Page 12 The INDEPENDENT, March 7, 2012 Chalk Talk Chalk Talk is a column of information about Ver- nonia schools. This column was provided by Su- perintendent Dr. Ken Cox. Did you know we have some budding video- graphers in Vernonia? They did the Donate a Dollar, Build, Save video on our District web page and even have regular other postings on the website. Here is some information about what they are doing from Doran Lower, one of our Professional Technical Education teachers here in Vernonia. Digital Arts is a fairly new program being of- fered at VHS. Students who have an interest in the arts and computers are encouraged to take one of three progressive courses (Digital Arts 1, 2 and 3). In these classes, students learn the basics of typography, layout, logo development, video editing, videography and multi-page lay- out. They gain experience with multiple software programs and learn animation techniques, video production, digital editing and implementing sto- ry-boarding strategies for video production. Some of the following projects that students have contributed to can be viewed on the school district website: • 411: A weekly video newscast which stu- dents have been involved in. • High School Fall/Winter Sports Pro- gram Covers: These VHS Sports Programs have been touted as one of the best in our league. • 2011 Cross Country Hoodies: Designed by Crystal Ann Carreon Other community projects that VHS Digital Arts students have worked on are: • Vernonia Community Theatre Posters: Stu- dents’ produced and printed posters to promote the Vernonia Community Theatre’s Spring per- formances. • Other projects such as: Nehalem Valley Car Show poster, VHS Band Performance posters, a Web site design for a local business, as well as various brochures. If you are interested in finding out more about these programs, or what these students can do to help your organization, please feel free to contact Mr. Lower directly at dlower@ vernon- ia.k12.or.us. This is an example of how the Vernonia School District is meeting our goal to: Demon- strate pride in our schools and community through effective communication and higher ex- pectations. ODOT working on two area road jobs ODOT contractors began re- moving trees and brush, the week of February 20, from the site of two highway improve- ment projects getting under way this summer on U.S. 26 in Washington County In both projects, ODOT needs to remove adjacent trees and brush before the bird nesting season, with the work done by the end of March. ODOT will re-plant the areas with native trees, shrubs and grasses once construction is done. In one project, ODOT will re- place the Glencoe Road bridge over U.S. 26 with a new four- lane bridge. The project will also lengthen and widen the U.S. 26 westbound exit ramp, improve pedestrian and bicycle connections and improve sig- nals, striping and drainage. Most of the clearing work will take place in the southwest and northeast quadrants. The clearing will take place be- tween sunrise and sunset and will not have any impact on traffic, although travelers Pet of the Month Find the pet that’s right for you at the Columbia Humane Society 2084 Oregon Street, St. Helens. Phone 503-397-4353 Open Mon - Fri 1 pm to 5 pm & Saturday, 11 am to 5 pm Mula Mula is a small young female about one year old, with a short black & white (or tuxedo) coat. She can be a bit shy at first but is a love once she feels safe around you. She purrs gratefully when you to pet her, and has a very friendly, and easy- going personality. Mula is Spayed and up-to-date with routine shots. She has been waiting for you and her forever home at the Columbia Humane Society. The Columbia Humane Society is a No-Kill non-profit shelter dedicated to helping friends find each other since 1985. This Month’s Pet is Sponsored by: THE INDEPENDENT News & Information you can use should expect some shoulder closures. The project should be finished in 2014. In the second project, ODOT will build a new U.S. 26 bridge over West Fork Dairy Creek at milepost 46.3, about a mile east of OR 47/Staley’s Junc- tion. The tree and shrub re- moval will be needed to make way for a temporary bridge, which will help complete the project with a minimum