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AOS, SAHS and WAHS students and staff receive 2018 Peacemaker awards

Posted on: May 18, 2018

The annual Peacekeepers awards ceremony honored students and staff from Albany Options, South Albany and West Albany high schools. The award recognizes schools that promote harmony, peace and justice in the community.

The following students and staff were recognized at a lunch event on May 7.

Albany Options

Hailey Cotton
Laurel Elliott
Stefany Sanchez
Breanna Volkers

Faculty/Staff: Danny Corliss

South Albany High School

Itzel Alvarez
Emily Balck
Katie Beasley
Sage Bodily
Ambri Burton
Ryan Butler
Samantha Chavarria
Daniela Chavez
Angel Escorcia
Samantha Escorcia
Isaiah Exton
Moises Gonzalez
Jaden Guilford
Ramon Hernandez
Rose Howard
Alex King
Grace Lawson
Taylor Lewis
Brenda Lopez-Lopez
Eddie Martinez
Victor Maxfield
Nick McBee
Susie Montes
Ashlee Nunez
Karla Ortega-Montenegro
Savannah Partridge
Matthew Perry
Pippa Richardson
Isaac Soutwick
Terran Swope
Christopher Vega DeLeon
Christian Vosgien
Elizabeth Wood
Evelin Zuniga

Faculty/Staff: Brandon Neal, Chelsea Palmer, Kaylee Roderick, Chris Van Cauteren, Rose Zoellner

West Albany High School

Liliana Bacilio
Colton Byers
Athena Boysen
Esther Bugge
Jacqueline Clark
Josie Davis
Sabrina Davis
Ceanne Elliott
Hailyn Gibson
Karlie Guilliot
Kennedy Guilliot
Jalen Handy
Jack Lamont
Freddy Lopez
Eli Nicholas
Marcella Norris
Yurtzia Peraza
Vada Shelby
Diego Silva
Anna Soot
Hannah Thorp
Cindy Wong
Abby Wooton
Kassandra Worley

Faculty/Staff: Mr. Wadlow

Photos by Don Bacher. See entire album on Flickr.

Peacemaker award winners pose for photo

Student All-Stars: West Albany High School

Posted on: May 9, 2018

At the first annual GAPS Student All-Stars Celebration, the School Board honored outstanding students from each school. Students were nominated by school staff and introduced by the school principal.

West Albany High School All-Stars are: 

Conner Rice and Hayden Huzefka

Principal Susie Orsborn spoke about these students as an indispensable team at West Albany High School — and other school and community groups. Both have expert event technology skills and tirelessly volunteer to help with any request.

They were also recognized for the following work and achievements:

  • Graduation sound and set up
  • After-school dances
  • Pep assemblies
  • Event technology
  • Musicals
  • Oregon Music Educators Association band festivals / choir concerts
  • Leadership
  • Student Body President: Connor
  • Anytime we need anything: microphone, class meetings etc.

“You name they do it!”

West Albany student musicians win awards at state contest

Posted on: May 3, 2018

Over the weekend, West Albany music students competed in the Oregon Music Education Association State Chamber Ensemble and Oregon Student Activities Association State Solo Contests at Pacific University in Forest Grove.

The following students earned awards for their performances:

Chamber Ensembles

Women’s Large Ensemble – 4th Place

Gemma Williams, Jessy Birruete, Anna Soot, Rhianna Miller, Elizabeth Lake, Mackenzie Duda, Sylvia Harrington

Men’s Large Ensemble – 3rd Place

Sam Rossback, Charlie DeRose, Cole Stenger, Tanner Wind, Will Radtke

Percussion Ensemble – 2nd Place

Curtis Allen, Jessica Bradley, Jasiah Brown, LJ Carmichael, Chase Clure, Cameron Crites, Elizabeth Frenzel, Kyle Jensen, Emily Lyon, Zachary Manning, Alexander Miller, Ryan Nelson, Benjamin Norman, Lauren Rose, Paul Sprague, Tanner Wind

Woodwind Trio – 1st Place

Ryan Nelson, Brandon Dodd, Zoe Ames


Paul Sprague – 2nd Place – Euphonium
Colton Byers – 3rd Place – Trumpet
Amanda Givens – 5th Place – Oboe
Ryan Nelson – 6th Place Bassoon

Casey Brooks receives Honorable Mention in PAYBACK Challenge

Posted on: April 27, 2018

PALO ALTO, California, April 26, 2018- Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF) is pleased to announce three students from Oregon have received an Honorable Mention Award in their inaugural PAYBACK Challenge. Congratulations to Casey Brooks from West Albany High School (Albany), Kaitlyn Wornath from Tigard High (Tigard), and David Hoang from Franklin High School (Portland ).

