JAG Looks to the Future

Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) is an organization that helps prepare students for future jobs. JAG members and coordinator Katie Cook will meet with other schools’ JAG programs to address multiple topics on Wednesday, September 26.

“This year the students that will be attending this conference from our school will be juniors  Samantha Shields and Conner Taylor and seniors Kyana Newlin, Avrey Richards, Isiah Beavers and Myranda Hickman. They will meet up with different schools and start planning to be up to date on events,” said Cook.

There are seven schools in Paoli’s region that will be attending the meeting, which are Mitchell, Eastern Greene, Owen Valley, Edgewood, Washington, Brown County and Bedford North Lawrence high schools.  

“We will have guest speakers and learn about developing as leaders, taking initiative, planning and following through,” said Cook. 

This year, the meeting will be held at Spring Mill Inn. Part of the meeting will also be focused on communication skills and team building skills for all members, while the other part will be planning for the upcoming years of JAG. 

“We will also form a plan for the school year and a timeline for implementing each activity,” said Cook.  

If students are interested in planning and preparing for their future, JAG would be a potential organization to look into for next year.

Story by Corinne Magner and Hayley Taylor

PHS Weight Room to be Used for Defense Tactics Training

From September 16 through 20, unfamiliar faces may be seen throughout the building of PHS.

12 to 15 police officers will be using Paoli High School’s weight room to conduct Defense Tactics training. Officers have used PHS’s facilities in the past and chose to use them again because of its central location in Orange County.

“I love the fact that they are here. They do so much for the community and our facilities allow them the necessary training they need to do their jobs effectively. Anytime police are present in our building the whole school benefits from it,” said Assistant Principal Ed Wagner.

Story by Makiya Russelburg

Three PHS Choir Members Selected for Honor Choir

The 2019-2020 Honor Choir auditions were held at Forest Park on September 8. Every participant was required to go through an audition process, and only the best were selected by a panel of judges from the Indiana Choral Directors Association. Honor choir allows students to learn more difficult music and sing with students from other schools. “Awake the Harp” by Joseph Hayden is the piece that all participants used for auditions. The same piece will be performed at Fort Wayne on January 18 by the Honor Choir.

This year, three students from PHS’s Advanced Choir were selected: senior Megan Poe, sophomore Christopher Frias and freshman Ryleigh Anderson. These students will again travel to Forest Park on September 31 for a mandatory practice with all accepted Honor Choir Members.

I was honestly shocked! I thought I did terrible on the audition and had convinced myself that I didn’t make it. It was a wonderful surprise to find out I had made it,” said Anderson.

Aside from the excitement of being selected, these students have a long road ahead in order to prepare for their performance.

“My practicing technique will not change. I’ll make sure to continue to use our recordings that we have and practice nonstop,” said Poe.

Choir Director B.J. Crowder was very pleased with the results. Although some members were not selected, they gained valuable experience through the auditions.

“My advice for the three honor choir members is to practice and challenge yourselves to be the best that you can. More importantly, cherish every minute of it, make new friends and create lifelong memories,” said Crowder.

Story by Amanda Bowles

College Fair to Take Place on October 23

This year, the annual College Fair at PHS will be held on October 23. The event will take place in the auxiliary gym during all lunches. At the time guidance counselor Brandi Kerley was interviewed, 24 colleges had confirmed their attendance. A total of 80 schools were invited, and Kerley hopes to see at least 50 present at the fair.

“[The College Fair is a way] to expose students to many colleges and careers in Indiana and surrounding states. We want students to be able to speak with college representatives and talk about what their University has to offer in terms of majors, degrees, housing, scholarships and many more topics. It is also a great opportunity to speak with college reps about admissions requirements and what to do to prepare,” said Kerley.

Story by Faith Wilder

Macho Man Volleyball and Powder Puff Football Given Tentative Dates

This year, the tentative dates for Macho Man Volleyball and Powder Puff Football are set for September 30 and October 21, respectively.

Every grade level will be responsible for making their own team. There is not a maximum number of players per team, so anyone is welcome as long as they are eligible to be involved in extracurricular activities. Each grade level will have a different dress-up theme for the game, which is something each team will decide later on. 

“I enjoy the fun the kids have, seeing how competitive they are, as well as seeing how bad they are most of the time,” said Student Council advisor Neil Dittmer.

Story by Haley Owens

Higgins and Stout Hope for Another Successful Year of Study Tables

National Honor Society sponsor Melissa Higgins, along with NHS members, will be sponsoring study tables for another school year. 

“Study tables is a quiet environment where students can come and finish their homework for the day. It is also a place where they can get some extra help to be successful in their classes,” said study tables supervisor Cindy Stout. 

Study tables are available to all students Monday through Thursday 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the PHS Library. Stout supervises study tables on Monday and Tuesday, while Higgins oversees it Wednesday and Thursday. Honor Society students sign up to work at study tables and are there for free tutoring and help.

“Hopefully this year is another successful year with study tables and students will take advantage of the service and help we provide,” said Higgins.

For more information about study tables, contact Higgins at higginsm@paoli.k12.in.us

Story by Gracie Walls


SADD to Sponsor Convocation on Friday 13

Last May, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) received a grant from the Orange County Community Foundation for $945. This grant covered the cost of a program called ‘Fix It’. On Friday, September 13, SADD will put on the presentation in the auditorium for students in grades 7-12. SADD Sponsor Summer Hudelson has high hopes for the program. 

“I hope students will be encouraged and understand everyone has setbacks in life, but they can overcome them,” said Hudelson.

High school students will be attending the program at 1 p.m. and the junior high at 2 p.m. Incredible stories of strength are woven together with music and sports action on three giant screens to create a fun and inspirational message of empowerment.

Story by Elizabeth Workman

FFA in Full Swing

FFA is a nationwide club that promotes agriculture and informs people about the many careers available. Through FFA, members learn many life skills and have great opportunities presented to them.

