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4J Benefits and Wellness Newsletter – May 2017 – Issue 296

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Prepared by Julie Wenzl • 541-790-7682 • wenzl@4j.lane.edu • May 18, 2017 • Issue Number 296


The response to the February 4J blood drive was fantastic – thank you to those who were able to make a donation! We are hoping that 4J armchair heroes will once again come to the rescue of those in need of a lifesaving donation. Representatives from Lane Blood Center will be in the Ed Center Tower Room on Wednesday, May 31st for a second 4J blood drive. The drive will take place from 1:00 – 6:00 p.m., and will be a combination of scheduled and drop-in appointments. Details about the event, including information on how to reserve a time slot to make a donation, will be sent via e-mail.

To learn more about the blood needs in our community and the donation process, please visit: http://lanebloodcenter.org/.


As of April 1, 2017, 3D mammography is a Moda covered benefit for all OEBB medical plans.

Moda Health covers certain preventive services with no cost to you when performed by an in‐network provider. This includes preventive women’s healthcare: one visit per plan year, including pelvic and breast exams and a Pap test. Breast exams are limited to women 18 years of age and older. Mammograms are limited to one between the ages of 35 and 39 and one per plan year age 40 and older.

Mammograms for the purpose of diagnosis in symptomatic or designated high-risk women are also covered when deemed necessary by a professional provider. These services will be covered under the office visit, x-ray, or lab test benefit level if not performed for preventive purposes.


Whether it’s rock, classical, opera, or hip-hop, we all know how music can shift our mood. Recently scientists have been exploring how music might even be used as a form of medicine—reducing chronic pain and relieving depression and anxiety.

As you become aware of how music personally affects you, you’ll notice how certain pieces make you feel calmer, happier, or more energetic. Once you become more familiar with your personal music-mind-body connection, you’ll be able to write your own “go-to-music” prescription whenever the need arises.

Start your day with music that makes you happy. Whenever you need a refresh, just hit the play button! If you need a lift, I offer Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds as a suggestion.


The Lane County Farmers Market runs in downtown Eugene Saturdays, April 1 – November 11, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and Tuesdays, May 2 – October 31, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The market offers the opportunity to buy directly from local farmers, eat seasonally, and shop outdoors.  Here’s a small sampling of the healthy rainbow available at the market this spring and summer.

Apples—You know what they say about keeping the doctor away? An apple a day may not be quite that powerful, but apples are a good source of fiber, and a medium-sized apple has only 80 calories. Red apples are among the fruits highest in quercetin, which researchers are studying for possible antioxidant benefits. The antioxidants are concentrated in the skin so don’t peel before eating.

Apricots—A good source of vitamins A and C, apricots are also a way to get lycopene, which has been associated with cancer prevention in men.

Asparagus—With just 25 calories in eight medium-sized asparagus spears, you get 25 percent of your daily vitamin A and 15 percent of vitamin C, plus essential folic acid.

Blackberries—Deliver vitamin K, along with a quarter of your daily vitamin C in just half a cup.

Blueberries—Researchers are studying blueberries for their antioxidant benefits, including the possibility that they may boost brain functions that weaken as we age. Scientists have found in animal testing that blueberries may lower cholesterol levels. Blueberries are also a good source of vitamin K, which researchers suggest may play a role in preventing osteoporosis and hardening of the arteries.

Cantaloupe—That orange color inside should clue you in that cantaloupe is a great source of beta-carotene—100 percent of your daily value in a single cup. Cantaloupe is no slouch in the vitamin C count, either, with 113 percent of daily needs per cup. Other melons such as honeydew are also good choices, though lower in both beta-carotene and vitamin C.

Carrots—You knew carrots were good for you, but did you know how good? This orange option delivers 150 percent of your daily vitamin A in just half a cup, plus lesser percentages of a variety of other vitamins and minerals.

Cauliflower—Don’t let the pasty white color fool you. Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable (meaning it’s from the mustard family), just like broccoli and brussels sprouts. Compounds in cruciferous vegetables have been suggested as possible cancer protectors. Cauliflower packs a nutritional punch, with 45 percent of your daily vitamin C in just half a cup.

Collard greens—Another option in the dark-green vegetable category, collard greens are packed with vitamin A. You’ll get 150 percent of your daily value of A in just a half-cup of cooked collard greens, plus 30 percent of your vitamin C and 15 percent of calcium.

Kale—Here’s another vitamin A powerhouse as well as a way to up your intake of dark green vegetables. Like most leafy greens, kale is a source of lutein. A mere half-cup of cooked kale also rewards you with almost seven times the recommended daily amount of vitamin K.

