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Digital Journalism Staff
South Medford High School
1551 Cunningham Avenue
Medford, OR 97501
Phone: (541) 842-3680
Fax: (541) 842-1513
Kevin Campbell, Principal
Hours: 7:30 am - 4:00 pm




Thursday May 22, 2014
8:00 am – 9:00 am in main Gym
Entrance for sign-up determined by attendance AND
if you turned in your senior portfolio by May 2nd.


A Festival of Colors
    On April 26 there will be a Festival of Colors at the South Medford High School soccer field from noon until 4pm. The event is being put on by South Medford senior, Sierra Cassidy, and will be free for all ages to attend. The Festival of Colors is a celebration that originated in India as a welcome for all of the new life and color of spring. It is now celebrated all over the world. During the celebration, colored powder is thrown on friends, family and strangers until everyone is cover in vibrant colors. Sierra has added her own twist to the celebration by making the main focus being discrimination-free. “We are not celebrating races or certain religions, but rather the colors of spring,” Sierra explained, and that’s what the festival will be all about. There will be music, colored powder, and the entire community has the chance to come together. Come to the South soccer field on Saturday, April 26 to support Sierra’s senior project in an effort to bring a discrimination-free community together for fun and color.  - Ali Taylor, Digital Journalism


South Medford Jazz Celebration

Come join South Medford Jazz bands in the black box theatre this Wednesday at 6 o’clock for a swinging jazz celebration. Performances by not only our very own jazz bands but also the Southern Oregon All Star Band and The Ed Dunsavage Trio. Tickets are only $10 and available at South Medford High School, Larry’s Music or Tom’s Guitars. The doors will open at 5:30 where guests will be welcomed in with the jiving sound of South’s second Jazz Band. This is a one night event only and is sure to make you want to leap out of your seat and dance!Kylie McDermott, Digital Journalism

Post Millie Vanilli
Congratulations to the Juniors for winning Millie Vanilli, but also a congratulations to the Seniors for winning the trip to Six Flags! It’s been a tough year fighting for spirit points. Before spirit week, the Juniors were only one point behind, but after factoring in Millie and the spirit week, the Seniors took the lead. This goes to show that participation in the dress-up days and the spirit activities really does make a difference. It was even enough to pass the Junior’s gain from Millie!

Before the actual competition, everyone was perfecting their moves to present to the judges. In the rehearsals, it took time to get in sync, but the performers managed to dance flawlessly once it was time to show the judges their moves. For most, groups seemed to have some form of a costume or uniform that matched their group. In the pre-show – before the class competition – the teachers demonstrated their own dance moves as an introduction to what was about to happen. Still, in the end of it all, everyone had a spectacular performance, but the Juniors won the Millie Vanilli competition. Congrats to the Juniors for that victory, but also a congrats to the Seniors for claiming the spirit prize: a trip to Six Flags
. - D.J. Kirkendall, Digital Journalism

Prom is Almost Here!
Juniors and seniors get ready to dance because this year Prom will be on Saturday, April 26 from 8pm to midnight at the Rogue Valley Country Club. Tickets are on sale now at the activities window, starting at $20 for a single ticket and $30 for a couples ticket and will be selling at school through April 25 at 3pm. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the door. Gold card holders will receive $10 off the price of their purchase and silver card holds will receive $5 off. Guest passes are for students from other schools who will attending South’s Prom and must be completed and approved by student management in room A141 prior to the purchase of tickets. Guest passes will not be available at the door! Freshman and sophomores who wish to attend Prom must go with an upperclassman or have an upperclassman purchase a ticket for them. Remember, the dress code is formal and the dancing is expected to be clean and to follow school guidelines. Prom is expected to be fun and elegant, and the theme for this year is "Kissed by a Rose".  - Ali Taylor, Digital Journalism



