Tag: Natalie Keane

Centennial’s Dance Company Returns With Dancing With the Staff

Words: Sasha Allen & Natalie Keane

Centennial’s annual Dancing With the Staff competition is coming up on Thursday, October 25, at 7pm. This competition will feature 23 daring teachers and staff who are all competing for the title of Centennial Dance Champion. These dedicated competitors are being trained by our talented Dance Company students here at Centennial, and since the beginning of the school year, they have been working hard to blow the audience and judges away with their skillful acts.

Dancing With the Staff began ten years ago as a final project for the Dance Company students, until the fall of 2013, when it turned into a fundraising event to be performed in front of a live audience. Since then, it has been a great way for the Centennial community to come together and support their friends and teachers.

It provides the opportunity for students and staff to switch roles as learners and leaders, and put together a show that’s fun for the whole family,” said Rebecca Clark, dance instructor at Centennial. “The support that the Centennial staff has given to the dancers is heartwarming, and the relationships that have been built through this event are priceless.”

You can come out to support your favorite teachers for only $5 per ticket. Each ticket gives you the ability to cast two votes for the staff member of your choice, and an additional 2 votes can be purchased for just $1.

Make sure to come help your favorite staff members gain the title of Centennial Dance Champion or just to enjoy a fun night full of entertaining acts. Remember, your teachers are working hard to prepare, so be sure to cheer them on!

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

Centennial Celebrates Decades Day

Words: Natalie Keane

Photos: Zach Grable

On Thursday, September 27, students went back to the past for Decades Day, the fourth day of Spirit Week at Centennial.

Spirit Week is coming to a close and Homecoming is almost here, but all throughout the school students showed their spirit with bright colors, patterns, leather jackets, and tie dye t-shirts.

Tomorrow marks the final day of 2018 Spirit Week, Color Day. To show your spirit for Centennial, wear your class color: freshmen wear black, sophomores wear blue, juniors wear white, and seniors wear red.

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

Back to School Night at Centennial

Words: Natalie Keane

Photos: Zach Grable

On the night of September 6, students, teachers, and parents of the community gathered at Centennial High for the school’s annual Back to School Night.

The evening began at 6:00pm as Centennial students celebrated the new school year by hosting a Gallery Walk in the cafeteria, displaying each club that the school has to offer.

In the auditorium, visitors listened to the Centennial PTSA give a presentation on the school’s student capacity, as well as a speech from Centennial’s new principal, Cynthia Dillon.

This event was a great way for everyone in the community to come and enjoy the atmosphere and spirit of Centennial.

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

A Look at the Arts & Entertainment of 2017-2018

Words: Natalie Keane

The year is finally coming to a close, and it’s been hectic, shocking, and beautiful in the world of entertainment. From late-2017 to mid-2018, these are some of the cinematic highlights of the season.

Coco – November 22, 2017

Winning Best Animated Feature Film at the 2018 Oscars, Coco, directed by Lee Unkrich, tells the story of young Miguel, an aspiring musician, who enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great grandfather and lift a curse on music from his family tree. While highlighting beautiful Mexican traditions, this movie tells a story of discovery, family, and courage through stunning Pixar animation.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi – December 15, 2017

Directed by Rian Johnson, the iconic Star Wars saga continues with The Last Jedi. The well-known heroes from The Force Awakens take part in an adventure to fight for the prosperity of the galaxy, while unlocking age-old secrets of the past and shocking revelations from the original Star Wars trilogy.

Lady Bird – February 15, 2018

Directed and written by Greta Gerwig, high-school senior Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson clashes with her similarly strong-willed and opinionated mother, who is working as a nurse to hold her family together as she is now the only source of income for the family. Lady Bird is told that she is ungrateful for what she has, and through her personal journey of self-reflection, this movie touches upon the struggles of leaving adolescence behind and what we truly define as home.

Black Panther – February 16, 2018

This influential black-led major motion picture, directed by Ryan Coogler, dominated in the first quarter of 2018. In total exceeding $1.34 billion at the global box office, in four weeks this movie became the highest grossing Marvel Cinematic Universe movie domestically, second to only The Avengers. This action film, set in the fictional land of Wakanda, still has the power to change the film industry permanently with its diverse cast and powerful storyline.