Okra—Okra is a good source of folate and also gives you 20 percent of your vitamin C needs in just half a cup. A recent study suggests that okra, along with eggplant and whole grains, among other foods, can be part of a cholesterol-lowering diet.

Peaches—Peaches and similar fruit such as nectarines deliver modest amounts of vitamins (especially A and C), niacin and minerals (particularly potassium), while satisfying your craving for something sweet—all at a tiny price in calories (only 40 in a medium-sized peach).

Romaine lettuce—This salad staple counts toward your daily goal of eating more leafy greens, and delivers vitamin A and C along with a tasty crunch. Boston, Bibb and red or green leaf lettuces are other good salad choices, though not as vitamin-packed. Iceberg lettuce has only a fraction of the nutritional value of its greener, darker kin.

Spinach—Popeye was onto something. Besides being the quintessential dark leafy green and rich in vitamins A and K (plus some folate), spinach is also packed with lutein. Researchers have found that lutein consumption is associated with a reduced risk of macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in people age 65 and older.

Strawberries—Like most berries, grapes and prunes, strawberries contain anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that improve circulation and may have other health benefits. Strawberries are also a good choice for folate and vitamin C.

Sweet potatoes—These taters have more beta-carotene (a whopping 25,000 IU in one baked sweet potato with skin), vitamin C, folate, calcium and manganese than white spuds.

Tomatoes—Men have been gobbling tomatoes ever since research suggested that the lycopene therein may be protective against prostate cancer; a recent study points to a similar effect for pancreatic cancer in men. Tomatoes are also a good choice for lutein, and a single medium tomato contains half your daily value of vitamin C.

Watermelon—A good source of lycopene, a cup of watermelon also gives you about 20 percent of your daily vitamin C and 15 percent of vitamin A, in a sweet treat with only 45 calories.


Is there someone in your circle of friends and family who could use an act of kindness? Reaching out to others in need does them a world of good. And, it helps you feel better about yourself.

Think of someone who deserves a touch of happiness. This small gesture will help reduce stress in their life – and fill you both with warmth and love.

  • Think of someone who could use a little support.
  • Write a short note or email. Let them know you’re thinking of them – and wishing them the best.
  • On your meditation, focus on sending them positive thoughts.


The information in this newsletter has been summarized. It is presented as information – not advice or counsel. In all instances, the benefits, conditions, and limitations as outlined in the 4J Master Contracts prevail over this representation. Please refer to your Benefits booklet or master contracts available at the District offices for additional information regarding your benefits plans.

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Calling All Jeffersonians: Farewell to Former Jefferson Middle School / ATA Building

Arts & Technology Academy’s new building opens this fall

Goodbye old school, hello new: Please join in a celebration and fond farewell to the former Jefferson Middle School building.

Jefferson Farewell Celebration
Arts & Technology Academy / former Jefferson Middle School building
1650 W. 22nd Ave., Eugene 
Friday, June 9, 5:30–7:30 p.m.

Arts & Technology Academy will soon move next door into a new high-quality modern school building that is under construction now, thanks to voters who approved the 2013 school bond measure.

This summer, construction crews will remove all but a corner of the old school building that housed Jefferson Middle School for 50 years, from 1957–2007, and then Arts & Technology Academy for the past decade. In the course of its history the Jefferson building also was home to the Magnet Arts and Family School alternative programs.

To honor the old building and the memories its halls contain, Arts & Technology Academy is inviting current and past ATA, Jefferson, Magnet Arts and Family School students, families, staff and neighbors to say goodbye to their old schoolhouse before it’s gone. The whole community is invited to come together for a farewell celebration on June 9.

Please join us for a fun evening of celebration and remembrance, honoring the past 60 years in the current school building and launching new traditions for the future. The new building will have a grand opening in the fall.

Please join the celebration!
Share memories • Snap selfies • See friends and teachers
Join in a high-energy bingo night • Win prizes • Grab a bite
Walk through the old building one last time! 

RSVP and invite friends

Questions? Please call 541-790-5700.

About the existing school building

Now Arts & Technology Academy, the school building at 1650 W. 22nd Ave. was constructed in 1957 and originally housed Jefferson Junior High, later Jefferson Middle School. Later it also housed the Magnet Arts alternative elementary school program. After Jefferson Middle School and Magnet Arts closed, in 2007 the STEM-focused Arts & Technology Academy opened in the building. Alternative program Family School moved in and was co-located in the building starting in 2009; its elementary grades moved to a different site in 2015.

