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Head Hunters: Scott’s 3D Project Grabs Attention

We journalists for Paoli Media pride ourselves in finding out all of the latest information and biggest stories. Yet, recently, we were humbled by the fact senior Kennon Scott has been working on the ultimate “senior prank” since September, and our eyes are just now catching the mischief. 

Scott has been using a 3D printer and scanner to make hundreds of tiny figurines of his head and hiding them all throughout PHS for months to create a scavenger hunt.

“I figured out how to make a 3D scan of my face and I just printed one off and thought it would be funny to do it. It is a senior prank that will be remembered for years and it is hilarious,” said Scott. 

Coming up with this idea all on his own, Scott has currently made 141 heads and will have 250 printed and hidden before the end of the year.

“There will also be some secret rare characters of mine that people can find that are numbered past 250,” said Scott. 

Students (and staff) can find these objects in all different colors, including white, red, black, blue and even gold. They are everywhere from on top of clocks in the hallway to inside books in the library.

“I figured out how to make a 3D scan of my face and I just printed one off and thought it would be funny to do it.”

Senior Kennon Scott

“If people find them, they can do whatever they want with them: keep them, chuck them, it doesn’t matter. All I have to say is whoever has the most by the end of the school year will receive a grand prize,” said Scott. 

Students are encouraged to send photos of their “Kennon Heads” to @phsmedianews on Instagram in order for us to keep track of which ones have been found. 

“To anyone wanting to truly find some, follow me on Instagram and Snapchat and I will be dropping hints every now and then before the school year ends. After I have graduated, however, the rest that remain must be found on your own,” said Scott. 

Happy hunting!

Story by Gracie Walls

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Quarantine guideline changes

With a change in Orange County’s COVID rates, the school has also had to change the guidelines for quarantines. The new guidelines started right when the students came back for the second semester.

The biggest change for the students is for those who get quarantined due to close-contact tracing. The new guideline states that they only have to quarantine for six days. When they come back they will have to wear a mask for the next five days.

“Quarantining is still required from school settings where masks are taken off.  That includes the cafeteria, sports practices, band class, choir class, and other extracurriculars where masks are not worn at all times by every single person present.  If you are in a setting such as the cafeteria, and a person whom you were within 6 feet of for more than 15 cumulative minutes tests positive for COVID-19, you would be identified as a close contact if that contact happened during the person’s contagious period.” said Nurse Emme Moore.

The rules for athletes are much similar. If an athlete gets quarantined, they will not be allowed back at practices for six days. They will have to wear their masks during practices and games for five days. COVID has also been affecting other schools around us; the boys varsity basketball team has had to reschedule one of the games. The game originally scheduled for January 14 against Dubois got rescheduled to January 24 due to positive COVID tests on the Dubois team.

“Consistency has been hard to find and we have noticed this with our players and team. Lineups change, roles change, expectations even change. It can be hard for kids to adjust and for them to grasp what their role really is. But, kids are resilient and oftentimes will surprise you with what they can accomplish and overcome. They are managing ,and learning how to handle adversity.  Hopefully this helps them in the future. ” said boys basketball varsity coach Dusty Cole.

Story by Carley Higgins

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Lady Rams Defeat Senators on the Road

On Thursday January 20, the Lady Rams defeated the West Washington Senators 56-30. The win moved the Rams 4-0 in the PLAC Conference.

“The first half was a little ugly. It just seemed like we were a little off. Early foul trouble didn’t help for sure,” said Head Coach Donavan Crews. “Ryleigh (Anderson) and Carley (Higgins) both picked up two fouls in the first quarter and had to sit a lot of the first half.  That definitely changed our rotation.”

The three leading scorers for the Rams were junior Jackie Crews with 22 points, senior Kacey McBride with 13 points, and senior Gracie Walls with 7 points.

“I feel like we are a fairly deep team if we have to be and tonight was a prime example of that. We went eight deep in the first quarter because of foul trouble and we had some kids really step up. The second quarter was a struggle again.  But the goal was to maintain some good play and get to half time, so we’d have everyone back,” said Crews.

“We have two more big conference games left and hopefully we can keep things going and finish strong.”

Lady Rams Head Coach Donavan Crews

After halftime the Rams were able to make adjustments and turn their game around. 

“We made a few offensive adjustments and defensive adjustments at half time and the girls really did a nice job carrying them out on the court.  They executed them perfectly and the third quarter we really got things going,” said Crews. “Our defensive intensity really gave them trouble in the third.  We outscored them 19-3 and we really had them on their heels.”

Crews was pleased with the performance from many players, but praised a few key players.

“The good news is Amelia (Hess) was ready to go and she had a really big quarter for us scoring 5 points with a big 3 pointer. Ella (Spires) came in and played some really nice defense in the post. Jackie (Crews) really had a nice quarter with 11 of her points and Kacey (McBride) had a nice quarter as well with 6.”

Crews also gives credit to his defense.

“In the fourth our defensive intensity never let up and we continued to stretch the lead out.  It was a big road win for us.  It’s tough to win on the road and it’s even tougher to win conference games on the road,” said Crews. “The girls really responded after a sluggish first half.  We have two more big conference games left and hopefully we can keep things going and finish strong.”

The Rams will face the Springs Valley Blackhawks tomorrow morning starting at noon in the lower gymnasium. There will be no JV game.

Story by Ashleigh Garcia

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Library Home to New Union

Space to transform into a resource hub for students

After Brenda Eubank retired from being the school’s librarian last school year, the library faced uncertainty as to what was to come next. The position was taken over by English teacher Rachel Miller, and since then the library has began a new chapter of service for the school.

The library is home to hundreds of reading materials, all of which are open for any student to check out. The library also houses other resources, such as social worker Ashley Manship’s office, study spaces, and the home of the Essentials Project.

Starting this school year, the library is now the home of a student union.

The union was previously initiated by Ginny Nelson, who was a part of the guidance office. This union was created to provide students with information regarding post-high school plans and how to navigate the latter part of high school.

The goal is to implement resources that students can utilize and benefit from. One resource for students, with a partnership from the AVID program, are studying skills. The goal would be to work with Tammy Noble’s AVID class to help students with study tables and tutorials on studying skills.

“Say, if there is a big chemistry test at the end of the week, students can meet [at the union] on Tuesday and Thursday after school to get together and students can collaborate and use the skills they have learned from AVID lessons to help them study,” said Principal Dr. Sherry Wise.

Another goal of the student union is to show students what their options are both in school and after graduation. For in-school options, students can go to the union to inquire about what classes and programs may be available, such as the CDL course offered by the co-op. For plans after graduation, the union can be very beneficial for students.

If students are interested in learning more about a specific school, the union can arrange for students representatives for an information session.

It can also provide the students with information they may need to apply for colleges, as well as options in the workforce or military.

“I want to make it something that, no matter what your plan is after high school, there’s going to be something there for you that you can come and work with [the union] on,” said Wise.

At the beginning of the semester, Nelson resigned as the union’s coordinator. Currently, a new coordinator has not been hired, but there are applicants being reviewed.

Story by Michael Hannon

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Now Hiring: Substitutes Needed in the Classroom

When Cooperation Secretary Lisa Muth started working for the Paoli School Corporation in 2012, there were 76 substitute teachers hired to work at the school. The next year, 13 more, but since then there has been a steady decrease in the number of substitutes available.

Currently, there are only 30 substitute teachers working in the corporation.

“That may sound like a lot,” said Muth, “but they are shared by both buildings. Also, some of them are college students and are only available on their breaks.”

Muth suspects many reasons as to why there has been a diminishing number available in recent years. Though they receive $75 a day for working at the school, the position comes with an unpredictable work schedule and a lack of insurance or “leave day” benefits.

“I am sure there are people that don’t want to come into a school right now,” said Muth. “Some people [also] don’t like not knowing when they might be called into work. They usually call them early the same day they need them.”

Another possibility is the emergence and ongoing conflicts that have come with the COVID-19 pandemic. The school year following the initial quarantine of students and staff experienced resulted in 14 substitute teachers not returning. The next, 10 more were lost.

Regardless of the worsening situation, Muth maintains hope more applications will come in.

“We are currently advertising on the radio for job openings at the school and have them posted on our website,” said Muth.

Applications to become a substitute teacher are available on the school’s website under the Staff and Employment section. Under that there is one for Jobs and Applications and, finally, a page specifically for substitute teachers.

