CHIEF MARCH/APRIL, 2020 PONTIAC TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL The
PTHS CLUBS & ORGANIZATIONS UPDATE Read about what some of PTHS's clubs and organizations have been up to.
Check out which PTHS seniors are this month's Upperclass Acts!
Do something productive: find a new hobby or get a head start on your college preparations. Times may seem rough, but now is the perfect chance for us to make improvements in our own lifestyles, so consider this time off a blessing in disguise. While the future is sure to hold many surprises, you can always count on The Chief to deliver the news and keep everyone updated through these uncertain times. Thanks again for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy this super-sized edition of The Chief !
A NOTE FROM YOUR EDITOR
By Joe G i l mo r
Hey, everybody! Thanks for tuning in to this March-April edition of The Chief ! As the COVID-19 Virus continues to spread around the world, we at The Chief hope that all our readers are safe at home during these troubling times. I hope everybody is utilizing this time to catch up on sleep and keep up with their studies, because all too soon we ’ ll be (hopefully) returning to our everyday routine at PTHS. Whatever it is you do during the time off, make sure it isn ’ t entirely spent sleeping in and watching Netflix.
Sincerely, Joe Gilmor Co-Editor-in-Chief
N O M A D I C |
Sacrifices of COVID-19 By Carson Gregory
We are living in unprecedented times. All people have made sacrifices and missed out on opportunity, but the class of 2020 is at the forefront of sacrifice at PTHS. Throughout four years, the seniors have put in countless hours of hard, grueling work. Now, right before spring sports, prom, and graduation, that work is being overshadowed by a dangerous virus. High school is one of the most transformational time periods in anyone’s life. Friends are made, relationships formed, passions discovered, and lessons learned. Many students look forward only to the climax of high school— graduation. Now, seniors are realizing many of the memories they have come to love may not come to pass. Due to COVID-19, many opportunities will be taken away from the seniors. In all likelihood, spring sports may be cancelled. Prom, and even graduation, may also be cancelled too. A return to school is even being doubted by many. For the rest of our lives, we will not have the memories of our final days in high school, but of being stuck at home in isolation and quarantine. However, the senior class is not mad, only disappointed. We understand the importance and significance of what is going on. We recognize we must potentially sacrifice the end of our high school career so that others may stay safe and healthy. We are not a selfish generation, but a selfless one. We are willingly sacrificing our once in a lifetime experiences to protect our fellow humans. In retrospect, there is one lesson to learn from the COVID-19 pandemic. From a graduating senior to an underclassman, please appreciate every opportunity and memory you have or will make. Unfortunately, life has no guarantees. So, go out for that sport, join that club, and ask that girl or guy out. There is no redoing high school. Once you graduate, you cannot come back. Be grateful for every moment you have in these short four years. In the end, you will not regret the things you did, but the opportunities you didn’t take. Never take for granted the traditions and culture of PTHS and life in general. We never know when those closely held experiences will be taken away from us forever.
Key Club Update
By Ava Nollen
Key club elections were just this past month. Among the elected positions were Dani Grace Schrock as President, Emma Dewald as Vice President, Sydney Shepherd as Treasurer, and Ava Nollen as Secretary. The appointed positions are Olivia Schickel and Emma O’Lone as Co-Editors, Grace Mund as Statistic Secretary, Kim Fitzsimmons and Emilie Collins as board members, and Megan Henkel, Jacob Lucas, and Christopher Corrigan as K-Family Liasons. These are all of the board members of the Pontiac High School Key Club. But we have two members who are serving on the district board! Ali Barton as Lieutenant Governor and Alec Kridner as District Secretary. They oversee our whole Key Club district, and work hard in their positions to better our Key Club district. Key Club is an organization full of worldwide clubs, and many clubs just in our very own state. Unfortunately, due to the outbreak of the CoronaVirus, the Illinois Key Club district convention had to be cancelled. International convention is scheduled in July, so it has not been cancelled yet. In more positive news, this next year for Key Club is going to be a very eventful one. The newly elected board is working hard to think of ideas for projects, the overall club is full of students with new perspectives and hardworking personalities. If it becomes safer to be outside and near one another, then Key Club will have many projects to be working on this spring. If you are interested in Key Club and haven’t joined yet, do not hesitate to contact Mr. or Mrs. Bristow or anyone in Key Club!
