News Archive

NAACP Best and Brightest Educators

Saturday morning, the MCPS Chapter of the NAACP Parent Council bestowed it’s annual “Best and Brightest Educators Awards”. These awards are based on student nomination and the honorees are recognized at a countywide breakfast event. Blake was very fortunate to have not one, but THREE winners this year – Sandra Zinkievich, Beth Thomas and Susan Knott. Thank you ladies for making that tremendous difference in the eyes of your students, and in our eyes as well.

Blake's It's Academic Team Are the Champions (Again)!

It was a BUSY and EVENTFUL weekend in the life of Blake HS. Down the road at the studios of NBC4, Blake was taking on the best of the Montgomery Blair magnet program, and private girls school Holton Arms in the DC-area “It’s Academic” Championship. At the end of a competitive, fast-paced 30 minutes, the results were Blake:530, Montgomery Blair:305, and Holton Arms:340.

After the DC victory, the team competed in the “It’s Academic Super Bowl” against the Baltimore and Central Virginia Champions, once again prevailing in that match.

Blake is the first high school in the 53 year history of “It’s Academic” to win the DC-area championship three years in a row! This is an amazing, seemingly impossible accomplishment, given the fact that 81 high schools send three of their best and brightest to compete in this format every year. While this is a wonderful reflection on Blake, the real heavy lifting in done day-in-and-day-out by the team members and coach Joe Caulfield. If you’ve ever wandered by A-205 at lunchtime, you’ve undoubtedly seen Mary, Elana and Jeremy buzzing away and Joe asking question after question. This isn’t just about innate intelligence, getting to this summit takes a full year of preparation. If you’ve had the pleasure of teaching these three students, they are smart, but also humble and funny. And Joe… well, this is the latest reason why he was recognized with the first DC-area “It’s Academic” Coach of the Year Award a few years back. Congratulations to this team… one for the record books!

Blake's Ryan Chang Puts a Creative Twist on the College Application Process

In order to stand out from the crowd during the college application season, senior Ryan Chang decided to show some of his skills and created a song and video for the University of Maryland, College Park. The video was attached to his application, with the hyperlink being embedded into the "Additional Notes" section of his essays. The video has been successful, gaining a lot of popularity on the UMD campus. The video has been shared on UMD's official Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit pages, and Chang was interviewed by WBAL Radio, 1090 AM. Chang never thought that the video would receive this much attention, but Chang is grateful for all of the positive feedback he has received. Chang was assisted by friend and fellow senior Stephen Han, who filmed the video for him. Chang immediately committed to UMD the day after his acceptance, and will be joining the Terp family this fall.

Blake's Dunchadhn Lyons Gets Interviewed By Montgomery County Cable

"There are many outstanding seniors in the Class of 2014. Among them is Dunchadhn Lyons, a Renaissance Man if ever there was one. If you haven’t had the pleasure of teaching, coaching or working with Dunchadhn, you’ve missed out on an exceptional young man with a bright future. Here’s a great profile that Montgomery County Cable did on him recently." -Mr. Berry.

Recently, Bethesda magazine announced the winners of their fifth annual extraordinary teens awards - 12 of the county's most outstanding students chosen from close to 100 nominees. The winners ranged from athletes to future scientists who are destined for success. Montgomery County Cable caught up with one these top teens who excels at more than the typical 18 year old.

Blake's Asha Henley Makes Honorable Mention, All-Gazette

Asha Henley

Congratulations to senior Asha Henley for receiving Honorable Mention in the All-Gazette Baskeball team! Make sure to congratulate her if you see her!

Blake's Demonte Ojinnaka Makes 1st Team, All-Gazette

Demonte Ojinnaka

Congratulations to senior Demonte Ojinnaka for making the 1st Team All-Gazette Basketball team! Be sure to congratulate him if you see him!

Blake's Dunchadhn Lyons in the Bethesda Magazine

Fellow Bengal Dunchadhn Lyons was featured in the Bethesda Magazine as a member of their Extraordinary Teen Awards. Bethesda Magazine commended Lyons on his academic success and his athletic superiorities during the Blake Soccer season. Read the artlce about Lyons here.

