Class of 2009:
2009, A Class of Distinction! (Valedictorian Sheila Heath)
The Renaissance Arts Academy Class of 2009 Commencement was a fitting tribute to an exceptional class. Then Area Director Greg Wolleck congratulated them on their highly personalized graduation which included a slide show video they produced, as well as a staff video that honored each graduate. The combination of photos, song, texts, and staff appreciations of each student reminded us all of the power of small schools.
Capitalizing on strong relationships honed over four years, the Class of 2009 raised the achievement bar. As 10th graders, their state assessment scores soared by double digits in reading and math. As graduates, two out of three have been accepted to and plan to attend a number of distinguished schools including Columbia University (1), Lewis & Clark (1), Portland State University (12) , University, of Oregon (3), Linfield College (2) , and Oregon State (3). More students will matriculate to four year colleges than those attending local community colleges. Valedictorian Sheila Heath is attending Columbia University on a Gates Millennium Scholarship (with tuition, books, room and board paid through her doctoral work), and she and others earned college scholarships worth approximately $200,000. ESL teacher Ms. Terry Jensen, now at Huntington Park Middle School, ensured that her four senior ESL students gained acceptance and enrolled in college. Congratulations to teachers and the Class of 2009!
When Shiela Heath (pictured above), and classmate Vicki Hooker visited Renaissance Arts last week, both girls looked great and were enjoying their extended college holiday breaks. After completing their first semesters at Columbia University and Linfield College respectively, both girls agreed their transition to college was seamless. When asked by Superintendent Carole Smith if RA2 had prepared them well both girls answered with an emphatic “yes!” Shiela loves the diversity and energy of learning in New York City, and when asked to share her thoughts about RA2, Vicki Hooker wrote the following:
“I think RA2 prepared me very well for a four year college. I haven't found the transition from high school to college as drastic as many people made it sound to me, but I feel that the college preparatory work I did in school prepared me really well for the academic side and my support network of teachers helped make me confident that I was making the right choice in my college. I cannot say how much I enjoyed attending RA2. I will always cherish the friends I made there and the teachers I met and all the wonderful memories I made there. RA2 was such a unique experience, part of which I believe was the small school aspect of it. The teachers all know your name, you know all of them and you know all of your peers. Everyone there is just so supportive and wonderful, I wouldn't have chosen any other school. I also met some of the most amazing artistic talents there that just blew me away. The one thing I would like to see for RA2's future would be more AP, IB or college oriented classes.
"I will miss RA2 immensely and it will definitely take time for Linfield to feel as much like home as RA has. I would definitely recommend Renaissance to anyone , but the one addendum I would add to that is that it is definitely not the school for you if you want anonymity. Senora Pinyoun will learn your name and she will hug you.”
Ashley Dow, who has two twin sisters (Alexis and Amity) who are freshmen at Renaissance Arts, is pursuing modeling here in Portland.
Ivan Davis, joined the Marines and is great about visiting when he is back at Portland.
Loan Tran, just completed her first semester at Portland Statue University studying Business and is enjoying herself.
Cassie Slovarp and Catherine Martin, recently visited RA2 and are both enjoying the University of Oregon. Cassie is not playing soccer, but doing very well academically and enjoying campus life. Cassie is pictured below with the MAC Club’s annual Female Athlete of the Year award for 2008-09. Catherine Martin is doing very well in International Studies with a focus on Arabic.
Notes from the Class of 2008:
Torren Taylor, class of 2008, stopped by after school on Friday, January 15th. He is excited about starting Job Corps and will be studying construction and computers. Torren agreed to give us regular updates throughout his two year training program.
GRADUATES, we want to know how you are and what who are doing! PLEASE contact us: