The Viking Press The Student News Site of The Village School Fri, 08 Nov 2019 16:49:09 -0600 en-US hourly 1 Winter Sports Tryouts Fri, 08 Nov 2019 16:49:09 +0000 Over the week of October 14, 2019, the winter sports had their tryouts for the Varsity and Junior Varsity (JV) teams of soccer and basketball. Girls JV basketball and JV soccer tryouts were extended into the week of October 21, 2019, due to the number of athletes from that were coming from the fall sports season. 

“[I think to be] able to work as a team even though a lot of us are new,” freshman Divya Khatri, a student on the varsity girls soccer team, said. “I think it will be nice to be able to work as a team even though there are a bunch of different grades and different levels of experiences.”

The teams have now been picked and are rigorously practicing for the upcoming season.

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Swimmer Headed to University of Indiana Bloomington Fri, 08 Nov 2019 16:29:32 +0000 Senior Mac Boyle has recently made a huge decision regarding his athletic career. Last week, Mac Boyle visited the University of Indiana Bloomington, touring their athletic facilities and discussing the possibility of competing on their swim team next year.

On Tuesday, November 5, 2019, Mac Boyle gave his verbal commitment to the University of Indiana Bloomington.

“I really enjoyed my visit to the university,” Boyle said. “I am excited and ready to take my swimming career to the next level.” 

Mac has had an extremely successful high school swimming career. Last year in the TAPPS 6A State Championship meet he placed first in the 100m Backstroke and the 100m Fly. He hopes to continue this success this year, and in the future at the University of Indiana.

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Annual Village Blood Drive Fri, 01 Nov 2019 15:45:39 +0000 On Friday, October 11, 2019, from 9 am to 1:30 pm, The Village School hosted the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, a nonprofit blood center which aims to collect blood from students. The blood goes to local hospitals the same day to help those in need of blood transfusions. 

The eligibility requirements were being at least 16 years of age, having parents’ written consent (if 17 or older, this field is not required), and having a minimum weight of 122 pounds (55 kilograms).

“I thought the blood drive was a good thing to have at school,” junior Vivian Tsao, said, “The process was organized and we were all in order. However, it took super long. I thought it would only be 15 minutes because of the time slots but mine took over an hour. But that’s probably due to complications that happened. Overall, it was a positive experience with a supportive staff.”

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Vor’s House Dodgeball Tournament Wed, 23 Oct 2019 19:20:33 +0000 On Friday October 11th, Vor House hosted a Dodgeball Tournament for all high school students. It took place in the VAC (Village Athletic Facility), and it was a fun way for students to destress and to gain points for their respective houses. Students formed their own teams through a form that was sent out to their emails and showed up after school on Friday with their teams ready to compete! 

“It was really fun and exciting,” said sophomore Mason Johnson, a participant in the event. “I enjoyed playing dodgeball with my friends a lot! We may not have won, but we still had a wonderful time.”

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Freshman Class Volunteers at the Houston Food Bank Wed, 23 Oct 2019 19:15:45 +0000 On Wednesday, October 16th, The Village School’s freshman class volunteered at the Houston Food Bank.

While the 10th and 11th graders took their PSAT or SAT exams, the freshmen spent Wednesday morning packing and sorting meals for those who may not have enough to eat.

Eager to provide service, the 9th graders were split into groups and quickly began organizing meals. By the time their three hours were up, the students had packed over 3,000 boxes of food to give to those in need.

“It was a great experience, [and] it made a big [impact] on someone’s life,” said freshman Olukemi Dada. “I’m glad I could give back to the community.”


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The Class of 2019 Takes Orlando Fri, 03 May 2019 19:44:42 +0000 This year, our Class of 2019 was presented with the opportunity to visit Orlando, Florida as opposed to the usual senior trip to Mo-Ranch and San Antonio in Texas.

The trip started off with an eighteen-hour overnight bus ride to Orlando. Students listened to music, laughed, and played video games until their eyes could barely stay open. With stops every 4 hours to switch bus drivers or fill up gas, it is sufficient to say it was a rough night for many students, especially the ones that didn’t bring an ever-important blanket and pillow.

“I had just fallen asleep before we had to get off the bus,” senior Damien Lajoumard de Bellabre said. “I don’t even remember what was going on, only that I wanted sleep.”

Soon after their arrival in Orlando, the intended beach trip was replaced by a day at the hotel waterpark after the exhaustion settled in. It was clear to the seniors that they were not physically capable of sitting out in the sun for hours and were very glad the chaperones felt the same. For the students that were not excited about the water activities, the hotel had a multitude of activities available until rooms were ready.

The senior trip’s first full day was a trip to Disney World, where students were free and encouraged to roam. They rode roller coasters, spent way too much money on food, and went back to the hotel with more excitement for the day to come at Universal Studios. The first night ended with everyone gathering at the center of Disney to watch the famous Happily Ever After fireworks show that featured sequences of Beauty and the Beast, Tangled, and Frozen.

