Best of SNO

Stories from Walt Whitman High School
Normalize saying “I don’t know”
Opinions

Tara Davoodi | January 13, 2021

“What do you want for dinner?”

Each time my parents ask me this question, my mind plunges into a frenzy of indecision and my eyes adopt a vacant stare. It’s such an open-ended query; there are…

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A letter to the next generation
Opinions

Tara Davoodi | January 11, 2021

To the next generation:

Of all the emotions we felt on January 6, 2021, perhaps the most prevalent was exhaustion. We felt drained; we felt numb. Few were prepared to see our Capitol, the nation’s…

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‘Terrifying and upsetting’: stunned Whitman community responds to Capitol insurrection
News

Matt Eisner | January 8, 2021

What was supposed to be a normal Wednesday spent doing homework and attending teachers’ virtual check-ins was instead one in which students could hardly look away from social media feeds and cable news…

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My experience escaping the conservative media rabbit hole
Opinions

Alex Schupak | December 17, 2020

My childhood was dominated by a one-party political system: the Democratic party. For the first twelve years of my life, my parents, my friends and my friends’ parents were all Democrats, and I didn’t…

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“Is 2020 ending on a good note?”: Students react to election results
News

Defne Aslan | December 14, 2020

“Cupid Shuffle” blared on speakers all over Washington, D.C. while President-elect Joe Biden’s supporters flooded the streets outside the White House, celebrating the Democratic candidate’s win…

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Power outages leave students in the dark; cause absences, connectivity issues
News

Lily Freeman | December 1, 2020

A number of students were unable to connect to their online classes this morning due to widespread power outages in the Whitman area. According to attendance secretary Tabitha Davis, 631 students reported…

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Futures on hold: the fate of collegiate athletic recruiting in the age of COVID-19
Sports

Eli Putnam | November 16, 2020

Every year, thousands of high-school students across the country spend their summers competing for coveted — and limited — college athletic scholarships. They travel all around the United States, playing…

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Diving into the sports industry with junior Zach Yaqub
Sports

John McGowan | November 9, 2020

At 5 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon, most high school juniors would take a nap or finish their homework, but Zach Yaqub has other priorities. After an exhausting, day-long baseball tournament in Virginia,…

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Cycling into senior year: students bike to Pittsburgh over the summer
Features

Nil Ozdemir | October 27, 2020

Seniors Finn Martin, Adam Melrod, Nicholas Pyle and Jordan Maggin watched from the roof of their hotel as the Pittsburgh skyline lit up with a breathtaking pink hue. The sounds of pop music and a gentle…

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“The immediate reaction was heartbreak”: Christina Limanksy helps aid Lebanon after explosion in capital
Features

Kendall Headley | October 26, 2020

Junior Christina Limansky finishes a dance routine she spent hours working on at the Elements Dance Company camp. Breathless, she stretches out her arms while heading over to the bench for a break. When…

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“It brings back the old days where nothing really mattered”: Whitman students crave nostalgia over quarantine
Features

Quentin Corpuel | October 14, 2020

In the back of Topher Leonard’s bedroom, the echoes of Fall Out Boy pour out of an old radio. The then nine-year-old Leonard sits hunched over at his desk, fixated on his iPad. He’s playing Minecraft,…

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Atiwa jewelry charms customers worldwide
Features

Nil Özdemir | October 13, 2020

After moving to Bethesda, seniors Esther Ferrero and Lucia Kaiser were often showered in compliments from peers on their style.

“Esther had an elegant and unique style which definitely caught my eye,”…

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It’s time to abolish standardized testing
Opinions

Cate Navarrete | October 12, 2020

After struggling to find a way to take the SAT during the coronavirus pandemic, senior Claire Sorkin drives for 90 minutes to an unfamiliar location in Virginia in order to take the test. Upon arrival,…

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One year later, Prince Cutchember faces legal battle from Whitman “panning” incident
News

Eva Levy | October 1, 2020

Dubbed the “frying pan incident,” students and staff likely remember the event that occurred September of last year. A plethora of memes and jokes circulated around the school and on social media,…

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Nonprofit sues MCPS over changes to middle school magnet program admissions
News

Lily Freeman | September 28, 2020

The Association for Education Fairness, a Montgomery County parent coalition, filed a lawsuit against MCPS on September 1, claiming that recent changes to the admissions process for the county’s middle…

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“My heart sunk”: Whitman community mourns the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
News

Aleydis Barnes | September 22, 2020

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died at her home in Washington D.C. Friday night due to complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer, according to a Supreme Court press release.

