The CHIEF December 2023


DEC, 2023


2023 MADRIGALS DINNER Read about the music and performances from this year’s Madrigal Dinner

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

A Note from Your Editor

As the first semester of 2023-24 has ended, I cannot express how proud I am of The Chief staff for sticking around and pouring their hard work to the Pontiac Township High School community. All of us hope that you, the reader, have enjoyed our monthly editions so far. I have particularly loved reading all of the creative pieces that our staff have written, and I hope that we have provided a more diverse set of articles. Some highlight articles of this past semester are “PTHS Pets” by Lily Fetgatter, the interview of Lola’s and the feature of OB Joe’s by Hannah Ricketts, the beautifully detailed movie reviews by Tyler Drechsel, and that is to name just a few! As everyone on The Chief staff including Dr. Soares, Mr. Blair, the writers, the designers, and I enjoy our long awaited break, we hope to rest up to provide you with a great last semester of this year’s school newspaper. Coming onto the last semester of being the Editor-In-Chief, I long to make it the best one yet for you all. So, if you are a part of the staff at PTHS and would like an interview or a highlight, or if you are a student/staff member and wanted to be featured in the beloved “PTHS Pets,” please feel free to reach out and email me Thank you for reading!

Sincerely, Vanessa Kapper

2023 Madrigal Dinners By: Hannah Ricketts

The 57th Annual Madrigal Season has now come to an end, and I’m sure more than a few of us are both relieved and a little sad that it's all over. The performances were a great success, leaving the audiences every night with smiles on their faces and many pictures to remember the night. The King and Queen this year were seniors Daniel Bradshaw and Emma Reichardt, and each did a wonderful job keeping the mood alive and adapting seamlessly to changes. This year, for the first time, we had two performances in one day! Friday-Sunday, the Madrigal groups put on a two-and-a-half-hour dinner and show, consisting of a play, lots of singing from the Madrigals and Courtsingers, Christmas carols played by the Recorders and Madrigal Brass ensembles, and plenty of food and drink to fill the night. However, on Sunday evening, we hosted an additional concert for everybody who couldn’t get tickets to the first shows. This consisted of a shortened version of the full dinner, with highlights of performances from each individual ensemble. Although it was a taxing day, it was worth it in the end to see the joy we spread to the audience by the end of the night. All performers did a wonderful job this year and I can’t wait to see where next year takes us!

Interview with Miss Fox By: Hannah Ricketts

Miss Fox is one of the new teachers at PTHS! She has been teaching reading, community, math, career education and social science for one year. She describes PTHS as supportive. As a graduate from PTHS, she was inspired by the way previous teachers ran the special education program and she decided to follow in their footsteps. During this school year, she is looking forward to watching her students succeed and get jobs. A personal goal she has is to take each day as it comes, one step at a time, and to learn that it is okay to make mistakes. Miss Fox wants her students to work their hardest every day, especially on their job skills so they can get a job with competitive employment one day. Her favorite things about working at PTHS are being able to hear all of the jokes and stories her students tell, as well as seeing how they are all unique in their own ways. She loves being a positive impact in her students' lives and watching them succeed. She became interested in becoming a teacher through previous jobs in high school. She had previous experience working with individuals with disabilities and decided that teaching would be a fun career path. In high school at PTHS she was involved in National Honors Society, LACC National Technical Honors Society and Volleyball. She thinks that students should get involved in extracurricular activities to broaden their horizons and push themselves out of their comfort zone. While she was a student, her experience was different than the current one. For starters, there was no AI, school televisions, or improved technology for her to use. After PTHS, she went to College at Eureka College. Outside of school she enjoys being outdoors and traveling. Miss Fox frequently spends time with her friends and family, she calls them her biggest supporters. Her favorite song is “In Case You Didn’t Know” by Brett Young. She enjoys any movie with Adam Sandler in it. Her favorite book genre when she was younger was mystery. Her tips for freshmen are to have a successful school year and to hold yourself accountable. Finally, always make sure you set time aside for yourself!

Hello pet lovers! I am so thrilled that the first edition of PTHS Pets was a hit! I am excited to share the next one, this time with a focus on PTHS dogs. Hope you enjoy it!

PTHS PETS By: Lillian Rainbolt

Scout Owner: Mr. Nollen Breed: 12 lb Mini Golden Doodle Age: 6 years Name Origin: Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird Likes: Hiking, kayaking, paddleboarding, Lowe's, noodles, the neighbors Dislikes: Rain, her dog food, crates Fun Fact: She has hiked in seven different states and walked the streets of Washington DC where she frequented a dog-friendly coffee shop.

Pressley Owner: Jack Demopoulos Age: Eight Months Likes: Long car rides and playing in the mud Dislikes: The vacuum (“utterly hates” according to her owner).

