House of Delegates Candidate Visits Centennial’s Young Democrats Club

Words: Natalie Knight-Griffin

On Tuesday, November 28, Maryland House of Delegates 9B candidate Dan Medinger spoke to Centennial’s Young Democrats club.

Medinger introduced himself by walking around the room and shaking the hands of each student, making a personable first impression. The meeting began by Medinger explaining his intention to discuss local issues, changes he hopes to make, and how teenagers can be activists in their community. He described himself as a progressive democrat, former journalist, environmentalist, and local businessman, having started an advertising company with his wife.

Medinger detailed his views on transportation, climate change, healthcare, and education. As his address came to a close, the club’s members were open to ask questions. Students inquired on Medinger’s ideas to lower college tuitions and his economic views as a liberal small-business owner. He then offered each of the Young Democrats an opportunity to be a part of his campaign and fight for important community issues.

The meeting came to a close with Medinger having personal, one-on-one discussions with the students before taking a group photo.

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Centennial Fine Arts Prepare for The Nutcracker Performance

Words: Shawn Kruhm

Centennial High School will be performing Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker on Thursday, November 30, and Friday, December 1 at 7 p.m. The show will be held in the school auditorium. Admission is $10.00 at the door or online at

The show is being presented by Centennial’s Junior and Senior dance companies, members of orchestra, wind ensemble, and the singing groups Bella Voce and Madrigals.

The students and the directors of the production have been working for the past few months to put on this show. Performers in the show have been spreading the word about the show through announcements and posters at school, and social media.

The Nutcracker has been a part of Centennial’s history for a long time. The performing arts program used to alternate between the Winter Spectacular and The Nutcracker every other year, and have made the decision to return to that tradition.

One of the directors of the show and Centennial’s dance teacher Rebecca Clark shared, “the directors wanted to bring new repertoire to their students, and thought this would be a great way to bring The Nutcracker back to the Centennial community.” 

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Stranger Things Season Two Review

Words: Natalie Keane

As the end of October rolled around, season two of Netflix’s hit show Stranger Things was released, giving its millions of fans a look at the new problems arising in the fictional small town of Hawkins, Indiana. The story of the second season is now set during Halloween of 1984, one year after the disappearance of Will Byers. We get to see the familiar adventure of Byers and his friends, as they are determined to uncover the supernatural element they believe to be underneath their town. Last season was simply an introduction to the Upside Down. Now, the characters are working to rescue Byers from an even bigger entity that threatens to change the course of all of their lives, while also trying their hardest to convince everyone else that there is a problem.

While new characters are introduced at the start, unlikely heroes are revealed as the season progresses. Old characters show development we never expected, and most everyone agrees that the new characters prove to make season two better than season one.

“I’d have to say my favorite part is the characters,” said Emily Hollwedel, a freshman at Centennial, who has been a fan of the show since season one, “when I watch the characters build relationships with each other, it helps develop their personalities and even change their view of their world for the better.”

The unusual cross of fantasy and horror mixed with 80s nostalgia is something that many people love most about the show, and there is no doubt that the familiar feeling of excitement and thrill in season one carries directly into season two. Stranger Things is a rare example of a show that takes the best qualities of classic 80s films, such as E.T, Aliens, Jurassic Park, and more, and combines them into one universe for old and young fans alike to enjoy.

“The mix of 80s nostalgia with the already fascinating plot is an easy pull for all sorts of people to enjoy the show,” Hollwedel said. “The [feeling] of childhood and a whole life ahead brings adults and kids together to enjoy a show that appeals to people of all ages.”

As Stranger Things’ sophomore season comes to a close, there is no indication that the characters we’ve come to love are disappearing any time soon. With their biggest trial yet to be faced, the show’s final two seasons have the potential to reveal even more secrets, and set the story up for its ultimate climax.

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Thor: Ragnarok Defeats Box Office

Words: Julia Stitely

After the success of Spider-Man Homecoming, Marvel fans had high expectations for the next movie in the Marvel cinematic universe. Thor: Ragnarok was not on anyone’s radar. The two previous movies in the series had mixed reviews from fans and critics. The series wasn’t a standout compared to other movies from Marvel Studios. That was until the third installment came and blew everyone away. What makes this the best reviewed superhero movie ever?