While technical…

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I’m not just checking a box, I’m acknowledging my heritage
Opinions

Cate Navarrete | September 18, 2020

When brought up in conversation, my ethnic background usually gets two different reactions: “Wait, you’re Hispanic? But you look white,” or  “You’re so lucky; it’ll be so easy for you to get…

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International book exchange brings students together
Features

Defne Aslan | September 17, 2020

Sophomore Yuxi Apel caught a glimpse of the UPS worker walking by her window and wandered downstairs to check what had arrived at her front porch. When she opened the front door, she found a small package…

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To defer or to commit: seniors have a difficult choice this fall
News

Kendall Headley | September 8, 2020

Graduated senior Lucas Arulpragasm sits in front of his computer, attentively staring at the screen and waiting for an announcement from his dream school, Cornell University. He committed to Cornell earlier…

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The story behind Josh Weinberg’s rise to prominence in Whitman basketball
Sports

Matt Mande | May 28, 2020

Six years ago at Pyle Middle School, head basketball coach Bobby Polley called over senior Josh Weinberg, then in seventh grade, to talk to him at the end of his second day of basketball tryouts. When…

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“It was the biggest thing that had ever happened to us”
Features

Jesse Rider | May 6, 2020

To a passerby, Rick Berke (‘76) and Michael Gill (‘76) would have looked like any other Whitman seniors going out for a quick meal at a diner in Bethesda in 1976. But they weren’t just any old high…

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“We have bills to pay”: Local businesses struggle during pandemic
Coronavirus

Meera Shroff | May 6, 2020

In 2012, a couple of months after Jennie Yu (‘18) and her family moved from upstate New York to Bethesda, her parents bought Firehouse Deli, which Yu describes as being between a convenience store and…

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Students “ride-along” the track to becoming firefighters
Features

Meera Shroff | March 24, 2020

During junior Stella Hamman’s first day at the Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service Training Academy, she lined up military-style with other teenage cadets in the engine bay, the section of the station…

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Hogan institutes aggressive measures, College Board and ACT cancel SAT and ACT exams in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Coronavirus

Anna Yuan | March 18, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Larry Hogan ordered all restaurants, bars, gyms, spas and theatres to close March 16. Additionally, Hogan has postponed the April 28 Maryland Primary date…

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COVID-19 outbreak leads county to freeze grades, cancel athletics
Coronavirus

Anna Yuan | March 16, 2020

After State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon announced yesterday that all Maryland public schools will close for the next two weeks due to COVID-19, Montgomery County officials stated today that…

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Maryland state officials close all public schools in response to COVID-19 pandemic
Coronavirus

Anna Yuan | March 13, 2020

All Maryland public schools, including MCPS, will be closed for two weeks March 16 through March 27 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon announced the closures…

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OK, Gen Z: It’s time to save our Boomers.
Coronavirus

Editorial Staff | March 13, 2020

Today, our newspaper’s adviser pulled us aside. He said he understands that we have a magazine coming out soon. He said he’s aware of our commitment to student journalism. But he also said that, with…

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Can I steal for you a sec?
Arts & Entertainment

Bella Grumet | March 12, 2020

When I asked my parents if I could watch “The Bachelor” during my freshman year, their answer was an immediate and definitive no. They believed the show promoted promiscuity and toxic masculinity;…

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Community rallies around senior Ben Lesser
Features

Jack McGuire | March 10, 2020

Senior Ben Lesser runs cross country and track at Whitman; this season, he placed 119th in the Great American Cross Country Festival and 79th in the Montgomery County Cross Country Championship in the…

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Racist vandalism reported at Whitman
News

Taylor Haber | March 3, 2020

Racist graffiti was spray painted on Whitman school grounds over the weekend, including the n-word and a depiction of a noose, according to sources familiar with the matter. A building service member painted…

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Whitman students fundraise to help fight the coronavirus outbreak in China
Coronavirus

Heather Wang | March 3, 2020

A few days before the Chinese Spring Festival, a holiday signifying family reunion, junior Baichuan Wang’s father was planning to fly back to the United States after a business trip to China. But he…

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Make sure to like and subscribe: YouTube provides creative outlet for Whitman students
Features

Jack McGuire | February 28, 2020

Junior Nicky Deeds — better known by his YouTube username “HamesAlwaysWins” — has his eyes locked on his 16 by 9 inch computer monitor, with his right hand firmly gripping a colorful mouse and…

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Troop Four: A look inside one of the first all-girl Scout troops
Features

Holly Adams | February 26, 2020

At first sight, the girls hard at work in a church basement on a Monday night look like they’re preparing for a zombie apocalypse. Scattered on the floor are mess kits, hundreds of feet of rope, first-aid…

