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District announces second annual Special Education Linkage Fair

The Hermiston School District Special Programs Department will host the Special Education Linkage Fair today, May 4, from 5-7 p.m. at Sunset Elementary School.

The Hermiston School District’s goal is to connect parents and families of special needs children (birth thru age 21) to agencies and resources within the community. Guests will learn how to access services and support to best meet the needs of their child.

Food will be available as well as supervised activities for kids.

Linkage Fair EngLinkage Fair Sp

By |05/04/2017 10:11:28|District News|0 Comments

District hires a technology manager and assistant manager

Hermiston School District went through an intensive interview process to hire a new technology manager and assistant technology manager to accommodate changes in the department.  Mattias Rahm, the current director of technology will be leaving the district June 30, and Robert Theriault will be moving into a full-time teaching position at Hermiston High School.

Jeffrey Kelso will serve as the technology manager and will begin employment with the district on May 15. Mr. Kelso is currently the director of computer and network services for the Lake Oswego School District.

Mr. Kelso has a Master of Business Administration degree from Portland State University and a Bachelor’s of Science~Computer Science (minor in business administration) from Western Oregon University.

Galen Merkley will serve as the assistant technology manager and will begin employment with the district on July 1. Mr. Merkley is currently the network administrator for the Park City School District in Park City, Utah.

Mr. Kelso brings 15 years and Mr. Merkley brings 14 years of technology experience within the educational setting to the Hermiston School District.

“We are excited to have both Jeff and Galen join our district and look forward to their contributions to our team in IT,” said Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Tricia Mooney.

By |05/01/2017 12:27:43|District News|0 Comments

Third student-built home up for sale

The third home of the Columbia Basin Student Homebuilders Program (CBSHP), Fieldstone #3, is almost complete and will soon be ready for viewing by appointment with American West Properties Hermiston, LLC.

Hermiston School District is partnering with Shirley Parsons of American West Properties Hermiston, LLC to sell the third home in the Fieldstone Crossing cul-de-sac. The listing price for the home has been set at $379,900. Those interested may call Mrs. Parsons at 541-564-0888 to schedule a home tour.

A contractor/supporter appreciation lunch is scheduled for June 9, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Media representatives are welcome to attend and interview the professionals and students that were part of building the home.

The grand opening of Fieldstone #3 is set for Friday, June 9, from 1-6 p.m., at 875 SW Angus Court, Hermiston.

“Our students are excited for the opportunity to show the completed home,” said Curt Berger, student home builder director. “They have done a tremendous amount of work. We encourage community members to stop by to see the home.”

Fieldstone #3 is the third of 11 homes from the CBSHP to be built. It is a custom 2,466 sq. ft. home with many upgraded amenities:

  • 4 bedrooms 2 ½ bath, modern energy efficient, custom home
  • Three car garage, 744 sq. ft.
  • Office/den fourth bedroom, with ½ bathroom
  • Vaulted great room
  • Coffered ceiling in dining room
  • 9 ft. ceilings throughout the home
  • Above code standards with Energy Trust of Oregon; enhanced insulation, energy efficient windows, sealed ductwork, energy efficient heating, cooling and ventilation systems, envelope tightness measures, energy efficient lights, and appliances
  • Central vacuum system, new hide-a-hose
  • Security system
  • High speed fiber optics with EOT
  • Water softener
  • Surround sound speaker system for TV, and speakers in garage, back porch, master bedroom, kitchen, dining room, office/den.
  • Large modern kitchen, double ovens, 5 burner gas top, center inland, insta hot water, garbage disposal and soap dispenser, door in door refrigerator, double pantry.
  • Custom master bathroom, walk in shower, with free standing tub
  • Large walk in master closet
  • Quartz counter tops, throughout the home
  • Gas fire place, built in TV cabinet
  • RV parking, with water, electric
  • Fully landscaped and fenced yard
  • Outdoor kitchen, with framed in barbeque and TV, dry sink, refrigerator, tongue and groove ceiling,
  • Solar ready, soffit lights and outlets.
  • 8’ x 10’ storage shed
  • Great location, quiet neighborhood.
By |04/28/2017 3:28:01|District News|0 Comments

Christie Petersen selected as Sunset principal

Hermiston School District concludes a comprehensive search for the new Sunset principal. Superintendent Fred Maiocco will be recommending to the school board that Christie Petersen be considered to fill the vacancy.

Christie PetersenMs. Petersen is currently a school improvement coach for Education NW Network. She is an assistant professor at Corban University; an adjunct professor at George Fox University for Educational Leadership, and an administrative consultant for school support teams, educational specialists II for federal systems and assessment teams for the Office of Educational Improvement—for the Oregon Department of Education.

Ms. Petersen worked for the Hillsboro School District for nine years and served as a Title I teacher, School Improvement Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA), Title I coordinator and principal for Groner Elementary. Ms. Peterson also worked for the Virginia Beach Public City Schools for nine years.

Ms. Petersen has a license as an initial administrator and a continuing education/ superintendent license and Ed.D. from George Fox University; a master’s degree in early and middle school regular and special education (reading endorsement) from Regent University.