This club is for students who are interested in agriculture and have a passion for it. In order to be an FFA member, you must be taking an Agriculture class and turn dues in by September 20.

Seventh graders have a different opportunity to get involved in FFA due to the fact that Ag classes are only offered to eighth graders and up. Seventh graders can join by participating in contests and paying dues. 

“I’m really excited about the new things this year has in store for us. I’m also really excited about the number of younger members we have and the possibility of them becoming better leaders through FFA,” said FFA Vice President Tara Robbins.

Throughout the year, the chapter competes in a variety of contests and attends different conferences. They will soon start participating in those competitions. FFA has just concluded their mum sale for the fall and their annual fruit sale will be coming next. 

For any questions about FFA, you can contact sponsors Cory Scott or Kyle Woolston at scottc@paoli.k12.in.us or woolstonk@paoli.k12.in.us. You can also contact any of the chapter officers.

Story by Elizabeth Workman

The Pride of Paoli Introduces New Director

After former head band director Ben Werne resigned, the band was on the hunt for new potential band directors. After an extensive interview process, Cory Chapman was chosen to be the Pride of Paoli’s new leader.

Chapman grew up in Evansville and attended Evansville Bosse High School. After high school, he attended Ball State University and spent five years in the marines before he was discharged. During his stint in the military, he worked in the intelligence and communications field as a special intelligence communicator and was deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Him and his wife got married in January 2009, a couple of months after he returned from his deployment to Iraq.

They have been married for over ten years and have two children together. 

“I always knew I wanted to teach, and the military helped me to grow up a bit and mature in order to reach that goal. The lessons I learned in the Marines helped me become a strong leader with self-discipline and compassion for others. Those qualities really helped me to develop my skills as a teacher and musician, and the money the military provided for my schooling helped me to achieve my goals,” said Chapman.

Before coming to Paoli, Chapman had five years of teaching experience including jazz bad, marching band and concert band. His previous job was directing the band at West Lafayette High School.

“I have a deep sense of respect for this program and this school. I’ve had the desire to be apart of the community down here because I really like small towns and working at small schools where I can know each student overtime. I hope to get to know each kid a little bit better and find somewhere where I can raise my family that’s also nice to live,” said Chapman.

Story Angie Ceja

American Red Cross to Host Annual Blood Drive

The American Red Cross will be hosting their annual Blood Drive at Paoli High School on Wednesday, October 2. It will be held in the lower gym from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

We have a goal to collect 50 units of blood during the blood drive,” said Blood Drive Coordinator Danelle Manship.

In order to donate blood, you have to be at least 16 years of age and have parental consent or 18 years of age. Other eligibility requirements can be found at https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/how-to-donate/eligibility-requirements.html.

For more information or to book your appointment, contact Manship at manshipd@paoli.k12.in.us.

Story by Gracie Walls


Orange County Youth Council Welcomes New Members

On Wednesday, August 28, interviews were held for the Orange County Youth Council. Between all three schools in the county, 20 people applied: ten from Springs Valley, four from Orleans and six from Paoli. The acceptance letters were sent out on August 30, and those who applied should have received them September 3. 19 new members were selected and received information about the first meeting. Once accepted, the members are on a trial basis for the first four months to make sure that schedules correlate.

Story by Haley Owens

PHS Choir Enjoys Fundraiser Success

On Saturday, August 24, the Paoli High School Choir had their annual Day on the Square fundraiser. During this event, the choir members stand on the islands at the turns on the town square and collect donations from people driving through. The money raised is used to purchase choir shirts and to pay for the students to audition for Honor Choir. Overall, over $500 was raised during the four hours they were collecting money.

“We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day to do a fundraiser. The people in our community are so supportive. The choir students all did a wonderful job and were a shining example of PHS work ethic,” said Choir Director B.J. Crowder.

Story by Michael Hannon


POP Ready to Kick off Season Under New Director

With their eyes on a State Championship win, the Pride of Paoli band is working hard to achieve their goals this year.

This year’s show is called “Angels Among Us.” There are three movements in the show. It starts with statues of angels on pedestals who then come to life and interact with the members of the band. In the second part, the climax of the performance, a large scrim with an image of the sun beaming through clouds will be pulled up to cover the band as the music reaches its peak. During the third movement, which is fast paced and short, the angels will end with very large wings and return to their pedestals. The musical pieces played in the show include “Ballet Sacra” by David R Holsinger and “Gabriel’s Oboe” by Ennio Morricone.

After former Head Band Director Ben Werne resigned, the band went through a hiring process and met new potential directors. The band played pieces of music with each one and interviewed them as well. Cory Chapman was eventually chosen to be the new director of the Pride.

“I think this show is great and it gives us a lot of opportunities to showcase the strengths of the band. We have a great hornline with really strong marchers so it lets us do a lot visually,” said Band Director Cory Chapman.

Like last year, the show wasn’t bought from Sunset Scores, a site that marching bands can buy their music from, but written specifically for the band. This year’s show was arranged by Ben Lee, and the drill was written by Eric Berger. 

“[Some areas that need to be improved upon throughout the season] are mainly visual elements such as marching style, straight legs, upper body carriage and uniformity in the band choreography. Also some musical elements such as shaping and some stuff that we can attack in a systematic way with the music. Program-wise I think strengthening student leadership, developing a strong system of student leaders and getting involved more out in the community as a program,” said Chapman.

The Pride had their first performance on August 23 at the football game. Their first competition will be on September 14 at Salem High School. They plan to perform movements one and two. 

Story By Angie Ceja

Miller Navigates First Year as Booster Club Sponsor

Booster Club is an organization dedicated to raising school spirit and showing school pride. Sponsored by ninth grade English teacher Rachel Miller, all students are encouraged to be part of Booster Club throughout the school year.

Booster Club supports the cheer block, develops pep session activities and creates decorations for the locker rooms. At the start of each season, students who want to be part of the organization must sell lines in the athletic program. 

