Bethel School District Eugene OR

Bethel B-mail: April 2018


Champions In Education

Last year’s ACE Awards winners, Gina Clark, Lisa Bateman, Anne Johnstone-Diaz, and Michelle Toney will be joined by four new Bethel winners.

Here’s the hard part: selecting just four winners out of so many deserving nominees.

The annual ACE (A Champion in Education) Awards is now accepting nominations in four categories: Teachers (licensed staff), Classified staff, Administrators and Volunteers.

See a Sample Nomination here

It’s the 13th consecutive year that the ACE Awards will recognize the incredible work of Bethel staff and volunteers. The stories shared in the nominations are inspiring. The dedication displayed by the staff and volunteers is humbling.

Our thanks to the Eugene-Springfield business community under the leadership of Oregon Community Credit Union, which sponsors the event.

A winning nomination requires some work, and the deadline is April 29th.

Go to the ACE Awards Nomination page

The deserving winner in each category will receive a handsome plaque and $1,000 to be used for the school program of their choice.
Chris Parra
Bethel Superintendent


The Ultimate Field Trip

Keeping notes in a journal was part of the nine-day field study for Kalapuya students backpacking through the Grand Escalante National Monument in Utah.

Now, this is how to stage a field trip.

Kalapuya students have returned from a nine-day field study backpacking through the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in southern Utah.

See a slide show of the trip

Students explored slick-rock slot canyons that narrowed to inches, formed by thousands of years of wind and rain.

They explored the petrified burnt orange sandstone canyons, learned about the geologic history of the Colorado Plateau, and studied the plant and animal adaptations that define desert ecosystems.

Students also delved into the contemporary debates that surround grazing rights, oil exploration, and the federal designations of National Monuments.


A Day In The Life

WHS Counselor Tara Roddy gets some help from teacher David Novak during a freshman science class as part of her Day In The Life experience.

How quickly we forget what it’s like to be a high school student.

That’s why seven Willamette teachers and counselors spent a week immersing themselves in the bell-to-bell student experience: going to class, doing the homework, taking the tests, giving presentations, using the student restrooms, eating with teenagers, and socializing during breaks.

It’s a repeat of Wil-Hi’s Day in the Life experiment two years ago that opened eyes and increased teachers’ level of empathy for students while improving their own instruction.

See the Day in the Life video from 2016.

Enhanced student engagement, more welcoming classrooms, improved relationships and collaboration in class; it was all reported by staff who spent a week as students.

Teachers will share their experiences in another video coming soon, with revelations from the adults who survived as teenagers for a week.


Emma’s Amazing Adventure

Meadow View 4th grader Emma Phipps, with her uncle Rob, published Nala’s Adoption Adventure, the true story of her dog’s adoption.

Emma Phipps, 4th grader at Meadow View School, and her uncle Rob Anderson have turned her real life story of adopting her dog into a book: Nala’s Adoption Adventure, now available on Amazon.

It started with Emma using Google Docs to write stories about animals. Uncle Rob suggested writing a real book, and they were off.

After school and on weekends they brainstormed, outlined the book, created a storyboard, hired an illustrator from Russia over the internet, and submitted the completed book to CreateSpace on Amazon. The book isn’t printed until it’s ordered, saving on up-front publishing costs.

Nala’s Adoption Adventure is the true story of the adoption of Emma’s dog. The book contains links for folks who want to adopt an animal.

There’s no telling if the book will take off, but It’s been a fun, challenging, and exciting experience for Emma. In addition, a portion of the profits from each sale goes to helping animals.


Hall of Fame

In her previous life, Bethel Health Center director Brooke Cottle was a champion high jumper. Her exploits earned her a spot in the Weber State Hall of Fame.

The Bethel Health Center’s Director, Brooke Cottle, is now a member of an exclusive club: the Weber State Athletics Hall of Fame.

Brooke was a four-time Big Sky outdoor high jump champion, the only Weber State athlete in any sport to win the same event all four years. She still holds school records in the indoor and outdoor high jump.

She was an All-American indoors, and competed in the NCAA Championships twice.

These days Brooke’s on her toes helping to provide medical care for Bethel students and staff at the Health Center. Stop in and see her and the terrific team at the Bethel Health Center (entrance on the north side of Cascade Middle School.)


On The Radio

Prairie Mountain 6th graders Mitul Ramani, Caiden Hanna, Le Tran and Hayden King were selected to record PSAs for local radio stations.

No one wants to talk about this, but 6th grade students at Prairie Mountain came right out and said it. Now it’s being shared on local radio stations.

Scoop the Poop is the message being broadcast as Public Service Announcements.

Prairie Mountain students studying water quality and healthy watersheds created their own PSAs to encourage dog owners to clean up after their pups.

The City of Eugene selected two teams’ messages to help prevent dog waste from making its way to streams and rivers. Now the voices of Mitul Ramani and Caiden Hanna, and Le Tran and Hayden King can be heard on local radio stations.

It’s been a lesson on the direct link between classroom studies and real world issues.


Unsere Deutschen Freunde

Moments before they left to return home, German exchange students enjoyed a goofy goodbye after two weeks at Willamette.

Enrollment at Willamette High School grew by 16 after spring break.

Students from Mainburg, Germany attended classes for two weeks as part of the German American Partnership Program (GAPP).

They’re from the same town where 12 WHS students traveled to take part in a similar exchange last summer.

The German visitors stayed with generous host families, experienced the Oregon coast, visited the UO, and even volunteered at Food for Lane County.

The guests gave presentations in Willamette classes about their culture and school life, and then it was time to return to Germany.

