Tag: Wilde Lake High School

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.

CHS Faculty Unite In Support of Fallen Wilde Lake Teacher

Words: Natalie Knight-Griffin

Wilde Lake High School is grieving after the death of loved social studies teacher Laura Wallen, and Centennial, along with other Howard County schools, has aligned in support of Wilde Lake during their time of need.

Centennial teachers and administrators have collected money to go toward a breakfast for the Wilde Lake staff. Carole Sormanti and Cheryll Beall are two staff members directly involved in assembling the money and purchasing the breakfast items to send to Wilde Lake.

Many teachers at Centennial have stepped up, offering to contribute toward the efforts to console Wilde Lake, both indirectly and directly.

“All that matters is that we do something, to show love and support,” stated ninth grade guidance counselor Irene Khaksari. “It’s a great school. Anything we can do to help one of our sister schools, we will.”

Khaksari knew Wallen, due to having worked beside her at Wilde Lake early in her teaching career. Wallen was a cheerleading coach at Wilde Lake and at one point, Centennial; many members of Centennial staff knew her personally, specifically how incredible of a woman and teacher she was.

Centennial athletics are showing the true spirit of sportsmanship when playing Wilde Lake. Girls soccer wore green ribbons in their hair on Tuesday’s game against Wilde Lake, and a moment of silence was taken during the boys soccer game. Long Reach High School had a moment of silence at their football game against Wilde Lake, as well as a donation from staff for a breakfast.

Wallen, only 31, was pregnant when her boyfriend Tyler Tessier allegedly killed her. He has been charged with her death.

Students and fellow staff at Wilde Lake loved Wallen intensely. She was voted teacher of the year in 2016, students competed to be her aide, and she made jewelry for anyone who asked. Wearing Wallen’s jewelry had become a trend around the school. Her funny, creative teaching style and effortless charm made her an incredible teacher and amazing person.

Ms. Laura Wallen will be missed by all, and each school is grieving for her loss in its own way.

Photo credit: Facebook

HCPSS, McDaniel Announce Inaugural T4T Scholarship Recipients

Words and Photos: Sabrina Han

IMG_2085

On Wednesday, May 4, the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) and McDaniel College joined together to acknowledge the inaugural group of recipients of the Teachers for Tomorrow (T4T) scholarship.
The cohort of recipients, comprising six male and five female HCPSS students and representing six Howard County schools, was a very diverse and academically successful group.

Before introducing the recipients, Dr. Roger Casey, President of McDaniel College, shared a long list of achievements included in the resumes of these 11 students.

The students were born in six different countries and are fluent in a combined total of six languages – not including English. Additionally, the students represented multiple sports teams, honor societies, clubs, student governments, and more.

“One day, these students are going to help us change tomorrow,” Dr. Renee Foose, Superintendent of Howard County Schools said.

The recipients of the 2016 T4T Scholarship are Nicolette Brookman (Hammond); Austin Metzler (Howard); Dorothee Cadet (Long Reach); Lucero Espinal and Kevin Rockwell (Oakland Mills); Ricardo Loyola, Irma Murhutta, Kory Williams, and Moises Zelaya Caceres (Reservoir); and Philip Bonsu and Daniela Yacobucci Lapaitis (Wilde Lake).

T4T is a program that was developed with the goal of increasing diversity and opportunity within the teaching workforce. In spring of 2015, Foose approached Casey with the idea for this program.

The T4T scholarship program provides 11 Howard County students with a 4-year education at McDaniel College, fully paid for by HCPSS, McDaniel College, and various sponsors, specifically the Kahlert Foundation.

The selected students will receive a free education, with an agreement with HCPSS that, immediately following their graduation in 4 years, they will return to HCPSS to work for a minimum of 3 years.

Candidates for the program had certain requirements they had to meet. The intended group was full of academically successful students with limited resources. All applicants were required to qualify for the Free and Reduced Price Meals Program, as well as a certain academic criteria. Additionally, the recipients applied and were accepted into McDaniel College before being awarded the scholarship.

Forty HCPSS students applied to the T4T program and were accepted into McDaniel College. From that group, 20 were invited to partake in an interview process for selection. In April 2016, 11 students were notified of their success in obtaining the scholarship.

While studying at McDaniel, recipients will be required to maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.75. In addition, they must graduate in four years. Students will have the option to pursue a degree in any subject they choose, but are required to obtain at least a minor in education, and serve as a student teacher.

The goal of the program is to provide every available opportunity for students and open up new ones for students with limited resources.

Karalee Turner-Little, the Coordinator of HCPSS Systemic Initiatives, stated that this was one of the main reasons that the partnership with McDaniel College is so advantageous.

“McDaniel shares our philosophy about really supporting kids individually… [they] ensure that every student has what they need,” she said. “They were really a great match for this kind of partnership.”

Casey stated that he felt this program was a “great vision.” During the ceremony, he took time to congratulate the students and acknowledge the great achievement that winning this scholarship was.

“We had remarkable interest in this program…you should be very proud that you are the first group of people who have been chosen,” he said. “You are a great group of young people.”

During the ceremony, Cadet, a senior at Long Reach, addressed the group and shared who she was and what the scholarship meant to her.

While interviewing before she was chosen for the scholarship, Cadet shared that she feels she is called to serve through teaching.

“I am a proud Haitian and American who seeks to make a difference within her community and her countries,” Cadet said. She also shared her belief that it is “important to be passion driven when going after what you want.”

