Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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May 12, 2009

Blair's best dressed

by Katie Sint, Online Managing Editor
Every morning, Blazers stand in front of their closets, looking for the outfit that will express their personalities and outlooks for the day. Whether it's worn-in sweatpants or brand new jeans, scruffy sneakers or fresh kicks, Blazers make sure they arrive to school in style.

The same can be said for Blair's teaching staff, who through rain or shine are proud to don sharp suits and bright colors to create outfits with classic class. However, a few Blair teachers distinguish themselves from the pack with their own stand-out styles.

Most unique
Simel proves that fashion and comfort can go hand in hand. Lauren Poor
Simel proves that fashion and comfort can go hand in hand.
Whether she rocks a cream colored dress with large side pockets or Crocs with cartoon dogs on them, English teacher Dana Simel expresses her upbeat personality through her creative choice of clothes.

Self-described style: "Help," she says, laughing as English teacher and CAP coordinator John Goldman chimes in with the phrase "eclectic hippie."

Signature staple: Funky shoes. Although most known for her blue Crocs, Simel has a large collection of quirky and comfy shoes in her closet at home. "I love funky shoes, but they have to be comfortable," she says.

In the morning: Convenience comes first for Simel, as she puts outfits together for the day. "I'm just thinking about what clothes are easily accessible," she says of her dressing habits. " is where I get a lot of my clothes," Simel explains. "Along with my son's closet and my husband's closet."

Most professorial
Laid-back and casual, Shindel's outfits are almost too cool for school. Alex Joseph
Laid-back and casual, Shindel's outfits are almost too cool for school.
Donning vests, button-downs, jeans and blazers with elbow pads, social studies teacher Kevin Shindel is suited up to engage his students in deep and contemplative discussions with style.

Self-described style: "Casual and laidback."

Signature staple: While many of his students would say his elbow pads are his signature staple, Shindel says he's surprised that so many have honed in on his elbow apparel, considering he only owns one blazer with elbow pads. However, he is a fan of the timeless trend, "I like them, they're classic," he says.

In the morning: "I think less about me and more about my kids," he says. "I look for a blazer thatís good for the weather. Things in my closet just sort of go together."

Most fun
Brandt shines through a lovely blue-toned outfit. Alex Joseph
Brandt shines through a lovely blue-toned outfit.
With bright colored clothes to match her sunny demeanor, math teacher Karen Brandt lights up any dreary math classroom with her cheery outfits.

Self-described style: "Conservative and classic."

Signature staple: With lots of accessories and fun jewelry to go with her outfits, Brandt mixes her professional outfits with bracelets and earrings that add a splash of color. Her signature staple, however, is a necklace that is much closer to her heart. "My cross, I always wear it," Brandt describes the golden symbol she wears around her neck.

In the morning: Brandt first considers which outfit would be most respectful and professional for her students. She then works her fashion flair to combine a palette of bright accessories with her clothes. "Everything should match and my jewelry and earrings should go with my outfit," she says. "I like to wear colorful things and at the same time, dress professionally."

Most eclectic
Cuadrado's unique style drives her students wild. Alex Joseph
Cuadrado's unique style drives her students wild.
Infamous for her collection of fabulous footwear from Europe, Spanish teacher Maria Cuadrado-Corrales matches her worldly shoes with unique designer clothing.

Self-described style: "Pretty conservative and minimalist."

Signature staple: While Cuadrado often captivates and entertains her students with her class lectures and offbeat humor, her shoes simply cannot be ignored. "I loved these pair of sandals from Seville.
They were low-heeled and I wore them the whole summer, now they're getting so old. I love to walk so it's important that I can walk long distances in the shoes I buy. I also had this pair of Italian boots," she says reminiscently. "They were so, so nice and comfortable."

In the morning: "I consider where I'm going during the day," she says. "At school, I try to keep my outfits within a professional frame. I like clothes that are also new in fashion and are also sort of different because of my background. A lot of my clothes are bought from Europe."

Most professional
While it's difficult for most Blazers to even think about what to wear at 6 a.m., math teacher Tyrone Allen finds a way to pick out the sharpest and most dapper outfits from his closet without any difficulty.
Allen is all smiles when it comes to style. Alex Joseph
Allen is all smiles when it comes to style.

Self-described style: "Distinguished and professional."

