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School Notes

To have an item listed, mail to the Gazette, 1604 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314; fax to 703-917-0991 or e-mail to gazette@connectionnewspapers.com. Deadline is Friday at noon for the following week’s paper. Photos and artwork encouraged. If you have any questions, call Marguerite Rogers at 703-917-6407.

<lst>Bishop Ireton High School, 201 Cambridge Road, will present "South Pacific" on Feb. 25, 26, and March 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m. and at 2 p.m. on Feb. 27. Admission is $5 in advance, $7, students and seniors, $8, adults at the door. Call 703-212-5177.

On Tuesday, Jan. 11, Alexandria Country Day School conducted its National Geographic Bee. The National Geographic Bee is a nationwide contest for schools in the United States and is open to students in grades four-eight who are not older than 15. The bee is a program of the National Geographic Society. The first-place prize of a $25,000 college scholarship is designed to encourage the teaching and study of geography. Seventh grade student Alex Lewis was the winner, and eighth grade student Gundars Buka was the runner-up. Alex now will take a qualifying test to compete in the state bee in Norfolk in April. The other contestants were: Ilkka Kovanen and Crawford Horan (fourth grade); Brendan Kiviat and Grace Garrahan (fifth grade); Josh Bak-Brevik and Ben Carroll (sixth grade); Jacko Post and Alex Lewis (seventh grade); and Gundars Buka and Parker Smith (eighth grade).

Nick Hester, a Pinehurst School 3rd grader and Alexandria resident, was the first place winner of the Weekly Reader inauguration essay contest. Nick won $100 and his teacher will receive a one-year subscription to Weekly Reader. His winning inauural address follows.

"My fellow Americans I can try to make the country better. I will try as hard as I can to make your dreams come true, but they have to be things that I can do. I will try to make your life more fun. Write me letters and I will try. I will try to win the war we are having now. I thank you for electing me. I will try to make your work better and your teachers better. I will make toys more fun to play with and other types of toys that you think are boring. I will make better tools to use for cars, trains, buses and airplanes. What you could do for your country is do a project, pick up trash, help collect food for the homeless, and other things you can think of. You could sing Christmas carols to elderly people at a shelter or some houses. I think you can do much more than I can do. I might be the president but that does not make a difference. I know that every one has a hero inside of them. If you be that hero then you might be president or a soldier in the Army.

You could also be anyone you want to be. Ypu don't have to be the president or a Soldier in the Army, you could be a firefighter, mail person, librarian, lawyer, teacher, Senator, and other people you would like to be. That is what I have to say to you."

Laura E. Thoman, an Alexandria resident and Coastal Carolina University student, earned President’s List status for the fall 2004 semester. To qualify for the President’s List, students must earn a 4.0 grade point average and be enrolled full time.

Rachel L. Compton, Robert Z. St.Clair, Douglas P. Magill, Catherine M. Mingee, and Jennifer R. Smith, all from Alexandria, earned Dean’s List status for the fall 2004 semester at Coastal Carolina University. To qualify for the Dean’s List, freshmen must earn a 3.25 grade point average and upperclassmen must earn a 3.5 grade point average and be enrolled full time.

During winter school break, 23 girls ages 10-14 from area Girl Power prevention programs gathered at the South County Human Services Building for three days of prevention education and Girl Power fun. They participated in workshops presented by the Mount Vernon District Police SAFE program, Fairfax County Victim's Assistance Network (VAN) and the Fairfax Falls Church Community Services Board Alcohol and Drug Services Youth Office. The girls also had opportunities made T-shirts and and learned Origami.

For more information about Girl power call Clara Marshall at the Fairfax Falls Church Community Services Board Prevention Unit at 703-704-6046.

Over the past weeks, in response to the tsunami disaster, Alexandria Country Day School students have rallied for the student council’s dress-down days. And so it is that recently, instead of hunter green or white shirts and khaki slacks or skirts, students were garbed in pajamas, jeans, T-shirts, pretty much anything they found comfortable — and suitable for the school day. Each paid at least $2 for the privilege, and, after two such dress-down days, the monies were totaled and arrangements were made for a visitor from UNICEF to attend an assembly.

