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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This past summer, one of Paoli’s science teachers made an unconventional class pet choice.
Science teacher Melissa Higgins got Madagascar cockroaches in April of 2021. They are mostly used in labs for her AP Biology class in which students make observations to study their behavior.
“I think it is an interesting way to keep students involved and excited about science. Kids like to check the tank and see if the babies are back” said Higgins.
Most of the time it is just the adult cockroaches in the cages, but every sixty days or so they reproduce. Each one can have anywhere from twenty to sixty offspring at a time. The babies can survive in the same living conditions as the adults, and don’t need any extra care.
Higgins plans on keeping them as long as she teaches her AP Biology class. The next time they will be used in a lab is towards the end of the year after all of the AP testing is complete.
“I think they are pretty cool to have. It’s like having a class pet, but we have class bugs instead!” said junior River Fleming.
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.
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 email@example.com. Students are welcome to stop by and grab free clothes outside the JAG classroom.
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.
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.
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.
The Paoli FFA will be taking some students on a field trip on November 16. They will go to the North American International Livestock Exposition, which will be at the Louisville Fair and Expo Center.
It is open to any Ag students who are interested. The only requirement is you have to be in the top 40 places in the FFA point system. Only 40 students will go. If you are interested, go see Cory Scott or Kyle Woolston.
“North American is an amazing experience for students to go and see the livestock side of things and to watch the shows. You can watch people get their animals ready and watch how they show the different animals. You can also see the marketing side of things because they have a whole room dedicated to shops who have booths set up. They sell all kinds of things from food to belt buckles and clothes,” said FFA Vice President Kenzie Gilliatt who will be attending for her fifth year.
For more information about the trip, or any upcoming FFA events, contact FFA Advisors Cory Scott (COTTC@paoli.k12.in.us) and Kyle Woolston (firstname.lastname@example.org).
College applications. Essays. Scholarships. Post-high school plans. These words are enough to get just about every upperclassman’s blood pressure up, and even though these are to be expected, many high schoolers have no idea how to navigate prepping for life after high school. This is a list of tips and tricks to help juniors and seniors get a serious start on a college plan.
A lot of colleges offer an early decision deadline, but what exactly is that? While it may vary from institution to institution, the early decision is a binding decision in which, if you are accepted into the university, you are obligated to attend. This is not the same thing as an early action plan, which is non-binding and essentially means that you find out whether or not you are accepted earlier. Unless a student is dead-set on a certain college, applying early decision is not the best option.
The applications themselves are the main component colleges will look at to get a feel for a student academically. The important part here is to be aware of deadlines. Most colleges accept the first round of applications by November 1 and the second round of applications at the beginning of January. While students have often been told not to brag and boast about ourselves, college applications are an exception. Guidance counselor Rachel Robinson encourages students to really showcase themselves and show off everything they have done and accomplished during their high school years.
College essays are one of the most daunting parts of applying to colleges. English teacher and senior class sponsor Carol Fullington shared her advice for students prepping their essays. “I think the first thing students can do is look into the essays earlier and not procrastinate. The looming deadline amps up the stress, so do them early. Secondly, look at all the essay prompts, many of them are essentially the same type of question or prompts, so save your essays, so you can tweak them for each application and not feel like you have to do a total rewrite. Third – ANSWER THE PROMPT. Many times students try to overgeneralize their situation or experiences, and they don’t really answer the prompt with specific detail. If it asks about financial hardships, be specific about your situation and why you NEED the money.”
FAFSA, which stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is a form completed by prospective college students to determine their eligibility for financial aid. The form takes into account many aspects of a student’s current financial standing to find an aid package that best fits the needs at hand. The form opened on October 1 year, and is still open for students to complete. The guidance department is available for any assistance or questions pertaining to FAFSA, and for more information and links to forms, visit studentaid.gov.
One Stop App
If you are applying to multiple colleges, going from site to site and filling out more or less the same information for every application can be an unnecessary hassle. To help minimize this, there are sites available that compile all of that information into one convenient location. The Common App has over 900 colleges and universities that accept their applications, and The Coalition has over 150. These sites allow students to compile all of their information into one spot that can be used for any number of potential colleges
College can be very expensive. However, what many students do not realize is that there are hundreds of thousands of scholarships given out each year; last school year, over $1.7 million worth of scholarships and fellowships were given out to incoming college freshmen. To help students, the guidance department has included an updated list of scholarships for seniors in the senior Google Classroom page. The list included both local and external scholarships our students may be eligible for. When in doubt, just apply! You never know what scholarships you may be the perfect fit for.
Senior Taylor Becht is the only student enrolled in the AP Ceramics and Sculpture class for the semester.
For the first time, Becht has had the opportunity to use the pottery wheel – a skill taught only in this course. In order to be in this class, one must first take ceramics where students sculpt only with their hands.
The wheel enables Becht to create a symmetric, round piece of art, though she admits it is not an easy tool to use.
“Throwing clay on a wheel is an extremely hard talent to learn,” said Becht.
So far, Becht has made several different types of pieces, the variety of pottery teaching her different techniques. She has plans for more intricate, complicated works moving forward.
“So far I’ve made mugs, pots, watering pots, teapots and a variety of shaped water containers,” said Becht.
In the future, she plans to take pottery and woodworking classes when she goes to college.
“When I go to college this will be fantastic to know. It will really put me a step ahead of my other peers,” said Becht.
Becht is ready to see what these next weeks have in store for her as she continues to use the wheel.
“Throwing clay on a wheel is an extremely hard talent to learn. Most people at our school who have done it are football players because you need the strength to form the clay and keep it centered. It really has been a great experience,” said Becht.
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 up to 50 colleges and businesses will be in attendance. More information will be available closer to time.
“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. It is a really good opportunity for them to learn more not just about college but about entering the workforce as well,” said College Advisor Cody Martin.
Veterans Day Program Planned; Radcliff Signed up to Serve
After the annual Veteran’s Day program was put at a standstill last year due to COVID, for the 2021-2022 school year the in person program will resume for all students and staff.
Starting at 10 a.m. on Thursday, November 21, the colors will be presented to the student body and the public, mask policy being decided at a later date.
Veteran guests will be introduced and recognized, and the Pride of Paoli will play and salute to the Armed Forces. Freshman Mary Cook will be singing a special for our troops, and Senior Chief Sablan will be the main speaker. U.S. history teacher and Veteran’s Day Organizer Chris Lindley will have his advanced U.S. history class introduce the guests and read a piece and a poem in honor of those who have fought for our country.
Lindley has been the coordinator for over a decade, and being able to play a prominent part in this program holds a special place in his heart.
