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Mr. Lahy: dog breeding, banjo playing teacher

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To most students at George Mason, special education teacher Jamie Lahy seems like a bow-tie wearing, helpful teacher. What most students don’t know about Lahy is that he breeds dogs and plays the banjo.

In seventh grade, Lahy’s mother made him play the piano but he didn’t like it. Much to his dismay, his mother forced him to stay in music, so he chose the banjo. He chose the banjo out of spite, because it was the most annoying instrument he could think of at the time. Over time, he learned to love it and still tries to play every day for at least 45 minutes.

Lahy’s favorite banjo performers are Bela Fleck and Pete Seeger, and his favorite song to play is “John Stinson #2.” He sometimes performs locally and at jam sessions with other banjo players. He even made an appearance alongside Jason Kutchma, junior, in this year’s fall JV Show.

Lahy also would like to remind people that the banjo is a serious instrument and not “just for rednecks.”

Aside from picking away at the banjo, Lahy also breeds dogs in his spare time.  During his sophomore year in college, Lahy received his first show dog, a commodore. He liked them because they looked unique and pretty. After college he started to show dogs professionally and soon received a job at one of the world’s largest show-dog kennels. For four years, they showed some of the top show dogs in the entire country.

Lahy dreams of one day having a dog that receives the title of “Best in Show.” For now, he breeds Norwich Terriers and says the most important things about the dogs are “that they are healthy, happy, and are good companions.”

Lahy wants to send all of his dogs off to good homes, and he opens this opportunity to students and families of George Mason High School.

Anthony Shriver Discusses Best Buddies

Anthony Shriver Discusses Best Buddies

By Zoe Allen-Lewis 

Lasso reporter Zoe Allen- Lewis got the opportunity to talk to founder of Best Buddies Anthony Shriver over the phone, and get an insight on Shriver’s experiences and passion for Best Buddies. Shriver started Best Buddies in 1989 and he and his family are very important activists for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Take a listen to her interview! 



Personalized Learning Takes George Mason Next Year

Personalized Learning Takes George Mason Next Year

After a year of planning GM is able to take the last steps toward a new technologically integrated curriculum 

Blaise Sevier 

With the help of George Mason Technology Coordinator Steve Knight, and many others, the plea to increase technology within the Falls Church School Public Schools has been revisited again: this time with a concrete triennial plan to implement a “Personalized Learning” initiative in the 2014-2015 school year.

Starting the week of August 11, every student in George Mason will receive a laptop as part of the newly developed, "Personalized Learning" initiative. The full details of the plan are found in Falls Church City Public Schools Instructional Technology, Strategic Planning Integration Recommendations manual. This plan was just recently approved (on April 9, 2014) by the Virginia Department of Education, and is officially part of the GM curriculum.

“I’m excited about the promise of every kid having a technological resource in their hands,” said George Mason Principal Tyrone Byrd. “It’ll make it easier in school and they’ll be able to personalize it to their own interests and also take it home.”

A parent meeting will be required during the two weeks starting August 11 to sign devices out to students. Then, once school starts, the first few days of classes will also incorporate informational workshops that help assist the transition. Also, throughout the school year, an on-site assistance booth, and more services will be provided for faculty and students.

“We have heard loud and clear (from the reaction of the 1-1 program) that if we are going to be giving students and faculty members laptops, training is a critical step that will need to be incorporated within our school year,” said Knight.

The recognition of this training program has already made its way to the 2014-2015 calendar. Before and during the school year staff will have a minimum of 20 hours of technology integration training.

“It doesn’t replace the teacher and the relationship they have with their students, so we’re going to help them walk that balance,” said Byrd.

For more information about FCCPS’ upcoming “Personalized Learning” program visit the FCCPS Instructional Technology Strategic Planning and Integration Presentation

“I’m really excited about it, our teachers are excited about it, there’ll be a lot of development over the summer to prepare for that so we’ll hit the ground running next year,” said Byrd.



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Byrd Feeder celebrates another year of success

Byrd Feeder celebrates another year of success

By Andrea Dilao 

A crowd of parents and students gathered in support of Mason’s All Night Graduation Celebration (ANGC) at the fifth annual Byrd Feeder, which took place Saturday afternoon at Clare and Don’s Beach Shack. Hosted by Principal Tyrone Byrd, the Byrd Feeder is a primary fundraiser for the ANGC, and with a unique and varied selection of items for the silent auction, over $4,500 was raised.

“Overall, we thought the event was a big success,” said Byrd Feeder co-chair, Ann Niederpruem. “Turnout was great, and it helped that the weather was perfect. Expenses for the event were almost non-existent, and Clare and Don's generously donated use of the patio as they have for the Byrd Feeder's 5-year history.”

“The great thing is that each year there is a new 'batch' of parents to get donations from so the auction is always diverse,” Byrd Feeder co-chair Sue Earman said. “We had items from professional artisans to items such as homemade family specialties to corporate donations.”

The ANGC is an annual event that provides Mason’s seniors with a safe, alcohol- and drug-free environment, yet still allows them to enjoy themselves, party, and celebrate their graduation as a class.

“Some people just stopped by [the Byrd Feeder] to donate directly to ANGC,” said Earman. “Many students have no idea about the vast net of supporters of this safe event, like people who don’t have senior students. It is heartwarming to know how many people appreciate the ANGC and the Byrd Feeder.”

The Byrd Feeder, while being one of the most significant fundraisers for the ANGC, isn’t the only one. Funds are also raised through the Phantom Ball and online donations, as well as the Holiday Market that took place in the fall. 

“Bidding on auction items at the Byrd Feeder was competitive and the high bidders [auction item winners] were from within and outside the Mason community,” Niederpruem said. “We were very pleased to have such broad support.”

“I’m hoping that this is something that people look forward to every year,” said chair of the ANGC committee Ellen Meinhart. “People will always have a reason to come out because they’re supporting something that I hope they believe in, and is an important event.”



Mason’s H.O.P.E club raises money for Ugandan student

Mason’s H.O.P.E club raises money for Ugandan student

By Tara Holman 

Helping Others Pursue Education (H.O.P.E) is affiliated with the Arlington Academy of Hope (AAH), a volunteer nonprofit organization that assists students in rural Uganda with education, health care, development opportunities and community outreach.


Each year, the club conducts fundraisers to raise $1,000 to send to Alex, their sponsored student, to help fund his education. Members of H.O.P.E are interested in sponsoring more students in the next few years.


Previous fundraisers have involved local community members and businesses, such as Claire & Dons, Bedazzled, Chipotle, and many other businesses, who provided H.O.P.E with residence for their H.O.P.E. Festival. Their most recent fundraiser will take place on May 7 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Panera Bread, located right here in Falls Church. Part of the proceeds from that day will be given to Mason’s H.O.P.E club in support of Alex.


If you are interested in supporting H.O.P.E and contributing to Alex’s education, please print off the flyer here and hand it in after purchasing a meal from Panera on Wednesday, May 7 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.


If you would like further information or would like to make a direct donation to H.O.P.E, please email Holly Herrington at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it