Board, legislators to talk funding Thursday

One of the Forest Grove School Board’s stated goals for 2013 is to advocate for adequate and stable K-12 funding in Oregon. In an effort to push that agenda forward, the board will host a meeting of school board members and legislators from throughout Washington County tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 17 at 6 p.m. at the district office, 1728 Main St.

“This will be an opportunity to talk with legislators and fellow board members about the most effective ways to make their collective voices heard in Salem this session and impact decisions around funding,” said district Chief of Staff Connie Potter.

As of Tuesday, officials from the Sherwood, Tigard-Tualatin, Beaverton and Gaston districts had confirmed they will send representatives to the meeting. Legislators who've responded so far include Rep. Tobias Read (District 27); Rep. Ben Unger (District 29); Rep. Margaret Doherty (District 35); Rep. John Davis (District 26), who is sending his chief of staff; Sen. Bruce Starr (District 15); Sen. Betsy Johnson (District 16); and Sen. Richard Devlin (District 19).

Jim Green, deputy executive director of the Oregon School Boards Association, will also “provide an update on proposed legislation that could impact funding,” during the meeting, Potter added.

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Viks place high at debate tourney

Several Forest Grove High School debate students placed well Friday and Saturday in the annual Hap Hingston Invitational, a tournament administered by Pacific University's speech team.

Archer Morgan, a sophomore, earned first place in Lincoln-Douglas debate and was the second overall top speaker in that category, said Jennifer Conner, assistant director of Forensics at Pacific and FGHS' head coach.

Morgan's topic was "Resolved: Rehabilitation ought to be valued above retribution in the United States criminal justice system."

Senior Luke Berdahl took first place in both Impromptu Speaking and Extemporary Speaking. Two of his questions were "To what extent is China justified in condemning Japanese historical revisionism" and "Do recent Saudi crackdowns on women-led protests represent a step backward for the governing regime?"

Jade Hansen, a sophomore in her first year of competition, earned third place in Oratory, a 10-minute persuasive speech. "Her speech argued that we have become a culture of mediocrity, keeping up with the Kardashians instead of becoming the next Bill Gates or Neil Armstrong."

Junior Ian Schlegel also competed for Forest Grove at the tournament in the Oratory and Impromptu divisions but did not advance to the elimination rounds.

The invitational drew 150 debate teams from throughout Oregon and more than 600 individual entrants. The next tournament for FGHS is at Glencoe High School on Saturday, Jan. 19. The national qualifying event is set for March 21-23 at Mt. Hood Community College in Portland.

Community school now enrolling

Forest Grove Community School has started accepting enrollment applications for the 2013-14 school year. The open enrollment period runs through April 1. Enrollment forms and information are available at FGCS, a free public charter school sponsored by the Forest Grove School District, enrolls students in first through eighth grades. Call Vickie Jares at 503-359-4600 for more information or to arrange a school tour.

Rutledge makes President's List

Cameron Rutledge, a Forest Grove High School graduate, has been named to the Fall 2012 President's List at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Ga. Rutledge is a senior Health and Physical Education major from Cornelius. In order to make the President's List, students must be enrolled in at least nine semester hours of course work and earn a 4.0 grade point average during two consecutive semesters.

PCC hosts winter 'powwow'

More than 1,000 people from all over the Northwest plan to partake in Portland Community College's "Wacipi" ("They dance") Winter Powwow to celebrate Native American culture and tradition.

The powwow, which is free and open to the public, is from noon to 9 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19, in the Health Technology Building, Sylvania Campus, 12000 S.W. 49th Ave., in Portland This cultural event features drum groups and dancers from across the region, Native American crafts and food, activities for children, and raffle prizes. Other attractions include grand entries at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., a college fair from noon to 4 p.m. and a free community dinner at 5:30 p.m. This event is alcohol and tobacco free.

Bob Tom of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz and Grand Ronde will serve as master of ceremonies, Ed Goodell (also with the Confederated Tribes of Siletz) is the whip man and the Northwest Indian Veterans Association is once again the powwow's color guard. Proceeds from the annual Winter Powwow support the college's Native American Student Scholarship, which helps to increase access and retention of Native American students.

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Contest open to student writing, artwork

For the 13th year, the Honoring Our Rivers project — part of the Willamette Partnership, a nonprofit — is sponsoring a showcase of Oregon student writing and artwork focused on rivers and watersheds. Schools, teachers, academic advisors, community youth programs and home-schoolers are encouraged to promote student submissions before the project’s upcoming Jan. 31 postmark deadline.

Last year, 600 students submitted to the project, with more than 150 selected for publication and exhibition.

Student work in the Honoring Our Rivers anthology appears alongside submissions from Oregon’s leading writers. The 2012 anthology included work by Ursula Le Guin, Brian Doyle, Barry Lopez and Oregon poet laureate Paulann Petersen. The 2013 anthology will include writings by Jon Raymond, Gina Ochsner, Jane Kirkpatrick and Robert Michael Pyle, among others.

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