Tag: Zach Grossman

Interim County Superintendent Holds Press Conference With Student Journalists

Words: Zach Grossman and Meghan Moore

On Thursday, October 26, 2017, Interim Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano met with high school journalists for a press conference at the Board of Education to discuss topics that students were concerned about.

Martirano began the conference with opening remarks, asserting himself as an “extremely student-centered leader.”

Students brought up topics such as the promotion of mental health in the school system, dropout rates, language barriers, overpopulation and redistricting, and technology in the classroom.

When asked about the modification of the vision statement to include the emotional well being of students, Martirano confidently stated that he believes that there needs to be a balance between academic work and achievements as well as students’ emotional well being.

“I want every young person to feel comfortable in school,” said Martirano. “Children need to feel comfortable in school before that educational process can occur. If the students don’t feel a sense of belonging, and being safe and taken care of, then that really starts causing great hindrance to the achievement of academic goals and being a productive citizen of society.”

He added that the county has even added positions within the upper administration to promote the wellness of students. In addition to promoting wellness, Martirano stated that he hopes for the school system to become a “pluralistic society… where everyone is valued within that community.”

When asked about overpopulation and redistricting, Martirano relayed that the three most overpopulated high schools are Centennial, Long Reach, and Howard. He stated that they intend to offer opportunities to relocate students from those three schools to schools like River Hill and Oakland Mills, which have empty or low-attendance classrooms.

There are four viable plans to manage overpopulation and redistricting currently being reviewed by the Board; however, Martirano shared that the school system does not intend to redistrict the entire county until construction of High School 13 is underway.

Throughout the meeting, Martirano commented on numerous other topics. He shared passionate aspects and visions to improve early childhood opportunities to combat potential student dropouts. He also shared a vision of community outreach for parents who have a hard time comprehending the English language. Martirano reasoned his passion by stating that “parents are the primary teachers.”

Because so many schools in the county are overpopulated, technology resources are outdated. Martirano said, “we have not kept up with the technology needs of the 21st century school system.”

According to staff members in several schools around the county, the Howard County Public Schools System does not have sufficient technology resources to match the student population. Martirano stated, “When we have such high performing schools and we have technology needs, I find that unconscionable.”

According to Martirano, the school board recognizes these issues fully and is looking to make change, but technology also equals money.

HCPSS has an annual budget of $820 million dollars, and Martirano expressed that incorporating technology resources into the budget is a “…very heavy lift from a financial point of view. So if you’re not keeping up with the replacement cycle, and you don’t have a strategic plan, once again, another issue is coming right square on my desk.” Although Martirano admitted that “we need to do a better job,” he also explained that the school system must “balance priorities.”

Changes and improvements will come progressively, but the issue is something that concerns Martirano. “It keeps me up late at night because our students don’t have the tools at the level at which I would expect the optimal learning environment to occur.” Martirano said he is “firmly driven by taking care of young people’s needs.”

Martirano has empowered his technology leaders to solve the myriad of issues surrounding technology. “I have individuals right now who are overseeing my technology department to begin the development of a strategic plan.”

Martirano ended the conference with closing statements about his vision for HCPSS.

“I see our [school system’s] best days ahead of us.”

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


Boys’ Lacrosse Loses to Glenelg

Words: Zach Grossman

On Friday, May 12, the Centennial Eagles Boys’ Lacrosse team had a season ending playoff loss against Glenelg High School.

The first half was fairly uneventful with only 3 total goals. The score at the end of the half was 2-1 Glenelg.

In the second half, the Eagles scored two more goals. However, the Gladiators scored five more goals in the half.

Though the Eagles played hard, they ultimately lost the game 7-3.

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


Boys’ Lacrosse Defeats Reservoir in Playoffs

Words: Zach Grossman

Photos: Shalini Malhotra

On Thursday, May 10, the Centennial Eagles Boys’ Lacrosse team had a convincing 15-3 win against Reservoir High School in the first round of playoffs.

The Eagles began the first half with an impressive goal from senior Tommy Kolp. The Eagles proceeded to play exceptionally well with three goals from junior Jeremy Wilson. Sophomore Peter Krawczyk added to the Eagles lead with 2 of his own goals in the first half. Senior Josiah Gavlin scored a goal and shortly after, junior Thomas Thurmond had a lighting speed solo goal. At the half, the Eagles led 8-2.

The Eagles continued to dominate the game in the second half with an early goal from Thurmond, giving the Eagles a 9-2 lead. Gavlin had two more goals in the half, contributing to the Eagles’ 15-3 win.
The Eagles’ next playoff game is at home against Glenelg High School on Friday, May 12.

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

Girls’ Lacrosse Trumps Hebron in First Round of Playoffs

Words: Sandy Eichhorn

Photos: Zach Grossman

On Wednesday, May 10, the Centennial Girls’ Lacrosse team defeated rival Mount Hebron in the first round of 3A Playoffs.

Though the Vikings quickly took the lead by a goal, the Eagles fought back and senior Laurie Bracey scored, tying the game at one. Bracey scored again, followed by a goal from junior Claudia Pilcher, giving the Eagles a 3-2 lead. The game remained close in the first half and Pilcher scored two more goals, giving the Eagles a 5-4 lead going into the second half.

In the second half, Hebron came out firing and scored tying the game at 5. However, Bracey and Pilcher both put balls in the net which gave the Eagles a two goal cushion. Freshman goalie Sarah Thorman made some impressive saves which kept the Eagles in the lead for the majority of the game. The teams fought hard and ended up tied at 7, making the game go into overtime.

