Local districts, individuals receive PACE Awards

Recipients of the inaugural PACE Awards will be recognized today at the “PACE Day: Safe and Secure Schools” event at the Hilton Eugene. The awards highlight two districts and three individuals who made significant contributions in 2013 to the Property and Casualty Coverage for Education (PACE) program.

Being recognized as outstanding programs are:

  • The Gaston School District, which updated its security system and fire alarms, reducing yearly costs by about $5,000 and helping to better protect students, staff and property.
  • The South Lane School District, whose maintenance team has embraced thinning and brush removal on a parcel of land to provide recreational opportunities and make the area safer for students and the community.

Individuals receiving awards are:

  • Ralph Dickenson, board chairman of the Harney County School District. He was instrumental in identifying areas of safety concern at Slater Elementary, including changing traffic flow in front of the school and improving visibility in the entry.
  • Brian Anderson, a custodian in the South Lane School District, has distinguished himself as a dedicated employee and positive role model, including his efforts to teach special education students custodial skills that they can later use in the workforce. He has also spent countless weekends providing outdoor recreational opportunities for these same students on his own time.
  • Gustave Forster, superintendent of the Willamina School District. In addition to those duties, the superintendent has taken on a senior advisory position for one class period per day. He has donated the compensation for that extra work back to school sports and music programs. He is also a regular volunteer in the SMART Reading Program.
Ralph Dickenson, Harney County School Board chair, received a PACE award for his efforts at Slater Elementary.