South’s Theater presents the “Adventures of Alice in Wonderland”
                On May 15, 16 and 17, 2014, South Medford High School’s theater will be presenting the “Adventures of Alice in Wonderland”, written by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, more commonly known by his pen name, Lewis Carroll. Dodgson invented the story on July 4, 1856 while in a rowboat with his friend’s children. One child that he was particularly fond of was a ten-year-old girl named Alice Liddell. Young Alice loved the many stories that Dodgson told, and was delighted by his latest story of such a weird and magical place, especially because she had a great resemblance to the main character. Both the real Alice and the fictional Alice had the same birthday on May 4 and the same blond hair. Dodgson’s new story was such a big hit with the children that he wrote it down and added his own artwork. Over the years, he continued to add to the story until it was published in 1865. He later denied much of the obvious resemblance between the real Alice and the fictional one.
          Versions of the famous play have been around since 1886, but the version of the play that South will be presenting was adapted recently by high school director, Jo Stram Lane, in Portland. The play is based off of the dialog in the book, and a scene was also added to the play by South’s theater director, Ms. Wezelman. South’s version of the play is expected to be a great one and the many theater students involved in the play have already put in a vast amount of hours, and are excited about the production. Theater student, Hannah Fretz, will be sharing the part of Alice. “I’m most excited about playing Alice because I have a big imagination and I’ve always been a big Lewis Carroll fan,” she explained. Make sure you come with a wild imagination to the “Adventures of Alice in Wonderland!”  Ali Taylor, Digital Journalism
South’s Band and Choir Visit the Magic Kingdom
This Spring Break the South Medford Choir and Band went to Disneyland through Disney’s performing arts program. During this trip each group performed in the park and got a recording session. The entire group drove down to Anaheim on one long bus ride that lasted 16 hours leaving at about 7 Wednesday morning and arriving at the hotel at 11 that night. The very next day the band performed first at 9:50 in the morning, and many of the choir students kindly showed up to loudly cheer them on. The choirs performed early afternoon of that day while band members were in their recording session which made the band members unable to watch the choir’s performance. In the recording session it was as much like a professional recording session as possible, the groups walked in with no idea what the music would look like or how to perform it, did a run through and then recorded it. The teachers for each group have a single disk with the recordings of their group on it. The groups recorded pieces from Disney movies including The Lion King, Atlantis, and Tangled. This was a great experience for students, especially those wanting to pursue a career in music because this was as much like a professional recording and performance as possible. Kylie McDermott, Digital Journalism

Keeping on track for graduation 
            With everything that has happened this year, we all must focus and stay on track to graduate. Some great ways to do that are staying focused in class, doing your homework and even just studying! It really is important to keep on top of everything you need to do, because even the slightest distractions can throw off your grades. With this new proficiency grading system, we really need to make sure we do our best on anything that will be summative as well as even the formative stuff. Even though the formative work doesn’t really count towards your grade, it is practice for anything that you need to do on a quiz or test. “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” -Vince Lombardi. - Ashley Aynes Digital Journalism                                                                               

Classic Book Review: Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis caught my eye on the list of classic books we could read for A.P. Language and Composition. The Chronicles of Narnia was one of my favorite childhood series so I jumped at the chance to read one of his works again. This book was way more than I bargained for. Screwtape, a demon, writes letters to his nephew a beginning tempter, Wormwood. In his letters he instructs Wormwood on the finer points of leading a new Christian astray. Screwtape describes to his nephew one way to get the new Christian (the subject) away from Christianity without making it obvious to them: make an unimportant matter important, so important that they focus only on that, make it their whole being. Here's a quote from the Screwtape demon:
“Then let him, under the influence of the partisan spirit, come to regard it as the most important part. Then quietly and gradually him on to the stage at which religion becomes merely part of the “cause”, in which Christianity is valued chiefly because of the excellent arguments it can produce [his] favor. Once you have made the World an end, a faith a means, you have almost won your man, and it makes very little difference what kind of worldly end he is pursuing.” -Screwtape
Whether you are a Christian or not, you have demons, ones that wish to distract you from the end goal. Being able to push past distractions, peer pressure, petty annoyances, to accomplish your goal in life is important.
Another way Screwtape suggests Wormwood lead his subject astray is by putting him around bad influences. People that will only draw him away from the straight and narrow; this way of pulling the subject away involves using the ‘it’s not that bad’ mindset. Using this technic makes the ‘holier than thou’ thought process come quickly. If the subject thinks that what they are doing isn’t that bad, they will then start to compare it to others like him and how badly they messed up. Thinking ‘well they did that so I can do this’ will trap anyone and can easily send the subject down a slippery slope toward rock bottom. In the book the subject avoids this by meeting good influences and making an active decision to move away from bad influences.
An alternative idea Screwtape gives Wormwood is having the subject get along poorly with his elderly mother. Driving the two of them away from each other instead of towards each other for support is an easy and successful way to upset the subject therefore making the subject likely to make other bad decisions.
This book is not like any of the Chronicles of Narnia; it was deep with many complex ideas. It made you think more and the point was slightly more obvious than the Narnia series. Even if you aren’t a Christian this book has several ideas of how anyone can be tripped up on anything from distractions to bad influences. I highly recommend this book to anyone, even if you are in no way a religious person. - Kylie McDermott, Digital Journalism


