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I have the WL-WV Education Foundation to thank for helping the district become what it is

SPOKESMAN FILE PHOTO - Brandon Kyung When I think back over the last four years, I can only think of dedicated and creative teachers. It is hard to imagine what my high school career would have been like with different teachers. When it comes to Advanced Placement classes, I am grateful to have had the teachers that I did. These are not easy classes. They represent college courses, and with certain test scores, you can earn college credit. While not every school has the luxury of offering as many AP classes as Wilsonville High School, even less have the teachers to match.

These teachers always go the extra mile, offering weekend study sessions and extensive office hours. While many teachers in this district display such excellence, my previous AP chemistry teacher Mr. O'Connell best represents these qualities. AP chemistry is a class that is notorious for being difficult. Many juniors take this course and are shocked by the level of laboratory work involved. Lab experiments that are designed to take three hours are crammed into two hour classes, despite the class coming in early. Chemicals that degrade in just a few hours need to be mixed, equipment needs to be set up and kinks need to be worked out of procedures. Every lab seems like an impossible task given the time constraints, yet week after week Mr. O'Connell pulls it off seamlessly. This is a testament to his commitment to his students. He could teach these chemistry concepts out of a textbook or powerpoint, but he knows that seeing a reaction or chemical process in action provides a new level of learning.

Personally, I remember being fascinated with the acid-base titration labs. This is where an unknown concentration of acid or base is identified by using an indicator that would change color in response to a change in pH. This lab activity solidified my understanding of neutralizing an acid, and a full year later I can still picture the process. However, these labs require extensive equipment and preparation, none of which would have been possible without Mr. O'Connell.

Mr. O'Connell is just a single example from my experience at WHS. Unfortunately, finding impactful teachers like Mr. O'Connell is easier said than done. A large part of that task comes down to funding. This is where the WL-WV Education Foundation comes in, a group that I have been a student intern with for the past year and a half. This foundation is an volunteer group that is dedicated to raising money to support the teachers of our district. Their continued efforts supports our teachers, and in turn, the students. When I think about the impact that teachers have made on my life and education, I am thankful to have been in the WL-WV School District. Furthermore, I have the Education Foundation to thank for helping the district become what it is and what it will become.

Brandon Kyung is a senior at Wilsonville High School.

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