“Anyone who has stepped into my room this year knows that I love PHS, and school spirit is incredibly important to me. Even if you’re not the captain of the team or the A+ student, you can still have pride in your school and support your student athletes. Our student athletes are really amazing. Many of them play multiple sports throughout the year, they often practice up to six days a week, every move they make on the field is critiqued by strangers and they still have the same amount of school work as everyone else. The dedication they have for their sport and our school should be celebrated. We can enjoy their success vicariously by supporting them and cheering them on,” said Miller. 

Although Miller is the lead sponsor, there are others that play a role in making Booster Club successful.

“Neil Dittmer, Carol Fullington, Heather Nichols, Barb Grabner, Shelby Grabner and Melissa Higgins have all been very instrumental in getting the club off the ground this year,” said Miller. 

This year is Miller’s first year spearheading the club. Even though she is new to the position, she is thrilled to be one of the main supporters of Paoli this school year.

Story by Corinne Magner

Young Playwriters Compete for Top Prize

The Indiana Repertory Theatre is hosting their annual Young Playwrights in Process (YPIP) script writing contest. The YPIP is “an annual playwriting competition for Indiana students in grades 6-12. The competition was created in 2005 through the Margot L. and Robert S. Eccles Trust, and sponsored in collaboration with IRT. YPIP encourages middle and high school students across Indiana to create plays for live theatre that reflect and challenge their world,” according to their website.

This year, seven students from PHS are participating. They include freshman AJ Lopez; sophomores Vio Garcia, Jozelyn Kempf and Michael Hannon; juniors Manny Fleetwood and Chandler Hinton and senior Makayla Chism.

It is a great opportunity to practice writing skills and tackle the particular challenge of writing a script, which is different in many ways from any other genre,” said high school Drama Director Maria Wishart.

The deadline for participating and turning in a script is September 24. After a script has been submitted, they will be read and evaluated by writing and theatre professionals based on many aspects, including storytelling, plot, dialogue and characters. Though all students will receive feedback on their scripts, only the top writers will get to move on in the competition, which includes improving their scripts. The winners, one high school student and one middle school student, will receive $2,000 in prize money and scholarships as well as having their play performed by professional actors.

“Obviously, it would be great if someone won the contest as they then have an opportunity to attend a workshop at IRT and would also receive that sense of accomplishment and recognition, but even if no one wins, I hope that everyone who participates enjoys the process, builds their writing abilities and has an increased awareness of the specific benefits and challenges of the script genre,” said Wishart.

Story by Michael Hannon

Welcoming Mr. Wagner

On August 5, Paoli High School welcomed new Assistant Principal Ed Wagner. Wagner is a 1992 graduate of Bedford North Lawrence High School. After graduating, Wagner enlisted in the military. Following his service in the army in the 10th Mountain Division, Wagner went to Ball State University for Criminal Justice and Business Administration. From there, he became a police officer and eventually decided to return to school and get a degree in secondary education.

I became a police officer in Indianapolis and later became a special investigator for the DA’s office. While working as a police officer, I got a second Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education. I then got involved in education where I have been a head varsity football coach and athletic director. I got into administration for the challenges of it,” said Wagner.

Wagner has many plans for the year, but they all have a common goal of making the school a better place.

“I want to make Paoli High School better than it was before I arrived for both students and staff. Let’s have a great year,” said Wagner.

Story by Jozalyn Kempf

Mr. Wagner

FFA Mum Pickup Coming Soon

This year, Paoli FFA had their second annual mum sale. 

The mum fundraiser helps to fund the FFA’s contests and participation in other events throughout the year. Unlike last year, the chapter sold tickets for pre-orders this year. They sold a total of 500 tickets with five color options: yellow, purple, red, orange and white. All tickets were sold for $10 a piece.

“We are very excited to have a new mutually beneficial partnership with Cornucopia Farm. This partnership will allow us to raise funds for our program and bring high quality decorative fall products to our community,” said FFA Advisor Cory Scott. 

For those who bought mums, they can be picked up at the Agriculture Shop from September 3 through September 5, and tickets are needed as proof of purchase.

Story by Elizabeth Workman

PHS Welcomes New Face to the Hallways

Paoli High School was fortunate enough to have former Spanish teacher Rachel Carter teach students for 32 years. Every end brings a new beginning, and in this case, it brought new Spanish teacher Crystal Shellenberger.

“When I heard Señora Carter was retiring, I knew the position would be difficult to fill. I loved teaching fourth graders at Throop, but I felt excited about doing something new. I have loved learning about language and cultures since I was a teenager,” said Shellenberger. 

Shellenberger attended Goshen College where she participated in a semester abroad, called study-service term (SST), in Costa Rica. 

“I had a great experience living with a Costa Rican family, studying Spanish and working with a speech pathologist in the beautiful mountains of Alajuela, Costa Rica. I knew I wanted to continue learning about the Spanish language and diverse cultures of Central America,” said Shellenberger. 

After Shellenberger married her husband, Jon, they teamed up with a church organization doing community development work in a small town called La Ceiba in El Salvador, Central America. 

“We experienced amazing hospitality and generosity during the three years we lived there. We even had one-on-one language teachers in both Guatemala City and San Salvador for the first several months before starting our work. There were definitely challenges like homesickness and cultural differences that took a while to get used to, but it was a really important time in our lives,” said Shellenberger. 

During the summer of 2018, Shellenberger and her family spent six weeks in Puerto Rico working for the Mennonite Disaster Service. 

“We organized groups of North American volunteers to work on reconstruction projects in Utuado, Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Jon led the building projects, and I worked as the office manager, translator and part time cook! I thoroughly enjoyed being back in the Latin American culture and introducing my kids to a different way of life. They enjoyed knocking fresh mangoes down from trees, eating passion fruit off the vines and going to the ocean every weekend,” said Shellenberger.

Shellenberger looks forward to sharing photos, stories and the Spanish language with her students.

Story by Gracie Walls

Mrs. Shellenburger

Wilson Tackles History

Former PE teacher Brian Wilson has switched teaching positions for the 2019-2020 school year. This year, Wilson will be teaching Geography and World History.