The Eagles started overtime with a drive down the field, but were unable to score. The Vikings quickly got their own opportunity, but the Eagles’ defense, led by seniors Ryleigh Ahearn and Gabby Fairley were able to stop them from scoring.

The Eagles once again drove down the field. The game took a turn when sophomore Marissa Lagera was fouled and got a penalty shot. As soon as the whistle blew, Lagera nailed the ball past the Hebron keeper, winning the game.

The Eagles will move on to the second round of the 3A Playoffs. The next game is on Friday, May 12, against the Glenelg Gladiators.


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

Baseball Senior Night

Words and Photos: Zach Grossman

On Monday, May 9, the Centennial Eagles Baseball team honored their seniors on Senior Night.

Seniors on the team include Drew Burk, Sean Cooley, Michael Simmons, Matt Steen, Grego Sterenburg, and Nick Varner. Players were escorted by their families and walked out on the field to take in their last memories on the baseball diamond while the crowd gave them a round of applause.

The game got off to a rocky start against their opponent, the River Hill Hawks. The Hawks were up 7-0 in the seventh inning, however, the Eagles scored two runs. The final score of the game was 7-2 in the Hawks’ favor. 


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

Boys’ Lacrosse Senior Night

Words and Photos: Zach Grossman

On Tuesday, May 2, the Centennial Eagles Boys’ Lacrosse team had an exhilarating 6-4 win over Howard High School on Senior Night. Seniors Mason Smith, Josiah Gavlin, Tommy Kolp, and Michael Klein were escorted by members of their family to the center of the field and took a group photo with the coaching staff.

The game began with an early goal from sophomore Peter Krawczyk, giving the Eagles an extra confidence boost. Though the game went back and forth, the Eagles’ offense, led by junior Jeremy Wilson and Krawczyk  gave the Eagles an offensive edge.

The defense also performed extremely well, only letting in four goals. Junior goalkeeper Jack Schlossberg and the team’s defense contributed to the win.

The team’s next game is on Friday, May 5, at River Hill.


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


Centennial’s Hello Dolly!

Words: Zach Grossman

Centennial’s production of Hello Dolly! began on Thursday, March 23, and continued until Sunday, March 26.

In this year’s play, many returning faces were seen on stage, as well as many new actors and actresses. Hello Dolly! is about a matchmaker named Dolly Levi, played by senior Minnie Gregorini, who enjoys meddling in other people’s lives, which results in three couples being matched together. Among the three couples matched was Dolly herself. Some of the other characters were Ambrose, Horace, Emergrade, Corenelius, Barnaby, and Minnie Day were played by seniors Jun Lee, Jack Goodman, Mevie Henderson, Miguel Fernandez, sophomore Noah Katz, and junior Carolina Requejo, respectively. Irene was played by senior Emily Erle on the Thursday and Saturday performances and senior Ally Wilson on the Friday and Sunday performances.

As always, the theatre department put on a spectacular and entertaining performance every night.

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

Boys’ Lacrosse Defeats Hammond

Words and Photos: Zach Grossman

On Friday March 24, 2017, the Centennial Boys Varsity Lacrosse team had an impressive win against Hammond High School with a score of 16-2.

Juniors Thomas Thurmond and Jeremy Wilson were the lead scorers in the game, which helped the team win by the large margin.

The Eagles now have a record of 1-1 and are ranked sixth in the overall standings.

The Eagles’ next game is away on Tuesday, March 28, against the Glenelg Gladiators.

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

Wrestling State Championship

Words: Zach Grossman

On March 4, 2017, Centennial wrestlers senior Amr Narmouq and sophomorJason Kraisser competed in the 3A/4A State Wrestling Tournament.

Senior Amr Narmouq had a great run in the statewide tournament but had a devastating end to the tournament and his career. Narmouq won his opening match 11-6 which advanced him to quarterfinals. Narmouq’s second match resulted in a hard fought defeat which put him in the consolation bracket. Narmouq’s third and last match resulted in him dislocating his elbow and he was forced to withdraw from the tournament.  

After weighing in and warming up, Kraisser was ready to go. His opening match in the tournament resulted in a first round pin which allowed Kraisser to move onto the quarter finals. In the quarter finals, Kraisser once again accomplished a first round pin that advanced him to the semis, then to the finals. In the state championship, Kraisser had a 4-2 decision over Urbana High School’s Logan Arneson. Kraisser has now won two consecutive State Championships in the 138 lb. weight class.

Congratulations to Centennial’s wrestlers for a great season!

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

Wrestling Regional Tournament

Words: Zach Grossman

On February 24-25, 2017, the Centennial Wrestling team competed in the 3A/4A East Regional Tournament.

The Eagles started extremely strong on the first day of wrestling after all four wrestlers advanced to the semi-finals the next day. Sophomore Jason Kraisser (138) won with a tech fall 17-1, junior Jacob Blyukher (132) won with a fall, senior Amr Narmouq (160) won with a major 11-1, and lastly, junior Lucas Shapiro (195) won in overtime with a score of 7-5.

On the second day of regionals, Kraisser and Narmouq both won in semi-finals and advanced to the finals. Blyukher and Shapiro both had unfortunate losses in the semis and were placed in the consolation bracket.

In the finals, Kraisser pinned his opponent in the second period and became the 3A/4A Regional Champion. Narmouq lost in the finals with a tough 7-5 loss, however, he still advances to States.

Overall, the Eagles finished Regionals with Kraisser (1st place), Narmouq (2nd place), Blyukher (5th place), and Shapiro (5th place).

The 3A/4A State Championship is on March 3-4, 2017 at the Show Place Arena.

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