“I organize the Veterans Day program each year for a couple reasons. One, PHS has a long tradition of very well-done programs honoring our veterans that began under former speech and television production teacher Cynthia Webb. When the state began requiring that schools acknowledge the importance of the day in the 1990s, she produced high quality programs that became a source of pride for our school and local veterans. I was fortunate to assist Mrs. Webb in this endeavor for several years. When she retired, she asked me to continue and I agreed.
“The second reason I do these is to bring recognition and honor to a class of men and women who have made significant sacrifices to our nation and continue to offer much support to our community. We can argue that they received wages, training, and money for college and are no different than other Americans. But, they are also asked to make sacrifices that average citizens do not such as deployments, time away from families, and often being placed in harm’s way. Some suffer life-changing disabilities: physical, mental, emotional. In cases of combat experience, they will never be the same people again. For all this, I trust we can spend a little time honoring them.
“Lastly, I do this to remind our students of the cost of freedom and the importance of service to keep a nation strong. These veterans were once young people just like them who made a choice to serve. Their example challenges us to do likewise. Our community and our nation needs our service, and this program does just that as it uses our talents and resources to offer back to these worthy members of our community our gratitude and respect.”
One member of the senior class has already made the commitment to serve after high school.
Senior Gus Radcliff has already made a commitment to serve his country. Radcliff has enlisted in the US Navy, the only senior fully committed to serving in this branch.
“I have always wanted to serve my country and one of the biggest reasons is that I want to see the world while helping others too,” said Radcliff.
In order to become enlisted in the Navy, one must get an ASVAB score of 35 or higher and be mentally and physically healthy enough to meet the high standards of the military.
“I met with my recruiter multiple times before I made my final decision. We had many meetings and discussions about my requirements and qualifications,” said Radcliff.
Radcliff will begin his time in the Navy on June 22, 2022, where he will report to Basic Training at RTC (Recruit Training Command), Great Lakes, Illinois. He will be there for a total of 18 weeks, doing basic as well as specific job training to become an operation specialist.
Although there are other students interested in joining, no one is as fully committed as Radcliff yet.
“If anyone is interested in knowing more about the World’s Greatest Navy, please contact me,” said Radcliff.
A new way of getting information out to staff, students, and parents is coming soon. New LED signs will be popping up around Paoli schools. These signs will be in front of each school, and one located at the intersection of Elm Street and West Main Street.
The school board voted to purchase the signs for a total of $59,823.53 at the June 7 board meeting.
“The signs will share information about what’s going on and promote our schools,” said Superintendent Greg Walker.
These signs will be run by Journalism Teacher Heather Nichols. Nichols will be able to control what will be shown on each sign.
“One is ready to install and the other two are near,” said Walker.
At the October school board meeting, the minutes reported that the signs were ready to install, but the company was waiting to install all three at the same time.
These signs are similar to the signs at Springs Valley, Orleans, and West Washington. The school will be able to share lots of school information on the digital signs.
On Saturday, November 6, The Pride of Paoli Marching Band will be competing in ISSMA State Finals at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. This marks the band’s return after a one year hiatus due to COVID.
The Pride will be joined by fellow Orange County bands Orleans and Springs Valley in the day’s competition.
The Pride will be leaving class after lunch on Friday to have their final rehearsal at the band field before State. That evening the band will be traveling to Greenwood, Indiana to go shopping at the Greenwood Mall. After shopping in Greenwood, the band will travel to Columbus North High School where they will be spending the night. That evening they will have their traditional band party, including a senior ceremony.
On Saturday morning the band will begin their morning early at 3:30 a.m. before the competition. The Pride’s performance will be at Lucas Oil Stadium at 10:45 a.m. Tickets to State Finals are available on ticketmaster.com.
As my senior season is slowly coming to an end, I like to look back on fond memories I have been able to make in the past six years. Marching band has been a huge part of my life since my seventh grade year. As I got older, I realized all the great lessons and skills that marching band has taught me besides the technical things such as knowing how to play music.
As a seventh grader, I was very socially awkward. I never really tried to branch out from my friend group and believe it or not, I was kind of shy. I have never experienced or been a part of something that brought together so many different groups of people the way that band does. Joining the band as a seventh grader was nervewracking. I, along with some of my other classmates, was thrown into a group of older and more experienced students and expected to learn everything they have learned to perfection. I learned to pick up on skills fairly quickly my rookie years. In addition, I started to develop my people skills. When you’re in band, you basically have no choice but to talk with the other members as well as the staff. I was critiqued often and I learned how to take and grow from that criticism, which was mentally challenging at times. Being critiqued so much drove me as a person and motivated me to work harder. Being able to take on challenges head on and motivate myself to be better is something I still do.
8th and 9th Grade
During my eighth and ninth grade year, I was getting the hang of the whole “band thing” and became confident in what I was doing. As a band member, especially one in The Pride of Paoli, we are taught to always perform with pride. Everything I did, I did with pride and confidence — both inside and outside of band. I developed confidence in myself which is a trait I have always found important and I wouldn’t have had many of my most memorable experiences without it. During this time, I also started to realize the importance of working hard to accomplish a goal as a group. I was taught that the needs of the band outweigh the needs of the few which taught me not to be blinded by my own personal needs and wants when it comes to a situation much larger than myself. As a band member, you learn that for a huge goal to be accomplished by a group, each individual has to not only put forth the work, but be willing to compromise.
My sophomore year is when I started to portray the skills and qualities of a role model. I was considered one of the older band members at this point making me a role model for the younger members. Before then, I never really thought about how my own actions could possibly influence others. I quickly learned that my level of experience made me a leader out on the field, despite not being an upperclassmen. I took this seriously and worked harder than I usually did, knowing I was being watched and learned from by younger members. During my tenth grade year is also when I started to realize how quickly time goes. I took in every second and learned how to live in the moment.
11th Gradeand Beyond
My junior and senior year is when I became an important leader of the band. This was the year I became drum major. I have learned so much about being a leader, especially in regards to responsibility. I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s very true. I was able to apply the leading skills I had learned in my past years of band. I pushed myself harder to make sure I did everything I could to set a good example. I learned how to be tenacious, but in a good way. Never letting a bad day or rehearsal ruin my motivation is something I continue to do every day. As a leader I had to learn how to motivate others and push people to do their very best. Sometimes that involves getting to know someone personally to know what drives them. I also have to be accountable for my mistakes. Knowing you made a mistake and taking responsibility for it is something a leader has to do. Patience is also a key trait in leadership. As someone who gets the whole view of the band, quite literally, I have learned to trust the process and patiently see everything come together. Missing a whole season because of the pandemic taught me not to take things for granted and to enjoy what I have. This year, I really have appreciated what I’ve got, especially when it comes to band. As the season is coming to an end, I’m trying to take a step back and really appreciate the band. I have never been more proud to be a part of a program with such an amazing group of people. All of the skills I have developed throughout my years in band have shaped me into who I am today. Even through the long, hard, hot and freezing hours band has put me through, I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.
