#1StudentNWI: Back to School for Valpo

#1StudentNWI: Back to School for Valpo

What’s going to happen?

Summer is coming to an end and students are starting to get ready to get back to school. That includes the usual shopping spree for new school clothes and school supplies. What’s going to happen?

The end of summer also means that there are new students entering different schools, whether they’re starting kindergarten, sixth grade, freshman year, or just joining the school district. Sometimes it can be scary to start a new school or go to another school and start all over.

Valpo schools are great at handling situations like this, For our incoming kindergarteners, there is a chance for parents to get their child assessed to make sure they're ready to handle the classroom setting.

For sixth graders, incoming Freshman, and new students, Valpo has orientations that take them through their classes, introduce them to their teachers, help them familiarize themselves with their new school, and let them try out opening their lockers.

Additionally, the new school year has officially started and students are excited for upcoming events in school, like the homecoming game and dance, and outside of school, the famous Popcorn Festival in downtown Valparaiso.

What’s happened?

This year, Summer has been a blast! The break from school was refreshing for many students. Most have had plenty of fun activities to do this summer such as Chalk the Walk, where many people came out and showed the whole town their artistic abilities. There have also been plenty of movies to watch at Central Park Plaza with families and friends. The library hosted plenty of fun activities for kids of all ages to enjoy.

This summer has been full of wonderful things to do and places to go. Students made plenty of memories, but now it’s time to head back to school for those who are just starting their first year of school, and those who are starting their last.

As students head back to school and start studying for the countless quizzes, tests, and exams, all will remember the fun things they've done over the summer break with families and friends.

Teenage Spotlight: Lilith Maynard

How old are you?
“I am 15 years old”

Where do you go to school?
“I am an online student. I go to a school called Indiana Connections Academy.”

Are you planning on doing any extracurricular activities outside of your school work?
“Well, I don’t actually know yet. I might try to get a job at Culver’s.”

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
“Well in five years, I will be 20 years old, so I will probably be in college. I don’t really know what for yet, but I know I want to go to college.”

What is it like to be homeschooled?
“It’s actually surprisingly amazing! I heard how a lot of people disliked it, but personally I love it! Also, it’s like being at school and doing all the same work, but from the comforts of home!”

So a little bird told me that you are doing American Sign Language (ASL) for your foreign language, why is that?
“To be honest, I’m doing it because I have a friend who is hard of hearing, I feel like it just helps our bond grow stronger. Also another reason is because I want to be able to communicate with people and be prepared if anything happens to my hearing.”

Adult Spotlight:

What’s your name?
“Officer Martin Perez, a lot of people confused it with Mark for some reason, it’s Martin.”

How long have you worked for the Police Department?
“I’ve worked there for about 2 ½ years, it’ll be 3 years in November.”

What inspired you to become a police officer?
“Well, before this I was actually a construction worker for about 6 to 7 years. Around the last couple years of working construction I really wanted to figure out what to do with my life, something more meaningful. My best friend lives here in Valparaiso so when I came to visit, I fell in love with the town and when I saw an opening for the police department, I decided to take it. I figured I could definitely make a difference. I went to school, got my college degree at Purdue University Northwest, and I felt that with my diversity, being in physically good shape, and having a good understanding of human nature, I would make a good impact as a police officer.”

Is the police department doing anything this year to help contribute to keeping Valparaiso safe?
“We do that everyday of the year and every time we try to figure out new ways of how we can better catch the criminals and better serve the public. One of the things I’m also in, as you can tell by my uniform, I’m a bike patrol officer, so we get on the bicycles both day and night, so you will see me riding around at 2 AM. It gives us a better chance to catch people who are trying to hide and we get to catch them in the act of doing things they're not supposed to during the day. We get to interact with people and show everybody that we do care for better in the community.”

Is the police department going to be involved in any events this year around Valparaiso?
“We participate as security at the Popcorn Festival. When it comes to the Popcorn Festival, none of our crews have the day off. That’s when our full department is actually working. The only ones not working are officers that work that night and they end up working the night at the Popcorn Festival. It gets pretty busy during the Popcorn Festival. A lot of our co-workers are on the softball team so they participate in a lot of Valparaiso community events. We have our K-9 guys that volunteer to show off their canines. Just last week, we were at the Porter County Fair, we showed off some of our equipment, the M-wrap and some of our gear too.”