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Greetings from the Home of the Eagles . . .
Here is your annual reminder regarding the Yoncalla High School All-School Reunion on the second Sunday of August. This year’s reunion falls on August 9th. Pass Creek Park in Curtin is the location so bring your lawn chair and prepare for the potluck beginning at 11:00. Kay VanKrevelin (60) is our hostess and you may reach her at 541-672-8259 with any questions.
Phase Two is done and the seismic retrofit for the high school is now officially complete, says Superintendent/Principal Brian Berry. Phase two included: roofing for the gym, weight room and Little Theater; removing the glass blocks in the gym and installing new windows and shades; removing the brick chimney; reinforcing the gym trusses; painting the outside of the building; installing sound proofing tiles in the gym; installing new gym mats for the walls; and a new LED lighting system in the gym.
The high school gym is a must see! With all the improvements including a new floor and bleachers, the facility is an absolutely beautiful sight. Many kudos to the school district and particularly the current and previous school boards for masterfully completing the seismic retrofit as well as for having the foresight to have prepared for the district supported Phase Three projects: installing HVAC in both the elementary and high school buildings; remodeling and completing ADA bathrooms in both buildings; replacing certain water fountains and beginning the process of water mitigation in back of the high school.
Superintendent Berry was also anxious to share the news with me about curriculum additions for the second semester. YHS students will have options for drama, psychology and two separate periods of culinary arts. Current district enrollment figures are showing some promising growth.
The YAA Board is hoping you have had opportunities to visit the YAA website. On the site you will be able to view pictures, read current and previous newsletters as well as make online contributions. We have a growing list of Yoncalla alumni receiving their copy of the newsletter electronically, helping the YAA save on some of the printing and postage expenses. Please let us know if you would like to be added to that list. Visit the website at: yoncallaalumniassociation.org.
The YAA is planning a mentoring program for YHS graduating seniors who plan to attend UCC. The purpose of the mentoring program is to provide additional local support for YHS/UCC students. Working in coordination with Yoncalla High School and Umpqua Community College, the YAA is planning to assign a volunteer mentor to graduating seniors receiving YAA scholarship funds and attending UCC. The student and mentor will have regular scheduled meetings throughout their freshman school year. The volunteer mentor will help and assist the student while checking in with him/her as they are navigating their first year of college, with the goal being that each student successfully completes their first year of college. Most of the volunteer mentors are Yoncalla Alumni!
We received many favorable comments from last fall’s Eagles Taking Flight section of the newsletter. Please recall from the Fall edition of the YAA newsletter, the wonderful success stories of recent YHS graduate students. Now, to further verify the Goodness of your contributions, please read and enjoy these additional recent YHS graduate stories of accomplishment. Remember, these graduates all received YAA scholarships. We asked them the following questions:
1. What post-secondary institutions have you attended?
2. What degrees/certificates have you earned?
3. What are you doing now and what path have you taken to get here?
4. Is there anything you would like to say to the YAA donors?
Emily (Sheets) Jones, Class of 2011 – “Since graduating from Yoncalla High School in 2011, I have attended both Umpqua Community College and Pioneer Pacific College. In 2013, I graduated from Pioneer Pacific College and sat for my NCLEX state board testing in which I received my Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) licensure. I am currently working at Amedisys Home Health as a skilled nurse. I worked from 2013-16 in pediatrics before switching to long term geriatric health for the last three years. I would like to thank the Yoncalla Alumni Association for their help in making my dreams become my reality. I am enthusiastic about my future in the nursing field as I continue to work towards my Bachelors in Science of Nursing.”
Taryn (Lowes) Owens, Class of 2013 – “I attended Oregon State University and in 2017 received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design with a minor in Business and Entrepreneurship. I currently run my own business, Cailene Creatives, which started in high school as photography but has expanded into much more and now includes design and merchandise as well. Through scholarships from the Yoncalla Alumni Association and the Ford Family Foundation, I was able to be very involved in clubs and organizations granting me the opportunities to attend events and programs across the U.S. as well as travel internationally every year while attending OSU . . . which I continue to do today. My business is based in Yoncalla but I work with clients across Oregon, the U.S. and internationally. One of my clients, Special Olympics Oregon, is an organization that I still volunteer with regularly and you can read a feature they recently did on me in their newsletter at: https://mailchi.mp/soor.org/take-the-plunge. I will be participating in the Super Plunge for Special Olympics Oregon on February 22nd where I as well as 30 other individuals will be jumping into the river every hour for 24 hours.”
Will Shaw, Class of 2016 – “I have attended SWOCC (Southwestern Oregon Community College) and I am currently attending McPherson College in McPherson, Kansas. I earned an Associates in Science at SWOCC and currently working toward my Bachelors in Environmental Stewardship while minoring in both Biology and Communications here at McPherson. McPherson offered me a baseball scholarship helping me toward my academic goals. I had a goal in high school to have my college paid for with academic and athletic scholarships and, thus far, my goal has been achieved. I would like to give a huge thank you to the Yoncalla Alumni Association for its support and its donations to help me live out my dream, a dream that I have had for as long as I can remember!”
