Tag: Ashley Berry

Hallway Pass Enforcement

Words: Ashley Berry

By now, many students have noticed the new enforcement of hall passes by Centennial’s administration. It began with administrators guarding the hallway outside the cafeteria during lunch shifts, and it slowly moved to announcements regarding the requirement of hall passes.

On Monday, February 27, teachers began their hall duty shifts. This means that during every class period for the rest of the school year, there will be teachers stationed in different hallways checking to make sure students are carrying passes with them as they move from place to place. A schedule has been made for the rest of the year, and in order to carry out this plan, teachers must use a Program Implementation Period (PIP) for their hall duty shift five times every four weeks.

There have been many questions and concerns raised by students regarding the sudden enforcement, and some are confused and frustrated. Claire Hafets, the principal at Centennial, would like to address the student body, answering any questions or concerns they have, as well as keeping them informed with the new circumstances and requirements of hall passes.

Students, parents, and faculty members are encouraged to email any questions or concerns regarding the enforcement of hall passes to the administration.

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

(Updated 3/3/2017 @9:21 a.m. to correct the type of period teachers use for hall duty)

Food for the Soul

Words: Ashley Berry

On Friday, February 19, the Delta Scholars held their annual event, Food for the Soul, in celebration of Black History Month from 6 – 8pm. Students and families from around the county came to Centennial to enjoy a diner comprised of various “soul foods.” Along with a dinner, 15 students performed various poems, songs, and dances. Some of the performers were a part of the Delta Scholars, but some were students at Centennial who wanted to take part in the event.

Last year, the Delta Scholars asked students from Mr. O’Brien’s English classes to perform at the event as well. Unfortunately, because of all the snow and canceled school days, his students could not help this year. This gave more students in Delta Scholars, who would not have considered it otherwise, a chance to perform. According to Shalonda Holt, a advisor of the Delta Scholars, approximately 120 people came to Food for the Soul and the Delta Scholars raised around $700.

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

Congratulations to Ms. Holt, Teacher of the Year

Words: Ashley Berry

On February 11, Howard County Public School System announced Shalonda Holt as its 2016 Teacher of the Year. As many Centennial students know, Holt is a biology teacher at Centennial, and a majority of the sophomore class is taught by her. Holt will now serve as the Howard County nominee for the Washington Post Teacher of the Year, and will represent Howard County in the pool for Maryland State Teacher of the Year.

After teaching for nine years, Holt still loves it every day. “I really love working with the students,” said Holt. “One reason that I decided to become a teacher is because I love learning; I love learning from my students.” She even recalled that when she was a little girl, she loved playing “school,” and said, “Now I am fulfilling my dream.”

Along with nine other teachers from around the county, Holt was nominated by other staff members and students. Holt said she was honored to be nominated, and “I just felt incredible knowing that I am able to have an impact on people.”

Although loved by students and faculty alike, Holt was still surprised when she heard that she won. “I was in total shock,” admitted Holt, “I did not think I would win because there are so many incredible teachers in this county who are doing amazing things. I witness this everyday working here at Centennial.”

Stephanie Boisvert, a senior at Centennial who had Holt as her biology teacher her sophomore year and is still close to her today, said, “She has inspired me to reach my full potential. No matter what I’m going through, whether it’s school or my personal life, I always know she is there to help me. I have so much respect for her.”

In an article published by the Howard County Public School System, HCPSS Superintendent Renee Foose commented Holt, along with the Principal of the Year, “are great examples of the character and dedication found in our school system.”

After her initial shock from winning the award, Holt was honored. She said, “This award means so much to be because teaching is my passion; it is my life. I could not imagine doing anything else.”

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

That Was So 2015

Words: Ashley Berry

The year 2015 was a long, crazy year filled with social media madness, terrible clothing trends, and much, much more. Despite this, there were also many great achievements that defined 2015: the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team won the World Cup, and the first woman of color won an Emmy Award for Best Leading Actress (Viola Davis). Hopefully, 2016 will be full of similar achievements, and we can leave the following behind:

  • The Dress

Was it black and blue or gold and white? This silly dress caused as much controversy as that Christmas-less red Starbucks’ cup. The dress actually tore friendships apart because people were so determined they knew which color it really was. Now that it’s 2016, does anyone really care? Probably not, so let’s leave it behind.

