Tag: Sasha Allen

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.

Spring Sports Tryouts Overview

Words: Sasha Allen

With tryouts for spring sports quickly approaching, students are finding different ways to prepare for the big day. No matter the sport, there is an enormous amount of preparation that has to be done to make it onto any team.

Patrick Correal-Winters is trying out for outdoor track, and he has a few different training techniques. Correal-Winters trains for tryouts by running, but he alternates between speed and stamina exercises, helping him become faster and allowing him to run for longer periods of time. Correal-Winters says that he enjoys track because of his teammates, and he is eager for the approaching season.

Sophomore Kiran Vepa is trying out for softball this spring. She says that the best way for her to prepare for tryouts is to exercise at the gym once a week and to go to physical therapy two times a week.

“I go to the gym to work on arms to build arm muscles to work on pitching,” said Vepa.

She also runs when she can to stay in shape during the winter. Vepa says that softball is not only a good sport to keep her in shape, but she also enjoys meeting new people from the team.

Sports can be a good release from the stress of the school day, and this prompts many students like Amaiya Brickhouse to try out. Brickhouse is trying out for outdoor track, and her training consists of workouts up to an hour and a half long that help her train for specific events like the 200, 400, and 800 meter-run. Her participation in indoor track this winter has helped her stay in shape for the upcoming season. Although she does work out by herself, Brickhouse says that “working out with other people from the team acts like a good motivator” and can help her stay more focused.

“The environment [of track] is really positive,” says Brickhouse. “[Track] is one of the best parts of my high school experience.”

Trying out for sports can be stressful, but hard work and a lot of preparation can help students feel more confident. Playing a sport has many benefits that many overlook, but preparing well can help raise a student’s chances of making the team.

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

Centennial Girls’ Varsity Basketball Faces Devastating Loss Against Marriotts Ridge

Words: Sasha Allen

Photos: Adithi Soogoor

On Wednesday, January 9, the girls’ Varsity basketball team played a tense game against Marriotts Ridge, losing by a final score of 48-36.

The first quarter started out slow, with both teams keeping up strong defense. With just over five minutes left in the quarter senior, Jordan Dossett scored the Eagles their first basket of the game. However, in less than thirty seconds, the Mustangs came back to score a basket, leaving them with a slight edge against the Eagles for the first quarter.

In a stressful second quarter, Marriotts Ridge barely held their lead in the game due to Centennial’s strong defensive play. The quarter ended with a score of 22-17, giving Marriotts Ridge a five-point lead.

The Eagles desperately tried to make up the points that they had lost, but by the middle of the third quarter, the Mustangs had a six-point lead and were not backing down. The Eagles tried to bring the score up ending the quarter at 34-29, slightly in favor of the Mustangs.

In a last attempt to bring back the game after ending the third quarter, the Eagles pushed to stay on the offense. With only five minutes left and a score of 38-30, the Eagles called a last-minute timeout in a tense moment to motivate the team. After the timeout, both teams surged with a last burst of energy, and with just over a minute left in the game the Eagles scored their last point.

The Mustangs’ offense was no match for the Eagles as they went on to score four more points, winning 48-36.

The Eagles play their next game on Friday, January 11 against Glenelg.]

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

Behind the Curtain: The Unseen Stars of the Show

Words: Sasha Allen

People go to plays to watch the onstage action, but they don’t always appreciate or even know about how much effort goes on behind the scenes. Lights, sound, sets, props, and costumes wouldn’t be a part of a play without one specific group of people: the tech crew. Without these crucial members of the show who make sure that the whole production runs smoothly, productions of plays and musicals would be less enjoyable for the audience. With this year’s production of Clue coming up, both actors and tech crew are getting ready for an exciting play.

The members of tech crew for Centennial’s production of Clue have started working already, meeting about every other week. About two weeks before the date of the play, they start meeting every day up to opening night on November 15, to assure the play runs as planned.

Tech crew is a huge commitment, and the members are working hard to get ready. Stage manager Emily Dahlgren said that the crew is busy organizing the props and the set to allow for steady scene changes. The crew also went through the script and figured out what props are needed for which scene. This, however, is not easy, and it takes a lot of research because the props need to look a certain way to reflect the setting and era of the play. “For this show specifically, the props are all very intricate,” said Dahlgren. “The main prop pieces are the weapons found in the actual game, and we’re trying to make them as close to the real game as possible.”

Dahlgren is in charge of overseeing each aspect behind the scenes to make sure everything is in order. She has been a part of theater before she started high school, but to her, it is more than just a commitment. She loves watching two different aspects of the show come together after so much hard work.

Dahlgren puts a huge amount of her time into theater, from the first rehearsals to the last show. She attends every rehearsal for the actors, every set build, and every technical rehearsal to check that everyone and everything is in the right place.

While most of the members have a specialized job, working on sound, set, lighting, or props and costumes, Dahlgren oversees all of that and more. She helps build sets, organize the props, and manages what goes on behind the scenes. The crew has a huge amount of respect for her and everything she does.

During the show, the cast doesn’t get a break. “A lot of theater is thinking on your feet,” said Dahlgren. But she isn’t just talking about the actors. There is a lot of preparation, and on the night of the show each tech crew member has to be at a certain place at a certain time, much like acting.

Kai Daley, an actor in the upcoming show, appreciates all of the hard work that the crew puts in. She says that they will help an actor whenever they need it by fixing a mic or trading in a prop, and she believes that they deserve more attention for all of the work that they put in.

“Tech crew is the last thing that brings a show together and makes it believable to the audience,” said Daley. “Nothing would be the same without [them].”

Everyone who is a part of the Clue production puts in so much time and effort whether they are an actor or a part of the crew, and they all care about making the production reach its full potential. Even though they all have different jobs, everyone who is a part of theater has one thing in common: their passion for what they are doing and the work they put in.

Clue will be running here at Centennial from November 15-17 at 7pm and on November 18 at 2pm. The tickets can be purchased for $12 online or $15 at the door. Be sure to come out and support the whole Centennial theater program!

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

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.