Megan Simons, Class of 2016 – “Hello everyone! My name is Megan Simons and I was part of the graduating class of 2016 at Yoncalla High School. I am senior at Oregon State University and my major is Animal Science with an equine focus and a therapy emphasis. After college graduation I hope to have my own business training horses professionally while also having an equine assisted therapy business. Honestly, though, I’m open to doing any sort of professional work with horses. Last summer, I worked at Duchess Sanctuary which is located outside of Oakland. Sanctuary has almost 200 horses that have been rescued from terrible situations. It was a very fulfilling job and I was able to gain lots of experience working with different horses. I am working on graduating a term early from Oregon State and begin looking for a job. I would love to give a great big THANK YOU to the donors for the Yoncalla Alumni Association scholarships! Without your support, I probably would not have been able to pursue my dream of attending Oregon State University and earning my degree. Your support means the absolute world to graduating students of Yoncalla High School!”
Tyler Gustafson, Class of 2016 – “After graduating from high school, I attended Umpqua Community College and earned my Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree then transferred to Oregon State University and graduated with a BA in Agricultural Business Management. I am currently working for my dad’s company, Northwest Community Builders, LCC on our Elkhead Valley Ranch. We do construction site work and excavation, both commercial and residential. I am also experimenting with ways to farm my parent’s property more efficiently to produce a greater and more reliable on-farm revenue stream. I graduated from college after three years and it saved me a lot of money. I am very thankful for the generosity of the Yoncalla Alumni Association and their donors. If it weren’t for the support I had from the YAA and other community organizations, I would have a lot more student loan debt. Instead, I am able to focus on financial goals in my life that many recent college graduates cannot. I have been blessed by many, including the YAA. So, for that I want to say thank you.”
Ben Simons, Class of 2018 – “I am a second-year student at Umpqua Community College where I will be receiving my Associate of Arts/Oregon Transfer degree in April. In September I will transfer to the University of Oregon to finish my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. I also volunteer with the North Douglas County Fire and EMS in Yoncalla/Drain where I am completing my Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMT) certification. On top of the aforementioned activities, you may recognize me as Mayor of Yoncalla. I am well into my second year as the Mayor and I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience so far. I am glad that people like the Yoncalla Alumni Association are there to help students start and manage college expenses. Without generous college scholarships like the one that I received from the association, college would be a very difficult undertaking. As you probably know, college prices are soaring ever higher leaving post-secondary education out of reach to some students. Thankfully, Yoncalla graduates have a strong support system that raises funding to ease the burden of higher education costs. I hope that every member understands the great investment you are making in our lives as students and I hope we demonstrate the value of your dollars. I would like to personally thank every member who makes scholarships through the Alumni Association possible. As always, please stop by and visit sometime. With deep gratitude!”
Hayley Reynolds, Class of 2011 – “I attended Umpqua Community College after high school graduation and earned an Associate of Transfer Degree. I transferred to the University of Hawaii at Hilo and graduated with a Bachelors in Communication and a certificate in Educational studies. I earned my Masters in Special Education, K-12 from Pacific University. In addition to the YAA scholarship, I had basketball scholarships at both UCC and the University of Hawaii at Hilo. When I returned back to Oregon, after graduating from the University of Hawaii, I became an instructional assistant in special education. That experience enlightened my passion to become a teacher. I then enrolled and completed the 18 month Master’s program at Pacific University earning my Oregon teaching certificate. My first teaching position was with the Yoncalla School District. Currently, I am teaching in a learning resource room (Special Education) with students in grades 8-12 at Sutherlin High School. I am also coaching Unified Sports (Special Olympics). To the Yoncalla Alumni Association donors, I want to express my appreciation for your generous contributions to our community’s youth. Financial burdens are one of the main reasons students do not attend college. By providing scholarship opportunities, you give students hope to strive to be their better self. A big thank you to all who make big dreams achievable for us small town folks!”
Reading these wonderful student success stories deepens my pride in the Yoncalla community and good ole YHS! There are many more of these kind of stories that have been supported by your YAA scholarship dollars. Clearly, as you can see, the YAA scholarships are making a big positive difference in the lives of many graduating YHS students while these students, in return, are making a big positive difference within the communities they choose to live. Thank you to the wonderful and generous alumni base of Yoncalla High School!
Terry Duncan (69)
Contributions to Date
Class of 2020
Having awarded about $115,000 during our first nine years of existence, the Class of 2020 will mark the tenth year for Yoncalla Alumni Association scholarships. The YAA is driven by the belief that education will make a significant difference in the life of a young person. The YAA is committed to helping Yoncalla High School students successfully take their first post-secondary step toward further education. Please keep in mind that this newsletter is the only tool used by the YAA to solicit contributions for scholarship money.
