Applications for Honor Society Now Accepted

Starting on Wednesday, August 18, applications will be available for students in grades 10-12 to apply to NHS, and students in grades 8-9 to apply to NJHS. Applications can be found in NHS Sponsor Melissa Higgins’ room or eighth grade English teacher Mariah Buchanan’s room.  Applications must be turned in to Higgins by Wednesday, August 25, and late applications will not be accepted.

All students can apply, but only students who have: attended PHS or PJHS for at least one semester, and have a cumulative unweighted GPA of 3.5 or higher will be considered. After that, the school faculty will have a meeting and decide if the student is accepted or not.

For those thinking about becoming a member, Higgins suggests that you check the list of eligible students posted on her door. 

“Be thoughtful and careful in filling out your application. Make sure there are no spelling errors or grammar errors, fill the entire application out and do not put ‘I don’t know’ as an answer. Always have something, ” said Higgins. 

Those who are accepted into NHS or NJHS will be inducted during the tapping ceremony as well as the actual induction ceremony on Sunday, September 26. 

Those who are not accepted, can meet with Higgins one on one to discuss what they need to do differently to get accepted the following year.

Story by Carley Higgins


PHS Journalism Students Earn Regional Awards

During a typical year, PHS journalism students would head to Indiana University Southeast in the fall for the annual High School Media Day Contests. For this event, the students would send in different articles and content to be rated in their class for all student publications in the region, as well as having the chance to take classes with journalists and media advisors in the area. Both individual students and the entire organization can win awards based on what the category is. Due to the pandemic, the event was not able to be held in person, but the contest still occurred. The awards our journalism department received are:

1st Place:

  • Best Column – Masden Embry
  • Best Feature Photo – Mackenzie Robertson
  • Best Feature Story – Michael Hannon
  • Best Photo Essay/Picture Story – Maddie DeCarlo
  • Best Sports Photo – Faith Wilder
  • Best Unsigned Staff Editorial – Paolite Staff
  • Best Yearbook Copy – Hillcrest
  • Best Yearbook Cover – Hillcrest
  • Best Coverage of Clubs and Organizations – Hillcrest
  • Best Opening Section – Hillcrest
  • Best People Section – Hillcrest
  • Best Theme and Divisional Pages – Hillcrest
  • Yearbook of the Year – Hillcrest

2nd Place

  • TV/Video Newscast – Kaulen Turner, Producer
  • Best Multimedia Package – Emma McCrary
  • Best Overall Design in One Issue – Maggie Vincent and Payton Ashley
  • News Organization of the Year – Paolite
  • Best Coverage of Academics – Hillcrest
  • Best Coverage of Student Life – Hillcrest
  • Best Design – Hillcrest
  • Bets Photography – Hillcrest
  • Best Sports Coverage – Hillcrest

3rd Place

  • Broadcast Organization of the Year – PHS News Today
  • Best Multimedia Package – Karyas Slaten
  • Best News Story – Jozalyn Kempf
  • Best Overall Social Media Presence – PHS Media News Staff
  • Best Advertising Section – Hillcrest

Story by Michael Hannon


Online Yearbook Purchases Now Available

This year, with all of the new virtual options the school has been using, students have the option to purchase a yearbook online. Staff, students, and parents are able to go to the school’s website and buy their yearbook from there instead of having to send in money with students to purchase one. There will still be the alternative option of buying the yearbook in person. 

To purchase a yearbook online, you can go to the Paoli High School website and click on the link that says ‘Pay Online Here.’ There will then be an option to add the 2020-2021 Hillcrest. 

Yearbook prices are still $40 and can also be purchased in person with check or cash. The money can be brought to the office or to Heather Nichols in Room 106.

Story by Angie Ceja


Building Relationships Within School Walls

With the new semester starting up, PHS administration came up with a way to use homeroom time to help students and teachers build relationships. 

During homeroom, teachers and students do different relationship building activities together. Some of these activities are from a purchased program called SEL while others are just fun relationship building activities. Administration decided to start up these activities to help students and teachers create a bond.

“Everyone knows the importance of building relationships, especially between teachers and students. The SEL activities will hopefully help students to deal with the emotional strains they may be experiencing,” said Principal Dr. Sherry Wise.

WIth all of the stress both staff and students have dealt with, especially with COVID, these activities can help relieve that stress and make the school day more enjoyable.

“Covid is weighing on everyone. Hopefully, students will feel more comfortable opening up to teachers and asking for help if they need it.  Also, I felt we needed to add a little ‘fun’ to our days with the relationship activities,” said Wise.

Story by Angie Ceja


Lopez Approves In-Person Learning While Red

Throughout the school year, COVID-19 policies and guidelines for schools have changed very frequently. The newest change made it possible for schools in Orange County, Paoli Community Schools more specifically, to attend in-school learning even when the county is at a Red Advisory level. 