Interested applicants must have gone through a background check and have a current Substitute Teacher License through the State of Indiana.

Story by Joz Kempf

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High Hopes for Year Ahead

A new year is a time to start fresh, a time to reflect on oneself and decide what things in one’s life need to be changed. While there is room for improvement across most if not all aspects of one’s life, it is important to narrow down the scope when setting personal goals. Doing so is necessary
in order to avoid getting overwhelmed and, as a result, discouraged by broad, unreasonable objectives.

We asked our staff what areas they need to work on and the majority of their answers were related, indicating many could benefit from aiming for similar progress.

Some students said they have trouble with placing themselves in others’ shoes and thus need to embrace empathy. They acknowledged that they need to be mindful of what those around them are going through and realize that everyone has their own problems at any given time.

Likewise, staff members said they could benefit from extending empathy towards themselves. Teenagers are no strangers to pressure, especially that which they put upon themselves in terms of school, sports and jobs. Many forget to be kind to themselves and as a result develop a negative self-image. These students would like to practice more self-love and accept that they are only human and cannot be perfect.

Self-compassion was also brought up by students who want to begin putting themselves first. Some said they need to stop allowing themselves to be walked over by others, as well as needing to stop spreading themselves too thin by helping others before themselves – following the principle of putting on one’s own oxygen mask before assisting others with theirs.

Several staff members responded by saying they need to improve their mental and physical health.

Their ideas for doing so involve self-care, for their minds with rest and awareness and for their bodies with a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise routine.

Students want to change their attitudes as well, in particular, their views on life to more optimistic ones. They would like to start looking at every day from a more positive perspective than they typically do in order to be able to appreciate each day they have.

Additionally, our staff spoke of wanting to become carefree. Many students struggle with nerves and over-thinking. They said they need to quit worrying about petty things and begin to give their attention to the things that actually matter.

Our staff also mentioned wanting to change their personalities to become more outgoing and extroverted people who are not afraid to put themselves out there. The idea of such self improvement is often a subject around this time of year. Everyone is setting their new year’s
resolutions and hoping to make this year better than the last. When asked what their resolutions were, our staff’s responses fell under the overarching theme of consistency.

Students want to be consistent with their good habits in the new year, habits such as volunteering, studying and working out. Some students responded with wanting to be motivated and determined as well – things that allow consistency to prosper.

Several of our staff members admit to losing their motivation halfway through activities which results in them abandoning them. Students want to become self-driven, to be strong in their initiative so as not to count on others for finding success.

Others would like to pick up new practices like journaling to get their feelings down on paper and better understand their thoughts. Reading is another thing members want to do more of in the new year. They would like for it to become a source of enjoyment and escapism, something that would allow them to put their phones down and feed their brains.

Staff members want to alter their frame of mind. Instead of longing after the lives of others, students wanted to start romanticizing their own lives – appreciating the beauty of the little things around them. While it is important to work towards self-improvement, it is vital to remember that working on oneself should not be determined by the date. It can be a journey that begins anytime during the course of the year and something that one takes breaks from now and again. A lot of pressure is put on becoming the best version of oneself with the beginning of each new year and that stress can deter people from making any progress at all.

This issue can be aided by setting goals that are both plausible and achievable. It is easy to think big when it comes to goals, and while it may be true that one can do whatever they set their mind to, it is also true that one can get themselves in over their heads.

Planning out a goal into a series of smaller goals can be helpful. When doing this, one is able to celebrate the minor successes that contribute to reaching the overall goal. Students mentioned how this method allows them to see their progress and prompts them to keep working towards what they want to accomplish.

Another way our staff members stay on track to achieve their goals is by finding the right motivation. They find it to help significantly when they ask themselves why they are setting a goal and what the goal will do for them when they reach it – therefore knowing the significance of seeing it through.

Some spoke about how they nudge themselves to keep working towards their goals by setting reminders on their phones and writing notes for themselves in order to remember what they want to achieve.

A good support system can push one to improve themselves also. Our staff thinks it’s a good idea to inform those around them, their family and friends, of their goals. That way, they can be a source of encouragement and maybe even offer a little help.

Measuring one’s success is a critical part of reaping the benefits of one’s goals. This can be done in several different ways.

Our staff members consider themselves successful by their level of personal satisfaction. Even if they have not completed their goals entirely, students say that if they feel good about their progress, they already consider themselves successful to some extent.

Furthermore, one can measure their success in self-improvement and goal-achievement in terms of where they are. One can look at where they were previously and compare it to where they are currently and where they would like to be in the future. Students say they notice how far they have come and how much they have grown when reflecting on their past selves.

While the start of a new year presents a good opportunity to start working on oneself, it can also be a root of stress. It does not have to be, with specific goal setting and a relaxed approach self-improvement taking the pressure off of making progress.

Staff Editorial

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Juniors Named Rising Stars

On December 15, juniors Marty Higgins, River Fleming, Clara Henderson and Masden Embry were recognized as new members of The Rising Stars of Indiana.

Rising Stars of Indiana is a noncompetitive recognition program, designed to
honor high school juniors for their outstanding academic achievement.

“It’s really nice to be recognized for the effort we put in to get the grades we do,” said Embry.

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Ag Department Welcomes New Life

On December 20, the first litter of piglets was born in the Paoli Pig Barn. The first pig to give birth was Rosie, owned by seventh grader Graydan Padgett, and Rosie had 11 babies; six were boars and five were gilts.

Since then, there have been two other litters born. On December 24, Reba, owned by senior Carson Little, had six babies; three boars and three gilts. On December 26, Buffy, owned by freshman Keeley Scott, had eight babies; five boars and three gilts. On January 10, Rose, owned by freshman Mary Cook, had one baby; one gilt.

“My favorite part about having pigs is when they have the babies. It is more exciting than Christmas presents.” said

Padgett. He plans to continue raising pigs, and might try working with different breeds in the future. Padgett will use the money he earns this year and use it to help pay for expenses with his next pigs.

Two pigs in the barn didn’t give birth this time; Naomi owned by freshman Haylie Gilliatt, and Margo, owned by Hannah Woolston. Margo was bred on December 18, and her piglets will be
ready in time to be used in late fall and early winter shows. Naomi will be sent back home with Gilliatt.

The pigs that the students observe off campus have also started to mother their litters. Four out
of five pigs off campus have given birth.

Sixth grader Lucas Carmickle’s pigs were the first to give birth. Hella had 11 babies, six boars and
five gilts, and Hazel had five babies; four boars and one gilt. Patches, Scott’s pig, had 14 babies; nine boars and five gilts. Sixth grader Lucas Carmickle’s pig was next. Astrid had five babies; three boars and two gilts.

“I have raised pigs since I was really young, and I started showing them in third grade. My favorite part about raising pigs is the experience I get from it, and being able to help other people with their pigs when they need it,” said Scott.

If you are interested in learning more about the pig program visit the PHS website and click on the Paoli Farm-to-Table Program site link located under Menu.

Story by Carley Higgins

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Villains Victorious

First Big Musical after COVID a Success

From December 2-4, drama club students presented “Descendants”, their fall musical based on a Disney film of the same name. In total, 420 tickets were sold over the three nights, making it one of the most attended production in the club’s history.

Drama director Maria Wishart was appreciated of all of the parents, staff and the kids who participated.

“I think the play went wonderfully. We had a wide range of age ranges and experience levels both on the stage and backstage. Everyone contributed something to make it a fabulous show,” said Wishart.

The play showcased the talents of eleven seniors, as it is their final year being with their drama family.

Senior Taylor Becht just joined drama this year and landed a major role in the Descendants production. She performed as the main villain, Maleficent.

“From this musical I gained confidence and new-found friendships that will last a life time. I wouldn’t take it back for anything,” said Becht.

The production featured a talented cast of about 50 students from both the high school and elementary schools.

On the night of the last show, Wishart was also honored by drama club students both past and present, as this production marks her 20th year as the drama club director and 50th show at PHS.

School board member Craig Starr and former member Roger Moon presented Wishart with an award.

“Maria, here you are being honored between a Moon and a Starr,” joked Moon.

