Hermiston herald. (Hermiston, Or.) 1994-current, June 19, 2019, Page A7, Image 7

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Wednesday, June 19, 2019
A passion for teaching
Rocky Heights educator
found lifelong passion in
HH file photo
Hunter Steffen and his sister, Kennedy Steffen eat lunch with their brothers at the Umatilla-
Morrow Head Start summer meals program in 2018.
2019 Summer meal programs
For children in Uma-
tilla County who aren’t sure
where their next meal will
come from, free lunch pro-
grams can help fill in the
At the end of 2018, child
poverty in Umatilla County
was down to 19.1% from
26.3% in 2017, according
to data released by Children
First for Oregon. But with
the number of students with
free and reduced lunch eli-
gibility still hovering above
60%, Umatilla County is
home to over a dozen dif-
ferent summertime feeding
sites this year.
City of Hermiston Rec-
reation Coordinator Diana
Picard says this summer
will be the 11th year of
their summer feeding pro-
gram, which has five loca-
tions including the Hermis-
ton Family Aquatic Center.
Originally, free meals were
only provided for children
participating in summer
camps with the city.
“We ventured out and
started doing different
parks,” Picard said, “We
saw the need. A lot of kids
rely on school lunches.”
The first year of the pro-
gram, the city served 2,500
meals. But just last year,
they served 9,400.
“We fill a gap,” Picard
The summer lunch pro-
gram at Umatilla Morrow
County Head Start will
feature a range of lunch-
time activities for partici-
pants. Previous years fea-
tured rock painting, water
balloons, visits from the
mayor and fire department,
and even the occasional
dunk tank.
All meals at the summer
sites are free for any child
under 18, regardless of
income level. Most meals
operate on a first come, first
served basis and must be
consumed onsite.
Free summer meals
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Umatilla-Morrow Head Start
Hermiston High School
110 n.e. Fourth street, Hermiston
Stanfield Public Library (exclud-
ing July 4th)
600 s. First street, Hermiston
June 17-august 9, 2019
June 17-28, 2019
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
*Parent volunteers eat free
12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
*activities offered
Armand Larive Middle School
Hermiston Family Aquatic Center
(Excluding July 4th)
1497 s.W. ninth street, Hermiston
June 17-28, 2019
8:00 to 9 a.m.
12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Sunset Elementary
300 e. Catherine avenue, Hermiston
June 18-July 13, 2019
7:30 to 8:30 a.m.
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
West Park Elementary
555 s.W. seventh street, Hermiston
July 8-august 1, 2019
7:30 to 8:30 a.m.
879 W. elm avenue, Hermiston
June 24-august 2, 2019
180 W. Coe avenue, stanfield
June 10-July 26, 2019
12:00 to 12:30 p.m.
*11:30 activity
June 24-august 16, 2019 (excluding
July 4)
all meals are free for kids under 18
$1 for breakfast for adults, $2 for
Lunch and dinner
12:25 to 12:45 p.m.
Umatilla High School (closed
august 14-15)
Butte Park (Excluding July 4th)
1400 seventh street umatilla
1245 n.W. seventh street, Herm-
8:30 to 9:30 a.m.
June 24-august 2, 2019
12:15 to 12:45 p.m.
Sunset Park (Excluding July 4th)
1100 n.e. Fourth street, Hermiston
June 24-august 2, 2019
11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
11:30 to 12:30 p.m.
Victory Square (Excluding July
Highland Hills Elementary
150 s.W. 10th street, Hermiston
450 s.e .Tenth street, Hermiston
June 24-august 2, 2019
July 1-august 31, 2019
12:30 to 1:00 p.m.
11:30 to 12:30 a.m.
Decades later, Laurel
Woodward still remembers
the moment she discovered
her love for teaching.
It was sixth grade, and
she was in math class.
When she and other kids
had trouble understand-
ing a concept, they went to
the front of the room where
their teacher explained it
once more.