Cookie Owner: Mr. Zega Breed: Goldendoodle Age: 2 ½ years Likes: popcorn, broccoli, snuggling, stealing socks Dislikes: doorbells, the Amazon driver



Lulu Owner: Mr. Shepherd Breed: Golden Retriever Age: 4 years in April Likes: walks, her toys, and just people in general; She insists that you touch/pet her if you are in the same room as her. Fun Fact: Lulu also has a guilty conscience...when she grabs something she is not supposed to have (like a sock, food wrapper etc...) she immediately runs off to our dinner table and tries to 'hide' there with it.

Maggie Owner: Karr Family Breed: Golden Retriever Lab mix Age: 3 years Likes: Squirrels, peanut butter Fun Fact: Her middle name is “Mess” because she loves playing in the mud!

Talulah (aka Lula) Owner: Maestra Martinez Breed: Chiweenie (chihuahua and mini dachshund mix) Age: 5 years Likes: Scratches, duck hearts, her jackets, unattended food, rolling in dead fish, hide and seek, digging in sand, walks, and car rides Dislikes: Nail clippings, baths, peanut butter, apple slices that are too big or that still have the skin on it, and when I roll the window up in the car Fun Fact: Lula had not a thought behind her eyes until she was a year old.

Sports Update By: Taylor Henson

With the end of the first semester, let’s evaluate the Pontiac Township High School Boys Basketball season. The team ended last year’s season with many accomplishments. One included winning their regional championship and going on to defeat the school’s rivals, the Prairie Central Hawks, for the super-sectional win. They couldn’t pull out any more wins for their miracle season, but now they are back, ready to take on this season! The coaches for this basketball season include Mr. Zega, Fernando Daley and Matt Kelley. The varsity team opened their season going 3-1 at a tournament in Ottawa, placing second to a great LaSalle-Peru team in the championship. Later on, they sadly lost to Morton, but quickly turned it around by winning a very high-intensity game against El-Paso Gridley. Their record, as of now, is 6-3 with many more games to go! As the Annual Pontiac Holiday Tournament approaches, come support the team as they fight to win their own tournament!

Pontio Update By: Brieaunna Duck

Pontio is a cool name, but what is it? It is the yearbook club! The yearbooks that people order every year are actually made by the students. In this club you use a website called Yearbook Avenue, which is fairly easy to use. If you enjoy being artistic, and making things look nice then this club is a good fit for you. This semester has had an exciting start! We have already turned in our first round of pages and they have begun printing. Another form of art is photography, as we take the pictures ourselves. It is quite rewarding at the end of the year to see the photos you took and your hard work, which is put into the pages, actually printed out. So overall, this year is going great and if you are interested it’s not too late to join.

Upperclass Acts

Emma Reichardt

NAME: Emma Nichole Reichardt

MOST POSITIVE MOMENT: Helping out my community by educating students on conservation and the monarch butterfly.

FONDEST MEMORY OF HIGH SCHOOL SO FAR: My senior year marching band performance at the U of I competition.

PET PEEVES: Snapping

3 MAJOR AREAS OF INTEREST: Music, Earth Science, Writing.

WHAT MY FRIENDS WILL REMEMBER ABOUT ME: The times we’ve spent together making memories that will last a lifetime. HOW WOULD YOU SPEND $1,000,000? Build a cabin on a piece of land in the mountains so I can live alone. IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT 3 ITEMS WOULD YOU WANT WITH YOU? Compass, a Knife, and a water filter.

PLANS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL: Attend the University of Illinois with a major in Geology or Biology and a minor in music.


MOST INSPIRATIONAL SONG: “In My Life” by the Beatles


LAST WORDS OF ADVICE: “If you don’t try, you never know if you’ll win!”


In order to provide an interesting twist to this article, I surveyed every PTHS teacher in order to find out what their favorite Christmas movie was. I then recorded all of the answers in order to find out what the most popular Christmas movie was among the teachers. Of the 64 teachers I surveyed, 54 responded, 4 left no response, and 6 told me to get out of their house. The number one most popular Christmas movie was Home Alone with 13 votes, the second most popular was National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation with 9 votes, and the third most popular was Elf with 6 votes. It was great seeing so many teachers taking the time to email me responses with finals coming up. So, I must give out huge thanks to every teacher who took the time to email me back. You are all truly incredible and appreciated. Holiday Movie Survey By: Tyler Drechsel




Work Study Review By: Summer Negray

Our work study program offered by the Livingston area Career Center and Pontiac Township High School is honestly such a gift. The program allows a student to take one to three class periods where they leave the building and go to work. Students are able to earn a paycheck while also receiving partial Heartland Community college credits and three Pontiac Township High School credits. To me, that is a huge benefit! I'm not aware of any other program that offers a student to be able to get money, get college credit and high school graduation credit all in one. The work-study also has a portion where you are in a classroom for one period with a teacher going over cover letters, resumes and references. You also learn about how to be professional at work along with covering how to handle difficult situations. By the end of the year-long course you're prepared to enter the workforce with background knowledge in what you want to do and how to handle difficult situations. Don't get me wrong, the work study program is an amazing program but we also hold the students that are in the program to a very high standard. You have to be able to be professional and act like an adult when you're in the classroom/work. You're representing the Livingston area Career Center, PTHS and the work study program. Maintaining a C and above average is a necessity. While this program is offered, academics come before work.

