langley eNews
December 20, 2018
from the ptsa president
As we approach the winter holiday, our children anxiously await the break from school, looking ahead to religious celebrations, family gatherings and fun travel destinations. As a parent, I feel the same! It’s wonderful to have two weeks mid year to rest, enjoy our families and recharge our batteries. My last official duty for 2018 is to write this missive, and I found inspiration in the LHS Core Values and Beliefs

The first LHS Core Value is to develop Life-Long Learners who can achieve happiness through learning, who work to meet the high expectations the community sets for them, and who value learning for the sake of learning. Outstanding goals for our students!

Second, LHS strives to foster a positive and inclusive culture where mutual respect between parents, teachers, students and administrators builds positive relationships. Supporting this goal will model for our children the productive and successful relationships we wish for them!

Balance, the third tenet, can be so difficult to attain even as an adult, much less as a teenager. LHS Core Values state students should have balanced lives that include academic achievement, extracurricular activities, social skills development and time with family. Academic skills should be balanced with ethical and moral development, and students should not sacrifice current happiness for future happiness. It’s easy to focus so much on the academic piece that we can lose sight of the other aspects of our lives that help us achieve balance. Family ... exercise ... music ... clubs ... part-time jobs ... there are many facets to a happy life

You’ll be hearing more about balance and best fit in January as our students consider curriculum choices for next year. In the meantime, have a wonderful break. See you in 2019!

~ Patty Burgess, PTSA President
staff spotlight
English teacher Alexandra Niehaus wakes up at 5:45 am and spends the next eight hours teaching ninth and tenth grade English at LHS. As a teacher, Ms Niehaus doesn't think it’s realistic to try to make everybody love English class. Instead she takes a step back and acts as a guide, giving kids the space to explore the things they love. After a long, difficult class Niehaus wants her class to feel like they learned something and had fun.

Ms Niehaus finds teaching a rewarding career, sharing stories of students and teachers that affected her. “I like to prioritize having good relationships with my students,” she said. 

After graduating from Towson University, Ms Niehaus taught middle school in Baltimore. She joined the Langley community in August of 2017 and is happy to be teaching at Langley. “All the teachers are really nice, and I like dealing with older kids,” she said.

Outside of school Ms Niehaus enjoys the movies, the gym, cooking, and reading. Her love of books may have led her to teach English, or it might have been the inspiring teachers she had along the way. Now, she hopes to be the inspiring teacher.

~ Selena Akay and Caroline Castagna, Saxon Scope staff writers
and the winners are …
Over 30 LHS faculty and staff were nominated for Outstanding LHS Employees by more than 60 community members. All nominees will be honored as part of our end-of-year celebrations of the wonderful work done by our amazing staff members!
Now congratulate the Langley High School 2018-2019 Outstanding Employees!
Outstanding Teacher – Christina Mitro
Outstanding School Leader – Donna Barnsley
Outstanding Operational Employee – Ronnie Morrow-Drummond
Our Langley HS winners now move on to the pyramid level of the competition, and your support is critical. To write a letter of support, click on each name above to access the PDF forms. Provide the selection committee your perspective of what makes our LHS winners outstanding.

Please return the completed forms to Asst Principal Wayne Biernesser at, no later than 6 pm Thurs, Jan 10, 2019. He can answer your questions as well. 
If you’re interested in learning more about the FCPS awards process, you may visit this webpage
hooray for lhs scientists!
Congratulations to Langley's Science Olympiad team , which competed recently at National Cathedral School and placed first overall out of 40 teams . M any LHS students received individual awards as well:

Daniel Mousavi and Reva Siva - 1st place in Anatomy  
Belinda Xi and Luke Flaxman - 1st place in Circuit Lab
Dan Ni and Patrick Marschoun - 1st place in Geologic Mapping
Anna Krause-Steinrauf and Rupa Siva - 1st place in WIDI
Emma Ritchie and Belinda Xi - 1st place in Thermodynamics
Ryker Bendewald and William Orr - 2nd place in Disease Detectives
Daniel Mousavi and Jayeesh Chennupati - 2nd place in Designer Genes
Lailah Mozaffar and Samantha Ritchie - 3rd in Geologic Mapping
Anna, Jayeesh and Dan - 3rd in Protein Modeling

Other team members include Alex Surratt, Camden Hao, Christine Li, Griffith Nguyen, Ignat Miagkov, Kimberly Han, Ari Tretiak, Armin Taheripour, Stephanie Bi, Aleena Dawer, Amanda Yo, Grace Shvodian, Ishan Dogra, Katie Shvodian, John Rieling, Rebecca Zhang.

