Admin Forming Leadership Group

Wise Seeks Student Input to Improve the School Environment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Story by Michael Hannon

Farm-to-Table Goes High Tech

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Story by Peyton Baker

PACT Angel Tree Seeks Sponsors

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

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

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

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

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

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

Story by Masden Embry

Blessings Continue

Groups Support Throop Program; Fight Hunger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Story by Corrine Magner

New Junior High Squad Brings Spirit to Sidelines

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

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

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

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

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

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

Goerres had simple advice to those students starting this season.

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

Story by Ashleigh Garcia