Staff Bio

Abby Varricchio, Editor in Chief

Abby Varricchio is a Junior at Millbrook High School. As Editor in Chief, this will be her second year working with the BlueXpress. As a co-captain of Millbrook’s debate team and Junior Vice President of the SCA, Abby is constantly doing something at Millbrook. When she is not seen at Millbrook or at dance practice, she can be found in Washington D.C. on Capitol Hill. After high school, Abby plans to go to college and become a lawyer. Eventually she hopes to reside on Capitol Hill, or maybe even in the White House.


Maddie Lazenby, Junior Editor

Maddie Lazenby is one of the Junior Editors at the BlueXpress and a junior at Millbrook High School. She specializes in writing articles and video production. You’ve likely seen her around the cafeteria with a microphone asking questions for her video segment “Asking You.” Aside from the BlueXpress, she is involved in Drama Club, Forensics, and the Creative Writing Club. Away from school, she enjoys reading, writing, and volunteering at NREP. She is hoping to study creative writing and journalism after she graduates high school, and yes, she is confident in that decision. She is known by many different nicknames in many different parts of the world, but if you scream in her general direction, she’ll probably respond.


Anica Moran, Junior Editor 

Anica Moran is a senior in high school. She has been a part of the BlueXpress for three years and is an active member of Key Club. She loves to write about anything that she can and contributes to all categories BlueXpress offers. Reading and going to the beach are two of her favorite things, doing them together makes her unquestionable happy. She loves to hang out with her friends; her friends and family are the most important things to her. Anica wants to travel the world and is very determined to go to as many places as possible. She is very excited to be a part of something where she can be creative and let her imagination run free. Anica is looking forward to finishing her last year of high school and move onto the next chapter of her life.


Nicole Hauck, Art Department Head

Nicole Hauck is a senior at Millbrook High School and the current head of the Journalism Art and Cartooning Department. With her passion for artistry and, let’s call it an “interesting” sense of humor, she has spent her two years in Journalism providing comics and other drawings to the BlueXpress. Nicole’s long-term works thus far have included the comic series Millbrook Moments and the personal comic called Who We Are. Millbrook Moments is a school-related non-sequitur comic that tends to humorously exaggerate many aspects of the school environment. Who We Are is a continuous storyline, following a group of unique friends as they discover secrets of the past that their world had long since forgotten. Nicole also hopes to continue Payton Deegan’s Animal Therapy comics in her absence, time permitting. All in all, she is ready to end her high school journalism on a high and colorful note!

Emily Keller, Junior Editor

Emily Keller is a senior at Millbrook High School. Keller loves writing and has been a part of the BlueXpress for three years. She is creative when it comes to designing. Math is not her strongest subject, but when it comes to history and science she excels. Emily wants to get a degree in early childhood education so that she can pursue her dream of teaching. In her free time she likes to listen to music, write, and care for her Golden Retriever dog, Macy. Keller is also very excited to be in journalism this year to make memories and new friends.


Cara George, Photography Editor

Cara George is a senior at Millbrook High. She joined the BlueXpress her junior year as a photographer and a writer. This year, she continues her exploration in the school newspaper as co-head photographer along with Sabrina Castillo. Along with the newspaper, she is the president of Millbrook’s FFA chapter and won the Virginia state level Veterinary Science competition through this club. Outside of school, she can be found in nature or volunteering with animals. After graduation, she wishes to study veterinary science. Along with being a vet, she wants to specialize in animal reproduction, training, therapy, or rescue.


Sabrina Castillo, Photography Editor 

Sabrina Castillo is a third year member of the BlueXpress. She is thrilled to be graduating this year with an advanced diploma. As an independent and sort of quiet person, she can seem standoffish. This year she will be one of the two head photographers on staff. She enjoys going to concerts because she loves to have a life. Her favorite music artist is Blackbear and has already seen him twice in concert; she plans to see him again and hopefully meet him one day. Born and raised in Winchester, she plans to travel the country after graduation. Sabrina has an extensive collection of makeup that she touches once in awhile.


Blake Curry, Head of Videography

Blake Curry is a 17 years old senior at Millbrook on his second year in Journalism. He has three years of Graphics and two years Videography under his belt at Millbrook, so he knows his way around Photoshop, Illustrator, and Adobe Premiere. He loves to listen to music when he is working as it gives him ideas and motivation. In his free time, he likes to play video games, listen to music, and to watch and record Youtube videos.


