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Larry Usher selected as 2017-18 Administrator of the Year

On January 3, during a high school assembly, Interim Superintendent Tricia Mooney announced that Hermiston School District Athletic Director Larry Usher was selected as the 2017-18 Administrator of the Year.

Mr. Usher has been a catalyst for improving school culture by increasing student attendance at athletic events, starting the student tailgate parties, introducing an improved mascot, placing emphasis on our school brand, and using social media in a positive way to promote events. His tireless efforts to move HSD to the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) demonstrated his commitment to doing the best for student-athletes and pursuing the district goal of striving to be premier.

He has built trust with AAU coaches, stakeholders from the Booster Club, Linebackers Club, and Music Boosters, which has helped create opportunities for all students. He is often the organizer and facilitator for tournaments, college use, and community activities that have a positive economic impact on our community.

Mr. Usher was hired into the Hermiston School District in 2002 as a high school social studies teacher. In 2010 Usher assumed the dean of students’ position at Sandstone Middle School. In July 2013 was promoted to assistant principal and in July 2014 became principal. In 2016 he was hired as the athletic director.

By |01/03/2018 3:16:08|District News|0 Comments

Additional parking at HHS accommodates growth

Hermiston High School is opening a new parking lot on January 2, 2018, via Orchard Avenue. The north parking lot was created to assist with traffic congestion and provide additional student parking.

Students will be able to access the building through the doors by the weight room, and will follow the same open/lock schedule as the purple gym doors.

All buses will continue to enter the school via the northern First Street entrance and exit out of the southern First Street driveway. Parents may continue to drop off students via the Highland Avenue entrance and either drop students off in front of the school (exiting out the southern First St. exit) or on the southern side of the high school along Highland Avenue (exiting out the western Highland Avenue exit).

“Parking has been an ongoing issue at the high school, and is our hope this parking addition will alleviate many of these issues,” said Director of Operations Brad Wayland.

On January 2, ASB students will greet the first 200 students that enter the school using the new parking lot with hot chocolate.

By |12/12/2017 5:50:22|District News|0 Comments

ALMS robotics students to compete in FIRST® LEGO® League tournament

Three Armand Larive Middle School robotics teams are scheduled to compete in the Intel Oregon FIRST® (For Inspiration & Recognition of Science & Technology) LEGO® League 2017 Qualifying Tournament on Sunday, December 10, at The Dalles Middle School. The students will be led by Mr. Ben DeCarlow, science teacher and robotics advisor.

The competition has different age brackets: grades K-4, grades 4-8, grades 7-12 and grades 9-12. Armand Larive students will participate in the grades 4-8 age bracket, in which elementary and middle school-aged students research a real-world engineering challenge such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc., and are charged to develop a solution. This year’s challenge is HYDRO DYNAMICSSM.

The three ALMS teams are composed of 4-10 students. Each team will need to design, build, and program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS®, then compete on a tabletop playing field. If Armand’s robotics teams are successful in the competition, the teams will be able to attend the state championships in January.

“I am very proud of what all three teams have accomplished,” said Mr. DeCarlow. “It has been really fun to see each team as they have grown and developed over the course of the year. I am ready for our first competition of this year; so I can see all of the hard work and effort put in by all of my students pay off.”

The teams will be guided by the following fundamental FIRST® LEGO® core values:

  • Participants are a team.
  • The work is done to find solutions with guidance from coaches and mentors.
  • The coaches and mentors do not have all the answers; all learn together.
  • The spirit of friendly competition is honored.
  • The importance lies on what is discovered not so much on what is won.
  • The experience is shared with others.
  • Gracious Professionalism® and Cooperation® is displayed on everything done.

The Armand robotics program is set up as a class and club. The students are required to take the class, and they have the opportunity to meet after school as part of the Robotics Club. Last year, the robotics program started out with talented and gifted students from both Sandstone and Armand Larive. This year, the club is only offered at Armand Larive for all students that want to participate.