  • Netflix and Chill

Thank God for Netflix! Not only does it give us an excuse to procrastinate, but it also gives us a sense of accomplishment when we finish four seasons of a show in one sitting. But now, thanks to 2015 pop culture, there is a stigma associated with the statement, “Let’s watch Netflix,” so can we please leave this concept behind and just get our Netflix binge on?

  • Complicated Bathing Suits

If you try on a bathing suit and can’t figure out where to put your arms, there’s a serious problem. Is it a one-piece or a two-piece? What are all those extra straps for? They may look great on a model in a photo shoot, but who actually wants to spend ten minutes getting into that contraption, and who wants those tan lines?

  • Zayn Leaving One Direction

OMG NO WAY! It happened. One Direction went two different directions and your favorite foreign boy band is forever broken. The four remaining members are on a break, presumably looking for a “new” direction. So, sit back, relax, and take bets on which direction the boys will go. If they return, let’s appreciate that the boys are back and get over it.

  • Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge

Have you seen the pictures? That’s all that needs to be said.

  • Man Buns

Pick up a pair of scissors, cut that mess off of your head, and walk proudly into 2016. You can thank me later!

  • Crocs

I was convinced these were left behind years ago, but somehow Crocs made a surprising comeback in 2015. It’s time we all agree to make 2015’s Crocs comeback a onetime thing, and leave them behind forever. Plastic shoes are bad for our environment and just plain ugly.

  • The Whip and Nae Nae

With every New Year comes a new dance craze that is more ridiculous than the one before and 2015 was no different. The Whip and the Nae Nae took 2015 by storm and its corresponding song “Watch Me” was as annoying as, “What does the Fox Say.” Who would have thought that one song could make pretending to drive a car with one hand and waving like the uptight Queen of England so popular. Inevitably, 2016 will bring with it a new dance craze, so it’s time to stop “hitting the whip”.

  • Hoverboards

Where is the Consumer Product Safety Commission when you need them? Americans want to “hover” like Michael J. Fox in “Back to the Future” so bad that they are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for what is essentially a segway without the handlebars. It doesn’t even hover; it rolls on two wheels. Some models unexpectedly burst into flames. I don’t know about you, but last time I checked, you couldn’t pay me to stand on top of a burning log, so why on earth would anyone pay to do that? Next time you think about riding a hoverboard, ride it straight back to 2015.

  • “Goals”

You have your own life, so please live it and stop focusing on all the unrealistic photos of couples on the Internet. Like most media, the Internet paints an unrealistic picture of life, so the next time you see a photo of the life you think you want, remember it’s probably not realistic and cut yourself some slack.

  • Selfie Stick

How bad is your double chin that you need to mount your $300 phone on a $20 stick just so you can take a post-worthy selfie? Have we become so vain that we insist on using these devices, which are banned in many amusement parks and other populated areas because of the accidents they cause? To be fair, it’s not the selfie stick’s fault, but instead poor choices made by users, like riding a motorcycle or roller coaster and losing your grip. While the concept was unique, user error abounds and we clearly are not intelligent enough to use selfie stick technology.

  • Dying Armpit Hair and Glitter Beards

Were these seriously things? I still can’t wrap my head around it. No, just NO!

  • Eyebrow Game

Stop drawing on your eyebrows and obsessing over whose eyebrows are most “on fleek.” If you are following the trend, the more “on fleek” you think your eyebrows are, the more likely they are not! Eyebrows exist for the sole purpose of keeping sweat from dripping in your eyes. Don’t shave them off, color them in, or use them to make yourself look like a clown. From those of us who have tried not to stare at your crazy, uneven eyebrows, thank you for leaving them behind.

  • Birkenstock Sandals

I get it, you have wide feet and very little fashion sense, but why wear the same shoes as Fred Flintstone? Even Velma and Betty wore something more stylish. So, send those shoes back to Bedrock and find the nearest DSW. They’re all over the place in 2016.

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

Pop Concerts Hit a High Note

Words: Meghan Moore and Sandy Eichhorn

Photos: Ashley Berry

Centennial’s Band Department took the stage on Tuesday, October 12, for its annual Pop Concert. The Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Band, and Wind Ensemble performed a variety of songs with special solos from Michael Martinatis, Michael Delatte, and Ken Chen. Lisa Choi, a renowned flutist in the Wind Ensemble performed a solo, and the Wind Ensemble received a standing ovation.

On Wednesday, October 14, Centennial’s Choir Department performed for the vocal Pop Concert. Concert Choir, Women’s Choir, Madrigals, Acafellas, and C# sang a multitude of songs. Along with the different groups, students could also perform solos, duets, and play music on a guitar or piano.

