MUSIC DEPARTMENT UPDATE Read all about what the recent accomplishments of our musicians!
Check out which PTHS seniors are this month's Upperclass Acts!
However, we should seek to help others not only as students, but as members of our local communities, as neighbors, and as friends. So when the holidays come around this year, and our hearts are overjoyed with the company of dear family and friends, think of those who may be less fortunate. Volunteer at your local food pantry or help a friend in need. Share a kind word with a neighbor. Whatever you do, make a conscious effort to improve your community. It is up to us all to make this holiday season truly a Season of Giving. We here at The Chief hope that you enjoy this month ’ s edition, and wish you all happy holidays. See you next year!
A NOTE FROM YOUR EDITOR
By Joe G i l mo r
Hey everybody, and thanks for tuning in to another edition of The Chief ! With finals just around the corner, and Winter Break (thankfully) close behind, it seems hard to believe how quickly this semester has flown by. As we prepare for our much-needed break, I ’ d like to take a moment to discuss the true meaning of this holiday season: caring for others. While it is easy for many of us to get caught up with counting our gifts under the tree, remember that the best source of satisfaction this time of year is helping those in need. We here at PTHS have taken this to heart and have implemented various programs, such as the Season of Giving, to help the less fortunate.
Sincerely, Joe Gilmor Co-Editor-in-Chief
N O M A D I C |
New Staff Conversation: Mrs. Westergreen Interview By: Joe Gilmor
This year, we here at PTHS have had the honor of welcoming several new additions to our teaching staff and faculty. One new member is Mrs. Betsy Westergreen, our current Career and Community Services Director and Business teacher. Mrs. Westergreen was born and raised right here in Pontiac, and the idea of coming back to her home school to teach has always appealed to her. Before graduating high school, Mrs. Westergreen was heavily involved in both the Music department and school athletics, being named drum major for two years in Marching Band as well as being a member of both the National Honor Society and Tri-M Music Honor Society. After leaving PTHS, Mrs. Westergreen furthered her education at Illinois State University, where she earned a degree in Business Education. According to Mrs. Westergreen, her time at Pontiac so far has been a blast, and she loves interacting with both students and staff. Recently, Mrs. Westergreen oversaw the production of the first PTHS Marketplace, where students had a chance to network with local business areas throughout Pontiac and the surrounding areas. Mrs. Westergreen’s role as Career and Community Services Director tends to go hand-in-hand with her teaching career, as it allows her to cover a broad range of subjects and to connect with potential guest speakers for her classes. Her unique role also allows Mrs. Westergreen to better connect with students and form relationships on a much deeper level. She feels that Pontiac manages to provide a very personal experience for its students for a school of its size. Mrs. Westergreen advises any and all students seeking a career in an educational or business field to get involved in high school early, as becoming a well-rounded individual will prove important no matter what occupation one pursues. In short, Mrs. Westergreen has wasted no time in making her mark on PTHS, and on behalf of all Pontiac students we here at The Chief would like to grant her a warm welcome.
By Alyssa Rodriguez
Band Update: All - District
For the 2019 All-District Music Festival, Pontiac Township High School had four students selected to participate in the event that took place on November 16th. Samuel Kelly (percussion) and Aaron Putnam (trombone) were chosen for the All- District Band and Mallory Dennis (flute) and Devin Wunsch (percussion) were picked for the All-District Orchestra. The event was held at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois. The band was conducted by Tony Marinello and the orchestra was conducted by Brian Dollinger. One of the songs performed by the band was a premiere of the piece, “Zeal Unceasing,” by Todd Stalter. As for orchestra, pieces such as “Serenata” by Leroy Anderson and “Pines of Rome (Finale)” by Orrorino Respighi, arranged by Stephen Bulla, were only some of the fine music selections for the ensemble. “I was so excited, I honestly couldn’t believe it. It felt like all the hard work had finally started paying off,” said musician Mallory Dennis about being notified that she was one of the selected students. “The one thing I took away is that I will never ever play ‘Jam Blocks’ ever again,” is a quote from the ILMEA All-District band musician Sam Kelly when being asked what he gained from the fun and demanding experience that he thoroughly enjoyed. All of the students gained knowledge and felt honored to be a part of the described honors bands.
