Bethel School District Eugene OR

Bethel B-mail: June 2018

A Star In The Making

You have to watch this. Recent Willamette grad McKayla Webb was already known as a Renaissance student:

* On track to earn her full International Baccalaureate diploma
* Engineering, designing, welding and racing her own Electrathon car
* A two-time state wrestling champ!

But, hold on…McKayla also has serious musical talent. Here’s the song she wrote for and performed at Willamette’s graduation.


Sink Or Swim

Here’s a tradition like no other. Paddling a boat made of cardboard. Naturally, the kids love it.

Shasta Middle School 8th grade science students carefully climb aboard their cardboard creations and splash from one end of Echo Hollow Pool to the other.

Sinking is the fun aspect of failure.

The boat races are part of their studies, including learning about the Archimedes Principle: “The buoyant force on a body placed in a fluid is equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object.”

If sinking and swimming helps bring that idea to life, than this is a lesson well-learned.



What Goes Around, Comes Around

Clear Lake students in Christina Cox’s class dive into writing.

Here’s the story.

Superintendent Chris Parra helped a UO Doctoral student with his dissertation, refusing to accept any compensation.

Instead, that student found a way to pay it forward. He made a significant contribution to a Donors Choose project at Clear Lake Elementary.

Teacher Christina Cox is using books to demonstrate strong writing and language techniques, along with storytelling and character development.

The Donors Choose contribution helped her purchase more “mentor texts” for her students. As a result, her Clear Lake students are blossoming as writers and readers.

What goes around…


Singing With Heart

Shasta’s Session Choir makes an annual trip to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland. They sang in the hospital and brought $1,000 worth of toys for the young patients.

There was a tremendous outpouring of giving from the community, so Shasta Choir students were able to bring a massive supply of new toys to the young patients and their families at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland.

The Shasta Choir has made this an annual event. They put on a half-hour performance at the hospital and presented the gifts for the staff to distribute.

Later they broke into a street performance at the bus/train depot for the wider public.

The choir members take pride in giving back, and it’s always a surprise how many of the students have had experiences with Doernbecher.


Doing The Grad Walk

For the third consecutive year, Bethel seniors enjoyed a full day of congratulations, emotional reunions, inspiration, and turning back the clock.

The annual Grad Walk took graduating seniors walk through all the Bethel schools to see former teachers and encourage young students to keep their eyes on the prize…the high school diploma, and beyond.


Next Stop: Kindergarten

Complete with mortarboards and tassles, graduates of the Preschool Promise program are on track for another commencement ceremony as the Class of 2031.

They were off the charts on the cuteness scale.

Bethel’s youngest graduates took part in a personalized commencement ceremony marking their departure from Preschool Promise at Danebo Elementary.

Preschool Promise is a United Way program that gives children access to a high-quality preschool.

Bethel School District partners with United Way, the Early Learning Alliance, and Family Connections of Lane and Douglas Counties to offer the program for our pre-kindergarten students.


Art For Art’s Sake

With pride in their smiles, Cascade’s Hunter Martin and Hailey Clay pose in front of their paintings now on display at the UO’s Schnitzer Museum of Art.

Students were happy to stay after school at Cascade Middle School. They had a chance to take some Art lessons from teacher Meghan Hollis.

The goal was to create pieces for the annual NewArt Northwest Kids competition at the UO’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

As a result, a pair of Cascade 6th graders’ art was selected to be displayed in the museum all summer.

Hailey Clay and Hunter Martin created beautiful paintings, then they had the additional honor of joining other Cascade students on a tour of the art show to see their pieces on display.


Inside Bethel’s Outdoor School

Next school year all Bethel 5th graders will be taking part in Outdoor School. This spring Meadow View and Danebo students laid the groundwork for the rest of the district.

They spent three days and two nights at Grove Christian Camp in Dorena. Kids learned about plants and people, water, animals and soil. And there was some fun along the way.



Rotary Delivers Again

Willamette and Kalapuya students and grads are among those awarded scholarships from the always-generous Eugene Airport Rotary Club.

The Eugene Airport Rotary Foundation handed out more than $100,000 in scholarships to local high school seniors and continuing college students, including students from Willamette and Kalapuya.

Willamette’s Jeremy Golliher, Ruben Gonzalez-Lopez, Rene Nagy and Roberto Perez, and Kalapuya’s Donae Borchers, Bailey Deverell and Grandon Overton each received $2,000.

