Curtains up on Drama

The drama club hosted a murder mystery entitled “Alibis” on Friday, September 10, in the PHS Auditorium. The show consisted of eight people who were invited to a birthday party who became suspects in a murder. Each character was to give an alibi. The members were reluctant to give their alibis, but finally each of them confessed to the detective where they were when the crime happened. Each alibi was turned into a short play.

There were 18 actors involved in this show, along with eight crew members. Of the eight crew members, five were new members. Aside from the five new members, there were four new board
members inducted during the cast party. Junior Dawson Poe, sophomore Cameron Apple, and freshmen Riley Belcher and Kelly Royer joined veteran board members seniors Angie Ceja, Kylee
Charles, Haley Cox, Michael Hannon and A.J. Lopez.

“We were excited to be together doing a live performance. It gave us a chance to get back on the stage again. We had several students participating with us for the first time, so that was wonderful
too,” said Drama Director Maria Wishart.

Any student interested in becoming a part of Drama Club and activities similar to the Murder Mystery should contact Mrs. Wishart, or check the Activities List in their email which has the Google Classroom join code.

Story by Makiya Russelburg

Mask Mandate Set by Board

School Board Makes Changes to PCSC ‘Return to Person’ Plan

On Wednesday, September 1, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announced an incentive allowing schools to require face masks in hopes of slowing the number of cases and quarantines among staff and students across the state. Tuesday, September 14 was the first day Paoli Community School Corporation students returned with a temporary mask requirement, decided at the previous night at the monthly school board meeting.

“In the first 24 days of school, a total of 760 students were classified as close contacts and quarantined or required to wear masks as a result,” said Superintendent Greg Walker. “Using the minimum number of eight days to quarantine for each student, that’s 6,000 days and over 36,000 hours lost of in-person instruction. Out of all of these students quarantined, less than five percent of them actually tested positive for the coronavirus. So, for the most part, we are quarantining completely healthy kids and I hate having to do that.”

With the new mask mandate, students and staff are not required to quarantine unless they are showing symptoms of COVID-19. Those who are close contacts will also be able to stay for in-person instruction.

“[The week of September 13-17], we had three positive cases in the building and we didn’t have to quarantine anyone as a result,” said Walker.

The changes made to the PCSC “Return to In-Person Instruction” Plan, with the motion passing 6-1. School Board member Craig Starr was the only individual to vote against these changes.

In a comment to the Paoli News Republican, Starr said, “Division is not good for the school corporation or our community. While I hope the temporary mask mandate is brief, I would ask people, regardless of what the position is, to try and respect it.”

This new mask mandate will be revisited during the next board meeting on October 18, where members will decide whether it is necessary to keep it or lift it. They will take into consideration the community coronavirus spread data as well as the county color on the COVID-19 map. “I am hopeful that we will be able to lift it by then, but no matter what I do not want to have to send kids home if I do not have to, so we’ll just have to see,” said Walker.

Story by Gracie Walls

Guidance Department kicks off College Go Week

This week, the PHS Guidance Department is hosting College Go Week. 

“College Go Week is a state wide event that focuses on promoting two and four year college enrollment and many colleges during this event waive their application fees,” said PCCA Guide Ginny Nelson.

To promote the event the guidance department has arranged visits from IU Southeast and the University of Indianapolis. They have also planned a game of trivia for the morning announcements and for the social media page. A scavenger hunt has also been planned with items around the school. They will have prizes for the winners.

College Go Week is for grades 7-12, working to help students obtain as much information as possible to help make a plan for their future. For more information you can contact any staff in the guidance department.

Story by Cambry Tinkle

Seniors and juniors get a dramatic look at American History

On Tuesday September 21, juniors and seniors will go to the auditorium to watch the play, “We the People” performed by Kentucky Shakespeare, an organization from Louisville that works to bring dramatic events to students. In 50 minutes, students will experience key moments of American history through a “dramatic retelling”. 

The production will last throughout third period and during a portion of homeroom. If there is time afterward, some discussion questions will be facilitated for the students to better apply themselves to the storyline and deeper meanings. 

“[We are excited] for the connections we hope this makes for them in the U.S. Government, U.S. History, and English, and perhaps other parts of our curriculum as well,”said U.S. history teacher Chris Lindley. 

After seeing a mention of the show in the Kentucky Shakespeare newsletter, Drama teacher Maria Wishart shared the event with Lindley. The two saw it as a good opportunity to introduce some fun back into school following the COVID19 pandemic and can offer key insights you can receive from simply reading out of a textbook.

Story by Jozalyn Kempf

Applications for Honor Society Now Accepted

Starting on Wednesday, August 18, applications will be available for students in grades 10-12 to apply to NHS, and students in grades 8-9 to apply to NJHS. Applications can be found in NHS Sponsor Melissa Higgins’ room or eighth grade English teacher Mariah Buchanan’s room.  Applications must be turned in to Higgins by Wednesday, August 25, and late applications will not be accepted.

All students can apply, but only students who have: attended PHS or PJHS for at least one semester, and have a cumulative unweighted GPA of 3.5 or higher will be considered. After that, the school faculty will have a meeting and decide if the student is accepted or not.

For those thinking about becoming a member, Higgins suggests that you check the list of eligible students posted on her door. 

“Be thoughtful and careful in filling out your application. Make sure there are no spelling errors or grammar errors, fill the entire application out and do not put ‘I don’t know’ as an answer. Always have something, ” said Higgins. 

Those who are accepted into NHS or NJHS will be inducted during the tapping ceremony as well as the actual induction ceremony on Sunday, September 26. 

Those who are not accepted, can meet with Higgins one on one to discuss what they need to do differently to get accepted the following year.

Story by Carley Higgins