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Clubs donate dictionaries to third graders; Wetten jog-a-thon raises over $24,000; Gladstone High robotics team competes; North Clackamas tech director recognized nationally

Patti Banka's third graders were excited to use the dictionaries they received from the Gladstone/Oak Lodge Rotary Club. In a longstanding annual tradition, the Rotary Club of Milwaukie and Gladstone/Oak Lodge Rotary Cub recently distributed free dictionaries to all third grade students in local elementary schools.

Milwaukie club members delivered over 400 books to Ardenwald, Linwood, Seth Lewelling, Lot Whitcomb and Milwaukie-El Puente schools, while Gladstone/Oak Lodge members donated dictionaries to all 143 third graders at John Wetten Elementary.

"Each year Milwaukie Rotarians provide these studentCOURTESY PHOTOS - Milwaukie-El Puente elementary schoolchildren get dictionaries from Milwaukie Rotarians Steven Tam (from left), Luke Strait, Brad Olson and Tara Cunningham.s with a copy of their own book to keep as part of our local community service mission of basic literacy and education," said Joel Bergman, a member of the club in Milwaukie.

Milwaukie members include Police Chief Luke Strait; OnPoint Community Credit Union representatives Stephen Tam and Tarah Cunningham; and Brad Olson, owner of Olson Bros towing and auto service.

"Students were excited to discover the dictionary included information about the 50 states and the planets, as well as maps of the continents, and a copy of the U.S. Constitution," said Gladstone/Oak Lodge project coordinator Baldwin van der Bijl.

Wetten jog-a-thon raises over $24,000

John Wetten students Micah Bland and Abby Miller participated in their school jog-a-thon, which raised more than $24,000 for classroom supplies, technology and school activities.Students at John Wetten raised more than $24,085 at their fall jog-a-thon. The top student fundraiser was Samael Perez, who brought in $1,020 single-handedly.

Some of the funds raised will cover the cost of events throughout the year, including the dance party, the school carnival, staff appreciation and staff conference dinners. In addition, the funds will be used for classroom supplies, field trips, technology and school activities.

Top fundraisers won a limousine ride to McDonald's for lunch or a class ice cream party.

Gladstone robotics team competes

Robotics Team 3131 from Gladstone High School Alden Rivers, Brenden OHanlon, Bryson Williams, and Jacob Quenette of the Gladstone Robotics Team prepare for competition.took fourth place at the DW Fritz "Inventational" on Nov. 9. To view a video from an early round of the competition, visit the Gladstone Robotics Facebook page.

"We had a fantastic day interacting with the other teams, and our team members had the chance to try new roles," said mentor Steve Stewart. "In a competition against the strongest teams in the district, finishing fourth out of 10 was a bonus!"

North Clackamas tech director recognized nationally

As a sixth grade teacher at Lewelling Elementary School in the late 1990s, Tricia George had one student, a member of the Hmong ethnic group from Southeast Asia, who was nonverbal.

When George received a grant that allowed students to record video and still images to create their own digital portfolios, that student jumped at the opportunity to tell his story to the class using pictures, text, music and video.

"It was a huge moment for all of the students, but mostly for him, as the response that he got from his peers was so overwhelmingly supportive," George said. "This technology enabled him to communicate, without words, so much about himself. It was then that I realized just how transformative a little bit of technology can be for an individual."

Since then, George has been driven to increase North Clackamas Superintendent Matt Utterback congratulates Executive Director of Technology and Information Services Tricia George on being named one of the Top 10 Innovative School District Tech Directors in the country.NCSD students' access to technology while serving in a variety of roles, including as executive director of technology for the past five years. Education Technology Insights magazine recently named George one of the Top 10 Innovative School District Tech Directors in the country.

"I am honored and humbled to receive this award," George said. "My work was recognized this time, but it is just a microcosm of the incredible work that is currently happening in so many other school districts."

As a technology coach for the district, George implemented the district's first rollout of mobile devices beginning in 2003. While serving as an elementary principal, George won the nationwide Intel Star Innovator Award for technology innovation with her school staff in 2010.

In her current role, George has spearheaded numerous efforts to keep NCSD at the forefront of educational technology, including the transition to a nearly all-digital curriculum, the push to achieve a 1:1 device-to-student ratio at all levels by 2020, and the implementation of an online registration system this past summer.

Current initiatives include developing deeper digital literacy for students and personalizing instruction and professional development for teachers.

Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations David Yoshihara praised George for being a strong proponent for student equity, pointing to the recent grant she secured to provide free Wi-fi hotspots to all NCSD high schoolers who don't have internet access at home.

He also pointed out that under her leadership, the technology department physically moved into a new building over the summer.


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