Joel Sherman, Documentaries Director

Joel Sherman is 17 years old and was born on May 11, 2000 in Reston, Virginia. He enjoys playing soccer, basketball, and fishing in his free time outside of school. Joel works as a U.S. Soccer Federation referee and at Don Beyer Volvo Cars of Winchester. During summer vacation, he travelled to Pawley’s Island, South Carolina and spent lots of time on the beach. This year in school, he hopes to accomplish all A’s in four AP classes: AP Calculus BC, AP English 12, AP Physics, and AP Government. His family originated from different countries across Europe, some of which are: Germany, Ireland, and Finland. When Joel gets out of school, he hopes to become an aerospace engineer or continue to pursue a career in film-making and videography.


Ryan Crosson, Lead Graphic Designer 

Ryan Crosson is 17 years old and he was born and raised in Winchester, Virginia. He has lived in Winchester for all his life. His parents moved down here when they had Ryan’s sister, which was four years before he was born. He currently goes to Millbrook and is in twelfth grade. His whole family consist of nurses; he one day hope to become a EMT or a paramedic. Ryan plans on going to go to LFCC for 2 years to get all his prerequisites done to get into the nursing program at JMU. Ryan is a second year member of the BlueXpress staff. Currently Ryan enjoys taking apart computers and cellphones as well as going to the hospital to shadow his mom.


Carolynn Unger, Writer

Carolynn Unger is a junior this year. She works in the writing and videography department for BlueXpress. She is also a member of choir and drama. A few productions she has performed in are Shrek, Little Shop of Horrors, and The Importance of Being Earnest. Her favorite part of performing is learning and becoming the character. Her favorite book genre is fantasy/sci-fi and she loves writing non-fiction or reviews for film. If you mention Spider-Man or The Walking Dead, she could go on for hours. She has a list of possible colleges, such as James Madison and Shenandoah University. After graduating, she hopes to pursue a career in journalism or theater. She enjoys spending time with her family and close friends.


Laurel Biedrzycki, Writer

Laurel Biedrzycki is a seventeen-year-old senior, but more importantly, she has a passion for music and literature. Her goal is to incorporate these interests into journalism while doing her best to write entertaining and engaging articles. As far as music, she fronts for a local punk band called X-Ray Cat and enjoys singing more than playing any instrument, though she’s familiar with the guitar and piano. Her favorite thing to write are stories, but she has plenty of experience with writing articles and makes sure to write every day.



Matthew Davis, Writer

Matthew Davis is a junior in millbrook High school. Matthew Davis spends most of his days training for basketball or working at Dunkin Donuts. He has two older brothers: the oldest brother is a senior at George Mason University, while his second older brother was just deployed to Chicago for the Navy. While Matthew goes through out his day, he loves to listen to music.



Matthew Bennett, Artist

Matthew Bennett is a junior interested in digital art with more experience in traditional media. He has taken Art Foundations, Intro to Drawing and Painting, and will be taking Drawing II this year. Matthew has also taken graphics classes and is in a photography class this year as well. He hopes to pursue an art career in the future. Outside of school, he enjoys watching Ghost Adventures and spending time with his pets, which includes a dog named Frankie.



Dylan Boyer, Design and Layout

Dylan Boyer is 17 years old and in twelfth grade. He was born in Virginia in 2000. In 2005 he moved to Florida for about four years. One of Dylan’s favorite things is music. specifically punk rock. Some of Dylan’s favorite bands include Bad Religion, NOFX, and Lagwagon. His favorite movies of all time are Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, Superbad, and Shaun Of The Dead. Now in his second year in Journalism, he hopes to focus more on the graphics side of the class.



Anna Fox, Writer

Anna Fox is a senior at Millbrook High School, and her favorite subject is history. She takes pictures of her animals and nature in her free time. She has two pugs named Walle and Hammond and one bulldog named T-bone. She also loves to write. She even writes original plays. She co-wrote two plays during a summer camp and has written her own based on a character she created. Anna has been in seven musicals and four plays. She listens to showtunes, her favorites are Hamilton, Newsies, Kinky Boots, Finding Neverland, In The Heights and Spring Awakening. Anna hopes to move to New York City one day to become a drama therapist. She also wants to continue writing and hopes that one day one of her plays will on a stage.


Jacob Gearheart, Graphic Designer

Jacob Gearheart is a senior at Millbrook High School. He is a part of the graphics department of the BlueXpress. Jacob took an intro to graphics class during his sophomore year of high school. Throughout his sophomore year, Jacob discovered that he thoroughly enjoyed working with Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. With the help of a wonderful teacher, he passed with A’s and B’s. During high school, Jacob participates in TSA, DECA, and runs track. After he graduates from Millbrook with an advanced diploma, Jacob plans on going to college at either James Madison University or Radford University. While in college, Jacob plans on majoring in marketing and minoring in business.


