May 10, 2019

A Message from Principal Bare

Dear AHS Families,

We are fortunate to have such a remarkable staff who have dedicated their lives to our children. Teacher appreciation week always makes me pause and consider what a tremendous amount of time, energy and passion goes into our amazing teachers work every day. I am so grateful.

We have two staff members retiring at the end of this year. I want to share with you a little about what each of them has done for our community. They have each brought their unique gifts, passion, and love of kids to the benefit of our kids and our community. Please take a minute to learn a bit about each of them. In gratitude,


Dana Rensi

Dana Rensi is a great connector. She connects students and teachers to resources. She connects communities in need to non-profit groups that can serve them. She connects technology to those who can make it a power for good. She connects her extensive world experience to what students need. Her love of language, technology, and the wonder of a library have served the students of the Ashland School District for 20 years, and the Rogue Valley for 25 years.

Dana knew she could be the teacher who makes that difference for one of her students, and I know that she has been. She truly invested in her students’ lives both as a Spanish teacher, and media specialist.

Dana is a technology pioneer. When completing the very last media specialist endorsement program at SOU (SOC at the time) she worked in the computer lab, literally plugging the various wires in on the giant machines back in the late 70s. She was the very first teacher at Ashland High School to get a projector, buying it with her own personal funds. She was also the first to get a document camera and the first to have an interactive white board. For many years she connected teachers to resources as our technology mentor to staff, providing training on both the hardware and software that we use in schools.

As a true pioneer, it is not surprise that Dana is a two time Fulbright scholar. She spent a year in the Peruvian Amazon on teacher exchange. She received a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching, doing an action research project virtual exchange for language learning via Moodle, with the High School of the University of Guanajuato and Ashland High School. After a year of virtual exchange for the students, this project culminated in an actual exchange. She now sits on the board for the Oregon Fulbright organization.

Dana has taken on some major projects in the world, capitalizing on her ability to connect people to resources. She is the Regional Director for Latin America for Powering Potential. As such, Dana has conducted training sessions in remote schools and libraries along the Amazon, bring with her powerful Rachel-Pi units loaded with resources. In July and August of this year she will be installing a solar computer lab in a disadvantaged school in the Peruvian Amazon. She also volunteers her time with Project Amazonas, an organization dedicated to reforestation and environmental education for the amazon. As a member of this organization, she spent time on a medical boat on a remote tributary of the Amazon as a translator. She also donated and distributed print resources and supplies from Days for Girls and additional Rachel-Pi and Pioneer projection units to the region.

Dana is a phenomenal educator. Her Spanish students developed a love of language and culture that they carry with them today. They also carry the support and care that she showed them. Dana maintained our library as a safe space for students and staff alike, a welcoming wealth of resources and support. I am so grateful to Dana for her many years of service to this community, and our world.

Callie Mercer

Callie is the true embodiment of what it is to be a Grizzly. She graduated from Ashland High School in 1979. She went on to get a B.S. in elementary education from Southern Oregon College. Immediately upon graduating from high school, she began working in the athletic department for Ashland High School, taking tickets and being the welcoming face as the community came to support our students.

After completing her college degree, she spent 5 years in Ashland Schools subbing, doing a little bit of everything, at every level. When she found herself bending down to tie the shoe of an eighth grader, she realized she should probably try and stick with one age group for a while. It was then that she began as an educational assistant at Lincoln school in 1988. She supported kids in classrooms, in the library, and on the playground. She came to the high school in 2004 as a secretary and has been here ever since, most recently as the attendance secretary.

Callie loves kids. She is the stand-in parent, loving aunt, funny friend, and hard truth teller when you need it. Students feel comfortable sharing their story with her. At any given time you will find a handful of students in Callie’s office, taking a quick break, sharing a story, or getting some sound advice. Former students come in all the time to say hi, now with their own children. Former students laugh as they now talk with Callie about their own children as they are now coming through the high school.

