langley eNews

February 15, 2024

from the ptsa president

What a busy week in Saxon Country! The PTSA hosted several programs this week reflecting our commitment to parents, teachers, and students. First, I want to thank Kelly Rankin for speaking at our General Membership meeting yesterday. Her presentation on the signs of substance abuse and the reasons that teenagers use drugs provided parents with valuable information and tools to help our kids. 

I also want to thank several of our Executive Committee Chairs for working hard to host several wonderful events for students and staff this week. First, I want to thank DEI Committee Chairs Heather Murphy Capps and Stefanie Stayin for organizing and hosting the DiverseartLangley exhibit on Monday. The exhibition was inspiring and showcased our talented student body. I also want to thank Bonnie Myshrall, Shilpa Vaidya and Robyn Smith for planning and organizing the Langley Trivia Contest yesterday. Our students enjoyed competing and showing why they deserved to be crowned Trivia Champions! Finally, I want to thank Appreciation Committee Chair Sloan Dosser for providing a small token of appreciation to our bus drivers and school security personnel and thanking them for taking care of our students throughout the school year. 

A reminder that the Hospitality Committee will be hosting a Winter Luncheon for teachers and staff tomorrow, Fri, Feb 16. Volunteers are needed to bring desserts and help decorate and set up buffet tables. Sign up and help with these links: Hospitality Volunteers / Hospitality Bakers.

A note on this year’s Ethics Day: Due to unforeseen circumstances, we recently lost our venue. Ethics Day chair Margaret Brown is looking for a new one. Do you know of a venue that would accommodate 500 seniors plus volunteers, also with three breakout rooms? Please email Margaret at [email protected] with any suggestions. 

Remember school will be closed on Monday for Presidents Day. Enjoy the long weekend!

~ Joy Hohenthaner, PTSA President

 saxon service

Our next Saxon Service is tomorrow, Fri, Feb 16. Encourage your student to participate in one of the many service activities that are offered during this time such as Cranes for Cancer: Cranes for Health. This is the 6th year that Langley students have supported this wonderful organization by making origami paper cranes. The goal of this organization is to deliver 1,000 cranes to cancer patients and anyone with serious physical or mental health needs to uplift their spirits. 

To participate, students should scan the QR code or click here to obtain a pass to be released for Saxon Service. Once completed, students can log into to have their service hour verified for credit. 

Are you interested in becoming a Saxon Service parent volunteer? Contact LHS Family Liaison Julie Zimmerman Hohl at [email protected].

winter luncheon

The PTSA Hospitality Committee will host our annual Winter Luncheon for teachers and staff on Fri, Feb 16. We still need a few more volunteers to help next week! First, we are looking for volunteers to help set up tables and decorations this afternoon on Thurs, Feb 15 and for volunteers to help serve and clean up tomorrow on the day of the event. Sign up here if you are able to help.

We are also asking for volunteers to bring desserts for the luncheon. Over 200 teachers and staff will attend! If you are able to bring cookies, pastries, brownies, or any other sweet treat on Fri, Feb 16 between 8 am and 10 am, use this link to sign up.

Thank you for your help!


This past Monday, the Main Hall was transformed into an art gallery featuring work from our talented Langley students. Artists submitted their creative responses to the 2024 driving question: What does freedom mean to you? 

This is the biggest year ever for the PTSA-sponsored DIVERSEartLANGLEY art exhibition! The exhibition featured 126 pieces of artwork, including original music, dance, poetry, ceramics, drawing, painting, collage, photography and graphic art. Attendees viewed the gallery and then joined in a discussion facilitated by guest speaker Danielle Van Hook, Director of the Youth Theatre Program at the McLean Community Center. The discussion provided space for the students to talk about their art and for audience members to reflect on how we all perceive, seek out and experience freedom.

Congratulations to the three students whose art was chosen by popular vote to receive winning prizes: 1. Aryana Molaiy, 2. Emily Hur, 3. Reva Dogra.

Shown L-R: Aryana Molaiy, Reva Dogra, Emily Hur, Mrs. Greer.

Special thanks to Principal Greer for her support and to our faculty champions, Kelly Mulligan and Bill Farnesworth, as well as to Julianna DeLong for her help installing the art, and to the PTSA Hospitality Committee members Rina Kaul and Marisha Patel for providing lovely refreshments for our guests. Finally, thanks also to Greg Stayin for tallying the votes and Dudley Capps for helping us clean up and break down at the end of a wonderful evening. 