Kaitlyn Perkins, Photographer

Kaitlyn Perkins is a senior at Millbrook High School and is currently a member of Millbrook’s Journalism and BlueXpress online newspaper. She is also the FBLA photographer and the unofficial FFA photographer. She has a passion for photography and can be found snapping photographs of  beautiful places, school events and sports, little league baseball and basketball games, or her own animals in her backyard. She hopes and plans to become a professional photographer after she graduates.



Ben Schwab, Graphic Designer

Ben Schwab is 17 years old and was born on January 7, 2000 in Columbus, Ohio. He enjoys graphic design, playing hockey and soccer in his free time outside of school. He has a job as a USARS hockey referee and a Chick-fil-A team member. During the summer, he travelled to Los Angeles, San Diego and the Outer Banks. This year in school he hopes to accomplish all A’s in 4 basic classes. He prefers to work with his buddy Joel on all assignments possible (graphic design work). His family originated from different countries across Europe, some of which are: Germany, Ireland, Wales and Sweden. His father is an airline pilot for United Airlines and his mother is an office manager for Cornerstone Asset Management. When he gets out of school, he wants to become an airline pilot or graphic designer.


Garry Shaffer, Photographer

Garry Shaffer is a junior at Millbrook High School. Garry is new to the BlueXpress staff and is very excited to see what it has to offer to him. Garry’s hobbies include practicing guitar and playing video games. His life goal is to become professional photographer, videographer, or a musician. Garry has great expectations for how he’ll perform here in the BlueXpress alongside the other staff.



Luke Rangel, Design and Layout

Luke Rangel is a 17 year old in the twelfth grade. He has lived in Virginia his whole life. He enjoys listening to a variety of music ranging from all genres including folk, punk, rock, alternative and grunge. Weezer, Blink-182, Nirvana, Green Day and Destructo Disk are some of his favorite bands. His love of music caused him to join two punk bands. Music plays a pretty big part in his life. When Luke is not slapping the bass, he occasionally likes to read and draw. He also has a very deep interest in movies. Some of his favorites are “Django Unchained,” “Pulp Fiction,” and “Apocalypse Now”. His favorite subject in school is math. He doesn’t believe he is the best at it, he just enjoys dealing with numbers. So far he has been having a rather good time in high school and it’s even better now since his mom is one of the assistant principals. After high school Luke plans to attend college, then he wants to be a pro pinball player if things don’t work out.


Joshua Abbott, Web Designer

Joshua Abbott is a senior at Millbrook High School. He is excited to work as part of the web design department in journalism as he loves working with or on computers. In his free time he enjoys playing video games on his computer ranging from FTL: Faster Than Light to Battlefield 1. Every once in awhile he will play with friends on cooperative/competitive games, like CS:GO. His favorite game series is Halo. Josh loves space and hopes to pursue a career in Astronomy, Planetary science and related fields after high school in college. Whenever he isn’t doing work or games, he might be reading or researching about new technologies and concepts in today’s world. Based on his interests, you can probably guess that his favorite genre in movies, games, and books is Science-fiction. Josh will listen to any music that has a good beat or rhythm to it, but most of the time he listens to specific genres like electronic, jazz, and synthwave.


Nelson G., Videographer

Nelson G. is a Senior attending Millbrook High School. He is 17 years old and was born in Alexandria, VA. He isn’t afraid of anything, but that doesn’t mean a good jump-scare can’t surprise him. In his spare time, he enjoys playing video games (PC), watching or making YouTube videos, and drawing. He’s currently working on making himself a better person.



Hope Baker, Artist

Hope Baker is a junior currently attending Millbrook High School. Although this is her first year working for the BlueXpress, she is an experienced painter and cartoonist. She gained her experience from having already taken Art Foundation, Intro to Drawing and Painting, and Advanced Painting. Hope has always wanted to be involved with film and theater, and while she does participate in plays and musicals at Millbrook, she also would like to become more adept at digital drawing, in order to possibly pursue a career as a digital artist and design characters for a film studio.



Kei Cortez, Photographer

Kei Cortez is a sophomore entering her first year as a member of the BlueXpress staff.  She hopes to come back for two more years in journalism as well. In her time at Millbrook, she plans to get more involved in school activities like sports and events by taking pictures of them for the photography department. She likes going to punk rock music shows frequently with her friends and she is in to realistic art. People would say that she is mysterious, but she is just very awkward.



Emane Blanson, Photographer and Yearbook Liaison

Emane Blanson, a senior attending Millbrook High School, Is looking forward to all that senior year has to offer. She attended a medical program her junior year and received her CNA license. She also took a first aid class and received her CPR certification. She wanted to try something different this year and thought journalism would be the perfect fit. She hopes to do photography, write stories for the BlueXpress and conduct interviews. She is excited for her senior year and can’t wait to see what’s in store.



