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4J Summer Programs

Summer learning, free meals, health care

Summer is here, and with it some no-cost opportunities for students to learn and stay nourished.

Free Meals: Kids are invited to eat breakfast and lunch for free this summer. NO forms to fill out. FREE for anyone 18 and under. The free summer food program starts in July and is available in several 4J schools. Free lunch also is available in many parks and community centers throughout Eugene this summer.

Summer Learning: 4J offers the following summer school programs by invitation only:

Summer Hours: Most district offices are open year-round. High school offices remain open through the summer, but operate on reduced hours. Elementary school and middle school offices close for the summer and reopen in August. School-based health centers are open, except for most of July, on a reduced schedule.

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Summer Hours at Schools, Health Centers

School’s out for summer! But you can still access the school-based health centers and get in touch with a school or the district before classes begin in September.

Most central offices are open year-round. High school offices are open on a limited schedule during the summer. Elementary and middle schools close for part of the summer and reopen well before the start of school. Health centers are open with reduced hours this summer, except most of July.

High Schools 

Churchill, North Eugene, Sheldon, South Eugene:
June 19–August 14: Open Mon–Thu. 9 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1–3 p.m. Closed Fridays.
Regular hours resume August 15.

Closed for the summer, June 29–August 14.
Regular hours resume August 15.

Middle Schools

June 19–28: Open  9 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1–3 p.m. Open Friday, June 22.
Closed June 29–August 14

Regular hours resume August 15.

Elementary Schools

Closed for the summer, June 29–August 15.
Open with limited hours on August 16 and 17. (Contact your school for open hours.)
Regular hours resume August 20, except closed on August 21 for staff training.

School-Based Health Centers

Open: June 18–29 and July 30–August 31
Closed: June 30–July 29

Churchill High School Health Center
1850 Bailey Hill Rd., 541-790-5227
Tuesday–Friday, 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

North Eugene High School Health Center
200 Silver Lane, 541-790-4445
Monday, 8:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Contact information for schools and district offices

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4J Educator Named One of Oregon’s Top Teachers

Churchill High School teacher wins Regional Teacher of the Year Award

One of Eugene School District 4J’s outstanding educators has won accolades from the state: Keri Pilgrim Ricker, health sciences teacher at Churchill High School, is Oregon’s Regional Teacher of the Year for the South Valley region and is in the running to be named 2019 Oregon Teacher of the Year.

Ms. Ricker coordinates and teaches health sciences in Churchill’s Career & Technical Education (CTE) Health Services Pathway. She is a skilled and passionate professional who discovered her love of teaching when she took a part-time job teaching at a local community center while working as a veterinary surgical technician in Corvallis. Ms. Ricker developed and taught a K–12 ecology curriculum, which she found so rewarding that she enrolled in Oregon State University’s Science and Mathematics Teaching Program and earned her teaching license. That was eight years ago and she’s never looked back.

Churchill principal Dr. Greg Borgerding says, “Keri teaches with passion for her subject and deep respect for her students. She meets them where they are and then shows them the stars. Her constant focus on student goal-setting and achievement is her greatest gift to kids. Keri is a teacher who exercises her heart.”

Oregon’s Regional Teachers of the Year are selected by a diverse panel of representatives from their geographic region. In September, one of the 13 Regional Teachers of the Year will be named the 2019 Oregon Teacher of the Year.

The Oregon Teacher of the Year and Regional Teacher of the Year is a program of the Oregon Department of Education, in partnership with the Oregon Lottery. For more information, visit oregonteacheroftheyear.org.

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Coffee With the Superintendent

Dr. Balderas invites community for coffee and conversation

Coffee With the Superintendent
Wednesday, June 20, 10–11 a.m.
4J Education Center
200 N. Monroe St., Eugene
(invite your friends!)

You’re invited: Drop in on Wednesday morning, June 20, for coffee and casual conversation with 4J Superintendent Gustavo Balderas.

Do you want to talk with the superintendent, learn about important things happening in 4J schools, ask questions or share your ideas and feedback? Join us for a coffee chat. This informal gathering is open to everyone.

