Merlyn Deng


Name: Merlyn Deng
Position: Online Editor-in-Chief
Graduation Year: 2007
Merlyn (Mer - LEEN) has an unhealthy fixation on Silver Chips Online, the Silver Chips Manifesto, red pens and serial commas. When not editing stories and racking her brain for SCO and its readers, she may be found haunting Blair's hallways or downtown Silver Spring. She can be bribed (relatively easily) with coffee, blood-red pens, pretty things and souls of junior staffers. Update: Now that she has graduated high school and Silver Chips, Merlyn intends to travel the world, to cure cancer and to attend Yale. She wishes the best for next year's staff!


Stories (47)


Blazers squeeze by Wootton Patriots

By Merlyn Deng | May 8, 2007, midnight | In Blair »

After suffering through dips and lows in their game tonight, the boys' volleyball team managed to beat the Wootton Patriots (6-6) in the first round of the playoffs. The boys', who won 25-15 in the first set, met unprecedented difficulty in the next three sets and won overall with 25-27, 25-23 and 25-21.

Gainous announces likely resignation

By Hareesh Ganesan Merlyn Deng | May 1, 2007, midnight | In Local »

Principal Phillip Gainous informed Blair teachers yesterday that pending a final decision by the Board of Education, he may be finishing his last year at Blair with the 2007 graduating class. He announced to staff at a closed meeting Monday after school that he is being considered for the newly created position of Liaison for Leadership Development in the county.

A victory for boys' volleyball against Hornets

By Merlyn Deng | April 25, 2007, midnight | In Blair »

The boys' volleyball team finished off the Damascus Hornets today in a quick 3-0 game, defending their undefeated record. Initially overwhelmed by careless mistakes, the Blazers overcame the Hornets' tired players by covering up their own weaknesses and forging an impregnable web of teamwork, winning 25-22, 25-10 and 25-16.

In Metros, boys' individual swimming flourishes

By Merlyn Deng | Feb. 28, 2007, midnight | In Blair »

Feb. 24, GERMANTOWN INDOOR SWIM CENTER - The boys' swim team placed 11th out of 33 teams against competitive private and public school teams from across the region in the Metros competition. The boys', after a rash of slow swims at the County championships, were able to improve many of their times in the last post-season swim season. Blair placed 21st overall out of 47 teams.

Boys' swimming capture Division II title

By Merlyn Deng | Feb. 13, 2007, midnight | In Blair »

The boys' team, keen on winning the Division II championship, had meticulously designed Saturday's lineup. Despite the mishaps that seemed to plague some of the key swimmers - injuries, fatigue or goggle malfunctions - the boys' careful strategy overcame the last minute setbacks for them to win the Division II championships with a score of 456. The girls, who had a 2-5 record, placed 5th with a score of 272. Sophomore Melanie Snail lowered two of her records (100 Free and 100 Back) while junior Michael Willems set a new 6-dive record.

Boys' swimming prevails against Warriors

By Merlyn Deng | Jan. 27, 2007, midnight | In Blair »

The boys' swim team pulled past the Sherwood Warriors today in their first truly competitive meet of the season against the #2 boys in the Division, raising their record to 5-0 with a score of 95-74. Faced with similarly tough girls, who are ranked #1, the girls lost 66-105, making their record 2-3. However, several girls racked up some impressive times, and one sophomore Melanie Snail broke Blair's 100 Free record.

Easy pickings for Blair's boys

By Merlyn Deng | Jan. 21, 2007, midnight | In Blair »

Blair's boy swimmers snatched up another easy win yesterday against the Blake Bengals, winning 115-51. The girls suffered a near reversal of scores, losing to the top-ranked Bengal ladies, 68-103. However, with diving scores, Blair won overall 183-154. Their records are now 4-0 and 2-2, boys and girls, respectively.

Blazers split meet against Magruder

By Merlyn Deng | Dec. 11, 2006, midnight | In Blair »

DEC. 9, OLNEY SWIM CENTER - The Blair boys won their first official swim meet this season after pounding Magruder 124-46. Although the girls lost 70-101, individual girl swimmers improved their times from the non-divisional meet last week. Additionally, the freshmen girls proved their mettle in a number of races, winning some of the girls' crucial points. These results bring the boys' and girls' records to 1-0, and 0-1, respectively.

Blair takes handy victory over Eagles

By Merlyn Deng | Dec. 4, 2006, midnight | In Blair »

The Division II Blair swim team opened their season strongly last Saturday in a non-divisional meet against the Division IV Seneca Valley Eagles. Both the boys and girls swept far past the Eagles, winning 126-41, 110-46, respectively.

Better discussion needed throughout the community

By Lois Bangiolo Merlyn Deng | Nov. 9, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Although much of the fervor surrounding it has dissipated, the ID policy and other administrative decisions remain a mystery to the school's students and parents. While the media-dubbed "student uproar" has subsided, this lack of understanding raises a legitimate concern about the overall communication in all school matters between the administration and the Blair community.

