Check out which PTHS seniors are this month's Upperclass Acts
Read all about Mr. Sweetwood as he nears retirement from PTHS!
A NOTE FROM YOUR EDITOR
By Joe G i l mo r
Hey, everybody, and thanks for tuning in to this month ’ s edition of The Chief ! Now that the spooky season has come to a close, it is time to welcome in the holiday spirit (while continuing to socially distance, of course)! This year has been everything but normal, but we have managed to overcome every obstacle by coming together as a student body, even when we are apart. Thanks again for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy this month ’ s edition of The Chief !
Your Editor-in-Chief, Joe Gilmor
N O M A D I C |
Teacher Retirement: Mr. Sweetwood By Emilie Collins
After teaching at PTHS for thirty-three and a half years and being involved in a myriad of activities, we will be wishing Mr. Eric Sweetwood a happy retirement at the end of this semester.
Mr. Sweetwood was born in Kankakee and moved to Ottawa a few years later. During high school he was involved in Chess Team, Speech Team, and Drama. After graduating from Ottawa High School, he attended Illinois Valley Community College where he earned an associates of arts in English Education. Afterwards he attended Illinois State University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in English Education, a master’s degree in History, and minors in sociology and psychology. Throughout his years in college he was the Newspaper Editor, Music and Film Critic, and involved in Student Government. At Pontiac, Mr. Sweetwood has been involved in many different activities: Junior class sponsor, yearbook, technology coordinator, play director, department chair, chess team sponsor, and junior varsity scholastic bowl coach. Scholastic Bowl is where Mr. Sweetwood has made some of his favorite memories; however, his favorite moments are when he gets to see former students and talk about what they’ve been doing since their graduation. Although he will miss all of the people at Pontiac, he is excited for his retirement. He plans to first and foremost be an excellent husband to his wife and then he has plans to work at a local comic book store, consult at a record store, and work on books about hard rock with a friend. Mr. Sweetwood would like to pass on some words of wisdom to students and faculty here at PTHS: “Do what make you happy and enjoy yourself.” From everyone at The Chief and PTHS we would like to congratulate Mr. Sweetwood on an amazing thirty-three years and a happy retirement. Thank you for everything; you will be missed.
As the temperature begins to drop, the band has moved their rehearsals inside and ceased their Tuesday night practices. While the marching season this year is not how anyone would have wanted it to play out, Marching Band still progressed and worked on many songs that are seasonally played. Students worked on pieces such as “Robin Hood” and the “Color Song,” whether it being just familiarizing oneself with the piece or polishing up on the songs mentioned and others. Right now, the Band is now working on playing a new arrangement of “Salute to the Armed Forces” in hopes to have a recording done of their work to show off. Moving on from the band as a whole, a few outstanding students within the Band should be recognized for being selected for this year's ILMEA Senior Band and or Orchestra. These students include Mallory Dennis in Orchestra for flute, Joseph Gilmor in Band for tuba, Sam Kelly in Band for percussion, and Danielle Schrock in Orchestra for violin. Another achievement was also earned by Mallory Dennis by earning the highest audition score for her instrument in District 3. Not only have these students done well, but all of the students participating in Band at the high school have been putting effort into music during unforeseen times. For now, everyone involved in the Band program looks to be flexible in order to continue playing and enjoying music. By: Alyssa Rodriguez Band Update Preparations are well underway for this year’s Madrigals. While the format may look a little different, these diligent performers are finding new ways to still show off all of the hard work they’ve been doing this year. While they might not be able to sing the songs in front of you, they are singing the songs to record them. A CD is in the works with the Madrigals singing classic Christmas carols and Madrigal tunes. It is still unknown when the CD will be released or the price, but the Madrigal singers are hard at work. Another way you can come and support the students is by visiting the tree lighting ceremony downtown on December 4th, where the Madrigal Singers will be having a (socially distanced) concert on the Square! More information is still to come about these performances and the CD release, but the performers are all very excited to show off all their hard work. 2020 Madrigals By: Conrad Skrypiec
The month of November brings us Key Club week! It is a week where each day talks about the benefit of service. The first day is about representing, the second about appreciation, the third is about sharing, the fourth is about random acts of kindness, and the fifth is about connecting the Key Club to Kiwanis and Builders Club. The Pontiac Key Club has been as strong as ever this year, attending the virtual officer Fall Leadership Rally in September and selling wreaths for fundraising. In October there was a Cemetery Walk that members helped to participate in by leading the tours around the cemetery. This month, Megan Henkel was the spotlight member for the 22 North Key Club District! Scholastic Bowl had its first practice of the year as the team prepares for its upcoming competitive schedule. The team is still looking for new freshmen and sophomores to join the JV squad. Practices will be Wednesdays after school in Mr. McElwee's room (Room 132). Any interested students should speak to Mr. McElwee to learn more about Scholastic Bowl, or can stop by a practice to see what it is about. Scholastic Bowl Update B y J a s m i n e W h i t e Key Club Week B y A v a N o l l e n While the school has adapted and continued to function through the Covid-19 pandemic, the PTHS Student Council has risen to the occasion by continuing to meet and do their best to better the student body. The usual schedule of planning dances and student events has come to a stop; however, the Student Council has kept busy with new Covid-19 safe- projects. Most notably, they have started a school news broadcasting show called “The Pontiac Perspective.” The show has many different segments, including: sport’s updates, music news, current events, words of encouragement, and different school functions that may be happening that week. New ideas are constantly shuffled through the show, ensuring that no two broadcasts are alike while also keeping the show interesting. You can always expect something funny to come out of the weekly edition. Creating fun, beneficial, and safe student activities is especially difficult this year but the Student Council has definitely shown that they’re up for the challenge. Student Council Update B y C a l l i e D a l t o n
Servetka Bekirovski FAVORITE AUTHOR/BOOK: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. MOST POSITIVE MOMENT: Helping collect donations with Student Council for the season of giving. PET PEEVES: slow talkers, the feeling that you’re forgetting something when you’re not, and I-55 construction. WHAT MY FRIENDS WILL REMEMBER ABOUT ME: My interesting sense of humor and the difficulty they had pronouncing my name. HOW WOULD YOU SPEND $1,000,000? Pay for college, donate to help the Uighur Muslims in China, and invest the rest. IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT 3 ITEMS WOULD YOU WANT WITH YOU? A Swiss army knife, a never-ending can of Dr. Pepper, and a fuzzy blanket. LAST WORDS OF ADVICE: “High school goes by faster than you think, be kind to everyone, and stay involved.”
