OHS Community Survives Tough Year

Emma Mahr, Editor

Over the years, OHS has faced many personal tragadies, but this year has been especially tough. “We’re a class that has survived a lot,” Senior Sarah Jodway stated. “Some schools have one event that brings them together; we’ve had at least two this year alone.”

In the winter, news rocked the school that beloved English teacher and baseball coach Todd McDougall was diagnosed with a brain tumor and later given a limited time to live. Since then, our community has pulled together for events such as runs to raise funds to help support McDougall and his family while still showing we care. “It’s really cool to see all the support given not only from the students and faculty members, but also parents and community members that care,” Senior Jenn Harper said. Couch McDougall has just been selected as the Narrows League 3A and 4A coach of the year and the baseball team has made it to state.

At the end of February, the school was again shaken to receive the news that band director and CP coordinator Rodney Pierson had passed away. Pierson had directed the bands at OHS for many years and played in many symphonies around the city. The bands were preparing for a concert and the Chinook Region Music Festival hosted every year at OHS. “Getting over obstacles and performing at such an incredible level proves what an amazing family we are; always looking out for each other,” Senior Alex Carlson said. Junior Katie Scott noted, “This year has been really hard for a lot of people, especially people in band. Mr. Pierson was such a big part of our lives and his passing showed us how close we really are.” Pierson suffered from depression for most of his life that he was not able to overcome.

Through spirit assemblies and STAND retreats, OHS has worked to strengthen the feeling of OHANA among the students. “This tough year has brought us together and showed us that we are not alone,” Scott added. “And I couldn’t be more thankful for all the people that came together to get through these difficult times.”