• McDonald Leads Racing Team

    Senior Jacob McDonald has been a part of the Supermileage team for six years. McDonald was drawn to the team because he has a passion for both engineering and racing;

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  • Yearbooks on Sale Now

    Designed by Laykin Busick

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  • Yearbooks on Sale Now

    Designed by Avery Owens

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  • Yearbooks on Sale Now

    Designed by Chloe Elliott

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  • Paoli to Honor 50 Years at 501 Elm Street

    Paoli Jr. Sr. High School is approaching its 50th anniversary this school year. To help celebrate this important day in PHS history, art teacher Chris Jones will be coordinating a

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  • Student Spotlight: Hayley Taylor

    Click here to see freshman Hayley Taylor’s daily life at PHS! Photo Story by Mackenzie Robertson

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  • Yearbooks on Sale Now

    Designed by Jacklyn Crews

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  • PTO Holiday Bazaar Tomorrow

    On Saturday, December 1, the Paoli High School PTO will be sponsoring its first Holiday Bazaar in the main gymnasium. From 9 a.m. through 2 p.m., there will be sales

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  • PHS Students Hard at Work

    Click here to have a look into the day-to-day routine of PHS! Photo Story by Tinsley Moffatt

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  • Yearbooks on Sale Now

    Designed by Kyla Lee

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McDonald Leads Racing Team

Senior Jacob McDonald has been a part of the Supermileage team for six years. McDonald was drawn to the team because he has a passion for both engineering and racing; McDonald describes it as “the perfect mix.”

When McDonald first joined Supermileage, they were a team that designed a car to operate on gas. Currently, McDonald and the rest of the team strive to construct a car that runs on electricity. To McDonald, constructing the different cars is the most exciting part.

“I am very proud of the way my team works together. We have come a long way as a team. We are able to work together and solve problems together the way a team should,” said McDonald.

Along with having the responsibility of building a car from scratch to race in competitions, McDonald has had to hold the weight of being Team Captain for four years. Although this position has given him a few struggles, McDonald has learned patience and leadership from it as well.

“These skills will help me later in life in whatever career path I take,” said McDonald.

Because McDonald wants to continue in the engineering field, being on the Supermileage team as been extremely beneficial for him. McDonald has learned skills related to engineering as well as what to expect when pursuing an engineering career.

“I have also learned to expect the unexpected when it comes to building the cars because everything imaginable can and will happen. I’ve learned to work through the frustrations of cars not working and things not going the right way,” said McDonald.

Supermileage has been a part of McDonald’s life for six years, so the team as well as the people involved in it have left an impact on him. The faculty support comes from ITE teacher Jason Goodman and economics teacher Cliff Brannon as well as volunteer work from members in the community, including Jerrell Dennis, Luke Becht and Ben Bosley.

“This team has meant so much to me over the years. I’m not sure what I will miss the most, but this team has impacted my life forever and will not be forgotten. We have been nothing short of a family,” said McDonald.

McDonald highly recommends Supermileage to anyone planning on going towards an engineering path. Within the club, members learn about STEM curriculum, calculating and constructing, all skills required in an engineering job. Supermileage has been a beneficial experience for McDonald, and it has prepared him for his future.

McDonald plans to attend Purdue University with a major in agricultural systems management and minor in business. In addition, McDonald plans to be on Purdue’s Supermileage team.


Story by Sara Kesterson

Paoli to Honor 50 Years at 501 Elm Street

Paoli Jr. Sr. High School is approaching its 50th anniversary this school year. To help celebrate this important day in PHS history, art teacher Chris Jones will be coordinating a ceremony to honor the first class to graduate on Elm Street. On December 8, between the JV and varsity boys basketball games, the class of 1968 will be recognized by the community. PHS graduates of this class Mona Stroud and Mike Roberts are collecting names of those who can be present.

The school will have t-shirts and free refreshments for them, and the PHS cheerleaders and cheer block will be singing our school’s fight song with them.

“It’s just something nice to commemorate the class and to appreciate our building and how good we are taking care of it. In the past couple of years, some bad press things have happened here, and we just want to emphasize positivity in our school culture, alumni and community,” said Jones.


Story by Gracie Walls

PTO Holiday Bazaar Tomorrow

On Saturday, December 1, the Paoli High School PTO will be sponsoring its first Holiday Bazaar in the main gymnasium. From 9 a.m. through 2 p.m., there will be sales vendors with homemade products as well as pictures with Santa. Anyone can bring their children, family and friends for activities centered around the holiday.

“The PTO funds a lot of things within the school, and we want to help them out,” said Principal Chad Johnson.

The general idea of the bazaar is to allow people to come in and purchase handmade or custom items that may not be found in any other store.


Story by Kinley Block

Chaplin Enjoys Hunting Season

In our town and school, hunting is a regular occurrence and topic of conversation. For freshman Noah Chaplin, hunting is a big part of his life, as he started his hunting career when he was just 11 years old. His uncle Kevin was the person who first sparked this passion in Chaplin. On his first hunt, he was with his uncle and killed a small jake, which is a young male turkey. Even though it was a small catch, Chaplin still remembers it to this day.

“When I killed my first turkey, I instantly wanted to hunt again, and it has fed my passion ever since. My heart was pounding, and I couldn’t believe I did it,” said Chaplin.

When hunting, a lot of gear is required in order to be successful, but every hunter has their own way of doing things. The first thing Chaplin does is lay all of his camouflage gear outside so it loses his smell. He does this so he can be near the animals without them picking up his scent. He also has to set up a ground blind or tree stand as a place to hunt from. Chaplin also has three main weapons he uses. One of them is a 12 gauge shotgun that is used mainly for deer and turkeys. Another gun he uses is a .243 Remington, which is a rifle that has a longer range. Depending on the season, he also uses a diamond camouflage bow. A skinning knife and a sitting pad are two more essential items Chaplin brings along.

“I am very happy with the guns I have because they have been given to me as gifts, and they mean a lot to me. I would like a couple more as I get older, though,” said Chaplin.

After killing an animal, he is given two choices. One thing Chaplin has done is mount the animal.

“If it is a good animal, like a mature turkey or buck, you can get it mounted to put on the wall. If it was just for meat, you can either gut it in the field or take it with you and gut it at home,” said Chaplin.

So far in his hunting career, Chaplin has only killed two animals. One was the small jake, and the other was a tom, which is a mature male turkey. Although he has only killed turkeys, his favorite hunting season is deer season. Chaplin enjoys everything about hunting, from all the preparation to the clean-up.

“My favorite part about hunting is when you are sitting in the woods and you finally get the chance to take down the animal you have been waiting for the whole time,” said Chaplin.


Story by Michael Hannon

Are You Exempt From Final Exams?

This year, PHS introduced a new final exam policy to the students. The policy was originally developed in speech teacher Carol Fullington’s speech class. The students wrote a proposal to change the attendance policy and offer possible incentives for those who met the requirements.

