#1StudentNWI: The End of Winter, the Beginning of Spring at Valparaiso High School

#1StudentNWI: The End of Winter, the Beginning of Spring at Valparaiso High School
By: Peyton Mahlmann Last Updated: March 21, 2016

Student Spotlight: Kareen Billetter

Waking up each morning, ready for the day ahead of her, Kareen Billetter is once again found tackling her senior year one step at a time. Being one of the hardest working people I know, Kareen has accomplished much as a VHS student. She holds a high-class rank while still managing numerous other activities. She is such a friendly, inspiring, and strong person, and she will be greatly missed as she heads off to college next year.

When she is asked what she will miss most about leaving Valparaiso next year, Kareen says, “I will definitely miss my friends the most. I have been friends with most of them for over six years and it’s going to be really hard not seeing them.” She continues on to say, “Although unconventional, I will also miss a lot of the local restaurants like Shoes and Stacks.”

Kareen is involved in countless clubs, some of which include Alliance of Students Against Poverty, Key Club, Soccer and Tennis Teams, and National Honors Society. VHS has so much to offer for each student, and Kareen definitely takes advantage of these opportunities to involve herself in as much as possible. She is the Marketing Captain and Fundraising Manager for the VHS DECA club. She is also heavily involved in Yearbook.

Her most proud accomplishment is when she competed in the DECA State competition and placed third in marketing management, allowing her to advance to the International Competition in Nashville, Tennessee. Congratulations to not only Kareen but also Lexi Ferngren, Andrew Recker, Eric Hess, and Aaron King for all advancing to the International DECA Competition.

Thank you, Kareen, for bringing such a positive light to the high school and for being such a great person to everyone around you each and every day!

Teacher Spotlight: Matthew Thomas

If you ask any student at the high school who their favorite teacher is, you can bet that the majority of them would strongly say, Mr. Thomas. As stated by many students, “He is a teacher who not only is enjoyable in classes, but you actually learn real and valuable lessons from him.”

Here at VHS, Thomas teaches American Literature and American Studies, a course that incorporates American Literature, Composition, and U.S. History all into one fun-filled class. Over the past 18 years, he has taught students from 7th grade to seniors and has enjoyed every minute of being at the high school.

When asked what the most enjoyable part of teaching students for him is, he responded by saying, “The most enjoyable part of teaching for me is when the class period is over, and I know my students are a little smarter and a little happier than they were when they entered my class.”

He continues to talk about the community of Valparaiso saying, “Ironically, the best part of VHS is actually a result of what takes place outside of VHS. I know it’s cliche’ but it does take a village to raise a child and Valpo’s a great village. So much of our success at VHS is simply because the students care, and this is often because the parents care, and the students come from families that value education.”

With strong intentions of leaving an impact on the students he teaches, Mr. Thomas is a highly regarded teacher by his students, their parents, and the school family in general. He has a strong passion for the classes he teaches, and it allows him to further that passion and spark interests in his students. He is always working towards preparing students for their future and he hopes that his influence can make them be the best person they can be.

Thank you, Mr. Thomas, for all that you do, your impact on the high school has made it a better place for everyone around!

Coming Up: April Antics

Each year, the VHS Drama Club successfully shows the students and the overall community how much talent they truly have. The high school is full of countless students who are encouraged to get up on stage and showcase these talents for everyone to appreciate and applaud.

This year, the show is taking place on the 22nd and 23rd of April and the theme is Telethon!

Make sure to come out to the show to see all that our students have to offer. It is a wonderful blend of singing, dancing, comedy, acting, and lots of laughter. You sure don’t want to miss it!

Stay up to date with the VHS Drama Club on Twitter (@valpodramaclub).

What's Going On: End of Winter Sports

Valparaiso High School holds great pride in their academics, but their sports as well. The Vikings are some of the strongest competitors and have truly showed that this winter season in everything from Gymnastics to Basketball. As this winter season wraps up, we can now take a look back on all the amazing performance that our students have shown.

At the Winter Sports Banquet this past week, the Women’s Gymnastics team was recognized for their second place finish at the IHSAA State Competition. As State Champions for consecutive years in the past, these girls hold a strong name for Valparaiso Gymnastics, and their accomplishments have made such an impact on our school. Congratulations on such an incredible season!

For the Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball Teams, both were able to show their courage on the court and the fans were encouraging as they showed their Viking Pride throughout the entire season. The Girls’ Team finished their season with a 14-9 record. For the Boys’, they successfully made it to the Sectional Championships, where they proudly took home the Sectional Runner-Up Title. They finished off their season with a 20-7 record. Thank you to all Valparaiso High School ballers for representing our school and community with Viking spirit!

Speaking of Viking Spirit, the Vikette and Cheerleading Teams have really shown their Viking Pride this winter season! Not only did they show their support for our teams on the court this year, they competed in various competitions where they showed their competitiveness as well!

The Wrestling team has shown their strength this season, as they advanced to the state meet with numerous accomplishments in the end. Throughout the season, Michael Yallourakis, Greg Lichtenberger, Joey McIntyre, John Nowosad, Alex Kukurugya, and Sam Nowosad all finished their season as undefeated wrestlers.

Last but not least, the Men's’ and Women's’ Swimming and Diving Teams have shown so much throughout their winter season this year. For the Girls, they took second place as a team at the Sectional Championships and continued on to the State meet with competitors Annie Rastovski, Elizabeth Simac, Grace Cobble, Marisa Johnson, Jackie Bontrager, and Brooke McKeon. The Boys team took 9th place as a team at the State Competition with competitors Ryan Hrosik, Isaiah Parrish, Cole St. Aubin, Ian Holmes, and Darian Low. Congrats to the Swimming & Diving Teams for all of their accomplishments!

Thank you to all Winter Sports Teams for showing such courage and strength this year. Way to go Vikes!