Blazers grant

Grant School District Superintendent Bret Uptmor and Seneca School Head Teacher Dana McLean receive a $10,000 check from the the Portland Trailblazers Foundation’s ‘Take it to the Court for Education’ program. The money will go toward a new sign for Seneca Elementary.

Grant School district officials traveled to Portland March 3 to pick up a $10,000 check before a Blazers game at the Moda Center to help pay for a new sign at Seneca Elementary School.

The Portland Trail Blazers Foundation awards $150,000 in grant money each year to schools across Oregon and Clark County in Washington. Schools can apply for up to $10,000 in funding for in support of their academic, art, athletic and community programs.

Grant School District Superintendent Brett Uptmor said they applied for the grant in late December and received a call on Feb. 17 that Seneca Elementary was among 25 2019-2020 finalists.

“In our application, we highlighted the importance the rural school has in a community and the ability to communicate with the residents,” Uptmor said.

Uptmor said the school sign is one way people stay informed.

“Giving the community access to the area events and information is essential and needed,” Uptmor said.

Uptmor said the funding could not have come at a better time.

“The previous sign had lived its life and had to be removed,” Uptmor said.

Uptmor said that Seneca Elementary is the town’s central location for information and activities.

“Driving past it on Highway 395, you will notice the school immediately,” Uptmor said. “The sign is the means to communicate with the community.”

Uptmor said that he and his staff, when filling out the grant application, emphasized the significance of schools in rural areas when it comes to communicating with people.

“The school sign is one way people stay informed,” Uptmor said. “Giving the community access to the area events and information is important and needed.”


Steven Mitchell is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. Contact him at or 541-575-0710.

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