• Important Dates -->
  • Jan. 20: End of Semester 1
  • Jan. 23: Lunar New Year - No School
  • Jan. 24: Teacher Workday
  • End of Jan. - Mid Feb.: Course Selection
  • Feb. 2: PTSO Meeting
  • Feb. 3: Broadway Desserts
  • Feb. 10: Phoenix Pageant
  • Feb. 16: Orchestra Pre-Assessment Concert
  • Feb. 20: Presidents' Day - No School
  • Feb. 20 - 24: Student Press Freedom Week
  • Feb. 23: 3rd Quarter Senior Breakfast
The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School

THE BLAZE

The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School

THE BLAZE

The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School

THE BLAZE

2022-2023 Staff

Rohan Iyer
Editor-in-Chief

Rohan Iyer

Rohan Iyer is senior and a third-year member of The Blaze. A passionate writer and reader, Rohan loves writing and editing articles for The Blaze, and he thoroughly enjoys helping design the newsmagazines as well. Rohan loves using journalism as a means to serve his school community, and he's excited to be in The Blaze this year to achieve this goal....

Amelia Chen
Editor-in-Chief

Amelia Chen

Amelia is a senior and this is her third year on staff. She is SCA executive president, does rhythmic gymnastics, and loves blazing for "The Blaze." In her free time, Amelia likes listening to music, hanging out with friends, and cooking. Amelia can't wait to make her last year her best one! #SeniorSlay...

Sarah Baig
Photo Editor

Sarah Baig

Sarah Baig is the first person to be part of "The Blaze’s" newspaper staff for four years. In her freshman year, she was randomly placed in the Newspaper course, and ended up being part of the staff for the rest of her high school career. She is the photo editor for "The Blaze." Her hobbies include playing lacrosse and taking pictures. Her favorite...

Sruthi Sakala
Business Manager

Sruthi Sakala

Sruthi Sakala is a senior and has been a staff member on "The Blaze" staff since her sophomore year, and the Business Manager since her junior year. Sruthi likes to write Arts and Entertainment articles about new album releases and movies. In her free time, you can see her in her bed with a book, listening to music or watching her comfort movies. She...

Mariam Abdelsayed
Website Coordinator

Mariam Abdelsayed

Mariam Abdelsayed is a senior at RRHS who has been with the The Blaze staff since her sophomore year. She was born in Egypt and immigrated to the US when she was six. One of her activities that she likes to do in her free time is watch movies. She is a movie fan and her favorite movie right now is “Spider Man Now Way Home.” Mariam hopes to join t...

Karis Adnan
Website Coordinator

Karis Adnan

Karis Adnan is a senior in her third year on staff. She is a part of the volleyball team as well as "The Blaze," where she is a co-website coordinator. Her favorite food is pasta and one of her main hobbies is reading. She enjoys volleyball, watching films and TV shows, and going to different places and traveling. She also loves to hang out with her...

James Lee
Staff Writer

James Lee

James Lee is a senior at Rock Ridge and this is his first year on "The Blaze" staff. The main reason he joined was because Ms. Greiner was one of his favorite teachers because of her energetic personality. In his words, a class with her will always be a fun class. James is also a part of the Rock Ridge wrestling team and participates in the Loudoun...

Syd Nguyen
Staff Writer

Syd Nguyen

Syd Nguyen is a new staff writer for "The Blaze." His time in the Lit Mag gave him skills in working with a team as well as graphic design, and is what led him to joining "The Blaze." Nguyen is ready to push through this school and pass with flying colors. With "The Blaze," he is hoping to bring along the skills he acquired from the Lit Mag to create...

Melissa Waas
Staff Writer

Melissa Waas

Melissa Waas is a sophomore and a staff writer on the Newspaper team here at Rock Ridge High School. She moved to the US in 2020 from France and can speak an upwards of three languages. Melissa is very creative and a great artist. She joined Newspaper this year because she wanted to try something new and she really enjoyed Mrs. Greiner and writing in...

Sruthi Vivek
Staff Writer

Sruthi Vivek

Sruthi Vivek is a freshman who is new to "The Blaze." When she’s not worrying about school, she enjoys painting, watching tv, and playing basketball with her friends. She loves to paint scenery and cities, but she doesn’t mind painting other things. Her favorite ice cream flavors are strawberry and french vanilla. She likes learning, and she’s...

