Vernonia Schools News

Loggerbots Take Second at Robotics Regionals

 

Left to right:  Conner Larke, Benjamin Skanes, formerRobotics instructor James Brookins, Nick Rainbolt and Jeffrey Goodman.

Left to right: Conner Larke, Benjamin Skanes, formerRobotics instructor James Brookins, Nick Rainbolt and Jeffrey Goodman.

The Vernonia Loggerbots advanced all the way to the finals at the Oregon FIRST Robotics District competition March 26-28, and ended up second place overall.

The Loggerbots competed against thirty-two teams overall, including teams from Portland, Seattle, Eugene, Corvallis, Ashland, Vancouver, Grants Pass, and Klamath Falls.  Also at the competition was the team from Blachly, OR where former Vernonia instructor James Brookins is now Superintendent.  Brookins was instrumental in originally forming the Vernonia Robotics program.

At the end of the opening rounds of competition the Loggerbots were ranked 20th but were selected by one of the top six teams to be part of an alliance that advanced and won in the  quarterfinals and semifinals.

VHS Digital Arts Classes Offer College Credit

Vernonia High School is offering dual credit for students who enroll in either of two new Digital Arts classes.

TAKEGRAPHICS-FOR-MULTIMEDIAStudents can take Video Production I and Graphics for Multimedia with Digital Arts instructor Doran Lower and receive both high school and college credit simultaneously.  College credit is through Portland Community College (PCC).

“The idea of these classes is, not only to have other electives available in our school, but also to provide our students with the opportunity to receive free college credits before they actually leave high school,” says Lower.

According to Lower, both classes are being made available as part of the high school Career and Technical Education (CTE) program.  Funding to establish the program came from PCC and the Vernonia School District CTE Grant.  The CTE grant purchased a new Creative Cloud 2014 Adobe Suite of software for Lower’s computer lab.

Lower is an approved dual credit instructor through PCC.  Once enrolled in the high school class, students can register for PCC credit and then have eighteen weeks to complete the work required for the ten week college course.  Lower inputs grades for students into the PCC system. Read More

VHS is Pilot for PCC Distance Learning Program

Vernonia High School has started a Distance Learning program through Portland Community College (PCC) which allows Vernonia students to concurrently earn both high school and college credits.

“It is critical for us to have opportunities for our students to earn college credits before they leave high school,” said Vernonia School District Superintendent Aaron Miller about the program.  “There are lots of high school programs that are providing dual credits and we need to continue to look  at opportunities like that for our kids.  It helps solidify their learning in high school and it gets them thinking about their future and their plans and how they’re going to get there.  It’s an essential piece of our education process.”

The Distance Learning Program began this fall as a pilot program and has been operating smoothly so far.  According to high school principal Nate Underwood and School Counselor Pete Weisel, the program was initiated last spring when Vernonia  juniors and some high achieving sophomores were offered an opportunity to take the Compass college placement testing.  With  limited funding the District still wanted to find a way to begin offering students who were ready, and could test into college level courses, some type of expanded educational opportunity.

“We wanted to see what classes they were interested in and what they were able to test into,” said Weisel.  “This is a way for us to replace Advanced Placement classes.  The District doesn’t have enough students to justify paying a teacher to teach these types of classes, but we can still provide students with some college level cirriculum.”

“I think this is a step in the right direction to meet the academic needs of our students,” says Underwood.  “It’s a baby step, but it is a step for us.”

Weisel says that not only is this a pilot project for VHS, but it is also a pilot project for PCC, who Weisel says hasn’t really worked this way with a high school before.  “With PCC expanding into Columbia County with a physical location in the next few years, we’re hoping that having that campus  here will only help our students in terms of having access to PCC instructors,” says Weisel.  Read More

Meet the Exchange Students: Part 4

Celine Loffler- Celine is from Heidleberg, Germany and is living with Matt and Katie Poetter and their family, but is only staying in Vernonia until the end of January.  This is her first visit to the United States but she has traveled to Italy before and vacations in Spain.  She was one of the top five runners on the VHS girls cross country team which won the Northwest League Championship this season.  Celine says she loves Skittles and American burgers.  She says she mostly likes small town Vernonia, but doesn’t like that people gossip a lot.  A sophomore here, Celine will return home to finish high school and study for university.

