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Extracurricular opportunities abound at Valwood! Both academic and athletic activities provide experiences in which students learn leadership skills, team work, and gain a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence. Ultimately, a student’s extracurricular life at Valwood provides many of the memories that will last a lifetime.
The Valwood Interact Club is an Upper School club sponsored by the Valdosta Rotary Club. Members attend Rotary Club meetings and sponsor speakers who come to the Valwood campus for the purpose of discussing needs and concerns in the community. In the spirit of the Rotary International motto “Service above self,” Valwood Interact members make significant contributions to the community each year. In the past, the Interact Club has sponsored service projects such as; Habitat for Humanity, the Salvation Army, the Humane Society, Adopt-A-Child, Lowndes County Renal Dialysis, Break Bread Together, and the Valwood Fall Festival.
Literary is a Georgia Independent School Association event involving individual and small group competitions in a wide range of events. Literary events include singing, acting, writing, spelling, extemporaneous speaking, and piano. Students work individually with coaches to prepare for their event while learning how to fine tune their performances. Music auditions are held in November, and auditions for all other events are held in January. Literary events are coached by Marti Schert, Upper School Choral Director, and Phyllis Childree, Speech and Drama teacher.
MATHCOUNTS is a mathematics enrichment program in which middle school students are coached to develop skills for solving challenging problems. Students then compete on teams in a regional tournament against other teams from area schools. Valwood students meet weekly to prepare for the South Georgia tournament held in February.
Mock Trial offers Valwood students the unique opportunity to learn about the law profession by re-enacting a court trial. Students assume the parts of the lawyers for both sides, as well as portraying the roles of the suspects and witnesses in the case. Attorneys from the Valdosta community work alongside Valwood’s coaches to help prepare the students for the competition. Mock Trial is open to any students in the Upper School.
The National Honor Society
Students are selected to the National Honor Society on the basis of scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Membership is open to qualified sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are identified after the fall semester of the school year. In the past, the NHS has participated in service projects such as the Second Harvest Food Bank, the Walk for Charity, Make a Difference Day, and a school supplies drive for needy children.
The National Junior Honor Society
The National Junior Honor Society is one of the nation’s premier organizations established to recognize outstanding students in grades 7, 8 and 9. The NJHS serves to honor those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service and character.
Odyssey of the Mind is a worldwide educational program that promotes creative thinking and problem solving. Students work together in teams to solve problems that range from building their own vehicles to creating a new twist to literary classics. Participants learn cooperation, the appreciation and understanding of others, and that a group is a more powerful thinking force than an individual. They develop a sense of self-respect and respect for others through preparatory activities such as brainstorming and role playing. Typically, the ultimate goal for teams is to present their problem solutions in official competitions on a regional, state and world level. The purpose of the Odyssey of the Mind program is to give students a unique learning experience that promises to be challenging and fun.
Each year Valwood sends teams to the regional competition. Students from Kindergarten through Upper School may participate. In 1999, in 2002, and again in 2006, Valwood teams reached the World Finals Competition, finishing second, thirteenth and first in the world respectively.
The Science Olympiad is an international nonprofit organization devoted to improving the quality of science education, increasing student interest in science and providing recognition for outstanding achievement in science education by both students and teachers. These goals are accomplished through classroom activities, research, training workshops and the encouragement of intramural, district, regional, state, and national tournaments. The Science Olympiad tournaments are rigorous academic interscholastic competitions that consist of a series of individual and team events which students prepare for during the year. The competitions follow the format of popular board games, TV shows, and athletic games. These challenging and motivational events are well balanced between the various science disciplines of biology, earth science, chemistry, physics, computers, and technology. There is also a balance between events requiring knowledge of science facts, concepts, processes, skills, and science applications.
Who may participate?
Currently, the upper school hosts two Division C teams and the middle school hosts on Division B team. The state-wide program includes regional and state tournaments held on college and university campuses. These tournaments provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate their competence, receive recognition (medals, ribbons, and trophies) for their accomplishments and meet students with similar interests from other schools. Schedules vary yearly but generally regional tournaments are completed by early March and the State Competition is held in late March or early April.
Upper School – Student Council
The Upper School Student Council is an organization designed to facilitate relations between the student body and the faculty. The council is composed of four officers and three representatives from each class. Students are elected to the council by their peers. Elections are held during the first weeks of school. Officer candidates are required to deliver a brief speech before the student assembly. While all students in the Upper School vote for the officers, representatives are elected by their class.
The Student Council’s most well-known activity is coordinating Homecoming Week and all the festivities that accompany that occasion. The Council also coordinates the Fall Festival, a day of fun and games for all students, their families, and the community. Another important role of the Council is to affect policy change and school improvements.
In addition to the tangible benefits that the Student Council facilitates, the organization also provides students an opportunity to get involved in student government. Council members are expected to behave as responsible young adults and serve as a bridge between the faculty and the student body as a whole. Serving on the Student Council affords its members a valuable experience.
Middle School – Student Council
The Middle School Student Council is composed of officers and two representatives elected by each class in grades 6, 7, and 8. These leaders promote community service projects and plan social activities for the Middle School. The Middle School Student Council members assist the Upper School Student Council with the annual Fall Festival.
We invite you to explore Valwood through our website, but the best way to learn more about our school’s mission and approach is to visit us. We hold admissions coffee-and-tour sessions monthly where you will learn about our curriculum and extracurricular programs, and you will also be able to see first-hand our beautifully designed, state-of-the-art facilities.