The superintendent and her executive cabinet are pleased to recognize the following individuals for their outstanding work and contributions to our school district and community.
Community Partner of the Month: Salem Leadership Foundation
Our Community Partner of the Month of April is the Salem Leadership Foundation (pictured above). They were nominated by Grant Community School.
Grant Community School wants them to know how thankful they are for all that the Salem Leadership Foundation does for their students, the school and their community.
Salem Leadership Foundation has been a partner with the School District since its founding in 1996. One of the reasons SLF was established was to help churches partner better with neighborhood schools.
The Foundation’s staff and strategic plan are organized around the six high-school feeder areas of Salem-Keizer. The goal is to help kids, families and neighborhoods thrive, Partnerships between schools and churches is a key strategy. Today there are more than 35 churches in productive partnerships with neighborhood schools.
SLF's partnerships started with Grant, Highland, Parrish and North through the work of Sam Skillern, who covers North Salem.
The first partnership was with Grant Community School and Salem Alliance Church in the fall of 1996 on a program called "Fantastic Fridays." That experimental program started a community movement through which many partners now bring after-school programming to more than half of Salem-Keizer's schools.
In addition, the Salem Leadership Foundation has donated funds for 10 guitars for Grant’s guitar class, funds to extend the Grant School Learning Garden, support for the neighborhood health Fair, and provide leadership to parents and community members on how to access and engage schools.
The second partnership was with Highland School for Reading Buddies in fall of 1997. That program is still going strong today, with 25-30 volunteers reading on Thursday mornings with 50 first- and second-graders.
In the McKay area Carrie Maheu (may-hew) has connections with all of the schools, with a recent focus on Swegle, Washington, and Waldo through the Fostering Hope initiative.
In West Salem, Herm Boes has been a key part of the "Dream Center" partnership that West Salem Foursquare started at Walker Middle School, and now includes multiple programs and partners across West Salem.
In South Salem, DJ Vincent is the after-school coordinator at Leslie Middle School where he wears two hats: Salem Leadership Foundation and the Salem Keizer Education Foundation. He is also active in promoting partnerships at Morningside Elementary and other south-end schools.
Sam is also instrumental in bringing faith leaders together on a quarterly basis to meet with Superintendent Husk to discuss these community opportunities.
Thank you for your continued support and generosity to our students, our schools and the community.
Volunteer of the Month: Cristina Wheeler
Cristina Wheeler has been selected as the Volunteer of the Month for April. Kennedy Elementary staff state that they have been blessed to have the dedication of Cristina for over nine years.
Mrs. Wheeler has served as Parent Club President and as their #1 volunteer. Always cheerful and with boundless energy, she is there whenever and wherever they need her.
Cristina organizes and communicates with parents at regular Parent Club meetings. These meetings are effective for their community, as Cristina also speaks Spanish. Through Parent Club, funds have been raised to support field trips for every grade every year; to purchase Big Toy equipment for the playground; to purchase a TV for the front hall for community viewing; to support RIF program; and to purchase technology for students.
Cristina first came to help in the kindergarten classroom when her son started school. She returned again to help in the kindergarten classroom when her daughter started school. In addition, she has helped with second language Spanish students in writing, she volunteers to chaperone field trips, assists with 5th grade photography class every year: and leveled, organized and labeled an entire classroom library for another teacher.
Cristina has been a great help to the Office by volunteering for School Picture day and finding additional volunteers. She runs the Jog-a-thon and keeps track of student records, forms, notices, the money and prizes.
Cristina recruits and organizes volunteers for Field Day; she is also involved in the School Book fair. This year, with the loss of the school Librarian, she organized the Parent Club to run a successful Fair.
Kennedy staff thinks Cristina has been amazing!! She is leaving Kennedy this year, as her youngest daughter is moving up to middle school.
Thank you for your wonderful spirit of volunteering and dedication to the students of Salem-Keizer Schools.
Culinary Champs - South Salem High School's Culinary Team
South Salem High School’s culinary team took home the state championship at the 2012 Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association’s ProStart High School Culinary Championships held in Portland on February 18. This is their fifth championship win. The Saxon culinary team has more first place wins than any other Oregon school, and they have never finished out of the top ten! They also have two second place, two third place, one ninth place, and one 10th place, finishes.
