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Washougal, WA — In times of great need, we often find ways to help in unexpected places.  Margaret Rice, Washougal School District (WSD) Career and Technical Director, heard about the critical need for personal protective equipment (PPE) for local hospitals, and she knew just where to look.

“I know I have boxes of gloves, masks and eye protection sitting in my classrooms not being used that could be of assistance to them,” said Rice.  “Our medical professionals are on the front lines working hard to help the sick, while trying to stay well themselves with supplies of PPE dwindling.”  

These items are used when instructing students in Health Sciences and other Career and Technical Education classes. Some of these classes include: Medical Detectives, Medical Careers & Terminology, BioMedical Anatomy & Physiology, and even Woods Technology and Visual Arts. 

After receiving the approval from WSD Superintendent Mary Templeton and Business Manager Kris Grindy, both stating that “it seems like the right thing to do during this crisis,” Rice reached out to Rene Del Donno, Legacy Health Logistics and Materials Manager at Salmon Creek Medical Center who has been working with the Emergency Operations Center to address this challenge.  He confirmed that the situation is dire.  

A list of needed items and donation delivery was coordinated with Rice by Tamara Uppendahl, Legacy Health VP of Philanthropy Services.  According to Uppendahl, needed items included Nitrile gloves, isolation gowns, isolation masks, N95 masks, P95 masks and dust masks.

The next step for Rice was contacting her regional CTE peers to see if they were willing and able to donate their programs’ PPE to these medical centers. 

“It was just a ‘Hey, this is what I am going to do, would you like to be a part of it,’” Rice said.  “I received an almost immediate positive response.” 

A shareable spreadsheet was created to log the inventory each district was willing to donate.  CTE Directors Mark Wreath, Vancouver Public School and Tiffany Gould, Ridgefield School District have been the first to step up to help.  

Dr. Nathan McCann, Ridgefield School District Superintendent, immediately reached out to Rice to extend his appreciation for making this donation possible.   

McCann said, “I’m very proud to see our school districts coming together to support the amazing health care professionals in Clark County.  Together, we will get through this and come out stronger.”  

The first wave of supplies was delivered on Friday, March 20 by Rice, Wreath and Gould. 

“Between our three districts alone, we were able to contribute 166 pairs of protective eyewear, 141 boxes of Nitrile gloves, 1,930 masks of various types, 13 bottles of hand sanitizer, and 2 boxes of tech wipes,” said Rice.

“The response from our teachers was amazing,” said Gould. “Every teacher that was contacted had supplies ready within hours.  Additional teachers have since offered to donate materials and we are now working on another donation.”  

Liam Contino, Development Coordinator for Legacy Health Office of Philanthropy and Community Engagement, was at the receiving center and shared that his job has changed through all of this.

“Usually we are planning fundraising events and direct mail appeals, but with the need of supplies and increase in donations coming in, they needed people to be here to accept them,” he said.  “We are so grateful that these supplies arrived.” 

To expand the reach of this idea, Wreath, who is also the Southwest lead for WACTA (Washington Association for Career & Technical Administrators) the state CTE administrators’ organization, encouraged that this message be sent out statewide suggesting other school districts consider making similar donations locally.

“I am grateful for the strong partnerships that we have built in our community,” said Templeton. “During these times of great need, these partnerships are critical for as we work together to make sure our community is healthy and safe.  Although there are significant challenges as we face this virus, there are also significant opportunities for us to shine together and ‘lean in’ to the service of others.”

“Our businesses and communities are so supportive of the Career and Technical Education programs in our respective districts,” said Wreath.  “So it is a privilege to be able to give back in a small way during this time of tremendous need.”   

If you have PPE supplies that could help our local medical professionals, contact the Legacy Health Office of Philanthropy and Community Engagement at giving@lhs.orgor call 503-415-4700 for more information.

As I produced the 2019 Year in Review video, it caused me to think about the major events that defined us, made our eyes pop, or just simply made one grateful to live in this community. So, I compiled a list of Top 6 stories that stirred up those reactions in my heart.

