langley eNews
January 28, 2021
from the president

After a long winter weekend, second semester has begun! There is much in the works for students and the PTSA. While most students are finalizing their course schedules for the coming year, there are also important class forums planned that look toward college planning for juniors and sophomores. This morning, the Class of 2022 held a forum with Assistant Principal Wayne Biernesser and Student Services Director Braden Peterson to preview events on the horizon for juniors and focus on course scheduling for senior year. On Feb 10 at 7 pm, the Class of 2023 hosts a virtual College Case Studies Night, and on Feb 11 at 7 pm, LHS Student Services hosts a virtual Class of 2022 College Planning Night. More information on these programs is found on the LHS website homepage and LHS calendar

While students are in the midst of planning for next year, so is PTSA. At the General Membership meeting this month, we launched the annual efforts of the PTSA nominating committee, which began its search to fill open officer and committee chair positions for 2021-22. If you're interested in joining the PTSA Executive Board in the coming year, please contact nominating committee chairs Kristen Simko at and Annette Bellino at to explore available options.

~ Kitty Gonzales, PTSA President
virginia principals appreciation week
Governor Northam designated Jan 24-30 as Virginia School Principals Appreciation Week to acknowledge the tireless efforts of school principals across the Commonwealth. Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane said, “The role of the principal as the instructional leader of the school is critically important to ensure students are provided the opportunity to learn … they deserve all the recognition and praise we can give them — this school year especially — as they have led through a school year with enormous challenges.” Read the full resolution here.

Thank you, Principal Greer, for all you do for Langley!
presidential scholar candidates: Five Langley seniors are among 55 seniors in FCPS and about 4,500 students nationwide who are final candidates in the 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. Scholars will be selected based on superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities. 

Congrats to candidates Stephen Draughn, Otto Janke, Joshua Jones, Tianyi Wu and Stephanie Zhang!
scholastic art awards: Eleven Langley students won awards in the 2021 Regional Scholastic Art Awards program, including Gold Key, Silver Key, Honorable Mention awards and American Visions Nominations. Judges recognized FCPS students among 2,500 submissions in a variety of categories including drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, ceramics, sculpture, digital art, design, architecture, fashion, film and animation, mixed media and art portfolios.

Congratulations to Zara Adams, Apurvaa Bala, Pengrui Chen, Fiona Dempsey, Ruth Jin, Jinglin Jingan, Ashley Khang, Evelyn Lewis, Bakari Robinson, Yenthe ter Horst and Stephanie Zhang.
all-district band: Congrats to all students who participated in All-District Band! As with many events this year, judging was done virtually and students submitted blind audition recordings for judging. Langley was well represented, with a record 29 LHS students selected for the bands!

Symphonic Band: Jack Bateman, Melanie Chuh,* Viraj Ganguli, Caroline Healy, Parker Hoang, Rachel Huang, Kevin Lee, Andrew Leone, Ben Leone, Anand Menon, Leah Miller, Emma Phlips, Lucas Porter, Shaan Rashid, John Rieling, Tommy Worden, Jimmy Yeum, Amanda Yo,* Daniel Yo, Jason Zhang, Merik Zhang and Elaine Zou.

Wind Ensemble: Justin Bahr,* Beth Johnston,* Abby Kaufman, Will Trosch,* Muriel Wallach,* Tim Wang* and Austin Zhang.*

The eight students with the asterisks are eligible to audition for All-Virginia Band.
equity awareness
The Langley PTSA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee ("DEI") is commemorating Black History Month this February with a 28 Days of Equity Awareness project. All are invited to read, view and listen to the 28 short readings, videos and podcasts, listed here. The DEI's goal is to begin a conversation in which we investigate perspectives from marginalized voices. 

As part of the project, on Feb 16 the DEI will hold a Langley pyramid-wide book discussion on the first 7 chapters of Blindspot, by Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald. These chapters are among the selections on the 28-day list. Please join us for these events!
citizenship essay contest
Students are invited to submit an entry to the Virginia PTA citizenship essay contest. This year's theme is How can we stand together when we are so far apart? Submissions must be 750 words or more and winners are featured in Virginia PTA publications.

Click here for the rules and entry form. Essays are submitted electronically and are due by Mon, Feb 1. Students must be PTSA members to enter the contests. Click here to join. Student membership is $5.
langley/mclean fcps boundary
FCPS School Board meetings regarding the LHS/MHS boundary adjustment process will be held on these dates:

  • Tonight, Thurs, Jan 28 at 6 pm: MHS/LHS Boundary Public Hearing.

  • Thurs, Feb 4 at 7 pm: The School Board will vote on the boundary adjustment.

To view the options under consideration and comments to date, click here. Please send your comments or ideas to
sports news
swim/dive: Shout out to Langley’s Varsity Swim & Dive team on its undefeated dual meet season! Both the boys' and girls' teams had a 5-0 record this season. Congrats also to the senior boys, who won every dual meet over the last four years! Good luck, swimmers and divers, at the District Meet this week! Hail, Saxons!
coaches night: Meet the Coach Night is Wed, Feb 3 at 6 pm. This is an opportunity for both parents and students to meet the coaches of fall sports and hear specific details about how fall sports will be conducted. A link will be sent out the day of the meeting.
tryouts: Saxon parents, if your students are planning on participating in a fall sport you must register him or her. Click here for detailed information about athlete registration and fall season information. Click here for registration instructions.

