Vestal Elementary School

Our richly-diverse community nurtures life-long learning to support all students
in achieving their very highest educational and personal potential.

161 NE 82nd AvenuePortland, OR 97220Ph (503) 916-6437Fx (503) 916-2679

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Community News

  • Wow, I really cannot wrap my mind around yet another school year coming to a close. I feel like every year when I try to write a summary or end of year note I can’t begin to wrap my brain around all that has happened this school year. Think back to the very beginning of the year….it both seems so long ago and then again, not really:) November brought the unexpectedly long strike and I know we all joked a bit about No School November being a bit too realistic this time. Right when we seemed to be getting back into the usual flow of school, crazy weather hit, and we lost yet another week of school.

    It does feel like this year, 2024, has gone smoothly, other than that weird weather. AND, here we are wrapping it up for summer.

    Your children have been delightful to build a community with, watch them grow, learn and change. I am often aware how fortunate I am to be the principal of this uniquely wonderful school called Vestal!

    I wish you a relaxing, healthy, and fun summer! I already look forward to seeing the kids at the beginning of next school year….a little older and wiser:)

    Vestal Peace,

    Ms. Sabrina


    PS- Remember, next Fall (first day is 8-27 for 1-5) the school day will be 15 minutes longer! School will go from 8:00-2:30


    From Ms. Em

    I hope you all have a wonderful summer. Here is a calendar with links to free or cheap activities over the summer. I will miss you and hope you have a fun summer!

District News

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  • McDaniel Junior Takes Top Honors in State Solo Music Contest

    When Beckham Weatherby picks up his tuba, the rest of the world falls away. 

    “I don’t get that nervous and I don’t get stage fright at all,” he said. “I guess I got lucky with how my body reacts to performing in front of crowds.”

    Which is something the McDaniel High School junior has done quite a bit of lately. Not only is he a member of the prestigious Portland Youth Philharmonic (PYP) and the PYP conservatory orchestra, but he recently earned first prize in the tuba solo performance category at the Oregon State Solo Music Championships.

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  • Bon Voyage, Miss Ellie: Teacher Retires After 50 Years at PPS

    Miss Ellie helps students hold a chick.

    The first things you notice when you walk into Ellie Jensen’s classroom at Boise-Eliot/Humboldt Elementary School are peace and warmth. Then you hear the laughter of children. Then you just might see two posters hanging on the walls that tell you a great deal about the kind of teacher she has been for the past 50 years. The posters simply say, “Leave a little sparkle wherever you go” and “Be a friend.”

    Jensen, known as “Miss Ellie” to the hundreds of students she has taught in her half a century as a Portland Public Schools educator, can’t help but light up a room. And she is a friend to all children. 

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  • Food Pantry Gets a Makeover, Courtesy of McDaniel’s CTE Art Students

    We dare you to drive by the Mainspring Food Pantry on the corner of 82nd Avenue and Fremont and not do a double take. Or a triple take. 

    Students from McDaniel High School’s art-focused Career Technical Education (CTE) class have spent the last four weeks turning the exterior walls of the pantry into one, huge, joyful mural as part of the course’s exploration of climate justice and community engagement.

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  • Earthstock Brings the Joy to the Crystal Ballroom

     Two students dance at Earthstock 2024.

    A little over 30 years ago, a Madison High School student named Joseph Janson had a simple wish. He wanted to go to a dance. But nothing was simple for Joseph, who was born with Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy and was confined to a wheelchair. 

    He confided his wish to Tony Nitz, who at that time was an educational assistant at Madison (now Leodis V. McDaniel High School). Tony had been working one-on-one with Joseph for months and he immediately went about making the young man’s dream come true.

    “The truth is, I would have done anything for Joseph,” Nitz said. “He was a unique person, and we had a very special bond.”

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