South Medford High School is proud to announce that we have been awarded the silver medal by U.S. News and World Report. Nationally, only 8.6% of schools are awarded this honor. This award is given based on the number of students completing college level work and state assessment scores. Out of the 287 high school in Oregon, we are ranked #22. Part of why our ranking is so amazing is because our percent of economically challenged students is greater than most of the higher ranking schools. This school has risen above those numbers to achieve the silver medal. Teachers have been stating since freshmen year that SMHS is an exceptional school— this just goes to show that they’re right!
To view Oregon Rankings follow this link
-Grant Metternich, Digital Journalism and - Kylie McDermott, Digital Journalism
Graduates of 2014 Shine
We are so proud of all the students who walked across the stage Saturday, after 13 years they have finally finished the first chapter of their lives. As they move on to the next chapter we all hope they remember the valuable lessons they learned here at South, the ones that were state mandated and the ones that were learned through personal experience with the teachers and students. Even though this year was particularly difficult with the new proficiency grading and the teacher strike making senior projects problematic to complete on time, 340 students walked this year. As our guest speaker, Kent Julian said, life will throw all sorts of curve balls at us and all we can decide is our attitude about the situation. Those 340 students obviously decided they would overcome those unusual difficulties this year provided to walk across that stage and receive their long awaited diploma. Again, we are all so proud of them.- Kylie McDermott, Digital Journalism
2014-15 School Year Registration
Make up Schedule
Friday August 22: 9:00am-12:00pm and 1:30pm-3:00pm
If unable to make it in August, please come register Tuesday, September 2nd from 9:30 to 2:30.
Jerry Wolfram age 55, teacher of P.E and P.C for boys and girls has decided to start a new chapter in his life. With 31 years of teaching under his belt at numerous high schools (Tigard, Newberg, Klamath Union, Ashland, North Bend, and South) Wolfram is retiring. With 14 years at South Wolfram will be missed not only as a teacher but also as a coach. “Sports have always been a part of my life,” says Wolfram, with 18 years of experience in coaching football, basketball and track. He plans to still stay involved in the track program and start a clinic for the community. His best memory at South was watching our boys basketball team win the State Championship. “The boys were committed in the weight room,” says Wolfram “I felt like I had a part in their success.”
Wolfram graduated from SOU and has two older kids, a son and daughter who are involved in coaching. He says that is part of the reason why he is retiring now. “Education has changed, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” says Wolfram.
-Kate Husted digital journalism-
The Joys of growing up
“School is most important”. This is what I hear everywhere I go. Parents say it, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even random people who just like to talk. They all say that school is preparation for when life begins. It works us all up and pushes us to do the best that we can. Growing up is the hardest part of life. Our entire childhood is made up of people taking care of us, then all of a sudden we are on our own. Your parents spend most of their lives saying what is right, what is wrong and why it is that way. They never seem to make it clear though, that someday there will come a time when all of this information will become of importance. Yes they may say every once in a while that one day you will thank them, and although it may not seem like that will ever be possible, one day you will go to them and say, “thank you for grounding me for a month because of the F that I got in chemistry”. Now is the time when things become real. I’m sure we all remember how everyone told us that high school is hard, and then your freshman year comes and it isn’t so hard after all. The thing is though, as you go, it gets harder. They help you along your way and slowly and slowly make it all you.
Freshman year they so call “baby” you. They help you a lot and get you used to what high school is about. Then your sophomore year they let go a little, and make some of these important keys of life, your responsibility. Every year they let go a little more and a little more and by your senior year it becomes real. Everything you were ever taught is your responsibility. Your life is in your own hands, your wellbeing. Realization that soon life will begin is now so real that is scares you, but fear is what leads to success. Fear and competition are what drive you to make sure that your life is better than the person sitting next to you. “School is most important”. This means more to you than you will ever know. -Ashlee Aynes Digital Journalism-
South’s Top Thirteen
South Medford High School is proud to present the graduating class of 2014. Out of this group of seniors, thirteen valedictorians have emerged. The valedictorians for this school year are: Theodora Barry, Joshua Baugh, Scout Boicey, Ethan Cannon, Katherine Dunn, Cassidy Herick, Gabriel Juul, Shawntell Michalke, Benjamin Orndoff, Tierza Rice, Ali Taylor, Mark Winans, and South’s first in class valedictorian, Christine Parks. To be a valedictorian, students need to have strong work incentives, be ethical, honorable and maintain a 4.0 GPA throughout all four years of high school. First in class is decided based on advanced, AP, honors and foreign language classes taken by the student. South is known for its high number of valedictorians, last year with the outstanding twenty-one valedictorians, but having thirteen is still a very impressive accomplishment.
