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HHS students win 2016 Congressional App Challenge

Liebe, Cash, Hozi

Left to right: Jordan Liebe, Courtney Cash, Marvin Hozi

Three Hermiston High School students recently received notification from Congressman Greg Walden’s office that they were winners of the 2016 Congressional App Challenge for Oregon’s District 2. Computer science students Jordan Liebe, Courtney Cash, and Marvin Hozi developed a “Touch and Talk” Chrome App with the assistance of Robert Theriault, their computer science teacher, during an Intervention & Exploration period.

The need for the application arose from the Hermiston School District Special Programs Department, where staff were looking for ways to give non-verbal students a way to communicate.

The HHS students coded an application that allows students to “say” common phrases used at school such as answers (1-4, A-D, true/false) and other requests such as “may I have a pencil,” simply by clicking/touching a button. The team first built a web page, but there was a delay for each word as it was downloaded. The Chrome App does not have any delay. The student-created application can be used with the Makey Makey’s were recently purchased by the special education teachers, thanks to a grant received through the Hermiston Education Foundation (HEF).

Over the last four months, thousands of students coded original apps as part of a congressional district-wide competition, hosted by members of the House of Representatives. Over 2,150 students participated in the 15-week regional competition, and 650 original student-created apps were submitted from 123 Congressional Districts.

Liebe, Cash, and Hozi, as well as other Congressional App Challenge winners, have been invited to showcase their app to the members of Congress and members of the tech community at #HouseOfCode, a Washington, D.C., based reception in April 2017. The students’ work will be featured for one year on permanent display in the U.S. Capitol Building and on the website. Winning students will also be awarded a portion of $50,000 in credits, donated by Amazon web services.

To see a complete list of all the 2016 Congressional App Challenge winners, go to To see a video on how the Touch and Talk app works visit

By |12/19/2016 11:44:45|District News|0 Comments

School canceled – Friday, December 16, 2016

Classes for the Hermiston School District are canceled for Friday, December 16, 2016 due to road and weather conditions. Packed snow and ice on roadways and dropping temperatures create unsafe conditions for students waiting at bus stops and walking to and from school.

The Pathways to Scholarship Workshop scheduled for this Saturday at the high school is canceled.

Las clases para el Distrito Escolar de Hermiston se han cancelado para el viernes, 16 de diciembre del 2016 debido a las condiciones de las carreteras. Las carreteras cubiertas de nieve y hielo y las temperaturas que están bajando crean condiciones no muy seguras para nuestros estudiantes que tienen que esperar los autobuses o los que tienen que caminar hacia la escuela y de la escuela.

El taller “En Camino a las Becas” programado para este sábado, en la preparatoria se ha cancelado.

Por favor sepa que, si usa una aplicación para traducir este mensaje, le proveerá una traducción literal, y el mensaje puede ser malinterpretado.

By |12/15/2016 3:58:46|District News|0 Comments

School canceled – Thursday, December 15, 2016

Classes for the Hermiston School District are canceled for tomorrow, Thursday, December 15, due to inclement weather.

Please stay tuned to local media outlets, the district Facebook page, and the district’s web site for updates.


Las clases se han cancelado – jueves, 15 de diciembre del 2016
Las clases para el Distrito Escolar de Hermiston se han cancelado para mañana, jueves, 15 de diciembre, debido al mal clima.

Por favor sintonice los medios locales como radio y televisión y nuestra página en Facebook y el sitio del distrito para obtener los avisos más recientes.

By |12/14/2016 3:59:48|District News|0 Comments

District to make up snow day(s)

Hermiston students and staff will make up days at the end of the school year due to inclement weather. Last week’s snow day on Friday, December 9, resulted in a school cancellation. With a very tight calendar and no room for make up in the current schedule, students and staff will make up the days at the end of the school year.

The impact of this season’s cold weather will likely be felt most directly by Hermiston High School seniors, who will have their graduation day moved from June 3 to June 10. Due to the snow day, seniors would not meet the instructional hour minimum to qualify for graduation by June 3; thus, the 2017 graduation date will be June 10. The revised calendar incorporates a total of five days (highlighted in blue) for make-up, in the event inclement weather results in further delays. A copy of the revised calendar is included.

