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Byline: The Register-Guard

Springfield teacher wins human rights award

The Springfield Alliance for Equality and Respect awarded its annual Human Rights Award to Gene Chism, a multicultural liaison and teacher for the Springfield School District.

The surprise award was announced Jan. 19 at the 11th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at Springfield Middle School.

Chism began his career eight years ago as a teacher's assistant and is now a special education teacher and basketball coach in Springfield. He is a graduate student at the University of Oregon, pursuing a master's degree in special education.

In addition to mentoring at-risk students, Chism implemented three programs for local children: RED (Respecting Everyone's Differences) Day at Springfield and Hamlin middle schools; Cuts for Kids, which gives children free haircuts; and Mentor Mondays, which allows UO law students to spend time with children. Chism is starting a donation program to provide children in need with clothes and school supplies.

Sheldon choir wins first place at inaugural contest

The Sheldon High School Varsity Choir won the First Place Gold Award for Concert Choirs in its division at the Presidential Inaugural Heritage Music Festival in Washington, D.C., held Jan. 16-20.

The choir, which was invited based on its success at previous festivals, competed against six other choirs from South Carolina, California, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and New York.

Thanks in part to a $10,000 scholarship from the Chambers Family Foundation, 36 of the choir's 54 students were able to make the trip.

Oak Hill School student?takes in inauguration

Oak Hill School sophomore Maddie Hoffmeister attended the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20 with the National Congressional Youth Leadership Conference.

She was nominated for the leadership group by two Oak Hill faculty members and had the opportunity to attend several leadership conferences. Hoffmeister's group heard from several national leaders and attended a state function.

Eugene district honored for budget presentation

The Eugene School District has received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada. …