Story and Photos by Ashleigh Garcia

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Rams Earn Win and Loss – Travel to Eastern Saturday

The Rams had a busy schedule last week as they played two back-to-back games. On Friday the Rams fell short against the Mitchell Bluejackets 44-48 on January 7. The loss moves the Rams 1-1 in the PLAC Conference. The next night the team turned their game around at Tell City with a win against the Marksmen, 61-52.

Head Coach Dusty Cole reflected on Friday’s game. 

“Tough night on the road. We came out a little bit flat and had too many dry spells on the offensive end. There were multiple times throughout the game that we had chances to stretch a 2-3 point lead to 8-10 and we just never could get it done,” said Cole. “We allowed Mitchell to hang around and they gained more and more confidence as the night went on.  We missed a few shots late and they hit a few shots.”

Sophomore Trey Rominger moves around a Bluejacket defender. Photo by Faith Gammon

The three leading scorers for the Rams were junior Isaac Cornett-McBride with 13 points, sophomore Trey Rominger with 11 points, and freshman Fletcher Cole with 8 points.

“We only shot six free throws and we got outrebounded.  These are two areas that we pride ourselves in so it was disappointing to see those numbers,” said Cole. “Isaac hit a few shots late in the game for us, but overall, nobody stood out as having a great game.”

The positive takeaway for Cole was on defense. 

“Defense was solid and we held their two leading scorers to 19 points combined,” said Cole. 

Freshman Fletcher Cole faces a Mitchell opponent. Photo by Faith Gammon
Senior Bladen Patton faces a Bluejackets player Friday night. Photo by Faith Gammon

Saturday’s game ended with the Rams adding another tally to the win column. 

“We didn’t play our best game, but we found a way to get the job done,” said Cole. “We have a bunch of winners on this basketball team.  Winners, find a way to win.  Sometimes you have to win UGLY.  But you find a way to win.   Our kids did just that.”

The three leading scorers for the Rams were  freshman Fletcher Cole with 16 points, sophomore Trey Rominger with 15 points, and senior John Moon with 13 points.

“We are still making a lot of mistakes.  We turned the ball over a season high [of] 16 times and shot a very poor percentage from the field,” said Cole.  “On a positive note, we hit our free throws really well late.  We were already down a player with Carson Little being sidelined, but we also had to overcome a lot of foul trouble as well.”

Cole was pleased by the performance of senior Bladen Patton and of his team at the free-throw lane all night.

“Bladen [Patton] was solid tonight.  Went three of four from three-point range, and had five assists and 0 turnovers. Fletcher hit his free throws well (11-12 from the line). Trey had 14 points in the second half. As a team we hit 26 of 31 free throws,” said Cole.

The Rams will not be playing host to the Dubois Jeeps, with the game to be rescheduled at a later date.

The team will travel to Eastern Pekin to play the Musketeers tomorrow at 6 p.m. Ram fans can purchase tickets at the link below.  

Story by Ashleigh Garcia

Click HERE to purchase tickets.

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Lady Rams Defeat Braves; Face Wolfpack Tomorrow

On Saturday January 8, the Lady Rams defeated the Borden Braves 57-13. 

“Playing midday games are sometimes tough to get ready for. So, getting mentally ready to play these games are important,” said Head Coach Donavan Crews. “I thought we came out a little flat to start the game.  Borden was ready to play, and they jumped out on us 4-0 really quick.”

The score did not stay that way for long with the Rams stepping up to add big points. The three leading scorers for the Rams were  junior Jackie Crews with 12 points, senior Kacey McBride with 10 points, and junior Ryleigh Anderson.

“After we settled down and got focused we really started clicking. We went on a 19-0 run to end the quarter and we never looked back.  The girls stayed focused and continued to do what we needed to do,” said Crews. “Once you get up big on teams sometimes it’s hard to stay sharp and not get sloppy.” 

The Rams were able to limit their turnovers against the Braves. 

Senior Kacey McBride brings the ball down the court against a Perry Central defender on January 4. Photo by Faith Gammon

“We finished the game with only five turnovers which is really good.  That means we weren’t forcing things out there and we continued to take what Borden was giving us out there.  We had another game with balanced scoring which was good to see.”

Crews praised his defence which only gave up 13 points all day long.

“Borden has a couple really nice guards and I thought the girls did a very nice job realizing where they were and defending them the way we had talked about,” said Crews.

The Rams were set to face county rival Springs Valley on Thursday, January 20 but the game had to be postponed due to COVID-19 cases and quarantine requirements. The Rams will now face the Blackhawks on Saturday, January 22. 

Up next, the Lady Rams will play Crawford County at home tomorrow, January 15,  the JV game will start at noon with Varsity to follow.

Story by Ashleigh Garcia

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Rams Win Big Over Commodores; Face Braves

On Tuesday January 4, the Lady Rams defeated the Perry Central Commodores 57-23. The win moved the Rams 2-0 in the PLAC Conference.

Senior Kacey McBride brings the ball up the court. Photo by Olivia McSpadden

“We really want to defend our homecourt,” said Coach Donavan Crews. “With Gracie (Walls) and Amelia (Hess) out, we had a lot of different combinations out there than usual.  It took us a little bit to get going but once we started clicking out there, we were able to get a comfortable lead.”

The three leading scorers for the Rams were junior Jackie Crews with 11 points, sophomore Carley Higgins with 11 points, and senior Kacey McBride with 10 points.

Sophomore Carley Higgins and junior Jackie Crews take on a Perry Central player trying to make a pass.
Photo by Olivia McSpadden

“I thought we played a very controlled game with only 13 turnovers.  The girls were patient on the offensive end and executed really well.  Defensively we played really well.  We only gave up a total of 23 points and only seven points in the second half.  I thought the girls followed the game play really well on the defensive end.” said Crews. “(Perry Central) had some size and truthfully, we were probably out sized at every position.”

Crews remarked that two players were key to the Rams defense.

 “I thought Ryleigh (Anderson) and Ella (Spires) did a really nice job on their big kid inside.  They kept her scoreless for the game which was huge.” said Crews.

Junior Jackie Crews one defense in Tuesday’s game. Photo by Olivia McSpadden

Crews hopes to keep up the good work going into today’s game against Borden.

“I think if we can keep playing defense like this and moving the basketball like we did tonight we will be a pretty tough team to beat down the stretch. The goal is to be playing our best at the end of the season and I think we are slowly getting there.”

The Rams will face the Borden Braves tomorrow, Saturday, January 8 at 11 a.m. in the lower gymnasium.

Story by Ashleigh Garcia

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New Books Available in Library

The new librarian Rachel Miller has made many improvements and changes to the library. A recent change is adding new books to the library. Miller spent many hours at Books-A-Million to purchase the books. 

“I went with the intention of buying primarily nonfiction and graphic novels, but I was also able to get a number of new fiction titles as well.  I purchased nonfiction books with topics that are relevant to PHS students like robotics, technology, and folklore,” said Miller. 

The junior high was lacking books that appealed to them, and that is where Miller started her shopping.

“When purchasing books, I think about the topics and types of books that students and teachers have requested. Teachers have requested more nonfiction books and students have requested more middle grades books and graphic novels, so that’s where I started when I began to make my lists,” said Miller.

Students can check out books by writing their name on the card in the back of the book and leaving it on the card counter.  The library is in the process of putting our collection online, so eventually students will simply scan their lunch card (or enter their lunch number) to check out a book.

Story by Stella Windhorst

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IHSAA introduces new basketball rule

Beginning in the 2021-2022 season, a new IHSAA rule has been introduced to high school basketball. If a team happens to be winning by 35 or more points after the first half, a running clock will be established for the remainder of the game. If the clock was to stop for any reason, it would be because of an injury timeout, a team timeout, intermission between quarters, free throw shots or any other time officials feel it is necessary. This new rule will be in place for both boys and girls basketball, as well as throughout the state tournament. But, this rule will not be in place for the state final. 

The high school girls basketball team has already had three instances where this rule has been applied. 

“Just like for football, I think it’s a nice addition to this sport and it helps deter thoughts of bad sportsmanship. With this rule, a school can’t really be accused of running up a score and for the school on the other end they don’t have to endure that feeling of a never ending game,” said Athletic Director Darek Newkirk.

Story by Gracie Walls

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PACT Angel Tree Brings Holiday Cheer to 78

The holiday season is often referred to as the season of giving, and that is exactly what the PACT program plans to do. PACT Family Consultant Jodi Henry is in charge of the school’s Angel Tree, and this year she has helped the most families the program has ever had here at PHS; 78 students were on the Angel Tree, which helps out 28 families in the community.