of traf- fic disruption. The project should be finished in 2014. Motorists should expect shoulder and lane closures. All work will take place during the day. For more information on the Glencoe Road project, go to www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/ REGION1/glencoe/. For more information on the West Fork Dairy Creek project, go to www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/ REGION1/26WFDairyCreek. VHS equestrian team is off to good season start by Diane Benes, Coach Vernonia High School’s Equestrian Team had an out- standing beginning for the sea- son, with their first meet in McMinnville a couple of weeks ago. Representing Vernonia High School are senior Brett Benes in his fourth year on the team, freshman Makayla Mc- Cord in her first year, and Jew- ell High senior Chrissy Garri- son in her second year of com- petition. The top ten placements for VHS were as follows: Break- away roping – Brett B. 1st place, and Chrissy G. 2nd place; Steer daubing – Brett B. 3rd place. The Canadian Flags team of Brett, Chrissy and Makayla placed 5th; Team Penning (Brett, Makayla, Chris- sy) took 13th place; Two-man birangle (Brett and Makayla) 11th place; Working Pairs (Makayla and Chrissy) 14th place. In all of the events, the trio showed a willingness to work together and have a lot of fun supporting each together as a team. “I am pretty excited about the enthusiasm and the unity the kids share for their new season.” I feel that they have done a good job and I’m look- ing forward to what the season holds with their dedication to practice together as a team. I would also like to recognize the assistance of Josh Rowlett and Suzanne Talbot with getting the team ready for their upcoming season, and providing lots of laughter at our practices. The people of Vernonia are encouraged to attend and sup- port their Equestrian team in upcoming meets at McMin- nville on March 8-11, and April 12-15 at the Yamhill County Fairgrounds. Middle school honor roll for the 2011-12 second quarter announced The following students were named to the Vernonia Middle School academic Honor Roll for the 2011-12 second quarter. Grade Point Averages (GPA) are on a scale of 1-4, with 4 equaling a perfect score. Principal’s Honors, 4.00 – Brad Ely, Jessika Goodman, Annika Johnson, Jacob Patton, Sheyanne Pedersen, Jocie- Ranay Roberts, Megan Rice, Chase Tolonen, Ian Torres-Pe- tersen, and Payton Wolf. High Honors, 3.50-3.99 – Tristan Adams, Emily Berger- son, Jacob Butcher, Coral Cook, Megan Ely, Breanna Gardner, Amanda Jennings, Bryanna Larson, Jacob Perry, Jamie Schott, Paige Smith, Mahaila Whilhlem, Jarrett White, and Cassidy Whitton. Honors, 3.25-3.49 – Hayden Cieloha, Kaitlyn Eyrrick, Kas- sidy Fetch, Benjamin Fleck, Nichole Gardner, Casey Hath- coat, Storm Henson, Brett Jones, Cheyenne Kemper, Ha- ley Lindsay, Meagan Schir- meister, Benjamin Schulte, Sara Smith, Jessica Stringfield, Kole Titus, McKenzie Willard, and Mekhi Williams. Honorable Mention, 3.00- 3.24 – Courtney Barklow, Bran- don Clapshaw, Grace Cole- man, Courtney Fennell, Han- nah Fleck, Lauren Glass, Rachele Hanner-Knighton, Hera Hopkins, Katie Martinez, Jackhenry Masog, Jared Me- dearis, Amanda-Rose Sicard, Mikila Solberg, and Autumn Sorenson. Child safety seat check-ups tomorrow Columbia County Safe Kids will be holding a free child safe- ty seat check-up tomorrow, March 8, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the St. Helens Fire Station at 105 S. 12th Street. Certified technicians will check to be sure your child has the right seat and that it is installed cor- rectly. They will also check for recalled or expired seats. Through a grant funded by ACTS Oregon, Columbia County Safe Kids can provide low-cost child safety seats to families in need. Child safety seats and safe- ty belts, when installed and used properly, can prevent in- juries and save lives. Young children restrained in child safety seats have an 80 per- cent lower risk of fatal injury than those who are unre- strained. For more information, call the Commission on Children and Families at 503-397-7211. For information about the clinic or the Columbia County child safety seat program, contact Natalie at 503-410-3169.