Bethel School District Eugene OR

Bethel B-mail: September 2018


Off And Running

Superintendent with students

Superintendent Chris Parra is framed by Irving students on their first day of school.

It has been a terrific start to the school year in Bethel. Each of our principals says so. The teachers I’ve talked with agree. I have also received numerous comments from excited parents.

There is a definite positive air of anticipation and eagerness to learn.

And we have seen an increase in enrollment. Willamette is boasting a large freshman class and some of our schools are not able to accept any transfers.

One thing remains consistent: your school and District staff are working hard. They unfailingly put our children first. It is not uncommon to see them at work at night and on weekends.

It is shaping up to be a great year, and I am honored to be a part of this Bethel Family.

Chris Parra
Bethel Superintendent


More Promises Made…And Kept

Men replacing a roof.

Workers replaced roofing of four buildings at Willamette, part of the many Bethel Bond projects completed during the summer.

The 2012 Bethel School Bond is continuing to bring improvements to the District. Thanks to incredibly careful spending Bethel was able to make the bond dollars stretch even further than promised, meaning more needs can be addressed.

Click here for a list of all the projects completed so far with the 2012 Bond.

This summer bond money paid for carpet replacements at Irving, Meadow View and Prairie Mountain schools.

More new student textbooks have been delivered, roofs replaced, additional security cameras at every school, new clocks have been installed, parking areas repaired, a fire alarm system updated, signage improved, fire sprinklers installed, and the Bethel Farm received a much-needed fruit and vegetable washing station. That’s only this summer!

And thanks to Bethel voters, there’s more to come…


Fresh From The Farm

Cherry tomatoes in a bin.

Bethel’s Curt Miller loads up fresh cherry tomatoes at the Bethel Farm for direct delivery to Bethel school cafeterias.

The minds of Bethel students are being fed in the classroom, and their bodies are nourished with premium food in the lunchroom.

Fresh vegetables from the Bethel Farm are now being served in the cafeterias at every Bethel school.

Cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and honeydew melons were the first to make their way to school salad bars.

The Bethel Farm is located between Kalapuya and Prairie Mountain schools, and serves as a working classroom for agriculture, sustainability, solar energy, and healthy cooking.

The fresh veggies from the Farm bolster Bethel’s already strong reputation for offering locally grown foods in school meals.


Carving A Reputation

WHS Teacher Tom Lindskog.

Along with being a teacher in the Willamette Woods and Metals shops, teacher Tom Lindskog is a master carver whose talents will be on display on the Food Network.

Tom Lindskog. On the Food Network?

Willamette’s Woods and Metals teacher has some secret talents he shares every fall.

Lindskog is a master at carving pumpkins. His skills attracted the attention of the folks at the Food Network, which produces a show called Halloween Wars.

Tom was one of the team members competing on the show. They even videotaped him in class at Willamette last spring.

He can’t share any of the top-secret details of what happened, but Wil-Hi’s master carver can been seen on September 30th, at 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. on the Food Network’s Halloween Wars.


Oh, This Will Never Work

Children at recess.

Fairfield 5th graders help kindergarten students on the school’s playground. A shared recess has brought unexpected dividends to kids in both grades.

Okay, whose idea was this?  5th graders and kindergartners sharing a playground?

It was a happenstance in scheduling that put Fairfield’s big kids and little ones together at recess.

To everyone’s surprise they turned out to be a perfect match.

The 5th graders have taken on the role of playground assistants, helping the kindergartners on the equipment and making sure everyone is included and following the rules.

The 5 and 6 year olds look forward to being on the playground with their new older friends.

As we said, it was great planning!


Marching Off To Math

Students walking to school.

Cascade students Marisol Johnson, Wyatt Hurlimann, Bella Young, Hannah Russell, Alison Sayvongsa and
Andrew Hruby make their way to Willamette for high school Geometry class.

Every other day six Cascade Middle School students leave school for the one block walk to Willamette, where they take high school Geometry.

These kids have accelerated through the middle school math program since they came to Cascade as 6th graders.

Willamette students have welcomed the Cascade kids, including 7th grader, Wyatt Hurlimann.

Cascade students, and a handful from other Bethel middle schools, attend WHS for some courses each year and often are the top students in their Geometry classes.


A Journey For Geography

WHS teacher Leslie Simmons with Korean students.

Willamette teacher Leslie Simmons met students and other citizens of South Korea during her summer study on the Korean Peninsula.

