Category: Announcements

Movies to Look Forward to This Summer

Words: Josh Kim and Liam Lovering

Dark Phoenix

After almost 19 years of X-Men movies, the franchise is producing one more movie with our beloved mutant characters. Dark Phoenix will follow the story of how one of the mutants becomes the strongest mutant ever, threatening to destroy the world.

Child’s Play

Child’s Play is a reboot to the horror film following Chucky, where visual effects artists and a new director brings a horrifying twist to the iconic original movie. Child’s Play still uses the same name as the 1988 version, but will serve as a remake. It is a must watch for horror film lovers and those who’ve watched the 1988’s Child’s Play.

The Lion King

Disney’s animated movie The Lion King comes to life this summer with visual effects and computer generated images (CGI). The story will follow the 1994 classic exactly, filled with drama, tragedy, coming of age, and revenge. Very promisingly, this movie has a wide range of exciting voice actors, including Beyonce, Childish Gambino (Donald Glover), Eric Andre, and Keegan-Michael Key. This movie will be filled to the brim with nostalgia and beautiful scenery, making this movie a must watch.

Toy Story 4

After nine years, the fourth movie in the Toy Story saga is finally being released. In this film, all of the original characters, such as Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and others, go on a road trip with a newly acquired friend and toy, Forky. Woody also encounters an old friend, Bo Peep, and they reminisce about the old days. This movie is directed by Josh Cooley, and stars Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and Keanu Reeves. It will be released on June 20.

Spider-Man: Far From Home

In the aftermath of the events of Avengers Endgame, one of the main characters, Peter Parker, also known as “Spider-Man,” must take the place of his role model Tony Stark who has passed away. This Marvel movie, directed by Jon Watts and starring Tom Holland, Zendaya, and Jake Gyllenhaal, will be released on July 2.

Men in Black: International

Men in Black: International is the fourth movie of the Men in Black series, a group of movies in which special agents defend Earth with high-tech gadgets. However, in this Men in Black movie, the agents take on their hardest challenge yet, protecting the Earth against one of their own agents. This movie, directed by F. Gary Gray and starring Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, and Liam Neeson, will premier in theaters on July 13.


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

The Return of Old Ellicott City

Words: Andrew Le

Due to the flood in May of 2018 that destroyed Old Ellicott City, residents were affected in many ways. Not only were several areas inaccessible, but entire roads were closed off, such as the one that travelled from the Roger Carter area to Frederick Road.

On April 27 of 2019, this road was opened back up, and Old Ellicott City returned. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect, with the weather starting to change and summer coming up, the option of going to Old Ellicott City becomes more desirable.

Despite the city’s current success, recent tornadoes and heavy rainfall mimic the same events that put the area out of commission in the first place, which could raise questions regarding future development.

There are many businesses investing in opening at this monumental place, but is it truly a smart decision? There will be many costs, financially and even physically, if history chooses to repeat itself.

Should Old Ellicott City get shut down if it becomes victim to another flood? Or will it live on for many more years to come, allowing newer generations to experience this monument?


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

Science Olympiad Team Goes to Nationals

Words: Sarah Paz

Centennial’s Science Olympiad team, affectionately called SciOly by its team members, traveled to the Science Olympiad National Tournament in Ithaca, winning 29th place.

Sophomore B-team member Shreya Vallimanalan said that the team placed 1st in the Environmental Chemistry Event at Cornell University.

“We also came in 12th in Chemistry Lab, 14th in Fermi Questions, 14th in Hovercraft, 16th in Astronomy, and 18th in Helicopters, ” she said. “We definitely view these achievements [as] successes. Every year, we strive to improve, so we will continue to work hard to prepare for next year’s competitions.”

Their success story began nine months ago in September. Even though the club allows anybody to participate, tryouts were held to be part of higher teams like the A-team who represented Centennial at the National Science Olympiad.

Just like any serious sports team, SciOly showed their dedication by practicing every week. At 2:15pm every Thursday, the team would hold weekly meetings beginning with announcements about the next competition. To practice and collaborate on projects, the team would break into the pairs they compete in at tournaments.

SciOly’s consistent determination won them first at the Maryland Science Olympiad which allowed them to qualify for the national tournament.

To celebrate the SciOly’s success at Nationals and a successful year together, the team gathered for a picnic on June 6.

The Science Olympiad team attributes some of their great successes throughout the season to Centennial biology teacher and team sponsor, Jason Piluk.

“Mr. Piluk, our coach, has greatly helped and supported our team… the Science Olympiad Club would not run as smoothly as it does with his guidance. He provides us with a lot of support and encourages our passions for STEM,” Vallimanalan said.

Regarding his role as the team’s sponsor, Piluk stated, “I pretty much make sure the club exists, is registered with the state and national program, provide a workspace for the team, confirm team rosters, facilitate travel to and from various competitions… and cheer them on.”


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

The List of Coaches for the 2019-20 Sports Season is Out Now

Words: Thomas Hitt

Congratulations to all the coaches below who were selected for the fall and winter sports season of 2019-20.

Fall Coaches

Boys Cross Country Head Coach – Robert Slopek

JV Field Hockey Coach – Ying Schaik

JV Football Coach – Dominic Peters

Varsity Girls Soccer Head Coach – Hank Hurren

Grade 9 Volleyball Coach – Michelle Riley

Head JV Volleyball Coach – Kenny Mills (previously 9th Grade V-Ball Coach)

Winter Coach

Varsity Boys Basketball Head Coach – Chris Sanders (previously JV Boys Basketball)


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

Graduation Speech From Teacher of the Year, Sara Duran

Attached is Teacher of the Year Sara Duran’s 2019 graduation speech.
Full graduation audio is linked below. To listen to Duran’s speech, go to 14:00.

