October Vikings of the Month Receive Recognition

Thor's Hammer Staff

Several outstanding Vikings were honored in the monthly Viking of the Month Ceremony held virtually on Wednesday, November 4th.

Students were honored in the ceremony as Assistant Principal Jennifer Geissinger and Principal Ramona Esparza read the words of appreciation given by their nominating teachers.

Amada Cruz-Rodriguez was the MSTEM recipient for October for exemplifying what an MSTEM cadet is, according to MSTEM teacher Josh Walters.

“Ms. Cruz is punctual, courteous, and prepared,” Walters said. “On a regular basis, she greets fellow cadets in my class with warm and fun messages in the chat. She is very active in my class and is often adding to the conversation. She is a diligent worker and is not afraid to seek clarification or ask for support. With her personality, strong work ethic, and genuinely being a nice person, Ms. Cruz will go far in life, and I expect will be very successful in whatever field/career she applies herself towards.”

JROTC honored sophomore Anaraquel Jaramillo, who has “set the standard for other ninth graders in her class,” JROTC teacher Christopher Amos said.

“Anaraquel is always present in class and has maintained a 100% /A+ grade in JROTC while doing online classes,” Amos said. “Anaraquel, set the standard again by winning JROTC’s Cadet of the Quarter Board. Impressing, not only her teachers, but her fellow students and upper classmates.”

Michael McCord is the October Viking of the Month for AOHT as he “demonstrates excellence in the classroom on a daily basis,” according to Magnet Coordinator and AOHT teacher Karin Jones.

“[Michael] works hard to not only get his work done, but provides effort and a positive attitude,” Jones said. “He works to be actively engaged in class, participates in chats, and advocates for himself. Michael is also involved in sports and plans to participate in Valley Football. As a brand new ninth grader, he represents the AOHT program impressively!”

International Baccalaureate recognized Bryana Zarate as their October Viking of the Month. Zarate is known to keep her camera on since the beginning of the school year “to give us teachers reassurance and connection” IB teacher Lenore Porter said.

“Bryana is such a kind, caring, and motivated student,” Porter said. “She came to me on her own to take initiative in making her voice heard for what IB Council should look like this year during distance learning, even though she was not a member of the club or class last year…. Bryana is doing her best to stay on top of her school work and is always so communicative about any questions she has in class.”

Madelyn Williams represented the performing arts at the October Viking of the Month Ceremony. Williams is the junior Drum Major of the marching band.

“Now with her new leadership title, Maddy is leading by example this semester,” Band Director Gary Brown said. “She is getting all her work completed in a timely manner and doing whatever she has to in order to be on the Google meet calls. At one point, this included walking to the library to be able to connect to WIFI. She is an asset to the program and continues to be the type of student that other students can look up to.”

Lily Mader was honored as the Foreign Languages October Viking of the Month.

“Lily is very respectful in all class meetings online and is very academically dedicated,” Spanish teacher Gustavo Oseguera said.

Jennifer Renteria was the English department’s Viking of the Month.

“Jennifer has done an excellent job of staying on top of her assignments, turning in high quality work, and communicating with her teacher(s) whenever she has questions or concerns,” Senior English teacher Wesley Norman said.

Freshman Jose Moreno is the Art department’s Viking of the Month for October. Moreno takes pride in his art projects, “turning in creative and original pieces,” art teacher Stephanie Bray said.

“During this difficult time we all are experiencing in our lives, Jose Moreno has consistently displayed qualities that will prove to make him successful throughout his life,” Bray said. “He is always willing to politely participate in our class Google Meet, usually being one of the first students to answer questions and give comments.”

Genesis Robles Silva is the October Viking of the Month in Math. She is always participating in the Google Meets and completes her work immediately according to teacher Rachael Holland.

“I feel like she could teach the class better than I could sometimes because she is so focused,” Holland said. “She is a pleasure to have in class. Genesis will send me emails if she feels there is a mistake in an assignment but is always polite and respectful.”

The PE October Viking of the Month is Giselle Valdivia.

“[Valdivia] has attended every live session and always participates,” Athletic Director and Physical Education teacher Scott Pallay said. “[She] has never missed an assignment, has received A’s for all work, and has taken advantage of every extra credit opportunity.”

Tommy Williams was also an October Viking of the Month. Tasha Fields and Jenaya Butler nominated Tommy for her perseverance.

Dasani Thompson was another Viking of the Month in October. Dasani had straight A’s in Quarter One, and he “has shown great character during this pandemic” Counselor Dorothy Williams said.

“Dasani has done an exceptional job this school year,” Williams said. “He is vigilant when it comes to completing his school work, but he advocates for himself as well. Dasani is a shining example of what it means to be a Valley Viking. Motivation, dedication, honor, strength, and perseverance are the characteristics he has shown during this time.”

Ki’macci Taylor is an October Viking of the Month as well. He has been able to advocate for himself “in a professional manner” when he had a major schedule change late in Quarter One teacher Brianna Richardson and administrator Terry Sobrero said.

“[Ki’macci]…started the second quarter off very well with his new schedule and…has many A’s,” Richardson and Sobrero said. “We are super proud of how Ki’macci handled a tough situation.”

Chanel Jordan, also an October Viking of the Month, “is a wonderful student,” teacher Roosevelt Burrell said.

“Not only is she prompt and on time every day for class, she participates fully and will help her classmates when she sees them struggling,” Burrell said. “She is also polite above and beyond. Chanel is one who fully deserves to be recognized as student of the month. She is a true pleasure to have in class.”

October Viking of the Month Stephen Duku is willing to reach out for extra help and asks questions during office hours teacher Rachael Holland said.

“Stephen attends all of the live sessions,” Holland said. “He is first to respond to new assignments and ask questions.”

All of these Vikings have represented themselves and their school well by exemplifying the Viking Values: respectful, responsible, and ready to succeed.