Bethel School District Eugene OR

Bethel B-mail: May 2017


Balancing The Budget, Sharing Your Voice

The Bethel Budget Committee hears from elementary principals about their staffing plans for the 2017-18 school year before approving the district budget.

Watch this video and see what many of you and your neighbors say about education funding.

Then email your legislators (Rep. Julie Fahey and Sen. James Manning…he’s on our budget committee!) and let them know your thoughts. They want to hear from you, and I’m guessing you have something to say.

Bethel needs to reduce its spending to balance the budget for 2017-18, and that can be accomplished by cutting school days. It’s painful, but at least we can protect our class sizes, and we know that is a high priority for families.

We’d prefer smaller class sizes, but revenues from the state do not cover our increasing costs. Here’s hoping the state decides to reinvest in education, for your children and the ones who follow.

Let your voice be heard today!
Chris Parra
Bethel Superintendent


KidWind Champs

Helen Lucas and Allison Sanders are headed to the national competition after designing and building an impressive fan to win the regional KidWind challenge.

They blew away the competition.

Willamette’s Helen Lucas and Allison Sanders dominated to win the regional competition in the KidWind Challenge.

The Challenge is an opportunity for students to learn about wind energy, build their own wind turbine fan, and compete to see whose fan creates the most energy and which team has learned the most about wind energy.

The victory gives them a ticket to the national competition in Anaheim later this month.

Generous donors have chipped in to pay for the trip and help this team from Willamette’s Women in Engineering class prove they’re among the best in the country.


Discovering The Code

Clear Lake 4th grade students in Christina Cox’s class are learning computer code to control the movements of these tiny Ozobot robots.

Kids are being introduced to computer programming and robots in Christina Cox’s 4th grade class at Clear Lake.

Thanks to a Bethel Education Foundation grant, students now have Chromebooks and Ozobots. They are tiny robots that react to the commands programmed on the Chromebook computers.

Students are learning how the Ozobots respond to different codes. They are figuring out that the robots can be programmed to move in various directions or react differently as they travel across colors drawn on a sheet of paper.

Each time the kids are delving deeper into coding. It’s a challenging but fun and rewarding opportunity thanks to their teacher’s creativity and the BEF’s generosity.


Champions In Education

Bethel’s 2017 ACE Award champions are Gina Clark,, Lisa Bateman, Anne Johnstone-Diaz, and Michelle Toney.

Outstanding educators are everywhere you look in Bethel, but only a select few receive the ACE (A Champion in Education) Awards in a special ceremony at the Hult Center.

The annual awards honor champions in four categories: Teachers, Classified Staff, Administrators and Volunteers.

Bethel’s ACE Awards champions this year are Gina Clark from Fairfield (Teacher), Lisa Bateman, Assistant Special Ed Director (Administrator), Anne Johnstone-Diaz from the Bethel Family Resource Center (Classified staff) and Willamette music supporter Michelle Toney (Volunteer).

Each of them wins $1,000 for the school program of their choice.

Congratulations to these very worthy winners, and a huge thank you goes to the Eugene and Springfield Chambers of Commerce, Oregon Community Credit Union, and other local business sponsors for making it possible to recognize these deserving educators.


Walking And Rolling

Principal Maureen Spence led a large group of students on their way to Malabon on Walk and Roll To School Day.

Getting kids out of cars and onto their feet has been a challenge, but now there’s progress.

On Walk and Roll to School Day hundreds of Bethel students declined the car and walked, rode a bike or scooter, or roller-bladed to school.

Malabon and Clear Lake principals even met their students nearly a mile away and walked with them to school.

Incentives were waiting for kids who took part, including bike helmets, locks, lights, water bottles, and a scooter to be given away. One lucky student will win a $400 gift certificate to Bicycle Way of Life.

The challenge is to convince students and families that walking and rolling is a good idea every day. Seems like now’s a good time to start!




Riding Tall

Five Willamette students are part of the Willmira Equestrian Team: Kate Burgett, Senior; McKynzie Garcia, Junior; Brianna Colton, Freshman; and sophomores Bailey Scroggins and Ashlynn Booher.

They call themselves Team Willmira. 5 equestrians from Willamette joined 3 riders from Elmira High School to form a winning combo-team that has advanced to the state Equestrian Championships.

