Read all about the success of this year's Scholastic Bowl team!
See who made this month's Upperclass Acts!
table of contents
03 InterviewwithMr. Hackler
04 Spring Play
05 Scholastic Bowl
06 Music Update
07 Interviewwith cafeteria staff
08 Upperclass Acts
11 Book Review
WITH MR. HACKLER
BY JOSEPH GILMOR This month, I had the privilege to interview one of our newest editions to the PTHS teaching staff, Mr. Cal Hackler. This Georgetown, Illinois native, is a graduate of Georgetown Ridge Farm High School who followed his brother to ISU. After student teaching at University High School, he took a job at Westville Junior High School before deciding to teach at the high school level here at PTHS. Mr. Hackler appreciates the fact that PTHS is able to maintain a small school atmosphere while still providing all of the amenities of a much larger facility. When asked if he had any especially fond memories to share, Mr. Hackler volunteered, “Every day is a memory with Mr. Ritter!” He keeps himself busy co-sponsoring our Student Council, which allows him to actively participate in events such as the PTHS Holiday Tournament. Mr. Hackler loves exciting events such as the Tournament, because it gives him the opportunity to interact with and get to know his students outside of the classroom. With Mr. Hackler, inspiration goes both ways. He inspires his students to learn, and his students inspire him to keep on teaching. Mr. Hackler has uttered more than once that money is no reason to take or keep a job. Mr. Hackler has encountered teachers whose hearts were in the wrong place, and notes that their effectiveness died alongside their inspiration. Whether he’s in the classroom or volunteering outside of school, Mr. Hackler is always willing to lend a helping hand to those who need it. We here at PTHS hope that he retains his passion for teaching and continues to inspire his students here for many years to come.
PTHS Spring Play By Gabriel Travis
The PTHS Drama Club has been hard at work putting together their spring production of You Can’t Take It with You , a three act comedy written by George S. Kaufman. The cast is well into rehearsals for the show, and every cast member spends approximately two hours after school each day and two and a half hours on Saturdays memorizing lines, correcting movements, and making the show the best it can be before its debut on March 15th. You Can’t Take It with You is about the eccentric, but loving, Sycamore family and their attempt to adjust to society’s expectations when their daughter, Alice, falls in love with the son of a wealthy businessman. Meanwhile, Grandpa has the daunting task of keeping the family together while still trying to resolve his own issues with the federal government. The cast is very hard at work to make this show the best it can be. The opening dates of the show are March 15th, 16th, and 17th in the PTHS auditorium. We can’t wait to see you come out, and don’t forget to bring a friend- or a few!
February 4th brought the beginning of the season for one of the most storied and historic sports teams at PTHS. Boys track has long been one of Pontiac’s most successful and impactful athletic teams. In fact, boys track has two entire teams in the Athletics Hall of Fame. This season’s team clearly has a lot to live up to. However, the team feels they definitely have the potential to not only meet but exceed expectations. In the past fall, the boys cross country team won their regionals and advanced to sectionals, placing second, moving them on to state with a successful 25th placing. All members of the top seven runners from that team are out for track and seek more success. The distance squad has potential to qualify and place runners in the state 4x800 relay, open 800 meter race, 1600 meter race, and 3200 meter race. Sprinters and field event personnel are led by Colton Clesson and round out the team with solid relays and solo sprints. State wrestler Steven Lewis looks to continue his astonishing athletic year by qualifying for state in both discus and shotput events. The PTHS boys track team of 2019 is young, but they are very capable and have a bright season and future ahead of them. By Carson Gregory
Scholastic Bowl Update
By Lauren Smith
The PTHS Scholastic Bowl team works hard each year to challenge themselves to competitions where the only tool needed is their brain! Scholastic Bowl meets consist of two teams competing against each other to earn the most points. Points are earned by getting a “toss-up” question which can be in a variety of subjects like Math, Literature, Pop Culture, or even Sports. If a teammate gets the question right, they get the opportunity for a “bonus” question which is added to the score if it is correct. These bonus questions allow for the entire team to contribute to the answer. Buzzers are used during the meets to buzz in your answer, almost like a game of Jeopardy! The game usually lasts about forty-five minutes, but can be longer if necessary. This year, Mr. Sweetwood and Mr. McElwee have been hard at work preparing their Junior Varsity and Varsity teams for their upcoming meets and tournaments. Most of the time, each member of the team finds their subject of interest and focuses on that subject. This allows the team to have strong points and people who can answer each type of question, which is very beneficial when trying to score as many points as possible and to win at the meets and tournaments that they attend. Most recently, the Junior Varsity team got third place at the Roanoke Benson Invitational Tournament! With their upcoming meets, they will be hard at work practicing to take on the Regional Tournament. Wish them luck as they finish off their season!
