North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Sharma cuts down Emily Oaks in preparation for finals

Graphic by James R Prizant
Local history teacher Pankaj Sharma has announced that he will be cutting down parts of Emily Oaks forest to provide his AP students with study guides and packets, preparing them for final exams



Niles North’s own AP US History teacher Pankaj Sharma announced to his AP classes on April 22 that he would be planning to chop down much of Emily Oaks Nature Center by the first week of May. Due to a recent denial from the school board regarding a request for more papers, Sharma has taken initiative, partnering with the Skokie Bureau of Forestry to provide more papers for his AP students.

“If the district won’t give me the paper I’ll get it myself,” Sharma said. “I believe that students need every resource possible to be prepared for finals. With this action, I will be able to provide my students with enough practice tests and extra study guides, leaving them no excuse to be unprepared for finals. Anything for my students!”

A box full of study packets wait peacefully in the duplicating room for Mr. Sharma. (Jean Ordoñez)

Students have rumored seeing Sharma in the school’s theatre department’s woodshop working every night chopping the logs and using the art room’s kiln to turn the sliced pieces into paper.

“We don’t know how he keeps getting in at night,” one NN security guard said. “We check the building every night, yet we still see him chopping away and drying the paper every night on the CCTV footage.” 

Sharma has also allegedly been witnessed walking down the hallways with a chainsaw under his arm during his lunch breaks. Some anonymous staff have even reported seeing Sharma’s car parked at Emily Oaks after school hours, while loud buzzing and grinding noises are heard from deep within the forest.

Students have mixed opinions on this issue. One student has been outspoken against Sharma’s actions and the mass usage of paper for general school assignments. 

“This is outrageous, the district spends thousands of dollars on our Chromebooks which we can use for assignments and tests, yet trees are wasted every year for an old outdated format,” the student said. “It’s wasteful and harmful to the environment. I will not stand for this!”

Currently, there is a visible chunk of trees, now stumps, missing from the forest preserve, known by locals as the “Sharma bald spot.” By the time the schedules for finals are in effect on May 20, the park rangers have estimated that one third of the forest will be completely gone. 

However, students will enjoy their fresh paper during finals, hopefully leaving them fully prepared for any tough questions that come their way. Perhaps in future, to appease upset students and avoid conflict with the district board, there will be a push from the district and its students and staff to digitize any and all assignments in due time.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover
About the Contributors
James R Prizant
James R Prizant, Asst. People Editor
James "Jimmy" Ryan Prizant is a junior at Niles North. In his free time he enjoys bowling, scrolling and chatting through socials, and listening to '80s music on Spotify. He one day hopes to have a job relating to mental health, writing, or bowling.
Ivan Shalaev
Ivan Shalaev, Reporter
Ivan is a senior at Niles North. Ivan is a part of six music ensembles at school and is also involved in theater.

Comments (1)

All North Star News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • S

    Samina HussainMay 6, 2024 at 12:42 pm

    I love your satire pieces. Always looking forward to reading them!