Floods Ravage Old Ellicott City in Weekend Storm

Words: Delanie Tucker

On May 27, Old Ellicott City suffered severe damage due to a flood. The National Weather Service reports that nearly 8.4 inches of rain fell on Ellicott City, causing the small town to flood for the 15th time since 1768, the second in the last two years.

The town’s history of flooding is primarily due to its position at the bottom of a topographical funnel, which causes all of the run-off to fall on the city. The problem is, Old Ellicott City is extremely urbanized, leaving little space for drainage.

Despite the flash flood warning, most residents were not expecting the ferocity of the storm. Yesterday was when the reality of the devastation really hit: citizens finally seeing the overturned cars, shattered glass from buildings that were destroyed, and workers struggling to fix the water line and sewage pipe that were damaged in the flooding.

To date, there has been only one confirmed fatality. Maryland National Guardsmen, Sgt. Eddison Hermond, was reported missing after assisting an unidentified woman while dining at La Palapa Grill and Cantina when the flooding began. Earlier today, his body was recovered along the Patapsco River, just over the Baltimore County line, according to multiple sources.

The destruction of the town’s shops leaves several owners debating whether or not reconstruction is worth going through with, considering the short amount of time since the last “thousand year’ flood.

Donations are pouring in to help rebuild the town along with several volunteers willing to help clean up what was left. If you would like to help, donations can be dropped off at the food bank at 9385 Gerwig Lane, Suite J, in Columbia.

If you are a student or alum of Centennial High and have been directly affected by the storms, let us help you share your story by contacting us at chswingspan1718@gmail.com.

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

Centennial Paints Out the Competition

Words: Natalie Keane / Photos by: Nan Collins

The Centennial art department continues to make great strides in the art community. The achievements have all been won by student artists, and their entries into these contests showcase significantly what Centennial’s art program is capable of.

In April, junior Katie Harris, enrolled in Art III AP, won first prize in the 2018 Elijah Cummings Congressional Art Competition with her charcoal piece Self Portrait With Pashmina. She is one of eight student artists in the state who received first place in this Congressional Art Competition. Harris’s artwork will be displayed in the tunnels under the US Capitol Building in Washington DC for the following year.

Senior Abbigail Hong, enrolled in Photo III AP, recently took home the curator award from the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture through her photograph titled Uber Street.

In addition, junior Bingbing Chang won first place in the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Historical Society Art Contest. Her winning artwork will be featured on the back cover of the Historical Society’s quarterly magazine, and she will receive a 1-year student membership to the society.

“It’s not something I expect every year,” Nan Collins said, who is one of three art teachers at Centennial. “We have very dedicated students who are serious about their art, and who work very hard to improve their skills.  They are learning from each other, open to critique, [and] eager to improve as artists.”

The marks that these students have made upon these events have shown their own hard work and persistence out of hundreds of pieces that are considered for these places every year. The students who received these significant awards represented Centennial with pride and dedication to their art, and will continue to make the Centennial community proud.

“The precedent was set 40 years ago,” Collins said. “The Commitment to Excellence is no mere slogan. The students in all subjects excel and strive to achieve. I am confident that our art students will continue to make exceptional artworks, and will make the school proud.”

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

Q & A With Mrs. Hafets; Centennial’s principal reflects on her tenure before she retires

Words: Meghan Moore

This article is an extension from an article in the Senior Issue.  To download your own copy of the Senior Issue, click the link: https://chswingspan.com/print-addition-archives/


Hafet’s opening remarks:

I became a principal in 2008, I was promoted to Burleigh Manor Middle School. So my entire 10 years as a principal has been in this community, which is so special, right? I can’t imagine being more fortunate because this community is… I feel very attached to it. The students-when you walk down the hall they don’t just say “Hello” they say “Hello Mrs. Hafets.” Their mannerisms, they are such polite, respectful [students]. I do feel very fortunate… I’ve had so much being the principal. I remember when I first came to Burleigh Manor, I remember thinking “No wonder nobody ever transfer,” it was just that much fun, that exciting- and of course coming with everyone to Centennial-

You already have so many relationships and bonds formed and you can only add on to those, how was it to see some of these people grow from little sixth graders- who don’t know anything- to these adults who are going to take over the world. How is that for you as a principal and as an educator?