In order for virtual schooling to be required, the number of students quarantined has to be critically high, making it difficult to continue in-person learning. 

“There is no magic ‘number’ or ‘color’ that dictates when we are in school or not in school.  Lots of factors go into it.  When we went virtual prior to Thanksgiving, we did so because we had over 110 students out due to contact tracing and after discussing with Dr. Lopez, that was his recommendation.  When we went virtual prior to Christmas, we did so because we had around 20 staff members out that we could not operate without.  Again, this situation was discussed with Dr. Lopez.  We are not at either of those levels now.  I spoke with him prior to coming back on January 4 and have spoken to him weekly since then. His recommendation is for schools to be open and for students to be in school,” said Superintendent Greg Walker. 

Walker proposed using January 14-15, 2021, as hybrid days in order to troubleshoot any unforeseen issues in case we need to transfer to the hybrid model in the future. After reviewing all the information available for the following week, he decided that Tuesday, January 19 and Wednesday, January 20, Paoli schools would be 100% virtual and follow the same procedures that were used prior to Christmas break. Thursday, January 21 and Friday, January 22, Paoli schools transitioned to the Hybrid model with Thursday being a Purple day and Friday being a Gold day. 

“Even though our county is in the Red Category, I want students to be in school,” said Orange County Health Official Jose Lopez.

Story by Gracie Walls


SAT Now Required for Indiana High School Juniors

As of October 2020, the SAT is now a standardized test for Indiana high school students.

“All juniors will be required to take the SAT, however, it won’t be a graduation qualifying exam like the ISTEP+ has been. [It] will instead be a school accountability exam,” said Corporation Testing Coordinator Brenda Eubank.

This spring, juniors will still be required to retake the ISTEP+ as part of their graduation requirements. It is required to determine a school’s federal accountability rating. A school accountability exam is a test for a school to administer and students to take.

“[The federal accountability rating] is a score given to schools based on whether or not they are on track. The formula used takes into account test scores, graduation rates, growth scores, etcetera,” said principle Sherry Wise. 

The date of the SAT exam has yet to be determined. For more information, email Brenda Eubank at EUBANKB@paoli.k12.in.us or go to https://www.doe.in.gov/assessment/high-school-assessment.

Story by Jozalyn Kempf

U.S. History Students Examine the Roaring 20s with Museum Project

After being unable to do this project with last year’s class, history teacher Chris Lindley will resume the Museum Project with his current U.S. history honors class. This year’s theme is the Roaring 20s, and the event will be held on Sunday, May 17.

As of now, the projects will be displayed in the high school cafeteria. 

“I have always done it in the cafeteria, but I am considering placing them throughout the halls so the spacing will flow better,” said Lindley. 

Although judges are not set in stone, President of the Historical Society Robert Henderson usually helps judge the projects, along with other individuals from the community. The Historical Society often provides a $50 prize to the ‘Best of Show’ project, and Lindley is working on more prizes for his students. 

“My hope for this project is that we can reveal that the 1920s was more than just a partying, drinking, and dancing decade. It really laid the foundation for modern America,” said Lindley. 

The Museum Project will be open to the public and anyone else who wants to attend.

Story by Gracie Walls

Varsity Cheer Tryouts to Take Place May 5

On Wednesday, May 5, tryouts will take place for the 2021-2022 cheer squad from 3:45 to 4:30 p.m. Any student trying out is expected to wear purple and gold, suitable shoes, and have their hair up in a bow. Those who are trying out will be judged on a variety of categories, including group chants, original chants, and the fight song. Out of 100 points, the cut score to make the squad is 75 points. 

“The cheerleading season is really long, it lasts from June until March of the following year. We need a way to keep folks motivated and to be positive members, and the point system gives us the opportunity to not only grow but to also hold people accountable for their actions. It also lets us reward the members who put in the work,” said varsity cheer coach Heather Nichols.

Students planning on trying out should pick up a form from Nichols in room 106. The form includes expectations, permission forms, order forms, and a summer calendar. For more information, contact Nichols at nicholshj@paoli.k12.in.us.

“I genuinely enjoy watching a group of people learn something as a group and to grow as a group. We have also had  lots of success with girls going on to cheer at a collegiate level, and I’m very proud of those girls,” said Nichols.

Story by Michael Hannon

Annual Grand March Tradition Continues on April 24

On April 24, Prom-goers will kick off their evening with the annual Grand March ceremony, which will take place in the PHS Ruth Uyesugi auditorium.The ceremony allows students to show off their fancy attire and date. Students participating in the event will be recognized for sports and other school involvement while they walk across the stage. The event will begin at 6 p.m., and the cost for the general public is $3. All proceeds from the event will go to the National Honor Society. After the event, students are encouraged to take pictures with their friends and family before Prom begins at 7 p.m.

Story by Lili Seals