Top 10 Featured Stories on ValpoLife in 2016

Top 10 Featured Stories on ValpoLife in 2016
By: Brett Fuller Last Updated: December 14, 2016

We published several hundred featured stories to the ValpoLife.com Features section this year. Stories written by local students and more in Northwest Indiana were fair game for good news.

Have a good story to share? It is still as easy as ever to share your story with us! Just send an email to share@nwindianalife.com and we’ll be on it!

Without further ado (and in no particular order), here are your Top 10 Featured Stories in Northwest Indiana from 2016!

ben-lieske-litsA Valpo Life in the Spotlight: Ben Lieske
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If you have ever heard the word “syllabi” proudly shouted while you wander the halls of Valparaiso High School, Ben Lieske is more than likely to blame. His tradition of excitedly sharing his favorite word with his students on the first day of class started 11 years ago, when his VHS teaching career began; however, his positive energy has been gracing the school since 1998, when he was a student there himself.

Boone-Grove-1StudentNWI-September-2016_01#1StudentNWI: A Closer Look at Boone Grove High School's Choir Director and Program
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Teacher Spotlight
Miss Athena Welbourne has been a teacher at Boone Grove High School for fifteen years. Whether it is being a counselor or a choir director, she is very interactive with her students. Welbourne has had just about every student at Boone Grove in her classroom. She simply knows everyone.

things-for-kids-to-do-in-valpoWhat is There to Do for Teenagers in Valparaiso, Anyway?
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The subject of "things to do in Valparaiso for teenagers" was an active one this week, and being the positive news place for Valpo, we want to gather all of your suggestions for Things for Teenagers to do in Valparaiso. We encouraged readers to share their positive suggestions only, as with all our content all the time. There are plenty of other places for debates of all kinds.

Mary2A Valpo Life in the Spotlight: Mary Martinez
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Mary Martinez is a nurse, a mother, and an active member of her community. Her family has been through a tragedy yet has made something amazing out of it. It is her dedication to the Hannah’s Hope Foundation that earned her this week’s Spotlight.

Washington-Township-1Student-October-2016_01#1StudentNWI: A Spotlight on Washington Township’s Athletic Director Nathan Kaufman
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It is very rare to find someone who fits in so perfectly in such a small amount of time. Washington Township’s new Athletic Director and Assistant Principal Nathan Kaufman encompasses what Washington Township is all about.

AnnaVoices123After Orlando, Brave Voices Matter Now More than Ever
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Here’s the thing: I’m bisexual. That’s not a word I’ve spoken out loud more than a few times. That’s not a word I have used to describe myself to more than just two people privately. That’s not really been a word I have put much thought into talking about, let alone writing to thousands of people about.

IvanBodensteiner-01 Is Valparaiso a Closed Community?
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In recent years, under the leadership of Mayor Costas, the City of Valparaiso has taken steps to improve its image and make it a more open community. More specifically, a) in 2008, following a newspaper account (see NWI Times, 09/09/07) of the experience of an African American woman, employed at the VU Law School, and her children, who attended the Valparaiso Community Schools, Mayor Costas established an advisory Human Relations Council (formalized by an Ordinance in 2011); b) in December 2014 the City Council adopted the ValpoNext report, including an initiative (3a) that addresses the need for more “affordable housing” in Valparaiso; and c) in May 2016 the City Council adopted an ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on race, sex, national origin, age, religion, veteran status, familial status and disability, as well as sexual orientation and gender identity.

Dan-Pritchett-01Thoughts from The Young Man's Teacher
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The old man gets up a little early on a Monday morning. It happens to be an actual holiday in mid-February, Presidents' Day. The local university has decided that since a lot of high school students have a vacation day, it would be a good time to hold auditions. The old guy is looking forward to accompanying one his best saxophone students in the first audition of the day. It is a rather gray day outside; roads are semi-hazardous so he leaves early to get there on time.

Valpo-1Student-September-2016_01#1StudentNWI: A Look at VHS Student Carli Milroy and the Girls Soccer Team
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Viking Girls Soccer
Known for their determination and strength, the girls soccer team never gives up. They are more than confident that this year will be their year to give it everything they have got. Year after year, the varsity girls soccer team finds themselves getting closer and closer to a Sectional, Regional, or State title. After waiting for their chance to truly showcase their talents and work their way to the top, this year may end up being the successful one.

vlits-Minakshi-Ghuman-01A Valpo Life in the Spotlight: Minakshi Ghuman
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“That you can get up and make a difference in someone’s life, be happy, experience the little things and see the good in them, see the good in people, in the beauty all around you, that’s what inspires me. There is too much in life to do, to find, too many people to get to know to ever be uninspired,” says Minakshi Ghuman, this week’s Life in the Spotlight. From these words and her incredible amount of participation in the Valparaiso community, it’s clear she’s an individual making waves in the community with her dedication to making a positive difference in the lives and the community around her.