News and Announcements
Last summer, several Blanchet seniors participated in a variety of academic internship programs. Internships can be a great opportunity to gain valuable work experience and explore potential career paths. By participating, seniors can build their professional network, develop important job-related skills, and gain a better understanding of the industry they wish to pursue. They may also provide seniors with a competitive edge when applying for jobs or college admissions. We'd like to share information about some of the internships with the Blanchet community.
First is Blanchet senior, Sophie Schindler. Sophie participated in the Notre Dame Summer Program. Sophie said, “Over the summer, I took an English Literature course with the University of Notre Dame. I applied in October of last year, and a couple of weeks later, I found out I had been accepted! The course was named Hope and Faith in the Age of Dystopia, which I had been very excited to see on the list of available courses, as dystopian books are some of my favorites. The class was online, two weeks long, and about five hours a day, and I loved every minute of it! We did presentations, wrote our own endings of books, had deep discussions, and learned how to think critically about literature. Because the course was online, people could participate from all over the world. Now, I have friends in Cincinnati, Texas, China, and Egypt! I am so grateful I took this course, not only because I earned college credit, but because I learned how to approach life with a hopeful lens.”
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Blanchet's DECA mission statement is “to give all members the ability to grow in an honest and challenging environment.” DECA is primarily a co-curricular activity where students learn to conduct marketing research projects, promotion plans, and start-up businesses, and encounter realistic workplace challenges. The experience-based activities require students to use both basic and higher academic skills such as writing, math, economics, social science, communication, presentation, research, and data analysis.
The pinnacle of Oregon DECA is the State Career Development Conference (SCDC). Nearly 1,000 students from all over Oregon attend to compete for an opportunity to advance to the International Career Development Conference (ICDC). Aside from competition, this three-day conference includes many networking opportunities, leadership sessions, and a chance to create lasting friendships among chapter members.
Reaching a membership milestone this year with 72 Cavaliers in Blanchet's DECA chapter, the students underwent a season of practices and a district competition held at Blanchet to prepare them for the state competition. Blanchet then took our largest contingent ever, over 49 students, to the 3-day DECA SCDC conference in Portland. At the state championships, six of our students earned guaranteed spots at ICDC; they are Tanveer Singh, Nhi Huynh, Paola Diaz-Hermosillo, Holden Prine, Max Quintero, and Koren Ickes-Amend. Blanchet's Community Outreach Project, The Open Minded Project, led by Paola, Tanveer, and Nhi, earned a first-place spot that will take them to ICDC! Holden Prine and Max QUintero also stood atop the podium with their business development project for a total of five Cavalier state champions at this year's SCDC!
More honors were also earned as twenty Cavaliers finished in the top 10 in the state of Oregon in their respective competitions, ten Cavaliers placed 4th through 8th in their events and were honored with a medal, and thirty-eight placed in the top 25 competitors for their event(s) at SCDC! Over twenty Blanchet students placed in multiple events and eight new Cavalier DECA members placed in their principle (novice) events!
Additionally, thirteen Cavaliers qualified for nationals and will attend ICDC from April 21 to 26 in Orlando, Florida. The Cavalier contingent to Florida includes Elisabeth Fromwiller, Abby Webber, Holden Prine, Max Quintero, Claire Raffensperger, Raquelle Hendrix, Ben Alley, Nhi Huynh, Carter Mucken, Tanveer Singh, Brooklyn Ries, Grace Weber, and Koren Ickes-Amend.
We are also very proud to announce that Blanchet junior, Tanveer Singh, was re-elected as Oregon DECA"s President for 2023-2024. Oregon DECA officers are elected by their peers at SCDC and represent Oregon's membership. The State Officer team develops a program of work aligned to the strategic goals of DECA. Throughout the year, the team interacts with the membership to implement and enhance DECA programs. Congratulations to Tanveer as he represents Blanchet and the DECA community in this role!
Blanchet is proud to announce that two of our teachers have been nominated for the prestigious Crystal Apple Award. This award, which has been on hiatus since before the pandemic, is given out to educators in the Salem-Keizer area who demonstrate excellence in their daily work. Blanchet’s nominees for this year’s Crystal Apple are Mr. Harry Ahn and Dr. Micki Halsey-Randall.
