VHS Newsletter

October 2021

From the Principal, Dr. Tobon

Viking Families and Friends,

We are officially done with the first quarter of the 2021-22 academic year. Grades were due yesterday afternoon and are now accessible on Skyward. Yesterday, students and staff had their first full day of the second grading period. After a much deserved Fall Break, our 9th-11th graders dove right into the PSAT/NMSQT on Wednesday and were ready to roll up their sleeves and get back to work.

Speaking of getting to work, on the afternoon of September 24th our teachers participated in professional development sessions created and facilitated by our instructional coaches and Student Services team. These sessions focused on building positive relationships with students, creating and cultivating a culture of risk-takers in the classroom by transforming failure from a “worst-case scenario” to a “learning experience,” understanding the importance of and creating meaningful formative assessments, and adding student engagement strategies to teacher’s toolboxes. We will continue to dive deeper into these and other areas throughout the year.

Finally, despite a challenging year for many of our Vikings, VHS has six National Merit Semi-Finalists: Anthony Grisolano, Calwin Li, Karli LoDuca, Eric Page, Isaac Utesch, and Carissa Yu. I wish each and every one of them the best of luck as they enter the final phase of this process.

What's Happening at VHS!

Oct 18-21 Senior Picture Days

Oct 20th Academic Letter Ceremony

Oct 26th Underclass Retakes

Nov 2 eLearning Day

Nov 19-21 Ranked, A Musical

Dec 4th SAT

Please see the VHS Calendar for more events!

National Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated annually from September 15-October 15. This year the VHS media center invited students and staff to peruse our books written by Hispanic Americans and others with strong Hispanic American characters. We shared information on notable Hispanic American leaders in history, such as Cesar Chavez. We shared the amazing accomplishments of mountaineer Viridiana Alvarez Chavez and the groundbreaking work of chemist Mario Molina. The work of Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo brightened our library! Each day brought something new!

Club Spotlight: Muslim Student Alliance

The VHS Muslim Student Alliance is a welcoming group open to all students. Our club provides a place where students can talk freely about a variety of topics, including information about Islam and Islamic culture. We offer numerous activities throughout the year. In September we had a booth Valparaiso’s World Cultural Fair. Other planned activities include a movie night and henna hand painting. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Fray at dfray@valpo.k12.in.us.

Staff Spotlight

Ben Lieske

I have been teaching for 16 years at VHS.

I teach General Psychology and AP/IB Psychology. I also teach World History in the Summer.

I sponsor the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the History Club and I coach the Junior Varsity Boys Basketball team.

As a proud VHS grad, I love being a part of our learning community here. My colleagues are so passionate and hard-working that they are inspirational. I especially appreciate the Social Studies Department that I am a part of. They really make this job more enjoyable. However, it is our students here that make it so special to be at VHS. Their curiosity, humor, and work ethic make each day a little different and fun despite the trials and tribulations that might arise.

Big picture

Ranked, A Musical

The VHS Drama Club will present the Indiana premiere of the musical Ranked on November 19th and 20th at 7pm and November 21 at 2pm in the VHS auditorium. Ranked is the somewhat dystopian story of a high school where the only thing that matters is class rank. The academic leader board determines who is Above the Average, and who is Below. In this intense culture of performance, students must find their place as they try desperately to stay above the status quo, even if that means destroying themselves and each other to score their way to the top. When an accusation of academic dishonesty throws the "system" into chaos, students grapple with understanding what they are worth, who decides, and what to do when it all comes crashing down. The fast paced script and contemporary pop/rock music captures the complexity of driven and vulnerable teenagers. Tickets are $10 at the door and the show is best suited for audiences 12 and up.
VCS Return To Learn Plan

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