Thor's Hammer The Student News Site of Valley High School Sat, 22 Feb 2020 12:55:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 February MTSS Goody Bag Rewards Sat, 22 Feb 2020 12:55:47 +0000 Respectful, responsible, and ready to succeed! The mantra has been drilled into Valley High School’s student body since the beginning of the school year. Little boxes with the saying line classrooms along with posters reiterating the Viking Values all over school, which help promote the MTSS program. What is MTSS? MTSS is a Multi-Tiered Support System meant to develop positive emotional behavior in schools. The program has been implemented to foster better student-relations and an overall inclusive community at Valley High School. 

Kahleia Corpuz
Seniors Brenya Booth and Logan Schell at the February MTSS event, picking up their rewards.

To encourage student participation, Viking tickets are given out by teachers to students who exemplify the Viking values. These tickets are placed in the aforementioned boxes that are regularly picked up and put into a raffle. So what do the winners of the raffle get? They get a celebration to reward their good behavior with another mini-raffle to win more prizes! 


This Valentine’s Day just so happened to be one of those celebrations, but due to all the events going on that day, they abbreviated the whole celebration into a prize pick-up. All of the MTSS winners stood in line and checked out prizes that ranged from portable chargers to gigantic bags of chips!

Kahleia Corpuz
Freshman Andrea Maran and Senior Aniya Allen pick up their rewards at February’s MTSS event.

Excited participants picked up their awards gleefully. So what’s the secret to winning? 


“Use common sense! It’s common, you have it. Just be nice!” said freshman Julian Santori, who thinks the secret to winning is that there is no secret.  


He’s not the only one who thinks winning the coveted prizes are any grand feat. Other lucky lottery winners seemed to believe that the key to practicing Viking Values was not an extraordinary feat. The winners seemed to love the system because it rewarded them for something that they could practice every day and continue to do so. 


“Yeah, it’s not hard to be responsible,” said freshman Iyhana Alexander, a student who won for being respectful.  She adds, “If you get stuff for being normal, it’s a good reward.” 

Many students discredit the tickets as a waste of time since your name may never be called. They see no point in filling it out if they are never going to be highlighted for their good work, but those tickets may be your one way trip to some really cool prizes! Don’t be discouraged, and remember that the school does appreciate you for being your best Viking self. A message from Dean Geissinger serves as a reminder to all the students who have put tickets in to no avail that just being awesome is worth the chance: 


“Stay the course. Keep making those positive decisions. Keep waiting for your name to be pulled,” said Geissinger, adding, “We have enough opportunities for everyone!”

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Valley Model UN Attends LVMUN VII Sat, 22 Feb 2020 12:37:26 +0000 “Motion to open LVMUN VII?” the Secretary-General questioned delegates from all across Las Vegas. They were ready to debate pertinent world issues in the weekend-long, 7th Annual Las Vegas Model United Nations Conference, hosted by Spring Valley High School.  The high-intensity event took place February 7-8, 2020.

Bobby Degeratu
Spring Valley High School, home of LVMUN VII

Model United Nations is an academic simulation of the United Nations, where students roleplay delegates from countries around the world, as they embody the country’s stance on the world’s issues and work together to try and solve them. Real UN committees are adapted for the purposes of simulation, such as the General Assembly, the largest and central organ that discusses peace and security, and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which centers more towards addressing issues in either of those two veins. 


LVMUN VII presented five committees total, each with their own issue, difficulty level, and size. Delegates sign up months in advance and select both a country and a committee to represent. From there, a position paper must be written, where delegates discuss their country’s stance on the issue at hand and–the hardest part–specific steps towards addressing it locally and internationally (hypothetically).


During this weekend of February 7-8, IB junior Enrique Duran and I had the great pleasure of taking part in the ECOSOC committee, a novice-level, medium-sized committee that extensively debated how women’s rights can be improved worldwide. As representatives of Egypt and Azerbaijan, respectively, we each took a very different approach to advancing women’s rights, fueled not by our own opinions, but rather those rooted in reality.