By Alyssa Rodriguez
Band Winter Concert
On the evening of February 28th, the Pontiac Township High School band members had their winter concert titled “America: Heroes, Honor, and Heritage.” This concert began with the Concert Band members playing “Proudly We Hail” by Brian Balmages. Following this were two other songs, and then the audience's ears were shifted to the Mad Brass group playing “The Chase.” Members of this group are Ali Schrock, Scott Shelby, Sam Mehrkens, Aaron Putnam, Daniel Bromley, and also had Donovan Murphy on the drum set. After their performance, the people in attendance had the privilege of hearing solos from Aaron Putnam on trombone, and then Ali Schrock on her violin. The last group to take the stage was the high school’s Symphonic Band. This group played a total of four songs ranging in mood from an intense battle to tear jerking. In the third song, “American Elegy” by Frank Ticheli, a solo was played by the newest addition to the music department staff, Mr. Roberts. To close the program the band played the well-known “Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Philip Sousa that included Mr. Schickel playing towards the end, leaving the audience with a prideful and energetic feeling. As the winter concert is now over, the bands will now focus on marching and their piece for the upcoming Disney trip and also music for the spring concert. On February 21st, the annual Winter Choral Showcase Concert was held in the auditorium. The theme of this concert was “Around the World.” To begin the concert, the Disney Choir performed “God Bless America.” During the transition between the Disney Choir to Cantabile, Brayden Weaver sang a solo titled “Giants in the Sky.” Once Cantabile was on stage, songs such as “Viva La Vida” were performed. Moving away from a choir again, Collin Wonders and Skylar Johnson sang a duet before Men’s Choir took the audience's attention. One song by this group was “Wagon Wheel.” Following the Men’s Choirs performance was a solo by Madelyn Doran and then two songs by the Route 66 Jazz choir. For the next big group, Bel Canto took the stage and contributed to the theme starting off with an arrangement of “What a Wonderful World.” In between the previous group and the oncoming Concert choir was a solo performed by Mackenzi Mies. To end the concert, Concert Choir was brought out singing “Pompeii” as well as three other songs. The final song to close the concert by Concert Choir titled “Peze Kafe” arranged by Sten Kallman. Now the choirs will focus on touching up music for the upcoming Disney trip and working on songs for the spring concert. Choral Winter Concert
Interviewing the Cafeteria Staff
BY CARSON GREGORY
I recently had the opportunity to meet with the lunch lady staff of PTHS in order to ask them a few questions about themselves. The two questions were, “What are some things you’d like the students here to know about you?” and “What’s your favourite part about working at PTHS?” As I conducted this interview you will see how they answered one question with no need to answer the second. My first thoughts when walking into the kitchen were instantly focused on their smiles. They are all very welcoming and I could not stop myself from smiling. We had some laughs and giggles, but as this continued I came to find out that Diana is actually a jokester! I cannot express enough how getting to talk to these lovely ladies was well worth my time. I strongly advise the students to get to know them. Here is how they responded to the first question, Hellen Grove: “I love the students.” Laura Bell: “We love to have fun here!” Judy Baxter: “I enjoy when you (the students) interact with us.” Chris Campbell: “Let the students know we work very hard. We make sure everything is weighed, measured, and counted. It’s hard work.” Diana Dennis: “I’ve been here forever (she’s not lying...ask her about it!) The work is hard, but worth it.” Diane Lee: “I’m the head cook, I love the kids and I love when they compliment on our food.” Annie Mund: “I’ve been here forever as well. I do love the kids! But because I’ve been here so long.. I’m retiring this year. I’m going to miss the students.” After talking through the first question I realized there was no need to continue to the next. They all explained, “It is very hard work. The paperwork, licenses, extra hours, weighing, measuring, and counting, but we enjoy it because of the student body.” If you have the chance, take some time out of your day to have a conversation with these ladies! They are fun-spirited and certainly know how to keep a smile on your face. You will not regret it.
NAME: Clay Miller
FAVORITE AUTHOR/BOOK: 1984 by George Orwell
ROLE MODEL: Michael Jordan
MOST POSITIVE MOMENT: Being inducted into National Honor’s Society/Senior night basketball.
ACTIVITIES @ PTHS: The Chief, National Honors Society, Key Club, Principal’s Advisory Board, Basketball, Tennis
PET PEEVES: Bad drivers
FONDEST MEMORY OF HIGH SCHOOL SO FAR: Winning the 2018 Regional Championship for basketball last year. Memories made watching football games in the fall.
