Category Archives: NEWS

Timely news on school issues and events

Saying Goodbye To A Pillar Of McNamara

Sage Ware ’20

Staff Writer

The Mustang team is losing one of it’s greatest leaders, Dr. Marco Clark. This year marks the last of Dr. Clark’s 23 year journey in the McNamara community, and we will be sad to see him go. For years Dr. Clark has served McNamara by making the impossible possible for many families, and helping students to get their education. However, life will soon be changing for Dr. Clark, seeing as after this year he will be moving to Austin, Texas. There he will work as the Executive Director of the Holy Cross Institute at Headquarters, also known as St. Edwards University. A major part of his job will be traveling to all of the Holy Cross schools in the United States and other countries, to support them in the Holy Cross mission. Saying goodbye to this home will be difficult, and Dr. Clark reports that he will certainly miss the people and the element of family that McNamara carries. When asked what the greatest lesson he has learned from McNamara, he stated that “Good change, sustainable change, takes time…As you age you realize that the things that last the longest take time.” Dr. Clark also said, “I see myself as a change agent.” 

People may wonder what initially drew Dr. Clark back to Bishop McNamara, after having graduated in the class of ‘85. Prior to this career, Dr. Clark wanted to be a teacher and a football coach. In fact, he worked as a coach for DeMatha High School from 1989 until 1997. However, after realizing that McNamara was having enrollment issues, he decided to take this opportunity to serve a school that has been transformational for him and his life. Through his decision to join this community, Dr. Clark has made many memories. His favorite of which have been various underdog stories, watching people overcome adversity, and finally being able to hand those students a diploma. Dr. Clark also finds joy in Bishop McNamara’s Project Pride program, and says “All people need in life is a chance.” The happy memories Dr. Clark gained, have been rewards of a job that requires much. Dr. Clark describes the hardest part of his job as witnessing failure; both his own failure and the failure of those around him. Yet he continues to give of himself and work for the benefit of children around the world, all while constantly relying on God to lead him through life. 

Girl Power

Kendyl Peoples ’20, Staff Writer

Some say being a girl is hard or complicated.

Girls go through a lot of struggles in this society. Women get discriminated against. We also get paid less, no matter what occupation we have. In this day and age, women get criticized on what we decide to wear.

As a girl, you may be underestimated.

All girls are beautiful, but some cannot see how beautiful they are because of the media. Media today shows that there is a specific body type that girls should fit to be beautiful. The media is putting off the idea that if you do not fit the world’s image, they are not good enough.

According to Dove’s Self Esteem Project, “studies prove that media can have a negative impact on self image. TV, movies, magazines and the internet all bombard teens with images and pressures about what their bodies should look like. The problem is, their version is not realistic. These images are airbrushed versions of models who weigh 23% less than the average woman.”

Girls believe that what they see, is how they should look to be pretty.

BMHS counselor, Ashley Mickey says, “If girls really understood their worth, they wouldn’t have low self esteem.” Beauty starts from the inside.

Senior Charity Williams stated, “a girl can be beautiful on the outside, but her attitude is what makes her beautiful.” Beauty is not all about looks. As long as you’re a confident in your own skin, you are beautiful.

Sometimes girls or women aren’t appreciated or respected enough as they should be. Women bring humans into the world. Women go through so many struggles and some continue to stand strong. Women are powerful. They aren’t meant for just cooking or cleaning. Continuing to underestimate women, will make them even stronger because they want to prove that they deserve respect.

“Sometimes girls can put off a confusing vibe,” Mrs. Mickey stated. Ayanna McCarley, freshman, says, “people are so quick to label something as confusing because they don’t understand it.”

A girl can say a boy is confusing because they do not completely understand them. Some girls/women have a tendency to act a certain way, but feel another. Not only females have a habit of that, but boys too. For example, some people may say that they are “ok”, but really there is something that upsetting them.

As a woman, you should know your worth. Do not let anyone tell you how you should look or act. How you look and act now, is who you are. Be confident in yourself and love yourself. You are beautiful, no matter how you’re shaped, how you act, what you wear or what you like. Be who you are and learn to love who you are because what you are, is beautiful.


The senior class take a creative route on their shed design.

