The CHIEF February 2023
CHIEF PONTIAC TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL The
Read about a 9th grader's transition from junior high into high school
Check out which PTHS seniors are this month's Upperclass Acts
Retiring Teacher Interview By: Lauren Russow
PTHS alumni and teacher Laura Baumgardner, will be retiring at the end of the school year. She is a Special Education Life Skills and Transition teacher at the high school. Ms.Baumgarder graduated from Illinois State University and taught at Streator Woodland for a year before coming to teach at Pontiac, which she has done for thirty-two years! She is the Unified Champion Schools Site Coordinator, Peers in Action Advisor, Unified Coach for Soccer, Bags, Bass Fishing, National Honors Society Advisor, and was the Cheer coach for seventeen years. A fun fact about Ms. Baumgardner is that she has been a part of the Life Skills program since the very beginning. Her favorite memories from her time teaching at PTHS are when she learned that our school was named a Unified Champion National Banner School and the top Unified School in Illinois by ESPN, being the Race Director of the Run for Respect, and when she assisted one of her students, Ken LoPiccolo, at his graduation. She enjoys working with Mrs. Shelton, her students, fellow teachers, and peers. She loves keeping in contact with so many of her former students, peers, and cheerleaders, and is thrilled to see how they are now making a difference in so many ways. Ms. Baumgardner also is so proud to see how the Spread the Word Inclusion initiative has become embedded within our school culture and the community. Ms. Baumgardner describes Pontiac Township High School as cooperative and always evolving. Her advice for freshmen to have a successful school year is to get involved, find something that they’re passionate about, know that they can do anything if they put in the work, and to remember to include everyone. She also encourages students to get involved with Peers in Action and to strive to make a positive difference in the lives of others within the student body and our community. Outside of school she loves to travel, read books and craft. She is currently learning how to decorate cookies. Her favorite books are The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Koune, and The Harry Potter book series by JK Rowling. Her favorite song is “With or Without You” by U2. Her favorite quote is by Martha Washington and it states, “The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions and not upon our circumstances.” We wish Ms. Baumgardner well as she goes on to new challenges in the future.
Lily's Freshman Perspective By: Lily Fetgatter
Transitioning into Pontiac Township High School can have many stressful factors, such as having to expand your friend group and figure out what you want to continue in life after high school. As a freshman, I would highly recommend staying on top of your homework and doing what you need to do to get good grades and to minimize the amount of stress during the school year. By getting good grades, students will be able to do so much more after the school day like hanging out with friends or going on walks. If students stay on top of their homework, they will also not have to worry about being ineligible for events such as sporting events! Personally, sports are a big part of my life and they constantly keep me occupied. I have learned that I feel less stress when I am balancing my sports and schoolwork. So, take these tips into consideration as you continue having a great second semester!
Key Club Update By: Vanessa Kapper
February has been such an exciting time for PTHS Key Club! Executive Board elections were held on February 2nd and the 2023-2024 Pontiac Key Club Executive Board officers are:
President- Mickey Travis Vice President- Liv Lindsay Treasurer- Morgan Dewald Secretary- Aubrey Shepherd
Congratulations to you all and the TBA board officers that have been selected by President Mickey Travis and Mr. Bristow! Key Club members have also turned in their paperwork to attend the Key Club District Convention in Springfield this upcoming March. They are very excited to attend leadership workshops and catch up or meet other members of the Illinois-Eastern Iowa district. Stay tuned for our March edition of The Chief to see how it goes!
Lucas Goes to State
If you see him in the halls, make sure to congratulate Jacob Lucas on becoming a State qualifying swimmer in the 50 freestyle. He won 1st place at the Pekin Sectional with a state qualifying time of 21.59. This time also gives him the school record! After missing this mark by .2 of a second last year, we was able to achieve this accomplishment after literal years of training. His next race was at state competition on February 24 at the FMC Natatorium in Westmont, Illinois where he placed 38th overall in state for the 50 freestyle. Congratulations, Jacob!
