Check out which PTHS seniors are this month's Upperclass Acts
Read up on some tips for writing any upcoming essays for college, scholarhips, or other opportunities.
A NOTE FROM YOUR EDITOR
By Joe G i l mo r
Hello, everybody, and thanks for tuning in to this month ’ s edition of The Chief! A new semester means a new start for all of us, but I ’ d like to address those for whom these last months matter most: our upperclassmen.
N O M A D I C With the second semester now well underway, I hope that everybody has had a chance to settle in as we see what the 2021 has to bring us. Your Editor-in-Chief, Joe Gilmor | 2 4 Juniors, now is your chance to prepare for the SAT and start making plans for your life after high school. While it may seem early, remember that careful preparation is the key to making the college admissions process as smooth as possible, so buckle down now and use your senior year to hone your essays! Seniors, we ’ re almost there! By now, most of us have completed or are finishing up our last college essays, and may have even received an admissions decision or two. But that does not mean our work is done. There are thousands of scholarships out there for the taking, so take advantage of your guidance counselors and the many sources on the internet to find those that are right for you.
College Essay Advice By Joe Gilmor
Second semester is an especially important time of year for our seniors as many race to complete their college essays before the deadline. That is why we at The Chief would like to share with our readers a few strategies to make your college essays stand out to your admissions officers. First, make sure to have a plan in mind before you start writing. While you likely don’t need a formal outline, doing a bit of planning beforehand will allow to focus on building a concise, cohesive essay, which is critical when working with a limited word count. Next, do your research. Before you start writing for a school, you should have a pretty solid understanding of what makes that school unique. Is their honor code especially important on campus? What traditions do students follow? Do different class levels share dorm rooms? Knowing your school inside and out will give you more material to write about, and working in small details throughout your essay will show the admissions office that you have a genuine interest. Finally, find what makes you unique. Most colleges follow a holistic review process, which means that your GPA and standardized test scores may not be enough to ensure admission. That is why you should take full advantage of anything that allows you to stand out from similar students. Extracurriculars can go a long way in this regard, but don’t stop there. Has a parent’s medical condition forced you to take on additional responsibilities at home? Has balancing a job and several AP classes taught you how to manage your time effectively? Do you collect Star Wars memorabilia? Use it! College admissions officers want to know what makes you unique, so whatever you do, don’t hold back!
We at The Chief hope that these guidelines will help you find the school that’s right for you as we go on into our second semester.
Community Ice Skating Rink B y C a l l i e D a l t o n
Just like that, many students have finished their last fall semester as high school students. Seniors would have never guessed that this is how the last year of their high school career was going to look like. Most would enjoy being out of school every other day, but for many seniors it just adds to grief of leaving soon. Many students have taken reign of these circumstances by studying, doing well and putting in the much needed research for potential colleges. As the winter brews, many deadlines for colleges have approached or on their way to being over. This means that many students have spent a lot of hours writing essays, submitting applications, and of course spending hours upon hours of research. Just because their senior year is not what anyone pictured, the class of 2021 is still taking action on their plans for the future. Memories here and now are still being made in the school time students have, and for the class of 2021, the whole year is something to remember and to utilize to help plan their future. guidelines allow for ten people on the ice at a time while also social distancing and wearing masks. Best part is, entry to the rink is completely free. All interested skaters have to do is sign up on the Pontiac Township website for a time allotment. Hot chocolate is also available for free, courtesy of Bank of Pontiac! The Christmas season this year is far from normal, but an exciting new activity is just what Pontiac needed. Senior POV B y A l y s s a R o d r i g u e z This December, Pontiac debuted its new community ice skating rink. Just in time for the holidays, families can now ice skate together with the backdrop of Pontiac’s historic downtown. As construction began in early November, excitement grew amongst eager skaters. However, COVID restrictions have been placed to ensure the safety of the skaters enjoying the rink. The
