Tag: Sasha Allen

Centennial Students Commit to Colleges

Words: Sasha Allen

Photos: Eliza Andrew

On November 13, six high-achieving Centennial athletes signed their commitment to their future colleges. Rasa Welsh signed for Campbell University, Lauren Marcotte for Penn State University, Gabrielle Castle-Smith for St. Mary’s College, Ashley Bilger for Frostburg University, Sarah Thorman for Allegheny College, and Zack Steen for Bloomsburg University.

Bilger, a soccer player who will be attending Frostburg for the next four years, found the event extremely sentimental. 

“It was a really special event because it marked the culmination of all of the hard work I’ve done,” Bilger said.

Although Bilger is leaving Centennial, she is excited for the opportunities that lie ahead.

“I’m looking forward to playing a high level of soccer and meeting new teammates.”

The signing was an incredible event for showcasing the athletes’ achievements, and family and friends came to celebrate their students.

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Fall Concert Recap

Words: Thomas Hitt

Band

On Monday, October 14, Centennial kicked off the fall concert cycle with their four band ensembles. 

The jazz band opened the night, performing two upbeat songs that were filled with solos. The first song was Barnburner by Les Hooper and the second song was LaFiesta by Chick Corea. 

After the jazz band finished, Symphonic Band filed onto the stage and played Coast Guards March by Karl King, under the direction of James Kranz, the new addition to the band program. When the first song came to a close, Kranz introduced himself to the audience. He then continued directing Mark Lortz’s The Heart of Madness and Richard Saucedo’s Fanfare for Justice.

The Symphonic Winds took the stage next, playing El Capitan, a John Phillip Sousa march directed by David Matchim, followed by Journey Through Orion by Julie Giroux directed by Kranz. For the last song, Rakes of Mallow by Leroy Anderson, Matchim returned to the podium to conduct.

When the Symphonic Winds exited the stage, the Wind Ensemble entered. They performed three movements of Julie Giroux’s Symphony No. IV: Bookmarks of Japan. The first movement was Fuji-San meaning “Mt. Fuji,” the second was Nihonbashi meaning “Bridge Market,” and the third was Kinryu-zan Sensoji meaning “Thunder Gate.” In addition to normal percussion instruments, the ensemble played taiko drums, a Japanese percussion instrument. 

Words: Emily Hollwedel

Photos: Noorie Kazmi

Orchestra

On the night of Tuesday, October 15, parents and students alike arrived at Centennial to view the fall orchestra concert. It was conducted by orchestra teacher Allen Leung. 

Centennial’s orchestra played a selection comprised of two works: Symphony No. 14 by Robert Schuzman and Symphony No. 21 by Mozart. The concert was well-recieved by both the audience and the students participating. 

“I think the concert went really well,” said violist Praagna Kashyap.

Words: Sasha Allen

Photos: Noorie Kazmi

Choir

On Wednesday, October 16, Centennial’s choir department performed at their annual fall concert. The Chamber Choir sang If Ye Love Me and In His Care-O, Belle Voce sang Down in the River to Pray and Si Me Vers Avaient des Ailes, and Concert Choir sang Festival Cantate and Tunggare.

Rebecca Vanover, the director of the choir department, decided to resume this fall concert tradition this year. Kai Daley, a junior and member of both Belle Voce and Chamber Choir, says that this new concert date took some adjustment.

“I personally felt kind of thrown,” Daley said. “I’m not used to performing fresh out of the gate.” 

Along with a new concert schedule, Daley also had to get used to the new voices around her. 

“It was especially strange for me in Chamber Choir to stand in the same place as last year but to hear some completely different voices around me. The concert did give me a really good feeling about the freshmen and anyone else new to the choir.” 

Despite these new changes, the choir still kept old traditions alive.

“After every concert, we also write post-its of encouragement and what we thought went well, so you always feel like you’re doing a good job,” she said.

Daley is looking forward to the upcoming concert season, and she is already seeing improvement.

“We had a really good sound, and that’s only a month into the school year, so I am really excited to see how the new groups, but particularly Concert Choir, which has the bulk of the new voices, improves.”

