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Perhaps nation's best defense leads swagger-filled No. 2 Miami Central
by Education News Headlines - Yahoo! News
Jun 30, 2015
“Keir Thomas's highlights vs. Armwood High School 428 views1:17 Video: Keir Thomas highlights vs. Armwood Footage of standout Miami Central lineman and Florida State commit. As an undersized cornerback out of Northwestern (Miami), Roland Smith had to carry more than his 5-foot-9 and 170-pound frame onto the field for the University of Miami in 1987. "If you're were going to play at Miami back then, you had to play with some swagger," Smith said. Photo by Stuart Browning Roland Smith, Miami CentralSmith, who played for both Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Erickson and won two national titles, said the same is true for perhaps the nation's best high school defense heading into the 2015 season. See the full preview for No. 2 Miami Central Although his Central (Miami) squad certainly doesn't suffer from a lack of stature or talent, the Rockets — with as many as nine college players on defense — still play with a chip and a confidence that Smith likes and relates to. "These guys pursue to the ball, they're cat-quick, aggressive and are always looking to create turnovers," Smith said. "If you don't play with a certain swagger, you're not playing football at Central." Smith, 46, is just happy to be coaching high school football again after he and his entire staff, in a highly controversial decision, were let go from Northwestern in 2007 over an off-field incident involving a star running back. Smith and his staff were later absolved from any wrongdoing, but had to watch that 2007 team led by prep All-Americans Marcus Forston and Jacory Harris — and a handful of other Miami recruits — win a mythical nation championship. Many of the players dedicated a season-opening win over Southlake Carroll (Texas) — and later their entire season — to Smith and his staff. Several of Smith's assistants found other coaching jobs including Telly Lockette, who guided Central to two state titles in three seasons. When Lockette left to take an assistant's job at South Florida in the spring of 2013, Smith decided it was time to return to high-level coaching. He had spent a lot of time during his six seasons away from coaching raising his son, Roland III. Smith said he didn't want to disrupt what Lockette had built and instead has simply added to the Rockets' dynasty. Since he took over, they are 27-2 with two Florida 6A titles — four in five years — and come into 2015 as the No. 2 squad in the MaxPreps Preseason Top 25 Early Contenders. It's been a happy return since he felt wrongly pushed out of something he loved to do. "It's an awesome job to be a high school football coach," he said. "I'm proud to be a role model like my high school coaches were to me. Photo by Stuart Browning Donovan Thompson, Miami Central"I want to make sure the kids from our community be the best they can be on and off the football field and try to get them at the very least a college education." Two of his senior defensive linemen, Eric Mitchell (6-3, 240, Florida) and Keir Thomas (6-2, 240, Florida State), have already secured commitments to their colleges. Third-year starter Donavan Thompson (5-10, 211) leads a impressive lot of linebackers that also includes Miami-commit Waynmon Steed, a 6-1, 210-pound junior. The secondary is loaded, led by 6-4, 187-pound cornerback and safety Jamel Cook (Florida State), along with Jamal Hudson (6-0, 185) and a pair of junior cornerbacks Christopher Williams (5-10, 175) and Allen Jones (5-10, 175). As if the defense needed any more bolstering, Smith brought former Oakland Raiders and Florida State safety Derrick Gibson to be the team's new defensive coordinator. The Rockets gave up just 12 points per game last year and recorded four shutouts. This defense could be even better. "We have a lot of talented kids," Smith said. "It's our job to get the most out of them." Photo by Stuart Browning Miami Central seeks its third straight Florida state title and fifth in six years.”
Find Child Care Resources for Community College Students
by Education News Headlines - Yahoo! News
Jun 30, 2015
“"Managing child care, school responsibilities and often work can be extremely challenging , and the difficulties with child care can be one of the primary reasons that students with children have to take breaks from school , or possibly quit and never return," says Barbara Gault, vice president and executive director of the Institute for Women's Policy Research, a research organization that focuses on women's issues. For one thing, child care is expensive. In many states the average cost of child care often exceeds the cost of housing, tuition, food and transportation, according to a 2014 report from Child Care Aware of America.”
