After the loss of so many wonderful and inspiring teachers last year, we all waited in great anticipation to see who could possibly fill those huge shoes and take up the responsibilities of those who left. As Valley welcomed these new faces, we were not disappointed in the staff members who received the torch down. Because of this surge of brand new faculty members, the newspaper staff felt the need to point out a couple of awesome new additions to the Valley High school family. One of the faculty members selected for this spotlight is none other than the new counselor, McKinley Withers. In the short time he’s been here, he’s inspired and helped countless students, including myself. “McKinley treats every student with the respect and kindness that they deserve,” said Ireland Lowe, Valley student, “He will always make sure that you are on the right track to graduate.” Not only is he great at making schedules to benefit his students, he is always there for emotional support. Seriously, an hour long motivational speech still wouldn’t equate to five minutes in his office. “He is ridiculously inspiring, and always helps your mood when you’re feeling down,” Julian Newland said. He is always willing to put in the extra effort to be sure everyone is okay. His constructive methods have been recognized by many of our students, which is why so many of us pile up at the office just to see him. McKinley isn’t the only outstanding new addition to Valley this year. Ian Waterman, the new secondary math 2 teacher, has exceeded expectations and has made math more interesting for many students. “Ian is awesome because he likes to joke around with us and is always understanding while also being a really great teacher,” said Valley student Luiza Ferreira. Ian turns such a complex subject, math, into an easily understandable subject while opening student’s minds up to the brilliance of mathematical equations. That alone makes him an amazing teacher, not to mention his sense of humor and incredibly witty remarks. “He was kind of quiet in the beginning,” said one Valley student, “but he warmed up to Valley pretty fast, he became part of the school’s family!” Ian is an outstanding math teacher, and is much appreciated by everyone here at Valley. These two individuals have already, in their first year here, impacted many Valley student’s lives and made this school even more brilliant. As a Valley student, I am more than happy to tell McKinley, Ian, and all other staff members new to valley this year, welcome to our school- you are now part of our little family and we are all so happy that you’ve joined us.
Jacob Lacy is 18 years old, and he’s also 6’10. His parents aren’t extraordinarily tall, a complete anomaly, and yet he is so much more than a pretty face and a tall frame. Jacob is a lover of memes, and a champion of the human spirit. His sensitive side shines, and delights. Mr. Lacy enjoys tippy toeing through meadows, with his puppy dog, Douglas, who is quite esteemed. Speaking of flowers, Jacob is quite fond of Guns-N-Roses. Music is very important in his life. He listens to music throughout his daily routine of waking up, going to school going home and going to sleep. Video games are another important piece of media for him, as he owns an X-Box and plays it quite frequently. How does he get through his grueling schedule, you ask? Jacob asks multiple people if they’re Michael Bay. “Is that Michael Bay?” “Is that Michael Bay’s brother Mitchell Bay?” Jacob is the greatest of all time, at being tall, and hilarious. Great man, right here. Great man.