About the new school building

Rowell Brokaw Architects and Opsis Architecture designed the new building, in consultation with a design advisory committee and with input from students, parents, staff, neighbors and community members. The design and layout of the new building will support Arts & Technology Academy’s exciting and innovative instructional program that integrates science, technology, engineering, math and the arts. With a large project room and interactive classroom located at the core of the school, the building is designed to encourage group and project-based learning.

Local company John Hyland Construction has undertaken the construction project. The reconstruction will replace ATA’s existing building with primarily new construction while retaining some renovated portions of the old building’s gymnasiums. The rebuilt school will provide better learning environments for students and will cost less to operate.

Construction began in spring 2016 and is well underway. The new building is slated to open in fall 2017.

More about the new school building

About the school bond measure

In May 2013, voters in Eugene School District 4J resoundingly passed a $170 million school bond measure to provide funding for 4J school improvements, including replacing four of the district’s oldest school buildings with new buildings at the same sites. The bond measure also is paying for improvements at every 4J school, including new student technology, updated instructional materials, security upgrades, building repairs, and more.

The new Howard Elementary School and Roosevelt Middle School opened in fall 2016. The new River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School and Arts & Technology Academy (at the site of the former Jefferson Middle School building) are under construction now and will open in fall 2017. Sustainable building concepts that conserve energy and maximize the wise use of resources are incorporated into every new school building.

More about the school bond measure 

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Labor Negotiations Underway Between District, Teachers Union

District proposes contract that would maintain full school year and class sizes, protect student time with teachers, provide compensation increases, maintain sustainable budget

4J’s Initial Proposal – Overview | Contract Language
EEA’s Initial Proposal 

The Eugene School District and the Eugene Education Association, which represents teachers and licensed specialists, have entered negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement to succeed the current contract that expires June 30, 2017.

On May 9, the bargaining teams for the district and the association met and exchanged initial proposals.

The district’s three-year contract proposal would:

  • Provide fair compensation
  • Preserve full school year
  • Promote equitable instruction time
  • Protect student time with teachers
  • Support teacher effectiveness with coordinated professional development
  • Maintain a sustainable budget that holds the line on class sizes

Significant elements of the district’s proposal are summarized and explained for interested readers in an overview document.

The teams are next scheduled to meet on Tuesday, May 16, 4:30–8:30 p.m., at the 4J Education Center, 200 N. Monroe St.

Updates on the process will be posted on this website. For ongoing updates or to see a schedule of upcoming bargaining sessions, see www.4j.lane.edu/eea.


4J’s Initial Contract Proposal – Overview
4J’s Initial Contract Proposal – Contract Language
EEA’s Initial Contract Proposal 

Ongoing Bargaining Updates 

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Notice of Budget Committee Meeting


Eugene School District 4J
School District No. 4J, Lane County, Oregon
Notice of Budget Committee Meeting

A public meeting of the Budget Committee of Lane County School District 4J (Eugene Public Schools), Lane County, State of Oregon, to discuss the budget for the fiscal year July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, will be held at the Education Center Auditorium located at 200 N. Monroe Street, Eugene, Oregon.

The meeting date has changed since prior publication and will take place on May 24, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is to approve the proposed budget and to receive comment from the public on the budget.

This is a public meeting where deliberation of the Budget Committee will take place. Any person may appear at the meeting to ask questions about and comment on the budget document.

A copy of the budget document may be inspected or obtained at the Financial Services office in the Education Center at 200 N. Monroe Street between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Monica Brown
Deputy Clerk


2017–18 Proposed Budget Document

Meeting information and materials will be posted on BoardBook.

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Goodbye Old, Hello New: River Road Farewell Celebration

¡Adios! to River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School’s 1953 building • New school opens this fall

River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School has a long and well-loved history in the River Road neighborhood. Starting this fall, the school will continue in its new building—so it’s time to say farewell to the old one.

Farewell Celebration
River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School
120 Hilliard Lane, Eugene
Thursday, May 25, 5:30–7:00 p.m.

The school will soon move next door into a new high-quality modern school building that is under construction now, thanks to voters who approved the 2013 school bond measure.

To honor the history of the old building before students and staff move into the new one, River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School is inviting current and past students, families, staff and neighbors to say goodbye to their old schoolhouse. Families, alumni, and the whole community are invited to come together for a farewell celebration on May 25.

Please join the River Road community and friends in remembering the past 64 years in the current school building. The new building will have a grand opening in the fall.

Please join the celebration!
Share memories • Snap selfies • See friends and teachers
Walk through the old building one last time!

Questions? Please call 541-790-7200.