What most viewers are praising in the movie is the humor. Marvel is known for its comedic aspect, but it became more dominant in the recent installment. Most of the lines are on the humorous side. They all land perfectly due to the actors’ comedic timing and great improve which makes the movie a lot of fun to watch.

The actors, new and old, are fantastic. Chris Hemsworth brings a new flair and development to his character of Thor. Tom Hiddleston returns in his role as Loki, Thor’s trickster brother. The brotherly relationship creates many comedic bickering between each other, and with addition of Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk and Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie adds more great dialogue and scenes to the movie. Hela, the evil villain, played by Cate Blanchett, is a good role, well acted but has the same criticisms as other Marvel villains. She is underdeveloped and is just there to be the baddy that Thor fights.

Having different tones could also cause an imbalance in the film. There could be one serious scene and randomly, there is a laugh in there that destroys the emotional tone. One scene could have the death of civilians, but then the villain would make the joke.

Even though there isn’t a balance of serious and comedy, the movie is a load of fun with beautiful visuals, great performances, and great jokes. The movie is being played in theaters everywhere. If you are free anytime, make sure to make your way to the theatre for another great Marvel movie.

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

Centennial Holds Jump Start Information Meeting

Words and photos: Maggie Ju

On Tuesday, November 28, an information session for the Howard County Public School System’s new JumpStart program was held in the Centennial High School auditorium from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Various speakers were given the opportunity to speak, and the audience amassed well over 100 attendees.

The key speaker was Bill Barnes, the HCPSS Chief Academic Officer, who explained in detail the eligibility, merits, and cost of participating in JumpStart. The choices available are not open to all grade levels, and Barnes emphasized that students would have to prepare for rigorous work. Despite the challenges, he remained optimistic about enrollment.

“I am so encouraged by the turnout tonight, just for interest,” Barnes said.

Aaron Alder, Howard Community College’s Assistant Director of Admissions, expanded on what was previously stated by Barnes. With the main “Flexible” and “Structured” programs split into subcategories, it is not difficult to find the one that is right for each prospective participant.

“I know there’s a lot of different program options, and they seem confusing,” Alder said, “but just let us know who you are, and we can help guide you to the right thing.”

Other people who shared their experiences included a former JumpStart student, his mother, and a cybersecurity manager at HCPSS’ Applications and Research Laboratory. They agreed that the program was extremely beneficial and a great advantage to students.

JumpStart, a partnership between HCPSS and HCC, gives high school students the opportunity to enroll in college courses and earn college credit. It was proposed as an incentive to relieve overcrowding, as JumpStart students from Centennial, Howard, and Long Reach would attend classes at Oakland Mills and River Hill.

JumpStart will be implemented beginning in the 2018-2019 school year in lieu of the proposed redistricting plan.

More information can be found at and from high school guidance counselors.

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CHS Model United Nations Conference

Words: Maggie Ju

On Saturday, November 11, the ninth annual Centennial High School Model United Nations Conference (CHSMUNC) was held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eighteen high schools from Maryland, northern Virginia, and Washington D.C. yielded a total attendance of over 300 delegates.

Beginning at 8:30 a.m., formally-dressed delegates filtered into the school to register, and proceeded into the cafeteria. At 9 a.m., the student leaders of the CHS Model UN club made opening remarks at the podium. They stepped aside for the keynote speaker, Maricy Schmitz of the Brazilian Embassy, who delivered a speech about the value of diplomacy. When the applause ebbed away, the delegates dispersed into their committees’ rooms, ready to begin the conference.

Split into nine committees, delegates representing countries or acting as specific people debated and drafted resolutions to issues. The largest committee was the General Assembly, with over 60 delegates, discussing indigenous people’s rights. Other topics were varied — the Joint Crisis Committee devised plans for the fate of Harry Potter, while the Historical Committee simulated the Greek city-states uniting against the Persian invasion.

CHSMUNC is the largest high school-sponsored Model UN conference in Maryland, and each year, a member of CHS Model UN assumes the role of its coordinator. This year, the Fall Coordinator was sophomore Caio Goolsby. He coordinated the staff, contacted schools, and kept track of delegates.

“One of the most grueling duties was giving assignments,” he said. “I had to assign people or nations to all 318 delegates that attended the conference.”

Goolsby also found the keynote speaker — a feat made even more impressive by the fact that it was coordinated internationally. He credited many people in his endeavors, including CHS Model UN’s Co-Secretary Generals, the club’s teacher advisors, and his parents.