“As a class, we wanted to rewrite the attendance policy to clarify some of the scenarios that were not covered in the old Student Handbook. We also suggested the incentive program to reward students who attend school regularly,” said Fullington.

Principal Chad Johnson and Assistant Principal Fred Unsicker were extremely interested in the policy. After consideration, the two collaborated and presented the policy to the School Board, who approved.    

The 2018-2019 Student Handbook reads, “Students who have missed two or less days (defined as days either Professionally Excused, Absent Unexcused or Absent Excused by Parent) in a class period and have earned at least 85% in the semester have the opportunity to forego the final examination in that specific class period.”

There are exceptions to this new policy, however. The Handbook also reads, “Students enrolled in dual credit courses/AP courses are still required to participate in the final examination in that course, final musical performances are still required in band/choir, etc… Each teacher will count final exams as 14% of the semester overall grade.”

The only student absences that will not count towards the two day incentive program are missing school to attend a field trip or an absence that is administratively excused. For example, a student working polls on election day would be administratively excused. The following absences are excused absences but count towards the final exam incentive policy:

  • Bereavement or funeral for the death of an immediate or household family member
  • Prearranged or approved college visit verified by admissions staff
  • Prearranged or approved job shadow or work experience verified by management staff
  • Personal illness verified by a physician  
  • Legal business verified by legal counsel, judge, probation or DCS
  • Any absence covered under Indiana Code 20-33-2

“The purpose of the policy was to help improve our attendance as a school and to give the students an incentive to both try a little bit harder in their classes and to be at school more,” said Unsicker.

With this being said, what is going to happen to those students who do not have to participate in taking the final exam?

The student’s final exam will be excused and, therefore, will not count for or against them. The student’s final grade will be their grade at the end of the coursework, not including the final.

Students who believe taking the final exam may improve their overall grade are allowed to have the option, but if the student chooses to take the final, the grade will be recorded in the gradebook. They do not get to decide whether or not the teacher puts the final exam grade in the gradebook. In many cases, what the teacher does is going to be left up to their discretion.

At the end of each semester, Attendance Secretary Kim Bostock and Unsicker are going to be working together to create a list of the students eligible to opt out of the final exam. Each teacher is also going to be responsible for creating a list of their own to double check the work of Bostock and Unsicker. The student should also know if they are going to be eligible to opt out of taking the final exam as well.   

“As an administration, we hope to accomplish both increased academic performance and increased attendance. The ultimate goal is to have our students present 98% of the time. Currently, our attendance is a little above 96% as a school. We also want to reward our students who perform well in their classes and are here at school all the time,” said Unsicker.


Story by Madison Street

Study Sessions for ISTEP Testers Beginning After Thanksgiving Break

Beginning when students return from Thanksgiving Break, math teacher Adam Stroud, along with other math teachers at PHS, are inviting students to take part in ISTEP Prep. Any student is invited to attend, but the math department is primarily focused on those who are either taking ISTEP for the first time or retaking it. This can include sophomores, juniors and seniors. Stroud also invites NHS members to attend to assist the students with their preparation.

By attending, students can earn extra credit from their math teacher and gain even more points by asking their parents to attend with them. Stroud, along with the math department, hopes this positive incentive will make students more willing to come to get the extra help they may need.

“Our primary goal is to get more students to pass the ISTEP, but we also hope to grow students’ math abilities. PHS has had more growth in this department in the past 3 years than all area schools. Last year, we grew an additional 5% above the state average. As a department, we hope to keep this growth going,” said Stroud.

The meetings are going to be treated like a traditional classroom but with more interaction among the students. Each meeting, the math department will pick a state standard to focus on. They will take time to explain the standard, work examples and answer questions the students may have. The students will then have the opportunity to work problems on their own and with other students. Stroud has also created a Kahoot, an online interactive game, to help students prepare.  

The meetings will take place in Stroud’s room, 104, unless there is not enough room. If this is the case, the meetings will then be moved to the high school cafeteria.

Stroud and the math department hope many students and their parents choose to attend the ISTEP Prep.


Story by Madison Street

FAFSA Workshop November 19

A FAFSA workshop will take place Monday, November 19. The U.S. Department of Education uses the FAFSA to determine students’ eligibility for federal student aid, including low-cost loans and grants. At the workshop, there will also be a regional representative from 21st Century Scholars to help any 21st Century Scholar finish their scholartrack responsibilities or answer any questions.

It is important that students who are planning to apply for federal student aid attend this meeting. The meeting will be in the high school computer lab. Students and parents can come and go as they please from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The following information will be needed at the meeting: date of birth, social security number, tax return, W2s, current bank statements, investment records, untaxed income, federal work study earnings, money received or paid on your behalf, month and year of parents status, real estate or rental property, child support paid or received, combat pay and veterans non-education benefits.  

Be sure to attend the FAFSA workshop to receive assistance with the application. See the FAFSA checklist below to help stay organized. 


Story by Faith Wilder

POP Celebrates Marching Band Season

On November 6, the Pride of Paoli marching band had their end-of-year banquet. At this event, each band member brought food for a big meal and discussed the highlights of the season. A slideshow of pictures from the season was playing in the background. Trophies from last year’s band season were also up for auction, open to any student or adult who wanted them.

The band banquet was a rousing success, in my opinion. Everyone seemed to have a good time, and it was nice to see everyone come together to enjoy a meal after a successful season,” said band director Ben Werne.


Story by Michael Hannon

Chili Dinner and Basketball Scrimmage Wednesday

The boys basketball program will have their intersquad scrimmages this Wednesday, November 14. Each game will take place in the main gymnasium at the high school.

The fifth and sixth grade game will start at 5 p.m. with the seventh and eighth grade game to follow at 6 p.m. The freshman and junior varsity game will start at approximately 7 p.m. with the junior varsity and varsity game starting at 8 p.m.

From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., there will be a chili dinner hosted by the basketball program. The cost will be $5.00. Admission to the scrimmages will be a monetary donation, and all of the proceeds from the admission and the chili dinner will go to the family of freshman Bladen Patton.

Come to the dinner and scrimmages on Wednesday and support a Ram family.


Story by Sara Kesterson

“30 Reasons Not To Be in a Play” to be Performed November 15, 16, 17

2018-10-25 Auditions4_CH.JPG

For the last couple of weeks, the PHS drama department has been rehearsing scenes and perfecting their lines for the fall play. This year’s play is called 30 Reasons Not To Be in a Play. It  will be performed November 15, 16 and 17.

In recent years, they have put on a musical in the fall and a play in the spring. Due to schedule conflicts this year, they are performing two plays in the fall and a musical in the spring. Along with that change, this play is also different from previous ones. Because there are so many roles in the play, many actors have to double up on parts, which is new to some actors.

“Most people will be on stage the entire time. That takes a different kind of stamina and focus than a traditional script structure. Each actor plays various roles, so that is different from what we usually do as well,” said drama director Maria Wishart.