Many seniors found Universal Studios to be overwhelming at first, as it is generally the intensity of Disney World five times over. However, as they walked through the various parks, settings, and scenes,  that feeling disappeared for them. There was a ride for everyone, whether that meant the Spider-Man 4-D adventure, Dr. Doom, which drops its riders from over 10 stories up, or The Incredible Hulk, which twists and turns until the rider loses their sense of orientation.

Four days after the seniors’ departure from Houston, it was time to begin the journey back to Houston. That night, the bus wasn’t filled with anticipation or excitement: it was filled with melancholy. The realization that ‘this is it’ set in for many and that months from now, everyone on the trip would be scattered around the world.

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The Saga Comes to A Close: “Avengers Endgame” Fri, 03 May 2019 19:42:55 +0000 “Avengers Endgame” is quite frankly the movie of the year. It concludes Marvel’s Cinematic Universe of 11 years which started in 2008 with “Iron Man”, and is the fastest movie to ever reach 1 billion plus dollars as its gross, reaching it within 5 days! With a gross of approximately 357 million dollars, it has broken the domestic box office record in the United States of 350 million dollars in one weekend. Additionally, it has grossed 859 million dollars internationally. To beat the highest gross of all time, “Endgame” will have to gross over 2.788 billion dollars which was set by “Avatar” from 2009. “Endgame” is the 8th Marvel film to break 1 billion dollars and ends this phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.


“Endgame” is a triumph yet it falls short of the lofty expectations that Marvel has tended to set throughout the years. It is a fun movie, full of emotion, throwbacks, crazy references, and great comedic humor as it references many of the old films of the “Big 3”, “Iron Man”, “Captain America”, “Thor”, and “Hulk”. However one of the common problems is the consistent theme of plot holes, lots of them, that leave even the diehard fans of the MCU scratching for answers. The movie picks up from the end scenes of “Infinity War”, where Thanos had finally acted on his vision and eliminated ½  of the world’s population to restore order and balance. The Avengers attempt to undo Thanos’s vision and bring back the world’s population.


The key heroes that stand out are the original crew: Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Rocket, and Nebula. Every character is developed excellently and to near perfection in their roles, however, there are standout performances by Ant-Man and Thor who achieve this through comedic means. Captain Marvel, despite being advertised heavily, is not significantly featured in the film but plays an essential role in the closing moments of the film.


The greatest strengths of “Endgame” are its intensive focus on character development as stated above, and its ability to deliver emotionally for fans who have stuck with the franchise from the very beginning. One of the failures of “Infinity War” is rectified in this film as “Infinity War” struggled with the sheer amount of characters it had to include and did not resonate the characters with fans, apart from the standout moments everyone remembers. However, the tone of “Endgame” was all over the place, and the film directors, the Russo brothers, simply could not make up their mind on what they wanted the film to be. They couldn’t decide between a light-hearted feel or a dark, emotional feel as it highly fluctuated between the two. This is what left me feeling a bit unsatisfied as this film definitely did not live up to its full potential or what it could have been, but it left me, a die-hard MCU fan, content and satisfied enough to shed my first tears ever at a movie and felt warm and fuzzy all at the same time. So despite its un-organized feel, uneven tone, heavy plot holes, and being a bit overhyped, I left the theater feeling happy, sad, and like I was in deja vu all at the same time.


I would give it a 7/10. What would you give it? And if you haven’t seen it, you need to go see it, it’s arguably the biggest film of the 20th century!

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TED-Ed Club Spotlight Tue, 23 Apr 2019 20:26:35 +0000 Sharing thoughts, experiences, and ideas within the constraint of 18 minutes on a global platform is what the Technology, Entertainment, and Design Talks (TED) are for. TED Talks, the non-profit organization founded in 1984 hosts people from different backgrounds, communities, and cultures and allows them to inspire the world with their brief, yet empowering speeches that are posted online for free.

As a part of their youth and education initiatives, the organization started TED-Ed to spark and celebrate the ideas of teachers and students around the world in innovative and engaging ways.

At The Village School, the TED-Ed Club supports high school students in discovering, exploring and presenting ideas in the form of TED talks where students work together to discuss and celebrate their differing approaches. Senior Vy Thai, the President of the TED-Ed club, started the club in 2017 to overcome the stereotypes and underestimation that day-students at Village hold towards international borders and to be able to share “ideas worth spreading.” It’s where others have the opportunity to meet and listen to students who are eager and willing to turn their interests and passions into a well-planned, TED Talk presentation.

“Being born and raised in a poor village, I have always had the desire to foster knowledge so I could contribute to my hometown,” Thai said. “This strong determination bounces me back whenever life knocks me down. Experiencing that diverse community [at Village], I understand the significance of empowered voices.”

Ever since the club’s launch, Thai has successfully organized the three TED-Ed events, the most recent being on the 11th and 12th of April 2019.