This essay contest attracted over 500 submissions from students in all fifty states. After playing the game, students wrote a 250-word essay with the following prompt:

“How could you use the online game, PAYBACK, to have a conversation with your parent/guardian about paying for college?”

Teachers from over 500 classrooms nominated the best student essay. NGPF staff then reviewed these essays, judging them based on the following criteria:

  • Indicates an understanding of key concepts learned by playing the game PAYBACK.
  • Addresses concerns their parents/guardians may have about this sensitive topic.
  • Takes a creative approach to engaging parents/guardians in a conversation about

Each of the 150 Honorable Mention winners will receive a $500 award from NGPF to be used for educational purposes. NGPF will announce the ten PAYBACK Challenge Finalists next Thursday, May 3rd.

Team SWARM Division Finalists in FIRST FRC Robotics Championships

Posted on: April 23, 2018
(photo courtesy of the Ratchet Rockers)

Congratulations to SWARM, the South West Albany Robotics Maniacs team, for placing as division finalists in the FIRST FRC Robotics world champion competition!

From Wednesday through Saturday last week, SWARM competed in Houston, Texas in the FRC World Championships. Over 400 FRC teams traveled to Worlds, and were split into 6 divisions. SWARM was placed in Hopper, arguably the most difficult division.

SWARM had some amazing games and performed very well. In the end, they ranked 17th out of the 68 teams in their division. During alliance selection, they were picked to be on the number 3 alliance, comprised of BumbleB from Israel, the Ratchet Rockers from Missouri, and Walton Robotics from Georgia. Their alliance won the quarter final matches 2 – 1, and won 2-0 in the semi finals.

In the finals for the Hopper field, their alliance played against the number 1 alliance of the Cheesy Poofs, Robowranglers, Spartabots, and Ha-Dream Team. The Cheesy Poofs went undefeated all season this year with an absolutely amazing robot, and won the Hopper division. They then moved on and proceeded to win every match in the round robin play for Einstein finals qualification matches, and finally won the World Championships 2 – 0.

Here is a playlist of all the SWARM matches from the World Championships.

From all of the students and mentors from SWARM, thank you for your support! It was an amazing season and a lot of fun.


Read more in the Democrat Herald.

Megan Cox Wins at OSAA Speech and Debate State Championships

Posted on: April 23, 2018

Junior Megan Cox won a state championship in the event of After-Dinner Speaking (ADS) on Saturday, April 21 at the OSAA Speech and Debate State Championships. ADS is an original six-minute speech that uses humor and satire to address a serious issue. Megan’s speech examined sexuality, specifically situations of heteronormativity, and used humor to explore ways humans could be tolerant of each other regardless of their sexual preference. The speech earned three first place votes from all three judges in the final round. Megan also earned 4th place in Humorous Interpretation, a 10-minute speech in which a speaker uses both verbal and nonverbal communication to present a published work to the audience. There were 62 schools competing from across Oregon, and not every school had a representative in each event. ADS had a field of 31 competitors, and Humorous had a field of 27. The last time West Albany won a state championship in ADS was in 1992 when Megan’s coach, Mr. Crow, won state with a speech about the elderly in America.

Megan has won and placed at many tournaments this year. Her successes have earned her thousands of dollars in scholarships and two spots at upcoming national tournaments. In May, she will compete in Denver Colorado in the National Individual Events Tournament of Champions in the events of Humorous Interpretation and Original Oratory Speaking. In June, she will compete in the National Speech and Debate Association national tournament in the event of Duo Interpretation with Junior Kayla Lesser.

Megan Cox, 2018 ADS state champion and Mr. Crow, 1992 ADS State Champion

WAHS student Patrick Spence is elected Oregon Youth Governor

Posted on: April 11, 2018

West Albany junior Patrick Spence is the next YMCA Oregon Youth Governor. Spence, who also serves as a student representative on the School Board, campaigned for the office at a Youth and Government legislative conference last weekend. He was one of four students running for the office.

Youth and Government is a program for high school students across Oregon. It provides the opportunity to experience the legislative process firsthand and for the student voice to be heard.

Spence’s campaign platform includes increasing student participation rates in the statewide program. Oregon has a lower student participation rate than most states. His platform includes increasing visibility and reaching out to other schools.

As governor, Spence will travel to Washington, D.C., in June.