Junior Mock Interviews

Words: Madhu Lal

On March 24-25, Centennial held the annual Junior Mock Interviews in the media center. Prior to the interview, juniors created resumes in English class, went over the format of a successful resume and reviewed the types of questions usually asked during a professional meeting. The lessons taught prior to the interview served as a way to boost students’ confidence when placed in a professional environment.

Shanea Bradley, an English teacher at Centennial said, “The mock interviews help students realize the importance of making a resume and prepare students for not only job interviews, but college and scholarship interviews.”

The individuals who conducted the interviews were all volunteers within the community. These volunteers sat with students individually and asked questions similar to those asked in a professional interview. At the end of the meeting, the volunteers critiqued the overall performance of the student during the discussion, their attire, their demeanor as well as the quality of their resumes.

Sargent Ashley Arizmendi, one of this year’s many volunteer interviewers, explained that all the feedback given to students is intended to help students create a resume with a “competitive edge.”

The insight and information, which was provided to students throughout the year,  demonstrated the importance of professionalism as well as showcased what being part of the working world entails.

Maddie Notti, a junior at Centennial stated, “The skills I’ve learned here, I can definitely take into the real world.”

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

First Annual Strutting with the Staff

Words: Ashley Berry

The Howard County Public School System Educational Foundation, Bright Minds, hosted their first ever Strutting with the Staff on Saturday, March 21 at Glenelg High School. This fundraiser raised money to benefit the Bright Minds Foundation and the Students of the Howard County Public Schools.

Strutting with the Staff was a dance competition for all staff and teachers of HCPSS. Teams of dancers competed for votes from people in the community as well as a selected panel of judges: County Executive Allan Kittleman, Becky Funk from Monster’s Dance and Coleen West from the Howard County Arts Council.

The Centennial High School team started to practice in January. Theo Brown and Rebecca Clark, two teachers at Centennial, choreographed the dance and taught it the other 13 members: Mrs. Hafets, Mr. Dorsey, Mrs. Helmrath, Mrs. Barnes, Mrs Fleegal, Mr. Matchim, Mr. Barrett, Miss Hammers, Mrs. Reynolds, Ms. Fisher, Ms. Carlsen, Mrs. Beall, and Ms. McKechnie.

There were 3 different categories of winners: most money raised, most entertaining and judge’s choice. After all their hard work, the Centennial team took home first place for all 3 categories and was named the grand champion.

Many of the staff members on the team had some experience with dance or performing. Barrett and Brown did Step for their fraternity, Hammers was on the dance team when she was a student at Centennial, Fisher has experience in Irish Dancing and Reynolds participated in Centennial’s show, Dancing with the Staff, last year. Also, Carlsen and Matchim are Centennial’s theatre teacher and band director.

On the other hand, there were members of the team, such as McKechnie, who were not dancers and did not have any experience. She said, “The dance was difficult for me to learn because I have not done this kind of thing before. I also wanted to make sure I got it right so I didn’t let the team down!”

“We had some very talented dancers on the team, but as far as our success goes, I think that ultimately it was the patience, dedication and expertise of Mrs. Clark. She had the vision to put everything together and gave us great instruction and encouragement,” said McKechnie. “We had so much fun! It wasn’t everything, but winning was great and I would definitely do this again!”

Centennial Boys’ Lacrosse Defeats Oakland Mills

Words: Sabrina Han

On Tuesday, March 24 at 5:30, the Eagles boys’ varsity lacrosse team hosted the Oakland Mills Scorpions in a much anticipated match, and defeated the Scorpions 7-1.

The Eagles started the game off with a bang, winning the first faceoff and gaining the lead early with a goal from freshman Jeremy Wilson. Centennial remained strong throughout the entire quarter, with contributions from Sam Clay, who scored twice in the first, and Mike Moore, who scored once. The first quarter was successful for the Eagles, pushing their lead to 4-0 by the end of the first quarter.

Although the Eagles did not score in the second quarter, they were able to hold a comfortable 4-1 lead into halftime.

Centennial came out firing for the second half of the game, with two quick goals from Mike Moore and Dean Fochios to push their lead to 6-1.

