Category Archives: Uncategorized

What’s in Site for the C.I.T.E

Ian Lynch ’17

Bishop McNamara is on the road to new beginnings through technology and creativity. The maker space idea has now taken its first steps in the McNamara community, with the new C.I.T.E lab, introduced by Mr. Buckley in August 2016. The idea for the C.I.T.E lab has been around for a few years and is now on the rise. Drawing inspiration from the maker movement, it is a space that lets you explore your horizon of innovative ideas.
Gabby Oglesby ’17 said “The cite lab is a place that lets students express their creativity through innovative learning activities such as the use of 3D printers and mine craft.” Students are encouraged to make use of the C.I.T.E lab when given projects and assignments from a teacher. There are many fascinating materials and machinery inside of the maker space where you can bring your ideas to life through things such as modelling clay, markers, 3D printing, mine craft, and the new Raspberry Pi microcomputer which is physical computing technology. Mr. Buckley has personal workshops that students are able to attend and gain more knowledge of the gadgets and electronics. He also advises a Making Club and hopes to spark interest in a Girls Coding Club for next year.
Many students throughout Bishop McNamara are not aware of all the lab has to offer and the help that it provides. (Give a quote from someone here.) Steps are being taken to promote the CITE Lab for increased use by teachers and students alike next year.
The C.I.T.E lab holds a lot for the future. Creativity is sky rocketing through the roof with new inventions and ideas. Well what exactly does the future for the C.I.T.E lab look like? According to Mr. Buckley “Next year we are starting a making lab where students are dedicated to being in here and in the future with the La Reine Science Center and its further expansion we hope to put a making lab there as well.” Mr. Buckley is starting his own class called “Making Lab: Create Hack Play” to introduce new ideas to students in a more physical and interactive way. He also encourages teachers to get more involved with projects and assignments where students have to use the making lab for things like twitter bots, Minecraft, etc. We are looking towards a bright future in technology, trying to introduce new gadgets in the making lab such as laser cutters. A world of creativity and brilliance is in store for McNamara!

 

Dr. Van Der Waag Steps Down

By Jabari Ferrell ’17

You’ve listened, you heard, and now it is happening. Our very own Bishop McNamara High School Principal Dr. Robert Van der Waag is stepping down as principal of the school to return to the classroom. Dr. Van Der Waag has been a part of the Bishop McNamara community since 2011. He was given the title Principal at the end of the 2012-2013 school year. The 2013-2014 school year was his first academic year as principal of the school. He is considered a strong representative of our school community.
When asked “why the switch”,rather than a long pause he instead answered without hesitation. His biggest reason that he gave for the switch back into the classroom is time .
“Time is the biggest thing, and finding a balance between life and work” said Van der Waag. Being newly married a month and a half before taken the position of Principal was tough but he says his wife helped make the process easier. He believes that his four years of service was a great foundation to help McNamara acclimated and evolve into the new ways of life. Now it is time to strengthen his life and relationships outside of work, especially with his wife.
The challenges that McNamara faces with this switch coming about, is finding someone who can step up and be just as great as Dr. Van de Waag was, if not better. Dr. Van de Waag’s greatest achievements as principal at McNamara were hiring more than 50 outstanding educators, helping write the graduate profile, and creating the school code. All of these things to him are his greatest achievements because they all are things that will live on longer than him within the school community.
These educators that he put in place will give students quality education that will help them reach higher education after graduating high school. The graduate profile gives students the confidence in their academic excellence and achievements at McNamara prior to graduation. The school code was written to give basic structure and establishment of what the BMHS community is all about.
Dr. Van der Waag and all his great accomplishments of principal for the past four years will always send McNamara to a higher place. When the Class of 2017 stepped foot into McNamara it was his first year, and now they are graduating and he is heading back into the classroom. Dr. Van der Waag says that to him, “The Class of 2017 has definitely had an impact on him in the past four years of serving as principal”. He feels that they are graduating together, they are going onto higher education and he is going onto better himself as well. He has seen them and watched them grow, and achieve everything we have set ourselves to do inside and outside of McNamara.
Dr. Robert Van der Waag was a great principal and he really has made a great impact on the school. His position of principal during this years will never been forgotten. He will still be seen around the McNamara community. The new principal, Dr. Traylor will definitely fulfill the duties and take the school to even a better place, and Dr. Van der Waag has made sure this will happen. Dr. Van der Waag will be missed as principal of Bishop McNamara and even though he will not be in office he will still have significant impact on the community.

Signing Day

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Stampede athletes announce college athletic decisions.

By Noah Whitaker ’18

First off the Stampede would like to congratulate all McNamara signees and any signees across the nation for getting into college for more than athletics. Not only did it take hard work, but  it took blood, sweat, and tears.

