Month: March 2019

Howard County Releases Updated Reports on Lead in Water

Words: Delanie Tucker

The Howard County School System has released updates regarding lead levels in the water of schools across the county, including Centennial High School.

Since September 2018, the HCPSS Office of Environment has tested the water in all Howard County schools for lead.

In Centennial’s initial testing, which was done in November 2018, ten water sources tested positive for lead levels above 20 parts per billion (ppb).

The board quickly took action, assessing the problems within the fixtures and deciding how to proceed.

On January 31, 2019, Centennial High School released their first two reports, which laid out the remedial action taken against two of the affected outlets.

An additional six reports were released on March 27.

Of the eight faucets the county fixed to improve the lead levels, four of them were replaced, as the outlet itself was the cause of the lead.

For the other four, more drastic measures were taken, including three being totally removed from the water system in Centennial.

The last outlet was left alone due to the levels dropping to 5.3 ppb and 1.7 ppb in separate additional tests.

The HCPSS Office of Environment is still working to fix the remaining two water outlets, which, as of now, are not in use.

For previous coverage of the lead levels in the water at Centennial High School, click here 

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

The Impact of One Choice

Words: Sarah Paz

Photo: Eliza Andrew

*Editor’s Note: April 1, 2019– This article has been modified to reflect that the Centennial PTSA hosted the guest speaker. The previous version stated that Centennial was the host.*

On Tuesday, March 26, Centennial’s PTSA hosted an assembly presented by public speaker Tony Hoffman, who spoke about how one choice affected his entire life.

Hoffman started his story from when he was in high school and started doing drugs at parties.

He didn’t realize it at the time, but he made a decision that impacted the entire course of his life.

His bad choices resulted in his arrest and ultimately, prison time. Hoffman decided to change for the better by improving his life with little habits.

Hoffman’s determination to stay sober helped him to live out his dreams of professionally BMX biking and starting a nonprofit which is now called The Freewheel Project.

Since his time in prison, Hoffman has been successful in other areas such as being a coach for BMX athletes and helping to spread awareness about drugs as a public speaker.

After the speech, Hoffman answered questions about his message.

Many students enjoyed how unique his story was.

“[It had an] interesting perspective,” said sophomore Honor Reed. “I don’t think anyone expected the story brought forth.”

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Junior Interview Photos

Words: Maddie Wirebach

Photos: Noorie Kazmi

On Thursday and Friday of last week, the  junior class took part in junior interviews.

Dressed in their business attire and prepared with resumes, students sat down with volunteer interviewers to answer their questions.

The interviews, a Howard County graduation requirement, are meant to help students exercise real-world skills; they allow juniors to practice and prepare for future job and college situations as they near the end of their high school careers.

Every year, students often feel nervous going into the interview, however, junior Sydney Vigderhouse advises rising juniors to “just be themselves and be confident.”

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Centennial Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse Victorious in Season Opener

Words: Joey Sedlacko

On Friday, March 22, Centennial Girls’ Varsity lacrosse started off the 2018-19 season
strong with a 15-10 victory over Wilde Lake High School.

Sisters Marissa and Lou Lagera helped lead the Eagles to victory. The sisters combined for nine out of the 15 goals for Centennial. Sophomore Lou Lagera scored five goals and had three assists while senior Marissa Lagera scored four goals. Junior Rasa Welsh led the team with four assists.

The Eagles’ offense scored six goals in the first half to go into halftime leading 6-5. The Eagles never looked back and scored another nine goals in the second half to secure the victory.

The Girls’ Varsity lacrosse team is looking to improve after finishing with a
record of 4-10 and reaching the second round of the playoffs last season. The Eagles have only one senior, Marissa Lagera, on the team this season.

The Girls’ Varsity lacrosse team will take on Atholton High School on Tuesday, March 26,
at home for their second game of the season.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

High School Students to Participate in First Ever Howard County Student Exchange Day

Words: Sasha Allen and Emily Hollwedel

*Editor’s Note: April 1, 2019–This article has been modified to reflect the correct date of the second exchange, April 3. A previous version stated that it was April 4.*

About a year ago, Wilde Lake senior Rachel Henry was going about her usual day when she was struck with an idea.

I originally thought of the differences between specifically Wilde Lake and Glenelg,” Henry shared. “I would sit and look at race, [Free and Reduced Meals], and test score comparisons. They’re so drastically different that I don’t even know how it’s possible with a school only 20 minutes away. I sent an email to a few Board Members, and the principals of both Wilde Lake and Glenelg to see if I could go to Glenelg for a day.”

