Shasta's Harvey Hafemann checks out the failed electric motor inside duct work in the school's gym.

A parade of fire trucks roared into the parking lot at Shasta Middle School early Wednesday morning, responding to an alarm in the school’s auxiliary gym.

A small electric motor, slightly larger than the size of your fist, died a smoky death in the gym’s heating duct. A smoke detector about three feet from the motor triggered the school’s fire alarm system shortly after 6:30. One member of the kitchen staff was the only person on campus at the time.

The 15 year old motor will be replaced, restoring heat to the gym’s restrooms and storage room.

The fire department was complimentary of Bethel’s response, noting that they do not usually have knowledgeable staff on sight when a situation like this occurs.

Shasta’s Harvey Hafemann and Bethel Maintenance staff Pat Bradshaw and Duffy Evans were on the scene quickly, narrowing down the culprit motor and guiding the fire department through the alarm system procedures.

Meadow View teacher Lynda Hardwick reacts to receiving the grant award from BEF Board member Margaret Hansen.

More than $10,000 in Bethel Education Foundation grants has been awarded to Bethel teachers. BEF Board members surprised the winning teachers in their classrooms to present the grant award certificates.

The 27 grants will be used for a wide variety of purposes to enhance and broaden students’ educational experiences. The funded projects range from science and engineering studies, to the purchase of document cameras and microscopes, and the funding of new books, model rockets, and sensory tools.

Members of the Willamette Jazz Band joined the BEF for the grant awards, playing music down school hallways to announce their arrival.

The Bethel Education Foundation has awarded 50 grants in its two years of existence, and fundraising is already underway for the next round of BEF grants. Donations can be made at the BEF website.

Below are more photos from the BEF grant award presentations through Bethel School District.

Bethel Superintendent Colt Gill can be found reading to students one day and meeting with the country's education leaders the next.

In a change of pace from his already packed schedule in our district, Bethel Superintendent Colt Gill will be part of the select Oregon contingent at this week’s Council of Chief State School Officers meeting in Chicago.

The meeting will involve key education leaders from across the country seeking ways to continue educational innovation during a time of diminishing resources.

Colt will be joining State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Susan Castillo, another Department of Education staffer, and a representative of The Chalkboard Project.

Bethel’s Superintendent is already serving as an elected member of the State Funding Coalition Consortium working on resolving Oregon’s school funding issues. Colt is also the Administrative representative to the Oregon Board of Education.

The trip for the meeting in Chicago is being paid for by the Council of Chief State School Officers.

A pair of Shasta OBOB teams huddle to come up with answers during a practice battle.

The annual challenge has begun. Bethel students are competing in practice competitions for OBOB, the Oregon Battle of the Books.

OBOB is a quick recall competition based on students’ abilities to answer questions about 16 pre-selected novels. The battles feature two four-person teams answering questions in a game show style format.

Multiple teams from 10 Bethel schools are now testing their OBOB book knowledge. In-school battles will determine the teams advancing to Bethel’s district-wide competition, with the winners of Bethel’s Elementary, Middle and High School divisions moving on to the southern Oregon regional OBOB tournament.

The popularity of OBOB has continued to grow in Bethel. Shasta Middle School currently has 23 teams and 100 students taking part, nearly doubling the number of students from last year.

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