Centennial Students Represent at JHUMUNC

Words: Chy Murali

Centennial’s Model United Nations (MUN) attended the Johns Hopkins Model United Nations Conference (JHUMUNC) from Feb. 5 to Feb. 8. 35 delegates represented Centennial at the conference which was attended by schools nationwide.

Depending on the committee they were a part, delegates represented countries or historic figures to solve various issues, such as education in impoverished areas, that affect many people around the world. Students worked collaboratively in trying to solve prevalent issues in the world. Two students. Juhi Dwivedi and Daniel Park, won awards from Centennial including a Best Delegate award in Quad Kashmir and an Honorable Mention in the Press Corps respectively.

A novice member included Sally Kim, who feels that she learned a lot from her experience and the other people she met at JHUMUNC. “Any MUN conference is a learning opportunity, I saw how others carried themselves when speaking, what research other delegates conducted, and the variation of ideas that were implemented in resolutions,” she said. The capability of other delegates of her age impressed Kim and has inspired her to continue participating in MUN for the rest of her high school career.

MUN attempts to combine academic and public skill together through public-speaking, debate, and research. Centennial’s MUN has existed since 2006 and currently has 60 active members.

Kim was a part of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee, or SPECPOL, where delegates were given topics such as that of election monitoring and private military contractors. She found the hardest part was representing the country’s views on certain issues of which she differed but noted that, “It is a delegate’s responsibility to accurately portray a country through the eyes of its government.”

Rudia Park, another novice member, represented Benin during the conference. “It was a very great experience,” she said, “It motivated me to improve my speaking skills.”

Nadine Eloseily, the Spring Coordinator of Centennial’s MUN, coordinated the conference for Centennial and was proud of her team’s accomplishments including the two awards and said,“I would also like to thank the board and all the delegates who worked very hard all throughout all JHUMUNC 2015.”

She found the experience enjoyable and was proud of the students at Centennial.

“I feel as though Centennial Delegates did a phenomenal job at this conference,” she said, “This was the first time for many of our delegates to attend a collegiate conference, yet they all were very involved and actively participating in committee.”

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

Salvation Army’s Asian Food Drive

Words: Chy Murali

Centennial’s Salvation Army will be hosting the Asian Food Drive from Feb.19 to March 4. Ramen, noodles, spam, canned veggies, soybeans, peanuts, dried beans, and other goods will help benefit low income Asian seniors in Columbia, Maryland.
Donations will be accepted at the collection box in front if the cafeteria. Help the Salvation Army reach their goal of 600 items!
For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Know Your Planet Night Photos

Words and Photos: Corey Grable

On Tuesday Feb. 24, Centennial hosted Know Your Planet Night, a fair type event that displayed projects done by the students that focused on environmental awareness and improved conservation. Mrs. Reynolds, Mrs. Griffiths and Mrs. Reese spearheaded the effort as teachers, and Mrs. Miller made an appearance as well.

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

Eagles Celebrate County Basketball Title

Words: Giana Han

Photos: Izzie Chausse

Contributions from Sandy Eichhorn and Sabrina Han

After three years, Centennial can once again claim to be home of the boys’ basketball county champions.

On Feb. 20, the Eagles beat Marriotts Ridge 60-29 which cinched the 2015 county title for the first time since the 2011-2012 season.  The game was away, so the accomplishment was not celebrated in the same way it would have been if it had occurred at home.  To remedy this, the varsity team was called down during second period for a special ceremony.

The team, coaches, and managers gathered in the cafeteria along with the administrators where Centennial’s athletic director, Jean Vanderpool, presented them with the flag and trophy.

Before handing over the trophy, Vanderpool said, “You will be able to come back here forever and look up at the red banner in the gym and see it says 2015 boys’ county champions.”

“You are, and have been, extremely successful,” added principal Claire Hafets.  “The school has taken so much pride in your success.  The community has taken pride in your success, and the coaches have taken pride in your success.  Remember this feeling of success.  You will always be successful because you know this feeling.”

Following the speeches and pictures, the team went outside to watch the captains raise the county championship flag before they celebrated with a breakfast.

The last time the basketball team earned this title, the seniors on the basketball team were just freshman on J.V.

“Freshmen year, I never thought we’d get here, looking at all of us,” said senior captain Chad Strothers. “But, as we developed each year, I could see us getting closer.” According to Strothers, seeing the varsity team named champions his freshman year was a motivation.

“It looked like such a great feeling,” he said.  “I wanted to get there.”

Senior Isaiah White had been working towards this goal as well.  Each year, he was given the chance to play for other teams at other schools, but each year, he decided to stick with the Centennial program.

“I believed in what we did here,” said White.  “We do it the right way.”

Gaining the county title was part of the goal that the team set at the beginning of the year, but the process in getting it was a long one.