Congratulations, scientists!
practice practice practice
sophomores and juniors: You can improve on your PSAT score and get an easy start to prepping for the SAT! Come sit for a full-length practice SAT in a simulated tested environment at Langley on Sat, Jan 19, 9 am-1 pm. Academic Boosters is hosting the event, along with Educational Connections, Inc, and is providing a detailed SAT score report afterwards. Space is limited , so make sure to register here before leaving for Winter Break.

ethics day needs you!
Langley Ethics Day Committee has opened adult volunteer registration for the 15th annual Senior Ethics Day on March 26, 2019! Imagine 500 graduates-to-be spending a day learning and practicing ethical decision-making for life after high school. Click here to find out more or to register to positively influence high school seniors as they embark on their next chapter.

If you have additional questions, contact Danica Alink at or 469-744-7130! She’d be happy to answer any questions or concerns. This is a great chance to support Langley seniors – as someone will support your seniors someday!
step up to get your tickets
Your Capitol Steps tickets are now just a click away! Pay online using our Brown Paper ticket link , then print and bring your tickets to the show or pick up at the Will Call Desk. (You can still pay by check, using this flyer ).

Either way, please consider getting Capitol Steps tickets as holiday gifts this year for teachers and for the PTSA Teacher Raffle. Lastly, bring your friends and family for this hilarious night of political satire! 

Your $35 tickets are a fun and easy was to support the Class of 2019’s All Night Grad Party (ANGP), which is a fun and safe way for seniors to celebrate their graduation (click here to learn more about ANGP).
Event details: Sun, Feb 10, 7pm, LHS Auditorium. Questions? Email Liz Holzapfel at
scholarship opp
McLean Youth Athletics awards McLean Youth Leader Scholarships annually to juniors and seniors who have demonstrated leadership in the organization. Applications accepted Jan 1 to Feb 15. You’ll find more info here
mcc is ready for its close-up
The McLean Community Center recently held a ribbon-cutting to mark the completion of the 18-month, $8 million renovation project. The center will officially open to the public on Tues, Jan 2, and a free Community Open House will be held from 11 am to 2 pm on Sat, Jan. 5. The center is located at 1234 Ingleside Ave, next to the library. You’ll probably see junior Megan Markwart there, as she is the Langley district student representative to the MCC board!
More info can be found at the MCC website .
saxons, did you know...
… t ext messaging while driving increases the risk of crash or near-crash by 23 times .
stressed student?
What: Coping Strategies for Anxious Children
When: Fri, Jan 11, 10 am-12 pm
Where: Dunn Loring Center for Parent Services, Entrance 1, Rm 100, 2334 Gallows Rd

The National Institute of Mental Health presents this free workshop for parents of anxious students ages 8-17. Highlights include how to help your student with anxiety, when anxiety becomes a disorder, strategies for treating specific anxiety disorders and stress reduction tools.  Click here to register for this helpful, research-based workshop. 
upcoming events
Dec 20: Choral Concert, 7 pm
Dec 24-Jan 4: Winter Break
Jan 9: Curriculum Night, 7 pm
Jan 16: Principal Coffee/PTSA General Membership Meeting, 9:30 am
Jan 17-18: Student-Directed One Act Plays, 7 pm
Jan 18: 3-Hour Early Release
Jan 21: MLK Holiday
Jan 23: Choral Concert, 7 pm
Jan 24: End of 2nd Quarter
Jan 25: No School - Teacher Workday
Jan 30: Sophomore Dinner
Feb 10: The Capitol Steps, 7 pm
Langley PTSA Communications Committee:
Stephanie Maxwell, Helen Miller, Jane Riddle, Anne Whipple

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The PTSA eNews is published by volunteers who present only news that pertains to FCPS, LHS and PTSA. Any opinions expressed therein are those of the submitter and not necessarily those of FCPS, LHS or PTSA.