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SAHS senior wins writing contest awards

Posted on: April 27, 2018

Congratulations to South Albany High School senior Alexsis Kerekes for winning prizes in the Youth Voices of Diversity contest, sponsored by the Corvallis Area NAACP chapter.

Alexis submitted an essay and a poem and won second place for each, winning $300 for the essay and $100 for the poem.

The School Board honored her for the award at its April 23 meeting.

Team SWARM will compete in world robotics competion

Posted on: April 13, 2018

Congratulations to SWARM, the South West Albany Robotics Maniacs team, for qualifying for the FIRST Robotics world champion competition.

Fifteen team members from South Albany and West Albany high schools and Oregon Connections Academy will travel to Houston, Texas, next week to join 400 teams from around the world for a chance to be a FIRST Lego Robotics champion.

The team qualified by earning second place at a March qualifying competition in Wilsonville and Lake Oswego. Combined with a good showing at the regional competition, they ranked 15th among teams in the Pacific Northwest and earned a chance to compete in the world event.

Congratulations, SWARM, and good luck in Houston!

Read more in the Democrat-Herald.

New Anti-Bullying Task Force yields recommendations

Posted on: April 8, 2018

Last month, the district’s new Anti-Bullying Task Force presented recommendations to the School Board.

The task force, which is comprised of GAPS staff, parents, and community partners, has had two community forums. At the first forum, a definition of bullying was presented, along with various statistics and facts related to bullying and its effects on students. The group also began to look at the scope of bullying in our community, both at the school level and in the community at large.

At the second forum, the Task Force formulated concrete suggestions for the school Board to consider to address the problem.

The forums yielded recommendations for improvements to school climate that included curriculum and behavioral supports to improve school climate; new rules and policies to prevent bullying and education about policies and consequences; staff training in bullying prevention; and programs to improve coordinated prevention efforts.

Anti-Bullying Task Force Recommendations to the Board

Read the story in the Democrat-Herald

Congratulations, Team SWARM, GAPS high school robotics team!

Posted on: April 4, 2018

Team SWARM, made up of students from South Albany and West Albany high schools, is competing at the Pacific Northwest robotics championship event this weekend at Memorial Coliseum. Heading into the competition, Team SWARM is ranked ninth among all other teams.

The team placed second at the last two district events, taking home a Judges Award and a Quality Award.

The team is organized by students but has the support of coaches, mentors and parents. Parent Jodie Bowens Shilling praised the students and showed her support on a team Facebook post: “Kudos for all their hard work these past few months. They definitely deserve our praise and recognition. Signed….one proud mama and wife to a mentor.”

The competition in Portland is open to the public — admission is free. The team is also seeking support to help fund expenses for their trip to Houston, Texas, for the world championship competition on April 18-21. Read more on the SWARM 957 To FRC World Championship fundraising page on

Attention students: Submit art for character education poster contest

Posted on: April 2, 2018

The annual Character Education poster contest is accepting art submissions from students in grades K-12 through April 20. Original art can be no larger than 8.5″ x 11″ in any medium and must address at least one of the following character traits: personal responsibility, honesty and integrity, self-discipline, courage, social responsibility, kindness, respect, justice.

Students can submit artwork to a staff member at their school. All submissions will be displayed at the main branch of the Albany Public Library. Winners will a frame for their art and a poster of all winning art.

See the flyer