Mayor’s Race + Prop 2

Without a doubt, the Fall election results were both stunning and eye opening. Never in all my years have I seen a proposition go down in such flames (90-10) or have a sitting mayor (Shannon Turk) get voted out by a write-in candidate (Barry McDonnell) with zero political or public service experience.

Proposition 2 was doomed to fail for several reasons, the first of which was the price tag, but it also didn’t go through the proper processes. Voters saw it as rushed and ill-conceived, and didn’t reflect the findings of a months-long pool committee. City workers did their best to come up with a plan under very rushed conditions, and ultimately a series of options were presented to council that allowed voters to make the ultimate decision.

The price tag ($78 million) presented by former City Administrator Pete Capell was something that City Councilor Ellen Burton warned “is all the voters will hear.“ Her words were prophetic.

It’s telling because it shows me that in a society riddled with partisanship we CAN agree on something 90-10. The anti-Prop 2 movement shows us that people of all political persuasions can rally and work together. The synergy created by that movement was enough to generate a wave that upended Camas leadership.

The Camas 2019 Fall election stories are akin to a 100-year storm. You probably won’t see this again in our lifetime.

Stories
Anastasia McDonnel, forefront, listens to her husband, Barry McDonnell, at the Camas Mayoral debate.

Small Business Revolution

When the Small Business Revolution (SBR) team visited Camas in January, Mill Town rolled out the red carpet. When we made Top 6, a town united. It was refreshing to see so many people work to get out the vote. Merchants, students, teachers, civic leaders and athletes all rallied to help Camas become the SBR focus of season 4 of their Hulu show, “Main Street.”

We fell short of the goal, but it was beautiful to see people working together for a common cause. It was fun to cover all the SBR stories.

Stories
Small Business Revolution — Main Street host, Amanda Brinkman, visits with the team at Lily Atelier in Downtown Camas.

Camas Produce Accident

I remember sitting in my office when I got the alert that a vehicle had plowed into Camas Produce. I remember thinking this is the kind of thing that happens in OTHER towns — certainly not here. Arriving at the scene I saw the significant damage done to the quaint and popular store.

The driver was cited with DUI and reckless endangerment, and it took the majority of the year to get the store back online. Each week for months, people inquired about when the store would open, and what they could do to help. We did our best to keep pushing out stories related to this accident, and it’s nice to have the store back.

Camas Producee
Damage at the front.

Love for the Lintons

When Camden Linton was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, the owners at Natalia’s Cafe were asked to help raise money for their family. Erica Slothower, owner of the cafe, along with Wendy Delbosque, worked with Kristen Gardiner, to organize a carnival and silent auction. In a single day, they raised tens of thousands of dollars!

Many hours were spent organizing the event, and it’s a tribute to Natalia’s Cafe and the entire town to see so much love pour into one family in need. I broke down in tears when I witnessed Erica present a can filled with cash. It was one of the stories that define a town.

Stories
Erica Slothower presents Kristen Gardiner with a can of cash.

Stuff The Bus

For the first time, I saw firsthand the behind-the-scenes work of the annual Stuff The Bus campaign. I met with organizers, traveled with students and volunteers to witness the donations be collected and ultimately delivered — and those were reflected in our stories. I also saw the promotions that went into it, and was moved by the video we produced featuring Washougal and Camas School District Superintendents Mary Templeton and Jeff Snell. Seeing two Ph.D’s running through Safeway with carts was both hilarious and priceless. The entire Stuff The Bus campaign shows the generosity of two towns dedicated to lifting up their neighbors.

Here is a Stuff The Bus video report: https://youtu.be/-_bFtCNJpXY and

Stories
www.MyHeavensBest.com

Camas High School Football Wins State Championship

It was a surreal and special moment when I stood next to the young Papermakers as they clinched the 2019 State Title! I’d watched for months (really years) as these boys dedicated themselves to winning — and representing a grateful town.

The boys aren’t perfect, but they’re also unlike any other football team I’ve ever covered. They have character and focus. They have love and respect. They have discipline and drive. They will go down in history as one of the greatest teams to ever represent Camas. The victory is forever theirs.