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Centennial Students Show Off Their Patriotism

Words: Sasha Allen

Photos: Melissa Notti

On Wednesday, September 25, Centennial students embraced USA day by wearing red, white, and blue. The halls were filled with flags and everything patriotic. Tomorrow is Twin Day where students will match with their friends, showcasing their spirit.

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

Back to School Night

Words: Sasha Allen

Photos: Adithi Soogoor

Back to School Night is full of anxious parents learning about their students’ academic year, but there is more that goes on behind the scenes. While the parents are in their children’s classes, their students have the chance to learn about the dozens of clubs that will operate this year.

The club walkthrough, located in the media center, showcases the clubs’ platforms and achievements on trifold boards to attract new, interested members. 

Caio Goolsby, a senior and member of the It’s Academic team, had an entertaining night at the showcase.

“I love being able to see the great variety… from the Korean club to the engineering club, [this event] shows how diverse the Centennial population is.” 

Aria Ma, the founder of Centennial’s Green Club, takes the opportunity to display her club and introduce new opportunities to new students. 

“[This event] allows freshmen and their parents to learn about opportunities… to engulf themselves in the community, and to meet new people,” Ma said. She enjoys talking about her club to interested freshmen, trying to help them figure out what their interests are for the new school year.

“This event makes me feel welcome… and more a part of Centennial,” freshman Allen Yang commented. Freshmen and seniors alike had an exciting time at the club showcase; either exploring new opportunities at Centennial or showcasing their interests to other eager students.

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Student Exchange Day Highlights Differences in Schools Across County

Words: Sasha Allen and Emily Hollwedel

Photos: Zach Grable

On Wednesday, March 27, six students from Long Reach in the Howard County Student Exchange program visited Centennial to see what it was like to go to a different school.

Overall, the response to the exchange day was positive. “It’s not too different from Long Reach, but it’s very unique,” said Elijah Saunders, a junior at Long Reach. However, Sanders did notice a social difference.

“Everyone [at Centennial] seems to get along with each other pretty well, but at Long Reach people are pretty distant,” said Saunders.

Other Long Reach students saw a different side of the social interaction at Centennial. Jada Sanders, a visiting student, decided to ask James MacLellan, Centennial freshman and her guide for the day, about the rumors she had heard.

“I heard some stuff about how it’s ‘clique-y,’ and I asked [James] if that was true and he said in some ways, yes because people like to stick with their own groups and sometimes don’t talk to other people.”

“Despite what group people associate with, [Long Reach students] talk to other people,” says Sanders. She was excited to participate in the exchange day, and was glad she went. “I wanted to have an open mind and see what you guys did on a daily basis… I heard things [about Centennial] but I went to see for myself what it was.”

The visiting students did come to an agreement on the biggest difference at Centennial, and Long Reach student Sui Cin highlighted this variation between the schools. “The diversity of the school, that is very different. I think that here, it is very distinguished, but if you go to Long Reach it’s so mixed… here you can see [what types of] people go [to Centennial].”

Sanders also seemed to notice this difference. “Looking in most of the classes and in the halls, demographics [are very different than at Long Reach].”

Cin also seemed particularly impressed by the fine arts at Centennial. “This school has many fine arts. I was watching theatre and you guys were so passionate about it.”

Rachel Henry, a senior at Wilde Lake and the creator of the program had the chance to visit Glenelg on Wednesday as well. “The halls are very quiet at Glenelg. You won’t hear chatter…it’s just silent.”

However, she, like the Long Reach students, noticed the difference in diversity.

“[The swap day] was the first time in all of my years of schooling I had a class without any African American people. Though I tried not to notice race as much, it was inevitable.”

On April 3, Centennial students will travel to Long Reach and Glenelg students will go to Wilde Lake. Although all of the students noticed differences between their schools and the exchange school, they were able to come together and share their experiences at the two schools, and students look forward to the next exchange day.

 

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

High School Students to Participate in First Ever Howard County Student Exchange Day

Words: Sasha Allen and Emily Hollwedel

*Editor’s Note: April 1, 2019–This article has been modified to reflect the correct date of the second exchange, April 3. A previous version stated that it was April 4.*

About a year ago, Wilde Lake senior Rachel Henry was going about her usual day when she was struck with an idea.

