Category Archives: Features

Garcia Learns Lessons from Cheer

Some people believe everything happens for a reason and if it’s meant to be, it will be. For seventh grader Nadia Garcia, these phrases hold true for her journey with school cheer.

Garcia did not try out for the junior high squad when tryouts were hosted last school year, but Garcia joined midway through the basketball season.

“I joined midseason because one of the other cheerleaders quit, and they needed another girl. I felt good about it, considering other girls could have joined, but the coach chose me,” said Garcia.

This obstacle the team experienced was easily fixed by adding Garcia, especially since she has cheered in the past in fifth and sixth grade. Surprisingly, Garcia jumping into the squad midseason only came with a few challenges. In her mind, the most difficult part about the process was learning all of the cheers.  

“I adjusted to the team pretty well. I learned the cheers by staying after school with the other girls,” said Garcia.

With every group that runs on teamwork, things are bound to go wrong, which is Garcia’s least favorite thing about cheerleading. However, to Garcia, the ability to pick herself and her team back up after making a mistake is the most important part. Learning from their mistakes is half the process of improving as a team.

Her teammates are a lot of the reason why Garcia loves cheerleading so much. Garcia has appreciated the memories she has created with the other girls on her team. When Garcia is eventually done cheering, her teammates are what she is going to miss the most.

“I feel great when I am with them. The laugher and everything is all great,” said Garcia.

Although Garcia enjoys cheerleading, she is unsure about participating in the future. With her participation in other activities, such as volleyball, cheering another season could be overwhelming. Although this is her reality, Garcia does not take for granted her time as a PHS cheerleader.


Story by Sara Kesterson

Beaty Dedicates Free Time to Competitive Cheer

Many students have activities they participate in or hobbies they like to do outside of the school environment. For sophomore Lauryn Beaty, her hobby is competitive cheerleading. Beaty was only three years old when she started in gymnastics, and that turned her to start competitive cheer when she was five.

Her first team was in Paoli, Indiana. Now, she is involved with the Full Out program in Jasper, Indiana and is on a team called Lady Lim3.

Her team is comprised of 27 girls, and they are very successful. They are second in the nation currently, which is their highest award. Beaty has traveled as far as Orlando, Florida for cheer competitions.

She likes that she can be a part of something where she gets to travel, and she enjoys meeting new people at competitions. On the other hand, Beaty doesn’t like how much she has to miss out on school events.

In a week, Beaty usually practices two times for two hours. However, her coach can add more practices if they have a big competition coming up. On a normal practice day, they first start with stretching and warming up by doing what is in their routine. Then, they usually go over the routine as many times as they can.

These practices are for them to prepare for their competitions. A competition day can be very busy for Beaty and her team.

“We wake up early and eat a healthy breakfast. Then, we go back to our hotel room to get ready for the competition. We are normally expected to meet two hours early, and at that time, we all check in with our team mom and wait until it’s time to go backstage to warm up. That normally takes an hour to get through, and then we get in line to go on stage. After competing, we wait until we have awards to find out what we placed,” said Beaty.

In the future, Beaty would like to continue cheering in college, but is undecided where.

“I don’t know where, but I have always watched the IU cheerleaders and the Alabama cheerleaders,” said Beaty.  

Beaty has been taught perseverance from cheer beyond what you learn about just the cheer leading.  

“The advice I can give someone who wants to get involved in competitive cheer is that you need to be dedicated to cheer, and you need to love what you are doing,” said Beaty.


Story by Faith Wilder

Lee Dances to the Beat

Seventh grader Jadlyn Lee has participated in dance since she was in first grade. She is a part of the Jean-Marie Dance Studio in Vincennes, Indiana. She types of dance she participates in are Hip Hop, Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Gymnastics, Skills and Contemporary. Lee either dances solo or with her partner, Mallory. Her oldest sister, Renee, was involved in dance, so Lee decided she wanted to try it too.

“Even though I joined in the first grade, I participated in my first competition just last year. I  compete against girls or boys that are in seventh grade or above,” said Lee.

She will be traveling to St. Louis, Missouri and Nashville, Tennessee for competitions this year. Lee competed in two competitions last year, but she will be competing in four different competitions this year. For Lee, competitions begin at 8 a.m. and will not usually end until 10 p.m each day. In preparation, she practices for four to five hours two times a week, going over both of the routines they have for all their competitions for this year.

“I perform my solo at all four, but Mallory’s and my duo will only be performed at two competitions,” said Lee.

Lee encourages others to get involved with dance.

“It is a lot of fun. You get to have different bonds with different people,” said Lee.

Lee plans to continue to cheer into high school and also wants to continue into her college years.

“I am wanting to attend the University of Kentucky and be a cheerleader or dancer in college,” said Lee.

Dance has taught her skills that go farther than just how to dance. She believes it has taught her to meet new people and it has showed her how to help others achieve their goals.  These skills will be beneficial throughout her life.