By Conrad Skrzypiec
This year, the combined efforts of Mr. Schickel, Mr. Durbin, and Mr. McElwee brought us the hit show Brigadoon . The story follows two American tourists who get lost while hunting in the highlands of Scotland. Upon becoming lost, they discover the magical village Brigadoon, a small town full of secrets and wonder. A tale of comedy, drama, and romance all in one, this was surely a show for all to see! The production starred Mason Christianson as Tommy Albright and Skylar Johnson as Fiona MacLaren. The show also featured a front band led by Mr. Schickel, vocals by Mr. Durbin, and was directed by the English Department’s Mr. McElwee. Show times were March 13th and 14th at 7:00 pm, and March 15th at 2:00 pm. We hope you enjoyed the wonder of Brigadoon !
By Alyssa Rodriguez
Winter Band Concert
On the night of February 27th, students involved performed the songs that they had been working on for the past six weeks. The whole event was titled “A Night at the Movies!” and featured songs from many great blockbusters. The concert band kicked off the night playing “Highlights from Frozen” and “Avengers: Endgame.” Jazz band then took the stage and performed two of their songs that they took to an earlier festival. Several solos and ensembles were featured during this concert due to their superior scores during the Music Department’s contest. These individuals were Mason Christianson, Mallory Dennis, Sam Kelly, Aaron Putnam, Dani Grace Schrock, and Devin Wunsch. As well as those solos and the percussion trio, the Symphonic Band brass played a piece as well. These performances were kicked off by the Symphonic Band playing “Music from the Incredibles,” and then were preceded by the solos and ensembles. Another piece performed by the Symphonic Band was “Pennywhistle Jig” by Mancini and arranged by Moss. To end the concert, the band played “Mambo from West Side Story” with a bang and appeared to be an audience favorite. Band Update While the COVID-19 Virus continues to spread and we are on our e-learning days, Band is now using Smart Music. This website allows the teacher to make a class and assigns students pieces and sections of music to practice at home. It allows you to record yourself playing your part at a certain tempo that the director assigns. Also, the program gives you a percentage on well you did. It also features a metronome and the other parts playing their own parts for you to listen as well. You can select the best percentage and you can submit to the assignment. Hopefully, the Band will be together and performing soon.
ILMEA 2020: All - State Musicians
By Gabriel Travis
Winter Choir Concert From January 30th to February 1st, PTHS was proud to represent seven of our very musically- inclined students at the annual ILMEA All-State Festival. The students included Skylar Johnson, Madelyn Lee, Alaska Bennet, Callie Dalton, Mallory Dennis, and Gabriel Travis; one of the highest numbers of students PTHS has been proud to represent in years. The students were in three different groups during the ILMEA Festival: the All-State Choir, the Honor’s Choir, and the All-State Orchestra. Ms. Dalton and Mr. Travis were in the All-State Choir, under the direction of Dr. Jonathan Palant, singing songs such as Ezikel by Stacy Gibbs and When We Love by Elaine Hagenberg. Ms. Johnson, Ms. Schickel, Ms. Lee, and Ms. Bennet were all a part of the Honors Chorus, under the direction of Dr. Jeremy Jones, singing songs such as Ain't no Grave by an anonymous publisher and Muusika by Pärt Uusberg. Finally, Ms. Dennis played the flute among the All-State Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Gary Lewis, performing pieces such as Symphony No. 8 in G Major by Antonin Dvořák and Danzón No. 2 by Arturo Márquez. In the end, all of these students came together to work hard and make beautiful music together leading them to a grand performance in all three groups for the 2020 ILMEA All-State Festival. “Songs of Life & Love” was the title for the Winter Choral Showcase concert this year. The performance was on February 20th and began with all Choir students on stage to sing “The Never Ending Story.” Between each group, soloists were showcased due to their outstanding rankings during the Music Department’ annual contest. These students included Olivia Schickel, Ava Nollen, Camille Stadler, and Skylar Johnson. Cantabile was the first choir to take the stage after the initial combined choir. Songs such as “Hello” and “Build Me Up Buttercup” were performed by this group. Men’s Choir was next to have the audience's attention. These students sang favorites such as “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” and “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles).” After the Men's Choir left the stage, the Route 66 Jazz choir sang “Revolution” and were followed up by Bel Canto. This choir sang hits such as “Fallin’” and “I Lived.” To end the Showcase, Concert Choir came to the stage. Opening up with “Home,” Concert Choir sang pieces such as “And So It Goes,” “Rise Up,” and an acapella arrangement of “Take On Me.” While this is the quickest turnaround for concerts, each choir enjoyed and performed well in all of their pieces. By Alyssa Rodriguez
