Month: April 2013

International Night at CHS

On Wednesday, April 24, 2013, National Honor Society’s International Night was held at CHS. International Night is a celebration of diversity in the Centennial Community. Korean Drum Team, Indian and Greek Dances, Martial Arts, a fashion show, and various foods were just some of the evenings excitement.

Photos: Caitlin Martin

29th Chemathon Results

On Saturday, April 27, 2013, the CHS Chemathon team competed at the 29th Chemathon, at the University of Maryland – College Park. Congratulations to the following students on their achievement at the event. Angela Chan, Victor Chang, Gabriel Koo, Morris Mou, Mina Sun, Joanna Ye, and Amy Zhang.

The CHS team received the following rankings in various categories:

1st Place in “Chemistry Sign” event.
1st Place in “Weighing by Redox” event.
2nd Place in “Chemistry Crystal” event.
2nd Place in overall competition among 24 high schools from Maryland, Virginia, DC and Pennsylvania.

Graduation Day School Start Time

from HCPSS News:

The recent announcement of the commencement dates for the class of 2013 shows the CHS date to be May 24, 2013 at 8:00 a.m. The early start will necessitate a late opening for our school and remaining students at 10:30 a.m. All bus transportation pick-ups will take place 3 hours later than normal therefore the earliest bus arrival at CHS will be approximately 10:00 a.m. On that date, please note the change in schedule.

NAHS Field Trip

Words: Shweta Maruvada

On Friday, April 19, 2013, 28 National Art Honors Society students from Centennial High School taught various art forms at Pointers Run Elementary School (PRES) to students from grade levels 1-5. Preparations for this event have been occurring for the past 6 weeks, and the students will be teaching at the school the entire day, until 3:30. This event usually takes place every year, but was cancelled last year due to the lack of grant money.

According to art teacher Nan Collins, “Our students are basically learning how to deliver an art lesson, and have the students create something in a 45-50 minute window (class) and actually walk away with a new skill, or a new artifact, or a new understanding of some aspect of art. And our students are basically learning to teach. And they are going to learn what goes into creating a new and creative art lesson.”

There is a general protocol that PRES performs every year, according to Collins. “They suspend all other classes for the day, and they have only art classes. And so the kids go from one art class to the next all day long. Our students will be teaching the same lesson three times,” she said.

The students formed groups of 2-3 people in order to teach around 25 elementary school students. They collected enough materials for the 75 students, and created a prototype of the artifact the students will create as an example. The activity being taught by each of the groups is specific to a grade level, which each team was allowed to choose.

Participating in the event are NAHS students: Cassie Bernhardt, Blair Dettmer, Alex Booth, Kylie Caldwell, Jacqueline Chen, Christin Downie, Carolyn Gagnon, Julia Gao, Delaney Green, Giana Han, Isa Hanssen, Hanna Jackson, Aneeza Khawaja, Karina Kotyleva, Beth Lyman, Feitian Ma, Morris Mou, Eunice Nam, Daniel Park, Ye Eun Park, Courtney Payne, Manvith Sama, Roxanna Shadmehr, Alison White, Erin Yamaguchi, Mary Yu, Weong Yun, and Parastoo Zia Zarifi.

Senior Kylie Caldwell, junior Morris Mou, and Erin Yamaguchi are planning to teach fifth graders a project entitled “I Come in Many Folds”. This artwork focuses and stresses the significance of combining text and art in real life. According to Mou, “For our project, we are working with the medium that is perhaps forgotten often – paper itself. We really want to share with the kids, the fact that ordinary paper that we draw and paint on in our everyday life possess tremendous possibility of being molded, shaped, and even sculptured.”

Although this is Mou’s first time working with PRES students for NAHS, he remembered the field trip two years ago was also a success with a lot of participants from the society. “I think this field trip definitely provide an amazing opportunity for art students to experience and explore a possible career in the education fine arts. Like everyone else, I [was] really excited about Friday, considering how much I have always wanted to spread my passion for art with the community, and through National Art Honor Society, we are able to connect with the elementary school students and share our love of arts,” said Mou.

The trio decided to focus on a group of fifth graders due to the complexity of the project. The students would need to be able to handle a more creative and intellectual attitude in copying and redesigning one’s font. “So, on one side of the foldable we require the kids to write their name in aesthetically pleasing font, whether its cursive, serif or sans serif. And, since we are only requiring them to design their names on one of the four side, there also leaves a lot of artistic freedom for them to utilize their creativity to produce intricate visual composition themselves,” Mou said.