It’s been absolutely amazing, and I actually spoke to that last year at graduation, it’s been absolutely amazing to see-well even you- from sixth grade to know 18 years old and how everyone has matured and developed and just grown into wonderful young adults. Again, very responsible. I mean, what I have learned from everybody, it’s not just me, it’s what you all have given is tremendous. Every weekend, you know, I’ll hear from some of the teachers-or the students-, and it’s all the athletic awards, the academic awards, the clubs… they just don’t compete, they’re first place. I can’t even keep our outside sign up to date on everything… That has been so exciting, I love sharing that with everybody.


Talking about how Centennial has changed and what she has accomplished:


There’s a lot, when I first came here, my charge was to make sure to develop instructional leadership, develop communication, and school spirit. And hopefully in the past five years that I’ve been at Centennial, all of that has happened, I mean I think the murals in the hallways and the bulletin boards… I think student voice has become very strong here, and hopefully that will continue because I think what the students in this building have to say should be listened to… I look [out] there and I see these are the future doctors and lawyers and teachers and physicists and all of that… You have to take those risks. If you  fail, that’s all right because that’s a learning experience too, and I guess that’s my philosophy on life… If you don’t try, how do you know? I’m always about, “Let’s try it and we’ll see what happens.” I feel like the school spirit- not just the “Ra-Ra” but the facility itself, we’ve done a lot with security and door swipes and more cameras… I think with communication [within the community and school] having TV’s in the hallways, having the Student Community Canvas page, weekly newsletters, daily notices- I’m hoping that the community and the students always know what’s going on… that’s really important that they’re all part of it. [For] staff…. Weekly instructional team meetings to let everyone know what’s happening, so communication was really important and that needs to stay open and strong [in the future].


Going on to talk about academic achievements at CHS


Centennial should be the flagship school in the region, and it is, and we have made tremendous strides in the past five years… 98-99% of students go onto college, whether it’s two or four years…98-99% of students should be taking college-level courses in high school so they can get to see what it’s like. We have increased the number every year-more and more Centennial students are taking those AP or GT courses…. Ninth graders that come in, who are scheduled for all standard classes… for the past four we have made it a goal to push those students. Three years later, they’re going into twelfth grader, 63% of them are now in honors, AP, or GT courses which is really important… it’s been just a great experience…no questions it’s going to be very emotional [leaving]… I can’t really think about it.

Personal reasons for her retirement:

The reason I am retiring is because my husband retired. We’ve been married 46 years, we’re not just husband and wife, we’re best friends. We have a home in Park City, Utah- where we’re going to be moving- my family’s there. So it’s difficult for everybody to be out there and for me to be here. That’s really why I’m retiring… otherwise-

So if you could do another 20 years you would?

I would… but there’s no guarantee that I would stay here… and I can tell you, if I was transferred, I’d be done. I would not start over at another high school. I’m a Centennial Eagle, I will retire as a Centennial Eagle, I could never be anything else. I’m very blessed to have been placed in [the Centennial] community. Hopefully, what I have done, people have appreciated, my goal is really just to provide all of the opportunities that I can for all of you and hopefully that’s been done and that will continue.

What made you decide to go into education and then become a principal, what drew you to the profession?

I was a middle school teacher, I taught English for a long time, and I loved middle school. I guess I just enjoyed being with the students. That’s an interesting question. What do I like about it? I don’t know, its just.. You guys are fun… you definitely energize me. I’ve always enjoyed working with students- but not young children! I did teach high school for six years in Montgomery County at [Thomas Sprigg] Wootton High School way back in the 70s. Back then, they didn’t have family medical leave, so if you had a child, you either came back to work or you resigned. So I resigned. If I think about it… I worked my way all the way [to the top]… I was president of my children’s nursery school, and when they went to elementary school I substituted, and then I was president of PTSA, and eventually got a long term subbing position at Wilde Lake Middle School and then that long term subbing position became a teaching position… it sort of just happened. I tutored awhile through Hopkins. From being a teacher I became a team leader, and from being a team leader… I went back and took a couple of courses and became an assistant principal-I loved being an assistant principal.

That’s more testing, right?

Well, in the middle school, yeah it was. But you were really very involved with the students and not personnel…and then I applied [for principal] and they promoted me. From the nursery school all the way here. I wouldn’t mind consulting…but I won’t really do much yet, I want to enjoy my grand-baby.

As you leave Centennial, what do you hope to see for the school- and how, whoever comes in next, how they add on to what you’ve worked so hard to build over these past five years?