L-R: Celine Loffler, Niklas Merzadah, Lisa Paje Rius, and Nikita Moskalev

L-R: Celine Loffler, Niklas Merzadah, Lisa Paje Rius, and Nikita Moskalev

Niklas Merzadah- Nik is spending the year in Vernonia with Kathy Jackson and Stan Zook. He played offensive and defensive line for the Loggers football team this fall and says he  would like to try wrestling and track this year as well.  Nik says he likes Vernonia and the people here, but says it’s much different than the big city of Cologne, Germany where he is from.  He says he likes all the food in the U.S. but his favorite is hot dogs and burgers.  Nik traveled with his family to the United States and visited the east coast four years ago, and says he likes getting to see the west coast this time.  He has also traveled to Turkey, Egypt and India.

Lisa Paje Rius- Lisa is from Monaco, France and is living with the Lindauer family this year.  Lisa was  one of the top five runners on the  girls cross country team which won the NW League Championship for Vernonia this year.  She says she likes Vernonia because everyone knows each other.  Lisa says her favorite American food is burgers.  Lisa has visited the United States several times in the past and has been to Miami twice, New York City and Orlando to see Disney World.  She has also visited Dubai, Denmark, and Spain.

Nikita Moskalev- Nik is from far eastern Russia and is spending his year in Vernonia with Justin and Ashley Ward.  A junior, Nik played wide receiver and cornerback for the VHS football team and says he will play basketball this winter and run track and field in the spring.  Nik say he likes the ice cream and yogurt here in the U.S. and also fast foods.  Nik says he took this year away from home to see a new place and help him decide what he wants to do with his future.  He says he will return to Russia for one more year of school and then go to university.  Nik has traveled to Japan, South Korea and extensively in China.  This is his first time visiting the U.S.

Jump Rope Fundraiser for VESPE Department

Vernonia Elementary School is having a very special fundraising project to help raise funds for the Vernonia Elementary School Physical Education (VESPE) department. VESPE is joining in the fight against our nation’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers – cardiovascular disease and stroke. Jump Rope for VESPE helps students learn about the benefits of regular physical activity and heart health while raising funds to help the VESPE program. The money raised, will go towards helping to fund some more playground equipment at the new school, as well as helping buy more PE equipment.

Most people don’t realize that the roots for cardiovascular disease in adults often begin in childhood from age 10 and even younger. That’s why it’s important to make changes now. Helping your children by teaching them to: eat healthy foods, stay physically active and live tobacco-free will ensure a happy and heart healthy future.

Jump Rope for VESPE is a fun and effective way to teach heart-healthy living. It emphasizes the importance of physical activity as our children do something they enjoy–jumping rope. Rope jumping is an excellent workout for both the lower and upper body.

Jump Rope for VESPE will take place in a jump rope unit in Mr. Spaulding’s PE classes from November 17th – December 12th. Collection envelopes will be due on December 11th & 12th. Family and friends are welcome to support student’s participation by making contributions. However, they are  asking that students not go door to door or ask strangers for donations.  Read More

Meet the Exchange Students: Part 3

Tomy Breton- Tomy is from Quebec, Canada and is spending his year in Vernonia living with Tim, Allison and Canon McLeod.  Tomy is a hockey player in Canada, but is playing football this fall for the Loggers where he is a running back and outside linebacker.  In Canada he plays hockey and is friends with Sam Hout, who was an exchange student in Vernonia last year.  He says he will try either basketball or wresting in the winter and baseball in the spring.   A senior, Tomy says he is taking this year to decide what he wants to do in his future, but says he may study natural sciences in college.  This is Tomy’s first time in the United States, but has traveled to Mexico, the Dominican Republic and to Europe for two weeks for a hockey tournament.

L to R:  Tomy Breton, Marketa Veselkova, Nathalie Scholz,  Oleksandra Romanchuk (back) and Nikita Osiyev.

L to R: Tomy Breton, Marketa Veselkova, Nathalie Scholz,
Oleksandra Romanchuk (back) and Nikita Osiyev.