By Alyssa Rodriguez
Since the marching season has concluded, Concert Band and other small ensembles have begun working on pieces for the upcoming concert in December. The Jazz Band consists of saxophones, trombones, trumpets, and a rhythm section. While there are less people in the group than a regular band, the jazz artists are able to convey musicianship and joy through the rather fun music they play. For the concert, the Jazz Band is preparing two pieces to be able to showcase the group for the first time this year. The ensemble is directed by the Pontiac township High Schools Assistant Band Director, Michael Roberts. This will be the second concert that the ensemble has played since Mr. Roberts has taken it over. Everyone within the ensemble is a part of either Concert or Symphonic Band as well. The students also taking on this group get to explore different styles of playing and different ways to interpret and convey music. As December approaches, the group continues to clean up their pieces and put on the final touches
By Jasmine White
Around this time of the year Scholastic Bowl season is starting up. They had their first tournament on November 23rd. The tournament was held in Seneca with other teams such as Roanoke Benson and Coal City participating. I am glad to be a part of the junior varsity team coached by Mr. Sweetwood. The junior varsity team won one out of three matches and the win was against Roanoke Benson. The matches that we lost were very close until the last couple of questions that helped decide the match. Meanwhile, the varsity team coached by Mr. McElwee won two out of the three matches against Roanoke Benson and Seneca. This is a good start to the season of Pontiac Township High School Scholastic Bowl teams with many more meets and tournaments in the second semester and tons of practices.
NAME: Eboni Ramey
ACTIVITIES @ PTHS: Madrigals, Jazz Choir, Women’s Quartet
PLANS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL: Attend college and eventually receive a masters degree in nursing and become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
FAVORITE MOVIE: Space Jam
FAVORITE TEACHER/CLASS: Ms. Hoffman/Spanish
FAVORITE AUTHOR/BOOK: Wonder by R. J. Palacio
PET PEEVES: Negative comments towards others
WHAT MY FRIENDS WILL REMEMBER ABOUT ME: My laugh and my sassy personality
LAST WORDS OF ADVICE: “Whatever consumes your mind, controls your life.”
NAME: Griffin Brunner
FAVORITE AUTHOR/BOOK: Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
ROLE MODEL(S): Mr. Vogt and Mr. Blair
MOST POSITIVE MOMENT: Being elected as an Illinois State Scholar
ACTIVITIES @ PTHS: Golf, Tennis, National Honor Society, Madrigals, Tri-M
PET PEEVES: Chewing very loud and slow walkers
FONDEST MEMORY OF HIGH SCHOOL SO FAR: Going to State for tennis two years in a row, hopefully making it three years in a row this year!
WHAT MY FRIENDS WILL REMEMBER ABOUT ME: I think they will remember that I was a smart, funny kid who was friendly to everyone. HOW WOULD YOU SPEND $1,000,000? I would probably put most of the money away in the bank for later in my life, but some money would go to those who are struggling with their lives. IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT 3 ITEMS WOULD YOU WANT WITH YOU? A knife, hammock, and a satellite phone LAST WORDS OF ADVICE: “Get to know your teachers and principal/vice principal at PTHS because hey are the nicest people around, and don’t let anyone get in the way of what YOU want to accomplish.”
3 MAJOR AREAS OF INTEREST: Sports, Math, and Business
PLANS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL: I am going to go to college and play tennis somewhere. I do not know which college yet. I am most likely going to study something business related. A goal for me is to end up working on the business side of a professional sports team.
FAVORITE MOVIE: Coach Carter
MOST INSPIRATIONAL SONG: “Battle Scars” by Lupe Fiasco
FAVORITE TEACHERS: Mr. Blair and Mr. Krause
The Chief Staff
love is in the air by: sunshine holt
Sunny Holt: Co Editor-in-Chief Joe Gilmor: Co Editor-in-Chief
you grab me by the soul and take my breath away you remind me of
Luke Morrissette Marley Noles Ava Nollen Alyssa Rodriguez
an early morning breeze in the month of October where birds are chirping and the world is coming alive. i have ached for someone like you to come in and take my breath away. you took it to become the breeze
Lauren Smith Jasmine White
Mr. Blair, Faculty Sponsor Dr. Soares, Faculty Sponsor
i learned to love and love forever
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