Former scholarship recipients also came back for another $1,000 each, including WHS grads Allison Cook, Emily Eckart, Damaris Garcia-Rios, Megan Lloyd, Maggie McCausland, Kelsey Meng, Robin Nagy and Anna Swanson.

Loads of thanks to members of the Eugene Airport Rotary, a consistently effective and caring group.


Philanthropy 101

Anthonia Ambrusko from A Family for Every Child accepts a check for $1,500 through Kalapuya’s Community 101 grants.

Each year for 12 years Kalapuya High School has given out $5,000 to deserving non-profits.

The Community 101 grant funding comes from the Oregon Community Foundation and are intended to enhance student engagement in their community, polish their public speaking skills, increase their critical thinking, model philanthropy, and bring about positive change.

Kalapuya students advertise the grant opportunity, review the grant applications, interview the finalists, and then award the funds. They also have to break the bad news to non-profits whose applications are not funded.

The happy recipients this year are Bags of Love,  HIV Alliance, and A Family for Every Child.


The Making Of The Bands

Fairfield students use iPads to create their own tunes in Music class.

Students’ creative buzz filled the music room at Fairfield.

Thanks to a grant from Northwest Community Credit Union, kids were composing songs right up to the final days of school.

Working in teams and using a GarageBand app on iPads, students created 8-bar songs. They chose the percussion instruments and rhythm patterns, a guitar chord progression and a keyboard melody.

Tying them all together, Fairfield kids ended the school year by sharing their new songs with classmates.

Learning by doing is true, especially in Music class.


Scholarly Pursuits

Results matter. GPA, SAT or ACT scores, and completing their state Essential Skills requirements earned these Willamette seniors recognition at the 29th annual WHS Scholar Awards.

In a few weeks they’ll be studying bioengineering, forensic psychology, computer science, medical anthropology, music, foreign languages, and more.

It makes sense. They have been diligent for four years, the top scholars in nearly every class.

23 Willamette seniors were recognized at the school’s 29th annual Scholar Awards.

They received the honor based on GPA, SAT or ACT scores, and completing their state Essential Skills.

Now the scholars are off to continue their education with a strong foundation in success.


Champions In Education

Her relationships with students is one of the reasons why Prairie Mountain’s Adriana Alvarez earned the ACE Award among Bethel’s Classified staff.

The teacher who helps other teachers become better at their craft. The classroom assistant who connects with students and families. The volunteer who has no grandchildren of her own, but considers the 425 at her school part of her family.

They were each winners of the annual ACE Awards (A Champion in Education), which are generously supported by the Oregon Community Credit Union and the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce.

This year, rather than a community-wide recognition event at the Hult Center, Bethel’s ACE Awards were presented as surprises at each champion’s school.

Irving’s Debbi Holte was honored with the Teacher award. Debbi welcomes other teachers as part of the district’s Demonstration Classroom project, modeling excellent teaching techniques.

The ACE Award for Classified staff goes to Adriana Alvarez. Her ability to build trusting relationships with parents and students is making a real difference in students’ education.

And “Grandma Genee” Heinz has spent all day, every day, for 12 years volunteering at Malabon Elementary. She’s seen a whole generation of kids come through, students she considers her own grandchildren.

Congratulations to all these deserving ACE Award winners who were each presented with $1,000 to be used for the school program of their choice.


Sound Advice

Willamette students received advice from a panel of music industry professionals as part of a Grammy Museum presentation.

Career Day has a different tune when folks from the Grammy Museum are presenting.

Music industry professionals talked with Willamette students about careers in the music entertainment.

They offered the kind of advice they wish they had when starting out.

Students were told to always be looking for opportunities to perform because it’s the best path to success in music.

There was matter of fact straight talk such as don’t expect immediate success, it’s okay to struggle, and stick with what makes you happy rather than what you think might make your rich.

That’s sound advice regardless of one’s career path.


The Bike Show

Students took on the obstacle course as part of the Bike Rodeo staged by Safe Routes to School.

Some were there for the obstacle course. Others were clearly there for the free bike tune-ups. And prizes kept a few folks around.

Another Bike Rodeo drew a large crowd at Meadow View School. Staged by Safe Routes to School, the event was an effort to encourage alternate transportation to and from school, including on bikes, scooters and skateboards.

Ding Ding Cycles offered the bike tune-ups, volunteers helped with the obstacle course, and Mother Nature provided the great weather to help reintroduce kids to a healthy way to commute.

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