On Tuesday, September 28, a new kind of two-hour delay was started to reward students for no zeros. The idea was to reward those students who have kept up with their work, and give students with missing work the chance to make it up before the end of the nine-weeks.
The effectiveness of this day is something our staff is divided on.
Several of our staff without zeros enjoyed it, and were able to participate in the activities offered or used the time to catch up on homework. But the majority of our staff did not feel it had a significant impact.
In the future we hope our school leaders could plan a field trip or letting the people who have no zeros stay home for the first two hours as an incentive to keep up on schoolwork.
But how can we avoid the need for a day like this in the future? Members of our staff were divided into two main sides: the responsibility should fall on the shoulders of the student and the responsibility should be shared between the educators and students. Our staff offered a few potential solutions.
One change we would like to see made is making assignments due at 11:59 p.m. for all teachers. A consistent turn in time might help us avoid late work penalties. Every student has been in the situation where they get on Google Classroom and see an assignment due at 3:15 p.m. or 8 a.m. the next day. Many of us have felt a collective annoyance at the changing times from class to class because we know our teachers are not going to grade our work at those times. To fix this, assignments need to be made due after school – otherwise students may be forced to use other teachers’ class time to complete their work.
Another popular suggestion was lessening our homework load. After doing assignments all day at school, no one wants to come home and have to put in even more hours of effort into academics. The same can be said for teachers who spend much of their own time outside of school grading assignments and preparing for their lessons. Although in some situations, homework cannot be avoided, but maybe more time could be given to allow students to work through some assignments in class. While students are doing their homework, teachers could catch up on grading or lesson planning. Another solution given was to allow students to have all of their homeroom to work, instead of making us do activities which take away from studying.
A few students feel a change in our learning environment, both physically and mentally, could be improved. In terms of physical discomfort, the constant variation in temperature was brought up. It is very difficult to learn when we are shivering from the cold in one room and sweating profusely in the next.
Similarly, many students feel uncomfortable asking questions in classes because they are afraid of being embarrassed, whether by their classmates or even teachers. This leads to a lack of clarity on subjects which snowballs as the year goes on and increases the chances of failure. In order to stop this and help students to get a full understanding, each classroom needs to feel like a safe and positive space which supports the asking of questions.
It’s hard for us to not feel like we are more than just a potential detention, rule-breaker, or criminal. We understand the need to follow rules in order to become law-abiding citizens, but continual condemnation takes a toll on us all, especially those of us who are not apart of this small group of rule violators. It is crucial to find a happy medium between constructive criticism and rewarding reminders. We believe teachers and administrators could concentrate on more positive things like students who have been performing well academically and those who have made improvements. Hearing others being praised for their accomplishments will encourage others to push themselves harder for the same validation, and make it known the effort we put into school does not go unseen.
Having no motivation was mutually agreed upon the reason for student failure. Many students believe how they do in school won’t affect their lives, and don’t have clear goals they are inspired to reach. We asked our staff what they use to drive themselves to get their work done – even when it gets hard. Several students had simple answers like practicing good habits such as using agendas and calendars in order to get an idea of what they need to complete and prevent themselves from forgetting something and in turn stressing over it.
Others said they just get it done, even if they procrastinate until the last minute, they are aware of the importance of their assignments and make it come together in the end. Even if you don’t complete an assignment, just doing half of it is better than none. That 50% won’t hurt your grade as much as a zero.
The majority of our staff members said focusing on the future is the most helpful thing for them – by thinking about the consequences that will occur if they don’t do their work. One student mentioned incorporating a method they used at their old school which involved making an index card or a slideshow that listed the things they wanted in the future (ex: a college degree, a big house, a specific job) and what they needed to do in order to get there. It all starts here at school, acquiring habits and strategies which will help us throughout our lives. After all, as soon as we graduate, how we did in school gives us the options for our futures.
National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society members sold pork barbecue dinner tickets from October 22 to October 29. Students sold these tickets to support the Paoli Meridian Lions Club.
There were three options available for order. A small-sized meal was $7 and includes one sandwich, ½ a cup of coleslaw, and ½ a cup of baked beans. A large-sized meal cost $9, including two sandwiches, ½ a cup of coleslaw, and ½ a cup of baked beans. A family-sized meal was $25, coming with eight sandwiches, 1 pint of coleslaw and 1 pint of baked beans.
“This is a wonderful way for our NHS and NJHS students to help the Lion’s Club raise money each year. The profits from the Pork BBQ help support scholarships the Lion’s Club gives to Paoli graduating seniors,” said NHS and NJHS sponsor Melissa Higgins.
Those who purchased tickets can pick up their meals from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 7, at the Paoli High School cafeteria. NHS members will be there, working to give people their meals. A ticket must be presented at the time of pick up to receive orders.
The varsity tennis season ended after losing to Barr Reeve on September 30 in the first round of sectional. Their final record was 7-10.
“Everyone is already pretty experienced which means we will be able to get right on with our season and work on more important things,” said junior bv Adin Monroe.
The junior high season also ended after playing Austin on September 30. Varsity head coach Matt Wolfe thinks that the current eighth graders Charlie Higgins, Kirk Hughes, Dakota Mousty and Chad Sullivan will make a great addition to the high school team next year.
With football still going on, basketball season has yet to start. Open gyms have been going on since September. After one of the star players last year, Brett Bosley, graduated, varsity head coach Dusty Cole has been working to figure out new ways to utilize other players. Some of the players Cole thinks will step up this season are junior Chris Nuñez, sophomores Willson Windhorst and Andrew Kumpf, and freshman Fletcher Cole. Cole is looking to his seniors this year for leadership, and maybe even some of the varsity juniors.
“One thing is certain, it will take a collective effort to fill the leadership void left when Brett Bosley graduated,” said Cole. He also expects Fletcher Cole to stand out, who has enough confidence and skill to play varsity as a freshman.
The high school girl’s basketball season has started their season. The captains for this year are junior Jackie Crews, and seniors Gracie Walls and Kacey McBride. The team also have several new members joining them this year: Ella Spires, who transfered from Mitchell, and Oihana Palacios, a foreign exchange student from Spain.
“So far I think all of the kids have adapted and accepted Ella and Oihana. Both are good kids and are great additions to our program. I think they both will help us and over time we will figure out how we will use them.” said varsity head coach Donavan Crews.
