Valley Catholic photo
Valley Catholic coaches Eric Berge, Tommy Manning and Ian Berge hoist the Oregonian Cup.
Valley Catholic photo
Valley Catholic coaches Eric Berge, Tommy Manning and Ian Berge hoist the Oregonian Cup.

BEAVERTON – From beginning to end, this has been a year of great expectations and firsts at Valley Catholic High School.

The high school entered the year winning two major 3A awards: the 2012 Oregonian Cup, presented for achievement in academics, arts, athletics and sportsmanship; and the 2012 All-Sports Champion Award from the Oregon Athletic Coaches Association.

Expectations carried over to the class of 2013. Valley Catholic seniors were invited to attend more than 200 colleges and universities including, for the first time in school history, Yale, Dartmouth, Duke, and Carnegie-Mellon Universities.

Senior Yamini Naidu, a top-five worldwide finalist in the 2012 Google Science Fair, became the first student in Valley Catholic history to be named a Coca-Cola Scholarship finalist.

Under the leadership of Joel Sobotka, athletic director, the expectations extended to athletics. Valley Catholic’s girls basketball team won their first state championship in school history, led by coach of the year John Innes. The Charisma Dance Team won their fourth consecutive state championship, led by coach of the year Jessica Anderson. On opening day, Carter Buuck pitched the first perfect game in Valley Catholic baseball history. Buuck became the first Valiant to be named Oregonian High School Athlete of the Week.

Five Valley Catholic students traveled to Kyoto, Japan to participate in the 2013 International Student Forum, hosted by Ritsumeikan Uji High School. The theme of the conference, which drew students from 15 schools around the world, was “Creativity in the 21st Century.”

Valley Catholic students gave presentations ranging from 21st-century topics like social networking and gaming to more traditional themes invoking spoken word and music.

“This conference challenges them on so many different levels," said Tommy Manning, Valley Catholic history teacher. "It is rigorous academically, socially, and culturally. It forces these students out of their insular world and demands that they engage in new ideas and peoples. Perhaps the most lasting impact is the relationships that these students develop with the other students at the conference.”

As part of its 21st-century commitment to service, Valley Catholic High School “rocked the beat,” raising more than $1,700 for the American Heart Association during a school dance and basketball game.
Then, for every dollar Valley Catholic raised, the American Heart Association donated five dollars to Oregon Health & Science University.

Graduation ceremonies are set for 2 p.m. Saturday, June 8 in the Valiants Gymnasium.