I originally thought of the differences between specifically Wilde Lake and Glenelg,” Henry shared. “I would sit and look at race, [Free and Reduced Meals], and test score comparisons. They’re so drastically different that I don’t even know how it’s possible with a school only 20 minutes away. I sent an email to a few Board Members, and the principals of both Wilde Lake and Glenelg to see if I could go to Glenelg for a day.”

It wasn’t easy. Henry encountered some difficulties in trying to implement her idea. “It was immediately shot down by my principal, who was supportive but certain it was against policy,” recalled Henry. “A month or so later, I got a call in the front office from Cindy Drummond, advisor of Howard County Association of Student Councils, saying that the board latched on to my idea.”

The idea of the program is simple: students are given the chance to connect with new people and experience different schools in Howard County.

On Wednesday, March 27, participating Wilde Lake students will travel to Glenelg, and Long Reach students will go to Centennial. On April 3, participating Glenelg students will go to Wilde Lake, and Centennial students will go to Long Reach. On the days of the exchanges, the students will attend classes until fifth period, where they will meet with school liaisons and debrief.

Henry highlighted the differences between these schools, specifically between Wilde Lake and Glenelg. “When I see 46% African American, 25% white, and 13% Hispanic, in Wilde Lake’s stats, I think diverse. But when I look at Glenelg’s 76.2% white, and a number over 5% can’t even be conclusive for any other race but Asian, at 11%, I think of segregation.”

Henry is no stranger to being perceived as different from others.

My dad is black and my mom is white, and I honestly don’t know if places other than where I’ve gone are as accepting of that,” she said. “I am also a practicing Jew, so in that aspect I am also different.”

James LeMon, Director of Community, Parent, and School Outreach in Howard County, expressed his excitement for the program to be in place. He was vital in the implementation of Henry’s idea.

“I’m just excited that we are taking a student’s idea and we are going to make it happen,” LeMon stated. “I think it is a great opportunity for the kids to experience a day in the life of a different school, culture, get to meet some other students.”

As for the goals of the program, both Henry and LeMon hope the experience will unify the schools and students.

What I want for students, including myself, is to stop thinking of pre-conceived notions about schools in our own county,” shared Henry. “I go to Glenelg on Wednesday, and to be completely honest, I’m terrified. Four boys got arrested there last year for racist and anti-semitic graffiti. Being mixed, and Jewish, those hate crimes directly pertained to me.”

LeMon had a similar notion about the ideas that students in Howard County have about other schools.

Every school has a different culture, and I think the goal was just to experience the day in the life of another student in Howard County,” said LeMon.

Henry’s ideas are now in effect in not just her own school, but in multiple. She hopes that this can end up being a county-wide opportunity.

This group of 20 students who get to experience another school for the day are going to bring back this information to their schools and spread it,” said Henry. “I just hope lasting impressions are made, and people are truly in this experience to see what it’s like to be at different schools.”

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

Film Club Hosts the First Annual Film Festival

Words: Sasha Allen

Photos: Noorie Kazmi

On Wednesday, March 13, Centennial held its very first film festival hosted by the
Centennial Film Club. All Centennial students were encouraged to submit a short film to be
judged, awarded, and watched at the festival. Summer Shen, the Film Club president, organized the event along with the help of the club members and sponsors.

The film makers all put a lot of thought and time into their unique films, and it showed. Peter Ganunis, a member of the club and a passionate film maker, attended because he wanted to see “what the passionate, young, film makers of Centennial are creating.” Ganunis said that he enjoyed watching all of the unique films and was interested in learning from what techniques and films were used.

There were four films submitted and each of the participants had their films viewed by the audience, received an award, and had the chance to say something about their process. The top two films were “Mirage,” a romance submitted by David Huang, and “Dreams,” a thriller submitted by Carolin Harvey. All of the films were scored based on ideas, execution, originality, camera angles, and sound effects.

“I like making videos and [the festival] was a good way to show what I’ve done” said
Huang.

Shen was delighted by the submissions and turnout. “I wanted to start a small scale festival for beginners so they could feel more included,” said Shen. She is hoping that next year there will be even more submissions from beginners in the school.

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