Category: Announcements

Centennial Students Commit to Colleges

Words: Sasha Allen

Photos: Eliza Andrew

On November 13, six high-achieving Centennial athletes signed their commitment to their future colleges. Rasa Welsh signed for Campbell University, Lauren Marcotte for Penn State University, Gabrielle Castle-Smith for St. Mary’s College, Ashley Bilger for Frostburg University, Sarah Thorman for Allegheny College, and Zack Steen for Bloomsburg University.

Bilger, a soccer player who will be attending Frostburg for the next four years, found the event extremely sentimental. 

“It was a really special event because it marked the culmination of all of the hard work I’ve done,” Bilger said.

Although Bilger is leaving Centennial, she is excited for the opportunities that lie ahead.

“I’m looking forward to playing a high level of soccer and meeting new teammates.”

The signing was an incredible event for showcasing the athletes’ achievements, and family and friends came to celebrate their students.

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Changes to Centennial’s Parking Lot

Words: Mariam Shafy

Photos: Eliza Andrew

When students returned from summer break for the 2019-20 school year, there were some major changes made to Centennial’s parking lot. 

Last school year, students without parking permits overcrowded the school’s lot. Parents dropping off their children were unfamiliar with the drop-off rules in the morning, which made it extremely difficult to park. The after-school rush of buses and students all leaving at the same time without adequate traffic rules caused the parking lot to break out into chaos daily. 

Autumn Moore, a driving senior at Centennial, recounts, “there were always so many traffic jams, you couldn’t park. You couldn’t even exit the parking lot because there were so many cars.” 

This year, the school has formalized processes in an attempt to make the parking lot safer. The school has established rules for dropping children off, differentiated between student and staff parking with paint-markings and signs, changed the pattern of the stop signs by adding two new ones and taking one away, and limited the amount of permits given to students. 

“Last year, I got 12 anonymous letters in the mail from parents begging me to do something about the parking lot.” Principal Cynthia Dillon explains that these changes were necessary for the school to maintain a sense of safety. 

“It’s definitely more controlled now,” said Moore, reacting to the new changes. 

“It’s not as hard to park in the mornings; there’s not as much confusion.” 

However, some parents have a different outlook on these new changes. “Things are slow now,” Balpreet Bhamra, a Centennial parent, claims, and “no different than before,” in terms of student safety. 

Some parents, like Jonathan Davis, have the complete opposite view. “If a parent drops off earlier instead of waiting until they are near the gym, they can exit more quickly. The crossing guard is a vital part of the new system,” says Davis. “With everyone dropping off along the curb it’s safer!” 

Davis, however, does see room for even more improvement. “To be even safer, I wonder if they could actually pave along the curb all the way up to the tennis courts since that is where you are asking us to drop off our kids. I’m worried that when it’s snowy, wet, no one will want to get out and walk on the dirt path.” 

Senior Helen Pantoulis agrees with Davis and Moore.

“I see what the stop signs… were intended for, and I believe that something needed to change,” she says.

However, Pantoulis does not believe these changes have been for the better.

“It’s really scary and confusing, and everyone who parks around me has expressed frustration. Many students in a rush will speed out in front of other cars,” says Pantoulis. “I think [the parking lot] has become even more chaotic.” 

Before the school year, many school departments, such as administration and building services, held a meeting in order to address the dangers of the lot. Cameron Rahnama, assistant principal of Centennial, explains the process of establishing these changes. “We involved all of the responsible parties that we could think of to have out there, so when we developed what we were going to do, it was a joint effort, it wasn’t just Mrs. Dillon and [me].” 

Administration admits one of the negative side effects of the changes is parents dropping off their children in random places across Centennial Lane. “It’s really not safe,” Dillon says. “This is not about ruining someone’s day or year by not giving them a permit or by forcing them to drop kids off on the right side of the road; it’s about keeping kids safe, and when parents or students don’t follow the rules, it makes it harder to do our job, keeping people safe.” 

