The official slogan of is "School of Champions."
It's a bold slogan. The numerous sport team banners that hang throughout the campus, though, are a testament to the athletic skill of past and present Gar-Field students.
There's another bold slogan that Gar-Field could adopt, though: "School of Overachievers."
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Many Prince William County parents are aware that Gar-Field is an . College-level essay papers, semester-long personal projects and community service are required of all IB students. Classes begin at 7:30 a.m., and IB students who also participate in athletic programs admit to not getting to bed until 1 a.m. Many are also taking an interest a real lifelong issue: personal finance.
Megan Daugherty is a Gar-Field sophomore and is a senior. They both have a full IB class load, they both play tennis every day, they both have personal coaches with whom they work on the weekends, and they are the top seeded players for the girls and boys teams.
This year Daugherty and Temory each chose to complete projects aimed at improving their financial IQ.
“I decided that I was going to participate in extreme couponing,” said Daugherty. “Last fall ACTS , so I knew that a lot of food banks around us were having problems. I thought it would be a good opportunity to help, so I learned how to coupon and what exactly couponing is, and I'm going to donate the products I bought to a local food bank.”
Daugherty started her extreme couponing community project in October and completed the assignment this past week. She studied the concepts and best practices, then clipped coupons and planned trips to the store. In the end she saved 29 percent off the original store bill.
"Couponing around here is very difficult; not a lot of places accept double coupons as you see people doing on television,” said Daugherty. “So, I had a difficult time saving as much money as I would have liked to. Also, when I finally decided to go shopping, quite a few of my coupons had expired, which made things difficult."
"For example, there was a $4 toothbrush, but I had a coupon that would have cut the price in half. However, when I got to the register I realized my coupon had expired, and I had to pay full price," said Daugherty. "From a savings standpoint I probably should have asked them to put the toothbrush back."
Temory's senior dossier is nothing short of spectacular as well; he created a computer program that helps individuals create and balance a budget. Essentially, the program takes into account the user's monthly income and expenses, then calculates how much money needs to be saved in order for the user to reach a specified goal, for example, a car.
"It's important for the younger generation to develop good financial instincts so that we don't remain in the same predicament our nation is in now," said Temory.
Temory completed the project through Gar-Field's high-level computer science class, one of the hardest courses offered through the IB program, one in which not too many students participate.
Despite being the defending Cardinal District and Northwest Regional boys tennis champion—and poised to repeat—Temory's ultimate goal is not to play professional sports; he plans to major in cyber security.
It's rare to see athletes like Temory and Daugherty place an emphasis on academia and problem solving, as opposed to sports—especially considering either of them could possibly receive a full ride to school based on athletic ability.
Although Temory has received scholarship offers from several schools, he hopes to attend Virginia Commonwealth University where he may or may not make the team as a walk-on; Daugherty feels the same way.
"If I was able to go to a school that I really liked and play tennis, I'd love that," said Daugherty. "But, I'm not going to attend a school I don't like just for tennis."
Daugherty did take a moment to reflect on how the lessons learned through extreme couponing can be applied to her actions on the court.
"A large part of IB is accessing your mistakes, knowing what you're good at, and looking at yourself deeper," said Daugherty. "I learned that being prepared and knowing your stuff is important to succeed on and off the court."