About Mr. Ahn
Mr. Ahn currently teaches seven classes a day at Blanchet in seven different subjects, including two levels of Calculus, an intro to Engineering class, a Great Books course, and other upper-level math classes. Teaching this many preps in one day is a rarity for any teacher, but Mr. Ahn has asked for and accepted this assignment because he knows the value of our students having access to two levels of Calculus and the other classes he teaches. A few years back, Mr. Ahn came to the administration and requested that we add an intro to Engineering class because so many of our students were graduating and pursuing an engineering degree in college. He wanted to give those students a head start on their path to that degree and he also believed that some students who took the intro class at Blanchet may discover that the engineering path was not for them, thus saving them time and money down the road. When we shifted to digital learning during COVID, Mr. Ahn quickly adjusted and began video recording all of his lessons. He was able to share these with students through email (he called it Ahn Academy as a play on the more recognized Khan Academy). Time and time again, Mr. Ahn has demonstrated that the success of his students both in and out of the classroom is his top priority. Students who take classes from Mr. Ahn, on many occasions for two periods a day, will often comment, "He is a very demanding teacher, but he cares a lot about us as students and people, and he is always there to help us if we are having problems understanding the content."
From the moment he arrives on campus shortly after 7:00 a.m., Mr. Ahn is here for students and ready to help them in any way possible. His classroom is often filled before school with students who need assistance with last night's math homework. Although most of these students are seeking help for a class that Mr. Ahn teaches, it is not unusual to see students asking for help in other math classes as well. Throughout the school year, students will seek his assistance in getting ready for a quiz, study for a test, or review a recent assignment to better understand the questions they missed. On multiple occasions, I have stopped by Mr. Ahn’s classroom to see students working on problems on the board and explaining to the class how they came up with the correct answer. He challenges students to be leaders in and out of his classroom and demonstrates this in how he teaches his classes. Each spring when we forecast for classes for the upcoming year, he will chat with individual students to provide support and assistance in helping choose which classes they will take in the upcoming year. Mr. Ahn has the ability to motivate students to push themselves and take the classes that they will need after they graduate from Blanchet without directing them into classes that are too difficult for the student.
About Mrs. Halsey-Randall
Dr. Halsey-Randall has been a cornerstone of our science department at both the mid-high and high school levels for the past 15 years. Dr. HR, as the kids call her, is the consummate professional who pushes students to be their best in any class, program, or activity she leads. In the classroom, she has created curriculum, developed an outdoor learning environment, and overseen the introduction of our new mid-high science curriculum. In her 8th-grade science class, students take part in a hands-on research project that is focused on a scientific question or theory that can be explored, researched, and recorded. The presentations these students share with their class, parents, and community members demonstrate the deep level of understanding and learning that is involved with this cornerstone project. In the past few years, Blanchet adopted and implemented the Amplify science curriculum at our mid-high level. This new curriculum is more technology-based and hands-on for the students. It also aligns with the new national science standards. Dr. HR played a significant role in helping the school research different options for our curriculum, attended workshops to help understand the best way to implement the new material, and helped her fellow teachers as they incorporate the new curriculum into our classes.
In the past two years, Blanchet has established a CEI club on campus which is led by Dr. HR. CEI stands for Caretakers of the Environment International and the mission of the group is to exchange concerns, ideas, strategies, actions, and projects in the field of environmental education and to share environmental concerns. This group has grown to nearly 20 members and is one of only two CEI groups in the country. Under her guidance, the CEI group at Blanchet has completed many significant projects including removing asphalt in Blanchet’s parking lot to plant trees (six trees total over two years), building the first part of our community garden which produced tomatoes and potatoes both years to share, repurposing juice barrels to create rain barrels for our campus and homes, continuous care of our outdoor learning environment (OLE) on campus, annual work with Queen of Peace students on Earth Day to enhance their outdoor learning spaces, digging up trees that would have otherwise been cut down and moved them to a piece of land that was destroyed in the Santiam Canyon wildfires, assisted in the fall cleanup of the Mt. Angel Community Garden and developed and implemented a 3-day outdoor school program for Blanchet's 6th-grade students. This summer the group intends on traveling to Indonesia for the international CEI conference.
