Bethel B-mail: May 2018
Healthy Teens Night – The Good And Bad
Creating solutions and providing resources for teenagers needing mental health services. It’s one of the most difficult health challenges we face today.
Bethel’s Healthy Teens Night was an attempt to start that conversation. We hosted guests from Lane County Public Health, Ophelia’s Place, the Trauma Healing Project, and the REV Youth Leadership. They offered some options and insights for parents and guardians.
Yet, only a very small number of parents showed up, although those who did had a chance to get into depth with presenters, and listened and learned about the emotional, psychological and social realities of young people today.
It’s not the final answer to this difficult health challenge, but it’s a start.
Creating The Game Creators
Students are learning how to develop video games at Willamette High School. Teacher Matt Symonds was recently able to bring in the owner of a local video game company to expand students’ knowledge.
Vance is from Cercle Games, and has multiple projects that have reached “Top Games” lists on international platforms.
He introduced a new piece of free software that will be integrated into the curriculum for the Video Game Design class.
It’s all leading to the start of a Computer Science class and formal career pathway at Willamette in the fall.
Going Brain Bowling
Language arts, literature, math, science, history, geography, fine arts, and general knowledge.
Those are the subjects kids had to study to prepare for the annual middle school Brain Bowl.
The Jeopardy-like contest featured 28 7/8 grade teams from middle schools throughout the county, and a team from Shasta won it! They edged a team from Cascade Middle School in a tie-breaker.
The Shasta kids had been practicing during lunch for more than two months, and it was quickness on the response that won it.
Congratulations to team members Olivia Harris, Lily Halbrook, Dinya Khleif, Anthony Silva, Danny Mugleston, Jay Veach, Austin Campbell, and coach Allison Bradshaw.
Our Celebration Of Cultures
A magical display of colors, music, languages and lives mixed at Bethel’s annual Multicultural Fair.
Prairie Mountain School welcomed hundreds of people celebrating the diverse cultures represented in our community.
Among the popular performers were the Chinese Lion Dance Troupe sponsored by the Chinese American Benevolent Association. The active and entertaining lion dance is believed to bring good luck, prosperity, and happiness. It sure brought smiles and applause from all ages of the audience.
Others providing entertainment and awe at the Multicultural Fair included the West African Culture Arts Institute drummers, the U.S. Taekwondo College, Eugene Taiko drummers, and dancers from the Eugene Chinese School.
Recipe For Success
Willamette’s Culinary Team was cooking, finishing 6th at the national competition in Rhode Island.
The team was ecstatic with the outcome after aiming for a top-10 finish among the 46 teams from around the country and Guam.
Wil-Hi’s state championship team impressed the judges with their teamwork, sanitation, handmade pasta and the preparation of their pan-seared halibut.
Congratulations to teacher Martha Humphreys and team members Cole Barnhardt, Jessica Barnhardt, Tyler Livingston, Shane Wilder and Taylor Woolett. They represented Willamette, Bethel and Oregon well.
All That Jazz
There’s no shame in being humbled. After all, this is a festival that brings together the best in the northwest.
It’s understood that taking part in the annual Bellevue Jazz Festival near Seattle is a time for students to learn where they stand, and see how much more they have to improve.
Then Shasta’s Jazz Band went out and won the thing!
Being honored with a first place finish anywhere is the very best way for the band to wrap up a terrific school year, but taking the title at Bellevue is a moment the students and Band Director Mike Reetz won’t soon forget.
A Moment With The Gov
Thousands of students visit the capitol building in Salem each week. It’s not an everyday occurrence that the Governor has time for a sit down conversation with kids.
It happened to Meadow View 8th graders during their field trip to the capitol.
Before they knew it, Governor Kate Brown was taking questions from students who were invited to relax on the floor in her office.
Being able to connect the state’s highest political office with a real person is a powerful way to make social studies come to life.
New Faces In New Places
We are happy to share the news that after a thorough search, Tasha Katsuda and Kee Zublin have been selected for Bethel’s two very important soon-to-be open Curriculum Director positions. They will provide leadership in the areas of instruction, curriculum, assessment, and student learning across the District.