“After the first year of doing it I was more comfortable and took on more students. I found myself  not being able to turn anyone away. It was the most I have ever taken on,” said Henry.

PACT Project Coordinator Jodi Henry poses with some of the wrapped gifts donated for the Angel Tree project.
Photo by Karyas Slaten

To put a child’s name on the tree, the staff had a list of families who may need assistance and those families were contacted to put their child on the tree. Then, Henry asked teachers and community members to sponsor those students and to help provide them with a little holiday cheer.

“It is such a great feeling to be able to make a positive impact on others, possibly giving them
a little hope.”

“It is such a great feeling to be able to make a positive impact on others, possibly giving them a little hope, and make Christmas a little less stressful for those who might be struggling to provide or afford it for their kids. They were so appreciative. Some got a little emotional, some asked if they could hug me, some offered to help next year, all of them very thankful that the school and PACT allows me do this every year. I want to also give a shout out to Kim, Jackie for helping this be successful by spending time away from their already busy schedule to make sure the gifts that are turned each day make it to my room. I appreciate it so much,” said Henry.

Story by Michael Hannon

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Girls JV basket ball team holds tournament Dec. 21

The Paoli JV girls basket ball team will be hosting a tournament on Tuesday, December 21. Competing in the tournament will be Barr-Reeve, Eastern Pekin, Paoli and Tell City.

The first game will be between Tell City and Paoli, with a 6 p.m. start time in the lower gym. The second game will be between Barr-Reeve and Eastern Pekin, with a 6 p.m. start time in the upper gym. Game three will be between the winner of game two vs. Paoli, with a 7:30 p.m. start time in the lower gym. The last game will be at 7:30 p.m. in the upper gym between Tell City and the winner of game two. 

The second teams listed on the schedule will be the home teams, and will wear light colored jerseys. There will be two open doors for this tournament. Door one is in the front of school by the main office, and door 11 is located at the back of school. These will be open for spectators to come into the school. Admission will be $5.

Story by Makynsie Russelburg

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A Class Act: Paoli drama club director Maria Wishart honored for 20th year, 50th stage play

“Between a Moon and a Starr…”

PAOLI – Maria Wishart was recognized in early December for having served 20 years as director of the Paoli High School Drama Club and for directing her 50th stage play at the school. Calling attention to Wishart’s accomplishments were Roger Moon (far left), PHS Drama Club member Elijah MacDonald (second from left), and Craig Starr, former drama club member and current Paoli school board member.

The story below comes to the Paoli Media Staff as a special feature by Roger Moon, local journalist and former Paolite Staff Member.

Paoli High School English teacher Maria Wishart was honored in early December for her 20 years of serving as the high school’s drama club director. She was praised for the positive influence she has had on the lives of former and present students.

The recognition, which came as a surprise to Wishart, took place on closing night of the club’s production of “Descendants.” In addition to calling attention to Wishart’s 20 years as director, the recognition also noted that “Descendants” was the 50th stage production Wishart had guided. She began her directing career with a production of a play fittingly called “Backstage” in the spring of 2001.

Following a “Descendants” curtain call, Wishart was summoned to the stage, where her years of service were acknowledged by Elijah MacDonald, a PHS senior and a member of the “Descendants” cast; Craig Starr, a former drama club member and current Paoli school board member, and Roger Moon, whose daughters Mariah Blalock and Kendra Mathes performed in Wishart’s stage productions in the early 2000’s.

Starr presented Wishart with a memory book containing congratulatory notes and reflections from more than 40 students who had participated in PHS drama club productions under Wishart’s leadership. Starr, a 2003 PHS graduate, recounted that when Wishart urged him to audition for a role, he told her, “I don’t want to do this. It’s not for me.” To that, he added, “You cast me anyway.” But Starr said he came to value the opportunity to participate in stage productions.

Moon, in referring to the thoughts shared in the memory book, said, “The messages focus on Mrs. Wishart’s patience and dedication to the performing arts at PHS. Former students talk of how she helped them conquer fears, step out of their comfort zones and build confidence in themselves. They talk of how she has influenced their later lives and of the impact she has had on them. It is clear Mrs. Wishart not only helped them develop ‘a character’ on stage, but, more importantly, has helped them develop human character in real life.”

Wishart said in a later interview, “I enjoy theater, but what keeps me directing is what it does for kids. I love watching kids blossom, watching them find something in themselves they didn’t know was there. I love watching them solve problems and create. I love watching them interact with each other, learn from each other, and grow close to people they may never have even talked to otherwise.” 

Directing her thoughts to Wishart for the memory book, Jasmine McAlister wrote, “Thank you for always providing a safe space for students to learn, make friends, be themselves and grow through creativity. You always made me feel worthy and valued.”

Michael Woolston, a 2002 graduate, recalled having had a role in the production of “Jane Eyre.” He wrote, “Not only were you an amazing theater director, but one of my favorite teachers. … I remember you noting on one of my papers, ‘Hey, you’re pretty good at telling stories. Maybe you should do this for a living.’ That stuck with me and I like to think that I’m still doing that as I live in Los Angeles and work at Walt Disney Studios.”

Sean Fahey, a 2005 graduate, wrote, “Your impact as an educator and sponsor has reached further than you realize. After becoming an educator myself, I tapped into my inner ‘Maria’ and bravely became the director of an elementary school drama club.”

Moon said it was fitting that Wishart’s recognition was taking place in the Ruth Farlow Uyesugi Auditorium, which he pointed out was dedicated nine years ago in November “in honor of the driving force for this facility to be constructed.” Uyesugi was a longtime English and journalism teacher at PHS and not only had directed shows but also had written plays, some of which were reprised for shows Wishart directed.

Blalock wrote to Wishart “This book is filled with pages of well-deserved adoration and love for you. As I read the words, I could not help but compare the love that so many have for you to the love that the generations before us had for Mrs. Uyesugi.” It was a love that Blalock said students felt “way after they left her classroom.”

Wishart later said that, on the night of her recognition, “I was wearing a shirt that had belonged to Ruth.”

Wishart said, “Anything good that anyone manages to put on stage in this community is at least somewhat indebted to Ruth Uyesugi, whether they learned directly from her, learned from those who learned from her, or are simply beneficiaries of a community that has enabled theater to thrive.”

Wishart also said, “Sometimes when people ask how I became a drama director, I simply say, ‘Because God knew that’s where I needed to be.’  The experiences and the relationships along the way have been great blessings to me and have also provided me a unique opportunity to do some good.”

Story by Roger Moon
Moon was a member of the Paolite staff from 1973-1974

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Rams Win Big Against Generals, Face Vikings Today

On Tuesday December 14 the Lady Rams defeated the Clarksville Generals 68-14. Coach Donavan Crews felt really good about the game.

“This was a game we thought we could jump on them early and take control of the game with our defensive pressure. The girls did a nice job of coming in focused and ready to go,” said Crews. “It’s easy to come into a game like this overconfident and not focused but that was not the case tonight. Our press really got us going in the first quarter. We caused a lot of turnovers, and we were able to score on the back end.  Our half-court defense was pretty good all night.  We had a game plan in place and the girls executed nicely.” 

The three leading scorers were junior Jackie Crews with 17 points, senior Kacey McBride with 12 points, and senior Gracie Walls with 11 points.

“I thought our guards really caused them a lot of trouble all night long. Our bigs ran the floor well in our fast breaks and that’s nice to see.  We also had a pretty good shooting night from the floor and from the free throw line.  From the free throw line we were 83% which is nice to see.  

With the team so far ahead, crews felt fortunate that his team was in a position to allow younger players a chance to get in the game. 

“We were able to play a lot of kids and almost everyone scored. It was good to get some of those younger kids able in the game to get a little varsity time. That will help down the road.  Now we need to move on and get ready for Barr-Reeve and hopefully add to our winning streak going into the Toby Yoho tournament,” said Crews.

This afternoon the Lady Rams will take on Barr-Reeve Vikings this afternoon at 1 p.m. Paoli is 6-5 on the season and the Vikings are 4-6.

