A Letter from the VCHS Principal – May 2023

Dear VCHS Families,

Being a student at Valley Catholic High School is an opportunity to grow, learn about yourself, and try new things. And this is in addition to receiving a quality, relevant education that prepares you for life after VCHS.  

Our no-cut athletic program, our robust fine arts experiences and school-based leadership opportunities are examples of ways students at Valley Catholic High School find their passions, their strengths, and learn how to face challenges that arise. 

This spring has exemplified our students’ involvement and success. At a recent track meet, I was taken by some of our spring drama performers who were participating in their first “sport experience” and decided to compete in the pole vault – of all things! Their determination, Valiant spirit, and COURAGE, were admirable.  

A group of students represented VCS at the Portland Community College Southeast Campus, taking one-hour tests in Algebra, Geometry, Algebra 2, Precalculus, and Calculus. Group activities followed the tests, which gave the PCC instructors time for grading. Sixteen awards were given to the more than 100 students who attended, and VCS students garnered six of those 16. The five high school students are now invited to the Oregon Invitational Mathematics Tournament, which will be held Saturday, May 20 at the University of Oregon.

Several high school students joined their peers from other local Catholic high schools for the first annual Catholic Leadership Affinity Summit. It was a day of community, belonging, joy and hope that featured prayer, mindfulness, a student panel, affinity breakout groups, food, bowling and laser tag. Students from Valley Catholic, Jesuit, Central Catholic, and LaSalle came together to share experiences, set goals for the 2023-24 school year, and simply have some fun. 

We also had two experiential learning opportunities that took place during the VCHS Spring Break. A group of students traveled to Costa Rica to explore the outdoor opportunities the country has to offer. They explored national parks, went whitewater rafting, saw monkeys, turtles, crocodiles, and all types of birds. They adventured to waterfalls and volcanoes, and participated in a jungle boat tour. The students experienced a lot of learning and stepping out of their comfort zone. The other group of students went to the Dominican Republic as part of an all-girls service-learning trip, volunteering with the Mariposa DR Foundation. Focusing on breaking generational poverty and empowering young women to be the best version of themselves, more than 15 girls made lifelong friendships with local girls from the North Coast of the Dominican Republic. They taught sports, swimming, English, and music. They planned an inaugural event to celebrate the opening of a brand new culinary school at the Foundation.  Everyone worked hard and saw a glimpse of what it is like living in an impoverished country with limited opportunity. 

Our students are involved. They are brave. And they represent the Core Values of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon with fervor. As we wrap up this school year, we celebrate their accomplishments and look forward to future opportunities that continue to mold and shape them into Valiant young men and women. 

With pride and admiration, 

Dr. Sara Bruins