Woodward got it this
time, but her other class-
mates were still befuddled.
“Can I teach it to them?”
she asked.
In that moment, she felt
that if the students could
be taught from the perspec-
tive of someone like herself,
who didn’t understand the
concept previously, it might
start to make sense to them.
“I think that was the
sinker for me there, just
absolutely falling in love
with that situation and feel-
ing so good and so proud
about that,” Woodward
remembered, “I thought, I
want to do this.”
Having her mother as a
teacher was also an inspira-
tion, Woodward said.
This year, she was hon-
ored with Rocky Height’s
Educator of the Year award.
Although she’d been nomi-
nated in the past, it was an
emotional and unexpected
“They open the door, and
out comes your family,” she
The award is given to the
nominee who receives the
most staff votes.
“I was so honored first of
all to even be nominated by
staff,” she said.
Woodward grew up
in Redland, Oregon, and
moved to Hermiston for a
teaching job after college.
When she got the call for
ELD program.
On any given day, she
could be preparing kin-
dergarteners for their state
English Language Profi-
ciency Assessment (ELPA)
or teaching older students
who she’s watched grow up
before her own eyes. She
works in 30-minute lessons
with students, but knows
how to make it count.
“Lots of different grade
levels. You’re changing
gears all the time,” she
said. “It’s almost like a per-
staff photo by eJ Harris sonality change from one
Laurel Woodward found her grade level to another,” she
passion for teaching at a laughed.
young age.
She loves the fast paced,
ever-changing nature of the
the interview, she happened work. But she loves her stu-
to be in town for the Uma- dents the most.
tilla County Fair, visiting
“I think my favorite part
her college roommate. She is being able to establish a
ran to buy a dress and shoes, relationship with the stu-
dents, having that time to
and was hired soon after.
home, establish relationships and
packed up, and prepared to get to know the families and
start her career as a teacher. eventually the siblings,” she
That was 24 years ago. said.
For Woodward, Rocky
Today, her resume at Rocky
Heights is extensive. For Heights is home. She is part
10 years, she taught fourth of what her and other Rocky
Heights Raccoons refer to
“I loved fourth grade,” as their “Rocky Family.”
she said, “It’s a great age of She even met her husband
21 years ago through a col-
Woodward enjoyed the league, and they’ve been
English curriculum, and together ever since.
They enjoy fishing and
teaching the history of the
Oregon Trail too. But when four wheeling on the week-
she was offered a position ends, and love to go crab-
as the English Language bing and bottom fishing in
Development specialist, she Lincoln City along the Ore-
gon coast.
took it.
“We like spending time
“It ended up being a
really wonderful decision outside,” Woodward said.
And when she’s not
and I haven’t looked back,”
spending time outside, she
she said.
She plans to spend the might be found dedicating
rest of her career teaching time to prepare for another
ELD lesson. She recently
the English language.
When a flock of fifth read “There was an Old
graders approaches the Woman Who Lived in a
classroom door, Woodward Shoe.”
Teaching, she said, is a
opens it up happily.
“I’ll visit you when I’m passion.
“I think it needs to be
grown up,” one student said.
She spends up to six something that is already
years with each student, within you,” she said. “It is
focusing on speaking, writ- a job that is such it is some-
ing, listening and reading thing that you have to and
skills with children in the want to love to do.”
McNary Heights Elementary
120 Columbia avenue, umatilla,
8:00 to 9:00 a.m.
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Triangle Park
approx. 260 sage street, umatilla
10:30 to 11:15 a.m.
Marina Park
First street, umatilla
11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Kiwanis Park
next to Mcnary Market, umatilla
12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
7:30 to 8:30 a.m.
Umatilla Landing Days
JUNE 21-22
Grupo Viajero
Beer Garden Host:
The Pheasant Bar & Grill
Grupo Viajero
Trespasser - 5pm
Leah Justine - 8pm
Beer Garden Host:
The Rustic Truck Bar & Grill
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