ID color coding system draws media attention

By Merlyn Deng, Alex Hyder, Payal Patnaik | Oct. 18, 2006, midnight | In Local »

Reporters from several television stations came to Blair this afternoon to interview principal Phillip Gainous, SGA President Eric Hysen and several students about the ID policy after a Washington Post story brought this year's changes, including the new, controversial color coding system to public attention.

Boys' volleyball wins second county championship

By Merlyn Deng Payal Patnaik | May 19, 2006, midnight | In Blair »

Blair's boys' volleyball team beat the Sherwood Warriors for the volleyball county championship round yesterday, May 18, 25-21, 26-24 and 25-18. After only three sets, the Blazers emerged victorious with their second straight title.

Boys' volleyball to play in championship round

By Merlyn Deng Payal Patnaik | May 16, 2006, midnight | In Blair »

The boys' volleyball team has done it once again. In slightly over an hour, the Blazers defeated the number three seeded Rockville Rams in a spectacular 3-0 win tonight, which means that the boys will have a chance to defend the championship title they won last year on Thursday against Sherwood.

Biology classes participate in Red Sea expedition correspondence

By Merlyn Deng | May 11, 2006, midnight | In Local »

Sophomore biology students at Blair have recently been corresponding with coral reef researchers aboard a research vessel in the Red Sea as part of an expedition lead by the Living Oceans Foundation. Every day since May 4, the students have submitted a marine biology-related question for the researchers to answer. The expedition, designed to assess the impact of human and ecological change on coral development, will last for six more days.

Boys' volleyball advances in playoffs

By Merlyn Deng | May 11, 2006, midnight | In Blair »

After advancing in the first round of the playoffs against #15 seed Damascus on Tuesday, the Blair boys' volleyball team faced the #10 seed Walter Johnson Wildcats today in a bout that left the boys victorious 3-0, with an excellent record of 25-14, 25-22 and 26-24.

Nancy Navarro announces BOE candidacy

By Merlyn Deng | April 26, 2006, midnight | In Local »

Nancy Navarro, a current member of Montgomery County Public Schools' Board of Education (BOE), formally announced her candidacy in the upcoming election for the District 5 seat at the East County Community Center in Silver Spring, on April 22.

Boys edge out Eagles for win

By Merlyn Deng | April 24, 2006, midnight | In Blair »

After enjoying a string of easy victories since the Sherwood game, the Blair boys had a real challenge today against the Seneca Valley Eagles. Despite the strong competition on the other side of the net, the boys managed to overcome the Eagles in four nail-biting sets, 23-25, 25-23, 26-24 and 25-18.

Car chase in Blair neighborhood ensues during rush hour

By Merlyn Deng Payal Patnaik | April 19, 2006, midnight | In Local »

Two youths attempted to escape with a stolen black Jeep Cherokee in the Woodmoor area, resulting in a minor car chase that climaxed at the intersection of Colesville Road and University Boulevard today at approximately 4:35 p.m. They were caught soon afterwards.

Coed wiped out by Paint Branch

By Merlyn Deng | March 27, 2006, midnight | In Blair »

The coed volleyball team was unable to fend off the Paint Branch Panthers Saturday, losing 11-25, 14-25 and 13-25, making their record 0-3.

Boys' volleyball dominates Paint Branch Panthers

By Merlyn Deng | March 25, 2006, midnight | In Blair »

After suffering a heartbreaking fifth set loss against Sherwood Thursday, the boys' volleyball team rallied tonight to dominante the Paint Branch Panthers, defeating them in straight sets and improving their record 2-1.

Warriors barely creep past Blazers

By Merlyn Deng Payal Patnaik | March 24, 2006, midnight | In Blair »

MARCH 23, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM– Crowned as county champs last season and fresh from a close shave against Churchill on Tuesday, the boys' volleyball team fell to the Sherwood Warriors yesterday. Playing against the very team they beat for the Ma href="https://silverchips.mbhs.edu/inside.php?sid=5409">county title, the Blazers fought for a victory until the very last point.

Student Democrats "re-engaged in politics" at Spring Convention

By Merlyn Deng | March 19, 2006, midnight | In Local »

Politically active teenagers mingled with elected officials and candidates at the Montgomery County Coalition of High School Democrats Spring Convention held in Rockville yesterday, March 18.

Blair honors its athletes at Winter Sports Awards Ceremony

By Merlyn Deng | March 13, 2006, midnight | In Local »

Winter sports team coaches presented awards to selected Blazers who performed exceptionally this season at the annual Winter Sports Awards Ceremony held tonight in the auditorium. Coaches gave out the "Most Valuable Player" award (MVP), the "Most Improved" award (MI), the "Outstanding Senior" award (OS) and the "Coach's Award" (CA).