This is one of a series of drop-in coffee chats with the superintendent that have been scheduled throughout the school year, at different time and locations around the district to accommodate people’s varied schedules.

Whether you have a specific question or idea, or simply want to hear more about the district’s biggest priorities, challenges and successes, please come talk over a cup of coffee. We’ll see you there!

RSVP or invite your friends 

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New School Schedules Approved

Standard schedules to provide enough, equal, consistent learning time will be in place this fall

Eugene School District 4J is changing to a consistent calendar and standard schedules for all schools in 2018–19 to provide enough, fair and equal instruction time for students and consistent schedules for families.

The new school schedules will be in place this fall, following a community engagement process to inform schedule development and approval of the final schedule parameters by the Eugene School Board.

The change to standard schedules will:

• ensure that all schools meet state standards for adequate instructional time
• provide fair and equal learning time for students at different schools
• provide consistent, predictable schedules for families, and
• allow coordinated time for staff professional development and collaboration.

Under the standard schedules, developed with staff and community input, all schools at each level will have a standard start and end time (two times for elementary schools, staggered by 35 minutes) and the same amount of instructional time each day, week and year. Currently each 4J school has a different calendar, schedule and amount of instruction time, and learning time for students at different schools can vary by hundreds of hours over elementary, middle and high school.

New Schedules

Monday–Thursday Friday Early Release Recess / Lunch / Break / Passing Time Annual Instruction Hours (minus any non-academic assemblies, etc.)
Elementary Schools  Tier 1 (see list):
7:55 a.m.–2:25 p.m.Tier 2 (see list):
8:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Tier 1:
7:55 a.m.–1:10 p.m.Tier 2:
8:30 a.m.–1:45 p.m.
60 minutes on regular days

50 minutes on early release day

Middle Schools  9:00 a.m.–3:35 p.m. 9:00 a.m.–2:35 p.m. 54 minutes 935.2
High Schools  8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 8:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. 57 minutes 1009.6


Public Process

To develop the standard school schedules, a first draft schedule was published in March for staff, parent, student and community input. The district considered the input received in developing the second draft schedule that was published in April for further review and feedback.

The final proposed schedule, published in May, included adjustments responsive to the input solicited and received from more than 2,500 parents, students, staff and community members—including earlier school day ending times for middle and high schools than first proposed, elementary school start times close to current times in most cases, and early release for teacher collaboration and professional development on Fridays.

The school board approved the new schedule parameters on June 6.


More About 4J’s Shift to Standard Schedules 



More About 4J’s Shift to Standard Schedules 

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4J Benefits and Wellness Newsletter – June 2018 – Issue 305

Eugene Education Association - EEA

Prepared by Julie Wenzl • 541-790-7682 • wenzl@4j.lane.edu • June 5, 2018 • Issue Number 305


In an effort to mitigate ever increasing insurance costs and to lower the monthly premium paid by many licensed employees, the Joint Benefits Committee (JBC) has opted to move to a tiered rate structure for the plan year set to begin October 1, 2018. Currently, licensed employees pay one composite rate regardless of how many dependents are enrolled in the insurance plans. Effective October 1, 2018, four enrollment tiers will be available: employee only, employee + spouse or domestic partner, employee + child(ren), and employee + family. In addition, the JBC has opted to subsidize the rates on the Dogwood plan to ensure that those on the family tier have access to affordable coverage.

Rates will be posted on the 4J website in the near future and you will receive an e-mail when they are available. You will also receive information prior to the mandatory open enrollment period.


Medical: 4J employees and retirees will continue to have 3 Moda medical plans to choose from: the Birch plan ($800 in-network deductible), the Cedar plan ($1,200 in-network deductible), and the Dogwood plan ($1,600 in-network deductible). The new plan year will start October 1, 2018, and will run through September 30, 2019.

In addition to selecting a medical plan, members must opt for either an OEBB Moda PPO Connexus network plan or a CCM Synergy network plan. Synergy network plans operate under a coordinated care model (CCM) and Connexus network plans are preferred provider organization (PPO) plans.