Blanchet is extremely proud and honored to have two Crystal Apple nominees this year. Please join us in congratulating both of these teachers for a well-deserved nomination. In partnership with the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, the awards will be held at the Salem Convention Center on February 10, 2023.
In honoring Stephen, “Let us show our expertise and knowledge in creative, hands-on ways that best demonstrate our abilities.”
Stephen William Sacchi, age 33, met a tragic death in a single-car crash on Saturday, December 24, 2022.
Stephen attended Sacred Heart Catholic Grade School in Gervais, Oregon, and graduated class of 2008 from Blanchet Catholic High School in Salem, Oregon. While attending Blanchet, Stephen was one of those students who took advantage of all that Blanchet offered. He was a standout on the football team, a solid student in the classroom, a star performer in various drama productions, and a leader among his peers.
Stephen planned and constructed a picnic area at Keizer Rapids Park to achieve Eagle Scout with Boy Scouts of America Troop 121.
Stephen earned his bachelors from Carroll College in Helena, Montana with a degree in Secondary Education: Social Studies, with a Minor in Theatre. He taught in Tonasket, WA, Tillamook, OR, Beaverton, OR, and was most recently at Reynolds Middle School in Portland, OR.
Stephen’s love of sports and theatre gave him great joy through coaching middle and high school athletes in football, track & field, and directing many school plays. He made lifelong friends everywhere he went.
Stephen is survived by his parents, Ron and Tamra Sacchi, brother, Joseph Sacchi, sister Gemma Sacchi, and numerous family and friends.
On Monday, January 2, 2023, at 10:30 am there will be a rosary for Stephen at St. Edward’s Catholic Church, located at 5303 River Road NE, Keizer, OR. A funeral mass will follow at 11:00 am.
A reception and celebration of life will follow the mass at Blanchet Catholic High School located at 4373 Market St NE Salem, OR.
On November 10, after the school’s celebration of the annual Veterans Mass, current teacher and veteran Mark Risen honored his colleague Sherrie Bashaw with a military unit “challenge” coin. Military units give these out for rising to challenges, recognition for achievements, upon departing a unit, etc. Sherrie was honored with a coin from Mark’s last unit, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing. Mark offered many reasons Sherrie deserved the challenge coin including, “She is always selflessly serving behind the scenes.” Selfless service is a core military value.
Here are just a few examples of things that Sherrie does to support Blanchet’s students, staff and her community: She makes and delivers cupcakes for every student on their birthday; she organizes the collection and washing of shoes for the 1000 Soles program and helps kids affected by homelessness; she and her leadership class decorate the halls with posters of support for all the sports teams and activities as well as create tags for all the students who participate in sports, activities and fine arts; she advises the Students for Change Club and spends hours doing random act of kindness at Blanchet and in the community; she retired from coaching volleyball but has volunteered her time every season since to help the program continue to succeed; she works with kids to send encouragement cards to one another throughout the year; she started and organizes the annual Veterans Mass and Blue Mass honoring other selfless servants in our community; and the list goes on and on.
Mark said, “I felt her selfless service, let alone the fact that it was our Veterans Day Mass and she was the choreographer (once again), was the perfect setting to give her the challenge coin.” In his presentation, Mark asked each student to stand if they had been on the receiving end of Sherrie’s selfless service. The gym was filled with applause as students stood to celebrate a well deserved recognition for an amazing teacher and role model.
Dearest Blanchet community, we are asking you to pray for Christina and Steve Kosiewicz and their family. Christina is mom to three Blanchet alumni, a current Blanchet junior, and four younger children. She was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago and recently found out she is in stage 4 with only a few months to live. With the family's permission, we are sharing some opportunities for our amazing community to show their support and love.