Story by Jeremiah Hutcheson

Photos by TyLynn Taylor

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Rams Hope to Continue Winning Streak At Austin Tonight

The Boys Varsity Basketball team played at home on Friday, December 10 against West Washington. Paoli won 53 to 41. This was the Rams first conference game and showed the fans and their opponents what they were capable of.

“Any time you win something multiple years in a row, the target on your back gets bigger and bigger. Paoli has now won or shared the Conference title in Basketball for four years in a row so all of the other teams are gunning for us. It’s always a fear of mine that you lose your hunger and other teams want to win more than you do. I reminded our team of that before we tipped off.  They went out and proved that we wanted it more than West Washington did. And that is how you must play if you want to stay on top,” said Varsity Head Coach Dusty Cole.

Junior Isaac Cornett McBride shoots the ball for the Rams.
Photo by Faith Gammon.

John Moon had a great game and led the way with 17 points scored. Fletcher Cole was limited this week with nine points and Trey Rominger was well guarded with only 13 points. Isaac Cornett-McBride had six points and Carson Little had eight.

Senior Carson Little goes up strong for a layup.
Photo by Faith Gammon.

“Our seniors were terrific and we were able to be physical and flex our muscles a little bit against West Washington. We knew that our front court would have a big advantage in this game with size, and definitely strength,” said Cole. 

The Rams knew the Senators would try numerous defensive strategies in the game. 

Senior John Moon looks over the court to make a play.
Photo by faith Gammon.

“We also knew they were going to try and limit Fletcher and Trey. West Washington even played a Diamond-and-1 defense against Fletcher for part of the game. But we really felt like that actually played right into our hands as that allowed Isaac, John, and Carson to play 1-on-1 inside against the smaller, weaker West Washington defenders. Those guys dominated the paint and the glass. John has been really consistent for us this year and led the way with 17 points. You know he is playing with a lot of confidence when he is stepping out and hitting three pointers and he hit two last weekend against West Washington.  John is a senior and a three-year starter, so we expect him to play well and he has so far,” said Cole.  

Freshman Fletcher Cole drives to the rim for a layup.
Photo by Faith Gammon.

The boys are 3-0 on the season and are continuing to improve. Tonight they play the Austin Eagles at Austin, with the JV game starting at 6 p.m. The Varsity Eagles are 1-4 in the season.

Story by Jeremiah Hutcheson

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Lady Rams Take on Generals and Warriors Tonight

Last week the Lady Rams played two games on the road, Tuesday against Lanesville and Thursday at Orleans. The team lost to Lanesville 32-61, but had a big win on the road against the Orleans Bulldogs, 61-18, their first PLAC Conference win. 

“We knew coming in it would be a very physical game and we’d have to be ready. Lanesville plays a very different style than we do and I didn’t think our kids responded very well to it. It was a pretty rough game,” said Head Coach Donavan Crews.

Junior Jackie Crews had a big game against the Eagles scoring 17 of the Rams 32 points. Sophomore Carley Higgins added six points and juniors Ryleigh Anderson and Amelia Hess added three each. 

“I thought Jackie played pretty well through the physical play and Ryleigh held her own down low. We’re just going to have to get a little more physical and tougher to be able to play teams like that,” said Crews. 

At Orleans the Rams came ready to play. 

“I didn’t really know what to expect coming into this game given the fact that we had a lot of kids banged up from Tuesday night. I knew in their minds they would be ready but physically I didn’t know what we’d be able to do out there. With this group though, there was no way any of them were going to sit out this game with it being a conference game,” said Crews. “I think they were out to prove a point and get back to playing how we are capable of playing. We haven’t played like we are capable yet, but I think they were bound and determined to get things the way they need to be.”

Leading the Rams was senior Gracie Walls with 14 points. She also went five-for-five from the free throw line. Senior sisters Kacey and Kinsey McBride both added 12 points each. 

“We decided we were going to turn up the pressure and quicken the pace and see if we’d be able to get after them from the start. The girls answered the challenge and they sat everything aside and went out there and played like they are capable of playing,” said Crews.

Also adding to the Rams score were junior Amelia Hess with nine points and junior Ryleigh Anderson with 8 points. 

“Everyone stepped up and did their part. If we can play like that, we will be hard to guard. When teams focus on Jackie, we have to have other kids step up and when that happens, we can be pretty dangerous. I thought Kacey ran the point really well for us tonight. Gracie and Amelia really shot the ball well which was nice to see. Kinsey did her thing getting out and running the break which is what we need her to do. I also thought Ryleigh did a nice job given the condition she was in out there. Overall, I’m very pleased how we responded to everything and how we are capable of playing. Hopefully we can build on this and get a couple more wins next week,” said Crews. 

Tonight the varsity Rams face the Clarksville Generals at home after the junior varsity takes on North Knox, beginning at 6 p.m.

Story by Paolite Staff

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Caps and Gowns Available Now!

As the first semester is coming to an end, seniors graduating early need to be aware of their duties. These seniors are expected to email Senior Class Sponsors Melissa Higgins and Carol Fullington in order to stay updated on  future dates and events, including the senior trip and practicing for graduation. 

Caps and Gowns

Caps and gowns are available for seniors to order. To do so, visit the senior Classroom page and fill out the order form with height and size. After ordering, $30 will be due to Higgins.

Senior Headshots

Senior headshots are also being taken and should be scheduled. Contact seniors Emma McCrary or Tinsley Moffatt, @mccrarye@paoli.k12.in.us or @moffattt@paoli.k12.in.us. Headshots can be taken before school, during 1st, 4th and 7th period, homeroom and after school. Headshots should be scheduled before winter break if possible. 

Story by Kacey McBride

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Senior FASFA Night Dec. 16

On Thursday, December 16, from 4-7 p.m. FAFSA night for seniors will be held in the PHS Computer Lab,. FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Representatives from INvestED and The Commision for Higher Education will be here to help families fill out their application. 

Parents should bring with their 2020 taxes to complete the FAFSA form.

“The student and parent/guardian both need to be present to file their FAFSA. The representatives can help complete all necessary paperwork,” said Guidance Counselor Rachel Robinson. 

For more information, email Rachel Robinson at robinsonr@paoli.k12.in.us, or go to PHS Computer Lab on Thursday, December 16 at 4 pm.

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Life Skills Students Work for Classroom Shop

Students in Kathleen Mulryan’s life skills class participate in many activities around the school, which other students have wondered about. These activities include wiping cafeteria tables, stacking chairs and sweeping the floor. Students do so to earn money for a shop in their classroom.

“At the end of the month, they use the money they’ve earned to shop for the things they want. In the store, there are a variety of things such as snacks, holiday decorations, electronic accessories, toys, fidgets and many other things,” said Mulryan. 

Students can also participate in activities around the classroom, such as wiping desks, sweeping the floor, emptying small trash cans, carrying items in for staff and doing laundry for the JAG closet. 

“This is to help them learn what it is like to have a job and earn money. The students always look forward to the day they shop because I buy new things to add to the store and it’s always different,” said Mulryan.

Story by Makynsie Russleburg

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Candy Grams Available Now

Student Council will be selling Candy Grams as a fundraiser in the coming weeks. The project is being organized by Student Council sponsor Alexis Speer.

“I will have dates for the candy grams when I meet with Dr. Wise to make final decisions,” said Speer. 

A single Gram sell for $0.75, four Grams for $2, and 10 Grams for $5. 

The Grams consist of candy canes that have tags which students and staff can send to others in the building.

Listen to the announcements for more information on when Grams can be purchased.

Story by Ella Spires

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Spanish Students Learn the Cumbia

On November 18 and 19, students in Senora Shellenberger’s 1st period class learned to dance to a popular rhythm that originated in Colombia. Cumbia is a rhythm created by the incorporation of African, European and Indigenous cultures.

Juniors and seniors in Senora Shellenberger’s Spanish 3 class learned how to dance to the cumbia rhythm.
Senora Shellenberger’s class claps along during a class dancing lesson.

Photos by Ashleigh Garcia

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Cheerleaders Start Early for the Basket Ball Season

On Thursday October 21, new and old Basketball cheerleaders got together for an optional practice. These girls made a lot of progress and learned new spirit chants to show the fans this basketball season.

Sophomore Faith Gammon learned a new chant alongside the other new cheerleaders.
Senior Tinsley Moffatt and Sophomore Gracie Brown teach chants during an optional practice.
Seniors Hayley Taylor-Norton and Chelsea Deweese learn new chants for the upcoming basketball season.
Freshman Chloe Smith perfects her skills by learning from old squad members.

