Welcome Valley Grads and Friends of the Akron / Mentone Communities

Two thirds of 8000 alumni of Tippecanoe Valley -- and the schools that created it -- no longer live in the school district. This blog is intended to keep us all connected, to news of our hometowns and of each other.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Valley's Got Talent 2014

Tippecanoe Valley High School held Valley's Got Talent on Thursday, May 8.  $584 was raised from ticket sales, with all proceeds going to Rachel's Challenge.  There were fifteen performances at the talent show, with awards for both solo and group acts.

Solo Act

1st place: senior Nolan Sponseller telling a joke
2nd place: Health and P.E. teacher Mrs. Bush-Garbers making bird calls

Group Act
1st place: Peer Facilitators lip-syncing/dancing comedy act
2nd place: Les Filles Francaises dancing act

To see glimpses of the show, visit the school newspaper website at www.runicreview.com.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Genocide in Venezuela

The following is an article written by senior John Paul Secrest and junior Rockne Bhastardo about genocide in Venezuela.

               On February 27, 1989 the country of Venezuela changed forever.  In the months leading up to this event, an economic crisis had gripped the country.  It started with their government borrowing money from the American government.  They had no way of repaying what they borrowed with their current revenue.  In order to pay America back they looked for ways to increase their revenue.  Their plan was to over tax their people for basic necessities. 
               They increased the costs of public transportation by over one-hundred percent.  They increased the price of gas resulting in driving yourself impossible.  They increased the price of food making what they bought a week ago almost unaffordable.  In an outrage, a massive riot broke out near their capital city.  The government was left with two options: let them rage or take them down.  Their solution was to take them down.
               Armed soldiers started firing upon the citizens.  The soldiers had lost their chain of command and were just following the last orders they received.  They were killing people indiscriminately.  The rioters were put down, their families were put down, bystanders were put down, and everyone they saw was killed. 

               The government’s official death toll was three-hundred.  If you ask the people there, it was in the multi-thousands.  The victims have not been compensated in anyway after this occurrence.  The soldiers responsible for the murders where not even punished, they all now hold easy government jobs.  This past February marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the massacre.  The people that lost family and friends are still alive today.  The lives of these victims have been changed forever, and most people don’t even know what they went through.  

Friday, May 2, 2014

Seniors Go to Washington, D.C.

Thirty-eight Tippecanoe Valley High School seniors traveled to Washington, D.C. last week for their senior trip.  The trip, which in the earlier years of Valley was just a one-day vacation, has changed.  Students spent four days just in Washington, D.C.  They left on Tuesday, April 22nd and returned on Sunday, April 27th.  During their time in the nation’s capital, the seniors saw various monuments and visited several historical places.

During their trip, the seniors visited Gettysburg and Mount Vernon, two well-known historical sites.  The students got to walk in George Washington’s house and on the Gettysburg battlefield.  They also visited the Library of Congress, the U.S. Capitol, and the Smithsonian Institution.  Seniors saw memorials such as the Washington Monument, the Vietnam Wall, and the Lincoln Memorial.  Also, the students got to see a protest and Vice-President Joe Biden’s motorcade.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Students Raise Money for Rachel's Challenge

               Bullying and suicide are topics that are always talked about on television and online.  However, both of these subjects have impacted students and staff at Tippecanoe Valley High School greatly.  In the 2012-2013 school year, the school corporation grieved the loss of three students and two faculty members.  However, juniors Michael Thacker and Deontee Smith are working to bring a program called Rachel’s Challenge to the community.
               According to www.rachelschallenge.org, the program “equips students and adults to create and sustain safe, caring and supportive learning environments essential for academic achievement.”  Rachel’s Challenge is “based on the writings and life of 17-year-old Rachel Scott who was the first student killed at Columbine High School in 1999.”  The website also states that in the last three years, Rachel’s Challenge has received five hundred emails from students who, after hearing Rachel’s story, reached out for help because they were considering suicide.  Thacker and Smith believe that the program would be effective in preventing both bullying and suicide.

               In order to bring the program to Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation, both Thacker and Smith have been working to raise money.  Rachel’s Challenge costs approximately $5,000, but this goal is very close to being reached.  

Friday, March 28, 2014

Students Perform Wizard of Oz At Valley

                Tippecanoe Valley High School presented the musical The Wizard of Oz.  The students in the musical performed four shows from Thursday, March 20th to Saturday, March 22nd.  The well-known characters from this classic story were portrayed by the following students:

Dorothy: sophomore Ally Weber
Scarecrow: senior Branigan Bahney
Tin Man: sophomore Nick Reynolds
Cowardly Lion: sophomore Kaden Sebastian
Glinda the Good Witch: freshman Devyn Masterson
Wicked Witch of the West: freshman Blake McBrier
Mayor of Munchkin City: freshman Thane Madeford
Aunt Em: freshman Jenna Schultz
Gloria: junior Megan Howard
The Wizard of Oz: sophomore Jeremy Himes

               All proceeds from the tickets purchased will go towards costumes for next year’s performance.  The set was created by Mrs. Jan Mills’ Art classes.