Bella Strano
Staff Writer

Bella Strano

Kamille Simon
Staff Writer

Kamille Simon

Kamille Simon is a first year member of the paper who joined with the hope of exposing herself to areas of the school that she previously had little knowledge of, and to represent those who aren’t as seen. Alongside her recent joining of staff, she is and has been involved in Phoenix Obsidian, a black student union, and Tri-M, a music honor society....

Nadia Shirr
Staff Writer

Nadia Shirr

Nadia Shirr is a Sophomore at Rock Ridge High. Currently Nadia is involved in the Marching Band along with Crew, and hopes to get into Cheer. Nadia wants to try something new, and Cheer has piqued her interest. She is looking forward to possibly joining the debate club as well because she loves hearing different perspectives on topics and getting stronger...

Shivu Sathe
Staff Writer

Shivu Sathe

Shivu Sathe is a sophomore, and a new addition to The Blaze staff. She is a big fan of arguing with people, which is why she’s a member of JV Public Forum Debate this year. She is a member of the ‘Phoenix Chorale' mixed chorus group here at Rock Ridge. She’s a big fan of reading, with her favorite book series being The Good Girls Guide To Murder...

Damian Rosas
Staff Writer

Damian Rosas

Damian Rosas is a sophomore at Rock Ridge High School and in his first year on staff for "The Blaze." He decided to join the newspaper after his friends told him it would be fun. Damian has an older sister who just graduated high school and a pet dog. As someone who loves to be challenged and on his toes, Damian plays soccer for the Rock Ridge teams...

Muhammad Reda
Staff Writer

Muhammad Reda

Muhammad, a sophomore in his first year on staff, has a passion for photography. Using cameras that utilize films, he captures and produces his own photos. Muhammad uses a camera produced in 1980, utilizing film to capture photos. Due to this, he uses a Dark room, which is a room with a dim light used to clarify and produce photos from the film of the...

Sebastian Penagos Sandoval
Staff Writer

Sebastian Penagos Sandoval

Sebastian is an 11th grader and has enjoyed junior year so far. He wants to join the volleyball team. Outside of school, he loves chilling and watching Netflix. A new hobby he is learning is skateboarding. That’s why he wants a skate club to start soon. Along with that, he likes celebrities who sing alternative and Indie music. One day, he wants to...

Shaila Patel
Staff Writer

Shaila Patel

Junior Shaila Patel is a staff writer on "The Blaze." She joined newspaper in the hopes she could explore something different that she might use in the future and to be in a new environment that she's never experienced before. In Patel's free time, she enjoys reading, dancing and running. This is her first year on cross country with Rock Ridge. When...

Sitwat Mian
Staff Writer

Sitwat Mian

Sitwat Mian is a sophomore and this is her first year on The Blaze. She's super excited to be able to write for the school's newspaper and wants to expand her knowledge of writing. When Sitwat is not doing work, you can find her drawing or watching her favorite anime shows. She loves listening to EDM and lofi most of the time.

Bhargav Kuniki
Staff Writer

Bhargav Kuniki

Bhargav is a sophomore in high school who primarily enjoys taking part in the extracurriculars that Rock Ridge has to offer. Despite the heavy workload of high school, he is involved in DECA and track, where he made a lot of good friends.

Adi Kidiyoor
Staff Writer

Adi Kidiyoor

Adi is a senior who is in his first year on staff. He has enjoyed robotics since childhood, and his other hobbies involve golf, basketball, and swimming. He plans on joining the schools’ TSA, swim, and track team.

Ananya Karthik
Staff Writer

Ananya Karthik

Ananya Karthik is a sophomore who is taking her first year of Newspaper. She joined the newspaper because she loves to write and wants to pursue journalism in the future. Ananya spends most of her time singing and playing the guitar. Singing and songwriting encourages her to express herself in a different way; it helps her “escape.” She loves singing...

Raza Hassan
Staff Writer

Raza Hassan

Raza Hassan is a sophomore at Rock Ridge High School and this is his first year on staff. He joined "The Blaze" because he wanted to take part in an extracurricular activity that involved journalism. Born and raised in Jersey, he moved to Virginia when he was 13 years old. He enjoys traveling, hanging out with friends, and going to the mall. His favorite...

Zahria Ford
Staff Writer

Zahria Ford

Zahria is a senior this year and has recently joined the newspaper staff. She moved to Ashburn her sophomore year during COVID and attended her first year at Rock Ridge virtually. She has been writing as a hobby for several years and found a hidden interest in journalism. Although she plans to pursue a career in biology in the future, her curiosity...

