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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

Attention seniors: Apply for an APSF scholarship!

Posted on: March 23, 2018

Scholarships are available to high school seniors through the Albany Public Schools Foundation. The deadline is April 13 for 18 scholarships worth $35,500 to local seniors.

See the list. Speak to your high school counselor about eligibility requirements and applications.

Nate Munoz named interim South Albany High School Principal

Posted on: March 21, 2018

Retiring South Albany High School Principal Brent Belveal will transfer leadership to one of the school leaders he hired. Assistant Principal Nate Munoz will take over as interim principal for the 2018-19 school year, starting in July.

Munoz has been at South Albany for two years, coming from Redmond High School. He has been an educator for more than 12 years and has two masters degrees — one in educational assessment and one in educational leadership.

He said he accepted the position at SAHS and chose to move his family to Albany, in part, to work with Brent, whom he now considers a mentor but did not know before he was hired. “Brent was a big reason I came here,” he said. “I’m not trying to fill his shoes — they are massive shoes to fill. My goal is to serve the South community by being communicative, transparent, collaborative, highly energetic and, above all, passionate about helping kids.”

His appointment will allow the school to maintain consistency in vision and leadership to continue making progress toward student achievement goals. He said he is glad to be part of the South Albany team that is working to serve kids.

“At the end of the day, I’m humbled and excited about the opportunity to continue all of the great work we’ve been doing to support the South Albany High School family.”

South Albany High School hosts AVID showcase

Posted on: March 21, 2018

South Albany High School has been making gains in student achievement in the last few years, and on Tuesday, they had a chance to share their strategies for success with other schools.

The school hosted about 100 educators from other schools around the state for an AVID program showcase. AVID, Advancement Via Individual Determination, is a national college and career preparation program that includes elective programs and strategies to improve critical thinking and study habits.

“It was a huge honor to have been chosen to host the showcase and it went extremely well,” said AVID coordinator Ben Sell.

There are currently 252 kids in AVID elective classes at SAHS, but AVID is a schoolwide program. Sell said they showcased teachers utilizing AVID strategies in their non-AVID classes as well. “All our students benefit from it,” he said.

Sell said, “There were two really great things about yesterday.  It was amazing to see our AVID students acting as tour guides and leaders.  They did a fantastic job fielding questions from educators all day long and represented the school and the AVID program extremely well. The other awesome thing was just getting the opportunity to share all the great work the teachers in our building are doing with fellow educators and to receive such glowing feedback on our schoolwide implementation from AVID state leadership.”

Read the story in the Democrat-Herald

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