On February 22th, our Math Team went to ICC for their regional competition. The Math Team has been practicing since the beginning of January with late night practices on Wednesdays for this competition. The regional competition included Individual, Oral, 2-Person Teams, 8-Person Teams, and a Calculator Team competitions. The day lasted from eight in the morning to about two in the afternoon with the Math Team participating in all types of the competitions. At the end of the day, the Oral Team got 2nd place and the Calculator Team 3rd got place. Congratulations Math Team! By Jasmine White Math Team
Scholastic Bowl By Alyssa Rodriguez
After many matches, the varsity Scholastic Bowl team finally ended their season. Their season consisted around 13 meets and the junior varsity had about that many too. These matches consisted of facing teams such as Prairie Central, Seneca, and Roanoke-Benson. The final match was for the varsity team on March 9th. While the Pontiac Indians fought hard, they fell short in their effort. Overall the season was pleasant and was pretty successful. Even though next year there is a chance to go farther, the seniors will be missed. These students include Caitlyn Cotter, Aaron Putnam, Hannah Wallace, and Robert Young. These individuals were great leaders for both teams in encouragement and motivation which both teams were thankful for. Next year, both teams will be ready for the challenge and will be itching to participate in buzzer beaters for another season of Scholastic Bowl.
Impact of Unified Sports By Carson Gregory
Nelson Mandela once said, “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sport can awaken hope where there was previously only despair. Sport speaks to people in a language they can understand.” Through my time at Pontiac, I have discovered just how true Mandela’s quote is. PTHS is recognized throughout the state, and even the country, for the inclusive and respectful environment we create. However, what truly sets us apart is our Unified Sports. I have been involved in Unified Sports since my sophomore year. As many of you know, I wrote and was approved for a grant that funded the creation of a Unified Basketball team. Prior to the creation of this team, I did not have a true understanding of the power of sports and all of the opportunities they bring. To start, not everyone was there for the same reasons. Some athletes were there because their teachers or coaches wanted them to be. Others came because they wanted to stay active through the winter. Some were there simply because they had nowhere else to go. However, by the end of the season, our purpose was one. Winning a state championship was amazing, but none of us were participating simply with the goal of winning. Gradually, we all realized the team and the game were bigger than us. We weren’t there to win, we were there to make a difference. We were making positive impacts on our teammates, in our school, and in our community every day. That is the goal of Unified Sports. However, Unified Sports has made just as big of an impact on me as I have on others. I have learned that inclusion is not just coexisting with people, but actively and openly accepting them and encouraging them to truly live their lives. I am far from perfect, but participating in Unified Sports has made me a better person and provided me with limitless opportunities to grow and develop. Returning to Nelson Mandela’s quote, sports truly do have the power to change the world. I have witnessed unity unlike any other through Unified Sports. I have seen people grow and change for the better, become more accepting and inclusive, and transform into wonderful young adults ready to change the world. I will leave you all with these words of encouragement. Be bold. Don’t be afraid to do something simply because of your fear of others’ thoughts. We all truly have the power to change PTHS, our community, and the world. After all, the only disability in the world is a bad attitude.
NAME: Samantha Grace Sipe
NICKNAMES: Sam, Sammy G
FAVORITE AUTHOR: Victoria Scott is my favorite author.
ROLE MODEL(S): My parents, Brian and Kim Sipe
MOST POSITIVE MOMENT: Winning the 2019 Congressional Art Show for the 16th district.