Marketa Veselkova- Marketa is from Prague, Czech Republic.  Her older sister Helena was an exchange student in Vernonia two years ago.  A junior, Marketa is spending this year with the Lindauer family.  She is running cross country and finished second for the Lady Loggers when they won the league championship this year.  She is an accomplished basketball player in her home country and will be a nice addition to the VHS varsity this winter.  She says she will probably run track in the spring.  She says there is so much good food here, she couldn’t choose a favorite.  Marketa says she has traveled extensively in Europe; some of her favorite places were Rome and Valencia. She also visited the U.S. twice before, once to New York when she was very young and then a few years ago when she visited San Francisco and Las Vegas.  Marketa says it would be “really amazing” if she could come back to America for her senior year and then try to go to college here in the States.  She says she loves it here in Vernonia because it is very different from the big city of Prague.  “Everyone knows everyone,” says Marketa.  “When you are walking on the street, someone will just stop and start talking to you.  It’s really cool!” Read More

Meet the Exchange Students: Part 2

Paul Mehring is from Munich, Germany and is living with Shelley Hennesey and Joe Fennell.  Paul is playing football this fall and is a running back and linebacker.  He says he plans to play basketball this winter and may try track and field in the spring.  Paul says he likes American steaks, which he says are very juicy and tasty.  Paul says he likes that in Vernonia, “…everybody knows everybody,” and everyone is friendly.   He says he likes that everyone supports the school teams.  “It’s a way better atmosphere at the games than in Germany,” says Paul.  Paul says he has traveled to South Africa, France, Sweden and often vacations in Italy. This is his first time in the United States.

 

Julie Courchet is from Marseille, France and lives with Steve and Sue Whiteman.  Julie is running cross country this fall.  She says that Vernonia is very small but everyone is very nice.  She says her favorite American food is hot dogs.  This is the first time Julie has ever traveled anywhere outside of France.

Left to right:  Paul Mehring, Julie Courchet, Kristine Lauenborg,  Sandra Meyer and Guilherme Botelho.

Left to right: Paul Mehring, Julie Courchet, Kristine Lauenborg,
Sandra Meyer and Guilherme Botelho.

 

Kristine Lauenborg is a junior from Denmark.  She is living with Tracy, Mike and Emilee Easlon.  Kristine is running cross country this fall.  She is also on the cheer squad and is one of the loudest supporters in the student section at volleyball matches.  She says she will try out for basketball and may try either softball or track in the spring.  Kristine says the food here is not much different than in Denmark but says she loves American candy, especially Skittles and Nerds.  She did say that her host mother Tracy is an excellent cook and loves her meals; in fact several other exchange students commented on the great food served at the Easlon home.  Kristine says she will finish high school when she returns to Denmark and plans to study law at university. She says she likes the different experience of living in a small town, but doesn’t like that Vernonia is so far away from everything else.

 

Sandra Meyer is a junior from Hamburg, Germany.  She is spending her year in Vernonia with Melissa, Bob, Maddie and Megan Zavales.   Sandra is on the VHS cheer squad and is also running cross country this fall.  She says she would like to try out for basketball in the winter and softball in the spring.  Sandra says she has traveled in the past to the Netherlands and Turkey and this is her first time visiting the United States. Sandra says the burgers in the United States are much better than in Germany.  She says Vernonia is like “…a big family,” which is different from the big city of Hamburg.  Sandra is one of six exchange students from Germany living in Vernonia this year, which means she has too much opportunity to, “speak in German and not practice my English,” she says. Sandra says she will return to Germany next year to finish high school.

 

Guilherme Botelho is a senior from Portugal where he lives on the coast, just five minutes from the beach.  “Will” is living with Shelley Hennesey and Joe Fennell in Vernonia.  Will says he used to enjoy surfing in Portugal, but since picking up his father’s old camera, he now enjoys photographing surfers more than surfing itself.  In Vernonia, Will is a tight end, corner back and the punter on the football team.  At 6’ 4” he is also really looking forward to the basketball season this winter and will try track in the spring.  Will says he “…came here for the hamburgers!”  He says he loves American fast food.  “Some of the other exchange students are worried about healthy food; I’m not.  I’m all into fast food and sports,” says Will.  He says he has always felt a call to come to America and says he has been dreaming about this trip for many years.  He says he hopes to return to Portugal in the summer, check in with his parents, and hopefully return to the U.S. to play basketball, attend college and study chemical engineering.   Will says he really likes traveling and has been encouraged by his father, who is Brazilian and travels for work and thinks it important for his children to be open minded about the rest of  the world.  Will has traveled to Spain, France, England, many times to Brazil, and Tanzania for an African safari.  He has visited the Unites States once before and went to New York City and Disney World in Florida.

Meet the Exchange Students

Each year the Vernonia community hosts  a large group of exchange students.  This year nineteen students from all over the world will make their home in Vernonia for the school year.  Over the next several issues, Vernonia’s Voice will help introduce these students to our community.

L to R:  Ruth Aim, Cecilie Burkelund, Sergei Kavaleryan, Maria Alvarez and Davide Bomboi.

