Blog

Biology at Boiler Bay

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Tide pool exploration!

Tide pool exploration!

At the end of the school year sophomore biology students went on a field trip to Boiler Bay and got to do some tide pooling – hands on biology!  Students found all kinds of marine life including sea urchins, sea anemones, sea stars, barnacles, limpets, crabs, seals, and gumboot chiton!  After tide-pooling students grabbed lunch at Mo’s Restaurant and then finished their day at Hatfield Marine Science Center learning about adaptations of various marine invertebrates.

Take a look at more photos here: Biology at the beach!

International Teaching

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This summer, my wife and I, along with Leif, our 1-year-old baby boy, will be spending 40 days in Valencia, Spain. I’ve been given the opportunity to complete an international teaching practicum at an English language school located in the heart of this beautiful Mediterranean beach town.

We are so looking forward to our time together there, especially with our boy! In our free time, we will be exploring the old medieval parts of town and sampling the tapas and paellas the city is famous for. Of course, we will seek out the beach as often as possible and spend time swimming in the warm sea and relaxing in the sun.

My wife and I have held Spain as very special to both of us for many years. It’s where we fell in love and where we later honeymooned. It’s where I became fluent in Spanish and where I watched God grow a deep love for the Spaniards within me. We can’t wait to bring our boy into all of this with us.

A summer in Spain!

A summer in Spain!

This time in Spain with be a blessing for my family at home, but I’ve begun to pay attention to the many ways that it will also be a blessing for my Westside family. Among such, I anticipate that my students in the fall will benefit from my reinvigorated passion for Spanish-speaking peoples – a passion which will color our class time together and which may even be passed on to them. In addition, my own language skills will be sharpened and my fluency deepened, enhancing the collection of talents and abilities among the staff at Westside and so also enhancing our prestige as a school.

I look forward to sharing the stories and pictures from our European adventure with my classes in the fall. I’m sure there will also be others with travel stories to share. In sharing, I know that God will work on our hearts to grow them in our capacity for love toward people of other lands and languages – towards peoples that he loves as much as he does the folks in our own communities here at home.

Senior Trip 2018

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Last week Westside’s seniors traveled (far) east to Washington Family Ranch for a week of fellowship, fun, and reflection in advance of graduation. Senior Trip provides students with a unique opportunity to get away from normal, including cellphone reception, for time together to process all they’ve experienced in life up to this moment in time. Evening sessions provided the chance to consider their past, appreciate the present, and prepare for their future.

Seniors – go well, and please plan to return. The doors are always open.

Senior Trip 2018

Senior Recognition 2018

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Our Leadership students put together a video appreciating each and everyone of our seniors in advance of the last chapel of the year. Take a watch below!

Acid Base Titration Lab

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Westside students recently completed an Acid / Base Titration Lab in Chemistry. The students were using a 0.2M acid in order to determine the strength of a basic solution made from magnesium hydroxide. This is accomplished with the use of an indicator which changes color when all the base has been neutralized. Ultimately, they will use their results to determine how many moles of stomach acid can be neutralized with one dose of the medicine.

Our students look great in goggles and other assorted lab gear!

Take your (lab) stations!

Take your (lab) stations!

Spring Art Show & Concert

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Westside Christian High School’s Performing and Fine Arts students will be having their Spring Concert and Art Show tonight, May 21st, at Westside. The Art Show begins at 6:00 p.m. in the Commons, followed by the Concert in the Gym at 7:00 p.m.

The concert will feature four award-winning ensembles:

  • The Concert Choir (for the 12th consecutive year) won the 2018 OSAA 3A State Choir Championship on May 3rd!
  • The Concert Band (in its second year of existence) captured the 2018 OSAA 3A State Band Championship on May 9th!
  • Soli Deo Gloria had another great year and finished second at the Pleasant Hill Jazz Festival! on April 21st!
  • Adult Supervision, a barbershop quartet made up of three Westside students and Mr. Fox, finished second at the Oregon State Barbershop Quartet Contest on April 7th!

This will be the final time this school year to see and hear these ensembles perform a full concert, including the numbers that won them their awards. Make every effort to join us for the celebration. Cookies and drinks will follow as we lift up a toast to the students for an incredible year of music-making!

Westside Band: State Champions

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The Westside Christian High School Concert Band assembled at 6:30am Wednesday, March 9th, for a trip to the Oregon State Band Championships and a chance to compete with nine of the top 3A bands in the state. Qualifying for the state championships in April was astounding enough for a band program that was established just one year ago, with a shoestring budget, a few donated / very used instruments, and a lot of heart. Six boys playing horns (no percussion) worked steadily that first year. Ten students (nine boys and one special girl) comprise this year’s band, with two of the boys adding percussion to the band for the first time!

