Month: May 2014

Freedom to Explore, Learn, and Experience

Words: Madhu Lal

As the last day of school is drawing near, many Centennial students are looking forward to playing in the sun, hanging out with friends, and spending days upon days doing anything but homework. Summer vacation serves as a way for students to take a breath from the stress of school.

I feel that summer vacation is a time to do what one feels is important. Hanging out with friends and relaxing should be a part of summer vacation, but I feel that working for a cause or exploring one’s passion is also an important event that should comprise part of summer break.

Many students become bored and do not challenge themselves during vacation. This lack of stimulation in the brain during summer causes students to lose information learned during the school year.

Studies published by show that “Most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months… students also lose more than two months in reading achievement.”

The stimuli that I feel should happen during summer does not necessarily have to fall under the traditional “educational” subjects such as math or English. I want to push students to explore and investigate their interests and get a better understanding of who they are and what they like or dislike.

Students also constantly worry about the future, whether or not they will find what they love to do, if they will get a good job, if they will be happy with their lives. Summer can serve as a perfect time for teens to ponder these questions and explore new jobs, hobbies, and subjects for extended periods of time without the disturbance of school work or exams.

Students always complain about not having time during the school year to do what they are interested in, but then when summer comes, and they have all the time in the world, they waste it by playing mindless video games or wasting money on clothes.

What students need to understand is that, by utilizing their summer and focusing on one or two things that make them happy, they will gain experience and knowledge that will help with their future.

Summer is the time for teens to take responsibility and initiative in learning new things because they want to, not because they are forced to.

One way to explore the vast opportunities and experiences that life has to offer is to visit local community events that are of your interest, whether it be a concert, a festival, carnival or car show. These places are great ways to immerse yourself in the culture behind an interest. Another way to find opportunities to express your interests is by signing up for different camps, clubs, or activities that are available. Finding internships and shadowing programs can also be interesting and exciting ways to spend a part of the summer.

Hanging out with friends is definitely an important aspect of summer, but sitting inside on Tumblr or playing video games in a messy dark room is a waste of a curious mind.

This coming summer I urge everyone to seek out opportunities and activities that will help in finding oneself and understanding one’s abilities and talents. Summer vacation is temporary; we are nearing the end of having vacation during the summer, and we might as well make it useful by uncovering the plethora of talents within ourselves waiting for the opportunity to shine.

To find information on events in Howard County and internship programs please visit: or

Centennial Students Use Their Passions to Make a Difference

Words: Maryam Elhabashy

“We feel that although art is used for portfolios and personal development, it is seldom used to directly help those who are less fortunate in our community. It’s nice to create art, but it’s even better to share it and use it to further a cause.”

Those are the words of Daniel Park when asked what the inspiration was behind creating the Howard County High School Art Charity. Mina Sun and Daniel Park, both students attending Centennial High School, initiated the project which created a correlation between art and the community that has never been thought of before.

The charity, known by those involved as HSACC, was created to help high school students around the county do what they love while helping others. The way the program works is that students all over the county can donate their art pieces to art charity collections at their own schools. All the art donations are collected, and then sold at different values and venues. The money that is received via the sale of the pieces will go to the United Way of Central Maryland.

“Their main functions [of the sales] are assisting families who are literally on the brink of becoming homeless and encouraging education among their children,” said Park. Both founders recognize how devastating the loss of a home must be and how detrimental the loss would be to the education and future of the children faced with the circumstances.

When Nan Collins, one of the art instructors of Centennial, was presented with the idea in early April, she was excited and looking forward to getting the project started.

“I was very proud that my students had organized this project that would go to such a noble cause,” said Collins, who wasn’t the only one to be thoroughly affected. The United Way of Central Maryland was “very impressed,” described Collins. “They were very moved that students organized this and chose this organization [to donate to].”

Creating such a project came with hardships, the foremost of them doubt. “We thought that the most difficult part would be receiving enough pieces, and this has proven itself somewhat true due to the recent AP weeks.” Collins added to the list of obstacles saying that it wasn’t particularly easy “figuring out the logistics, how to collect the artwork, convincing students to give up a piece of their artwork…” Collins has been doing what she can to convince her students to enter submissions from their sketchbooks rather than pieces of artwork that they are looking to preserve.

The project has made good progress; however, it isn’t making as much progress as Park would like to be making. “We’ve managed to collect around 40 pieces as of now, but we’re hoping to get some more before the end of the year rolls around,” said Park.

Collins, along with Sun and Park is considering making HSACC a continuous program. “We have initially planned to end the collection in June and sell the pieces all in September, but after recent discussion, we have decided to make the processes of collection and selling a continuous process throughout next year. We hope that this may become a lasting tradition at Centennial.”

Collins is also working to form a small committee within the National Art Honor Society. The only thing holding them back is the lack of time. Collins remarked, “It’s a busy time of the year.”

