Hermiston herald. (Hermiston, Or.) 1994-current, July 08, 2015, Image 3

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    WEDNESDAY, JULY 8, 2015
Ag teacher earns top state award
FFA co-advisor also honored with scholarship to attend fall conference
Hermiston High School
is one of a few in the state
that offers an AgriScience
program, and one of its
teachers recently received
the state’s top honor.
Leah Smith said she was
surprised to be named the
AgriScience Teacher of the
Year at the Oregon Voca-
tional Agriculture Teachers
Association conference re-
cently in Dayton, Oregon.
“They start to read the
biography (of the winner),
and you start to think, ‘Hey,
that sounds a lot like my
program,’” she said. “It’s
very exciting as you’re sit-
ting there because you don’t
know that that’s coming. It’s
very rewarding to have that
recognition especially in
front of your peers.”
Smith said about 100 of
the roughly 120 ag teach-
ers in Oregon attended the
annual conference, but few
of those possess the creden-
tials to teach AgriScience.
To qualify, ag teachers must
also be endorsed as science
teachers through the state,
and Smith said Hermiston is
offer the dual program.
For students interested in
agriculture, the AgriScience
program offers an ag elec-
tive credit along with a core
science credit, Smith said.
The roughly 200 freshmen
and sophomores who choose
AgriScience rotate through a
year of ag biology and a year
of physical science applica-
tions in agriculture instead of
typical biology and physical
science classes, she said.
“We work with the oth-
er science teachers to make
sure we’re teaching the same
concepts at the same time of
the year, but if we’re talking
about thermodynamics or
the laws of gravity, we’ll
talk more about engines.
We’ll talk about tractors and
some of the new technology
in farming. So it’s the same
concepts, but it’s totally ag
applied,” she
said. “It’s just a
different way to
present it to the
Smith said
focus less on
traditional tech-
niques, such as
taking notes,
and more on
and lab-based
“outside of the
box” methods.
She said the
approach has been effective,
with AgriScience students
posting some of the highest
science scores on the Ore-
gon Assessment of Knowl-
edge and Skills.
“In my opinion, applica-
tion teaching is the way to
go,” she said. “If you can
teach kinetic and potential
energy through the idea of
how it affects how much
fuel you have to use driv-
ing equipment, doesn’t that
teach the concept 10 times
From left, Hermiston High School AgriScience students Tanna Osmin, Emily Ponton and Lillie
Wheeler work on a dissection lab last year. Their teacher Leah Smith was recently named the
Oregon Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association AgriScience Teacher of the Year.
better? It gives them some-
thing to connect it to, and
if kids can connect their
learning to something that
is real world, then they will
remember it.”
Smith also received the
Teacher Mentor Award at
the conference after be-
ing nominated by her HHS
AgriScience teaching part-
ner and FFA co-advisor Al-
yssa Davies, who recently
teacher. Davies was honored
with the Teacher Turn the
Key award for teachers in
included a scholarship to at-
tend another conference this
fall in New Orleans.
Extreme heat buckles sidewalks
Arc member Jillian Smalley, left, and event chair Debbie
Herrera, right, Sose with rafÁ e winner %etty Lewter, center,
who won a fundraising rafÁ e and will get a oneweek stay in
a timeshare in McCall, Idaho, for her donation to The Arc of
Umatilla County.
Supporter of The Arc of
Umatilla County gets
one week stay in Idaho,
organization gets donations
The Arc of Umatilla
County has announced
that Betty Lewter, who
works at Health Options,
is the winner of a week-
end in McCall, as part of
a raffle held to support
the organization.
Local resident Joe Far-
retta donated a week in his
McCall, Idaho, timeshare
as a fundraiser for The Arc
of Umatilla County.
The organization is
trying to raise money for
a new boiler and to sup-
port other programs.
The Arc supports indi-
viduals with intellectual
and developmental dis-
abilities in the local com-
The drawing, which
was held July 1, raised
$675 for the organization.
Event chair Debbie
Herrera informed Betty
Lewter that she had the
winning ticket.
“It couldn’t have hap-
pened to a better person!
Betty has been such a
great supporter of The
Arc,” Herrera said. “She
collects raffle prizes for
the Epilepsy Walk each
June and is constantly
purchasing raffle tickets
and attending fundraising
dinners at The Arc.”
Blame it on the heat.
Prolonged triple-digit
temperatures are taking
a toll on sidewalks, with
concrete buckling in the
It happened to Vicki
Veliz in Hermiston. She
thought the sidewalk in
front of her home looked
strange when she went to
check the mail last Friday
but convinced herself she
was seeing things.
The next day, however,
two squares of sidewalk
had raised themselves
into an upside-down V.
Veliz posted a picture
on Facebook asking what
might have caused it and
got 89 responses ranging
from the serious (earth-
quakes and sink holes)
to the humorous (“And
I thought I had a gopher
Some suggested she
call the city, but when
she did she found out city
code states that adjacent
property owners are re-
sponsible for maintaining
“I found out I had to
take care of it and I didn’t
know it was my responsi-
bility,” she said.
Street Superintendent
Ron Sivey did come and
look at it for her, howev-
er, and offered a few do-
it-yourself strategies to try
cooling down and shrink-
ing the concrete so it
could be pushed back into
place when the heat wave
Hot weather caused Vicky Veliz’s sidewalk to buckle outside her Hermiston home.
breaks. He also lent Veliz
a couple of orange cones
to warn pedestrians of the
ridge in the sidewalk.
Her next door neigh-
bor’s sidewalk has the
same problem.
The phenomenon is
called thermal expansion,
which happens when
concrete expands in hot
weather. Sidewalks are
supposed to have “expan-
sion joints” that create a
gap to account for the ex-
pansion, but sometimes
they can get overwhelmed
in a prolonged heat wave.
Assistant City Manag-
er Mark Morgan said he
AUGUST 11-15, 2015
Tuesday, Aug. 11 DUSTIN LYNCH
Wednesday, Aug. 12
Thursday Aug. 13  (7:00pm) ANTIFAZ &
Friday, Aug. 14 HINDER
Saturday, Aug. 15 WARRANT
Reserved Tickets
On Sale Now!
(does not include
Earn While
You Learn Program
At Community Bank we recognize the importance of
education and would like to encourage our student-
customers in their academic success.
Find out how your kids can
earn money for their good grades!
The annual program is available through July, ask your
banker about it today or see details online.
Local Money Working For Local People
Call or stop by the Fair Office,
515 W. Orchard, Hermiston
~Visa & Mastercard Gladly Accepted~
The Ione 4th of July
Celebration Committee would
like to thank the following for
their support:
Morrow County Unified Recreation Dist.;
Smitty’s Ace Hardware; Morrow County
Parks; Morrow County; The Gazette Times;
The Hermiston Herald and the East
Thank you to all those businesses and
individuals who helped sponsor:
1000 Yard TV Shoot; Red, White & Blues
Poker/ Cribbage Tournament & BBQ Chicken
Dinner; 2015 Golf Tournament; 2015 Blues
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July 10 & Aug 14
2:00 - 4:00 pm
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($30 after fair starts)
800-700-FAIR (3247)
a situation where there
was widespread damage
across town it was pos-
sible the city would help
organize property owners
to help bring down costs.
$23 (until August 10)
hadn’t heard about any-
one else calling in to the
city about the problem. He
said the city doesn’t have
a hand in sidewalk main-
tenance, but if there was
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