By Michele Smith
The Times 

Monica Mitchelle is Dayton's new After School Program/Drug Free Grant Coordinator

After School Program gets new head


Michele Smith

Monica Mitchelle is the new DSD After School Program/Drug Free Grant Coordinator.

DAYTON--Monica Mitchelle is the new Dayton School District After School Program/Drug-Free Grant Coordinator. She is replacing Shakira Bye, who has taken a job with the Dayton Memorial Library.

Mitchelle is originally from the small farming community of Condon, Ore., where she was heavily involved in 4-H Youth activities, "my entire life." In 2014 she graduated from Montana State University with a BS in animal science and a minor in agriculture economics. She started her career as a 4-H Youth Director with OSU.

Mitchelle moved to Dayton in September 2016, and was working at Umpqua Bank before accepting the new job.

"I enjoyed finance and numbers. It just wasn't what I wanted to do," Mitchelle said about working at the bank.

Mitchelle thought her experience teaching SNAP education would lend itself to teaching sessions in cooking, nutrition and gardening in the after school program, she said.

"Peggy (Guiterrez) told me they, were looking for an ASP coordinator," Mitchelle said. She applied and was accepted and began working on March 27, coordinating the 20 students who are currently registered in the ASP.

So far, the students have spent one day a week touring historic downtown Dayton. They are also learning about making great relationships in Miki Fulbright's Kid Power class, and about growing healthy habits with Leslie Sweetwood, Mitchelle said.

Mitchelle has also been helping 15 middle and high school students in the Students Helping Each Other (SHEO) Club, get ready for the Kindness Counts Conference on April 20, the Spring Forum at Great Wolf Lodge in Montana in May, and a week-long retreat this summer.

"They have worked so hard," Mitchelle said about the SHEO student efforts.

Mitchelle talked about her "traveling hobby". She has traveled extensively, spending three months in the Young Farmers 4-H exchange program in England and Greece, six months in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, with two-and-a-half week jaunt to New Zealand, and to Laos and Thailand, with her family in 2015.

Mitchelle is currently settled down on the farm with her fiancée, Randy Chapman.

Settled may be too loose a term, though. "I do a lot of hiking. I learned to snowmobile this winter," Mitchelle said. She also has been doing some razor dirt bike racing.

"I really enjoy it now," she said. "I think it's a great little community," Mitchelle said about Dayton, and its environs.


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