Topnotchers and Jazz Band Compete In Reno

Longtime School Board member and band trip chaperone Alan Laisure helps attach tire chains during Willamette's road trip to the Reno Jazz Festival.

The annual Jazz road trip for Willamette singers and musicians is a long one, especially if it includes traveling over snowy mountain roads.

The road to the Reno Jazz Festival leads over Willamette Pass, where spring snows required the use of tire chains today. Longtime Bethel School Board member and music supporter Alan Laisure lent a hand to help get the bus rolling again.

The Willamette Topnotchers choir and Jazz Band rotate among annual trips to the University of Idaho, San Francisco, and Reno.

This weekend’s festival at the University of Nevada will feature thousands of kids from six western states.

Leadership Promoted At Youth Conference

These Prairie Mountain students were among the 23 from Bethel attending the African American Youth Leadership Conference.

Leadership and image were two of the key messages to students at the 5th Annual African American Youth Leadership Conference at the University of Oregon.

23 Bethel students attended the conference, where they learned about the positive characteristics of leadership, including changing the message African American kids receive from society, and taking ownership of the image they present.

Middle and high school students took part in workshops that included raising awareness of how to achieve personal goals, increasing self-esteem, and emphasizing the value of education.

More than 400 students from 33 schools throughout the Willamette Valley attended the conference.

Choral Festival Hits High Notes

The newly-formed Danebo choir performs at the Bethel Choral Festival.

The choirs from seven Bethel schools came together to make beautiful music at the annual Bethel Choral Festival.

In the spotlights at Willamette High School, elementary choirs experienced the thrill of performing on the big stage. Middle school singers got a taste of what it will be like when they reach high school.

Willamette’s Topnotchers choir wrapped up the show with a combined performance with all the Bethel choirs. The event was intended for kids to sing for fellow Bethel choir students, although some parents were able to stop in during the performances.

Bokn Receives Statewide Recognition

Willamette's Barry Bokn has been named Oregon's 5A Athletic Director of the Year.

Willamette’s athletic director, Barry Bokn, has been selected as Oregon’s 5A Athletic Director of the Year.

The honor from the Oregon Athletic Directors Association also puts Bokn in the running for Oregon’s Large Schools A.D. of the year.

Bokn, a Willamette grad, is in his 27th year on the staff at his alma mater. He continues to teach and coach at Willamette along with balancing his AD duties.

He has also served as the Executive Director of the OADA and is the dean of Athletic Directors in the Midwestern League.

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