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West Springfield High School (Virginia)

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Subject: Burke, Virginia, Spartan, Patrick G. Forrester, Brian Carroll, Fairfax County Public Schools, Robinson Secondary School, List of high schools in Virginia, Kara Lawson, Lake Braddock Secondary School, South County Secondary School
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West Springfield High School (Virginia)

Coordinates: 38°47′15.16″N 77°14′22.34″W / 38.7875444°N 77.2395389°W / 38.7875444; -77.2395389

West Springfield High School
150px
Address
6100 Rolling Road
Springfield, Virginia 22152
Information
School type Public, high school
Founded 1966
School district Fairfax County Public Schools
Principal Mark Greenfelder
Staff approximately 220
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 2,258  (2009)
Language English
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Blue and orange
Mascot The Spartan
Feeder schools Washington Irving Middle School
Lake Braddock Secondary School
Rival schools Lake Braddock Secondary School
Robinson Secondary School
South County Secondary School
Robert E. Lee High School
Athletic conferences Patriot District
Northern Region
Website

West Springfield High School is a public high school located in Springfield in Fairfax County, Virginia, at 6100 Rolling Road, and is part of the Fairfax County Public Schools system. West Springfield (often referred to as WSHS) enrolls students from grades 9–12, offers the Advanced Placement program and currently enrolls over 2,200 students.

History

The school opened in 1966. A planetarium was added in 1967. A school renovation was completed in 1991, which included the construction of new classrooms in a courtyard and remodeling the library, Auditorium, Spartan Hall, and the Career Center. The first principal was S. John Davis, who subsequently became Fairfax Superintendent of Schools and served as Virginia state Superintendent.

Publications

The school has three student-run publications, whose names appropriately are in keeping with the Spartan mascot: The Oracle, The Olympian and The Symposium. The Oracle, the school's newspaper, has won countless national, state and local awards for outstanding reporting, writing and layout. In fact, this student-run newspaper was second in the nation in 2001 for its reporting on an administration attempt to encourage students to forge their parents' names on a Federal Government form that determines budgetary allotments. The Olympian, the school's yearbook, consistently wins scholastic journalism awards as well, along with The Symposium, the school's literary magazine.

Layout

The school is laid out on two stories with the library, planetarium, administration offices and cafeteria in front and auditorium and gymnasiums in the back. The school shares a layout with Herndon High School, located in the western part of the county and Oakton High School, located in the central part of the county.

SOAR

Because West Springfield High School is the oldest Fairfax County Public School that has not been renovated,[1] complaints have been raised about the condition of the school's facilities, including its heating and cooling, as well as its computer network. SOAR (Spartans Organized for Action on Renovation) is an organization formed with the purpose of reconciling the issues.[2] The renovation process has been slow and sources say that it could take until 2022 to start renovations.[3]

Demographics

For the 2011–12 school year, West Springfield High School's student body was 60.49% White, 15.28% Asian, 14.09% Hispanic, 6.50% Black and 3.64% Other.[4]

Athletics

WSHS participates in a wide variety of high school sports. West Springfield's school mascot is a Spartan soldier and school colors are orange and blue.

The school competes in the Patriot District which is in the AAA Northern Region of the Virginia High School League. Major rivals have traditionally been Lake Braddock, T. C. Williams, and Lee, based on their geographic proximity. Top ranked WSHS athletic programs include its boys and girls soccer teams, girls basketball team, girls softball team, boys baseball team, and boys and girls cross country teams.

Alumni of note include Jeremy Kapinos (punter for the Pittsburgh Steelers), James Dexter (former NFL offensive lineman with the Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals), Kara Lawson (Guard for University of Tennessee and Guard for WNBA Sacramento Monarchs), Ryan Speier (Baseball pitched for the Washington Nationals), Joe Saunders (Baseball pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles), Brian Carroll who plays for the Philadelphia Union, and Jeff Carroll who played for D.C. United.