“We grinded each day in practice, we always worked hard,” said senior Connor Clemens.  “In the offseason, we’d shoot baskets in the gym, and we played fall, spring, and summer leagues.”

Coach Chad Hollwedel agreed that the players had worked hard through off-seasons, and he also said, “A lot of different things have to go right.  We were fortunate to stay healthy this season, but a lot of different people stepped up during different parts of the season.  It’s not just one or two or three or four people; it’s 12 people on the floor that made the difference.”

He added that the loss to Oakland Mills turned out to be an advantage.

“It helped tremendously during the season to help prepare us to deal with tight games and adversity.  It prepared us to compete in the next part of the season,” said Hollwedel.  The game was the closest game of the year for the Eagles, and Hollwedel hopes it will prepare them for the atmosphere of the play-offs.  However, even though it resulted in a loss, he and the other coaches are still proud of their record of 18-1.

“I believe it’s the second best record in the history of the school.  I think the last was in 1996 when they went 22-0,” he said.

As senior Eli Geist said, “It’s a good reward for all the hard work everyone does, not just us.”

White added, “It’s not just the players who get all the playing time.  Players who don’t get playing time much, push the players who do in practice.”

“It doesn’t matter what role people play on the team, whether it’s being out on the court and playing or being on the bench and picking each other up, everyone is there for each other,” said Strothers.

“To be able to have this experience as a group after all the years of work, they get to see a reward” said Hollwedel.  “Chad and Isaiah were huge this year.  For the three who didn’t play much last year, it’s a great reward for me to see them play a different role with the success they’re having.”

Senior Kevin Wilson is one of those three seniors.  He said, “It’s really important to me because last year, as a junior, I didn’t see the court much.  This year, I’m contributing [tremendously, added White]. We’re the backbone of the team.”

The seniors have played an integral role on the team this year.  Wilson has been mentioned repeatedly for his solid defense, especially at the Oakland Mills game when he had to guard Mamadou Ndiaye.  Geist was hurt at the start of the season, but since his return, he has been all over the boards.  Clemens has been known to sink clutch shots, and of course, Strothers and White are some of the leading scorers in the county.

However, the race does not stop with the county championship title.  The Eagles are scheduled to play the winner of the Poly-Long Reach match up on March 3.

“We’re fortunate in that for every game we win, we are guaranteed a game here [at Centennial].  We put ourselves in a good spot,” said Hollwedel.  “Of course, our goal is to play the last game of the season.”

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

Centennial Students Explore Québec City

Words and Photos: Sandy Eichhorn

Early on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 45 Howard County high school students and five teachers left for a six-day trip to Québec City. On this trip, students would learn about the culture of the French-Canadians while practicing their French in real world situations. These kids were French 3-5 students from Centennial, River Hill, Howard, and Marriotts Ridge High Schools.

Their days were spent in the city as well as participating in an interactive history activity and touring St. Anne’s Basilica. The students also traveled to a sugar shack, went dog sledding, tubed at the largest park in North America, saw a waterfall, toured the Ice Hotel, and went snowshoeing through the woods. The group was taken on tours through museums and the city, and they were also given time to explore in groups to buy souvenirs and try out local restaurants.

Students learned about the war between the French and British and saw a demonstration of loading and cleaning canons that were used in the war. The group was able to participate in Canadian activities like making maple butter and taffy at the sugar shack as well as guiding sled dogs and holding puppies.

They ate at Les Anciens Canadiens, the oldest building in all of Québec, and were allowed time to go and explore other restaurants in small groups. The well below zero temperature did not deter their enthusiasm when they participated in a cultural Huron Native American dance and tubed down the fast and bumpy slopes at Village des Sports.

While visiting the Montmorency Falls, the group walked over a suspended bridge and enjoyed the stunning views of Québec City and the frozen St. Lawrence River. Students marveled at the spectacular ice carvings in the Hôtel de Glace (Ice Hotel) and enjoyed the ice slide as well as the hotel’s themed suites.

The group was taken to St. Anne’s Basilica and learned about the miracles that happened there. They were allowed to explore the church and take in the breathtaking architecture and paintings. One night, the students went on a guided snowshoeing tour through the woods and ate chocolate fondue next to igloos and campfires.

On Monday, Feb. 16, the students left their hotel, Hôtel Plaza, at 6:00 a.m. to beat the snowstorm heading towards Maryland and returned home at 8:45 pm.

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


A Day of Celebration for the Lady Eagles

Words and Photos: Giana Han

Feb. 20, 2015 was a day full of celebration for Centennial’s girls’ basketball team; they not only earned a convincing win, but they also celebrated Senior Night in addition to the moment when senior Anna Mitchell scored her 1000th point of her high school career.