Blake's We The People Team Wins State Championships 3rd Year in a Row

WTP-states 2014

Congratulations to the Blake We the People… team for winning their third consecutive state title in the Simulated Congressional Hearing Competition on March 6. Blake We the People… took first place in Maryland’s state competition earning them the privilege of representing the entire state in the We the People… National Finals in April. The students from Dr. Phillips' Global Issues and the Law class were at their best, testifying as experts on constitutional history, politics, law, and government . Hours and hours of intense studying, researching and writing above and beyond their class time prepared them to win for the third straight year. The team looks forward to representing Blake and Maryland at the Nationals Finals and has already begun the hard work of preparing for this next level. Blake We the People has #NoDaysOff. Check out the winning moment below:

February 24, 2014 - Blake Boys' Basketball Getting Healthy Just in Time for Playoff Run

Basketball feb 24

Blake began the year 6-2, with one of its losses coming to No. 16 Springbrook, 62-57, in a contest that was even tighter than the final score showed. Then came the injuries — in particular, a knee injury to leading scorer Demonte Ojinnaka, which kept him out of game action for more than a month. Nganga and a handful of other players battled injuries off and on, and after that strong start, the Bengals dropped six of seven games in January. Ojinnaka returned earlier this month, and has reemerged as one of the most potent and versatile scoring threats in Montgomery County. As he and the rest of his teammates have come back from injury, the Bengals have rallied, winning five straight heading into this week’s regular-season finale against Richard Montgomery. Despite the ups and downs visible in their results this season, it was an up in the midst of a down — the Bengals’ lone win in that 1-6 midseason stretch — that Stanton said revealed most about Blake’s playoff potential.

February 19, 2014 - Blake High School Yearbook Wins Recognition

Tempo, the yearbook of James Hubert Blake High School in Silver Spring, was recognized for excellence and will be featured in the 2014 Jostens Look Book, honoring the best in design and coverage in yearbooks published by the company. Click to read more about the nationally recognized yearbook!

January 31, 2014 - Blake Dance Collaborates with NIH's National Drug Facts Week

In honor of National Drug Facts Week, the Blake Dance Department worked alongside the National Institute of Health to raise drug awareness.

January 19, 2014 - School of Rock at the Fillmore

Tommy Noone, a sophomore, along with other local musicians take on a big audience and a big stage with the School of Rock.

Tommy Noone

January 15, 2014 - Congratulations to Blake Athletics Teams For Winning Fall 2013 MCPS Sportsmanship Awards


Field Hockey – Coach Patrick Howley
Girls Volleyball – Coach Dana Mitchell
Cross Country – Coaches Andrew Brodeur and Stephanie Staub
Girls Tennis – Coach Mike Krawczel
Golf – Coach Bart Popeck


A primary focus of the MCPS interscholastic athletics program is the promotion and reinforcement of good sportsmanship among coaches, players and fans. Sportsmanship Expectations Posters are posted at middle and high school athletic events.

MCPS has a comprehensive Sportsmanship Award Program which includes an Evaluation Form that is completed by officials and game administrators for every varsity contest in which officials, referees, or umpires are used. Non-officiated sports utilize a different system for evaluation.

Based on the evaluation scores, individual teams earn sportsmanship points for the school. Teams that win the Sportsmanship Award receive engraved plates that are affixed to plaques located in prominent areas of the school. Countywide school sportsmanship awards are presented annually to those schools whose teams have compiled the greatest number of sportsmanship awards. Cash prizes are awarded to the highest scoring schools.

December 5th, 2013 - Blake High Students Take Hot Seat In Mock Congressional Hearings

Blake's We the People Team, led by teacher Donna Phillips, takes on tough questions as they prepare for state and national competitions. Just as congressional hearings allow Congress members to question experts to gather information, the hearings at Blake allowed the students to demonstrate their knowledge of politics, law and government and their ability to link different topics.

We The People

December 4th, 2013 - Arturo Sandoval Visits Maryland High School

Picture of Arturo SandovalThe Blake High School jazz band got a special treat Tuesday when multi-Grammy-winning artist and Medal of Freedom recipient Arturo Sandoval came to visit its practice, and gave them advice on life as well as music.

