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Sandstone students to perform “The Little Mermaid Jr.” for the community

Sandstone Middle School students and staff will perform “The Little Mermaid Jr.,” a spring musical.  Performances are open to the community and scheduled for June 1, 2 and 3, at 7 p.m., in the Sandstone Commons. Tickets are $3 or $2 with a canned food item. The performance will also be live-streamed for out-of-town family and friends unable to attend or for those with small children.

The audience can expect to see:

  • Ninety actors/actresses (including life skills students) participating in the spring musical. Four cast members per day are featured on Sandstone’s Facebook page.
  • Over twenty-five dancers will perform under the choreography of Mrs. Tew.
  • Twenty-five musicians will play out of the ‘orchestra pit crew’ under the direction of Mr. Allen.
  • Thirty-four costume designers from Mrs. Geer’s exploration class, who planned and created every costume. Students helped sew sequins and feathers, and for many it was their first time sewing something!
  • A new set technology using reverse projection and a stationary set design, which was designed and will be implemented by thirty-two art students.
  • Concessions during intermission, served by Sandstone leadership students

The spring musical has reading, drama, music, art and outreach objectives. Under the reading objective, students were able to practice, memorize, and dramatize character development through application of a musical script. Under the drama objective, students were required to interpret, design and perform scenes and script according to playwright. For the music objective, students read, practiced and performed a musical score. The art objective had students interpret, design, and create scenes and costumes according to playwright. Under the outreach objective, students needed to provide a spotlight for students to showcase their talents and invite members of the community to the school.

The ultimate goal of the musical is to educate hearts and minds of Sandstone students every day through music and artistic exploration and to share the school’s love of music and talent with the community.

The spring musical is made possible by the generosity and grant funds received through the Hermiston Education Foundation. A few staff members wrote a grant in the fall and were awarded about $3,000 to assist in putting on this theater production.

By |05/25/2017 12:12:12|District News|0 Comments

Laura Jacobsma selected as Desert View principal

Laura Jacobsma

Hermiston School District concludes the interview and selection process for the new Desert View principal. On Monday, June 12, Superintendent Fred Maiocco will recommend to the school board that Laura Jacobsma be considered to fill the vacancy. If approved, Ms. Jacobsma will begin her employment on July 1.

Ms. Jacobsma obtained her masters of education degree from the University of Oregon in 2003; a continuing teaching license/multiple subjects self-contained ECE, ELE in 2003; initial administrative license in 2015 and a bachelor of arts in liberal studies from Oregon State University in 1994.

Ms. Jacobsma began her career as a temporary teacher at Gilham Elementary from 2003-2005; was a 3rd-6th grade teacher at Oakridge Elementary from 2006-15, and is currently serving as an instructional coach at Oakridge Elementary.

As an instructional coach Ms. Jacobsma has supported the implementation of Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) at Oakridge Elementary, and has facilitated the testing accommodations needs; has collaborated with teachers in their classroom by teaching them how to better use their data to make informed decisions about their students; and has coordinated and lead the work of professional development for teachers.

“I am very excited about the next step in my career,” said Laura Jacobsma. “I am appreciative of my time in Oakridge, but I am looking forward to joining the Hermiston School District and the Desert View community.”

By |05/23/2017 3:18:41|District News|0 Comments

Community invited to 1st Annual Research Night

The Hermiston High School students in the Oregon Teacher Pathway (OTP) Program invite parents and community members to its 1st Annual Research Night. The event is scheduled for Tuesday, May 23, at 6 p.m., in the high school’s library.

“The students have been working hard during the school year on their respective projects and are excited to show off their findings,” said Oregon Teacher Pathway Instructor Juan Rodriguez.

The following OTP students will be conducting a gallery walk of presentations:
• Isabel Bartley—How does music affect academic performance?
Paola Carmona—How does technology affect student performance in school?
Alexis Mercado—How does GPA requirement affect student athletes?
Hayden Meyers—How do extra-curricular activities affect academic achievement?
Haylie Rahm—What time should school start, based on how much sleep teenagers need?
Morgan Wilson—How does standardized testing affect academic achievement?

The goals of the Oregon Teacher Pathway Program are to:
1. Diversify teacher education by increasing the number of quality diverse teachers in Oregon, and
2. Produce quality teachers trained in culturally responsive practice.

OTP is centered on student success by partnering with local schools and community organizations; developing mentors at the high school and college level; and recruiting, retaining, supporting, and graduating quality teacher candidates.

To learn more about the Oregon Teacher Pathway Program, visit https://www.eou.edu/otp/.

By |05/22/2017 12:08:25|District News|0 Comments

Voters do not approve $104 million bond measure

Hermiston School District was disappointed to learn that voters did not approve the $104 million bond measure placed on the May 16 ballot. The election results showed 42 percent in favor versus 58 percent opposed.

