Bethel School District Eugene OR

US Senator Wyden visits Kalapuya

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden has been in the middle of the Washington, D.C. discussions about a Green New Deal, the government shutdown and immigration, the Russia investigation, and actions by the Saudi Arabian government – but made time in his busy schedule to visit Kalapuya High School to learn about new ways to approach secondary education.

Education funding and graduation rates are what brought him to Kalapuya High School – where students impressed him with their unique educational programming. Students described their environmental science class partnerships with the Army Corps of Engineers and Lane County where students use GIS technology to complete field data collection and mapping as they work to restore wetlands in an effort to protect endangered species. Another student spoke of their social studies class that explored local issues of homelessness in our area, and their own engagement in building affordable housing with Habitat for Humanity construction projects and holding clothing drives that supported the downtown Mission.

The pinnacle of students’ experience at Kalapuya are individualized internships in high-skill, high wage careers. Billy Phillips, the president of Reynolds Electric shared his perspectives with Senator Wyden on the benefits of providing students, like Delaney Aguirre, internship opportunities in the career fields of choice. Thanks to a successful internship at Reynolds Electric, Delaney is now registering for a college class at Lane Community College, paid for by Kalapuya, and will be applying to the full electricians apprenticeship program in Tangent, Oregon.

Wyden talked with a small group of students before taking questions from the entire student body. KHS was grateful for his visit, but more appreciative that he listened.

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