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BC: Thanks to the Bethel and Fruitland communities for all the wonderful memories and support . | GO FALCONS!!! | GO BLAZERS!!! | Thank You Rachel Points and Carie Miller for creating this book!

FC: Bethel Elementary "Blazers" 1925-2011 | Fruitland Elementary "Falcons" 1889-2011


2: This photograph was taken (we believe) in 1885, before Fruitland became part of a school district. Students that have roamed the halls of Fruitland love this picture that hangs in the office. Notice the children in the front row with bare feet. They have been a topic of discussion for many students!

3: Fruitland Elementary was formed in 1889. Where Fruitland Elementary sits today, there once was a very large chicken coop on the property that was later removed. There has been a long standing joke that we teach our kids from an old chicken coop! Imagine a school with chickens or coming to school with no shoes!!! Those were the good old days. In 1889, Fruitland was part of the Marion County School District. 1936 brought a new school building to the site and is what remains today. In 1955, a two-classroom unit was added to accommodate increased enrollment. Though Fruitland has had many changes, one thing has stayed the same- it provided a good, solid, and safe place for students to learn and grow.

4: Ms. Martin's Kindergarten Class Fruitland 2010-2011

5: Brielle Bollier, Isabell Bollier, Kyle Burk, Jathan Davis, Annabella Dominguez, Mallory Gisler, Gentry Harms, Kendra Kuenzi, Kirsten Kuenzi, Kennedy Kufeld, Ethan Ly Chappelle, Ayden Meredith, Grace Mucken, Emily Onstot, Daisy Quiroz, Julia Riley, Brady Seaton, Corbin Torres, Stephen Walder, Abbiegail Waterworth, Nevin Zeller

6: Mrs. Ovesen's First Grade Class Fruitland 2010-2011 | Brooklyn Buchheit, Lilly Disselbrett, Reilynn Fraizer, Gracie Garcia, Kayden Gekeler, Madison Gekeler, Isiah Guzman, Caleb Hernandez, Destiny Hernandez, Nicholas Karr, Sailor Kearns, Luke Kuenzi, Kailyr Lateuang, Brea Lutz, Emmi Marks, Sophia Massey, Trisha Metzger, Karaline Pfeifer, Trevor Points, Natalia Pruklang, Braedon Richardson, Sheyenne Solorzano, Jade Thao, Keegan Walter, HaileyWatson

7: Mrs. Miller's Second Grade Class Fruitland 2010-2011 Cassandra Anguiano, Javier Anguiano, Marina Anguiano, Madeline Caudle, Malia Cleveland, Baelie Dominguez, Destiny Gonsalves, Kiarrah Hafner, Camilo Hart, Laressa Jacobson, Julia Kuenzi, Elizabeth Markley, Mariah McIntyer, Autumn Nash, Kamille Neukomm, Hannah O'Neill, Jackson Pearce, Alex Ricker, Kiana Walter


9: made birdhouses owl pellets hike singing fun! | remember "herman the worm" anyone?

10: Kay Wallace Office Manager | Grant Foster Fruitland Principal | Connie Mothersbaugh Food Service | Kaye Vinson Media Specialist | Brenda Martin KindergartenTeacher | Peggy Frantz-Geddes P.E. Teacher | Carol Ovesen First Grade Teacher | Dyanne Miller Second Grade Teacher | Fruitland Elementary

11: Rashawn Aflatooni Counselor | Brian Medlock Custodian | Sue Priest LRC Teacher | Lori Samuels Kindergarten I.A. | Sue Apodaca LRC I.A. | Melanie Zepp Music Teacher | Carla Nelson Speech Teacher | Dee Sloane Instructional Assistant | School Staff


13: Mrs. DeLong's ThirdGrade Class Bethel 2010-2011 Hunter Bell-Eddy, Hunter DeMatteis, Anna Gekeler, Bailey Gekeler, Noble Hedgal, Mitchell Juul, Austin Kent, Brody LaFountaine, Lee Mtezger, Maximus Reischke, Taylor Richardson, Sierra Riley, Kylee Schmid Martin, Taylor Shornstein, Bowen Wheeler, Natalie Wiesmann

