Category Archives: Features

Musicians Plan Summer Trip to Europe

On June 15, 2018, a major trip will be underway for some very talented students. Those students will be going on a trip for just over three weeks to different countries throughout Europe.

This trip was founded by Dr. Joe Scagnoli in 1996 and occurs every two years. Two summers ago, the following students from PHS went on this trip: former PHS student McKinley Haley, former PHS student Caleb Baumgardner and senior Livia Sullivan. This year, a new group of students are about to prepare for this trip, junior Breanna Ward and sophomores Jacob Tapp and Rheanna Jones.

During the trip, the students will get to go to a variety of different places and experience things they never have before. They will first go to London, England for three days and Paris, France for three days. Then, they will travel to Crans-Montana, Switzerland and stay there for three days, where they will make a one day trip to The Matterhorn. Next will be a three day stay in Seefeld and Innsbruck, Austria with a one day trip to Venice, Italy. Finally, they will stay three days in Rotenburg, Germany.

“When we leave London, the Colorado Ambassadors land there.  When we leave Paris, Colorado moves to Paris and Wisconsin’s Ambassadors land in London etc. It kind of works like a factory line,” said band director Bill Laughlin.

In their free time, students will have a variety of different things they will be able to do. They can go on their own little adventures of the city, but they may also take guided tours of special parts. They can also try out new restaurants and get to enjoy the flavors that city has to offer.

“There’s going to be free time everyday for us to explore and eat lunch.  We also go on tours almost everyday of the city that we are in for that day,” said junior Breanna Ward.

With a trip like this, a lot goes into the selection of the students. For one, students must be mature enough to travel, able to play a solo at Solo and Ensemble and must have a good standing in their music program. The students also have to be recommended by their band director. Then, once the nominations reach the staff of IAM, Indiana Ambassadors of Music, a letter of congratulations is sent to those who have been nominated. In that letter, there is an invite to a local meeting that explains the trip and provides the paperwork necessary to go on the trip. Then, a deposit and monthly payments go towards paying for the trip.

In May 2018, students will attend a one day workshop at Ball State University, where they will receive and practice their music and take measurements for their performance shirts and jackets. Then, in June, students will return to Ball State to meet for three days to prepare their concert and pack instruments and equipment. They will then head out for London on June 18, 2018.


Story by Michael Hannon

Construction Trades Class Impacts Community

PHS gives students many great learning opportunities outside of academics. There are many classes and activities that include many hands-on learning experiences. The construction trades class, taught by Jon Shellenberger, has recently given students a chance to learn about construction while also impacting the lives of others.

“There are many good jobs available in the construction field, and through participating in the construction trades program, the students are presented with many opportunities to open doors to a successful, enjoyable and profitable career,” said Shellenberger.

The biggest project the construction class is working on right now is the construction of the Habitat for Humanity house in Paoli. The house is located behind the Dillman-Scott Funeral Home on Thorton Street. This year, Shellenberger, along with 25 students, will be working at the site.

Habitat for Humanity helps provide homes for families who do not have a home. While the students help build the home, they learn the skills needed for any field in construction as well as basic skills they could use in everyday life, while also providing someone with a home. This project is a great learning opportunity and allows the students to benefit the community.

“Even if you’re not interested in construction, taking construction trades is good to take just for basic knowledge on how to do things around the house,” said senior Pete Penn.

Along with helping students develop construction skills, Shellenberger is leading students in the right direction after high school and helping them get good jobs.

Right now, the construction trades program is one of the best and strongest programs at PHS for building and construction.

This project overall is very important and meaningful to Shellenberger and the students taking part.

“I hope that they experience the value of supporting organizations like Habitat for Humanity and continue participating in community service opportunities,” said Shellenberger.


Story by Avery Owens

Junior Emma Osborn Looking Forward to Tennis Season

Junior Emma Osborn has been playing tennis for more than half of her life. Osborn started in kindergarten through camps and instantly fell in love with the sport.

“It seemed cool, and at the time, I wanted to try all sports. I first joined because I had figured out my love for tennis and wanted to share something with my sisters,” said Osborn.

Osborn became a member of the tennis team during third grade as the manager. During her freshman year, Osborn joined varsity playing third singles. In both years that she has played, Osborn won MVP.