I can’t wait to release the Revenge Tour documentary later this month.

We look forward to covering the stories of 2020. Stay tuned.

Stories
Camas 2019 Football team at the State Championship.

Washougal, WA — ‘Tis the season for giving and this year that giving extended to two Washougal community partners.  The Camas-Washougal Historical Society recently bestowed a vintage sleigh to City of Washougal to add to its annual holiday celebration. 

“We were excited to accept the gift of this beautiful sleigh,” said Molly Coston, Washougal Mayor. “It makes the perfect ride for Santa and Mrs. Claus on their yearly appearance at our Lighted Christmas Parade!  It is so quaint and nostalgic and in great condition.”

“When our museum Display Committee reviewed the Carriage House for winter maintenance and updates, it was decided that the sleigh took up a lot of space and there was no real local story attached to it,” said Karen Johnson, CWHS display committee volunteer “It really did not get much attention where it sat up in the rafters.”

The antique wooden sleigh is a beautiful forest green with silver decorations and plush red horsehair padded seats.  It was originally donated to the CWHS by the estate of Emory Donald Heberling in 2007.  The gift also included a black doctor’s buggy and a small covered wagon which remain on display at the museum’s Carriage House facility. 

“We are pleased that this beautiful piece is going to a home that can share it with the community during the holidays,” said Johnson.

Sleigh
www.MyHeavensBest.com

Washougal, WA — First grade students at Cape Horn-Skye Elementary learned the joy of giving by creating toys and blankets for dogs and cats residing at the West Columbia Gorge Humane Society (WCGHS).    

“This experience was about empathy, caring for those less fortunate, in this case, animals,” said CH-S first grade teacher Darcy Hickey.  “The students have been so excited for this project.  It has become a first-grade tradition at CH-S.”  

Students in Taryn Tedford’s and Nichol Yung’s first grade classes also participated. 

Cathi Parent, Community Engagement Manager with WCGHS, came to CH-S to collect the gifts and talk with students about the shelter and their animals.  She discussed ways that cats and dogs end up there, the foster program, success stories for animals, and volunteer activities.  She also brought Purrgie the cat, a three-year-old tabby, who was a big hit with students.  

“We love seeing children and youth of any age wanting to get involved in helping their local community and give back,” said Parent. “Their interest in helping animals is very heart warming.  Many of these pets may have come from unwanted homes or were strays and never knew real love before. Living in a shelter situation, even though they are being taken very good care of and loved on by volunteers, can still be stressful.  Having items like the blankets and toys that were made by the students, can help make their time at the shelter that much better.”

Students also learned about the importance of microchipping pets in case they get lost, spaying and neutering to control the pet population, and the process they go through to help pets get adopted. Parent made sure students were calm, quiet, and moved slowly as they approached Purrgie, who let anyone who wanted to meet her provide ear rubs, back scratches, and pets.  

Students

“The project also helps to meet a Washington State standard in Social and Emotional Learning (SEL),” Hickey explained. “This work provides an opportunity for students to consider others and show a desire to contribute to the well-being of our community”

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is broadly understood as a process through which individuals build awareness and skills in managing emotions, setting goals, establishing relationships, and making responsible decisions that support success in school and in life. 

First grader Jojo Stevenson thought it was fun to make blankets and toys for these animals.  “I hope these gifts make them happy,” she said.  “I want them to stay warm and stay alive.” 

The timing of this challenge was not a coincidence.  “We wanted to send kids off on their two-week break thinking about the joy of giving and that giving of yourself can bring as much joy and excitement as receiving,” Hickey explained.   “We are so proud of these students.”

To learn more, visit https://wcghs.org

Each year, many Washougal School District high school and middle school band students apply to be a part of regional and state honor bands. These bands select the top musicians from the region or state, and students spend several days together rehearsing and performing under the baton of conductors from major universities and professional ensembles. Congratulations to these Washougal schools students that have been selected to be a part of these ensembles. 

