Top 10 Stories
It has been an Academic Year of great achievements and new projects. Champions have been made and teachers recognized for their efforts. From brand new CTE programs to new instructional materials and sports facilities, take a look at the stories that made 2022-2023 one of the best years in recent district history.
New Softball Facility Coming to Springfield High School
The School Board approved a contract for the construction of a new softball facility for Springfield High School. The facility will include a wood-framed building with a metal roof, a large practice area, team locker room, coach's office, concession area and supporting restrooms. Completion of the facility is expected by spring 2024. The project is expected to cost about $1.53 million.
Revamped Culinary Classroom at Thurston High School
The culinary CTE program is just one of several career pathways courses offered at Thurston High School
A3 and Lane Arts Council Teaching Artist, Alejandro Sarmiento designed and painted a new school mural depicting the history of labor in Oregon and an imagining of what the future of labor will look like. The project was inspired by a Community and Labor Mural off Main Street completed in the early 2000s in commemoration of union activism and as a memorial to Jessie Bostelle – a local union leader.
At the start of the 2023-24 school year, K-12 students will be greeted by new instructional materials in several subjects. These instructional materials, including textbooks, arrive in schools as the last step in a year-long process of careful deliberation, planning and organizing. The instructional materials cover subjects in language arts, math and foreign languages. Programs are chosen with district priority standards in mind.
Local real estate agent Nicole de Graff and retired engineer Ken Kohl were elected respectively for Positions 4 and 1 of the Springfield Public Schools Board of Directors. Both new board members have been engaged for a long time within the Springfield community. De Graff works for Oregon Moms Union, a nonprofit that advocates for parental rights in schools. Kohl has been an active volunteer and has served on the SPS budget committee since 2006.
Thanks to a one-time access to federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER), Springfield Public Schools (SPS) made substantial improvements to the HVAC systems of 11 schools in our district. The new systems included air conditioning and new thermostats with CO2 sensors.
SPS Staff Earn State and National Recognition
- Thurston High School History teacher Tyler Nice named 2022 Oregon History Teacher of the Year.
- A3 Humanities teacher Scott Crowell named 2023 Regional Teacher of the Year by Lane ESD, Oregon Department of Education, and the Oregon Lottery.
- Springfield High School auto and diesel technology teacher Mark Simmons awarded $50,000 grant from Harbor Freight Tools.
- Thurston Middle School math teacher Megan McFarland received a $1,643.85 grant at halftime of a UO football halftime by the Extra Yard for Teachers initiative.
- Health Services Coordinator Tanya Martin, RN, BSN, CPN named 2023 Oregon School Nurse Administrator of the Year at the annual Oregon School Nurses Spring Conference.
High School Teams Win State Championships
In March of 2023, the Springfield High School girls basketball team earned the 5A State Championship title in a decisive win over Crescent Valley 44-29. The title is their third overall and first since 2012.
Then in June of 2023, the Thurston High School baseball team added another piece of state championship hardware with a 2-1 win over West Albany. The title is their second overall and first since 2009.
Graduation season saw over 600 SPS students celebrate closing the chapter on their school career. Whether they earned a traditional high school diploma or successfully completed the GED or other special program, each of these students and their families can be proud of all that they have accomplished.
In 2023, SPS added a new Cosmetology Program to its robust lineup of Career Technical Education (CTE) programs. SPS also approved the purchase of a modular building to house the program at Gateways High School, Brattain Campus. The project was made possible thanks to a combination of state funds from High School Success and federal funds from United Front, procured through the advocacy of former U.S. Representative Peter Defazio.