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Principal’s Page

Principal's Retort Oct.2018
Hard to believe November is here and Christmas decorations are in the stores, but it’s been a wonderful October at SUHS! As seasons go, October has always been one of my favorite times of year with the heat of summer being overshadowed by cool moist winter air settling into our valley and the beautiful colors of fall rippling throughout the mountains.

October is also filled with many exciting high school traditions; homecoming sporting events, dance, bonfire, night raid, powder puff, powder tuff, PSAT’s to name a few. One of our goals this year is to increase student participation within the many activities (extracurricular and academic) that enrich a well-rounded high school experience for our students. Research suggests that participation in extracurricular activities can increase students’ sense of engagement or attachment to their school, and thereby decrease the likelihood of school failure and dropping out (Lamborn et al, 1992; Finn, 1993).

Homecoming week was a great success this year even though the football team had a tough loss. We had large turnouts for our powder tuff game, bonfire, night raid/BBQ, and the homecoming football game. I was very proud of all the hard work that our students put into their class halftime floats, with a huge congratulations to the junior class for being awarded the honor of having the most school spirited float. Later that night we had 190 students attend our homecoming dance with Tayah Kelley and Creedance Ferguson being voted King and Queen of our homecoming court.

Our enrollment has continued to grow this year, currently we have 390 students in comparison to 358 at this time last year. Out of that 390, we have 111 student athletes participating in our fall sports. Though this number is down from previous years, we are anticipating higher numbers for our winter sports programs. With boys’ basketball currently looking for a JV2 coach because our numbers are so high.

Every month our Booster club recognizes outstanding students for their athletic and academic achievements. Along with our coaches, each month teachers have the opportunity to nominate exceptional students from a specific academic subject, for October math was that subject. An enormous congratulations to the following students for being awarded our Booster clubs students of the month:

Cheerleading: Stephanie Fonsen

Algebra 2: Jenna Castro

Girls Soccer: Hannah Lowell & Kyla Pires

Geometry: Kaylee O’Sullivan

Boys Soccer: Devyn Lincecum & Matt Lee

Algebra 1: Jamie Rivera

Football: Creedance Ferguson

Volleyball: Sydnie Johnson

FBLA: Dante’ James & Jeanne Davis

Last but very much not least in the realm of sports I want to highlight and give a gigantic congratulations to our Lady Lancers Volleyball team for making it to the state playoff tournament! This is the first time in over a decade we have had a volleyball team go to the tournament. We have a sendoff event planned for Nov. 1st with parents, fire departments and local police escorting our team out of town. The tournament is in Forest Grove this year and our Lady Lancers play their first game on the 2nd at 10am. Go Lancers!!

As a staff we have been working on trauma informed care and suicide prevention practices. We recently had Darlene Chapman come and train our teachers around suicide prevention practices. Darlene is a prevention specialist with the Cow Creek Health and Wellness Center. Often time’s teachers feel unqualified to address issues around suicide or other types of trauma. But this training clearly showed that sometimes it is simple acts of kindness, like asking a student “how are you doing?” that has the greatest positive impact. I feel this was a successful training and we really appreciate the continued support we receive from the Tribe.

Again many are well aware of our county statistics around poverty, which are staggering with 80% of the students in Douglas County being eligible for free and reduced lunch. Research has shown when there are high rates of poverty there is a direct correlation to high rates of abuse. Our goal is to know, understand, and use trauma informed practices to support our student’s access to an engaging education that will allow a greater opportunity for success throughout their life.

Upcoming events:

* Our choir will be attending and performing at the Roseburg Vocal Jam on 11/1/18.

* Gear-Up scholar road trip to OMSI for the King Tut Exhibit on 11/05/2018.

* AP Art trip to the University of Oregon & Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on 11/16/18.

*Night School credit recovery will run from Nov. 5th to Dec. 19th, four days a week from 3 to 5 pm.

* Our Drama team will do a rendition of Pride & Prejudice called “Piper & Prejudice” starting in December. Exact dates will be determined soon.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have. Thank you so much for all of your support for our students and staff.

With respect,

Carl Simpson

Principal, South Umpqua High School