Category: News

Centennial Advances to the National History Bowl Competition

Words: Delanie Tucker

Photos Contributed by: Cynthia Dillon

On Saturday, December 1, five teams from Centennial High School participated in the National History Bowl Regional Championship, held in Washington, D.C. Of the five teams, teams A and B were Varsity, while teams C, D, and E were Junior Varsity.

A total of 41 teams attended the competition, ranging from elementary school to high school.

Centennial’s A Team came in second place, earning a finalist trophy and a spot in the National History Bowl Competition. This team consisted of Anthony Duan, team captain, Peter Wilschke, and Mahta Gooya.

The second place slot did not come from a lack of trying, though, as the A Team placed higher than Richard Montgomery High, Montgomery Blair High, Georgetown Day School, and two teams from Thomas Jefferson High before falling to McLean High in the final match.

In addition to the varsity team’s success, the C Team, made up of Pingan Tang, Nathan Ho, and Benjamin Kantsiper, also qualified for the National Tournament.

Duan and Tang also advanced to the finals of the JV History Bee in 2019.

Beyond the high school teams, Burleigh Manor Middle School won in the middle school division, beating Centennial Lane Elementary School in the finals.

Six of the eight playoff teams were from Burleigh Manor or Centennial Lane.

The National History Bowl Competition will be held in April 2019.

Photo contributed by Cynthia Dillon

 

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Redistricting Options Proposed at HCPSS Family Night

Words: Delanie Tucker

On Monday, November 26, the Howard County Public School System held a Family Night for the parents/guardians of Centennial High School students to discuss options to reduce overcrowding.

HCPSS Staff shared information on the five options Centennial students will have in upcoming school years, all of which can help to reduce the number of students during portions of the school day.

The five options are: additional ARL courses, work-based options, a shuttle to Howard Community College, Project Lead the Way at Marriotts Ridge High School, and school reassignment to Glenelg or Marriotts Ridge High School with provided transportation.

All options are completely optional and based on student interest.

Due to the impact these decisions will have on community members, there was a decent-sized turn out.

According to Cynthia Dillon, Centennial’s principal, around 200 parents and students showed up, which, despite the fact that the night was aimed towards Centennial parents, also consisted of parents from both Howard High School and Marriotts Ridge High School.

Additionally, several people from Centennial’s student services team and Howard County’s Central Office attended.

This group of people included: Bill Barnes, Chief Academic Officer, Laree Siddiqui, Dual Enrollment Coordinator, Restia Whitaker, Coordinator of Student Support Services, and Pat Saunderson, Community Superintendent.

According to Dillon, the parents attending from Marriotts seemed to be curious if they would be affected by students moved to their school. Howard and Centennial parents seemed to interested in the five options.

“The parents I talked to after [the Family Night] was over seemed to be very interested in some of the options,” Dillon explained. “And I think that’s important.”

Overall, the reaction of the majority was positive and accepting of the information presented.

Another Family Night will be held on December 4 at Marriotts Ridge High School.

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

Centennial’s Dance Company Returns With Dancing With the Staff

Words: Sasha Allen & Natalie Keane

Centennial’s annual Dancing With the Staff competition is coming up on Thursday, October 25, at 7pm. This competition will feature 23 daring teachers and staff who are all competing for the title of Centennial Dance Champion. These dedicated competitors are being trained by our talented Dance Company students here at Centennial, and since the beginning of the school year, they have been working hard to blow the audience and judges away with their skillful acts.

Dancing With the Staff began ten years ago as a final project for the Dance Company students, until the fall of 2013, when it turned into a fundraising event to be performed in front of a live audience. Since then, it has been a great way for the Centennial community to come together and support their friends and teachers.

It provides the opportunity for students and staff to switch roles as learners and leaders, and put together a show that’s fun for the whole family,” said Rebecca Clark, dance instructor at Centennial. “The support that the Centennial staff has given to the dancers is heartwarming, and the relationships that have been built through this event are priceless.”