RSVP and invite friends

About the new building  

The current school building has served for generations, but despite its long history it is not the original schoolhouse. The original River Road school was built in 1914, burned down in 1926 and was replaced with a new building, all at its original site at 1000 River Road. After the River Road School District merged into the Eugene School District in 1945, the current (third) school building opened in 1953 near the previous building. The new facility will be the fourth building to house the school.



About the school bond measure

In May 2013, voters in Eugene School District 4J resoundingly passed a $170 million school bond measure to provide funding for 4J school improvements, including replacing four of the district’s oldest school buildings with new buildings at the same sites. The bond measure also is paying for improvements at every 4J school, including new student technology, updated instructional materials, security upgrades, building repairs, and more.

The new Howard Elementary School and Roosevelt Middle School opened in fall 2016. The new River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School and Arts & Technology Academy (at the site of the former Jefferson Middle School building) are under construction now and will open in fall 2017. Sustainable building concepts that conserve energy and maximize the wise use of resources are incorporated into every new school building.

About the school bond measure 

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2015–16 State Special Education Report

The annual special education reports for school districts across Oregon are available online.

Eugene School District 4J provides a continuum of services to meet the needs of students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). The district works to ensure that all students have access to the general education curriculum, meet or exceed grade level standards, and develop the skills necessary to ensure success in post-secondary education, in a chosen career, and as actively participating citizens.

4J is strongly committed to increasing achievement for all students, to closing the achievement gap and to increasing graduation rates.

4J Report: English / Spanish 
All Oregon School Districts 

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NS Planned Maintenance: 04/28/2017 @ 5:30pm


  1. EWEB Fiber work at River Road Elementary is scheduled the previous evening 4/27 after 5:30 pm .
  2. ATA Region ~ Network reconfiguration (finalize decommissioning work for old ATA switch).
  3. Domain Name System (DNS) changes. (Update: Scheduled at 6:00am 4/28)
  4. Reboot Active DirectoryServers (Domain Controllers). (Update: Scheduled at 6:00am 4/28)
  5. Patch/Update Zimbra/Mail Servers.
  6. Spam Filter changes ~ improving the processes for sorting and blocking unwanted email.


  • There should be minimal noticeable impact to end uses.
  • All work will involve short outages either network wide or localized at specific sites where work is scheduled.
  • There will be brief delays in sending and receiving email while Zimbra is being patched and spam filter configuration changes are being made. 

Rollback window:

  • Rollback options are available for all scheduled work 

Follow up ~ 5/1/2017:

  • EWEB Fiber work completed
  • ATA Region ~ Chavez, Adams, Transportation all off of 6500 switch.  One remaining ATA switch left to move.
  • Zimbra patched and email now passing through Barracuda Spam Filter.
  • Changes to wireless vlans  at network core.
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School Board Election Ballots Mailed

Ballots due by May 16 at 8 p.m.

Ballots have been mailed to voters in the May 16 election, which includes three positions on the Eugene School District board of directors. To be counted, ballots must be received by the elections office no later than Tuesday, May 16, at 8 p.m.

The 4J school board is elected from the district at large, not from geographic regions. Registered voters who live within the Eugene School District may vote on all 4J board positions on the ballot.

Position 2: Anne Marie Levis (current board member), Maya Rabasa
Position 3: Mary Leighton, Judy Newman, Jerry Rosiek
Position 6: Evangelina Sundgrenz

Lane County Elections provides more information about the election and the candidates.

Those elected will begin their four-year terms on July 1, 2017. Director positions 1, 4, 5 and 7 will be on the ballot in May 2019.

More information:
Additional election information
About the Eugene School Board

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Education Champions Named in 2017 ACE Awards

Local educators honored in business-sponsored awards program

Nearly 90 4J teachers, administrators, classified staff and volunteers, as well as many educators from the Springfield and Bethel school districts, were honored at the 2017 ACE (A Champion in Education) Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, April 25.

The ACE Awards are sponsored by the local business community to recognize exemplary work by educators in the Eugene 4J, Bethel and Springfield school districts.

At the annual awards ceremony, all nominees were honored and four outstanding educators from each district were named as champions. 4J’s 2017 ACE Awards champions are Jaimee Massie, Fernell Lopez, Londa Rochholz and Judy Salisbury. Brianna Stiller was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Each ACE champion’s school will receive a $1,000 award for a project or program at the school. Adding up those awards over the past 12 years, the ACE Awards’ sponsors have contributed $144,000 to local public schools!