Love, Simon – March 26, 2018

Based on the 2015 novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, this romantic comedy surrounds the life of high-school senior Simon Spier who wants nothing more than for people to understand him. This movie, directed by Greg Berlanti, marks the first ever major motion picture in history to feature a gay teen protagonist.

A Quiet Place – April 6, 2018

Directed by and featuring John Krasinski, the suspenseful thriller A Quiet Place depicts a family of four as they’re forced to live their lives in complete silence after strange creatures threaten to ruin their lives. This fast-paced and packed movie holds the audience on edge at each moment as you’re taken through this post-apocalyptic world.

Avengers: Infinity War – April 27, 2018

The Avengers series, ten years in the making and an iconic part of Marvel Cinematic Universe, has its most intense and thrilling installment of all with Avengers: Infinity War, directed by siblings Anthony and Joe Russo. To defeat Thanos, the Avengers and their team must sacrifice everything they’ve ever known to protect the well-being of the universe. As of May 27, Infinity War has topped $1.9 billion at the global box office in a span of just over four weeks, making this hit one of the biggest domestic earners in American cinematic history.

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 Mock Trial Team To State Semifinals

Words: Natalie Keane

From Thursday, April 19, to Friday, April 20, Centennial High’s very own Mock Trial team will be attending the Mock Trial State Semifinals in Annapolis, Maryland. They are this year’s county champions, and have previously won both rounds of Circuit Championships against Rockbridge Academy and Marriotts Ridge High School. As circuit champions two years in a row, they now continue their undefeated season this week against teams from across the state.

Centennial’s team is the first Howard County team to advance to the state semifinals in history, which is significant for its members. “Because we’re the first Howard County team to ever advance to [this level], we’re all being exposed to a different environment,” says junior Anjali Gajendiran, who acts as one of the team’s defense attorneys. “It’s definitely daunting; I’m so grateful we have this opportunity.”

“One of the best parts about Centennial moving onto state semifinals is the opportunity to compete against high-level teams, which will be a great experience for us,” says senior Kayleigh Hasson, who is the captain and a defense attorney of the team. “I’m proud to say [that] we’ve had an undefeated season so far, and the experience of winning the state title would be incredible.”

Advancing even further would be an ideal result of the semifinals, but there’s more to the competition than just winning a prize or title. Reaching this far in the competition involves building strengths and learning to work closely together as a team. “I am so proud that our team is one of the top four teams in Maryland,” says Hasson. “We’ve made Howard County history by making it this far!”

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

Centennial Theatre Department Takes the Stage With 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Words: Natalie Keane

During the weekend of March 23, the Centennial High School Theatre Department presented the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee in Centennial’s auditorium.

The musical, packed with fast-paced wit and humor, follows six middle schoolers as they compete to become Putnam County’s next spelling bee champion. As they progress through each round, with each filled with words that sound suspiciously fake, they also come to address their own adolescent insecurities. While the mood of the show remains playful, some moments highlight more serious and heartfelt undertones of the students’ personal lives.

Speller Olive Ostrovsky wants nothing more than validation from her parents, who are too busy to attend the competition to watch her perform. Leaf Coneybear, clad in a bright red cape, is plagued with self-doubt. Despite the constant mockery he hears from his own family, he manages to develop some much-needed self confidence throughout the play.

Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre has two overbearing moms, who are likely more invested in her own victory in the competition than she is. William Barfee is burdened with a chronic sinus condition and a last name that often provokes mispronunciation. Marcy Park describes the struggles of being simply too good at everything, and Chip Tolentino, a boy scout and last year’s spelling bee champion, is forced to come to terms with his own eventual failure in this year’s bee.

To the surprise of many, the show included audience participation. Four members from the audience were invited to be “guest spellers” in the bee, and did their best to spell through the competition on stage alongside the actors and actresses, contributing even more to the humor of the show. Audience participation highlights the uniqueness of the production, because no two performances can be exactly the same.

The true relatability of every character makes the show all the more wonderful to watch. It becomes easy to cheer on the six misfits as they navigate their way through the competition and their own personal struggles.

Altogether, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,  featuring drastically different characters who light up the stage, truly highlights what makes each of us one of a kind. It teaches a much-needed lesson that little victories, even if not intended to be found, can sometimes be worth more than the ones for which we’re really looking.

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