She helped to teach Nancy Martin, now English and Choir teacher at AHS and Jacob Taub, our wonderful caterer tonight and foods teacher at AHS to read. The relationships she built with all of her students go on, and the support she gave them has left a ripple that will exist in our community forever.

Because students and their families felt comfortable telling her their stories, she was able to connect them to the resources they need. She was the go-to support person for more students than I will ever know, but in just the past seven years that I have had the privilege of working with her, far more than I can count.

Ashland High School is a better place because Callie was here. Her legacy of caring and heart will be the gift she leaves for all of us, and the students who walk through the doors of Ashland High School for years to come.

Thank you Callie, for your years of service, your heart, and the legacy you have left behind.

Water Polo Car Wash this Sunday!

Water Polo Mother’s Day Car Wash this Sunday from 10-1. Moms love clean cars!
The cost is only $5! Come out and support the AHS Water Polo Team at Les Schwab and get your car washed for Mother’s Day!! Les Schwab is located at 2308 Ashland St.

Order your Yearbook Now

You can order your yearbook online here:

or pay in the main office. Price is $45

Cap and Gowns-- May 13

Herff Jones will be in the theater lobby on May 13th during lunch to distribute cap and gown orders. A limited number of extra cap/gown/tassel sets will be available for purchase at distribution for $50 - cash only.

Scholarship Awards Night-- May 23 in the Theater

Graduation Day-- May 31 at Lithia Park Bandshell 6:15PM

If you require any accommodations to access the ceremony, please contact Deb Falk, or 541-482-2100. This includes sign language interpretation, handicapped access, or specialized seating due to age or disability.

Please note: The lawn seating area will be roped off until 5pm. Any items placed on the lawn before 5pm will be removed.

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Reminder to all Seniors--

Fees and fines must be paid in full before graduation day.

Please log in to your Parent PowerSchool account and click on "School & Library Fees" to see the status of your account or call the front office 541-482-8771. Directions of how to pay fees and fines online are available here:

Lunch accounts are on a different system and can be accessed at

Theatre News

Last Weekend for the Play ---"Almost Maine"

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Almost, Maine, written by John Cariani, is a series of nine vignettes each featuring a different couple. The New York Daily News describes the play as “sweet, poignant, and witty.” It premiered at the Portland Stage Company in Portland, Maine in 2004 where it broke box office records and garnered critical acclaim. It is currently one of the most popular and most produced plays in U.S. high schools.

The cast includes: Kate Jaques Prentice; Leila Kenner; Nicky Clary; Ella Stringer; Gwyn Murphy-Cunningham; Brady Davis; Henry Alexander; Allie Poole; Brooklyn Williams; Callan Skuratowicz; Keagan Brooks-Torres; Zakiyah Clark; Isabella Martinez Moore; Evan Lucas; Elena Schmeling; Ava Tobar; Ben Kerr; Chloe Ulrich Moore; and Yi Shostrom. Understudies are: Hadley Jungst; Kaia O’Neill; Nick Hemmerling; and Rachel Davis.

The Stage Manager is Tobin Risso Mulholland; the Assistant Stage Managers are Braden Rogers and Lolly McClellan.

The Director, Annie Paul, is assisted by her creative team: Doug Ham is the Set Designer, Emily Ehrlich Inget is the Costume Designer, and Bart Grady is the Lighting Designer. Kristen Samek is the Technical Director and Betsy Bishop is the Producer. OSF partners are Ronan Kilkenny, Scenic Projection Designer, as well as Benajah Cobb, the Projection and Sound Consultant.

Career and Counseling Center News

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Want to reduce your senior year stress level? Get a jump start on your college applications this summer by taking a college application essay writing workshop! One workshop will take place at the Ashland Library, beginning July 14th with class sessions three consecutive Sunday afternoons; the other workshop will take place at the Talent Library, beginning on July 29th and will meet on Monday/Wednesday mornings for two weeks. These workshops will consist of interactive class sessions, individual consultations, and mentored writing assignments. Tuition will be affordable for all participants. For more information, see Jen Marsden in the College and Career Center, where you can also pick up a full brochure and registration form.