View more pictures here.

View a video about his visit here.

November 20, 2013 - Blake Boys’ Soccer Delivers Best Season Yet

On Friday, November 15, 2013, Blake played in its first 4A Maryland state championship game. Even though the Bengals lost to Severna Park — a consistant state title contender — in a 1-0 match, the experience provided more than enough validation for the remarkable work that’s been done at the Silver Spring school.

Despite the loss, this year’s team accomplished more than any other Boys Soccer team had in Blake history. Please be sure to congratulate the team on their great season! Go Bengals!

Read more about the championship game here:

Washington Post

The Gazette

October 30, 2013 - Blake's Marching Band Commemorates Accident Victims

James Hubert Blake's marching band commemorates accident victims by playing "Amazing Grace" while leaving the field. The marching band was a part of the Street Smart campaign.

October 28, 2013 - Boys Soccer in the Gazette

Today’s Gazette has an article on the Blake Boys Soccer team. Congrats to Coach Edlow and the team on a fantastic regular season. The Bengals are the #1 seed in the playoffs, which start on Monday, 10/28 at home at 7pm. The Gazette ranked Blake #2 in Montgomery County… higher than all other public schools.

October 09, 2013 - The Gazette mentions Blake Soccer in the Soccer Notebook

Blake’s Girls Soccer team received some positive publicity in this week’s Soccer Notebook in the Gazette. The Boys Soccer team was ranked #5 in Montgomery County in the same notebook. Congratulations, Bengals!

October 09, 2013 - Blake's two National Achievement Scholarship Semifinalists

The Gazette also listed the 20 MCPS National Achievement Scholarship Semifinalists, two of which are student-athletes at Blake: Miles Douglas and Thomas Stanton. Congratulations to them both!

September 12, 2013 - Katherine Espinoza at the Hispanic Gala

Blake's very own Katherine Espinoza sung the National Anthem at the Hispanic Executive Gala last Thursday at the Fillmore in Silver Spring. The Executive’s Hispanic Gala is a completely volunteer-run event. The Gala brings together stakeholders and organizations that are committed to assist Hispanic youth to achieve a high level of education while building strong, diverse and united communities in Montgomery County and throughout the State of Maryland.

Learn more about the gala at

Blake student sings the National Anthem

NPR visits Blake HS

Blake High School hosted an ACE assembly discussing climate change.

Blake Alumni in the News - Maya Barlev

Maya Barlev, Blake Class of 2008 and daughter of our own English Teacher Par Excellence, was featured recently in the Kid’s Post section of The Washington Post. This is what an inspirational science education at Blake can lead to!

Congratulations Caroline Wannen!

The Washington Post has recently published a story on Girls Lacrosse player Caroline Wannen, who set the Blake school record for career goals.

Go Blake's Forensics and We The People!

Blake's Forensics has won the title of 2013 MCPS Forensics Team Champion. Additionally, Blake's We The People has been crowned Maryland State Champions for the second year in a row. We The People is now advanced to the national competition in Washington, D.C.

Congratulations Russell Wanke!

Congratulate Russell Wanke the next time you see him. Russell was accepted into his first choice of college, West Point Academy. He got a call from Senator Ben Cardin personally congratulating him.

Russell Wanke

Blake High School Students Win Two County Tournaments, State Tournaments

February 20, 2013, was a great day for the James Hubert Blake High School and their Signature Program in the Fine Arts and the Humanities. James Hubert Blake High School, based in northern Silver Spring is a part of the Northeast Consortium (NEC) in Montgomery County Public Schools! Two of its signature related programs had banner days as its students represented the community proudly and successfully in county and state tournaments.

In the morning, Blake’s “We the People…” Congressional Simulation Team competed in the state competition against seven other state high school teams. The students testified on and responded to questions on topics ranging from the philosophical underpinnings of the Constitution, to search and seizure rights, to their knowledge of “ripped from the headlines” issues such as drone strikes.

