#1StudentNWI: Valparaiso High School starts off the year strong

#1StudentNWI: Valparaiso High School starts off the year strong

What’s recently happened?

As school resumed on August 16, many after-school activities held callout meetings for interested students. In addition, Valparaiso High School (VHS) started the year strong with fall sports games and meets.

On August 18, the VHS Varsity football team played against Penn High School. The game was located on the VHS Turf Game Field. The game started at 6:30 p.m. for VHS’s Senior Night.  

The football team lost their senior night game to Penn by a score of 21-38. Although they lost, the Vikings had another game in August to redeem themselves in which they played against Andrean High School and won with a score of 55-18. 

Patriot Night was also hosted at VHS. The football game was against Michigan City and started at 7 p.m. The game came to an end with a victory for Valpo scoring 31-7.

What’s coming up?

In September, the VHS Varsity Football team will continue playing games every Friday. On September 29, the Vikings will play against Merrillville High School for Valparaiso’s Homecoming Game. The school will be hosting a homecoming parade as the junior class is in charge of the parade. 

In addition, the homecoming dance will follow being held on September 30 from 8 p.m. - 10 p.m. Many students are excited for Homecoming this year as many students get food before the dance and go to take pictures with their dates. The dance will be held at VHS in the school's cafeteria. Tickets can be purchased online for current VHS students. Guest passes for the dance will also be due on September 15. 

Staff spotlight:

English Teacher Erin Charpentier attended Lowell High School and continued to college to obtain a degree in secondary English education. She received her degree from Indiana University. Charpentier teaches English 10, classical literature, and etymology at the VHS. 

Charpentier facilitates the after-school activity Team Lead. Team Lead has been altered to focus on VHS instead of taking place at the two middle schools, Benjamin Franklin Middle School and Thomas Jefferson Middle School. Furthermore, Team Lead “mentors” will assist underclassmen and new students to learn their way around the school. Charpentier expresses her favorite part of facilitating Team Lead.

“I enjoy getting to know kids that I don’t have in class because it gives me an opportunity to see upperclassmen that I might not otherwise see. I’ve really developed a bond with some of them,” Charpentier said.

Finally, Charpentier enjoys that no two days as a teacher are ever the same. 

“Every day is different. No two class periods are the same because you have different personalities, you have a different mix of learning styles, so you have to adjust to that,” Charpentier said. 

Student spotlight:

Matt Hofer is currently a VHS senior. Hofer is involved in a significant number of activities within the school including football, which is his favorite sport, and basketball. Hofer is also the president of Fellowship Of Christian Athletes. 

“The most important after-school activity to me is Fellowship of Christian Athletes. It was my first ministry and one of the things I am most proud of. Football is the way I base a lot of things off of. I learned adversity, how to be a leader, how to smile when it is 100 degrees, and how to smile when it’s negative four degrees out. Basketball teaches me about a lot of different types of adversity. It is a very long season but in the end, the little moments are the moments I take with me,” Hofer said. 

Hofer adds his favorite thing about playing sports for VHS and the emotions he endures while playing. 

“I love the people. Without sports, I wouldn't have half my friends.  All of us come from different places, and all of us are at different spots in our lives. We have different classes and different reasons for why we play, but we all get to come together to have fun,” Hofer said. 

Regarding activities, Hofer is engaged both in and out of school. Hofer also has future plans to start a meaningful career.

“My goals for after high school are to attend college and play football. I want to get my bachelor's in education and sometime down the line do some type of ministry. Throughout college, my goal is to participate in small mission trips whenever time permits. After college, I wanna be a missionary full-time. But who knows, I am just going wherever God calls me,” Hofer said.

In addition to Hofer aspiring to do missionary work, his church, Valparaiso Nazarene Collective, has had a major impact on him as a person. 

“I think my church has been very impactful. They have fully supported me from the moment I arrived one morning. I was terrified to say that I felt called, but any questions or doubts they have helped me get through. They have been clear in making it known I will mess up, but that's where grace is beautiful because it allows for growth,” Hofer said.

Hofer mentions a piece of advice he would like to give high school students.

“Life is fast, by the time we graduate high school we are possibly one-fifth of the way through our life. The average of us will be a quarter of the way through our life. Do a couple of things and it might be a little better. First, love everyone. You never know what someone is going through. Secondly, be open to faith. There is a God that loves you and fights for you. When he hung on that cross he knew someday you would be walking on this Earth, and loved you then and loves you now. It is never too late,” he said.