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

Dancing the Night Away

Words: Ashley Berry

Photos: Hunter Hall

October 6, 2015, seventeen courageous staff members and their talented Senior Company dance partners took the stage in hopes of taking home a first place trophy.

The annual Dancing with the Staff was held in the Centennial Auditorium this past Tuesday. The dance teacher, Rebecca Clark, put on the entire show, and Steven Doff was the MC for the night. Very important judges showed up to chose which team they believed was the best, and therefore, the “judges choice.” The audience also had their chance to vote for their favorite team(s), establishing a first, second, third, and fourth place.

All Senior Company dancers chose a Centennial High School staff member to be their dance partner, and have spent the past few weeks choreographing, memorizing, and practicing a dance unique to them. The teams, in order of performance, were: Kristen Lee and Mrs. Robin Fleegal, Jocelyn Lee and Mr. Allen Leung, Emma Pomeranz and Mrs. Claire Hafets, Teresa Whittemore and Ms. Holly Pasciullo, Grace Dwyer and Mrs. Karen Reynolds, Raymond Wang and Ms. Alexandra Ward, Melissa Nussbaum and Mrs. Elizabeth Engle, Josie Brock and Ms. Kathryn Grimm, Sarah Kim and Ms. Megan Cleveland, Natalia Nagy and Ms. Jessica Hammers, Kennedy Lewis and Mr. Theo Brown, Ashley Xu and Mrs. Yuanjun Liu, Grace Zhang and Ms. Kathryn Carlsen, Gabrielle O’Brien and Mr. Corey O’Brien, Abby Pavuk and Mr. David Matchim, Leaira Reid and Mr. Kevin Dorsey, Shiori Mori and Ms. Erin Fisher.

Lee and Fleegal kicked off the night with a dance to Fall Out Boy’s new song, Immortals, in personalized diamond tee shirts reading “Immortal.” J. Lee and Leung took the stage next with a “fresh” routine to a hip-hop mash-up. Their classic white tee’s and red snapbacks provided them with a great look for their routine. Principle Hafets became “one of the kids” for a night with Pomeranz’s routine to the popular pop song, Shut Up and Dance. Next up were Whittemore and Pasciullo with an upbeat routine that plastered a smile on every audience members face.

Dwyer and Reynolds shook up the competition with an original tap routine to a music mash-up where both Reynolds and Dwyer did a full split, ouch! Wang and Ward made the auditorium bounce with the longest performance of the night. Their hip-hop mash-up made the audience laugh, clap, and cheer as loud as they could, especially when they “whipped” and “nae nae” to the popular song Watch Me. Nussbaum and Engle followed with a dance to Worth It. Engle made a mistake in the beginning of the dance, but made up for it by hitting every other move. Brock and Grimm switched it up with a routine where they did the wave, as well as robotic moves.

Kim and Cleveland hit the mark with their performance to Ghost Town. Their dance brought the competition to a new level with difficult moves and a faster pace. Nagy and Hammers shinned bright on stage in their gold pants during their performance to Can’t Touch This. Lewis and Brown made the crowd cheer for their perfectly in-sync splits and back flips, as well as when they “hit the quan”. Xu and Liu touched the audience with their classic fan dance with beautiful red and yellow fans.

Zhang and Carlsen were in-sync through their entire routine to Dear Future Husband by the popular pop artist, Meghan Trainor. O’Brien and O’Brien, known as Team O’Brien, owned the stage in their Team O’Brien shirts and sparkling gold hats during their dance to Classic. Pavuk and Matchim performed a creative, show-stopping performance to a Britney Spears song mash-up. Reid and Dorsey performed a hip-hop routine where they “hit the whip” and received much praise. Mori and Fisher finished the night with a difficult routine with hat flips and cartwheels that ended with personalized shirts that read “No Treble.”

After a brief intermission where audience members and judges voted for their favorite team, a decision was reached. After a performance by only Senior Dance Company and another with the staff members, results were revealed. Third runner up was Nagy and Hammers; second runner up was Dwyer and Reynolds; first runner up was Mori and Fisher. The Judge’s Choice award went to Pavuk and Matchim, and the 1st Place trophy went to Wang and Ward!

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


A Fantasy or a Dream Come True?

Words: Ashley Berry

Photos: Izzie Chausse

On October 13, 2015, Lisa Choi will set a new precedent for Centennial High School. Choi, a senior at Centennial, is a flutist in the Wind Ensemble. “I am very proud to say that I am from the Centennial Wind Ensemble,” said Choi, but there is no better way to “go out with a bang” than to perform a ten to eleven minute solo for your community.