By Jaylen Strong ‘17, Staff Writer

The senior class of 2017 has chosen to start early on their rocket powered journey to their dreams. Rockets are not made with brakes or mirrors, they are made to blast off and never worry about the past behind them. They are powered to reach their destination, and make an impact on where they are going.

They are doing so with the senior shed (*located right near the football field on campus) and homecoming theme of the Kanye West Graduation album. Seniors have taken inspiration from the colorful album art depiction of the cartoon [Kanye] bear being shot out of a rocket into a colorful sunset.

Illustrated on the shed are four bears. The first bear is dressed in Hawaiian garments to represent their freshman theme of Lilo and Stitch. Second is a bear dressed in Chinese garments for their sophomore year theme of Chinatown. Third is the bear as a clown to represent their junior year haunted circus theme, and fourth is the graduation bear draped in robe and cap and gown with a rocket attached to his back while shooting for the stars.

On the side of the shed in white bold font says “2k17 Made It Look Yeezy,” a play on words on how the senior class will make this their own. The shed is a creative depiction of the culmination of all four years and the fast approaching future.

Some seniors shared their positive sentiments of the shed, homecoming and the upcoming year. Senior Davona Johnson said, “I love the shed, it’s different and creative. 2017 is striving and thriving to be on the top.”

It truly feels as though this theme is really one that is aimed at the idea of being on top and ascending over trials, tribulations, and doubts. Taylor Marshall said “I like the transition of the four bears that represent our past and current themes and what better theme to pick for this year than Graduation.” Ashton Reid simply adds, “It’s L’17 (lit).”

The senior class seems adamant and ready to be on top and to be the embodiment of a rocket that can push pass anything to get to where it wants to be. Dreams are as big as you make them and 2017 is trying to make their dreams colossal and achieve them in an even larger way.  

Big Mac is Back

School year starts with significant changes to daily routines

By Wesley Bowers’17,  Editor-In-Chief

Bishop McNamara High School is back in action opening its doors on September 1st to start the 2016-2017 school year. With the new year, comes new changes that will significantly affect McNamara’s community.

There are new additions that will and have already affected the daily routine of the McNamara student. Changes include new start and end times, extended period between classes, new class courses, and a new look for the 2nd semester.

Dr. Robert Van der Waag, principal of Bishop McNamara High school said, “This proved to be a very productive summer. Mcnamara will see a lot of changes in the right direction.”

With the productive summer the renovation of Mount Calvary classrooms was amongst said changes. “ I would like to thank Mr. Keithline and the Facility team and also Jim Dillon  for all the technology work,” said Van der Waag.  

The new school day starts at 8:15am and ends at 3:05pm.

Victoria Patterson class of ‘17 said, “8:15 is a good change. Being late won’t be a frequent problem like last year.”

While many appreciate the new school start time some do not favor the new change due to the 15 minute shift from last year.

Some students had other opinions, such as senior Melayna Harley who said, “I don’t like the 8:15 start time [because] it pushes back the school end time.”

Van der Waag said, “the new start time comprehensively made an impact. The arrival time is less hectic and there’s less build up in the parking lot. Also with Mt. Calvary as a drop off spot, it helps distribute the traffic flow.”

In addition to the time change, students now have 10 minutes between classes, which is a four minute increase from years prior.

Many students say the 10 minutes is very helpful. The halls are not as crowded, and the pressure to run through the halls is not as high, giving an opportunity to have civil hallways and decreased tardiness to class.

However, some interviewees said that 10 minutes is too much because their bodies are acclimated to getting to class in five minutes. Now there is a wait when they arrive with the popular comment, “it will take sometime to adjust.”

There was a lot of time spent on the new ideas of how to accommodate the students and teachers to have a better smooth running  school year.

According to Van der Waag, the 10 minute period between classes was put in action because with the addition of Mt. Calvary students would have to go farther, also it was used to decrease stress levels in the halls rushing from one class to another. He said, “The teachers who may teach back to back classes have prep time, a time to decompress and prepare for their next class.”

Another significant change from last year is the hour delay every Thursday that served as meeting time for administration and teachers is no longer in the McNamara schedule.  

“I miss the hour delay,” said Patterson and Brandon Myrthil ‘17.

