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Powell Butte woman to be honored

Linda Shelk to be honored for her work for children
Linda Shelk of Powell Butte is one of four recipients of the first annual Oregon Children's Award to be presented at an event Dec. 2 at the Willamette Valley Country Club in Canby.
   The Oregon Commission on Children and Families, in partnership with the Northwest Early Childhood Institute and the Children's Institute, is sponsoring what is expected to become a premier award for Oregon citizens working on behalf of children. The award, which honors four exemplary community leaders each year, will be presented to Shelk for her local and regional work supporting children's issues in Crook County.
   Shelk has been involved with Oregon nonprofits working on behalf of children for more than 23 years. She has served on the Powell Butte Local School Committee, the Education Committee of the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce, the board of trustees at Pacific University and the Oregon Independent College Foundation, and she was president of the Association of Oregon Industries Foundation. The first chair of the Crook County Commission on Children and Families, she currently is a member of the Cultivating Communities steering committee and of the Crook County Foundation, which sponsors Leadership Prineville.
   Also selected to receive the award this year are Portland Businessman Ken Thrasher (civic leader) and Josue Pena-Juarez of Corvallis (youth leader).
   The evening, entitled "Hitch Your Wagon to a Star", celebrates the commission's first 10 years in building a statewide prevention system for children and youth.
   The dinner event will feature a keynote address by George McKenna III, EdD. McKenna made history in 1970, when as principal of George Washington Preparatory High School in Los Angeles, he transformed the failing institution into a school where nearly 80 percent of its graduates go on to college. He and his work are the subject of the award-winning HBO movie, "The George McKenna Story," starring Denzel Washington. McKenna's reform programs have been replicated throughout the nation, and McKenna now serves as assistant superintendent of secondary schools in Pasadena, Calif.
   The occasion, will also debut a short video highlighting the successes of the Oregon Commission on Children and Families' first decade of work. The commission leads statewide planning for a system of community-based family services focused on prevention. The state commission provides technical assistance to county commissions in each of Oregon's 36 counties.
   The Children's Institute, the successor to the Campbell Institute, founded by Duncan Campbell over a decade ago, serves as an organization for addressing issues facing disadvantaged children.
   The Northwest Early Childhood Institute brings together a broad range of early childhood professionals to advance the healthy social and emotional development of babies and young children.