The owner of Salem's ‘On Any Sundae’ is selling $5 and $10 gift certificates and 20% of all proceeds will go to the Kosiewicz family. On Any Sundae specializes in giant handmade ice cream sandwiches, handmade Choco Tacos, hand-dipped Oregon ice cream, Real Dole whip, floats, sundaes, and fun! The certificates have no expiration date and are good at either of their two Salem stores in South or West Salem or at their event trucks!
Orders for gift certificates must be placed by Sept 24 and will be available for pickup at Blanchet by Sept 30.
You can also...
Donate to their dream vacation fund here.
Pray in the 54-day Rosary Novena: More info here
Sign up for MealTrain updates about Christina here.
Support the Bake Sale at St Edward's parish in Keizer on September 18.
May God and the Blanchet community bless this family in their time of need.
A Passion for Sport
Ron Miller began coaching in 1976 in the Southern Oregon University football program. He was previously a football player there and it was a natural progression for him since he loved to be involved in sports. Even after being drafted into the military, he still found time to coach pee-wee football and little league baseball.
“Each season when the weather changes, your internal clock says it’s time for this sport…I always played 3 sports, and I like to see them end, but I love to see them begin and I always look forward to the next one.”
Mr. Miller started at Blanchet in 1996 and he has coached baseball, volleyball, basketball, and softball. There are some years when he coached 3 seasons straight, volleyball, basketball, and softball. He admits that softball has been his favorite sport to coach because of its accessibility for all levels, new and seasoned players alike.
“To me, it seems the best sport for getting everyone involved at the level they are at. It’s not so much about winning, but finding a place where they can play and be successful and feel good about what they are doing.”
He also believes that the best part of coaching is seeing the progression from a beginner to a seasoned player. Primarily coaching mid-high for the last 20 years Mr. Miller has had a huge impact on our young athletes as many experience sports for the first time in 6th grade.
“It’s fun to see them grow and develop…building that confidence of learning.”
(June 10, 2022 -Mr. Miller stands with some of the student-athletes he has coached)
Mr. Miller served as Athletic Director at Blanchet in 1995 and again from 1998 to 2014. In 2014 he also received the Oregon Athletic Directors Association award for Athletic Director of the Year for the 3A classification. As a mentor to student-athletes and other coaches, he offers this advice for new coaches:
“Never stop learning new ways to communicate with athletes. The game doesn’t necessarily change but how you have to present it to them does…and be able to meet the kids where they are at.”
“Be willing to admit mistakes and ask for forgiveness from the players. Setting a good example is important and we all make mistakes…being accountable is important…but sometimes you make a bad choice and that's okay…move on.”
This year at the Cavalier Coaches BBQ we were able to honor the following coaches for their service and dedication to our Blanchet athletic programs. We are thankful to Coach Miller and all of our coaches for their commitment to the improvement of our student-athletes! Go, Cavs!
Matt Burrill - 5 Years of Coaching
Steve Duch - 5 Years of Coaching
Corina Moore - 5 Years of Coaching
Justin Hubbard - 10 Years of Coaching
Michael Trevino - 15 Years of Coaching
Ron Miller - 25 Years of Coaching
25th Annual Benefit Auction A Success!
Blanchet’s twenty-fifth annual benefit auction, the “True Blue Gala” was held on April 23 and was the most successful in the school’s history, raising over $275,000 for students and programs. This event is possible only through the substantial efforts of our families, staff, students, and volunteers and the generous support of sponsors, donors, and friends of Blanchet Catholic School.
The week began with a virtual silent auction Monday, April 18 through 22. The virtual silent auction was incredibly successful with over 150 parents, alumni, and friends bidding online. On Saturday, April 23 we hosted our first large in-person event in almost two years. It was wonderful to see so many faces, old and new, to celebrate all things Blanchet. The Severin Sisters and Blanchet senior Hannah Estrabo performed during Happy Hour while guests enjoyed appetizers and drinks and bid on premier and dessert silent auction items. The evening concluded with a delicious dinner prepared by Holy Family Academy Catering, an engaging live auction, and a wonderfully successful paddle raise for Blanchet’s new STEM Wing. We were able to meet both anonymous matching donations for the paddle raise and are close to reaching our goal to complete the STEM Wing. We will continue to raise money for this project in the coming months. If you are interested in donating, please email email@example.com.
