Ms. Boley has been the ever-so dedicated choir teacher at Stonewall Jackson High School for 45 years now. Even after all of that time, she has shown no signs of slowing down. Being in one of Ms. Boley’s choirs at Stonewall is an experience unlike any other. Former Concert Choir president Andy Wilson has said, “Ms. Boley is still one of the very few teachers who can actually control a class. Let alone her giant class of 60+ students. She not only inspires her students, but with her way of teaching, she helps them grow and become a better person.” Over the years, no teacher has influenced the students at Stonewall nearly as much as Ms. Boley has. In fact, nobody could ever come close. Ms. Boley is a part of Stonewall. Without her, the entire school, and a large majority of its students, would be vastly different. Current choir student Ben Goodson has said, “I think that knowing her is a unique experience that would be difficult to replicate because of how influential and inspiring she is.” Every new choir student has had the exact same experience. Ask anybody, and they’ll agree: The first day of choir at Stonewall is terrifying. Everybody hears the horror stories. Having to sing by yourself in front of dozens of strangers seems to be the thing that causes the most fear. When asked what her experience was, former student Megan Roach replied, “Ms. Boley was always pushing my limits and getting me to be comfortable even if I was scared. She influences the Stonewall community because she provides students with a place they can work together on something with an amount of structure that they might not have in other areas of their lives and create something amazing together as a team.” It is undeniable that taking the plunge allows students to come out on the other side more confident, talented, and well-rounded. Ms. Boley teaches her students to always try their best, be unbothered by the opinions of others, and never give up when something seems impossible. Current student Ian Lee has said, “She has helped me to become a better musician and a better person in general.” She may seem as though she is just another teacher to anybody that hasn’t had the pleasure of knowing her; but to all of her students, she has played a pivotal role in their lives and will never be forgotten. Former student Grover Taylor did not hesitate to remark that, “Ms. Boley was the only reason why I came to school on a lot of days. She is the kind of teacher that makes you want to be more responsible and try harder at everything that you do.”
Every year, Ecology Club at Stonewall Jackson High School takes part in Farm Field Day: A day for fourth graders all around the area to learn valuable lessons about the environment that will help them pass their SOLs and also to have a lot of fun. Taylor Feaganes has said that, “Farm Field Day has a real impact on the kids because they are interacting with the activities and it helps the kids make connections to what they’re learning in class.” Ecology Club members are well prepared for this event and have a great time with these kids at the Prince William County Fair Grounds enjoying two days of educational fun. Madison Shepard has said that, “We teach the kids a lot. They ask a lot of questions and they have fun while learning the answers.” While this does help the fourth graders with the SOLs, it is also very valuable for the high school students that make this event possible. The students spend quality time with small children teaching them about animals, plants, and their general environment. Kevin Napper has said that, “The kids really enjoy being involved, which just makes everybody feel good.” Most people could agree that nothing is more satisfying than making a difference in the lives of children. Ian Lee has said that, “Working with the kids is great because you get to influence another generation in the same way that we were influenced by the volunteers at Farm Field Day when we were in fourth grade.” Most of the volunteers still remember what it was like to be their age and on the other end of Farm Field Day. Anybody that has grown up in Manassas most likely attended this event when they were in elementary school, and the wide-spread recollection of the event proves how valuable it is for all parties involved. Mrs. Hruska, who is in charge of Ecology Club, has said that, “Farm Field Day is valuable for everybody involved. The kids have an opportunity to learn about SOL subjects in a hands-on way, and it plays an important role in helping them pass.”
Track may seem as though it is an easy sport. After all, you only have to run, right? How hard could that be? You do not need to know any strategy, how to catch a ball, or any fancy tricks. The thing is, you do not need any of those things. Running is difficult enough on its own. For the members of Indoor track at Stonewall, running is more than just a sport; it is a way of life. They train hard every day to improve their speed and stamina, and it pays off. Every year, members of the track team strive to be better than they were the year before. That is the beauty of track: you are not just working to beat the other team and be victorious, you are working to beat your own personal best and to constantly improve as an individual athlete. Wondering how the indoor track team is doing this year, I went out and asked some of the members what their expectations are for the upcoming season and what events they plan to participate in. Sophomore Matt Brown said that, “I’m going to compete in pretty much anything above 400 meters. 1,000 meters, 1,600 meters, and 3,200 meters. I’m excited for our first meet in a month or so. The people coming back from last season are going to be a lot stronger mentally and physically.” As you can see, there are many different events for runners to compete in and specialize in. Sophomore Oscar Castaneda said that, “I think this season is going to be the one in which I most improve. It’s definitely stronger than last year. I’m going to be running the 500 meter and 300 meter dash for sure. I’m looking forward to the conference meet and then regionals which comes right after.” I think it is definitely a common opinion among team members that this season is going to be a good one. Team captain Marcel Kaid has said, “As a team we just want to get stronger and come together and make it to states. I’m going to be running the 4x200m, 300m, 500m, and 4x4m.” Senior Max Milien stated that, “Our team always comes first. We’re going to do better this year because we are more competitive and stronger overall.” Max is going to be running the 300m, 500m, and 4x4m. Junior Gregory Arrey stated that, “I’m going to be competing in shot put and distance running. My main goal is to get stronger this season mentally and physically and to go out and have fun. I think that we’re going to do better this season because we have a good conditioning program and a lot of intense people on the team.” All I can say is that I hope they’re all right about this season being a promising one. Good luck Raiders Indoor Track!