You can come see the Lady Rams in action on October 30, as they play at North Harrison for their scrimmage. Junior high has also started up, and Crews says that after a good summer, it will be a great season. Their first home game is November 15 against Barr Reeve.
The season ended for the majority of the high school cross country team at sectional on October 2, but two members of the girls team advanced to regional. At sectional, senior Hannah Albertson placed 16th, and junior Cailyn Baechle placed 32nd. Unfortunately neither moved past regional.
“I am happy with the outcome of my senior year for cross-country and finishing with my best time but, what I will miss most from my cross-country team is running with my friends during practices and cheering each other on at meets. I hope to be able to visit them next year during their season,” said Albertson.
The junior high’s last meet was the PLAC hosted by Crawford County where the girls and boys both placed in fourth. At the end of the season, both the girls and boys team placed first at one meet each.
After a loss at sectional to Christian Academy on October 12, the season was over. Varsity’s final record for the season was 14-9, and junior varsity’s record was 13-5.
“I am so proud of how far we have come. Last year we struggled but it only prepared us for this year where I think we did exceptionally well. I could not ask for any better teammates and I am proud of them all. I will definitely miss my teammates the most. This year especially I felt I had gotten closer with everyone so it will be hard knowing I won’t step back on the court with them,” said senior Rylie Atkins.
Graduating four key players, the team will have a lot of work to do in the off season to prepare for next season. The junior high volleyball team played their last game on September 30 against West Washington. The eighth grade’s record was 2-8, and the seventh grade record was 0-10.
This year marks the fourth year the Art Department has painted ceiling tiles for staff members.
Each year, art teacher Chris Jones sends an email out to staff to announce that his classes will be painting ceiling tiles.
Teachers who sign up are then assigned to a student who will make their vision come to life on the tile. Things like quotes, sports logos, book and movie references and everything in between are created.
“I like doing ceiling tiles because everyone makes something unique,” said junior Ellie Sims.
Students in Drawing 2, Drawing 3 honors, and AP Drawing 3 courses began working before fall break and just wrapped up their paintings.
A total of 23 tiles were completed this year, with each costing $20. Over $400 was raised for the Art Department by the project.
“The money that’s raised goes into our creative arts fund which we use to buy special things for the art room like software for the computer or speakers to listen to music,” said Jones.
Another round of ceiling tiles will likely be painted next semester.
With winter sports coming into play, the high school girls basketball team had their first practice on Monday, October 18, after students returned from fall break. The team is coming back together after a 16-3 summer record and many statements made to spectators.
“I thought we had a really good summer and got a lot accomplished. We played a tough schedule and found out a lot of things about ourselves. We were able to beat Linton, Silver Creek, Jeffersonville, and some other really good teams,” says Head Coach Donavan Crews. “My hope for this season is to be playing like we did this summer. I think if we can get back to that point we have a chance to have a really good season. For this team our main goal is to win the sectional. Obviously we want to win the conference too but for this group, we’ve worked for this since the fifth and sixth grade. If we can all play our roles and utilize our strengths like we did this summer, we’ll be fine.”
The team’s successful summer was not just handed to them, however. They had basketball nearly five days a week in the month of June, had shooting workouts throughout the month of July, and twelve of the twenty two girls played on a travel basketball team — putting them playing this sport almost all year round.
“Probably the thing I’m most proud of with this team is their hard work and dedication. This group is one of the hardest working groups I’ve ever been around,” said Crews.
The girls basketball season will officially begin with their first game on November 4 at Northeast Dubois. There are no restrictions for fans this season, and big crowds will be expected.
“If we can put it all together this group is a fun one to watch. We are hoping for big crowds this year and I think for those that can make it this year, they will enjoy watching us,” said Crews.
Yearbook senior headshots are currently being scheduled. All seniors will have their photo taken for the yearbook by senior Staff Photographer Emma McCrary in the PHS News Today Studio next to History teacher Chris Lindley’s classroom.
This is a free service to seniors. The photos will be shared with students through Google Drive and retakes are welcome to be sure students can get an image they like. Please use the following guidelines when selecting outfits for senior photos: no hooded shirts or jackets, no shirts with writing and no tank tops or sleeveless tops. Students are encouraged to wear a shirt with a collar if possible.
“It takes just a few minutes of your day and we need to get them done as soon as possible,” said Senior Emma McCrary. Photos can be scheduled before school, during 1st period, homeroom, or during 7th period. Please email McCrary or senior Tinsley Moffatt to schedule your photo. Parents who would like to have photo proofs sent to them should email McCrary (email@example.com) or Adviser Heather Nichols (firstname.lastname@example.org).
On Saturday, October 30, the Pride of Paoli marching band will be traveling to Franklin High School to compete in the ISSMA Open Class D Semi State. The Pride will join 19 other bands in their class from around the state in a fight for the top ten spots, which would qualify them for state. The Pride will perform at 2:45 p.m.
“I am super confident in the band and I am so excited to see how we do up against our biggest competitors,” said drum major senior Angie Ceja.
On October 22, the Rams football team took on Union County in the first round of sectionals, winning with a score of 55-0. According to Varsity Head Coach Neil Dittmer, senior Walter McKibbon had an exceptionally good game.
“We expect to win, and play our best football,” said Dittmer.
The team will continue onto the second round of sectionals where they will play Providence at Providence High School tonight. Both Providence and Paoli’s records are equivalent, having a 6-2 record each.
“I think we have played well but not our best. We have a lot that could be better and the sky’s the limit with this team. I think we are locked in and are going to play well as long as we stay focused and keep our eyes on the prize,” said senior Sawyer Livingston.
The Blood Drive will be at PHS in the lower gym on Tuesday, November 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Red Cross will be here to collect donated blood from eligible students. Students should have received an email the previous week from Blood Drive Coordinator Danelle Manship on a form to fill out for donor eligibility.
Students who are 16 years old can donate blood with parental consent. Those who are 17 and older can donate without parental consent. In order to donate, students must have a photo ID present and the Red Cross will put students through a screening process to see if they are eligible before beginning the donation process.
“Students who donate blood to the Blood Drive should expect to have their blood taken from the Red Cross. The blood is donated to other people in need of it,” said Manship.
As students saw in the presentation on the first day of the 20-21 school year, many new staff members joined. This includes new School Resource Officer Andrew Streble.
Three years ago, Streble moved to Paoli from Louisville, Kentucky where he got a job at the local police department.
“I came across a Facebook post that the Paoli Police Department was accepting applications for the position of School Resource Officer so I decided to apply,” said Streble. “Paoli has felt like home since the day I moved here and I wanted to do my part to help better the community and thought this would be a good way to do it.”