The following calendar changes take effect immediately:

  • June 8, 9, 12, 13, 14 are now designated as “Snow/Inclement Weather” make-up days (five student contact days for use in the event of inclement weather).
  • June 10 is now GRADUATION day (changed from June 3 and necessary for seniors to meet instructional hours).
  • June 14 is the last day for students.
  • June 15 is the last work day for staff.

The revised calendar allows for up to five days for inclement weather. The days are reserved for inclement weather and will only be used as needed.

“We understand that changing the graduation date and extending the school year is challenging for everyone involved,” said Superintendent Dr. Fred Maiocco. “However, we believe this decision is in the best interest of our entire community. We remain hopeful that with six months advance notification everyone will be able respond flexibly to this difficult situation.”

Oregon Department of Education takes a very strict view on how instructional hours are determined. Due to recent changes in Oregon Administrative Rules, there is no longer an allowance for inclement weather in meeting the minimum instructional hour requirements. The district’s previous calendar did not allow any room for make-up days; thus, the changes required to respond to recent weather related events.

Click here to see the revised 2016-17 school calendar.

By |12/14/2016 3:31:34|District News|0 Comments

HHS classes resume Monday, after incident

Hermiston High School experienced a water line break in its fire suppression system Thursday afternoon, causing administration to release high school students early. District staff quickly arrived on site to assess the situation and begin repairing the damage. As a result of the fast response, school is on track to reopen Monday, with only two classrooms inaccessible and requiring further drying time.

A damage assessment found that air froze in a 90-degree elbow of the main fire suppression line above the 1992 wing (math and science hall). A weak spot in the elbow burst, flooding water into the hallway and classrooms, leading to the decision to release students early from school on Thursday.

The affected area includes much of the wing, the kitchen, and the main commons. Damage was isolated to rugs and a few walls. No classroom technology appears to be affected at this time. The district’s on-site contractor, with support from district maintenance staff, contained much of the damage.

Electrical power should be restored to the wing this afternoon, and an insurance adjuster will be on site.

By |12/09/2016 3:12:05|District News|0 Comments

School canceled, December 9, 2016

Classes for the Hermiston School District are canceled for Friday, December 9, 2016, due to inclement weather. Saturday School is cancelled at Hermiston High School.

Athletic contests and activities that are scheduled for Saturday will remain scheduled at the discretion of the athletic department.

By |12/08/2016 7:59:10|District News|0 Comments

Newer schools prove big savings to district

The Hermiston School District recently did a cost analysis to evaluate energy efficiencies of our older schools in comparison to our new schools and other improvements that were made since 2011. The cost analysis revealed that while we added 27,000 square feet to our existing facilities, the total district wide utility savings over five years has been $846,075.39.

The total cost per square footage has been reduced by 20 percent. The cost savings puts the district in the top 20 percent of schools in cost per student and cost per square foot. The district’s goal is to move to the top 10 percent.

The savings are attributed to the following:

  • Three older schools were replaced: Armand Larive, Sunset and West Park
  • Dilapidated boilers were replaced which cut down on our heating expenses
  • Encelium lightning management system
  • Computer and communication management
  • Solar panels at ALMS

Three of our older schools were replaced; Armand Larive, Sunset and West Park. Old HVAC systems that could only be manually controlled were replaced with news systems that are web based and provide immediate access for system management.

The district has 544 devices which are monitored and controlled by the building management system controller hardware and programming. These devices range from terminal units or thermostats, to air handlers, fan coils, domestic hot water heaters, boilers and chillers, pumps and frequency drives.

The variable frequency drives allow motors responsible for moving air or liquids to run at varying speeds. In the last year, the Hermiston School District made approximately 500 individual HVAC programming modifications to accommodate events in the schools outside the normal occupied building schedule. This scheduling strikes a pleasant balance in being fiscally responsible while ensuring the comfort of our staff, students and patrons.

