Tag: Delanie Tucker

Merriweather Post Pavilion Collapses

Words: Delanie Tucker

This past weekend, on January 13, the Merriweather Post Pavilion roof collapsed in the early morning.

According to Washington’s Top News, the roof collapsed at around 2:30 on Saturday morning. Thankfully, due to the time of the accident, no one was injured. The pavilion was being raised 20 feet as a part of a renovation but was not completed as originally planned.

After months of the roof being lifted to its anticipated height, it had finally reached the full 20 feet and was very close to being put in its final position.

Although this incident was obviously a major setback in the original plans, a new roof will be built, and the 2018 season will go on as planned.

Seth Hurwitz, a chairman of I.M.P, who is also operator of Merriweather Post Pavilion, told Top News, “Last night, in the middle of our months-long roof raising operation, the winds of fate prevailed and decided that, instead of simply raising the roof, we should go ahead and build a new one… Everything will be ready for season opening.”

Brian Bassett, the Senior Communications Strategist for the Howard County Public School System, is fairly confident in the fact that the pavilion will be up and fixed in no time for graduation.

“We have been in contact with Merriweather Post Pavilion and it does not appear that the roof collapse will impact high school commencement ceremonies. We will continue to stay in contact with Merriweather officials as plans are finalized and the new roof begun,” Bassett said.

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

Celebrating the Final Day of Winter Spirit Week in Style

Photos: Delanie Tucker

Centennial students and staff put on their ugliest sweater for the final day of spirit week.  The halls were filled with excitement for the break and the holidays!

Wingspan wishes everyone a Happy Holiday and a great Winter Break!

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

Girls Basketball Falls to Meade High School

Words and photos: Delanie Tucker

On Wednesday, December 20, 2017 Centennials girls varsity basketball team fell in a close game to Meade High School with a final score of 43-48.

For the entire game the points were coming from both teams at about the same pace, but Meade managed to keep their lead throughout.

Meade maintained their lead by out-scoring Centennial in the first quarter and then focusing on their defense for the rest of the match, closing Centennial down as best they could.

Although Centennial out-scored Meade in the second half of the game, they weren’t able to score enough to take the lead, losing by just five points.

“I think [Centennial] played okay, we didn’t play well in the first quarter and that dug us a hole that we couldn’t get out of for the next three quarters. We out-scored [Meade] over the second, third and fourth quarter,” Robert Slopek, the girls varsity coach, said after being asked what he thought about the outcome, “the first quarter we didn’t come out with the energy we were hoping to come out with and it just dug us a bigger hole than we could manage in this game.”

The result may not have been what they hoped for, but the eagles had multiple plays from both the defense and the offense that had a big impact on the outcome of the game. Additionally, there were also many players that greatly impacted the outcome, players such as sophomore Brook Anderson and junior Chandler Worthy, the two scoring 19 of Centennials 43 points.

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

Breaking: Time Changes for Next School Year Nixed

Words: Delanie Tucker

On December 19, 2017 the Howard County Public School System made their final decision in regards to the opening and closing times of all Howard County schools during the 2018-2019 school year: they will remain the same.

On February 23, 2017, the Board of Education of Howard County released a School Start and Dismissal Time Committee Report which laid out an overview of the process of changing all HCPSS schools. To address the problem of new times, the HCPSS superintendent at the time, Renee Foose, established a School Start and Dismissal Time Committee. They developed a five-phase process to analyze the issue, including multiple opportunities for feedback from the community.

Since then, information has been released that states a meeting held on December 19, 2017 has brought the discussion to an end. The board had made their decision. They have decided that, although there was a lot of effort put into the new models, no change will be made to the schedules. Taking into consideration the impacts of each model, they came to the conclusion that the schools would not benefit from the changes. Instead, it would have majorly increased the amount of money spent on transportation to and from school, adding costs ranging from $6.2 million to $9.1 million per year.

All of the original motions passed that implemented the changes have been rescinded.

According to the February 23, 2017 report, a motion was passed on April 28, 2016 to direct staff to explore models that made it so middle schools and high schools wouldn’t open until after 8:15 AM. At a Board of Education meeting on November 17, 2016 the staff presented four new models for opening and closing times, considering the impact of each. As a result, the staff was directed to move on with stage four, which was to solicit additional stakeholder feedback through community forums and report findings from community forums to the BoE for action. They were also directed to implement an online forum to gather stakeholder feedback regarding the possible models.

The feedback from the community forums was presented to the BoE on January 12, 2017. A Public Hearing was held on February 7, 2017.

Currently, all Howard County schools begin between 7:25 and 9:30. With the high schools being the early birds, most students have to wake up before the sun is even up. In an attempt to  fix the problem, the BoE proposed that high schools would open at 8:30, and the middle schools would follow shortly after at 9:15.

The elementary school times would have been earlier than before. With the model, their school day would have started around 8:15, putting them in a similar situation as the high schools.

As of December 1, 2017, Brian Bassett, a Senior Communication Strategist for HCPSS, stated that nothing had been finalized yet.

“Last year, [The Board of Education] passed a motion that narrowed the school start window from 8:15-9:25 a.m. for next year, but the start times for each level (elementary, middle, and high) have not yet been determined,” Bassett said, “I know that this is something that the Board is still considering and all options are still on the table. Any discussion of the topic will be discussed at a public Board meeting, which has not been scheduled.”

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

You Can’t Read This: It’s Time to Stop Banning Books

The opinions stated in this article do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the Wingspan staff as a whole.