There are 19 people in the cast of 30 Reasons Not To Be in a Play but approximately 30 total people involved with the production this year. In this play, the characters explain to the audience why not to be in a high school play. Each character gives one different, humorous reason from their own personal experience.

“At first, I thought, ‘What kind of silly play have we gotten ourselves into?’ I still think it’s kind of silly, but that isn’t always bad. In this case, the play will be lots of fun for the audience if the actors play their parts well,” said drama club assistant Chris Lindley.

Their first performance for 30 Reasons Not To Be in a Play will be November 15, 16, and 17 at 7 p.m. Admission is $3 for students and $4 for adults. Come support our PHS drama department as they perform this humorous play.


Story by Angie Ceja

Roach Anticipates Future in Band

Junior Hunter Roach has been a member of the marching band for five years and concert band for seven. He has been the first chair in the Junior All-State band three consecutive times, playing a different saxophone each year. However, Roach is very well rounded in the instruments he can play.

“The saxophone isn’t the only instrument I can play. I also play clarinet, piano, ukulele and guitar. I took guitar lessons when I was younger, as my whole family loves bluegrass music and can play string instruments. I found guitar rather difficult for me. I lose my finger placement very easily,” said Roach.

Since Roach grew up around music, he started playing at a young age. However, his family is not the only musical inspiration he has. Roach looks up to PHS graduate Livia Sullivan, who was also a member of the band.

“I have always had so much respect for Livia Sullivan. She has been such a great role model for me, as she was an amazing player and still acted humble without ever boasting,” said Roach.

Roach is privileged to have had a solo in this year’s band show.

Like many athletes, performers and leaders, this soloist has a routine before he performs.

“Before performing, I often find myself closing my eyes, breathing deeply and slowly. I like to think that every performance is just another practice. I put 110% into every repetition, so every run has equal importance in my mind,” said Roach.

Through his experience, he now knows what he wishes he would’ve before his first solo performance.

Something I wish I had known before going into my first solo is that a solo should never be any different any time you play it. No matter who is watching, your music should always be the same. Perform as well as you can every time, and you’ll come to find that consistency will be your best friend,” said Roach.

Roach has been involved in many solos, duets and ensembles during his band career so far. Playing a solo at Lucas Oil Stadium for State this year was an experience that Roach says he will never forget.

Roach hopes to continue having solos in his final band season next year. Until then, he plans to have solos during pep band at the home basketball games. He really hopes to go to State again next year and take the first place spot.

After he graduates, Roach is not sure what he plans to do with music after high school. If he continues with it, he will likely study music therapy. He currently writes his own music in his free time and hopes that one day it will lead to something big.

Roach will continue to share his musical talents as a member of the band for another year and will hopefully be in the top bands in the state again next year. Only time will tell, but until then, Roach will continue to work extremely hard for the band.


Story by Kaden Lewellyn

Schedule Changes for Second Semester

Many students change their schedules for second semester. Students who wish to change their schedules need to pick up a schedule change form in the guidance office. Schedule change forms are currently available and must be turned back in to the guidance office by January 4, 2019. It usually depends on how far behind the guidance office is with changing schedules, but it usually only takes a few minutes to change a schedule.

“The sooner you request a schedule change, the better,” said guidance secretary Sara Parks.


Story by Lili Seals

Blankenship Spreads Happiness Through Music

Music is a creative outlet for many people, and eighth grader Wyatt Blankenship is no exception. Blankenship is a musician with skill in a variety of areas, both instrumental and vocal.

“I play a wide range of music varying from country, gospel and bluegrass. I play these varying ranges of music because they are all very popular with the citizens of this county,” said Blankenship.

He plays traditional bluegrass instruments like the guitar, banjo, mandolin, dobro and harmonica along with the piano and violin. He taught himself how to play each with help from online resources.

“I learned most of them off the internet, studying different chords and notes,” said Blankenship.

He first played the recorder in fifth grade and received a banjo as a Christmas gift in 2015. Blankenship began playing the clarinet the following year, which he played in the school band until the end of seventh grade. In early 2017, Blankenship got a mandolin, which led into his start of the guitar a couple months later.

He shares his musical talents on Saturdays from May through October at the Orange County Homegrown Farmers Market in Orleans from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Blankenship also plays at the local Lost River Market and Deli every Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

His biggest inspiration, his late grandfather, drove him towards the style of music he plays today. Because of his grandfather’s music taste, which featured bluegrass country, and gospel, Blankenship began to perform for public audiences.

“I started playing at the Orleans Farmers Market on August 19, 2017 as a tribute to my grandpa,” said Blankenship.

Blankenship sings and plays original songs, as well as covers. His songs reflect his high appreciation, respect and love for Paoli as well as the wildlife that surrounds him.

“I draw inspiration from my fellow classmates and the natural environment around me. I have several fall songs I’m working on and a few about Paoli I plan to write,” said Blankenship.

The most important part of music, according to Blankenship, is that one’s true self shines through, not how others feel about it.

“Do not care about other people’s opinions; if you feel in your heart and soul that what you sing or play sounds good, no one else’s opinion matters,” said Blankenship.

To create something personal and heartfelt and share it with others has been an amazing adventure Blankenship hopes to continue experiencing.


Story by Masden Embry

Blackburn’s Competitive Career Leads to College

When senior Joni Blackburn steps onto the cheer mats, the rest of the world fades away. Worries about yesterday’s AP biology test slip her mind, and her speech homework is forgotten; it is just her and the rest of her team.

“I am disconnected from the rest of the world, and all that matters is me and my time,” said Blackburn. “No matter what is going on in my life, when I walk into practice and tumble or stunt, all my problems seem to fade away. The best thing about cheer is how happy it makes me.”

Blackburn started cheering when she was three, when her mom enrolled her in gymnastics with her sister, Tara.

“My sister started to do gymnastics, so my mom decided she should put me in it too. My mom wanted her children to have choices when they got older and to find something they enjoy doing. I went to a church that had a ballet studio and gymnastics gym in the basement. She put me in ballet, tee-ball and basketball, but nothing made me happier than gymnastics and cheer,” said Blackburn.

On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, Blackburn can be found at Full Out Tumble and Cheer in Jasper, where she has been cheering since she was twelve. She also cheers with Reign Athletics, located in Chicago, Illinois.  

“Patrick Williams, the head coach, is our choreographer for Full Out, and he invited me to be on his team when he realized that I will have never been on a Worlds qualifying team before graduating. He told me he loved my attitude and skills,” said Blackburn.

At Full Out, Blackburn is on the Lady Lime team, a level three all-girl large, and the Vendettas team, a level five restricted all-girl medium. At Reign, Blackburn is on Valor, a level five coed medium. The higher the level, the more advanced the team is. On Lady Lime, there are 27 other members, and on the Vendettas, there are ten other members. On all teams, she is a backspot. As a backspot, Blackburn is expected to count for the other bases and the flyer and also lift the flyer to help them with weight.

“Throughout my years of cheer, I have had roughly thirty routines. Picking a favorite routine can be hard since there are so many parts to it, but if I had to choose one, it would be my routine with my previous team Black Hearts and Lady Lime last year,” said Blackburn.