Van der Waag said the second semester the lunches will be held in the fine arts building.

The cafeteria is being totally renovated and modernized being equipped with new seating areas, food stations, lounging areas, and makerspaces for extra classrooms. This design will complete the Andy Mona ‘82 Student Center which will open its doors in the fall of 2017.  

Making the Connection: McNamara parent helps start alumni mentoring program

By Jalen Wright
Staff Writer

About 16 years ago Kathy Jones met a high school student that was looking to become the first in her family to go to college.

That student is now 32 with a loving family, a job where she makes six figures and a strong and long lasting relationship with her mentor.

“The mentor program can have an invaluable and positive impact on both the mentee and mentor’s lives,” said Kathy Jones, parent of Chris Jones ’17.

She played a significant role in bringing an alumni mentoring program to McNamara this fall, in which roughly 20 alumni will be paired with students in order to expose them to different professions.

Last winter, Kathy Jones approached then-Director of Alumni Relations Michael Jones(no relation) with her idea. He loved the idea of an alumni mentoring program, because he thought that it would be “a good way to get alumni back and engaged in our school community.”

Kathy Jones and Robert Nolte, current Director of Alumni Relations, will conclude alumni interviews next week. They expect the alumni to be paired with the students in late October.

Director of Student Activities Brian Brower said mentees will include seniors and juniors.

“Next year if there is a higher number of interested alumni then we can possibly expand the program to the entire school,” Brower said.

Jorden White ’17, who will be paired with a mentor, said the program will allow guidance for students to excel and thrive.

“I feel the alumni mentoring program will be beneficial to all the students attending McNamara…,” she said.

Nolte spent the majority of this summer gathering alumni interested in being a mentor.

“We have amazing alumni that have every interest in the world to provide their experience and their story,” Nolte said.

Kathy and her team are really anxious to get this process started. She has high expectations for the program this fall.

“(The goal of the program is to) enhance and enrich the lives of our Bishop McNamara students and allow them the ability to gain experiences that they might not usually have.”





Bishop McNamara’s 2015 Spain Exchange: A Gallery

Promposals: The Charges

Makayla Tabron ‘18 | Staff Writer

Piercings, phones, and promposals. What do they all have in common? They’re all illegal here, at Bishop McNamara High School.

The juries opinion on the legality of promposals – particularly among senior girls – is, “they’re just cute, we should be allowed to do them. It’s a good way to show affection.” Cheyenne Taylor ‘15 said.

At this point, prom isn’t that far away and peoples excitement is only growing. When asked to rate their excitement on a scale from 1 – 10, most girls chose 7. And a big promposal would only make that number even higher.

So why then, is it illegal? It’s a good way for a guy to show affection for a girl, and most girls would prefer to have a big promposal than something small and private.

“With big promposals, you tend to break rules. Like the one in the lunch room the other day, people had their phones out and thats obviously not allowed.” Imani Yorker ‘15 explained her opinion on why administration doesn’t allow prom proposals on school property.

Another point is that it may leave people out, or make people feel bad. “Administration doesn’t want anyone feeling left out, just because they don’t get a big promposal.” Imani added.

“There is a lot of chaos involved, administration probably just doesn’t like it,” Simone Murphy ‘15 said.

Mrs.Hayes agreed to most of these allegations and more, “While they are fun and exciting, they are disruptive. You have to remember that not everyone receives one, and we want to make sure that everyone feels involved and no one feels excluded.”

Another reason that Mrs.Hayes included is, non-Bishop McNamara students, coming onto campus. “We want to make sure all our students are safe, and we can’t do that with visitors coming onto our campus without signing in. They should be in school anyway.”

So according to Mrs.Hayes, the charges for promposals include: excluding people, unsafe circumstances, and disrupting the order.

Based on these charges, it’s safe to say promposals will be spending their life in a cold hard jail cell, far, far away from BMHS.


Dean of Programs: Mr. Brower

Mr. Brian Brower, dean of programs (Source:BMHS)
Mr. Brian Brower, dean of programs (Source:BMHS)

by Amber Smith ‘15 | Editor

The new man who holds the title dean of programs is making a name for himself. He’s often seen overlooking the hallways, lunchroom, and various other parts of the school. The Stampede caught up with him sitting in his office to take time out of his busy day in order to get to know more about the man in the mirror, Brian Brower.