Photos by Ashleigh Garcia

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Locotubre Champs

Throughout October, students in Mrs. Shellenberger’s class participated in a music competition called Locotubre. It is a competition between different Spanish songs that lost in the competition held in March. The students found out the final results on November 10.

Junior Max Newkirk poses with his first place prize. His entire bracket was correct, with the exception of a few songs.
Junior Caitlyn Taylor and Sophomore Abby Tapp smile for the camera with their prizes. Tapp won second place and Taylor won third place.

By Ashleigh Garcia

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“Descendants” Take Stage in December

On December 2-4, the PHS Drama Club will be performing their fall musical Descendants, a movie adaptation centered around the children Disney’s worst villains and their integration back into a world of goodness. The shows will begin at 7 p.m. each night in the Uyesugi Auditorium and admission will be $5 a ticket

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A Premiere of PHS Student Talents

On Sunday, December 12, the music department will be hosting their annual Holiday Concert. It will be held in the Uyesugi Auditorium and will feature the junior high and high school concert bands and choirs. The music selection consists of popular holiday songs along with classic holiday concert pieces.

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Admin Forming Leadership Group

Wise Seeks Student Input to Improve the School Environment

This school year has brought about many policy changes for the school, with mixed reactions from students. These changes have led to tension between students, teachers and administrators. To help combat this, Principal Sherry Wise has begun the creation of the Student Advisory Committee, or SAC.

The planning for this committee began before the pandemic, but had to be pushed back while our school navigated protocols, regulations and mandates. Now that the school is starting to get back on its feet, the creation of this committee has become a priority.

For the first stage of this process, Wise sent the teachers a form to fill out. On this form, they could nominate students to be on the committee as well as what activities those students are involved in. The activities are important because they share student involvement, which can lead to a more diverse group of students.

“I want a diverse cross-section of everybody. I want the kid who is the athlete, the kid who
is the valedictorian, the ICC kid, the student who is not one of those top kids in the class. I want Paoli to be a school where everybody feels like they’re on an equal playing field, and everybody has a voice in what happens,” said Wise.

After students are nominated by the teachers, the recommendations go to the school FLI committee, a select group of teachers that focus on leadership and policy issues that may impact the school. Once selected, the students will meet with Wise about once a month to discuss school events and concerns.

Rather than just complain about issues, the goal is to introduce solutions or to establish an understanding on why things happened.

“My philosophy is that we can’t change what’s happened in the past, we have to look at solutions. I’m going to really work on making it a solutions based committee. If it’s a student centered community where [the students] have some ownership in what’s happening, [they are] more likely to be successful,” said Wise.

Story by Michael Hannon

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Farm-to-Table Goes High Tech

The Ag Business class has added some new features to their program recently. They have been very active and involved in many events since the start of the school year.

The main feature added is the new QR codes on the packaging for their meat products, a big technological advancement for the program.

“[The QR code] will direct you to our website, and basically there are different pages for the program that people will be able to see directly where the food they are buying is coming from. Plus, it shows how the animals are being cared for and how the students learn and care for them along the way,” said Ag Business teacher Cory Scott.

Though the QR codes and program will only work for the pigs on campus, the overall goal for the students is to help consumers have more transparency in where their food comes from.

“[The project] will help us get more products sold and get more brand and name recognition out there. It’s really a model that businesses should use to get more transparency for the food supply. So, hopefully, it will get us some more recognition as well,” said Scott.

The project is just in the beginning states of the Paoli Farm-to-Table program. Though it is going to be mostly sold back to the school, there is still an opportunity for some of the meat products to be sold to the community.

“We are gonna sell it to anyone who is interested in buying it. We are going to be selling mostly to the school though. There are certain products the school can’t serve, like ribs for example, that we sell to the public, and any of the excess that the school can’t buy is open to anyone who would want it,” said Scott.

In September, the department welcomed guests from the Maker Mobile program at Indiana University. The guests worked to help with the QR code advancement, offering assistance with the process to make it more efficient.

One student in particular that has played a major role in this process is senior Carson Little.

“The people from Bloomington were here to help us make the stickers we are going to use on our products and help us create the QR code,” said Little.

According to the IU Bloomington website, the Maker Mobile program ‘works with host sites to set up temporary maker space environments so that your school or organization can introduce maker education within your own space.’

“They came and helped us organize our website and helped develop some logos. They also helped develop a little bit better of a marketing plan for the products here at the school,” said Scott.

The class’s goal is to have the program done before Christmas Break, and as of right now, they are on the right track to do so.

“Ag Business is going good. We have been working on our website for a while now and we are just about finished with it,” said Little.

For more information about the project, visit the Paoli Farm-To-Table website linked on the PHS homepage.

Story by Peyton Baker

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Students Take Control of Class

The education professions class is a course offered at PHS that gives students the opportunity to aid teachers at the elementary school. The students help in any way they can, whether that be assisting students with their work or gathering supplies, all while getting a first-hand experience on what it’s like to be a teacher.

Education Professions teacher Danelle Manship teaches five students from Paoli and four from Springs Valley. The students at Valley are all online. The course counts as a dual credit course and if students take it as a junior they are able to take Education Professions II as a senior.

“I want the students to get first hand experience on what it is like to be a teacher. Less and less students go into the teaching profession, so this is a good way to bring them into that experience,” said Manship.

Taking this class gives students many benefits, including earning college credits which can help them graduate early and get a teaching degree in college.

“I plan to pursue a career in education and this class allows me to prepare for my desired major in college. It is also a Dual-Credit course which will roll over credits in college and contributes to the Indiana College Core,” said senior Amanda Bowles.

Bowles goes down to Throop to get hands-on experience with third grade students.

“I do anything from reading to the students, monitoring tests, and practicing math facts. I love going down to Throop. Within the first week, the third graders that I work with already knew my name, and I get a bundle of hugs every time I leave. Since I am older, they enjoy working with me and I am always asked for help by them,” said Bowles, “Being a role model to these kids is really something that I cherish. This class allows me to get a head start on my future learning. I also plan to sub at Paoli Schools until I earn my degree so I will have even more classroom experience. Who knows I might be back at Paoli Schools as an elementary teacher by the time today’s seventh graders are seniors.”

The students are also involved in AVID teacher Tammy Noble’s program as certified AVID tutors.

“The education professions students help AVID students with their tutorials. They have been trained in the tutorial process and help guide the AVID students through the process. They keep the discussion moving in tutorials and help groups to stay on task to accomplish more during their tutorial time,” said Noble.

This course is available to any junior or senior and can be taken next semester or next year to those interested.

Story by Jeremiah Hutcheson

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PACT Angel Tree Seeks Sponsors

With the holidays coming up, the Salvation Army Angel Trees are out in stores with names of children in need of gifts for the season.

Hoosier Hills PACT brought the Angel Tree a little closer to home by starting one of their own at PHS. Because most other Christmas programs pertain to children from newborns through the age of 14, PACT thought it was necessary to involve older teenagers.

“Christmas doesn’t just stop with elementary students,” said PACT Family Consultant Jodi Henry.

Henry and other PACT representatives took referrals from PHS staff and compiled a list of 50 angels for the tree at the beginning of the month. Twenty-six have been sponsored so far, leaving 24 on the tree and 25 on the waiting list.

Anyone who wants to sponsor an Angel may do so by contacting Henry. Gifts must be turned into PHS by December 15.

“A lot goes into having an Angel Tree but it is worth it knowing that you helped provide a little Christmas cheer to kids in the community,” said Henry.

Story by Masden Embry

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New Student Advisory Brings Hope to Media Staff

The formation of a new committee is afoot at PHS. The Student Advisory Council (SAC) is a project the administration has taken on with the hope to unite students and staff and bring about positive change to the school.

Students are excited about this, ready to have their voices heard. In order to ensure this, they have a few ideas about who should be on the council. We asked our staff who they thought would best suit the role of a Student Advisory Council member and many mentioned fellow students by name. However, these students all fit into certain demographics – ones who will represent the student body and speak in their favor.

Athletes, band members and class officers were a common answer. Additionally, those who do not participate in any activities were brought up. Students in all grades, from all backgrounds need to have their opinions made known. The main priority of our staff is to have students on the council who aren’t afraid to speak their mind and who won’t sugarcoat the school-wide issues that demand more attention.