And finally, we would like to thank all of our sponsors who helped to offset the cost of this event. Please support these businesses if you are able! They include Pioneer Trust Bank, McDonald's of Salem/Keizer, Jim Frelich & Associates, Pacific EMS, AG Sadowski Co, Dr. Margaret Giruc, DDS, Hillwood Properties, Margie's Farm & Garden, Katie Piche- Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Real Estate Professionals, Legacy Real Estate Group, Queen of Peace School, Power Auto Group, Salem Clinic Obstetrics & Gynecology, Salem Radiology, Scenic Valley Farms, Severin Sisters, Triplett Wellman Contractors, AKS Engineering & Forestry, LLC, Gallagher Fitness Resources, Christine Granatir, Charlotte Eugenio - Realty One Group Willamette Valley, Michael W. Grainey Consulting LLC, Heltzel Williams PC, Kevin Mannix Law Firm, and Wyatt Construction.
Vote for Blanchet Catholic School in the 2022 Best of the Willamette Valley Poll. Blanchet has been nominated for Best High School, Best Middle School, and Best Private School. Help us win by voting daily on all your devices. Voting closes on Friday, April 22 at 5:00 p.m.
To vote, visit: https://www.votebowv.com/Blanchet
The Cav Way is Blanchet’s mid-high character program that was developed by administrators, staff members, and teachers last summer. This program encourages students to be mindful of themselves and others as they are moving through their days. It unifies our mid-high student body and inspires us toward common goals as we are intentional with words and actions that benefit the common good. The Cav Way is summarized in five character traits: RESPECT, CITIZENSHIP, INTEGRITY, RESPONSIBILITY, and GRIT.
In gratitude, we have been celebrating their efforts and successes with varying recognitions throughout the semester, the most common form being The Cav Way STAMP CARD. As of the end of the first semester, our mid-high student body has redeemed 760 stamp cards. This translates to an additional 7,600 positive interactions between students and staff members! We recently celebrated with a relaunch of The Cav Way that recognized the students’ efforts and successes, followed by the viewing of the PG movie, Wonder. Go Cavs!
Congratulations to National Merit Finalist Sam Schindler
Blanchet is proud to announce that senior Sam Schindler, has been named a National Merit Finalist. This is a distinguished honor awarded to students scoring in the top 1% of the nation on the PSAT. Since 1998, thirty-two Blanchet alumni have been recognized by the National Merit Scholarship organization, thirteen as finalists. Finalists hold additional distinction in their academic records, SAT scores, extracurricular activities, community service, and school recommendations.
Sam is a well-rounded student and actively involved in Blanchet leadership, athletics, service organizations, and theater. He is the current Student Body President and President of the National Honor Society. Sam is also an officer for the Blanchet DECA leadership council and a two-time state DECA Business Finance finalist in 2021 and 2022. To add to Sam's academic accomplishments, he maintains a weighted GPA of 4.2.
Sam is also involved in several service organizations and clubs at Blanchet. He is a member of Blanchet Students for Change and helps to organize faith retreats for students with the Spirituality Team. Sam has also been involved in the Blanchet Spirit and Outdoor Clubs. In addition to school, he volunteers at Queen of Peace Church as an altar server and helps to train new servers.
Sam enjoys sports and is an award-winning athlete. He played varsity baseball, basketball, and football in high school. You can catch Sam on the varsity baseball field this spring!
Sam plans to attend the University of Notre Dame in the fall and was accepted to their Mendoza School of Business to study finance. His family, friends, and the entire Blanchet community would like to congratulate Sam on all his accomplishments and hard work.
The Shoe Battle Begins. Can you help?
Blanchet’s leadership class is reaching out for extra hands this year to help with the annual shoe battle. The battle begins March 7 and ends March 18. This amazing event has been going on for several years and the main goal is to collect as many shoes as we can to donate to homeless kids, teens, and young adults, in the Salem-Keizer school district and surrounding areas.