Overwhelmed by the thought of planning for college?

ASPIRE’s trained volunteer mentors can help you explore your educational options. Mentors assist students in researching colleges, preparing admissions and scholarship applications, understanding the financial aid process, and many other aspects of the road to education after high school. To learn more about ASPIRE, or to pick up an application, see Jen Marsden in the College and Career Center.

The Ashland Police Department Survey

A new community survey was released by the Ashland Police Department (APD). In partnership with the Ashland Culture of Peace Commission and BetaGov, the brief, 10-item survey does not collect identifying information so that responses can be honest and accurate. The survey seeks input on APD relationships and engagement with the community.

All members of the community are encouraged to participate in this survey, which can be found on the department’s webpage, as well as at the website Hard copies of the survey can also be picked up and turned in at the police department located at 1155 E. Main Street.

The survey closes the second week of June – let your voice be heard!

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Community Volunteers Needed for AHS Spring Business Trade Show program!

Over the course of the semester, students from AHS business classes have been creating new business ventures from scratch. In groups, students have developed a prototype, marketing plan, management plan, and elevator pitch for their entrepreneurial idea. Students will put all their work to the test during the Spring Ashland Business Trade Show and Ashland Business Pitch Competition by showing off their work to you and competing to be the best entrepreneurial idea of the semester!

This will be a trade show like environment where all the students in Ashland High School’s Intro to Business and Small Business classes will be showing off their entrepreneurial ideas. Students have tables with products to display and show off to judges along with their elevator pitch. Judging times spans the entire class period, but judges are able to come and go during that time as it fits their schedule. When at the trade show, judges will be asked to walk around and talk with the students about their business ideas, then vote for the ideas they like best.

*There is no specific time commitment for the trade show, judges can come and go as they please during the sessions and spend as much or as little time as they want, talking to and evaluating business ideas.

Rosie Converse Soriano
Business & Computer Science Teacher
Career & Technical Education

Renee Gardener's retirement reception --Thursday, May23

Former Bobcats and their parents are welcome to come to Renee Gardener’s retirement reception on Thursday, May 23rd from 3 pm to 4:30 in the Bellview gym. Come wish her well and have some cake and lemonade. Teachers are welcome too - anyone who knows and appreciates her!

28 years teaching at Bellview Elementary!

Trivia Night-- Wednesday, May 22

National Honors Society will be hosting a Trivia Night in the IVC on Wednesday, May 22 at 6:30 p.m. Come for a fun night of snacks, prizes, and trivia!

Summer Camps

AHS Theatre 5-Day Summer Camp for Grades 3-8

June 11-15. Tuesday through Saturday 9 am - 2 pm every day, performance on June 15 at 2 pm for parents and friends!

Student-Lead Workshops on Performance and Auditioning

Dancing, Acting, and Singing

The first 25 to register are guaranteed a spot

Looking Ahead

NO SCHOOL- Memorial Day May 27

May 9 - 12 - Last Mainstage: Almost Maine- A Comedy

May 13 - Cap and Gowns Delivered

May 14 - Site Council Meeting

May 15 -17 - Student Directed One Acts

May 17 - Debate-A-Thon

May 20- Spring Band Concert

May 21 - Final Orchestra Concert

May 23 - Scholarship Awards Night

May 27 - NO SCHOOL- Memorial Day

May 28 - Choir Concert

May 31 - Graduation

June 1 - SAT Test

June 3 - AHS Theater Gerry Awards

June 4 - 7 - Finals

June 7 - Last Day of School- Early Release

June 10 - Staff Inservice Day- No Classes

June 11 - Site Council Meeting

The AHS 2018-19 Events Calendar is available on SharePoint AHS Event Calendar

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