14: Mrs. Culbertson's Fourth Grade Class Bethel 2010-2011 Ashley Brooks, Cristopher Davis, Scott Dickson, Emily Dixon, Emma Haburn, Quetzali Hart, Diego Hernandez, Whittney Hewitt, Faith Hovenden, Zachary Kepler, Andrew Markley, Clint Pfeifer, Karah Points, Sofia Pruklang, Olivia Quijano, Salma Ramos, Ciara Ricker, Sean Smith,, Caleb Stacks, Ethan Stockton, Ethan Thomas, Faith Weis

15: Mrs. Gordon's Fifth Grade Class Bethel 2010-2011 Taylor Adams, Sophie Barlow, Kyndal Brown, Eric Caballero, Andrew Chretien, Anthony Dey, Remi Eddy, Chance Harp, Jasmine Hernandez, Eli Kohl, Holly Kuenzi, Easton Marks, Ian McCready, Gabby Miller, Shane Miller, Kristopher Mittig, Austin Molloy, Kyle Nash, Zachary Onstot, Kathryn Pallister, Brennen Raynor, Connor Rosenberg, Jason Schoonover, Jamie Vo, Christopher Wiesmann

16: bethel outdoor school third, fourth, fifth grade canyonview camp 2011 | canoeing candle making crafts campfire biscuits hiking creek boats archery singing

17: May 16&17 2011 | Anyone remember a camp counselor named "mosquito..."???

18: Patty Ross Office Manager | Grant Foster Bethel Principal | Barbara Rios Food Service | Nelson Kline Media Specialist | Pam DeLong Third Grade Teacher | Rhonda Kessinger P.E. Teacher | Sue Culbertson Fourth Grade Teacher | Jill Gordon Fifth Grade Teacher | Bethel Elementary

19: Nina Sjobing Counselor | Brian Medlock Custodian | Beverly Platt LRC Teacher | Shelly Blakely Instructional Assistant | Julie Thomas Instructional Assistant | Carla Nelson Speech Teacher | Janet Romine Music Teacher | School Staff | Photo Not Available

20: These photographs hang in the hallway at Bethel Elementary. It is fun to look back and see the many changes. These photographs capture the total school enrollment at the time, not just a single grade. In 2011, there will be 25 5th graders graduating from Bethel alone. How is that for change?!

21: Bethel is one of the older outlying areas of east Salem. In pioneer days, a sawmill once existed where Bethel sits now. When timber became exhausted, the sawmill was torn down and in it's place a church was built. Bethel Church had a school along with it. In 1903 when the church was unable to maintain itself, the church was purchased as a school. In 1925, a new building was built and that is the same structure that exists today. A basement was added to the building in 1936. Then in 1967, Bethel joined the Salem-Keizer School District. Bethel Elementary has always been the cornerstone of this farming community. A long standing tradition for any Bethel student is to ring the bell on the first day of school. This tradition has been passed on for generations and ringing the bell is a treasured memory for all Bethel students!

22: Why did the district close Bethel and Fruitland? Reason 1: Because the district needed to save some money The 2011-2012 budget process projected a $55,000,000 shortfall in the budget! Many other things were cut like all librarians in K-8 schools, over 200 teachers, and many other things Closing Bethel, Fruitland and Lake Labish provided for $600,000 savings according to the district – less than 1% of the total cuts Reason 2: Because of politics The district made a strategic decision to not operate schools smaller than an enrollment of 200 students. Bethel had 64, Fruitland 69, and Lake Labish 86. Hazel Green 103 and Rosedale 161. Reason 3: Because the school board voted in agreement with the School District's budget recommendation See the timeline to the right for events leading up to the School board vote Where did all the kids go? The Bethel/Fruitland students were all consolidated into Miller Elementary. Miller now has Bethel/Fruitland memorabilia on display. Lake Labish students went to Keizer Elementary. Wasn’t the district building new schools at the same time? Yes. A school bond was passed in 2008 to build new schools to ease overcrowding. One of the new elementary schools was on the East side of Salem. This led to the “Baffling” story published in the Statesman Journal on May 10th (See timeline on the right). But, we learned that Bond money and General Fund budget money come out of different ‘buckets’ and so while it didn’t seem to make sense, the district would not ‘save’ any General Fund money by not building new schools. Did we try to stop the closure? Yes. There was a collection of parents called the “Save our Schools Team” that met often and spoke at many public hearings, offering suggestions on ways to keep the schools open, questions, and testimony on our great schools (See timeline to the right). | Save Our Schools Team | Richard Markley, Dan Miller, Adam Kuenzi, Rachel Points, Barbara Wiggington, Catherine Markley, Erica Pearce, Ashley Massey and Lori Kuenzi Not Pictured: Terry Kuenzi, Shannan Murphy-Barlow, Jeff Pearce & Kyle Walter