Members who enroll in a CCM Synergy network plan will be required to select a medical home, and any covered dependents will need to choose a medical home as well. Each family member may select a different medical home and must use that designated medical home for preventive and primary care needs in order to receive in-network benefits. Individuals who are currently enrolled in a CCM Synergy network plan and who have already selected a medical home will not need to re-select a medical home unless they want to make a change to that designation. Individuals may change a medical home designation at any time during the plan year – the requested change will take effect the first of the month following the notification of the new election.

Members who opt for a PPO Connexus network plan do not need to select a Moda medical home, but do need to see in-network providers to receive the highest level of benefits: www.modahealth.com/oebb/.

Vision: All 4J employees who opt for medical coverage will continue to enroll in the OEBB VSP Choice Plus vision plan. Vision exams, frames, and lenses are available every 12 months. VSP will have enhanced coverage of standard progressive lenses and will have a higher allowance for selected brand name frames (not applicable at Costco or Walmart). For a $20 copayment, the VSP Suncare benefit (available every 12 months) allows members a $300 allowance for ready-made non-prescription sunglasses in lieu of prescription glasses or contacts.

Dental: 4J employees will continue to have 3 dental plans to choose from for the upcoming plan year: Delta Dental Premier Plan 5, Delta Dental Premier Plan 6, and the Willamette Dental Group Plan.

Delta Dental Premier Plan 5 has an annual maximum of $1700; an incentive plan design (70% – 100%) for preventive, basic restorative, and periodontal services; and includes orthodontia. Members enrolling in a dental plan with an incentive design for the first time will start at the 70% incentive level, regardless of prior dental coverage.

Delta Dental Premier Plan 6 has an annual maximum of $1200, does not have an incentive plan design, and does not include orthodontia.

Effective October 1, 2018, the Willamette Dental Group (WDG) orthodontia copayment will increase to $2500. The copayment for crowns and bridges will be $250, for root canals $50, and for dentures $100. The office visit copayment will remain at $20. If you enroll in the WDG plan, you must receive care from a WDG dentist or specialist.

OEBB rules require a 12-month waiting period for late enrollments to a dental plan. If you didn’t enroll yourself or a dependent in dental coverage when initially eligible, then choose to enroll during an open enrollment period, whoever is being added to coverage will only be eligible for diagnostic and preventive services for the first full 12 months of coverage – restorative services, prosthodontic services and orthodontia will not be covered.

Please watch for plan details and differences, which will be included in the information coming from OEBB prior to open enrollment. A wealth of information is also available on the OEBB website, which will be updated on an as-needed basis: OEBBinfo.com


4J employees and retirees will continue to have the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and 4J Wellness Clinic as part of the benefits package. Individuals who seek counseling services through the EAP will have up to 5 sessions of assistance per issue at no cost. Active licensed employees will also have Long Term Disability insurance, basic life insurance ($50,000), and basic accidental death and dismemberment ($50,000) coverage as part of the total benefit package.

All benefits-eligible active licensed employees will be enrolled in these additional benefits. All licensed retirees who opt to enroll in medical coverage will have access to the EAP and the Wellness Clinic.


Healthy Futures was the program that required an online health assessment and the tracking of healthy actions in exchange for a lower deductible. This program will be discontinued for the upcoming plan year.


Only 15% of Americans eat the recommended amount of fruit, which ranges from 1.5 to 2.5 cups per day (depending on daily calorie needs). Diversifying your fruit portfolio can inspire you with appealing new tastes, textures, aromas, and colors. If you’re looking to expand beyond bananas, apples, grapes, oranges, and peaches, consider these tropical fruits. Try them as snacks, in salads, in sauces or meat dishes, as a side to a main dish, or as dessert.

Papaya: Commonly available tropical papayas have striking orange flesh and black seeds. To eat: slice the papaya in half length-wise, remove the seeds and scoop out the fruit. Or, peel the skin before slicing and pitting so you can cut it into slices or cubes.