“We were extremely disappointed to learn that voters did not approve the ballot measure. The election results indicate that we have more work to do in educating the community about the challenges facing our growing district,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Fred Maiocco. “The election results will require district administration to work with the board of directors to consider other possible solutions for the facility challenges we are facing.”

If approved, the May 16 bond would have allowed the district to replace Rocky Heights and Highland Hills Elementary Schools at their current locations; build a new elementary school on district-owned property near Theater Lane; expand Hermiston High School; and address deferred maintenance, parking and ventilation systems at Sandstone Middle School.

The bond request was made following three years of intensive analysis and planning, involving a large number of staff and community members who served on the Facility Master Planning Committee, the Citizens Review Committee, and various subcommittees. The district offers heartfelt thanks to all those involved in bringing this important question before voters.

In 2008 voters approved a $69.9 million bond, which replaced Sunset and West Park Elementary Schools on their sites and replaced Armand Larive Middle School on district-owned property at SW 9th Street and Gettman Road.

By |05/17/2017 5:21:26|District News|0 Comments

Robert “Bob” G. Barton selected as 2017 HHS Distinguished Alumnus

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Fred Maiocco announced Robert “Bob” Barton as the 2017 Hermiston High School Distinguished Alumnus, during the HHS Evening of Excellence celebration on May 10.

Bob BartonRobert “Bob” G. Barton was born and raised in Hermiston. Most of his education was completed in Hermiston, but he also attended school in Milton-Freewater and Baker City. He graduated from Hermiston High School in 1979.

After high school he attended and graduated from Oregon Institute of Technology, in Klamath Falls, Oregon. He held jobs in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Seattle before settling and establishing his own company (Barton Laser Leveling, Inc.), in Hermiston, Oregon.

Since his high school years, Mr. Barton has been involved in Future Farmers of America (FFA) Organization. His continued passion and involvement for this organization has led him to be part of the Oregon FFA Foundation, National Council for Agriculture Education, National FFA Board of Directors, National & Oregon FFA Alumni, and Hermiston FFA Alumni of which he is a charter member. Barton currently serves as the North Eastern Oregon Home Builders Association (NEOHBA) president and is a member of the Oregon State Home Builders Association board of directors.

By |05/12/2017 2:22:37|District News|0 Comments

District warns parents about 13 Reasons Why

Hermiston School District warns parents about 13 Reasons Why, a novel by Jay Asher, that has been converted into a Netflix miniseries. The miniseries have raised concerns among school administrators, school counselors, mental health as well as suicide prevention experts. The series is about Hanna Baker, a 17-year-old who commits suicide and leaves behind recordings for 13 people to let them know how each played a part of her suicide.

The series also covers topics like bullying, rape, drunk driving, teens not speaking out against bad behavior/incidents.

The concern is that young people watching may have a hard time differentiating between a TV series drama and real life, or may not be in a good mental state. Parents are encouraged to have open and honest conversations with their children about the show as well as other topics that he/she might be wrestling with.

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) has five suggestions for families to help parents initiate a conversation with their child such as:

  1. Ask your child if they think any of their friends or classmates exhibit warning signs. Talk with them about how to seek help for their friend or classmate. Guide them on how to respond when they see or hear any of the warning signs.
  2. Listen to your children’s comments without judgment. Doing so requires that you fully concentrate, understand, respond, and then remember what is being said. Put your own agenda aside.

For the full list of suggestions visit NASP website at: http://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources/school-safety-and-crisis/preventing-youth-suicide/13-reasons-why-netflix-series-considerations-for-educators

The JED Foundation (jedfoundation.org) has suggestions for viewers and parents, such as:

  • Make a considered and thoughtful decision about whether or not you choose to watch the show. If you have experienced significant depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts or behaviors in the past, this show may be risky for you to watch.
  • Whether you choose to watch this show or not, we should all work to be caring of and vigilant about our family members, friends and ourselves. If you or someone you know is struggling emotionally or showing signs indicating a possible suicidal crisis get them (or yourself) to help. Support from trusted friends and family, and professional mental health care when it is needed, save lives every day.

For a complete list of the suggestions visit the JED Foundation’s website at https://www.jedfoundation.org/13-reasons-jed-point-view/

Additional resources to help you address this topic:

  • If you or someone you know needs emotional support, help is available 24/7 at :
    1-800-273-8255, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline;
    1-877-968-8491, the Oregon Youth Line

To report student safety concerns in an anonymous through Safe Oregon.


