Each week ''At Our Best'' highlights the achievements of those in our community. It includes honors, awards and other recognition that is being earned by local residents.
Please continue to send or deliver such information, along with pictures of those honored, to the newspaper in care of managing editor Rob Priewe, 600 S.W. Jefferson Ave., Corvallis, OR 97333.
Local students win
A team of seventh- and eighth-grade students from Cheldelin Middle School has won the regional finals of the MATHCOUNTS contest, held Feb. 10 in Newport. The top individual scorer was Frank Liu from Cheldelin Middle School in Corvallis. Danning Yao from Cheldelin took second place in the individual competition. Ian Vermeulen and John Shotton from Ashbrook Independent School took third and fourth place.
The Cheldelin team (Frank Liu, Danning Yao, Michael Perlin, Noah Baker and coach John Friday,) along with Vermeulen and Shotton will go on to compete in the state competition to be held in Corvallis on March 10. Winners at state will advance to the national competition to be held in Fort Worth, Texas, in May, part of which will be broadcast on ESPN.
The second place team award went to the Ashbrook Independent School team (John Shotton, Ian Vermeulan, Jordy Wilson, Thomas Gazeley and coach Paul Hunt). The Isaac Newton/ Newport Middle School team won third place. Other participants were from Franklin Middle School in Corvallis and Dorena School.
MATHCOUNTS is a nationwide program designed to answer the problem of declining math skills among U.S. students.
Young musicians receive awards
Winners of the 2007 Vernon L. Wiscarson Young Musicians' Competition were announced recently by the Oregon Symphony Association in Salem. The competition, held in February, is an annual project of the association to encourage the area's serious young musicians to vie for the largest cash awards in Oregon made possible by the generous contributions of the late Edna Wiscarson in honor of her husband. Judges for this year's competition were Peter Frajola, associate concertmaster with the Oregon Symphony, Diane Baxter, Professor of Music at Western Oregon University, and Charles Calmer, Artistic Director for the Oregon Symphony.
First place winner this year was 15-year-old Tony Wu of Corvallis, son of Jian and Carl Wu. He played Beethoven's Concerto No. 5 on piano, third movement. Tony and attends Crescent Valley High School. He studies with Rachelle McCabe of Corvallis. First place winners in the Wiscarson competition take home a cash prize of $500 and may be invited to join the Oregon Symphony in a solo performance during the next season at 2007-08 Youth concerts. This year's prize was augmented to $600 by a generous donation from Sandra Wiscarson, daughter of Vernon and Edna Wiscarson.
Third place went to Nathan Reiman, 18, of Corvallis took home third place, competing on the viola. He played Rõzsa's Concerto for Viola and Orchestra which garnered him the $200 prize money. Nathan studies with Jessica Lambert of Corvallis.
Pianist Evan Wu, 14, of Corvallis received an Honorable Mention of $100.
Other local contestants in the competition were pianist Ellen Yin of Corvallis, violinists Soyoung Claire Park of Corvallis, S. Patrick Yun of Corvallis and Michael Sheng of Corvallis.
The Vernon L. Wiscarson Young Musicians' Competition is open to music students in Marion, Polk, Yamhill, Linn and Benton counties. The competition is sponsored by the Wiscarson Family and the Oregon Symphony Association in Salem.
Kiwanis Club recognizes two
Last month the Kiwanis Club of Corvallis awarded retired Senator Cliff and JoAnne Trow the Kiwanis Every Day Hero Award.
JoAnne has been active with numerous organizations, including United Way, Old Mill School, on the Corvallis Parks and Recreation Advisory Board; and she has served as chair for many organizations. In addition she has worked as a fundraiser for the Majestic Theater, Good Samaritan Hospital Cancer Center, the Community Outreach Center, and the Osborn Aquatic Center. She was also the Friday cashier for In One Place Children's Charities Together store for many years.
Senator Cliff Trow represented both Benton and Polk counties in the Oregon Senate for 28 years, retiring in 2003. He served in many leadership roles in the Senate, including co-chair of the Ways and Means Committee, and he served on the Emergency Board. Cliff also chaired the Education Committee for six sessions and was the Democratic leader from 1997 to 1999. Locally he has served on the Corvallis-Benton County Library Board for nine years; also serving as chair for several years; and on the Library Foundation Board. Currently he is volunteering as a board member of the Academy for Lifelong Learning; where he gives a lecture each term on various topics of historical interest.
Together JoAnne and Cliff are chairing the capital campaign for the new Benton County Historical Society Museum, in downtown Corvallis.
College announces honor-roll students
George Fox University - fall semester dean's list: Mikaela Ameele of Corvallis, sophomore, elementary education and psychology; Luke Fletcher of Corvallis, sophomore, biology; Brendon Hart of Corvallis, freshman, biology; Lisa Miller of Corvallis, freshman, engineering; Allison Ogle of Corvallis, freshman, social work; Jonathan Reeves of Corvallis, sophomore, psychology; David Delmore of Philomath, senior, business administration and accounting.