The CHIEF December 2021




Read about what's going on in activities like Madrigals and FFA!

Check out which PTHS seniors are this month's Upperclass Acts

Art Class By: Ava Nollen

The art classroom is a room tucked away in the LACC wing of PTHS. As you enter the room, it starts as a short little hallway opening up to a big room, filled with the crafts the students are cultivating under the watchful eye of Mr. Vogt. In the corner of the room, in front of the pottery kiln, is a little table with four seats at it. Occupying three of the seats are Nolan Verdun, Brady Donovan, and Emma O’Lone. An unlikely mix in Art 1, these people show the versatility of art and creativity. Nolan graciously offered me a pencil for note taking, and proceeded to explain that he decided to incorporate more creative classes into his school schedule, as he is passionate about math, science, and computers, and so those classes fill most of his day. He is incredibly talented at those STEM subjects, and is working to evolve his artistic side. He was sure to remind me as a senior in Art 1, that he was also a chosen Illinois State Scholar. Go Nolan! Brady Donavan beams as he tells me to take a picture of his artwork, a perspective drawing of a western town. Unfortunately, I only had pencil and paper, not a yearbook camera. Brady is a junior at PTHS, and is involved in fine art electives such as Art 1 and Spanish. He says that he is taking Art to help prepare him for college. Brady is a passionate member of the football team. Emma explains to me her project, a street view of Japan, pointing out the characteristics of the yen sign on a bank, and other thorough details the students must add to make their perspective drawings their own. As someone deficient in drawing, it amazes me how individual art can be. Emma is a senior, heavily involved in fine arts as a Madrigal singer and superb flute player. She shared that she decided to take art because it is fun, and brings out creativity in her that she didn’t know she had. A sporty guy, a tech whiz, and a musician all at one table. It’s like something out of The Breakfast Club ! This goes to show art transcends all stereotypes. My biggest regret? Not participating in the artistic opportunities offered here at PTHS.

Brady Donovan

Emma O'Lone

Nolan Verdun

2021 Madrigals By: Olivia Schickel

The PTHS music department has been hard at work with the Madrigal dinners in full swing. After months of work, singers are ringing in the holiday season with the first performances since 2019 in order to dust off Pontiac’s Christmas cheer. This year’s 55th annual dinners took place at the Eagle Theatre in downtown Pontiac, but with the scenery change there is still the characteristic medieval-esque celebration of music that has persisted many years in our community. Performances this year took place on December 3rd, 4th, and 5th, and the students were very excited to be involved in the production. While the play portion of the dinners remained a secret until the actual dinners, the students have had a great time building the show over the course of the semester. Performers remain delighted with the witty and engaging scripts that matches the community’s anticipation for the performances.

Random Facts W I T H B I G MAC By: Emma O'Lone

Here’s some more random fun facts given to us by Mr. McElwee! Have you ever considered studying abroad? Well while attending university you can do so at a cooperating school overseas! Many schools will lock in tuition rates so that you can study for the same cost that you would at home. Sounds like a win-win to me! Next up we have some information about the recent blockbuster titled Dune . What some may not know in today’s age is that there was another version of Dune made in 1984, which similar to the new version stars a handful of famous actors and actresses. This 1984 version was the acting debut of the English pop star Sting.