Our staff members also have suggestions on the problems that should be raised to attention first.

An ever-popular topic is the dress code. While it is always a point of tension between students and staff, the dress code rules are still somewhat vague. Our staff believes that it needs to be clearly defined and not just subjective to teachers and administrators.

A huge issue, many of our staff members feel, is the stress that is put on the dress code in the first place. We acknowledge that it is not the teachers’ fault. They have to make sure students follow the dress code as dictated by administrators, but we believe that is the problem. We don’t think the administration quite understands what it’s like to be a student anymore – especially in these times. Many students struggle to make themselves go to school in the first place and being worried about their outfits should not be a main concern.

We believe the concern should be schoolwork, but the focus is never on academics at PHS. What school is supposed to be about is seldom, if ever touched on. This leads to the need for celebration of academically successful students. The work so many students put in to maintaining their grades is never recognized, which our staff finds to be a terrible oversight. There is no motivation for students to do well if all they ever are is looked and talked down upon.

The tardiness policy is yet another area our staff thinks could use reforming. Teachers are told to count students tardy in the mornings if they aren’t in class by 8:10 a.m. This sounds perfectly reasonable; students should be in class on time. When one factors in the context, however, being on time becomes nearly impossible. Many students are in zero hour which releases at 7:50 a.m. Students then have to walk to the locker room, shower, change their clothes, get breakfast, go to their lockers to put their backpacks away and get to class before that bell rings. When breakfast lines are halfway to the cafeteria doors with one line open the majority of the time, it is impossible for students to be in their seats by the second bell with the most important meal of the day in their system. Perhaps if school started at 8:15 a.m. like it has in the past, there were more breakfast workers to keep up with the morning rush and students were allowed to bring their backpacks to class, this would not be as difficult. This morning breakfast rush is also not taking into account bus riders who may have varying times of
arrival.

Similarly, our staff thinks that meal times are too short. With the passing period lasting five minutes and students having to go to their lockers to get their lunches or put things away, lunch is then only 25 minutes. This leads students to rushing their meals, especially when one has to wait to be called to the lunch line, which is not ideal.

Students, overall, need help. New students are one example. It is especially hard for students to move schools when they’re in high school. Everyone already has their friend groups established, so students find it tough to make a place for themselves. Even students who moved here in the last couple of years still feel somewhat isolated from others – like they haven’t been accepted yet. We think initiative needs to be taken to not only welcome these transfers, but continue to include them throughout school.

Student mental health is a big issue at PHS. With extreme stress, a never-ending workload and what is mostly viewed as a hostile learning environment, mental breakdowns are bound to happen. No student is a stranger to the fact that sometimes it is simply too hard to be at school and a break is necessary. As a result, many of us take mental health days. Our staff believes these mental health days should be provided for students and accepted as excused absences – one or so per grading period to give students a day to breathe.

We think all of these issues should be addressed by the Student Advisory Council. If they are a committee able to make a difference, the SAC needs to tackle matters that the student body cares about even if they are tough topics to fix.

Staff Editorial

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Blessings Continue

Groups Support Throop Program; Fight Hunger

Backpacks of Blessings, founded in 2012, is a local non-profit organization that helps ensure food-insecure students in our community have a reliable supply of food while they are not at school. President Sean Fahey works along side the other board members to make sure Backpacks of Blessings is successful every year.

“As President of the Backpacks of Blessings board, I work with the other committee members to make sure our food ordering is complete, organize fundraisers, and ensure the organization keeps moving forward. I am in charge of creating our meeting agendas and facilitating those meetings,” said Fahey.

The organization provides blue bags of food that are sent home with qualifying Throop Elementary students each Friday during the school year.

“To date, our organization has distributed over 40,000 blue bags of food,” said Fahey.

Other members who are in the board of Backpacks of Blessings include: Mary Jo Robinson, Jackie Chaney, Jackie Bosley, Debbie Wilson, Nia Manship, Angie McSpadden, Chelsey Lankford, Bobbie Cox, Stori Sullivan, Stephen Tate, Karie Becht, and Cindy Murphy.

Volunteer groups such as NHS help pack during the monthly packing events before the bags are distributed each week. To help raise funds for the supplies and food items, the board has sold coffee and in the spring will hold their annual BBQ dinner fundraiser the first Saturday in April.

“Students the age of 14 and older can volunteer and help the Backpacks of Blessings committee. If you are a National Honor Society member, see Mrs. Higgins for dates that you can sign-up and help with our bag packings. Follow us on Facebook! @backpackspaoli,” said Fahey.

Story by Corrine Magner

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New Junior High Squad Brings Spirit to Sidelines

On Tuesday, November 9, an informational meeting was held in the library for any interested junior high students to discuss the plan for the 2021 junior high basketball cheer squad. Typically junior high cheer begins during football season but were unable to begin due to not having a coach for the team.

Guidance counselors Rachel Robinson and Katrina Brace, as well as English teacher Brooke Goerres and Registrar Sara Parks will be coaching the team this year. The coaches were ecstatic to have 14 girls interested in basketball cheer.

“I hope these girls have fun and stay interested in cheer. I also hope they learn new skills and have fun cheering for the basketball teams,” said Robinson.

In addition to Robinson, Brace agrees that these girls will gain useful skills to help them throughout high school.

“It’s important for the varsity level. Students interested in cheering at the varsity level need to know the basics of cheering and being a cheerleader in order to be successful at the higher level. Also, many of the cheers and chants repeat through the years so if they already have prior knowledge of the basics they can learn more advanced stunts, etc at the varsity level,” said Goerres.

The coaches decided to skip formal tryouts this season for the girls, and instead all interested students will be allowed to cheer. These girls will only be cheering at junior high basketball home games.

Goerres had simple advice to those students starting this season.

“Give it a shot and see if you like it. Don’t be afraid because we are all learning,” said Goerres.

Story by Ashleigh Garcia

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Calling All Drummers

This year, winter percussion will be starting back up again for the first time since 2013. The directors for this season are Brandon Nunez. Judah Gehl, and Christian Karkosky. The show theme this year is “La Rosa”, and the composers are Dan Bryan and Aaron Hines. Movements include “Red Paintings”, “Reserved Ground” and “Underground Revival”. The first rehearsal will be on Tuesday, November 23 from 6-8:30 p.m. in the band room. Anyone interested in joining can contact Mr. Karkosky.

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Future Planning Event Coming Nov. 30

On Tuesday, November 30, PHS will be hosting a college and career fair for all high school students to attend. The event will take place in the upper gym from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and between 30 and 50 colleges and businesses will be in attendance. This event was put into works by College Advising Corps Adviser Cody Martin.

“It is a really weird time of the year for seniors because most of them have already submitted applications, but this is a chance for them to look and make sure they didn’t miss any colleges. It is also really geared towards juniors who need to start thinking about [college]. It is a really good opportunity for them to learn more not just about college but about entering the workforce as well,” said Martin.

In addition to Paoli students, the event will also be open to the surrounding schools in hopes of exposing as many students as possible to all of the possibilities post-high school. It is an opportunity for any student to learn more about their options after graduation.

“I think [the fair] could benefit a lot of kids, not just Paoli’s. I am so excited about what’s to come,” said Principal Dr. Sherry Wise.

Story by Michael Hannon

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Back in the Classroom

Buchanan Returns Following Throop Student Teaching

Friday, October 29 was the first official day of eighth grade English teacher Mariah Buchanan’s teaching career at PHS.

While it was her first day as a teacher at Paoli, it is not her first overall. Buchanan graduated from PHS in 2015. From there she attended college at Indiana University Southeast.

In 2019, Buchanan graduated with two degrees after only four years of college. She received her Bachelors in Spanish and English. These degrees allow her to teach both language and literature, as well as to translate.

“I chose to study English and Spanish because they are broad areas of study and didn’t force me to stick to one career path. I was unsure of what I really wanted to do, and these degrees have opened many doors and opportunities for me,” said Buchanan.

One of these career paths was teaching, and as of the beginning of the school year, she was hired. Buchanan was completing her postgraduate program at the time and as a result, was required to
student teach for 10 weeks.