Did you miss the exhibit but want to check out the amazing creativity in our community? Good news! A selection of the artwork on display at Langley this week is headed over to the McLean Community Center, where it will be on display on the main floor until mid-March.

 trivia contest

Yesterday, 132 students attended the first annual Langley Trivia Competition and battled for the right to be crowned Langley Trivia Champions! The competition was held after school in the Cafeteria, where students had a chance to gather with friends, listen to music, eat some Chick-fil-a, pizza and desserts and compete for prizes.

We hope to see you again next year. Congratulations to all the winners!

 opioid overdoses

A significant area of concern here in Fairfax County and around the country is a growing number of opioid overdoses involving youth. There have been two non-fatal fentanyl overdoses among FPCS students just during the first two weeks of February.

Here are some resources:

Take action today! This is a community wide problem and requires a comprehensive approach to prevent future overdoses and connect individuals experiencing opioid and substance misuse to treatment and support services.

new spirit wear

Show off your Saxon Pride with our new baseball caps in two new color options: Green or White. Our Black cap is back in stock as well!

And we now carry our famous Vintage crew neck sweatshirt in 2 XL. Come check out what we’ve got at

bands on the run

Calling all runners and walkers! Our 5th Annual Bands on the Run 5K is on Sun, April 21, 8 am!

This event is open to the entire community and benefits the Langley HS and Cooper MS bands. Friends and family of Langley, Cooper and the elementary schools of the Langley pyramid are especially invited. All ages are welcome. Run the course like a pro or walk the course with a friend! Stay afterwards and enjoy live DJ music, refreshments and sponsors’ tables

Race registration is now $35 for students 6-18 years old and $40 for adults. All participants will receive an official race t-shirt and children 5 and under are free! Sign up here today! 

View the Bands on the Run webpage for more info or contact Deb Worden at [email protected]. 

thank you to our initial sponsors!


Mark Lowham/TTR Sotheby's International Realty


The Pomper Family

Coder School McLean


The Worden Family



Principia Tutors

Wydler Brothers Real Estate

Other Donors - JOY Design Build

All Donations are tax-deductible. Sponsor information is available here.

parent conversation

Join LHS Psychologist Anna Brown and Social Worker Jordan Payne for an engaging parent conversation on executive functioning and anxiety. Conversation will focus on strategies to help your students manage their anxiety, emotions, time, study habits and more.  

We will be referring to That Crumpled Paper was Due Last Week by Ana Homayoun and The Anxiety Audit by Lynn Lyons. Mark your calendar for Mon, Mar 4 at 11:30 am in the Lecture Hall.  

RSVP to LHS Family Liaison Julie Zimmerman Hohl at [email protected] if you are able to attend.

college 101 zoom

New to the U.S. college system? Not sure how all the pieces of higher education fit together? Join Langley’s College and Career Specialist Karen Burke for a virtual workshop on Mar 6 at 12 pm. This workshop is geared toward families who have joined LHS from outside the U.S. and is meant to provide a basic understanding of how the U.S. college system works, however all families are welcome to join. This workshop will be recorded for future reference.

Click here to register for this Zoom workshop. Submit questions prior to the workshop on Google Forms by using this link.

math course offerings

How can students participate in mathematics throughout high school in a way that is relevant to and supportive of post-secondary and career interests? FCPS High School Math Specialist Jennifer Allard and FCPS Math Specialist Erin Sylves will host a webinar Understanding High School Mathematics Course Offerings on Mar 8 from 10-11:30 am

During this session they will discuss mathematics graduation requirements and how to support students in navigating the various course offerings currently available in FCPS. Students and their families may start thinking about what course pathways are available beginning in middle school. Register here and join us to learn more.

 english sol review

The Virginia Board of Education (VDOE) will hold a series of public hearings on the proposed 2024 English Standards of Learning during the month of February. The 2024 English Standards of Learning identify the essential content, processes, and skills for each grade level and subject courses, and include the foundational skills in grades K-8 to align with the Virginia Literacy Act and ensure evidence-based literacy instruction for Virginia’s youngest learners.

