Vernonia's voice. (Vernonia, OR) 2007-current, December 01, 2007, Page 14, Image 14

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VHS Welcomes Foreign Exchange
Students, Hee-Yeon and Marvin
By Billi Avila
This year at VHS we have foreign exchange students
from all over the world. Hee-Yeon Shin and Marvin
Rosado are two of them. Hee-Yeon got here the begin-
ning of the second semester last year and will be going
home at the semester break this year. Marvin got here at
the beginning of this school year and will be returning
home at the beginning of summer.
Hee-Yeon is a 16 year old girl from Seoul, South Korea.
During an interview with her she told us some things
about her experience here and how, although she will
miss America, she is anxious to get home and see her
friends and family. Hee-Yeon told us that it was a long
process to be elected to come here. First, she had to
take a test called S.L.A.P, and then she had to fill out an
application and wait for approval. “The flight over here
was 17 hours.” Hee-Yeon said. That’s a long time to be
on a plane. When she got here and met her host parents,
she thought they were really nice people. “I miss my
family and I’m excited to see them again, but I’m going
to miss my host family and the friends that I’ve made
while I’ve been here,” said Hee-Yeon.
We asked her if she liked American food, and she said
yes. Her favorite is elk steak. She was a little surprised
when she got here and found out that we eat turkey,
because in Korea they keep turkeys in the zoo, but she
tried it, and she likes it. In school she is involved in
sports; she played volleyball and is currently playing
Basketball. Hee-Yeon really likes the school here in
Vernonia, but it’s a lot different from where she used to
At the November 8, 2008 school board meeting, Angie
Rhodes tendered her resignation as a board member. The
board will be seeking a replacement and thanked Angie for
her time of service.
The District received funding from the Columbia County
Commission on Children and Families to implement the
after-school homework program called Homework Club
or Twilight School. The board unanimously accepted the
request for materials to be declared as surplus. They also
unanimously voted to establish an increase in the Title I
fund in the amount of $4000 received from an unanticipat-
ed restricted grant from K-3 Statewide Literacy Outreach
and they approved a request from Band Director, Mr. Izzett,
to attend the Western International Band Clinic in Seattle on
November 17-19.
The Leadership class at VMS sponsored a “penny drive”
to raise money for Vinh Long, a village in Vietnam that
suffered greatly from a bridge collapse; the students raised
$105. VHS seniors and parents had a meeting regarding the
Senior Trip. The students’ first fundraising effort was a suc-
cess, collecting aproximately $600 in cans to be recycled.
All interested students and parents were able to meet the
deposit requirements and secure their trip. Letters went
out to parents informing them of an abstinence based sex
education class as required by State guidelines that will be
presented to students grades 6-12. If any parent would like
their student to be excluded from this class they will have to
request it in writing. Also, parents are encouraged to contact
the school with any questions or concerns.
VHS is very fortunate to have these exchange students.
We can learn a lot from them, and they can learn a lot
from us. It’s neat to see all of the different cultures and
to see that some of the things that are a part of our ev-
eryday life these students find strange. We hope that
Marvin and Hee-Yeon enjoy their experience here in
America and want to come back to visit some day.
Superintendent Ken Cox presented a piece of water pipe to
the board that was corroded with rust and informed board
members this is a representation of the entire water piping
system at WGS. The sprinkler system upgrades have been
completed and the ban on the WGS basement has been
lifted; however; the State Fire Marshall has indicated he
believes the building to be structurally unsafe. The base-
ment will only be used for wrestling practice for the rest
of this year. The leaking roof at WGS is not in the same
location currently under warranty and Dr. Cox will work on
getting estimates for the necessary repairs. The board was
informed that they and the city building official would have
to request the assistance of the State Building Inspector and
the board requested Dr. Cox to find out if there would be a
cost involved to have the State Building Inspector come to
inspect WGS.
The Policy Review committee has changed the Employer
and Employee Responsibility regarding Drugs and Alcohol
to include use of drugs and alcohol away from the work-
place by employees. Board member Ernie Smith suggested
more specifics for procedures of suspected use. There is
also concern from Columbia County District Attorney of
off premise use and the district would have to show a clear
connection between off premise behavior and job perfor-
mance. The first reading of the new policy will be read at
the next board meeting which will be held at 6 p.m. on De-
cember 06, 2007 at the district office.
