14 december vernonia’s voice schools 2007 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! someday. 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- general. 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.