Black Hearts was the first level five team she had been on and the first level five team from Full Out to advance to Summit, an annual competition held at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. At Summit, her team got sixth overall in the country. On Lady Lime, Blackburn and her team got second in the country overall by one-tenth of a point.

“The routines are just so fun, and I made important memories with the people on the teams. Last year will always be remembered as Full Out’s big break to becoming a known gym around the country,” said Blackburn.

Although winning second is an accomplishment, not taking first place was upsetting for Blackburn.

“Sometimes we don’t live up to our full potential, and our coach knows it. When we are in competition season and we are having a rough practice, our coach is sure to take it hard on us. The practices are brutal and feel never-ending, but we all know that at the end of it, we’ll be amazing,” said Blackburn. “Knowing we were so close to first was thrilling, but it was also very disappointing knowing that first was so close.”

Blackburn’s favorite memory from her time in cheer is from her first competition with Full Out when she was twelve.

“It was my first year at Full Out, and I was on a senior team. I was the smallest girl, absolutely terrified behind stage, and I started bawling my eyes out. Two other girls on the team, Natalie and Abby, who are both in college now, said to me, ‘You are the most talented and devoted twelve year old we have ever met. You are not alone out there. You have your whole team here with you. We will not let you down; you just do your job and everything will be okay.’ That’s when I realized my cheer family is a forever family, and nothing will ever live up to the amount of love I have for my cheer teams,” said Blackburn.

When it comes to cheer, Blackburn’s biggest supporters are her “littles,” or the youngest members on the team, as well as her family and friends.

“The little girls in the teams lower than mine and the young ones on my team look up to me because I’m a senior. They always want a picture with me, ask me for help and cheer for me during a routine. That support always warms my heart,” said Blackburn. Her friends and family have always stood behind her and been there to cheer her on as well.

“My family has always made sure I had cheer in my life, and through fifteen years, my mom has only missed two competitions. My friends know everything there is to know about cheer and come to my competitions when they can. They always make sure I put cheer first because they know how much I love the sport,” said Blackburn.

Blackburn’s time with her teams is almost over, but she knows this isn’t the end for her.

“I have planned to attend either Purdue or IU, and I intend to cheer to make sure I do not stop trying to make myself better. My All-Star cheer career may end this year, but I still plan to cheer, so I don’t have to stop just yet,” said Blackburn. “Even though it’s not over yet, I know I will miss everything, the people on my team, the drives to Jasper, the smell of hairspray that chokes me backstage, the feeling of nerves before competing, the hot summer days full of sweat and frustration because we’re not perfect yet, the parents I am great friends with, the feeling of winning a competition and the amazing coaches that have never given up on me. Having to leave cheer is going to be like the hardest breakup I have ever had to deal with.”


Story by Rebekah Reeves

Veterans Day Program November 12

The Veterans Day Program will be Monday, November 12 in the high school main gym at 10 a.m. The speaker this year will be Gunner Kesler. He is retired from the military, lives in Orange County and is currently running for the Southeast-Stampers Creek school board seat.

The advanced US history students will be reading several patriotic selections, which will include the history of Veterans Day and the poem “No, Freedom Isn’t Free.”

A tribute for the 100th anniversary of the ending of World War I, which ended at exactly at 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918.

Chris Lindley’s advanced US history students will also be helping with registration, set-up and clean-up as well as greeting veterans and military guests.  


Story by Faith Wilder

Padgett Shows Confidence On Stage

Sophomore Libby Padgett is involved in a variety of different pageants. Padgett has competed in around 20 pageants overall since she began as a child.

“I did my first pageant when I was 5, and I fell in love with being on stage. That’s why I love drama and being in musicals so much,” said Padgett.

She has only competed in pageants in Indiana, but she has qualified to travel to California and all over the Midwest. Padgett’s highest win in a competition was Majestic Queen National Preteen. She has also been awarded 250 dollars for an optional actress competition.   

“I got into pageants because they were fun to me, and I learned real life skills like how to dress and act in a interview or how to make eye contact with someone you are speaking to. I also got into it because it was something my mom and I love doing together. She was super supportive of me, and she loves helping me prepare for my pageants,” said Padgett

Most of the pageants she has competed in include a formal wear and an interview portion. Others could include an onstage question or a personal introduction. The judges look for who has more confidence on and off stage, who will carry on a conversation and who will be a good representative out of a group of winners. Judging a pageant is subjective, so judges often have different opinions.

“The sayings I alway hear are ‘different days, different judges’ and ‘you have to find your judges’ because the judges do look for different things,” said Padgett.

The competitions could be one day of 10-12 hours of competing, but others could be multiple days. Padgett enjoys competing because she learns valuable life lessons, and she has made many friends while competing against each other.

Padgett has been given lots of advice since she has been competing. The advice she would give is the advice she wishes she had been given before she started competing.

“Don’t let it change who you are. Be yourself, be confident and enjoy your time on stage,” said Padgett.


Story by Faith Wilder

Nichols Expresses Creativity Through Music Production

Sophomore Brady Nichols has been interested in music since he was in junior high. Not only has he enjoyed listening to music, but he has also enjoyed producing it.

“The best part about making music is you can do it how you want it to sound. You do not have to have approval from other people, just listen to it for yourself,” said Nichols.

Nichols’s curiosity inspired him to start making music. He found a computer app, FL Studio 20, which helps users produce music, and through this, he started to get used to the process of making music. Nichols would spend most hours in his room making music and discover new sounds to play with.

Not only did he learn how to produce music, Nichols now also understands how people who are professionals do it, which could be a huge step into his career.

Nichols started making music in the second semester of seventh grade. With spare time after school, he spent most of his time on the computer and started getting used to the app and how it works.

“It takes about 2-3 days to make one mashup,” said Nichols. “It takes a while, but once you are finally done, you are proud of your work.”

Over the years, he has gotten more serious and started considering music production in his future.

“When I am older, I would like to be an EDM producer,” said Nichols.

The latest song Nichols has been working on is called “Empire” and is very upbeat.

“The one that I am working on now is going to have a good beat, and I cannot wait to finish it,” said Nichols.  


Story by Corinne Magner

Morasch Leads Spirit on the Sideline

Senior Lindsay Morasch has been cheering for four years. Throughout this time, she has improved on her stunting abilities as a flier and a base and has lettered three out of her four years. Morasch has participated in many camps throughout her career to help her improve.  

I have participated in UCA camps throughout the years. In those camps, I learned how to be a better stunter and cheerleader. We did a lot of difficult stunts and also learned new cheers to use for our season,” said Morasch.

Morasch has collected a lot of memories to look back on because of her involvement in cheerleading.

“My favorite cheer memory is probably senior night. It was a great game, and I had a lot of fun, despite freezing,” said Morasch.

Morasch’s biggest accomplishment was becoming a varsity cheerleader her sophomore year, which was her first time cheering in high school.  