At the end of the day, Blake’s team not only was complemented by the judges on their preparedness and poise, but was crowned the Maryland State “We the People” Champions for a second year in a row. They will now advance to the national competition in Washington, DC! Principal Christopher Berry congratulates all of the students on the team and Dr. Donna Phillips, who spends countless hours teaching, prepping and encouraging this group. He would like to also commend the other teachers in Blake’s social studies and humanities department, as it’s clear that these students draw on their prior learning from previous history and governmentrelated courses.

In the evening, Blake hosted the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Forensics League Annual Awards Program. Forensics, for those who may not know, is not CSI, but rather a competition of speech, dramatic/humorous interpretation, reader’s theatre, etc. Blake’s team was represented in most categories, and for the first time in the last 20 years Blake was crowned the 2013 MCPS Forensics Team Champion!

Mike D’Anna (Forensics sponsor) may no longer coach football, but inside him beats the competitive heart of a winner. He and the Blake team members carried home quite a haul of individual and team hardware. Principal Berry would again like to commend the teachers of so many disciplines, as these students combine knowledge of presentation, performance discipline, content knowledge of specific topics and the ability to think quickly on their feet.

Photos from all events are available upon request.
For more information, contact:
Elizabeth Yargici, Signature Program Coordinator (301)879-1327
Christopher Berry, Principal
James Hubert Blake High School
Twitter: @BlakePrincipal

Congratulations to Kelly McLaughlin for being featured in the, Gazette

Blake staff member Kelly McLaughin was interviewed in the Gazette, newspaper for her role at Blake as a Special Education teacher. If you see her tell her congrats!

Congratulations Folarin Orimolade!

This past weekend Folarin Orimolade went on an official visit and verbally committed to attend and play football at Dartmouth University!! This is a tremendous accomplishment for him and those of you who know Folarin know he deserves this honor. He has worked very hard in the classroom and on the football field. To our knowledge Folarin is the first Blake football player to attend and play at an Ivy League school. If you know and/or see Folarin in school Wednesday please take time to congratulate him. He and his family are extremely excited about this decision and we know he will represent Blake High School very well.

Check out this MCPS Bulletin!

Learn about the charitable acts of the Choral Music Department, and the astounding Mock Congressional hearing held at Blake HS in December!

Congratulations Sandra Zinkievich and Donna Phillips! You ROCK!

Blake's We the People... Team District level Simulated Congressional Hearings

On December 13, 2012, 32 students at James Hubert Blake High School showcased their knowledge of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, politics, law, citizenship and current events at the District 8 We the People... Simulated Congressional Hearing. With guest judges including Councilwoman Nancy Floreen, Board of Education member Michael Durso, and representation from Congressman Chris Van Hollen's office, students were questioned during two rounds of testimony. The We the People... competition is a national competition sponsored by the Center for Civic Education where students prove their knowledge on how the constitution has shaped our countries history and how it continues to affect today’s society. In their first year competing in 2011-12, the team won the state-level competition and represented Maryland in the national competition in Washington DC. This year as well, after advancing past the district level competition, the 2012-13 team heads into the state competition in February and hopes to represent Maryland again, with eyes on returning to the national stage.

Blake High School students learn about financial literacy

The Gazette has an article highlighting Blake students learning about financial literacy. A few names are wrong, but it's still cool!

Gazette features Blake Football - Coach Nazzaro and several playmakers

The Gazette has two articles on Coach Tony Nazzaro and the football team’s playoff berth. Congrats Blake football and check out the articles below:
"Blake, coach finally make playoffs"
"Blake football’s offense features several playmakers"

Blake Field Hockey in the Media - Special Recognition of Caroline Wannen

The Gazette has an article on Blake’s Region Championship in Field Hockey, led by Caroline Wannen.

Blake's starting quarterback Stefan Sigwalt is ahead of the script!

For the second time this year the Gazette has written a feature article on one of our football players. The Gazette has recognized Stefan Sigwalt, our starting quarterback. Stefan is having an excellent season and is primed to break some single season school passing records. If you have a chance, check out the article!

Air Traffic Controller Association Field Trip

On October 3rd, Students from Guided Research & Information Technology, Web Development & Game Development attended the 57th Annual Air Traffic Controller Association Conference & Exposition in Washington, DC. Members forming the US Air Force and Army provided students with a guided tour while observing to meet with industry experts from Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Thales, Lockheed Martin, and Rockville-based Intelligent Automation. Our fun-filled day ended with a honorable presentation by the Color Guard of the US Army. This was a great eye-opening opportunity to explore career options combining technology, government, and aviation.