Survivor stories show how college sexual assault is common, life-altering
by Education: DC Area Education News, Education Policy, School Information - The Washington Post
Jun 13, 2015
“EAST LANSING, MICH. — She remembers doing shots of liquor in her dorm room before heading out to a football tailgate party, where she got blackout drunk. When she came to, she was groggy, standing in the bathroom of her dorm room, looking in the mirror. Her hair was a mess. Behind her was a man she didn’t recognize, staring back at her and then slipping out the door.Read full article >>”
Strauss: SAT cheating scandal broadens with indictment of 15 Chinese nationals
by Education: DC Area Education News, Education Policy, School Information - The Washington Post
Jun 03, 2015
“On Oct. 31, 2014, Time magazine ran a story with this headline: “Think You Can Cheat on the SAT? The College Board Says Think Again.”  Really? Consider:*Last week, a federal grand jury indicted 15 Chinese nationals in a scheme in which they paid up to $6,000 for other people in the United States to take the SAT, the GRE, and other college and graduate school standardized entrance exams  for them to help them gain entry into U.S. universities. They were charged in a conspiracy to defraud the College Board, which owns the tests, and the Educational Testing Service, which administers the tests. According to the indictment, “The conspirators had counterfeit Chinese passports made and sent to the United States, which were used by the imposters to defraud ETS administrators into believing that they were other people, namely the conspirators who would receive the benefit of the imposter’s test score for use at American colleges and universities.” Some of the defendants actually won admissions to U.S. schools; one was arrested last week at Northeastern University in Boston.Read full article >>”
Recent alumnus remembered as compassionate, loyal and 'whip smart'
by The GW Hatchet
Jun 26, 2015
“Friends and neighbors started a memorial for Keaton Marek at the 2400 M Apartments. The recent alumnus was found dead on the sidewalk at 24th and M streets last Wednesday. Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor
Keaton Marek, who graduated last month, could often be found debating seemingly “silly” topics, like the loyalty of characters in “The Lord of the Rings.”
Still, Marek always remained kind, said long-time friend and alumnus Oskar Sharman. Marek, 22, was found dead last Wednesday on a sidewalk at 24th and M streets.
“He got along with everybody,” Sharman said. “He attracted all the right people.”
Sharman said Marek was always there to complement Sharman’s slightly introverted personality. Roommates their freshman and sophomore years, the pair “did everything together,” he said.
“Keaton was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever known,” Sharman, who is a former Hatchet reporter, said. “I was calling him my best friend two weeks into being at college. It’s fairly rare for a friendship to last that long in college. But he was one of the most likeable people I’ve ever met.”
Marek “came off” the roof of the 2400 M Apartments last week, his mother said. His official cause of death has not yet been released because a report by the D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is not yet complete. Metropolitan Police Department officers had responded to a radio call for a “man down,” where Marek was found unconscious and not breathing on a sidewalk. He had suffered severe head trauma, according to police records.
His mother, Cynthia Marek, said about 30 students from GW were coming to his memorial services in New York this week.
She said her son loved to debate, and took classes on topics he cared about instead of courses to boost his GPA. He loved watching sports and would meet up with his younger sister, Kelly, who is a senior at GW, for the occasional brunch or lunch.
“He was one of those people, and I know there are probably a lot of people at GW like this, who wanted to improve the world,” she said.
Keaton Marek was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity since his freshman year and was a leader among the organization’s members, said Charlie Temkin, the chapter’s president. Since Marek joined the fraternity, he had an “immeasurable impact” on the members, Temkin said in an email.
“Keaton was widely regarded as one of the funniest members of our chapter and was always there to put a smile on anyone's face no matter where or when,” Temkin said. “Despite his passing, Keaton will live on in through the many fond memories everyone has with him.”
Marek interned with his representative in Congress, Rep. Brian Higgins, D-N.Y., in both his Buffalo and D.C. offices from June 2013 to May 2014.
