Marketing Fair During Lunch Shifts Today in the Commons

For the first time at Marriotts Ridge, students have gathered together to showcase modern marketing strategies and information about large businesses and companies that are taking over the world. The Marketing Fair is an effective way to show how much these students have been learning this past year and also a great way to expose our students to the marketing world.

This fair is taking place during all of the lunch shifts today, with various booths and student presenters. All of the presenters are part of the Principles of Marketing class, taught by Ms. Miller. This class teaches the students about the principles of marketing and business, and effective ways to showcase communication skills and advertising. The students in the class are passionate about their topics and ideas, and they are willing to share plenty of information about their projects during the fair. Iman Gul, Junior, said, “We are showing people ways to present and to inspire many others to do the same.”

In addition to teaching other students about marketing, the presenters themselves are also learning. Andrew Kim, Senior, said, “We are learning how to promote products as a campaign, and how to present different products.” Iman Gul added, “We are doing this to further our own experience with marketing and to help us in the future.”

Throughout the entire fair, these passionate students display their skills that they acquired throughout the year, and they inspire other students to take this class to help the students of MRHS prepare for a future in the business world.

“Angst” Screening Tackles Mental Health

Olivia Brooks – Staff Writer

With the pressure of social media and the competitiveness and rigor of school, it is no wonder that many teens across the country suffer from some type of mental illness. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, one in five teens currently live with a mental health disorder, and this statistic is on the rise. Due to this, the Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center reports that suicide is the third leading cause of death in all youths.

As part of a growing effort to combat this mental health crisis, there will be several screenings of “Angst,” a documentary that delves into all aspects of anxiety and stress, and highlights interviews with children, teens, parents, educators, and experts on the subject. Mental health is an essential part of students’ wellbeing, and the documentary explores how debilitating disorders can be that affect one’s mental health, as well as the positive results of seeking aid and support from family, teachers, or professionals.

The film is 55 minutes long and geared towards children and teens, as well as their parents and guardians, and afterwards features a panel of local experts representing HCPSS, Horizon Foundations, Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center, clinicians, and students. The panel will share important information on the documentary and current mental health epidemic, plus answer questions from the audience and provide relevant anecdotes based on their experiences. Attendees will also be able to take home a bundle of resource papers for further help or study.

A vital point to remember is that despite the increase in teen mental health disorders, there are always ways to boost one’s mental stability. Teens have a plethora of resources available to them, including aspects of self care they can fulfill at home. Senior Hana Cho suggested that “stressed teens can exercise or walk outside.” Junior Gloria Cai said, “I take naps when I feel tired or stressed.”

“Angst” will be screened at 6:30 on Tuesday, April 2 at Howard High School; Thursday, April 4 at Hammond High School; Tuesday, April 9 at Glenelg High School; and Wednesday, April 10 at Mt. Hebron High School. The screening is free to attend. For additional information, visit the Howard County Public School System website.

MRHS Performs The Sound of Music

by Abby Kim

The famous musical The Sound of Music was performed by the MRHS Theater Department in a fun and exciting manner from March 21st through the 23rd.

Students were really impressed with the quality of the performance. “It was really good. There was a diverse cast that portrayed the original movie really well,” exclaimed Anna Ottman, freshman.

“Their hidden talents were showcased and it was really fun to watch! Mariah was such an amazing character and I love the way she was portrayed,” explained Srinidhi Arumugam, freshman.

Although the audience can only see what happens on stage, there are many different aspects that make a musical the amazing spectacle that it is meant to be.

“The cast and crew worked alongside each other throughout the preparation for the musical. The crew handled all of the action that happened behind the scenes, while the cast is made up of the main roles and the ensemble,” explained Lacee Adams, member of the ensemble.

The play contained the classical songs from the original musical; each song with its own choreography and individuality that took a lot of rehearsals to perfect. “I’m really proud of the choreography this time—everything is well done,” exclaimed Emmy Mako, sophomore and member of the ensemble.

” The musical was so much fun and it was great to be part of such an iconic show!” said junior Ellie Parks.

Although stress-inducing, the members of the theater department who are participated in the creation of the musical were enthusiastic about the final performances and the display of their hard work.

“I think I enjoy working up towards the final product where all the cast is in costume and the props have been set up. I was looking forward to the first performance!” said Hashini Amarasinghe, who played Sister Sophie.

“The practices went well, and we were on track for four amazing performances! The music quality was also amazing,” said Matty Barbera, who played Friedrich.

“The play was really fun to be a part of! I’m extremely glad it turned out so well and I’m thankful that my family was able to come see us perform,” said sophomore Elizabeth Ottenritter.

To complement the amazing numbers that were in the musical, the MRHS orchestra performed during the play. “We met every Friday to practice, and we added Sundays as well in order to put out the best! The week before the performances was tech week, where everyone stayed at school until 8 everyday to rehearse with the people who will be performing.” explained Heejee Lee, sophomore and member of the orchestra.

Full of effort and long hours of rehearsal, The Sound of Music was a resounding success and a Broadway quality show.

Snow Emergency Plan

Olivia Brooks – Staff Writer

An abundance of snow this year has given Howard County students several days of no school on November 15, January 14 and 30, and February 11 and 20. The school calendar, however, is built only with four inclement weather days and five have already been used. In order to compensate, the academic year has now been stretched to June 21, much to the exasperation of students.

Romina Daraei Baf, a ninth grade student, says, “I don’t think they should extend it to that long since we want to spend our summers freely.”