Faces in the Crowd By: Hannah Ricketts

FFA Update During the month of November, Pontiac held our induction ceremony for this year’s Greenhands (first-year members of FFA) where they continued our tradition of putting their own green hand on a ceiling tile in the Ag classroom. Our next chapter meeting will be Monday, December 13th, at 6:30 in the Ag shop. There will be a gingerbread house building competition, and if that’s not your style we will also have a short class on making dog toys out of old t-shirts. Come on down for a cup of hot-cocoa and all sorts of excitement with the rest of the chapter! Taking place this month are our public speaking and job interview CDE’s. I will be participating in the job interview portion, and I can’t wait to be able to update you all on our chapter’s experience there. The Pontiac FFA Chapter is buzzing with excitement as we continue with the year. Once again, four students have proven themselves to the FLC teachers and have been recognized for their efforts. As the end of the semester grows nearer with every passing day, the pressure is on for students to stay on top of their homework and start preparing for final exams. First, Kally Cotter has been doing an excellent job in English. Her teachers state that she is “mature, responsible, and hardworking,” and is always happy to help others whenever they need it. Regardless of what she’s doing, her work ethic and character will have an incredible impact on her success in high school. Next, Lauren Robertson has been working hard in Global Studies. Public speaking skills can be a struggle for many students, but Lauren was up for the challenge and did a great job on the first presentation in class. Her teachers have said that she shows “maturity, positivity, and hard work” during class, earning her recognition. In Math class this month, Devin Skrzypeic has “demonstrated what it means to be a Pontiac Indian.” He has been working hard to get his work done on time, never hesitating to ask for help when needed. Devin is dedicated to his education, planning ahead and communicating with teachers when he is going to miss class. His dedication to receive a great education, communication skills, and willingness to help others are all great attributes to have as students, and Devin has been doing an amazing job. Finally, Nevaeh Cox was chosen in Science class this month. It was stated that she is always incredibly curious in the classroom, and which is “one of the greatest strength[s] an individual can possess.” Nevaeh never fails to ask questions, which will be the cause of many opportunities in the future. Her curiosity is contagious, bringing out new ambitions in her peers. These students have all done an outstanding job in class this month, working hard to earn this recognition. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed; keep up the great work, and congratulations for standing out in the crowd! By: Paige Olson

Upperclass Acts

Emma O'Lone

NAME: Emma O’Lone

MOST POSITIVE MOMENT: When I was selected for the ILMEA All District choir as a sophomore.


PET PEEVES: Waking up before my alarm goes off.

ACTIVITIES @ PTHS: Band, Madrigals, Scholastic Bowl, Key Club, NHS, Student Council, Yearbook

WHAT MY FRIENDS WILL REMEMBER ABOUT ME: Being optimistic and vibrant almost every day. HOW WOULD YOU SPEND $1,000,000? I would buy a cruise ship and let all of my closest friends live on it, and there would be an endless ice cream buffet. IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT 3 ITEMS WOULD YOU WANT WITH YOU? A journal to write in, a Panera restaurant, and my flute. LAST WORDS OF ADVICE: “Enjoy high school while it lasts and get involved as much as you can because it’ll be some of your best memories. It’ll be over before you know it.”

FONDEST MEMORY OF HIGH SCHOOL SO FAR: Getting to march in the Disney parade for marching band my freshman year.

3 MAJOR AREAS OF INTEREST: Film, music, religion

PLANS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL: I want to major in film and media, and work as a commercial videographer.

FAVORITE MOVIE: Back to the Future



FAVORITE AUTHOR/BOOK: The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

Upperclass Acts

Paige Olson

NAME: Paige Olson

MOST POSITIVE MOMENT: Being voted onto Homecoming Court my senior year


ROLE MODEL(S): My mother and sister-in-law

PET PEEVES: Standing in the middle of the hallway/taking up too much space when walking in the halls. WHAT MY FRIENDS WILL REMEMBER ABOUT ME: I think that my friends will remember my ability to make positive out of a situation that seems only negative, as well as my somewhat odd sense of fashion. HOW WOULD YOU SPEND $1,000,000? I would spend that money by firstly paying for my own schooling and then distributing the rest of the money among local non-for profit charities. IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT 3 ITEMS WOULD YOU WANT WITH YOU? Water filter, compass, and rope LAST WORDS OF ADVICE: “Never hold yourself back or dull yourself down. I have found that my happiness comes from being the exact person that I want to be, regardless of what others may think.”

ACTIVITIES @ PTHS: Choir, Court Singers, FFA, Scholastic Bowl, Student Council, musicals and plays

FONDEST MEMORY OF HIGH SCHOOL SO FAR: Rehearsing for the All-District performance at Olivet

3 MAJOR AREAS OF INTEREST: Pretty rocks, excessive eyeliner, and black cats

PLANS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL: Study brain and behavioral sciences at Purdue University


MOST INSPIRATIONAL SONG: “Damage Suppressor” by Black Dresses


FAVORITE AUTHOR/BOOK: The Setting Sun by Osamu Dazai



By Sam Kelly

Movie Review: Titanic

As someone who has never really kept up to date with the latest movies, you can imagine my thrill while watching the hit classic Titanic by James Cameron. Even though almost everyone reading this review has seen this movie, most will agree that they would re-watch it multiple times. This epic adventure brings you into the lives of Jack and Rose as they break the social divide between classes as they board the “unsinkable” RMS Titanic. The stunning performances of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet greatly improve the immersion into an early 1900’s love story. Even though I was late to the watching party, this movie has stood the test of time and still had me hooked throughout every second of it. I rate this movie 9/10, the missing point is only due to the vast overuse of Celine Dion’s “My Heart will Go On” throughout the movie!



