The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

Hudson Woods throws his arms out after a play before getting into position
Hudson Woods climbs to new heights after standout sophomore season
Jonathan Jones, Sports Writer • May 18, 2024
Joshua Velasquez committed to serving his country in the U.S. Army.
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Margaret Edmonson, Adviser • May 17, 2024
Sydney Rakowitz will study education and training and music at the University of Incarnate Word.
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Valley Ventana, Staff • May 16, 2024
Boy Scouts of America announced on May 7 the organizations name will change to Scouting America on the organizations 115th birthday Feb. 8, 2025. Photo by JV via
Boy Scouts changing name after 115 years
Grayson Cook, Staff writer • May 15, 2024
The top 15 students in the senior class receive special recognition at graduation on May 22 due to their hard work throughout high school. 
Graphic by Alex Whelchel via Canva
Profile: Top 15 seniors
Alex Whelchel, Managing Editor • May 13, 2024

Fall-tastic fest

Student, faculty volunteers entertain children during annual event
Kyler Buske
Walking in a circle for musical chairs the music comes to a halt with one chair left, two little girls laugh as they both sit on one half of the chair to win the cupcake prize from the choir students at Fall Fest Saturday evening.

Fall Fest, organized by FACS, allowed younger students to dress up, get candy and spend time with friends on Saturday.

Senior Victoria Williams helped set up the stands and games the night before. 

“It wasn’t that challenging,” Williams said. “Everybody in here was setting up their booth, being a little community.” 

Outside the front entrance, Future Farmers of America students held a mini petting zoo.  Junior Maggy Zedaker showed her own two goats and sheep for the petting zoo. 

“They didn’t have enough lambs and my lamb is pretty social, and those are goats from my house because the barn goats couldn’t come here,” Zedaker said. “I think little kids should know a lot about animals. They can be really beneficial, and it’s important for them to see where their food comes from.” 

Kyler Buske
HOSA presented a large-scale operation game which the little boy completed grabbing the heart and brain

Inside the front entrance, Key Club gave out temporary tattoos and face paint, with the prize of candy when the art was complete.  Senior Genesis Wong-Gonzalez handed out candy.

“We have busy parts and then it’s slow at some times,” Wong-Gonzalez said, “but it’s fun seeing all the costumes.” 

Down the hall, football players ran multiple booths. 

At one of the stands, young students took turns throwing a football on a small-scale field made of paper to win a candy prize. 

It’s a fun thing to do,” senior Jesen Olesko said. “We did this last year and the year before.”

Near the stairs Family and Community Service students prepared a mini golf course for the night. 

“We had to improvise because we didn’t really have all the materials we needed,” junior Sean Mendez said, “but we made it work, and now we have pumpkins for the holes.” 

Across the hall from the FACS golf course, the wrestling team had some technical difficulties with their “claw” game. 

“We created a really awesome game,” wrestling coach Tim Clarkson said. “Then we decided to change the game because we realized all the kids would squeeze all the chocolate trying to get it out. So now we have ping pong balls, and they pick out numbers.” 

Choir director Kelly Marcades and her students gave a bigger prize to whoever won their musical chair game.

“We decided that the big winner gets cupcakes,” Mercades said. “So we brought cupcakes and candy.” 

Multiple students scrambled and helped other stands.

Senior football player Zachary Gingrich worked at the “fishing for candy” stand that was left unattended.  

“I’m not even supposed to work this stand,” Gingrich said. “But it’s a lot of fun. These little kids are very interactive; we get a lot of unique people.” 

Kyler Buske
Hole in the wall game set up by FACS is won by young boy dressed as a baseball player

Key Club had volunteers contribute to other stands in need. 

“We’ve had people running around, giving out candy to other clubs and helping them,” Wong-Gonzalez said.

Senior Chloe Beam gave appreciation to the students and administrators who helped put the fall fest together. 

“We all worked really hard, especially Mrs. Herring,” Beam said. ” She did a really good job talking to people, getting people to come out and help, and overall as a whole this is a really good production.” 

The wrestling team decided to take candy donations as a challenge, and members donated 85 pounds of candy before the night began.  

The involvement with the kids was important to the parents and faculty. 

“It’s not only a maturity thing,” Marcades said. “But it’s the level of care and kindness that these older Smithson Valley kids give these younger kids. It’s really fun for me to watch.” 

The amount of time and effort put into fall fest was appreciated by the community and the younger students who got to enjoy the night of costumes and games with older students. 

“I think it’s important for kids to give back,” Clarkson said. “Because adults and the community do a lot for our Smithson Valley Rangers, so we need to give back whenever we can.” 

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