Josh Allman and Mary Frances Dempsey

Josh Allman and Mary Frances Dempsey

By Josh Allman

Opinion Editor

Sophomore Mary Frances Dempsey always shows up to school with a killer outfit. Some days she’s decked out in an all-pink sweatsuit and others she’s straight off an early 2000s red carpet. But where does the inspiration come from? When does it strike? And how does she hit the mark every single day?

“I try to pick the clothes in the evening, but a lot of the time I end up doing it in the morning, because I change my mind really quickly. It also depends on the mood in the morning; maybe the night before, I watched a movie, and I suddenly want to embody a certain character,” Dempsey said.

Dempsey’s fashion choices run deeper than a cool skirt and platform heels; they reflect a hard-fought battle with the administration of Arlington Public Schools (APS). When she was in sixth grade, Dempsey saw a problem with her school’s dress code and took it upon herself to resolve it. Three years later, she’s in the news. 

“It wasn’t even the fact that I was on ABC that made it a good moment for me; it was that people wanted to know what I was doing, and the three years I had been working on the dress code had finally paid off. It became real,” Dempsey said.  

Though her campaign was a success, it was not without its challenges. 

“I made a committee meeting, and no one showed up—they said I should just stop. Then COVID hit, and they said it was a sign to stop and wait. I didn’t want to wait,” Dempsey said. 

Despite the doubts and failures, Dempsey emerged a developed and self-aware leader.

“I was so angry and so passionate. I had to keep going. I learned that I work harder when people tell me to give up,” Dempsey said.

Thousands of middle-schoolers across APS now have Dempsey to thank for the liberty to dress how they please and follow in her fashion-forward footsteps. 

A multifaceted style icon, clothing isn’t the only way Dempsey expresses herself—she has been doing outlandish makeup art since third grade. She recently turned her hobby into a job, procuring gigs with both last year’s spring musical and a local hair salon. Dempsey now has her sights set on an even bigger project. 

“Someone from New York saw my Instagram recently and reached out to me. They want me to fly there, which is crazy,” Dempsey said. 

Does Dempsey ever take a night off? Hypothetically. But not with a critically acclaimed movie. 

“Sometimes the best movies are simply simply stupid and funny movies,” Dempsey said. 

Her pick: Pitch Perfect 2.

While she’s not in an eclectic a cappella group, Dempsey loves performing. She’s been on our school’s varsity cheerleading squad for two years now and deems it her favorite extracurricular activity.

“I really love to perform, and I’m not afraid of attention. I enjoy just being able to smile and shout and be stupid. That’s kinda my whole job,” Dempsey said. 

Although she’s just beginning her second year of high school, Dempsey’s resume is impressive and movie taste refreshing. But her intriguing traits beg a more important question—the answer to which would unveil a deeper understanding of Dempsey as a person. 

“My favorite Taylor Swift album is Speak Now. Emotionally, I’m so connected to it,” Dempsey said. 

Eager to be a reporter for The Sentry, Dempsey hopes sparks fly when fellow students read her articles.

“I hope I write about things that are nice for students to know; things that make them happy,” Dempsey said.

Fashionista, activist and entrepreneur, Dempsey will undoubtedly be a valuable asset to The Sentry, and we cannot wait to see what she has in store.


By Mary Frances Dempsey

Staff Reporter

It’s a crisp, autumn day. The smell of cinnamon and pumpkin fills the air as students shuffle their feet to school, painful looks on their faces expressing their hatred for the season. But one student is far from sad. This student is senior Josh Allman, the number one fan of everything fall. 

“Spring or summer or winter never lives up to what I want it to be, but fall does,” Allman said.

He enjoys the various themed teas and movies the season has to offer, but one aspect of fall sticks out to Allman in particular.

“I love candles … I just finished burning one of those big yankee candles called Pumpkin Wreath,” Allman said.

Unfortunately, before he could get into the real fall mood, there had to be summer, which Allman spent productively in governor’s school at Radford University. At Radford, Allman met new people, learned what college could be like and prepared for his final year of high school. As a senior, Allman is most excited to make new connections.

Knowing this is your last year at school creates this community where you are inclined to connect with as many people as you can,” Allman said. 

When he isn’t lighting candles for his favorite season or forming bonds at school, Allman can be found editing the opinion section of The Yorktown Sentry, which he is very happy to do.

“I love opinion because it’s not claiming to be straight facts. Owning that is why I love editing for the section,” Allman said.

 As the Opinion Editor, he holds many of his own views. Allman is strictly team Romeo from the classic Romeo and Juliet, votes folklore as the best Taylor Swift album ever and believes The Yorktown Sentry is truly a special type of connection. 

“We say it all the time, and it’s kind of cliché, but [The Yorktown Sentry] is a family thing,” Allman said. 

Though this is only his second year on The Yorktown Sentry, Allman already knows exactly what he will miss the most after leaving it.

“Last year, I wrote an article interviewing the seniors and reflecting on their time on The Sentry, and every single person said they would miss the people the most … and it’s true. I’m definitely going to miss all the activities we do together,” Allman said.

Even though Allman will miss us greatly, I am sure The Yorktown Sentry will miss him more. We are so glad to spend one last fall with you, Josh Allman.

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About the Contributors
Josh Allman, Opinion Editor
Josh Allman is a senior and The Sentry’s Opinion Editor. Entering his second year on staff, he is excited to help new reporters share their opinions with the student body and beyond. As a passionate journalist and ambitious learner, Josh uses his education to give real issues a student voice. Outside of academics, Josh is an avid hiker and tea-drinker.
Mary Frances Dempsey is a junior and this is her second year on The Sentry. She is passionate about advocacy and was on the news twice for contributing to a change in the APS dress code. In Mary Frances’s free time, she is a varsity cheerleader for the school and works as a professional creative makeup artist.

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