Tag: Natalie Keane

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.

Aquila Announces Their Upcoming Coffeehouse

Words: Natalie Keane

Aquila, Centennial’s Literary Magazine, is holding a coffeehouse in the school’s cafeteria on Friday, February 23, from 2:30 to 4:30. The event will feature musical performances from Centennial’s student community. The admission is $5 per person, and all money received is put towards the production of the magazine. Food and drinks will be provided.

Final submissions to Aquila are due on Friday, February 9. Art, writing, and photography can be submitted; writing pieces must not exceed 2,000 words.

To enter your pieces for review, the submission page can be accessed through the magazine’s website, centennialaquila.weebly.com. You may submit as many pieces as you want for review to be in the print magazine.

If your submission is accepted, you will receive a free copy of the magazine issue with your piece featured in it. For any questions, please contact Ms. Mancini in Room 203.

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

‘The Post’ Review: A Perfectly Timed Retelling

Words: Natalie Keane

Releasing in theatres on January 12, The Post, directed by Steven Spielberg, tells the true story of Washington Post journalists in 1971, in the midst of the Vietnam War. The film portrays their efforts in publishing the Pentagon Papers to expose private information about America’s involvement in the Vietnam War, a topic that the Nixon administration had been hiding from America for almost two decades since the war had begun.

The movie focuses on the story of Katharine Graham, played by Meryl Streep, who is the lead publisher of the Washington Post and the first woman to be the publisher of a major American newspaper. For the Pentagon Papers to be published, she and editor Ben Bradlee, played by Tom Hanks, must gain on The New York Times as both papers strive to publicize strictly classified documents that the American government had been hiding for years. Doing this means risking their jobs, their company, and even their own freedom, to bring the truth to light.

The message of the film can significantly be related to current events, despite the event happening almost 50 years ago. It’s about the importance of the First Amendment, and the ongoing battle over how much power the government truly has over the media. This movie emphasizes that the press exists not to serve the government, but to serve those who live under it. And as it’s proven, democracy cannot exist without freedom of the press.

It relates to the conversation happening all across the country today, about the president himself being able to control or filter what is put into journalistic media. Whether it be television, radio, print, or even the internet, doing so would conflict with the powers that are given to him in the Constitution. This movie shows that it’s the responsibility of media and news sources to reveal matters like this to the public eye, and in our world today, this film stands as a reminder of how vital, and valuable, the truth can be.

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

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

Wonder Movie Review

Words: Natalie Keane

Based on the bestselling novel by R. J. Palacio, the movie Wonder hit theaters on November 17, sharing a message of complete authenticity to viewers. For a movie seemingly aimed at kids, Wonder does an unusually good job of bringing depth and underlying wisdom to the screen, while still being clear enough for younger viewers. With important life lessons threaded through each individual character’s story, it surprisingly could appeal to not just the movie’s aimed demographic of kids, but to much older people as well.

Thankfully, the movie proved to be a near exact replica of the book, and it was a relief to know that the author of the book had a large part in producing the on-screen adaptation. Just as the book is written, the movie begins showing the seemingly minor life of a kid who desperately wants to fit in, but then expands into a movie about community, kindness, and how the decisions we make can affect people in ways we don’t know.

The message of Wonder is clear. The year-long story surrounds 10-year-old Auggie Pullman, who has a facial deformity and is going to public school for the first time. As he navigates through the fifth grade, we watch his character as well as many of the other children at his school go from being closed off and unwilling to accept change to people who work to see beyond their own differences and connect with each other. The movie starts off in Auggie’s point of view, but as the story progresses, the perspectives switch between each of the characters and their stories relative to Auggie’s. Through these differing perspectives from the same year, director Stephen Chbosky doesn’t fail to bring a sense of warmth and genuineness to the screen.

It is often forgotten that sometimes there can be more to a movie than just the entertaining aspect, and Wonder represents this perfectly. Once you dig down to the very roots of why this story was made, you find that there is so much more than what this film seems to be on the surface. It is a lesson that so many people have difficulty learning, which is a lesson of hardship, acceptance, and ultimately, how the choices we make show who we truly are, not anything else.

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

Centennial’s Nutcracker Production

Photos: Camryn Desai / Words: Natalie Keane

On the nights of November 30 and December 1, the seats of Centennial’s auditorium were filled for the dance department’s production of The Nutcracker. When the orchestra began to play and the curtains opened, the show immediately captured the attention of everyone.

The production featured amazing choreography, and it also showcased music from members of Centennial’s orchestra, wind ensemble, and choir groups Bella Voce and Madrigals. Each part of the show fit together perfectly, and it made the performance a memorable experience to watch. The music was performed flawlessly and it was what told the story of The Nutcracker. It brought the characters to life, making the audience even more drawn to the show’s message.

The hard work and effort that was put into this production in every aspect, whether it be through dance or music, was apparent, and each dancer on stage showed a tremendous amount of dedication to their roles. The energy that the performers put into The Nutcracker over the past few months really showed through their enthusiasm on stage, and the amazing performances from the dance and music departments definitely made this show a success.

 

 

 

 

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Stranger Things Season Two Review

Words: Natalie Keane

As the end of October rolled around, season two of Netflix’s hit show Stranger Things was released, giving its millions of fans a look at the new problems arising in the fictional small town of Hawkins, Indiana. The story of the second season is now set during Halloween of 1984, one year after the disappearance of Will Byers. We get to see the familiar adventure of Byers and his friends, as they are determined to uncover the supernatural element they believe to be underneath their town. Last season was simply an introduction to the Upside Down. Now, the characters are working to rescue Byers from an even bigger entity that threatens to change the course of all of their lives, while also trying their hardest to convince everyone else that there is a problem.

While new characters are introduced at the start, unlikely heroes are revealed as the season progresses. Old characters show development we never expected, and most everyone agrees that the new characters prove to make season two better than season one.

“I’d have to say my favorite part is the characters,” said Emily Hollwedel, a freshman at Centennial, who has been a fan of the show since season one, “when I watch the characters build relationships with each other, it helps develop their personalities and even change their view of their world for the better.”

The unusual cross of fantasy and horror mixed with 80s nostalgia is something that many people love most about the show, and there is no doubt that the familiar feeling of excitement and thrill in season one carries directly into season two. Stranger Things is a rare example of a show that takes the best qualities of classic 80s films, such as E.T, Aliens, Jurassic Park, and more, and combines them into one universe for old and young fans alike to enjoy.

“The mix of 80s nostalgia with the already fascinating plot is an easy pull for all sorts of people to enjoy the show,” Hollwedel said. “The [feeling] of childhood and a whole life ahead brings adults and kids together to enjoy a show that appeals to people of all ages.”

As Stranger Things’ sophomore season comes to a close, there is no indication that the characters we’ve come to love are disappearing any time soon. With their biggest trial yet to be faced, the show’s final two seasons have the potential to reveal even more secrets, and set the story up for its ultimate climax.

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