Despite the crazy schedules that come with the end of the year, there is still plenty of time to enter artwork. For anyone that would like to donate small pieces, there is a folder in the bin by the front of Collins’ room. Larger pieces are to be brought into the room and handed to Collins. For those interested in helping out, contact

Sun and Park are examples of how simple acts and ideas can make huge differences in society. There is opportunity for everyone everywhere. “If you have a cause,” said Park, “it’s never too early to contribute. It’s not difficult at all to find a charity project and find people who are interested in improving the lives of others as long as you truly believe in the cause that you’re working for.”

Eagles Fall to Glenelg in Third Round of Lacrosse Play-offs

Words: Giana Han

On May 12, the Eagles started the third round in the lacrosse play offs against Glenelg.

In the first game of the season, Centennial had beaten Glenelg in a huge upset, ending the Gladiators win streak that had lasted years.  Both teams had something to prove this game, but after the first two periods, it looked like Glenelg wanted the win more.

The Eagles won the first face off when Quinn Western picked up the ball and ran it down the field.  After 1:10 had elapsed, John Kolp found Sam Clay who put the ball in the net for the first goal of the game.  From there, the game unraveled as the Gladiators scored three successive goals in the first period, and then another two in the second.

Shortly into the third period, lightning lit the sky, delaying the game half an hour, but the lightning storm continued and they rescheduled the game for the next day.

The Eagles and the Gladiators stepped onto the field one day later to play the last two periods of the game with the score starting with Glenelg up 5-1.

Over the course of the third period, the Gladiators not only scored four more goals, but held the Eagles to their score of one, sending the game into the fourth with Glenelg ahead  9-1.

The gap looked insurmountable, but the Eagles were determined to make a game out of it. 1:25 into the fourth period, Andrew Gavlin scored the Eagle’s first goal of the day and second goal of the game. One minute, eleven seconds later Dean Fochios, assisted by Gavlin, scored a third goal, tripling the Eagles’ score in less than three minutes.

The Eagles dominated the field for the next few minutes, keeping the ball in their possession for the majority of the time, although their shots kept going wide.  With 4:22 left, Western scored a goal, and then Gavlin scored his second.  The Eagles had cut Glenelg’s lead in half in less than a quarter.

Western then went on to score two more goals (three for the game), bringing the score to 9-7 with about a minute left.  The win did not seem so out of reach, but Glenelg’s goalie was able to stop the rest of the Eagles’ shots before they turned it over, and the Gladiators were able to run down the clock while still maintaining their two point lead.

This was the last game for the Eagles, but they made an impressive showing in the fourth quarter.  From here, seniors Chase Conley, Gavlin, John Kolp, and Western will be moving on to play lacrosse in college next year.  The rest of the team will be waiting for the next season to come around next spring.

Eagles Fly Through First Two Rounds of Lacrosse Play-Offs

Words: Giana Han

In their first play-off game on May 9, the Eagles boys’ lacrosse team pulled out a decisive victory over Winters Mill.

The Eagles had earned a bye for the first round of play-offs, and played the winner of the Winters Mill Century match up.  At first, it looked to be a competitive game, one that would leave hearts pumping and adrenaline rushing long after the final buzzer sounded.

With only one minute twenty-eight seconds lapsed, the Falcons scored their first goal.  Barely a minute later, Austin Kraisser tied the game with an assist from Quinn Western.  Two minutes later, the first penalty flag was thrown against Western.

The Falcons quickly killed the power play with a goal, putting them up 2-1.  However, a great save from Dan Pomeranz and a recovered ground ball by Chase Conley led to a goal by Mike Moore, assisted by Western, which tied the game.

This was followed by another penalty flag, this time against Conley.  Pomeranz’s saves helped hold the Falcons to the tie so that Andrew Gavlin could step up and get his first goal for the game.  His unassisted goal put the Eagles ahead for the first time.  12 seconds later, an unassisted goal was scored by Winters Mill, tying the game 3-3.

The second period started with two penalty flags thrown, one against Winters Mill, one against Western.  The ball changed possessions rapidly until 6:25 when Dean Fochios, assisted by Gavlin, started the Eagles’ scoring streak.  Two more penalties were called, both on Conley, but Pomeranz had several consecutive saves that helped hold the Falcons to three goals.

At 4:26 Gavlin was able to find the open man for another assist, and Sam Clay put another goal on the board.

The Eagles’ scoring streak was momentarily broken when a penalty against the goalie left the net vulnerable, and the Falcons were able to squeeze in a fourth goal, bringing the game within one goal.  With 38 seconds left, Western hooked up with Gavlin for a sixth goal, which restarted the streak again.

The clock was stopped once again for a penalty against Winters Mill, and Fochios, assisted by Gavlin, managed to score one more goal before the horn sounded with the Eagles up 7-4.

The third quarter was much like the second.  Many penalty flags were thrown, but the Eagles were able to overcome and score six more goals.  Conley, Gavlin, and Fochios each made another goal, with Moore putting up three more.  At the end of the quarter, the score was an overwhelming 13-4.

