworthy (stroke) and Connor Koch (7-seat), juniors Ryan Creeser (5-seat) and Patrick Croke (bow) and sophomores Grant Herzberg (6-seat), Jake Sechler (4-seat), Evan Korade (3-seat), Jared Lampal (2-seat) and Jake Wadle (cox), won gold in a scorching time of 4:36.2. […]

Crew wins gold medals at state championship


Posted on May 14, 2015 by

Winter sports & activities kudos from the activities department


Posted on May 14, 2015 by

The McLean Highlanders had a great winter sports and activities season, capturing many Conference, Regional and State awards. Please give kudos to the following teams and student athletes. 

Gymnastics: The 2014-2015 girls gymnastics team completed a dream season, winning Conference, Regional and culminating with the VHSL 6A State Championships. The team had an undefeated season through Conference meets. The following individuals also deserve recognition for their outstanding achievements:

Liberty Conference 6 Meet


Tie for 3rd – Lizzy Brown-Kaiser and Jacqueline Green 9.6

6th Place – Carolyn Brown-Kaiser

9th Place – Mathilde Larose


3rd Place – Lizzy Brown-Kaiser 9.225

4th Place – Jacqueline Green 9.00


4th place – Calista Pardue 8.95

Tie for 6th place – Jennie Korb and Jacqueline Green 8.9

Tie for 9th place – Lizzy Brown-Kaiser and Delaney Gallagher


5th Place – Jacqueline Green – 9.125


2nd Place – Jacqueline Green 36.625

3rd Place – Lizzy Brown-Kaiser 36.425

Regionals @ Lake Braddock


2nd place – Jacqueline Green 9.55


3rd Place – Lizzy Brown-Kaiser 9.05


4th Place – Lizzy Brown-Kaiser 9.075


2nd place – Jacqueline Green 9.7

4th Place – Lizzy Brown-Kaiser 9.575

All Around:

4th Place – Lizzy Brown-Kaiser 36.95

6th Place – Jacqueline Green 36.475

Other top contributors to the team’s last three meets included: Calista Pardue, Mathilde Larose, Madi Schuman, Carolyn Brown-Kaiser and Delaney Gallagher.

Wrestling: The varsity wrestling team had an excellent season, once again capturing the Liberty Conference 6 Championship, their second in three seasons. They had an exciting two-day meet that came down to the wire. They also had some outstanding individual achievements. The team went on to finish 5th in the Region and 7th in the state.

State Champion:

152: Conor Grammes

State Runner-up:

160: Gavin Legg

Conference Champions:

120: Brendan Grammes

126: Eric Johnston

152: Conor Grammes

160: Gavin Legg

179: Mack McCune

Regional Champions and Placements:

120: Brendan Grammes – 4th

126: Eric Johnston – 4th

152: Conor Grammes – 1st (Regional Champion)

160: Gavin Legg – 3rd

170: Mack McCune – 1st (Regional Champion)

195: Cochise Wanzer – 4th

Washington Post All-Mets

2nd Team: Conor Grammes

Swim and Dive:   The boys finished second, behind a powerful Langley team but ahead of both Yorktown and Madison (who beat them in the regular season).  The girls finished strong, missing out on a second place finish by one point.  Everyone swam/dove very well, but here are some highlights:

Senior Caroline McCleary earned a Conference championship in dive.  This is her third consecutive title.  Her score this year was again high enough to earn her All-American consideration. Junior Delaney Gallagher placed 3rd, and sophomore Hanna Farson placed 6th—personal bests for each girl.

Sophomore Bobby Trono finished 7th in an incredibly talented field (the top two divers had scores over 500—they are both nationally ranked).

Junior Chris Murphy won both of his events: the 100 free and the 100 backstroke.  He also set two new conference records. Sophomore Carter Flint won the 100 breaststroke, also setting a new conference record.

McLean had three boys in the top six finishers in the 100 breaststroke—in addition to Carter, freshman Sam Gollob and sophomore Timothy “Dorje” Wu.  All three of these young men have already qualified for the state championship in this event.