You can come out to support your favorite teachers for only $5 per ticket. Each ticket gives you the ability to cast two votes for the staff member of your choice, and an additional 2 votes can be purchased for just $1.

Make sure to come help your favorite staff members gain the title of Centennial Dance Champion or just to enjoy a fun night full of entertaining acts. Remember, your teachers are working hard to prepare, so be sure to cheer them on!

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

Howard County School Board Narrows Redistricting Options

Words: Delanie Tucker

The Howard County School Board is in the process of resolving the overpopulation of several Howard County schools.

In a recent Board Meeting on October 11, 2018, the board met for the second time this academic year to discuss redistricting options for upcoming school years.

Caroline Walker, Executive Director of Program Innovation and Student Well-Being, presented and explained several options to relieve the overcrowding of Howard County schools, particularly focusing on Howard High School and Centennial High School.

The options consist primarily of voluntary changes, some for only a portion of the school day and others for the entire year.

The ideas presented were: a Howard County Community College Shuttle, JumpStart Program at Wilde Lake High School, Project Lead the Way at Marriotts Ridge High School, reassignment, additional ARL courses, and additional sections of work-based options.

The Howard County Community Shuttle would consist of participating students, juniors and seniors staying at their home school for first period to participate in classes such as band or orchestra and then taking a bus to HCC. The students will take and receive credit for college-level courses, as well as finish out their graduation required classes.

Students would be picked up by bus from their home school and be taken to HCC. These buses, though, would cost $9,000 a piece if they were to travel to Centennial or Howard to pick up students.

The problem presented with this option, pointed out by Sandra French, a member of the Board, was that music classes are not during first period, and not all classes can be moved to first period to fit the needs of certain students.

Walker predicted, based off a previous survey, that 40-60 students would participate in the HCC shuttle.

The JumpStart program at Wilde Lake High School would require students to transfer to Wilde Lake in order to participate.

It has an estimated price of $250,000, which would vary depending on the number of participating students.

This particular program is directed towards students interested in performing arts and film production. The arts program at Wilde Lake is looking to progress, and offers better opportunities for interested artists. The estimated participation for this is 15-20 students from each school.

Project Lead the Way, on the other hand, consists of a Biochemical Academy and a Computer Science Academy.

Again, this option would require a school transfer, this time to Marriotts Ridge High School.

Additionally, Walker presented an estimated price of $63,000, which is a combination of material and training for all academies.

The option of reassignment, previously known as open enrollment, would give students free reign to transfer to either Glenelg High School or Marriotts Ridge High School. A problem presented with this, though, is that students would have to provide their own transportation.

A positive with this option is that it would cost nothing to implement.

Additional sections of work-based options would help to decrease overcrowding during the day. Examples are GT intern/mentor, apprenticeship, and work release, all of which would help upperclassmen get real-world experience.

The problem with this, though, is the more students that enter the program, the more teachers they will need. A new teacher would cost the board $84,000.

Ideally, the Board would like to implement most, if not all, ideas at once. Their concern revolves around the question: where will the money come from?

The last option to fix overcrowding issues, presented by Anissa Brown Dennis, Chief Operating Officer, was redistricting in the form of boundary changes.

Her original intent was to present all plan options, which included: 2017 Feasibility Study Plan, 2017 Attendance Area Committee Plan I and II (August and September), Community plans as identified by Board members, and Howard High School small feeds.

The Board, however, voted to discontinue the presentation after the 2017 Feasibility Plan, and instead had conversation about small feeds.

Their votes were primarily based around the fact that, in a previous meeting, they had voted to not change school boundaries for the upcoming school year, so the presentation did not seem necessary at that moment.

The Board will begin making decisions in regard to the 2019-2020 school year in a meeting on October 18.