Although she loves all of it, Osborn’s favorite part of playing tennis is the adrenaline rush that comes with it.

“During the point, you feel a rush, as if everything is happening so quickly. After the point is over and the time the serve comes, it is like time slows down, and all there is in the world is you and the ball,” said Osborn.

Her favorite memory stems from when she played Providence in a four hour match her sophomore year. Osborn said that the match was very challenging, but it taught her multiple life lessons.

The only thing Osborn wishes was different about tennis is that there were classes.

“In Regional, I could be playing a 3A school, while in other sports you would be playing schools in the same class or division. This may be my least favorite thing, but this encourages me to work harder in order to be even with the higher schools,” said Osborn.

For her junior season, Osborn hopes to beat Jasper, the girls’ tennis rivalry school, and to be first singles.

Osborn said that without her coaches, she would not be where she is today.

“Coach T and Coach Wells continuously push me to be better and have taught me that I will never win without having the mentality of a winner,” said Osborn.  


Story by Rebekah Reeves

4-H Life Grants Umpleby Opportunities and Awards

Often times, when students begin an activity they started back in elementary school, they do not stick with it. However, this is certainly not the case for junior Rachel Umpleby. Umpleby has been a proud member of the Orange County 4-H organization for almost ten years. Since being introduced to mini 4-H in first grade and joining regular 4-H in third grade, Umpleby has completed a wide variety of projects throughout her years.

“I attended 4-H camp twice in elementary school, and I participated in pig wrestling for four years. Projects I have taken include sheep, pigs, horses, a cat, electricity, photography, home environment, floriculture, model rockets and various arts and crafts projects,” said Umpleby.

Umpleby now only takes her favorite projects, horses and floriculture. Not only has she completed numerous projects in her years, Umpleby has succeeded tremendously and received many rewards for her outstanding work on projects.

“I have won Outstanding 4-Her, the Brownfield Network Showmanship Award and REMC Electricity Project awards. I have also won awards for champion and grand champion in the various projects I have taken,” said Umpleby.

When 4-Hers turn in projects for judging, ratings such as first, second and third place are given out. Furthermore, if projects are completed well enough, grand champions and reserved champions are also given out. However, only certain projects are selected to be judged past the county level, at the state level. Umpleby has had a project selected for state competition every year she has been in 4-H. This impressive feat was accomplished with a variety of different projects throughout the years.

“At the State Fair, I showed my horse one year, but every other project was non animal. I’ve had electricity, floriculture, photography, home environment and model rockets go to the State Fair. I’ve gotten blue ribbons on each non animal project and usually special merit as well. I placed second in reining at State Fair with my horse,” said Umpleby.

Umpleby believes 4-H is a fun way to learn how to do new things and gain new skills. Finishing out her ten years as a 4-Her will add more to Umpleby’s list of impressive 4-H accomplishments. Aside from the fun it brings Umpleby, there are some other advantages 4-H gives regarding her future education.

“4-H is sponsored by Purdue, and I am interested in going there for college. Scholarships or other advantages may be available if I attend Purdue because of my involvement in 4-H,” said Umpleby.

4-H has taught Umpleby many lessons over the years and will benefit her in many ways in the future. By participating in 4-H, she has learned that hard work pays off, and trying new things can be beneficial.

“4-H has given me the opportunity to explore new things and try projects I wouldn’t have otherwise. It has also given me the opportunity to meet new friends, and we have had a lot of fun at the fairgrounds preparing and showing animals. It’s rewarding to see all my hard work and preparing paying off,” said Umpleby.


Story by Jace Ingle



Youth Council Creates a Culture of Giving

Throughout our lives, we are urged to do good in the world. Some of our own PHS students are involved in the Orange County Youth Council to participate in their own works of philanthropy.
Youth Council includes teens in grades eight through twelve from all over Orange County who want to make a difference. Paoli has numerous students involved, including eighth graders Noah Chaplin, Laykin Busick and Caleb Jones, sophomores Addison Wells, Avery Owens, Grayson McGowen, Madison Cunningham, Jalyn Engleking and Noah McSpadden and juniors Isaiah Jones and Maggie McGowen.
“I joined OCYC because I enjoy helping people. I knew Youth Council was a good opportunity to get out and do some community service,” said Owens.
OCYC performs all kinds of projects to benefit our community and the citizens within it. Some projects include giving donations, helping out local schools and volunteering with community projects. Once a month, OCYC meets for a meeting in which they donate to a different charity or company each time.
“I enjoy the project we do for the Humane Society because that’s what I’m most passionate about,” said Wells.
OCYC is open for all students to join as eighth graders.
“We encourage students to apply because it is a great opportunity, and you learn a lot from it. It’s not overly time consuming. Youth Council has a great group of students involved,” said Owens.


