Valley Ventana

Heroes in the hallways

Heroes in the hallways

Tatum Tomallo, Staff Writer

November 11, 2019

When the campus gathered at Ranger Stadium today for Veterans Day, teachers and staff members sat in the area reserved for veterans. Among them was Orlando Dona, a college algebra and statistics teacher as well as a retired US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel who takes his military philosophy into the class...

Behind the scenes of ‘Middletown’

Behind the scenes of ‘Middletown’

Aidenne Despres, Staff Writer

November 6, 2019

In the shadows of the auditorium are the people who work the hardest. The unseen heroes that bring light and life to the actors onstage.  Technical director* James Black was hired this year to be in charge of the crew*. He and his student techies build set pieces in the shop*, control lights in the...

From the fiddle to the front podium

From the fiddle to the front podium

Virginia Price, Staff Writer

October 24, 2019

For orchestra director Richard Helsley, music has always been a big part of his life; he cannot imagine life without it. At the age of three, Helsley constantly pestered his parents and other musicians about playing an instrument, when his family finally gave into his constant badgering; they allowe...

Sophomore strives to lead section

Sophomore strives to lead section

Jake Perez and Joey Clark

October 18, 2019

The new director’s student leadership team sheet, taped by the band door, announced the next year’s leaders. Sophomore Emily Armstrong made her way through the crowd. Her eye caught on the name she sought: her own.  Armstrong earned the role as tenor saxophone section leader, an unusual accompli...

No argument here

No argument here

Rebekah Mann, News Editor

October 2, 2019

Madly driven, incredibly motivated, and passionate: that’s how senior Maddie Aguilar is described by her debate teammates. Aguilar joined debate as a freshman wanting to fill a blank spot in her schedule.  Now, she is the defending district debate champion, a two time regional qualifier in extemporane...

Tuning towards the 2019-2020 orchestral season

Tuning towards the 2019-2020 orchestral season

Virginia Price, Staff Writer

September 26, 2019

 There is no escaping the sounds of Richard Helsley telling his students to practice their instruments every night when they get home . Or the ringing of out-of-tune string instruments through your ears. Helsley, teacher of the Smithson Valley Orchestra program, claims that this school year will be a...

Going gold to fight cancer

Going gold to fight cancer

Samantha Martinez, Writer

September 6, 2019

On the eve of his kindergarten year, an aspiring football player received devastating news that would forever change his life. "I was told I would never play football again," he recalled. Diagnosed at age 6 with acute myeloid leukemia, senior fullback P.J. O’Toole embarked on a turbulent journey...

Prom rolls out red carpet

Prom rolls out red carpet

Grace Collazo, Staff Writer

May 13, 2019

  Prom King and Queen: Wyatt Doss and Sequoia White Most Country: Cody Elbel and Sophia Whitney Most Likely to Succeed: Andy Doyle and Hannah Gray Cutest Couple: Canyon Martine and McKenna Bonney BFF Besties: Talise Dimas and Danielle Montiel Biggest Bromance: Hudson Murphy a...

Conducting the way to autumn

Conducting the way to autumn

Daniel Lackey, Staff Writer

May 1, 2019

4:10 pm: The commotion of huddled voices bounce around the band hall as student instrumentalists fill the room soon after the blaring of the last school bell on April 29. Shortly, the time would come for thirteen students to shed the stress and anticipation that had been clinging on to them si...

Senior soccer player commits to TLU

Senior soccer player commits to TLU

Makayla Kyner, Staff Writer

April 23, 2019

The varsity girls soccer team stepped onto the field for the last time in the past few weeks, the team members had no clue this would be the last time they played. As the game came to an inevitable end, seniors broke into tears as they remembered all the memories they shared and some of them thoug...

LGBT community met with various reactions

LGBT community met with various reactions

Chloe Presley-Gundaker, Staff Writer

March 8, 2019

Taking a deep breath, nerves on edge, she was unsure what response she would get. Walking through the halls, holding hands with her girlfriend, she knew what they were thinking: the smirks, the snarls and the questioning looks said it all. No one ever knows the response they will get when they take that...