Lyle Clingman (75) – Elmiria, OR; Mary (Farrell) Andrews (60) – Newberg, OR; Jim Booth (60) – Salem, OR; George Murdock (Superintendent) – Pendleton; Francis Coggswell (55) – Roseburg; Wayne Van Loon (65) – Beaverton; Jim Wamsley (58) – Cottage Grove; Carl and Kathleen VanLoon (75) - Yoncalla
Max Dodd (42) by Jeanette (Dodd) Crites (69) – Roseburg; Linda (Dodd) Montgomery (68) - Eugene
Paul Allen (48) by Jim Allen (76) – Sutherlin
Pauline (Rychard) Allen (52) by Jim Allen (76) – Sutherlin;
Doris (Kingery) Means (44) by Marlow Fullbright (52) & Lola (Highley) Fullbright (56) – Yoncalla; Molly (Kingery) Anderson (54) – Glenham, SD; Mary Ellen Lasswell (Teacher) – Yoncalla; Cheryl (Huntington) Patterson (67) – Myrtle Creek; Terry Wyffels – Yamhill; Randy & Kathy Finley – Yoncalla; Terry Duncan (69) & Bonnie (Dupper) Duncan (67) – Yoncalla; Rick Duncan (71) & Betty (Tucker) Duncan (75) – Yoncalla; Nicole (Meeuwsen) Rief (95) – Buckley, WA; James Langdon (80) – Yoncalla; Dorthy Langdon (74) – Yoncalla;
Janelle (Payne) Hetherington (66) by Marlow Fullbright (52) & Lola (Highley) Fullbright (56) – Yoncalla; Roxanna (Stark) Jennings (66) – St. Helens
Howard Loyd (59) by Marlow Fullbright (52) & Lola (Highley) Fullbright (56) – Yoncalla; Virgina (Langdon) Westfall (59) – Fremont, CA; Jim Hudson (59) - Salem
Frances Huntington (62) by Susan (Huntington) Neil (70) – Ridgefield, WA
Vicki (Crites) Duncan (71) by John Duncan (75) – Nine Mile Falls, WA
Nina (Bryant) Noffsinger (75) by John Duncan (75) – Nine Mile Falls, WA
Steve Means (75) by John Duncan (75) – Nine Mile Falls, WA
Marie (Blanchfill) Smith (75) by John Duncan (75) – Nine Mile Falls, WA
Beryl (Smith) Adams (Teacher) & Stacy Adams by Mary Margaret (Adams) Hite (64) – Gleneden Beach
Harold Coggswell (52) by Francis Coggswell (55) – Roseburg
Shirley (Highley) Waters (49) by Homer Waters (51) – Yoncalla
Walt and Sandy Speer (Teacher) by Steve Speer (76) – Fossil
Linda Speer (79) by Steve Speer (76) – Fossil
Roy Langdon (68) by James Langdon (80) – Yoncalla; Dorthy Langdon (74) - Yoncalla
Nina Duncan by Bob (54) & Lois (Parks) Campbell (55) – Yoncalla; John Duncan (75) – Nine Mile Falls, WA
Kimberly Campbell (78) by Bob (54) & Lois (Parks) Campbell (55) – Yoncalla
Judi (Bennett) Gay (88) by Don Gay (83) – Coeur d’Alene, ID
Homer Waters (51) by James Langdon (80) – Yoncalla; Dorthy Langdon (74) – Yoncalla; Marlow (52) & Lola (Highley) Fullbright (56) – Yoncalla; Mary Ellen Lasswell (Teacher) – Yoncalla; James & Marla Wiley – Yoncalla; Cheryl (Huntington) Patterson – Myrtle Creek; Barbara McKirdy (50) – Eugene; Bill LaMar (51) – Visalia, CA; Alma Waters (60) - Roseburg
Dennis Thompson (66) by Rodney Thompson (60) – Pendleton
Mary Diana (Thompson) Brady (62) by Rodney Thompson (60) – Pendleton
Marvin Bagel Thompson (46) by Rodney Thompson (60) – Pendleton
George Johnson (53) by Jim Wamsley (58) – Cottage Grove
Ronald Lee Powell (57) by Mary Ann Powell - Prineville
Charolette Wise Memorial Scholarship: Jim Allen (76) – Sutherlin;
Don Kingery Sr. Memorial Scholarship: Jim Allen (76) – Sutherlin; Francis Coggswell (60) – Roseburg;
Quentin Rychard Memorial Scholarship: Jim Allen (76) – Sutherlin;
J. R. Van Loon Memorial Scholarship: Jim Allen (76) – Sutherlin; Wayne Van Loon (65) – Beaverton;
Devin Duncan Memorial Scholarship: Jim Allen (76) – Sutherlin; John Duncan (75) – Nine Mile Falls, WA; Don Wood – Union; Nicole (Meeuwsen) Reif (95) – Buckley, WA;
Bill Lasswell Memorial Scholarship: Jim Allen (76) – Sutherlin; Jim Booth (60) – Salem; Francis Coggswell (55) – Roseburg; Kay Van Krevelen (60) – Roseburg; Bill (54) & Lois (Parks) Campbell (55) – Yoncalla;
Yoncalla Alumni Association
Board of Directors
Terry Duncan (69) – President
Carl Van Loon (75) – Vice President
Betty (Tucker) Duncan (75) – Secretary
Stella (Rychard) Myers (70) – Treasurer
Nancy (Cox) Benzel (69) – Member
Rob Bragg (67) – Member
YHS Faculty Representative - Member