Blanchet is collecting mostly new or slightly used shoes. We cannot accept ballet flats, slippers, sandals, or flip-flops because they break easily or take up too much room. Our target is to collect 1,000 pairs of shoes. Any of the following count as one pair of shoes:
- Athletic shoes
- Skate shoes
- Tennis shoes
- Casual tennis shoes
- Boots and cowboy boots
- Formal heels
- 10 new pairs of socks
- 25 new pairs of shoelaces
If you can help by setting out a bin to collect shoes and/or putting up a poster to spread the word, please email Mrs. Bashaw at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for supporting Blanchet Catholic School in this important activity!
In March, we organized a new extracurricular opportunity for students at Blanchet Catholic School that focuses on environmental stewardship. We formed a team and joined CEI - Caretakers of the Environment International. CEI (caretakers4all.org) is an international organization dedicated to environmental protection through education, commitment and action of youth and their teachers. The CEI organization holds a conference each summer in which school teams share environmental projects, posters, and cultural videos with one another. In anticipation of attending the conference, we quickly got to work brainstorming ideas for a project based on the conference theme of sustainable communities.
Ten students joined me for the first CEI team at Blanchet. After brainstorming and researching project ideas, we decided to build a garden. We named our project "Growing Up Together" because all the students were freshmen and growing together along with growing the food in our garden. The name also invoked the need for togetherness, an ever-present theme in today's culture.
In alignment with our goals, we participated in an outreach project on Earth Day. We spent the afternoon helping the students at Queen of Peace improve their outdoor learning spaces and plant their vegetable gardens. This experience inspired us to look at our own outdoor learning environment (OLE), too. We spent two separate days revitalizing our OLE with the help of other students and adults in addition to the CEI team. The support of students on campus included the AP Biology class which created a pollinator garden in the OLE as their legacy project. The CEI team now cares for the area and it's definitely attracting those bees!
Before beginning our own food planting, we toured the Youth Farm of Marion Polk Food Share. The facility grows food for people facing health issues and food insecurity, and uses organic sustainable agricultural methods. We enjoyed our tour and learned so much to bring back to our plans for our new garden. The visit also led to two of our team members joining the Harvest Crew on the Youth Farm this summer.
The last step before completing our garden was securing the funds and supplies. Many parents stepped up to help. After students and parents built our new planter box using reclaimed materials, Scenic Valley Farms, Margie's Farm and Garden, and Bark Boys helped us fill it. Sally White, the person who first introduced us to CEI, brought tomato, kale, tomatillo, and potato starts to get our garden going. Our little raised garden was finally a reality. Students took turns caring for our garden throughout the summer and sharing our bounty with the community.
In addition to our raised garden, we added green space to the parking lot on campus. With the help of parents and team members, we removed a section of concrete in an unused portion of the parking lot. We then prepped it and planted a tree. When the tree matures, it will provide shade to the area, clean our air, reflect beauty, and remind us of the impact we all can have on the planet.
With our project complete, we turned to preparations for the virtual conference. We created a cultural video to share what life is like for American teens, a poster of the highlights of our project, and a video with details of the project. All of these were shared at the international conference in July. For the conference, our students were camera-ready by 5:00 a.m. all week long! They were a tired crew, but the experience was amazing. We heard from multiple groups and people, with the highlight being Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland! She was inspirational and several students found a new role model in her. Students also participated in small group sessions with games, competitions, and plenty of new things learned. We met and interacted with people from all over the world, including some countries we were not familiar with like North Macedonia and Malawi. One of our students shared with me the power of hearing people her age from all over the world sharing similar concerns about our environment and inspiration to make changes for the better.
The next CEI conference will be hosted in Costa Rica. We are so excited to continue our works as a CEI team and share that work again. The theme for the coming year centers on water, and we already have ideas expanding our projects from this year and incorporating water conservation in our plans.