Varsity Softball

Under Coach Robert Benton, the Varsity Softball Team won the AAA State Softball title in 1983, defeating Lee-Davis High School of Mechanicsville 3-1.

Debate and Forensics

The Forensics Team won its first Group AAA crown in 2006 under coach MaryLove Wynne. Forensics won again in 2009 under coach Elizabeth Reeves. Debate also won the Group AAA in 2009 under coach Patricia Hagy, the first win since 1969. The Deliees' continue to coach Forensics. The new coach of Debate installed this year is Michael Dutcher, former Director of Debate at The Catholic University of America. Students from both Forensics and Debate compete in the Washington Arlington Catholic Forensics League (WACFL) tournaments in the Diocese of Arlington. Students also compete in invitational tournaments at universities along the East Coast, including Yale University, St. Joseph's University, and George Mason University, where WSHS has produced many finalists.

Varsity baseball

The Spartan baseball team, coached for 26 years (1974–2000) by Ron E. Tugwell (father of Philadelphia Phillies 3B prospect Marc S. Tugwell), has won:

3 Virginia AAA State Championships (1991,1998 & 2010)
9 Northern Region Titles (1983, 1985, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1998, 2009, 2010, 2012)
12 District Championships (1974, 1975, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1992, 1994, 1997, 1998, 2005)

Current Spartan baseball coach, Jason Olms (2012)

1 Virginia AAA State Championships (2010)
3 Northern Region Titles (2009, 2010 & 2012 )
2 District Championships (2009 & 2010)

The Spartan Baseball motto is "Furnulum pani nolo" (From Season to Season, the Tradition Continues.) Former head baseball Coach John James lead the Spartans since the 2005 season (till 2011'), in which the Spartans won the Patriot District Title, defeating the Lake Braddock Bruins 4–2. In 2009 the Spartans were crowned district and regional champions, and compiled a record of 23–5, and going undefeated in the northern region. Coach James won the Northern Region again and also won his 1st Virginia AAA State Championship with a 24–4 record in 2010 defeating the then undefeated Woodbridge High School who finished (27–1). Coach James is assisted by Jason Olms (Outfield/Hitting Coach), Tim Alley (Infield/Hitting Coach), Julio Rivas (Pitching Coach), John Batchelor (Head JV & Catching Coach), Joey Tinsley (Asst Coach JV), Matt Thorn (JV Pitching Coach) and Spencer Askin (JV Outfield and Baserunning Coach).

Varsity football

The 1978 West Springfield Spartan varsity football team won the Northern District Championship with a regular season record of 10–0. The Spartans lost in the regional playoffs to James Madison High School.

The 1980 West Springfield Spartan varsity football team went to the Virginia AAA State Championship Game, losing to the Hampton Crabbers. The game was played at W.T.Woodson High in Fairfax, VA.

The 93–94 West Springfield Spartan varsity football team won the Northern District Championship with an undefeated run through the district schedule. The Spartans defeated crosstown rival Lake Braddock SS twice during the season and were the only team to score a touchdown on the Bruins the entire year. West Springfield beat Lake Braddock 24–7 during the regular season and 41–14 in the first round of the regional playoffs. The Spartans would fall to the eventual state champs from Annandale High School in the Northern Region Championship game.

The 06-07 West Springfield Spartan varsity football team holds the Virginia State High School Football record for most combined points for two teams in a single game with West Potomac High School. The West Potomac Wolverines won the game 81–74 in 4 overtimes. The Spartans' losing score of 74 has the notorious distinction of being the highest score by a losing team in the history of high school, college, or professional football. [5]

The 07-08 West Springfield varsity football team (10–3) won the Patriot District Championship for the first time since 1994, but went on to lose in the Northern Region Final against the would-be 15–0 State Champion Westfield Bulldogs.

The 08-09 West Springfield Spartan varsity football team (10–3) won the Patriot District championship for the second year in a row. They lost two games into the playoffs to undefeated Oakton High school.

