Bethel School District Eugene OR

Bethel B-mail: April 2017


All Dressed Up

Superintendent Chris Parra looks through some of the dresses available for free at Andrea’s Attic and Smyly’s Boutique at Willamette High School.

People who know my story also know that I could have used a place like Andrea’s Attic or Smyly’s Boutique when growing up.

These two small rooms at Willamette High School provide free clothes for Bethel middle and high school students. They also welcome North Eugene and Churchill High School students.

There are more than 100 dresses (formal and otherwise), along with suits, slacks and shirts, and all of them are clean, new, or very lightly used.

Students just call the front desk at Willamette to make an appointment. Confidentiality is preserved and the clothes are free and theirs to keep.

Dozens of students have used Andrea’s Attic (named for former Bethel School Board member and City Councilor Andrea Ortiz) and Smyly’s Boutique (named for former Cascade counselor Jennifer Smyly.)

You can donate some nice, new, or nearly new clothes, by contacting Chris Ferguson at

Chris and his wife Debby started and maintain the rooms, and so many of us are truly grateful.

Chris Parra
Bethel Superintendent


Paying It Forward

Bethel’s Homeless Advocate, Donna Butera, received a generous donation on behalf of the late Mary Jane and John Dellenback, well-known for their public service and philanthropy in Oregon

Bethel School District’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Program received a generous donation in loving memory of Mary Jane and John Dellenback (he was the former Congressman from Medford.)

Mary Jane passed away in December, and had asked her friends and family to remember her and her late husband by doing something for someone else in their name – buy a stranger coffee, contribute in some way, or endow a university chair.

Bethel District is grateful to be the beneficiary of the Dellenback family’s good will, and we hope this story will inspire you to do something for someone else, pay it forward, spread kindness, or do something philanthropic.


Life Savers

Kalapuya senior Chandler Miller performs CPR on a manikin, using the computer program purchased with a grant from the Bethel Education Foundation.

Seniors at Kalapuya are learning how to save lives as part of their graduation expectations.

After two weeks of studying many of the basics of emergency response in Janay Stroup’s Health Education class, the students’ final exam included 10 different scenarios that test all of their new skills needed to “save” people. 

This included scenarios with live volunteers and manikins. Among the skills are how to use an AED, or automated external defibrillator, and perform CPR. A Bethel Education Foundation grant purchased a computer program to help improve the CPR practice.

This is a required class for all seniors. Employers like it on resumes so it adds to their job preparation, but the training also fits within Kalapuya’s larger goal of helping students be civic minded and prepared to help throughout our community.


Doing The Wave

One of the most interesting and engaging field trips is to the Hinsdale Wave Research Lab at Oregon State University.  Bethel students have been taking part in a program developed by OSU, and a visit to the lab was the highlight of their studies. Watch the video and you’ll understand why.


Walk On The Right Side

Danebo students look both ways before crossing the street during their neighborhood walk, concluding the two-day Safe Routes to School lesson.

These are some serious lessons being taught. Life and death lessons.

2nd and 3rd graders are learning the fundamentals of crossing a street or a parking lot.

It’s part of the Safe Routes to School program, which encourages students to consider more walking and riding to school.

The two-day training ends in a neighborhood walk as kids prove they can cross the street, manage where there are no sidewalks, and stay safe on their commute.

The class is free to any Bethel school.


The Duck Walk Returns

The ducks returned to Prairie Mountain School. Each year a mother duck lays its eggs in the interior courtyard at the school and then is escorted to a nearby wetland. Kindergartners get to line the halls to witness the quick transition to the wild.


The Story Behind The Story

Despite a mad scramble, Shasta Choir members Mariya Dolph, Da’Mauryay Wright, and Sarah Phifer came home with individual honors from the Clackamas Vocal Jazz Festival.

Yes, there really is more to this story.

In the end, Shasta Jazz Choir students Mariya Dolph, Da’Mauryay Wright, and Sarah Phifer received Outstanding Vocal Solo Awards at the Clackamas Vocal Jazz Festival.  The choir came home with a 2nd place trophy.

Now the rest of the story. Due to a wrong turn the choir arrived at the festival just 10 minutes before their performance.

Proving that middle schoolers can move fast when they need to, the choir got off the bus, changed clothes, gathered themselves and started singing.

Given the circumstances, second place is pretty amazing, huh?! The Pleasant Hill Jazz Festival is next. Directions should not be a problem.


How The Garden Grows

Helping prepare for gardening classes, generous volunteers from Eugene Alternative Realtors did a lot of spring cleaning of Clear Lake’s school garden.

With the return of spring comes the resumption of gardening classes at Clear Lake Elementary.

Folks from the School Garden Project provide the lessons for 5th graders, delving into the science of gardening.

The School Garden Project also arranged for volunteers to prepare Clear Lake’s extensive garden area. Representatives from Eugene Alternative Realtors cleared out old growth, removed weeds, brought in new mulch, and prepped the garden beds for the upcoming classes.

Students enjoyed nine weeks of garden instruction in the fall, and will take part in nine more weeks this spring.

They’ll be tending to lettuce, peas, beans, kale, strawberries, and tomatoes which have annually been served in Clear Lake’s school lunch program.


Kendama at Clear Lake

A traditional Japanese ball and cup game, Kendama has taken off at Clear Lake. Introduced by former Clear Lake student and current Willamette junior Gordan Mindoro, Kendamas can now be found on the Clear Lake playground at recess every Friday. Students recently enjoyed learning from the big kids at an after-school event where a wide variety of skills was on display.


Learning By Doing

Prairie Mountain 4th graders study water filtration through hands-on project-based learning.

This lesson for students was also an opportunity to teach other teachers.

Prairie Mountain’s Amanda Zacharek is part of the Content in Context SuperLessons, a UO professional development program for 3rd – 8th grade Lane County teachers.

It’s all about teaching science and math through projects, and that’s why teachers from other districts were in her 4th grade class watching students learn about water and water filtration.

A grant from the Bethel Education Foundation purchased the materials for the filtration project, and the kids were definitely engaged.

The project-based learning was working in Amanda’s class, and because her lesson was watched by visiting teachers, you can expect to find more project-based learning going on in other classrooms, too.


Welcoming The Class Of 2021

Willamette teacher Chris McGowan explains his robotics program to future students and parents.

It was difficult to tell who was more excited, current Bethel 8th graders or their parents.

At Willamette High School’s 8th Grade Parent Night kids and adults learned all about the high quality Career Technical Education programs, International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement classes, electives, clubs and other opportunities waiting for students at Wil-Hi.

Hundreds of parents and students visited with teachers, talked with advisors, toured the school, and narrowed their course choices for freshman year.

Most students had already signed-up for their preferred classes, but they had a chance to make changes to their wish lists after learning more about their many exciting options as 9th graders.


2 Responses to Bethel B-mail: April 2017

  • It is wonderful to see the amazing things that are happening in our district. I invite you to stop by and see our Danebo ELD kids in action!

  • Debby and I would like to thank Sheila Bright for her invaluable help in maintaining Andrea’s Annex, Smyly’s Boutique and the Wil. Hi. Clothes Closet.

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