Guava: Guavas come in multiple varieties with different characteristics. The tastes range from sweet to tart and may remind you of pineapple, papaya, banana or lemon. To eat: wash the guava, slice or cube, and eat with or without the rind.

Star Fruit: Also known as carambola, when sliced this fruit makes perfect five-pointed stars. One variety of start fruit is tart; the other one is sweet. To eat: rinse, slice, and eat raw.

Kiwi: Kiwis are sweet, with hints of strawberry, banana, and nectarine flavors. To eat: pare off the fuzzy outer peel and then slice or cube for salads. Or, slice in half, scoop out the fruit with a spoon, and eat.

Lychee: Lychees contain an edible translucent white fruit around a pit or seed. To eat: peel off the outer skin with your fingers, remove the hard central seed, and eat the fruit.

Mango: Mango flesh is intensely sweet when ripe. To eat: remove the skin with a paring knife then slice the flesh off the large inner pit.

Persimmon: The Asian persimmon is native to Japan, China, Burma, and India, but is cultivated commercially in California. Asian persimmons are sweet when firm, but astringent persimmons must be fully ripe and soft to be palatable. To eat: wash, slice, and eat raw.

Pomegranate: This fruit has a tart flavor. The edible part of pomegranates is the seeds, called arils, which are covered with a red juicy coating. To eat: slice the pomegranate in half, scoop out the arils and eat the entire seed or suck the juice off the arils and spit them out. To better harvest the arils, free them from the pithy covering while immersing the fruit in a bowl of water. The arils will sink to the bottom and the pith will float.


Like all teachers, I will be out of the office after June 18th. However, I will be periodically checking voicemail and e-mail during the summer. If you need to reach me, please call or send an e-mail, and I will get back to you as soon as I am able.

I wish you all a fantastic summer break!

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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Congratulations, 2018 Graduates!

They’ve learned. They’ve grown. And now they’ll walk, to the applause of their parents, peers, families and friends.

The class of 2018 is graduating this June.

Congratulations to every one of our 2018 graduates from Eugene School District 4J. Your success is inspiring those who will come after you.

2018 Graduation Ceremonies

Eugene International High School: Thursday, June 7, 7 p.m., Hult Center
ECCO/Eugene Education Options: Friday, June 8, 7 p.m., Hult Center
North Eugene High School: Saturday, June 9, 7 p.m., Swede Johnson Stadium at NEHS
Sheldon High School: Monday, June 11, 7 p.m., Hult Center
Churchill High School: Tuesday, June 12, 7 p.m., Hult Center
South Eugene High School: Wednesday, June 13, 7 p.m., Hult Center

Graduate Rolls 

Churchill High School
North Eugene High School
Sheldon High School
South Eugene High School
ECCO & Eugene Education Options
Eugene International High School

Congratulate Our Graduates!

Churchill High School
North Eugene High School
Sheldon High School
South Eugene High School
ECCO & Eugene Education Options
Eugene International High School

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Education Champions Named in 2018 ACE Awards

4J educators honored in awards program

4J staff and volunteers were honored for excellence in education at the 2018 ACE (A Champion in Education) Awards ceremony on Wednesday, May 23.

All 117 nominees were recognized and four outstanding educators were named as champions in their category. Each champion will receive a $1,000 award for their school, a generous donation from Oregon Community Credit Union. In addition, one exceptional longtime 4J team member was honored with a special lifetime achievement award.

4J’s 2018 ACE Awards champions are Ashley Reich, Julia Johnson, Teresa Martindale and Alice Lin. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Craig Young.

Congratulations to all of our staff and volunteers who were nominated and celebrated at the 2018 ACE Awards. To learn more about each nominee, please see the ACE Awards program that includes a short excerpt from their nomination.

Teachers & Licensed Specialists

Ashley Reich, Fourth Grade Teacher, Holt Elementary School

Ashley brings so much energy, optimism and encouragement to her school. Her smile can lift up anyone’s day. Between her light-up shoes, custom-saying t-shirts, and outgoing attitude, her positive outlook is instantly contagious.