After working as a police officer for over 10 years, Streble describes working for a school as “a nice change of pace.” Sometimes, he does miss working for the Louisville Metro Police Department,where the work was fast-paced, but the predictability of his schedule and his interactions with the students make it worthwhile.
“I do like interacting with the students although most days you all make me feel extremely old,” said Streble.
He warns students if they see him out walking his three-legged pitbull Khali — she is friendly. All you have to be worried about is your fashion choices.
“I see a lot of kids wearing Nirvana shirts,” said Streble. “I may start asking you what your favorite Nirvana song is just to be sure it’s not just a fashion choice.”
Streble wants to make sure students are aware that he has an “open door policy.” If you have any issues or questions for him, he will help you to the best of his ability. You can find him in the hallways or in his room located in the main office.
Paoli Biddy Ball has begun and will last until November 6. The event will be held at Throop Elementary after school every day from 3:10 to 4:30 p.m., except Wednesdays because of early release. The games between teams who are evenly split between grades 1-2 will play and also grades 3-4 will play on Saturday.
“This is always a great opportunity for the kids to interact with our players. And the kids really love it,” said Head Basketball Coach Dusty Cole.
The high school players will be helping students learn drills and the fundamentals of the game. The elementary players will also be invited to a camp later this summer for the same kids.
Anyone with a Throop student interested in participating should contact Coach Cole at the high school.
The JAG leadership team is sponsoring the costume contest on Oct 29. Students will go to room 111, the JAG room and sign up in the costume contest.
The JAG Leadership team is doing a costume contest as a fundraiser for the JAG closet and a fun way to incorporate dressing up for Halloween and put a twist on dressing up at school.
“I love seeing the creative costumes students and staff come up with!” JAG Specialist Katie Cook.
To participate in the contest, any student or staff member from grades 7th through 12th will go to the JAG room In the morning on October 29 with their costumes on for the day, and pay $1 to enter the contest. The JAG team will choose winners for the funniest, scariest, best duo/couples costume, and the best costume overall and announce the winners on Monday, November 1. Doing this Contest will switch up how we normally do the Halloween dress up day while raising money.
Every Wednesday, from 5:30-6:30 p.m, the girls basketball team has been holding open gyms in the high school lower gym. Varsity Head Coach Donovan Crews helps the girls with plays and answers questions about the upcoming season while the girls split up and scrimmage for an hour.
All junior high and high school girls had the opportunity to attend, allowing the coaches to get a good idea of what the season will look like, and giving some opportunities for some extra help.
“Our open gyms have been going really well. Our attendance has been great, but I didn’t expect anything different out of this group. I think a lot of the kids are excited that the season is just around the corner. We’ve put in a lot of work this offseason and had a really good summer. Hopefully all of that will carry right into this season and make it an exciting year,” said Crews.
Open gyms end today and the first official practice begins on Oct. 18. If you are interested in playing this year, email email@example.com for more information about the program.
Recently, I sent out a survey to staff and students asking two questions: on a scale of one to five, how overwhelmed are you on a day-to-day basis, and what do you do to cope with that stress. The results were concerning. Of the 169 who replied, 82.7 percent of those surveyed placed themselves at a three or higher for how overwhelmed they feel.
For the second question, “What do you do to cope with stress?” there were two common answers that really stood out. One was that many people turn to music to help them deal with their stressors and emotions.
This is not a new strategy unique to our school. According to research done by the American Psychological Association, listening to music increases the body’s production of antibodies and reduces stress hormone levels. Students may not understand the science behind it, but they know that music has a powerful effect on how they feel. As a music student, I have firsthand experience with the benefits of music. Playing my instrument is always therapeutic, as it is something I do not have to think about. I can just let my feelings flow through me and come out as something beautiful. When it is not convenient to play an instrument, just popping in my earbuds and listening to my favorite albums and instrumental music helps improve my mood and takes my mind off of things.
Our current policy prohibits headphones in the classroom and blocks most streaming services on student Chromebooks. Could a change to the headphone policy provide a resource for students who could benefit from the stress-relieving properties of listening to music?
In my opinion, yes. I believe our policy should be updated to make music more accessible to students whenever there is time to do so without the possibility of classroom disruption.
Other than listening to music, the answer that really stood out was that many students just do not know how to cope with being overwhelmed. They do not have the tools to help them get through tough situations. This is concerning, as students and teachers alike are under rigorous performance standards, and with no way to deal with that stress, it can have negative effects. There is a possible solution to this issue that has already been implemented at Throop.
Kara Schmidt, a community member and founder of SoINBody, began working with elementary students before the pandemic, teaching them mindfulness and yoga skills. She also did a trial run with Carol Fullington’s 2019- 2020 speech classes, coming in twice a week to practice mindfulness and yoga with high school students. I had the opportunity to be in that speech class, and those mindfulness lessons were some of the most helpful things I have learned in my high school career. I think this sort of experience should be available for all students at the high school, seeing as we are more vulnerable to mental strain as a result of our education. The easiest option would be to create a mindfulness club which meets once a week during homeroom or even after school, giving students a chance to take a break and practice something that could be beneficial for them.
Talking about mindfulness can be difficult because there is just not enough common knowledge on the subject for most people to really know much about it and how to practice it. However, if the school implemented new policies and programs which had students’ best interests in mind, and that engaged in mindfulness improvement, we might see our data shift in a more positive direction.
Platforms Become More Toxic When Mixed with Misinformation
Since the very birth of social media, it’s use has been a highly debated and controversial topic. It’s destructive – rotting youth’s brains, destroying their capacity for empathy, ruining people’s ability to distinguish between what’s real and what’s fake. We’ve heard it all. On the other hand nothing can bring people together quite like the latest Tik Tok dance trend.
No one is more aware of the impact of social media than the most active users: teenagers (that’s us!). Because we are so often engaged in social media, we know firsthand the impact it can have on our lives. It’s no secret what’s going on in the head of a teen isn’t always pretty and the majority of us struggle with our mental stability on a daily basis. Many times, the issues can be traced back to social media and its hold on us.
Common byproducts of social media usage are not limited to depression, anxiety, body dysmorphia, eating disorders, etc. These occur in response to the content we’re being presented with, whether it’s false narratives on issues related to health care being pushed, the consumption of overwhelmingly hateful material, or a more personal encounter of online drama and cyberbullying.
Especially now, in the midst of a pandemic, we are susceptible to a decline in emotional well-being and either the influx of new mental illness symptoms or the worsening of preexisting ones. Coupled with exposure to the toxicity of online platforms, our online world is a lethal combination with the potential to lead one down a very difficult path.
When quarantined, we spent enormous amounts of time scrolling through feeds and this increase in screen-time on social apps can be extremely detrimental to one’s state of mind – depending on what it is you’re looking at.