Signature staple: Known by his students as a humorous and upbeat teacher, Allen does have a serious eye for fashion. Although he enjoys dressing up professionally each morning in jackets and vests, Allen does have a soft spot for one specific suit: "I like my four-piece black and white suit," he says with a smile.

In the morning: "In the back of my mind, I'm thinking about dressing professionally so that I'm on my best behavior for the students," he says. "Anything less would be disrespectful to my students. I made myself a promise at age 16 that I'd always look nice and treat myself with respect. It's a promise I have not yet failed. It's important to look respectable because unfortunately, people will judge you on how you talk and how you look; it's all about presentation."

Best dressed
Although all of the teachers at Blair undeniably show off their fashionable flair, social studies teacher David Swaney's comfortable and colorful outfits win him the title of "Best Dressed."
Swaney schools the competition when it comes to fashion. Alex Joseph
Swaney schools the competition when it comes to fashion.

Self-described style: "Urban."

Signature staple: Heralded and praised by students for his fashion prowess, Swaney sticks to a basic rule of thumb when shopping: the three Cs. "I wear button-down collared shirts that are comfortable, colorful and convenient," he says.

In the morning: Dressing well comes easily for Swaney. Hardly bothering to stress out about his outfits, he approaches his closet with one thought in mind, "What's clean?"

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  • Mafida siddique (View Email) on May 13, 2009 at 12:02 PM
    Have any of you taken a look at the SpEd DEPARTMENT?
    Ms. Abby Holmes should definitely be included in any list.
    Also no shoe list is complete without a mention of and Ms. Charlene Porterfield
  • what's missing on May 13, 2009 at 1:34 PM
    how about ms gross??? she's much more stylish than DR. SIMEL.
  • hello?? on May 13, 2009 at 7:14 PM
    Ms. Fillman wears something different everyday. I still remember her "flight attendant" outfit.
  • 2011 on May 13, 2009 at 8:16 PM
    What about MS BARCLAY????????

    • soft-more-ayyy on May 23, 2009 at 7:45 PM
      yes ms barclayyyyyyy
  • ben on May 14, 2009 at 10:12 AM
    ummm ok those are definitely birkenstocks dr.simel wears, not crocs
  • Kyra (Class of '02) on May 14, 2009 at 2:16 PM
    Mr. Swaney has ALWAYS been the best dressed at Blair! I'm happy to see that he is still on top of the list!!!!! Way to hold it down, Mr. Swaney!
  • Gill on May 15, 2009 at 9:01 AM
  • Emili on May 15, 2009 at 11:29 AM
    I agree that Ms. Barclay should be on this list.
  • strawberry (View Email) on May 15, 2009 at 11:57 AM
    Dr. SIMEL???!?!?!?!?!?
  • Student (View Email) on May 15, 2009 at 12:28 PM
    Ms. Gross should have definitely been on this list, hands down.
  • hello (View Email) on May 15, 2009 at 12:50 PM
    ms. gross especially is a glaring omission. She dresses better than a lot of students at this school. But I guess it seems almost like cheap to include her because she's so close to our age.
    but how can you ignore M. HON'S BOW TIES???

    don't get me wrong, though, this article is really cute and well-written.
  • yo fan (View Email) on May 15, 2009 at 2:47 PM
    Katie this is real cute and funny and i love sra cuadrado her style is tight
  • imma g on May 17, 2009 at 4:43 PM
    man what about dr coleman?? my man is fresh as i dont know what!
  • Wylie on May 18, 2009 at 4:04 AM
    Mr. Honigsberg definitely deserves a mention here.
  • Ozymandias on May 18, 2009 at 9:28 PM
    M. Honigsberg certainly merits a place in this article, as well as Mr. Whitacre.
  • FIERCE on May 20, 2009 at 8:59 PM
    Mr Honigsberg should be on this list!!! And Mr. Freeman with his fresh shoes.
  • francais 4 on May 25, 2009 at 8:47 PM
    Mr Honigsberg and Mr Kabemba both deserve spots on the list for their awesome ties!
  • hi on May 26, 2009 at 6:59 PM
  • alumnae3 on May 26, 2009 at 11:14 PM
    I like Brandt's outfit bc I love the colour blue.
    I like u Swaney but your style is NOT urban.

    I hate the suit jackets with the different elbows...y is that fashionable. & I thought Ms Villavicencio's name was long !
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