By Jojo Bridge
As students at Valley High School, most of us have been subject to the negative stereotypes that surround our school. While there are some truths to most stereotypes, ours seem to be quite extreme. None of the people interviewed for this article gave very specific stereotypes, most people, like a friend of the author’s, Payton Healey responded with “drug addicts, learning impairments, [...], lower quality than other high schools.” While a lot of these people have not experienced our school themselves, most every traditional school student has some idea of what they think happens within the walls of our school. When informing someone of the high school I attend, there are mixed responses from “What is Valley?” to “But you’re smart, why do you go to Valley?” Rarely have I heard anyone receive a positive response from friends or family when declaring they were transferring or had transferred to Valley, unless that friend or family member actually had experience at Valley. My own mother was hesitant at first to let me transfer. She kept insisting I could transfer back to Bingham for my senior year. That was until she came to parent teacher conferences, met my teachers, and saw my grades. We all have our reasons for coming here, maybe we missed a considerable amount of school, or became teen parents, or just experienced personal problems that we don’t want to talk about. Not all, but many kids come here because traditional schools didn’t know how to teach or handle us. Maybe the traditional school students see the punk that leaves their school, but they never get the opportunity to see the responsible adults we turn into because of Valley’s attendance policies, zero fighting tolerance, and general goal of getting students to take their education into their own hands. Valley is our second chance, and I don’t necessarily think other students recognize that. One such responsible adult who graduated from Valley in 2015, Hayden Seager, agreed to speak on the subject. He told me about how people were so mean to him when he left his boundary school and began attending Valley, but he has come to be more successful than quite a few of the people who berated him. One of his friends from before he transferred heard of his decision to come to Valley said to him, “Just remember I like cheese on my burgers.” While hearing this may make you want to fight that little grass stain, Hayden became Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper, and got his diploma while his friend did not. During my interview with Hayen, he said something that I think everyone needs to hear. He said, “Every school has their stereotype, but there are good and bad kids at every school. People say Valley is lower quality than other high schools, but people also say nasty things about different nationalities, and there are good and bad people in every nationality. That doesn’t exactly mean it’s the truth.” So why does this matter? Those of us that already go to Valley know what it’s like here and know exactly how wrong these stereotypes are, but they still seem to be spreading. They may never stop spreading, but there is something we can do. We can prove the stereotypes wrong. Hayden proved his friend wrong by graduating when his friend did not. I’m proving it by going from a straight F student in Language Arts to being a journalist and Editor-in-Chief of our newspaper. You will often hear Jacinto say that he swears one of us is going to cure cancer someday. Jacinto, Sharon, and the rest of the faculty and staff here have enough faith in their students to make up for all of the nay sayers. Make them proud.
Student Spotlight: Caroline Yazzie
By Aejia Keothammakhoun
In a fast paced modern society, with new technology being developed constantly, we can forget art forms of the past. The world around us is filled with cars, trains, and all kinds of high tech planes. So finding someone unique, like Caroline Yazzie, dedicated to Equestrianism, aka horseback riding, comes as strikingly unique for today. What you may not know about Caroline when see you her walking down the hall at school, with well mastered contour and eyeliner, is that she is an advanced horseback rider. Caroline keeps to herself often, but has quite the impressive list of achievements and skills. As a confident athlete, Caroline can fiercely defend her sport of equestrianism for naysayers who don’t believe this is a sport, saying, “It is highly competitive, just like any other game. I am an athlete because it is just as physically demanding as any other sport, such as football, soccer, or ballet. It’s just with a different technique. You have your own mind and so does the horse, so it’s like you’re on your own mini team.” Caroline also trains just as hard if not, harder than other athletes. When the season is in, she trains rigorously every day for at least seven hours. One may think that this is overworking the horse, but Caroline believes it is important to keep the horse challenged. Perhaps she keeps her horses up to par due to the probable event of an apocalypse. “I have a whole plan for the world war or an apocalypse”, Caroline explains, “I would fight with my horses, either with a bow or gun.” In this post-election society, there’s no reason to blame Caroline for preparing for the worst. She is here to fight back and knows what she wants. Caroline performs in many different kinds of competitive complex shows and rodeo events. “Succeeding in my shows and consistently taking first place in most of them,” shows that she’s not here to mess around and takes great pride in her work. In addition to that, being able to train her own horses is a rewarding experience for her. She has much to boast about, as her winnings have included belt buckles, blue ribbons, a bridle and saddle pads. Throughout the interview, I couldn’t help but notice Caroline’s crisp makeup. She told me that if she was wasn’t going to be a veterinarian when she grows up, that she would pursue a career in cosmetology. “I would rather make people pretty,” she said. I spoke with Caroline’s mother, Cindy, who remarked that Caroline is a funny, dedicated, and caring girl, no matter the circumstance. So not only is she interested in helping horses, she wants to help people as well, an all around humanitarian.