Since our staff consists solely of teenage students, we thought they’d be the perfect people to ask for opinions on and personal experiences with social media.
We asked which social media platform our staff found to be the most toxic and the answers were all over the place. Several students said Instagram, due to the false image many users convey and the use of editing apps like FaceTune that take it even further. Some replied with TikTok because of the diversity of views on different subjects and the tendencies of people to attack those with perspectives other than their own. Twitter and Facebook were mentioned for the seemingly constant gossip on them. Students also said Snapchat because of the anonymity of the platform and the fact users so often bash other users on it.
On Being Aware
On the contrary to the leisurely use of social media, we rely on social media to receive our news and get the latest updates – now more than ever. In the age of the coronavirus, factual accuracy is of the utmost importance. One would think that would be easy to determine, right? Wrong. So much misinformation is spread which can easily fool people, whether you’re typically naive or not. This can be extremely harmful for people who take highly liked posts as gospel and take advice for things off of platforms without checking up on the source or consulting anyone else.
People take advice everyday for physical health, mental health, etc. that could seriously hurt them. For example, someone might watch a TikTok on how someone lost a lot of weight and follow that person’s routine when it may not be right for them physically or mentally. This can lead to eating disorders and other health issues. People give mental health advice as well, making others think that professional help isn’t necessary and likely making their problems worse.
Although there are probably more negative sides of social media than you can count, it has its perks too. Mainly, people are able to stay connected with one another. This was particularly evident in 2020, when families and friends were separated all over the world without much ability to remain active in each other’s lives. So many moments were missed in-person due to the coronavirus, though they were posted on social media platforms for those people to see. It may not have been the same as if they’d been there physically, but it was better than nothing as one of the only forms of interaction available.
Social media has its upsides and downsides, but overall the emphasis should be put on the mindset and attitude of the user.
We are responsible for how we approach social media, how seriously we take it. It is our job to always be mindful of the content we’re consuming, however significant or trivial, whether it’s a news report or a TikTok gag. In order to protect our mental health and prevent ourselves from contributing to the spread of false information, we’ve got to stay aware.
I’ve always been a sucker for psychological thrillers. “Bird Box”, “Ma”, and “The Conjuring” are just a few of my favorites. Yet out of all the suspenseful shows I am madly in love with, I have recently fallen deeply for a new series, called “Behind Her Eyes”. This Netflix original is based on the novel written by Sarah Pinborough, with all the same expectations and cliffhangers. I’m not one to rewatch a show or series, but this show – especially the ending – made me restart from the beginning immediately. That’s just how surprising and jaw-dropping the finale left me. (I promise, no spoilers to follow… just reasons for you to watch.)
Louise is a single mom who works as a secretary at a psychiatrist’s office. It all started when she got stood up on her date at the pub. Just as she was about to give up and head home, she ran into a dark, handsome man named David, new in town and in need of company. The two had an undeniable spark… until their goodbye kiss was interrupted by David’s sudden regret and rushed departure. Confused and dejected, Louise continues about her days. Prior to the next day at work when she discovered the new psychiatrist was (you guessed it) David. Ignoring the inconvenient circumstances, one morning on her way home from dropping her son off at school, Louise coincidentally (or so we think) ran into David’s wife of ten years, Adele. Oddly enough, these two also hit it off, and become closer friends than Louise would have imagined. Things continue to get messier; Louise begins to have an affair with David, Adele and Louise start to spend more time together, and secrets only get worse. Keeping both of these relationships private from the other, Louise doesn’t realize what she has truly gotten herself into until it’s too late.
Everything from the settings and actors to the plot kept me hooked until the very end. The foreshadowing is insanely clever, and the last episode will leave you sitting in silence trying to process everything you just absorbed. I totally recommend this show to people who like magical, majestic mysteries. This is one of those shows where the conspiracy theories are endless and you won’t be able to stop talking about it.
Since the start of the school year, PHS has been on the hunt for a new seventh grade science teacher.
With no luck so far, the administration continues to advertise this opening on both the school’s website and with the Indiana Department of Education. In the meantime, Retired Math Teacher Cindy Stout has been covering the role. As luck would have it, Stout is a licensed science teacher, the perfect fill-in until a permanent teacher can be hired.
“Mrs. Stout is an amazing teacher. She has a track record of excellence! Her willingness to fill in until a replacement can be found is truly an asset to Paoli Schools. I am confident that our seventh graders are receiving science instruction equivalent to what a permanent teacher would provide,” said Principal Sherry Wise.
According to Superintendent Greg Walker, at this time there are currently no applications for the position Stout is filling.
For more information on the open position visit the corporation website.
AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a program which focuses on helping students to become college and career ready during their junior high and high school years. English teacher Tamera Noble has taken on the role of AVID training this summer and officially became the AVID site coordinator and elective teacher this school year.
“AVID is a great program with many benefits for students and teachers. I love teaching the AVID elective and can’t wait to share more strategies with teachers throughout this school year,” said Noble.
During the class, the students get the chance to learn strategic preparations to help further their education as they go throughout school. These include strategies in taking notes and tests, time management, studying, and using WICOR (Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, Reading to Learn) for exploring college and career options. This year, Noble is hoping to be able to plan extra activities for the students who are in the course so they can get more experience and familiarity with the program, including field trips and guest speakers who share their career experiences.
If you are interested in joining AVID, you may apply at the end of the school year for the 2022-2023 school year. Since AVID is new this year, students who are in AVID currently have been hand selected by their previous teachers.
“AVID targets students in the academic middle who have the desire to go to college and the willingness to work hard. These are students who are capable of completing a rigorous curriculum but may be falling short of their potential. AVID’s goal is for these students to reach their full potential through the support AVID offers,” said Noble.
If you have any questions or comments about AVID, you can learn more by contacting Noble for more information.
Athletes, Coaches Adjust Programs to Continue Ram Activities
At the start of the 2020 school year the Indiana High School Athletic Association provided a detailed list of how schools should manage their sports programs in the unknown time of the coronavirus pandemic. A year later, the virus is still impacting schools but the IHSAA guidelines have changed, allowing schools to set their own guidelines.
“We just have to keep following the guidelines we are given and adapt, adjust and overcome as things change,” said Athletic Director Darek Newkirk.
For football, guidelines lessened moderately, but some, however, remained the same. Athletes and coaches are still expected to maintain a distance of six feet from another person when in locker rooms if possible, face masks and gloves are permissible and hand-shaking during introductions and post-game have been suspended.
Washing hands should still be done thoroughly and frequently. Games have also been opened to an unlimited number of people this year, rather than an occupancy limit like last season.