Tasha is the current principal at Spencer Butte Middle School. She is the former principal at McCornack Elementary, did district-level work overseeing federal Title programs, and was a classroom teacher of English language arts, Social Studies, Math, Science, Leadership, and electives. Tasha stood out with her knowledge of elementary and middle level instruction, curriculum and supports.
Kee has been with Bethel since 2006, first as a highly regarded teacher at Kalapuya, then as interim principal at KHS and assistant principal at Willamette High School. Kee has worked at the district-level as a Math TOSA, has taken part in state-level assessment work, and led our district-wide initiatives to develop and implement new classroom assessments to measure individual student growth.
The two Curriculum Director positions were held by long-time Bethel administrator and teacher Brian Flick, who is retiring in June; and Christy Gill, who has been an Administrator on Special Assignment, covering the position left vacant by the retirement of Lori Smith four years ago. Christy will be moving to Title I teacher at Prairie Mountain.
Growing Their Own
Organic vegetable starts, hanging fuchsia baskets, and perennial flowers were snatched up at the annual Kalapuya Mother’s Day Plant Sale.
Nasturtiums, pansies, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, lilies, and herbs were some of the plants available at Kalapuya High School.
They were all grown by students using the school’s industrial-quality greenhouse, where kids get their hands dirty to learn about agriculture.
All the proceeds to go right back into the Kalapuya program.
With A Little Help From Our Friends
Safe Routes to School is doing what it can to promote biking to school as a healthy and easy alternative for Bethel students.
Bethel’s SRTS coordinator Bob Beals managed to scrape together enough money to purchase a bike cover at Shasta Middle School.
Then Beals visited the fire station next door and discovered that firefighters were happy to help install the cover. Together they had it built and the bike racks in place in no time.
Now, Shasta students have a locked and covered bike parking area thanks to SRTS and our friendly neighbors.
The Big Cheese
For someone in his position, Jesus Mendoza’s visit to Bethel was way under the radar.
The USDA’s Regional Administrator for Nutrition Programs, Mendoza oversees programs throughout the west coast and the South Pacific.
At the Oregon Department of Education’s request, he came to Eugene to visit Bethel and get a close-up look at the Bethel Farm.
Mendoza talked with Kalapuya students who lead the Farm’s 4th grade field trips and who work at the Farm during the summer.
Then he helped distribute lunch at Prairie Mountain School, encouraging young students to try the kale salad, before sitting down to eat with the children.
The visit was an honor for the District and it’s top-notch Nutrition Services program.
Earth Day Messengers
Inspiration and creativity were on the wall at the Eugene Downtown library.
Award-winning posters by a pair of Prairie Mountain 5th graders were among those put on public display as part of the Earth Day poster Contest.
Katie Askew and Teah Brandt completed their posters in class and then learned that they’d won awards. Katie earned an Inspiring Action award and Teah was honored with a Creativity Award.
It was part of an assignment to show the students understood some of the impact of climate change. Each of them won a gift certificate to a local art store.
And, Teah is keeping busy; she’ll represent Bethel at the Lane County Spelling Bee this month.
Walking & Rolling
Every Bethel school took part in the Walk and Roll Challenge, with hundreds of students walking, biking, skate boarding and scooting to school.
Kalapuya and Meadow View even had events for the entire week to encourage kids to get out of their family cars.
Safe Routes to School also arranged to have Isaac Johnson from Ding Ding Cycles provide free bike tune-ups at Meadow View, Prairie Mountain and Willamette where free bike helmets were also given away.
Nothing wrong with using a few incentives to help create healthy habits.
The Addams Family On Stage
Uncle Fester, Morticia, Gomez, Lurch, and Wednesday were all there. Willamette’s annual spring musical was a good one: The Addams Family Musical.
Nearly 50 students in the cast, crew and band had been rehearsing since February to bring you this musical comedy. It centered around being truthful, keeping secrets, and self-reflection.
Drama teacher Tana Walker continued the recent tradition of including a live student band in the orchestra pit for this musical.
There were strong turnouts for the three-day run, concluding with well-deserved standing ovations for the performances.
Challenge In The Wind
Bethel’s annual KidWind Challenge brings 8th graders together to test their classroom-made wind turbines and determine which creates the most energy.
The annual event combines science, math, hands-on learning and real-world problems, and is made possible through a grant from EWEB.
Watch this video to get an idea of what the KidWind Challenge offers students.