Category: Feature

Students Talk About Class Selections for 2018-2019 School Year

Words: Shawn Kruhm

Course recommendations and class choices for the upcoming school year have begun and students are starting to stress.

Many students at Centennial are involved in multiple activities outside of school. Having to find a balance between school and extracurricular activities is a struggle. This causes many high schoolers to stay up late and lose sleep. Overwhelming yourself with a large school workload and numerous activities is something students should take into consideration when selecting their classes.

Darian Avery, a sophomore at Centennial High School, said, “It’s not hard to be challenged at Centennial. With sports and other outside activities that require time out of your nights, it’s a challenge finding time to make it all work.”

Along with getting good grades to please both themselves and their parents parents, students want to do well in school to impress colleges. Most high schoolers have already started to think about their future. Many students want to take higher level courses, like junior Olivia Weakland to get into the school they want.

I want to take harder classes to challenge myself to look better for college,” Weakland said.

Challenging yourself is a good thing until it is taken too far. Stress starts to build up when students want to take more intense classes, but they do not know what will be too much.

Sophomore Sarah Sopchick said, “I stress about choosing the classes I’ll take next year because I want to make sure I find a good balance and I don’t want to overwhelm myself.”

As long as students know their strengths and weaknesses, they should not struggle or stress about their class selections. If the course they are taking is too challenging for them, they can always drop to a class that is less intense.

“I don’t stress about classes coming up next year. I don’t think there’s much of a reason to. Stressing over classes is pretty pointless because they are what’s tomorrow and people should focus on today,” said Centennial junior, Kieran Newell.

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

Centennial Artists Recognized by U.S. Congress

Words: Kieran Senisi

Photos Contributed by: Nan Collins

The Congressional Art Awards Ceremony occurred on June 3, and Centennial did not fail to impress.  Five Centennial artists, including Maria Rodriguez Cardona, Abbigail Hong, Rachel Scheetz, Tricia Park, and Ye Sun Park, entered the competition under the district of U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings.  According to Rep. Cummings, over 650,000 high school students have contributed artwork in this nationwide competition in the past ten years; this year, three of the five Centennial students won top prizes.  

Senior Ye Sun Park took home first place with her painting “Woman in Blue Dress,” and her painting will be hung in the Congressional galleries for a year.  Senior Maria Rodriguez Cardona’s painting “Paper Doll” won a curator award from the Maryland Institute of Art.  Junior Tricia Park’s self-portrait also won a curator award from the Walter’s Art Museum.  Judges were not allowed to know anything about the participants, which allowed for an even playing field for the competition. These artists represented Centennial with pride, and those who did not graduate hope to do the same in future competitions.

*This article was updated on 9 June 2017 to reflect the number of years students have been submitting artwork in this competition.

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

Centennial Says Goodbye: Whalen and Spaide Retire

Words: Lisa Kerr Photos: Zach Grable

At the end of the 2016-2017 school year, Centennial will be losing two memorable staff members due to their retirement: Mrs. Spaide and Ms. Whalen. Although Centennial will miss them, we are thankful for all that they did in fueling students’ education.

 “I will miss the students and teachers the most,” said Whalen. One particular experience that she loved was watching her students start out in Algebra 1 in freshman year and graduate with a 5 on their Calculus AP exam in their senior year; seeing them excel made her experience as a teacher worthwhile.

When asked if there was any lasting lessons that she believed her students had taught her, she thought for a moment before saying, “Life isn’t as serious as you take it; be flexible.”

These two teachers have contributed to Centennial’s success by helping students learn and grow while developing their intellect and character. Centennial will miss them, and they will always be eagles!


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

Life After Injury: Mia Smith

Words: Caroline Chu

On January 5, Centennial junior Mia Smith suffered a harrowing injury, a torn ACL. A member of Centennial High School’s Girls’ Varsity Basketball Team, as well as Centennial’s Senior Dance Company, she worried that her injury would impact her ability to participate in the activities she loved.

Though she was not able to stand or walk by herself, Smith first believed she had just twisted her knee, and that she would be cleared to play basketball in a week or so. Sadly, she found out that she had torn her ACL a week after the accident, around the time she thought she would be back to dribbling and pirouetting.

Despite her season ending injury, Smith remained a team player and supported her teammates, showing up to nearly every practice and game.

For the two months before her surgery, she went to physical therapy led by Centennial High School’s trainer Amanda Ward.