“He was a hardworking and bright addition to our team who was well liked by all,” Higgins’ office said in a statement. “Our hearts break for the Marek family as well as his friends at home and in Washington.”
Marek was also a campus security aide and a member of the GW College Democrats. He graduated from Kenmore West High School in Tonawanda, N.Y. and was a recipient of a Board of Trustees scholarship at GW, which is given to undergraduates to help with tuition expenses.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and minored in philosophy, a subject his professors said was his passion.
In one of her classes this past spring, assistant philosophy professor and Director of Graduate Studies Laura Papish said Marek stood out because of his “laser-like focus on what really mattered in a philosophical debate.”
“One of the first things I can say is that I thought Keaton was awesome — just a cool person with great ideas and one of the people I really hoped to keep in touch with after graduation,” Papish said in an email.
She said he also came up with his own philosophical scenarios, to which they referred as “Keaton cases,” and classmates would use them to relate to other topics they were studying.
“He was whip smart, fiercely skeptical and very kind,” Papish said.
Jason Fisette, an adjunct professor, taught Keaton Marek in a class on the history of modern philosophy two years ago. He said Keaton Marek dove into difficult topics with a sense of optimism, and was cheerful and kind during class discussions.
“Keaton showed his qualities with his careful and patient questioning of initially bewildering theories, and my ruling memory of him is as happily engaged in a congenial exchange of ideas with his peers,” Fisette said in an email. “The loss of this friend of philosophy is a great one.”
This week, a neighbor started a memorial on a wall outside of the 2400 M Apartments. Friends and strangers have pencilled notes on pieces of paper and taped them to a window. Sunflowers, lilies and candles line a windowsill. A memorial service will be held in the lobby on Thursday night.
“Keaton, we will celebrate your life and not your death, for you will always be alive in our hearts, forever,” one message read.”

Q&A: Lonergan talks offseason workouts, big games and the transfer wire
by The GW Hatchet
Jun 09, 2015
“Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo by Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor
Men's basketball head coach Mike Lonergan works from the sidelines during a conference game against Duquesne last season. Lonergan soon begins his quest to return to the NCAA Tournament when the team gets back on campus for offseason training on July 5.
With the end of the NBA Finals, a dark period that is the void of basketball begins for men’s basketball head coach Mike Lonergan. But the pressure is on for the 2015–2016 season — the last chance for seniors Joe McDonald, Patricio Garino and Kevin Larsen to get back to the NCAA Tournament — and a busy offseason is well underway. We caught up with Lonergan in his office to talk about the news from the team this summer, and what to expect in the fall. Responses have been edited for length and clarity.
Three players transferred out at the end of the season, and you added two. Do you think you may add a third?
Mike Lonergan: We would love to get a post player. And a graduate student like [shooting guard] Alex [Mitola] that wants to go to a very good school and pursue a master's but those guys are being pursued by everyone in the country. So there are some transfers that people put in articles in ESPN that say we were interested, and we weren't, and there are others that we were and they chose other schools. So could something still happen? Yeah. There's nothing going on right now but [Wake Forest transfer] Tyler [Cavanaugh] decided in late June to come here and Isaiah [Armwood] was in August. So we'll see, but we're not just going to take someone to take someone. We've got very good chemistry. We've got a great group of guys. It would have to be the right fit.
You signed a lot of home-and-home agreements that began on the road last year, but are coming back to the Smith Center this fall. Are you excited for the team to have home court in big games and for the fans to get to see them in person?
ML: There's no guarantee you win at home, but if I'm buying season tickets at GW, I've got Rutgers, Penn State, Seton Hall and Virginia. That's pretty good. Not to mention VCU and whoever else that's coming in. And it's hard. It's really hard to get those games. [Athletic director] Patrick Nero and I both believe in scheduling and the fan experience and the student athlete experience, so I am happy about that. So now we're trying to get those games for upcoming years which has become even harder, to be honest with you, because we've done well the last two years and it's hard. A lot of the coaches, they want to just get wins.
What are your offseason priorities?