Choi will be performing Carmen Fantasy by Borne Bizet at the Centennial Wind Ensemble concert, directed by David Matchim. She said, “It is definitely an honor to perform with the best Wind Ensemble in Howard County.”

Matchim, the director of Centennial’s Wind Ensemble, said, “She is an amazing player but she is also a very sweet, funny, humble person. She is incredibly musical and she’s mature beyond her years.”

Growing up, Choi experienced a childhood full of music. At the age of six, she started playing the piano and in fourth grade, she picked up a flute for the first time, unaware of where it would take her. Choi said, “I didn’t know I was going on a musical path until this year. I decided that I am going to practice music [as a career]. I will be studying at a music conservatory [after high school].”

Choi has been studying at Peabody for six years, and she is currently studying under Dr. Rachel Choe at Peabody Preparatory. Peabody Preparatory is a premier community school for the performing arts. “To me, Peabody is my second home,” said Choi, “because of the environment created by people who take music really seriously.”

Formerly, Choi performed as a soloist with the Columbia Orchestra, the Howard County High School GT Orchestra, and the Peabody Youth Wing Orchestra. She has also performed in honor recitals at Peabody Preparatory. ­­Matchim said that at a solo performance in band class last year, “students stood up and clapped for her when she was done.”

In fall of 2014, Choi preformed Carmen Fantasy with the Peabody Youth Wing Orchestra for the first time for a concerto competition where she won first place. She then performed it a second time in a master class at Curtis, a music institute in Philadelphia, this past summer.

Due to her preparation and previous performances, Choi is not too anxious about the performance. “I think [performances for my] private instructor are more nerve-racking [than performances for my peers] because he/she knows what I am actually doing and can be [more] judgmental than my peers,” stated Choi.

“When I first received an email from Mr. Matchim earlier this summer about performing a solo with the wind ensemble, I was shocked. In the history of Centennial no one had had the opportunity to perform as a soloist,” said Choi.

When Matchim decided to have a soloist perform with the band, he knew whom he wanted to pick. “I think she’s very clearly a standout in the group to not just me, but to the students too. She’s going out and performing in other venues with other orchestras and ensembles. I felt that it was only appropriate that she gets the opportunity to do that here,” Matchim said.

Ecstatic to have the solo, Choi is thankful for everyone who has helped her in her path to success. She said, “A lot of people helped me get to where I am now, and it’s impossible to thank them enough for their care and love. I want to thank my parents for everything they have done for me and letting me become who I am now, my teachers who made my musical path possible and gave many opportunities to shine, and I want to thank Mr. Matchim for making this happen.”

The Wind Ensemble concert will be on October 13 at 7:00 p.m. Come to the auditorium at Centennial to support and listen to Lisa Choi, as well as Centennial’s Wind Ensemble.

There are no tickets for this concert, but there is a suggested donation of $5 per person, or $10 per family.


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

How Centennial Students Plan to Spend Their Summer

Words: Ashley Berry

Centennial High School is known to have a very diverse student population. The students that make up the population plan to spend their summers many different ways.

According to The Wingspan’s “What Are Your Plans for the Summer” poll, 25% of Centennial students are planning to spend their summer attending concerts. With a few major concerts venues nearby – Merriweather Post Pavilion, Jiffy Lube Live, Verizon Center, and more – students are exposed to an experience they can’t forget.

Many students also plan to spend their days making a splash at the pool. Whether you choose to lay around on a lawn chair, swim laps, play pool games, or take part in pool-side sports/activities, the pool is a great place to have a great time. You can swim at any of the neighborhood pools – Forest Hill Swim and Tennis Club, Dorsey Hall Pool, and more – or at a friend’s private pool.

Everyone knows that many high school students play sports during the year, but they also choose to spend their summer traveling to games, tournaments, and practices. Competition heats up when the weather does.

A majority of the rest of the student body plans to spend their summers at the beach, on vacation, attending or being a counselor at camp, working, and/or spending time with their friends.

What Are Your Plans for the Summer?- Poll

Words: Ashley Berry

Summer is a time for growth; a time to celebrate that the school year is over. Students spend their summers doing all kinds of different things. With Centennial students’ diverse lives they are bound to celebrate their time off from school differently. Let Wingspan know how you plan to spend your summer by taking our poll.

Link- http://poll.fm/5bb6l