The Highlander

2020-2021 Staff

Andrew Christofferson

Reporter

Andrew Christofferson is a junior at McLean High School. This is his first year in journalism and he absolutely loves it. Andrew enjoys swimming, playing the piano, and hanging out with friends in his free time. He hopes to make...

Hanna Boughanem

Reporter

Hanna Boughanem is a junior at McLean High School, and this is her first year in journalism. She is a swimmer and enjoys practicing with her teammates. She also loves dogs, music, and reading. In the future, she hopes to travel...

Sangmin Song

Reporter

Sangmin Song is a senior at McLean High School, and it's his second year in Journalism. He is still learning about Journalism getting lots of help from his peers, and hopes to advance his career as a Journalist in the future.

Valerie Paredes

Reporter

Valerie Paredes is a Junior at McLean, this is her second year in journalism.  She is very interested in politics and hopes to make the world a better place one day. She spends most of time in color guard and looking for ways...

Elizabeth Humphreys

Reporter

Elizabeth is a senior and has been on The Highlander staff since her first year as a freshman at McLean. She loves writing and reading, especially journalism articles and music reviews. She also writes poetry, short stories,...

Christiana Ketema

Reporter

Christiana Ketema is a junior at McLean High School. She enjoys Journalism and cannot wait to continue in the future at McLean.  A few things Christiana likes to do is hang out with friends, go on runs, and listen to music.

Taylor Staats

Reporter

Taylor Staats is a sophmore and it is her second year in Journalism. She enjoys playing softball, traveling, listening to music and playing with her two dogs and chinchilla.

Sydney Gleason

Reporter

Sydney Gleason is a sophomore at McLean. She enjoys playing soccer and basketball with her teammates. Sydney's favorite class this year is journalism and she is excited to see the years to come with this class.

Belen Ballard

Reporter

Belen Ballard is a junior at McLean high school. This is her second year in journalism and she is very excited for the next couple years in the class. Belen enjoys swimming, listening to music, and hanging out with friends and...

Spencer Sirotzky

Reporter

Spencer Sirotzky is a Sophomore at McLean High School, he enjoys playing sports like basketball and baseball for fun.

Makda Bekele

Reporter

Makda Bekele is a sophomore at Mclean Highs school. She is in her second year of journalism. She enjoys ice skating, listening to music, and almost any kind of chocolate.

Max Irish

Reporter

Max Irish is a sophomore at McLean High School. He enjoys playing baseball and golf as well as participating in Best Buddies. He enjoys traveling all around the world, as well as spending time with his friends.

Scott Shields

Reporter

Scott Shields is a sophomore at McLean High School. He likes to play basketball and baseball as well as spending time with his friends. In his second year of journalism he hopes to improve his writing until he can consistently...

Andy Chung

Reporter

Andy Chung is a junior taking Journalism 3. He is a reporter for The Highlander and a varsity golf player for McLean.

Kaan Kocabal

Reporter

This is Kaan Kocabal’s third year at Mclean high school and his third time taking journalism. He is a soccer player and likes to enjoy spending time with his friends. 

Noah Barnes

Reporter

Noah Barnes is a junior in his third year of journalism at McLean High School. He plays on the varsity soccer team, and enjoys sports of all kinds. Outside of school, he enjoys keeping updated on current events, watching movies...

Laine Phillips

Features Editor and Fact Checker

Laine Phillips is a junior and has been taking journalism for three years. She also participates in cross country, track, lacrosse, best buddies, and McDanceathon. 

Emily Friedman

Sports Editor

Emily Friedman is a Sports Editor and junior in her third year of journalism. She enjoys swimming, playing volleyball, and spending time with her friends and family.

Josh Bass

Sports & Copy Editor

Josh Bass is a junior at McLean High School as well as the sports and copy editor for The Highlander. Josh has been taking journalism for three years and is interested by it, possibly pursuing it out of college. Athletically, Josh is...

Ana Paula Ibarraran

Opinions Editor

Ana Paula Ibarraran is a junior taking her third year of journalism. In her free time she enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing soccer, and volunteering at a local food pantry.

Saisha Dani

Opinions Editor

Saisha Dani is a senior and is in her third year of Journalism at McLean High School. She has recently moved to the McLean community in 2018 and enjoys watching TV shows, reading and drinking bubble tea.

Dua Mobin

Chief Marketing Manager

Dua Mobin is a senior and a third year journalism student. She enjoys public speaking, working with hospitals across the world to aid low-income populations to get access to medical treatment, and painting.

Dalia Fishman

A&E Online Editor

Dalia Fishman is a sophomore at McLean High School. She plays softball and cello, in addition to enjoying writing.  She is currently in Journalism 2.