WHAT MY FRIENDS WILL REMEMBER ABOUT ME: My energetic personality and willingness to help anyone in need if I can. HOW WOULD YOU SPEND $1,000,000? I would probably use what is necessary to pay for college and pay off any debts my family has. I would donate a large chunk of it to a foundation that can help pets and then save the rest for whenever I would need it. IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT 3 ITEMS WOULD YOU WANT WITH YOU? A container to hold water, a knife to make a fort, and a flare to hopefully attract a boat or plane for extraction. LAST WORDS OF ADVICE: “It is always possible to push through adversity with hard work and determination.”
3 MAJOR AREAS OF INTEREST: Art, Athletics, Physical Therapy
PLANS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL: Attend Heartland for two years, then ISU for two more for a Bachelor’s in Athletic Training, then three more years at Bradley for Physical Therapy.
FAVORITE MOVIE: 8 Mile
MOST INSPIRATIONAL SONG: “Hall of Fame” by the Script
FAVORITE TEACHER/CLASS: Mr. Vogt/Art
NAME: Chloe Bachman
FAVORITE AUTHOR/BOOK: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
ROLE MODEL(S): My mom
MOST POSITIVE MOMENT: Getting accepted into the college I wanted.
ACTIVITIES @ PTHS: Band and Tennis
PET PEEVES: Loud chewing and people being rude.
FONDEST MEMORY OF HIGH SCHOOL SO FAR: Sophomore year prom
WHAT MY FRIENDS WILL REMEMBER ABOUT ME: My laugh
3 MAJOR AREAS OF INTEREST: English, Band, CNA
PLANS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL: Go to University of St. Francis for Nursing
HOW WOULD YOU SPEND $1,000,000? Traveling the world
FAVORITE MOVIE: Napoleon Dynamite
IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT 3 ITEMS WOULD YOU WANT WITH YOU? Good books, music and friends
MOST INSPIRATIONAL SONG: “Imagine” by John Lennon
LAST WORDS OF ADVICE: “Be kind to each other and participate in school activities.”
FAVORITE TEACHER/CLASS: Mr. Ramseyer / English
Mortal Engines Movie Review: By: Jasmine White
The movie Mortal Engines is the type of movie to see if you like action, mystery, fantasy, and thrills. An example of the movie’s great action scenes is in the very beginning when the moving city of London chases after a small town. This scene is an awesome choice to start the movie with since it is filled with action and intensity. Mortal Engines has great visuals enhanced by colors and details; you can see one example when a main character, Tom, is hurrying through the town near the beginning. In those scenes, if you look in the back, you can see all the awesome details and colors they put together to great it. It is a thrill to see the details of the cities like London, Arkangel, and Benghazi. Mortal Engines is a great movie because it has great action scenes, great visuals, and awesome details to the clothes, cities, and characters. I would rate this movie a five out of five.
Book Review All the Light We Cannot See By: Caitlyn Cotter
All the Light We Cannot See takes place during WWII and the decade leading up to it. This historical fiction novel was written beautifully in a way that you can understand how anyone, no matter their beliefs, was capable of ending up on either side of the war. This endearing novel shows you into the life of a young boy who was part of the infamous Hitler Youth and at the same time lets you see the world through a young, blind, French girl and her struggles throughout the 1930s and 40s. Doerr wrote in a way that you sympathize with both of the main characters, a German solider and a blind French pedestrian. It takes skill and amazing artistic talent for someone to portray two people on the opposite sides of such a terrible situation in such an understable way. Doerr takes you through the lives of two people who live practically in completely different worlds and shows in an amazing and interesting way in which their lives and stories intertwine. All the Light We Cannot See focuses on the gray area of one of the most scarring, tragic, and evil events in history; Doerr shows how good people can end up in bad situations and how talented, innocent children can grow up to fight for the wrong side of a war and become part of a darkness in human history. While this novel spreads light on one of the darkest events in the past century Doerr somehow wrote in a way that keeps the story kind of lighthearted without sugarcoating the terrible and tragic events that occurred in the 1940s. I highly recommend this novel to anyone interested in the 20th century and the events that occurred with in it.
The Chief Staff Sunny Holt: Co Editor-in-Chief Joe Gilmor: Co Editor-in-Chief
Caitlyn Cotter Carson Gregory Clay Miller Luke Morrissette Madison McDormand Alyssa Rodriguez Crysta Saucedo
Lauren Smith Gabriel Travis Becca True 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 Mr. Soares or Mr. Blair!