Washington Music Educators Association All-State Honor Groups:

 – Amara Farah, clarinet (Chamber Orchestra)

 – Barret Hemminger, trumpet (Wind Symphony)

Pacific Lutheran University Northwest High School Honor Band:

 – Amara Farah, clarinet

 – Thomas Hein, trumpet

 – Grace Jacobsen, trumpet

 – Matthew Condon, trombone

 – Lexi Kneipp, flute

 – William Weihl, percussion

Band

North County Honor Band:

 – Amara Farah, clarinet

 – Thomas Hein, trumpet

 – Grace Jacobsen, trumpet

 – Braxden Zumwalt, trumpet

 – Lexi Kneipp, flute

 – Mary Lendvoyi, flute

 – William Weihl, percussion

 – Spencer Perkins, percussion

 – Jace Poulsen, percussion

 – Hunter Thacker, baritone saxophone

 – Hayden Zumwalt, trombone

Canyon Creek Middle School – All 8th graders

LCRMEA Honor Band

Avery Berg – Alto Saxophone

Avri Kaufman – Oboe

PJ Hopmeier Mitchell – Euphonium

Lukas Sanders – Trumpet

Kyler Buck – Clarinet

Bentley Jarman Baritone Saxophone

North County Honor Band

Avery Berg – Alto Saxophone

Kyler Buck – Clarinet

Justin Bryden – Trombone

Lorelie Peck – Bass Clarinet

Jemtegaard Middle School – All 8th graders

LCRMEA Honor Band Students: 

Joseph Yantis – Bass clarinet

Claire Zakovics -Flute

Emily Wade – Clarinet

Kacee Kearney – Flute

Seth Dodenhoff – Bass clarinet

Tanner Lowe – Trumpet

North County Honor Band students: 

Danica Stinchfield – French Horn

Jacob Kettelson – Euphonium

Barrett Justis – Euphonium

To learn more, visit Washougal schools: http://www.washougal.k12.wa.us/blog/home/home-test/

Washougal, WA — New and returning Washougal School District (WSD) School Board members were sworn in to service at the December 10, 2019 board meeting after winning in the general election on November 5.  Superintendent Dr. Mary Templeton administered the oath of office. 

Jim Cooper was elected as the newest member to the WSD Board to represent District 1. Cooper brings a background as a college professor, higher education administrator, scientist, and business owner to the school board.   

Board President Cory Chase (District 4) and member Angela Hancock (District 2) were re-elected in the November general election, and will serve four-year terms that expire in 2023. 

Photos and article by Lester Brown, of WSD.

To learn more, visit http://www.washougal.k12.wa.us

Here’s a recent article about WSD: https://lacamasmagazine.com/2019/12/washougal-school-board-approves-resolution-for-replacement-levies.html

Washougal
www.VixonCabinets.com

Washougal, WA — The third-grade students at Columbia River Gorge Elementary School learned the ways of the wolves at a Wolfways presentation on Friday, November 22.

“They teach about the re-population of wolves in the western US, the importance of balanced ecosystems and adaptations that allow wolves and other wildlife to survive in their habitat,” said CRGE third grade teacher, Ellen Hein. “The program aligns with 3rd grade NGSS (Science) standards in addition to our CKLA Animal Classification unit.”    

The classes of Cindy Coons and Angie Barnes also participated.

Oregon Wild and Wolf Haven International sponsor the Wolfways program, which engaged students through a multi-sensory experience and helped bring the science topics they’re learning in class to life.

Co-founder Joanie Beldin said the presenters’ goal is to increase the students’ overall understanding and interpretation of these animals.

Sheila Redman, who has volunteered for Wolfways for four years, said there is a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to wolves, and that much of these myths stem from cartoons and fairy tales that portray them in a negative light.

Wolves
www.VixonCabinets.com

“It wasn’t until people started to study wolves in the wild that they discovered their complexity and intelligence,” said Redman.  “All information related to wolves is fairly new, and it has only been about 20
years since people started to make discoveries about the species.”

The third graders at Columbia River Gorge learned details about the strong family ties in a wolf pack and how parents, children, aunts and uncles all live together.  They also learned interesting facts such as baby wolves remain in their den for 3-4 weeks, a wolf can hunt an elk by breaking its leg with two bites; and that wolves increase biodiversity and their presence can help maintain the presence of other animals, like aquatic life in streams and songbirds.