The team is made up of members: Jessica Harris, Kayla Lane, Evelyn Romero, Ryan Toepfer and Griscelda Real. The team is led by South Salem High School teacher, Chef Todd Wieweck and mentors Krista Carpino and Chris Neuffer (who is solely responsible for bringing Todd to SSHS as a teacher!).
All the students are new to the team this year. This usually means placing out of the top three. Their winning menu featured a three-course meal. For the competition, the team had one hour to prepare two dishes of each course, one for the judges to taste and one for display. The menu has to be completed using only two small butane burners, and no electrical appliances or oven. Creating a menu that fits that criteria is very challenging as each item on the menu must be choreographed perfectly to get done on time using a very small amount of burner space.
The meal started with a serving of king crab on wonton towers filled with marinated tofu, served with sautéed shiitake mushrooms (pictured above).
The main course was a pan-seared Oregon Ling Cod atop griddled yellow fingerling potatoes, with shallots and bacon. The dish is completed with a beautiful and vibrant green sweet pea cream sauce (pictured above).
For dessert, a flourless chocolate cake infused with Tahitian vanilla bean, served with a crisp nougatine wafer and blood orange segments. The dessert is finished with pomegranate syrup and vanilla sauce (pictured above).
Each member of the team won a total of $48,500 in scholarship money at their state appearance.
They now head to Coos Bay where they will compete at the invitational there on April 13. The Saxon team has never lost this competition and has five first place finishes. If they continue this run, they will each receive another $4,000 in scholarship money!
Next stop for the team is a trip to Baltimore to represent Oregon at the national Prostart competition which will be held April 25 through 28. The Saxon team has finished in sixth place and 12th place in previous years. They are practicing furiously to try and place higher this year as scholarship money is only given to the first through fifth place teams.
Congratulations! We wish you well in Coos Bay and at Nationals!
World Beat Youth Art Winners
The Salem Multicultural Institute announced the winners of the World Beat Youth Art contest in March.
Three Salem-Keizer students received top honors:
Zoe Frey, an eigth grader from Whiteaker Middle School, received first place Individual K-8 Overall.
Aleigha Mattison, a junior at Sprague High School won first place Overall for High School.
Danielle Loscar, a senior at Sprague High School, received the Award of Excellence High School Artistic Merit.
The Sprague High School Art Department won the first place award for High School Art Classrooms in this year’s contest. This award comes with a certificate and a classroom $200 Gift Certificate to the Art Department in downtown Salem.
Receiving Honorable Mention K-8 were Mateya Meredith, third grader at Chapman Hill Elementary and Haley Janssen, 8th grader at Whiteaker Middle School.
The students submitted artwork designed to answer the question “What the world beat means to me.” All artwork will be displayed at the festival during the last weekend in June and on the World Beat Festival website.
Green Apple Award Goes to Sally White
Sally White, science teacher at Waldo Middle School, received the Green Apple Award at the 2012 Mid-Valley Green Awards held in March. The Green Apple Award category goes to an educator who leads in teaching environmental and/or sustainable curricula. The event is a fundraiser for the Straub Learning Center.
The Mid-Valley Green Awards had 22 nominees who were selected from a pool of businesses, individuals and organizations who demonstrate outstanding sustainability efforts and practices. Nine were honored with awards.
In 2004 Sally received a grant from Salem-Keizer Education Foundation to expand the garden at Waldo Middle School from twelve 3’ x 3’ plots to 1,500 square feet with fencing and drip irrigation. Since then the garden has been providing produce for the gardening students and their families.
In addition, Waldo obtained Green School status with the collaborative efforts of Sally, Marie Carver, Sarah Forbes and Casey Coleman.
Watt Watchers has been re-established at Waldo as has been bi-monthly collections of recyclables from classrooms and offices. Cardboard from the cafeteria is collected daily and used to suppress weeds and as a soil amendment. These activities are carried out by the garden students.
In the classroom, student projects are to be made from recycled goods, about 99 percent of all classroom printing is done on “one-side already used” paper and ink cartridges are shaken until the very last drop is used.
Many of these activities raise “teachable moment” questions from students who really are the reason for doing any of these activities.
Sally was honored for her efforts in making the school green, establishing the school garden and spiriting recycling efforts.