If you're interested in the work study program please talk to your guidance counselors to see about becoming enrolled your senior year.

Creative Writing: Poem By: Lily Fetgatter

Mirror Mirror on the wall, where is the fairest place of them all? Where can I go that has a beautiful view? There are a lot of places, so I leave it up to you. Mirror mirror on the wall, where do you think is the prettiest place of them all? For me it's outside, no matter the day. Whether the leaves are falling or the sky is a dark gray Nature is such a beautiful thing to see When the leaves fall off trees, and the snow falls from the sky, the only thing that comes to mind is the true feeling of being free. Mirror Mirror, on the wall, this is it. This is the most fairest place of them all. This is the place that I love, I am sure In the snow, the leaves, or in the sun by the shore.

Game Review

By Jack Demopoulous

Elden Ring (Are You Ready for a Challenge?)

This month I decided to review the game Elden Ring , a fighting and platforming game with an insane amount of beautiful graphics. You are chosen to come to the lands between and face the seven demi-gods that rule this land, trying to become the new Elden Lord and ruler. As you go through this game you’ll find yourself going against tough boss after tough boss. There's no sugar-coating that this is a very hard game. You will be changing attribute points gained throughout the game and switching one playstyle just to kill one boss! I can’t emphasize just how hard this game can actually get. This is one of the highest rated games in the last five years and rightfully so as well, as this game received “Game of the Year” honors from the Game Developers Choice Awards. While the story might seem difficult to follow, the second that you can comprehend the story, you’ll find its hidden beauty. But don’t forget the beauty in the cinematics; by far my favorite of the bunch is the introduction to fighting the “Dragonlord of Placidusax” being just the coolest fight I’ve ever seen. This game has such good replayability with the amount of different classes you can have along with styles of play. Want to play with magic? Go ahead. Play with a greatsword? Do it. Want to use a huge battle hammer? Go and use it. There's also the option when you beat the game to play a new game, which just makes your game a bit harder. This is all without mentioning the DLC (downloadable content) that's coming soon. Elden Ring might be my favorite game of all time and I cannot establish how much you should play this game.

Movie Review

By Tyler Drechsel

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

For those who don’t know, It’s A Wonderful Life is a film about the life of a man named George Bailey. George lives in the small town of Bedford Falls. And throughout his entire life, he has had several ups and downs. Many of the downs in his life are due to the greedy businessman Mr. Potter, who spends his life making things harder on the people of Bedford Falls by buying all of the businesses he can, and bumping up prices. After George’s father dies, he’s forced to stay in Bedford Falls instead of going to college in order to prevent Mr. Potter from taking over his father’s business. After he takes charge of his father’s business, he marries his childhood sweetheart. But instead of using his money to go on a romantic honeymoon, he invests in the bank to keep it afloat. George is forced to stay in Bedford Falls and handle his business while he watches everyone else in his life go on to make great achievements. George reaches rock bottom when his bank goes bankrupt. The tax man is breathing down his neck, and he just keeps taking hits. Just as he’s seriously contemplating jumping off a bridge and ending his life, an angel comes down from Heaven to stop him. In an attempt to prevent George from taking his own life, the angel guides him through a world where he was never born. This film originally flopped when it first came out. In 1946, people were still adjusting to the effects of WWII and weren’t really in the mood for a movie that was so cheery. While it was nominated for Best Picture, it didn’t gain popularity until 1976 after airing on television. Directed by Frank Capra, the film has the ability to balance comedy and drama thanks to the incredible actors, who portray some of the most memorable characters in cinematic history. Lionel Barrymore in particular, gives one of the greatest villain performances of all time as Mr. Potter. He doesn’t have any super powers, or extraordinary wit, or incredible strength. He just has money and authority and he uses these resources to be one of the biggest jerks in the movies. While all of these aspects are great, the film's ability to capture the variety of life is what makes It’s A Wonderful Life such a great movie. There will be times when you feel like you can do anything you put your mind to, only to end up doing something basic. Whether it be problems with money, family, or anything else, there will be some terrible things that will happen during your life. However, life will also have some incredible moments. There will be times when you are surrounded by incredible people, times when you are loved, times when you are respected. It’s the theme about the incredible gift of life that makes It’s A Wonderful Life so special. I have only cried during six movies in my life, and this is one of them. Unlike the rest of them however, this one made me cry out of happiness. I would recommend this to anyone who hasn’t seen it. It’s truly an unforgettable, and impactful experience. 10/10

Editor-in-Chief: Vanessa Kapper The Chief Staff Jack Demopoulos Tyler Drechsel Brieaunna Duck Lily Fetgatter Megan Hensley Taylor Henson Kat Mercer Summer Negray Lily Raby Lilian Rainbolt Hannah Ricketts Lauren Russow Michelle Stevenson Jalene Woolford Julie Zavala

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

Mr. Blair, Faculty Sponsor Dr. Soares, Faculty Sponsor

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