Month: April 2014

The “Grim Reaper” Reminds Students of the Consequences of their Actions

Photos: Caroline Oppenheimer and Martha Hutzell

Words: Miranda Mason

On Monday, April 28, 30 students were pulled out of their classes by the “Grim Reaper” as Centennial’s School Resource Officer Mark Perry announced to the students that their classmate was “killed” in a car crash. The students who were “killed” were then given a black t-shirt announcing they had died in a crash caused by distracted or drunk driving, and their faces were painted white. The “dead” students then remained silent for the remainder of the school day.

This event was organized in order to remind Centennial students, especially juniors and seniors, that their decisions have real consequences. According to Perry, this event is going along with the Prom Promise assembly that took place last week that showed juniors and seniors the dangers of drunk or distracted driving. Both of these events are taking place to remind juniors and seniors that are going to prom to make good decisions

“It’s really an important matter that should be addressed in high schools,” said senior Kade Connor, who placed carnations on the desks of the “deceased” students.

“We’re trying to get the message across that if you made bad decisions you could kill yourself, injure yourself, or kill an innocent person and have to live with that for the rest of your life,” said Perry. “I just want the seniors and juniors to know that there are consequences.”

Lines of Love Walk for Wellness

Words: Miranda Mason

On May 17 at 10 a.m. the first annual Lines of Love Walk for Wellness will take place on trails and sidewalks near Centennial High School. The 2K walk will promote awareness, education and support for depression, anxiety and suicide prevention.

Lines of Love is donating a portion of the proceeds to SPEAK (Suicide Prevention Education Awareness for Kids), which is a Maryland-based organization that has made several big steps towards their goal of promoting the prevention of youth suicide and dispelling the stigma surrounding depression and suicide.

Kathryn Peterson, a senior and president of Lines of Love, is excited to be able to donate to a local group that works towards the same goals as Lines of Love.

“Raising awareness about depression and preventing suicide is the main goal,” said Peterson.

Registration for the walk is due by April 30, and walk-up registration and check-in begins at 9 a.m. the day of the Walk. Each participant will receive one Lines of Love t-shirt, as well as complementary food, water and materials that promote awareness, support and education for anxiety, depression and suicide prevention. Everyone who completes the Walk will also receive a Lines of Love bracelet, with additional bracelets available for three dollars each.

Visit the Lines of Love website here to learn more and download a registration form.

Dancing with the Staff: A Role Switch

Words: Amanda Ali

On Tuesday April 8, the Senior Dance Company students of Centennial were able to switch roles with the teachers and teach them a thing or two about dancing. The Dance Company hosted the annual Dancing With the Staff, where students and families were able to come and root their favorite performers to victory! Although the process seemed fun for the teachers and dancers, the rehearsal process was nerve wracking.

Due to the dancing competition being held right before Spring Break, many teachers had a difficult time finding free time to practice their dance routines. Not to mention, many of the teachers who participated in the competition had no past dance experience before. Many teachers were terrified to go on stage and perform, but they all succeeded! A lot of the support to go on stage and try their best came from the teachers’ dance partners. Mrs. Miller, who was partners with junior Taylor Good stated, “Taylor made me very comfortable to perform the dance. She truly knew me and was able to teach me the steps really slowly. She was my favorite part of my day for weeks.” The students were able to feel like true teachers, but realized all the difficulties it comes with. Senior Gabrielle Pasciotta, who was partners with Mr. Dorsey for the second year in a row and came in first this year stated, “I learned that being a teacher is a lot harder than it looks, but at the same time, so rewarding.”

The teachers were able to jump out of their own comfort zones and realized that in the end, what mattered most was having fun. The whole process allowed them to achieve things they never would have imagined before. “The hardest part for me was learning to do a cartwheel,” said Mr. Matchim, who placed second with junior Lori Dodge. “I was very stressed about it and the performing night was the first time I successfully did it.” The dancers also noticed a lot of strengths in the teachers during the rehearsal process. “My dance has different levels of choreography,” said junior Lexi Hackerman, who placed fourth with Ms. Fisher, “I’ve realized that Ms. Fisher can learn choreography really fast!”

Throughout the process, the teachers experienced switching places with the students, and started to fully understand what they go through. Mrs. Hafets, who was partners with senior Sydney Auld explained, “You gain appreciation of what the students do on a daily basis. They have so much to do and they are still able to balance their lives.”

Dancing with the Staff may have seemed like just a fun event to the people in the audience, but the teachers shared a special bond with their dance partners and learned new things that they will cherish forever. “You learn you can do things you didn’t think you can do,” said Dorsey, “and we all need that reminder.”

The final voting resulted in Dorsey and Pasciotta achieving first place, Matchim and Dodge getting second place, Mrs. Reynolds and senior Teresa Franey getting third place, and Fisher and Hackerman getting fourth place.

From Mr. Zehe’s hilarious fashion choice to Reynolds’ amazing tap dancing, the night was filled with new talent, and the whole school was able to come together to cheer on their fellow eagles.

Click Here to check out pictures of the event!

Centennial Tennis Off to A Great Start

Words: Maryam Elhabashy

The Centennial Tennis team has participated in eight matches so far, and from what we have seen, they have gotten off to a great start that hopefully foreshadows many great victories to come.