Wilson attended Indiana University, where he got his bachelor’s degree in secondary education. Through college, Wilson taught US History at different schools and was a student teacher at PHS under U.S. history teacher Chris Lindley.

Wilson has endured a few challenges associated with switching positions, but with each new week of experience, he enjoys the learning process more and more. 

“The students in my classes have made the transition easier on me with their great behavior and willingness to be my guinea pigs for the year.  Even my rowdy 7th period makes it enjoyable,” said Wilson.

Although the year has begun, Wilson is still working on his plans. He is looking to make new routines and connect more with his students. 

“Classroom management is easier because the kids aren’t so spread out. It is easier to connect with my students,” said Wilson.

Wilson is ready to take on this new experience and have a great year with his students. 

Story by Makiya Russelburg

Working in Harmony

This year, the Paoli Community School Corporation changed learning management systems from Tyler SIS to Harmony. The switch has been followed by many issues for students when it came time to check grades.

A letter was sent to students before school started detailing all of the information needed to register for Harmony. However, many students did not receive the letter.

“An email was sent out to the entire student body. That email included all of the stuff students need to register for Harmony, just in case they didn’t get the letter,” said registrar Sara Parks.

For students still having Harmony login issues, they should look for the email in their inbox with all of the information or see Parks in the guidance office.

Story by Chandler Hinton

Booster Club Looks to Spread Positivity

This year, Booster Club Sponsor Rachel Miller started a new trend at PHS. Every Friday, the Booster Club will have music playing in the hallways during passing periods. 

After playing the music for the first time, Booster Club received positive feedback, and 100 people filled out a Google form requesting songs to be played. 

I’ve received good feedback from other teachers and some of my 9th graders. The teachers like positivity, and the students like hearing their favorite songs,” said Miller. 

Last year, before Miller was Booster Club sponsor, she heard students in the halls give positive feedback toward the music. She knew that would be a great way to kick off this school year.

“Mr. Dittmer played music once last year when he was spearheading Booster Club and everyone loved it. People were nodding their head to the beat as they walked down the halls and everyone seemed to be in a good mood that day. I wanted to recreate those good feelings every week,” said Miller.   

Booster Club will not only be playing music for athletics, but also for other special events that happen throughout the school year. If anyone has a song request, Booster Club is looking for good beats that are school appropriate.

“I‘m trying to create an atmosphere of fun and camaraderie. We’re together for 35 hours a week, we might as well enjoy it,” said Miller.

Story by Corinne Magner

New Grading Scale Implemented for 2019-2020 School Year

For the 2019-2020 school year, Paoli Jr. Sr. High school made some adjustments to the grading scale. In the last school year, students’ grades transferred from one nine weeks to the next. This year, first nine-weeks will count as 40%, second nine-weeks will count as 40%, and final grades will count as 20% of a student’s overall grade for a semester.

“Last year’s grading scale put you in a position where if you did not do well first semester, you did not have a lot of ways to bring that grade up second semester. We hope that this new grading scale will help students still have a chance and give them another shot to improve in this scenario. We also hope it will help them keep a higher grade average,” said Assistant Principal Ed Wagner.

Story by Gracie Walls

Fall Festival Queen and Princess Pageant Applications Available Now

On September 7 at 7:00 p.m., the Fall Festival Queen and Princess Pageant will be held in the PHS Auditorium. Students in grades 7 and 8 will compete for princess, and students in grade 9, 10, 11 and 12 will compete for queen. Contestants will be judged in three different categories: interview, outfit of choice and evening gown. 

All pageant applications must be turned in to Sara Parks in the PHS Guidance Office by August 30. A 4×6 picture is required with your entry form. 

There will be a brief informational meeting for interested participants on August 23 at 7:45 a.m. in the PHS Auditorium. 

For more info or questions, contact Amber Blankenbaker (812-723-3537), Sara Parks (812-723-3905) or Jodi McGowen (812-653-5134).

Story by Makiya Russelburg

NHS and NJHS Applications Available Now

National Honor Society or National Junior Honor Society applications are now available to fill out. They need to be turned in to room 122 by 3:20 on Wednesday, August 28.

“NHS and NJHS are both nationally recognized organizations recognizing students for strong academics, service in their community, good character and leadership skills. Membership to either or both looks very good on college or scholarship applications,” said NHS sponsor Melissa Higgins. 

The list of students eligible for this program is posted outside Higgins’ room, the main office, and the counselor’s office. There are also instructions on how to apply. Announcements of the new members will be made at the Tapping Ceremony on September 11 during homeroom. 

If you have any questions, refer to the posted information or ask Higgins at HIGGINSM@paoli.k12.in.us.

Story by Jozalyn Kempf

Studio Art AP Class Supports Creativity

One of the many classes offered at Paoli High School is Studio Art AP, taught by Chris Jones. Drawing 1, Drawing 2, and Studio Art Pre AP are prerequisites to enroll in AP Studio Drawing. Students in this class have higher expectations and are given more freedom and creativity to express themselves. 

“Students must be responsible and stay on top of the expectations of the class. Each student has their own set of projects for AP Studio Drawing, letting every artist do their own individual portfolio,” said Jones.

Each student’s portfolio has to meet specific requirements. 

“Students have two sections of quality and sustained investigation. For quality, students must send the AP College Board 5 physical pieces of art that are scored. In the sustained investigation, 15 slides of student’s art that share a common theme or thread are again sent to the Board,” said Jones.

Current students appreciate the freedom they get to express themselves while completing their portfolios. 

I get college credits and it’s a great opportunity to get colleges interested in you. I feel like a bigger door has been opened for me to choose ideas and mediums I want to use,” said Junior Brycen Long. 

Story by Amanda Bowles

Senior Financial Aid Night to be Held August 29

On Wednesday, August 29, the 2020 Financial Aid night will be held in the PHS cafeteria.