Seniors - It is Time to Fill Out the FAFSA

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is a online form that can be prepared for current or future college students to determine if they are eligible for student aid from the government. You can find out more information by visiting their helpful web site at or you can visit our Panther Future Center to get assistance.
There are several different types of aid to receive, including the Pell Grant, Stafford loans, Perkins loans, and the Federal Work-Study program. Applications are accepted starting on January first, and it is best to submit as soon as possible, since aid is given on a first come first serve basis. Don’t assume you won’t receive any aid. Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of, estimates that households earning up to $180,000 will still be likely qualify for some sort of financial aid.
Seniors, this is an important next step for college. We encourage you to complete your FAFSA application as soon as possible.  - Grant Metternich, Digital Journalism

WinterSpring Helps Students Who are Grieving

Are you grieving from the loss of someone close to you? If you are, WinterSpring is the program to join. According to South Medford Counselor Martin Mares, “WinterSpring is a grief counseling group for students who are having trouble coping with the loss of a loved one.” This group will meet once a week in a conference room in the front office. I have been through this program myself a few years ago, so I can vouch that these people know what they are doing and they can help. If you wish to be a part of this group, talk to Mr. Mares in the front office.
WinterSpring is run by trained volunteers who want to help students that need counseling, but can’t afford it. This nonprofit organization has been available to students since 1989. All of this is made possible from grants in order to keep this excellent organization running. In addition to grants, there are some people who generously make donations as well, because the volunteers are so great at the work and effort they pour into this group. The program revolves around helping those students in need. So if you really need the help, I highly recommend joining WinterSpring. - D.J. Kirkendall, Digital Journalism

Our Sparrow: Isaiah’s Story

Hey Panthers, please join us in welcoming our new Sparrow, Isaiah Harris! Isaiah is only seven years old, and has undergone more eye surgeries than most will ever have to endure in their lifetime.  Young Isaiah has had 24 eye surgeries to date, because he was born with a rare eye disease called congenital glaucoma. Isaiah has no chamber in the back of the eye to relieve fluid, so pressure builds up and damages the fibers that make up the optic nerves.  This pressure causes him eye pain, burning sensations, and headaches. Isaiah misses a lot of school because of the pain and kids his age can have difficulty understanding his unique condition.  Isaiah’s eyes are very sensitive to the light and he’s slowly losing his vision.

Isaiah’s surgeries aren’t over yet and he’ll need another one soon. Because of his condition he and his family must travel to Portland on a regular basis (about every two weeks) for extensive eye exams.  At this point, doctors are not sure how many surgeries are in his future but they are determined to keep doing everything possible to help save Isaiah’s vision.

Despite all Isaiah has gone through he’s a fun-­loving, active boy who loves sports. Isaiah even took second place in his first wrestling match! He also enjoys riding his bike when it’s not too bright outside, reading, Xbox, and playing with his cat Benjer. 

Students and staff at South Medford are rallying behind the effort to help Isaiah today! Please make a donation, and be sure to enter "Isaiah Harris" in the Sparrow designation box on the entry form, before you submit payment. Thanks for supporting our friend, Isaiah! Video by Cailin Tamplin, Digital Journalism

La Clinica Mobile Health Center Offers Students Free Medical and Dental Services

The La Clinica Mobile Health Center is a 40-foot clinic on wheels that provides medical, dental, and behavioral health care to patients who have difficulty reaching La Clinica's other health centers in the Rogue Valley. La Clinica’s Mobile Health Center will begin making weekly stops at South Medford in December, and parents and students will have an opportunity to tour the 40-foot clinic on wheels before service begins. La Clinica’s staff provides medical care on the mobile center, which looks like an RV but is outfitted with exam rooms and medical equipment and is staffed by a nurse, nurse practitioner, and aide.
An open house tour for students and their parents is set at South from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, November 22. Service at the school will be from 8:30 a.m. to noon every Monday starting December 2. The center will be open to all South students, although students 14 and younger must have parents’ permission to be seen. Discounts will be available for some students depending on family income. La Clinica has provided service to area schools since the mobile center opened in 2012.

