The Highlander

2018-2019 Staff

Jack Stenzel


Jack Stenzel is currently one of The Highlander's three Editor-in-Chiefs. He was previously served as a Sports Editor and contributes mainly to the Sports and In-Depth sections. His favorite hobbies are surfing and hanging out...

Emily Jackson

Copy Editor/Online Opinions Editor

Emily Jackson is a junior at McLean High School.

Heran Essayas


Heran Essayas is a first year journalism student as a sophomore. Heran enjoys playing field hockey with her friends, and spending time with them. She also loves showing her school spirit!

Cordelia Lawton


Cordelia Lawton is enjoying her first year of Journalism 2. She loves writing and can rarely put a book down. Having lived all over the world she tries to apply her international perspective to her writing. She has just transferred to...

Zach Anderson


Zach is a junior at McLean High School. It is his first year working for The Highlander. He enjoys hanging out with friends and doing activities outdoors. 

Ana Paula Ibarraran


Ana Paula Ibarraran is a freshman taking her first year of journalism at McLean High School. In her free time she enjoys playing soccer, spending time with friends and family, and learning songs on the guitar.

Isaac Lamoreaux


Isaac Lamoreaux is a first-year journalist on The Highlander. He recently transferred from McLean from the Republic of Georgia, a small country in Eastern-Europe. He is excited to be on The Highlander staff and is currently enj...

Waseema Khan


This is Waseema's first year in journalism and she is enjoying it very much. She loves plants and animals and loves binge watching TV shows and movies. 

Ava Rotondo


Ava Rotondo is in her first year of Journalism. She loves sailing and taking long hikes.

Nicky Varela


Nicky is a sophomore at McLean High School. He is in his second year of journalism. Outside of school, Nicky loves playing and watching football.

Sarah Solis


Sarah Solis is a student in her 2nd year of journalism. She enjoys playing sports and spending time with family.

Joshua Bass


Joshua Bass is a freshman at McLean High School. Joshua enjoys reading and writing, practicing lacrosse, and hiking on the weekends. This is Josh’s first time taking journalism and he believes he is learning a lot of relevant i...



A boy named Paarth Soni is now a freshman at McLean High School. This is his second year of taking journalism 1 and he finds it very fun. Paarth Soni also loves to play basketball and hang out with his friends. He also loves to...

Emily Friedman


Emily Friedman is a freshman in her first year of journalism at McLean high school. She enjoys swimming, playing volleyball, and spending time with her friends and family.

Laine Phillips


Laine Phillips is a freshman at McLean High School in Journalism 1. She enjoys cross country and spending time with friends and family.

Kaan Kocabal


This year is Kaan Kocabal’s first year at Mclean high school and first year taking journalism. He is a soccer player, basketball player, and enjoys spending time with friends. 

Noah Barnes


Noah Barnes is a freshman in his first year of journalism at McLean High School. He enjoys playing soccer, going to the movies, and spending time with friends.

Zeyad Zaeean


Zeyad Zaeean, is a junior, and it is his first year in Mclean High School, after spending two years in Herndon High School. Zeyad is a very active person, practicing many sports and activities, such as, soccer, Basketball and Fo...

Pran Kittivorapat


Pran Kittivorapat is a junior AFS exchange student from Thailand, who takes a full-year experience at McLean High School. He enjoys taking photos and listening to pop music.

Matthew Zarkani


  Matthew Zarkani is a very dedicated and motivated young man. A very intellectual being. Matthew is a very great basketball player, and a scholar. Everyday he enjoys eating, playing Xbox, and playing basketball. Matthew ha...

Zach Hasan


Zach Hasan is a freshman at McLean High School. He likes to play basketball, and he plans on trying out for the freshman team. He also likes to code. He is in his first year of journalism.

Erica Bass


Erica Bass is a junior in her first year of Journalism at McLean. She’s an avid participant in McLean’s theatre department, a blanket lover, and a keeper of Scooby Doo trivia. She is currently investigating if “French Fry Con...

Skye Sunderhauf


Skye Sunderhauf is a sophomore at McLean High School. She loves swimming and has been swimming competitively year round since nine years old. She has a younger sister and a golden retriever.

Katie Romhilt


Katie Romhilt is a sophomore in her second year of journalism. She plays ECNL soccer proficiently and often travels around the country — last year, she went to Italy. She enjoys writing about news, and has an active role in...