National Signing Day is an event that occurs on the first Wednesday of February. It is the first day in which the NCAA allows athletes to sign the National Letter of Intent to play in college. Usually football players get all the buzz, but the other athletes should get just as much praise for getting a scholarship to go to college. There is another signing day in April for athletes who play spring sports like lacrosse, track and field, baseball, etc.

People were anxious to see where two of the biggest athletes at McNamara , Braedon Domino and Wes Bowers were going to sign. Many people had predictions for where they were going. There was a feeling of unease in the gym because you did not know where those two would sign. Domino and Bowers were the only ones that had not signed prior to the event. When it was their turn to sign it would be a sense of excitement, all those anxious feelings out the door.

There was a huge turnout for the ceremony, a shockingly large amount of people. Not saying that there was an expectancy of nobody or not that many people to come but it was like every coach, parent, friend of the athlete, family member, teacher, McNamara student and alumni from McNamara was in the gym. You would think a basketball game was happening during the middle of the day. It was a great atmosphere overall. Also a great feeling was in the air, the whole McNamara community was there to celebrate the hard work of the 15 athletes who signed.

When each athlete was giving their speech there was a loud applause for each athlete. Congratulating them on their hard work. Each athlete thanked God, their coaches, and family. They wanted to give thanks back to the ones help them to get to this point. Also each athlete had their own story, and all the stories were inspirational.

In the end the ceremony turned out to be a successful event. 15 athletes were signing to further their academic and athletic career in college. The stories of each athlete was moving and inspirational to those who play sports. Each got a scholarship to help ease the finances on their parents.

On behalf of the McNamara community we would like to congratulate the athletes: Taylor Wilson (University of Maryland), Maceo Campbell (Longwood University), Nick Washington (Harford Community College), Tim Hanible (Delaware State University), Jamir Moultrie (LaSalle University), Anissa Mose (University of Maryland), Keith Sherald Jr. (Kent State University), Justin Burns (Stony Brook University), Mark Murphy (Bowie State University), Raina Cooper (University of Alabama at Birmingham), Kyara Frames (University at Albany), Imani Bey (Virginia Military Institute), Micah Dixon (Mount Saint Mary’s University), Wes Bowers (Georgetown University) and Braedon Domino (Air Force Academy). Unfortunately Xavier Williams could not make the ceremony but he had committed to Kent State University.

The McNamara community looks forward to celebrating the spring sports signees and future McNamara athletes in college. Lastly the McNamara community also wants to wish the best of luck to our Mustang athletes in college.

Seniors Share Research on Asia

By Wesley Bowers ’17, editor-in-chief

On February 23 Mr. Pozniak held his annual Asian Symposium in the school’s Library. The Asian Symposium is when his senior students choose a projects from a South East Asia country.  

I asked some of the participants how they felt about the project and if it was beneficial. Justin Johnson ‘17 said “ I would do this project again it was very beneficial I believe that it was great opportunity to learn what I wanted to know about the world and I had fun doing it”.

The Symposium gives an opportunity for the students to be a master of a topic and teach the class what they know.

Jahlani Jackson class of 2017 “I felt good about the project, I do believe it’s beneficial. It benefited the mass so I was a teacher I had the opportunity to learn and teach. It was fun and I like public speaking”

The Freshman Experience

By Zane Mosby ‘20, Staff Writer

With so much information on the do’s and don’ts given to incoming freshmen, it can be hard to figure out what is most important. What should the freshmen class of 2020 to know as they begin their time at BMHS?

Mr. Brian Brower, Dean of Programs said that it may seem small, but hanging out in the freshman hallway is a major thing you should not do!

People are trying to navigate a congested space in a small amount of time so it is important to be respectful of others and “keep it movin.” When asked what some of the most common mistakes are that students make he said becoming over confident is a major one.

“It is important to be confident of course but humility is also important,” he said.

In the end he offered the most important piece of advice, “If you need help, just ask! There are plenty of resources available at the school from your teachers, to guidance department to the St. Joseph’s Center. Be sure to ask for help if you need it.”

For a student’s perspective, senior Kristen Franklin, class of 2017 was interviewed. Looking back, is there one thing that you wish you had known then that you know now? She said, “the small stuff, and the drama is not important and doesn’t matter. It may seem important at the time but ultimately it is not.”

She confided that she would have taken academics more seriously and offered the following advice to underclassmen: “Take a lot of pictures because the time goes by quickly!”

 

Mac Comes Back

Alumni return to play vital roles in the McNamara community.

By Jaylen Strong ‘17, Staff Writer

A former police officer and a future pro-wrestler are both working alumni here at McNamara and are proving the unofficial theory that Mac indeed comes back! After four long strenuous academic years every student to graduate from McNamara was ready to dart across the stage at the Shrine. As students of McNamara this duo were both filled with anticipation to graduate from their now alma mater and workplace.