Ashley is an innovator, constantly finding new ways to improve instruction and think outside of the box. She understands that every student is different and needs to be reached in their own way. She spends time every day making sure each student feels successful, encouraged, talented and important. Ashley’s students are successful because they know she is doing her best for them every day and in return, they want to work their best for her.

Margaret Albright, Counselor, Spencer Butte Middle School • Katharine Ankeny, Speech-Language Pathologist, Holt Elementary School • Ashley Baker, Fourth Grade Teacher, Yujin Gakuen Japanese Immersion Elementary School • Kimberly Brown, First Grade Teacher, Willagillespie Elementary School • Adrienne Carlson, Fifth Grade Teacher, Charlemagne French Immersion Elementary School • Meg Carnagey, First Grade Teacher, Adams Elementary School • Sebastian Catlin, Student Support Teacher, South Eugene High School • Patrick Chesterman, Fourth Grade Teacher, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Lisa Chinn, Physical Education Teacher, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Kwasi Diehl, Special Education Teacher, Monroe Middle School • Tom Di Liberto, Spanish Immersion Teacher, Monroe Middle School • Dene Eller, Physical Education Teacher, Buena Vista Spanish Immersion and Edgewood Elementary Schools • Jack Fertal, Math Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School • Daniel Gallo, Social Studies and Health Teacher, Eugene International High School at Sheldon • Katie Gates, Special Education Teacher, Howard Elementary School • Laura Harris, First/Second Grade Teacher, Edison Elementary School • Carisa Henniger, Kindergarten Teacher, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Rae Heselbach, Special Education Teacher, Howard Elementary School • Jeff Hess, Physical Education & English Teacher, South Eugene High School • Brian Holte, Language Arts Teacher, Monroe Middle School • Christie Hoogendoorn, First Grade Teacher, Camas Ridge Elementary School • Eric Johannsen, Health Education Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School • Maggie Jones, Second Grade Teacher, Holt Elementary School • Sara Justice, First Grade Teacher, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Kyle Kordon, Science Teacher, Kelly Middle School • Joel Kuiper, Special Education Teacher, South Eugene High School • Debra Lydum, Special Education Teacher, Kelly Middle School • Kelly McGhehey, Counselor, Eugene Education Options • Jason Miller, Language Arts Teacher, Kelly Middle School • Tommy Morrow, Math & Science Teacher, Kennedy Middle School • Chris Mudd, Music Teacher, Churchill High School • Pat Nickerson, Special Education Teacher, Kelly Middle School • Aurelie Noble, Second Grade Teacher, Charlemagne French Immersion Elementary School • Ian Ogden, Language Arts Teacher, Churchill High School • Ashley Pond, Second Grade Teacher, Howard Elementary School • Jennifer Potter, Title 1 Coordinator, Holt Elementary School • Justin Potts, School Psychologist, Student Services Department • Dan Powell, Music Teacher, Arts & Technology Academy • Ashley Reich, Fourth Grade Teacher, Holt Elementary School • Taylor Reineke, Math Teacher, Arts & Technology Academy • Pam Reynolds, First Grade Teacher, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Alyssa Ricken, Kindergarten Teacher, Adams Elementary School • Jason Robbins, Special Education Teacher, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Ashley Robinson, Math Teacher, Spencer Butte Middle School • Rebecca Robinson, Third Grade Teacher, Howard Elementary School • David Roderick, Special Education Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School • Leah Roderick, Fourth Grade Teacher, Gilham Elementary School • Korrinne Ross, Special Education Consultant, Student Services Department • Hollie Schultze, Counselor, Roosevelt Middle School • Adam Shepard, Fourth/Fifth Grade Teacher, Edgewood Elementary School • Beth Shershun, First Grade Teacher, Camas Ridge Elementary School • James Squires, Third Grade Teacher, Gilham Elementary School • Chris Stober, Special Education Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School • Katherine Tierney, Language Arts Teacher, Sheldon High School • Catherine Wiebe, French Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School • Bobbie Willis, Journalism Teacher, South Eugene High School • Brandeis Zaklan, Counselor, Gilham Elementary School

Classified Staff

Julia Johnson, Outreach & Recovery Coordinator, Eugene Education Options

Julia makes a significant difference for the most disenfranchised and vulnerable students and families in our district. She seeks out and re-engages students who are in circumstances that have led school attendance to not be a current priority.