The first five days after surgery were long as Smith was on bed rest. She needed to wear a brace for two weeks and use crutches for three, and was certainly happy once the equipment phase was over.

Attending physical therapy two times a week has aided in allowing Smith to become as flexible and as strong as she was before her injury. Though she described the early stages of recovery as “painful and exhausting,” she now looks forward to “recovering quickly and easily.”

In the future, Smith will need to wear a knee brace when playing sports, but she hopes that her injury will otherwise not continue to impact her life a year from now.

Smith learned a lot throughout the difficult process, “if I was in shape, ate healthy, and was prepared for the basketball season, my injury might not have been as terrible. Next year when basketball season comes around I’ll definitely be sure to fuel my body correctly and make sure I can endure all the physical aspects of practice and games.”

A strong support system composed of her parents, sister, teammates, and friends helped Smith push forward in her recovery. Smith will continue to work hard so she can return to both the stage and the court for her last year at Centennial.

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

Cherry Blossom Festival

Words: Abby Vall

The trees are budding and the temperature is rising to seventy degrees in the middle of March, throwing a huge curveball at Maryland. That curveball is that Spring is quickly approaching, meaning the cherry blossoms are coming out. The flowers bloom in Washington D.C where an annual festival is held to celebrate.

The Cherry Blossom Festival is a weeklong event in Washington D.C., where beautiful blossoms can be found by famous monuments like the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument.

Junior Fayyaz Zaidi shared that taking a stroll through the National Mall “was like nothing I have ever seen…it was so enticing that we spent around [two] hours just observing the true beauty of it.”

People from all over Maryland, and other countries and regions, come to see the beauty that visitors like Zaidi talk about.

Zaidi’s first time at the festival was in 2008 and he continues to go with his family. He said, “It was the mixture of the jubilant weather and the overall beauty of the flowers that made me want to keep going.”

When the sun starts shining consistently throughout the day, the buds bloom into a marvelous sight for all to see. There are other events going on while the flowers are out, like the Japanese Cultural Festival that senior Claire Lee attended. Lee found it convenient that both events were happening at the same time, and took advantage and enjoyed both.

Some students, like junior Carolina Requejo, have never been to the festival but look forward to going someday.

“[I] would be ecstatic to finally see the famous cherry blossoms,” said Requejo.

The Cherry Blossom Festival is a breathtaking sight for many students and Requejo shares, “It would be a great family trip and a once in a lifetime opportunity I’d love to experience with my family!”

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

World Hijab Day

Words: Meghan Moore

On Wednesday, February 1, 2017, the Muslim Student Association organized Centennial’s participation in World Hijab Day.

World Hijab Day is an international celebration in recognition of the millions of Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab. Centennial students had the opportunity to wear a hijab for a day to put themselves in the shoes of a hijab-wearing woman. Centennial senior Shukran Babkir was the head organizer of World Hijab Day within the Centennial community.

 “It was inspired by the noticeable lack of knowledge of the hijab and the Islamic beliefs of modesty, I wanted to offer an opportunity for everyone to learn about it,” said Babkir.

 Students met in the Foreign Language Office and were given a headscarves donated by women in the Muslim Student Association and wore the hijabs during the school day. The MSA connected with other Centennial clubs such as Delta Scholars, She’s The First, and Girl Up in order to orchestrate the event.

 “It was a great experience and truly brought people together. Even for the people who didn’t support it . . . it at least provoked discussion and awareness. Which [was] all we could ask for,” concluded Babkir.

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

Chinese New Year Festival

Words and Photos: Laila Abu-Ghaida

On Friday, January 27, 2016, students came together at Centennial High School to celebrate Chinese New Year and honor the Year of the Rooster. The National Chinese Honor Societies from Centennial High School and River Hill High School and the Chinese Club from Marriotts Ridge High School all worked together to help organize the event.

There were many stations for students and families that included fun games and activities like dumpling making, Chinese yoyo, chopstick challenges, and more to give the opportunity for a hands on experience to enhance knowledge of Chinese.

“It’s fun and it exposes a lot of different people to a new culture. When I look around I can see many faces not from this school which is very cool,” said sophomore Joseph Wang.

Students from Centennial helped cook foods such as noodles, rice, chicken, and dumplings for the buffet. Music and dance performances were shown at the festival as well.

“It’s amazing, we had almost a hundred people come to enjoy the show, eat the food we made, and enrich themselves in our traditional culture and celebrate the Chinese New Year Eve together,” said Ms. Liang, a Chinese teacher at Centennial.

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