“My staff and I, we really poured our hearts and souls into that conference,” Goolsby said.

Charu Dwivedi, a sophomore at Centennial, worked on the United Nations Security Council to solve the current conflict in Ukraine. It was her second time attending CHSMUNC.

She said, “It is guaranteed that every attendee will learn something valuable from the event, whether that be about an important world issue, working with others, communication, or how the UN works.”

CHSMUNC is open to those who do not have any experience with conference procedure, serving as a gateway to collegiate conferences for novices. One such novice was freshman Chris Lidard, who expressed some apprehensions before the conference.

I was initially worried that a lot of upperclassmen would be so experienced with parliamentary procedure and debate that I wouldn’t be able to contribute at all,” he admitted.

CHSMUNC allowed me to understand how Model United Nations works, which consequently allowed me to develop a sense of leadership, communication, and global citizenship that will continue throughout my high school career and beyond.”

Saf Masood, a junior at Paint Branch High School in Montgomery County, was a returning participant. “I think this conference is a good kick-off to the Model UN year,” he said. “The Centennial staff does a great job putting this out every year, so I commend them.”

When asked about his opinion of the conference, Goolsby praised the delegates’ performance. “They were well put together, very intelligent, and confident,” he reflected. “In fact, the Brazilian speaker commented on several occasions how well the delegates were speaking and said…that these kids are our future. And with them at the helm, I think it is a bright future indeed.”

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Centennial’s Math Team

Words: Joey Sedlacko

The Math Team meets every Wednesday after school in room 902. Every month, the team takes 20 members to math competitions held throughout the county and compete against other high schools. The Math Team has won the county title the last six years, so the team’s goal this year is to continue their dominance and win another math team county championship. For more information or questions about the team, please contact Ms. Cashmark at

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

Centennial Welcomes Mr. Rahnama

Words: Jordyn Blanken

One new face in Centennial High School is Mr. Cameron Rahnama, the newest Assistant Principal. When I talked to Mr. Rahnama about what he brings to the school, I found him to be a very kind and compassionate person.

Wingspan: What school were you at before?
Mr. Rahnama: “I was an assistant principal at Marriotts Ridge for six years and at Glenelg for six years. Also an athletic director at Glenelg. I was a softball, football, and baseball coach for fifteen years. Then I was a P.E. teacher at Phelps Luck Elementary School.”

Do you have any goals for Centennial?
“Continue being one of the best schools in the state.”

What is one unique trait you have that you’re bringing to Centennial?
“I love kids and can relate to them well, and internal drive…Also having the satisfaction of seeing others succeed.”

How long have you been an administrator?
“I have been one for 13 years.”

How does it feel to be filling the shoes of another administrator?
“It’s never easy. You got to respect the position and mold with the students.”

What is one piece of advice for your students?
“Get the most out of it, get the most out of high school”

What is one of your all time favorite quotes?
“Treat every day like a holiday; treat every meal like a banquet.”

Centennial’s Table Tennis Club Update

Words: Shawn Kruhm

The Table Tennis Club Sponsor, Jarrett Emery, has confirmed that the club meets on Wednesdays at 2:15 in the cafeteria. The club still does not play against any schools outside of Centennial. In the future, they are hoping to expand and compete against other clubs at other high schools. The Table Tennis Club is a great way to have fun and play the game you love with some friends. As always, if you have any questions about the club contact Mr. Emery at

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Centennial’s International Thespian Society

Words: Sarah Kruhm

The International Thespian Society (ITS) is a universal theatre honors society with chapters established all over the globe, including at Centennial High School. Sponsored by Centennial’s theatre teacher and director Ms. Kathryn Carlsen, the club meets on the first Wednesday of every month. Currently, the club is discussing this year’s annual fall play, Almost, Maine, which will show November 16-19.

On November 1, the club discussed the current point system, in which every member must earn 8 credits each quarter to remain in the honor society, and the multiple ways an individual can receive credit, such as by seeing a show or attending set build on Saturdays.

Senior and International Thespian Society President Ethan Kinstler divided the club into separate committees consisting of the various components that contribute to the production: Marketing, Design, Costume, Props, and Set. He requested each board to create a schedule of due dates to complete their designated assignments, including the creation of the playbill, the building of the set, and the possession of costumes and props, in pursuance of making the show’s performance next weekend something to remember.

More information about the show, and about ITS, can be found at

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