Month: April 2019

Centennial Celebrates Culture

Words: Madison Baltimore

Photos: Eliza Andrew & Natalie Knight-Griffin

On April 11, 2019, Centennial’s annual WorldFEST took place; a celebration of the many cultures that make up Centennial’s student body.

The event started with food served from 5 to 7 pm, followed by rotations of activities, including a trivia game put on by It’s Academic. After the rotations of activities, a talent show, fashion show and taekwondo demonstration concluded the evening in the auditorium from 8 to 9 pm.

Junior Daria Cara expressed how much she enjoys the fashion show aspect of WorldFEST and its impact on the school and the community.

“I absolutely adored the fashion show! It was absolutely wonderful seeing so many different cultures, and seeing everyone so confident and having so much fun on stage,” stated Cara.

Different clubs each served food at WorldFEST, ranging from sushi, to pizza, to funnel cake. The different activities that took place from 7:10 to 7:55 pm were Hair Braiding, Anti-Human Trafficking, Diversity in the Media, Latin Dancing, Taekwondo, Irish Dancing and It’s Academic Trivia.

Students from National Honor Society and the National Dance Honor Society, Delta Eta Pi, participated in the fashion and talent show, as well as students not in either honor society.

WorldFEST continues to celebrate Centennial’s unique diversity.

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Banerjee Recognized by County Executive for Poetry Achievements

Words & Photos: Natalie Knight-Griffin

On Friday, April 5, Howard County officials and County Executive Calvin Ball recognized three Howard County students for placing in the top three of the regional Poetry Out Loud competition.

Centennial senior Poushali Banerjee recited her winning poem during the event. Due to her achievements in poetry, County Executive Ball dedicated April 5 as “Poushali Banerjee Day” in Howard County.

Across all of Maryland, 5,400 students participated in Poetry Out Loud. Out of those thousands, only a few hundred advanced to the regional level. It was Howard County students Banerjee, Hannah Alkowsi, and Jaylen Barrett who placed in the top three winning spots.

County Executive Ball made it a point to stress his appreciation for the arts in our schools, urging the need for a public event in recognition of the competition’s winners.

“Tapping into the arts helps make our quality of life the best it can be,” said County Executive Ball. “I would love to see more participation in the arts.”

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Dangers of the School Parking Lot

Words: Julia Stitely

Photos: Adithi Soogoor

From the dawn of the school day to the afternoon, students and parents of Centennial are affected by the hardships of the school parking lot. In recent years, the parking lot has been known for being the site of several collisions. Between students running in between cars, ignorance to road signs and the layout of the parking lot, it’s no easy task for even the more experienced drivers.

The accidents, in part, could be caused by the overcrowding in Centennial.

Michael Guizzotti, Centennial’s security guard, expressed his concerns of the parking lot by saying, “We are overpopulated, so it’s not just the hallways that are crowded, it’s the parking lot too.”

“In the morning, it’s not that bad because I get there pretty early so I can get a good spot,” junior Casey Duhon said. “Sometimes I’ll be a little bit late and it could take me five minutes to get to a parking spot because the layout of the lot makes it so difficult.”

Michele Aylaian, mother of two Centennial students, expressed concern for students walking in from the parking lot in the morning.

“When they are late and running between cars, they are at risk of being hit by a driver who doesn’t see them,” she commented. “It’s stressful as a driver because you don’t know when a student is going to suddenly run in front of you.”

Afternoon Bottleneck

Things get hectic for Centennial students who drive to school when the clock hits 2:10. The sudden rush of students makes it easy to lose control in the crowded parking lot, giving the driver only a second to gain control before hitting something in their surroundings.

“Getting out of the parking lot after school is rather scary because everyone is rushing to get home and will cut people off when turning or switching lanes,” said Duhon.

Centennial principal, Cynthia Dillon, stated the design of the lot was not intended for the mass population.

“The lot wasn’t designed for the flow of traffic that comes through in the morning and in the afternoon,” said Dillon. “The way that the lot is marked, the road markings and the signage are not adequate.”

Dillon also believes that another problem that arises in the morning comes from parents letting their kids out in the closed second lane for drop off and in the parking rows themselves.

“People don’t honor the directions from the procedure of dropping kids off,” Dillon shared. “What they will do is pull into the second lane, but also the actual parking row.”

“They will drop their kids off one or two rows away,” Dillon added. “So the kids are walking through cars to get through the door.”

One solution that Dillon and the administrators are looking into is putting new signs up in the parking lot and painting on the roads.

“We have a stop sign on the Centennial side but they don’t have one on the Burleigh side, and they don’t have one on the main way,” Dillon said. “There should be a stop.”