“I’m going to miss being at all the games and cheering on the Rams,” said Morasch.                                                                                  

Since Morasch has experienced all of high school cheer, she knows what she would pass on to aspiring cheerleaders.

“I would tell underclassmen to make sure they stick with it and don’t quit because cheer can teach you things that can help you later in life. It helps you create friendships and bonds with people as well and memories that you won’t ever forget,” said Morasch.

After graduating, Morasch plans on attending Ivy Tech and pursuing an associate’s degree in business administration. She then plans to transfer to Indiana University Southeast to get her bachelor’s degree in business with a focus on human resources.


Story by Lili Seals

Strange Learns Life Lessons from Football

Many seniors at PHS participate in extracurricular activities. Participating in clubs, sports or committees is a great way to get involved. However, for senior Ian Strange, football is more than just a sport he participates in.

Strange started playing football in fourth grade and fell in love with the game. He was impacted by family members to join the game.

“My two older brothers played football, and they really influenced me to start playing at a young age,” said Strange.

Continuing into his high school career, Strange received the junior varsity offensive MVP award his freshman year. He received the same award for varsity his sophomore and junior years. Strange’s progression as a player throughout his high school career is very noticeable on the stat sheet, and it shows through his numerous honors and awards. Reflecting on the season as a whole, Strange realizes the group of teammates he has around him are special to him both on and off the field.

“We play well as a team on the field, but we always have fun together off the field. It’s like a family,” said Strange.

Senior season is an important season to any athlete, and Strange is no exception. The final season always encompasses so much emotion and excitement that makes any athletes anxious. Seasons like these are special, and Strange could not agree more.

“This season is special to me because these are the people that I have grown up with all my life. I have played football with these guys since elementary school, so this season really means a lot to me,” said Strange.

Football provides players with a sharp mindset and an opportunity to stay in shape. However, Strange believes football also teaches lessons about life rather than strictly football. Skills that are needed for a successful future are unknowingly practiced in football.

“Football has taught me how to be disciplined and how to work and cooperate with others. It has given me a strong work ethic that will benefit me in the future,” said Strange.

Following high school, Strange is interested in pursuing a career as a certified welder. Then again, his work ethic used in welding he owes to football. Strange has been a competitor all his life, and football is where he’s been most competitive up this point in his life. However, he will encounter obstacles in his life that are bigger than a game. When he does, he will thank football for teaching him the skills that helped him reach his future.


Story by Jace Ingle

AP Literature Sees Book Come to Life

On November 1, students in English teacher Maria Wishart’s AP Literature class attended a production of Cabaret Poe, a musical interpretation of some of Edgar Allen Poe’s most famous poems and stories. The students traveled to the Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis for the show.  

The Fall of the House of Usher, The Masque of Red Death, The Raven and The Tell-Tale Heart were just a a few of Poe’s works represented in the show. The show was created ten years ago by Ben Asaykwee, and it has been performed each October (and the first few days of November) ever since.

 After the students watched the production, they discussed more in depth about the different poems and stories portrayed in the musical.  

We discussed the narrative essentials in the play, the characterization, the challenges of transferring a story from page to stage, elements of technical production, what made particular actors stand out, and what was challenging about different roles,” said Wishart.

Story by Michael Hannon

McCoy Reflects on Cross Country Career

Senior Josiah McCoy has been running for the cross country team for the past five years. McCoy decided to join the cross country team five years ago because he loved running, and he thought it would be a good chance to become more involved at PHS. Since his final season is coming to a close, McCoy has been looking back on his time as a runner.

“I look back at all the time I spent running and sometimes think, ‘why do you run?’ Then it hits me that I love it and hate it, it helps me think and stay healthy and it hurts, but it makes me happy. Running has been such a big part of my life for the past five years; it is really sad that it is coming to an end,” said McCoy.

Cross country has not only taught McCoy what it means to be an athlete, but it has also taught him life lessons.

“I have learned that no matter how hard things get sometimes, you have to keep moving forward. Just like running, put one foot in front of the other and keep pushing,” said McCoy.

McCoy does not plan on running competitively after high school. He wants to run for himself, not a team. He is excited to see how the cross country team does next year.

“My team is my second family; I am so excited to see how far they go after I am gone. Some advice for next year’s seniors is to not cut it short. Every time you run, give it 110%, even if it is just practice. Working hard pays definitely pays off,” said McCoy.

Since his senior season has ended, McCoy has been reflecting on his time as a runner.

“Cross country has been one of the best times of my life, and if I could do it all over again, I would.”


Story by Kaden Lewellyn

Junior High Spell Bowl Experiencing Success

On Tuesday, October 30, the junior high Spell Bowl team competed in a competition held at Jasper High School. Middle schools around the state compete at various sites. There are 47 schools in Class 3, including Paoli. The team will know how they placed on Friday, November 2.

The team consists of 10 junior high students, but only 7 were able to attend the latest competition. The members in attendance were Cameron Apple, Jason Beavers, Abigail Bruner, Olivia Deaver, Mackenzie Neal, Caitlyn Taylor and Trinity Thompson. They spent hours studying the words and preparing for the competition.

“There should have been at least 8 team members, but only 7 attended the competition.  With one seat opened, we lost the opportunity to have 9 additional points. However, the students who did spell did a good job,” said Spell Bowl sponsor Loretta Brown.

Their next competition is the State Finals on November 10 and will be held at Purdue University.  


Story by Madison Street

Collins’s Video Editing Attracts Worldwide Following

Senior Madison Collins has a unique hobby of video editing. She started editing in the eighth grade and has continued since.

“I like to edit videos because it lets me show emotion and feelings through a visual. It lets me show how I am feeling when I need an outlet,” said Collins.

Collins first started editing videos on Vine, a video app where users could share six-second long video clips.

I saw that other people were doing it, and I thought it looked fun,” said Collins.

Now that Collins’s love for editing has intensified, she has improved her editing platforms.

“I use two computer programs, Sony Vegas Pro and Adobe After Effects CCS. I first started editing on my phone, but then I upgraded to my computer and my computer programs,” said Collins.

Collins loves to edit Marvel movies and clips the most. It was what she began editing when she was young.

“When I was younger, I grew up on Marvel movies, but I didn’t get really into the movies until I found the Avengers movie in seventh grade. While watching the movie, I was the most drawn to Steve Rogers, also known as Captain America. Since then, I have grown up with these movies, and they have shaped me into who I am today. Steve Rogers taught me to stick up for the little guy and always stick by the people you love. Marvel has become a part of me, and I don’t think I will ever let it go,” said Collins.

When Collins edits videos, she first finds an audio she likes and then selects clips from movies she has downloaded. She combines the audio and clips together and transfers it to another program, where she applies effects and transitions.

“I would love to incorporate video editing into my life after high school. It’s a big dream of mine to work on a Marvel movie,” said Collins.


Story by Gracie Walls

Powderpuff Football Tonight at 7

Powderpuff football will take place on Tuesday, October 30 at the football field at 7 p.m.