Their first match was against the River Hill team on Mar. 22. The girls left their home courts with a victory against the Hawks with three wins to two, but the boys lost after River Hill won one more eight-game set than the Eagles. The coach of both teams at Centennial, Ms. Erin Fisher, was extremely excited to announce the girls’ victory and applaud the performance of the boys’ team.

Fisher acknowledged that the girls’ victory over the Hawks at the match was the first victory she’s seen since she began coaching the Centennial team.

The second match was against the Reservoir Gators on Mar. 24. Both the boys and girls dominated their matches. The boys won 5-0 and the girls won 4-1.

Oakland Mills High School was also defeated in a match on Mar. 27. The girls won without a single lost set, and the boys won 3-2. The Eagles powered on to then defeat Hammond on the last day of March. The girls won 4-1 and the boys won 3-2.

A match against Glenelg then followed the Oakland Mills match. The girls defeated the Gladiators 5-0 and the boys suffered a loss of 2-3.

The Mustangs are the only team so far that has managed a victory over the Lady Eagles. The match battle between the Mustangs and Eagles was a tough one. The girls suffered a loss of 1-4 and the boys list 2-3.

However, the team made a strong recovery with a rescheduled game against Long Reach where the Eagles completely dominated with a 5-0 win for both the boys and girls.

Yesterday on Apr. 9, Atholton hosted a game in which the girls’ team won 4-1, and the boys came one game short of a victory when Atholton won 3-2.

Overall, the boys’ tennis team has four victories and four losses, and the girls’ tennis team has lost only one match out of eight.

Centennial has always been a big name in terms of tennis. In 2013, the boys won 10 matches and lost 5, and the girls only lost 4 of the 15 matches they played. Fisher recalled the successful season of 2012. “We had a girls doubles team make it to the state tournament. Last year we had a boys doubles team win the county tournament, place second in the regional tournament and 3rd in the state tournament. We also had a girls doubles team win the county and regional title and place 3rd in the State tennis tournament.”

Since then Centennial has lost many of its seniors and hence lost many of its top players. Fisher nonetheless has confidence in the 2014 team. “I am hopeful that both CHS girls and boys tennis will have a successful season.”

However, there are many obstacles that may lessen the ease of achieving these goals. “A lot of my athletes are involved in other school activities that conflict with practices and matches, so there is a lot of shuffling around and compromises being made.” That obstacle will not be that difficult to overcome because it is controllable. The bigger obstacle will be the one that no one can control and that is weather, which has significantly affected everyone’s schedules. Spring has been long overdue. Fisher herself reflected on the weather saying that the team has suffered due to the circumstances. “This season we have had significantly less time to practice and prepare for matches.”

Despite the hardships and difficulties the team is being faced with, Fisher is extremely excited to see what the season holds for the tennis team. “I am unbelievably proud of my athletes. I am excited to see the athletes learn and grow over the course of the season.” However, even though the team is doing extraordinarily well, there are many things that both the coach and players want to achieve by the end of the season.

Both the players and Fisher still have tournaments at the end of the season in which they don’t want to disappoint. More importantly, the teams want “to have a winning season for both boys and girls,” as Fisher mentioned. Fisher’s goals are to help the “players learn, grow, and become better athletes,” and to develop a team of “players feel successful and that they have made a positive.”

Exchange of Perspectives on Crimea: Alina Badamshina Speaks Out

Words: Diane Ijoma

At first glance, Alina Badamshina looks like your average Centennial student. She is a member of the Centennial Muslim Student Association, is enrolled in several AP classes, and was a part of the Centennial Winter Cheerleading Squad. However, a closer look, and the sound of her thick accent reveals that unlike most Centennial students, Badamshina is not a U.S. Citizen. In fact she is a native Russian and is a part of the Student Exchange Program, which allows for more students to briefly experience life in other countries. In doing this, the traveling students as well as their host families are able to encounter alternative perspectives they would not otherwise had the opportunity to have.

Many have heard of the crisis occurring involving Russia, the Ukraine, and a disputed section of Ukraine called Crimea. While most the Ukraine has expressed wishes to join the European Union, many would strongly prefer to have strong ties with Russia. Even though Crimea is technically a part of Southern Ukraine, most of its citizens identify themselves as Russian. Recently, Russian troops have invaded Crimea in an effort to take control. Simultaneously, Ukraine has taken its armed troops out of the region.

Though Badamshina, a native Russian, is aware of all the international development, she says she has felt most of the personal impact stemming from the economic strain the crisis has placed Russia under. Since the invasion of Crimea from Russia, many countries, including the United States, have placed Russia under sanction. “Because of the sanctions from other countries, when I want to pay money, I have to pay more.”

In her unique perspective, Badamshina is able to see Russian as well as the American sentiments in the dispute; what she sees a lot of, she said, is propaganda. “I believe that there is a lot of propaganda on both sides. I don’t know what to believe. I feel like there are two sides. Of course, Putin didn’t do the right thing [in sending troops to Crimea]. On the other hand, Crimea owes a lot of money to Russia, and now they want to be in the European Union.”

It is easy to forget that as Americans, we often have a detached view on the issues we find ourselves involved in. The troops are not in our backyard, the economic sanctions do not affect us, and many of us have no personal connection to the people of that region. However, Badamshina in a unique situation was able to offer her views. “It is very sad that this whole situation has happened. I know a lot of Ukrainian exchange students don’t like the situation. They don’t want the two countries to become enemies; they want to remain close.”