Category Archives: Features

Leone’s Love for Art Continues

Art has been a hobby for junior Emily Leone for most of her life, and she has been actively involved in the art program at PHS for five years now. Leone is now currently in the studio art pre-AP class. Leone fell in love with art when she was young, thanks to her grandmother, who was one of Leone’s main influences for starting art.

“Most of my time with my grandmother was spent drawing or doing something artistic. A few times during the summer while I was younger, my grandmother would take me to a painting class that she regularly went to,” said Leone.

Like everyone else, Leone was put into art class in elementary school, but she went on to continue making art in junior high. Not only that, but Leone would do art outside of school growing up, but now it is harder to do because of her busy life.

Every artist has their strengths and weaknesses, and Leone is no different. Leone has a passion for drawing inanimate objects, but tries to avoid drawing human figures. Leone believes that it does not matter what it is that a person draws, but how it can benefit them in the future.

“When it comes to art, I think pushing yourself to draw different kinds of things is pretty helpful in the long run. I used to hate drawing human figures, I still kind of do, but the more that I draw them, the more comfortable I am doing it.  I will always love drawing ‘non-living’ things that you find everyday–barns, trucks, tools–but pushing myself to draw things I don’t particularly like pushes me as an artist,” said Leone.

Leone’s speciality when it comes to mediums used to make her art is watercolor. She believes it is the easiest to use, and it is the most versatile. Pencil would be her least favorite medium just because it has been done many times before, and she is burnt out on it. However, it is something that she can always go back to, so that is a plus.

As for her future, Leone is undecided on what career she wants to pursue, but she would not take art completely out of the picture. Leone feels that art is something she can always fall back onto.

“I think it would be cool to at least minor in art throughout college, considering that it has been apart of my life for so long. I do know that I will always keep art as a hobby in the future,” said Leone.


Story by Sara Kesterson

Gofourth TV’s ‘Go to Girl’

Every morning at 8:20, students and staff turn their attention to their classroom televisions for the daily reporting from PHS News Today. Much more work and effort occurs behind the scenes than what viewers may realize. Senior Dorothy Gofourth has been working diligently for the last six years to better the school’s news program. She is the “go-to girl” for PHS News Today, and the show would not go on without her.

“I come in around 7:40 and make sure everything is working. Whether it stays that way for long enough to do the show or not is seemingly random. I’ve fixed problems while we were on-air, found ways around expensive equipment and reorganized the cords. It’s very fun,” said Gofourth.

Gofourth’s interest with computers and technology developed early in her life. She found herself intrigued ever since she stepped foot in Martha Nice’s classroom for the Elm Street Production Company (ESPC) in the second grade.

“​I’ve been interested in the technology for a long time. In elementary, I was in ESPC, and we did some things with technology, like Media Fair. When I first stepped into the studio, I was like a kid in a candy store. There were so many cool looking gadgets, and I wanted to figure out how they all worked. I was very timid at first and terrified to do anything that’d be live, but then I got more comfortable. I think the only job in the studio I haven’t done is anchor, and that’ll never happen,” said Gofourth.

How one comes to their level of ability or skill with technology is not always the same. Some have a natural born talent, while others have to work toward success. For Gofourth and her audio and visual gifts, it was a mixture of both.

“I think being in Advanced Speech and Communications has given me an inside look into what goes on behind the scenes. I’ve learned a lot about the technology by tinkering with things. I wasn’t exactly taught; it was pretty much immersion learning. In the future, I want to be either a producer or editor of some sort of broadcast. My time in the studio has definitely given me a good stepping stone for that,” said Gofourth.

After graduation from PHS in the spring of 2018, Gofourth looks forward to furthering her education in the digital communications field.

“I will be attending Indiana State University. I plan to major in Communications with a focus in media studies and minor in creative writing. On campus, I hope to participate in several groups. There are a handful of political groups I want to look into as well as their broadcasting group. One semester they do radio and one semester they do TV. I hope to join that group,” said Gofourth.

Using what she has learned through others’ teachings and her own experiments, Gofourth is set down a path for success in the audio and visual world.


Story by Hunter Hamilton

Doors Open for Atley’s Voice

We all might love to sing in the car or put on a performance in the shower, but for junior Atley Cook, singing has been a love and a passion ever since she was a little girl. Cook has always taken singing and progressing her voice very seriously, and she has gotten many wonderful opportunities because of her abilities.