The night is for seniors who plan on attending college and will require financial help to do so. Representatives from multiple companies will be present at the meeting to talk about how they can provide financial aid.

“We’ll be discussing different financial aid options for seniors who plan on attending college,” said Guidance Counselor Brandi Kerley.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. and refreshments will be provided.

Story by Chandler Hinton

New Dress Code Policy Implementation Continues

On Friday, August 16, students of Paoli High School were entertained by a fashion show presenting the new dress code policy at a pep session. Despite the light-hearted introduction, the administration hopes the students paid attention to the underlying rules. 

Assistant Principal Ed Wagner has dealt with numerous violations since the beginning of school and feels students should educate themselves on the new policy.

“It allows students to express themselves in some manner, but they should follow the guidelines and not try to push the limits,” said Wagner. 

A few of the changes include that shorts, skirts, and holes in ripped jeans can now hit mid-thigh and tank top straps should be 2 inches in width. If you have any questions about the dress code, refer to the student handbook or ask Wagner.

Story by Jozalyn Kempf

Stroud Quick to Make an Impact on PHS

This year, PHS welcomes Ashley Stroud to the Special Education Department. She has been teaching for 12 years. In the past, Stroud taught at Salem, Lafayette and Indianapolis and worked with students of all grade levels in that department.

Even though this is her first year at Paoli, Stroud has already started a new project that all students can become involved in: The Caps Project. It is a community service project that is helping the First Chance Center. They collect caps to be melted into benches for adults with disabilities.

“The First Chance Center’s goal is to collect 200 pounds of caps which can be drink bottles, Gatorade, water, juice, milk, detergent, sour cream, cottage cheese, ice cream lids and medicine,” said Stroud. 

Stroud hopes that many students decide to become involved and donate a few caps. 

“Eventually, I would like to collect caps specifically for PHS and get benches made for the school,” said Stroud. 

If you would like to help with the project, Stroud will continue to collect caps all year. Caps can be turned in to any teacher in the building.

Story by Makiya Russelburg

Student Council Elections Tomorrow

The 2019-2020 Student Council elections will be held tomorrow, August 21, during homeroom. Sponsored by social studies teacher Neil Dittmer, Student Council is for any student interested in being involved for the school year.

“Students who are involved in Student Council will get to have a say in policy decisions, like the dress code. They get to help plan pep sessions, dress-up days, Homecoming and many other activities throughout the year,” said Dittmer. 

If you are wanting to be a member of this organization, you will be running against other members in your homeroom. One person from each homeroom will be selected by your classmates. You are required to say why you think you should be elected and what aspects you bring to make our school a better place. If you have been selected by your homeroom, and are in the club, you have different obligations you have to fulfill, including serving on committees.

“The committees include, Homecoming, which will plan and create the fall and winter Homecomings, Events which will plan student events, like dances, bonfires, macho man volleyball and many other things. Their is a spirit committee, which will help with pep sessions, spirit weeks, hall decorations and policy which will work with administration on policy decisions like the dress code, grade book, and any other requests from the administration,” said Dittmer. 

If you are not selected for Student Council, there are other routes you can take to get in the club. Dittmer will have at-large position applications available after elections are complete.

“If you want to be involved, help the school, create school spirit and make Paoli better, you should run for election tomorrow,” said Dittmer. 

Story by Corinne Magner

PHS Golfer Tees off Senior Season

The Paoli golf season has officially begun, and one golfer is already showing signs of a successful season.

Senior Avery Owens was a medalist for a meet at Hickory Hills on Monday, August 12. This meet was the second of the season against Brownstown. Owens had the lowest score of all the competitors with a total of 44.

“Definitely not the best I’ve done, but a huge improvement from last week,” said Owens. 

This season will be Owen’s fourth and final season playing with the team. 

“I am looking forward to the rest of the season, and I think we have a good chance of moving on to regionals as a team or some of us as individuals. I can’t wait to see what this season has in store,” said Owens.

Story by Maggie Vincent

Griffith Heads to Home Base

For senior Tyler Griffith, the 2019 baseball season marks the end of a great high school career. His love for baseball was first discovered when he was eight years old. When Griffith had first moved to Paoli, he started in little league, and his love for baseball continued.

He currently plays many positions for Paoli’s baseball team, including pitcher, catcher and outfielder. The training required to get to where he is now gave him the opportunity to travel across the country playing baseball.

“Playing in high school has been a great experience, but I have a lot more memories playing travel baseball. I still have friends today from travel baseball that I would practically consider family. Growing up playing travel baseball has brought me closer to my family and teammates, and I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything else,” said Griffith.

While Griffith has been apart of baseball, he has accomplished a lot. In 2018,  the team won PLAC conference for the first time since 1994. Griffith has also earned individual awards.

I have been all-conference at the high school level. I have also won the top defensive player award. During two years of travel baseball, I played for the Indiana Rawlings Tigers located in Clarksville, Indiana. I won the All-Tiger award. This award is granted to two outstanding players on each team. Playing travel ball, I have also helped my teams win multiple tournament championships across the United States,” said Griffith.

Griffith has learned valuable life lessons during his baseball experience.

“Baseball has taught me a lot about what it means to be apart of a team and how to work together in certain situations. I have developed a lot as a player playing travel ball through my high school career, but also as a person because I have learned how to be a good teammate and to always be supportive of others,” said Griffith.

With his many years of experience, Griffith would advise younger players to do their best, work hard and never give up.

Griffith is looking forward to his last year of high school baseball, but is sad to see it come to an end. Griffith strives for another conference title and a sectional title before he has to put high school baseball behind him.

“I’m pretty disappointed that this is my last year, but I’ve had some great memories. I will miss being apart of the sport more because I had made some many memories with different teammates over the years,” said Griffith.

Story by: Faith Wilder


Photo by: Karyas Slaten

Vincent Strives to Unify PHS

This past year, Sophomore Maggie Vincent created the Champions Together Club co-sponsored by guidance counselor Rachel Robinson.