Blake's starting quarterback Stefan Sigwalt is ahead of the script!

In addition to the positive publicity the football team received in this week’s Gazette, there was also a nice article about the Boys Soccer team, coached by David Edlow. Last season, Coach Edlow led the team to its first winning record in school history. This season, Blake has continued its success.

Blake Boys Soccer continuing their success!

In addition to the positive publicity the football team received in this week’s Gazette, there was also a nice article about the Boys Soccer team, coached by David Edlow. Last season, Coach Edlow led the team to its first winning record in school history. This season, Blake has continued its success.

Ricardo Malcolm recognized for his athletic and educational achievements

Senior football player Ricardo Malcolm has helped the Blake football team win three (3) games straight. He has worked hard to play well on the field, and keep competitive in the classroom. The Gazette has written an article recognizing his honorable display of achievement.

Blake Athletics Department wins the MCPS Sportsmanship Award!

The Blake Athletic Department is extremely happy to announce that Blake has been named the MCPS Sportsmanship Award winner for the 2011-2012 school year! This award is the highest award given to an MCPS Athletic Department, and the only one that comes with a monetary amount - $2000 to the winning school. This is Blake’s second time winning the award since MCPS Athletics instituted the program in 2006. The standings are calculated from evaluations submitted by Athletic Administrators, Administrators, Coaches, and Officials.

This award was won due to the stress put on sportsmanship by our coaches, athletic administrators, school administrators, students, and parents. I appreciate all of your hard work, and am happy to work with a group that values sportsmanship.

For more information on the MCPS Sportsmanship Award program, click here.

3 Blake seniors chosen for Superintendent's Leadership Program

Three Blake seniors were selected to participate in the Superintendent’s Leadership Internship Program this coming school year. Blake has never had more than one student per year be chosen for this competitive opportunity. They will attend Blake for 4 periods each day and then report to the SLP internship.

Congratulations to…
Denise Venero
Estefania Velez
Alexis Ford

John's Hopkins University Highlights Mrs. Elaine Power- August 2012

Mrs. Power had enrolled in John Hopkin's University's Certificate in Biotechnology Education program and has now brought biotechnology to Blake High School. This is a course new to Blake High School and makes a wonderful addition to our science department.

Blake's Caroline Wannen - Three-Sport Student Athlete - July 2012

The Washington Post features an article on Blake senior (class of 2013) Caroline Wannen, a three sport student-athlete and University of Maryland recruit for Girls Lacrosse. The article includes a video of Caroline.

Blake High School Wins ''It’s Academic'' Superbowl - June 2012

Blake High School capped off its stellar season with a stunning victory over Catonsville and Louisa Counties to win the It's Academic Superbowl for the 2012 School Year. Congratulations Bengals.

Blake High School Gay-Straight Alliance - May 2012

Blake High School students spread the message of Tolerance around the world.

Blake Alumni Makes Video - March 2012

Blake Alumni, Priska Neely, was co-editor-in-chief of The Blake Beat with Gilad Barlev, in 2004-2005. She partnered with Sally Lok, one of Blake's best TV Production kids, and made a youtube video called “Ode to Condiments”. Check It out Below.

Riderwood Scholarship Recipients - March 2012

These 6 Blake students were among the 35 recipients of the Riderwood Scholarship which is awarded to qualifying seniors who work at Riderwood Community in food service. A special awards ceremony was held in their honor. Blake senior Cadijah Walcott was chosen as student speaker for the event.

