Category Archives: Features

Nikkila to Leave PHS Early

This year, a few juniors will be added to the graduating class of 2019. One of these students is junior Cailah Nikkila. She was eligible to graduate a year early by having all her credits for her diploma complete. When Nikkila set up her schedule to graduate early, she wanted to accomplish something nobody else in her family had done and to give herself more time to start a career.

“I decided I wanted to get done with school as early as possible. I went to talk to Mr. Unsicker to work out a schedule, and I had made enough credits to double my classes and finish this year,” said Nikkila.

Nikkila was encouraged to graduate early by fellow junior Jericho Drake. Her grandparents were also supportive and helpful with the decision.

“I am moving to California to live with a family friend after graduating high school. I will also be attending college there and hope to have a music career,” said Nikkila.

Throughout high school, Nikkila has formed many enjoyable memories in choir and drama. The concerts and the plays always made her excited, but the Veterans Day program in 2017 was her favorite performance.

“I felt like we did a really good job on the song. It was an eight part harmony, and    I feel like that song was an accomplishment,” said Nikkila.

Nikkila would tell anyone interested in graduating early to be determined to do it and willing to miss out on senior year. Nikkila will always remember the memories she made in high school.

“I will really miss seeing my friends and the teachers I have good relationships with. Cherish the time you have in school even when it really sucks because you will never get that time back,” said Nikkila.


Story by Lili Seals

Douthitt Plans Career in Cyber Security

Senior Nick Douthitt has always had a passion for understanding technology and the many advances that have occured. In today’s world, technology has seemed to incorporate itself into the daily lives of almost everyone. With that being said, the opportunities in the technological field are endless. One specific field Douthitt finds most interesting is cyber security.

Cyber security is the protection of internet-connected systems from cyber attacks. This includes hardware, software and data. Cyber security is used by businesses to protect against unauthorized access to data centers and other computerized systems.

“Cyber security has always interested me because it is an elaborate process. I like having to think through all the processes and having to figure out a way to solve the problems at hand,” said Douthitt.

Douthitt’s dad, Alan Rutherford, influenced him in the technological field. Rutherford has worked as the technology director at PHS for many years. However, Douthitt has always has a knack for technology himself. For as long as Douthitt could remember, he has been around technology. Douthitt started out by fixing cell phones and computers for his friends and family, but has since moved on to having an interest in 3D printers.

Douthitt first became interested in cyber security specifically after he watched a documentary about former United States CIA employee Edward Snowden.

“This documentary particularity interested me because it made me realize how important cyber security actually is and continues to be,” said Douthitt.

Douthitt enjoys the idea that there is a new challenge at hand every day. No two days on the job are never going to be the same. It is important to have good problem solving skills to go into this field because there are going to be situations arise suddenly.

“Problem solving skills are important because you need to be able to think of a solution quickly that is actually going to work to solve the issue,” said Douthitt.

Cyber security is an extremely important to business because it is vital to protect their internet softwares and information they may have stored on different hardwares. This continues to be a field in high demand, and Douthitt is ready to take on the responsibilities of a cyber security professional.

After graduation, Douthitt plans to attend Purdue University. He plans to major in cyber security with a minor in forensics. Douthitt hopes to pursue a career path dealing with antiterrorism or forensics in the future.


Story by Madison Street

Blankenbaker Creates Beauty


You may know her as the girl on the basketball court making threes or getting kills on the volleyball court. Whatever you know her for, she is making a new name for herself. Junior Audrey Blankenbaker is not only talented in her field of sports, but has now ventured into a passion for hair and makeup.

Blankenbaker has been doing makeup since she was 13 but has now become more invested in her passion.

“I have always been pretty good at hair and makeup, but I have recently picked it back up and started doing other people’s to get practice,” said Blankenbaker.

To advance her skills to a higher level, Blankenbaker is excited to do more girls’ hair and makeup and see where it takes her.

“I’m hoping this year to have a lot of girls ask me to do their hair and makeup for Morp and Prom. I even have a wedding coming up next fall, so that will really help,” said Blankenbaker.

Though she still has three semesters left until graduation, Blankenbaker is anticipating this path to lead her to attend Paul Mitchell Cosmetology of Louisville after graduating. She is then hoping to open a salon at some point after she furthers her cosmetology education.

“I really want to do something I love, and love this,” said Blankenbaker.


Story by Maggie Vincent

Drake Gets Early Start on Future

Seniors are usually the ones to bid farewell as they walk across the steps to graduate, but this year a junior will be added to the crowd. Junior Jericho Drake is a student whose academics have led her to graduate a year earlier than others. Drake decided to graduate early in hopes to jumpstart her future.

“I decided to graduate early so I can get a head start on my future. I like to challenge myself, so I thought decided to double up on some classes and get it done,” said Drake.  

After graduation, Drake is planning to continue her education at Indiana University Southeast while majoring in elementary education. After freshman year, she hopes to transfer to IU Bloomington. Transferring to the Bloomington campus will give Drake the opportunity to get a dual degree in elementary education as well as elementary special education.

Drake is very grateful to a few teachers who have helped her get to where she is today.

“I definitely want to thank my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Apple, for pushing me to try my hardest even when things weren’t going the best outside of school. At the time, I was frustrated, but years later, I am thankful I had a teacher who cared enough to push me even if it meant upsetting me,” said Drake.

Another teacher she has to thank is study hall supervisor Caitlyn Menchaca for always helping her through hard times.