Cadet shared that she believes T4T will have a positive impact on her future.

“T4T has allowed me an opportunity to build a strong and stable future,” she said.

In addition to Cadet, Loyola, from Reservoir, had a chance to speak to the group about his personal experience, and what the program means to him. Loyola will be the first in his family to attend college, a goal of his since he was young.

“As a child, college was always a dream of mine. As I grew up, I saw [that] my opportunities to further my education declined as my knowledge of the college expense increased,” he said.

Loyola was informed about the T4T scholarship opportunity by his school counselor, and felt that it was the best way for him to obtain his long-time dream. Now, he looks to create a tradition that he hopes his younger brothers will follow.

“I’ll be showing them that hard work really does pay off,” he said.

To Bonsu, a senior at Wilde Lake, this scholarship means everything.

“We [my family] came from Ghana and we really didn’t have that much. And then to receive this opportunity is one of the best moments of my life right now,” he said.

The idea of becoming a teacher is new to Bonsu, but he is looking forward to being able to give back to the community using this opportunity.

“It’s kind of new to me right now, but when I really thought about it, I was like ‘You know, I can do this,’” he said. “I can actually help people out, like future students.”

Though teaching may not have been Bonsu’s original plan, he is extremely grateful for the opportunity he has been given, and looks to make the best of it.

“I’m glad I received it, and I really want to help out [in the future] with HCPSS,” he said.

The students themselves are not the only ones affected by this opportunity. One mother had the chance to share just how deeply this opportunity has affected her, her child, and their family.

Tanisha Rowe, mother of Kory Williams, who also attends Reservoir, shared with the group what the scholarship means to her and her family. In addition to sharing Williams’ story, and the hardships he has overcome, she spoke about how proud she was of her son, and how deeply the scholarship opportunity has affected their family.

“I [told] Corey from the time he was about three or four – he was destined for greatness,” she said. “You can see what a proud Mom I am…I set the tone, he followed. And he didn’t have to.”

Additionally, Rowe took time to acknowledge the success of her son, and the initiative he has taken in his endeavors.

“Everything you’ve seen from him – the words that he’s written for his opening speeches – are all Kory. We are extremely proud of him,” she said.

Both HCPSS and McDaniel College look forward to many more celebrations of this type to come.

“We definitely look to continue this every year,” Turner-Little said. “This is a huge endeavor for HCPSS and McDaniel College, and it will take a lot of people’s efforts and financial resources and commitment, but we do hope to have scholarship recipients every year.”

Aside from being a huge opportunity for a free education, this program provides a chance for Howard County students to give back to the school system they were brought up in, and have an effect on the futures of many students.

“Today we are beginning the first day to changing what tomorrow looks like,” Foose stated. “It’s normally a sad time when we see students leaving…but this isn’t such a sad day; this is a happy day because I’m going to see them back here in just a few years working for us in our classrooms, making a difference.”

For more information about the T4T scholarship program, contact your school principal or guidance counselor, and visit the HCPSS (www.hcpss.org) and/or McDaniel College (www.mcdaniel.edu) websites.

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

Eagle’s Volleyball Faced Off Against the Wildecats

The Eagle’s volleyball team faced off against the Wildecats at Wilde Lake High School on September 24, 2013.  After an intense match that went to five sets, the Eagles lost two sets to three against Wilde Lake.

Wilde Lake started the match out strong in the first set and gained an early lead. The Eagles managed to tie the set at 19-all, but came up short, losing the set 25-21.

Centennial took the lead in the second set and kept it through most of the set. At 23-19, a yellow card was given to the Wilde Lake coach who argued a point too far with the referees, giving Centennial a point. Camryn Allen served the final serve of the set, the ball came back over, and Meghan Kelley won the set point with a tip over the block.

The third set went to the Eagles, as well, with Allen serving out the final points. The fourth set started with Centennial up two games to one. However, the momentum shifted, and Wilde Lake took the third set in a close game. The Eagles started out in the lead during the third set, but the Wildecats were able to tie it at 17 points. Wilde Lake then gained a lead, and the Eagles’ efforts were not quite enough to catch up. The fourth set went to Wilde Lake, 25-22.

The Eagles started with the ball during the tie breaker. They won the first point and then lost the second rally.  The serve went to Wilde Lake who then took the lead, and the Eagles were not able to take it back before Wilde Lake scored the fifteenth, final point of the game. They lost the set 15-9 points, and the match 3-2.

The Centennial volleyball team is now 2-3 and will play Oakland Mills at Centennial High School on Thursday.

Eagles Field Hockey Wins Big

Words: Mike Moore

On Friday, September 20th, the Centennial field hockey team hosted the Wilde Lake Wildecats. The Eagles came away victorious with a 8-0 win.

It didn’t take long for the Eagles to get the scoring going, with Kathryn Peterson getting a goal less than 10 minutes into the game. The game only got better from there for the Eagles when a shot went off the Wilde Lake goalie, and trickled in for the score.

The offense exploded to score eight goals on the afternoon, including four scores from Margaret Maclean, and one each from Sydney Ziegler, Peterson, Robin Cagle, and Stephanie Sachs. The offense controlled the ball for the majority of the game, and they took over thirty shots on goal throughout the game.

The win brings Centennial to 4-2 overall, and 3-1 in county play. Their next game is on Monday, September 23rd against Bel Air at Centennial at 3:30pm.