The club promotes and encourages awareness, respect and inclusion of those without intellectual abilities. It is through the IHSAA and Special Olympics and must accomplish four tasks to become a “Banner School,” which is one that completes all four tasks by the end of the year. These tasks include: inclusive student leadership, one activity based around “whole school engagement,” participation in one “Unified Sports” activity and raise $1,500 for Special Olympics Indiana.

“I can’t wait to see the club grow and see students talking to others you would never thought would interact,” said Vincent.

Story by: Kinley Block

Patton’s Recovery Continues

On July 17, 2018, the summer before his freshman year, freshmen Landon Padgett, Dexter Brown and Bladen Patton had an ATV accident in Padgett’s backyard. As a result of the accident, Patton had a broken ankle and arm. Through six surgeries, emotional turmoil and missing out on multiple sports seasons, the experience is something Patton will never forget.

“I have had a rod placed in my right arm and two screws put in my right ankle. The screws later had to be taken out because they were too long. I also had an emergency surgery on my arm because of a blood clot,” said Patton.

Patton has had a slow recovery, but to him, how far he has come is a big deal.

At first, Patton started off in a wheelchair and had casts on his arm and ankle. He was barely able to move his arm on his own. By January 2019, Patton was able to straighten his elbow out, and the feeling in his fingers was starting to come back.

“Now, I am back to being independent on most things, but I think the biggest difference for me is that I can finally sleep on my stomach. I couldn’t do that at the beginning,” said Patton.

Though Patton is not far enough along in the recovery process to know of any permanent restrictions, some temporary ones include playing certain sports, writing, tying his shoes and lifting weights.

Patton is also unsure of when he will be fully recovered, but he is still determined to play basketball and football as soon as he is released to do so. One major milestone Patton has accomplished is the fact that he is now able to play baseball again. 

Because of all the obstacles that have been put in his way, having a good attitude is extremely important.

“I could’ve very easily given up by now, but that’s not me. I want to get back to doing the things I love. I look at life in general quite differently now. It can be over in the snap of a finger, and you have to be very careful. I understand that anything can happen so fast and change your life, but I know God always has a plan,” said Patton.

Story by: Gracie Walls


Photo by: Addison Wells

Leone Reflects on Tennis Career

For senior Emily Leone, the 2019 tennis season is her last of high school. Leone discovered her love of the sport in fifth grade.

Several of my friends were going to play tennis so I thought I would try it out as well.  Also, my cousin had played tennis and enjoyed it so I figured I would probably enjoy it, too,” said Leone.

Leone has enjoyed the memories and friendships she has made because of tennis throughout her years.

“There have been a lot of different stories and memories come from tennis over the years,” said Leone.

Along with the perks of tennis, Leone admits the hard work involved with participating. She also mentions that rain is an obstacle for both her and her team.

Through the difficulties, Leone has had the opportunity to grow as a player. She has noticed the placement of her tennis balls are better and she has been playing smarter.

Along with winning matches, tennis has brought Leone lessons that will stay with her into her future. Leone mentions the mental toughness she has because of the sport, and she will be able to use that later in her life.

This season, the team started off with a 7-0 record with Leone playing number two singles. She has hopes that they will continue to have a successful year. However, Leone is no stranger to success. She has accomplished winning tournaments and was part of the team her freshman year when the varsity won sectional.

With her years of experience, Leone has words of advice to young players.

“Be patient with your progress. The only way to get better is by practicing and not paying too much attention to your mistakes,” said Leone.

With her last season coming to a close, Leone is preparing to say goodbye to a big part of her life.

“This being my last year of tennis feels pretty odd. It’s weird to think that I won’t be playing next year since I have been doing it for so long. I’ve made a lot of friendships with people I wouldn’t think I would, as well as made a lot of memories with people I have been friends with forever.  Tennis is the only sport I have ever been apart of, so I’m sure I will miss playing it,” said Leone.

Story by: Faith Wilder


Photo by: Rebekah Reeves

Blackburn Becomes a Boilermaker

PHS senior Joni Blackburn has been accepted to Purdue University’s all-girl cheer squad. Blackburn has been participating in cheer for 15 years, and her career won’t be ending soon thanks to her commitment to Purdue University as a Boilermaker cheerleader. Blackburn auditioned for a spot on the Purdue all-girl cheer squad in a two-day tryout on April 12 and 13.

“It’s an honor to be accepted to such a great cheer squad. I’m so excited to continue with my cheer career with such a great university,” said Blackburn.

Blackburn will attend the practices and camps Purdue offers to its cheerleaders. Some might imagine the amount of time and dedication associated with being a member of a collegiate cheer squad is overwhelming; however, Blackburn is no stranger to dedication when it comes to cheer. In her time cheering, Blackburn has seen it all, from competing at a state level to internationally.

Be sure to congratulate Blackburn on her success and keep up with Purdue athletics to catch a peek of a PHS alumna in action.

Story by: Jace Ingle

Rice to Become Lady Statesmen

After a life filled with basketball, senior Jacqlyn Rice will be signing with Lincoln Trail College in Robinson, Illinois.

“I feel very relieved and excited. I’m excited for a lot of reasons, but the main reason is to start fresh where no one knows me, and I get to meet new people,” said Rice.

Because of her accomplishments in the sport, Lincoln Trail has offered Rice a full ride. She is happy to not have the stress of student loans.

“I feel honored because it’s like my reward for all the years of hard work, and it’s a huge stress off my parents because they don’t have to pay for anything, so that makes me happy,” said Rice.

Rice is looking forward to focusing more on her major and working on getting to where she wants to be later in her basketball career.

“I could have played D1 or at a bigger school, but I chose Lincoln because it’s the best choice for me academically,” said Rice.

Rice is eager to further her academic and athletic career at Lincoln.

Story by: Makiya Russelburg

Spring Sports Await Sectional Competition

As the end of the year nears, spring sports teams will be heading to Sectionals. Varsity track, baseball, tennis and softball are all looking to be competitive.