Click here for the list of public meetings - which include both in-person and virtual options - and to register. You may leave comments on the VDOE website until Mar 1.

staff spotlight

Honors World History 1 and AP Human Geography teacher Jan Gundersen is a new addition to the staff for the 2023-2024 school year. Mr. Gundersen grew up here in McLean and is a former Langley student and graduate. He went to college at Emory University for three semesters before transferring abroad in Europe to Phillips University, a small liberal arts college in Germany. He earned his bachelors and masters degrees there.

Mr. Gundersen has many different activities that he enjoys doing outside of his school life. Despite being tired after school, he still finds a way to keep active and connected to nature

“I like to play soccer and basketball, I like to read a lot, I read all kinds of books, fiction and nonfiction and I like to hike. I like to get out on the weekends and go to [the] Shenandoah or Great Falls park,” he said. 

Mr. Gundersen is a career switcher, meaning that he had a career before teaching and then he went through a provisional licenseship program to become a teacher. 

“Before this, I worked in DC at a civics non-profit where we brought high schoolers from all over America to meet their Senators and Representatives and also experience the monuments and learn a little bit about the nation’s capital,” he said. 

From Peace Corps member to history teacher After leaving DC, Mr. Gundersen was in the Peace Corps and served in Morocco for about two years in 2018-2020, where he got to learn a lot about the culture and teaching children. 

“It was a great experience. I learned a lot about the culture, and I learned Arabic and I did youth development, so I worked with after school programming for the most part,” he explained.


Although COVID-19 forced Mr. Gundersen to evacuate from Morocco, he still wanted to work with youth officially which influenced his decision to become a teacher. 

“I live in Arlington so I was looking at Arlington County Schools and Fairfax County; so Langley was obviously a draw because I went here and I know a lot of the teachers still and they used to be my teachers,” he said. 

Mr. Gundersen also appreciates the diversity in Langley and how involved students are with the curriculum. In the history department, Mr. Gundersen took over another teacher’s job and is able to work with all grade levels. 

“I’ve always been interested in history and social studies in general,” said Mr. Gundersen. “I had expressed interest in AP Human Geo as well. Because it is a very international course, we look at examples from around the world and we learn about the interaction between humans and their environment.” 

One of Mr. Gundersen’s favorite things about working at Langley is all the variety and challenges throughout his day.

“There’s always new challenges, some days are better than other days, but it’s never becomes boring. I love also just getting to know different students all the time,” Mr. Gundersen said. “It’s always like a growing process when you are a teacher, which I really like.” 

When Mr. Gundersen arrived at the end of last school year, it was tough for him to design lessons as quickly considering how new he was. 

“What I’d like to do more of this year is have more sort of student-directed learning and less of me up at the board going through a powerpoint slide,” Mr. Gundersen said. 

In regards to keeping parents informed on their children’s educational progress, he wants to get to know parents on a more personal level.

“Once you kind of form that relationship with someone, it’s a lot easier to work together. We both have the same goals, the same interests, which is the students,” Mr. Gundersen said. 

~ By Lauren Hund, Saxon Scope Reporter

sports notes

Athlete Registration begins soon! First day of tryouts is Mon, Feb 19. See This This Week in Athletics in Athletics or visit the Langley Athletics website for more information about registration and tryout dates for each sport. 


  • Registration must be done each year. If you registered for the 2022-2023 school year, you need to re-register for the 2023-2024 school year. Register your child here.
  • To participate in Langley sports, students must complete a physical after May 1, 2023. The physical must be done on the official VHSL form that can be found here. Send completed VHSL forms to [email protected].

saxons, did you know...

use for the Saxons did you know blurb. stays small on the mobile view.

… Sleep helps maintain cognitive skills, such as attention, learning and memory, such that poor sleep can make it much more difficult to cope with even relatively minor stressors and can even impact our ability to perceive the world accurately. Here are tips for creating healthy sleep habits.

class notes

Read below for class news. Click the green class buttons to go to each class's webpage.

The Class of 2024 All Night Grad Party (ANGP) chair is in search of team members! Volunteer for a committee position now, to help ensure a safe, fun event for our graduates to enjoy after commencement on Jun 3. Click here to volunteer for a committee position and keep an eye out for an email from ANGP chair Kristi Grgeta regarding next steps. Have questions? Email Kristi at [email protected].

Be a part of the Class of 2024's 'farewell tribute' to LHS!