NAME: Servetka Bekirovski
NICKNAMES: Svek and Nicole
ROLE MODEL(S): Malala Yousifazi, Reese Witherspoon, and Barack Obama
ACTIVITIES @ PTHS: Band, Choir, theatre, Scholastic Bowl, Tri M, Student Council, and class officers.
FONDEST MEMORY OF HIGH SCHOOL SO FAR: Friday night football games with the band.
3 MAJOR AREAS OF INTEREST: music, politics, and reading
PLANS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL: Major in Political Science with a minor in Spanish at University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
FAVORITE MOVIE: Anything with Terry Crews in it.
MOST INSPIRATIONAL SONG: “New Light” by John Mayer.
FAVORITE TEACHER/CLASS: Study hall with Mr. Schickel, specifically 2nd hour up in the practice rooms.
NAME: Madelyn Lee
FAVORITE AUTHOR/BOOK: Although I have a few favorites, I will say Chris Golfer’s Land of Stories series is my preferred choice because it is what got me into reading when I was younger. MOST POSITIVE MOMENT: I vividly remember the heartwarming experience of singing for the residents of the Good Samaritan in Pontiac during the Madrigal tour of schools. WHAT MY FRIENDS WILL REMEMBER ABOUT ME: My friends always say I am the most grounded and hard- working one, but I think they will remember the times when I was not focused around my school work and had fun with them. HOW WOULD YOU SPEND $1,000,000? I would pay for college primarily, then use the rest to travel the world with the goal of helping people in need. IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT 3 ITEMS WOULD YOU WANT WITH YOU? I would want a lighter, a knife, and a water filter. LAST WORDS OF ADVICE: “I would advise others not to go into anything with high expectations. I find that putting high expectations on anything can lead to disappointment, and it is better to live in the moment instead.” PET PEEVES: People being inconsiderate of other people’s time and lack of appreciation for hard work.
ROLE MODEL(S): My aunt and Emma Watson
ACTIVITIES @ PTHS: Madrigals, Color Guard, Scholastic Bowl, Peers in Action, Student Council, NHS, Special Olympics, Tri-M, Drama Club, Band, and Choir. FONDEST MEMORY OF HIGH SCHOOL SO FAR: Going to Disney World my sophomore year and getting to perform at the parks with band and choir.
3 MAJOR AREAS OF INTEREST: Music, Math, and Science
PLANS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL: I plan to go to college after high school and major in Mathematics and Computer Science. My hope is to get accepted into the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign.
FAVORITE MOVIE: Interstellar or the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice
MOST INSPIRATIONAL SONG: “Hall of Fame” by The Script
FAVORITE TEACHER/CLASS: If I had to pick, I think my favorite class would have been Rhet III with Mr. McElwee my junior year.
By Alaska Bennett
To round off the Halloween season, this month’s movie review is on an all-time Halloween classic: Hocus Pocus . Overall, it is just such a fun movie to watch with friends and family since it’s full of laughs, good music and a great plotline as well. The movie also has a great musical scene in it too. The film was released in 1993, an era during which movies were constantly experimenting with different special effects and trying new ways of them. Hocus Pocus is such a good example of some new special effects that seem easy to pull off nowadays, which were tricky to do in the 90’s. The cast also had fun filming the movie according to many different interviews from when the movie first became a big hit. A sequel with the original stars is scheduled to be released soon. Overall, this movie has my rating of a 10/10, perfect score.
By Jasmine White
The Finisher by David Baldacci
The book The Finisher by David Baldacci is a great read if you are a fan of fantasy and mystery genres. It keeps you focused and wanting more of the story. An example why you would have your nose in the book is the main character, Vega Jane. Vega finds out that a person went missing, which leads her to find clues in her town called Wormwood where she uncovers multiple mysteries that would keep you hooked. The Finisher has a great flow throughout the story. It does not leave you confused and lost and it also brings out great fantasy elements. I would rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars and would definitely recommended it.
The Chief Staff
Creative Corner: The Writer
Joe Gilmor: Editor-in-Chief
Alaska Bennet Emilie Collins Callie Dalton Ava Nollen
By Ava Nollen
Alyssa Rodriguez Conrad Skryzpiec Gabe Travis Jasmine White
They were the most powerful person on Earth. They were the richest. They wrote with all the imagination they had. They didn’t write for recognition. They didn’t write for others. They wrote for themselves. Words flowed through them into the emotionally charged page. Nothing was too deterring. Nothing was enough. They built kingdoms with their art, and they could tear them down. Time was flux in their hands. No character could live too long, no flower could be too lustrous. Ways of writing may change, but the words were never changing to them. They may be scorned, or ridiculed, but the scorners were deprived, and they would never understand the wondrous worlds of writing.
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!