At the start of the school year many students faced the challenge of quarantine, which in turn impacted players time at practice.
“If you miss eight to 14, days you must makeup four practices before you can play. If you miss more than 14 days, you will have to make-up six practices. This is different from last season, in that it is days missed and not days of practice missed,” said Varsity Football Coach Neil Dittmer.
Girls cheerleaders for football games have had guidelines loosened for them as well. Last football season, the girls cheering had to wear masks when performing stunts, which is not a mandated requirement for this football season.
“So far we have dealt with quarantined athletes as best we can – moving girls around and adjusting to still allow our cheerleaders to cheer. I think forcing us to constantly adjust is exhausting, but ultimately it may make us better. We have to constantly problemsolve and that’s a skill that everyone can benefit from,” said Varsity Cheer Coach Heather Nichols.
For volleyball, there were only slight changes to guidelines from previous years. Due to how many athletes that were quarantined, or out completely for having Covid-19 last year, the IHSAA adjusted their rules and regulations of practices. The athletes now have to have four practices in. Pre-game warm-ups no longer count as practices. There was also a recommendation list that provided ideas that would best benefit the team, yet these were not official changes.
Teams do not switch benches in between sets, bench personnel are limited to observe from a three to six foot distance, a player is to remain three to six feet apart from the referee when substituting in, sanitize equipment during and after the warm-up period and eliminate the shaking of hands between teams.
“This has affected our team because it makes it difficult for us to get four practices in when we are playing three nights a week,” said Varsity Volleyball Coach Alexis Speer.
Girl’s golf also remains the same for their 2021 season, with no restrictive Covid protocols.
“I think this whole ordeal will make everyone aware of staying healthy and safe,” said Varsity Girls Golf Coach Brad Bledsoe.
Cross Country guidelines are also very similar to last year. Athletes still have to maintain a distance of six feet from another athlete, no hand shakes, fist bumps or hugging for encouragement is allowed and sanitization of frequently touched surfaces is mandatory.
“These athletes, or runners, are missing races because of being quarantined. They won’t get to compete and those are races they won’t ever get back or be able to do again,” said Varsity Cross Country Coach Summer Hudelson.
Covid has taken its toll on athletes, students, coaches, parents and Paoli’s school system as a whole in the past couple of years. This year, however, is the year students are looking forward to being back to a bit of normalcy within their sports.
The post-pandemic job market has proven to be very difficult thing to navigate. Lost River Career Co-op has implemented a new program into their curriculum to help students start strong in careers after high school. LRCC is now offering a Certified Driver’s License program for high school students to take.
Currently senior Jericho Padgett is the only student enrolled in the program.
“It is a lot of hard work, but it is going to be very rewarding for me in the future,” said Padgett.
The class is taught by Tim Golden, an experienced tractor trailer driver. The program focuses on tractor trailers, which are the typical semi trucks you would see on the highway, and all of the skills needed to operate one, such as basic operation and on-road and parking skills. The class is a one-semester course that takes place during fifth, sixth, and seventh period each day, but can also be a two semester course.
“The class sounds overwhelming, but it’s not. It’s a lot more fun than a person would think. There is a lot of work, but once you get that CDL, you get it for life and you will always have a job available,” said Golden.
In the fall, students work towards earning their learner’s permit and eventually their operating license. They have to complete three exams throughout the semester, as well as an in-person pre-trip exam.
Once completed, students can begin work-based learning in the spring. This allows students to not only get experience during their spring semester, but also allows them to make money during the school day. Padgett has already received offers from local trucking companies.
“A student can be making money during their senior year and still get three credit hours for taking the class. It’s nice to have some spending money to use on the weekends,” said Golden.
For More Information
In February of 2022, the requirements to obtain a CDL in Indiana will be changing. In the past, anyone wanting to get their CDL would just have to complete a test at the local BMV. However, starting in February, they will be required to take a three week CDL course, which can cost anywhere between three to five thousand dollars. Since LRCC offers this program, students can obtain their license without any additional costs.
For more information about joining the program speak to the guidance department.
One of the many new faces this school year is College Advising Corps Adviser Cody Martin. Partnered through Indiana University and AmeriCorps, Martin took the place of 2020-21 staff member, Mary Lechner. Martin’s job here at PHS is to help seniors find the best path for their lives after high school.
“Whether you want to become a mechanic, a manager at Walmart, a doctor, or anything in between, I’m here to help find your best options for getting where you want to go. The goal of my position is to improve the socioeconomic statuses of communities, starting with upcoming graduates,” said Martin.
Though Martin’s main focus is with seniors, he is eager and willing to meet with any student who has questions about postsecondary options. He also works at Crawford County Schools with the same position and splits his time equally between both schools.
“I am a resource to help find goals for students, find financial aid and scholarships, and navigate the college admissions process (applications, award letters, you name it), whether that be a seventh grader having no idea what college is, or a freshman wondering how to set themselves up for success,” said Martin.
Martin graduated from Wilmington College in Ohio with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management. He has a four-year-old daughter named Callie and is newly married as of this past July.
“I love spending my free time disc golfing, cooking, doing trivia, playing cards, doing crosswords and watching sporting events. I plan on beginning to work on my Master’s Degree in the fall, and I hope to have a Ph.D. by the time I am 30,” said Martin. “Some fun facts about me are that I have been published in Athletic Business magazine, I’ve attended two Super Bowls, and I have been to 13 states and five countries.”
Martin is at PHS all day on Tuesdays and Thursdays, along with the second and fourth Friday of every month. To schedule a meeting with him, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After six wins and eight loses, only three matches are left in the season. Junior Isaac McBride has been a key player for the singles part of the team, and juniors Lucus Stroud and Treyvin Street have had a strong doubles season. The team’s best match was against Salem on August 17.
“They are a team that beat us last year and lost no starters. We were able to jump over that hurdle and beat them this year and set the tone for some good early season wins because of that confidence I believe,” said Head Coach Matt Wolfe.
Although the junior high tennis team has had multiple games cancelled, they still hold a winning record of 4-1.
As of September 18, the girls golf team ended their season with sectionals at Otis Park. Their best match was on August 17 at the Valley Links, where they scored 220 points as a team.
Some players that stood out this year are junior Serenity Sweet, averaging 56 per meet, and senior Hayley Taylor, averaging 59 per meet.
“We had five players this year with two of them being freshmen and I knew we would struggle some. We started the season pretty well and I could see improvement from everyone. However, as we finished the last several matches, including the sectional, we actually began to shoot poorer as a team. I think we kind of wore down physically and mentally,” said Coach Brad Bledsoe.
As of September 21, the varsity football team has a record of 2-1, and JV’s record is 1-1.