Each class will be represented by a team of girls. Each class will play together against other classes, and the champion will be determined on which class wins the most games.

Elm Street will be closed due to Trick or Treating, so spectators will have to use S. Co. Rd. 175 W. to get to the school. Come out to cheer on your fellow classmates at the annual powderpuff football game.

Story by Corinne Magner

Becht Finds Enjoyment in Creating

Freshman Taylor Becht has always enjoyed art and has been creating from a young age. As a child, she would spend her time drawing with pencils, coloring with markers and making cardboard cutouts of various objects. Since then, her art has grown, and it has become one of her biggest passions. She wanted a way to express herself, but music and writing just were not a great fit for her.

“I knew I had a lot to say, but I can’t play music that well, and I can only write so well. Art has been a much better way to express myself, so I knew I had to keep doing it. There’s just so much you can say in something so simple. I hope I can do it forever,” said Becht.

Becht currently enjoys painting and drawing with pencils, but she doesn’t limit her art to just that. She is also starting a new project with a stitching art experiment. She makes designs by using a cross-stitching technique that can be used to put on clothing or other materials.

“A lot of my inspiration comes from social media. There are so many people out there with stories to tell, and it inspires me to create so much. Nature and life in general inspire me. The pain a human goes through is incredible, and it’s even crazier to think someone else has it worse. That inspires me to create, whether it’s about love, hate, misery or maybe even nothing,” said Becht.

In addition to art, Becht is also involved in dance at En Pointe in Bedford, Indiana. She started taking classes a few years ago. In the past, she has taken jazz and lyrical dance classes, but she is now taking a beginner pointe class and a ballet class.

“I like to dance to express myself. I feel free and happy when I dance. I especially like pointe ballet because although it can be painful, watching yourself improve and grow is so amazing. Overcoming the pain and learning a new art to make something beautiful is rewarding,” said Becht.


Story by Michael Hannon

Spanish II Students Enlightened on Hispanic Culture

On Wednesday, October 24, Rachel Carter’s Spanish II classes headed to Louisville to watch Latin American dances. The show, put on by the Hispanic Flamenco Ballet, was created as a way to deliver the “finest in cultural education program services to K-12 students across the United States of America,” according to the Hispanic Flamenco Ballet website.

“The goal of the field trip was for students to enjoy and appreciate the Hispanic culture,” said Carter, who has gone on similar field trips for thirty years. “Students were able to see and hear in person the music and language of the Hispanic world.”

The show consisted of different dances, including the tango, the Mexican hat dance and more. During the performance, sophomores Maggie Vincent and Madison Shinkle were invited on the stage.

After the show, students went out to eat at a Mexican restaurant to continue the learning and appreciation of Hispanic culture.

“I’m just so proud of your Spanish II students who represented themselves and our school so well,” said Carter.


Story by Rebekah Reeves

Chastain Plans to Continue Volleyball Career

Growing up, senior Keaton Chastain was always in sports. Whether she was playing basketball, softball, or volleyball, she always loved it. However, volleyball was always her favorite.

Chastain discovered her love of volleyball when she was in the fifth grade. She has now finished her senior year of volleyball with as much love for the game as she had when she started.

Chastain filled the role on the court as right side hitter and as a back row player for the varsity team.  

“It’s so much fun and became my favorite thing to do,” said Chastain.

She has also taken volleyball to the next level by playing on a club team during her offseason for the past three years. Club volleyball has given Chastain the opportunity to play with new girls and experience volleyball all year-round.

Chastain first became involved with club when former volleyball coach Alicia Clark got her to play on a club team out of New Albany called Union. This gave Chastain many opportunities to play volleyball rather than just regular season games.

After high school, Chastain is hoping to continue her volleyball career at Hanover College.

“I really like the coach, and it seems like a good fit for me,” said Chastain.


Story by Maggie Vincent

Hinton Expresses Himself Through Words

For some people, writing is not something that comes easy to them, but for sophomore Chandler Hinton, that is not the case. Hinton writes in his free time, especially during the weekdays. He writes novels, realistic stories and other pieces that push him to become a better writer each day.

Recently, Hinton has been working on his first full-length novel, We’ll Burn Brighter. This piece is an LGBT novel about two teens named Noah and Oliver. It takes place in the 1980s, a time when being LGBT wasn’t viewed as morally acceptable by most people. He thinks it is one of his strongest writings and may end up in the hands of many readers.

“Certain people have this odd complex where they think I’m writing for them. However, that’s not true. At the moment, I don’t write for anything or anyone besides myself. I do think that will change as I shift from being a writer as a hobby to being a writer as a career,” said Hinton.

Within the next year, Hinton plans to have his first novel done. Depending on the results, he may self-publish it. Overall, Hinton would like to create a book that sells well and creates a social change for others.

Hinton can write about 3,000 words on his novel project during the weekdays. On the weekends, he tends to write around 2,000 words because he feels the need to take that time to recharge. Hinton also admits he has love-hate relationship with English despite his love of writing.

“I have two writing styles. The first is my academic style in which I write very short and get to the point of what I’m writing. The second is my fiction style, where I use adjectives and be very descriptive,” said Hinton.

One of his favorite things to do with his writing is share it with others. He enjoys the thought of everyone around him loving and reading his work. Hinton hopes to continue writing throughout his life.

“Writing makes me feel like I have a purpose. I feel happier when I’m writing. I feel even happier when I see that people get enjoyment out of my work,” said Hinton.


Story by Ashlyn Bonta

Lion Club Pork Dinner This Sunday

The Paoli Meridian Lions Club pork dinner. Each year, National Honor Society members sell pork dinner tickets to help raise money for the Lions Club.

“The National Honor Society and the National Junior Honor Society support the Lions Club because they do a lot to support our community. The money will be used to fund and support charitable things and scholarships that many of the NHS and NJHS members will apply for,” said NHS advisor Melissa Higgins.

This year, the 72 NHS members and 39 NJHS members sold around 450 tickets. The pork dinner will be Sunday, October 28. Ticket purchasers can pick up their meal from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the high school cafeteria.


Story by Kaden Lewellyn

Street Looks Back on Volleyball Accomplishments

Senior Madison Street has been playing volleyball since fifth grade. She has grown from playing in grade school to competing in state tournaments. Street has also received several awards throughout her volleyball career, including PLAC All-Conference, Indiana High School Volleyball Coaches Association All-District and most assists.

Street has formed memories throughout her career with many of her teammates.

“My favorite memory of volleyball was winning Sectional and Regional my sophomore year,” said Street.  

Over the course of Street’s volleyball career, she has improved the most on defense. Street also participated in club volleyball on the Aspire team when she was a freshman. Street has participated in many activities and has made many friends through them.

“I will miss spending time with my friends, whether we are at practice, a game or just hanging out; we always have a good time together,” said Street.

From her volleyball experience, Street has developed advice for underclassmen players.

“The advice that I  would give is to always work hard and not take anything for granted. One day you will wish you could come to practice and step on the court with your friends; you should enjoy it while you can,” said Street.