The experience inspires me. As a teacher, I am moved by the dedication and motivation of this group of students. As a Catholic, I am thrilled to see this team putting into action what Pope Francis called all of us to do in his encyclical letter Laudato Si' in 2015. In this profound and timely document, the Pope calls on all of us to take action to care for our common home. He also recognizes the critical role of education in this endeavor. "Good education plants seeds when we are young, and these continue to bear fruit throughout life" (#213). I am more than hopeful the students on the CEI team and future students will continue to care for God's creation in meaningful and substantial ways. As Pope Francis reminds us, "There is a nobility in the duty to care for creation through little daily actions, and it is wonderful how education can bring about real changes in lifestyle" (#211).
If you are interested in learning more about CEI, our team at Blanchet Catholic School, or becoming involved in our projects, please reach out. I would be happy to connect with you.
Charles E Lee Scholarship Program
Blanchet Catholic School is pleased to announce the new Charles E. Lee Scholarship Program. This scholarship program will offer financial assistance to deserving students attending Blanchet Catholic School and to support Blanchet's mission to ensure that students are prepared to excel, to lead, to serve and to inspire!
This program is named in honor of Mr. Lee's service and dedication to Blanchet Catholic School. His passion for education and expertise in marketing and development have contributed significantly to the success of Blanchet Catholic over the last 27 years. Chuck was a confident leader who shared the mission of Blanchet in everything he said and did. He lived “by Courage and Faith” and his legendary stories about “the carpet in the gym “and “where there's’ a will, we want to be in it” will be long remembered, as will Chuck.
Born and raised in Seattle, Chuck Lee graduated from the Seattle Public Schools and the University of Washington, where he majored in journalism. After graduation, he taught in the Edmonds School District and received his Master’s Degree in Education Administration from Seattle University. At the age of 25, he became the Principal of an inner city Catholic School and began a 40-year career as the Principal or President of five different Catholic schools. During his 16 years at Blanchet, Chuck led the effort to raise over $17 million to purchase and renovate the facility and provide millions of dollars in financial aid. In 2013, Chuck was hired by Mountain West to help create the Career Technical Education Center in Salem.
Together, he and his wife Krina have six children and eleven grandchildren. Mr. Lee was elected to the Keizer City Council in 2001 and 2005, served three terms on the Salem/Keizer School Board and was also appointed by the Governor to the State Ethics Commission. Chuck received the National Catholic Education Award in 2009 and was inducted into Blanchet's Hall of Fame in 2017.
Chuck passed away on September 4, 2021 from complications of multiple system atrophy (MSA), a rare, neurodegenerative disease with symptoms similar to Lou Gehrig's and Parkinson's.
How to give
If you would like to donate to the Charles E. Lee Scholarship program, you can,
Make an online donation or pledge here or mail a check to Blanchet Catholic School at 4373 Market St NE, Salem, OR 97301. If you have any questions or need more information, please call Blanchet President Bob Weber at 503-391-2639 x224 or email email@example.com.
Blanchet senior Brooklyn Buchheit attended the National Youth Leadership Forum for Law & CSI over the summer. In her own words, she shares her experience.
My NYLF Experience by Brookly Buchheit, Class of 2022
This summer I was fortunate enough to participate in an experience of a lifetime. At the beginning of 2020, I was formally invited to participate in Envision’s National Youth Leadership Forum for Law & CSI. I had seen that former Cavaliers had participated in different branches of the program and I reached out to them to see if they thought the program was really worth it. After lots of researching and planning, I decided to enroll for this program.
In the months leading up to the program, I worked hard to earn money towards the program. There were also some pre-program assignments I had to complete in order to be prepared when I arrived. With COVID and all of the restrictions around the virus, I was anticipating many of the attractions and experiences to be closed or unavailable. However, the teams putting together this amazing program made sure the scholars received the most fulfilling experience.
This was my first time travelling somewhere far away on my own, let alone across the country. I had a layover both ways as well. I took this as an opportunity to see for myself if I could travel and live on my own somewhere distant, as I prepare for college. I had to rely on myself alone and continue my punctuality and responsibility as I was on my own. This was one of the most beneficial ways of proving to myself that I have the ability to go wherever is fit for me, no matter how far.
