#1StudentNWI: Laughing it up at Valparaiso High School

#1StudentNWI: Laughing it up at Valparaiso High School

What’s recently happened

The Valparaiso High School (VHS) Drama Club blew the audience out of their seats once again with another can’t miss comedy performance. The annual ‘VHS Mocha Madness Improv Show’ took place February 24 to 27. No two shows were alike due to the randomness of audience participation and student imagination.

“Having the chance to use my imagination is something I really look forward to," said Junior Evyenia Lawely.

Throughout the Mocha Madness performance, students asked the audience for words while acting out scenes pertaining to those suggestions.

“The feedback from the audience is always great. Some of the scenes we come up with really make me laugh," said Junior TJ Kay.

In drama, not only is the acting good but the friends are better. The VHS Drama Club really appreciates the friendships created through being a part of this show.

“The loyalty that comes out of the friendships formed during practices is like no other," Lawley said.

Being around like-minded individuals in an activity they all enjoy can make all the difference. 

“I really enjoy being part of a community that has the same dreams as me. The friends I have here really encourage me to keep going even when I get nervous or scared for a scene," said Junior Lamar Williams.

Improv is significantly different from a scripted play and even though Senior Mia Webdell likes scripted productions better, there is no show like improv.

“Improv can be stressful but the ideas that are thought of on the spot can be some of the best ideas I’ve had or seen. The improv practices are a lot more fun too because there is nothing we have to follow except our imaginations,” Webdell said.

 Many of the students involved with improv mention that it has given them plenty of valuable skills for life after high school.

“There is always something funny to find and create. This definitely was the best decision in my high school career that I’ll take with me to my future and beyond," drama club member Lauren Carter-Chenoweth said.

The VHS drama club productions are events you don’t want to miss!

What’s Coming up

Juniors: get ready for SAT day on March 2. All juniors across the Porter County area are given the chance to take the school proctored SAT, a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States. Even though less and less colleges are requiring this standardized test, the SAT is still a very important step for getting into college for many students.

Senior Allyssa McGrew shared some advice for students to start testing day on the right foot.

“Get sleep and don’t be late to school. I would also recommend bringing water to your testing room," McGrew said.

The SAT is a lengthy test with minimal breaks in between so it is good to be prepared for anything you might need during those long hours.

“I would say this is not a make or break test so don’t stress over it that much, you can always take it again," Senior Jackson Ulman said.

VHS juniors will be getting out of school at 12:05 p.m. due to testing.

“Honestly knowing I was getting out of school early really motivated me to work hard on this test," Senior Natalie Grund said.

All VHS teachers and staff wish juniors good luck.

Staff Spotlight

English teacher Joseph Weil finds value in being able to explore new hobbies and express creativity. Weil teaches advanced English 10, American Literature II, and World Literature. He has been teaching for five years. Weil graduated from Valparaiso University with a bachelors in English and Spanish, then received his Masters in Comparative Literature from South Carolina. Weil’s inspiration for becoming a teacher dates back to his high school years.

“I went to Penn High School and my AP Lang teacher Michael Coffee made me fall in love with teaching. He even still teaches there today," he said.

Weil really enjoys teaching at VHS and is glad to be part of such a supportive group of staff.

“Valpo is unique because it is the smallest community I've lived in, but in spite of being a small community, it is not a community that is inwardly focused. Our small town is aware that it is a part of a bigger world. Valpo has an increasingly diverse community and in general we have a community that really cares about this highschool and its students . This high school is the heart of community spirit," he said.

In high school students have the ability to explore and discover new hobbies and interests. Weil misses the freedom he had when he was in high school himself. VHS offers a plethora of clubs and sports and Weil recommends students to get involved.

“Kids are lucky because they still have the ability to be exploring hobbies and clubs, and as adult you have work and family. Discovering your type of creativity and being socially active can really make highschool enjoyable," he said.

Since everyone has to attend school, Weil shares some advice on how to get through it.

“Just pay attention to detail so you don’t fall behind. The ability to adapt and overcome can make your highschool experience go by smoothly," he said.

Student Spotlight

This month’s student spotlight is Senior Jackson Ulman. Ulman is an immersive student who always has something to do. He is part of the VHS orchestra and participates in jazz band after school. He is also a part of Key Club, Drama Club, Interact Club, and a part of the VHS National Honors Society. He is planning to attend Ball State after high school.

“I am very excited to graduate. I am looking forward to having a less structured school day where I can learn at my own pace," Ulman said.

Ulman is looking forward to many things after high school but freedom is at the top of his list.

“Freedom is something that is rare as a high school student because you always have to be somewhere. I want to go into architecture, and there I have the ability to do what I want," he said.

Ulman wants for younger students to be able to enjoy high school like he did through all the different extracurricular activities VHS has to offer.

“Just keep pushing forward, trying new things, discovering who you are. High school is the time to do it! It's the time to think more," he said.