Cook knew she wanted to have singing be a huge part in her life when summer school show director Larry Hollan gave her a solo in Oklahoma. She sang “I Can’t Say No.”

“It was my first big solo, and from that point, I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” said Cook.

Cook has been in school choir for eight years, but Cook has not sung at many competitions. She has been in a few talent shows and has won gold at Solo and Ensemble, but Cook can always lean back on the choir program at PHS.

With the help of plays and choir concerts in her earlier years, Cook’s passion for singing grew by watching her brother, Jacob Cook, sing. Cook sees her brother as an inspiration, and ever since she was little, she enjoyed watching him perform in concerts. He always pushed Cook to do better.

Earlier this year, when the drama club put on The Lion King, Cook opened the show with a solo in “The Circle of Life,” which goes down as her all-time favorite solo.

Cook’s talents have even gotten her noticed by the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, a performing arts college located in Los Angeles, California and New York City.

“Last summer, I got a call from AMDA saying they had gotten an email about me from someone and wanted to hear me sing. I sent them a video, and they asked me to put in an audition tape for their summer program there,” said Cook.

Cook did submit an audition tape and was accepted into the summer program. This July, Cook will attend AMDA for two weeks for vocal training and to work on expanding her theater skills. At the end of the two weeks, all of the people accepted into the program will put on show.

Cook is planning on continuing to sing in her future. In the past, she has felt conflicted with continuing a singing career because she is aware that there will be others better than her, but she wants to give it a try and see where it takes her.

“I love music. It’s a big part of my life, and I want to at least try because performing is what makes me happy,” said Cook.


Story by Sara Kesterson

Hall Local Cubing Expert

Many students at PHS have their own hobbies they enjoy outside of school. These hobbies might include skateboarding, drawing, or painting. However, for junior Michael Hall, his hobby is cubing with Rubik’s cubes.

Hall began his cubing journey in the late summer of 2017 when he was scrolling through eBay searching for things to purchase. He came across a standard 3x3x3 Rubik’s cube for only two dollars. Hall remembers solving his first cube and all obstacles and struggles that came with it.

“When the cube arrived, I stayed up all night completing my first solve using the beginner’s method,” said Hall.

Since Hall has been cubing for roughly six months now, he has formed opinions on which parts he enjoys and which parts are his least favorite. Memorization is key to become an advanced cuber, and Hall learned that lesson fast.

“My favorite part about cubing is memorizing the algorithms, then getting to see how some simple algorithms can solve a complex cube. I also enjoy the mental challenge that cubing brings,” said Hall.

After some time in the cubing world, Hall has set up some goals in his mind. By the end of the year, Hall’s goal is to consistently solve a standard 3x3x3 Rubik’s cube in under 20 seconds. His best time is 25 seconds, but he averages around 35 seconds to solve. Since purchasing his first cube on eBay, Hall has bought nine more cubes. All his cubes are very unique in shape and size and are as follows: the standard 3x3x3, 2x2x2, 4x4x4, 5x5x5, Skewb, Pyraminx, Megaminx, Mirror cube, 3x3x1 cuboid and Square-1.

“Each cube takes a different amount of time to solve, based on the difficulty. However, a lot of the cubes use the same algorithms to complete, so that is a plus side,” said Hall.

Hall discovered his hobby for cubing when he took a chance in trying something new. When taking this chance, he realized how much he enjoyed cubing. Hall’s passion for cubing will carry on throughout his life and can benefit him in many mental aspects of his life.

“I would like to put to rest the myth that cubing is extremely hard and involves a lot of math. Cubing involves virtually no math, only the memorization of algorithms and the intuition to put the right piece in the right spot. Anyone can learn to cube,” said Hall.


Story by Jace Ingle

Sophomore Avery Owens Reflects on Youth Council

Sophomore Avery Owens loves making a difference in her community. Owens is an active member of the Orange County Youth Council, also known as OCYC. She has been a member for three years.

“I had several friends signing up at the time, and I thought it would be a good experience for me. I really wanted to try something new, and it felt good knowing that I was going into it with some great people,” said Owens.

The group has monthly meetings, and at each meeting, they make a donation to a different charity.  Youth Council also rings the Salvation Army bells. OCYC makes sure to recognize people in the community who are making a difference through Golden Deeds.

