Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Reader's Digest selected Molalla High School as its 'Nicest Place in Oregon' in recent contest

COURTESY PHOTO: READER'S DIGEST - Here's a sneak peek at the Reader's Digest November issue, featuring the 50 nicest places in America, including Molalla High School.Molalla High School has been chosen as the Reader's Digest Nicest Place in Oregon.

The magazine's nationwide search received more than 1,000 submissions of stories of places across America where people are kind and civility is winning, according to a Reader's Digest press release. From the submissions, Reader's Digest editors and a panel of judges selected the 50 Nicest Places in America – one for each state.

MHS Associate Principal Sara Bean originally sent in the nomination and students at the school pushed it along. They campaigned in June, encouraging the community to vote for Molalla High to win the overall honor of 'Nicest Place in America.'

Molalla didn't come out on top in that regard as the title was given to Columbiana, Ohio, but Molalla did come through with the votes to bring MHS the honor of being the 'Nicest Place in Oregon.' With that, Molalla will be featured in the Reader's Digest November issue alongside the other 49 'nicest' places.

"Reader's Digest has selected one place in each state that exemplifies kindness and civility in a time of American divisiveness," said Erin Freilich in a press release about the contest. "Molalla High School in Molalla is that place in Oregon."

Molalla High demonstrates that "kindness and civility" primarily through Share the Love, the school's annual fundraiser for families in need.

PMG FILE PHOTO: CONNER WILLIAMS - Molalla High earned the 'Nicest Place in Oregon' honor largely due to the successful Share the Love fundraiser, which every year raises thousands of dollars for families facing trying circumstances.

Freilich pointed out that Share the Love started as just an empty mason jar. Teacher Joe Zenisek put the jar out to raise money for a family member in need.

"Within just a few months, the jar had collected $400," Freilich said. "But now, two decades later, they need a much larger jar."

That's true as high school leadership raised more than $90,000 in February for four families in need, even while the community simultaneously supported the three businesses affected by the February downtown fire.

"I feel a sense of humility, pride and joy," Zenisek said. "Humbled by the recognition I receive as the 'founder' of Share the Love in light of what it has become. Pride in the students who have taken the lead in continuing to grow STL into what it means today. And joy and pride to be a member of a community that has embraced STL and made it a part of what it means to live here in Molalla.

"The bottom line, it feels great to continue to play an active role in supporting the Molalla community in revealing ever more of its best self," Zenisek said.

Check out the full story on Molalla High on Reader's Digest's website here: and watch for the upcoming November issue.

Kristen Wohlers
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