Spirit Rally Video Inspires Students to Dream Big


SAT Sign-Ups Are Upon Us

Attention seniors of South Medford High School! An important step of college admissions is the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) that is available to take seven times throughout the school year. The fee for the test is $50 unless the student qualifies for free or reduced lunch. “Colleges need SAT scores by admission deadlines,” explained Angel Garcia in the Panther Future Center. The scores from the SAT are not only important on the college admissions, but can also lead to scholarships, merit aid and course placement while connecting seniors to colleges and educational organizations.
South students don’t need to be seniors to take the SAT. In fact, it’s highly recommended that students take the SAT no later than spring of their junior year. This allows students to get a head start in knowing what is on the test, what to study for and discovering personal strengths and weaknesses before their busy senior year. Studying for the test can begin at any time, but the sooner a student begins studying, the better their chances are at excelling. SAT study workbooks and sign-ups are available in the Panther Future Center at South and study tips, sign-ups and other information are available at For further information on the SAT test, see Angel Garcia in the South Medford Panther Future Center or visit - Ali Taylor, Digital Journalism
SAT TEST DATES Oct. 5 2013 Nov. 2 2013 Dec. 7
Jan. 25 2014 Mar. 8
May 3 2014 Jun. 7 2014
REGULAR REGISTRATION DEADLINES Sep. 6 2013 Oct. 3 2013 Nov. 8 2013 Dec. 27 2013 Feb. 7 2014 Apr. 4 2014 May 9 2014
LATE REGISTRATION DEADLINES Sep. 20 2013 Oct. 18 2013 Nov. 22 2013 Jan. 10 2014 Feb. 21 2014 Apr. 18 2014 May 23 2014
Panther News

New Format for Student Report Card
The new district report card has several new sources of information for parents and students. As you read the new report card, look under course and term for the letter grade. Note the next section labeled “Reporting Standards” to check your student’s progress on class assessments. Then check the "Career Related Learning Standards" portion for the skills and behaviors students need to master for their future. For your convenience, click this link to see a handy guide to the new report card.
Useful Links

Our Mission

South Medford High School is dedicated to building resourceful, respectful, academically strong individuals.
South Medford High School
1551 Cunningham Avenue
Medford, OR 97501
Phone: (541) 842-3680
Fax: (541) 842-1513
Student Records Fax: 541-842-1528
Kevin Campbell, Principal
Hours: 7:30 am - 4:00 pm
School Information:
  • School Colors: Royal Blue and Silver Gray
  • Grades: 9 - 12 Enrollment: 1,936
  • Staff: 118
  • Student Transportation: Students who live one and a half miles or more from school are bussed to and from school. Children who live less than one and a half miles from school walk or are transported by car.
  • Visitors Policy: Due to the enrollment size and student safety, student visitors are not allowed. All other visitors must check in with the main office and get a visitors pass.
Main Contact Numbers:

  549C Medford School District

Medford School District 549C Mission Statement
We are a high quality teaching and learning organization dedicated to preparing all students to graduate
with a sound educational foundation, ready to succeed in post-secondary education, and to be contributing community members.

Medford Public Schools 549C recognizes the diversity and worth of all individuals and groups and their roles in society and our community.
It is the policy of the Medford School Board that there will be no discrimination or harassment of individuals or groups on the grounds of age, color, creed, disability, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation in any educational programs, activities or employment.
For District Federal Title Program compliance, please contact the Office of Federal Programs: (541) 842-3633
For District Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act compliance, please contact the Office of Special Education & Student Services: (541) 842-3628
For District American Disabilities Act compliance, please contact the Office of Human Resources: (541) 842-3625


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