After the tip off, Marriotts Ridge quickly scored the first two points of the game.  However, this would be the only time they held the lead in the game.  The combined effort of Mitchell and freshman Kelly Simmons on the offensive and defensive boards quickly put Centennial up. The Eagles were off, and they never looked back.

The first quarter was dominated by Mitchell who led the team in every aspect of the game.  The Mustang’s defense could not stop her as she breezed by through the paint, dropping lay-ups and sinking foul shots.  By the end of the quarter, Mitchell had already accumulated three rebounds, four steals, a block, and an overwhelming 16 points that helped put the team up 23-5.  However, she was still 10 points away from her goal.

The Eagles continued to dominate through the second quarter with the aid of seniors Kimmy Eads and Jordan Burk who contributed with baskets, boards, and steals.  They finished out the half with a score of 44-8.

After a performance by the Drill team for the half time show, the Eagles came out to continue their excellent play.  Players were constantly rotated off the bench, and everyone hit the court, but Mitchell was left in to keep playing.

This game presented Mitchell with the opportunity to reach 1000 points, but she continued to pass the ball, giving other players the chance to score as well.  However, just points away from hitting 1000, Mitchell came down wrong on her ankle, and had to be taken out of the game.  But Mitchell was determined to make it back in and reach her goal.

“I just told myself I was going to be okay, and I would find a way to get back out there,” said Mitchell.  That quarter she was able to resume playing, and, with seven seconds left in the third quarter, she finally scored the final two points that brought her tally up to 1000.  A time out was immediately called as the gym erupted in cheering.

“It’s definitely a huge accomplishment,” said Mitchell.  “I know no one has gotten it in a long time at Centennial, and it’s good to represent my school.”

The quarter ended at a score of 61-10, and the seniors were retired from the game after a strong performance from all three.

The underclassmen took to the floor and secured the win with a final score of 67-21.  Every team member played a part in the win.  Eight players put points on the board, including Mitchell (28), Simmons (8), Eads (7), Burk (7), and Izzie Chausse (7) among others.  Those who did not score still contributed with rebounds and steals, creating an impressive effort by the entire team.

Mitchell summed up the success of the game, saying, “I couldn’t have done it without my awesome teammates.  They were great tonight; they understood my goal and helped me every step of the way.  It was a much needed win after our loss yesterday.  It feels great to come back with a big win, especially on Senior Night.”

From here, the Eagle’s basketball program will be heading to play-offs.  The girls will play on Friday, February 27, so come out and support the team!

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


Centennial Basketball Triumphs Over Hebron for Second Time

Words: Mike Moore

On Thursday, Feb. 19, the Centennial boys’ basketball team battled Mount Hebron in another installment of one of the county’s best rivalries. It was senior night for the Eagles, and, with at least a share of the county title on the line and an almost sellout crowd on hand, the stage was set for a fantastic game.

The first quarter started off a bit rocky for the Eagles, who were down by as many as eight at times and only scored seven points in the quarter. Senior guard Chad Strothers led the Eagles offensively, but some sloppy play on the offensive side of the ball led to the Vikings getting extra possessions. The Eagles were down 14-7 after one quarter of play.

The second quarter is when the Eagles turned it on. They exploded out to a 7-0 run to start the quarter and, more importantly, to tie the game. Junior guard Michael Merkey gave Centennial the lead with a three that really ignited the student section and gave the Eagles momentum that would carry them for the rest of the game. Senior guard Isaiah White shot with pinpoint accuracy in the second, and, with a put-back dunk at the end of the half, White sent the team into halftime with lots of momentum. With senior guard Kevin Wilson’s strong defensive play, the Eagles were able to take a 26-23 lead into halftime.

The second half was dominated by Centennial. Junior Tom Brown and senior Conner Clemens along with White and Strothers were relentless on the offensive end, and the Eagles outscored their opponents 17-6 in the quarter. Strothers and White both finished with 16 points. Centennial was able to get into the paint for easy shots that began to add up. By the end of the third, the Eagles had built a 14 point lead and never looked back.

Brown had the majority of his 15 points in the final quarter, getting to the rim and finishing with ease.  With the defense taking care of its end of the floor, the Eagles seemed to control all phases of the game. With the crowd rocking and the stands shaking, the atmosphere was like none other. Elijah White finished with three points, Merkey had five points, and Clemens rounded out the scoring with eight points.

The Eagles earned at least a share of the county title with the win, and sent its five seniors out in the best way a Centennial athlete can leave, by beating Mount Hebron.

To get the background on the Centennial and Mount Hebron rivalry, go to chswingspan.wordpress.com.

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


Teacher of the Year Announced

Words: Giana Han

On Feb. 12, the administration, accompanied by the SGA, walked into room 305 bearing balloons and a cake.

After the votes of the seniors were tallied, English 11 AP and Honors teacher, Mrs. Chung, emerged at the top of the ballot.

