Top 10 Stories of Valparaiso High School 2012-2013 School Year

By: Fernando Ortiz Last Updated: June 18, 2013

Another fruitful year at Valparaiso High School has ended. Though some may be gone for good and others still have a few years left, it is important to reminisce over the biggest and baddest events of the year covered by yours truly, ValpoLife.com.

Without further adieu, here are the top ten events that made the 2012-2013 school year one to remember.

International SoccerFest 2012
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Back in the fall, VHS’s Spanish Club put together the annual International SoccerFest at Forest Park, where students are put into teams with designated T-shirt colors depending on which foreign language club they’re a part of. After hours of friendly and sometimes not-so-friendly competition and cheering, downtown Valpo’s own Don Quijote provided a paella dinner in the pavillion for the participants and teachers.

VHS Jazz Band Swinging the Night Away at Aberdeen Manor
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The Ballroom at Aberdeen Manor was the perfect place for the Valparaiso High School Jazz Bands to perform various “swinging” hits. This was the third year students and their instructors graced Aberdeen with their resounding talent and dedication to music.

VHS Compliments Page
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In the fall, a student at Valparaiso High School created a Facebook page called “VHS Compliments,” where other Facebook users, generally VHS students, could message the page operator a shoutout to a friend and in turn, the operator would post the shoutout as a status update. As the page caught on, over a thousand people “liked” the page, which began spewing out hundreds of compliments a day. Such a simple idea brought out the innate goodness and camaraderie of the VHS student body.

April Antics 2013
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April Antics: “A Viking Carol” kicked off on April 19th in the VHS auditorium to hundreds of students, parents, and teachers. Dozens of singers, dancers, and performers took the stage to blow away the audience with their talents. By the end of the night, everyone was up, cheering and singing along to the final performance.

Students go to Speech and Debate Nationals in Alabama
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A record number of students in Speech and Debate at VHS qualified for nationals, which take place in the summer in Birmingham, Alabama. Sarah Simon, Dana Khabbaz, Sofia Grimsgard, Jacqui Peterschmidt, Kaitie Barton, Connor Devine, and Kelly Adams are among those students dedicated and motivated enough in their speech and debate endeavors to compete with the fiercest competitors in the nation. We wish them the best!

Daniel R. Pritchett, Band Director, Retires
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The VHS A Band performed a surprise piece called Legacy Winds: Seasons of Change, for Daniel Pritchett, their retiring director. The piece, composed by Derek Gilbert Meillaender, is reflective of Pritchett’s life; for example, the trumpets and percussion sections were highlighted to illustrate the musical concentrations of Pritchett’s children. The concert and farewell were both great successes, showing just how grateful VCS is of Pritchett’s 38 years of contribution to the band program.

Prom 2013
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VHS’s 2013 prom, again held at the Poter County Expo Center, featured a classic “Masquerade Ball” theme. Stunning decorations, including masks and French-inspired tapestries, covered the walls and tables of the dance hall. Students gathered to celebrate their last days of the school year with beat drops, dancing, and smoke machines for an unforgettable night.

VHS Awarded Four Star Rating
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VHS, along with five other schools in the district, was awarded a four-star rating this spring, making it an elite member of only 313 schools in the state. For high schools, these ratings are given on the basis of End of Course Assessment testing, in which VHS is apparently a leader. Such an award is thanks to the administration, teachers, and students, as they all are a part of the equation that makes VHS such an academically strong school. In the midst of this good news, VCS’s determination will not cease to waver as it seeks to rise higher and higher.

A.S.A.P. Benefit Concert Rakes in Big Money for Charity
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VHS’s Alliance of Students Against Poverty, a philanthropic club founded just a couple of years ago, put on a concert to raise money for Valparaiso’s Hilltop House. The concert was held on the loading dock of the Valpo Velvet Ice Cream Shop in downtown Valpo. Though the concert was free, the club asked for donations, which added up to over $800 by the end of the night. The concert was a hit with three different student bands covering a variety of musical genres. As the last “big thing” of the year, the event allowed students to thoroughly enjoy themselves and their friends with local ice cream and great music.

Class of 2013 Graduation
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On June 7th, VHS bid farewell to the class of 2013 at the commencement ceremony. Over 500 students walked across the stage to receive their diplomas, signifying the end of their high school careers. Daniel R. Pritchett, the retiring band director, was the keynote speaker. In addition, the male and female graduating speakers were, for the first time in VHS history, twin brother and sister. Goodbye and congratulations to a unique, cohesive, and missed class, the Class of 2013.