Teachers & Licensed Specialists

TEACHER CHAMPION: Jaimee Massie, Essential Skills Coordinator & Math Teacher, Holt Elementary School

“Tenacious.” “Collaborator.” “Advocate.” Great characteristics for a champion in education. Add “Funny” and “Upbeat,” and you have a winning combination. Jaimee Massey is a dynamic instructional leader. She nurtures other teachers’ strengths and encourages them to share their skills, expertise and curiosity with each other. She supports other teachers to become leaders and continually advocate for students.

Beyond the classroom, Jaimee is a fierce and solution-oriented advocate for teachers and for excellence in teaching, sitting on state advisory teams and organizing Oregon’s first conference for Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers (the “ECET2” teacher collaboration conference). Jamie is an inspiration.

TEACHER AND LICENSED SPECIALIST NOMINEES: Lisa Albrich, Spanish Teacher, Sheldon High School • Lee Baker, Counselor, Arts & Technology Academy • Salvador Barajas, Spanish Teacher, North Eugene High School • Tyler Boorman, Music Teacher, Kennedy Middle School • Becky Casado, Teacher, McCornack Elementary School • Jim Conaghan, School Psychologist, Student Services Department • Lindsey Daggett, Teacher, Bertha Holt Elementary School • Kenneth Davis, Spanish Teacher, South Eugene High School • Tom di Liberto, Social Studies Teacher, Monroe Middle School • Gregory Dunkin, Home Economics Teacher, South Eugene High School • Dene Eller, District Elementary Physical Education Specialist, Instruction Department • Sara Farmer, Physical Education Teacher, Kennedy Middle School • Carmella Fleming, Counselor, Bertha Holt Elementary School • Susanna Goodwin, Spanish Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School • Steve Grossberg, Essential Skills Coordinator, Churchill High School • Nora Hagerty, Teacher, Adams Elementary School • Eric Johannsen, Health Education Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School • Kristi Johnson, Teacher, Camas Ridge Community School • Ariel King, Teacher, Charlemagne French Immersion Elementary School • Karen Lacey, Speech Specialist, Student Services Department • Yvette Landrum, Special Education Teacher, Gilham Elementary School • Shirley Madathil, Counselor, Monroe Middle School • Dana Marks, Teacher, McCornack Elementary School • Tyler Martell, Advanced Math Teacher, Sheldon High School • Jaimee Massie, Essential Skills Coordinator/Teacher on Special Assignment, Bertha Holt Elementary School • Bethani Mayberry, English Language Learners Teacher, Camas Ridge Community School • Laura McCaskill, eacher, Gilham Elementary School • Nanci McChesney-Henry, Physical Education Teacher, Sheldon High School • Talon Nansel, Music Teacher, Monroe Middle School • Polly Nelson, Special Education Teacher, South Eugene High School • Jamie Nicholsen-Tait, Teacher, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Laura Queirolo, AVID Teacher, Spencer Butte Middle School/South Eugene High School • Tracy Reed, Teacher, César Chávez Elementary School • Ashley Reich, Teacher, Bertha Holt Elementary School • Jed Shafer, GED Program Coordinator, Eugene Education Options/Early College & Career Options (ECCO) • David Sheehan, Alternative Programs Teacher, Eugene Education Options • Marty Smith, Social Studies Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School • Chris Stober, Special Education Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School • Darcy Strange, Math Teacher, Arts & Technology Academy • Kim Sullivan, Special Education Teacher, Camas Ridge Community School • Jill Torres, Teacher, Howard Elementary School

Classified Staff

CLASSIFIED CHAMPION: Fernell Lopez, Bilingual Educational Assistant, Kelly Middle School

Fernell Lopez is the very model of kindness and compassion. He listens to others, understands their needs, and takes action to support or guide them. He cares deeply about people and helping them be whole in our society without having to give up their culture. He works tirelessly in support of Kelly Middle School’s Latino students and families, and for all students and families.

While Fernell is extraordinary in doing what is needed for Spanish-speaking families, his heart extends to the entire school community. Fernell gives his time and talents to build learning opportunities for students while supporting families and facilitating staff. He helps students grow through the GANAS and PILOT Leaders programs. He finds ways to showcase students’ leadership and academic skills while bringing arts into the school and organizing events that bring families together. With his endless dedication, deep understanding, and quiet strength, Fernell is truly a Champion in Education and a gift to the entire community.

