Back to school: advice from the Ventana

Editor-in-Chief gives back to school advice for 2022-23 school year

Ranger cheer perform at the Comal ISD Convocation.

Valley Ventana

Ranger cheer perform at the Comal ISD Convocation.

Emma Siebold, Editor-in-Chief

Going back to school can be daunting–especially as a freshman. We at the Valley Ventana have prepared a special guide for both new and returning Rangers to help you navigate the school and all it has to offer.


Though SVHS has moved down to 5A, the hallways are still flooded with students and can be difficult to navigate during passing periods. The most congested areas are the entrance to A-wing near the senior dining hall as well as the entrance to B-wing by the A-wing staircase. When traveling during passing periods, it’s usually best to stick to the upper levels of A and B-wing. 

Bathroom Advice:

Public bathrooms can be scary and overcrowded–and school bathrooms are no exception. The cleanest and less-frequented bathrooms on campus are going to be in the rotunda near the band hall, upper and lower D-wing and in C-wing. 

Campus Map

Linked below is the “simple” map of the campus to help you navigate the hallways.

SVHS Simple Map

Dress Code:

Changes have been made to this year’s dress code. According to Comal ISD, “The Comal ISD dress code has been created to prevent disruption, minimize safety hazards and maintain a positive learning climate for all students and staff”. Those changes can be found at this link


Being familiar with your administrative staff can be helpful as you start school. The campus has multiple APs: Russel Doege (last names A-CUN), Sy Douglass (CUP-HERR), Becky Gieringer (HES-MON), Michael Ramos (MOO-SCO) and Ali Parker (SCP-ZZZ).

Michael Wahl is Smithson Valley’s principal, and Stephani Alvarado is the academic dean. 


Students are also assigned counselors based on their last names. For returning students, there have been changes to the counseling staff this year. Smithson Valley’s counselors are Anna-Marie Trotter (AAA-COP), Sara Schroeder (COQ-HAF), Ayanna Bush (HAG-MAR), Jasmine Wills (MAS-RIB), Angel Mitchell (RIC-UZZ) and lead counselor Rebecca Thornton (VAA-ZZ).

Lauren Kiesling is the College and Career Center advisor on campus, and is also the dual credit coordinator. The counselors’ offices are located in Student Services, and Mrs. Kiesling’s room is in the library.