Story by Faith Wilder

Robotics Club Preparing for Competition

The abundance of extracurricular activities and clubs that PHS possesses is eye opening. The most prominent and popular activities at the school include sports teams, Booster Club, NHS or even SADD. However, the most popular clubs aren’t always seen as the most interesting. The PHS Robotics Club has attracted many technology-minded students.

The Robotics Club is a modern edition of the collection of activities PHS has to offer, and it has had its share of successes. Most would see robotics as a club, which it is; however, it is also known as an extracurricular activity due to the fact that it involves just as much time and competition than any other activity at the school. The Robotics Club is sponsored by engineering teacher Mable Zehr.

“Being a part of robotics gives you the opportunity to innovate and learn a few new things while you do it. It’s pretty cool,” said Zehr.

Most people are unfamiliar with what the Robotics Club actually accomplishes on a daily basis. The building of robots is not easy. The process begins with assembly or physical construction of the robot. This part is vital, as only so many parts are allowed on your robot for it to be eligible for competition. In that sense, every piece counts and can make a difference when competition arises. However, physical assembly is not the only part of building a robot. Once the robot is assembled, coding of the robot must take place in order for it to function properly. Coding is the process of assigning a code to something for the purposes of classification or identification. These codes are a combination of words and letters, sometimes numbers, that act as commands for a computer, or in this case, a robot. The codes tell the robot what to do in general or based on its surroundings. For example, a robot might be coded to move forward for a certain length of time, turn right for a certain length of time, then stop. The overall construction of the robot takes roughly six weeks, but the coding takes the bulk of the time. Throughout the years, Zehr has noticed some patterns about her students regarding the construction and coding of robots.

“I have noticed that the more mechanically-inclined kids are better at the physical construction, and the kids that are into gaming are better at the coding part of it,” said Zehr.

Currently, the team is working on a robot hockey game. Their robots will compete at the Hoosier Hills Career Center in Bloomington on February 9. They have seen competitions before; however, this one is different. For the first time, the robots they have built will be able to wound and possibly destroy competing robots in the hockey game.

The Robotics Club is a great way to enhance your innovation skills and meet some new people. However, it is also a great start to discover an in-demand career path. Several engineering pathways are linked directly with robotics. Many students notice their interest in the engineering field because of their membership in the Robotics Club.

For Zehr, however, it isn’t about the high-leveled thinking or creative building, but the students she has the privilege to work with on a daily basis.

“I have the most amazing students and I get to meet the coolest kids in the world,” said Zehr. “They teach me just as much as I teach them.”


Story by Jace Ingle

Dickey’s Days at Shelter

Pets are a part of our everyday lives, but not all of them have people to to be a part of theirs. Freshman Katie Dickey is an employee at the Orange County Humane Society in Paoli. Dickey works there with her mom, Shelter Director Lisa Dickey.

The shelter cares for animals in the community until they find homes.

Dickey has been a volunteer at the shelter since she was eight and an employee since December 2018. After receiving her position, Dickey began to take care of the cats. She feeds them, cleans their cages, gives them medicine and takes their pictures. It’s hard, but enjoyable, work.

“I have worked there for years and have always loved working with the animals,” said Dickey.

Dickey loves all the pets at the shelter. She doesn’t have a favorite, but if she had to pick one, it would be a cat named Jay. He has lived at the shelter for three years.

“He can be a big brat sometimes. He’s allowed to do and go wherever he wants, but when he wants food, he makes sure you know,” said Dickey.

Dickey’s favorite part of working at the shelter is when an animal she has been caring for gets adopted. Some who have been abused or neglected in their pasts have found good homes through the society.

“Each and every dog and cat have their own personalities and stories. Some have been abused and some grew up on the streets,” said Dickey.

Volunteers are always welcomed at the animal shelter. They are put to work spending time with the animals. Volunteers just need to keep the animals happy until they receive a forever home. Dickey encourages others to volunteer at the Orange County Humane Society.

“I treat the animals like they’re my own pets. Helping get the dogs and cats get adopted is the best thing people could do for those animals. Adopting from an animal shelter is better than any pet shop,” said Dickey.


Story by Jozalyn Kempf

4-H Sends Engleking to D.C.

Preparing for college can be a very stressful time for students, so many start planning their future early. Recently, junior Jalyn Engleking went on a trip that would help her now in Paoli, but the trip also included a scholarship, which will help her in the future.

On January 10, Engleking traveled to the National 4-H Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland. She was joined by three other people: 4-H Extension Agent Abby Heidenreich, Springs Valley student Reed Tarr and homeschooled student Bella Cassidy. Engleking is the first person from Paoli High School to have received this honor.

“Jalyn was selected based on the fact that she is a very well-rounded student who possesses the characteristics of a true leader. She has intelligence, poise and communication skills that can affect great change today and in future generations. Our hope is that she will continue to develop those skills by attending training sessions, like the one in Washington, D.C., to better position herself for a successful future and use those talents to make the world a better place for everyone,” said agriculture teacher Cory Scott.

While on the trip, Engleking got to attend many workshops and events. The workshops were The Science of GMOs, How to Graft Tomatoes, The Magic of Digestion, Senses with Chocolate, AgTanks and The Smelly Side of Animal Production.

