Parents with cameras, kids with new clothes, and teachers with welcoming smiles. Scenes like that could be found throughout Bethel School District on the first day of the 2012-13 school year.
Bethel begins with fewer staff members and larger class sizes than we had in June, but the enthusiasm to be back in school was as infectious as ever.
In the coming weeks school will be extra busy with Picture Days, Health Screenings, Curriculum Nights and Open Houses.
In the meantime the optimism from the first day of school is just the boost everyone needs to make this another great year in Bethel.
Officially returning to work for the 2012-13 school year, Bethel’s teachers were welcomed back with an emotional get-together.
Gathering for the annual Welcome Back event at Willamette High School’s auditorium, teachers heard short speeches that brought them to tears and had them laughing.
Superintendent Colt Gill capped off the celebration by acknowledging the difficult task ahead with severe budget cuts.
But Colt also had words of encouragement that confirmed his faith in the teachers’ skills and dedication to Bethel kids. The first day of school is Tuesday the 4th.
After a year of planning and work, the new Chris Kilcullen Memorial Garden has been dedicated at Willamette High School.
Located in the Senior Courtyard at WHS, the garden honors the Willamette grad and Eugene Police officer who was killed in the line of duty in April 2011.
Chris Kilcullen kept close ties with Willamette and the Bethel community, and it was the community that helped make the garden become a reality with donations of time, products, money, equipment and volunteer effort.
Members of the Kilcullen family joined dozens of volunteers, friends, students and school supporters for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The garden features a curved paved path leading to benches, and includes a large stone bearing a bronze plaque dedicated to Chris Kilcullen.
Kids’ clothes – enough to fill dozens of large bags – have been claimed from the Lost and Found bins at Bethel schools.
Volunteers with the Bethel Clothes Closet happily picked up the unclaimed shirts, coats, hats and assorted leftover children’s clothes from the past school year.
The Clothes Closet workers are now in the process of laundering, sorting and preparing to give away the perfectly good clothes to those in need.
The Clothes Closet is located in the basement of Bethesda Lutheran Church on Royal Avenue, and for years has provided Bethel families individual appointments to select and try on clothes in a respectful and confidential manner.
To make an appointment Bethel parents must first get a voucher from their neighborhood school and then call the Clothes Closet at Bethesda: 541-688-9085. The Clothes Closet opens August 21st.