As Street reflects on her years in volleyball, she has a lot of accomplishments to be proud of.

“I think my high school career has been pretty successful. Winning Sectional and Regional was unforgettable, and winning it with my best friends made it even better,” said Street.

Even though Street will not further her volleyball career in college, she plans on attending Indiana University and majoring in child psychology.


Story by Lili Seals

College and Career Fair During Lunch Today

The annual college and career fair will take place today. High school students will be allowed to attend the fair in the lower gym during their lunch periods.

This year, for the first time, eighth graders will be allowed to get involved. Their fourth period teachers will supervise them as they complete a scavenger hunt, which will encourage them to ask questions at the fair.

Representatives from a variety of occupations and universities will fill in the blanks for students who are curious about and have interests in their fields of expertise.

Juniors and seniors from Springs Valley, Orleans and West Washington high schools will travel to PHS to engage in the college and career fair and take advantage of the opportunities it offers.


Story by Masden Embry

Taylor’s Time Behind the Camera

Photography is a recreational activity that many experiment in, but for senior Mahalia Taylor, photography is a hobby she has enjoyed for many years and continues to appreciate as she grows older. Photography is a way to see the world in a different light through every picture and every new angle.

Taylor first became introduced to photography when she was in the eighth grade. Her sister-in-law, a professional photographer, inspired her to try it out when Taylor went along to shoot a wedding with her. From this moment, she fell in love.

Along with her sister-in-law, media adviser Heather Nichols was and continues to be a very influential person in Taylor’s photography journey. Nichols has always pushed Taylor out of her comfort zone when it comes to taking pictures, and she enjoys the challenge that comes along with the tasks Nichols faces her with.

At PHS, Taylor is the photographer in charge of taking all senior headshots for the yearbook. Outside of school, she has recently taken family pictures for her sister’s family. Taylor has also been asked to take pictures for many local businesses.

“To be a photographer, you have to be very dedicated. It takes a lot of your time and responsibility, and it is also very difficult. At the end of the day, photography is really fun. It is worth every second and every struggle,” said Taylor.

The most challenging part of photography is getting the good quality pictures, but this is a challenge Taylor enjoys the most. It is important to not get discouraged and continue to find the perfect shot.
“Photography is always going to be a hobby of mine. It is something I will continue to enjoy and a way to kill time as I grow older,” said Taylor.

After graduation, Taylor is undecided on what school she will be attending, but she plans to pursue a degree in graphic design. She hopes to take photography classes as well but is going to focus primarily on pursuing her major.  


Story by Madison Street

Superintendent Walker Reflects on First Month at PHS

Superintendent Greg Walker began his job at PHS on October 1, and so far, he is having a positive experience.

“I love it here. The students and staff have been very welcoming,” said Walker.

When Walker started at Paoli, he was faced with some difficult tasks to finalize and begin. Instead of looking at these missions as challenges, he views them as opportunities. The first big opportunity Walker has to complete is collective bargaining with the Indiana State Teachers Association and settling a master contract before November 15.

Before coming to Paoli, Walker was the superintendent of the Brownstown Central Community School Corporation.

“Regarding differences from my old school, the job is basically the same. There are some tasks I had other people take care of at Brownstown that are now my sole responsibility,” said Walker.

Walker is excited for his new job, school and coworkers and is eager to see where PHS will take him.

“There are many positive things going on within Paoli schools, and I look forward to sharing those with the community,” said Walker.


Story by Gracie Walls

McCrary Showcases Photography Skills

Photography is a very common interest in the world. Photographers take photos of any and every thing they can find, including animals, people, objects and nature. There is a wide variety of pictures someone can take, but for freshman Emma McCrary, any photo is a photo worth taking.

McCrary’s interest in photography began when she took notice of her mother’s portraits. She wanted to give the hobby a try and took the classes offered at PHS. McCrary discovered that she enjoyed the classes as well as taking photos for assignments.

“Having actual photo assignments has made me want to learn more about photography and the different aspects of it. The class has also inspired my photography,” said McCrary.

When McCrary first started, she was using her mother’s Canon Rebel, a beginner’s camera. After she realized how much photography meant to her, McCrary moved on to the Canon 7D, which is great for nature and portrait photography. The lenses she uses are an EF 100mm macro lens, a sigma 18-25mm, a tamron 150-600mm and a sigma 24-70mm lens.

“Most photographers start out with this camera, and it is a good starter camera,” said McCrary.

National Geographic photographers also inspire her. McCrary loves to take photos of animals and nature, so it is only fitting to take a glance at what they are capturing. She has also taken numerous photos of animals at zoos and other settings in nature. Her Instagram captures all of the photos she takes, including sports photography.

“I practiced a lot. I was and am always outside taking pictures of anything,” said McCrary.

She also enjoys star photography. She went outside one night, adjusted her camera settings and experimented with the photos. After lots of practice and corrections, McCrary has improved tremendously at star photography.

The future holds many possibilities for McCrary. As she continues through her high school career, she plans on taking photography classes every year. When she goes to college, she plans on taking more advanced classes that will help her with her passion. She also would like to take pictures for people and advertise her photography soon.

“I hope to at least have photography as a side job if it isn’t a full time job. I love it, and I don’t think I could ever get tired of it,” said McCrary.


Story by Kinley Block

English Students to Attend Live Action Show Tomorrow

Last year, the English 10 Pre-AP class had the opportunity to read Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley. This year, the same group of students, who are now in English 11 Pre-AP, will be taking a field trip to watch the story in live action.

English teacher Brooke Goerres now has the English 11 Pre-AP class which is invited to go on the trip.  The field trip will take place October 23 at Stage One Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky.

“English Pre-AP 11 students read the novel Frankenstein last year in Mrs. Wishart’s class. It will be a good experience for the students to see the story come to life on stage,” said Goerres.

Wishart and Goerres are both excited for the students to finally see the words they once read come to life in front of them.


Story by Maggie Vincent

Korsmo Jumps to Success

Eighth grader Chloe Korsmo has had an interest in horses since a young age. She has known how to ride a horse since she was five years old.

“I have had a passion for horses ever since I was little. My aunt has two horses I have known and loved since I was a baby. I started taking lessons when I was five, and I absolutely fell in love. Ever since then, I have had a need to always be on a horse,” said Korsmo.

Korsmo started training horses since she was 11 years old. She works with a barn that buys, retrains and sells horses. She mainly trains horses to jump, but she can help with any type of training. A normal day for Korsmo is going straight to work after coming home from school. She gets a list of which horses needs what kind of training. Then, she tacks up and heads down to the arena to get to work.

“I mostly do jumping if they need a horse to be trained to jump because I am the smallest rider, and I have the most experience in jumping. Sometimes, if the horse needs trail experience, we will go out on their trails,” said Korsmo.

Korsmo had to make a lot of adjustments after moving to Indiana. In California, where she used to live, there were more English horses to train than in Indiana.