It was yet another summer of adventure for Willamette teacher Leslie Simmons. She took part in field study and a conference in South Korea.

An Advanced Placement Geography teacher at Wil-Hi, Simmons studied the territorial and geographical naming issues that have persisted on the Korean peninsula since the end of World War II. She presented a paper at the conference that she wrote on geographical naming issues in Eugene.

The Northeast Asian History Foundation sponsored the all-expense paid opportunity.

A summer of worldwide travel and study has been a common occurrence for Simmons, who has had other all-expenses paid study trips to Chile, Nepal, Wales, Botswana, Russia, Mongolia and China.


Spreading Joy at Shasta

Woman pushing a wheelbarrow.

Members of the congregation at Joy Church went to work on a beautification project at Shasta Middle School.

The congregation from the Joy Church provided plenty of joy to the folks at Shasta Middle School.

85 church volunteers swarmed Shasta before the school year started.

For the second consecutive summer they spread bark in the gardens, replaced three well-used benches, painted the breezeways, and even brought a professional arborist to trim trees.

Church volunteers are making plans to return for some touch-up painting, and are already talking about coming back next August.


A Path To Fitness

Gravel being poured into place.

Gravel is poured into place to help create a running path at Danebo Elementary.

90 tons of gravel – five dump truck loads – has been poured and packed into place to create Danebo Elementary’s new running path.

The quarter mile loop around the field next to the school provides a running track for PE and a walking path for the community.

Danebo used funds from a CATCH (Community Access to Child Health) grant to purchase the gravel and Bethel’s Maintenance staff did all the work.

The path should last for many years, and many miles.


Fun At The Farm

Gardening, cooking, arts and crafts, and enjoying fresh food. It was all part of the program at the Bethel Farm’s summer camp for 4th and 5th graders.

Bethel kids helped harvest potatoes, onions, beans and beets. They made natural dyes from vegetables, and ground their own flour for pizza that they baked with ingredients harvested from the farm.

Kalapuya and Willamette High School students served as camp counselors, and partners from the OSU Extension Service led nutrition and cooking classes.

Here’s a slide show of the first Bethel Farm Summer Camp.


Meals To Go

Free Lunch sign at Irwin Park

Bethel staff provided free summer lunches – and some breakfasts – at numerous sites throughout the community, including at Irwin Park.

While school was out for the summer, Bethel’s Nutrition Services staff was keeping children fed.

Under the coordination of Prairie Mountain’s Cary Weeks, nearly 9,000 free lunches were served at State Street Park, Irwin Park, and four Bethel School District sites.

Sack lunches with a milk and fresh veggies from the Bethel Farm hit the spot.

Another 2,500 free breakfasts were also served to local children.

Bethel School District has been providing the free lunches for years as part of the USDA Summer Food Program, but this was a significant expansion of the District’s involvement in keeping kids fed.


Honoring Those Who Serve

Students with firefighters next to a fire truck.

Cascade Leadership students Rylan Miller, Clarissa Hughes, Kylie Flocchini and Tommy Scott surprised firefighters from Station 7 with a card and basket of muffins, thanking them for their service.

Marking the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Cascade Middle School Leadership students brought a muffin basket with a card to surprised firefighters at Bethel’s Eugene Station 7.

It was a simple but heartfelt message of thanks for their service.

Although school has only been in session for six days, Cascade’s Leadership kids already have big plans for the school year. They include the Sandy Hook Promise program’s Start With Hello Week, in which students reach out to and include those who may be dealing with social isolation.

4 Responses to Bethel B-mail: September 2018

  • I am always very impressed by the work Bethel’s teams put out and the ongoing commitment to the kids that are our future. Fairfield has had a place in my heart for many years since my first opportunity to be included in school improvement project. The commitment of Jenny Sink and her crew at Fairfield in my mind is the bar every other school in the nation should strive to achieve.

  • During my years as a groundskeeper for the district, I have felt much the same way as the folks here have stated. Only, mine goes beyond. While I am a strong advocate for learning for our future generations, I also felt that a pleasant atmosphere was also important. Hence, my efforts to keep the lawns mowed, bushes and trees trimmed, and game fields, playgrounds, maintained.
    I’m PROUD of our students. ALL of them. I celebrate their victories in the classroom, their achievements both on and off the field, and just as importantly, what they do after graduation.

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