A frozen moment at Pelham High

Pelham resident Lawrence Neuhoff takes a lap around Pelham High School’s frozen football field during an ice storm in Shelby County. (Special/Connie Nolen)

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

Pelham High School rarely comes to a standstill. So when last week’s icy weather brought most of Alabama to a screeching halt, believing that all was quiet at PHS was impossible. I couldn’t resist the urge to travel with my husband in his four-wheel drive to check for signs of life at PHS.

Upon arrival, we discovered suspicious tracks coming down the embankment beside the school making me wish I had arrived in time to catch a photo of that sled. We also found a frozen football field that was more white than green.

Lawrence Neuhoff, the father of 2010 PHS graduate Caroline Neuhoff, was taking some laps around that frozen field. Neuhoff admitted, “I just had to get out and move. I have a courier business and standing still is not my nature.”

“The high school did a great job of preparing Caroline,” Neuhoff said. “She has done so well at the University of Alabama this year.”

Neuhoff said his younger daughter would come to PHS in the fall after completing eighth grade at Riverchase Middle School — moving us toward what’s next for Pelham High.

This year we’re off to an early start with registration. Counselors will visit English classes to begin advising them about 2011-12 schedule choices this week and PHS student course selection forms with both teacher and parent signatures will be due back to PHS English teachers by January 27.

For middle school students, the schedule is different. The last week of January, counselors will also visit both Riverchase and Helena middle schools to meet with eighth-graders about high school course selection. PHS will host its annual Eighth Grade Parents’ Night on Thursday, Feb. 3.

Our course schedule has some new offerings linked to our new construction. As PHS expands, our art program will move to a larger, better equipped area. New art electives, including sculpture and photography, will broaden our fine arts base, reaching an even larger range of student interests.

Literary magazine students make plans for Write Night, compete with their 2010 magazine and begin to create this year’s magazine. Our seniors look toward graduation struggling to focus on their coursework, giddy that their lives will finally change dramatically soon — some of them a bit nostalgic that these high school days draw dramatically and quickly to an end.

All quiet at PHS? Never! We’re rushing into a second semester brimming with activity!

Connie Nolen can be reached by e–mail at CNolen@Shelbyed.k12.al.us.