In the fourth quarter, Mike Moore scored for the third time in the game, resulting in a hat trick. Goalie Jason Simpson let in only one goal throughout the entire game, and Centennial fought to a convincing 7-1 victory over Oakland Mills.

The Eagles’ next game will be Thursday at 5:30 at River Hill.

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


Mock Trial Championships

Words: Ashley Berry

Monday, March 23, Centennial High School’s Mock Trial team traveled to Annapolis for the Circuit Championships. The team consists of 13 Centennial students: Ben Goldstein, Abby Kim, Danny Gupta, Hadeel Hamoud, Pujit Mehrotra, Katie Cox, Simone John-Vanderpool, Natalie Jennings, Becky Kaminsky, Kayleigh Hassan, Jinia Sarkar, Elise Lin and Shardul Rakshit.

The team competed against the #2 team in Anne Arundel County, the Severn School, and won with the tie point that is awarded by the judge to the team, qualifying us for round 2. Tonight, Tuesday, March 24, the Mock Trial team will compete against Severna Park High School and hopefully win.

The team has been preparing this case since mid-November and started competing against other Howard County Mock Trial teams at the end of January. Abby Kim, the co-captain and chief defense attorney of Mock Trial, said, “We’ve spend about 10 to 15 hours per week practicing and competing in competition and I believe that this intense level of commitment has allowed us to reach the level of success that we have.”

“My favorite part of the yesterday’s trial was the moment after we heard that we had won. We were so overjoyed and each person was so excited about what the team, as a whole, had accomplished,” said Kim.

Kristin Shipp, the advisor of Mock Trial, said, “Great leadership and teamwork has definitely led to our success this year.  We have strong captains and senior teammates who have a natural passion for mock trial and work tirelessly to prepare and practice.”

“Tonight we hope to keep doing what we have been doing all season. We are prepared and hope to showcase all of our hard work!” said Shipp.

LINKing Centennial to North Korean Refugees

Words: Kelly Simmons

When people talk about North Korea, they talk about its recent emergence into popular culture with controversial movies like The Interview. Movies like The Interview mock North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong Un. Seldom do these movies address the atrocities Kim Jong Un has committed against his own people. We judge this country based on one man. One man who has induced one of the largest famines upon his own citizens, one man who imprisons his own people in holocaust-esque encampments. Our society allows us to mock North Korea, but we refuse to focus upon the 25 million who are struggling to survive.

Various countries have offered food aid to North Korea with the hopes that it will help curb the famine. According to the Congressional Research Service, between 1995 and 2008 the United States had given 1.3 billion dollars in food aid. Of that food aid, much of it was given to the elitists of North Korea and it did not reach those who were in need of it most. Additionally, in 2011 the European Union provided 14.5 million dollars in aid. Although providing direct aid to North Korea has proven to be troublesome, there are still ways to help the people of North Korea.

Liberty in North Korea (LINK), a nonprofit organization is dedicated to helping refugees of North Korea. They provide school supplies for refugee students, scholarships to study in the United States, and refugee rescue teams that will help North Korean refugees resettle in safe environments. The biggest way LINK raises money for their charity is through rescue teams. These rescue teams are created in local communities and schools. The rescue teams holds fundraisers within their communities and then donate the money raised to the LINK organization.

When Sophomore Duo Hong saw a rescue team speak to him at his church he got the idea to research them himself. “I researched them and they had a program on how to start a rescue team at school.”

Thus, a new rescue team located at Centennial High School was created. Through different fundraisers the newly created rescue team plans to not only raise money, but also to bring awareness about LINK as well. When asked on the goal of LINK, club member Amaal Yazadi replied, “[The goal is] to spread awareness of LINK and [to give] all the proceeds to LINK.”

One fundraiser that was held on March 20 was a booth at Centennial’s World Fest. The booth raised money by selling fried Oreos, which Centennial students flocked to.

As of now, “[we] want to use creative fundraisers…[we] are bouncing around ideas, I’ve heard [about] some art shows and auctions” Hong said. These are just some things that LINK plans to do to raise money, but they are also actively trying to make the community aware of what is happening.