Words: Delanie Tucker

In every county across the globe there are different varieties of books that aren’t allowed in schools, whether it’s for religious reasons or  because that specific county just doesn’t think they’re good for kids. If someone in the school district is persistent enough, they can get basically anything banned, even a book that other people read to their kids, like Harry Potter.

According to Javier Espinosa, The Daily Telegraph’s Educational Editor, one of the more common reasons that Harry Potter was banned is because it promotes witchcraft and the use of black-magic. Additionally, a school in England banned the book because the Bible teaches that wizards exist and that they are very powerful and dangerous.The book was banned so students didn’t get confused when the book talked about witches and wizards as good people, and not as evil beings.

Harry Potter is a common book that kids like to read, at any age. Fantasy worlds build up imagination; that’s the whole point. Counties wanting to ban it just because it portrays witches as possibly being good is pointless. Shouldn’t schools be encouraging their students to learn that there is good in everything, and not that they should automatically assume that something is bad? Board members that don’t like specific books don’t have to go as far as banning their teachers from teaching these books in their classrooms; completely banning the novel from schools is blowing it out of proportion.

Before 2010, the first Harry Potter book was actually taught in Howard County Public Schools as part of its curriculum, but was later taken off. Kristin Shipp, an English teacher at Centennial High School who served on the Textbook Committee, said, “[Harry Potter] did not make it to our official list of ‘anchor texts’ that teachers choose from which was implemented and revised a few years ago.”

So, in short, the book is not banned in our schools, but it is no longer taught in our curriculum.

To Kill A Mockingbird is also a very commonly banned book across the country. The novel is about a young girl’s childhood and how she dealt with growing up in a town full of judgment and stereotypes. When her dad, a high-powered lawyer, is assigned a case defending a black man against an accusation of attempting to rape a white woman, controversy in the town stirs up.

Some schools throughout the country ban it only because of the language the author, Harper Lee, uses, which is reasonable, but some schools have different explanations. Other schools that ban decide to do it simply because it makes their students uncomfortable. If a book teaches a good lesson, which To Kill A Mockingbird does, they should keep it in their curriculum, even if some students don’t enjoy reading it.

Another reason the book is commonly banned, according to history.com, is because of the mention of rape. By high school, teenagers should know and be able to talk about mature subjects. If the book is getting banned just because teenagers aren’t mature enough to read it, there might be some other issues that should be addressed before the actual content of the book. In many schools, students read To Kill a Mockingbird in the 9th grade. This means that most of the readers are between the ages of 14 and 15. By the time they reach high school, most 14-year-olds have covered mature subjects throughout middle school, so talking about rape shouldn’t be too big of a jump.

Considering the things students have access to in their schools, the exposure shouldn’t be a big thing. Kids have had full access to novels and articles containing details about rape, some of which even have their main focus on the topic. In middle schools across Howard County, in which students can be as young as 11 years old, they have a variety of books that in any other county would contradict the decision to ban To Kill A Mockingbird. The titles of these books alone would be enough to send some counties into a frenzy, including Voices of Rape, Drugs and Date Rape, and Everything You Need to Know About Date Rape. If these books are allowed in middle schools, To Kill A Mockingbird should be allowed in high schools.

A couple other books that are commonly banned are Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, most of which are banned due to racial issues. Right along with the others, these books have good messages behind them that high school, or even middle school, students need to read.

In Howard County, these books, apart from Harry Potter, are so largely encouraged to be read that there is a very high chance you’ll have read them for a class by the time you graduate high school.

The banning of these books-and others-should be reconsidered because students can improve greatly in education and maturity after reading them. The students can also pick up a lot of life lessons that they will carry with them for years.

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

Centennial Girls Basketball Triumphs Over Atholton

Words and photos: Delanie Tucker

In their second game of the season, Centennial’s Girls varsity basketball team earned a big win over Atholton with a final score of 55-29.

Although there were many players that had a big impact on the final score, players such as juniors Ashley Molz and Jordan Dossett, were two girls that clearly stood out throughout the match. The two top scorers for the Eagles were sophomores Brook Anderson, number 12, and Rasa Welsh, number 13. Together they scored 34 of Centennial’s points. Welsh finished the game with 14 points and Anderson with 20, 18 of which came from scoring three-pointers.

In what was a close game in the beginning, Centennial came out with a great victory, both their defense and offense showing off their skills, shutting Atholton down as best they could. The team looks forward to their next game and hopes to come out with the same results. The Eagles will play C. Milton Wright High School at Centennial on December 13 at 5:30 PM.

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

Centennial Girls’ Varsity Soccer Defeats Long Reach

Words: Delanie Tucker

On Wednesday October 26, Centennial’s Girls’ Varsity Soccer team took an unexpected win over Long Reach High School. For a majority of the game, possession went back and forth. Though Centennial played well, 2 goals were conceded in the first half. For most of the second half, both teams played their defense to make sure the score stayed, but in the last 7 minutes, Centennial broke down Long Reach’s back line.

After playing most of the game at defense, senior Kelli Dunnagan, was moved up top, quickly scoring Centennials first goal. Shortly after, Dunnagan scored another, putting Centennial back in the game. With their confidence restored, Centennial pushed forward to get a last minute goal from junior Ashley Moltz.

With the excitement of Centennial winning their first round playoff game, the students in the crowd rushed the field, applauding the players in a frenzy. Centennial will play against the Atholton Raiders, on October 31 at Atholton High School.

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