To learn more about the FIRST® LEGO® League tournament visit

By |12/06/2017 1:23:46|District News|0 Comments

HHS to host Knowledge Bowl Club tournament

Hermiston High School will host a Knowledge Bowl Club tournament today, Wednesday, November 29, from 4:00-7:30 p.m., in the Commons. Nearly sixty-five students representing five high schools from Echo, Stanfield, Helix, Umatilla and Connell, Washington will participate in the competition. The event is a fast-paced question-and-answer tournament that will test the students’ knowledge in a variety of topics including science, literature, history, geography, current events, math, music, and religion.

There will be three oral rounds of fifty questions followed by a championship round featuring the top three teams with the highest cumulative points.  The team with the most questions answered correctly during the championship round will win the honor.

John Lauck and Maggie Hughes-Boyd, co-advisors of the 16-member Hermiston club will be directing the event. Two school board members will be serving as volunteers; Karen Sherman will be a reader, and Dave Smith will be a timer.

“The students have been looking forward to the competition and it’s quite an honor for us to be hosting the event,” said John Lauck. “We have students who are very enthusiastic and will be representing every grade level. We encourage folks to come out and support our team.”

By |11/29/2017 10:34:39|District News|0 Comments

Community invited to celebrate football championship

Hermiston High School’s football team earned the title of OSAA 5A Football State Champion for the second time this past Saturday with its 38-35 victory over Churchill in Hillsboro Stadium.

To celebrate the football team’s accomplishment, Hermiston High School has scheduled a celebration this Thursday, at 7:15 p.m. in the high school’s main gymnasium, and the public is encouraged to attend.

The community members can expect to:

  • Meet the team and coaching staff;
  • Take photos with the team;
  • Get autographs;
  • Watch a video of the season’s highlights.

“We had an incredible season, and I am proud of this incredible accomplishment,” said Football Head Coach David Faaeteete. “These young men put a ton of work and time into the season and it paid off. This was the best way to end our farewell tour with OSAA. This win is not only ours; the coaching staff, parents, student body, high school staff and community members were very supportive of the team, and we could not have finished our season this way without their help. Thank you!”

Light refreshments will be provided at the end of the celebration.

By |11/28/2017 10:54:10|District News|0 Comments

Hermiston High School FFA students place at the State competition

On Saturday, November 18, Hermiston High School FFA hosted state-level contests for the Veterinary Science and Agriculture Sales Career Development Events (CDEs). Twenty-one schools, including 36 A & B teams, competed in veterinary science and 20 schools participated in agriculture sales.

Eighty-three Oregon FFA members competed in the Agriculture Sales CDE. Out of the 20 teams, Hermiston placed 8th. Team members were Deven Hofbauer, Jenna Wallace, Blake Betz, and Joseph Knight. Individually, out of the 83 kids, Jenna Wallace placed 4th overall.

One hundred sixty-nine Oregon FFA members competed in the Veterinary Science CDE. Out of 21 A teams, Hermiston placed 1st. The team consisted of Dylan Westfall, Kennidy Baker, Jenna Wallace, Isel Tejeda Urenda, and Adrian Stewart. Of the 169 individual competitors, Dylan Westfall placed 1st overall, Kennidy Baker placed 6th, and Jenna Wallace was 8th. The Veterinary Science CDE students will now move on to the National CDE in October 2018.

Over 35 community members assisted with the event, including staff from three different local veterinarian offices and six district staff members. Volunteers donated eight hours of their Saturday supporting the event. One staff member graded more than 150 essays in the scenario portion of the Vet Science contest. FFA alumni were active in the event serving breakfast and lunch to judges, advisors and students.

“The veterinary science team spent countless nights and endless hours at the school for the last two months preparing for the contest,” said Leah Smith, agriculture sciences teacher and FFA advisor. “I am so proud of them and their accomplishments.”

By |11/21/2017 5:08:05|District News|0 Comments

Send-off rally planned for HHS football team

Hermiston School District is proud of the football team’s advancement to the 2017 OSAA Football Championship final game, scheduled to take place at the Hillsboro Stadium, in Hillsboro, on Saturday, November 25. Hermiston will face Churchill at 6 p.m.

To celebrate the accomplishment, Hermiston High School has scheduled a send-off rally and the Hermiston Community is invited to attend. It will take place this Saturday, 8:30 a.m. at Kennison Stadium.

