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.

The Spectacular Winter Spectacular

Article: Paul Didwall

Photos: Caitlin Martin

Ellicott City, MD – If The Winter Spectacular were a movie, and you were to watch a trailer for it, quotes would sequentially appear on the screen with sayings such as, “10 out of 10,” “Five Stars,” “Centennial Amazes Again,” “There is a reason it is called The Winter SPECTACULAR.” The annual Centennial High School event was held on November 29 and 30 this year, at 7:00 PM in the CHS auditorium. Tickets were $10 a piece and could be purchased at the door or in advance.

Prior to the 7:00 start time, the Madrigals sang the audience in to the room with songs from their repertoire. The show then started off with Santa’s journey to CHS, featuring a comical video of him driving in to the Centennial parking lot blaring holiday music, and then running in to the school getting each performing group ready for the show. Santa, played by Benjamin Evans, and two of his reindeer, Jillian Loeffler and Sarika Reddy, got the performances stared by welcoming the entire cast on stage to perform There’s No Business Like SNOW Business! Santa and his reindeer continued to keep the audience entertained throughout the night with the story of their trip around the globe.

Madrigals then took to the stage to perform Deck the Halls!, and returned at various intervals to wow the audience with more holiday tunes. The Centennial Dance Academy – an after school program for younger dances that was introduced last year – was the second group to take the stage and had a considerable number of performances throughout the night. Each Musical Theater performance was very enthusiastic and well put-together, making it easy to enjoy.

Junior and Senior Dance companies wowed the audience on many occasions including a detailed group performance of The Nutcracker Suite, featuring a solo by senior Madison Croxson. After a few more dances, a phenomenal iteration of Sleigh Ride was performed by the Strings. The show continued on with more dances, musical theater performances, and singing from the Madrigals, as well as more details of the story being told by Santa and the Reindeer.

By this point of The Winter Spectacular, it was time for Jazz Band to take the stage. The Jazz band performed Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas, with flawless vocal accompaniment by Anne Marie Demme. Strings played another great song between the execution of the two Jazz band songs. After the various performances by the various performing arts groups, the entire cast was again brought back in to the auditorium to collectively perform Feliz Navidad. The Band provided the instrumental music, Madrigals and Music Theater sang the lyrics, and dancers filled the auditorium aisles to dance and pass out festive candy canes. The Jazz Band then returned to play the crowd out of the auditorium, with a drum solo from Kevin Lehr.

The night should be considered a success by all involved. Congratulations to the cast and crew of The 2012 Winter Spectacular on a fantastic job.

If you missed the chance to visit this event on Thursday, I would urge you to attend tonight’s (11/30/12) performance at 7:00 PM in the CHS auditorium.

National Day on Writing

Students and Staff alike were greeted by index cards on their windshield after school on October 18, 2012. These index cards were created by the Advanced Composition Class to showcase quotes and support National Writing Day on October 20.

Photo Credit: Paul Didwall

We would love to see the quote from your car. Please e-mail a picture of the quote on your car to chswingspan@gmail.com to see it posted right here on our website. Be sure to include your name.

SAT Changes (Paul Didwall)

On October 6, 2012, many CHS students will be taking the SAT’s at various locations around the county. This date is one of three SAT testing dates this fall, and is likely the most popular with college application deadlines fast approaching. The College Board has recently revised some policies concerning the test that affect every test taker.

The College Board has become much more stringent on valid photo identification being present on the test day. If a test taker does not have a valid photo ID, they can be turned away and will not be allowed to take the test on the respective date.

When registering for to take the SAT, it is now necessary to upload a “passport-style photo” for your admission ticket. The photo must have nobody in it aside from the test taker, and the face can have no obstructions. It is also crucial that all information on the test ticket matches your identification. If leaving the room during the test, the pupil will need to take both their admission ticket and id with them, or they will be unable to re-enter and complete the test.

There is no longer an option to change the test date or location on the day of the test, as there has been prior. This means that when registering for the test, it is necessary more than ever to be sure of availability on the date of the test. Other SAT dates this fall are November 3 and December 1, both being Saturdays. Standard registration dates were October 4 and November 1, respectively.

Be sure to stay tuned to The Wingspan for continued CHS updates. You can bookmark CHSWINGSPAN by pressing ctrl+d (windows) or command+d (mac). You can also follow our updates by clicking the “follow” button in the bottom right of this page. And of course , find us on Facebook and Twitter (@chswingspan).