In The Science of GMOs, Engleking learned how GMOs are produced and the good things they are used for, such as insulin and different medical purposes. She plans to use what she learned at this workshop to tell people that not all GMOs are bad, and many people use GMOs in everyday things.

In the How to Graft Tomatoes workshop, Engleking learned how and why people graft tomatoes and other plants. Grafting is when a plant is placed in the trunk or stem of another living plant, which is where it receives sap to grow. She plans on using this information to grow tomatoes here at PHS to produce a bigger, better tomato plant.

While at The Magic of Digestion workshop, Engleking learned about different parts of animals and their processes of digestion.

The Senses with Chocolate workshop taught her about how smell affects taste and how the brain can trick someone into thinking something is a certain flavor based on its color.

In the AgTanks workshop she attended, Engleking learned about advertising and how certain advertisements influence people to buy a product.

While at The Smelly Side of Animal Production workshop, Engleking learned about animal waste management and how to dispose of it without polluting waterways.

“We went to an AGsploration Activity, where we learned about the different products that come from different plants and animals. We also went to a Real Colors activity, where we found out what our color was based on our personality, after taking a personality quiz. Then, you got to work with other people that were the same color and learn how to work with other people that were different colors,” said Engleking.

Engleking plans on using her experience and knowledge to help advance our high school’s agriculture department into a better place for our students and community.


Story by Michael Hannon

Andrys Experience the World Through Hiking

While some couples may spend their date nights at a nice restaurant and movie, a certain couple at PHS spends their time together in a quite different way. Law enforcement teacher Paul Andry and science teacher Laurie Jo Andry have been together 42 years and have resorted to a different way to spend time together. Beginning about a year and a half ago, the Andrys started their hiking adventures.

Paul had began hiking about a year and a half ago to prepare for an elk hunting trip he was going to take with their son, Corey. He knew he would have to be in shape for the trip, and that’s where their hobby began.

“I just started to go with him about a year ago. We both enjoy nature, and we enjoy doing stuff together,” said Laurie Jo Andry.

The adventures first began when Paul purchased kayaks for Christmas, and they began kayaking trips. Hiking seemed like another fun outdoor activity they could enjoy together. Their first outing was somewhat of a trying experience. They decided to venture out to a loop close to librarian Brenda Eubank’s house, out past Pine Valley, where it began to rain midway through.

“It had been raining the day before too, so the trail was muddy. I didn’t really have good rain gear. We got to a part in the trail where we needed to cross a creek. The problem was that the creek was really high.  I had new hiking boots, and they were waterproof, but they weren’t hip-waders, so we had to go around. So we left the trail, not a good idea. I fell several times. I was dripping wet and cold and generally miserable,” said Laurie Jo.

Luckily, their following trips were a bit more pleasant. The next trip was a walk out to Hemlock Cliffs in Crawford County. Though they got lost and didn’t see what they were aiming to see, it was still a nice stroll.

“It’s not that it’s hard to find once you find the right parking lot, but that parking lot is out of the way, and we parked and hiked the long way around. Even that was fun. We were outside and together, and that’s all that mattered. Well, and the fact that it wasn’t raining that day,” said Laurie Jo.

Eventually, hiking became a great hobby they enjoyed together. The couple has trekked through many local destinations, such as Spring Mill, trails around the French Lick Resort, Hemlock Cliffs and Hoosier National Forest. Some out-of-state sites they have visited include Golden Gate Park in California, Garden of the Gods in Illinois and their favorite, Yosemite National Park in California.

“We camped at the famous Camp 4 campground. Tent camping with no electricity in a communal type campground was a cool experience in itself,” said Laurie Jo.

Camping there allowed them to meet people from many different places.

“There were people from all over the world there. We shared our campsite with a couple of guys from Belgium, and a girl from Holland was next door. Another couple at our site were writers for a climbing conservancy magazine. There were people from the Japan, the Phillipines and several other places at the campground with us, ” said Laurie Jo.

This trip was a time they both will never forget, especially because of a terrifying experience. They decided to begin a hike out to The Cathedral Peaks in the Sierra Mountain, where elevation reaches 1000 feet. During their hike back, they heard what sounded like thunder, and they were in for quite a surprise.

“I stop to look in the direction the sound came from to see the snow on the mountain directly above us start to move! We were directly in the path of an avalanche!  I was so terrified that I couldn’t move,” said Laurie Jo.

Luckily, the snow stopped before it could reach them, but it was a surreal experience.

Some of their favorite times were spent in Yosemite, from the beautiful scenes, to the new friends made and time spent together.

“The views along the way are the most majestic and gorgeous scenes I will ever witness on this planet. Those memories are and will always be cherished. Yosemite is almost magical that way. At every turn, there is something incredible to see and do,” said Laurie Jo.

In the future, the Andrys are hoping to hike a piece of the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park, Tennessee or the Carolinas.

“I don’t think we will ever through hike the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail, but it’s kind of a fun romantic dream kind of thing to think about,” said Laurie Jo.


Story by Maggie Vincent

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