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

Students Take Control of Class

The education professions class is a course offered at PHS that gives students the opportunity to aid teachers at the elementary school. The students help in any way they can, whether that be assisting students with their work or gathering supplies, all while getting a first-hand experience on what it’s like to be a teacher.

Education Professions teacher Danelle Manship teaches five students from Paoli and four from Springs Valley. The students at Valley are all online. The course counts as a dual credit course and if students take it as a junior they are able to take Education Professions II as a senior.

“I want the students to get first hand experience on what it is like to be a teacher. Less and less students go into the teaching profession, so this is a good way to bring them into that experience,” said Manship.

Taking this class gives students many benefits, including earning college credits which can help them graduate early and get a teaching degree in college.

“I plan to pursue a career in education and this class allows me to prepare for my desired major in college. It is also a Dual-Credit course which will roll over credits in college and contributes to the Indiana College Core,” said senior Amanda Bowles.

Bowles goes down to Throop to get hands-on experience with third grade students.

“I do anything from reading to the students, monitoring tests, and practicing math facts. I love going down to Throop. Within the first week, the third graders that I work with already knew my name, and I get a bundle of hugs every time I leave. Since I am older, they enjoy working with me and I am always asked for help by them,” said Bowles, “Being a role model to these kids is really something that I cherish. This class allows me to get a head start on my future learning. I also plan to sub at Paoli Schools until I earn my degree so I will have even more classroom experience. Who knows I might be back at Paoli Schools as an elementary teacher by the time today’s seventh graders are seniors.”

The students are also involved in AVID teacher Tammy Noble’s program as certified AVID tutors.

“The education professions students help AVID students with their tutorials. They have been trained in the tutorial process and help guide the AVID students through the process. They keep the discussion moving in tutorials and help groups to stay on task to accomplish more during their tutorial time,” said Noble.

This course is available to any junior or senior and can be taken next semester or next year to those interested.

Story by Jeremiah Hutcheson

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

New Student Advisory Brings Hope to Media Staff

The formation of a new committee is afoot at PHS. The Student Advisory Council (SAC) is a project the administration has taken on with the hope to unite students and staff and bring about positive change to the school.

Students are excited about this, ready to have their voices heard. In order to ensure this, they have a few ideas about who should be on the council. We asked our staff who they thought would best suit the role of a Student Advisory Council member and many mentioned fellow students by name. However, these students all fit into certain demographics – ones who will represent the student body and speak in their favor.

Athletes, band members and class officers were a common answer. Additionally, those who do not participate in any activities were brought up. Students in all grades, from all backgrounds need to have their opinions made known. The main priority of our staff is to have students on the council who aren’t afraid to speak their mind and who won’t sugarcoat the school-wide issues that demand more attention.

Our staff members also have suggestions on the problems that should be raised to attention first.

An ever-popular topic is the dress code. While it is always a point of tension between students and staff, the dress code rules are still somewhat vague. Our staff believes that it needs to be clearly defined and not just subjective to teachers and administrators.

A huge issue, many of our staff members feel, is the stress that is put on the dress code in the first place. We acknowledge that it is not the teachers’ fault. They have to make sure students follow the dress code as dictated by administrators, but we believe that is the problem. We don’t think the administration quite understands what it’s like to be a student anymore – especially in these times. Many students struggle to make themselves go to school in the first place and being worried about their outfits should not be a main concern.

We believe the concern should be schoolwork, but the focus is never on academics at PHS. What school is supposed to be about is seldom, if ever touched on. This leads to the need for celebration of academically successful students. The work so many students put in to maintaining their grades is never recognized, which our staff finds to be a terrible oversight. There is no motivation for students to do well if all they ever are is looked and talked down upon.

The tardiness policy is yet another area our staff thinks could use reforming. Teachers are told to count students tardy in the mornings if they aren’t in class by 8:10 a.m. This sounds perfectly reasonable; students should be in class on time. When one factors in the context, however, being on time becomes nearly impossible. Many students are in zero hour which releases at 7:50 a.m. Students then have to walk to the locker room, shower, change their clothes, get breakfast, go to their lockers to put their backpacks away and get to class before that bell rings. When breakfast lines are halfway to the cafeteria doors with one line open the majority of the time, it is impossible for students to be in their seats by the second bell with the most important meal of the day in their system. Perhaps if school started at 8:15 a.m. like it has in the past, there were more breakfast workers to keep up with the morning rush and students were allowed to bring their backpacks to class, this would not be as difficult. This morning breakfast rush is also not taking into account bus riders who may have varying times of
arrival.

Similarly, our staff thinks that meal times are too short. With the passing period lasting five minutes and students having to go to their lockers to get their lunches or put things away, lunch is then only 25 minutes. This leads students to rushing their meals, especially when one has to wait to be called to the lunch line, which is not ideal.

Students, overall, need help. New students are one example. It is especially hard for students to move schools when they’re in high school. Everyone already has their friend groups established, so students find it tough to make a place for themselves. Even students who moved here in the last couple of years still feel somewhat isolated from others – like they haven’t been accepted yet. We think initiative needs to be taken to not only welcome these transfers, but continue to include them throughout school.

Student mental health is a big issue at PHS. With extreme stress, a never-ending workload and what is mostly viewed as a hostile learning environment, mental breakdowns are bound to happen. No student is a stranger to the fact that sometimes it is simply too hard to be at school and a break is necessary. As a result, many of us take mental health days. Our staff believes these mental health days should be provided for students and accepted as excused absences – one or so per grading period to give students a day to breathe.

We think all of these issues should be addressed by the Student Advisory Council. If they are a committee able to make a difference, the SAC needs to tackle matters that the student body cares about even if they are tough topics to fix.

Staff Editorial

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