“I am so excited to be serving with such an outstanding group of distinguished colleagues in such a strong district!” said Christie Petersen. “I am incredibly thankful and feel extremely blessed.”

By |04/27/2017 4:12:45|District News|0 Comments

“Meet and greet” session set for aspiring Sunset Elementary principal

Hermiston School District is offering a “meet and greet” event with the final candidates for the Sunset Elementary principal’s position. The successful applicant will replace current principal, Devin Grigg, whose resignation becomes effective at the end of the school year. The community and district staff members are invited to the meet and greet session scheduled for Thursday, April 20, in Sunset’s library from 2:45 to 4:15 p.m.

After a thorough recruitment process the district received a broad applicant pool. Finalists were selected based on their ability to successfully demonstrate the required and desired characteristics identified by staff and community stakeholders.

Meet and greet attendees are asked to remain for the entire duration, in order to meet all candidates and provide feedback to the selection committee through anonymous comment cards.

The four finalists are:

Lisa Arriaga
Ms. Arriaga obtained her certification in educational administration from Western Governors University; has a master’s of science degree with a minor in elementary reading; a bachelor’s of arts degree in education with a major in elementary education and a minor in English as a Second Language from Heritage College.

Ms. Arriaga started her career as an elementary teacher from 1997-2004. Ms. Arriaga served as an ELL specialist, instructional coach and avid teacher from 2004 to 2014, and served as a testing facilitator/interventionist in the Washington Schools from 2014-1015. Ms. Arriaga is currently serving as the Assistant Principal at Sandstone Middle School.

Eric Fuchs
Mr. Fuchs has an initial administrator license, reading endorsement and a master of arts in teaching degree from George Fox University, and an ESOL endorsement from Portland State University.

Since 1998, Mr. Fuchs has been a 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teacher. He was part of a collaborative team that helped develop 150 math items for the Smarter Balanced Assessment. He helped create a mentor program in the Newberg School District, was part of the Regional Rural School Network and participated in a forum that discussed issues related to the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

Christie Petersen

Ms. Petersen has a license as an initial administrator and a continuing education/ superintendent license and Ed.D. from George Fox University; a master’s degree in early and middle school regular and special education (reading endorsement) from Regent University.

Ms. Petersen is currently a school improvement coach for Education NW Network. She is an assistant professor at Corban University; an adjunct professor at George Fox University for Educational Leadership, and an administrative consultant for school support teams, educational specialists II for federal systems and assessment teams for the Office of Educational Improvement—for the Oregon Department of Education.

Stephanne Seals

Ms. Seals obtained her master’s degree in educational administration and supervision from Wichita State University; received her bachelor of science degree in elementary education with a middle level endorsement in social studies from Friends University.

Ms. Seals was a teacher at a magnet school from 1995-2002, was an administrative intern and teacher at a middle school from 2002-2005; a middle school campus support and learning coach from 2005-2008 and is currently an assistant middle school principal for the Wichita Public Schools.

By |04/14/2017 3:29:52|District News|0 Comments

Spring into safety

Hermiston School District would like to remind community, parents and students that as the weather and daylight hours improve, children tend to be more active.

The district would like to offer the following safety tips:

  • If a student must walk home, do so with another buddy or in groups, never walk home alone.
  • The student should check with a parent or babysitter before talking to another grown-up.
  • When riding a bike, make sure you wear a helmet, ride on the right side of the road and on sidewalks. Use hand signals when turning.
  • Watch out for cars or trucks in driveways as their doors could get opened.
  • Never rely on a car to stop.
  • Only cross at designated crosswalks.
  • Stop and look left, right and left again before crossing or entering a street, or intersection.
  • Put your cell phone, video game away while you are walking to avoid injuries.
  • If you need to talk on a cell phone or text, move to the side of the walkway.
  • Don’t wear headphones while walking or riding a bike so that you can hear the sounds around you.
  • Designate a walking/riding route that both parent(s) and student(s) know and feel safe with.
  • At all times, be aware of your surroundings, especially when there are many cars around you.

Thank you parents and community members for helping keep students safe.

By |04/13/2017 4:42:55|District News|0 Comments

Sales vendor falsely representing district

A vendor from the Midwest is once again contacting local businesses to sell sports poster ads. The salesman claims to be a representative from Hermiston High School.

Hermiston School District would like the business community to know that this vendor is not affiliated with the high school or district, and proceeds from the posters do not benefit district students. Any advertising or sponsorship for HHS programs will come directly from Larry Usher, the district’s director of athletics and activities, or Lindy Thompson, the athletics secretary.

As a reminder, ads for the Hermiston High School sports calendar have all been sold for the year. Businesses will not be contacted for sponsorship until the beginning of the 2017-18 school year.


A formal complaint against Sports Media has been filed, our file number is FF5392-16.


If anyone has questions, please contact Larry Usher at (541) 667-6117.

By |04/12/2017 8:22:32|District News|0 Comments

Third grade team from Rocky Heights is going to the Oregon Battle of the Books State Competition

2017 OBOB Region Six Winners

“The Book Bombers” Team–(left to right), Eleanor Larsen, Glyn Lystrup, Cate Doherty and Caden Lloyd.