CLASSIFIED NOMINEES: Julio Aguirre, Bus Driver, Transportation • Janell Baker, Educational Assistant, Gilham Elementary School • Joe Brainard, Student and School Coordinator, Instruction Department • Ann Christianson, Volunteer Program Coordinator, North Eugene High School • Peggy Farris, Department Secretary, Eugene International High School • Chanel Green, Middle School Secretary, Monroe Middle School • Stu Grenfell, Program Coordinator, KRVM Radio • Jason Lewis Harter, Behavioral Educational Assistant, Sheldon High School • Gary Henager, Bus Driver, Transportation • Sheree Houck, Career Center Assistant, Churchill High School • Debora Kovensky, Behavioral Educational Assistant, Roosevelt Middle School • Maria Lee, Educational Assistant, McCornack Elementary School • Anne Lettkeman, Food Service Coordinator, South Eugene High School • Fernell Lopez, Bilingual Educational Assistant, Kelly Middle School • Kaylee Luna, Program Coordinator Assistant, Eugene Education Options (EEO)/Early College & Career Options (ECCO) • Larry Meyers, Custodial Maintenance Coordinator, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Marguerite Moore, Educational Assistant, Howard Elementary School • Blake Ridgway, Behavioral Educational Assistant, Camas Ridge Community School • Judy Smith, Records and Scheduling Assistant, Arts & Technology Academy • Kevin Summerfield, Educational Assistant, Churchill High School • Christopher Turner, Educational Assistant, McCornack Elementary School • Misty Watson, Food Service Coordinator, Early College & Career Options (ECCO)

Administrators, Managers, Supervisors & Professionals

ADMINISTRATOR CHAMPION: Londa Rochholz, Principal, McCornack Elementary School

Londa Rochholz leads McCornack Elementary School with great energy and a warm heart, advocating for children of all ages, supporting teachers in classrooms, creating strong foundations for families, and encouraging students to be their best. She takes the time to personally get to know each and every student, parent, staff member and volunteer. She is committed to celebrating diversity, dignity and inclusion, and teaching students how important it is that all children and families should feel welcome, safe and nurtured. She has an open door policy for everyone—especially the kids. Even on her most stressful day, she is gracious to all.

And, when Londa walks down the hall in her bee costume, reminding students to Bee safe, Bee responsible, Bee kind, and Bee respectful, she is Beeing a champion for students and school climate. Her huge heart and true passion for the students really shine through.

ADMINISTRATOR/MANAGER/PROFESSIONAL/SUPERVISOR NOMINEES: George Gillett, Assistant Principal, Spencer Butte Middle School • AJ Hruby, Assistant Principal, Arts & Technology Academy • Michael Johnson, Principal, Monroe Middle School • Londa Rochholz, Principal, McCornack Elementary School • Leila Schuck, Education Administrator, Student Services Department • Charlie Smith, Principal, Kennedy Middle School • Brian Watson, Assistant Principal, Monroe Middle School


VOLUNTEER CHAMPION: Judy Salisbury, Willagillespie Elementary School

It has been said that “volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” Judy Salisbury has not only the time but a BIG heart. Judy dedicates her whole day, 5 days a week, to making Willagillespie Elementary School a better place to learn, grow, and thrive. Her personality and energy are incredibly contagious. Over the past 6 years, her efforts and connection with students and adults have made her a vital part of the learning environment and of Team Willagillespie.

When students were encouraged to write volunteer appreciation cards for Judy, they were in disbelief. They said, “She’s not a volunteer! She works here!” Judy’s dedication and commitment are a model of the exceptional school volunteer. She truly makes a difference every day.

VOLUNTEER NOMINEES: Ed Chastain, Gilham Elementary School • April Colgrove, Buena Vista Spanish Immersion Elementary School • Mark Harden, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Sue Harnly, South Eugene High School • Julie Henning, Arts & Technology Academy • Beth Hopkins, Gilham Elementary School • Sydney Koh, Buena Vista Spanish Immersion School • Lindsey Poulsen, Buena Vista Spanish Immersion Elementary School • Moira Querns, Bertha Holt Elementary School • Maya Rabasa, Camas Ridge Elementary School • Brandyn Rice, Gilham Elementary School • Judy Salisbury, Willagillespie Elementary School • Jenn Sheffler, Arts & Technology Academy • Sue Thompson, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Mike Truitt, Kelly Middle School • Barbie Walker, Early College & Career Options (ECCO) • Lisa Walker, Yujin Gakuen Japanese Immersion Elementary School • Julie Ward, Monroe Middle School • Tiffany Wright, Buena Vista Spanish Immersion Elementary School

Lifetime Achievement Award


Each year ACE title sponsor Oregon Community Credit Union presents one Lifetime Achievement Award to an individual who has made a noticeable difference in our community through their work. The OCCU ACE Lifetime Achievement Award was created to honor individuals who have dedicated their career to supporting and strengthening education and helping students to grow, thrive and reach their fullest potential. The Third Annual ACE Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to an individual whose career has had a lasting impact on countless students and educators in our community and throughout Oregon: 4J’s own Brianna Stiller.