By |05/12/2017 10:50:33|District News|0 Comments

School nurses help improve health and learning

Hermiston School District would like to join the National Association of School Nurses in celebrating National School Nurse Day on this 10th of May. Today, more than 73,000 school nurses in the United States are being honored for making a difference in students’ lives.

The role of school nurses has become a critical component as their role helps promote a healthy and safe environment so that students can be ready to learn. On any given day school nurses may see children that are having issues with a food allergy, diabetes, bloody nose, breathing problems, scraped knees, etc.

HSD NursesSchool nurses also help implement and monitor healthcare plans for students that have an individualized plan, and serve as an important link to the school, families and other local health providers on behalf of the students.

“Our nurses do a wonderful job ensuring our children are safe and healthy. We are blessed to have caring, compassionate, collaborative, child-centered nurses,” said Executive Director- Special Programs Dr. John Mishra.

National School Nurse Day has been celebrated since 1972 to help foster a better understanding of the role of school nurses in the educational setting. The theme of this year’s celebration is Healthy Nurse. Healthy Students.

By |05/10/2017 9:35:05|District News|0 Comments

Teacher Appreciation Week – May 8-12

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Fred Maiocco will submit a proclamation to the Board of Education this evening, recognizing May 8-12 as Teacher Appreciation Week.

Superintendent’s Proclamation:
WHEREAS, teachers mold future citizens through guidance and education, and
WHEREAS, teachers encounter students of widely differing backgrounds; and
WHEREAS, our country’s future depends upon providing quality education to all students; and
WHEREAS, teachers spend countless hours preparing lessons, evaluating progress, counseling and coaching students and performing community service; and
WHEREAS, our community recognizes and supports its teachers in educating the children of this community.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Hermiston School District Board of Directors proclaims May 8-12, 2017, to be TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Hermiston School District Board of Directors strongly encourages all members of our community to join with it in personally expressing appreciation to our teachers for their dedication and devotion to their work.
Adopted this 8th of May, 2017.

“I invite you to take a moment this week to convey special thanks and appreciation to our teachers for all they do to invest in the lives of our students and families,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Fred Maiocco. “Each of us can look back in our lives to see the influence of teachers who shaped and molded us. Please take time to recognize their incredible work!”

There are approximately 314 licensed staff members in the Hermiston School District that serve students as a classroom teacher, specialist, instructional coach, or librarian.

By |05/08/2017 11:54:31|District News|0 Comments

“Meet and greet” session set for aspiring Desert View Elementary principal

Hermiston School District is offering a “meet and greet” event with the final candidates for Desert View Elementary principal’s position. The successful applicant will replace current principal, Michael Roberts, 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 Wednesday, May 10, at Desert View’s library from 2:45 to 4:15 p.m.

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 three finalists are:

Stefani Wyant
Mrs. Wyant obtained her preliminary administrator license from the University of Oregon in 2016; master of arts in teaching and learning with a focus in educational technology from Kaplan University in 2009; bachelor of science degree with a major in multidisciplinary studies from Eastern Oregon University in 2005.

Mrs. Wyant began her career as a third grade teacher at Rocky Heights Elementary from 2005-2013, was an instructional coach from 2013 to 2016, and is currently serving as the Assistant Principal at Armand Larive Middle School.

Laura Jacobsma-Odahl
Ms. Jacobsma-Odahl obtained her masters of education degree from the University of Oregon in 2003; a continuing teaching license/multiple subjects self-contained ECE, ELE in 2003; initial administrative license in 2015 and a bachelor of arts in liberal studies from Oregon State University in 1994.

Mrs. Jacobsma-Opdahl began her career as temporary teacher at Gilham Elementary from 2003-2005; 3rd-6th grade teacher at Oakridge Elementary from 2006-15, and is currently serving as an instructional coach at Oakridge Elementary.

Steve Tillery
Mr. Tillery obtained his continuing administrator license from George Fox University in 2011 and his initial administrators license in 2002; a master’s degree in education from Linfield College in 1996 and a bachelor of arts in elementary education in 1983.

Mr. Tillery began his career as a third grade teacher at Redwood Elementary in 1983; a fourth and second/third grade split teacher at Newby Elementary from 1984-1990; a seventh grade teacher at Carlton Elementary from 1990-1991; a fifth grade teacher at Memorial Elementary from 1991-98; adjunct professor at Linfield College from 1996-1998; a sixth grade teacher at Fred Patton Middle School and an adjunct professor at George Fox University from 1998-2001; a fourth and fifth grade teacher at Newby Elementary from 2001-2004; served as the assistant principal at Fred Patton Elementary from 2004-2008; as a principal at Independence Elementary from 2008-2015, and is currently serving as a director of clinical practice and licensure and professor at Western Oregon University.

By |05/04/2017 3:58:27|District News|0 Comments

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