Category: News

Concerns Arise Over Limited Club Interest in Homecoming Carnival

Words: Caleb McClatchey

As of Thursday afternoon, only 13 clubs had signed up for this year’s Homecoming Carnival. If the unusually low number holds through tomorrow’s registration deadline at 2:10pm, John Sharbaugh, nicknamed the “Carnival King” for his role as the event’s lead organizer, says he would recommend cancelling it.

“Thirteen booths at a carnival is not what we want. We need more for the carnival to be successful,” explained Sharbaugh. While the decision to cancel or proceed with the carnival ultimately lies with the administration, Sharbaugh would advise them to choose the former should the number of clubs remain unchanged through tomorrow’s end of the school day deadline.

Although Sharbaugh emphasized that there is no exact minimum number of clubs needed for the carnival to occur, he did mention that it would be best to have at least twenty booths at the carnival.

In order to sign up for the carnival, club sponsors must complete and submit a fundraising form to Cheryl Beall, Centennial’s bookkeeper, and notify her that they will have a Carnival booth.

As of now, the Homecoming Carnival is scheduled for Saturday, September 28 from 11:00am to 1:00pm. Clubs typically set up their booths and fundraise by offering games or selling food and drinks. According to Beall, around 40 clubs participated in the carnival last year. She estimated that clubs normally fundraise between $50 and $100 each, and around $3,000 total at the carnival. Losing this fundraising source could negatively impact many clubs because, as Sharbaugh pointed out, “the carnival is the main fundraising activity most clubs do all year.”

In past years, the carnival has been held on the Friday afternoon of Homecoming weekend, not Saturday morning as it is this year. According to Sharbaugh, the move came over concerns about the safety and supervision of students between the end of the carnival and the start of the football game. The lack of club interest in the Homecoming Carnival this year might be due, in part, to these scheduling changes.

pb/th

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Howard County Releases Updated Reports on Lead in Water

Words: Delanie Tucker

The Howard County School System has released updates regarding lead levels in the water of schools across the county, including Centennial High School.

Since September 2018, the HCPSS Office of Environment has tested the water in all Howard County schools for lead.

In Centennial’s initial testing, which was done in November 2018, ten water sources tested positive for lead levels above 20 parts per billion (ppb).

The board quickly took action, assessing the problems within the fixtures and deciding how to proceed.

On January 31, 2019, Centennial High School released their first two reports, which laid out the remedial action taken against two of the affected outlets.

An additional six reports were released on March 27.

Of the eight faucets the county fixed to improve the lead levels, four of them were replaced, as the outlet itself was the cause of the lead.

For the other four, more drastic measures were taken, including three being totally removed from the water system in Centennial.

The last outlet was left alone due to the levels dropping to 5.3 ppb and 1.7 ppb in separate additional tests.

The HCPSS Office of Environment is still working to fix the remaining two water outlets, which, as of now, are not in use.

For previous coverage of the lead levels in the water at Centennial High School, click here 

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High School Students to Participate in First Ever Howard County Student Exchange Day

Words: Sasha Allen and Emily Hollwedel

*Editor’s Note: April 1, 2019–This article has been modified to reflect the correct date of the second exchange, April 3. A previous version stated that it was April 4.*

About a year ago, Wilde Lake senior Rachel Henry was going about her usual day when she was struck with an idea.

I originally thought of the differences between specifically Wilde Lake and Glenelg,” Henry shared. “I would sit and look at race, [Free and Reduced Meals], and test score comparisons. They’re so drastically different that I don’t even know how it’s possible with a school only 20 minutes away. I sent an email to a few Board Members, and the principals of both Wilde Lake and Glenelg to see if I could go to Glenelg for a day.”

It wasn’t easy. Henry encountered some difficulties in trying to implement her idea. “It was immediately shot down by my principal, who was supportive but certain it was against policy,” recalled Henry. “A month or so later, I got a call in the front office from Cindy Drummond, advisor of Howard County Association of Student Councils, saying that the board latched on to my idea.”

The idea of the program is simple: students are given the chance to connect with new people and experience different schools in Howard County.

On Wednesday, March 27, participating Wilde Lake students will travel to Glenelg, and Long Reach students will go to Centennial. On April 3, participating Glenelg students will go to Wilde Lake, and Centennial students will go to Long Reach. On the days of the exchanges, the students will attend classes until fifth period, where they will meet with school liaisons and debrief.

Henry highlighted the differences between these schools, specifically between Wilde Lake and Glenelg. “When I see 46% African American, 25% white, and 13% Hispanic, in Wilde Lake’s stats, I think diverse. But when I look at Glenelg’s 76.2% white, and a number over 5% can’t even be conclusive for any other race but Asian, at 11%, I think of segregation.”

Henry is no stranger to being perceived as different from others.

My dad is black and my mom is white, and I honestly don’t know if places other than where I’ve gone are as accepting of that,” she said. “I am also a practicing Jew, so in that aspect I am also different.”

James LeMon, Director of Community, Parent, and School Outreach in Howard County, expressed his excitement for the program to be in place. He was vital in the implementation of Henry’s idea.

“I’m just excited that we are taking a student’s idea and we are going to make it happen,” LeMon stated. “I think it is a great opportunity for the kids to experience a day in the life of a different school, culture, get to meet some other students.”

As for the goals of the program, both Henry and LeMon hope the experience will unify the schools and students.

