Biruk Bekele


Name: Biruk Bekele
Position: Managing News Editor
Graduation Year: 2011


Stories (22)


Middle East Watch

By Biruk Bekele | March 10, 2011, 2:39 p.m. | In Print News »

When senior Nadia Kadry arrived home from school on Feb. 11, she walked right into the middle of a party. Like her relatives on the streets of Egypt, Kadry's parents were celebrating the sudden fall of a dictator that ruled for the last three decades.

New bill would change tax laws to fund schools

By Biruk Bekele | March 9, 2011, 5:53 a.m. | In Print News »

Maryland State Senator Richard S. Madaleno (D-8) proposed a bill last month that would allow county governments to raise property taxes above the charter limit in order to fund education.

Dream Act proposed

By Biruk Bekele | Feb. 9, 2011, 1:43 p.m. | In Print News »

Maryland Senators Victor Ramirez and Richard S. Madeleno introduced a bill last month dubbed the "Maryland Dream Act" that would grant undocumented Maryland college students the right to in-state tuition. At the same time, Judicial Watch, a government watchdog group, filed a lawsuit against Montgomery College accusing the community college of granting in-county tuition rates to students graduating from Montgomery County high schools regardless of their immigration status or residence.

NEWS ANALYSIS: On bus fees, Montgomery County drives down a dangerous road

By Biruk Bekele | Dec. 16, 2010, 12:07 p.m. | In Print News »

In early December, Maryland State Senator Richard S. Madaleno withdrew a bill that aimed to allow the school system to implement bus fees for optional programs including magnet, immersion and consortium programs. According to Madaleno's Chief of Staff Adam Fogel, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) advised Madaleno that the bill was not sufficient enough to allow the county to implement bus fees, prompting the senator to withdraw the bill.

3:00 buses overflow

By Biruk Bekele | Dec. 16, 2010, 11:33 a.m. | In Print News »

Due to issues of overcrowding on local magnet and activity buses serving the Takoma Park Middle School and Eastern Middle School areas, Blair has implemented a bus pass system. According to Magnet Coordinator Peter Ostrander, bus drivers have seen a sizable increase in the number of non-Magnet and non-CAP students who want to ride 3:00 and 4:30 buses.

National, state and county officials visit Blair

By Biruk Bekele Mandy Xu | Nov. 19, 2010, 8:24 a.m. | In Local »

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Governor Martin O'Malley, National Education Association (NEA) President Dennis Van Roekel and Superintendent Jerry Weast visited Blair yesterday morning.

2010 Election guide

By Biruk Bekele | Nov. 11, 2010, 1:24 p.m. | In Print News »

Blair graduation rate increases

By Biruk Bekele | Nov. 11, 2010, 12:21 p.m. | In Print News »

After five years of decline, Blair's graduation rate rose to 88.1 percent for the class of 2010, an increase of 5.5 percent from the previous school year, according to an MCPS report. Similarly, the graduation rate for MCPS increased from 87.4 percent to 90 percent and the Maryland graduation rate increased from 85.2 percent to 86.5 percent.

MCPS turns down funds

By Biruk Bekele | Oct. 7, 2010, 2 p.m. | In Print News »

MCPS will not receive $12 million from Maryland's successful bid to the federal Race to the Top (RTTT) competition after declining to sign the state's application. However, MCPS will still be forced to comply with a new state-wide teacher evaluation system that originally led officials to reject the application, said Maryland Department of Education spokesman William Reinhard. MCPS will not get another chance to receive Race to the Top funding, he said.

Montgomery College approves tuition raise

By Biruk Bekele | June 3, 2010, 12:23 p.m. | In Print News »

The Montgomery College Board of Trustees voted to raise tuition for next year as a result of cuts to its funding from County Executive Isiah Leggett's proposed budget for fiscal year (FY) 2011, said Montgomery College director of media relations Elizabeth Homan. The college will receive about $15 million less than expected, forcing officials to raise tuition and make spending cuts, she said.