Story by Maggie Vincent


NJHS President Owens Leads Group in Service to Community

National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society are two organizations in our school that are completely devoted to service for our community. Members of these organizations spend their time in our community with their helping hands performing service.

Freshman Haley Owens takes the meaning of service above and beyond. Last year, Owens completed 18 service opportunities when only required to complete three. The great amount of dedication led her to receive a $500 scholarship from the national office.

“This is a special honor because it is a national scholarship chosen by the national office.  I nominated Haley because of how much time she devotes to volunteering,” said National Honor Society sponsor Jaye Brewster.

Owens was first inducted into National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) her eighth grade year. This year, Owens hopes to reach 60 or more service opportunities.

“It will take a lot of dedication, but I will get it done,” said Owens.

This year, Owens is representing NJHS as president.  She was elected by her fellow NJHS members.

“She is selfless and always willing to extend her help to NHS, but more importantly to the school and community,” said Brewster.


Story by Maggie Vincent

Laughlin Honored As Distinguished Hoosier

Bill Laughlin, Pride of Paoli’s band director, received one of the “highest tributes given out by the State of Indiana to its citizens,” the Distinguished Hoosier Award. This award is given to Hoosiers who have brought honor and respect to Indiana through their singularity and achievements. State Representatives may nominate people from their districts who they feel have met these standards. A selection committee approves the choices, and the Governor will sign the proclamation. This is a way of honoring people who have contributed greatly to our state.

Laughlin received this award February 9 during the Paoli high school boys basketball game against Orleans.

Luke Aylsworth, band director of Springs Valley, was the genesis of this project.

Laughlin had no idea what was in store for him that night. His band was playing their music and getting ready for the Star Spangled Banner when Jerry Stroud began reading the proclamation. Laughlin still had no idea until Stroud mentioned his name.

“What a fantastic surprise! Several people already knew about it, including a few band boosters, as they arranged to get Mrs. Laughlin to the game so that she could see the presentation. That was a terrific surprise as well! Gayle had not been to a ball game in 6 or 7 years,” said Laughlin.

Laughlin felt humbled and honored to receive the Distinguished Hoosier Award.  

“Humbled in that I simply try to be the best music teacher possible on a daily basis, which can be difficult on some days, and do my thing.  Honored in that so many people think highly of me to recommend that kind of recognition.  Recognition from our peers is the best thing, as it comes from those who know us best and see our work often,” said Laughlin.

Laughlin was very touched by the fact the Band Boosters assisted in making sure his wife was present and kept it a great secret.

“Mrs. Laughlin and I were the band directors here for 20 years until she retired. Band is something that we joined up in the junior high years and are still involved in today,” said Laughlin.

While Aylsworth helped with setting all of this up, band parents and students had their fair share of plotting and scheming as well.

“Mr. Laughlin has had a huge impact on so many kids in our area, not just Paoli band kids,   Orleans and Springs Valley band kids as well. Either through private lessons or words of encouragement, he has helped many. He has guided many student teachers into the early days of their profession and offered assistance to many young directors around the state. He realizes we are here to make the world around us better, and he strives to do that daily. There is no question, for anyone who really knows him, he has made life better for many of the people he has come in contact with. The life lessons you learn under Bill’s guidance last a lifetime,” said band parent Jamey Sullivan.

Laughlin is humble about receiving the award.

“I would like everyone to know that I never think of myself as anyone special. There are other band directors out there who have greater musical skills, greater marching skills, greater organizational skills, and greater motivation skills.  What I do have is a great love of teaching, a great love of music, and a deep sense of gratitude that God has allowed me to do both for a career! It’s not about me, but about the opportunities I have to succeed. I succeed by making others better,” said Laughlin.


Story by Gracie Walls

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