She finds them—through our schools, the court system, community organizations, and by walking on the downtown mall—and works with the student, family and school to break down barriers and provide bridges to their education. Julia also works with our middle and high school teams to build a stronger understanding of the needs of our underserved populations and students who struggle connecting with our schools.

She truly believes that every student has a right to an education. When she is asked, “When do we say enough is enough, and give up on a kid?” Julia is famous for answering, “Never.”

Peggy Blair, Campus Supervisor & Read Right Specialist, Monroe Middle School • Kathy Bruegman, Educational Assistant, Gilham Elementary School • Racheal Bryant, Educational Assistant, Monroe Middle School • Micah Champion, Bus Driver, Transportation Department • Vincent Colmenares, Bus Driver, Transportation Department • Steve Dent, Bus Driver, Transportation Department • Keith Fjordbeck, Lead Custodian, Churchill High School • Tiny Galago, Student Supervision Assistant, Churchill High School • Lynne Given, School Secretary, Eugene International High School at Churchill • Lisa Goff, Educational Assistant, Holt Elementary School • Vicki Gotchall, Educational Assistant, Gilham Elementary School • Perla Grado, School Secretary, Buena Vista Spanish Immersion Elementary School • Brian Gregory, Bus Driver, Transportation Department • Gary Henager, Bus Driver, Transportation Department • Rich InLove, Bus Driver, Transportation Department • Mike Jackson, Fleet Mechanic II, Transportation Department • Julia Johnson, Outreach & Recovery Coordinator, Eugene Education Options • Jane Kinports, Records & Scheduling Assistant, Roosevelt Middle School • Teresa Koepp, Bus Driver, Transportation Department • Debora Kovensky, Educational Assistant, Roosevelt Middle School • Katie Mackey, School Secretary, Holt Elementary School • Nick Moore, Vocational Training Assistant, Student Services Department • Jeremy Niccum, Custodial Maintenance Coordinator II, Kelly Middle School • Heather Penfold, Educational Assistant, Twin Oaks Elementary School • Mary Peterson, Educational Assistant, Roosevelt Middle School • Jeanette Prior, Educational Assistant, Chávez Elementary School • Samantha Russell, Educational Assistant, Gilham Elementary School • Melanie Schwarte, School Secretary, Holt Elementary School • Abe Smith, Program Coordinator Assistant, Fox Hollow Campus • Ethan Tibbs, Educational Assistant, Gilham Elementary School • Alexander Zuniga, Office Support Bicultural/Bilingual, Buena Vista Spanish Immersion Elementary School

Administrators, Managers, Supervisors & Professionals

Teresa Martindale, Assistant Principal, Madison Middle School

Teresa is a peacemaker, a good listener and a person of integrity. Her kind, open and supportive manner elicits trust and cooperation. Teresa is held in high regard by students and families with challenging life circumstances. When people are navigating a chaotic life, they need consistency. Teresa has made herself an anchor for those in rough waters.

Teresa encourages staff to be continuous learners and to always be improving their craft. She builds on their strengths and leads staff in relevant and useful professional development. Consensus is important to Teresa and she works to find it with all Madison staff. She also is a decisive leader who isn’t afraid to choose her own direction.

What doesn’t often get talked about is that when things are at a fevered pitch, Teresa finds the best ways to restore the Madison community. In a job that can seem heavy and serious, Teresa constantly finds the fun. Her levity and willingness to just goof around with kids brings her colleagues back to the simple fact that we all love middle school kids and are grateful to do what we do.