December Events and Reminders…
By Katy Stevens
The middle school recently fin-
go to school. The school days for high school students ished their competitive penny
in Korea are from 8am to 10pm, 6 days a week! Hee- drive; each class participated
Yeon’s time in America is almost up, but she said after in the intense rat race for
she goes home, she would like to came back and visit pennies in the Penny Wars!
The object of the penny drive was to gather as
many pennies as possible, raising money for
Marvin Rosado is a 16 year old boy from Carmen City, an unfortunate village in Vietnam. Each penny
Mexico. He, as well as Hee-Yeon, had to go through equals one point, but the classes had to avoid
the long process of being elected to come to America.
any other form of currency; as they counted as
He said that the hardest part of getting over here was
negative penny points. If another class decided
learning the language. He likes his host family and Ver-
nonia, but he misses his friends and family in Mexico to put a quarter in an opponent’s jar, the re-
a lot. Marvin is still adjusting to American customs cipient of the quarter received negative twenty
and said that they are a lot different from Mexico, but five pennies. They could win this back by add-
he will get used to it. He likes going to VHS; he was ing pennies to the class jar. The winners of the
in Cross-Country, is currently playing basketball, and Penny War were the eighth graders! The entire
will possibly be playing soccer later on in the school middle school raised $105.00! All the proceeds
year. We also asked him what his favorite American go to a village in Vietnam, where a bridge col-
food was, and he said that it’s a double cheeseburger lapsed, killing and injuring many. Mrs. Rogers
although his favorite place to eat is Taco Bell. He is and her leadership class decided to use the pen-
excited to go home to his family when the school year
ny wars idea, which the high school had used
ends, but he will miss his host family and America in
the year before to raise money for leukemia pa-
tients. Way to go VMS!
School Board Meeting Notes
Staff Article
The Penny Wars
Santa and the Lighted Log Truck Parade: December 1, 2007 at 5 pm
Boosters Holiday Bazaar: December 1, 10am-5 pm and December 2, 12-5 pm
VMS/VHS Band and Choir Concert: Tuesday, December 18
VHS Senior College Financial Aid Meeting: Wednesday, December 19
WGS Holiday Program: Thursday, December 20 at 7 pm
Christmas Break begins December 24th – January 4th
The middle school isn’t the only one rais-
ing money for a community. Sure, the high
school’s canned food drive isn’t as global as
raising money for Vietnam, but local communi-
ties matter, too! The food drive is also a class
competition, and instead of counting each can
for points to a class, leadership is now count-
ing by the pound! Top Ramen doesn’t weight
too much, now does it? The class who raises
the heaviest amount of canned food is the win-
ner of extra time for lunch, ranging from five
to fifteen minutes. Not only that, if the school
can raise a one ton of food, then entire school
gets twenty extra minutes for lunch… all week!
Talk about motivation!
Healthy Kids
Learn Better
By Aaron Miller, WGS Principal
Studies show that healthy kids learn better.
Through grants from the Healthy Kids Learn
Better Foundation, the Vernonia School District
has begun to implement a district-wide health
and wellness committee called the Vernonia
Student Health Advisory Committee (VSHAC).
The two $15,000 grants were awarded to Wash-
ington Grade School and Vernonia High School
for the purposes of addressing issues including
nutrition, fitness, asthma, mental health, and
tobacco prevention.
The VSHAC is comprised of teachers, ad-
ministrators, counselors, students, health care
professionals, and local community members.
Their goal is to develop and implement policies
and procedures promoting healthy student and
staff lifestyle choices that will impact academ-
ic achievement for the patrons of the Vernonia
School District.
Any input or comments regarding the imple-
mentation and focus for this committee would
be greatly appreciated and can be delivered to
the Vernonia School District Office, Vernon-
ia High School or Washington Grade School.
Questions can also be directed to George
Spaulding, WGS PE teacher and grant coordi-
nator at 503-429-7941.