They finished the regular season winning 2 Gold, 5 Silver and 7 Bronze medals on their way to finishing 1st at the district competition.  

The team has qualified for five events at state: Drill Performance, In Hand Obstacle Relay, Working Rancher, Freestyle and Showmanship.

With only one senior, Kate Burgett, this group has a chance to be contenders for years to come.


Fun With Fungi

Mushroom boxes were displayed in Bethel’s school cafeterias, allowing students to watch the oyster mushrooms grow over a two week period.

Who knew?! Bethel has won an award for its use of mushrooms.

Yep, shrooms are big in Bethel school lunches, classrooms, and experiments.

Bethel’s very popular and flavorful spaghetti sauce gets its rich flavor profile from large quantities of roasted mushrooms.  

Throughout April, Bethel Nutrition Services displayed mushroom boxes in school cafeterias, Over a two week period students witnessed oyster mushrooms emerge and grow out of the boxes.

At Kalapuya High School, students in the Sustainable Agriculture class inoculated White Oak logs with Shitake mushrooms. They’ll grow and be ready to harvest in a month or so. And finally, students were offered marinated baked Cremini mushrooms through the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program that provides snacks at our elementary schools.

That’s why Bethel’s Nutrition Services department won $5,000 in the Mushroom Council’s Blend the Rules contest. The award money will be used to further Bethel’s Farm to School Program.


Bethel Is Tracktown

Students from all Bethel elementary and middle schools took part in the spring track season.

A few weeks of training for a few moments of glory, with lots of fun in-between.

That is the elementary and middle school track season.

Kids have been rewarded with two track meets – in April and May – at Willamette’s Wolverine Stadium, with a chance to compete against their peers from other Bethel schools.

The 100 meters, long jump, relay races, 400 meters and softball throw keep the hundreds of kids busy.

And it’s clear that some young athletes have discovered their sport of choice.


Leading With LEED

Willamette’s new science and office building is more than beautiful; it’s among the most energy efficient school buildings in the Willamette Valley.

That beautiful building at Bethel’s flagship school is now a first.

Willamette’s new science and office complex is the first K-12 building in the Willamette Valley to achieve LEED status.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a rating system devised by the United States Green Building Council for evaluating the environmental performance and sustainable designs of buildings.

And here’s more good news. While they’re not easy to see, those solar panels on the roof of the science building are a bunch of overachievers.

Despite the very gray and wet winter we have had, the solar panels are performing about 17% above the anticipated levels, helping Willamette offset about 13% of its yearly energy usage.

A LEEDer, indeed.


On The Safe Side             

Committed to keeping students and staff safe, Prairie Mountain’s Jill Robinson-Wolgamott has been honored with a school safety award.

She will never mention it, so we will.

Prairie Mountain Assistant Principal Jill Robinson-Wolgamott (call her “RW”) has been honored with the PACE Outstanding Service Award for contributing substantially in the area of school safety.

RW is a certified ALICE trainer, and was among the organizers and facilitators of the ALICE safety training for all Bethel staff.

She was a leader in the creation of Bethel’s Emergency Reunification Plan and subsequent staff training for a reunification between students and parents in the event of an emergency.

She has been a leader in the writing of the emergency drills scripts for our teachers and the emergency training videos for our elementary and secondary students.

And RW leads our School Safety Committee in the continued work around school safety improvements. In addition, she has helped train staff in other districts.

Thanks, RW. Bethel students and staff are safer because of your efforts!


Little Women, Big Production    

Senior Josie Thomas led a strong group of performers in Willamette’s spring musical, Little Women.

Has there been a more impressive group of performers on the stage at Willamette High School?

The singing, acting and sets for the recent run of Little Women at WHS left people talking.

Wow! Senior Josie Thomas stood out with her professional-caliber voice and convincing portrayal of Jo, one of the four sisters in Little Women.

But there are plenty of accolades to go around with 40 students having worked on the production, both on the stage and behind the scenes.

And for the 5th year in a row, they opened up the orchestra pit for terrific live music.

Congratulations to teachers Tana Walker and Katie Reuter for their leadership in producing a musical that audience members will remember.


Behind The Scenes

We usually only get to see the finished product, but Bethel students in band and choir put in an incredible amount of work. Here’s a look at Cascade’s band getting tips from UO Athletics Band Director Eric Wiltshire in a workshop at the Shasta Invitational Band Festival.


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