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5/24/2013 11:30:00 AM
Blanchet grads to hear from beloved retiring teacher
Blanchet School photo
The class of 2013 from Blanchet School in Salem.
Blanchet School photo
The class of 2013 from Blanchet School in Salem.
Nicole Blanco-Mills with her parents and Maryknoll Father Thomás Martí. Blanco-Mills wrote an award-winning essay on immigrants.
Nicole Blanco-Mills with her parents and Maryknoll Father Thomás Martí. Blanco-Mills wrote an award-winning essay on immigrants.
Essay contest winner says: Advocate for immigrants
By Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss
For the Catholic Sentinel

SALEM — Nicole Blanco-Mills, a senior at Blanchet High School here, used her award-winning essay to advocate for young immigrants.

The whole school gathered in assembly last month while Maryknoll Father Thomas Marti presented Blanco-Mills with a certificate of merit and a letter from the Maryknoll superior general. The letter from Father Edward Dougherty said that Blanco-Mills' essay on the plight of immigrants gives hope for the future.

Father Marti also gave Blanco-Mills $150 from the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers for the third place award in the high school category of the essay contest.

"I am grateful for the warm reception by the president of Blanchet High School, Charles Lee, and the evident support he and her teacher, Deb Pavelek clearly expressed,” Father Marti said.

Kelly Mills, Blanco-Mills' mother, said she had discovered the Maryknoll Essay Contest during an internet search.

During the assembly, Blanco-Mills read her winning essay, which may also be seen at www.maryknollsociety.org/winners

The piece told the story of her friend, Berta, who came to the United States at age two and now, because of her undocumented status, might suffer deportation or be blocked from pursuing her dream of becoming a pharmacist.

"If we don't welcome the thousands of adult and children immigrants, should we even be able to call ourselves followers of Jesus Christ?”   

The theme of the 2012 Maryknoll Essay Contest was "New Neighbors." In their essays, students considered the experiences of people who must adapt to a different environment and way of life, keeping in mind the words of Jesus, "to love your neighbor as you love yourself."

Maryknoll received more than 5,400 entries for the contest from students who competed for nearly $3,000 in cash prizes. The essays written by the first place winners will be in the May/June 2013 issue of Maryknoll magazine.

SALEM — On Saturday, June 8, Blanchet School’s 2013 graduates will receive diplomas during a ceremony set for 2 p.m. at the campus. Valedictorians are Kelsey Nanneman, Nicholas Ditzler and Samantha Belleque. Salutatorian is Cassandra Farrell.

They will hear one of their most admired and respected teachers, Barb Schreiber, deliver the commencement address.

Schreiber has taught upper division math courses at Blanchet for the past sixteen years. In her address, she will not only say farewell to the seniors but also to the Blanchet community as she retires from teaching.

Schreiber attended Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa. and spent a semester in Caen, France with The Experiment in International Living. She went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and a minor in French and teaching certificates in both subjects. She taught for five years in public school in West Chester, Pa. while she completed a master's degree in mathematics at West Chester State.

Her love for cycling and exploring the outdoors led her to the West Coast. She taught at two community colleges and two high schools in California before finally settling in Oregon. After teaching for a year at Central High School in Independence, Schreiber accepted a position at Blanchet, then new, and built the math program.

“I am proud that the math department always works together well, and that we continue to have strong teachers who work hard for the students,” says Schreiber.

She's also proud that the school has made it possible for students to get college credit through Chemeketa Community College and that many advanced students have been able to take classes at Willamette University.

Schreiber says alumni continue to report that they were well prepared for college, not only in math but in many subjects.

In addition to teaching class, Schreiber has helped students with math before school, after school, during lunch breaks and even on weekends.

“The students feel like family to me,” Schreiber says. It seems the entire Blanchet community feels the same way about her.

Here are the graduates: Erik Adelman, Michael Hua-Long Anderson, Caitlin Anglemier, Elizabeth Bartholomew, Miranda Bartosz, Rocquia Bashey, Lydia Bauer, Samantha Belleque, Marcus Beskow, Nicole Blanco-Mills, Jordon Bogat, Jaedon Cattanach, Wei Chen, Karlee Collier, Margaret Conklin, Katelyn Connealy, Emily Copple, Brent Counts Jr., Brenda DeLeon, Nicholas Ditzler, Andrew Evans, Cassandra Farrell, Brian FitzPatrick, Grant Forell, Gina Garaventa, Joseph Ghiorso, Trey Gianella, Elizabeth Grainey, Yin Guan, Tyler Guzman, Evan Hansen, Makayla Hari, Spencer Helterline, Zeyu Ke, Sarah MacIsaac, Nicole Maurmann, Amanda Maxwell, Amanda McCall, Alanna McCarthy, Katherine Mendzer, Kendra Moe, Kathryn Moyano, Bailey Muller, Kelsey Nanneman, Grant Nasset, David Oldham, James Olsen, Solize Ortiz, Melanie Pollard, Christopher Poole, Luis Rodriguez-Walmisley, Tiana Romero, Dominic Ruggles, Joshua Ryan, Emily Salstrom, Jacob Schlechter, Trevor Schrock, Eliza Smith, Samantha Stageman, Eryn Swett, John Tuttle, Garrett Vaupel, Michael Virden, Valentin Whitnah, Austin Wittenberg, Madeleine Witwer-Dukes, Michelle Wolf, Mariah Wyatt, Kuan-Hsuan Yeh, Lumazhe Zheng

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