Mr. Brower comes to us from upstate New York, Albany to be exact. Growing up around dairy farms and attending a small, Catholic boys military school, Mr. Brower had big dreams that would lead him elsewhere. He attended the University of Richmond where he studied history, and later received his master’s degree from Notre Dame in Catholic education.

Before embarking on his journey here at McNamara, Mr. Brower was a social studies teacher at Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School in Takoma Park, Maryland. Although Mr. Brower enjoyed teaching, he had his eyes set on another goal: administration.

Mr. Brower had vocalized his ambitions before, so it came as no surprise when a fellow colleague of his sent him the information about the position here, and he jumped at the opportunity. Mr.Brower had always admired the McNamara community and fell in love even more when he had the opportunity to come and really get to know the school on a more personal level.

“The interactions with the students and teachers were warm and welcoming,” Mr. Brower said.

Students are also in agreement that the interactions they have with him are very warm and friendly. “He always has a smile on his face and greets me when I walk past him” said Riley Holbert ‘15. Another student, Morgan Anderson said “He’s a very nice guy and I really like his laidback personality.”

Students and teachers alike can both agree that he has been a great edition to the BMHS family. Mr. Brower also appreciates the fact that there is a wide range of diversity in the Mustang community.

Mr. Brower is currently very happy with his job and credits one of his proudest moments as an educator as never being more excited to start the school year than he was coming into McNamara this past summer.


Stresses of Prom/Graduation

by Tenia Jordan’16 | Staff Writer

While most seniors are ready to leave, but will miss their friends at McNamara, some students have other fears.

Getting a date. Writing a senior thesis. Buying a suit or dress. Preparing for graduation.

This is an exciting but stressful time for seniors. How does it feel to almost graduate?

“I am ready to leave, but scared for college,” Taylor Singleton’15 said. “Prom is also stressful because of getting ready, hair and makeup, finding a dress, and organizing graduation cookouts.”

Not everyone is dreading the day.

“It feels great to finally leave the school,” Kennie May’15 said. “The most stressful things are expenses, getting through school finals, and senior thesis.”

Not everyone is ready to leave just yet.

However when speaking to Charles Willis Jr.’15 he had a sadder approach to graduation. He said “It’s bittersweet getting ready to leave but I will miss the people here.” For stresses he said “prom, suit, shoes, finding the money, graduation and finishing my senior thesis.”

Some students are ready to get a fresh start.

However there are some students who are just ready to start a new life.

Mckenzie Clinkscale’15 said “Graduating feels amazing, I am just ready to start a new life style. Also ready to see what it is like to do something different.”

Although senior year is a stressful year, it can be a very exciting year filled with memories that  will last a lifetime.

Marijuana Allowed in the Nation’s Capital


by Brieanna Bowman ‘16 | Design Chief

On Thursday, February 26, 2015 as of 12:01 a.m., the District of Columbia legalized the possession of marijuana in most circumstances.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, elected in 2014, and with the approval from 70 percent of DC residents, implemented the new law.

The law is not as cut and dry as it appears. Major guidelines have been established to govern:


  • Resident must be 21 years of age
  • May only possess up to two ounces

Sale/ Distribution

  • Can only transport up to 1 ounce
  • May have up to 6 plants in a house, with only 3 of the plants being mature
  • Sale of marijuana for money is prohibited
  • May not smoke in any public place
  • Prohibited on Federal Grounds
  • Not allowed within 1000 feet from schools, play grounds, daycares, junior colleges, colleges, universities, public swimming pools, arcades, youth center,  library, and in or around public housing


  • Federal government workers cannot partake in marijuana
  • Private employers can still prohibit employees from doing drugs, but cannot require a drug test before extending a job offer

150320.marijuana.jpgThe legalization of marijuana was not an overnight thing. Since August 2013, a group known as DC Cannabis Campaign has been lobbying for better/more modern marijuana laws. Finally with the efforts of 500 volunteers and campaign staff, Ballot Initiative 71 was passed and became law in the Nation’s Capital.