Making an academic calendar flexible enough to include all of the expected and unexpected circumstances surrounding schools, such as inclement weather, exams, state mandated testing, and even construction, is no easy task, as shown by the process necessary to construct one. The calendar is first developed by a Calendar Committee comprised of representatives for every position in the school system, from parents to principals. The calendar is then presented to the Superintendent, often amended or altered, and is finally given to the Board of Education for approval. It is the Board that makes the final decision.

One important rule factored in is that the state of Maryland mandates that students attend school for a minimum of 180 days, though local Boards of Education can require more days. Teachers, however, often have professional days during the academic year, and according to the Howard County Public School System website, the “current negotiated agreement between the Howard County Board of Education and the Howard County Education Association calls for teachers to work 192 days.”

Even though the intellectual performance of students is of utmost importance, many students point out that cutting into summer vacation is actually detrimental. As eleventh grader Kenneth Haraham points out, “I think that school should not be extended to June 21st, reason being, many people have other important activities to attend (internships, programs, and various other curriculars).”

What occurs in the school building is only a small piece of a student’s overall scholastic career. Many students have outside commitments that require attention over the summer, and denying them this could cause a loss of monetary or academic benefits.

MRHS Parking Lot Thief

Madison Costigan -Staff Writer

Many students at Marriotts Ridge choose to drive to school, but leaving their cars vulnerable during the day may be a problem.

Many students at Marriotts Ridge choose to drive to school, but leaving their cars vulnerable during the day may be a problem.

Students have reported missing items from their cars, as well as seeing someone in the parking lot that they do not recognize. Marriotts Ridge staff have warned students to stay vigilant and lock their cars, so that no one has access to the belongings inside.

In an interview with Marriotts Ridge School Resource Officer, Officer Willingham, he warned students to “always lock and secure your vehicle and do not leave your belongings in plain sight.” Students need to be conscious of how they are leaving their car for the day. “If you take away the opportunity for a crime to be committed, you will not be a target of a crime,” explained Officer Willingham. So by locking cars and putting things away so that no one can see them, students can decrease their chances of being a victim to a thief. And this vigilance can stand for any situation of crime, so students should always be careful and protect themselves and their property to their best ability. Officer Willingham also claimed that the investigation is ongoing, and if any students have any information or see anything unusual, they should tell him or a staff member.

Junior Megan Hughes had a story regarding the thief in the parking lot. “I had left school early one day, and a few days later I was called down to the office, and they asked if I had seen someone in the parking lot,” recalled Hughes. “I had not, but they showed me a video of someone getting into a random car when I came outside, and then getting out and leaving in another car.” It is nerve-wracking to think of a strange person on school property, especially if they have access to students’ cars. Students should be sure to secure their cars and follow the directions of Officer Willingham in order to keep their cars and belonging safe in the parking lot.

New Plan For Old Ellicott City

Photo Credit: Fie Klementsen

Brice Handel – News Editor

Less than a month into his administration, Calvin Ball has rolled out his “Safe and Sound” initiative with the goal of finding solutions to the deadly flooding that has tarnished Old Ellicott City. Ball’s predecessor, Alan Kittleman, had drafted a plan that called for the demolition of ten buildings along historic Main Street, but Ball fears that demolition is, “using a sledgehammer when only a scalpel is necessary.” He still plans on honoring the offers that have been made to Ellicott City business owners to buy their properties, but, for now, he’s holding back on demolition.

Before any permanent decisions are made, he is bringing in structural engineers to assess damages and determine the integrity of the buildings affected by the flooding. Ball’s plan also includes improvements to Howard County’s emergency public alert system and efforts to clean debris out of waterways. To fund these improvements, a matching grant program has been setup that includes $150,000 in funding, but Ball feels that won’t be enough to help all those affected. To secure more funding, he is collaborating with Delegate-Elect Courtney Watson and State Senator-Elect Katie Fry Hester to introduce legislation into the General Assembly that will secure more funding for the county.

Ellicott City business owners are grateful for Ball’s swift execution of his plan, stating that it’s difficult to remain open with the reduced foot traffic in Old Ellicott City. Many people are weary of visiting Old Ellicott City given the dangerous flooding that has occurred, but Ball hopes that his “Safe and Sound” initiative will restore the area to what it once was.

Calvin Ball’s Email Hacked

Brice Handel – News Editor

Days before Christmas, about 35,000 Howard County residents received emails from Netflix stating that their accounts would be cancelled if they didn’t update their payment information. However, this turned out to be an elaborate phishing scam that was orchestrated by hackers targeting Calvin Ball.

The Sunday before Christmas, hackers signed into Ball’s Constant Contact account which contained email distribution lists with thousands of emails. Hackers used these email lists to distribute emails that appeared to come from Netflix with the subject line “Account Cancellation.” Upon opening the email, recipients were greeted with a message explaining that in order for their subscription to remain in effect they needed to re-enter their payment details. It was a typical phishing scam where hackers posed as a credible business in order to gather sensitive information. The email included a link to a phony Netflix website where people could enter their payment details. Thankfully, less than 700 people clicked on the link out of the 35,000 that received the email.

Within about two hours, Constant Contact had suspended Ball’s account and deactivated the scam link contained in the email. Howard County Officials have ensured residents that no government databases were compromised and no confidential personal information was released. At this time, Ball’s Constant Contact account has been restored and there have been no more repercussions as a result of this incident.