December is upon students at Valparaiso High School, and that means two definite things: final exams and Christmas Break!
With finals approaching us for the last week of the first semester and the last week before christmas break, most students at Valpo are studying and making up any necessary homework or tests. However, with that kind of studying, comes pressure. In order to combat that pressure, Valpo’s Future Medical Professionals Club invited all students to come to the Valpo Coffee House to de-stress and drink some coffee as we prepare for our final exams this week.
But finals are not all that is happening at Valpo. For instance, the teachers have just had a door decorating contest and students were able to vote on which door was best. Some doors were decorated with artwork of candy canes, presents, and even gingerbread houses.
The teachers had a unique way of decorating their doors, some crazier than others, but that was part of the fun. The winner of the contest was German teacher, Frau Holdieson, who had her door dressed up as a real gingerbread house. On the last week of school for the year, the science department challenged the other departments in an ugly sweater contest. Teachers and students are all allowed to participate on this day to see who has the “ugliest” sweater.
Even though finals are almost upon the high school, all Valparaiso Community School music students have showed their Christmas cheer by singing or playing musical instruments at This Is Our Story. Here, all of VCS participates to show the community of Valparaiso our talents in classic Christmas cheer.
This year’s concert was no different with the unique song selections fromf the Valparaiso Elementary, Middle, and High School Bands, Orchestras, and Choirs. Each and every song was filled with holiday cheer and joy. This year started out with some classic songs and finished with a Christmas sing-along with Santa conducting multiple groups.
Among the VCS students were the VHS Varsity Singers. They did a lot of singing around Valparaiso, including caroling at local elementary schools and singing at Holly-Days which took place in Downtown Valparaiso on Friday, December 7.
Speaking of Holly-Days, that was a great night. There were carolers, hot chocolate stops, Christmas lights, and a festive Nativity scene with live animals. The whole community showed up for the event and had a great time.
Teacher Spotlight: Karissa Zippel
Mrs. Zippel has been a math teacher at Valpo for five years now, and it is all thanks to one of her previous math teachers. “I always liked math and I’ve always had it, but he made it more fun.” Mrs. Zippel states.
When asked about what made her choose Valpo, Mrs. Zippel comments, “It almost just kind of happened. They were looking for a long-term sub and I was looking for a job. I liked my long-term sub position; so when a position opened, I took it and I’ve never left since.”
Mrs. Zippel is a wonderful, kind, and helpful teacher. Many students appreciate her efforts to teach us some of the more confusing topics in math with a smile on her face. Abby Udesen, one of her Geometry students, shared, “She’s very nice, my favorite teacher. She keeps me on task. If I’m on my phone, she tells me to get off.”
Mrs. Zippel is also one of the Softball coaches at VHS. One of her players, Megan Civanich, has great things to say about Mrs. Zippel: “She’s a good teacher and a good coach.”
Mrs. Zippel is a wonderful teacher and coach at VHS and we are happy to have her to both teach and guide us to be great students.
Student Spotlight: Kelsey Prewitt
Kelsey is a 17-year-old senior at VHS who is a very kind, charismatic, and bright person. She participates in cross-country, National Honor Society, and Speech and Debate.
She appreciates the opportunities that her school provides, such as the new areas that are being renovated and the unique class options, sharing, “I like the renovations that they’re doing, it makes it more modern. I like all the classes that are offered here. It’s a good variety, including Contemporary Literature.”
Kelsey has some ideas for the future, she explains that, “In five years, I want to graduate college, hopefully. I want to be in some sort of Criminal Justice work, and I know that I want to have a lot of dogs!”
Kelsey is a great student overall. She has great grades and is an important component to Valpo’s National Honor Society. She was also a top winner in Speech and Debate for Novice Prose Reading, frequently making first or second place for her chosen Speech. She amazes us and has a bright future ahead of her, wherever she may go.