Debate structure is very formal, as delegates are reminded of the parliamentary procedures printed on the back of their country placard. These are utilized in order to promote diplomacy and keep the simulation as realistic as possible. “Points of inquiry,” for example, are used to ask the moderators a question, while “motions” of any kind can start or transition debate, approved only by a committee’s majority vote. 

To start, each country gives an opening speech on their stance before the committee moves into moderated/unmoderated debate. The former involves a delegate addressing everybody for a predetermined period of time, with the purpose of making their stance known for the other countries–this will come in handy later. During unmoderated periods, delegates are free to roam about and collaborate with those who share similar beliefs and ideas for solutions. On the second day, these collaborations are set in stone and become voting blocs, where countries draft a list of resolutions to the overarching issues, with the goal of getting the entire rest of the committee to vote on its ratification.

Delegates listening to a speech attentively, making note of country policy.

Although Azerbaijan is quite conservative, it has gone to great lengths to protect women’s rights, not restrict their participation in politics, and provide comprehensive business training. Thus, I chose to form resolutions with countries who have similarly worked towards an upward trend in women’s rights, including France and Denmark. Other delegates, such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, wished to advance women’s rights without conflicting with existing cultural practices. Regardless, incredible ideas were proposed, including facilities where women can easily access hygiene products in rural areas to a women’s “honor society” that supports them with reusable products through adulthood funded by NGOs. They were very innovative solutions that tested everybody’s ability to find the balance between creativity and feasibility.

Delegates in their resolution groups, discussing implementations of new systems to improve women’s rights and close the gender gap.

LVMUN only takes place once a year, but preparation and refinement should be the focus of any time in between. There is so much that goes into being the best delegate possible, including having plenty of research and statistics on hand, having the ability to address other nations through quick, impromptu speeches, and very simply, practicing. Personally, it allowed me the opportunity to come out of my shell more and exercise critical thinking on how to solve issues that are so crucial to our world. 


“It was an impacting experience that enabled me to be more active in my community and become more aware about our global issues,” fellow delegate Duran adds. “There are many issues at stake in our modern society that are necessary to discuss.”


Valley’s Model UN is quite small and can only improve with additional support and interest. No prior knowledge or experience is needed, as skills will be built from the ground up. We look forward to representing Valley at UNLV’s RebelMUN this April, so if you are interested in preparing and competing with us, please see Ms. Stater in room 307. There is no better way to consider the issues of today with the leaders of tomorrow, in an experience that transcends academics but also encourages friendship and competition.

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Valley Viking Scholars Spring Meetings Wed, 19 Feb 2020 19:40:04 +0000

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Wrestlers Take Senior Night and Regionals to Move on to States Thu, 13 Feb 2020 14:57:30 +0000 Valley High School’s Wrestling team held their senior night at Valleys gym on Thursday, January 30th to celebrate the seniors on the team and give them a farewell. All seniors were introduced with their escorts and a brief bio of them about their time in wrestling and their future plans.

Frankie Medina
Valley senior wrestlers with their families on senior night – Leyla Alvarez, Julie Alvarez, Yakir Mufson, and Martin Cortez

“Senior Night was a big success.  It was a great night to honor our seniors and the hard work and time they have put into our program,” Coach Tyler Perry said. 


Frankie Medina
Senior Captain, Jose Medina, walks out with his mom on senior night.


Frankie Medina
Senior Yakir Mufson in his match on senior night.

Three of Valley’s wrestlers left their last home match with a win. All took second place and would move on to compete for Regional Champion.

Frankie Medina
John Baloyot, wrestling at his final home match, earns a victory and moves on to regionals.

“Our three senior captains, John Baloyot, Keayon Morris, and Jose Medina got a win in their final match in their home gym,” Coach Perry proclaims. 

Valley’s wrestlers also competed in regionals at Chaparral High School on Friday, February 7th, and Saturday, February 8th. They competed for a chance to see who would move on to the State Championships that will take place in Mesquite from February 14th to the 15th at Virgin Valley High School. They wrestled their opponents for the Regional Champion title while also for a spot at State Championships. 

“This was my first time ever wrestling at regionals. I started wrestling two years ago, and I never would’ve thought that I’d make it, let alone place 2nd,” Senior captain Jose Medina voiced.