PTHS Music Update By: Hannah Ricketts
This February brings many exciting events for the band and choir at PTHS. On February 16th, the annual Winter Choral Showcase Concert took place, featuring many popular songs that we have all most likely heard of. They started the concert with the Combined Choir, which consists of every choir member squeezing on the stage and singing a few songs as one giant collective. The Chamber Choir performed three songs next, and led us right into the next group: Festival Choir. Mr. Durbin has been working with the choir multiple times a week to prepare them for the upcoming trip to Disney, where they will be performing nine songs. They showcased two of those songs at this concert. The next ensemble was Cantabile, an all-girls choir that performed three songs, including “Dancing Queen” by ABBA. Next was Route 66 Jazz, which performed two pieces and dressed in their customary red and black outfits. The concert was finished off with the Concert Choir, which performed five songs and did a great job overall. At this concert, there were four featured soloists that have been working with Mr. Durbin for the Solo and Ensemble competition. Seniors Doralyn Lee, Clara Haas, and Glorianna Birkett all showcased their talents by performing their solos, doing a wonderful job. Levi Rients, a sophomore, also sang his solo at this concert because he was the highest scoring solo at the competition. Finally, the concert concluded with a special guest, Mr. McElwee, an English teacher at PTHS, who sang and played the song “Piano Man” by Billy Joel on the piano. Great job to everyone that performed, you all sounded amazing! On February 23rd, the Winter Band/Pops Concert will be held. The Concert Band will perform a few songs, including “My Shot” from the famous Hamilton Musical, and will be accompanied by a small group of singers to rap the lyrics while the band plays. The Symphonic Band will also play a number of well-known songs, such as selections from Glee. The Jazz Band has been working hard on much more difficult music for this concert, including “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder and "I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5. Lastly, band students have the opportunity to prepare solos or small ensembles that can be showcased, making up for the band not taking part in the Solo and Ensemble Competition this semester. All-in-all, this was an exciting month for the PTHS Music Department, and everyone worked hard to put on a great performance for the community. On February 8th, the FFA members held a special event for the second year Ag students where they were awarded their chapter degrees. The chapter degree is the third highest ranking degree for Ag students and is the last award that he or she can be awarded under being in the Ag classroom. The two other awards that an Ag member can be awarded are the State Degree and the American Degree. In able to earn these two awards he or she must apply for an application and do and interview to see if they qualify. If they qualify they will be recommended and move on to the rest of the qualification process. After the degrees were awarded, member headed back to the Ag classroom where a delicious taco bar was prepared for us by PTHS’ Culinary Arts teacher Chef Rowan. Games of 4-square, Corn Hole, and line dances also helped us wrap up our celebration for our new Chapter Degree owners. On the weekend of Feb. 18th, the FFA silent and live auction was held. Items sold included wood projects made by Ag classes like workbenches, flower pots and bag sets. Many alumni attended and helped set up and put items together. February in FFA By: Addisyn McKinney
Student Poetry By: Neva Morris
“Twinkling Dreams” Some say stars are wishes Others say they are gas To you they may be a light in the night But to me they are the dreams Dreams of children lost within thought With hope compassion and love Twinkling lights that keep on gleaming through a pool of never ending darkness Illuminating the nights soul
Til morning's rise when the dreams are hidden away They are really being saved for another night to awake
Fun Facts of the Month! By: Willow Dodson
Did you know that February is the shortest month of the year? Despite this fact, February still has many holidays that are celebrated such as Valentine’s Day, Presidents’ Day, and many more that are listed below. February is an interesting month so here are some interesting facts about it.
Black History month takes place in February.
February is American Heart Month, a time when all people can focus on their cardiovascular health.
February is the only month that can pass without a single full moon.
Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is February 12, 1809.
February is named after the Roman festival of Februa, which was a time for purification and sacrifice.
National Groundhog Day also takes place on February 2nd.
Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th.