Friday, March 21, 2014

New Class: Political Studies-Part Three

            Seniors in the Political Studies class at Tippecanoe Valley High School completed their business plan presentations on March 14th.  During the first semester, students created a business plan for a product or service.  For the second semester, the groups made a Power Point, stating the basic facts about their business.  These ideas were then presented to an investor panel, who evaluated the presentations.  The investors also decided how much money each business would get.
Each group received an investment ranging from $200 to $600.  The highest investment went to Boost Your Beauty (BYB), a not-for-profit service that involves volunteers giving manicures to elderly women in nursing homes.  Seniors Sofia Boganwright and Taylor Garringer won the competition.  Both students will go to Boca Raton, Florida, where they will present their business plan.  If Boganwright and Garringer win the competition there, they will advance to the finals in Washington, D.C. 

The Political Studies class has completed many projects over the school year.  They have completed a business plan and created a marketing plan for the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation.  The students have also taken many field trips, including one to the Indiana Statehouse.  Finally, the seniors in the class will have a YEA! graduation at the end of the year, with the Indiana Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann as a guest speaker.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Winter Sports Wrap Up At Valley

                Due to several instances of bad weather, completing winter sports has been very challenging for student athletes at Tippecanoe Valley.  However, even with the rescheduling of many games, Valley has had awesome highlights in its winter athletic career.  Wrestling, basketball and swimming have all had excellent seasons, with students traveling to state and making All-Area teams.
                For boys’ basketball, junior Chainey Zolman, and seniors Tanner Andrews and Robby Groom were named to the Warsaw Times-Union All Area Team.  The boys’ basketball team also made it to the sectional semifinals, but was defeated by Northwood.  Also, the Tippecanoe Valley girls’ basketball team had three players recognized as All-Area athletes: freshman Anne Secrest, senior Cara Hoffman, and junior Caylie Teel.
               The TVHS wrestling team completed its season with seven wrestlers advancing to regionals.  Austin Nault (11), Devin Childers (11), Wyatt Nelson (11), Cody Runyon (11), Garrett Bell (12), Keaton Bell (12), and Jaron Kidd (12) qualified for regionals.  Junior Devin Childers also advanced to state and competed.

               Tippecanoe Valley has had a great winter sport season, and will most definitely have a great season.  Girls’ tennis, boys’ golf, track and field, baseball and softball will begin practices, matches, and games soon.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Political and Economic Studies Class Surveys TVSC Alumni

I encourage all TVSC alumni to participate in this survey.  The Political and Economic Studies class is creating a marketing plan in order to bring more students into the corporation.  The class also wants to learn about the school corporation's strengths and its weaknesses.
"This survey was created and distributed by the Political and Economic Studies course as part of a collaboration with the strategic planning committee members in charge of creating a marketing plan for the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation. The purpose of the survey is to help the students and committee members figure out the strengths and weaknesses of our school corporation. Your feedback and honesty is appreciated."

Friday, February 21, 2014

Spanish II Students Present Bullfighting Speeches

               For the past couple of weeks, students in Mr. Kristopher Walker’s and Mrs. Noemi Malagon’s Spanish II classes have worked on a bullfighting project.  This form of entertainment, which is popular in countries such as Spain and Mexico, has both positive and negative qualities.  Some may see it as the cruel torture and murder of a defenseless animal.  But, others believe that bullfighting is a major tourist attraction that shouldn’t be destroyed.  Spanish II students have taken their opinion, whether it be for or against bullfighting, and created a campaign project.
               As a part of Project Based Learning, the students were each assigned a specific task for the project.  The positions for the bullfighting project were:
Speaker/Candidate: presents opinion to the audience
Group Leader: supports speaker; keeps group on task
Speech Writer: creates speech for speaker 
Marketing Publisher: makes posters, announcements, etc. for speaker
        Each speaker presented their speech to an audience on February 19th.  Then, all audience members were asked to vote for their three favorite speeches.  The votes were all tallied up, and the winners for each class period were as follows:
Period 1-Mr. Walker
1st Place:   Amber Mikel
2nd Place:  Katie Gunter
3rd Place: Whitney Haneline

Period 3-Mrs. Malagon
1st Place: John Salmon
2nd Place: Katherine Nolan
3rd Place: Harrison Sponseller

Period 3-Mr. Walker
1st Place: Kaitlyn Ott
2nd Place: Brandon Lozano
3rd Place: Rafael Jimenez

               All in all, the bullfighting project is one of Tippecanoe Valley High School’s biggest activities connected to PBL.  