Bus fares no longer free

By Biruk Bekele | June 3, 2010, 11:35 a.m. | In Print News »

Starting June 27, MCPS students must pay to travel on Metro and Ride-On buses due to the suspension of the Kids Ride Free program. The program, which gives students free public transportation on weekdays from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., is one of the many projects the Mont

Weast cancels LC

By Biruk Bekele | June 3, 2010, 11:26 a.m. | In Print News »

Superintendent Jerry Weast eliminated the Loss of Credit (LC) policy after receiving recommendations from the Loss of Credit Project Team, an MCPS work group that researched the policy for eighteen months. According to Suzanne Maxey, head of the team, Weast also implemented the work group's proposed policies designed to reduce absences and truancy.

Varsity Baseball loses first playoff game

By Biruk Bekele | May 18, 2010, 11:04 a.m. | In Blair »

Varsity baseball lost to the Gaithersburg Trojans (15-6) in the first round of the playoffs 4-1, ending their season with a record of 5-15. The game, according to head coach John MacDonald, was similar to many previous games — the Blazers weren't able to make the right plays at the right time.

Varsity baseball holds down Whitman

By Biruk Bekele | May 5, 2010, 7:09 p.m. | In Blair »

After two consecutive losses, varsity baseball (5-12) defeated the Whitman Vikings (8-6) 4-1 in a close match-up. All of the runs scored came before the fourth inning, however excellent pitching from senior co-captain Sammy Denenberg and solid defense allowed the Blazers to pull away with the win.

Trojans dominate varsity baseball

By Biruk Bekele | April 30, 2010, 7:30 a.m. | In Blair »

Varsity baseball (4-11) lost 1-14 to the Gaithersburg Trojans (11-4) in the first five innings of the game, where the team lost under the mercy rule because they were down 10 points after five innings. After the first two innings the Blazers were loosing 0-8 and were not able to pull themselves out of a deficit that early in the game.

On the right track

By Biruk Bekele | March 11, 2010, midnight | In Print Features »

Senior Walter Martinez feels the adrenaline rushing through him as he straps in, knowing that in a few moments he will be traveling at 120 miles per hour. After the flash of a green light, his car comes to life, roaring and springing off the ground. The race will be over in less than 15 seconds, so he has no room for error. He must change gears with precise timing while being able to control a car going the speed of a roller coaster. Perfection is key.

New AP art courses to be offered

By Biruk Bekele | Feb. 5, 2010, 11:30 a.m. | In Print News »

Blair will offer Advanced Placement (AP) Music Theory and AP Art History classes for the first time next year as a way to increase both the course variety for students and the number of students who take fine arts electives, said Sara Josey, fine arts resource teacher.

Blair becomes more energy efficient

By Biruk Bekele | Feb. 5, 2010, 11:26 a.m. | In Print News »

New compact fluorescent lights (CFL) have been installed in school hallways and most teachers now have individual desk lamps that they can use instead of the classroom lights, according to Green Club sponsor Karen Shilling. These recent changes have made Blair more energy efficient, and were brought about by initiatives by the Randolph Maintenance Depot, the Green Club, building services and MCPS School Energy and Recycling Team (SERT).

Bringing talent to the table

By Biruk Bekele | Jan. 11, 2010, 8:15 p.m. | In Print Features »

Her eyes are glued to a small hollow ball as it shoots towards her. She engages in a back-and-forth rally with her opponent, returning his hits with a strong and carefully planned-out swing. This arduous match between senior Janice Lan and her coach is one of precision, timing and intense concentration.

New Spanish for Spanish Speakers curriculum implemented

By Biruk Bekele | Nov. 12, 2009, midnight | In Print News »

MCPS Spanish for Spanish Speakers (SSS) curriculum has undergone changes that have been implemented this year in eleven high schools and eight middle schools that offer the course, according to Judith Klimpl, supervisor of MCPS Department of Foreign Languages. The course was revised in order to enhance the Spanish of the shifting population of students, according to Klimpl.

An unexpected reunion

By Biruk Bekele | Nov. 12, 2009, midnight | In Print Features »

In his eyes, the once magnificent stage had been transformed. It was now a gloomy debacle strewn with trash and wires hanging precariously from the ceiling.

Sligo Golf Course to stay open

By Biruk Bekele | Oct. 8, 2009, midnight | In Print News »

Sligo Creek Golf Course, originally scheduled to close on Oct. 1 due to revenue problems, will remain open after the Montgomery County Council approved a supplemental appropriation proposed by County Executive Isaiah Leggett.



Images (1)


Photo: Dream Act graphic

By Biruk Bekele | Feb. 9, 2011, midnight