“I was surprised to learn that after wolves kill an animal for food, it can end up feeding a lot of different animals,” said third grader Aubree McConnville.  

A highlight for students was the chance to run their fingers through wolf hair, compare their hand size to a wolf paw casting, and hold a wolf skull.

At the conclusion of the presentation, students were challenged to share the truth they have learned about wolves and to believe that they can make a difference in their protection.  Each student was provided a wolf fact sheet and poster to take home.

The program is available in northern Oregon and southern Washington. For more information about the program, or to volunteer for Wolfways, visit www.oregonwild.org/wildlife/wolves/wolfways-wolf-education

Wolves
Learning about wolves.

Washougal WA — Congratulations to the Cape Horn-Skye Science Olympiad team who competed on November 16 at the SW Region A Tournament at Clark College in Vancouver. The team of 18 fifth grade students earned 1st place in Rockets, 2nd place in Weather, 3rd in Benthic Bugs and 4th in Electricity. 

The group met once a week for two months under the leadership of CH-S teachers Darcy Hickey and Hana Gustely.  

“My favorite part about this year has been bringing in community members such as water resource educators, a pilot, an electrician, and a retired science teacher to talk with the kids about their field of expertise,” said Gustely.  “We had a lot of hands-on time as well as a field study along the nature trails near our school.”

Gustely is proud of how confident and supportive the students were during the event.

“They not only learned a lot of science, but practiced perseverance, problem solving and teamwork,” she said. “After this experience, some students may choose to participate in our school’s after-school STEM club, and then they will have another opportunity to participate in Science Olympiad at Washougal High School.”

“I see science as a gateway subject,” explained Penny Andrews, CH-S principal.  “Science helps to students to be curious, innovative, engaged and active in hands on work.  We hope students will take lessons they have learned in the study of science to their math and reading work.  It is a win-win for everybody.” 

Science Olympiad is an international nonprofit organization devoted to improving the quality of science education, creating a passion for learning science and providing recognition for outstanding achievement in science education by both students and teachers. These goals are accomplished through classroom activities, research, professional development workshops and the encouragement of intramural, district, regional, state, national and international tournaments.

Washougal, WA — Washougal Police were out in force the morning of November 13 at the Washougal High School parking lot to catch students. Catch them doing good, that is! Students who were found wearing seat belts were rewarded with a $5 gift card from Dutch Bros Coffee.  This was a part of the Target Zero Safe Driving Task Force “Click it Bro” program in partnership with Unite! Washougal.

“It feels good to be out here to reward good behavior,” said Washougal School District Resource Officer and WHS Alumni, Kelly Anderson. “It is great to be working with Target Zero on this and reinforce the importance of seat belt use.”

The Target Zero program believes our culture should motivate people to aspire to become safe drivers, in the same way, smoke-free environments are now valued.

“We need our culture to embrace, celebrate, and promote the responsibility each of us has to be a safe road user,” said Hillary Torres, Region 6 Target Zero Manager. “When we reach this place, being a safe driver will not only be important for our own self-esteem and sense of belonging, but it will also be the foundation to ensure the safety of our family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues.”

Through a grant from State Farm, Target Zero provided one hundred $5 Dutch Bros certificates for high school drivers “caught doing the right thing” by wearing their seat belts at five area high schools throughout Clark County. Dutch Bros matched this with an additional $500 of gift certificates. These certificates are being given out by School Resource Officers at each location.

“Unite! Washougal is excited to be leading on the organization of this project,” said Margaret McCarthy, Unite! Drug Free Community Program Coordinator. “This is also an excellent way of promoting positive relationships between law enforcement and our youth.”

Torres and McCarthy attended statewide prevention training and through discussions, discovered opportunities to work together and are planning to bring several future programs to Washougal.