Deadline for submission of photos for the Class of 2024 Slideshow is May 1! Submit your photos to [email protected] or [email protected] as soon as possible!

Some tips and guidelines:

● submit in JPG/JPEG format

● no large groups please! small groups are best (2-4 people)

lhs seniors only - no outside friends/siblings/family members

● casual photos are best - portraits are great but we are looking for fun!

● recent pictures please - no baby pics

The slide show will be aired during senior week activities.

Sophomore parents and students, join us for the Sophomore College Case Studies Night and Sophomore Class Dinner on Wed, Feb 28. Dinner will be in the Cafeteria starting at 5:30 pm, catered by Cafe Rio. Tickets are $25 per person. The class dinner will raise funds to support Class of 2026 activities, but is optional and not required for attendance at the LHS Student Services presentation. Click here to purchase tickets on

Volunteers are needed to help with the dinner, including providing desserts. Visit our Sign-Up Genius to pitch in.

Following dinner, Case Studies Night will begin at 7 pm. Sophomores and their parents/guardians are invited to work in small groups alongside college admissions representatives as part of a mock admissions team. Groups will review and analyze college applications. College admissions reps will lead discussion groups to help participants better understand the myths and realities of college admissions. You will gain a better understanding of the college admission process to plan for the rest of your high school experience.

Parents/guardians and students are all invited to attend. Only one registration per family is necessary. Click here to register. Registration will close on Mon, Feb 26.

student opps

mcc call for youth candidates: Want to be a leader? Want to earn valuable community service and outreach experience? Run for a seat on the McLean Community Center governing board! MCC is looking for high school students who wish to serve the community by playing a leading role in helping to carry out MCC's goals.

The board includes two youth seats, one each from Langley HS and McLean HS, and youth members serve a one-year term. Candidate Petition Packets are now available for pickup at MCC. Completed petition packets are due to MCC by Mon, Mar 11 at 5 pm. Requirements and info are on the MCC website.

pave scholarship: Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE) co-sponsors a STEM scholarship opportunity available only to students in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC.


The 2nd Annual PAVE Essay Contest and Scholarship Program encourages high school students to imagine the future with automated vehicles and write a well-crafted essay about what that could mean for their communities. Submissions are due Mar 15 and winners will be notified in late spring 2024. The top three awardees will win $2500, $1500, and $1000, respectively. Click here for the flier and more info.

Contest sponsors are PAVE, which is a 501c3 education nonprofit, as well as STEER Tech, an autonomous vehicle technology company, the Maryland Department of Transportation and the District Department of Transportation.


Questions? Reach out to PAVE Membership Manager Marsha Camp at [email protected].

traffic calming meeting

Is cut-through traffic overwhelming your neighborhood? The McLean Citizens Association (MCA) will host a citizens information event regarding the Fairfax County traffic calming program on Wed, Feb 21, 7:30 pm at the McLean Community Center in the Community Hall (1234 Ingleside Ave, McLean).

County officials will discuss how roads can be eligible for the program and what communities can do to obtain traffic calming. HOA representatives will discuss their experience in attempting to obtain traffic calming in their neighborhood. 

Questions? Contact MCA Transportation Committee Chair Glenn Harris at [email protected].

upcoming events

Feb 16: Saxon Service

Feb 19: No School  

Feb 19: First Day of Spring Sports Tryouts

Feb 20: Orchestra Concert, 7 pm, Auditorium

Feb 21: Traffic calming meeting, 7:30 pm, Community Hall, McLean Community Center

Feb 22: Winter One Acts, 6:30 pm, Auditorium 

Feb 23: Winter One Acts, 6:30 pm, Auditorium 

Feb 23: Langley After Dark Dance, Main Gym, 8-10 pm

Feb 27: Career Connections

Feb 28: Sophomore Class Night (Dinner, 5:30 pm, Cafeteria; College Case Studies, 7 pm)

Mar 4: Parent Conversation – Executive Functioning & Anxiety, 11:30 am, Lecture Hall

Mar 4: Meet the Coach Night (Spring Sports)

Mar 6: Choir Concert, 7 pm, Auditorium

Mar 7: Band Concert, 7 pm, Auditorium

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The Langley eNews is published by PTSA volunteers and includes news that pertains to LHS, PTSA and FCPS.

Any opinions expressed herein are those of the submitter and not necessarily those of LHS, PTSA or FCPS.