Mr. Gloster ’96 and Mr. Southworth ’05 are both important members of the admissions office and they also have the pleasure to teach in the History and English department.

Gloster and Southworth returned to McNamara in a similar manner. When asked how, they said, “Dr. Clark called…” So if you ever want to return to McNamara as a teacher keep your phone close and Dr. Clark or Dr. Van der Waag’s numbers in your favorites! The two also acknowledged that a lot… has changed in the school since they were students. Gloster said that there are much more students and the Holy Cross identity is more prevalent in the community. Southworth adds that the campus is definitely upgrading and the applicants are increasingly diverse with enrollments from a variety of schools.  

They also had the time to recollect on some of their favorite memories, the two were both stumped and reminiscent of their old memories that they had to recall. Gloster remembers, “Mr. Turner would throw our books out of the window whenever we were off task and we would have to go get them from outside.” He also talked about how his now department colleague, Mr. Williams was always a great teacher and role model.

Southworth spoke of a memory of his physics class with Mr. Green. He remembers in physics there were strong industrial magnets for experiments and how a friend of his, David Rohan had a fun experience with the magnets. Southworth said, “David was playing around with the magnets and he gets the magnets stuck in his mouth and we had to get Mr. Green to get it out.

The fun times at Mac seem to be lifelong stories that will never be forgotten because of the connection that they have to the school. Though they are currently employed here there still exist the possibility that they could have landed different careers. When asked if they were not working here where they would be the pair had surprising answers. Gloster said he would most likely still be a police officer. Southworth said that there is a possibility that he would pursue a WWE pro-wrestling career in the future. Southworth explains his love for the sport and we come to the conclusion that his finishing move would be “Saturday Detention.” Whether they would be fighting crime or other wrestlers with insubordinate behavior, for right now they are here at their alma mater being active in the community and truly giving back to Mac.   

Senior Elected Youth Mayor of D.C.


Davona Johnson ‘17 collaborates with city mayor, advocates for local youth

By Jabari Ferrell ‘17

Staff Writer

One of our very own students, Davona Johnson, strived for and now holds the position of the Youth Mayor of Washington, DC.  Davona Johnson is a senior here at Bishop McNamara in our graduating Class of 2017.  She is involved in many different clubs and activities. She hopes to soon obtain a career in African American Studies.

Davona is involved in the Youth Government of the District of the Columbia and she has been part of the program since 2015. The duties of being Youth Mayor of the District of Columbia are to represent the youth of Washington DC. She reaches out to them by doing community services projects and activities around the city, asking them what their concerns are and making an initiative to take action.

In order to make things work, Davona has developed a schedule to keep her on task.

“I first do all of my school work because education is key,” she said. “And everything else then follows.” She prioritizes and gets things done promptly, and with all her hard work behind it, it is organized and informational.

She has meetings every Monday and Tuesday as the youth mayor of DC and very seldom throughout the rest of the week. The only other days that she holds meetings are on the days where she has to speak on behalf of the youth of Washington, DC in front of higher authorities.

Davona has a plan in action to get kids in Washington, DC to achieve great success like herself. She works hand and hand with mayor Muriel Bowser and together they set out to make DC stronger than what it already is today. Her plan is to make changes in the city through not only education, but also more after school programs.

Davona would like for education to be equal through every part of the District of Columbia including some students from Bishop McNamara. She feels that it does not matter if the school is private or public, education still should remain equal.

Her hope is to bring back the arts into the schools and let them be once again recognized so that children can express themselves differently, and give the youth an exposure to these necessities of expressing themselves and becoming successful. She also would like to do more outreach in the communities between students and law enforcement.

Davona said, “Trust needs to bring back into the communities because at the end of the day all we have is each other.” Davona is a strong, devoted young woman who cares a lot about her city and the people around her community.

She has committed to this position and she will do her best to fulfill her duties. Davona says that everything will be done through her strength in God.

St. Joseph’s teacher plans to create special education program

Tenia Jordan ’16
Staff Writer
@JordantTenia

When St. Joseph’s Teacher Elaine Greene thinks of McNamara’s expansion, she sees an opportunity to serve more students with learning disabilities.

“The students always had a special place in my heart,” Greene said.

She’s creating a new program, the Saint Andre Academy, separate from the St. Joseph’s program. The difference between the St. Joseph’s program and the new academy is this is for students with learning disabilities, such as autism, while the St. Joseph’s program is for students with learning differences.

The program has been approved and supported by McNamara’s administration and the Archdiocese of Washington. The only similar school in the archdiocese is Catholic Coalition for Special Education, which is also assisting Greene in her efforts of the new school.