“The students got it right,” Mrs. Hafets said. “She is one of the most gracious, exemplary, giving, generous teachers, and students are so fortunate if they pass through one of her classes.  You can’t imagine how many college essays she accepts, and she has two children. She puts in so much hard work and dedication.”

The group walked into her class cheering with flowers, cake, balloons, and a sign.  Ms. Pasciullo, another English teacher who won the title last year, accompanied the group.  She was wearing the tiara that her 4B class last year gave her in honor of winning teacher of the year.  As the gifts were given to Mrs. Chung, Ms. Pasciullo took the tiara and transferred it to her fellow English 11 teacher’s head.

Mrs. Chung responded by saying, “Thank you to the senior class who was obviously a wonderful first class to teach for my return to Centennial. I have a special bond with the seniors, and I have loved every moment of being here. It’s good to be back.”

Years ago, before any of the current students attended Centennial, Mrs. Chung left to have her children.

According to Dorsey, ever since she returned to teaching, “We have been fighting to get her back. We’re glad to have her back where she belongs.”

Her students from last year were elated to hear she won.

“Mrs. Chung was the most caring teacher I have ever had, someone who makes everyone feel special and never lets anyone feel invisible,” said Pooja Patel.

“Mrs. Chung was different from a lot of teachers in that she teaches what matters in life, like about the college process,” added Daniel Park. “She can give good advice and, in doing so, she is always friendly and helpful.”

According to her former students, she wrote a letter to her class at the end of the year and mentioned each and every person in her letter.

“It’s amazing how after teaching just one year at Centennial, she has impacted so many lives at Centennial.  I’ll never forget the inspiration she has bestowed upon all of us,” said Aisha Alam.

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

Two Separate Languages, One Common Heart

Words: Minnie Gregorini

Photos: Izzie Chausse, Shalini Malhotra, and Minnie Gregorini

On Feb. 9, 16 Chinese students walked through the door to Centennial High School and set foot into a whole new world rich with very unique cultures.

25 students from Tianjin 25th Middle School came to America with one common goal: to experience the culture of American life. Of those 25 students, 16 came to CHS, while the other nine were sent to River Hill. CHS and River Hill welcomed these 25 students as a part of a Memorandum of Understanding that was signed by the Howard County Public School System and Tianjin 25th Middle School.

Those 25 weren’t just randomly picked. All the students in Tianjin 25th Middle School, whose first years are equivalent to an American sophomore, were given two tests. Once the results came out, the 25 students that scored the highest were given the opportunity to travel to America (in Chinese, America is pronounced Měiguó) and learn in American schools for three days. Because the test was administered to evaluate a broad range of subjects, many of the top students may excel at math or science but may not be as strong in English. It was a common struggle for the 16 students, and even harder if the CHS students they were shadowing didn’t speak fluent Chinese.

One student, Wang Xin Yu, said the hardest thing for him was “speaking. It was hard to communicate. But, I have learned more English already.”

Another boy, Li Rui, said that it was difficult ordering lunch. “The hardest thing was telling [the lunch ladies] what I wanted to eat. I couldn’t understand them. They couldn’t understand me.”

Many of the students especially liked the American school system. One of the students, Li Shang, said that she liked the dynamic between teachers and students. “The teachers and students are a lot closer in America than in China… It’s really nice.” First year, Li Hao (also known as Jack) echoed that observation.

Most of the students had many of the same feelings towards the common cultural practices here, though each of them seemed to have his or her own favorite part of America. One student, Li Xiao Zheng, stated that his favorite thing was the American people. “They’re really nice here,” he said.

“Computer Science. I really like Computer Science,” said student Liu Ming Yang.

“I really like the cafeteria,” said Gao Jin Sheng. “The food here is good!”

The CHS students being shadowed also got to experience a lot culturally. “I was really nervous at first because I was sure I would embarrass myself with my Chinese,” said junior Tess Hawkins. “But we ended up getting along really well,” she said about her and her shadow, Li Hao.

Brian Reed said, “It was nice showing [Jun Ran] around the school. It was fun learning more Chinese from him and I realized that the things that we take for granted sometimes they don’t have. So it’s really been interesting.”

There were also many students from CHS whose families were hosting a few of the students. Teresa Whittemore, Ryan Sorak, and Abby Pavuk were some of those students.

“I really like sharing a house with the girls I’m hosting. It’s funny, because I didn’t think I would be spending much time with them at all, but I’m spending a lot more time with them than I thought I’d be. I really like my shadow too,” Abby said.

She continued with, “I’d always wanted to be a host to an exchange student so when my mom got an email and asked if we wanted to host, I immediately said yes.”

All in all, this program has turned out to be a success for both CHS and Tianjin 25th Middle School. Hopefully, in the future, Centennial will be able to participate in more programs like it.

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