23: Timeline: February 22nd, 2011 – Salem/Keizer Superintendant Dr. Sandy Husk announced “Considering consolidation of small schools” at a public meeting at McKay High School. March 2nd – First PTC meeting to discuss the “Possible” closure of Bethel and Fruitland, concerned parents and teachers met to generate questions for the district. March 10th – Meeting at Miller Elementary with Mr. Ron Speck (East-side Elementary Administrator) and Parents to discuss the ‘possible’ closure of Bethel and Fruitland March 16th – a small group of parents met at a public hearing in Aumsville with Rep. Kevin Cameron and brought up the school closure issue – he offers advice and his office's help to ‘get the data behind the decision’. March 19th – A Statesman Journal story titled “The Smaller they are, the Harder they Fall” outlining the plan to close Bethel, Fruitland, Hazel Green, Lake Labish, and Rosedale March 22nd – During Spring Break, The Statesman Journal runs another story, this time noting that Rosedale and Hazel Green would remain open for 1 more year. March 29th – First public hearing at McKay High School – Speakers for Bethel/Fruitland included: Dan Miller and Adam Kuenzi, both advocating for running our schools at capacity. Around 60 people were there from our schools. April 12th – School Board Work Session on small schools. April 18th – Second public hearing (dedicated to small schools topic) at Adam Stevens middle school – Speakers for Bethel/Fruitland included: Ashley Massey, Dan Miller, Adam Kuenzi and a whole host of impromptu parents and teachers and students. Previous students Michael Herrman, Haley Thomas, and Samantha Miller, spoke about the terrific impact smalls school had on them. It was an emotional evening.We filled up the room! April 21st – Meeting at Bethel with two of the Assistant Superintendants, a few parents and teachers met to discuss the district’s budget in detail, to allow for interactive question and answers and to talk about possible transition. Parent Rich Markley presents a very impressive spreadsheet and analysis showing that the schools can be run efficiently. The administrators responded with Reason number 2 (See answer to “Why did the district close Bethel and Fruitland?” to the left). April 26th – School Board budget message followed by ‘First Reading’ of the Superintendant’s recommendation to close the schools. May 3rd – Budget Committee meeting and public hearing - Speakers for Bethel/Fruitland included: Terrence Kuenzi, Ashley Massey, Jeff Pearce, and Adam Kuenzi. At the end of the meeting, a very passionate statement of how great our schools are and how much parent involvement there is and what it means was made by Terry Ricker. May 4th – Budget Committee meeting and public hearing – Speakers for Bethel/Fruitland included: Rich Markley, spoke about making decisions based on data. May 9th – Budget Committee meeting and public hearing – Speakers for Bethel/Fruitland included: Rich Markley and Jeff Pearce, spoke about a ‘hybrid’ school. May 10th – The Statesman Journal runs another story titled “School-closure plan leaves some baffled” – Mr. Ron Jones is quoted saying “We passed a bond to relieve overcrowding, we’re not going to solve that with closing schools!” May 10th – Special Board meeting to vote on School closures – The only speaker for Bethel/Fruitland was: Adam Kuenzi , who gave a recap of comments and suggestions made by all speakers over the last few weeks – The vote passed to close the schools 5-to-1. One board member was absent caring for his wife in the hospital. The one lone vote to keep the schools open was from Mr. Ron Jones.

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  • By: Carol O.
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    • By: Rachel P.
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    • By: Carie M.
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