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The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

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Rival Reviews: Walt Whitman

Rebecca Green
REVIEWERS STRANDED – Renowned Rival Reviewers Becca and Francesca were trapped at Walt Whitman when their car broke down. Fortunately, they were saved.

Upon reading the title, readers may be starting to think our beloved column name is turning into a lie, as Whitman is no rival of ours. While admittedly this is true, after trotting around all of DC things started to get repetitive, so we decided to switch it up. That, and Gonzaga said no.
As we wandered around Walt Whitman High School, a Montgomery County public school, we couldn’t help but feel like a part of High School Musical™ as the building had overwhelming similarities to the classic American high school stereotypes. However, under the surface, there were many quirks that Whitman had to offer.

With Maryland comes some new offerings, one being parking. With what seemed like almost the entire student body driving to school with their very own personal set of wheels, Whitman had by far the largest parking lot we have seen yet. 

Once entering the building we couldn’t help but notice the physical resemblance between Whitman, Jackson-Reed, and some yellow lockers that gave us Deal trauma flashbacks. The classrooms and class sizes however, did seem significantly smaller. There were also similarities to DC private schools, with a forum reminding us of GDS and Sidwell, and highly ranked academics reminding us of…. other schools idk? Teachers at Whitman seem to care for their students seeing as there is a school dog that a teacher brings everyday, and a whole two rooms devoted to the newspaper (smh).

One prominent difference between JR and Whitman are the students. The racial and economic  diversity at Whitman is almost non-existent. There is a very homogeneous culture, which is especially apparent in student’s fashion. Almost every person we saw was wearing the same uniform of a Lululemon and Uggs combo, not exactly making Whitman a fashion hub, as explained by our tour guide.

Whitman’s semester system is one we had never heard of, where in the second semester your class subjects stay the same but your teacher and period switches. Why? We’ll never know.

Also odd, was their system for getting community service hours. Apparently students can get 15 hours for taking AP US Government because “learning about your country’s government is a service to the community.” Be serious, please. By this logic a semester with Canedo should get us 50?

Something that caught our eye was Whitman’s child development program where teenage students take care of real toddlers. There is even a playground and daycare in the building for the classes, where a teacher oversees students while they serve as babysitters? Those parents must have a lot of trust in a group of teenagers.

Right when we thought our time in North Bethesda was coming to an end, we were quickly humbled. When Francesca tried to start her car to go back home, there was a sad and quick rumble of the engine followed by pure silence. The two of us looked at each other. Panic set in (especially for Francesca). Battery dead. What to do? Not sure. We ended up spending the next hour waiting in the parking lot on the one day in January it happened to be hot. All we saw were Broncos, Mustangs, and Suburus pulling into the parking lot after lunch, passing by our sad and disoriented faces as we waited to be rescued.

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About the Contributor
Francesca Purificato
Francesca Purificato, Managing Editor
  • 2021-22: Junior Editor
  • 2022-23: Features Editor
  • 2023-24: Managing Editor
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    Eduardo CanedoFeb 16, 2024 at 10:29 am

    I think 50 community service hours for spending time in class is quite fair! But take 1 hour off each time I take your phone….