Frankie Medina
Jose Medina wins his match on senior night to move onto regionals.

Regionals was a success for Coach Perry, and he will be taking a handful of wrestlers to the State Championships. Perry saw lots of improvement from his athletes as some ended regionals with success.


“I was very pleased with our performance at regionals,” Coach Perry explained. “We will take five wrestlers to the state championships. It was great to see John Baloyot win a title after being second the past two years. Joshua Arceo, Keayon Morris, and Jose Medina all wrestled well, taking second place. Anthony Lewedag had his best performance of the season, taking third.”

Frankie Medina
Keayon Morris wins final home match to move onto regionals.

Coach Perry has high expectations for the State Championships and expects to leave a mark in Mesquite this coming weekend.


“I am very excited for the state tournament, as I expect all five of our wrestlers to bring home some hardware,” Coach Perry stated.


The support that Coach Perry has given his athletes has resulted in dedication and drive from Valley’s wrestlers.


I believe that I only made it this far thanks to the coaches dedication and to the support from my family and teammates. It has been an amazing wrestling season that will forever stay with me,” Medina expressed.




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Valentine’s Day Is around the Corner! Wed, 12 Feb 2020 11:36:59 +0000 Valentine’s day is on February 14 of every year. Valentine’s day is commonly known for being the day of celebrating affection and love; it’s an international holiday celebrated around the globe, and it is approaching soon.


“Yeah, I’m excited about the candy,” student Jennifer Garcias said.


The origin of the lovely holiday may be considered to be dark, according to  About 270 A.D, February 14, A Roman priest was executed by the name of Valentine because Emperor Claudius II (a.k.a Claudius the Cruel) had made a decree banning marriage and engagement in order to get more men to recruit for his army.  Valentine thought that it was unfair and secretly married young couples behind the Emperor’s back. The Emperor soon found out and sentenced him to death by clubbing and being beheaded.


There is another theory about the origin of the holiday, also from; many theorize that Valentine’s day was created to Christianize a Roman Festival known as Lupercalia, which was celebrated on February 15, to honor a god of agriculture known as Faunus. The rise of Christianity led to Lupercalia being outlawed by Pope Gelasius, who declared February 14, Valentine’s day, but the holiday would soon be later known for love.


“We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition,” History of Valentine’s Day from explains.


A common thing that occurs on Valentine’s day is gift-giving. According to Google Trends, two of the two most common gifts are chocolates and flowers, and the most popular one in America is chocolate. Gifts can show people that there is love for a special holiday for romance. For Valley, there are several gifts that students can get as a gift. For example, tickets are being sold for the Sadies dance on February 15, there are donut grams being sold by Latinos in Action for Valentine’s day, Candy grams are being sold by Valley Viking Scholars, and single roses are being sold by the junior class.


“I feel excited, people are getting donuts and messages from people they care about,” student and member of Latinos in Action Stephanie Macias said.


Though Valentine’s day is remembered for either a holiday of love or for having a dark origin, it’s a day well known to show care for loved ones. Even if some don’t celebrate it, Valentine’s Day is an example that love is something to be recognized. For friends and for family, for any and every day, love is what makes humans connected.

“Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning.”- Paulo Coelho

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Heads’ up on Sadies !!!!!!!!!! Sun, 09 Feb 2020 14:06:24 +0000 Valentine’s Day is approaching, and so is the upcoming Valley dance known as Sadies! Sadies is a dance to where a girl most commonly asks a guy out to it. So, girls, this can be the chance to finally ask out the guy to the dance. 


The theme of the dance is “Love is Lit.”  The theme is basically incorporation of a rave and modern hip-hop and rap. The sophomore class decided on this because we thought it was an original idea and it correlates well with our city since “Day n Vegas” just took place in November,” student Christina Nguyen said.

Sadies and several events in Valley are created by Valley’s student council; they create spirit weeks, pep rallies, and dances with several themes.  The students vote on ideas for events, and bring it to life with teacher Kristen Arsenault, who’s in charge of the student council.


“I love doing student council, and doing it with my best friend, Ms. Hottendorf, makes it easier,” Arsenault said.