The 09-10 West Springfield Spartan varsity football team (4–6) did not win the Patriot District championship. After the 08–09 season, head coach Bill Renner retired, to be replaced by JT Biddison, who formerly coached at Marshall High School.

Varsity wrestling

The West Springfield Spartan wrestling team has claimed three individual state champions; 1982, 1988, and 1990.

Varsity basketball

Dave Koesters, Class of 1974, under coach Don McCool, led the basketball to its only state championship games after winning district and regional championships: 1972, 1973 and in 1974. The 1972 team was the first Fairfax County team to get to the state basketball final. It lost the 1972 state final to Hopewell by a score of 63–55. It lost the 1974 state final to Petersburg High School by a score of 50–48. The Petersburg team featured future NBA Hall of Famer Moses Malone. Koesters went on to play basketball at the University of Virginia.[6]

In 2009 and 2010 the Lady Spartans basketball team won districts and made it to the final four at states before getting defeated. In 2009 the Lady Spartans lost five players including one player who went off to play college basketball, Melanie Todd. She made a big impact in the post. Melanie went off to continue her basketball career at Lincoln Memorial University in 2010, then transferred to Indiana University of Pennsylvania to play in 2011. In 2010 the ladies also won regionals by defeating their biggest competitors in regional semi-finals, Oakton, who they had lost to last year at regionals. They finished with the record 28–3 in 2010. They only had one senior go off to play in college and that was their starting post player Nora Osei, who went off to play basketball at Eastern Mennonite University. She had a huge impact on the team. For the 2011 season, the Lady Spartans will be losing four starting seniors and of those two, Logan Battle has committed to Georgetown University and April Robinson has committed to Duquesne University.

Dance Team

The West Springfield dance team or otherwise known as WSDT, has numerous titles under their belts. They are 3 time consecutive NDA National Champions. 2010 Medium Varsity Hip-Hop, 2011 Large Varsity Hip Hop and 2012 Large varsity. It is coached by notorious Tara Perez and Jason King, whose memorable and sometimes dark Hip Hop routines make them a well known Hip Hop choreographing duo in the dance world. From 2000 to 2010 the team has won 1st place in Hip-Hop at every local competition as well as numerous choreography awards. In the America's Got Talent YouTube auditions, WSDT qualified as one of the top 12 acts, earning them a spot to compete on the show with the other 11 acts. After the in-show YouTube round, WSDT was eliminated in the judge's choice over choosing favors of 14-year-old dancer Beth Ann Robinson. However, Sharon Osbourne selected WSDT as her wildcard choice, giving them a second chance to qualify. In the wild card performance, both Howie and Piers didn't respond favorably to their routine except for Sharon. During the results show they passed through to the semifinals over BMX-Stunt Bikers Yellow Designs Stunt Team and singer/musician Shevonne. In the semifinals, they again compete against 11 acts for a place in the Final 10. In the results show, they were in the judge's choice again. With the decisions that the judges made, both Howie Mandel and Piers Morgan chose WSDT and they advanced to the Final 10 over 20-year-old singer/pianist Daniel Joseph Baker. In the Top 10, they compete against the other nine acts. As they performed in the Top 10, judges did not respond favorably to their performance as Piers Morgan gave them an X. In the results show, they were finally eliminated.

Cheerleading

The Spartan Cheerleading squad won the AAA state title in 2003 under the direction of Rita Robinson and Betsy Fawsett. They also won the Patriot District Cheerleading Competition in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009,2010, 2011 and 2012 beating out a major rival, the Lake Braddock Bruins. The Spartans are the only team in the state to have held their district title of "Most Cheer-Leadingest in All of the Cheer" for five straight years. Many WSHS Cheerleader alumni have gone on to cheer at colleges including Clemson University, Oklahoma State University, NC State University, University of Virginia, Hampton University, Marshall University, Old Dominion University, The College of William and Mary, Radford University, Ithaca College, Gardner Webb University, Lenoir Rhyne College and Ohio University.