Pontiac Key Club By: Ava Nollen
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Pontiac Key Club has been unable to do the usual volunteering, but morale is still high! I interviewed many members and got overwhelmingly positive responses back, reminiscing about past years and this year as well. What has the hardest part of Key Club been during this strange year? “The hardest part about Key Club this year has been gathering for in-person service activities due to health regulations,” Ali Barton said. What is your favorite memory from Key Club? “My favorite memory was timing at the girls swim meet last year. I got to cheer on my friends while helping out the team.” -Lydia Grampp. Ali Barton and Grace Mund both said that their favorite memory was the 2019 Key Club International Convention in Baltimore, Maryland. What is something you liked doing or were excited to do this year? Ali Barton said, “Despite the circumstances, I enjoyed being forced to adapt as I-I District Lt. Governor. I learned new skills and techniques that allowed me to advance as a leader in my school and community.” Olivia Schickel, Co-Editor, commented “This year, I was most excited to have the opportunity to create and run our club Instagram along with my peer. Being able to reach out to our students through social media has been very rewarding, and I get to share my passion for service in a unique way even amidst a global crisis.” What has been your favorite project we’ve done? Lydia Grampp, a junior and a member in Key Club, said that writing letters to the residents at the nursing home was her favorite summer project. She commented, “I like how Key Club adapted with the situations we were in.” Ali, Olivia, and Grace Munds’ favorite project was the roadside cleanup on Route 66.
By: Gabe Travis Madrigals
As the fall school semester has gone by along with 2020, we can put behind us some of the trials that faced the globe during the year. Thankfully, the Madrigals were able to put together one last memory to help make 2020 seem a little less dreary. Directed by Mr. Durbin, the Madrigals created a video consisting of twenty minutes of holiday carols and nice messages from all of the ensemble members wishing everyone glad tidings as we welcome in the New Year. The video, titled “Madrigal Album,” is located on the PTHS Music Facebook page and also on YouTube. 2020 was hard on everyone, but the Madrigals persevered to give the year a happy note to end on.
Alana Christianson MOST POSITIVE MOMENT: My most positive moment of high school is probably getting first place at an invitational for swim because I was very proud of myself. PET PEEVES: When people use the wrong form of “your,” “to,” or “there” as if this wasn’t something we learned in grade school. WHAT MY FRIENDS WILL REMEMBER ABOUT ME: My friends might say that I work hard especially when it comes to school because they have seen how stressed out I have been over my classes before. HOW WOULD YOU SPEND $1,000,000? I would spend $1,000,000 by giving some back to my family for all of the money they have spent on me. I would keep some of the money for myself, and then I would probably donate a lot of it to charity because I don’t need that much money. IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT 3 ITEMS WOULD YOU WANT WITH YOU? I would want a boat, a supply of food, and a supply of drinking water. LAST WORDS OF ADVICE: “My words of advice would be to just enjoy high school because it goes by really fast, and also to work really hard because it will get you far.”
NAME: Alana Christianson
ROLE MODEL(S): My grandma
ACTIVITIES @ PTHS: Band, Swim Team, National Honor Society
FONDEST MEMORY OF HIGH SCHOOL SO FAR: My fondest memory of high school is probably Homecoming week every year because the whole week everyone is so excited and you dress up all week, then there is a pep rally, a parade, a football game, and a dance, which is always really fun.
3 MAJOR AREAS OF INTEREST: Nursing, Psychology, Marine Biology
PLANS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL: My plans after high school are to attend Heartland Community College for two years, then attend Saint Francis College of Nursing in Peoria.