ML: We're trying to work on ball handling because we're going to have a pretty tall lineup. Patricio and Yuta [Watanabe] give us a lot of length and height at the wings but we're really trying to do a lot of ball-handling drills with them because a lot of times they're going to have guys, especially Yuta, guarding them that are shorter players, and it's a long way for that ball coming up. So that's probably one of the points of emphasis with our individual workouts, and stuff is to get better at ball handling.
Do you do anything fun with the team during the offseason?
ML: When they run, they run down to the Vietnam Memorial and to the wall and they have to remember a name. And they have to remember it the whole time they come back and they've got to look up a name on the computer, or I don't know if they look it up or one of the graduate assistants [looks it up]. But I was in the weight room yesterday and they print basically the biography of the person who died in the war, so in the weight room there are all these names. So I was like, “Oh, that's awesome." It's just something so that when they run down there, they have to remember the name. And if they forget the name, I think they have to do like 100 pushups or something. So it's also a thing to try to remember.
One of the big stories this time last year was Cavanaugh’s transfer. After having a year to watch him in practice, what are your expectations for him in his first year being able to play in games for GW?
ML: I'm hoping Tyler is a double-digit scorer. I don't know whether that's 10 or 14. I mean he was averaging 8.8 a game in arguably the hardest conference in the country, so I think he's now a year older, knows our system, so I think he can really take some pressure off Kevin [Larsen] because of his size. And he'll draw a lot of attention because he can shoot threes and he can score inside. I think he's going to be really good for us. I just don't know what that means statistically.
You’ve added a lot of shooters to the team. How will that impact how you use the roster?
ML: My hope is we'll be more difficult to guard. And even Alex Mitola, you can't forget about him. He's a great shooter. When we sub we probably are going to be small later. Davidson did a great job of playing a lot of shooters and guards, and it didn't hurt them too much. We're going to have to hide our lack of size defensively when we get into our bench but the shorter shot clock and different things, we might even tweak our 1-3-1 and do some things to keep teams from getting the ball inside and taking advantage of us."
You’ve added pieces that stood out in Division III and in weaker conferences like the Ivy League. How can you know if their skills will transfer against bigger, more physical players?
ML: [Junior guard] Matt Hart, he's got to prove it in the game. As a D-III player [at Hamilton], it's definitely a big difference. I think he's done everything right. He's got the ability to be in the rotation based on his shooting ability alone. The other things we will see. But Mitola was in the Ivy League [at Dartmouth]. It's definitely a lower-level conference but it's a lot different than D-III. Mitola went to Harvard last year and they beat Harvard, and he was the leading scorer in that game. So he's done it. He's proven to me that he's a Division I player. Not at this level, but he's a three-year starter, second in the league in free-throw shooting in the league that's probably the best free-throw shooting league in the country. So there's some areas where he can help us, whether he's the sixth man or 10th man, that's going to be up to him.
Have you heard about the D.C. Council proposal for a local college basketball tournament?
ML: If D.C. or somebody else can make the games happen, I think it would be great, not as the coach of GW but just as a fan. Maryland is playing Georgetown but that's not because Maryland and Georgetown agreed to play, that's because those conferences are forcing it. But I think that's great if those teams play for whatever reason because I think that's good for the area, and this is a great area for high school basketball, college basketball. I don't really know what's going to happen with that, but it's kind of nice that somebody's trying to make something happen. Hey, we'd love to play Maryland or Georgetown. I have no problem saying that but that's it. I don't have that power to make it happen.
Have you seen any of the NBA playoffs?
ML: I'm all excited about them but — it's not because I'm asleep when they're on — but there's just always something going on. We had some visits. And then the Wizards: I finally got to watch some. It would always be the fourth quarter when my kids are in bed I'd watch. I just can't get over, the play I can't get over — and I like Nene, he didn't box out well and the guy laid in the ball ... I thought that turned the series around. But I'm excited because I'm not a hockey guy at all, but just being from the area. For me, when sports are good, it helps all of us. The Nats are hot, but having the Wizards and Capitals, and I like their owner. I don't know him but I like their organization. Having them be good now, I think, is exciting for the area.”

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