The Encelium lighting management system is a flexible and cost effective way to manage a lighting space. It is one of the only lighting systems that can gather data from a range of lighting components to tailor lighting usage with the changing requirements of the building. The Encelium system allows the district to maintain optimum lighting, use occupancy sensors, harvest natural light, and reduce lighting during non-use hours.

The computer and communication management system allowed the district to increase the amount of cameras and access control systems to improve safety and security in our schools, increased the amount of mobile devices, improved classroom technology, and centralized district technology.

The district will continue to evaluate all programs to further maximize energy efficiencies; lower operating costs means more money that can be redirected into the classroom.

By |12/07/2016 12:02:34|District News|0 Comments

ALMS student elected to serve on Student Council Executive Board

Courtnee WestCourtnee West, and eighth grader at Armand Larive Middle School, has been selected to serve one year on the Executive Board of the Oregon Association of Student Councils (OASC). The elections took place in Seaside, at the Oregon Association of Student Councils Annual Fall Conference.

Ms. West will join ten other youth and ten adult board members from the state, where she will help represent her region as well as all middle schools.

Her duties will include planning and presiding over two statewide conferences, communicating with the schools in her region, writing newsletter articles and participating in policy decisions for the association.

“This will be a great opportunity for Courtnee, and we are all very proud of her selection. She will be a great representative of not only our school and our community, but what student leadership is all about,” said Armand Larive’s Leadership Advisor, Cathy Kay.

The Oregon Association of Student Councils is a non-profit member association, founded in 1949, that serves middle and high schools throughout the state. The organization provides leadership development to students and advisors. The association is sponsored by the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA) and is recognized by the National Association of Student Councils (NASC). In the last year OASC also added international service experiences and a Capitol Ambassador program. Their mission statement is the driving factor for what they do: “Committed to leadership development with a vision for service, involvement and action.”

By |11/30/2016 11:39:51|District News|0 Comments

Nominations open for 3rd annual Distinguished Alumnus award

Hermiston School District is announcing that nominations are open for the 3rd annual Distinguished Alumnus award. The award is given annually to recognize deserving Hermiston High School graduates who are leaders within their respective field of expertise and within their community.

Aspiring candidates need to meet the following requirements:

  • Must be a graduate of Hermiston High School, having attended Hermiston High School for at least two consecutive years prior to graduation;
  • Leader in his or her chosen field/profession, with a proven record of achievement and at least 15 years verifiable and successful professional experience;
  • Strong supporter and contributor to community service;
  • Willing to serve as a role model for youth;
  • Model citizen with a clean background free of criminal convictions; and,
  • Supported by strong references and/or endorsements.

The 2017 Distinguished Alumnus will be revealed as part of Hermiston High School’s Evening of Excellence on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, and will be a featured speaker at the HHS commencement ceremony on Saturday, June 3, 2017. The Alumnus will also serve as a guest speaker and featured role model throughout the 2017-2018 school year.

16-DAKeownAlan Keown, a 1975 HHS graduate, was the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus. Mr. Keown has been a percussion teacher and arranger in the Pacific Northwest since 1980. He spent many of those years as a drum set and orchestral performer as well as marching percussion specialist at the University of Oregon, Oregon State University and various high school programs. He has been involved with Ted Turner’s Goodwill Games Ceremonies as well as the competitive tour sponsored by Drum Corps International, and is very active in the winter drumline activity. Mr. Keown publishes marching band music with Matrix Publishing Company, concert percussion literature with Alfred Publishing and Tapspace Publications and indoor drumline shows with Marching Show Concepts.

Applications will be available at Hermiston High School, the school district office, or by clicking here. Please forward completed nominations to Hermiston High School Assistant Principal Scott Depew, via email.

By |11/23/2016 12:00:06|District Awards, District News, Uncategorized|0 Comments

District saddened by student’s death

The Hermiston School District learned of the tragic death of Cesar Roque, a sophomore at Hermiston High School. The death appears to have resulted from an alcohol overdose.

The school district will provide support for staff and students during this difficult time, today, Monday, November 21, at Hermiston High School and Armand Larive Middle School.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by this tragedy.

By |11/21/2016 5:16:17|District News|0 Comments