This year’s Sadies is on Saturday, February 15th.  With tickets being sold and with the price rising higher before the dance begins, this could be the chance for a good Valentine’s Day gift if nothing comes to mind. Though not everyone is able to go to the dance, there is a way to still celebrate Sadies with the Sadies spirit week, which is the week prior to Sadies where there are special themes for each day of the week, for example, pajama and neon day. Many people are excited for what the upcoming dance has to bring.


“I am very excited about our upcoming Sadies dance!  Nguyen adds, “since I am the sophomore class president, I was here for all the behind the scenes work.” 


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Valley Viking Scholars’ Day with Lake ES Tue, 04 Feb 2020 13:55:44 +0000 The bustling of kids, the little pitter-pattering of their feet against linoleum, the exclamations of excitement filling up the enormous multipurpose room. Many people would walk away from the cacophony of sounds, but the students in Valley Viking Scholars dove whole-heartedly into the chaos. On December 12th, the club, Valley Viking Scholars, took a trip to Lake Elementary School to make Christmas crafts with their kindergarteners. Valley Viking Scholars are a club at Valley High School that builds a community between students taking higher-level classes while giving back to the community. One of the other events the club has taken part in was the Angel Tree Breakfast where benefactors gifted students who may not have received presents that holiday season. 


So why Lake Elementary School? Well, Lake Elementary School is Valley High School’s feeder school. A feeder school is where the students from the school typically go to a particular school for their later years of education. 

Kahleia Corpuz
Junior Fernando Hernandez works with kindergarteners at Lake ES.

“We want to be able to connect with and help the kids in the community,” Ms. Engel, the event coordinator and resident math teacher, explains, showing  the importance of going to Lake ES.

Eathan Tranate
Valley Viking Scholars helping kindergarteners with crafts at holiday event.

Keeping that objective in mind, the scholars in VVS made sure to provide a fun experience for the kids. They made crafts, such as construction paper trees and foam snowmen, with the students. As they gave out instructions, the scholars were able to talk with the kids and learn more about their personalities, even forming bonds with the kids. 

Kahleia Corpuz
Lexi Graham at Lake Elementary School, helping kindergarteners create snowmen crafts.


Lexi Graham
Kahleia Corpuz making snowmen crafts with kindergarteners at Lake Elementary School.

“I built a relationship with this girl named Yasmin. She told me I was pretty, and then we became friends from there!¨, first year scholar, Penelope Reyes, energetically recalls her experience with one Lake ES kid.

Kelly Pedrick
Juniors Penelope Reyes and Isabella Ramirez work with students at Lake ES.

It appears that not only did this event leave a lasting impression on the students of Lake Elementary School, but on scholars at Valley as well. While the event only lasted for two hours, the smiles, laughs, and fun will be ingrained in the minds of students of both schools. So, is this event going to become a tradition for Valley Viking Scholars? 

Kelly Pedrick
Valley Viking Scholar Students helping students at Lake ES with Christmas crafts.

¨I think it is a good memory to have when you are thinking of why we should change the world,” first year scholar, Naomi Reyes states, thinking it is beneficial for the visit to Lake ES to continue. She adds, “You want to make [the world] way better for little kids to experience.”

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Perfect Attendance Awards to Responsible Vikings Tue, 04 Feb 2020 13:41:28 +0000 Upon arriving at the cafeteria on Thursday, January 9 during third period, students from all programs, all classes, and all walks of life gathered to celebrate the one thing they all had in common: their dedication to showing up to school. In celebration of this feat, students were handed brightly colored paper bags containing popcorn, candy, and other various goodies.


“We have around 350 students [here] that have shown up everyday during quarter two!” gleaned teacher Brooke Wheatly 

Joseph Kimsey
Social worker, Sara Garcia, helping out a perfect attendance ceremony

“It’s a good goodie bag!” student Anthony Samjuan proclaims.


These light snacks weren’t the only thing being served here, however, as Valley students and staff enjoyed the company of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and a variety of fruits.


“A breakfast of champions!” local Valley athlete, Christain Franklin, tells his companions.


Overall, students were more impressed  with the food this quarter than last quarter’s dining options. Rather than simply a burrito, students were able to choose what they wanted on their plate and how much as well, each having their own preferences.


