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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




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                                                                                
Lady Panthers Basketball Fall Short of State Champion Title 
            After steadily holding the No. 1 position for girls’ basketball in Oregon all season, the lady Panthers fell short by 9 points in the championship game to Oregon City, finishing second in the tournament. With the final score settling at 57-48, the girls were just shy of the state victory. With one of their star players Andee Ritter out with an ACL injury, and their point guard Ashley Bolston fighting a stomach virus, the Panthers had some barriers the other team mates had to try and overcome.
            Although the panthers did come short in the championship game, the road to get them there was full of incredible victories and outstanding plays. The lady’s glided through their first rounds of playoffs, defeating Douglas in the first round with a jaw dropping score of 92-27. They also beat their Southern Oregon Hybrid rival Roseburg for the fourth time this season in their second round of play offs. As far as the season went, the girls came out on top going undefeated in conference play and a 25-3 season. All in all, we should all be extremely proud of our basketball girls, and hope that they can claim the championship title next year! - Rachael Lightner Digital Journalism

Junior Paper is a Go
          Most of the juniors here at South began a research paper that is going to take a while to complete. This is not your normal essay. The paper, unlike most, is actually worth over 200 points, a rather large portion of the grade divided into six learning targets. This could be viewed from two angles: one being that there is a lot to lose, but others might see it as a great advantage towards helping their grade! According to Mrs. Kephart, a Junior English teacher, “The Junior paper is a stepping stone to the senior paper, which is a stepping stone to college papers.” This large essay is going to require much effort on the students end.
            The Junior Paper is a research essay which has multiple requirements to meet. To start, the topic issue must represent a current social issue. Once the student decides on a topic, he or she must then browse the internet or books in search of information they could use on their selected topic. At least six sources must be used. For some students, this paper must be completed before Spring Break, and for others it may be due at the end of the third quarter. The reason that juniors complete this paper is because it “demonstrates one of the important standards of the common core” (Kephart). This is not the easiest assignment, so wish the juniors luck in completing their papers with success! - DJ Kirkendall Digital Journalism

Panther Snowboard Team Shreds at State Competition 
                From March 12th-15th, our Southern Oregon Snowboard team took to the slopes of Mt. Bachelor, in Bend Oregon, to compete in the Oregon Interscholastic Snowboard Association State Competition. Considering the fact that our local resort Mt. Ashland didn’t even open this year, preventing us from practicing all winter, we did an outstanding job.  Bringing home several medals and awards, along with some killer goggle tans, the Southern Oregon kids proved to riders from all across Oregon that we were hungry to shred, and to shred hard.
               Senior snowboarder Casey Tratz killed it in the half pipe competition, claiming the 2nd place silver without even riding pipe all season.  He also took 5th place in slope style, throwing down a technical run in the nearly white out conditions that day. “It was a bummer that we didn’t have Mt. Ashland to practice, but our team still went out there and killed it”, Tratz commented about his team. I was able to claim 3rd place for border cross racing, 5th in slope, and 5th in half pipe as well, stoked on making the podium in all events for my last year of high school competition. Senior Alex Tinsley also had a podium worthy victory, claiming 6th in slope style. Our girls’ team took 2nd in slope style, a huge victory for us lady shredders. All in all, it was an awesome time snowboarding with the fellow shredders of Oregon, and showing them that even without a mountain, we are still sending it! - Rachael Lightner 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 graduallye 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

South Medford Cheerleaders are Grand Champions at the Southern Oregon Cheer Classic

On Saturday January 18th, the JV and Varsity cheerleaders competed at the Southern Oregon Cheer Classic. The JV team, which has not competed in the past 8 years, won second place. The Varsity competition team won first place in the 5A/6A All Girl Cheerleading division beating Grants Pass and Crater. Additionally, the girls achieved the highest score out of all of the high school competitors, which included Eagle Point’s Co-Ed team and Brooking Harbor’s 4A team - who usually take top honors.

Our South Medford Cheerleaders won the Grand Champions award, and brought home their first banner for the year. Next up, the Sheldon Invitational on Feb. 1st, and then it’s off to Memorial Coliseum in Portland  for the 2014 State Cheerleading Competition. Congrats to our cheerleading squads, and good luck at state!

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

Senior Photo Deadlines for the Yearbook

Attention seniors! Senior portraits are being accepted now! Your last day to turn them in is on Friday, January 10. Also remember the guidelines for portraits - no hats, hoodies, or hands, and your clothing must be school appropriate. To ensure that your photo displays correctly in the yearbook, please be sure to take a high resolution photo. Seniors, you can email your photo to or you can hand deliver it to room C214 (Mrs. Burton’s room) or C225 (Yearbook room).
Seniors, your parent dedications are also due on March 20. Parents can submit either one baby picture and a maximum of 35 words for a business sized space for $35, or 2 baby pictures and up to 50 words for a quarter of a space for $50.
In addition, throwback pictures are also due March 20. Recreate a picture from the past! Find an old picture of your South friends and you or your relatives. Don’t forget to wear the same colors, strike the same pose, and go to the same place. Hurry seniors! The yearbook is such a special record of your life at South, make sure that you’re well represented in your senior year! - Mackinsie Hall, 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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