Category: Announcements

Slopek Snags “Health Education Teacher of the Year”

Words: Xander Mauer

On January 23, 2020, the Maryland Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) recognized three Howard County teachers at an HCPSS Board of Education meeting. Centennial teacher and coach Robert Slopek was among the three, receiving the Health Education Teacher of the Year award.

The award serves to commend a teacher for their pursuit for top-quality health education, focusing on the in-class experience itself as well as the teachers involvement with their school and community outside of the classroom.

Slopek has been a health teacher at Centennial for the past five years, and before that, he taught physical education at Burleigh Manor Middle School for 13 years. Even though he didn’t start out teaching health, he has been passionate about the topic.

“I’ve always wanted to teach health, even when I was in college. I just like the subject and the topics in healththey were fascinating to me,” says Slopek. “I think that because of the impact on students it has when they understand what a healthy person is, mentally and physically, that [health is] the most important subject there is.”

In his relatively short time teaching health, the curriculum has undergone significant change. Slopek finds these changes to be improvements, as it increases the impact the class has on the students.

“We’ve shifted a lot in the last five years that I’ve been here… rather than memorizing facts, taking a test, forgetting the facts, and then learning new facts to forget, we now are putting everything into life skills and more skill-based lessons,” he explains. “We’ve gone a lot more into the health skills, like understanding what life skills are needed to be healthy, where the skills that we use in our classroom can go across all curriculars, and [students] are able to use these skills for more than just looking up health informationthey’re skills that can be used everyday in various topics and situations.”

While Slopek finds the subject intriguing, he teaches the class for the students. Through his work, he is able to impact the students, the driving force behind his pride in the subject.

“I like to focus on creating a much more laid-back, relaxed atmosphere so that students feel comfortable and confident to ask questions without being criticized,” reflects Slopek. “I think that goes a long way, building a relationship with students. So, something that I really focus on is trying to get to know our students well outside of the classroom… not just what they do on an assignment, but understanding who they are as a person.”

With the passion Slopek has for all aspects of his job and his ability to connect with his students to help them to be the best person they can, it’s no wonder that he has been so successful in this field of work.


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Aloha from the Senior Class

Words: Natalie Knight-Griffin

Photos: Noorie Kazmi

On Thursday, February 7, seniors participated in the annual Senior Luau. The celebration included luau-inspired foods, a DJ, and a sea of Hawaiian t-shirts. Seniors ate, drank their complimentary slushies, and danced the night away from 5-7 pm. 


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

Flying Through Centennial: Midterm 2020 Edition

Video by: Casper Ambrose, Julia Stitely, Noelle Deal, Keith Hitzelberger, Camryn Desai, Josh Kim

The Wingspan Media Team asked the most important questions to teachers during the midterm week: “Is your midterm hard?”

Click here to view the video!

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

Visitors From Korea

Words: Mariam Abd El-Shafy

Photos: Ellie Zoller-Gritz

Video by: Alexandra Valerio

On Tuesday, January 14, 12 students from Korea visited Centennial High School to experience the American school system.

Centennial has a very strong relationship with foreign exchange agencies; it has accepted many different guests from all around the world seeking cultural enrichment.

These students are attendees of the Kyeongbuk Science High School in Pohang, South Korea. For most of them, it was their first time visiting the country. Kim Tae-Hyung, a senior at his school, says although they’ve only been here for a short time, he is “very excited to be here.”

Staying for the ten days of their winter break, these students visited Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Montgomery County before they came to Centennial. For the next few days they will be joining the Johns Hopkins Cognitive Psychology Research Program before leaving for New York and Boston.

Jihyang Cheon, a senior exchange student says, “I really like it here.” She is learning a lot about the American public school system through the many differences.
“We stay in our own classroom, and the teachers come… we also stay in a dormitory,” she says.

Cheon explains that through this experience of visiting Centennial and other American schools, she is hoping to learn more about the culture before applying to American colleges. “This [trip] is to learn about the science programs here, but my big goal in America is to attend MIT.”

The students say they have been given a great opportunity and are very excited to see what it leads to.

Click here to view a video of the students visiting Centennial!



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

Muslim Student Association Holds India Awareness Day

Words: Caleb McClatchey

Photos: Adithi Soogoor

Centennial’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) held an India Awareness Day on Wednesday, January 8, to raise awareness for a new Indian citizenship law which excludes Muslims.

MSA hosted a face painting and information session in the morning. Students were encouraged to wear orange and green to show their support.


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