Tryouts Schedule:
  • Cheer and Football: first day is Feb 4.
  • Cross Country, Field Hockey, Boys' and Girls' Golf, Volleyball: first day is Feb 15. 
  • Dance Team: Interested in trying out? Email Coach Nina at for details.
staff spotlight
Rocío Rayas Abundis is a Spanish teacher and member of the World Language Department at Langley. A native speaker, Sra. Rayas Abundis is from Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city, and attended the University of Guadalajara.

Sra. Rayas Abundis began teaching Spanish at an all-women's college in Atlanta 26 years ago. From there, she moved back to Mexico and taught English as a language coordinator at the University of Guadalajara, and later moved to Minnesota to earn her master’s degree. She has taught ESL and Spanish at all levels, from kindergarten to university courses. 

Sra. Rayas Abundis has been with FCPS for seven years, teaching at Belvedere ES, McLean HS and Thomas Jefferson HS for Science and Technology prior to LHS. She came to Langley by chance, being placed in the Spanish program here. “I was very happy with the placement and thought that I would give it a try," she explained. "I decided to stay because [LHS] has a great student body that thrives and wants to learn. I have also found a great group of colleagues to work with. Plus, how can I resist all the athletic events? They are so fun to attend,” she added.

Sra. Rayas Abundis enjoys teaching at Langley and believes in all her students. She appreciates that they want to learn and are determined. “I also love their gentleness," she said, “The students here are respectful and caring and that is not an easy trait to have at this age.”

With the difficulties of online learning, Sra. Rayas Abundis works hard to connect with her students. She also feels that teaching a language helps students grow as global citizens. “My goal for this year is to get to know all my students like when I had face-to-face classes. I want my students to grow in language and as human beings, as well. It is a year that will allow all of us to grow in new ways.” 

Sra. Rayas Abundis has three children: a 15-year-old son who is in the Autism spectrum, an 11-year-old son, and a 3-year-old daughter. There is always something interesting happening at home! "They sure make my life exciting," she says. She enjoy going for walks with her family, knitting as a “me time” activity, cooking new recipes with her kids, and travelling. She and her husband are also strong special needs advocates. "My favorite place is going to the beach, and second is the mountains. So Virginia is perfect!"

~ Nathalie Hoffman, Saxon Scope reporter
saxons, did you know …
use for the Saxons did you know blurb. stays small on the mobile view.
… the CDC reports that while prefilled pods or cartridges were the most commonly used type of e-cigarette in 2020, the use of disposable e-cigarettes jumped from just 2 percent to over 26 percent among teen e-cigarette users. Read the full CDC report here.

Examples of disposable e-cigarettes are PuffbarMr. Fog and Hyde. Unfortunately, these are very easy to obtain -- upon entering websites, they simply ask "yes/no" if one is age 21 or older, and then allows the purchaser to continue. 
class notes
Read below for class news. Click the green class buttons to go to each class's webpage.
Each year, the Virginia PTA honors seniors who have demonstrated a commitment to community service and academic achievement. The winner is awarded $1,000! Click here for the application. Applications must be postmarked by Mon, Mar 1 (no electronic submissions).

Students must be PTSA members to enter the contests. Click here to join. Student membership is $5.
Save the date! Our virtual Junior College Planning Night is Feb 11 at 7 pm.
Join us for our virtual Sophomore College Case Studies Night on Wed, Feb 10 at 7 pm. Parents and students will participate in small group sessions to analyze college applications with admissions counselors representing more than 40 universities from across the country.

Families will meet with the admissions reps that read for Langley to understand the myths and realities of college admissions. Register here. After you register, you will receive updates that include materials for the evening and the virtual program link.
service 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 LHS and McLean HS, and youth members serve a one-year term. Completed petition packets are due to MCC by Fri, Mar 12 at 5 pm. Requirements and info are on the MCC website.
stuff the bus: Fight hunger in Fairfax County! Help fill the shelves of food pantries to support our neighbors who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Stuff the Bus will collect nonperishable food donations on Sat, Jan 30 and Sat, Feb 6 from 10 am to 3 pm. Collection locations are listed here.
share of mclean:  Share is in need of liquid laundry detergent. Due to the weight of larger bottles and the number of families served by Share, medium sized bottles (approx. 32 loads) are most useful. 

Bring your donations to the McLean Baptist Church (1367 Chain Bridge Road) on Wed and Sat, 8:30 am–12 pm, or place in the outdoor donation sheds at the church anytime.
upcoming events
Feb 10: Sophomore College Case Studies Night (Virtual), 7 pm
Feb 11: Junior College Planning Night (Virtual), 7 pm
Feb 15: Holiday (President's Day)
Mar 5: 2-Hour Early Release
Mar 8: Student Holiday (Staff Development Day)
Mar 10: PTSA General Membership/Principal's Coffee, 9:30 am
Join the LHS PTSA! Click Here.
LHS PTSA eNews Editors
Michelle Francis, Stephanie Maxwell, Helen Miller and Amy Prewett
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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.