“I decided to start this program when I found out that there were families in the Archdiocese of Washington and they were being turned away,” Greene said. “So students didn’t have anywhere to go to school.”

The Archdiocese of Washington was unable to provide the number of families that couldn’t attend Catholic high schools because a lack of training to teach children with learning disabilities.

Greene wants to have an environment where students with disabilities who are capable of being in a school environment can learn, as well as interact with students outside of the program.

“The students will be included in any classes they can manage, specifically fine arts, gym, lunch periods, school masses, clubs and athletics,” she said.

Greene wants to keep all the students involved and help get them get into college at schools that will accept them.

“I want to promote all types of programs and colleges,” she said.

The program was named after Brother Andre, who was a member of the Congregation of Holy Cross in Canada and fostered devotion to Saint Joseph, caring for the sick and afflicted.

Freshman Perspective: McNamara already feels like home

By Varonika Ware
Staff Writer
@VaronikaW

Knowing too many people seems to be my main problem now that I’m at McNamara. In the beginning of my shadow day I was shy and didn’t think anyone would speak to me because many people called me “unapproachable” in the past. But at McNamara it just seemed different and I didn’t feel the need to be shy anymore. I found that I didn’t have to force myself into getting to know others because people genuinely wanted to know me.

To say that I didn’t already feel at home here would be a lie. It’s nice to be surrounded by people who treat me like family despite not being related by blood and I felt that connection during my shadow day as I watched how the students at McNamara interacted with one another. As a middle schooler at that time I didn’t understand how all these people could be so connected and now that I am a student at McNamara I finally understand.

I hadn’t met a lot of people in the summer during track practices while most of my friends from my old school who also attend McNamara had and I felt left out. Things turned around during freshmen week (freshman orientation, retreat and seminar). I had connected with people who were experiencing the same feelings as me coming into high school. I didn’t feel alone by feeling nervous or shy because so many other students felt the same way and it was easy to get to know my classmates. As soon as I got to school I was surprised that so many people welcomed me and remembered me from freshmen week. I had built a bond with more people than I thought I would and it excited me. I had no problem talking to new people (mostly freshmen) because I felt comfortable around my new family and it’s made me a more outgoing person.

For example, my new best friend, Drake and I had originally met in track. However, we weren’t close at the time until school had started. I asked for his name before giving my own. Our bond grows more and more every day mostly because we have classes together but also because we have common interests. Not long after I met him we became best friends. It wasn’t hard to talk to him and become closer because I knew he was family already.

Now I feel like I’ve been in school for months yet it’s only been a few weeks. It seems like I’ve been friends with some people for years when I’ve only known them for a short time. It’s been an amazing start to freshman year and it can only get better.

Poetry Club Speaks Their Truth

Amber Smith ‘15 | Staff Writer |

 

Roses are red, violets are blue, two snaps for poetry club speaking their truth. “Untitled,” a simple yet cool name created collectively by the members of the club, but what does the word really mean?

“Untitled” actually stands for the club being non-monolithic because it allows for different types of expressions and stories; leaving it without a title is to make sure that each individual can bring something different to the table.

Initiated last year by former student and president of the club Kosi Dunn ’13, who saw the different direction revisioned for the club. “He came to me and said he wanted to separate the spoken word part of poetry club from the Inkwell part of it, so I agreed,” said Mr. Darrell Holloman who has been the moderator for two years now and was a member when he attended McNamara in 1997-2000. Holloman also sees a big change in the direction that the club is going from when he last was a part of it himself.

The format of a typical club meeting is as follows: Tuesdays are writing workshops and Thursdays are open mic. On Tuesdays the writing workshops are a time when the individual can work on a writing exercise or free write. Then they share to the club and get feedback. On Thursdays members or non members are allowed to come and share their poetry. The club is always open to anyone, no formal membership is required to attend. The poetry club doesn’t just have talented students, but ones who are truly dedicated. In 2012, the current club went all the way to the semi-finals in the annual D.C. Metropolitan Poetry Youth competition “Louder than a Bomb,” also known as LTAB, finishing fourth place overall against more than 20 schools  in the D.C. Metropolitan area.

Eric Powell ’15, one of the club’s rising stars says “Don’t be afraid of whatever standards someone puts on poetry. Poetry is power and you can always refine it later.” Powell exclaims that anyone who sits in on one of the meetings will receive helpful tips and advice on how to write a good poem.

Other good tips on writing a poem with emotion and feeling are start with how you feel or maybe an idea that you had and work from there. Give yourself a prompt, the prompt can give you a sense of direction, states Mr. Darrell Holloman. Roses are red, violets are blue, “Untitled” welcomes you.