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News Releases
Hockinson School District Board of Directors Regular Meeting - 04/20/18

Date:               Monday, April 23, 2018
Time:               6:00 p.m. Regular Meeting
Location:         Hockinson High School Library
Address:         16819 NE 159th St.; Brush Prairie, WA 98606

The HHS Wind Ensemble competes at the CBC Band Festival.
The HHS Wind Ensemble competes at the CBC Band Festival.
Hockinson musicians bring home bouquet of honors (Photo) - 04/18/18

After a whirlwind of a weekend, Hockinson High School’s musicians brought home a treasure trove of awards.

“This is one of the most successful weekends I can remember for our program,” said HHS band director Corey McEnry.

On Thursday, the HHS Jazz Band won first place in its division, plus first place in sight reading at the University of Portland Jazz Festival. Trombonist Riley Lyons won the award for best soloist.

On Friday, the Wind Ensemble received a gold medal at the Columbia Basin College Band Festival in Pasco, Washington. One judge called theirs “the most captivating performance of the day.” Flutists Liz Lindsley and Rebekah Soft were both recognized for outstanding solos.

On Saturday, the Jazz Band won first place in its division of the jazz portion of the CBC festival. Trombonist Riley Lyons and drummer Erik Hawkins were recognized for outstanding solos, and the rhythm section—Zeke Dodson on guitar, Briell King on piano, Isaac Zora on bass and Erik Hawkins on drums—and the sax section—Olivia Gaines, Sydney Henwood, Jack Broer, Tanner Linton and Brian Schauer—were named outstanding rhythm and saxophone sections for the AA division. 

The band also was one of three out of more than 30 selected to compete for the Sweepstakes Award, the best band of the entire festival, regardless of division. HHS did not win this match, but it was an honor to be nominated alongside the winner, Mead High School of Spokane, and Hanford High School.

HHS also won the Outstanding Instrumental Department award for the AA division, an award given to the school with the highest combined scores for Jazz Band and Concert Band. HHS has won this award four times—in 2009, 2013, 2016 and 2018.

“This is a particularly special award for us,” McEnry said. “It shows that we are a well-rounded program with talented musicians throughout all bands.” 

Team Mean Machine celebrates its Pacific Northwest Division robotics championship.
Team Mean Machine celebrates its Pacific Northwest Division robotics championship.
Hockinson students head to world robotics competition (Photo) - 04/17/18

A robot named Atlas is taking some Hockinson students—and their teammates from Camas and Washougal high schools—to Houston, Texas this week.

After winning the Pacific Northwest District FIRST Robotics Championship over spring break, Team Mean Machine emerged undefeated this year in district competition. Now the team, officially known as FIRST Robotics Team 2471, will spend Wednesday to Sunday in Houston competing with 400 other teams from around the world.

“People around the world have been watching our matches (online) and are expecting a lot from us, and I think we’ll deliver,” said team member and Hockinson High School junior John Lange.

Atlas the robot also has won the industrial design award in all three district meets this season, which were hosted at Wilsonville, Lake Oswego and Portland.

FIRST Robotics teams receive their rulebook at the beginning of January and are allowed seven weeks to build and program their robots. They prepare the machine to accomplish a variety of tasks, such as tossing blocks with accuracy and lifting other robots.

“The kids spend easily 15 to 20 hours a week in those seven weeks,” said Michelle Lange, a team chaperone and John’s mom.

Then the robot is boxed up until just before competitions begin, when the team has several hours to make tweaks.

John credits many factors for the team’s success this year:

“It’s partially because we’ve been around so long, and part of it goes to our sponsors and mentors constantly helping us learn and giving us resources to push our boundaries,” he said. “I think part of it is our dedicated student base. They give up being on the basketball team or other activities for robotics.”

The team, which has been active for 11 years, now has approximately 30 members from the three high schools and nearly three dozen sponsors that make their efforts possible. The HHS members who are headed to Houston are Kyle Abbas, Jordan Berg, Caelan Heimbuch, John Lange, Tyler LeDoux and Josh Martsolf.

Information about the team and Atlas is available at https://team2471.org/. Matches are livestreamed at www.thebluealliance.com. Team Mean Machine will be competing in the Turing Division.