The third grade, Rocky Heights “Book Bombers” Oregon Battle of the Books (OBOB) Team won the 2017 OBOB 3rd-5th Grade Division Region Six Competition on Saturday, March 18, and is traveling to the OBOB State Competition at Chemeketa Community College to battle against teams from all over the state on Saturday, April 8.

The winning teams from each of the five Hermiston elementary schools battled in the 3rd-5th grade Division of the Region Six Oregon Battle of the Books Competition on March 18. There were 21 teams in this division of the competition. After being seeded first in pool play, the Book Bombers battled through a 16-team single-elimination bracket and defeated a well prepared team from Highland Hills with a score of 88 to 55. This is the third time, in the last five years that Rocky Heights has won the Region Six Competition. Rocky Heights is the only school that will represent the Hermiston School District at the state competition.

The Book Bombers Team coached by Rocky Heights 3rd grade teacher, Melissa Doherty, is made up of eight and nine year olds, Eleanor Larsen, Glyn Lystrup, Cate Doherty and Caden Lloyd. “These students have shown an incredible level of dedication in order to prepare for this competition often forgoing recess in order to spend time studying for their matches,” said Kristi Smalley, Hermiston School District elementary librarian.

The original Battle of Books program was started at Highland Hills Elementary in 1983 by Linda Turner, a retired teacher from Highland Hills. In 2006, Jan Nichols, a member of the Oregon Association of School Libraries worked in conjunction with a Library Services and Technology Act grant to help create the Oregon Battle of the Books Program. West Park was the first schools to participate in the state-wide OBOB program. In order to bring this opportunity to all elementary schools in Hermiston, this program was extended to Highland Hills, Desert View, Rocky Heights and Sunset over the course of the next three years. Since then battles have carried on and continue to take place every year beginning in mid-January. The winning teams from each school are determined by the end of February and participate in the regional competition.

The Oregon Battle of the Books mission is to encourage and recognize students who enjoy reading, to broaden reading interests, to increase reading comprehension, promote academic excellence, and to promote cooperative learning and teamwork among students. To learn more about the Oregon Battle of the Books visit http://www.oregonbattleofthebooks.org/.

By |04/07/2017 3:05:35|District News|0 Comments

Fuel Up to Play 60 Grant helps promote healthy eating and funds computer equipment for ALTV

Armand Larive Middle School and Angie Treadwell, Family and Community Health Umatilla-Morrow SNAP-Ed Program Coordinator for Oregon State University Extension Center, were recently notified that the school was awarded the Fuel Up to Play 60 Grant in the amount of $3,555.

OSU Extension Center and Armand Larive Middle School joined efforts to apply for the grant. The grant funds received were utilized to purchase a computer, accessories and software for ALTV. The lack of computer equipment limited ALTV students when and what projects they could do. The new computer equipment will enable ALTV students to make more Food Hero time lapse recipe videos to help educate students on healthy recipes.

Additionally, with the new computer equipment purchased, ALTV students were able to compete at the Student Television Network Conference in Anaheim, California on March 28-31. Under the category of Middle School Anchor Team, Armand Larive took 2nd honorable mention.

“We are excited for the opportunity to help Armand Larive students gain additional experience in video production while educating and promoting healthy behaviors among their peers and perhaps, the community at large, said Angie Treadwell.

This Friday, April 7, there will be a Food Hero tasting during lunch at Armand Larive; the student body will be tasting a “Popeye Power Smoothie.”  The Food Hero videos will be shown throughout the school on this day as well.

The Fuel Up to Play 60 Grant is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by the National Dairy Council and NFL, in collaboration with the USDA, to help encourage today’s youth to lead healthier lives. To learn more about the grant visit www.fueluptoplay60.com.

By |04/06/2017 4:46:55|District News|0 Comments

HHS junior selected as a LEDA Scholar

High School junior, Heidy Mejia-Puerta

Hermiston High School was recently notified that Heidy Mejia-Puerta, a high school junior, was accepted into the Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA) Scholars Program. The LEDA Scholars Program is a seven-week program designed to help high-achieving, low-income students go to the most selective colleges.

The scholars are selected in their junior year and have the opportunity to spend the following summer at Princeton University. While there, the students participate in leadership training, academic writing instruction, standardized test preparation, college guidance, and community building activities.

“I can’t emphasize enough that LEDA is life changing because they advocate for the LEDA Scholars at the admissions offices of the most prestigious colleges in the nation,” said Melody Bustillos, Generation College advisor and high school counselor. “And colleges know that a student who is part of LEDA is prepared to be successful not just academically, but comes with a network of support from LEDA throughout their college experience.”

Heidy is the sixth Hermiston High School student selected to be part of the prestigious LEDA Scholars Program. Two previous program participants have already graduated from college (Princeton and Wesleyan); one will graduate next month from University of Southern California, and two are still attending college (Swarthmore College and Stanford University).

To learn more about the LEDA Program or make a donation, visit ledascholars.org.

By |04/05/2017 10:20:08|District News|0 Comments