What I want for students, including myself, is to stop thinking of pre-conceived notions about schools in our own county,” shared Henry. “I go to Glenelg on Wednesday, and to be completely honest, I’m terrified. Four boys got arrested there last year for racist and anti-semitic graffiti. Being mixed, and Jewish, those hate crimes directly pertained to me.”

LeMon had a similar notion about the ideas that students in Howard County have about other schools.

Every school has a different culture, and I think the goal was just to experience the day in the life of another student in Howard County,” said LeMon.

Henry’s ideas are now in effect in not just her own school, but in multiple. She hopes that this can end up being a county-wide opportunity.

This group of 20 students who get to experience another school for the day are going to bring back this information to their schools and spread it,” said Henry. “I just hope lasting impressions are made, and people are truly in this experience to see what it’s like to be at different schools.”

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Sara Duran is Named Centennial’s 2019 Teacher of the Year

Words: Javiera Diaz-Ortiz

Photos: Zach Grable

This morning, Teacher-of-the-Year nominees, along with seniors selected by them, gathered in the staff lounge for the first ever Teacher-of-the-Year Breakfast. At the breakfast, English teacher Sara Duran was named Centennial’s Teacher of the Year for 2019.

Following the announcement, Duran gladly accepted her award and flowers with a smile.

“I feel honored,” said Duran. “I was in shock, and I’m really thankful for the seniors who voted for me.”

Duran is in her seventh year of teaching at Centennial. She has also been the sponsor for Centennial’s National Honor Society, and she is currently an SAT coordinator. Being a multi-level English teacher has allowed Duran to watch some of the seniors grow.

“I do think that this is a phenomenal group of students, and they’re unlike any other class that I’ve taught before them,” Duran claimed. “So, it’s an extra special honor not to just be there as they graduate, but also to be part of their moving-on to the next step of their lives. And I know that they will all be really successful in whatever they do.”

Nominees present at the breakfast expressed their praise for Duran.

“[Duran] is a great person and a great teacher, and I’m happy for her. She’s so deserving,” said teacher of the year nominee Lauren Mancini.

Leading up to her win, Duran overcame some challenges, as all teachers do. She says that she has had to find a balance between rigor and fun, both for her students, and for herself as a teacher.

“That’s something that for me, took a little while to figure out, and weirdly, last year was the year that I was able to get that together,” said Duran.

With her title as Teacher of the Year, Duran will give a speech at graduation this May.

“It’s definitely a privilege, an honor, with this class especially.”

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Centennial’s Future Business Leaders of America Dominate at Regionals

Words: Shawn Kruhm

On January 19, the Future Business Leaders of America Club (FBLA) at Centennial competed in the Regionals Skills Competition. Four Centennial students placed first, four placed second, and 10 are advancing to the State Leadership Conference.

The FBLA is a club in which students compete in various events and attend workshops and field trips to strengthen their skills.

Students participate in conferences of all levels, challenging others in over 60 events. Competitive events include tests taken prior to the conference as well as live performances judged at the conference.

Kenneth Xue, Ryan Yu, Edward Du, Talia Andrews, Abhiram Metuku, Anudeep Metuku, Ashwin Iyer, Ana Cunningham, Anika Huang, and Kiran Vepa all qualified for the State Conference in Portland, Oregon, which will take place April 4-6.

If students perform well enough in the state competition, they will be invited to attend the National Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas from June 29 to July 2.

Ashwin Iyer was one of the few students that placed first in their event. Leading up to the test, he attended several workshops as he trained for his first regional competition.

“For those of us who have written an objective test, we attend workshops given by a large variety of business professionals,” said Iyer. “One of the most interesting workshops this year was given by the Secret Service.”

Iyer attended the regional competition to support his fellow teammates and listen to the results of the test.

As a whole, the team performed exceptionally well. Students of all different ages and skills placed higher than expected.

“I did not think I would get first place, especially in such a competitive category with many competitors,” said Iyer. “Upon hearing that I had indeed won first place, I was overjoyed.”

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Centennial Security Alerts Students and Faculty of Recent Car Break-ins

Words: Delanie Tucker

Centennial’s security staff sent out a warning email to all faculty today, February 15, highlighting the importance of locking car doors during the school day.

According to the email, people of high school age are milling the parking lot looking for unlocked cars.

Student Resource Officer Marc Carneal, said that once an open car is found, the individuals proceed to search through the car, taking any cash they can find.

“They’re not actually breaking windows,” stated Mike Guizzotti, on-site Security Guard. “They’re just going around and trying different [car] doors.”

While no positive identification has been made, a description of the subjects’ car has been released. It has been described as an “older model Toyota Camry, gold in color, missing the passenger front hub cap, sticker on the right side of the trunk,” according to the email.

Carneal advises staff members to “keep an eye out for any suspicious subjects or vehicles in [Centennial’s] lot.”

Guizzotti extended the warning to students as well, notioning that they, too, should be cautious about leaving their cars unlocked.

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Senior Luau: Summer in February?

Words: Madison Baltimore

Photos: Rasa Welsh

On February 7, the annual Senior Luau took place in the cafeteria from 5 to 7pm. A night filled with blue and red slushies, Instagram photoshoots and catered food from Mission BBQ, seniors danced the night away dressed in their favorite Hawaiian clothing. Teachers and junior students volunteered to help hand out drinks and complementary leis and sunglasses.

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