ACTIVITIES @ PTHS: I was involved with volleyball, basketball, and track my freshman year and tennis my junior and senior year. I have also been part of the Student Council and art club all four years, as well as National Honor Society the last two. FONDEST MEMORY OF HIGH SCHOOL SO FAR: Either freshmen year when our 4x400 barely made it to State or making Macdeath junior year.
PET PEEVES: People snorting their snot up their nose and chewing their fingernails.
WHAT MY FRIENDS WILL REMEMBER ABOUT ME: They will remember how positive I was and being funny. HOW WOULD YOU SPEND $1,000,000? I would divide it with the most going to savings, the next going into investments, and then a small amount for a shopping spree with my mom and friends. IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT 3 ITEMS WOULD YOU WANT WITH YOU? My mom, a cheesecake, and a painting kit. LAST WORDS OF ADVICE: “Everything gets better, stay positive and you will be happy and everything will work out.”
3 MAJOR AREAS OF INTEREST: Biology, Studio Art, and Psychology
PLANS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL: I am attending the University of Alabama in hopes of majoring in Biology with a minor in Art.
FAVORITE MOVIE: Bohemian Rhapsody
MOST INSPIRATIONAL SONG: “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen
FAVORITE TEACHER/CLASS: Mr. Vogt is my favorite teacher and teaches my favorite class, Art.
NAME: Bryce Osborn
MOST POSITIVE MOMENT: When I got accepted into drumline for Marching Band
ROLE MODEL(S): Muhammad Ali
ACTIVITIES @ PTHS: Marching Band, Symphonic Band
PET PEEVES: Bad hygiene and chewing food with an open mouth.
FONDEST MEMORY OF HIGH SCHOOL SO FAR: My fondest memory is meeting all of the people that I get to call my friends to this day.
WHAT MY FRIENDS WILL REMEMBER ABOUT ME: Hopefully, they remember my sense of humor and my positive attitude. HOW WOULD YOU SPEND $1,000,000? – I would use that money to get me through college and get me a place to live when I move out of my parent’s house. Then I would donate the rest to a charity. IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT 3 ITEMS WOULD YOU WANT WITH YOU?- Phone, book, and a pound of Orange Chicken from Panda Express. LAST WORDS OF ADVICE: “Be social and make sure to meet new people. Also enjoy every day of your high school experience because it goes faster than you think”
3 MAJOR AREAS OF INTEREST: Law Enforcement, Psychology, Science
PLANS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL: Studying Criminal Justice at Heartland Community College.
FAVORITE MOVIE: Rocky
MOST INSPIRATIONAL SONG: “Hall of Fame” by The Script
FAVORITE TEACHER/CLASS: Mr. Bristow in Law Enforcement
FAVORITE AUTHOR/BOOK: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
NAME: Carmen Piña
MOST POSITIVE MOMENT: Qualifying for ICCA State in Cheer.
NICKNAMES: Carm or Piña
ROLE MODEL(S): My oldest sister
PET PEEVES: When people volunteer to read outloud but they are an awful reader.
ACTIVITIES @ PTHS: Cheerleading, NHS, and NTHS
FONDEST MEMORY OF HIGH SCHOOL SO FAR: Homecoming pep rally
WHAT MY FRIENDS WILL REMEMBER ABOUT ME: How fun I am to be around and my contagious smile. HOW WOULD YOU SPEND $1,000,000? I would pay for my whole family to go on a vacation together. IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT 3 ITEMS WOULD YOU WANT WITH YOU? My dog, my phone, and food LAST WORDS OF ADVICE: “Don’t take things too serious, these years go by fast so have fun.”
3 MAJOR AREAS OF INTEREST: Nursing, cheerleading, and art
PLANS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL: Attend University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and enter the nursing program
FAVORITE MOVIE: COCO
MOST INSPIRATIONAL SONG: “Stronger” by Kanye West
FAVORITE TEACHER/CLASS: Anatomy & Physiology with Mr. Nollen
FAVORITE AUTHOR/BOOK: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The Chief Staff
Sunny Holt: Co Editor-in-Chief Joe Gilmor: Co Editor-in-Chief
Carson Gregory Marley Noles Ava Nollen Alyssa Rodriguez
Lauren Smith 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!