Ivana Figueroa
Staff Writer

Ivana Figueroa

Ivana Figueroa is a sophomore, and this is her first year on "The Blaze" staff. She is a theater-obsessed gal who also loves writing and reading. When she’s not at her desk writing, she can be found procrastinating on her work until the last minute or anxiously finishing her homework at the last second. She hopes to pursue a career in theater or English...

Maya Coleman
Staff Writer

Maya Coleman

Maya Coleman is a sophomore and a first year member on staff. Besides newspaper, she is a proud second year member of the school's chorus program. Maya joined staff because she enjoys writing occasionally, but mainly during quick writes where she has the freedom to creatively express herself. This school year, she is looking forward to participating...

Samantha Chang
Staff Writer

Samantha Chang

Samantha Chang is a freshman and this is her first year on staff. She has always loved writing and reading the newspaper when she was a little kid. She is from Lima, Peru, but of Chinese descent from her father. She lived in Lima until she was six. Since she knows two languages, learning a third one is hard for Chang, deeming German as her least favorite...

Sarah Bataineh
Staff Writer

Sarah Bataineh

Sarah is a senior and a first-year staff writer who has many goals for her last year. She hopes to manage a sports team and join softball in the spring. She joined Newspaper because she has always wanted to write. She likes to hang out with her friends, drive in her free time, and works at Panera Bread. She hopes to have a fun last year and to live...

Iyush Hoysal
Staff Writer

Iyush Hoysal

Involved in many other extracurricular activities such as SCA, cross country, and National Honors Society, this will be Iyush's first year being a staff member of "The Blaze." Wanting to do something new as a senior, he hopes to gain knowledge or insight for future references such as college applications, but also to have a good time in the newspaper....

Aline Gonzalez
Staff Writer

Aline Gonzalez

Aline is a 10th grader at Rock Ridge High School and this is her second year on staff. Aline joined newspaper because she has a deep passion for journalism and plans to pursue a career in this field. Aline also has an interest in the law field and would also like to become a lawyer. Aline has many hobbies ranging from reading, drawing, painting, to...

Jackson Mitchell
Staff Writer

Jackson Mitchell

Jackson is a junior and this is his second year on staff. In his free time, he likes to skateboard and bike with his friends and his favorite trick is the tre flip. Jackson also loves music and his favorite artists are Bladee and Yung Lean. One thing Jackson loves to do is make people laugh and this year he is trying to be more extroverted.

Nicolas Biernacki
Staff Writer

Nicolas Biernacki

Nicolas is a senior at Rock Ridge who likes to think he is creative and a good writer. He enjoys reading, writing (he generally types on a computer, because he has terrible handwriting), and watching YouTube. This is his second year on the newspaper staff. Some of Nicolas’s activities outside of newspaper include being a member of the debate team, be...

Abhi Sharma
Staff Writer

Abhi Sharma

Abhi is a senior and this is his second year on staff who joined the newspaper because he loves writing. He is a proud member of the Juice Club, and he has decorated achievements like making district band only in his freshman year. He is a very outgoing person and loves hanging out with his friends.

Bella Gerardi
Staff Writer

Bella Gerardi

Bella Gerardi is a sophomore and this is her second year on staff. She has been playing soccer since she was four and loves to read romance and thriller novels. Her favorite place that she has ever lived is Virginia, where she was born and raised. She draws her inspiration from her Grandma, an author, who helped her realize that she loves to write from...

Rachel Adams
Staff Writer

Rachel Adams

Rachel Adams is a junior. This is her second year on staff as a writer. She is part of the girls tennis team and also plays tennis outside of school. Her favorite hobbies include baking, hiking, crocheting, and reading. Her favorite series is Agatha Christie, but she loves all genres. When she graduates high school she hopes to get into aviation, specifically...

Nidhi Manchala
Staff Writer

Nidhi Manchala

Nidhi Manchala is a sophomore here at Rock Ridge and this is her second year on "The Blaze." Although she isn't very into sports, Nidhi plans on rejoining Educators Rising. She enjoyed working with the kids at Rosa Lee Carter and revisiting her old teachers. One of Nidhi's passions is art. She is proficient in different mediums such as, pencils, pens,...