Baseball Sectionals will be taking place on Saturday, May 25 at Clarksville.

Varsity girls track will compete Tuesday, May 14 at Seymour against Bedford North Lawrence, Crothersville, Eastern Pekin, Jennings County, Medora, Mitchell, Orleans, Salem, Seymour, Springs Valley, Trinity Lutheran and West Washington. 15 athletes on the team will have the opportunity to compete.

I hope everyone performs their best and we have some girls who advance to the regional,” said Coach Summer Hudelson.

Varsity boys track will be competing Thursday, May 16 at Bedford North Lawrence against Seymour, Crothersville, Eastern Pekin, Jennings County, Medora, Mitchell, Orleans, Salem, Springs Valley, Trinity Lutheran and West Washington. There will be 18 athletes competing in the Sectional. According to Coach Adam Stroud, Brett Bosley, Caleb Vanmeter and Zane Anderson have the highest chance of advancing to Regional. Bosley is looking to advance in long jump and high jump, Vanmeter will try to advance in the 400 meter run and Anderson will look to advance in shotput and discus.

“It is a big stage and allows kids to see what it takes to get to the next level,” said Coach Adam Stroud.

Varsity softball will be competing on Tuesday, May 21 against Clarksville. Other teams competing in this division are Providence, Henryville, Crawford County and Eastern Pekin.

“The girls have been a blast to coach, and I just hope we can carry some good momentum into the postseason,” said Coach Neil Dittmer.

On May 15 at Loogootee High School, varsity girls tennis will be competing at Sectional. The Sectional draw will take place Monday May 13. Emma Osborn, Emily Leone, Tinsley Moffatt, Chloe Elliott, Madison Shinkle and Faith Wilder will be competing.

“The girls have an excellent chances of winning Sectional.  It will be hard work, but it is nothing that they can’t accomplish. All of them have improved as the season went on and are ready for Sectionals. I am proud of all of them and their accomplishments to this point, but we still have more work to do,” said Coach Tyla Whitfield.

Story by: Haley Owens

The Senior Class’ Last Hoorah

On May 17, the senior class will have the opportunity to travel to Kings Island in Mason, Ohio. The trip will cost $40, but students were able get a free ticket if they sold multiple boxes of chocolate during the senior fundraiser.

The students will be leaving around 6 a.m. and returning to the school around midnight that night. Students will need to bring money for any other things they want to buy on their own.

“The senior trip is a last hooray to be with your friends and do something as as class that you can enjoy,” said senior class sponsor Carol Fullington.

To attend the trip, students will need to sign up with senior class sponsor Melissa Higgin. Fullington and Higgins hope to see as many kids go as possible.

Story by: Madison Street

Chastain to Sign with Hanover Panthers

Senior Keaton Chastain will soon be signing with Hanover College to play basketball. She is extremely excited to have this opportunity and can’t wait to see what comes out of it. Although Chastain has not decided on her major, both she and Paoli girls basketball coach Scott Blankenbaker have high hopes for her educational and basketball career.

“I am proud of the fact that she is going to be attending at top notch school in Hanover, and that her basketball talent is helping her financially. Anytime you can get some of your education paid for makes all the time and effort they put into the sport worth it,” said Blankenbaker.

Blankenbaker is very optimistic that Chastain will be successful in whatever she sets her mind to.

Story by: Haley Owens

High School Gym Students Make Their Mark

Advanced physical education teacher Brian Wilson has recently had numerous girls break records for the all-time board.

Freshman Kacey McBride has broken two records. Squatting 245 pounds and benching 145 pounds has made her the fourth all-time on bench and squat. Freshman Kinsey McBride squatted 265 pounds making her second all-time for squat. Freshman Laykin Busick and senior Heidi Cochran tied for third all-time with 260 pounds on squat. For Cochran, this was one of her last opportunities to accomplish her goal.

Well, I’ve been trying to get on the board ever since sophomore year. Now, I’m a senior, and I finally made it up there. That is a big accomplishment for me,” said Cochran.

All of the girls have worked extremely hard to get to where they are, but their work is not over yet. They are hoping to improve further, but are happy to accomplish what they have. Wilson is extremely happy to see his students working hard and the excitement surrounding it.

“I’m proud of all the hard work these girls have put in and very happy to see it paying off for them. They come in wanting to get better and do the right things the right way every day. That’s simple secret behind their big accomplishments. It was a lot of fun to watch their excitement at becoming a part of history,” said Wilson.

Story by: Faith Wilder

PHS Choir to Perform Last Show of the Year

Tonight everyone is welcome to watch the final show of the year for the PHS choir. The variety show will begin at 6 p.m. in the auditorium and is free of charge.

The students, along with teacher B.J. Crowder, have been working on the show entitled “It’s a Total Mood” for five weeks. It incorporates different genres of music and will feature skits prepared by the choir members.

We will be singing songs from musicals such as Phantom of The Opera, Dear Evan Hanson, The Greatest Showman, as well as several pop songs,” said Crowder.

They are displaying color in their concert in order to portray the feelings of their musical performances. The songs Crowder and the choir have chosen are also being used to tell a story. The choir has carefully selected the music in order to maintain the emotions they want the audience to feel.

It is the final show for seniors Tessa Robbins and Jillian Keen, and Crowder wants them to finish on a high note. He also wants to bring excitement to the remaining students in the junior high, beginning and advanced choir classes for future years.

I hope we have a big turn-out,” said Crowder.

Story by: Masden Embry

Throwback Feature: Padgett’s Time at PHS

Not a lot of people stay in their hometown their entire life, but this is not the case for PHS graduate David Padgett. Padgett attended Paoli from kindergarten to senior year and graduated in 1977. Following graduation, he went to work at Brittany Factory for 8 years. Padgett was then a student at Indiana University Southeast and earned his teaching degree. With his degree, he returned to Paoli High School and became a fourth grade teacher at Throop Elementary.