“Since I moved here, things have been tremendously different in the horse world. There are not nearly as many English barns around here as there were in California. The barns are also a lot more laid back, and there are less rules. I’m riding far less English and jumper than I used to,” said Korsmo.

Korsmo is wanting to make a career out of working with horses. She wants to go to Ohio State University to get a degree in equine business and become a large animal veterinarian. Working with horses has had a huge impact on Korsmo’s life. She has learned many skills from working with horses.

“Working with horses has taught me patience, improved my work ethic and greatly improved my balance. They bring happiness and satisfaction when they finally click with something I’ve been trying to teach them for a while. I will definitely continue to work with horses. It pays well, and I enjoy doing it very much,” said Korsmo.


Story by Angie Ceja

Collins Connects with Music

Sophomore Gracie Collins enjoys writing songs in her free time. Collins has been interested in music since she was young, and her mom inspired her to take the next step to begin writing music.

“[My mom] was in a band, writes songs, sings and plays instruments,” said Collins.

After learning music from her mom, Collins fell in love with it. She enjoys both music and songwriting because of how many possibilities there are.

“You can turn whatever you’re thinking in your mind into a song. I love to be able to get my point of view across with my music,” said Collins.

Collins has written six original songs but has others she either has not finished or doesn’t like. Collins has performed one original song as well as covers. Her favorite songs to cover are “Riptide” by Vance Joy and “Smells like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana. She was nervous to perform for the first time, but she enjoyed the experience. Collins first performed at Paoli Fest in 2018.

“My favorite thing about performing my songs is everything. I don’t have a least favorite thing about performing, but the first time you perform is very nerve-racking,” said Collins.

All of her songs include some kind of instrument. She first taught herself how to play the guitar, but she can now play the guitar, ukulele and some piano. She looks to her mom for advice on songwriting, and she looks to bands for inspiration.

“The bands that inspire me the most are basically punk rock bands; they just have so many thoughts and feelings that are put into their songs, which I try to do with my own songs,” said Collins.

Collins’s advice for someone who wants to get into songwriting is to persevere, even if it gets frustrating or seems hopeless. Collins thinks everyone can connect and fall in love with music just as she did.

“There are no rules with music, you can do whatever you want with it, and no one can tell you it is wrong. I connect with it, and there isn’t much more I feel as connected with as I do with music,” said Collins.


Story by Faith Wilder

Keen Sings to the Beat

Senior Jillian Keen has a very special and important role in the Pride of Paoli’s show this year. In the first part of the show, Jillian sings while junior Hunter Roach plays the soprano saxophone. The song she sings in the duet is called “Pan’s Labyrinth Lullaby” from the movie Pan’s Labyrinth. Band director Ben Werne knew Keen had an amazing voice from hearing her perform with the jazz band and had the idea of using a lullaby for Keen to sing in the show.

“When I was picking music for the show, I needed to find a mysterious, dark sounding beginning, and I kept coming back to the Lullaby from the movie Pan’s Labyrinth. It has a female voice singing the tune, and I decided to use it and have Jillian sing it,” said Werne.

Keen uses a recording of the lullaby to help her improve on her singing. On competition days, she drinks a lot of water and tries to save her voice. Keen also hums softly on the way to warm-ups and the performance to prepare her voice before she starts singing. She makes sure she’s well rehearsed so she’s not as nervous when it comes time to perform.

“Singing in front of audiences has always made me nervous, but at the same time, I live for the feeling, especially when I’m well-rehearsed. It makes me feel as though I can help people connect to what I am singing,” said Keen.

Keen’s solo adds an effect in part one that creates a certain mood. The lullaby has a dark and mysterious sound, which works perfectly for the beginning of the show. Werne wanted to add something unique in the show that other class D bands did not have.

“I think the vocal and soprano saxophone duet provides a very interesting timbre and texture in the opening of our show that not a lot of other class D bands can create. It is something unique to us and impacts the show positively,” said Werne.

Having a vocalist in the show is something new for POP and its audience. Audience members can be more interested by an actual person portraying the notes rather than an instrument. A vocalist can give an effect to the show that instruments cannot.

“I believe that having a vocalist play the part can connect many on such a great level. Playing an instrument is one thing, but you can do so much with singing to get people intrigued and connected to what is being performed,” said Keen.

Keen’s vocalist skills add effect and create the right mood for the beginning of the show, which will continue to impact the performance throughout the season.


Story by Angie Ceja

Drama Club Fall Musical and Spring Play Switched

During this time of year, the drama club traditionally performs their fall musical with a play in the spring. This year, there have been changes to the timing of the play and the musical.

The musical will be in the spring while the play will be in the fall. This change was mainly caused by the drama club participants’ schedules. Typically in the fall, the drama schedule and marching band season barely interfere, so the fall musical is not interrupted. This year, the marching band schedule has changed, and since half of the drama club participants are in band, this has affected the timing of the musical and the play.

“We have talked about trying again to do a musical in the spring, and this year, we decided it was necessary because of changes in the band rehearsal schedule. Musicals are very involved, and we need more practices with everyone than we can squeeze in with the band schedule,” said drama director Maria Wishart.

With the musical moved to the spring, play rehearsals in the fall will not take up a lot of the participants’ time and should work well with the band schedule. It will also allow the drama club to focus on certain skills. They will have workshops to help participants improve on certain skills through tech training as well as acting, auditioning, vocal and dance workshops.

“It has given us some room in the fall schedule to focus on building on fundamental skills needed for musicals. Hopefully it will be an advantage when we start with the musical,” said Wishart.

The drama club may also performances of short scenes, monologues and short, ten-minute plays. With lots of changes in the drama department, Wishart hopes to let everyone who wants to participate in the play or the musical be able to do so.


Story by Angie Ceja

Rams Draw Wolfpack in Sectional Round 1

Postseason play in high school sports, known as Sectional play, is one of the most anticipated times of the year for every athlete. The IHSAA held their 2018 Sectional Pairings Draw for Indiana high school football on Sunday, October 7. As the favorite of Sectional 39, the PHS football team has its eyes set on winning it all and advancing to a Regional matchup.

The draw results were as follows: Perry Central at Eastern (Pekin), Switzerland County at Providence, Mitchell at Clarksville and Paoli at Crawford County. The team on the bottom of each bracket is the home team. Once the round one games have been played, winners will advance to the second round, playing other round one winners. The winner of the Perry Central and Eastern (Pekin) matchup will play the winner of the Switzerland County and Providence matchup. The same goes for the latter half of the bracket, as the winner of the Mitchell and Clarksville game will play the winner of the Paoli and Crawford County game. Following the second round, the final two winners will play each other in the Sectional 39 championship. According to head coach Jeremy Lowery, the draw could not have gone any better for the Rams.

“We got exactly what we wanted. It’s not a cakewalk, so it doesn’t tempt us into relaxing and not playing our best,” said Lowery.

Postseason play begins October 19, as the Rams travel to Crawford County to take on the Wolfpack in the first round of Sectional.


Story by Jace Ingle

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