Blazer makes final round of Shakespeare Speech competition

By Merlyn Deng | March 9, 2006, midnight | In Local »

Junior Maureen Raj competed in the final round of the Washington, D.C., area Shakespeare Speech competition against approximately 40 other high school students at D.C.'s Shakespeare Theatre, on Tuesday, March 6, according to Raj's coach, English teacher Kelly O'Connor.

Montgomery Democratic Central Committee holds annual brunch

By Merlyn Deng | March 8, 2006, midnight | In Local »

Sailboats and treasure chests strewn across table completed the "Democrats… Cruising for Victory" theme at Annual Country Brunch, an event in which several hundred Democratic candidates and elected officials were invited to the Indian Spring Country Club on Sunday, March 5. The Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC), which organizes this yearly event, arranged for various Maryland Democratic politicians to discuss issues, the upcoming elections and the retirement of Democratic Maryland Senator Paul Sarbanes.

Blair has 36 National Merit Finalists

By Merlyn Deng | March 3, 2006, midnight | In Local »

Thirty-six Blazers have advanced to Finalist level in the 2006 National Merit Scholarship Program after being selected from a pool of Blair's 40 semifinalists named earlier this school year. Semifinalists were chosen based on their performances on the PSATs, which were administered during their junior year.

Blair Science Bowl team places second in regional competition

By Merlyn Deng | Feb. 27, 2006, midnight | In Local »

Blair's Science Bowl team placed second at the Regional Science Bowl competition held at the Department of Energy on Feb. 25 after losing to Wootton High School 52-94 in the final round.

First winter sports pep rally in two years held

By Merlyn Deng | Feb. 17, 2006, midnight | In Local »

The shortened winter Spirit Week ended with an SGA-organized pep rally in the gymnasium on Feb. 17. It was the first winter pep rally in two years.

Two students involved in three-car accident

By Merlyn Deng | Feb. 8, 2006, midnight | In Local »

Two female Blair students were involved in a three-car accident this morning before school when they were attempting to make a left turn into the student parking lot, according to assistant principal Suzanne Harvey. The students, a junior and a senior, were transported to the hospital immediately after the accident.

Ready, get set… study!

By Merlyn Deng | Jan. 10, 2006, midnight | In Features »

Blazers sit quietly at home. Moody, if not hostile, they have stopped seeing friends, talking and going to parties or to after-school activities. Instead, they hide themselves from the world, occasionally venturing out of their rooms for a snack or break. The explanation for this behavior is simple, if not a bit daunting: exam week is almost upon us.

Winter Choral Concert warms audience

By Merlyn Deng | Jan. 9, 2006, midnight | In Music »

Brilliant voices resonated through the school auditorium on Friday, Jan. 6. Eyes shined brightly as students in the Chamber Choir, clad in long robes, blended their voices together for the beginning of the second annual Blair Winter Choral Concert.

"Memoirs of a Geisha" is unforgettable

By Merlyn Deng | Dec. 23, 2005, midnight | In Books »

The world has wondered about the mysterious lives of the Japanese women called "geisha" who live to entertain men with their mastery of dance and the arts. In "Memoirs of a Geisha," Arthur Golden reveals the secretive world with his poignant tale about the struggles and triumphs of a geisha named Sayuri.

"Battle Royale" disturbs and engrosses

By Merlyn Deng | Dec. 23, 2005, midnight | In Books »

After experiencing cult-success in Japan, Koushun Takami's "Battle Royale" was translated into English for America's reading pleasure. The story revolves around the military-designed "Program," where entire classes of students are selected by a lottery to kill each other until the game's "winner" emerges.

Internship opportunities

By Merlyn Deng | Nov. 30, 2005, midnight | In Features »

Looking for something to do during the summer but don't know what? Silver Chips Online has compiled information about a variety of internships and student testimonials to help you out.

The early bird gets the sale

By Merlyn Deng | Nov. 26, 2005, midnight | In Features »

The sky is still dark and most Blazers are still sleeping off their Thanksgiving meals, but sophomore Ashley Wilson has already dressed and left her cozy home to join the hordes of people waiting outside of department stores, malls and electronic stores.

Silver Chips Online's official Halloween guide

By Lois Bangiolo Merlyn Deng | Oct. 28, 2005, midnight | In Features »

The weather is getting colder. The rain is pouring down. The leaves are changing color. Little monsters are jumping off the walls on sugar highs. It seems that that spooky time of the year has finally come once again.

Blazers turn to a different type of education

By Merlyn Deng | Oct. 25, 2005, midnight | In Features »

Senior Christiana Cassell will leave high school this June with more than just a diploma. In addition to graduating from Blair, Cassell will also have obtained her cosmetologist's license and completed over 1,500 hours of cosmetology-based practical, theoretical and business-related experience. While most Blazers do not take an interest in vocational education, Cassell chose to enroll in the countywide Thomas Edison High School of Technology.

