Featured Stories

School briefs for April 30

Dodgeball tourney, relay to raise money to fight cancer

Reynolds High School, 1698 S.W. Cherry Park Road, Troutdale, will host a dodge ball tournament from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, May 1, to benefit the American Cancer Society.

Dodge ball teams are still needed.

Student participants can register by calling 503-795-3958 or e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by inquiring at the event itself.

Cost is $4 for students and $3 for spectators.

The tournament is being organized by a group of Reynolds students who are participating in the Relay For Life of East County Youth at Mt. Hood Community College, 26000 S.E. Stark St., Saturday and Sunday, May 17-18.

Their mission is to provide hope for those battling cancer by honoring them and to raise money for the Cancer Society. Students from all over the Gresham/Troutdale area have put together 35 teams to raise money and fight back against cancer.

For more information on how you can get involved with the Relay For Life of East County Youth, visit the Web site, events.cancer.org/rfleastcounty

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MESD announces Academic All-Stars

The Multnomah Education Service District and the E2 Foundation have announced 60 finalists who were recognized at the 25th annual Academic All-Stars reception April 21 at the Gerding Theater in Portland's Pearl District.

Representing 12 of Multnomah County's public high schools, this year's Academic All-Stars are multi-dimensional students. The group includes scientists, mathematicians, technology experts and historians; artists, dancers, actors, and writers; speakers of French, German, Japanese and Chinese; students who are first generation Americans; and some who are the first in their families to graduate from high school. Student biographies can be found at www.mesd.k12.or.us/comm/2008AAS.pdf

Students applied to the program by submitting an initial application. A select group was then invited to prepare a portfolio of schoolwork, activities and community service. Categories of competition were computer science, foreign language, language arts, mathematics, performing arts, science, social science, visual arts and all-around. The E2 Foundation (formerly the MESD Foundation) raises money for scholarship awards that will be given to each finalist.

Here is a list of the 2008 Academic All-Stars from high schools in East County and the categories in which they competed.

All-Around Category, High School:

Jordan Franks, third place, Sam Barlow

Abbi Howatt, finalist, Gresham

Daniela Sifuentes-Lopez, finalist, Reynolds

Computer Technology:

James Lao, first, Gresham

Tudor Marcu, third, Centennial

Foreign Language Category

Sadie Bell, first, Gresham

Snezhana Rudakova, second, Gresham

Samantha Jones, finalist, Gresham

Language Arts:

Tammy Lin, third, Centennial

MacKenzie Jones, finalist, Centennial

Mathematics:

Michael Benitez, third place (tie), Gresham

Austin Danielson, finalist, Reynolds

Tabitha McAfee, finalist, Barlow

Performing Arts:

Brooke Thornberry, first, Centennial

Performing Arts: Melissa Jorgenson, Dance and Drama Scholarship

Brooke Thornberry, Gresham

Science:

Carly Bradley, second, Reynolds

Melissa Greenaway, finalist, Gresham

Kamden McHenry, finalist, Centennial

Social Science:

Abby Tran, third, Reynolds

Allison Brown, finalist, Reynolds

Hilary Munger, finalist, Gresham

Visual Arts:

Dana Macalanda, finalist, Barlow

Kimberly Tune, finalist, Reynolds

Judge's Special Commendation Award

Daniela Sifuentes-Lopez, Reynolds (All-Around)

Planetarium to repeat asteroids show

Due to standing-room-only crowds at the April presentation of 'Cosmic Catastrophes' at the Mt. Hood Community College Planetarium Sky Theater, Director Doug McCarty is offering it again in May.

McCarty will explore past encounters with asteroids and look at possible future collisions that may come our way and give possible answers to some of Earth's ancient mysteries. He'll address such questions as: Did the impact of a massive asteroid on Earth cause the mass extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago? Was the moon torn away from the Earth by a collision with another planetary body? How safe is the Earth from asteroids that cross our orbit?

McCarty also will show visitors how to locate planets and constellations in spring skies during the 50-minute presentations.

The show, 'Cosmic Catastrophes' will take place at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Monday, May 12. Visitors are seated on a first come/first served basis. Children are always welcome and the planetarium is wheelchair accessible. Admission is $1. The planetarium is on the Gresham campus, 26000 S.E. Stark St., beneath the library.

The Planetarium Sky Theater offers live, customized one-hour programs to school and community groups and private parties Mondays and Fridays through August. A $75 facility use fee is charged for each program. Maximum capacity is 70. Call 504-491-7297 to make a reservation or visit www.planetariumskytheater.com

Black Student Leadership Conference set for May 12

Reynolds School District has partnered with REAP Inc. (Reaching and Empowering All People) to host Challenge 2008 - Black Student Leadership conference designed to address the needs of black students enrolled in Reynolds School District.

The conference is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Monday, May 12, at Reynolds High School, 1698 S.W. Cherry Park Road, Troutdale. Conference check-in begins at 8:30 a.m.

The entire school day will be set aside to specifically respond to the academic and personal challenges of black students in grades eighth through 12th. Students will be exposed to a host of highly successful black business leaders. The day will include workshops, a panel discussion, motivational presentations, entertainment and a catered lunch by Terrell Texas Barbeque. This is a free event for students, parents and invited guests.

Featured guests include Sen. Avel Gordly, I-Ore., Dalton Miller-Jones of Portland State University and the Board of Higher Education, Mayor Mike Weatherby of Fairview, Terry Kneisler, Reynolds School District superintendent, and Mark Jackson of REAP Inc.

There will be a special dance performance by the Urban Arts Dance Company.

Speakers and workshops will cover topics involving academic achievement, race, culture, parent and community engagement, personal development and leadership. The conference will also address how the community, parents and teachers can better support students at Reynolds High School.

For more information, call Mark Jackson, program director, REAP Inc. at 503-341-6161; Ricky Allen, vice principal, Reynolds, at 503-667-3186; Pat Baker, Reynolds district, at 503-661-7036; or visit www.reapusa.org

Oregon Connections Academy to host introduction May 1

Oregon Connections Academy (ORCA) will hold a free information session for Gresham area families who want to learn about the free, full-time, virtual online public school program.

ORCA can accept students from anywhere in the state, and students entering grades kindergarten through 12 are eligible to apply. The session will take place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 1, at the Four Points by Sheraton, 1919 N.E. 181st Ave.

At the event, parents will have an opportunity to meet with ORCA teachers, explore ORCA's individualized learning approach, its curriculum, the technology-enhanced learning environment and the enrollment process.

New features for 2008-09 include the addition of 12th grade, and a loaned computer for families with students in grades K-8 (high school students also may be eligible, based on need).

ORCA is a public charter school that charges no fees or tuition. The school opened in the August 2005 and serves approximately 2,000 Oregon students in grades K-11.

It provides all curriculum materials and each student is also assigned a professional, Oregon-certified teacher to oversee learning and assess student progress.

ORCA serves a wide range of Oregon students, including those who are significantly ahead or behind in the classroom, students who benefit from individualized instruction and those who want more flexibility in their learning schedule.

For more information about ORCA, call 1-800-382-6010 or visit www.ConnectionsAcademy.com

Celebration planned for Troutdale Elementary principal May 29

Anne Chudek, principal of Troutdale Elementary School for the past 11 years, is retiring at the end of this school year.

The community is invited to a celebration in Chudek's honor from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 29, in the school gym, 648 S.E. Harlow St., Troutdale.

Present and past students, families and colleagues are welcome to attend. Cake and drinks will be provided.

For more information, call Loren Carner, third-grade teacher, Troutdale Elementary, at 503-665-4182, ext. 2217.