Superintendent

With his wife Karen and son Dylan in attendance, Chris Ferguson accepted the United Way Volunteer of the Year award.

Barely recognizable without a crazy hat, Chris Ferguson accepted the United Way Volunteer of the Year award with his wife Debby and son Dylan in attendance.

You’ve seen him around. Chris Ferguson is the guy who’s always wearing a crazy hat, tank top, shorts, flip flops, and a big smile.

The retired Bethel teacher has been named the United Way of Lane County Volunteer of the Year, and it’s well-deserved.

Ferguson started and sustains the Spirit of Giving Store at Fairfield Elementary, making it possible for all students to pick out free gifts for everyone in their families during the holidays. He founded a similar store at Cascade Middle School.

He began and maintains student stores at Malabon and Fairfield, making sure each student has an opportunity to get free books.

And Ferguson singlehandedly operates the Bethel Free Farmers Market at Cascade each Monday afternoon, providing tons of free fresh produce to thousands of grateful people.

The Volunteer of the Year award could not have been presented to a more worthy, humble and dedicated man.

Crews remove landscaping in front of Willamette's old administrative office building to make way for demolition. A new Science building will be constructed in its place.

Crews remove landscaping in front of Willamette’s old administrative office building to make way for demolition. A new Science building will be constructed in its place.

The gold shovel-digging, hard hat-wearing, dignitary-filled ground breaking ceremony for the new Willamette Science building is Tuesday the 15th, but crews have already rolled onto the site.

They are erecting construction fencing along Echo Hollow Road and around the project, installing a temporary gravel road on what was the front lawn, and removing trees and bushes.

Before long they’ll slice the former front office away from the science half of the building and tear down the old office to build new science classrooms.

Then the old science rooms will come down to make way for the new front office. The project is courtesy of the Bethel bond measure, passed in November 2012 with a 73% Yes vote.

The public is welcome to Willamette’s official ground breaking Tuesday at 11:30.

As kindergartners watch, a mother duck and her little ones are gently escorted out of Prairie Mountain by Mark Payne.

As kindergartners watch, Mark Payne gently escorts a mother duck and her little ones out of Prairie Mountain School.

As sure as the spring rains, duck herding season has arrived at Prairie Mountain School.

Each year a mother duck lays her eggs in the school courtyard, but when the ducklings hatch they’re stuck until they can fly over the building.

That’s why Prairie Mountain staff opens the doors to the courtyard, escorts the duck family down the hall, and guides them outside.

It’s a wonderful opportunity for kindergartners to watch the cute ducklings waddle their way to the outside world and disappear…until it happens again next year.

Nominations for the ACE Awards are open until March 31. $1,000 will go to each Bethel winner in four categories.

The awards ceremony for the 9th annual ACE Awards will be held April 29th at the Hult Center. $1,000 will go to each Bethel winner in four categories.

22 Bethel educators and volunteers have been nominated for ACE Awards, the annual recognition program sponsored by the Eugene and Springfield Chambers of Commerce and the business community.

The ACE “Champions” will be announced at a special awards ceremony on Tuesday, April 29th at the Hult Center. The Bethel winners in each of the four categories will receive $1,000 to be used for the school program of their choice.

Bethel’s nominees are Teachers Cindy Adkisson, Jennifer Deblois, Deb Lange, Kevin Smith, Kim Saisslin, Sharon Harte, Erik Brudvig, David Novak, Barry Bokn and Estin Warren.

Classified staff Traci Laubsch, Trever Williams, Betty Hooton, and Teresa Hanavan.

Volunteers Cindi Peterson, Salliebethe Finnegan, Jazlyn Halberstadt, Logan Geissler and Ryan Romano.

And Administrators Jennifer Haliski, Dana Miller and Chris Parra.

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***Matt Symonds***

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