VHS Newsletter

August 2023

From the Principal, Dr. Tobon

Viking Families and Friends,

The start of another school year is in the books. It was great to see staff and students alike sharing in the excitement of another year. Now that summer vacation is officially over, it’s time for all of us to continue supporting our students on their educational journey.

I have said this before, but feel it is worthy of repeating. Having a successful high school experience extends beyond the regular school day. It includes students getting involved in healthy and positive activities outside of school. Student involvement has many benefits, but some of the most noteworthy include the opportunity to learn the values of teamwork, both individual and group responsibility, and diversity, as well as instilling a sense of culture and community.

Valparaiso High School students have access to over 50 active clubs, in addition to co-curricular activities, such as Varsity Singers, Viking Press, Speech and Debate, or sports. During all lunches on Tuesday, August 22nd and Wednesday, August 23rd, students will have the opportunity to meet club members and ask questions. Please encourage your student to browse the various tables and, hopefully, get involved.

Congratulations to Mr. Mathew Thomas, one of our outstanding English teachers, for being selected as one of the Top 10 Indiana Teachers of the Year. Mr. Thomas is a Valparaiso High School graduate and began his teaching career at Thomas Jefferson Middle School before moving to the high school. His love for our school and community is evident as he continues to work with our teachers and students. Good luck to Mr. Thomas as he enters the final phase in the selection process.

Lastly, VHS will focus on making continuous growth by continuing to increase the rigor in the classroom, reflecting on student data, and obtaining and providing meaningful feedback. Our instructional coaches, department chairs, teachers, and administrators will work collaboratively in the classroom and through professional development experiences to make progress on these ongoing goals.

I look forward to working with you this year!

VHS Administration Team

Mr. Daniel Hadary, Assistant Principal; Mrs. Lauren Pickett, Dean of Students; Mrs. Michelle Bush, Assistant Principal; Dr. Veronica Tobon, Principal; Mrs. Ashley Monroe, Associate Principal; Mr. Jacob Plesac, Dean of Students.

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What's Happening at VHS!

Aug 22: Club Rush

Aug 23: Club Rush

Aug 23: VHS Parent/Guardian Open House 5:30pm

Aug 29: Freshman Picture Day

Aug 30: Sophomore Picture Day

Aug 31: Junior Picture Day

Sept 4: Labor Day/No School

Sept 18-19: Senior Picture Days

Sept 29: 1/2 day for Students/Staff Development PM

Sept 29: Homecoming Parade and Football Game

Sept. 30: Homecoming Dance

Oct 13: End of 1st Grading Period

Oct 16-17: Fall Break

Please see the VHS Calendar for more events!

VHS Spotlights

Peer Tutoring

Peer Tutoring is an opportunity to help some very special students during the school day. 10th, 11th, and 12th graders may give up their study hall to student aide in the Life Skills Classroom for a semester (or a year). Peer Tutors sit with students who have mental disabilities, physical disabilities, Autism, Down Syndrome, etc. and help them with their classroom work, redirect their behaviors, help them with jobs around the school, at lunch and in the hallways. The Life Skills students learn at approximately a preK-5th grade academic level and the teachers modify their lessons so the students can learn the material at a level that makes sense to them. The Life Skills Program also runs the school's Simply Gifted Coffee House and coffee carts. Peer Tutors may also assist with this during their class. Befriending the students and supporting the teaching staff is the main job of a Peer Tutor. This is a non-credit generating class; it is a volunteer position, though Peer Tutors typically find they enjoy their time so much that they do not mind. Positions often fill up quickly at the beginning of the semester. Peer Tutors often sign up, thinking they want to help others, only to find out they receive as much as they give.

Key Club

Key Club is a community service club that all students are welcome to join! Members attend club meetings, district conferences and help with a variety of service projects including the Popcorn Panic, Trunk or Treat, Pancake Day and many more. Key Club also sponsors the VHS Winter Formal with all proceeds benefitting Riley Children's Hospital.

Staff Spotlight

Mrs. Colleen Peluso

This is my 7th year teaching at VHS. I teach AP Language and Composition, English 10 Advanced, and American Literature. I am also the sponsor of Drama Club. I like being a part of VHS because we have the greatest students! They keep every day interesting and are always teaching me new things too. An interesting fact about me is that I used to work as a commercial voiceover artist before I was a teacher!

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