FAVORITE MOVIE: Five Feet Apart
MOST INSPIRATIONAL SONG: “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus
FAVORITE TEACHER/CLASS: Mr. Nollen/Anatomy
FAVORITE AUTHOR/BOOK: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Kimberly Fitzsimmons MOST POSITIVE MOMENT: Being able to compete at many different art shows throughout the years and win some awards, as well as watch my peers win some as well. WHAT MY FRIENDS WILL REMEMBER ABOUT ME: I hope that my friends will remember all of the fun times that we’ve been able to share over the years and that I love spending time with them. HOW WOULD YOU SPEND $1,000,000?: I would pay for college and then donate the rest to different charities or organizations who needed it. IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT 3 ITEMS WOULD YOU WANT WITH YOU? I would want a bucket hat, something to paint with, and a friend to keep me company. LAST WORDS OF ADVICE: “Your four years of high school will fly by. I know it seems like everyone says that, but it’s honestly true. Before it’s over allow yourself to get out there, try new things, make new friends, and have fun. Try and do as much as you can cause when you look back later, you might have wished you did.” PET PEEVES: Those who drive under the speed limit.
NAME: Kimberly Fitzsimmons
ROLE MODEL(S): My sister
ACTIVITIES @ PTHS: Band, Tennis, Cheer, NHS, Tri-M, Art Club, Key Club
FONDEST MEMORY OF HIGH SCHOOL SO FAR: My fondest memory is being able to be a part of Marching Band. Every year I have always looked forward to the season and meeting new people and being able to have so much fun throughout it with all of the football games and competitions.
3 MAJOR AREAS OF INTEREST: Graphic Design, Architecture, Environmental
PLANS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL: I plan to go to Heartland and afterwards transfer to a 4-year school.
FAVORITE MOVIE: Mamma Mia
MOST INSPIRATIONAL SONG: “Treat People with Kindness” by Harry Styles
FAVORITE TEACHER/CLASS: Mr. Vogt/ Art
FAVORITE AUTHOR/BOOK: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
By Conrad Skryzpiec
For this month’s movie review, I wanted to take a look at one of the cult classics that arose from the ‘80s: Labyrinth (1986). This film, starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly, was cutting edge, with more detailed CGI than most other films at the time. When compared with today’s technology, it is obviously lacking, but the production is incredible for the technology available to them at the time. One of the big draws of the film is the soundtrack, written by Bowie, who plays the main antagonist, the Goblin King. This is a fantastic movie to sit down and watch with the family, especially when you want to leave the modern world behind and return to the nostalgia of the ‘80s. Overall, I give this film a solid 7/10
By Jasmine White
Demon Slayer by Koyoharu Gotouge
This book review for this month would actually be on a manga. Demon Slayer by Koyoharu Gotouge is a fantastic read and start to the series for those manga/anime lovers, fiction, and anyone that loves comics and a great story. This first book in the series shows great illustrations that flow throughout intertwined with excitement! Great details in the clothing, the background, and especially the characters are fantastic. With a lot of action and excitement, you will not be bored as the story builds the characters. Additionally, the events in the book are tied together well. So in the end, I recommend reading this first manga to the series and definitely checking out the rest of this series. This gets a 5 out 5 stars.
The Chief Staff
Water, the object of my affection Raging seas, crashing waves, waterfalls glide Uncertain, in which I see my reflection In a landlocked place, I long for the tides The ocean floor, a total mystery What lies in the vast, dark watery depths Great discoveries, changing history Riveting, the sea takes away my breath Oceans can also be unforgiving The horror stories are at no shortage Sirens bewitch you to do their bidding Pirates know all about a ship's cordage Creative Corner: Student Poetry A Shakespearean Sonnet by Ava Nollen
Joe Gilmor: Editor-in-Chief
Alaska Bennet Emilie Collins Callie Dalton Ava Nollen
Alyssa Rodriguez Conrad Skryzpiec Gabe Travis Jasmine White
Mr. Blair, Faculty Sponsor Dr. Soares, Faculty Sponsor
Enjoy creative writing? If you ever would ever like to see your creative pieces in The Chief , contact Dr. Soares or Mr. Blair!
Unpredictable, wild, loving, and sweet To know this creature is a hopeless feat