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home : education : schools May 26, 2018

4/17/2018 1:39:00 PM
Students to show Taekwondo skills

Sherri Hermens could barely contain her glee. Her students have been invited to attend the Northwest Taekwondo Championships at Mt. Hood Community College on April 28. For Hermens, who is a paraprofessional in the life skills program at Sisters High School, this trip is the culmination of three years of committed effort to get her students to the point where they are ready to show-off their "chops" in front of other high school taekwondo practitioners from all over the Northwest.

"These kids have worked so hard to get to this point in their development," said Hermens. "I couldn't be more proud of them."

Sherri credits Master Daniel Graff, chief instructor at High Desert Martial Arts in Bend, with the program's success: "For the past two years, Master Graff has inspired us - students, instructors and volunteers - to raise our game."

Sisters Park & Recreation District (SPRD) has hosted the weekly classes led by Master Graff and Sherri at no charge. According to SPRD Board Chair Bob Keefer, "This is exactly the kind of community partnership, with dedicated volunteers and a worthy cause, that SPRD is more than happy to support."

While the 10 life skills students and their five peer mentors will not spar against opponents at this event, they will show off an array of taekwondo skills including poomse (stances, blocks, punches and kicks logically arranged) and board-breaking.

According to Master Graff, "The class fits exactly into my personal mission in life, which is to use the martial arts to promote happiness and better the human experience by combining body and mind to improve fitness, esteem and confidence, thus making a better community and world."

Hermens added, "The support of this program from the community has been simply great. While none of our supporters seek credit, I want to thank each and every one of them for their quiet generosity." She would especially like to thank black belts Victoria Graves, Sarah Wilder, and Kim Manley for their dedication by volunteering every week.

For more information on the program, including how to get involved, contact Hermens at

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