Eric Anderson, Principal, Charlemagne French Immersion Elementary School • Kevin Gordon, Principal, Adams Elementary School • Tyler Hebard, Payroll & Accounts Payable Supervisor, Finance Department • Teresa Martindale, Assistant Principal, Madison Middle School • Mike Riplinger, Principal, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Joyce Smith-Johnson, Principal, Holt Elementary School • Rhonda Stewart, Executive Assistant to Director of Technology, Technology Department • Denisa Taylor, Principal, Chávez Elementary School • John Wayland, Assistant Principal, Kelly Middle School


Alice Lin, McCornack Elementary School

Alice is truly a special volunteer. She has volunteered for more than 20 years in 4J elementary schools, long after her own student graduated from school. Among her many qualities, Alice is highly regarded for her selfless dedication, rapport with students, and creative capacity to transform students and change lives. Some have even described her as a “Child Whisperer.”

Alice works long hours every day to help take care of kids’ academic, social, emotional and physical needs at McCornack Elementary School. She helps in classrooms, working with individual students and small groups. She works behind the scenes organizing the school store and providing food and clothing donations. She strives to serve students better with each gift of her skills, her relatability, her compassion, and her generosity with her time and resources.

Most importantly, everything Alice does to contribute to McCornack is done with a huge heart and a student-centered focus.

Danielle Bowerman, Gilham Elementary School • Heidi Dixon, River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School and Spencer Butte Middle School • Sharon Docherty, Arts & Technology Academy • Steve Evans, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Laura Fuhriman, Roosevelt Middle School • Barbara George, Chávez Elementary School • Amy Green, River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School • Jenelle Hunt, Edgewood Elementary School and Spencer Butte Middle School • Bob Jones, Edison Elementary School • Mia Kubu, Gilham Elementary School • Alice Lin, McCornack Elementary School • Brian Petersen, Spring Creek Elementary School • Jessica Rasmussen, Family School and Arts & Technology Academy • Kalleen Stoddard, Gilham Elementary School • Tiffany Wright, Buena Vista Spanish Immersion Elementary School

Lifetime Achievement Award

Craig Young, Custodian, River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School

Mr. Craig, as he’s known to students, has been extremely dedicated to River Road/El Camino del Río and the generations of students who have passed through its halls. He has seen students through four decades, from the 1980s to the 2010s. He has worked in and on one of 4J’s oldest school buildings and now the newest. Much has changed and much stays the same.

In addition to being dedicated, reliable, and an outstanding model custodian, Craig has a deep understanding of how to build community and has played a major role in the strong sense of togetherness that is enjoyed at the school. Craig is fun, caring, kind, and always willing to help students and staff. He has served as a key positive role model for generations of children.

It’s hard for the River Road/Camino del Río community to imagine the school without Craig. He will be greatly missed when he retires after 38 years in 4J.

BJ Blake
, Secondary Education Director, Instructional Services Department • Diane Brock, School Secretary, Yujin Gakuen Japanese Immersion School • Harlan Coats, Director of Facilities, Facilities Department • Tom Di Liberto, Social Studies Teacher, Monroe Middle School • Jason Miller, Language Arts Teacher, Kelly Middle School • Ila Shapiro-Southworth, Special Education Teacher, Student Services Department • Craig Young, Custodial Maintenance Coordinator I, River Road/El Camino de Río Elementary School


Thank You!

Thanks to all those who took time to nominate a deserving staff member or volunteer, or attended the event to celebrate excellence in education.

Thanks to Oregon Community Credit Union for continued generosity in support of our public schools and outstanding educators.

Last but not least, thank you to all of our 4J staff and volunteers who make a difference in the lives of children every day.

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Community Invited to Discuss Potential Bond Measure

Online comment form, community forum May 30

School bond measure community forum
Wednesday, May 30, 7–8 p.m.
4J Education Center, 200 N. Monroe St., Eugene

School bond measure comment form

Eugene School District 4J’s school board is considering a potential bond measure to be placed on the November 2018 ballot to replace or improve aging school buildings and learning materials.

Members of the public are invited to learn more and share their views.

A community forum has been scheduled on Wednesday, May 30, 7–8 p.m., at the 4J Education Center, 200 N. Monroe St. in Eugene. Spanish interpretation will be provided.

An online comment form also is open through Wednesday, May 30.

The potential bond package was developed in a lengthy process that began with an assessment of the district’s facility and materials needs and the development of the district’s long-range facilities plan.