All of the valedictorians will be recognized by the school board, meet with the superintendent, Phil Long, be featured in the Mail Tribune and have a speaking part in the graduation ceremony. Each valedictorian will also receive an engraved medal presented by South’s principal, Mr. Campbell. As first in class, Christine Parks will be giving the valediction speech at the graduation ceremony, as a way to congratulate all of the 2014 graduates and say a big thank you and farewell to South and all that will be left behind as the graduates move forward in their lives. Congratulations valedictorians!Ali Taylor, Digital Journalism
A Successful Night in the Arts
On Tuesday, May 13 South Medford High School held its annual Fine Arts Festival. The festival began at 7pm with speeches given in the theater about the arts by Dylan Carlini, who will be playing the Cheshire Cat in the upcoming “Alice in Wonderland” play, and by Jenna Smith, a talented choir student who loves to “hear and feel the magic that is made when singing with a group.” Just after the speeches, chamber choir students made the whole audience feel upbeat with the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Sophomore McKenzie Carter followed that act with her breath-taking original slam poem, “What We Live For.” The new Mariachi band directed by Yoko Kan then took the stage and performed “Cielito Lindo” and “Las Golondrinas,” bringing the Mexican culture alive in the theater. We were all in for a special treat when Jerry Su, who took second place in the state solo competition, captured every ear with “Introduction, Theme and Variations” by Gioachino Rossini on his clarinet. The music continued with the chamber orchestra’s performance of “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” by Hans Zimmer, and the evening in the theater was wrapped up with a teaser from the “Alice in Wonderland” play. The roses were never all painted red before every head on stage was ordered to be offed by the Queen of Hearts.
When the theater performances were finished, a small raffle took place and a few lucky people received beautiful pieces made by our Ceramics teacher, Mr. Richmond and our Sculptures teacher, Mr. Herbst. The entire audience then flooded the arts courtyard where they got to watch a wheel throwing demonstration with clay, see student artwork and enjoy a few more live performances by South students. The artwork displayed included ink, watercolor, graphite, pastels, acrylic paint, fused glass, skateboards, metal sculptures, carvings, trucker hats and a wide array of ceramic pieces, both thrown and sculpted. A big thanks should be given to our amazing arts teachers, Jamie Henderson, Chris Herbst and Russ Richmond for making the fantastic night full of creative color and music possible.
Ali Taylor, Digital Journalism
A Memorable Trip to Six Flags
On Friday, May 2, the seniors at South went on the Six Flags spirit trip after being victorious in the yearlong spirit competition. They left school with the student government and leadership around 1:30am after some hangout time with blankets, snacks and music by the bus lane. The buses were buzzing with excitement for a little while, but soon the necessity of sleep took over. When the sun rose, the views out the windows were filled with Californian orchards and rolling hills.
After a quick breakfast chosen from a handful of fast food restaurants, the buses were once again boxes of excitement on wheels. At the first glimpse of Six Flags, a cheer rang out and the buses were filled with the scent of sun screen. When the buses parked, students flooded the gates and stood in a mob waiting for the park to open, sprinting for the best rides once it did.
When a long day of screams and laughter had passed, the students gathered at the big fountain with the dolphins and watched the water glitter in the evening sun. Hands were filled with cotton candy, Dip n’ Dots and Slurpees, and superhero capes flapped around shoulders. The buses were once again filled with students just before 6pm and everyone babbled on about favorite rides, sea life and adventure. Not long after a tasty stop for dinner, the day’s adrenaline wore off and the students once again began to drift off to sleep, filling the seats and aisles with blankets and pillows. The buses finally rolled back into school just after 3am and everyone happily departed to their cars, envisioning their comfy beds after one of the best days of senior year. Ali Taylor, Digital Journalism
Food Truck Fusion Culinary Competition
In the culinary world, food is an art, and masterpieces are made when taste, texture, smell and presentation come together to touch all of the senses. Last week the Culinary 3 students competed in teams against one another in a Food Tuck Fusion competition, which is when culinary styles from two different cultures are fused together into one excellent dish. The students had one class period to prep their food for the big competition, and another to cook. They had to come up with their own recipes, figure out which cultures to fuse and be able to present their food in an elegant manner. The dishes were judged by a small group of South staff members.
The Culinary 3 classes do competitions like this two or three times a semester, including cupcake wars and chopped competitions. “The students love a good competition,” explained culinary teacher, Mrs. Richmond. In the first period class, there were dishes like Moroccan sushi, chicken, pinto bean and corn chip sandwiches, and "burrizzas". Senior James Reagan was on the team that created the pizza burritos. “We chose Italian and Mexican cultures to fuse our food together,” he explained as I sampled the warm pizza and burrito filling wrapped up in a flaky crust. I complemented his team’s excellent cooking. “Combining the cuisines gives food a different, and usually better taste,” he told me. After sampling a few more dishes from the class, I could definitely agree with him. Ali Taylor, Digital Journalism
Milli Vanilli Video
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
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.
Our Sparrow: Isaiah’s Story
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.
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
New Format for Student Report Cards
|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.