The exchange has been taking place for 13 years, and some lifelong friendships have been made.


Science To Go

Meadow View kindergartners have fun with water as part of the EWEB Discovery Lab temporarily set up at their school.

Discovering how water makes turbines move, what creates static electricity, and how to move magnets. It’s why they call it the Discovery Lab, portable science lessons for hands-on learning at the elementary grade level.

Meadow View School students had an entire gym filled with stations featuring paper cup windmills, magnet mazes, UV bracelets, and more.

A whole generation of Bethel students has experienced the traveling science labs. For 18 years an EWEB Education Grant has been providing the kits’ supply funds, supporting teaching and learning in the areas of energy and water.

There are 12 program areas covered in the EWEB grant, something for every age student from kindergarten through high school.


Voice Check

Shasta’s choir let some energy loose during a break on their way to the Clackamas Vocal Jazz Festival. Soon they’ll return to Portland to perform for hospitalized children.

It was more of a status report than a competition. Shasta’s Session Jazz Choir took part in the Clackamas Vocal Jazz Festival in Portland. 

The choir received high marks in Musicianship and Stage-Presence and happily placed 3rd in the highly competitive middle school division. They also had the opportunity to work with some of the finest clinicians in Oregon, so it was a valuable learning experience.

The Session Choir has taken part in the Clackamas Festival for 12 years, and they’ll soon perform at the annual Pleasant Hill Jazz Festival.

Now there’s a new gig they have scheduled in May that could be the most rewarding event of their year: a trip to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland to sing for the kids who are receiving medical treatment.


Following The Path

Ana De La Paz, Rachel Camarena, and Adriana Alvarez are Bethel staff in the Pathways Program, on their way to becoming classroom teachers.

Ana de la Paz, Rachel Camarena, and Adriana Alvarez are on their way. All three Bethel Educational Assistants are part of the Pathways Program, with a goal of becoming a classroom teacher.

Pathways is a joint effort by Bethel, Eugene 4J and Springfield school districts, with LCC, UO, Pacific and Northwest Christian Universities.

Together they identify and support potential teachers who speak multiple languages and are culturally diverse. Candidates receive scholarships from $2,500 – $15,000 toward their studies to become teachers.

We need teachers who speak multiple languages and can diversify our teaching staff to better reflect our student population.

Ana, Rachel, and Adriana are on their way to doing just that.


Sowing The Seeds Of Peace

5th grade peer mediators at Prairie Mountain are leading a school-wide positive climate campaign.

Training students how to help other kids settle disputes and avoid conflicts sounds like a good idea.

That’s why Bethel partnered with the Center for Dialogue and Resolution to bring in professional facilitators to teach mediation skills to students.

A Seeds of Peace grant provided training of small groups of kids at Willamette, Kalapuya, Cascade, Prairie Mountain, Meadow View, Malabon and Danebo schools.

Students even came in on no-school days for the training. Now kids from different peer groups are helping to mediate disputes and prevent conflicts. At Prairie Mountain and Cascade they’re leading school-wide positive climate campaigns.

The work has been well-received, and more training is being planned.


A Pageant With Purpose

Crowned winner of the Wolverine Pageant, Bellamie Curyea is mobbed by her celebrating fellow contestants.

And, the winner is…children! The Wolverine Pageant also managed to crown Bellamie Curyea as the winner of Willamette’s 25th annual school spectacle. It culminated months of pageant rehearsals and fundraising by WHS student contestants and their organizers.

Together they raised close to $25,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network.

Willamette’s is one of 16 area pageants that creates school pride, builds lasting friendships, and raises funds to provide supplies and equipment for the PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center pediatric unit.


Tech Mapping

Kalapuya students will canoe over the water and walk through the brush to map invasive species around Fern Ridge Reservoir.

A $20,000 grant will soon send Kalapuya High School students out in the field for a mapping project with the Army Corps of Engineers.

The grant from the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund will provide handheld Geographic Information System (GIS) computers via a partnership with the National Science Foundation. It will be administered through the Bethel Education Foundation.

Kalapuya students will assist with a comprehensive mapping of invasive species and culturally important plants around Fern Ridge Reservoir. They will also monitor the ecological restoration projects KHS students have completed in recent years.

They will stream the GIS data back to the Army Corp, getting literal hands-on training with emerging GIS technology, which could be a new career path.

Kalapuya’s is one of only 14 projects in five American cities funded by the latest Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund.


Artist In Residence

This watercolor has earned First Place at the LCC High School Art Show for Willamette senior Rylee Schuch.

The talent on display is impressive.

Willamette senior Rylee Schuch has been awarded First Place at the LCC High School Art Show.

The painting is beautiful, and there’s more that makes it really interesting.

Rylee’s watercolor was painted on a “found background” – an old map donated by a history teacher.

Rylee is an Advanced Fine Arts student working towards her Advanced Career Endorsement.






Playing To Learn

Clinician Ron Bertucci gives some pointers to the receptive students in Meadow View’s band at the Shasta Invitational Concert Band Festival.

This event is an annual highlight for some school bands from throughout the state.

The Shasta Invitational Concert Band Festival welcomed 17 school bands to perform before expert clinicians.

One of the most appreciated aspects of the Shasta event is the opportunity for bands to get one-on-one learning time from the clinicians. The experts give sophisticated tips on the bands’ performances, identifying small but important improvements to their music.

Shasta’s is among the largest invitational concert band festivals in Oregon, and it’s been going strong for more than 20 years.

One Response to Bethel B-mail: April 2018

  • Love the updates and announcements of events of the past and events to come. Thank you for this service.

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