What’s recently happened?
Valparaiso High School (VHS) hosted its annual Hope Club Trunk or Treat event on Tuesday, October 25. The Trunk or Treat creates a safe place for people with special needs and young kids to safely trick-or-treat under the supervision of the parents and caring volunteers. Due to rain, Hope Club hosted their Trunk or Treat in the VHS cafeteria.
“It’s really neat to see VHS clubs and sports participate and dress up. It’s cool to have a Halloween event for the kids who might not have the opportunity to safely trick-or-treat where they live,” said UNICEF Member Audrey Barriball.
Each VHS club/sport had a designated table that they decorated to match a chosen theme. The Girls Soccer team dressed up as monsters, and the Project 7 (P7) club theme was Christmas.
“Trunk or Treat is a really good opportunity for the Valparaiso community to give back to little kids, and I love that everyone wants to be involved in events like this,” said Soccer Player Shelby Prybell.
Even though the Trunk or Treat was held inside, there was a very large turnout.
“This event gives me the opportunity to make other kids happy and to provide a safe space for people to trick-or-treat. I love being able to be involved with my school,” said Sophomore Brooklyn Hudson.
In her email to the VHS participating clubs, VHS Hope Club President Lillie Recker stated that she was very thankful for the flexibility of all the volunteer groups and is looking forward to another successful Trunk or Treat next year.
What’s coming up?
On Friday, October 28, VHS Vikings Football won their sectional game against the La Porte Slicers and will advance to play Chesterton this weekend for a chance to go to State.
On November 8, VHS has an e-learning day due to the election.
On November 18, 19, and 20 VHS will be hosting a fall drama production. The title of the play will be released soon.
Finally, students are excited for Thanksgiving break which will take place November 23 - 25.
This month’s staff spotlight is Kara Wissing, VHS teacher and cheer coach. Wissing has been a part of the VHS staff for 19 years and currently teaches both the U.S. Government and the AP U.S. Government and Politics classes. Wissing is happy to be a part of the Valpo community and plans to teach for at least another 15 years.
“We have a wonderful community that supports and values education, which is rare in today's society,” said Wissing.
Wissing, inspired by her parents to pursue a career in teaching, attended Valparaiso University, earning a degree in History and Secondary Education. She also has a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Indiana Wesleyan University.
“My mother was an elementary school teacher, and my father was a huge history buff, so I combined the two into becoming a social studies teacher,” Wissing said.
Even though Wissing experiences high school life every day, it is very different compared to being in high school again herself. The teacher's perspective puts a different spin on some activities, including one of Wissing’s favorite school events: pep rallies.
“I miss pep rallies,” said Wissing. “We used to have a couple of them during the school year, and they were a great way to raise school spirit. The teachers and the entire student body were involved.”
Outside of her teaching duties, Wissing is on the field every Friday with her cheerleaders. Just as the field is a big part of cheerleading so too is the homecoming dance. Every year, the VHS cheer team plans homecoming with Wissing playing a huge role in the behind-the-scenes of the dance.
“As stressful as it is, and even with all the work that goes into it, I love to see the students come all dressed up and have a fun time,” said Wissing. “When I see the smiles on their faces, it makes it all worth it. This dance had the most ticket sales and attendance that we have ever had.”
The cheer team and cheer parents volunteer to decorate the cafeteria for the dance. This year’s theme was “Come Sail Away.” The decorations keep getting better and better, and this year they blew everyone out of the water.
“I definitely have a sense of accomplishment, and I am indebted to our cheer parents who give up a lot of their free time to create, set up, and take down all of the decorations,” said Wissing.
Wissing loves working alongside her students and her cheer team. She is super proud of her cheer girls and will always be available to help students reach their goals.
“I would say that high schoolers need to learn how to manage their time and work in groups because, in your careers and in college, you have to learn how to work well with others.”
Wissing wishes all VHS students a good rest of the school year.
This month’s student spotlight is Senior Marley Nobles. Nobles is very excited to graduate and is looking forward to getting her Certified Nursing Assistant license (CNA) at the end of the school year. She plans to attend Valparaiso University to major in nursing and minor in neuroscience.
“I am looking forward to being able to work as a CNA and further my education in nursing, science, and neurology,” said Nobles.
Nobles is a part of Earth Awareness Club at VHS, Campus Life (a Youth for Christ program), and Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA). She has attended the VHS Natural Helpers retreat and volunteers each week at her church.
“The clubs and activities I participated in definitely helped me be able to take a break from schoolwork and just have fun,” said Nobles. “Natural Helpers was very cool, and without activities like it, I would not have been able to meet as many people as I have. These clubs and activities have brought me closer to so many people, so I am grateful for that.”
In five years, Nobles sees herself graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a minor in neuroscience and working as a Registered Nurse in the Neurology Department of a pediatric hospital.
“I would tell younger students to take classes that they enjoy and to not take everything super seriously,” said Nobles. “It’s okay to miss a few things here and there; don’t be so hard on yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help. I would also tell them to branch out and join any club or sport they may be interested in.”
Outside of school, Nobles enjoys hiking, playing guitar, and hanging out with her friends. She is also heavily involved with her youth group.
Even though Nobles is ready to graduate, VHS will always be in her heart.
“I will miss going to the sporting events and being in the student section.”
Nobles wishes everyone good luck next year.