“I am grateful for Mrs. Menchaca because I know I can go to her for any of my problems, and she always brings me back down to earth and makes me realize it’s not the end of the world,” said Drake.

When Drake graduates, she will miss out on the the fourth and final year of high school, but she has fond memories to take with her. Her favorite parts of high school have been Friday night football games and getting to spend study hall with her boyfriend. Drake has made the best of her high school years even if she only had three.

“It doesn’t matter how you get it done, just graduate. Push yourself to the limit,” said Drake.


Story by Maggie Vincent

Ingle’s Love of Sports Found in Print

Finding a passion can be a long, difficult process. However, for senior Jace Ingle, discovering his love of writing came early on, specifically his journalistic style of writing for the Paolite.

Ingle joined the Paolite staff in eighth grade, directly after being in journalism teacher Heather Nichols’ intro to media class.

“I wanted to join because I have always loved writing, and intro to media really introduced me to the whole world of writing,” said Ingle.

Starting out, Ingle did not have a set pattern when it came to what he wrote about. In the beginning, he was assigned random stories. It was when he started to be assigned to sports stories he found his interest in sports writing. Ingle is now a designated sports writer. Despite this, he occasionally writes stories which are not sports related.

“I can always provide a lot of information about sports and sporting events, and I could write pages about a sports game with the only challenge being to trim it up. It’s like writing about sports takes no effort compared writing about anything else,” said Ingle.

Being a student journalist does not come easy; his biggest challenge is dealing with controversial stories. To Ingle, having to write controversial stories is the hardest part.

“When I wrote about IHSAA policies regarding illegal behavior, I had to be cautious on my wording to be sure I didn’t upset anyone,” said Ingle.

Writing for the high school media department requires a lot of time and effort, and Ingle quickly learned this while being on staff. Additionally, Ingle has learned responsibility, accountability, how to avoid procrastination and to be aware of due dates.

Over the years, Ingle’s writing has won multiple awards over a few different platforms. Ingle has received Best Sports Story from the Southern Indiana Student Press Association Fall Convention at Indiana University Southeast as well as the Indiana High School Press Association Fall Convention at Franklin College on a few different occasions. Ingle has also won Second Place Best Review from the Southern Indiana Student Press Association Fall Convention.

Ingle has been represented many times in PHS’s newspaper and yearbook. It will be hard for him to leave it all behind. In his future career plans, Ingle will not be able to participate in the type of writing he loves to do.

“I know I can write whenever I feel like it, but the Paolite offers [the opportunity] for it to be read by a whole audience of people,” said Ingle.

After high school, Ingle plans on majoring in nursing and receiving his Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, but he has yet to decide a college to attend. Ingle wants to eventually become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, but he is open to change.


Story by Sara Kesterson

Manship Inspired by Señora Carter

As the school year is moving along, seniors especially are trying to figure out their futures. For senior Audrey Manship, she has had it figured out for quite some time. After high school, Manship plans to become a teacher, specifically a Spanish teacher. Manship has always known she wanted to be a teacher, but the Spanish part only came to her last year.

“I have always had a special place in my heart for education, both my mom and my mamaw are teachers. I have loved Spanish since the first day I walked in to Mrs. Carter’s class. She makes learning fun, and I want to be able to do that for someone also,” said Manship.

From being in Spanish class with Spanish teacher Rachel Carter, Manship has discovered that learning Spanish comes naturally to her, and it is easy to pick up on. Carter has taught Manship more than just Spanish in her three years of being in her class. Manship realizes that being a teacher is more than the actual subject being taught; it is also about caring for the students and getting to know them as a person.

“Being Mrs. Carter’s TA my senior year has let me see all the things she does in preparation for her students. It basically gives me a backstage look into her teaching life,” said Manship.

Because she has close family members who are teachers, Manship can observe to see what the job is like. She is able to figure out the dos and don’ts of teaching, and she is also able to set goals for her teaching career.

“My goal as a teacher is to not only teach my students, but to also help them be better people. Teaching is about more than just the subject area; it is about the whole student,” said Manship.

After graduation, Manship will major in Spanish education and minor in business at either IU-Bloomington or USI.


Story by Sara Kesterson

Burton Takes to the Mat in Senior Season

Senior Timothy Burton will be starting his last wrestling season this year. After thirteen years of hard work and dedication to the sport, his effort and time have certainly paid off. In the past two years, Burton has received PLAC All-Conference and is also a two-time Semi-State qualifier. This year, in the 160 pound weight class, he is aiming even higher.

“My personal goals this year are to beat my record from last year and to make it to State, which would make me the first State qualifier in school history. My team goals are to win Conference overall,” said Burton.

Burton’s brother was the one who inspired him to start wrestling.

“My brother was doing it, and it looked like fun, so I decided to give it a try. Now, I can’t imagine my life not wrestling,” said Burton.

Burton loves many aspects of wrestling. His favorite move to use on an opponent is a sweep single to a ninja kick cross side cradle. This involves wrapping around the opponent’s leg, kicking upward towards their torso and holding them down on the ground.

Burton also loves the pressure of being one-on-one on the mat.

“I love that wrestling is an individual sport, so you know that the pressure is always on you and you alone,” said Burton.

Not only is the physical aspect of wrestling important to Burton, but it also touches him and his family emotionally.

“I remember walking off the mat to my dad after Conference my sophomore year. It was the first time that he considered I had ‘stepped up and started to become a man,’ and, needless to say, that’s the first time I saw him cry. It really made me realize my love for this sport,” said Burton.


Story by Gracie Walls

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