The schedule of events is as follows:
8:30 a.m. —free donuts, coffee and hot chocolate available
8:45 a.m.—spirit line forms
9:00 a.m.—team send off

The bulldog apparel store will be open on Friday, November 24th, from 4-6 p.m. at Kennison Stadium for those interested in purchasing bulldog gear prior to the game on Saturday.
The district would especially like to thank the Hermiston Police and Fire Departments and Hermiston Safeway for their contribution to this rally.

By |11/20/2017 3:35:14|District News|0 Comments

Hermiston Booster Club launches online apparel site

Hermiston Booster Club in partnership with Hermiston High School’s life skills class launches an online apparel site. The students in the life skills class will package and ship all online purchases.

“The Booster Club had the great idea of creating an online store, and the District assisted to make the idea a reality,” said the Director of Special Programs BJ Wilson. “The District was excited to provide an opportunity for students to learn job skills and a venue for students to have interaction with community members. This was a perfect arrangement that met the needs for both.”

The Booster Club’s mission is to enhance the experience of the Hermiston High School student athletes. It looks to provide program support, equipment, travel, supplies, and facility improvements over and above the Hermiston High School athletic budget.

The Booster Club’s clothing and athletic gear income helps fund their Adopt a Dawg program, which provides financial assistance for low-income, student-athletes with out-of-pocket costs. “This program has allowed us to keep more athletes continue participating in sports without worrying how to come up with the required out of pocket costs. In the past we have provided assistance such as shoes, baseball/softball gloves, lacrosse gear, mandatory insurance, and other expenses the athletes must pay to play these sports,” said Booster Club’s treasurer Paul Barnett.

To place an order visit, or e-mail A $14.99 flat rate shipping fee is applied to every order. Items ship within seven days to addresses in the United States only, no returns are allowed.

Booster Club members pictured above:
Back row: Blaine Hendrickson, Dr. Dave Rademacher, Dave Smith, Paul Barnett, Stacy Hunter, Kevin Fisher, Tiah Devin
Front row: Jared Lathrop, Lizzy Arnold, Karen Walchli, Jake Malmberg
Not pictured: Tyler Hansell
Photo contributed by HHS Yearbook Staff

By |11/13/2017 2:19:13|District News|0 Comments

Sandstone students to perform Alice @ Wonderland

Sandstone Middle School students are scheduled to perform “Alice @ Wonderland” on November 16 and 17, at 7 p.m., in the Sandstone Commons. Performances are open to the community. Tickets are$3.

A stage crew created the backdrops and props. The high school donated most of the costumes. All food props for the show were created by Miss Walchli’s life skills class.

“The audience will be surprised by the amount of hard work students have put forth over the quarter to grow as performers, especially the students who are returning from the musical last year,” said Chelsea Geer, language arts teacher.

The performance was made possible by the proceeds and generous donations that were obtained from audience members who attended “The Little Mermaid Jr.” last spring.

By |11/08/2017 3:39:17|District News|0 Comments

District to test CrisisManager application

The Hermiston School District will test the CrisisManager application on Thursday, November 9, at 6 p.m.

The CrisisManager application is another means that the district will utilize to share inclement weather or other related information with staff, parents and students in a quick manner. CrisisManager is a free application available for Android and iOS devices.

The application on personal devices is voluntary. For instructions on how to download the application, go to CrisisManager. Once the application is downloaded, check the cell phone or device settings, select the CrisisManager app and ensure notifications are enabled for the application.

Parents may also receive school closure/delay or other emergency related information via:

  • District website will display a banner identifying the closure or delay information for the day, prior to 6 a.m. In the absence of a banner, during inclement weather, the district will run on time without delay.
  • District Facebook and Twitter will show a post informing parents of the closure or delay information for the day, prior to 6 a.m.
  • SchoolMessenger, an automated system the district uses to inform students and families of school closures, delays and other emergency related information.
  • District phone message, callers may retrieve school closure and delay information by dialing into the district’s automated voice system at 541-667-6000. Pressing “1” will open the English menu, and selecting “1” again will direct callers to school closure, delay, and emergency information. To hear the information in Spanish, callers should press “2” for Spanish and then “1” for the information.
  • Our local newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations from surrounding areas will also have the district information.
By |11/07/2017 10:49:42|District News|0 Comments