Certainly, I think about it… I’m hoping that the students in the building continue to have a voice.. That sounds very cliche but there’s an extremely intelligent and articulate group of students in this building and they should be… if a third [of the voice] is the community, and a third is the staff, then a third should be the students…If they have an idea and the person’s not sure about it, then they should still go with it…I believe in that, you don’t know unless you try. That’s probably my philosophy on life, that’s probably how I ended up here (laughs). Another thing of course would be the facility itself… that this facility… there’s no renovations that are supposed to be taking place in the next 10 years or further… so hopefully the person who comes in will to continue to…advocate for the school; which would be the students, the staff, and the community…What tends to happen, Meghan, is because students do so well here, they always think that Centennial doesn’t need anything, but Centennial needs a lot. We need new computers, we need to keep up with our facility…there’s so many little things…I’m hoping that the person who comes in, needs to advocate very, very strongly has to have a loud voice to be heard, and to not be afraid. Collaborative leadership… the decision making needs to be shared. The third one would be that expectations are kept high, that there are high expectations for the staff and the students instructionally…making sure the students and staff have what they need to be successful. That’s what I’ve tried to do and that’s what I hope continues…I really hope all that continues. And that’s how I feel [about leaving Centennial] without crying about it. I’ve always felt that we were a family, I felt that way from day one, from 2008. I’m more a part of this community than I- and I’ve been living in my house for 34 years- and I know more people in this community than my own community (laughs)

It’s almost like this is your home

This is my home


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

Centennial Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse Defeats Mount Hebron to Advance to Regional Finals

Words: Joey Sedlacko

On a hot Tuesday afternoon, the Centennial Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse team moved onto the 3A regional final after defeating archrival Mount Hebron 12-8. The Eagles move on to play J.M. Bennett High School on Wednesday night for a chance to go to the state semi-final game.

The Eagles started the game off well with them getting clean looks on goal and playing solid defense. Junior Peter Krawczyk opened up the scoring with a goal assisted by captain Jeremy Wilson with 4:05 left in the first. Senior goalie Jack Schlossberg made multiple saves to keep Mount Hebron off the scoreboard. Centennial went up 1-0 at the end of the first. Even though the score didn’t show it, the Eagles had control of the game.

Early in the second quarter, turnovers plagued Centennial, and Mount Hebron tied up the game 1-1. However, Centennial responded well and quickly caught fire on the offensive end and Mount Hebron did not have an answer for the sudden flurry of scoring. Goals by senior Jeremy Wilson,  senior Michael Pellegrini, sophomore Ty Sams, senior Thomas Thurmond, and junior Charlie Hockersmith would account for five straight goals for the Eagles. Thurmond did an impressive job winning the majority of the faceoffs, and Schlossberg stood his ground in goal, only allowing one goal. Centennial would go up 6-1 at half.

To start the second half, Wilson tacked on two more of his four goals to put Centennial up 8-1. Mount Hebron did not quit and scored three straight to shorten their deficit to 8-4. In the final seconds of the third quarter, a shot by Mount Hebron would end up hitting the post of the goal, bouncing to midfield where Krawczyk could pick it up and pass to Wilson to score with 1.6 seconds left. Going into the fourth quarter, the Eagles had a comfortable 9-4 lead.

The fourth quarter would prove to be a back and forth game. The Eagles scored three goals in the quarter, two coming from Sams to complete a hattrick and one from freshman Andrew Hockersmith. Mount Hebron would go on to score four of their own goals, but the deficit was too large to come back. Centennial was never down throughout the whole game.

Centennial’s Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse is looking to carry this momentum into Wednesday night’s game on the road against J.M. Bennett High School as a chance to go to states is on the line.

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

Centennial Girls Varsity Lacrosse Knocked Out of The Playoffs by Vikings

Photos: Eliza Andrew

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

Centennial’s STEM Successes Recognized at Celebration of Excellence

Words: Maggie Ju / Photos: Piper Berry

The Celebration of Excellence for Intern-Mentor and Independent Research students was held on Wednesday, May 2, in the Centennial cafeteria. Complex, intriguing projects that showcased the accomplishments of Centennial students were displayed.

This is the last year of teaching for Ms. Michelle Bagley, the supervisor for the two G/T programs. Students presented her with flowers and personalized notes.

“I treat each one of them as unique individuals,” said Ms. Bagley. “It was wonderful to hear them speak about my impact on their lives.”