“Last year, the club only had a few members,” Thai said. “Our club was under official collaboration with TED, [so we] followed their guidelines on how to lead. This year, we changed the curriculum a little bit. We didn’t 100% follow TED’s instructions. Instead, we added more interactive activities which mainly focused on four essential components: Creativity, Logical Thinking, Speaking Skills and Finding Your Passion. I think with that improvement, our club became more attractive, and as a result, more people joined.”

When Thai had originally wanted to start the club in his junior year of high school, he  approached his English teacher, Mina Petrolito. Since then, Thai and Petrolito have been able to mirror their visions and goals for TED-Ed club for the past two years.

“He told me he wanted to start an official TED club, registered by students, for students, and I was all in,” Petrolito said. “The most amazing part of it was that we had similar goals. We both wanted to be able to get residential students talking about things that mattered to them, alongside day students, in the true international spirit of our school.”

Petrolito believes that the most exciting thing about the TED-Ed Club is the bravery and camaraderie that has bonded the students with one another, as well as the fact that students are sharpening their rhetorical skills without even realizing it.

“To watch each of them bounce ideas, criticism, and feedback off of each other to help each other deliver a tailored message has been the joy of my teaching career,” Petrolito said. “With a little help from their friends and input from a teacher, they can find new ways to appeal to their audience, tailor their words, and share their stories in a meaningful way–skills they need to be developing during their high school careers to help them in their future careers.”

The TED-Ed Club has taught Thai so much and now has become something he is immensely proud of. English is not his first language, which led him to struggle with taking lead in the start with, yet his boundless energy and strong community spirit outweighed this language barrier for him, as well as for other TED-Ed club members.

“I have learned a lot – not only how to improve leadership skills but also many valuable lessons from every individual’s unique story in this diverse community,” Thai said. “The fact that we have an equal number of day-students and dorm-students [in the club] and [that] we have built a strong community and relationship with each other without any barriers or stereotypes makes me proud. It tells me that my aspirations for the club had been achieved.”

“It’s so motivating to see students communicate with each other in this way,” Petrolito said. “It is truly what makes Village great.”

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Rustic Pathways Club Spotlight Mon, 15 Apr 2019 16:26:24 +0000 For many, summers come and go, marking a period dedicated to relaxing and resting after a long and stressful school year. While many elect to travel, co-founders of the Village School’s Rustic Pathways club sophomore Elena Ribero, sophomore Beatriz Bechara, and junior Julia Bechara had a unique twist of their version of summer travel. The Bechara sisters both enrolled in a community service summer traveling program to Fiji hosted by Rustic Pathways, an organization that allows students to experience an intersection between education, travel, and philanthropy.

“Rustic Pathways Club is partnered with the Rustic Pathways corporation which is a non-profit travel agency for community service,” Ribero said.

Inspired by their experiences, the three students entered 2019 inspired to found the Rustic Pathways Village Chapter to offer their fellow high school students an opportunity to support causes they learned about while traveling. Created at the beginning of the second semester, co-President Ribero, co-President Bechara, and co-President Bechara, decided their first fundraiser was to be centered around raising money to fund relief efforts for the Amazon Rainforest Crisis.

“We chose the Amazon Rainforest Crisis because we are all Brazilian and the issue regarding the Amazon Rainforest always seems to be overlooked,” Ribero said. “The Rustic Pathways Organization has different sectors all aimed at fundraising for different causes and when we had looked at other campaigns, like Thailand, they had raised well above their goals while the Amazon had barely met a fraction of their objective.”

The Amazon Rainforest, which serves as the home to over 30 million species and supports over 200 indigenous tribes’ way of life, has suffered immensely under the hand of illegal logging resulting in massive deforestation across the area.

The Rustic Pathways Club held a series of three fundraisers for their first initiative: a coin drive, candy raffle, and a bracelet workshop.

The coin drive, which consisted of donation boxes being placed in the Campus Store so that customers could drop in their extra change, was very successful and allowed Rustic Pathways to gain the momentum needed for future fundraisers. The candy raffle was the second part of their initiative, in which students could elect to purchase a one dollar raffle ticket for the chance to win a vase of candy. The third segment of the initiative was a bracelet-making workshop that allowed participants to learn how to braid their own bracelets. The three fundraisers in conjunction raised over $1260 dollars in funds, which will all be donated to the Las Piedras Amazon Center, an organization aimed at the research, conservation, and exploration of the Amazon rainforest.

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Former Village Basketball Star wins Collegiate State Basketball Championship Mon, 15 Apr 2019 16:08:16 +0000 Last year, Davenport University freshman Nestor Daboin attended The Village School and played  under Village Coach Donald Harvey. Playing as a Center, Daboin was a household name on our basketball team and  received an offer to play at Davenport University in Michigan. His first year at Davenport University, he and his teammates won the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) against Northern Michigan, 74-71.

Davenport University is currently 23-3 wins overall and 16-3 wins in the GLIAC. Congrats Nestor!

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