The Falcons began to put up a bit of a fight in the fourth, scoring their fifth goal 57 seconds into the quarter.  John Kolp answered with one of his own.  Winters Mill scored one more around eight minutes, and then the two teams were at a standstill until three minutes.  With three minutes left, the Falcons tried to stage a comeback, closing the gap to 14-9.  However, the Eagles sent their starters back in, and they were able to hold them until the game ended 14-9.

Although the score makes the victory seem very decisive, the Eagles had a lot to work through, including a slow start and the ten penalties called against them.

“We kind of shot ourselves in the foot with penalties early in the game and throughout.  We played a lot of man down and we didn’t shoot particularly well in the first quarter.  A lot of times in these play-off games, you come out after a first round bye and you’re so amped up and so hyped up and there’s so much adrenaline that it’s hard to slow down and be patient,” said coach Nick Kellinger.  “But I love the way we came out of half time, we came out patient, we came out focused, and we played our game.”

Gavlin concurred.  “It took patience.  We took a little time to get into it.  We had to get into our sets, slow down, and try to figure out what we were doing, where they would be, and protect it.  We had to make sure we wanted it more than they did.”

Gavlin had six assists and three goals this game, and is one of three players to be voted to play for the all state all star game for seniors.

“He makes our team go. We don’t really hide anything.  We’re coming at you with big number one and it’s up to you to stop him, and not many kids can stop him,” said Kellinger.

From here, the Eagles will be facing Glenelg for third round of play-offs.  This will be the first time the Eagles have played them since the first game of the regular season when they broke the Gladiators’ in-county win streak.

“We didn’t do a lot of the things tonight that we’ll do on Monday.  We’ve got some different things, some different looks that Glenelg hasn’t seen,” stated Kellinger.



WorldFest Is Tonight! Celebrating Cultural Heritage

Words: Madhu Lal


Centennial has a large population of students with many different traditions, beliefs, and cultures. WorldFest, once called International Night, is an afterschool celebration of cultures, which acts as a way for students to represent their cultural heritage through creative and engaging activities. This festival, taking place within Centennial, will include distinctive types of food, fashion, music, and dances to showcase Centennial’s strong and diverse student body.

WorldFest will take place on May 9th from 6pm to 9pm. Admission Tickets cost 5 dollars and admission to the international cafe is an additional 5 dollars. Various school clubs and parent organizations will set up booths containing a plethora of international cuisine, which can be bought by attendants of this event.

Activities such as face painting and dance lessons will take place in the halls. These activities and games are based on different cultures, offered as a way to better understand and appreciate the different types of people who attend Centennial.

Towards the end of this event, a fashion and talent show will kick off around 7:30. Many Centennial students have volunteered as models and will be sporting various fashions like saris, kimonos and other different clothing articles from around the world. Students participating in the show have the opportunity to dance, sing, or play a musical instrument that displays their cultural heritage. Centennial student Diane Ijoma, one of the models for the show, says “ I’m excited. Not only do I get to model but I also get to see the amount of diversity that is in Centennial!”

The whole purpose of WorldFest is to recognize, celebrate, and understand all cultures through a fun, yet educational way. Ms. Miller, an administrator at Centennial exclaims, “I’m so excited for WorldFest, I want it to be over-the-top and amazing!”

For more information regarding worldfest please call Centennial high school at 410-313-2856.


Centennial’s Softball Celebrates Senior Night

Words: Giana Han

The Centennial softball team said farewell to their regular season on May 5 in a game against Glenelg.

Seniors Sarah Adams and Emily Bowman have contributed to the Centennial softball program for the past four years, and the Eagles celebrated their seniors and their last regular home game with flying banners, food, and speeches.

Unfortunately, they were not able to celebrate with a win, and lost to the Gladiators 12-1.

The Eagles were able to hit, but they were not able to finish consistently and bring their base runners home. Josefine Jensen was the only Eagle who made it across the plate when Emily Allen’s triple brought her home. Allen, however, was left stranded on third.

Although Bowman had a number of strike-outs, Glenelg’s bats were hot. They had a number of consecutive hits, which were able to bat in runs.

Going into the sixth inning, the Gladiators were only up 2-1. However, one of the Gladiators sent a ball flying over the fence for a home run, bringing in two runs, and pushing the score to 4-1. Bowman and the Eagles were able to get two outs, but the Gladiators were able to muster a two out rally and score six more runs.

Glenelg sealed the deal in the seventh with two more runs, while the Eagles were quickly thrown out at first or struck out. The game ended 12-1.

The Centennial baseball team fared better against the Gladiators, pulling out with a 5-2 win. They also celebrated their senior night and their last game of the regular season.

The Eagles will continue on into the play-offs from here. After the season ends, Bowman, the softball pitcher, will go on to play softball in college for Swarthmore, and Daniel Sterenberg has committed to play for Pikesville University.