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Interviews With Centennial’s Newest Staff Members

Podcast by: Casper Ambrose, Julia Stitely, Noelle Deal, Keith Hitzelberger, Camryn Desai

The Wingspan media team interviews the newest additions to Centennial’s staff.

Jessica Stockham | Paraeducator 

 

Jacob Traver | Theatre Teacher

 

Darryl Thompson | Security Officer

 

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

Fall Concert Recap

Words: Thomas Hitt

Band

On Monday, October 14, Centennial kicked off the fall concert cycle with their four band ensembles. 

The jazz band opened the night, performing two upbeat songs that were filled with solos. The first song was Barnburner by Les Hooper and the second song was LaFiesta by Chick Corea. 

After the jazz band finished, Symphonic Band filed onto the stage and played Coast Guards March by Karl King, under the direction of James Kranz, the new addition to the band program. When the first song came to a close, Kranz introduced himself to the audience. He then continued directing Mark Lortz’s The Heart of Madness and Richard Saucedo’s Fanfare for Justice.

The Symphonic Winds took the stage next, playing El Capitan, a John Phillip Sousa march directed by David Matchim, followed by Journey Through Orion by Julie Giroux directed by Kranz. For the last song, Rakes of Mallow by Leroy Anderson, Matchim returned to the podium to conduct.

When the Symphonic Winds exited the stage, the Wind Ensemble entered. They performed three movements of Julie Giroux’s Symphony No. IV: Bookmarks of Japan. The first movement was Fuji-San meaning “Mt. Fuji,” the second was Nihonbashi meaning “Bridge Market,” and the third was Kinryu-zan Sensoji meaning “Thunder Gate.” In addition to normal percussion instruments, the ensemble played taiko drums, a Japanese percussion instrument. 

Words: Emily Hollwedel

Photos: Noorie Kazmi

Orchestra

On the night of Tuesday, October 15, parents and students alike arrived at Centennial to view the fall orchestra concert. It was conducted by orchestra teacher Allen Leung. 

Centennial’s orchestra played a selection comprised of two works: Symphony No. 14 by Robert Schuzman and Symphony No. 21 by Mozart. The concert was well-recieved by both the audience and the students participating. 

“I think the concert went really well,” said violist Praagna Kashyap.

Words: Sasha Allen

Photos: Noorie Kazmi

Choir

On Wednesday, October 16, Centennial’s choir department performed at their annual fall concert. The Chamber Choir sang If Ye Love Me and In His Care-O, Belle Voce sang Down in the River to Pray and Si Me Vers Avaient des Ailes, and Concert Choir sang Festival Cantate and Tunggare.

Rebecca Vanover, the director of the choir department, decided to resume this fall concert tradition this year. Kai Daley, a junior and member of both Belle Voce and Chamber Choir, says that this new concert date took some adjustment.

“I personally felt kind of thrown,” Daley said. “I’m not used to performing fresh out of the gate.” 

Along with a new concert schedule, Daley also had to get used to the new voices around her. 

“It was especially strange for me in Chamber Choir to stand in the same place as last year but to hear some completely different voices around me. The concert did give me a really good feeling about the freshmen and anyone else new to the choir.” 

Despite these new changes, the choir still kept old traditions alive.

“After every concert, we also write post-its of encouragement and what we thought went well, so you always feel like you’re doing a good job,” she said.

Daley is looking forward to the upcoming concert season, and she is already seeing improvement.

“We had a really good sound, and that’s only a month into the school year, so I am really excited to see how the new groups, but particularly Concert Choir, which has the bulk of the new voices, improves.”

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Centennial Shows Their Eagle Pride at the Annual Pep Rally

Words: Josh Kim

Photos: Zach Grable, Melissa Notti & Noorie Kazmi

On September 27, Centennial capped off spirit week with an extended pep rally. At the end of the day, students gathered to watch musical performances, dances, tug-of-war, drill teams, and a powder puff game. Powder puff, an annual football game with junior and senior girls, was held during the pep rally this year rather than after school. Just as in the years before, the pep rally helped build excitement towards the homecoming game and dance.

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