Category: News

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.

Centennial Paints Out the Competition

Words: Natalie Keane / Photos by: Nan Collins

The Centennial art department continues to make great strides in the art community. The achievements have all been won by student artists, and their entries into these contests showcase significantly what Centennial’s art program is capable of.

In April, junior Katie Harris, enrolled in Art III AP, won first prize in the 2018 Elijah Cummings Congressional Art Competition with her charcoal piece Self Portrait With Pashmina. She is one of eight student artists in the state who received first place in this Congressional Art Competition. Harris’s artwork will be displayed in the tunnels under the US Capitol Building in Washington DC for the following year.

Senior Abbigail Hong, enrolled in Photo III AP, recently took home the curator award from the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture through her photograph titled Uber Street.

In addition, junior Bingbing Chang won first place in the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Historical Society Art Contest. Her winning artwork will be featured on the back cover of the Historical Society’s quarterly magazine, and she will receive a 1-year student membership to the society.

“It’s not something I expect every year,” Nan Collins said, who is one of three art teachers at Centennial. “We have very dedicated students who are serious about their art, and who work very hard to improve their skills.  They are learning from each other, open to critique, [and] eager to improve as artists.”

The marks that these students have made upon these events have shown their own hard work and persistence out of hundreds of pieces that are considered for these places every year. The students who received these significant awards represented Centennial with pride and dedication to their art, and will continue to make the Centennial community proud.

“The precedent was set 40 years ago,” Collins said. “The Commitment to Excellence is no mere slogan. The students in all subjects excel and strive to achieve. I am confident that our art students will continue to make exceptional artworks, and will make the school proud.”

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

Centennial’s STEM Successes Recognized at Celebration of Excellence

Words: Maggie Ju / Photos: Piper Berry

The Celebration of Excellence for Intern-Mentor and Independent Research students was held on Wednesday, May 2, in the Centennial cafeteria. Complex, intriguing projects that showcased the accomplishments of Centennial students were displayed.

This is the last year of teaching for Ms. Michelle Bagley, the supervisor for the two G/T programs. Students presented her with flowers and personalized notes.

“I treat each one of them as unique individuals,” said Ms. Bagley. “It was wonderful to hear them speak about my impact on their lives.”

Throughout the programs, many students participated in various science competitions, and their successes throughout the year were acknowledged at the celebration.

In the Regeneron Science Talent Search, a prestigious national STEM competition, three Centennial seniors received awards: finalist Chy Murali and semifinalists Katie Gao and Swadhin Nalubola.

“In layman’s terms, I look for patterns in datasets and try to predict a gene’s significance on different types of cancer,” Gao said. She intends to explore biomedical research beyond her undergraduate years.

Despite “talent” being in the name of the competition, Gao does not view the key to success as such. She said, “It doesn’t take some unattainable magical quality to do good research. What you do need, however, is a nurturing mentor, lots of hard work, and a little luck.”

Nicole Meister, another high-achieving senior, is no stranger to recognition for her scientific achievements. Recently, she was a finalist in the Maryland Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.

My project was focused on improving the accuracy of a neural network that could classify features in X-ray scattering images,” she said. “I’m passionate about computer science and research because I feel I can make a difference with my work and improve the lives of others.”

Of all the opinions of the night, none were as important as Ms. Bagley’s. Thirty-eight years of fostering bright minds culminated in the last celebration of her students’ hard work.

“The evening was wonderful,” she declared.

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

Centennial’s It’s Academic Team Wins 7th in the Nation

Words: Hibah Khan / Photos: Caio Goolsby

The Centennial “A” JV It’s Academic team was ranked 7th in the nation at the History Bowl on April 28th from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. in Crystal City, VA. Three It’s Academic JV teams and one Varsity team qualified for the National Tournament. The “A” JV team is comprised of captain sophomore Adam Knox, sophomore Tobias Moser, sophomore Caio Goolsby, and freshman Anthony Duan.

The competitions, though fun and exciting, progressively became more difficult. Goolsby explained, “While most of the games were easy victories, as the day wore on, we faced harder and harder teams and we had many close games. In fact, during the decider match, we lost the game by one question.”

Regardless of their loss, the team had another game the next morning, which only Duan attended. Duan managed to single-handedly crush the opposing team to secure 7th in the nation for the team. In addition, Duan won 4th in the nation for the individual competition. The team’s members are appreciative of the amazing efforts of Dr. and Mrs. Seifter, their coaches, who have been a key aspect of the outstanding success of the It’s Academic team.

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

Centennial’s Wind Ensemble Makes History: First HCPSS School to be Accepted to Midwest Clinic

Words: Natalie Knight-Griffin

On April 4, 2018, Centennial’s band director, David Matchim, announced to Centennial’s Wind Ensemble members that they made it into The Midwest Clinic. The Midwest Clinic is an annual conference taking place from December 19 to 22, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. It is a highly selective and prestigious music conference in which only five high schools from across the nation are selected to compete. Centennial is the first Howard County school to have ever made it into the clinic, as well as the fourth school in Maryland since 1973.

“The Midwest Clinic is the largest instrumental music education conference of its kind and we will be performing for an audience of the best musicians and educators in the world,” said Matchim. “It’s a sign that a lot of things are going right.”

At the December conference, Wind Ensemble will be performing a piece titled “Harrison’s Dream” by Peter Graham, which they having been practicing since the beginning of the school year and played at their adjudication in March. The piece won the band a series of ones from the judges, the highest score a band can achieve, meaning “exemplary.” Harrison’s dream is a dramatic, 15 minute long musical depiction of the sea, both at a calming and rigid state.

“It’s incredibly challenging both technically and artistically,” detailed Matchim. “It’s definitely the most challenging piece that we have ever performed.”

When the news of the band’s acceptance was announced to Matchim’s third period class, the room erupted into screaming, tears, and laughter. Matchim videotaped the reactions and posted the video to Twitter, describing the feeling as overwhelming pride and gratitude. The students will be practicing for the next several months in preparation for their performance at the conference, their acceptance made possible by the hard-working students, supportive community members, and director David Matchim.

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