Tag: Barry Plunkett

Syrian Refugee Clothing Drive

Words: Vaishnavi Mahalingam

From November 30 to December 11, the National Honor Society is holding a Syrian Refugee Clothing Drive. Students may donate new or gently used winter wear, including but not limited to jackets, scarves, gloves, mittens, hats, and boots. If the student includes a note with his or her grade level, he or she can earn points for the grade in Battle of the Classes. People who choose to donate can drop off their items in the bins at the front office or near the side entrance. Additionally, some teachers are offering their students extra credit for donating, and boxes will also be located in these teachers’ rooms.

According to the president of the society, Barry Plunkett, the idea for the clothing drive came from Bridgeway Community Church. Each year, the church holds a gift drive called Angels for Kids. An advocate for the refugees approached the church this year with the idea to direct part of the gift drive towards orphanages in Maryland that support the refugees.  Bridgeway asked the National Honor Society for assistance in gathering the clothing items.

Plunkett is one of the coordinators of the clothing drive at Centennial.  “The Centennial NHS Chapter is well known for its exceptional organization and highly active and committed membership,” he commented, “and…the broader Centennial community has a reputation for generously supporting underprivileged communities.”

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23rd Annual Student Learning Conference

Words: Chy Murali

On April 20, Howard County Public School System’s G/T Education Program and High School G/T Resource Teachers sponsored the 23rd Annual Student Learning Conference (SLC) at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.
The event began with keynote speaker, Terry Eberhardt, the Instructional Facilitator for Music with the Howard County Public School System. Students then attended four 25-minute sessions to hear about the research Howard County high schoolers did on various topics. Following lunch, a fine arts performance showcased many talents of several individuals. Among those from Centennial were Amanda Krew, Stephanie Crispell and Lekha Tantry. 
Junior Hali Kim, a member of the Student Executive Committee, helped in decorating the event. In addition, she also was a MC for the fine arts performance along with Centennial junior Barry Plunkett. Kim has been a part of the GT Intern/Mentor Program for two years and will be interning at the Howard County General Hospital during her senior year. Kim says that the program can be one of the best experiences of high school. “The GT program allows students to pursue or discover what they are truly passionate about.”
Michelle Bagley, the Gifted and Talented Resource Teacher at Centennial, has been a part of the SLC for the past 18 years. Bagley is in charge of the performing arts session and has to help organize the student presenters. Though hectic, she reflects positively upon it. Bagley said, “I enjoy the student comments on their experiences that day.”
Kim says that she is proud that the event was run smoothly, “I did enjoy my day at the conference- mainly because I was proud to see the results of the hours of effort that the SEC and I put in to plan the conference.”
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Young Democrats Hold Their First Meeting

Words: Izzie Chausse

On April 8 at 7 pm, the Centennial’s newly formed Young Democrats club began their first ever event.

The topic of the event was racial bias in the current judiciary system, and Club President Barry Plunkett began the evening with some opening questions for the three event speakers. These speakers included Howard County Police Sergeant Stephanie Wall, Attorney Donna Hill Staton, and defense attorney Charles Fuller.

Each speaker introduced themselves and gave background information that tied themselves to the subject, racial bias. Then these three respectable men and women opened the floor to questions from students, staff, and other members of the community. The Ferguson shooting, discrimination amongst the community towards police officers, and even the recent South Carolina police shooting were a few of the topics touched on by the speakers.

A majority of the audience was Young Democrat board members and other Centennial students, all of whom were very attentive and curious, asking questions that really got the speakers thinking. The turn-out was more than the club had expected, and they even had to add seats!

If you are interested in joining the Young Democrats Club, come out to their next meeting on April 17 after school!

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