Brianna is retiring this year after serving as a school psychologist in 4J for more than 30 years and coordinating the district’s positive behavior support programs for 11. Brianna’s work has had a tremendous impact on school climate by helping staff and students develop an environment that is welcoming to all students. She has co-authored three intervention programs and her work on positive behavior support programs is recognized both nationally and internationally. She was a key in developing district policy to support transgender and gender nonconforming students in 2015, making 4J a model for Oregon and beyond, and was involved in developing a toolkit to guide and aid other Oregon school districts in supporting gender expansive youth.

We are proud that Brianna has chosen to serve her career in 4J. Our students have benefitted from her skilled expertise and her caring heart. Our staff have benefited from her leadership and mentorship. She is an irreplaceable gift to our school district and to our community.

Thank You!

The ACE Awards program and awards ceremony are made possible by the Eugene and Springfield Chambers of Commerce and the generosity of sponsors from our local business community: presenting sponsor Oregon Community Credit Union, as well as supporting sponsors Coca-Cola Refreshments, NeuroSpine Institute, PacificSource Health Plans, Hershner Hunter Attorneys, Eugene-Springfield McDonald’s Restaurants, Carte Blanche Caterers, Lane Community College, and All Academic.

Thanks are due to these sponsors and to all those who took time to nominate a deserving staff member or volunteer.

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Classified Benefits & Wellness Newsletter May 2017 Issue #6

OEBB Mandatory Open Enrollment

OEBB will end all current medical, vision, and dental plans effective September 30, 2017. Therefore, members who wish to have medical, vision, and dental coverage for the October 1, 2017 – September 30, 2018, plan year will be required to log into the MyOEBB system during open enrollment in order to register for that coverage. The mandatory OEBB open enrollment period will begin August 15, 2017, and will remain open through September 15, 2017.

May is Open Enrollment Month
for the Classified Sick Leave Bank

All Classified employees will receive enrollment information by 4J email account for bank membership effective July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.  Only benefits eligible employees (.50 FTE or greater) are able to participate.

Important:  All current 2016-17 bank membership expires June 30, 2017.  Everyone – new members, and anyone who wants to continue membership in the bank, must enroll and donate one day of sick leave.

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • The bank is intended to extend, to contributing members; additional paid sick leave days should a long-term illness or injury exhaust all the members’ available paid leave.
  • Benefits eligible employee participation in the sick leave bank is voluntary.
  • Sick leave bank days will begin after an employee has been on unpaid leave for five (5) consecutive days.

Completed forms may be put in District mail, attention Diana McElhinney /Ed Center, scanned and emailed to me (mcelhinney_d@4j.lane.edu), or hand delivered to Human Resources – Please keep a copy for your records – this is very important should the original get lost before reaching my office.

Enrollment deadline: By 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 31, 2017.

Classified Sick Leave Bank Questions & Answers:

Q:  Can I donate more than one day to the bank?  …and I only work four hours. Is that a “day?”

A:  You may donate up to two days at open enrollment.  However, it’s not required or recommended – it only takes one day for full bank membership.  The additional day provides no extra benefit to the donor.  …and yes, one “day” is considered one regular work day for you.

Q:  I’ve run out of all my sick leave – how can I join the bank?

A:  Your sick leave donation will take place when you receive your new allotment of sick leave for next school year.  This should allow almost anyone to join the bank – go ahead and send in the form.

Q:  I’m a new employee.  I didn’t receive an enrollment email.  When can I join?

A:  May open enrollment is the only time when classified employees may join the bank.  Any new employee hired after the May open enrollment, or who misses the enrollment deadline, will need to wait until the next enrollment period – May 2018.

Q:  I have very little sick leave.  Why would I want to join the bank?

A:  People in this situation are the most vulnerable to loss of income if there’s a long-term illness that prevents them from being able to do their job.  All 4 hour and above employees do have some income protection with our Long-Term Disability insurance.  However, there’s a 90-day wait for coverage to begin, and after that, income is replaced at 66%.

The Classified Sick Leave Bank can provide income replacement during that 90-day waiting period.

Q:  I have several months of personal sick leave.  Why would I want to join the bank?

A:  In some cases, you have rights to use your personal sick leave to care for an ill dependent.  If that occurs, your personal sick leave could become depleted.   You would then have the “insurance” of the bank to protect your income against personal serious illness or injury.  (Note: Sick Leave Bank time can only be used for the employee’s long-term incapacity)

Q:  I have over three months of personal sick leave.  Why would I want to join the bank?