“This food is ten times better than last time,” Cyntihia Monteroeo stated.


“The tater tots are the best!” Aleza Hatino debates amongst her peers.


Halfway through the ceremony, performances by both Dance Bravo and The Vikettes dazzled students, just before bringing out the games. 


With the first game, a student would unravel a ball of plastic wrap intertwined with prizes, while the student on their right would roll a pair of dice until they got doubles. Upon receiving doubles, they would pass the ball to the right, and repeat the process. At the center of the ball was the grand prize, an Amazon gift card.

Joseph Kimsey
Students playing game with ball of plastic wrap at perfect attendance ceremony.

“I played this game on Christmas, so I have experience,” contestant and inventor of the “Pull and Grab” technique, Kaitlyn, says.


After this ball game, students were given the opportunity to play musical chairs right before the bell rang, concluding the Quarter Two Perfect Attendance Ceremony.

Joseph Kimsey
Students playing musical chairs at perfect attendance ceremony

“I would totally do this again,” first year student Caden Ritcheys proclaims, “and I can’t wait for next quarter’s” event.

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Winter Assembly a Success! Tue, 04 Feb 2020 13:28:47 +0000 On Friday, December 13th, all Valley Vikings came together in the best way they know how–through a school-wide assembly! These special events are scattered throughout the course of the year, celebrating student talents and bringing about unlikely partnerships through creative games. At the heart of these gatherings is a theme, one that celebrates a holiday or time of year, represented extraordinarily through vibrant posters that decorate the halls and banners that festively display the year of graduation. It is one of many long-standing Valley traditions that emphasizes unity and highlights the unique abilities of our student body. 


Often students take such large preparations for granted, but much like planning any event, it can be time-consuming and difficult. However, working does not always require a serious undertone, and performing does not always have to be scary. These can both be enjoyable aspects in their own way! 

Isabella Medina
Orchestra playing at winter assembly

Brian Vasquez
Cheerleaders performing at winter assembly

“The assembly was an amazing experience from planning with an amazing Student Council to ultimately performing with people I love,” junior class president Zabrina Manlapaz acknowledges.


Each assembly has something new to offer, so no two events are ever the same. At this assembly, Valley’s musical talent was greatly showcased, with show-stopping performances from orchestra, choir, band, and a duet featuring the very talented Hoffman and Jerrylin. The Vikettes and a segment featuring routines from the popular video sharing app Tik Tok were also present and very entertaining from start to finish! 

Isabella Medina
Students participating in the Winter Assembly

The thrill of performing outshines the nerves and fear of mistakes for some performers, including senior Vikette Tania Thomas, who fully embraces the idea of hard work paying off. 


“It was really fun performing with all the Vikettes, and it seemed like everyone enjoyed our routine to Last Christmas,” Thomas exclaims.  “It was a bit stressful with preparing, but I’m happy with the outcome and the winter assembly overall was super enjoyable.”

Isabella Medina
Vikettes performing at the winter assembly

Activities offset these performances, including blindfolded musical chairs and a guessing game for Christmas songs, which task students from all four classes to work together and complete the goal. The participants’ excitement and willingness to work with one another is always a wonderful sight, especially since collaborative efforts are new and not predetermined.

Mascot and “chicken” cheerleader entertaining at the winter assembly

School assemblies at Valley are often well-received, and this past celebration of the incoming winter and holiday season was no different. Senior Miftah Said, who is coming up on the last of his assemblies, had a very positive impression of the Winter Wonderland celebration. 


“It was good to see the holiday cheer going around,” Said explained. “The energy in supporting fellow Viking as they performed felt refreshing right before the end of the year.”

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Holiday Spirit Week Photo Gallery Tue, 04 Feb 2020 13:21:57 +0000

Brian Vasquez
Choir students visiting classrooms to spread Christmas cheer through caroling.


John Bence
Twin day during Holiday Spirit Week – Mr. Ocampo and Mrs. Pedrick selling candy canes in matching Valley shirts.


Brian Vasquez
Pajama Day – Holiday Spirit Week


Brian Vasquez
Pajama Day during Holiday Spirit Week

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