School briefs for March 23


EPA recognizes school district again

For the third time, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded the Gresham-Barlow School District a 2011 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award for Sustained Excellence in recognition of its continued leadership in protecting the environment through energy efficiency.

The district will be recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, April 12.

The district also received the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award for Energy Management in 2005 and 2007.

Gresham-Barlow estimates its 'culture of energy conservation that permeates the district at every level' saves more than $1.6 million each year on energy costs, which is the equivalent of approximately 25 teaching positions.

'We must be wise stewards of our energy use, especially in these tight budget times,' said Superintendent Jim Schlachter. 'The hundreds of thousands of dollars we save on our utility bills can be redirected to the classroom where it's desperately needed.'

The 2011 Sustained Excellence Awards are given to a select group of organizations that have exhibited 'outstanding leadership year after year.' The winners have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by setting and achieving aggressive goals, employing innovative approaches, and showing others what can be achieved through energy efficiency.

The Gresham-Barlow School District is known as a 'top performer,' which means the district's buildings perform in the top 25 percent of similar buildings nationwide conserving energy.

'The Gresham-Barlow School District's long-term leadership and commitment to energy efficiency demonstrate the types of accomplishments that we can all achieve in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting our global environment,' said Elizabeth Craig, acting director of EPA's Office of Atmospheric Programs. 'We look forward to their continued partnership and leadership.'

Centennial High students win awards

• Five Centennial High School music students recently earned top awards at the Oregon Music Educators Association District 2 Solo Music Festival, earning them spots in the Saturday, April 30, state competition at Lewis and Clark College.

The students are Haley Edmeads - first place in Alto Voice; Jessica Melberg - first place in Mezzo Soprano Voice; Meagan Gliebe - second place in Mezzo Soprano Voice; Silvie Andrews - third place in Clarinet; Ellyn Culmsee - first alternate in Soprano Voice.

• Centennial High School student Erica Hose is one of 20 young Oregon women recognized with an award from the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) for computing-related achievements.

She was recognized at an all-school awards assembly and at a special ceremony March 6 at Lewis and Clark College.

The NCWIT award for 'Aspirations in Computing' is intended to encourage young women to choose careers in informational technology and computing.

Women selected for the honor were judged on aptitude and interest in information technology and computing, leadership skills, academic history and plans for post-secondary education.

Award-winners receive an engraved trophy for themselves and their school, as well as a package of gifts from local sponsors.

Principals selected for Gresham-Barlow

The Gresham-Barlow School District has named former Evergreen School District administrator Mark Ross the next principal of Barlow High School.

In addition to a decade of administrative experience, Ross spent 15 years teaching social studies and language arts.

Ross will begin serving as principal July 1. Karen Luckhaupt is the school's interim principal.

Ross served as principal of Mountain View High School for four years and as principal of Evergreen High School for one year. He also served as the Evergreen School District's director of secondary education.

Most recently, he worked as a consultant for the Envictus Corporation, in partnership with the office of superintendent of public instruction, and assisted 58 secondary schools in the state of Washington to help them improve their graduation rates and the number of students who are career or college ready.

'Mr. Ross brings to Barlow previous leadership experience where he led a quality comprehensive high school and orchestrated a united effort that took the school to an even higher level of performance,' said Superintendent Jim Schlachter. 'His track record of success working with students, parents and the community aligns with the leadership qualities we expect in our schools.'

Meanwhile Gordon Russell Middle School's next principal will be Bruce Schmidt, who has served as an assistant principal at Barlow for four years.

Schmidt will replace Randy Bryant, who will become the district's human resources director July 1.

Schmidt has also overseen the district's career and technical education programs. Before becoming an administrator, he taught science and biology at the school for nine years. He also has several years of experience in alternative education.

'Mr. Schmidt is a talented, energetic leader, who has served the Barlow community well,' Schlachter said. 'His knowledge of the community will be of benefit to Gordon Russell Middle School. His enthusiasm and energy is a good match for the school.'

Dexter McCarty students raise money for relief

Students at Dexter McCarty Middle School, 1400 S.E. Fifth St., have been selling buttons (see photos above) for a buck apiece and have raised about $2,200 to donate to Red Cross relief efforts in earthquake- and tsunami-ravaged Japan.

'We will continue the button sales for several weeks as the need in Japan doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon,' says Tom Erickson, a math and science teacher. 'We have kids making the buttons during the break at home on their own time. It has been very impressive how kids have stepped up to get involved. I'm very proud of their desire to look outside themselves to see a bigger cause!'

For more information, call Erickson at 503-665-0148.

Seniors need funds for healthy graduation party

The Reynolds High Senior All Night Party Committee is working hard to put on a graduation celebration that is safe, drug and alcohol free, but it needs the public to help out.

The committee and Rockstar Energy Drink will present a Silent Auction and Mexican Fiesta fundraiser at 6 p.m. Friday, April 1, in the Reynolds High Multipurpose Room, 1698 S.W. Cherry Park Road, Troutdale.

Free prizes will be offered every half hour and auction items include a Persimmon Golf Club Package for four; Portland Trail Blazers autographed basketball, gift cards, entertainment passes and more.

The dinner menu includes enchiladas, rice and beans, chips and salsa and dessert. Beverages will be on sale for $5 per person or $20 per family.