Cross Country/Track & Field

The West Springfield Boys Track team has seen AAA State Championships in 1996 for both Indoor and Outdoor and Indoor in 1998. In 1997 the team of Sharif Karie, Pat Conway, Kevin Houser, Doug McMillan, and Wayne Switzer took home The Penn Relays Championship of America in the 4x800m Relay. At the time Karie's split of 1:50 was a carnival record. Karie won the 1997 National Championship in the mile against future US Olympians John Riley and Gabe Jennings. With the win Karie won Gatorade National Track and Field Athlete of the Year. The following year West Springfield set a national record in 1998 in the distance medley relay with a time of 10:10.30, breaking a record that stood for over 15 years with Pat Conway, Peter Lukens, Matt Scherrer, and Doug McMillan. For the first time in recent history, the West Springfield boys team took home the indoor track Patriot District Championship in 2007. The Girls 4x800m relay consisting of Maddie Wittich, Alexandra Watt, Anna Barber and Paige Kvartunas took the State Outdoor Championship in 2010, setting the Virginia State Meet Record. At Outdoor Nationals, they set the record for the entire State of Virginia. In 2003, Steven Tobin won state's for cross country with a time of 15:47.[7] Earlier in 2003, the indoor track team won 2 gold medals at Nike Indoor Nationals. Tobin along with seniors John Cook, Joe McMahon and Jeff Day, would win the boys Distance Medley Relay with a time of 10:22.15. The following day, the all-senior team of Cook, Tim Kwak, McMahon and Day would win the boys 4x800 relay, with a meet record time of 7:50.25.[8] Notable coach(es) in the past for Track were Phill Saunders, Ray Yuzon, Mark Statz, Daniel Drickey, Kelli Shackleton Yuzon, and Don Holloway. For Cross Country Vic Kelbaugh, Duke Baird, and Chris Pellegrini, all of whom coached multiple state champions in track and field and bringing Patriot District, Northern Regional, and All-State honors to the boys and girls cross-country and track teams over the past 30 years.

Swim & Dive

The West Springfield Swim and Dive teams has won AAA State Championships in 1994 and 1995. Most recently the girls got fifth place in 2010, the boys got 35th.

Crew

The WSHS crew team was established in 1981. The team primarily owns sweep style eights and fours. Previously the team owned a quad, as well as some smaller boats, but they have since been sold and WSHS crew no longer sculls.

In 2008, the men's freshman 8 was awarded the bronze medal at VASRA States, and continued through to compete in Nationals. At nationals, they were the fastest freshman men's 8 out of all of the public school competitors. The same year, the women's varsity eight also qualified for Nationals.

In 2009, the women's freshman 8 got 7th in the state, but with a disqualification of a higher ranking boat, was awarded a place to compete in Nationals.

In 2010, the men's junior eight won the silver medal at VASRA States and qualified to compete in Nationals. Both the women's lightweight four and women's varsity four won second place at states and qualified for Nationals. The women's second four won third place at states.

In 2011, the women's lightweight four won third place at states, qualifying them to compete in nationals. The Men's Varsity eight came in 9th place at State and competed in nationals

Music

The Wind Symphony has, under the baton of Laurence J. Einus, Jr., received less than consistent ratings of "Superior" at band festivals in previous years, and the Symphonic and Concert bands, while playing lower grade pieces, continued to receive "Superior" ratings. However, in 2012, both the Wind Symphony and the Concert Bands received "Superior" ratings with the Wind Symphony competing in Grade 6, the highest grade possible in Virginia. The Jazz band has received "Superior" ratings in all of their recent competitions, and received several awards during their last spring trip. The school's marching band, the Marching Spartans, has won multiple USSBA Group 5 (A and Open classes) championships, and are Virginia champions and All-States champions. The band earned its sixth Honor Band title in 2012.

