The Press Newspaper
Proficiency scores, teachers’ salaries and absenteeism were among the issues raised by residents with the Oregon school board at a public information forum last week on the proposed 5.9-mill five year emergency operating levy that will be on the November 2 ballot.
The forum was held before a regularly scheduled school board meeting on September 30.
The district faces a $2 million deficit for the 2011-2012 school year. If passed, the levy is expected to bring in $3.4 million annually.
In the last three years, the district has cut $8 million from the budget.
If the levy does not pass, the district plans to cut 20 additional teaching and staff positions.
One resident asked why Oregon teachers rank eight, or “dead last” in attendance among area school districts in the 2009-2010 school year, yet they rank second in salary.
“It kind of looks like we’re rewarding bad behavior,” said the resident.
Over the summer, Woodmore High School Spanish teacher Tom Adams went on a one week mission trip to Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, with his sister and three other members from her church in Temperance, Michigan.
During the mission trip, Adams stayed with fellow missionary Kathy Kemmer, who has been living in the country for the past six years.
While in Nicaragua, Adams and his team were involved in many projects to help the local impoverished communities which include working at a local orphanage, building furniture for a preschool and helping elementary students make ojo de dio or God’s eyes, which is a simple arts and crafts project.
Adams and his team also completed larger projects. For three days, they built one 11 foot by 11 foot house each day using only concrete for the floor, a wooden frame and tin for the roof and siding. Although it may seem like not such a nice home, it was a vast improvement to their previous homes which were made from trash from the city dump.
“There are many beautiful parts to Nicaragua, but there are also parts that are devastatingly poor and need help,” Adams said.
Reprinted with permission by journalism advisor Carolyn Nitz from the September 2010 issue of Window to Woodmore, a student publication.
The city had expected to add $3 million to its $5 million reserve by the end of the year, but the recession has reduced that amount to $1.5 million, according to Mayor Mike Seferian.
Some of that money is being used to pay down the bills, he said.
“Our projected spending is higher than the revenue we are bringing in this year. We are about $1.7 million shy in revenue,” said Seferian.
The city is getting fewer dollars from the state, which could dry up soon, he added.
“We believe in the next couple of years, we could be getting zero from the state. We don’t know what 2011 will bring us, so we’re already trying to find a lot of ways to keep ourselves from dissolving all of our reserves and from ending up in the same shape as some of our surrounding communities,” he said.
Seferian said the city is not filling certain positions to save money.
“Is your refrigerator running?”
Back in the day, it was great fun for telephone pranksters to ask unsuspecting friends or even strangers on the other end of the line with the query. (The answer – It is? Well, you’d better catch it!)
A prankster calling Harry and Jean Roberts Oregon home might get the answer that their refrigerator is indeed running – and has been since they got it – in 1946.
The Westinghouse refrigerator, was offered to Jean at a deep discount as an engagement present from her employer, Westinghouse Supply, where she was an office worker.
“It was a beautiful 1946 model, being replaced by a new model coming out,” she said. “They knew I was getting married the following year, so they offered the refrigerator to me at a good price.
“Harry was in the Navy, so I took the refrigerator to my parents’ house and plugged it in in the spare bedroom,” she said.
When the couple was married Oct. 11, 1947, they took it to their home and used it for many years. “As our family grew, we needed a bigger model, so we bought an Amana,” Jean said, adding that the trusty Westinghouse model was moved to the summer kitchen.
This summer, Woodmore High School Spanish teacher Tom Adams, accompanied by three students and a chaperone, took a ten-day adventure to Spain. Woodmore Spanish Club has not take a trip like this in many years but have tentative plans for a Costa Rican trip already in the works for next summer.
Those who went on the trip were students Andrea Bouldin, Ben Czeczele and Lora Zatko, and Laurie Czeczele, who went as a chaperone.
“I liked seeing all the different places in Spain, especially the palaces,” said Bouldin. “
While the most exciting part for Adams was the bullfight, some of the favorite stops they visited included Granada and Toledo, Spain.
Students even got to try out their bilingual skills by conversing in Spanish when buying things and at dinner by asking for the check.
While there, several cultural differences were noticed.
“In Spain they hardly ever wear shorts unless they are going to work out,” said Adams.
Bouldin noticed that people seemed to be dressed up all the time, even while just walking around town. The meal times also differ from Americans as they eat a large meal in the late afternoon and then eat something light at around 10 p.m.
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