Sudeepa Pasupuleeti
Staff Writer

Sudeepa Pasupuleeti

Sudeepa is a senior who is in her second year on staff. She joined newspaper because last year she had a lot of fun and she had a lot of friends -- even though it's kind of stressful. Sudeepa's favorite thing about the newspaper is friends, going to games and taking pictures, and representing RRHS. During her free time, Sudeepa likes to read, watch...

Lucian Tiller
Staff Writer

Lucian Tiller

Lucian Tiller loves Newspaper and this is his second year taking the class. He enjoys writing in his journal and collecting thoughts and moments that will be interesting to look back at or tell people about later. Most of his inspiration to write comes from his relatives, especially his great grandfather who fought in world war II and wrote down his...

Anushka Goski
Staff Writer

Anushka Goski

Anushka is returning for her third year on "The Blaze." After moving around from Georgia, Connecticut, and Fairfax, she found her new home with her favorite teacher, Ms. Greiner, working on the school newspaper at Rock Ridge High school. She is also a student athlete on the Rock Ridge field hockey team and primarily plays forward. Anushka is looking...

Hylay Assefa
Staff Writer

Hylay Assefa

Hylay is a sophomore who enjoys playing soccer and looks forward to playing for the school's team. Besides soccer, he plans on seeking advice throughout the year from his older peers to help better navigate the whole “high school experience.” Although not being in high school for as long as his older peers, he does have a piece of advice, and that's...

Aarohi Motwani
News Section Editor

Aarohi Motwani

Aarohi Motwani is a junior who is currently on her second year of the newspaper staff! She has loved reading and writing ever since she learned to do so. Joining newspaper class has helped her in other aspects such as interviews outside of school or simply in other English classes. Alongside journaling and reporting, Aarohi has been interested in photography...

James Bowles
Opinion Section Editor

James Bowles

James Bowles is a junior this year. He is the opinion editor for "The Blaze." Outside of Newspaper, he is interested in the Rock Ridge Cure Club, a volunteer-based student organization that aids doctors, conducts fundraisers, and gives students an opportunity to learn about what it is like to work in the medical field. James is also involved with the...

Alexis Cortés
Design Editor

Alexis Cortés

Alexis Cortés Negrón is a staff writer and the design editor for "The Blaze," and is involved with other extracurriculars such as the Art & Literary Magazine. This year he looks forward to improving his craft of writing and editing, specifically in graphic design. He joined the school newspaper in order to work more on expanding his “genre horizon,”...

Manika Porchezhian
A&E Section Editor

Manika Porchezhian

Manika Porchezian is one of many returning seniors on "The Blaze" staff. As a second-year staff member, serving as our Arts and Entertainment Editor, Manika plans to focus heavily on her contribution to "The Blaze." Manika hopes to continue working hard in several endeavors such as creating and editing for "The Blaze," completing college applications,...

Anik Mridha
Podcast Editor

Anik Mridha

Anik Mridha is in his 3rd year of newspaper and he serves the staff as Podcast Editor. He formally did CIS, but found a passion for newspaper. In his opinion, the best thing about newspaper is interviewing, and he enjoys writing for the Arts and Entertainment section.

Smrithi Balakumar
Video Editor

Smrithi Balakumar

Smrithi is a senior and this is her third year on staff. Smrithi has done classical dance for more than eight years and she is an introvert who detests leaving her room. In her free time, Smrithi likes to dance and explore different genres of music. She's currently vibing to the "Beatles." If you give her a song to listen to, she WILL listen to it....

Alyssa Yoon
Managing Editor

Alyssa Yoon

Alyssa is a senior and this is her third year on staff. This year, she will be working on the Executive Board as the Managing Editor. In her free time, Alyssa loves film/photography, playing guitar, watching sitcoms, and listening to music. Directioner for life.

Nanaki Bawa
Managing Editor

Nanaki Bawa

A senior at Rock Ridge, Nanaki loves everything reading, writing, and calligraphy related. She has a great passion for service and currently serves as the president of Key Club and SNHS as well as the editor-in-chief of Art and Literary Magazine. In her free time, she enjoys rereading the Harry Potter series for the thousandth time, searching for a new quote...

Tanishka Enugu
Sports Section Editor

Tanishka Enugu

Tanishka Enugu is the sports editor and a third year member of The Blaze. Tanishka strives to be a prominent part of the Rock Ridge community, and she is on the track team and was previously part of the basketball team. Some of her passions include her role in the newspaper, sports, and pop culture. In her free time, Tanishka watches a lot of TV and...