William Gearheart, Graphic Designer

William Gearheart is a senior at Millbrook. He has joined the graphics department as a member of the BlueXpress staff. He took a graphics class his freshman year. William enjoys playing basketball, going out to eat, and hanging out with friends. His favorite place to eat is Chipotle. William says he could eat Chipotle everyday. He plans on going to college next year. His top two choices are Radford University and James Madison University. He wants to study medicine or marketing.



Grant Myers, Writer

Grant Myers is a senior in his first year for the BlueXpress. He is most interested in writing and videography. He has some personal experience in both creative writing and video editing programs. Outside BlueXpress, he is interested in movies, music, and theater. He has performed in every musical at Millbrook since his freshman year and made All-Virginia and All-National chorus in 2017. For this year, he will also serve as Secretary for National Honor Society.



Jose Rosales, Photographer

Jose Rosales is a sophomore at Millbrook High School. He came from Los Angeles, California in 2011 and he is now in high school. He graduates in 2020. This is his first year doing Journalism and he wants to become a really good photographer and to help out with the school online newspaper (BlueXpress). He has other classes like Geometry, Drivers Education, Biology, English 10, World History 2, and Spanish 2. He is bilingual and speaks two languages; Spanish as well as English. He plays sports, like basketball and football. He is better at basketball than football, he plays basketball much more than football. He works with his father as a photographer. He loves photography and he came to journalism to learn more about it. His father owns a restaurant and a company. His father also owns JR Photo and Video Productions. He gets to have free food from his father’s restaurant, which is pretty cool. His mother owns a restaurant as well and he helps her out sometimes around there on Saturday mornings.  


Hailey Smith, Info Graphics

Hailey Smith is a sophomore at Millbrook High School, and this is her first year in journalism. She loves any form of art, from creating music to writing poetry to painting. She listens to music in her free time, with artists ranging from well known to unknown. Pop culture is a big part of her life since she’s almost always watching movies. Most of her favorite movies are by Stephen King or in the horror genre. Her favorite thing to do is hang out with her friends. She’s interested in doing mainly photography, but she’s also interested in writing and/or making playlists.



Alex Stone, Writer

Alex Stone is a junior at Millbrook High School and this is his first year working for the BlueXpress. Alex has been a member of the Millbrook Academic Team for a year and has played in his local Rugby club for over 6 years. He is an avid cinephile with an IMDb watchlist reaching 300 movies. His hobbies extend from computer hardware to vinyl collecting and his goals include finishing The Wire and passing Calculus AB.



Collin Boyer, Photographer

Collin Boyer is a junior at Millbrook. His main hobbies include playing guitar in a band and sleeping until he has to go to bed. Collin’s main goal in life is to become a musician. If that doesn’t work out, then he’ll probably end up living with his mom until he’s 30. But aside all that, Collin is very thrilled to be going into his second year of Journalism with the BlueXpress and he intends to stay for a third year.



Justina Koenig, Videographer 

Justina Koenig is a 16 year old Sophomore at Millbrook on her first year of journalism. She enjoys music, movies, and going out with her friends like any other cool teen. She likes to take photos, and wants to make something out of it one day, she also enjoys film, making mini movies and also watching them. She loves learning, and being interacting with people to gather new ideas.



Daniella Vargas, Photographer

Daniella Vargas is a Sophomore at Millbrook High school, her favorite subject is history. She is going for an advanced diploma. She loves writing and drawing.She plays multiple sports and is very competitive.she is devoted and caring . She takes pictures of her animals and nature in her free time. She also wants to continue writing and hopes that one day she will get a scholarship to go to JMU.



Gwen Zirkle, Writer and Marketing

Gwen Zirkle is a senior who enjoys writing and reading more than anything else. She has six dogs she likes more than people and enjoys spending time with them. She plans to go to college in New York City or Boston and study English or creative writing. In addition to being a part of the Journalism staff, she’s also a writing coach for Millbrook’s new Writing Center. In her free time, she’s generally on the couch watching TV or playing video games. She’s also a part of FBLA and holds an officer position in the club.



Elliot Foy, Writer

Elliot Foy is a sophomore and this is his first year in journalism. He’s into writing and music, and in his free time he writes anything from poems to just random stories about nothing. He also listens to music quite often of any genre or artist. He writes for BlueXpress and is working on making ideas for multiple articles on a lot of different topics. He is open minded and will talk about almost anything that you’re interested in talking to him about.



Adriana Baldivia, Photographer

Adriana Baldivia, a senior and this is her first year in journalism. She wanted to take the class because she found it interesting. She wanted to learn how to take pictures and be in school events. At first she had trouble with everything, but now she is starting to learn. She has been improving in her pictures, things such as lighting, clearness and the settings in the camera. She has also now learned how to edit her pictures in her computer and turn them in on time. Now she has learned more, she enjoys the class.