In a previous meeting on August 23, there was an idea of temporary and permanent freshmen redistricting, but this idea seems to have been taken out of the conversation, as it was not mentioned in the recent meeting.

This option would have consisted of incoming freshmen being relocated, either for just their freshman year or possibly their entire high school career.

Since no final changes have been made, Centennial students will have to work through the issues overcrowding brings.

Cynthia Dillon, Centennial’s principal who was present at the meeting, is confident in her students’ ability to make their school environment as comfortable as possible, despite the circumstances.

“The distances the students have to travel, while they are in some crowded hallways, they are very creative about how they get from point A to point B,” Dillon stated at the meeting. “They are also using their time. They are walking with a purpose, they are being efficient with how they get from point A to point B and we have not identified a problem with students arriving to class tardy.”

Ellie Zoller-Gritz contributed with background information, analysis and images for this article.

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

East Coast Prepares for the Wrath of Hurricane Florence

Words: Eliza Andrew

This story has been revised and updated September 14, 2018, 7:04 a.m. to correct the strength of the storm as it makes landfall on the Carolina coast.

After a long summer of record-breaking heat, the east coast prepares to take on Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm originating from the lower Atlantic Ocean, just south of Bermuda. Residents of southern states like Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina are strongly advised to evacuate and brace themselves and their homes.

The northern east coast can anticipate heavy rainfall around Tuesday as the storm takes a sharp turn. With the storm expected to make landfall first in North Carolina on Friday, September 14, meteorologists predict the storm will then transition into a Category 1 storm.

As Florence approaches quicker everyday, states in the storm’s direct path like North Carolina and South Carolina, prepare for the worst, but hope for the best.

BREAKING- Cynthia Dillon Named CHS Principal for 2018-2019 School Year

Words: Maggie Ju

According to a public document released by the Howard County Public Schools Board, Cynthia Dillon has been announced as Centennial High School’s new principal for the 2018-2019 school year. Dillon is the current principal of Patapsco Middle School, where she has worked for eight years.

As stated in a Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) press release on March 5, 2018, Dillon has been an HCPSS educator for 25 years.

This spring, she was named the 2018 Maryland Middle School Principal of the Year by the Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals. A dedicated administrator, she has been commended for inspiring her students to be thoughtful, responsible, and kind.

Dillon has a Masters of Education in Supervision and Administration from Loyola University in Maryland and a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Maryland, College Park.

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

Floods Ravage Old Ellicott City in Weekend Storm

Words: Delanie Tucker

On May 27, Old Ellicott City suffered severe damage due to a flood. The National Weather Service reports that nearly 8.4 inches of rain fell on Ellicott City, causing the small town to flood for the 15th time since 1768, the second in the last two years.

The town’s history of flooding is primarily due to its position at the bottom of a topographical funnel, which causes all of the run-off to fall on the city. The problem is, Old Ellicott City is extremely urbanized, leaving little space for drainage.

Despite the flash flood warning, most residents were not expecting the ferocity of the storm. Yesterday was when the reality of the devastation really hit: citizens finally seeing the overturned cars, shattered glass from buildings that were destroyed, and workers struggling to fix the water line and sewage pipe that were damaged in the flooding.

To date, there has been only one confirmed fatality. Maryland National Guardsmen, Sgt. Eddison Hermond, was reported missing after assisting an unidentified woman while dining at La Palapa Grill and Cantina when the flooding began. Earlier today, his body was recovered along the Patapsco River, just over the Baltimore County line, according to multiple sources.

The destruction of the town’s shops leaves several owners debating whether or not reconstruction is worth going through with, considering the short amount of time since the last “thousand year’ flood.

Donations are pouring in to help rebuild the town along with several volunteers willing to help clean up what was left. If you would like to help, donations can be dropped off at the food bank at 9385 Gerwig Lane, Suite J, in Columbia.

If you are a student or alum of Centennial High and have been directly affected by the storms, let us help you share your story by contacting us at chswingspan1718@gmail.com.

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