“We have had a lot of guys who have stepped up on offense and defense. Too many to count our best ones,” said Head Coach Neil Dittmer.
Some players who have stood out this season for JV are freshman Johnny Shellenberger and Ian Drake. One of the best games they have played was on September 17 against West Washington.
“We have never had to question effort, they always put forth good effort,” said JV Head Coach Brian Wilson.
The eighth grade football team has a record of 2-0, and seventh grade’s record is 2-1.
“We had initial setbacks due to [COVID19], but as we have returned the team’s effort has been more focused on winning the games that we get to play. There are always things to fix, but our athletes show up everyday looking to improve,” said Head Coach J.D. Emerick.
As of September 21, the Varsity volleyball team has a record of 7-4, and the JV’s record is 7-3. Some players who have stood out this season for junior varsity are sophomores Gracie Brown and Stella Windhorst, who have both stepped up this season, not only with skill but with attitude as well.
“We’ve improved from last season, and we are working more as a team this year than last year. This has made games and our season overall more enjoyable as a player,” said senior Emma McCrary.
As of September 21, the eighth grade volleyball team has a record of 1-4, and seventh grade’s record is 0-5. Some players who have stood out this season for the eighth grade team are setter Maddie Vernon and middle hitter Charli Chastain, and for the seventh grade team are setter Marci Carter and middle hitter Allie Kumpf. One of the best games they have played was on September 16 against Northeast Dubois.
“The junior high volleyball program is coming along as expected. It’s been a tough season for the seventh graders due to missing the entire last season due to Covid. However, I have seen great improvement from many players,” said seventh grade Coach Jennifer Coleman.
With the season coming close to an end, the XC teams have been doing really well. Their best meet was the county meet at Orleans, where senior Hannah Albertson placed first. Sophomore Luke Oldham, and juniors Cailyn Baechle, Abby Bruner, and Jacob Workman have been working hard throughout the season.
“The girls are doing really well this season.Hannah and Cailyn put in a lot of miles over the summer and their preseason work is paying off,” said Coach Summer Hudleson.
As for JH XC, star runners this year include seventh grader Zaden Taylo and sixth grader Jordan Albertson, and seventh grader Addy Moffatt and fifth grader Aubrey Burris.
“Each kid is dedicated and has made improvements. They all should be very proud of what they have accomplished individually and as a team,” said Coach Missy Bostock.
Created by Carley Higgins, Gracie Walls, and Peyton Baker.
Saturday, September 11, The Pride of Paoli traveled to Columbus for their first competition of the year. This was the first time the band competed since November 9, 2019, at State Finals. At Columbus the band placed first in Music, General Effect, Visual Effect, and Auxiliary and first overall in their class. This year, the show is titled “On The Waterfront” with music is based on Leonard Bernstein’s symphonic suite “On The Waterfront”.
There are three movements in this year’s show. The first movement starts off with a storm ominously coming in from the coastline and as the storm hits, the music gets very loud and intense. As the storm begins to die down in the second movement, the music is soft and pleasant. At this point of the show, the storm has passed and the band expresses the aftermath of it. In the final movement, the band wraps up the show with upbeat music signifying the revival after the storm.
There are multiple solos featured throughout the show including an alto sax solo by senior Michael Hannon, a baritone solo by senior Elijah MacDonald, and a color guard solo by sophomore Nena Gaona. There are also many show-themed props and musical attributes that are used to create an engaging atmosphere that drives the storm concept home. These include water and wind sound effects, backdrops with water pictures on them, movable docks and fake birds.
The band still has a lot more to add onto the show this season, with plans for further choreography, props and general and music effects.
“The show is not complete yet and there’s still a lot more to add, that’s the exciting part. I’m looking forward to seeing what the band can accomplish,” said senior Kylee Charles.
Because of the cancellation of last year’s marching band competitive season and the constant change in the staffing, one goal new Band Director Chris Karkosky has for this year is to create a sense of normalcy for the band.
“My goal is to create that sense of normalcy’ that I think everyone is craving. I want to create an environment where all members can work hard, have a good time, and feel good about their performance at the end of each day,” said Karkosky.
On September 18, the band hosted their 40th annual Pride of Paoli Invitational at the Cook Field. There were 15 bands who competed that day. All of the money made from the invitational will be going towards the Pride’s marching band season.
“I definitely enjoyed the Invitational. It was great hosting so many fine bands. It was a lot of hard work, but it will really pay off for the program,” said Karkosky.
The drama club hosted a murder mystery entitled “Alibis” on Friday, September 10, in the PHS Auditorium. The show consisted of eight people who were invited to a birthday party who became suspects in a murder. Each character was to give an alibi. The members were reluctant to give their alibis, but finally each of them confessed to the detective where they were when the crime happened. Each alibi was turned into a short play.
There were 18 actors involved in this show, along with eight crew members. Of the eight crew members, five were new members. Aside from the five new members, there were four new board members inducted during the cast party. Junior Dawson Poe, sophomore Cameron Apple, and freshmen Riley Belcher and Kelly Royer joined veteran board members seniors Angie Ceja, Kylee Charles, Haley Cox, Michael Hannon and A.J. Lopez.
“We were excited to be together doing a live performance. It gave us a chance to get back on the stage again. We had several students participating with us for the first time, so that was wonderful too,” said Drama Director Maria Wishart.
Any student interested in becoming a part of Drama Club and activities similar to the Murder Mystery should contact Mrs. Wishart, or check the Activities List in their email which has the Google Classroom join code.
On Tuesday September 21, juniors and seniors will go to the auditorium to watch the play, “We the People” performed by Kentucky Shakespeare, an organization from Louisville that works to bring dramatic events to students. In 50 minutes, students will experience key moments of American history through a “dramatic retelling”.
The production will last throughout third period and during a portion of homeroom. If there is time afterward, some discussion questions will be facilitated for the students to better apply themselves to the storyline and deeper meanings.
“[We are excited] for the connections we hope this makes for them in the U.S. Government, U.S. History, and English, and perhaps other parts of our curriculum as well,”said U.S. history teacher Chris Lindley.
After seeing a mention of the show in the Kentucky Shakespeare newsletter, Drama teacher Maria Wishart shared the event with Lindley. The two saw it as a good opportunity to introduce some fun back into school following the COVID19 pandemic and can offer key insights you can receive from simply reading out of a textbook.
Winter guard is starting up again for the arts department. It is open for any student in grades 7-12, and there is no previous experience required to join. Informative meetings and rehearsals will be held on November 22 and 23 from 6-8 p.m. in the high school band room for prospective members. These rehearsals will also be open to any students in grades 4-6 who are interested in joining the cadet winter guard. The theme for this year’s show is still undecided.