Rodriguez named Latino Educator of the Year

Echo Shaw Elementary School Principal Perla Rodriguez has been named the 2013 Distinguished Latino Educator by the Oregon Association of Latino Administrators. The award was presented at the association's annual conference Feb. 2 at Marylhurst University. "I am honored to have been recognized," Rodriguez said Monday. "I feel so fortunate that I get to do the work every day that I am so passionate about. Working with educators, children and their families has been a calling and the recognition for the work is both humbling and very appreciated." Rodriguez joined the Forest Grove School District in 1998 as a teacher at Echo Shaw. She served as principal at Cornelius Elementary School from 2003 until 2012, when she returned to Echo Shaw as principal. Last year's winner of the OALA award was Olga Acuna of the Hillsboro School District.

'Soar With Your Dreams' registration open

Students in grades 5-8 can learn first-hand about a variety of careers — from carpenter to dentist to electrical engineer — at "Soar With Your Dreams," the annual half-day career conference sponsored by the Forest Grove School District and held on the Pacific University campus. This year's event is set for Saturday, March 2, and registration is now open. Keynote presenter is violinist Geoffrey Castle, with his six-string electric violin. Cost of the conference is $15 and includes registration, pizza and snacks. Those who register by Feb. 22 will be entered into a drawing for special prizes, including a rolling travel bag, a $50 VISA gift card and more. Registration forms will be mailed to all Tom McCall Upper Elementary School and Neil Armstrong Middle School students in mid-February, said Connie Potter, the school district's chief of staff.

'Conversations' program seeks submissions

Students have the chance to submit essays, videos or work in other digital formats for a chance to be featured in this year’s Forest Grove Conversations program, The Future is Now: Citizens and Community in the Digital Age, co-sponsored by Pacific University’s Tom McCall Center for Policy Innovation and the Friends of the Forest Grove Library. First place winners will have the chance to present their submissions at the free program on March 19 at 7 p.m. Prizes include $100 for first place, $50 for second place and $25 for honorable mention. Winners will be selected in three divisions: elementary division, grades 5-6; middle division, grades 7-9; and senior division, grades 10-12. Submission guidelines and entry forms are available at the Forest Grove City Library and online For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Press seeks student fork to fete Stafford

In honor of Oregon Poet Laureate William Stafford's centennial birthday, Ooligan Press — an affiliate of Portland State University — is organizing a statewide writing competition for seventh- through twelfth-grade students. Using Stafford's writing as inspiration, teachers will help students create and revise their own poems and essays. Teachers can mail submissions of their students' work to Ooligan Press from now through April. A judging panel will convene in June to read students' submissions and select pieces for publication. These selections will be collected in an anthology and released in January of 2014 to help launch the yearlong celebration of William Stafford's birth. Public reading opportunities will be available to students whose work is published in the anthology. For more information, teachers can visit or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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