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FFA Crops and Forestry Teams Prepare for State Competition

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The Oregon-Davis FFA Crops and Forestry teams competed a few weeks ago and their talent led them to qualify for state. This is not much of a surprise, as OD FFA has been able to participate in the State Competition many times before. The Crops Team must undergo vigorous studying of crops, weed plants, seeds, and grain grading. The criteria of the Forestry Team is similar, but with some variation they must be able to identify tree species by only looking at the seeds, leaves, and wood. Their knowledge of respective topics is pushed to the limits in a fifty question test.

The participants were honored with an exciting pep rally today at the high school. The band, cheerleaders, and students marched through the halls of Oregon-Davis before shaking hands with and congratulating the FFA Crops and Forestry team. The State Competition will be held tomorrow at Purdue University. The Crops High School Team consists of senior Delaney Shively, junior Amanda Niles, sophomore Bobby Pucel, and freshman Audrey Crawford. The Junior High Crops Team members are eighth graders: Becky Pucel, Emily Niles, and Shyanna Saylor. The Forestry Team’s lone member is senior Dalton Good. May the odds be ever in your favor, tributes. Make us proud!

By Michaela Mills








The Oregon-Davis pep band, cheerleaders, and students march through the halls of OD in support of the OD Crops and Forestry team. – Photo by Riley Trott

Changes to Language Arts at Oregon-Davis Jr/Sr High School

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Our student publications class is transitioning our student newspaper, Cat Connection, from a traditional newspaper to an electronic-based blog. This way, the content can be updated more frequently and presented in a more timely fashion, while entering the 21st century.

Also, our Language Arts and Math teachers are attending Indiana Academic Standards training in Plymouth. These are a series of trainings provided by the Northern Indiana Educational Services Center and focus on understanding and utilizing the new standards. This training provides our teachers with a body of knowledge that can then bring back to the rest of our staff. It’s a powerful way to get our teachers involved in our professional development while collaborating on instructional practice.

Oregon-Davis Jr/Sr High School Begins “Student of the Month” Program

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Oregon-Davis Jr/Sr High School is implementing a Student of the Month program that will acknowledge students for exhibiting behaviors that align with the school’s core tenants of Trust, Respect, and Responsibility. The nominations can be made by any teacher, and each student will be recognized with a certificate and small gift. There will also be a drawing for a more substantial gift – such as a lunch line cut card, athletic passes, or other gift certificates. Nominations will be made by the last Thursday of the month, and the students will be recognized on the following Monday. We hope to have pictures to post on the website to create a display on a bulletin board in the school. Additionally, we are also taking nominations for a Teacher of the Month. We hope this goes a long way toward building a strong, positive, and supportive culture in our building!

Meet Our New Teachers at Oregon-Davis Jr/Sr High School!

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Joel Johnston
Joel Johnston (Physical Education) graduated from Bethel College in 2010. He is the oldest of four siblings and really values family and the small town feel. He loves sports, citing golf and basketball as his favorites. He also tries to work out four to five times a week. Joel loves to travel and Southern California is his favorite vacation destination. He pursued Physical Education because he enjoys working with young people, and he loves fitness, sports, and being active. Joel hopes to spread that passion for fitness to his students!

Amy Budka
Amy Budka (Language Arts) is excited for her first year at Oregon-Davis schools. She previously taught middle school for nine years in Knox, Indiana. She graduated from Purdue University in1998. Although she holds certification from IUSB and a Master’s in English from National University in California, her heart belongs to the Boilers. Amy lives in Plymouth with her husband Waylon, her two sons, three cats, and three ducks.

Bianca Ash
Bianca Ash (Special Education) graduated from IUSB in 2002 and is beginning her 12th year of teaching. She previously taught two years for Culver Community Schools, eight years with the JESSE cooperative at Culver Community, and one year for Merrillville Community Schools through the NISEC cooperative. She has lived in the community for 13 years and is excited to now be working in the community as well. She is married and has three kids. Bianca’s husband, Jim Ash, also teaches here, and all three of her children attend school here.

John Phillips
John Phillips (Math) grew up on a farm in Lowell and attended Lowell High School. He attended St. Joseph’s College. John taught in Illinois at Crete-Monee and Donovan High School. While at Donovan, he coached the Junior High and High School baseball teams, with the Junior High team going to the State Finals twice. He enjoys watching sports, holding season tickets for the Pacers. John likes to travel to the different baseball stadiums and has been to 23 different stadiums.

Eric Baierl
Eric Baierl (Special Education) lives in South Bend, Indiana. He graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington with a double major in Religion and English in December of 2006. Eric then moved back to South Bend and took a job at Logan Center where he worked in a group home with seven adults with developmental disabilities and behavior issues. He fell in love working with special needs adults and decided to go back to school to get a Special Education degree. Eric took online classes at Western Governors University and earned his Special Education degree in May of 2014 and began his teaching career at Oregon-Davis Jr/Sr High School this August.

Angie Radtke
Angie Radtke (Language Arts) has been teaching middle school language arts for ten years. She received her Bachelor’s in English Education in 2004 from Indiana University South Bend. In 2011, she earned her Master’s in Educational Leadership from Ball State University. She joins her husband, Wes, who teaches sixth grade at Oregon-Davis Elementary, and her four daughters who are also Bobcats. She is also a 4-H leader and holds a seat on the 4-H Council. Her hobbies include: reading, attending church with her family, baking, attending her daughters’ activities, and cheering on the Bobcats.

Ryan Julian
Ryan Julian (History/Psychology) was born and raised in Chicago, IL. He graduated from prestigious Mount Carmel High School located on the south side of the city. Mr. Julian then attended Loras College in Dubuque, IA on a partial baseball scholarship where he also decided to major in Secondary Education with an endorsement in Social Studies. After graduating in 2011, Ryan relocated to central Indiana and started coaching Oregon-Davis Baseball as an assistant. Currently he has been a part of the baseball program for 3 years now and is currently the Head Varsity Coach.

Scott Hollenbaugh
Scott Hollenbaugh (Industrial Technology/Project Lead the Way) joins the staff at OD after a long teaching career at John Glenn. He was born in Gary and has one brother and one sister, both older. In 1974 he moved to Winamac where Scot graduated from Winamac Community High School. He attended Indiana State University form 1977-1981, and began his teaching career in 1981. He is married with sons attending college. Scot and his family currently reside in Bremen.