Bethel School District Eugene OR

Bethel B-mail: January 2020


Our Upward Trend

Willamette’s graduation rate is higher than it’s been in more than a decade.

We’re thrilled with the latest high school graduation rates. Willamette High School’s 4-year graduation rate is at 82.6%, higher than the state average, and 10% higher than the previous year.

Kalapuya High School’s 5-year grad rate jumped to 51.6%, despite most students enrolling at KHS well behind in credits.

We celebrate these results, and of course want more for our students. So, the work does not let up. Our dedicated and caring teachers and administrators are continuing to use data to more closely track students’ progress – intervening with supports when help is needed with academics, attendance, or behavior – from kindergarten through 12th grade.

The tangible benefits of a high school diploma are clear – increased wages, better job opportunities, and preparation for college and/or a career. Together we can continue to lift all our children higher. They deserve it.
Chris Parra
Bethel Superintendent


Success Story: Continued

Gabby Oseguera is fondly remembered in Bethel, and will soon make her mark at Oxford.

The story of Gabby Oseguera continues. Arriving in the U.S. from Oaxaca, Mexico in 7th grade, Gabby did not speak a word of English. Yet, she graduated from Willamette with a full International Baccalaureate diploma and earned a QuestBridge Scholarship to attend Princeton University.

Now, Gabby has been awarded a Sachs Scholarship, one of the most prestigious awards at Princeton. She is making plans to enroll at the University of Oxford’s Worcester College in England. Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world.  

Gabby intends to study for a master of philosophy in development studies.

Although Gabby graduated from WHS in 2016, most of the staff remember her fondly and are thrilled – but not surprised – that she is continuing to shine.


Hitting A Homer

Sharing stories like it was yesterday, Lois Youngen brought her old catcher’s mitt for her talk with Fairfield students.

Lois Youngen is a walking, talking, energetic living piece of history.

The 86 year old was a member of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League , make famous by the movie, A League of Their Own.

Today, the retired University of Oregon administrator’s past is being recalled. Youngen is mentioned in one of the OBOB books, Out of Left Field.

Fairfield Elementary students taking part in the Oregon Battle of the Books competition were treated to a visit by Youngen, who shared her story and helped bring the OBOB book to life.

She would love to feel the crack of a wooden bat in her hand again, but will settle for inspiring a new generation of kids to dream big.


Opportunity Awaits

There are still five months left in the school year, but 8th graders are already thinking about the transition to Willamette High School.

8th grade orientations are taking place at Bethel’s four feeder schools. Willamette teachers, administrators and students are meeting with students and their parents/guardians, sharing details about all the incredible opportunities awaiting them.

Take a look at this video and see for yourself.



Doing The Right Thing

Free menstrual products are now available in restrooms throughout the district.

Bethel School District students will now have free access to feminine hygiene products in school restrooms.

A plan proposed by Superintendent Chris Parra to supply the products at all Bethel schools has been in the works since last spring, before the state legislature took up the issue. Dispensers have since been installed throughout the district.

Through conversations with students and families, it was clear that free access to feminine hygiene products was a very real need. Every Bethel school’s Health Room has had menstrual products available, but students have had to ask for them.

Now, at every Bethel school there will be Girls’ restrooms where free supplies will be available.


Center Stage

The Meadow View Jazz Band took the stage to play for music educators from throughout the state.

This was a significant honor that was well deserved. The Willamette and Meadow View Jazz Bands were invited to play at the Oregon Music Educators State Conference.

Music teachers from around the state got to hear two outstanding bands, and it was no accident. The OMEA always looks for the best to perform at its state conference.

Willamette has long been among the best jazz programs in Oregon, and Meadow View’s band has been on the rise.

The Bethel bands did not disappoint, earning standing ovations from the educators who know something good when they hear it.

Not to be outdone, the Shasta Jazz Band performed at the Oregon Jazz Festival at the University of Oregon. The judges staged an evening concert and Shasta was one of the two “star” bands from the festival welcomed back to open the show.


Charged Up

Ryan Therrell shows his electric-converted Porsche to Willamette Industrial and Engineering Systems students, who are building their own electric cars.

For decades, students at Willamette have been designing, engineering, building, driving, and racing electric cars. So, it was only natural for those in the Industrial and Engineering Systems class to be interested in a one-of-a-kind electric Porshe.

Ryan Therrell converted a Porshe 911 from gas to electric seven years ago. Back then, he was doing something very few had even attempted.

By bringing his car to WHS, Ryan was allowing students to see what’s possible. Today’s students can consider careers or education in engineering and fabrication, like the programs offered at community colleges in conjuction with Tesla.

The Electrathon cars built in the WHS Metals Shop could be just the start.

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