“We’re trying to get actual people from LINK to talk about their organization,” Hong added. The club is also trying to get a soldier who served at the DMZ, a strip of land that serves as a barrier between North and South Korea.

The LINK team at Centennial is dedicated to helping the refugees of North Korea. Hong acknowledged that “ultimately, the goal is to liberate North Korea and give rights to their people.” So far the club has around 30 members and counting. Anyone is open to come to the meetings, they are held on Thursdays.

Although the liberation of North Korea cannot be determined, clubs and charities like LINK help jumpstart the liberation process.

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

Centennial Softball Starts on the Right Foot

Words: Sandy Eichhorn

Centennial varsity softball started their season off with a win over the Wilde Lake Wildcats.

The game was tied 0-0 until the bottom of the third inning when Wilde Lake scored a run with a hit to center field. Centennial quickly answered with two runs in the top of the fourth from Junior Jordan Ciraolo and Sophomore Celina Jensen.

The Eagles kept the runs coming and was winning 8-2 by then end of the fifth.

Wilde Lake changed their pitcher during the sixth inning, but that didn’t stop the Eagle’s momentum. The Eagle’s scored eight runs and held Wilde Lake scoreless for a 16-2 victory.

Many of the player’s contributed to the team’s 16 runs; Celina Jensen (4), Emily Davis (2), Jordan Ciraolo (2), Brita Hawtof (2), Jordan Burk (1), Sammy Kastner (1), Emily Allen (1), Abbey Strott (1), Tori Montanez (1), and Sam Sterenberg (1).

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

Controversial County Budget to be Decided on in May

Words: Miranda Mason

On May 12 at 7:00 p.m., the County Council will hold a public hearing on the Education portion of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Budget. This will be the last opportunity for Howard County residents and employees to make any public testimonies about the Education Budget for next year. After the public hearing, written testimonies can still be emailed to the entire Council until they make their final decision in late May.

The FY 2016 Education Budget became the focus of protests from HCPSS staff and students after a line in the budget was added that would eliminate media support staff from schools. At a Board of Education hearing on the budget on Feb. 28, media specialists from high schools across the county gave speeches detailing the detrimental effects reducing media staff would have.

Despite these protests, the Board of Education passed the budget without changing the line in question and will send it on to the County Executive and then the County Council for final approval.

If the County Council passes the Education Budget as is, the media secretary position in HCPSS schools would be eliminated, leaving media centers staffed with two media specialists. Media secretaries currently serve to keep media centers open and functional throughout the day, which leaves media specialists free to teach classes and work with teachers.

If the media secretary position was eliminated, this would require either the media center to remain closed while media specialists fulfill their teaching duties or for media specialists to keep the media center open throughout the day in exchange for reducing or eliminating their time spent teaching students media literacy and research skills.

According to Centennial Media Specialist Linda Norris, both of these scenarios would hurt students.

“The bottom line is that not having a full media center staff– three of us– will ultimately affect students’ achievement,” said Norris. “There won’t be the coverage in the media space which allows for certified media specialists to work with students and collaborate with teachers.”

Norris added that students and staff who are protesting the decision to eliminate the media secretary position are now turning their attention to the County Council. According to Norris, anyone who is against the current FY 2016 Education Budget is being encouraged to email their testimony to the entire Council before they make their final decision.

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

Centennial Wins Awards at National History Day

Words: Rachel Truitt

On Saturday, March 14, freshman Katie Gao won first place at the county level of the National History Day Competition at Reservoir High School.

The competition was split up into two categories, junior and senior. Because Gao is in high school she competed in the senior category. The theme of this year’s competition was “Leadership and Legacy.” In the competition, there were various categories to enter such as a written paper, website, exhibit, website, and other entries combined.

There were 49 entries total, but for Gao’s category, paper, there was six competitors. For her entry, Gao wrote a paper on Henry Dunant, a Swiss business man and social activist who was responsible for the creation of the International Red Cross.

Gao and second place winner, junior Cecilia Hsu, also from Centennial, will now move onto the state level at UMBC in April. If she wins at states, she will then move on to nationals.

Gao was very happy to win first place. “I put in a lot of time and effort into my project,” she said, “and it was nice seeing it all pay off.”

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