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All revved up
Features

Ben Stricker | February 24, 2020

On a freezing Saturday afternoon in the middle of December, I’m bundled up in the middle of the woods, trying to stay warm. Next to me, junior Nicholas Pyle is standing with his completely blank masonite…

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For Whitman Drama alumni, the show goes on
Features

Jack McGuire | February 21, 2020

Nearly every actor, professional or amateur, will tell you that theatre is a cutthroat environment. Every acting choice is subject to scrutiny, and the competition is fierce. Despite the challenges and…

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“Good morning, Whitman!”
Features

Eva Levy | February 18, 2020

At the sound of the bell, all the students in room A303 burst into the halls. But while senior Lucas Folio’s classmates shuffle to their second period, he takes a detour to the main office. 

There,…

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Seniors make their mark on the diving boards
Sports

Matt Mande | February 13, 2020

Senior Hannah Donner began diving when she was nine for her summer team. Senior Liam Gilbert-Lawrence took a similar path, starting when he was 12, also for his summer team. Since then, both Donner and…

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The lasting impact of the Armenian Genocide
Opinions

Jack McGuire | February 7, 2020

For most of my life, I saw my Armenian background as a trivial part of my family history. My family and I often joked about how our very white family technically originated from Asia, and we loosely connected…

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“They just held so much power over me”
Features

Bella Grumet | February 5, 2020

Students’ names have been changed to protect privacy.

Content warning: This story contains language that pertains to sexual harassment.

Being a high school girl, Anna is used to using social media…

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Journalism requires sensitivity in tragic events
Opinions

Jesse Rider | February 4, 2020

Just like they do dozens of other times every day, people around the world checked their phones Jan. 26 at 2:32 pm. But what they saw this time was different: a notification from TMZ with the headline,…

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‘Super’-coordinator Anne Hutchens leads senior class in college admissions process
Features

Sam Mulford | February 3, 2020

“Your glass is half full.”

The message is inscribed on a glass of water that sits on College and Career Information Coordinator Anne Hutchens’ desk everyday. It’s Hutchens’ personal mantra…

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The buzz on beekeeping
Features

Eve Titlebaum | February 3, 2020

Whitman parent Chris White zips on his white, full-body bee suit and matching white gloves as he heads out to his backyard. There’s a low buzzing hum coming from his five hives, each with four wooden…

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Veteran families find community in Bethesda
Features

Jesse Rider | January 31, 2020

Whitman parent veterans have completed years of rigorous training, been stationed across the world and formed lifelong relationships with fellow servicemen. When three veterans reflected on their time…

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Is your privacy at risk?
News

Jesse Rider | January 28, 2020

People who text while driving have a lot to worry about: fines, striking other vehicles and being unaware of their surroundings. But all of those worries seem to fly out the window when they hear their…

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Bethesda Row’s newest sweet treat: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream
Arts & Entertainment

Lexi Fleck | January 21, 2020

Jeni Britton Bauer was halfway through college at Ohio State University when she realized that she should incorporate her passion for art history into something bigger — she loved learning, but she thought…

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Bridging the gap: The challenges of transitioning from an international school
Features

Celina Fratzscher | January 16, 2020

Junior Abbie Hall has been moving her whole life. When she was only three months old, her family moved from the U.S. to Sweden for her father’s job. But her Scandanavian adventure proved short-lived;…

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“Jeepers Creepers:” Whitman teachers have lots of catchphrases
Features

Ethan Wagner | January 16, 2020

If you walked by a teacher’s classroom, you’d see nothing but the standard — a teacher standing at the front, lecturing from the Promethean board or a teacher grading quizzes. But, inside the classroom,…

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Q&A with ABC’s season 20 “The Bachelor” Ben Higgins
Features

Ally Navarrete | January 7, 2020

Ben Higgins placed third on season 11 of ABC’s “The Bachelorette” in 2015 and then starred as the lead on season 20 of  “The Bachelor” in 2016. Higgins grew up in Warsaw, Indiana, attended the…

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“Helping others, righting the wrongs”
Features

Jocie Mintz | January 6, 2020

Mike Manatos (‘86) goes to work every day wearing the same pin on his lapel. Every morning, he fastens it on his suit jacket or sports coat in the hopes that people will ask about what that little gold…

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Looking back: The best of the 2010s
Arts & Entertainment

Meera Shroff | January 6, 2020

The 2010s has been a decade of change.

It’s impossible to narrow down all of that change — all of those moments, people and things — to a short list.

But there have been a few universal changes…

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