Michelle Cheng


    Michelle Cheng is first year journalist for The Highlander.

Sam Naemi


A junior at McLean High and a first timer of Journalism his back hurts carrying the so called "veteran" Rohan Mani.

Kyle Hawley


Kyle Hawley is a first year Republican journalist. He will be the President of the United States in 2052. Read his op-eds to learn about the policies KYLE will enact in 2052. 

Dana Edson

News Editor

Dana Edson is a sophomore and currently one of the two news editors on The Highlander staff.

Imani McCormick

Managing Editor

Imani McCormick is Managing Editor of The Highlander in her fourth year of journalism at McLean High School. She was Copy Editor her sophomore year, and Managing Editor her junior and senior years. She is also an award winning pho...

Maria McHugo


Maria McHugo is the Editor-in-Chief of The Highlander in her third year of journalism at McLean High School. During her junior year, she served as the News Editor for the publication and loves the newsmagazine and its staff m...

Maren Kranking


This is Maren's third year of journalism, and is Editor-in-Chief of The Highlander. She has previously worked as a copy editor, features editor, and design editor for the newsmagazine. She also plays volleyball and coaches swi...

Jack Shields

Sports Editor

Jack is in his second year of journalism at McLean. Jack enjoys playing soccer and eating.

Ben Brooks

Sports Editor

Ben Brooks is a student in his third year in journalism. Ben enjoys very little.

Maya Amman


Maya Amman is a freshman at McLean high school and she is taking her first year of journalism. She is very athletic  and is ready for any sports challenge. She loves dogs and enjoys taking care of them.

Benjamin Pham


Hello, person reading this! This article was written by a amazing person called Benjamin Pham a junior in his first year in journalism. He hopes you enjoy the read although he knows you probably won’t. ...

Saisha Dani


Saisha Dani is a sophomore and is in her first year of Journalism at McLean High School. She is new to the McLean community and enjoys watching TV shows, reading and drinking bubble tea.

Grace Gould


Grace Gould is a freshman in Journalism 1.  She enjoys dancing, watching Friends, and going on walks with her dog.

Andy Chung


 Andy Chung is in Journalism one for 2018-2019 school year. Andy has a brother that was a editor in chief last year. Andy enjoys journalism. 

Julia McElligott

Photography Editor & Social Media Manager

Julia McElligott is a senior at McLean High School, as well as Photography Editor and Social Media Manager. She has been on the staff for three years, and has decided to pursue it in college. When she isn't in the Journalism room s...

Sebastian Jimenez

Opinions Editor

 Sebastian Jimenez is a transfer student who moved to McLean in sophomore year. He serves as an opinions editor for the Highlander, and intends to go into a field related to journalism later in life. 

Carla Ballard

A&E Editor

Carla Ballard is a senior at McLean High School, as well as A&E Editor for the Highlander. This is her third year in journalism and she loves it enough to pursue it in college after she graduates. In her free time, Carla lo...

Matthew Abbott


Matthew Abbott is in his first year in Journalism and he has really enjoyed the experience so far. His favorite animal is a cat. He loves to read books and his favorite food is supreme pizza.

Jeremy Siegel

Managing Editor

Jeremy Siegel is a third-year Journalist with The Highlander. He has previously served as a News Editor and Reporter. He has been featured on state finalist in-depth articles like A Grey Area (October 2017) and Clouded Judgeme...

Jessica Opsahl-Ong

Opinion's Editor

Jessica Opsahl-Ong is the Opinion's Editor and reporter for the Highlander. She can be found reading a good book while wrapped in a sweater.

Rohan Mani

Online sports editor, Reporter

Rohan Mani is in his 2nd year of Journalism and is a junior.  He is currently the online sports editor and a reporter for The Highlander magazine. He enjoys following sports, hanging out with friends and family and overall...

Rebeka Rafi

Advertising Manager & Features Editor

Rebeka Rafi is taking her third year of Journalism and is the Advertising/Business Manager and Features Editor for The Highlander newsmagazine at McLean High School. She previously served as the Advertising/Business Manager las...

Dasha Makarishcheva

Website Editor in Chief, Designer, Cartoonist

Darya Makarishcheva is a Junior and has been the head cartoonist for the McLean Highlander since the end of her freshman year. She loves the Journalism Department and structures her life around contributing more to its success. He...

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