She taught with fourth grade teacher Liana Baker at Throop for this duration. Since Buchanan was occupied with doing so, a substitute was necessary to cover her position until she was finished. Coupled with these responsibilities, Buchanan was tasked with creating lesson plans for her classes, wrestling coach JD Emerick filled in for her.

“[While student teaching,] I learned a lot about the foundations of reading and writing that will help me better understand the needs of middle schoolers in my English class,” said Buchanan.

Buchanan is now licensed in several different areas. She is certified for teaching K-5 Elementary, 6-12 Language Arts and K-12 English as a new language.

Buchanan has had several jobs through the years that have made teaching seem like the perfect fit for her. She has worked as a reference librarian which entailed helping students and anyone else who needed it with their research. In addition, Buchanan was a literacy tutor at Mt. Tabor Elementary School in New Albany during college. She taught many homeschooled students Spanish as well, along with English Sign Language for international online companies.

Buchanan’s desire to help her community led her to choosing this path. Her passion for reading, writing and literacy have made her look forward to this new job as well.

“I’m most excited about sharing my love for reading and writing with others,” said Buchanan.

Now that she is officially in her own classroom, Buchanan has her students working on strong argumentative writing, including text evidence and using citations correctly.

She hopes to provide a foundational curriculum for her students in this first year that they will be able to build off of in the future. As of next year, Buchanan plans to create different units that are more fun for students to learn from and will better engage them in reading and writing.

Story by Masden Embry

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All in the CARDS

On October 28, the Tri-Hi-Y students decorated Halloween cards during a homeroom meeting. The group makes cards for the nursing home three to fours holidays a year to be delivered as a service project. Any students interested in helping out with the project in the future should contact Wishart or join the club’s Google Classroom using the code: gbiymp2.

Junior Serenity Sweet finishes decorating her card.
Seventh graders Addilyn Peyton and Addilyn Moffatt gather their supplies to create cards.
Senior Luke Gibson and sophomore Micaela MacDonald construct their cards.

Photos by TyLynn Taylor

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Part-Time Student Parenting Begins

On Wednesday, October 27, students of child development teacher Danelle Manship’s first period class held a baby shower to reveal the gender of and to celebrate a special, upcoming assignment. Starting the following Friday, students would begin taking home a joyful bundle of plastic and computer parts, in the annual “computerized baby” assignment.

Manship has five babies in total. Each is programmed through a website to cry whenever she cues them to. The babies turn on Friday evening at 4 p.m. and off again on the following Sunday at 10 p.m. During this time the parent is expected to care for the baby.

Each student wears a wristband with a “fob” they can chime whenever they care for the baby. When it cries, they will either have to give it a bottle or change its diaper. Both are censored to show the action of the baby and record it to the website.

It is also a commitment with reputable consequence. Another part of the project is to take the babies out to three different, public locations throughout the weekend and to record the reactions of people around them.

“I want my students to learn the responsibilities and time commitment that comes with having a child,” said Manship.

Story by Joz Kempf

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Higgins Holds Biology Lab

Mrs. Higgins 4th period AP bio students recently performed a lab that tests the amount of gas a yeast mixture produces. They were asked to put hydrogen peroxide and yeast in a test tube and found out how much of the oxygen was in the mixture produced.

Junior Jackie Crews measured out the hydrogen peroxide in the lab.
Seniors Elijah MacDonald and Caleb Jones filled the test tube with the yeast mixture.
Senior Amanda Bowles pushed the yeast mixture into the water.
Senior Michael Hannon and Junior Clara Henderson filled the test tube with water and put it on the stand.
Senior Emma McCrary recorded the oxygen level after one minute.
Senior Haley Cox watched the oxygen rise into the test tube.

Photos by Laykin Busick

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Winter Ball to be Introduced in January

As winter approaches, students and teachers plan for a new tradition, the Winter Ball. The Winter Ball will be a semi-formal dance for high school students only. Alexis Speer, Student Council Advisor, is hoping to hold this dance around Valentine’s Day. 

“More information about the date and time will be shared after a meeting with Dr. Wise,” said Speer. 

The dance will be planned around the winter sports schedules to steer clear of any interference. 

“We want to have a dance so everyone in the high school can have a formal dance together because Prom is only for upperclassmen,” said Student Council President Emma McCrary.

The plan for now is to purchase at the door. More information will be shared about the event closer to time. 

Story by Ella Spires

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Free Clothes Available to Students Through JAG Program

JAG is a program at PHS designed to give students job skills and real world experiences and  make learning more hands-on and meaningful for students involved. The JAG Clothing Closet is one way the students are using their skills but the project also serves as a service learning project. It covers skills such as planning, implementing, following through, and revising as needed.

With the help from donations from students and the community, the closet is where you can get clothes if you are cold, too hot, get dress coded, or even if you just want something. Running home to get a new pair of pants is almost never possible during the school day, the next best option? Grab a piece of clothing out of the closet.

JAG teacher Katie Cook runs a closet and some of the clothes available are located outside her classroom in the north end of the building. The purpose of this project is to help students and encourage them to take what they need. 

“I know sometimes it is intimidating to the student, and I understand that. But they may have an immediate need that can’t wait, and that is fine with us,” said Cook.

For more information on what is available contact Katie Cook  at cookk@paoli.k12.in.us. Students are welcome to stop by and grab free clothes outside the JAG classroom. 

Story by Kacey McBride

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Winter Sports Pass Available 2021

Winter sports teams will begin taking the court in a couple weeks with the junior high girls team facing Barr-Reeve at home on November 15. This will be the first home game for any basketball team here at PHS and fans have numerous ways to pay admission.

This fall Athletic Director Darek Newkirk introduced a new option for fans to purchase tickets called the Varsity Value Card. This card is a punch card that gives admittance for 10 varsity games at the value for 8 varsity games, this is for only home varsity games only. It can be purchased for $40. 

“The Varsity Value Cards will be sold at the gates for varsity games,” said Newkirk.

Ram fans can also purchase a year long Sports Pass. It costs $100 and gives everyone admission to all home games. 

Fans can also purchase tickets at the door for $5.

Still in the minds of Ram fans is how the pandemic might impact this year’s season.

“As of now no restrictions but COVID could impact this,” said Newkirk.

For more information about purchasing the Varsity Value Card or a Sports Pass, contact the front office.

Story by Andrew Kumpf

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Junior High Field Trip Jan. 24

Students in junior high have an incentive opportunity next semester that begins now and will end with a splash for those who excel for the remainder of this semester. 

On Monday, January 24, from 8:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., junior high students will be traveling to Big Splash Adventure In French Lick. The admission will be $10 per student and must be paid in advance.

The event is to reward those who were excellent students during the current nine-weeks. Eligible students for the trip will have no Fs and no Friday schools or suspensions form the current nine-weeks to participate.

“The junior high teachers hope it inspires some students to put more effort into their school work.  We also want to reward students who consistently work to achieve in school. We want to show students that we appreciate their efforts,” said Junior High AVID Coordinator Tamera Noble.

The students in attendance will need to bring money for lunch or a sack lunch that can be requested from the cafeteria. They will also need a towel, a bathing suit and a bag for all clothes.

Jeremiah Hutcheson

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National Philanthropy Day 2021

On November 15, Youth Council Members from Paoli, Orleans, and Valley will be giving presentations at each of their schools for National Philanthropy Day. National Philanthropy Day is a day to celebrate charitable activities, in the form of donated financial and volunteering support. 

Corinne Magner, Senior at Paoli High School is the Public Relations Officer representing Paoli for Youth Council and will go through the presentations with help from other members in Youth Council from Paoli.

“I am excited to be able to give these presentations so students understand what National Philanthropy Day is. We also will have a Kahoot! at the end and I think it will be a really fun experience,” said Paoli Public Relations Officer, Corinne Magner. 

The presentation will be held in the Cafeteria at the High School for the Junior High. The Paoli Youth Council members who will also be helping with the presentations are Seniors: Laykin Busick, Corinne Magner, Angie Ceja, Michael Hannon, Amanda Bowles, Juniors: Clara Henderson, Serenity Sweet, Isabell Shipman, Sophomores: Savannah Key, Cambry Tinkle, Olivia McSpadden, and Eighth Grader Libby Newkirk. 

“I’m excited to teach seventh graders about Philanthropy, Youth Council, and the philanthropy we do in our community as youth council members,” stated Junior Youth Council Member Clara Henderson. 

Story by Corrine Magner