The following individuals also received recognition:

Washington Post All-Met:

Christopher Murphy: 2nd Team

Timothy Wu: Honorable Mention

Caroline McCleary: Honorable Mention

Sinead Eksteen: Honorable Mention

Veronica Wolf: Honorable Mention

Regional Qualifiers:

Sam Gollob

Peter Byman

Chris Murphy

Carter Flint

Andy Yang

Matt Grocock

Anno Kong

Dorje Wu

Emily Kong

Sinead Eksteen

Elena Summers

Christine McCulla

Liddy McCulla

Bethany Grocock

Julia LeMunyon

Claire Wolff

Veronica Wolff

Caroline McCleary

Delaney Gallagher

Hannah Farson

Bobby Trono

State Qualifiers:

Sam Gollob

Peter Byman

Chris Murphy

Carter Flint

Andy Yang

Matt Grocock

Anno Kong

Dorje Wu

Emily Kong

Sinead Eksteen

Elena Summers

Christine McCulla

Liddy McCulla

Julia LeMunyon

Claire Wolff

Veronica Wolff

Caroline McCleary

Delaney Gallagher

Girls Basketball: The girls basketball team had wins over Woodson, Stone Bridge, Marshall, Jefferson, Hayfield and Washington-Lee. The team was very young and will return several players in what should make for an exciting 2015-2016 season. The following individuals received recognition:

Jessica Monroe: 2nd Team All-Conference

Karynne Baker: All-Defensive Team

Boys Basketball: The boys basketball team had wins over Oakton, Stuart and Marshall this season. With several returning players coming back in the program, the future looks bright for the Highlanders.

The following individual received recognition:

Jack Ferguson: 2nd Team All Conference

Indoor Track: The indoor track team had a great season, with girls finishing second in the conference and boys finishing third.

The following individuals received special recognition for their events:

Conference champions:

Rose Castle – high jump

James Carver – high jump

Matt Ohlson – shot put

Regional Qualifiers:

Rose Castle – high jump

James Carver – high jump

Matt Ohlson – shot put

Stephan Min – 55

Chris Tan  – 55 hurdles

Jason Sprouls – 1000

Matt Burke – 1600, 3200

Chandler Ott  – pole vault

Alex Fan – pole vault

John Short – triple

Alex Klenk – triple

Korey Blodgett, Alex Pierce, Jason Sprouls, John Corvari – 4×800

Stephan Min, Morgan Gillis, Ryan Creeser, Andrew Park – 4×200

Kelly Oler – high jump

Michelle Vaccaro – 3200

Alisha Smith – high jump

Danielle Maynard – high jump, long jump, triple jump

Rose Castle – high jump, long jump, triple jump

Elise Koehl – shot put

Rose Saydahmat – shot put

Adair Maynard – 55 hurdles

Kelly Oler, Caitlin Pyne, Paige Harper, Caroline Watkins – 4×400

State Qualifiers:

James Carver – high jump

Matt Ohlson – shot put 

Dance Team:

At their first competition, they earned the following awards:

1st place – Pom Routine

1st place – Kick Routine

3rd place – Jazz Routine

4th place – Hip Hop routine

In addition, the following girls earned recognition for their duets and solos:

1st place – Open Solo – Mia Yi

2nd place – Jazz Duet – Sophie Mariam and Kaitlyn Merritt



1st and 2nd place – VHSL Public Forum Debate Group 6A North District (two teams placed)

1st and 4th place – VHSL Public Forum Debate Group 6A North Regional

3rd place – VHSL Public Forum Debate Group 6A North State

WACFL (Washington-Arlington Catholic Forensics League)

2nd place – Most Points/Wins in Public Forum Washington-Arlington Catholic Forensics League

They are sending one public forum debate team to WACFL Nationals in Ft. Lauderdale and two public forum debate teams to National Speech and Debate Association Nationals in Texas.


The McLean forensics team had three finalists advance to the state level. Sam Brumbaugh won 2nd place in Poetry and the team of Christophe Jelinksi and Jeffrey Nolan won 3rd place in Comedic Duo.

One Acts:

McLean had a great showing at Conference One-Acts, earning 3rd place in the Conference with their one-act version of “Almost, Maine.”

JV Debate takes first place, varsity receives second in Metrofinals


Posted on March 16, 2015 by

The McLean Debate team had another successful run in the Washington-Arlington Catholic Forensics League (WACFL) debate circuit this year, which covers the DC metro area and includes a number of private schools in DC (Sidwell, Gonzaga, School Without Walls, etc.) and Maryland schools. McLean won second place for most points and wins this year. At Metrofinals at Loudon County, McLean won first place for JV and second place for varsity. Sophomores Fatima Shahbaz and Jessica Boyer received the first place junior varsity award, and seniors Andrea Delgado and Heather Pincus received the second place varsity award. The varsity team will be heading to Nationals in Ft. Lauderdale over Memorial Day weekend.

Sophomores Jessica Boyer and Fatima Shahbaz received the first place junior varsity award.

Sophomores Fatima Shahbaz and Jessica Boyer received the first place junior varsity award.

Seniors Andrea Delgado and Heather Pincus received the second place varsity award.

Seniors Andrea Delgado and Heather Pincus received the second place varsity award.