Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About Polk County itemizer observer. (Dallas, Or) 1992-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 25, 2015)
18A Polk County Itemizer-Observer • February 25, 2015
Polk County Schools/Education
Superintendent interviews continue
The third act of “Our
Town,” which portrays
life and love in small
town Grover’s Cor-
ners, N.H., takes on a
more somber and re-
flective tone. Here,
Emily Johnson seated
in the front row sec-
ond from left, and
Doc Gibbs (Luke Dis-
ney) take part in a
scene near the end of
the play. “Our Town “
will be in production
Saturday at Bollman
Auditorium at Dallas
High School. Shows
are at 7 p.m.
DALLAS — The Dallas School Board is conducting its initial
interviews with superintendent candidates, but the community
will soon be able to get to know who the finalists are.
The board is scheduled to complete interviews with up to 10
candidates this week, followed by selection of the finalists and
a public announcement.
The district anticipates bringing its finalists to Dallas on March
5 and March 6 to meet with staff, students and community
members. Second interviews also will be conducted at that time.
On Feb. 16, a 27-member screening committee helped the
board narrow down the applicant pool of 18 to those undergo-
ing initial interviews. Several screeners will observe the inter-
views and provide feedback; interviews are closed to the public.
‘Distinguished Educator’ selected
JOLENE GUZMAN/ Itemizer-Observer
Dallas comes to ‘Our Town’
DHS winter play production includes a little hometown touch
By Jolene Guzman
DALLAS — Even a simple
life is worth living to the
fullest, “every minute.”
That is the lesson embed-
ded in Thornton Wilder’s
“Our Town,” which comes to
the Bollman Auditorium
stage Thursday through Sat-
urday at Dallas High School.
Life in Grover’s Corners,
N.H., circa 1901, is nothing if
not simple. Act 1 opens on a
morning scene that could
have taken place in any small
town: milk and newspaper
deliveries and children get-
ting ready for school.
For Dallas High’s produc-
tion, the stage is outlined in
a grid of Dallas streets, com-
plete with the Polk County
Courthouse in the center.
“We had to put some of
our town in ‘Our Town,’” said
senior Kristen Crichlow, who
plays Mrs. Gibbs. “I think
(Grover’s Corners) is what
Dallas would have been at
It’s the barebones nature
of the play that appealed to
director Aaron Fawcett. Not
Mrs. Webb (Selena Harris) and Emily Webb (Emily John-
son) talk in a scene from Act 3 of “Our Town.” Written with
little scenary and no props, the actors had to pantomime.
only is “Our Town” set in a
simple town, but it uses
minimal scenery and props.
“It’s just one of my favorite
plays,” he said.
Fawcett said the lack of a
set and props allows the cast
to focus more on their char-
acters and how to portray
“I like the simplicity,” he
said. “Sometimes we get lost
in the spectacle of things.”
Not that simplicity is not
without its challenges.
Selena Harris, a senior
who plays Mrs. Webb, said
making gestures seem realis-
tic without the benefit of
props takes time to master.
“I learned a lot about pan-
tomime because it’s a mini-
malist show,” she said.
That sets the stage nicely
for Wilder’s version of a clas-
sic romantic story between
main characters Emily Webb
and George Gibbs.
Stage manager — in “Our
Town,” the stage manager is
a character, an all-knowing
narrator, not a technical role
— Abby Garber said the play
in the second act centers on
“They’ve been childhood
friends for quite a while,” she
said. “They’ve always no-
ticed each other, but they are
starting to think seriously
about … .”
“If they like each other
more than just friends,”
chimed in senior Joe Buhler,
who plays George Gibbs.
The love story turns into
marriage and children sur-
rounded by the charming
characters in Grover’s Cor-
See “OUR TOWN,” Page 14A
DALLAS — Kari Witt, a kindergarten
teacher at Lyle Elementary School in Dallas,
was presented the Dallas Distinguished Edu-
cator Award for February on Friday.
Amy Lieuallen, a parent of one of Witt’s
students, nominated her.
“I am impressed by the amount of learn-
ing she can squeeze into a two-and-a-half
hour day,” Lieuallen said, noting: “She pro-
vides a fun learning environment for her
class and is extremely caring.”
Witt’s students added: “She teaches us to be respectful, re-
sponsible, and to make good choices.”
The Distinguished Educator Program recognizes “excellence
in teaching and learning” in Dallas School District schools.
Central High to host annual Cabaret
INDEPENDENCE — Central High School’s choir department
is presenting its annual Cabaret on Friday and Saturday at 7
p.m. at the school’s auditorium and cafeteria.
This year’s theme is “Back to the Future,” an evolution of
music. The show will feature tunes from the 1950s through ’80s
and beyond. The Cabaret is filled with choral music as well as
solos and small groups.
“It truly is a fun evening of fun music,” said CHS choir director
Jeff Witt. “It is one of our major fundraisers for the choral de-
partment each year.”
Admission is $7 for high school students and younger; $10
for adults or $80 for a table of eight, including premium seating
and personal service. Tickets include the show and dessert.
For more information: 503-838-0480; www.chsperformin-
Teachers receive foundation grants
MONMOUTH — The Maps Credit Union Community Founda-
tion has awarded education mini-grants to three teachers in
the Central School District.
Teachers applied for funding through a competitive process,
and priority was given to projects that promote financial edu-
cation and college preparedness. Receiving grant awards were:
• Hope Mwaniki, Ash Creek Elementary, Monmouth — $250
for the take-home library. Funds will be used to purchase a va-
riety of leveled reading books so that students can take a book
home and read 20 minutes per day.
• Jessie Padilla, Ash Creek Elementary, Monmouth — $250 for
wiggle seats. Funds will be used to purchase wiggle seats so
that students can move and wiggle, resulting in increased focus
• Martina Rincon Ochoa, Monmouth Elementary —$249 for
mini iPad purchase. Funds will be used to purchase a mini iPad
that will used to download Raz-kids reading program and IXL