WCHS band in action

WCHS band in action

Upon arriving at Oregon State University, the band got a feel for the LaSells Stewart Center Auditorium by listening to one of the other competing bands. The group then assembled together with instruments in hand and entered the warm-up room at 9:55am. In the warm-up room, the band tuned to one another so that unison notes and chords would create a pleasant experience for our audience. Ten minutes before the band’s 10:20am performance, our two percussion players were escorted to the stage to set up their percussion instruments. The rest of the band was then invited to the stage and introduced.

The band played well through its 5-piece song set, which included the St. Petersburg March, Clarinet Rag, Black Forest Overture, Three Ayres of Gloucester, and Moscow, 1941. The band played with crispness, good intonation and a very pleasant sound to the ear. The audience couldn’t believe this band of ten students (who are only freshmen and sophomores) could sound so full and wonderful. Students and directors alike kept stopping band members all day with kind compliments.

Following the stage performance, the band was escorted to the sight reading room, where they were given seven minutes for Mr. Fox to talk through and prepare them to play through an entire piece of music for the very first time. The anxiety of the sight reading room is palpable. Fortunately, our band was able to navigate the selection in reasonable fashion, scoring 43 out of 60 points.

WCHS 2018 Band State Champions!

WCHS 2018 Band State Champions!

Following the sight reading experience, the band was finally able to relax, listening to the other competing bands, taking pictures outside in the sunshine, and grabbing a light snack before the awards assembly. At 1:20pm, all of the bands and their directors were honored before the announcement of the finalists. Sitting and listening to the finalists being announced is nerve-wracking. 5th Place, 4th Place, 3rd place, 2nd place. Mr. Fox leaned over to Ethan Chung and said, “We’ve either placed 6th through 10th, or our band just won the state championship!” Then the announcement: “Your 2018 3A State Championship band is Westside Christian High School!”

Shock, elation, and a sense of achievement combined to create a surreal moment as the band slowly made its way to the stage to receive the state championship trophy. Moms, dads, and grandparents were yelling, applauding, and crying happy tears as the band formed on stage for a picture with the trophy to the cheers of all in attendance. After the pictures were taken, our band broke into applause toward the entire assembled audience filled with other schools’ bands and their supporters as a gesture of appreciation. After more pictures outside with the championship trophy, the band and many family members shared a meal together and gave thanks for an unbelievable and historic day. The band scored 86, 87 and 91 from the three performance judges.

The little band that could!

Pig Heart Dissection

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Gabrielle Reed, Megan Larson, Azul Pereyra

Gabrielle Reed, Megan Larson, Azul Pereyra

Anatomy & Physiology students were (gloved) hands on in a recent dissection lab. Students were dissecting pig hearts, and during the process, were instructed how and then proceeded to, inflate the lung.

Take a look at the short video of our school scientists below!

 

 

Westside Choir: State Champions

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Westside Christian High School’s Concert Choir won the OSAA 3A Choir State Championship on Thursday, May 3rd, at George Fox University. Under the direction of Will Fox, the Concert Choir engaged the audience and adjudicators with a program featuring six songs: Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal, Light Everlasting, Abendlied (Luke 4:29), Emerald Stream, Good Night, Dear Heart, and Nda Wana.

Westside Christian High School, twelve consecutive state championships!

Westside Christian High School, twelve consecutive state championships!

The adjudicators were very appreciative of the young choir’s intonation, beautiful tone, and commitment to excellence. The choir’s program was judged by four distinguished choral educators and conductors, including the choir’s sight reading ability, which was tested after their stage performance.

This is the twelfth consecutive OSAA 3A State Choir Championship for Westside Christian, the longest standing streak in the history of the State Choir Championships, which began in 1987. Bob Crews developed the fine choral tradition of excellence at Westside and won four state championships. Kristy Moore and Miriam Gibby each won a state championship in 2008 and in 2009. In 2010, Mr. Fox was hired and has carried on the tradition of strong musical arts, winning eight consecutive state championships in his eight years of teaching.

Westside's five seniors

Westside’s five seniors

Mr. Fox says, “I inherited a fine tradition of choral music at Westside. While my first year was certainly a challenge in trying to develop my own program and winning over the students to my way of creating music, these last eight years have really been about the students! I’ve had the thrill of working with great young people who have trusted me to help them become engaged high school musicians. I’ve also had the great privilege of being the choir director for my own two children! I have the best job!”

2017 - 2018 WCHS Choir

2017 – 2018 WCHS Choir

Goal to Goal: Ben Smucker

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Goal to Goal is a video series with our Athletic Director Rob Casteel, where he intends to show the human side of the athletic program. Video interviews will highlight different contributors (coaches, student athletes and parents) to the athletic program.

In Goal to Goal we hope to convey the passion and enthusiasm these people have for Westside and its athletics.

Rob is with Varsity Golf Coach Ben Smucker below.

Go Eagles!