L to R: Ruth Aim, Cecilie Burkelund, Sergei Kavaleryan, Maria Alvarez and Davide Bomboi.

Ruth Aim is living with the Baska family.  Ruth is from Stuttgart, Germany.  She is running cross country and will try out for basketball and softball later this year.  Ruth says the problem with America is “…you have too much good food!” Ruth is a junior this year  and says she is not sure what she wants to do in her future, but knows she wants to travel all over the world.  Ruth says Vernonia is “really awesome.”  She says she doesn’t like that there is little public transportation.

Cecilie Birkelund is from a small town in southern Denmark.  Cecile is a senior who is running cross country and is also on the cheer squad this fall.  She is staying with Jeana and Justin Gump and their family.  Cecilie says she may try track in the spring.  She enjoys Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Cecilie says next year she will finish school in Denmark and then study journalism.  She says she likes Vernonia but says it’s too far away from the city.

Sergei Kavaleryan is from eastern Georgia and is living with Kathy and Reggie Ward.  “Sam” is playing football this fall and is a defensive lineman and tight end.  He says he would like to try basketball or wrestling this winter and baseball in the spring.  Sam says he likes Subway sandwiches.  He has traveled in the past to Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Germany; this is his first time visiting the United States.  Sam is a junior in school this year and will return to finish his last year of high school and then go to university to study finance.

Maria Alvarez is from the north of Spain in the city of Gijon.  She is staying with Nicole Whiteman and says she is friends with Alejandro Rubiera who was an exchange student in Vernonia last year.  Maria is running cross country and says she would like to play basketball in the winter and run track in the spring.  Maria says her favorite American food is Subway.  Maria is a sophomore this year and says in the future she might like to study languages. She likes the people in Vernonia but says it’s too far away from places to shop.

Davide Bomboi is staying with Kathy and Reggie Ward.  “David” is from the small town of Nuoro on the coast of the island of Sardinia in Italy.  David says he loves traveling, learning about new cultures, and loves meeting new people.  He has traveled to France, Spain, Denmark, and to London, England where he says he would like to live someday.  David is running cross country this year; he says he never did any running before but has learned since he came here that he likes it and is good at it.  He says he will try out for basketball this winter and go out for track in the spring.  David says American food is not like Italian food, but he does like cheese cake and also cheese burgers.  He is a junior this year and will return to Italy to finish high school.  He says he would like to work in the film industry making movies.

Students Attend Logging Congress

LoggingCongress1-webVernonia middle school and high school students took a field trip and spent the day on Thursday, September 25 at the 105th Pacific Logging Congress’ “In the Woods” show.

The event was held on the Port Blakely Tree Farm in Molalla, OR.

The Pacific Logging Congress provides technical education about forest industries to politicians, educators and students, and the general public.  It is also an opportunity for those in the logging industry to see new equipment.  The Pacific Logging Congress provides a forum for loggers to discuss changes and new innovations in the industry.

LoggingCongressEquipment-webLoggingCongressMikePihlAlexWest-webThe Vernonia students did a walking tour of the site of the “In the Woods” program in groups of about twenty-five and learned about the logging and forest products industries and markets as well as viewed a live demonstration of a logging operation. This was the 7th “In the Woods” program, which is held every four years and brought over 2,000 regional students out to the site.

“What you’re going to see today, is what happens every day out in the woods,” said Eric Metcalf of Pacific Lumber and Shipping Company, who, along with Ray Liebe, acted as  guides for one of the Vernonia student groups.

Students attended demonstrations at several stations. Students learned about the makeup of a forest, watched logging equipment in action, tried their hand at some logging competitions, and learned about replanting laws and techniques.

LoggingCongressLogRoll-web

LoggingCongressVMSStudents-web

VHS Offering Career and Technical Educations Programs

Students at Vernonia High School will have several opportunities to participate in Career and Technical Education (CTE) Programs this school year. Each and every one of these CTE opportunities are available to ALL students regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or religion.

Digital Arts, Forestry/Natural Resources, Engineering and Construction are CTE programs that will be offered to ALL students at Vernonia High School during the 2014-15 school year. Digital Arts, Forestry/Natural Resources, and Engineering will be offered throughout the year, while Construction class will be available in the spring after construction on the new shop building is complete.

If you have any questions regarding CTE programs at Vernonia High School, please contact Aaron Miller or Nate Underwood at 503-429-1333.