Seniors Blair Dettmer and Courtney Payne are planning on working with fourth or fifth graders, teaching them how to create “Nature Fans”. Although this is the first time Dettmer is going for NAHS, she still feels comfortable with the idea of handling the students. “Nature fans is a play on words that Mrs. Collins came up with. They’re simply paper fans with a design on each side – one with complimentary colors, and the other with analogous. This way, the kids can learn about the different types of colors, along with detailed patterns found in nature,” she said.

However Dettmer and Payne had first planned on creating Fans that resembled designs on Grecian pots than Nature, but later decided on Nature Fans due to the complexity of the latter project. “We thought that perhaps girls would want to draw flowers on theirs, but of course we couldn’t exclude the boys! Instead, we went with the more broader term of just nature,” said Dettmer.

Alison White, Ye Eun Park, and Daniel Park are going to teach fourth graders an art entitled “Impressionistic Gardens”. They are planning to taking two pictures of impressionistic gardens and giving each student a tiny section of the picture. The student will then have to recreate the their portion, which afterwards will be combined to form the complete picture again. “It was a group idea,” said White. “We started out thinking of paper flowers and combining them to make 3D gardens. But working with tissue paper seemed easy for them, so we let go that idea and started thinking about different mediums and decided on oil pastels for their waxy texture.”

White is attending this trip for the first time, and though she is not a fan of public speaking, she enjoys being around children. The group plans on demonstrating the basic idea to the fourth graders, then giving them free rein for their own projects. They also plan on educating them about a few impressionistic artists, during the class time.

This event was exciting for both the NAHS members and the PRES students, who were allowed to take a one-day leave from classes to attend the art activities in their rotation schedule. The NAHS team worked hard to make this event a success, and hoped to learn and teach new forms of art to the elementary students who had been looking forward to the day.

Last Day of School Announced

HCPSS has announced that the last day of school for students will be Friday, June 14, 2013, unless additional modifications to the school schedule become necessary. Three inclement closing days, due to Hurricane Sandy and other inclement weather, were waived by The Maryland Department of Education, allowing for the June 14 last day.

This day is not the last day for seniors, as graduation dates and seniors last days vary by school. For a complete list of graduation dates, click here.


HCPSS Prom Safety Letter to Parents

On Thursday, April 18, 2013, the following letter was released to parents via HCPSS News. This letter from William J. McMahon, Chief of Police and Renee A. Foose, Ed.D., Superintendent of HCPSS is designed to remind parents to encourage their children to stay safe during prom and graduation season.


Dear Parents/Guardians,

With the start of prom and graduation season this weekend, we are reaching out to students and parents to reinforce the legal and safety consequences of underage drinking.

Too often, we have seen this time of celebration turn into a time of tragedy. Criminal charges related to underage drinking can change a person’s life. Even worse, serious injury or death can turn what should be a new beginning into a tragic end.

We want our kids to have a great time and celebrate. We just want them to do it safely and we don’t want to see them get into legal trouble that could have a long-term effect.

Alcohol—Teens should know that buying or possessing alcohol under the age of 21 can result in multiple, serious criminal charges. It may prevent them from being able to have a driver’s license

DUI—A DUI conviction could mean the loss of a license. Young people driving with provisional licenses have to wait 18 months before they are eligible to get a license again.

Parents—Parents and other adults can play a role to help ensure teens’ safety. Please don’t provide alcohol to anyone under the age of 21, even in your own home. Parents can be charged in these situations. Charges each carry a fine of $2,500 and violators must appear in court. Please don’t take the chance.

Hotel rooms—We are asking parents not to rent rooms for underage parties. The police department is sending letters to hotels and motels in Howard County asking them to strictly enforce their policies of not renting rooms to anyone under 21 years of age. Hotel employees will call police if parents or other adults try to rent rooms for minors.

Police patrols—Howard County patrol officers will be out in increased numbers after proms hoping NOT to find drivers exhibiting signs of impairment. We urge you to remind your kids not to ruin the night by getting a DUI, or much worse. If possible, arrange for rides both ways with a hired driver or parents.

After-prom parties—Each high school is sponsoring an after-prom party with support and funding from the county’s asset forfeiture fund. Please encourage your teens to attend. This is much safer than allowing them to go to an unsupervised party, or one supervised by adults who allow drinking.

We have one goal in mind: keeping our young people safe. We do not want to diminish the fun of the evening or make it harder to celebrate. We just want your kids to come home. Police officers know first-hand the anguish of knocking on a parent’s door to deliver the worst news a mom or dad could ever hear. Educators know the effect this can have on a family and an entire school community.

Please, be our partners in this effort. Help us make sure that every Howard County student is as safe as possible. Thank you.

William J. McMahon, Chief of Police
Renee A. Foose, Ed.D., Superintendent of HCPSS