Throughout the programs, many students participated in various science competitions, and their successes throughout the year were acknowledged at the celebration.

In the Regeneron Science Talent Search, a prestigious national STEM competition, three Centennial seniors received awards: finalist Chy Murali and semifinalists Katie Gao and Swadhin Nalubola.

“In layman’s terms, I look for patterns in datasets and try to predict a gene’s significance on different types of cancer,” Gao said. She intends to explore biomedical research beyond her undergraduate years.

Despite “talent” being in the name of the competition, Gao does not view the key to success as such. She said, “It doesn’t take some unattainable magical quality to do good research. What you do need, however, is a nurturing mentor, lots of hard work, and a little luck.”

Nicole Meister, another high-achieving senior, is no stranger to recognition for her scientific achievements. Recently, she was a finalist in the Maryland Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.

My project was focused on improving the accuracy of a neural network that could classify features in X-ray scattering images,” she said. “I’m passionate about computer science and research because I feel I can make a difference with my work and improve the lives of others.”

Of all the opinions of the night, none were as important as Ms. Bagley’s. Thirty-eight years of fostering bright minds culminated in the last celebration of her students’ hard work.

“The evening was wonderful,” she declared.

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

Centennial’s It’s Academic Team Wins 7th in the Nation

Words: Hibah Khan / Photos: Caio Goolsby

The Centennial “A” JV It’s Academic team was ranked 7th in the nation at the History Bowl on April 28th from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. in Crystal City, VA. Three It’s Academic JV teams and one Varsity team qualified for the National Tournament. The “A” JV team is comprised of captain sophomore Adam Knox, sophomore Tobias Moser, sophomore Caio Goolsby, and freshman Anthony Duan.

The competitions, though fun and exciting, progressively became more difficult. Goolsby explained, “While most of the games were easy victories, as the day wore on, we faced harder and harder teams and we had many close games. In fact, during the decider match, we lost the game by one question.”

Regardless of their loss, the team had another game the next morning, which only Duan attended. Duan managed to single-handedly crush the opposing team to secure 7th in the nation for the team. In addition, Duan won 4th in the nation for the individual competition. The team’s members are appreciative of the amazing efforts of Dr. and Mrs. Seifter, their coaches, who have been a key aspect of the outstanding success of the It’s Academic team.

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

Centennial’s Model UN Celebrates Year with Banquet

Words and Photos: Maggie Ju

Centennial’s Model United Nations Club hosted its annual end-of-year potluck banquet on Friday, May 4, in the school cafeteria. Dozens attended to look back on and celebrate a successful year of conferences.

The event kicked off with a slideshow of the year’s events, showcasing the delegates at their best and weirdest. Superlatives followed, each winner awarded a certificate. In typical Model UN fashion, categories included “Most Dilatory” and “Most Likely to Be Stalin” — most of the winners did not come as a surprise.

Once the laughter died down, the Co-Secretaries General, sophomores Caio Goolsby and Sydney Kelley, presented speeches about all the seniors in the club. Several people became teary-eyed.

Seniors from the 2017-18 board concluded the activities of the night, taking the podium to deliver their last messages of their high school Model UN careers.

“If you’re an underclassman, please stay in this club,” said Julie Wang. “It is so much fun and it is such a great experience.”

Bryce Plunkett spoke about the skills he developed through the club, and added, “Make sure if you have siblings, tell them to join and keep the cyclical nature of Model UN going.” He was one of many club members who had joined because of an older sibling.

“It’s been a rigorously riveting, intellectually stimulating four years,” Alex Na summarized. A self-described “deadweight” in freshman year, he invested more time and energy into the club throughout high school, eventually earning the position of fundraiser.

“This club has given me so much confidence,” said Dina Eloseily. “You have a lot of new opportunities, and I’m just really happy that [my older sister] forced me to do this.”

Ms. Galante, Ms. Parker, and Mr. Riddler were presented with gifts as a token of gratitude for their hard work as club advisors. Ms. Galante, who has been an advisor for Model UN from the very beginning, expressed her disbelief that the seniors had grown up so quickly.

Sophomore Constanza Montemayor was elected to be the club’s spring coordinator for the 2018-19 school year. She looks forward to continuing the legacy that the seniors have left.

“I’ve been in Model UN for two years, and I never would have thought I would have made it to the board because I was such a shy novice,” she said. “But now, I am so excited and I can’t wait to keep going to conferences and making friends.”

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