#1StudentNWI: End of Summer Happenings at Valpo High School

By: Malika Saxena Last Updated: August 20, 2015

Team LEAD Conference

In the midst of today’s technology, social media, and high standards, it’s so difficult to catch a break. Luckily, here in Valparaiso is the amazing Team LEAD, and once a year, this club hosts a full-day conference where high school leaders are chosen to spend a day without any expectations or responsibilities or media pressure. From 10 am-10 pm on July 27th, sophomores, juniors, and seniors came to Aberdeen Manor where they learned important life lessons, made new friends, and listened to inspirational speakers. Throughout the day, everyone engaged in fun, team-building activities and enlightening, thought-provoking conversations. It was a time meant for each of the students to take time away from their screens and simply live in the moment.

When asked what she thinks about Team LEAD, Camille Thiros (11) said, “It is a really great program that helps out people in the community. I love that it makes such a great impact on everyone who is involved.”

Mrs. Koebcke (TJMS) explains why she founded this club: “LEAD began about 14 years ago when I put my lesson plans aside for the day and let my 7th graders talk to me about all the social aggression and anxiety they were experiencing. That day, they begged me to ‘do something about it.’ From that day forward, I made it my personal mission to work with kids to create more pro-social relationships and leadership skills.”

I’m sure that everyone who has ever been a part Team LEAD can say with full honesty that it is such a great way to make a difference in the lives of others. I, personally, remember what an awkward and confusing time middle school was for myself and many of my peers, but I am eternally grateful that LEAD was my rock all the way through.

FRESHMAN FUN NIGHT

It’s that time of year again! As summer nears to an end, the air is filled with the anticipation and anxiety of incoming underclassmen. BUT before VHS could ever let these nervous freshmen enter the mysterious halls of high school, we have to prepare them, of course. That’s what Freshman Fun Night is all about

“Freshman Fun Night is one of the first experiences our new students have to interact with VHS clubs, and the evening provides an opportunity for clubs to recruit new members and leaders-in-training,” says Mrs. Monroe; assistance principle, “It is a time for our newest students to make connections with fellow freshmen, student leaders, and sponsors who share common interests in these clubs. Although VHS is a large high school, involvement in school clubs creates a more personal experience for students. VHS clubs provide students with the space to create lasting friendships, find student and staff mentors, and establish their niche within our school.”

And so begins the fall sports season

June is the month of summer school. August is the month of ACTUAL school. So, then JULY must be the season of athletic boot-camp. Football, volleyball, soccer, cross-country, tennis, cheer: you name it! While training took place all summer, in July, Valparaiso High School teams definitely kicked it up a notch. With scrimmages and even some games, hard work for athletes started long before school did.

Aaron Finley, a senior XC runner, has a goal that should be a mantra for athletes and non-athletes alike: “Personally, this season is huge for me. It’s my senior year and my last year of running with my friends. But I’m not alone in this. This year, I want our team to do well, and I want to stop saying I don’t matter and start making myself matter.”

I can’t wait to see what more success this autumn brings VHS, seeing that so far, the achievements have only been innumerable.

So finally, along with Aaron’s wisdom comes the message to all the students and sporting superstars out there: this year will be awesome but ONLY if you make it awesome. VHS, let’s make it a great school year, and let’s make some great memories.