The Symphonic Orchestra, under the new direction of Mrs. Jennifer Herrera, played as an honor orchestra in the 2005 Virginia Music Educator's Association. There is also a Concert Orchestra, an orchestra below the level of the Symphonic Orchestra. A third orchestra is the Chamber Orchestra, a level above the Symphonic Orchestra, which was established in the 2008 school year for the elite players.

WSHS has a Guitar program, with school-provided guitars for students to use. Their Jazz Guitar Combo is one of few high school groups of its kind in the region. They receive consistent ratings of "Superior," as does the Advanced Guitar Ensemble and Guitar Ensemble. The current director is Mr. Keith Owens. The Guitar Program is currently the largest music department in terms of population, with their 5 different levels of difficulty. Many freshman begin with Guitar 1 to learn the basics of the guitar, with many going on to Guitar 2, and many still go on to other ensembles. Members of the guitar program frequently show off their talents in West Springfield's Battle of the Bands, which every year proves to be phenomenal.

The choral program at WSHS features five classes, four of which require auditions. Concert Choir is an unauditioned mixed choir. The four audition choirs are Bel Canto, Madrigals, Personality, and Musical Theatre. Bel Canto is an all-women's choir that sometimes sings a cappella. Madrigals is a mixed a cappella choir, and the most musically proficient choir. Personality, a mixed show choir, briefly became an all-female show choir from 2010–2013 due to lack of male interest, but has become a mixed show choir once again for the 2013-2014 school year. Musical Theatre, offered for the first time in the 2009–2010 school year, is a mixed ensemble which performs songs from musicals, usually medleys, in addition to performing and critiquing solo songs during class. The all-women's show choir, Pizazz, was disbanded at the end of 2007, despite its numerous awards, due to lack of interest.

At competitions, the Choral Department has received many awards and recognitions, as well as many "Superior" ratings over the past several years. All choral classes were taught by Michael Dombrow from Fall 2002 through Spring 2008, and all show choir performances were choreographed by John Gonzalez during this time. Choral director Erin Huss became the new chorus teacher in the 2008–09 school year and retired at the end of the 2012 school year to be replaced by Dustin Brandt. Personality's dances are often choreographed by student directors with dance experience and are revised by the choir director. Huss founded the musical theatre class because of her experience in the area and choreographs all dances.

Theatre

The West Springfield Theatre Department has taken part in the Cappies Critics program since it began in 2002. The department is known for its high quality shows that have garnered many positive reviews.[9] In 2013, West Springfield's production of "The Diary of Anne Frank" received a Cappie for Best Lead Actress in a Play (Catherine Ariale); and in the same year, won the VHSL state one-act competition for its show "The Other Room." In 2011, West Springfield's production of "Seussical" received a nomination for Best Male Vocalist (Rick Leith). In 2010, "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe" won a Cappie for Best Make-up.[10] Kelsey Rose was also nominated for Creativity for composing music and Megan Fraedrich was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a play.[11] In 2009, West Springfield was nominated for Best Costumes, Best Stage Crew, and Best Lead Actress in a Musical (Erin Cafferky) for "Annie Get Your Gun".[12] In 2008, Sara Meinhofer won a Cappie for Best Choreography for "The Music Man."[13] In addition, the school was nominated for Best Sound, Best Sets, Best Stage Crew, Best Orchestra, Best Ensemble in a Musical, and Best Lead Actress in a Musical (Sara Meinhofer).[14]

Notable alumni

  • Brian Carroll (Class of 2000), professional soccer player
  • Patrick G. Forrester (class of 1975), astronaut
  • Kara Lawson Lawson (class of 1999) Profession Basketball player, Gold Medalist 2008 Olympics
  • Paul Lazurus (class of 1972), director
  • Bryn Renner (class of 2009), college football player
  • Joe Saunders (Class of 1999), professional baseball player
  • Mike Caussin (class of 2005), Buffalo Bills

References

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