Once I arrived at the program, I found that all the other kids who had travelled to the program were just as nervous as me. This was comforting considering that I was in a room with 350 other scholars in the same boat as I was. It was eye-opening to be in a room multiple times a day with a group of scholars, the same size as my school, who are all interested in having a future in law or CSI. These scholars came from all over the world, making being from Oregon feel foreign, but also right at home.
I was placed in the Holmes group, named after Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., a Harvard law graduate and Civil War veteran who advocated judicial restraint and developed the concept of “clear and present danger”, as the only basis for curtailing freedom of speech. This was a group of 16 other law interested scholars who lived as far as California, New York, and Wyoming. My roommate was from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The Holmes group was my family for the week and I could not have asked for a better group to enjoy my D.C. experience with. We have kept in touch every day since we left the camp, no matter the time difference.
The first few days, we spent time in our small groups learning and talking about the courtroom and the rules and etiquette regarding it. We also received the opportunity of listening to renowned speakers such as Mr. John Douglas. Mr. Douglas is a retired special agent from the Behavior Analysis Unit, a criminal profiler who interviewed many criminals, including Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, and Robert Hansen. He has also written many books, such as Mindhunter and The Killer Across the Table, and has been confirmed to have been the inspiration behind the characters of Jason Gideon and David Rossi in the popular television series Criminal Minds. The Netflix Original series Mindhunter was picked up from Mr. Douglas’ book as well. Another speaker was Marvin Anderson of the Innocence Project. Anderson was wrongfully convicted of many crimes with a sentence of 210 years. After John Otis Lincoln came forward to identify him as the actual assailant, the judge still refused to exonerate the conviction. Mr. Anderson served 15 years in prison and 4 years fighting parole until his innocence was finally proven. As Chief of Hanover, Virginia Fire Department, Anderson also works on the board of the Innocence Project to help those wrongfully convicted of crimes.
Along with those amazing speakers, I was able to participate in a simulated Supreme Court Trial, and a criminal mock trial as well. These are experiences I had never participated in before this program and I found how beneficial they were to increasing my understanding of the American government. I learned how to be on the prosecuting side for both of these cases. I especially enjoyed the rebuttal I was able to take part in regarding the evidence we obtained and the defendant’s arguments. I was especially fascinated by the Supreme Court Trial simulation. I enjoyed having to fight for my “client’s” rights regarding the constitutional amendments and different Acts in the Constitution. The Mock Trial taught me to stay on my toes considering the evidence and the expert witnesses were not announced until the night before.
The Envision program also included a tour of many of the monuments in Washington D.C. I was able to visit the Lincoln Memorial, Korean Memorial, Capital Building, Reflection Pool, and the Smithsonian Castle. As an American, you always see pictures of these buildings but it is incredible to be able to physically visit them. It is a goal of mine to be able to go back to Washington D.C. and visit the rest of the monuments and the museums.
This program was the most incredible experience I could have asked for. I now have friends from all over the country. I have experiences to share with my friends and family. I have the ability to confirm what I want to do in college and as a career. The Envision program has given me the opportunity to learn more about my interests and encourages me to be a leader in my community through the strengths that I have created. If you were to ask me if I think the National Youth Leadership Forum was worth the expense, I would tell you to absolutely go. You not only create amazing experiences for yourself, but you make amazing friends and get the ability to show who you are and what you are interested in.
Freshman Dylan Cuff recently traveled to Reno, Nevada to participate in the National baseball tournament. His North Valley Select team tied for third place overall out of 20 teams from all over the United States. For his efforts on the field, Dylan was selected by the opponent coaches to be one of 26 athletes who will compete on an All-Star team and play in a showcase tournament later this summer. But, that wasn’t enough for this Cavalier athlete. Dylan stepped up to the plate and swung away in the home run derby contest. He took home the third place award. Way to go, Dylan!
Are you a baseball player looking for some fun and camaraderie? Check out Blanchet’s baseball summer camp scheduled for next week (July 19-23). You can learn more and register at www.blanchetcatholicschool.com/athletics/summer_camps.cfm.