The district’s identified capital needs totaled more than $1 Billion, including facility repairs and improvements, technology, capacity to address educational needs and crowding, expand career–technical education programs, security and safety including seismic safety, and more.

The district conducted a previous online survey and a series of community forums earlier this year as the potential project list was being developed.

This is an additional opportunity for community members to share their thoughts before the school board makes final decisions in June about placing a final bond package on the November ballot.

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Superintendent Presents Budget Proposal for 2018–19

Budget plan holds the line on class sizes and full school year, expands elementary PE, provides behavioral supports 

4J superintendent Dr. Gustavo Balderas presented his proposed budget to the district’s budget committee on May 7, setting in motion the budget process for the 2018–19 school year. The proposed general fund budget is $213.8 million.

The proposed budget reflects the goals of the district’s 4J Vision 20/20 strategic plan while recognizing the continued operational and resource challenges facing the district.

The budget plan maintains recent improvements in educational service levels, makes targeted investments to support student learning, and dips into contingency funds to stabilize staffing levels, while planning ahead for growing costs in future years.

The superintendent’s proposed budget for 2018–19:

Continues key investments 

  • Maintains a full school year with no furlough days, and will now have school days scheduled consistently for all 4J schools
  • Holds the line on class sizes, keeping staffing ratios steady with increasing enrollment and setting aside resources to balance the most oversized classrooms in the fall
  • Supports full schedules for 9th and 10th grade students, to help students get off to a strong start in high school and stay on track for graduation
  • Maintains full-time counselors recently added at elementary schools to support students’ emotional and behavioral needs

Invests in strengthening our educational system 

  • Supports high school success with expanded career and technical education programs, college-level and advanced coursework, and ninth grade transition and success supports (Measure 98 plan)
  • Adds physical education teachers and maintains music teachers to enrich students’ learning and provide more prep time for elementary teachers to prepare for quality instruction
  • Makes modest budget investments in targeted areas, including school safety and emergency preparedness, middle school mentoring program, world language and elementary math curriculum implementation, high-quality professional development, and Japanese and Spanish immersion in the North Eugene region 

Targets resources to support student behavior needs 

  • Provides behavioral supports to more effectively address students’ behavioral needs, beginning to implement the district’s behavior framework
  • Stabilizes staffing of educational assistants—Special education EA staffing has been added in recent years as a temporary measure, much of it in response to student behaviors, using one-time dollars without an ongoing funding source. These funds have been expended and the temporary increase in staffing is not sustainable. The proposed budget dedicates general fund contingency dollars next year to maintain some of the added educational assistant positions, mitigate sudden significant reductions in staffing at schools, and avoid most employee layoffs. EA staffing will be sloped down over time, as program changes and more effective systems to address behavior are brought online, rather than returning to a more standard and sustainable staffing level all at once.

Plans ahead to balance growing costs and projected deficits in future years

  • Restores a general fund reserve level of 5 percent (about three weeks of operating expenses), per board policy, providing some cushion against unexpected cost increases or revenue reductions
  • Sets aside some reserves to balance rising costs in the next few years, including expected PERS rate increases, to prevent the need for draconian cuts in the years ahead

Superintendent Balderas notes, “We are fortunate to be able to make targeted, carefully planned investments in our educational systems, aligned with our strategic plan. While our limited resources still can’t fund everything we want for kids in our schools, the improvements we are investing in will make a real difference for our students.”

The superintendent presented the proposed budget to the district’s budget committee on May 7. After a series of public meetings, the school board will adopt a final budget on June 20.

Key dates include:

Monday, May 7 – Superintendent and financial services staff presented 2018–19 proposed budget to budget committee

Monday, May 21 – Budget committee meets to complete work on the 2018–19 budget, vote to approve the budget and declare the tax rates and debt service levy

Wednesday, June 6 – School board holds a public hearing on the budget approved by the budget committee, considers adoption of the budget as an item for future action

Wednesday, June 20 – School board votes to adopt the budget

Read the Proposed Budget Document 

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