The walls of the leadership classroom at Valley Catholic High School are valiantly decorated. From the infamous Grinchmas Mr.Valiant to the Breast Cancer Awareness Mr. Valiant covered with glitter and rhinestones to the classic blue Mr. Valiant there, are several unique Mr. Valiants to admire. These signs, designed by students, will be placed in different areas around campus, such as in the gym or cafeteria.
For students at Valley Catholic High School, Mr. Valiant is more than a mascot, he’s a symbol of school spirit and shows living valiantly happens not only in one place, but everywhere. Mr. Valiant appears in classrooms, at drama performances, in the Blue Crew crowd cheering with students – always reminding students to Live Valiantly.
“It was something I initially started when I became Director of Student Activities,” said Allison Gates (‘05). It was a project to do during the last few weeks of class where the outgoing Student Body Officers had a chance to leave their legacy and creativity by passing on their favorite Blue Crew themes so we could use them for events in the following years.”
Since Valley Catholic School does not have a physical mascot who appears at events to get students energized like other schools, the Mr.Valiant signs get students excited and pumped about Blue Crew events and various themes throughout the school year.
“The Mr. Valiant signs are specially designed to Blue Crew themes so we can build school spirit, and excitement about our themes for the year,” said DJ Romano, a senior at VCHS. “They represent Valley students’ ideas and help us learn to Live Valiantly in everything we do.”
The Mr.Valiant signs do not just represent Blue Crew events, they represent Valley Catholic’s school motto: “Excellence in Everything. Opportunity for Everyone.” Each sign shows the dedication the Student Body Officers give to ensure it appropriately represents the community.
“Mr. Valiant represents giving your all to something because you don’t do a theme halfway,” said Romano.
Before the Student Body Officers create a new Mr.Valiant, they first speak to students to learn about the themes that are important to them and create signs based on their feedback. After they receive their classmates’ opinions, the Student Body Officers continue to brainstorm themes for many of the different events that take place at Valley Catholic.
“Every Mr.Valiant theme corresponds to a school theme. To think of a theme, we will sit around a table, put on our thinking hats, turn on our listening ears and talk about what we think our classmates and peers would enjoy,” said Mona Sabet, a senior at VCHS. “We look at what has been done in the past and what other schools are doing. Then we think about what makes sense for our upcoming events and what would look cool on a new Mr. Valiant.”
All of the Mr.Valiant signs that have been made over the years are saved and hung from the wall in the leadership classroom. They are often reused throughout the year for different events at Valley Catholic. If a Mr.Valiant sign is not available for a certain theme, it can take anywhere from one class period to a week to create a new one, depending on the design.
“Once we figure out the theme for the event we’re creating, we have a room full of supplies we use – lots of glitter, rhinestones, and paint,” said Abigail Berndt, a senior at VCHS. “We have one Mr. Valiant from the very beginning we trace through so they are all the same dimensions, and then we decorate them accordingly. Recently, we did one for our denim outs. We actually printed a bunch of denim swatches out to represent Mr. Valiant.”
While the Student Body Officers have a range of Mr. Valiants to choose from, they still have fun making new ones for future Valley Catholic events.
“Last year, we made a Grinch Mr. Valiant and I remember that one took almost a week to make because we had really short class periods,” said Mona Sabet. “Making the Grinch, drawing him out, and adding all of the food cans took a really long time, but it’s one of my favorite Mr. Valiants.”
Both DJ Romano and Abigail Berndt agree that their favorite Mr. Valiants are the pink out designs for breast cancer awareness, while Mona Sabet says her favorite one is the Jack O’Lantern Mr. Valiant.
When the current Student Body Officers graduate, they can come back to visit their alma mater to admire their favorite Mr. Valiants. They also get to see the next versions created by Valley Catholic Student Body Officers and how they are using them to get students pumped up for current events happening at the school.
“The Mr. Valiant signs represent how we live valiantly. When the sign is in the school building, it encourages us to live valiantly in our academics, but when we move it to the gym for different events or to the theater for the arts, it encourages us to live valiantly in our extracurriculars,” said Abigail Berndt.