A:  If you have many months’ worth of sick leave, you may not receive any benefit from the bank.  It’s important to remember that your situation could change, as noted above.  At the minimum, donating to the bank will help those who are in serious medical situations, and who need bank support.

When eating a fruit, think of the person who planted the tree.                                     Vietnamese Proverb

PERS Presentation

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Ed Center Auditorium, 4J will be hosting a second PERS education presentation: Understanding Your PERS Pension. The presentation is a duplication of the information provided at the January session, and is suitable for PERS members just beginning their careers, for those within a few months of retirement, and for all members in between.

Topics will include:  Understanding the difference between Tier 1, Tier 2, and OPSRP, pension benefit calculation methods, understanding your IAP account, retirement option choices, coordinating PERS benefits with other income sources, and investment strategies and financial planning for retirement

At the conclusion of the presentation, there will be time for questions and answers.  To sign up to attend, please send an email to mcelhinney_d@4j.lane.edu.  In your email, please indicate whether you will attend alone or whether you will be bringing a guest.
PEP Fund Request Deadline

The following deadline is in place for reimbursements for the Classified Professional Education Program (PEP) fund:  Forms must be in Human Resources by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 25, 2017.

Is It Safe To Use Raw Ground Beef That Is Red On The Outside But Gray Inside?

It should be fine.  Meat contains a pigment called myoglobin that turns bright red when exposed to oxygen.  Grocery stores typically cover ground beef with a plastic wrap that allows some oxygen to penetrate, so that the surface of the meat turns this appealing red color, which consumers have come to associate with freshness.  When ground beef is not exposed to oxygen, the myoglobin turns grayish-brown after a few days.  It may look less appetizing but is safe.

If the ground meat is gray or brown through-out, however, that usually indicates that it has been in the package for a while and may be spoiling. If you just bought it, you may want to return it.  “Spoilage bacteria,” though generally harmless, can make meat smell bad and cause other signs of deterioration.  If you still want to eat it, it’s essential to cook it thoroughly (160 degree F.).  Meat can also turn gray in the freezer.  It’s perfectly fine and safe to eat.

Focus on Mucus

Many people find the thought of mucus unpleasant.  And yet we couldn’t live without it.

What is mucus?  It is 95 percent water.  The key components are mucins, special carbohydrate-coated proteins.  Depending on where in the body it is, mucus may also contain certain white blood cells and other immune system components, proteins, fats, microbes, cell debris, and salts.  Mucus is a lubricant as well as tissue-protector, secreted by special cells in membranes throughout our bodies.  Abundant in saliva, it helps food pass through the digestive system and helps protect the stomach lining from acids.  In the respiratory tract, mucus traps foreign particles (such as pollen and dust) so they can be coughed up or blown from the nose, and it also prevents surfaces from drying out.  In the nose, mucus allows odor molecules to dissolve so that we can smell them.  Mucous membranes are essential parts of the genital tract.

Is it bad to have too much mucus?  It depends on where it is, why it occurs, and how thick it is.  Normally, cells in the sinuses and airways produce one to seven tablespoons of mucus a day.  A cold, flu, or allergy increases mucus and blocks its drainage, resulting in congestion and postnasal drip.  If you have chronic sinusitis, mucus trapped in the sinuses can become a breeding ground for bacteria.  In people with asthma or chronic bronchitis, thick and excessive mucus can make breathing difficult.  Excess mucus in the stool may be a sign of irritable bowel syndrome or infection.

If you cough up green or yellow mucus, is that a sign of a serious infection requiring antibiotics?  Not usually.  The color doesn’t mean you have a bacterial infection (the kind that responds to antibiotics).  Often, with a cold or flu (both viral) mucus will thicken and turns greenish or yellow, probably because of the enzymes used by white blood cells to attack microbes.  If, however, after 7 to 10 days you continue to have yellow-greenish nasal discharge, facial or upper-jaw or tooth pain (especially on one side), or worsening of symptoms after an initial improvement, you may have a bacterial infection that would be helped by antibiotics.

If you have lots of mucus because of a cold or allergy, is it better to cough it up than swallow it?  It’s okay to swallow it – it will simply be digested.  You needn’t force yourself to cough it up.  Decongestant drugs can thicken mucus and make it harder to drain or cough up.
This newsletter is reviewed and edited each month by the District 4J and OSEA representatives of the Classified Joint Benefits Committee (JBC).The information in this newsletter is summarized, and is not intended as advice or counsel.

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