Tag: Paul Didwall

Farewell Letter from the Online Editor-In-Chief

Wingspan Readers,

When I became The Wingspan’s Online Editor-in-Chief, it was based on my vision to grow The Wingspan’s online presence. We live in a world where news is constantly happening, and we want to be able to report that news as soon as possible.

So, to grow that online presence, we considered many various improvements – some of which have been implemented over the past year. On day one of this school year, we collectively made the decision to publish online every school day. Having a goal to publish an new article, or announcement, or article, or story, or slideshow, every day has lead to a new precedent for Wingspan. For the first time ever, The Wingspan has published online content every school day this past year.

Looking back at everything that our team has done this year, and every change to our website, I can not wait to see what lies ahead in the many years to come.

With a cliche feeling of bittersweetness, I will now press the “Publish” button for the last time, and turn The Wingspan’s online responsibility over to next years more than capable Online Editor-In-Chief, Emma Harring.

Thanks for allowing me to bring you the news all year long.

For the last time,
Paul Didwall

Remember to Wear Red On April 10th

Words: Paul Didwall

On April 10, 2013, Centennial High School will be hosting a schoolwide assembly in the CHS auditorium to kick-off the Project Power initiative, designed to build character and respect and to break down barriers between CHS students and the community. The entire concept was generated by the Project Power Committee within the Centennial Student School Improvement Team.

To show school spirit and unity, the students and staff of CHS are asked to wear RED on Wednesday, April 10.

Due to the capacity of the auditorium, two assemblies will be held. There will be a modified schedule on April 10, with an elongated period two. Part of period two will be spent in class, and the other part will be spent at the assembly.

Wednesday’s modified class schedule will be published on chswingspan.com at 7:00 AM on April 10.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Words: Paul Didwall

Photos: Caitlin Maritn

It seems that one of the worst insults to give a production of any type is to comment on how good it was – and then say “for a high school performance.” Fortunately, the Centennial Theater’s production of The Wizard of Oz did not appear as a high school production. The cast alone gave the spring musical a professional appearance, and the intelligently designed sets added the finishing touches.

Of the five public showings of The Wizard of Oz – March 21-23 at 7 PM, March 23 at 2 PM, and March 24 at 3 PM – three were sold out completely.

Upon entering the packed auditorium, the guest were greeted by the incredibly talented pit orchestra. Then when seven o’clock finally arrived, the main lights dimmed once, and the auditorium went dark just a few moments later.

Centennial’s Theatre Department took a different approach to backdrops this time around. In all the previous plays, musicals, and other performances I have seen at CHS, the scenes were decorated by a few generic backdrops that changed a few times throughout the performance. In many cases, these backgrounds were fine, as they applied to the various scenes. The Wizard of Oz had many frequent scene changes, which were dealt with by projecting various backdrops at the back of the stage, as needed. What really set this method over the top was the ability to include a degree of animation in the scenes. A twister actually appeared on the screen, and Dorothy – played by Anne Marie Demme – had the thoughts that occurred during her trip to Munchkinland spiral on the backdrop.

A slightly unexpected addition to the musical was the participation of an actual dog. Honest expectations for Toto were a stuffed animal, so the actual terrier was a nice surprise, and really set the show apart.

Flight has been a theme in previous CHS productions, yet has never appeared to the same caliber as it did in The Wizard of Oz. It is widely known that The Wizard of Oz involves lots of flight, so the theatre department incorporated it. When Glinda, played by Jillian Loeffler, arrived on stage, she was flying – as witches do. The same was true for Sarika Reddy, the West Witch, when she appeared to learn of her sister’s death. The flying entrance of the two witches became the norm through the play, but another flight addition was added later. The flying monkeys also flew on to stage when trying to capture Dorothy.

Overall, the 2013 Spring Musical was possibly one of the best performances I have seen at CHS to date. It is wonderful that the entire theatre department – actors, stage crew, flight crew, a/v crew – always excite and impress the audience with their performances.

CHS Mock Trial Wins Over Mount Hebron

Words: Paul Didwall

On Tuesday, January 29, 2013, Centennial’s Mock Trial team took on Mount Hebron. The team worked together to win their first match by six points, and received high praise from the Judge at the event. Clarissa Santori, Mihir Majumdar, Jake Balcom, Seiam Salehi, Abby Kim, and Ben Goldstein all competed in Tuesday’s winning match. The Mock Trial team will compete again on Thursday, February 7.

Mid-term Bus

Words: Paul Didwall

Mid-terms are fast approaching, which for many students means it is time to break out the books and start reviewing content from the first semester. As in previous years, Centennial organizes after-school mid-term review sessions for interested students. These sessions are taking place this week in the media center between 2:15 and 3:00 PM. The sessions are geared toward freshman, as this is the first time that most of them will be exposed to high-school mid-terms, yet students from other grade levels are able to attend.

What sets this years review sessions apart is the way students will be able to go home after them. In the past, students would walk, wait for parents to pick them up, or ask a friend for a ride. While all of these are still viable options, Centennial is throwing another option in to the mix. An after school “Mid-term bus” will be able to take students home from the review sessions. The bus will operate free of charge for students. With the addition of the mid-term bus as a way for students to get home from review sessions, it is possible that more students will be able to attend the sessions and be better prepared for their mid-terms.

Missing Artwork

Mou PaintingWords: Paul Didwall & Miranda Mason

Photo: Nan Collins (artwork by Morris Mou)

Late last week, a beautiful piece of artwork created by Morris Mou was taken from an art panel in the CHS hallway, according to art teacher Nan Collins. The painting took Mou between two and three weeks to paint and is very valuable to him. He needs this piece for his college portfolio. Any tips are appreciated and can be given to Ms. Nan Collins or emailed to chswingspan@gmail.com.

Collins stated, “I have been here 18-19 years and seldom do we have theft.” Collins believes that the painting will be able to be tracked down through word of mouth. “We have faith that the people in this school will come forward if they know anything.” stated Collins. Her main goal is to get the painting back for Morris, not to punish who took it.

The Centennial Administration is very active in helping find the painting. “We have a continuous stream of surveillance, and I”ll watch it until we find who took it down.” said Collins.

Poetry Out Loud

Words: Miranda Mason

Photos: Paul Didwall

Ellicott City, MD – On Friday, November 30, 2012, the school-wide Poetry Out Loud (POL) competition took place in the CHS auditorium, with senior Sarika Reddy winning first place, Gabe Lewman with second place and Brianna Richardson as the runner-up.

Seven students, who first competed in their English classes, participated in the event: Sarika Reddy, Gabe Lewman, Brianna Richardson, Julia Zhen, Tahiyat Sheikh, Ona Ichoku and Emma Cooley.

Poetry Out Loud is a poetry recitation competition that students nationwide compete in each year. POL is designed to encourage kids to learn about poetry, along with mastering public speaking and building self-confidence, something English teacher Corey O’Brien believes is important.

“It gives students the opportunity to speak in front of their peers in a formal style. They get to choose their own poems, so it means more to them and they can do more with that,” said O’Brien.

For students, this was a chance to showcase their talents in a way that differs from performing in a play or musical. The school-wide POL competition also gives the top two students who participated the chance to move on to the next stage of Poetry Out Loud.

“I’m so excited. We’ve been preparing for this for weeks, and it’s a wonderful opportunity,” said junior Brianna Richardson before she went on stage for the event.

The first and second place winners, Reddy and Lewman, will move on to the county competition. From there, there is a regional and a state competition before the national event. If either Reddy or Lewman wins at the state level, they will receive $200 and a paid trip to Washington D.C., where the national competition is taking place April 28-30, 2013.