Throop Elementary Awaits a New and Unique Addition

Jim Houghton, a designer from the Leather and Associates company out of New York, came to Throop Elementary on November 6 and 7 to design a unique playground for the students. Leather and Associates have designed playgrounds all over the country, including Mitchell and Salem’s community playgrounds.

Houghton visited the playground site and went on a tour of the community to see local and historical landmarks that may be incorporated into the playground. Not only did Houghton meet with the playground committee, but he brainstormed ideas with students from different grade levels to get their opinions. 

“On Thursday morning, he met with students at Throop in 15 minute ‘brainstorming’ sessions with each grade level. On Thursday afternoon, he took all of the information gathered from the committee and students and began to design our one-of-a-kind playground,” said Playground Committee member Holly Vincent. 

On November 7 at 6:30 p.m., Houghton and the Playground Committee hosted a presentation open to the public to show the plans for the new playground. The Elementary Choir students did a short presentation and sang two songs about the new playground as well.

“Jim revealed our playground and then there was a volunteer sign up and fundraising tables in the foyer. We also had fun activities in the auxiliary gym, along with refreshments,” said Vincent. 

Anyone is welcome to sign up to help build and fundraise for the playground once the design is ready.

“The playground will benefit our whole community. It is also a ‘community build,’ which means WE will build the playground,” said Vincent. 

The community, faculty and students are looking forward to seeing the new elementary playground and the fun that will surround it.

Story by Corinne Magner

FFA Officers Explore the National Convention

The Paoli FFA officer team had the opportunity to attend the National Convention this year. The group left Paoli High School at 4:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 31 and returned to the school Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. Along with FFA Advisers Cory Scott and Kyle Woolston, seniors Jalyn Engleking, Myranda Hickman, Tony Lowe and Murphy Laws; juniors Elizabeth Workman, Callie Laws, Dalton McManaway and Tara Robbins and freshmen Kenzie Gilliatt, Tucker Hooten, Serenity Sweet and Aliza Allen attended the trip.

When the team arrived on Thursday, they went to the opening session to listen to keynote speaker Bob Goff. Following the session, the group spent the rest of the day exploring the College and Career Fair and talking to representatives about future career options in agriculture. Later that night, the students attended the Brett Young concert. The next day, they revisited the College and Career Fair before heading home.

“I’ve been to the National Convention for the past 5 years and it makes me sad that this was my last ever national FFA convention. It has been a great experience that gave me the opportunity to learn a lot about the different opportunities in agriculture,” said Hickman.

Story by Elizabeth Workman


Staying Safe in Winter Weather

Winter weather can cause problems for everyone, especially with the conditions of roads. When deciding whether or not to delay or cancel school due to weather, the final say comes from Superintendent Greg Walker.

There are no specific requirements when deciding to delay or cancel school. I look at is it safe for buses to transport students and ask myself would I want my child riding a bus that day. To be thorough I get up at 4 a.m., consult with neighboring superintendents as what their conditions are. I also watch the weather to see what is going to happen in the next few hours,” said Walker. 

Along with communicating with other schools, Walker and Transportation and Athletic Director Darek Newkirk drive the roads and get updates from the County Highway Department to check  conditions. All of these precautions take place within two hours before the official announcement of whether school is cancelled, delayed or on-time at 6 a.m.

After a delay or cancellation is made, it takes about 30 minutes to get notifications out. Walker first calls, texts and emails everyone in the Remind system. He then notifies area radio stations and Louisville T.V. stations.

Two-hour delays help minimize the amount of make-up school days because those days are not made up. The extra two hours allows improved visibility and potentially less traffic on the road.  

If parents and/or students are not receiving any of the notifications about cancellations or delays, they could stay updated by radio or T.V or make sure their names are on the notification list.

Story by Amanda Bowles

Drama Club Performing November 22 and 23

This year, Paoli High School’s Drama Department will be performing Roger and Hammerstien’s The Sound of Music. The musical will be performed on November 21, 22 and 23 in the Ruth Uyesugi Auditorium. There are approximately 28 cast members, not including the chorus. This musical will feature the iconic songs “Do-Re-Mi” and “My Favorite Things.”

This musical is a classic tale about a Nun postulate, Maria, who becomes a governess for the Von Trapp household. She looks after seven children who have lost their mother. Their father, Captain Von Trapp, is a strict man who forces his children to live in a military fashion. However, Maria changes that. She returns music and happiness to the home. 

“This musical offers action, intrigue and an unlikely love story,” said Drama Director Maria Wishart.  

The two lead characters of this performance are Maria played by junior Libby Padgett and Captain Von Trapp played by freshman AJ Lopez. These two will be accompanied by the Von Trapp children, which include Liesl played by sophomore Amanda Bowles, Freidrich played by junior Christian Ruth, Louisa played by sophomore Kylee Charles, Kurt played by sophomore Christopher Frias, Brigitta played by sophomore Angie Ceja, Marta played by sophomore Annabell Bledsoe and Gretl played by freshman Rylie Belcher. 

Other characters include Elsa played by freshman Ryliegh Anderson, Max played by junior Chandler Hinton, Mother Abbess played by senior Megan Poe, Sister Berthe played by senior Vanesa Swartz, Sister Margaretta played by senior Micayla Chism, Sister Sophia played by junior Haley Owens, Frau Schmidt played by sophomore Haley Cox, Franz played by sophomore Luke Gibson and Rolf played by sophomore Michael Hannon. Along with the main cast there are other supporting roles, including backstage, tech, props and costume crews. 

“The Drama Club hopes that many members of the community will come and be a part of the audience to experience the magic of this musical,” says Wishart.

Story by Amanda Bowles

National Honor Society Fundraiser Underway

The National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society are raising money for their annual trip from now until December 1, 2019. The group will be selling laundry detergent and other products, such as fabric softeners, dish soap, dryer sheets, men’s and women’s body wash and bath bombs.

Payments are due at the time of purchase, and checks should be written to Paoli High School. The National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society members will contact buyers when the orders arrive.

Story by Kaden Lewellyn

Construction Trades Classes Receive Hands-On Experience

The construction trades program at PHS is a class that is designed to teach students the basics of residential construction. The program constructs a lot of different projects for the school and community.

Each year, the class builds a house as one of their projects. Last year, they built Guidance Counselor Brandi Kerley’s house, and they are currently working on this year’s home, the 13th one for the program. The students also worked on building small hunting cabins, which started in early September to have them completed before hunting season.

There are three construction trades classes and each of them contributed to building the cabins. However, the majority of the work was completed by the intro to construction and construction technology students. The project allows students to incorporate skills they will use in building a real house, as the cabins have a lot of the same components that a regular house would have. They are able to learn about various principles of construction, construction math and measuring, tool use and hands-on training during this project as well.

“I am always looking for projects that give the construction students practical, hands-on experience and training. I thought that these cabins would be good projects as they would allow for this experience and also be something that program could sell as a fundraiser,” said construction trades program teacher Jon Shellenberger.

When the students work on their various projects, money is usually charged for the materials used and labor by the students. The money collected from the projects goes to things like field trips, class parties and class t-shirts, but the money is not the only reward for students.

“Another good thing about projects such as these is that they offer the students a sense of pride and accomplishment in having built something beautiful and that people are lining up to purchase,” said Shellenberger.

The cabins have raised a lot of interest, and the classes plan to do this project again next fall. At this point in time, the class is focused primarily on building a house for Habitat for Humanity, but there are projects to come.

Story by Angie Ceja

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