Blazers rush past the Kennedy Cavaliers

By Merlyn Deng | Oct. 17, 2005, midnight | In Blair »

The girls tennis squad whipped all of their John F. Kennedy high school Division II opponents today, ending with a stunning 7-0 victory and improving their overall record to 7-4.

Blazers conquer Whitman Vikings

By Merlyn Deng | Oct. 11, 2005, midnight | In Blair »

Oct. 10, BLAZER COURTS- The girls tennis team solidified its place in Division I and improved its record to 6-4 after winning a decisive divisional match today against the Whitman Vikings, 5-2. Their win insures Blair's girls tennis a place among the top five teams in the county.

7.6-magnitude earthquake hits Pakistan-India border

By Merlyn Deng | Oct. 9, 2005, midnight | In International »

More than 20,000 are believed to be dead after a 7.6-magnitude earthquake occurred on the Pakistan-India boarder yesterday, Oct. 8. The earthquake caused massive devastation in sections of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, according to the Associated Press.

Come fly with Frank Si - John Stevens?

By Merlyn Deng | Sept. 30, 2005, midnight | In Music »

Chills ran up spines when people first heard his voice on American Idol Season 3. His voice resonates with a ghostly familiarity for many American Idol fans, sounding like the great American singer Frank Sinatra's velvety-smooth voice. His name is John Stevens.

Blazers get clawed out by Wildcats

By Merlyn Deng | Sept. 28, 2005, midnight | In Blair »

Blair's girls tennis team dropped to 3-4 after losing 1-6 to the Walter Johnson Wildcats, suffering a string of decisive defeats from the currently undefeated Wildcats.

Government falters in the wake of Hurricane Katrina

By Merlyn Deng | Sept. 16, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Hurricane Katrina swept through Louisiana two weeks ago, leaving roughly 80 percent of the city underwater and thousands of helpless residents stranded on their rooftops waiting for government rescue. Where was the government? Instead of responding immediately with all available resources, the government was hog-tied as congressmen and lawyers in Washington D.C. argued for days over the legitimacy of relief efforts. Although rescue workers were eventually able to evacuate and transport the majority of the residents to safety, the government response took its toll, resulting in unnecessary sickness and death. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the agency in charge of handling disaster relief efforts, should look back on Hurricane Katrina as a reminder to never hesitate or ignore the threats of a natural disaster in the future.

Tako Grill brings a bit of Japan to Bethesda

By Merlyn Deng | Sept. 14, 2005, midnight | In Restaurant Reviews »

People often catch a peculiarly-shaped red balloon in the corner of their eye while rushing along the busy streets of Wisconsin Avenue a few blocks away from the Bethesda Metro station. The red balloon is a well-known landmark and signature of the Japanese restaurant, Tako Grill. The grill is both a restaurant and a sake (Japanese rice wine) bar, and serves not only varied but also delectable Japanese cuisine.

Chief Justice Rehnquist dies

By Merlyn Deng | Sept. 4, 2005, midnight | In National »

William Hubbs Rehnquist, who had been the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court for nearly two decades, passed away last night in his Arlington home after a yearlong bout with thyroid cancer. He was 80.

Collins and Squeeze Bayou bring stylish Cajun to sweltering Silver Spring

By Merlyn Deng | Aug. 4, 2005, midnight | In Features »

Swimsuit clad toddlers and children prance about in the bubbling water fountain in Downtown Silver Spring as Blair computer science teacher Karen Collins and her Cajun & Zydeco band, Squeeze Bayou, tune up and play a few measures before the beginning of another Silver Spring Swings Summer Concert Series performance, on Thursday, July 28.

Blair teacher to perform for Summer Concert Series on July 28

By Merlyn Deng | July 18, 2005, midnight | In Local »

Magnet computer science teacher Karen Collins and her band, Squeeze Bayou Cajun Band, will be performing on Thursday, July 28, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in Silver Plaza on Ellsworth Drive between Georgia Avenue and Fenton Street. The concert is a future installment of the weekly Silver Spring Swings Summer Concert Series that is held every Thursday from June 9 through August 11.



Images (4)


Photo: Car chase diagram

By Merlyn Deng | April 20, 2006, midnight

Graphic of car chase in the Blair neighborhood. Image of intersection and copyright property of Microsoft Live Local.

Photo: 9/11 sidebar graphic

By Merlyn Deng | Sept. 11, 2005, midnight

Photo: Homeroom Time - Holiday Procrastination

By Merlyn Deng | Dec. 25, 2004, midnight

Photo: Homeroom Time - PRS

By Merlyn Deng | Nov. 15, 2004, midnight