End of the First Quarter

Thursday, November 1, marks the end of the first grading period. I hope your students take a little time to reflect on what they’ve learned (in between games, races and plays). I thought this might be a good time to share with you some of the things that have been going on in various classrooms over the last nine weeks.

Ms. Sutfin’s freshmen English students have read and analyzed Twelfth Night. Her Drama class finished an improvisation tournament and has been working on classic scenes from the American dramatic canon.

Global Studies students of Mr. Haugen finished a unit on Ancient Egypt where they had to propose, create, and design their own pyramid. In addition, Mr. Scott Goodman spoke to them about his travels in Egypt and his experiences there just before the Arab Spring.

Mr. Gallagher’s AP American Government students researched competitive senate races in the midterm elections.

Pre-Calculus students in Mr. Brunecz’s class completed a unit on compound interest in which they had to calculate mortgage payments on a house and then complete a monthly spreadsheet showing amount to principal and amount to interest. They also did this for a revolving credit card account and did quarterly and monthly investments into 401K accounts.

Mrs. Davis’s Forensics students have been using their prior knowledge of biology and anatomy to identify bones and then used that information to determine the height, age, and race of an individual from anthropological calculations. They also took impressions of their own bite patterns and worked to come up with a set of measurements that could identify one bite from another.

Art students in Mrs. Karlin’s classes have completed the Memory Project portraits which will be sent to children in Afghanistan, Syria, and the Philippines. Professional artist Tom Rogers, VCHS Class of 2009, has also been a guest presenter in class several times.

Mrs. Karlin’s AP English II students read The Best We Could Do, and had Dr. Loc Nguyen speak to them about his experience of leaving Vietnam in 1975.

In Accelerated Pre-Calculus with Mr. Johnson, students studied probability and then analyzed some actual lottery games (like Keno).  They played them (not with real money, of course) in class.  Mr. Johnson was the State of Oregon, and he happily took most of the students money.  To add insult to injury, the students then had to calculate the expected return when betting on such games.

The students really have learned a lot. You should be proud. They should be proud.


Doug Ierardi, Principal