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Golf tournament to benefit SHS scholarship fund

The No Pioneer Left Behind program gives aid to students


The Oregon Trail School District and Sandy High School are asking for help to fund scholarships for students unable to afford fees for extracurricular activities.

The third annual Art Skipper Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament will take place at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 19, at the Resort at the Mountain. The event will raise money for the No Pioneer Left Behind project, a scholarship fund sparked by former SHS Vice Principal and Athletic Director Scott Maltman to make sure that every student gets the chance to participate in activities.

“Scott deeply cared that students needed activities outside the classroom that would allow them to experience a microcosm of life beyond high school,” said Jeff McAllester, of Mt. Hood Brewing, who is involved with the tournament. “Too many students were being barred from these after school activities by the participation fees.”

Through No Pioneer Left Behind, more than $20,000 in scholarships has been given to students at Sandy High School to help with increasing activities fees.

“For the past two school years, the scholarship fund provided an average of 132 students with financial assistance at an average of $8,000 per year,” McAllester said.

“It gives kids an opportunity to participate in activities that they wouldn’t be in without the fund,” said Oregon Trail School Board Member Kurt McKnight.

Although No Pioneer Left Behind was created out of a need to help students get involved with sports, the scholarship fund is available for any SHS activity that requires a participation fee. “You name it, they can apply and get help,” McKnight said.

Oregon Trail School District receives funding for Title I, which goes toward its Title 1 schools ¬– Welches Elementary, Firwood Elementary, Sandy Grade and Naas Elementary – all of which feed into Sandy High School.

To be recognized as Title 1, schools must have at least 35% of enrolled students qualifying for the free or reduced lunch program.

In the 2013-2014 school year, of Oregon Trail School District's 3,900 students, 572 were considered impoverished. The number is based on the proportion of students using the free or reduced lunch programs, changes in the district's enrollment and data from the 2000 U.S. Census.

Wade Lockett, who took over for Scott Maltman as vice principal and athletic director, said in terms of sports, their participation numbers have never been higher.

“It’s making us more competitive,” Lockett said. SHS has added a third soccer team to allow all interested students a chance to play.

Lockett said the uptick in participation may be due to the fact that the No Pioneer Left Behind scholarship doesn’t discriminate: if a student applies, they get it.

No Pioneer Left Behind is exclusive to SHS, but Lockett said there is a need for help in terms of younger players as well.

“I know that there’s a need for younger students,” he said. But for now, No Pioneer Left Behind only has the means to focus on high school students.

McKnight said that while it’s a possibility that the program may look for chances to expand beyond SHS, this year it is focused on becoming sustainable.

Lockett said that the number of scholarships available is dependent on the amount within the program’s fund.

He said that so far, the school has received around 70 scholarship applications in anticipation for fall sports. About 230 kids usually participate in fall sports, Lockett said, so a significant percentage of students are asking for help.

Lockett said that the athletic department is sitting on a lot of scholarship applications, all before the program’s biggest fundraiser has even taken place: this month’s golf tournament.

“If we can bring in another $8,000 to $10,000, then we can help a lot of kids,” Lockett said.

Last year, the tournament attracted 97 players, but a less than ideal turnout for its dinner and auction due to a schedule change. McAllester said that this year, they hope to reach the maximum capacity of 144 players.

Visit Sandy High School’s website, oregontrailschools.com/shs/, and click on “Athletics Welcome” to download an entry fee for the tournament.

Knight said that volunteers are still needed. Those interested in lending a helping hand should contact KayLynn Walker at 503-975-6075.