“Youth Council impacts the community by donating to local charities, helping at local events, and providing philanthropy education for the county’s fourth grade students. Youth Council members give their time, talent, and treasure to the community through various means,” said OCYC leader Destany Pingle.

With the work, comes some play. Christmas parties and summer outings hold some of Owens’ favorite memories.

“My first Christmas party in OCYC we played a game where a present is passed around the circle while a story was being read, and somehow Jalyn Engleking ended up with an avocado at the end of the night, it was a very fun time,” said Owens.

Fun and games aside, Owens loves being so involved with her community and knowing she is making a difference.

“I always know I can count on Avery to do whatever she can, even on short notice. This year, the Youth Council decided to give presentations to the seventh graders for National Philanthropy Day, and even though it was short notice, Avery was one of two Youth Council members there to help with the presentation. She makes helping a priority,” said Pingle.

Owens recommends joining the Orange County Youth Council if you are looking for a fun way to help your community.

“Take the opportunity, apply as an eighth grader because it is definitely easier to get accepted,” said Owens.


Story by Kaden Lewellyn


Sophomore Cunningham Excited for Semi-State Play

Sophomore Madison Cunningham plays on the girls varsity basketball team and is ecstatic about the team’s big wins. Winning the Sectional and  Regional titles are a major accomplishment for the girls. Cunningham believes their preparation and hard work is the reason they won.

“To prepare for our Sectional, we practiced with focus and determination and a drive to win. Watching film was also a step to our success,” said Cunningham.

Since entering the State Tournament, the dynamics of the practices have changed.

“Practices are different now because the stakes are so much higher, the enthusiasm within the team is much higher than it has ever been and this takes more focus and determination,” said Cunningham.

She has been playing basketball for six years, and it has become her favorite pastime.

“I chose this sport because I get to express myself. Also, I have made so many new friends along with mentors that shaped me into the player I am today. Winning makes me feel like my hard work paid off,” said Cunningham.  

After training all season and playing for six years, Cunningham saw her championship victories as huge rewards.

“I felt famous! We were all boosting one another up and cheering our heads off. There is no way to describe the feeling I had after our win. It was amazing,” said Cunningham.

She has loved celebrating as a team by going to team dinners. Cunningham has a really good feeling about Semi-State if they practice like they have been in previous weeks.

“Practicing for Semi-State is going well. We’ve been working hard, and our coaches have been working to watch film and learn what steps need to be taken for us to reach our goal of becoming Semi-State champions,” said Cunningham.

Cunningham encourages everyone to find something they love and stick with it. She has learned that by working hard, anything is possible.

Cunningham had simple advice for any athlete.

“Train like it’s your last. Be confident and have faith in what you do. You never know when your games could be cut short, you really never know. Make sure you go strong and go hard in everything you do, not just in sports. Never give up on yourself or your team because the game is not over until the buzzer goes off,” said Cunningham.   


Story by Kaden Lewellyn 

Senior Chaz Becht Reflects on Wrestling Season

Many senior athletes have participated in their sport for years. However, for senior Chaz Becht, wrestling is still new territory for him.

Becht started wrestling his junior year and has spent his senior year continuing to learn new things about the sport each time he went on the mat.

“Learning new things about the sport makes it fun because there are always things I can do better,” said Becht.

One would assume most athletes join a sport due to an interest in it. For Becht, he originally joined to save the program. The team had very few members, so Becht joined to keep the wrestling program going and to introduce himself to something he had never done before.

Many people see mistakes in a sport, but Becht sees wrestling as a sport that only accounts for yourself. If you mess up, it is on you. By using this mindset, Becht has bettered himself and others around him in the wrestling program.

“My favorite part about wrestling is that it is an individual sport, which means if I lose a match, I can’t blame anyone but myself. That is what pushed me to do better than the last match,” said Becht.

Wrestling is not very popular among a lot of schools, especially smaller ones such as PHS. The development of popularity around the school is something that is vital for seasons to come. Having some sort of fan base for any sport is a necessity, and Becht wants that more than anything for the wrestling program.

Wrestling may not be Becht’s most experienced sport he is involved in, but it does not lessen the amount of heart he puts into competition.


Story by Jace Ingle

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