Good Morning! It’s nice to see you again; I’ve missed you over the last week.

I’m honored to stand up here today, not just as your Senior Class Teacher of the Year, but more so as one of your biggest fans. From the time I met you as sophomores in 2016, I have been wowed by your accomplishments, your tendency for kindness, and your universal hatred for learning vocabulary— I know those orange Sadlier Oxford books will likely stay in your memory longer than the words ever did. But for as much as you hated learning vocabulary, it wouldn’t feel on brand for me to send you off without one last lesson. This one starts with the word ACCEPTANCE.

ACCEPTANCE. Undoubtedly, many of you have become acquainted with this word over the last year. It has represented your anxiety for the future and served as validation of your hard-work. It’s a word I, myself, chased furiously throughout my own senior year. But it came into your lives, and mine, long before we understood it to mean the big white envelope or carefully worded email that granted us entrance into a program or institution. No, our first interpretation was instilled in us at a young age, and has no doubt been reinforced by the school system you, and I, have had the privilege of attending. We were taught to ACCEPT those who were different regardless of race, gender, or religion. We were encouraged to ACCEPT kids who didn’t look like us, who didn’t talk like us, and who didn’t dress like us. You were taught that. And YOU HAVE DONE that. YOU have ACCEPTED a student body that represents six of the seven continents, speaks over 20 languages, and practices just as many religions.

And though you, like I, have had the privilege of growing up in communities that allow for the possibility of this kind of ACCEPTANCE, ACCEPTANCE of difference is just NOT ENOUGH.

Several years ago, I came across a poem by William Stafford that challenged my own compliance with ACCEPTANCE. [The first stanza has ingrained itself into the fiber of my core; he writes:]

“If you don’t know the kind of person I am and I don’t know the kind of person you are a pattern that others made may prevail in the world and following the wrong god home we may miss OUR star.”

This poem reinforces a vital need to UNDERSTAND difference. An UNDERSTANDING that goes beyond what we have been taught: The blind ACCEPTANCE borne out of privilege– the privilege you and I share– which asks us to passively allow difference into our lives, even encourages us to look past it. This lesson is dangerously limiting.

On my first day at Centennial– before any students even showed up– one of my colleagues (whom I won’t name) insisted I was a student, so much so that I wasn’t allowed into my classroom.  I’ll admit, I was flattered. Here I was, several years out of high school, and apparently I still looked like a high schooler. But since then. My age is not the only thing for which I have been MISUNDERSTOOD. TO CLARIFY: Yes, I speak Spanish, but no, I am not a Spanish teacher. No, I was not born in the US, but YES, I’m a US citizen. In each of these instances, I was ACCEPTED for my differences, but my story was not UNDERSTOOD. I bring this up not to throw shade at any individual, but rather, to demonstrate the need for actively seeking UNDERSTANDING of others. Because, as William Stafford explains in his poem, “if you don’t know the kind of person I am” you will be inclined to ACCEPT the truths inherited through your privilege, but not driven to discover if they actually are true. And “if I don’t know the kind of person you are,” I will ACCEPT the position in the world my privilege has limited me to. So we must change the word. From ACCEPT to UNDERSTAND.

In UNDERSTANDING others, you have to recognize your privilege as graduates of the Howard County Public School System, for which you should be grateful, but which you cannot allow to limit you to passive ACCEPTANCE. You must seek to do more than allow difference into your lives. You must actively seek out the stories of those who are not like you. You must learn their names, their histories, their voices. You must do more than ACCEPT difference as those things that set you apart in just race, gender, and religion. You must pursue difference as everything that is not you. You must force difference to change you. Continually. ALWAYS.

So as you seek your star, immerse yourself in environments that are different from your own. Engross yourself in the people who fill those spaces. Absorb their stories into your own. And only then can you truly UNDERSTAND.

Ultimately, it all comes back to words, right? It has always been about words. It will always be about words. Acceptance. Understanding. Words that don’t even appear in that little orange book. And they never will, because the words that really matter are the words that are defined by the actions of our lives.

Moving into the next scene of your story, your encounters will span the world over, will include languages you’ve never even heard of, and will present belief systems that can’t be quantified. SO live this word. Expand your ability to ACCEPT into your capacity to UNDERSTAND. In turn, you will manifest greatness into the world.

You already know that I think you’re remarkable. So I will give back to you the words you offered me a couple weeks ago: “YOU GOT THIS. And it’s okay to cry if you need to.”

Congratulations, Class of 2019. Now, for the last time, I’m gonna have to ask you to please spit out your gum.


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

Centennial Cheers on Law Enforcement Torch Run

Words: Caleb McClatchey

Photos: Zach Grable

Centennial students and staff took a break from their usual routine Thursday morning to support the Law Enforcement Torch Run, a public awareness and fundraising group which supports the Special Olympics.

As students clapped and cheered, law enforcement, along with some Special Olympics athletes, ran down Centennial Lane carrying the Flame of Hope, the Special Olympics torch.

In preparation for the Special Olympics Maryland Summer Games, the torch has been passed between Maryland counties. The games are set to begin this Friday at Towson University.

Each year, 97,000 law enforcement officers participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run, carrying the Flame of Hope into local, state, national, and world competitions.


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