Lift Up La Pine, the new incoming freshman tradition at La Pine High School exceeded expectations of staff, students and the community. Kelsey Jaeckel, 9th and 11th grade School Counselor Graduation Coach explained, “the idea came from a team meeting where we focused on data (grades, attendance, behavior) to keep 9th-grade students on track to graduate. We decided to make the 9th grade the best year ever for students. From this, we planned a day off-campus building relationships with staff and students while having students participate in community service projects to foster a greater sense of belonging.”
The day started off with an invigorating talk about perseverance and community by Colonel Michael Brock. About 110 students partnered with 5 businesses/community members to participate in a variety of service projects. The students got to choose between Senior Center, St. Vincent’s Food Band, Heart ‘n Home, Parks and Rec, and La Pine Elementary School. An all-student hike and BBQ were part of the event’s activities. Jaeckel was impressed with how excited the students were about the service projects they participated in. “During, we witnessed them engaged and having a good time and afterward there was so much positive energy. Students were exchanging stories with other students about what project they did. Essentially, this is what it means to be a La Pine Hawk – we work together and we help each other,” says Jaeckel.