Riderwood Scholarship

Congratulations to Riderwood Scholarship Recipients: Lola Oluremi, Joann Valentin, Tracy Velasquez, Cadijah Walcott, Henry Aparicio, Abigail Asantewaa

Blake High School Student Wins Prestigious Morehead-Cain Scholarship - March 2012

James Hubert Blake High School Senior Rhea Wyse has been named a recipient of the Morehead-Cain Scholarship, which provides full funding to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the only MCPS student to receive the prestigious scholarship this year. The total value of the scholarship is nearly $100,000 and covers tuition, student fees, housing, meals, books and a laptop, as well as four tailored summer enrichment experiences. Blake High School Principal Christopher Berry said, “Rhea has excelled in her four years at Blake both inside the classroom and out. This scholarship comes as no surprise to her teachers and fellow students, and affirms her hard work on behalf of the Blake community.” The Morehead-Cain was the first merit scholarship program established in the United States. There are currently 230 Morehead-Cain Scholars enrolled at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Rhea Scholarship

Blake High Students Get Silly for Cancer Research

As part of “Pennies for Patients,” students and faculty hope to raise $10,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Congratulations Trey Cooper

Congratulate Nero "Trey" Cooper on his committment to Towson University next fall. He is the first boys soccer player from Blake to continue their career at NCAA division I school.

Operation Welcome Home

Blake High School students and staff drove to BWI airport to welcome troops home. Many students held signs and banners supporting our troops.

Congratulations to The Blake Beat

The Blake Beat was named “Best in Show” as the top high school newspaper in Maryland Friday at a joint conference hosted by the Towson University Journalism Department and the Maryland District of Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Three hundred student journalists from 22 high school newspapers attended the conference, including Blake Beat editors-in-chief Savannah Doane-Malotte and Kristen Frese.

Additionally, Aron Crews won first in the state in news photography, while an article double-bylined Josh Paunil and Eddie Madden won first in the state for sports reporting.

The Sherwood Warrior was named as the third-ranked newspaper in the state.

Signature Coordinator Peter Daddone, who did not vote in the Best in Show competition, is president of the MDCSPA.

Blake Football Gets It Done In The Clutch

The James H. Blake High School football team has finished the past six seasons with these final records, consecutively since 2005: 1-9, 1-9, 2-8, 2-8, 3-7 and 1-9.
After its 33-30, come-from-behind win Thursday over Thomas S. Wootton in Silver Spring, the Bengals are in unfamiliar territory. They are 4-2 and right in the thick of the 4A North Region playoff hunt.

Spring All-Met Athletes

The Washington Post released its Spring All-Met section today, recognizing the top student-athletes in the Washington Metro area. If you see the following Blake student-athletes, please congratulate them on their achievements:

  • Brittany Atkins – 1st Team All-Met, Gymnastics (Only the fifth Bengal to ever be named All-Met)

  • Cody Acker – 2nd Team All-Met, Baseball (Also named Preseason All-State by the Maryland State Association of Baseball Coaches)

  • Bridget Hawvermale – Honorable Mention All-Met, Softball (Will play for the University of Maryland next year; 2nd consecutive year being honored by The Post)

  • Monika Looney – Honorable Mention All-Met, Gymnastics (2nd consecutive year being honored by The Post)

  • Meredith Mathis – Honorable Mention All-Met, Softball (2nd consecutive year being honored by The Post)

  • Max Shannon – Honorable Mention All-Met, Baseball (Will play for Salisbury University next year)

Public-private partnership brings classroom to life

A rainbow appeared over Grace Mlingi's head as she spoke May 19 outside the house she helped build in Aspen Hill, which some in the crowd saw as an symbol of two years worth of hard work paying off. Mlingi, of White Oak, spoke to about 100 people about getting a taste of a career in construction management while working with other students from the Thomas Edison High School of Technology on the program's 38th house.

Silver Spring teen defies gravity during weeklong space camp

Sixteen-year-old Bella Barriga, a junior at James Hubert Blake High School in Silver Spring, took a break last week from her normal hobbies—practicing tennis, browsing Facebook and hanging out with friends—to try on a space suit and see what a career in aerospace engineering might be like.

Montgomery County teachers get advanced training in science lab

Nasrin Saikh, an Advanced Placement biology teacher at James Hubert Blake High School who attended the training, agreed.

"There should be no excuses for a teacher not to do this," she said. "We have the resources."

Silver Spring skater, 15, dreams of competing in Olympics

For Robert, being an Olympic skater is a dream for the future. He said he won't know whether he's good enough for a few years, after several more rounds of regional and national competitions, and after his parents have invested tens of thousands of dollars more in his passion.