On Thursday, Jan. 27, William Van Pelt, the manager for congressional relations and metro D.C. programs at UNICEF, presented a short video to the students depicting some of UNICEF's work throughout the world. After the video, Van Pelt showed the students some of the items that are purchased with the proceeds of fund-raisers, such as a package of high-nutrient crackers, about the size of a package of Ritz, that are designed to feed an entire family for a day, or an 8-1/2” x 11” piece of “slate” that serves as a blackboard and notebook for students just returning to school in countries affected by the tsunami.

Following the video, the members of the ACDS student council presented Van Pelt with a check representing the proceeds of their two fund-raisers, in the sum of $3,074.66.

Hayfield Secondary School Environmental Science teachers Eli Hyman and Patty Allison have been selected to receive one of the 2004 Johnie Forte, Jr. Memorial Grant Awards from the Clean Fairfax Council and the Fairfax County Department of Public Works Division of Solid Waste Collection and Recycling. The grant will cover the costs of conducting a recycling drive at Hayfield Secondary.

Twenty five students of Hayfield Secondary School teacher Arlene Jeszenszky’s Anatomy & Physiology class recently viewed a quadruple bypass heart surgery at Fairfax Inova Hospital, the only hospital in the country that allows high school students to do so. The students watched through the dome looking directly down at the operation. Monitors in the room allowed a view of the intricate maneuvers being carried out by the surgeons while a nurse explained each step and even passed around the equipment being used.

West Potamac High School is requesting parent volunteers and donations for the Senior Cruise All-Night Graduation Celebration. WPHS parents are entirely responsible for planning this event. This chaperoned, alcohol/drug-free event allows graduating seniors to celebrate safely in an all-the-fun-they-can-stand environment. This year's party will be held on June 23, 2005 at Dave and Busters in White Flint Mall, Maryland. For those who wish to volunteer, there are meetings in the school cafeteria on Feb. 16, March 16, April 20 and May 18 from 7-8 p.m. For those who wish to make a donation, make checks payable to: "WPHS All-Night Grad Celebration", 6500 Quander Road, Alexandria, VA, 22307. Call Beth Barrera at 703-360-6805, Susan Cambon at 703-799-0532, or Jerri Vlasho at 703-780-1952.

The Theatre II class of the Mount Vernon High School Drama Department has been invited to attend the Annual Folger Shakespeare Festival on Tuesday, March 15, for a full day of celebrating Shakespeare and his works. Schools are selected from hundreds of applications in the area and are invited to perform scenes or a 30-minute cut version of any of Shakespeare's plays.

Mt. Vernon High School drama students will perform the classic comedy, "A Midsummer Night's Dream," updated to contemporary times. The show will be directed by junior Amanda Jagusiak as her independent project for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program of testing. Her stage manager is fellow IB student Elisa Caballero.

The cast will include Chris Paulson, Billy Elmore, Sean Sheheen, Chris Peterson, Shelton Baker, Amanda Campbell, Desandra Kimbrough, Sean Barnes, Krista Gibbons, Danyell Chamble, Cordero Childess, Cecelia Perdomo, Nicholas Wagner, Dar Richards, Alexandria Filmore, Greg Hanek, Denise Diggs, Nakia Felton, Shante Young, and Brittany Valcin. Katie Bariola, Jeff Pearson and Emily Witucki will comprise the technical staff.

Bush Hill Elementary School and Community are turning

50 years old in the spring. To commemorate the anniversary, there will be a re-dedication of the school with a brick memory walkway. A collage reflecting its history and heritage will be created. Members of the community who have lived in the Bush Hill Community or have attended Bush Hill Elementary School in the past are being asked to send their favorite moments of Bush Hill. Enclose a color copy of photos or other memorabilia. Include name and address on the back of items if they need to be returned. Mail memories to: 5927 Westchester Street, Alexandria, VA 22310

Fairfax County Public Library is offering live homework assistance for students in grades four through early college. The service, online at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library, will be available from 2-10 p.m. seven days a week. The service features live tutors who can help students with math, science, social studies and English.

The Guiding Our Children Home Alliance invites the general public and home schoolers to bring and play games at the Sherwood Hall Library the second Tuesday of every month from 3:30-5 p.m. The Sherwood Hall Library is located at 2501 Sherwood Hall Lane, Alexandria.