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow Hurts Valley School Schedule

                  Everyone in northern Indiana has suffered from the huge amounts of snow over the past two months.  Vehicles sliding off the roads and schools delaying due to cold temperatures are just some of the problems students at Tippecanoe Valley have dealt with.  In fact, most schools in the area have cancelled approximately seven days due to the weather.  With piles of snow invading parking lots, and students calling off work and being stuck inside, the winter weather has made the beginning of 2014 interesting.

               Since Tippecanoe Valley Schools have missed several days of school, there have been many rumors as to what will happen to the school schedule.  Will students have to go until the middle of June?  Will they have to attend school on Saturdays?  However, a new statement by Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz says that schools can re-schedule holidays; they can also have school on Saturdays, add days to the end of the school calendar, or add additional hours to the school day.  At the time of writing, the Tippecanoe Valley School Board has not decided on how students will have to make up snow days.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Unsung Heroes: A Gallery By TVHS Seniors

               Students at Tippecanoe Valley High School complete many projects as a part of PBL (Project Based Learning).  However, teachers and students alike are expanding these projects towards the community, whether it be completing service projects or presenting a topic to city council members.  One of the recent activities was the Hero Gallery.
               Mrs. Melanie Mason’s and Miss Katherine Wine’s English 12 classes presented the Hero Gallery to the community.  Both teachers came up with the idea after talking to their senior students about what it means to be a hero.  They also discussed how to recognize heroes within the community.  Seniors in both English classes planned out the project and created the final product.  The students chose a person that they wanted to recognize, such as a teacher, parent or law personnel.  They wrote essays about their hero and created posters about that person.  Students set up their hero displays; and, during halftime at the basketball game versus Rochester, the classes presented their project.  Community members were able to talk to the students.  Some of the students’ heroes even came to see the presentation.

               The Hero Gallery is just the beginning of PBL, community-based projects.  Many students enjoy this different learning process, and hope that these activities will grow in number.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tippecanoe Valley: Giving Back

               Throughout the past, Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation has given back to the community tremendously.  But in the 2013-2014 school year, Valley has helped out in several projects, such as cleaning up damage from November’s tornadoes, having a fundraiser for a family after the loss of a loved one, and participating in a toy drive.  All of the schools have helped the surrounding community in many ways; whether a cake raffle or a community service day, Valley’s students know what it means to serve the community.
               As mentioned in a previous post, November tornadoes destroyed several farms within the community, leaving a mess of debris behind.  But, with the help of students from Mrs. Paxton’s agriculture classes and community members, the destruction was cleaned up within a matter of hours.  Without their help, it would have taken much longer for the affected families to repair buildings and pick up debris.
               Also, near the end of 2013, a Tippecanoe Valley student lost a family member after a tragic accident.  In order to help the family, one of the student’s friends, sophomore Monica Hatfield, set up a fundraiser with Home Economics teacher Mrs. Deb Zawlocki.  For one school day, students could pay $1 to wear a hat, and $5 for both pajamas and a hat.  The money went to the student’s family.  When asked how it felt to help out a friend, Hatfield said, “It feels amazing to know I’m helping someone.  Especially when it’s for a friend who needs me.”
               Finally, Tippecanoe Valley High School students participated in a toy drive.  All toys were donated to two local charities, Toys for Tots and Helping Hands.  The week-long toy drive brought in more than 500 toys, with the winning classroom donating approximately 200 toys for kids around the community. 

               So, even though Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation might be just people growing up around cornfields and in small towns, it by far has one of the greatest communities around. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

New Class: Political Studies-Part Two

               Seniors in the Political Studies class at Tippecanoe Valley High have entered their second semester of YEA.  During the first part of the class, students came up with an idea for a unique business, and began working on business plans.  The businesses range from children’s educational games to new devices for every-day items such as lockers and automobiles.  Now, with a scholarship and a trip to Florida on the line, the students are wrapping up business plans and venturing out to create their businesses/services.
               Even though Political Studies consists of Government, Economics, and English, the students meet with their YEA! leaders and mentors every Tuesday.  Several community members have dedicated their time and knowledge to helping the students with their business projects.  They give advice on the business plans and suggest ideas for developing the companies.  Senior Cyndi Stamberger, a student in the Political Studies, appreciates the mentors’ help, saying that “they have a lot of life experience and they know what they’re talking about.” 
               Many of the students in Mr. Jeff Shriver’s and Mrs. Melanie’s Mason Political Studies class have great ideas, but only one group will be declared the winner.  The prize: a trip to Florida and a chance to earn a college scholarship.  “I’d really love to win and go to Florida!” Stamberger said.  “I am working with Alicia Carnes, and we are creating a bra with a pocket in it.  It is more convenient for women since most of the outfits we [women] wear don’t have pockets.”  Even though both Carnes and Stamberger are confident in their business, they have both learned that “bras are really difficult to work with.” 

               All in all, the Political Studies class has progressed smoothly with their business plans/projects.  A winner of the project will be announced in May, and the victorious group will present their business plan in Florida.  A final update on this story will be released after the winner’s trip.