• News & Notes: Benson’s Ciera Ellington and Eric Knox, Grant’s Aaron Deloney earn All-State awards

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     Ciera Ellington, Eric Knox, Aaron Deloney

    Benson's Ciera Ellington (left) and Grant's Aaron Deloney won Player of the Year recognition, and Benson's Eric Knox was voted Coach of the Year on the Class 6A All-State teams.

    The accolades keep coming for the Benson High School girls basketball team, which last month won the first state championship in program history. Last week, the Techsters’ top player and coach won awards on the Class 6A All-State teams.

    Benson senior Ciera Ellington was voted co-Player of the Year, and coach Eric Knox was selected Coach of the Year in a ballot of the state’s coaches. Ellington shared the award with Southridge junior Cameron Brink.

    Aaron Deloney, a senior at Grant, was voted the Player of the Year on the Class 6A boys team.

    The All-State teams were published by The Oregonian/OregonLive early last week, with the award winners added Friday.

    Knox, who guided the Techsters to the state final two years in a row, was voted Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season. Ellington, who was an honorable mention All-State pick last year, rose to the top status after earning the Portland Interscholastic League Player of the Year award and being voted a unanimous all-tournament selection after leading Benson to the state title.

    Two other Benson players earned All-State recognition: Tayler Lyday was a second-team pick, and Makenzy Porter was honorable mention. Two players from Grant, Daryn Hickok and Schuyler Berry, also were honorable mention picks.

    Deloney became the second PIL player in a row to earn Player of the Year. Last year's pick, Jefferon's Marcus Tsohonis, repeated as a first-team selection.

    Other PIL boys who earned All-State recognition were Grant's Ty Rankin, second team; and Jefferon's Keylin Vance and Nate Rawlins-Kibonge, honorable mention.

    Verselandia set for April 25: Verselandia, Portland’s annual poetry slam for high school students, will be held on Thursday, April 25 at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall starting at 7 p.m. The winners of poetry slams at 10 PPS high schools, along with Parkrose and Gresham, will compete.

    The competition is held under the rules used in national poetry slams, with students required to perform original works in front of a panel of judges and a live audience while using no props, costumes or music. The five students with the highest scores will earn prizes. Last year, Grant High School's Lucina Drake won the competition.

    Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Portland 5 website.

    Event explores prejudice: How do our prejudices affect our children? That question will be discussed during an event on Monday, April 22, in the Board Room of the Blanchard Education Service Center. The event, which is open to all, runs from 4 to 5:30 p.m. and will be hosted by the Conversation Project.

    The Conversation Project, which is run by Oregon Humanities, brings Oregonians together to talk -- across differences, beliefs, and backgrounds -- about important issues and ideas. The goal is to connect people to ideas and to each other, not to push an agenda or arrive at consensus.

    For more information, go to the Oregon Humanities website.

    Lincoln celebrates 150th: It was a sea of red and white as Lincoln High School celebrated 150 years of public education on April 13 at the Viking Pavilion at Portland State University. Highlights of the sesquicentennial party included guest speaker Matt Groening, who is an alum and the creator of the long-running animated show “The Simpsons,” and 1938 Lincoln graduate Frieda Gass Cohen, who led the crowd in a rousing rendition of the Lincoln fight song.

    The Big Party, as the gala was called, was a celebration of Lincoln’s past, present and future. Opened in 1869, Lincoln is the oldest public high school in Oregon and among the oldest west of the Mississippi River. The school’s current campus was built in 1952, and will begin a major construction project to modernize it starting in the summer of 2020.

    See pictures Groening’s appearance at Lincoln’s assembly
    See pictures from the gala