Akash Balenalli

Website editor-in-chief

Akash Balenalli is a junior in Journalism 2. He enjoys photography, playing the cello, computer programming, drawing, reading, and learning about the world.

Layla Zaidi

Digital Media Editor

Layla Zaidi is a junior in her second year of journalism. In her free time she loves to bake, read, listen to music, travel, and run.

Cc Palumbo

Features Editor

Cc Palumbo is a junior and in her third year of journalism. In her free time, she loves to hang out with her friends and go shopping.

Shruthi Manimaran

Managing Editor

Shruthi Manimaran is a senior in her second year of journalism. She is a triplet and enjoys reading, 70s music, and binge watching Parks and Rec on Netflix.

Addie Brown

Managing Editor

Addie Brown is one of the Managing Editors of The Highlander in her fourth year of journalism. In her free time, she plays soccer competitively and loves to hang out with her friends.

Nicky Varela

Managing Editor

Nicky is a senior at McLean High School. He is in his fourth year of journalism. Outside of school, Nicky loves playing and watching football, as well as eating food. Roll 'Ders.

Kyle Hawley

Managing Editor

Kyle Hawley is a senior at McLean High School. He is very passionate about American politics and will state his opinions on public policy and foreign affairs. When he is not writing an op-ed on a certain issue, Hawley will in...

Arnav Gupta

Online News Editor

  Arnav Gupta is a junior in Journalism 3. He likes playing basketball and enjoys hanging out with friends. He also likes playing video games and listening to music.

Nyla Marcott

Online News Editor

Nyla Marcott is a sophomore at McLean High School. This is her second year in Journalism. She enjoys traveling throughout the United States and abroad, vegetable gardening, and cooking foods from around the world. ...

Taylor Olson

Head Designer

Taylor Olson is a Designer and junior in her third year of journalism. She loves ice skating, art, watching movies, and her friends.

Ariana Elahi

Designer and Business Manager

Ariana Elahi is a junior at McLean high school and is currently taking Journalism 3. She enjoys being involved with different clubs and after-school activities as well as spending time with her friends and family.

Jayne Ogilvie-Russell

Cartoonist

Jayne Ogilvie-Russell is a Junior at McLean High School, and the cartoonist for the Highlander magazine. Jayne has been working at her design skills in order to help contribute to the magazine in both art and page design. In her...

Swetha Manimaran

A&E Editor

Swetha Manimaran is a senior in her second year of journalism. She loves drinking large amounts of coffee, watching New Girl, taking pictures , and thrifting.

Michelle Cheng

A&E Editor

Michelle Cheng is a senior and third year journalist at McLean. In her free time, she loves to row, hike, and try new foods.

Polina Zubarev

Features Editor, Online Managing Editor, Digital Media Editor

Polina Zubarev is a junior at McLean and in her second year of Journalism. She enjoys playing ice hockey, reading, baking and traveling around the world.

Lia Vincenzo

News Editor

Lia Vincenzo is a senior in her third year of journalism. In her spare time she loves thrifting books and planning road trips.

Aleena Gul

News Editor

Aleena Gul is a junior, taking her third year of Journalism and is the News Editor for The Highlander magazine at McLean High School. She previously served as the Online News Editor for the online magazine and a Features Editor f...

Heran Essayas

Editor-in-Chief

Heran Essayas is a senior in her third year of journalism. In her free time, she loves spending time with her friends, playing field hockey, drinking lots of coffee and cooking.

Marina Qu

Editor-in-Chief

Marina Qu is a third-year journalist and one of the Editors-in-Chief of the The Highlander. A VHSL, CSPA and JEA award-winner, she enjoys writing about local news relevant to the community and collaborating with other reporter...

Jack Shields

Editor-in-Chief

Jack is in his fourth year of Journalism. Jack enjoys playing soccer and eating.

Ivy Olson

Online Features Editor

Ivy Olson is a sophomore at McLean High School. This is her second year in Journalism. She enjoys playing field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse along with listening to music and hanging out with her friends.

Khushi Rana

Online Opinions Editor

Khushi Rana is a sophomore at McLean high school, and this is her second year in journalism. In addition to journalism, Khushi enjoys listening to music, hanging out with friends and family, and more.

Mackenzie Chen

Online Opinions Editor

Mackenzie Chen is a junior at McLean High School and works for The Highlander as a copy editor for the magazine and an online opinions editor for the website. She is in her second year of journalism, but she is continuing to enhance...

Arin Kang

Illustrator, Cartoonist

Arin Kang is a sophomore taking Journalism 3 at Mclean High School. She enjoys drawing, cross-country, listening to music, and reading.  

Gianna Russo

Copy Editor, Online A&E Editor

Gianna Russo is a junior at McLean High School. This is her second year in Journalism and she loves it. Gianna enjoys playing soccer, participating in school activities, and spending time with her friends and family.

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