Mackenzie Coates MOST POSITIVE MOMENT: Winning the talent show for softball junior year.
NAME: Mackenzie Coates
NICKNAMES: Mac, Kenzie, and Coates
ROLE MODEL(S): My mom and dad
PET PEEVES: Loud chewers and loud talkers.
ACTIVITIES @ PTHS: Basketball, Softball, Science Club, National Honor Society, and Student Council
WHAT MY FRIENDS WILL REMEMBER ABOUT ME: How my hair always falls out of a messy bun HOW WOULD YOU SPEND $1,000,000? I would pay for all of my college and pay off my car. I would pay for someone to teach me how to invest and save some, but I would invest the rest. IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT 3 ITEMS WOULD YOU WANT WITH YOU? Water, chicken, and a kayak.
FONDEST MEMORY OF HIGH SCHOOL SO FAR: Going to State for softball my junior year
3 MAJOR AREAS OF INTEREST: Watching TV, baking/cooking, and working out
PLANS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL: Attend ISU and major in Physical Education
FAVORITE MOVIE: Good Will Hunting
MOST INSPIRATIONAL SONG: “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley
LAST WORDS OF ADVICE: “If there is a buffalo chicken wrap on the menu, order it.”
FAVORITE TEACHER/CLASS: Intro to Speech and Mr. Blair and Mr. McElwee
NAME: Jamie Martin
FAVORITE TEACHERS: Ms. Shelton and Ms. Baumgardner
ROLE MODEL: My sister, Cori
FAVORITE AUTHORS: Chris Colfer and J. K. Rowling
ACTIVITIES @ PTHS: Unified Basketball and Soccer, Unified Bass Fishing, Key Club, Choir, Band, musicals and cheerleading.
MOST POSITIVE MOMENT: Unified Champion National School Banner Award.
FONDEST MEMORY OF HIGH SCHOOL SO FAR: School dances
PET PEEVES: When other people don’t follow the rules.
3 MAJOR AREAS OF INTEREST: Cooking, art and theater.
WHAT MY FRIENDS WILL REMEMBER ABOUT ME: I know everybody by name.
PLANS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL: Go to Halo Program, then go to Pace at National Louis University, work at Once ‘n Again
HOW WOULD YOU SPEND $1,000,000? New bedroom and buy presents for everyone I love.
IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT 4 ITEMS WOULD YOU WANT WITH YOU? Water, food, music, iPad
FAVORITE MOVIE: Hairspray
MOST INSPIRATIONAL SONG: “We Own Summer” by Milo Manheim
LAST WORDS OF ADVICE: “Always be kind.”
By Summer Negray
The Parent Trap (1998)
This month I am going to be reviewing the movie, The Parent Trap , starring Lindsay Lohan. In this film, two identical daughters unexpectedly get sent to the same summer camp after not being aware of each other for eleven years. This is due to their parents making an agreement to each take one baby when they divorced. When the sisters come into contact by mistake, they ultimately decide to reunite as a family! To meet the other parent, they devise a plan to trade locations. The girls then decide to figure out a means to reunite their parents while they're doing this. I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars because of being able to experience the journey of sisterly love over the span of such a short time. I adore this movie because it makes me remember a happy piece of my childhood!
Editor-in-Chief: Vanessa Kapper The Chief Staff Dalton Baker Kyla Baker Willow Dodson AuBrianna Foglio Rebekah Hendershott Addisyn McKinney
Enjoy creative writing? If you ever would ever like to see your creative pieces in The Chief , contact Dr. Soares or Mr. Blair!
Summer Negray Caroline Paulson Lauren Russow
Mr. Blair, Faculty Sponsor Dr. Soares, Faculty Sponsor The CHIEF logos designed by Abbi Schott
Student Poetry: Environmental Haiku By: Lauren Russow
The earth needs your help Preserve the ecosystem And shop locally
Put out less plastic Recycle all that you can Keep our earth healthy
Plant your own garden Buy healthy and fresh produce To keep yourself well
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