It wasn’t easy. Henry encountered some difficulties in trying to implement her idea. “It was immediately shot down by my principal, who was supportive but certain it was against policy,” recalled Henry. “A month or so later, I got a call in the front office from Cindy Drummond, advisor of Howard County Association of Student Councils, saying that the board latched on to my idea.”

The idea of the program is simple: students are given the chance to connect with new people and experience different schools in Howard County.

On Wednesday, March 27, participating Wilde Lake students will travel to Glenelg, and Long Reach students will go to Centennial. On April 3, participating Glenelg students will go to Wilde Lake, and Centennial students will go to Long Reach. On the days of the exchanges, the students will attend classes until fifth period, where they will meet with school liaisons and debrief.

Henry highlighted the differences between these schools, specifically between Wilde Lake and Glenelg. “When I see 46% African American, 25% white, and 13% Hispanic, in Wilde Lake’s stats, I think diverse. But when I look at Glenelg’s 76.2% white, and a number over 5% can’t even be conclusive for any other race but Asian, at 11%, I think of segregation.”

Henry is no stranger to being perceived as different from others.

My dad is black and my mom is white, and I honestly don’t know if places other than where I’ve gone are as accepting of that,” she said. “I am also a practicing Jew, so in that aspect I am also different.”

James LeMon, Director of Community, Parent, and School Outreach in Howard County, expressed his excitement for the program to be in place. He was vital in the implementation of Henry’s idea.

“I’m just excited that we are taking a student’s idea and we are going to make it happen,” LeMon stated. “I think it is a great opportunity for the kids to experience a day in the life of a different school, culture, get to meet some other students.”

As for the goals of the program, both Henry and LeMon hope the experience will unify the schools and students.

What I want for students, including myself, is to stop thinking of pre-conceived notions about schools in our own county,” shared Henry. “I go to Glenelg on Wednesday, and to be completely honest, I’m terrified. Four boys got arrested there last year for racist and anti-semitic graffiti. Being mixed, and Jewish, those hate crimes directly pertained to me.”

LeMon had a similar notion about the ideas that students in Howard County have about other schools.

Every school has a different culture, and I think the goal was just to experience the day in the life of another student in Howard County,” said LeMon.

Henry’s ideas are now in effect in not just her own school, but in multiple. She hopes that this can end up being a county-wide opportunity.

This group of 20 students who get to experience another school for the day are going to bring back this information to their schools and spread it,” said Henry. “I just hope lasting impressions are made, and people are truly in this experience to see what it’s like to be at different schools.”

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Photo Essay: Artists and the Creative Process

Captions & Photos: Keith Hitzelberger, Jordyn Blanken, and Liam Lovering

Recently, Art 1 spent the week developing their skills using color.  With colored pencils they practiced blending and completed a color wheel. By practicing these basic skills they can prepare themselves for more advanced projects and future art classes.

Art 2 began the week by practicing self portraits through the use of contour lines and mirrors. This allowed them to experiment with drawing from sight for a more accurate final piece.

After completing their contour line drawings, the students used this drawing as a reference to start their final project. Through the use of different mediums, they further animated their pieces.

Here are some of the finished products.

While surveying the art classes, we also took notice of the outstanding work decorating the halls of the nearby area. These pieces show the talent of many top artists at Centennial, showcasing not only the final product, but also the amount of hard work that went into its creation. This also motivates and inspires younger artists to improve their craft so they can one day showcase their work as well.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Film Club Hosts the First Annual Film Festival

Words: Sasha Allen

Photos: Noorie Kazmi

On Wednesday, March 13, Centennial held its very first film festival hosted by the
Centennial Film Club. All Centennial students were encouraged to submit a short film to be
judged, awarded, and watched at the festival. Summer Shen, the Film Club president, organized the event along with the help of the club members and sponsors.

The film makers all put a lot of thought and time into their unique films, and it showed. Peter Ganunis, a member of the club and a passionate film maker, attended because he wanted to see “what the passionate, young, film makers of Centennial are creating.” Ganunis said that he enjoyed watching all of the unique films and was interested in learning from what techniques and films were used.

There were four films submitted and each of the participants had their films viewed by the audience, received an award, and had the chance to say something about their process. The top two films were “Mirage,” a romance submitted by David Huang, and “Dreams,” a thriller submitted by Carolin Harvey. All of the films were scored based on ideas, execution, originality, camera angles, and sound effects.

“I like making videos and [the festival] was a good way to show what I’ve done” said
Huang.

Shen was delighted by the submissions and turnout. “I wanted to start a small scale festival for beginners so they could feel more included,” said Shen. She is hoping that next year there will be even more submissions from beginners in the school.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.