Padgett got married to his wife, Kathy, on June 21, 1997 and has two children. His oldest child is Nick, a senior, and the youngest is Libby, a sophomore.

Having spent a lot of time at PHS, Padgett has the ability to offer important advice to the students here.

“Enjoy school as much as you can and participate in everything that you can,” said Padgett.

In high school, Padgett was involved in FFA and really enjoyed going to the football games, basketball games and cheering on the Rams. Padgett’s biggest regret was not playing sports in school.

“You may not think it is, but school is one of the best things in your life. So enjoy it while you can and make many friends and memories before you graduate,” said Padgett.

Padgett has been teaching at PHS for 22 years, and at the end of year he will be retiring.

“I am looking forward to retirement. I hope to be able to go camping more, working in my yard and doing things with the family. I am going to also try to find a job so I can work some to help with the bills,” said Padgett.


Story by: Haley Owens

Miller Encourages ISTEP Takers

A little encouragement can go a long way for students, and ISTEP is no exception. This is what English teacher Rachel Miller had in mind when creating The Testing Encouragement and Motivation Project (TEMP).

The Testing Encouragement and Motivation Project (TEMP) is a way for teachers and administration to show their support for the students during ISTEP testing and to reward them for putting forth their best effort,” said Miller.

This two-part project included staff members writing personal, uplifting notes to boost students’ confidence and prompt them to do their best on the standardized tests. An incentive was also put in place, which was watching Aquaman in the auditorium with snacks and drinks.

After noticing that there wasn’t much support for students who were taking ISTEP, Miller decided to do something about it. She chose to restart the project she had previously done at Marion C. Moore High School, her previous school in Louisville, Kentucky. With a little help from Principal Chad Johnson and guidance counselor Brandi Kerley, Miller was able to put her plan into action.

Students work very hard to prepare themselves for the ISTEP and it’s often not a very fun experience, so a little added levity can be encouraging,” said Miller.

Miller hoped that she would be able to motivate students, alongside other teachers and administrators, to look at ISTEP as something more than just another pointless exam, but as a preparation for the future.

“I want students to understand that although these tests may not be fun or seem relevant, they’re actually a good model for obstacles they will face in life,” said Miller.

Feedback from students showed they enjoyed the notes and rewards, and teachers saw that students were positively affected by them. Through this, Miller was able to see the ability staff had to help students. That only reaffirmed her plans to continue and expand this project in years to come.

Story by: Masden Embry

NJHS Headed to Bloomington

Every year, the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS), takes a trip to reward students for their accomplishments in service throughout the year. NJHS is an international organization that consists of middle school students who excel in academics, leadership and character. On Friday, May 3, NJHS will be going to Urban air, a trampoline park, in Bloomington. While there, they will jump, eat and spend time with the other NJHS members. They will be leaving PHS at 9:30 a.m., and students are encouraged to wear comfy clothes and be ready to jump. NJHS sponsor Melissa Higgins and bus driver Aaron Reckelhoff will be supervising the event.

“The bus will leave Urban Air at about 1:30 p.m., so the people who are going will have plenty of time to jump and eat before we have to leave,” said Higgins.

Although all members are invited, there are requirements to participate.

“In order to come to the field trip, you need to have the required services and GPA,” said Higgins.

This year, in order to raise money to fund the trip, NJHS sold chocolate bars and paid dues at the beginning of the year.

“The students all sold chocolate bars to help with cost. If they didn’t, then they have to pay for part of it to attend the trip,” said Higgins.

Members attending are excited to spend a day away from the school to round out the end of the year.

“I am excited to hang out with my friends and be able to hang out with them other than at school,” said freshman Hayley Taylor.  

Students will arrive back at the school at 2:30 p.m. and attend their seventh period class.

Story by: Corinne Magner

New JAG Teacher Starting Off Strong

After former head football coach Jeremy Lowry left Paoli, there was a need for a new JAG teacher. Substitute Katie Cook stepped up and accepted the position. She has been a substitute for Paoli for about three years now, and this will be her first time instructing her own class.

Cook was born and raised in Paoli and also graduated from PHS. She has three kids who go to Paoli and one son who attends University of Southern Indiana. She has her BA from Indiana Wesleyan University in General Studies, and she is working on her master’s degree in Special Education. She is very grateful for the opportunity to teach here at PHS.

“I am looking forward to making a difference in the students’ lives. JAG is a great program that teaches students the skills they will need to survive life after high school. I also follow up with each student after graduation for a year. I am looking forward to staying connected to them and staying involved in their lives. I can’t wait to see where life takes them,” said Cook.

The JAG class took a field trip to Indiana University Southeast on April 20. Cook wanted her students to learn about college and where they would like to attend.

“I hope they gained some knowledge of college life in general. Even if it’s not the college they choose, it gave them a good idea of what a college campus looks like, what housing looks like and if they think the college experience is something they are interested in,” said Cook.

Story by Angie Ceja


Lady Rams Basketball Recognizes Accomplishments

The Lady Rams basketball team concluded their season in the second round of sectional. Despite not matching their previous season standings, the 2018-2019 season was a productive one. Lead by only three seniors who have played Varsity since their freshman year, many doubted this team and their lack of leadership. However, the Lady Rams proved several people wrong and ended their season on an impressive run.

The players had their annual banquet on Wednesday, April 24 at Superburger. The banquet signifies the conclusion of the season and awards are given out based on play throughout the season. The awards handed out included: mental attitude award for Madison Cunningham, most assists and rebounds for Jacqlyn Rice, highest field goal percentage, captain and offensive MVP for Keaton Chastain and highest free throw percentage, captain and defensive MVP for Madison Street. Audrey Blankenbaker and Street shared the award for the highest three point field goal percentage.

Many of the awards went to the seniors, and for good reason. They headed the team all season and provided the roles as leaders. As the Lady Rams 2018-2019 basketball season officially ends its chapter, we look forward to turning the page and seeing what is in store for next season.

Story by Jace Ingle

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