By Mason Christianson

I did not have the opportunity to live through the disco era of the 70’s and 80’s, but I think Jessie Ware’s 2021 album What’s Your Pleasure? would be a great encapsulation of that era. Basslines, synths, and vocals are all reminiscent of artists like Earth, Wind, and Fire, and Donna Summer. The album starts with a gorgeous opening ballad accompanied by strings, but it breaks down into a soft pop tune. After the pop starts, the album does not let go of the funk. Throughout the next 85 minutes, the grooves of the 70’s and 80’s continue to creep into your soul and make you boogie. The instrumentation on the album is also pretty interesting. Most of the sounds are electronic synths, and the synth sounds change for each song to keep the songs from becoming stale. The drums are simplistic, but the minimalist aspect of the drums supports the groove instead of destroying it. The vocals are also spot on and Ware nails the balance between the softer songs and the bombastic tunes. The only issue I have with the album is that I would’ve loved to hear more slow tunes that are propelled by Ware’s voice similar to the opening track Spotlight . However, I cannot complain because each track on the record is groovy and clean. Overall, the album never gets stale or repetitive because the instruments are unique, the vocals are delivered tightly, and the groove never fizzles away. If this was what albums were like in the 70’s and 80’s, I understand why many 50-year-old people hate modern music. Music as complex as What’s Your Pleasure? comes around every few years. Blast from the Past: Review of What's Your Pleasure? by Jessie Ware

Score: 9.3/10



By Jasmine White

Book Review: November 9 by Colleen Hoover

November 9 is unlike anything I have read before, honestly. Throughout the book, I can’t understand why the two main characters, Ben and Fallon, keep on making so many mess-ups in their relationship. Their relationship I believe is a miracle because it is the craziest. Yet still caring. It is amazing how the author tied everything up together so unexpectedly but so well. My favorite scene in this book was when Fallon had picked up Ben’s book after ignoring him for about a year. Once she reads it, her perspective of Ben flips upside down. This is just enough to bring them back together in the end. I would recommend this book if you want to read something different. I rate this a five out of five stars.

Cookie Recipe

Blossom Cookies By: Lydia Grampp

With the holidays approaching, I wanted to share my favorite Christmas cookie recipe!


·1 ¾ cups flour ·1 teaspoon baking soda ·½ teaspoon salt

·1 stick butter, at room temperature ·½ cup smooth peanut butter (or other nut/seed butter substitute) ·½ cup granulated sugar, plus more to roll the cookies in ·½ cup light brown sugar ·1 large egg ·1 tablespoon milk

·1 teaspoon vanilla extract ·About 60 Hershey’s Kisses (unwrapped)

Directions 1.Mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, peanut butter, and both sugars. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat until well blended. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing thoroughly. If the dough is very soft, refrigerate for about 1 hour. 2.Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare a pan for cookies with parchment paper. Roll dough into roughly 1-inch balls 3.Roll cookies in sugar and place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake until very light brown and puffed (about 6 to 8 minutes). Remove sheet from oven and lightly press the Hershey kiss into center of each cookie, allowing it to crack slightly. Return to oven until light golden brown (about 2 to 3 minutes). Remove from oven and let cool completely before serving.

Creative Writing By: Jack Demopoulos

Ava Nollen: Editor-in-Chief The Chief Staff

Aubreigh Carmack Mason Christianson Jack Demopoulos Brieaunna Duck Lydia Grampp Vanessa Kapper Sam Kelly Zoe Noles Emma O'Lone Paige Olson Olivia Schickel Conrad Skryzpiec Jasmine White

Poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and drama are examples of creative writing. Creative writing in simpler terms is any sort of writing that goes past the bounds of academic or technical forms of literature. For inspiring young writers, creative writing is a great way to start. Imagination, creativity, and innovation in order to tell a very well written story, with good written visuals, can leave an emotional impact on the reader. Popular forms of creative writing include poetry, short stories, and novels. Creative writing is one of my favorite types of writing since I love being creative and exploring so many variations.

Mr. Blair, Faculty Sponsor Dr. Soares, Faculty Sponsor The CHIEF logos designed by Abbi Schott

Enjoy creative writing? If you ever would ever like to see your creative pieces in The Chief , contact Dr. Soares or Mr. Blair!

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