Jacob Peters
Jacob Peters is March’s Philomath High School Forestry Student of the Month sponsored by Starker Forests. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

The impact that teachers have on their students can last a lifetime. Besides the academic end of an education, students also will often pick up lessons that can influence one’s everyday life.

Jacob Peters, a sophomore at Philomath High School, provided an example.

“To never give up,” he said. “He always has us work through any problems that we run into — just have us think it through.”

Peters was referring to PHS forestry instructor Simon Babcock. The 15-year-old son of John Peters and Kelly Kramer, he is March’s PHS Forestry Student of the Month sponsored by Starker Forests.

Peters enjoys the forestry program for a few different reasons, including just having the opportunity during the day to hang out with friends. But beyond that, he also has fun with the activities.

“Since we’re gearing up for state, we’re doing a lot more competitions and it’s fun to see how you can beat your friends,” Peters said.

The event that Peters is talking about is scheduled for April 29-30 at Hopkins Demonstration Forest near Oregon City.

“I’m pretty good at ax throw and I’ll probably end up doing tool ID and cross-cut,” Peters said.

Philomath got its first taste of competition at the recent Oregon Logging Conference  in Eugene but Peters wasn’t able to participate.

Getting involved in the forestry program at the local high school seemed like a natural fit for Peters.

“My grandma, she is a 4-H leader in Polk County. … she’s really big in forestry and whatnot,” Peters said, his grandmother being Judi Peters. “My dad’s side of the family is a lot of farmers, too, and so I’ve kind’ve grown up being outside and doing a lot of hands-on things.”

Although only a sophomore, Peters said he has interest in going into some sort of forest-related job.

March: Audrey Gerding
April: David Hunter-Godard
May: Blaise Pindell
June: Savannah Stokes
September: Lily Hull
October: Case Hoch
November: Hailie Couture
December: Caroline Puckett
January: Kayson Olsen
February: Hannah Bennett

Brad Fuqua has covered the Philomath area since 2014 as the editor of the now-closed Philomath Express and currently as publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He has worked as a professional journalist since 1988 at daily and weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Arizona, Montana and Oregon.