Dillon and the administrators requested the Grounds Department in the Building Services Division of the Howard County system for another stop sign, and the lot is slated to be repainted in the summer.

Parking Permit Problems

In the past week, over 130 cars were found in the parking lot without a parking pass. The owners of these cars were warned that if they are found without a pass, parked on the lot, there would be disciplinary consequences.

Dillion stated the reason they did it in the end of the year rather than the beginning of the year was because of the increase of cars due to juniors starting to get their licenses.

She suggested that, “Families should take note of Safe Driver presentations and plan to attend one proactively. Students and a guardian must attend the presentation annually in order to be eligible for a parking permit.”

Some of the students that are affected are outraged by the situation. Junior Amelia Oliver lives in Old Ellicott City, and it takes her about 30 minutes to go to school.

“I think the passes should be based off where you live,” she said, “because some kids, it is much easier for them to drive. Others can walk.”

The Centennial Film Club found the humor in the parking lot situation by creating a mockumentary called Parking Purgatory and entered it into the Howard County Film Festival.

Senior, Carolin Harvey, with other members, filmed and edited the entry.

“Although our video is mostly comical, it does highlight how crazy our parking lot actually is,” Carolin answered. “The footage we captured of the morning and afternoon definitely captures some of that madness.”

The dangers of the Centennial parking lot continue to be a problem for the staff and students with the overcrowding population and the design of the parking lot. The solutions to these factors are soon to be solved; until then, students and parents are advised to stay alert and focus on the road.

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Centennial Boys’ Lacrosse Keeps Undefeated Season Alive

Words: Joey Sedlacko

Photos: Adithi Soogoor

On Tuesday, April 9, the Centennial Boys’ Varsity lacrosse team kept their undefeated season alive by defeating Arundel High School 10-4. The Eagles advanced to 7-0 this season.

Centennial was led by senior attackman Peter Krawczyk who scored five goals in the game. Junior attackman Connor Carpenter contributed as well, with two goals of his own. Junior midfielder Ty Sams distributed the ball nicely and finished the game with two assists.

The first half was a defensive game, as Centennial only had a 3-1 halftime lead, but thanks to Krawczyk and his three goals in the third quarter, the Eagles’ offense was able to extend their lead.

The Eagles were in control throughout the entire game. Centennial never allowed Arundel to take the lead.

The boys’ lacrosse team looks to continue their undefeated season when they go up against one of the top teams in the county, Marriotts Ridge High School, on Friday, April 12 at 7:00pm.

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Centennial Travels to Wilde Lake for Delta Scholars Conference

Words: Madison Baltimore

On Friday, April 5, Delta Scholars from all 12 Howard County public high schools traveled to Wilde Lake for their annual Leadership Conference. The conference started with a sign-in of schools and opening announcements from Delta Sigma Theta Inc chapter members within the community.

The Delta Scholars then broke out into groups and went to different workshops they had signed up for in advance. The workshops ranged in topics, from how to budget money to self-care and self-empowerment.

Finally, the conference concluded with motivational speaker and founding principal of R.E.A.C.H. Beyond Solutions, Shavon Arline-Bradley, discussing and encouraging the Delta Scholars to use their “gifts and talents” to fuel their college and career decisions.

R.E.A.C.H. Beyond Solutions is an executive leadership firm made to widen the capacity of leaders in a corporate and non-profit environment. Arline-Bradley presented at the Leadership Conference before in 2018.

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RISE Conference Inspires Students in STEM

Words: Natalie Knight-Griffin

Photos: Eliza Andrew

On April 1, 2019, Centennial’s National Science Honor Society hosted its annual RISE Conference. Students interested in pursuing the STEM field attended to explore internship opportunities, meet mentors, exchange ideas, and learn from the society members’ project boards. The night consisted of a jam-packed event calendar, from interactive discussions to intellectual student conversations.

Keynote speaker and director of data analytics for the Baltimore Ravens, Eugene Shen, gave an hour-long talk and presentation of what he felt leads to success. Meant to inspire, engage, and educate, Shen’s personable lecture captured the audience.

“If you put your mind to something, you can achieve it,” said Shen, promoting the main idea of his talk.

After Shen’s presentation, students participated in various workshops of their choice, each consisting of one out of seven STEM professionals representing their respective fields.

Following the workshop was the gallery walk, which included an impressive display of student-created projects and boards, depicting studies from computer science to data analytics.

As night rolled around, students began their second round of workshops, offering them the opportunity to engage with numerous professionals and explore multiple fields.

Students participating in the conference felt as though the experience provided a stronger pathway for their futures.

“I think the RISE Conference is an opportunity for high school students to expand their boundaries and horizons in what they want to do in life,” stated junior Shubi Saxena.

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