Target Zero

“A group of WHS ASB students called PEP Unite! are the leaders of this project,” said Megan Kanzler, Unite! Drug Free Community, Youth Engagement Coordinator, Washougal Youth to Youth Advisor and WHS Interact Advisor. “They are a leadership workgroup that is focused on positively engaging people in their community. A part of their work was to collect data on student seatbelt use at the high school before today and then follow up to see if the program helped to change behavior.”

On September 26, PEP Unite! members volunteered to stuff envelopes with the Dutch Brothers certificates and appreciation awards to be distributed by SROs at WHS and other schools. Washougal Mayor and Rotary member, Molly Coston, also volunteered to help.

“Steps like Target Zero are moving us in the right direction around safe driving to make our community a better place to live,” Coston said. “I appreciate the idea of saying thank you for positive behavior.”

“It’s all about community,” said Brianna Gonser, WHS Interact President. “It is about being positive and about being safe. All the Target Zero partners have the same mindset and values, which is cool. It is great to
notice the positive. The positive does exist and is worth celebrating.”

WHS juniors Olivia Dinnel and Brianna Ruth were stopped on their way into the parking lot as a part of the program.

“At first I wondered what the officers were doing and did not know what to expect,” said Ruth. “I think it is really cool that they are giving rewards for wearing seat belts. I think it will work to encourage other students to wear them.”

“We need to collectively make safe driving not just normal, but admirable,” said Torres. “Together we can improve safe driving beliefs and behaviors until we reduce the risk of death and serious injury to zero — because every life counts.”

Target Zero is a call to action. It shakes the roots of the belief that “accidents happen” and that the loss of life and health are acceptable outcomes of driving. Other initiatives they support include signaling, not
speeding, and avoiding driving while distracted.

Target Zero
Rewarding good behavior.

Washougal WA – Washougal High School held their second annual Pathways Conference for students on Thursday, November 7.  This year’s focus was careers in Hospitality, Tourism, Human Services, Ag, Food and Natural Resources.  The event was designed to prepare students for the world of work while bringing a more personal approach to the standard “Career Day.”

“We’re really trying to provide students with exposure to a professional conference setting while giving them an ‘up close and personal’ learning experience from local business folks about career pathways that are of interest to them,” said Margaret Rice, Washougal School District Career and Technical Education Director.

Conference planning began last year in order to identify and recruit a wide variety of professionals to speak.

“We had representatives from Disney College to Agri business to event planning,” said Lisa Leonard, WSD Career Specialist and Work Site Learning Coordinator.  “We are so grateful to all of our speakers who took time out of their busy day and away from their businesses to share their expertise.  Many were either Washougal residents, alumni or own a business in Washougal.”

The conference keynote speaker was WHS Alumni Matthieu Grant, who spoke about opportunities and skills needed to work for Disney.  Other break session speakers included Drew Bergerson, Quest Events; Alex Yost, Our Bar; Mychal Dynes, Little Conejo; Michelle Weeks, Good Rain Farm; Robert Hensley, iFill Cup; Nathan Day, You Move Me; Beth Nelson, United Flight Attendant; Tera Yano, Sea Mar; Jayodin J. Mosher NIC-M, Interpreter for Sorenson; and LaDonna Davis, Cosmetology, Hairy Kari’s.

Pathways
www.MeuPilates.com

After a morning of speakers, students loaded buses to visit either Ilani Casino in Ridgefield or Skamania Lodge in Stevenson.   

“Both businesses went out of their way to show students a wide variety of career
opportunities,” Leonard said.

The Ilani Casino Human Resources representatives provided Pathways Conference students with a complete overview of career opportunities as well as a tour of their guest services.  

“They were very encouraging to the students,” said Leonard. “You could tell they are very passionate about what they do.”  

Students also heard about the company’s tuition reimbursement for full-time employees and how they promote from within.

“Students were able to hear about every aspect of guest services at Skamania Lodge,” said Leonard.  “The team there is great!  Our Culinary teacher would hope to build an apprenticeship program with Skamania for students interested in hospitality careers.”

“Our goal is to have a Pathway Conference each year covering all 16 Career Clusters over a 4-year period that way our students the opportunity to participate in a different conference each year of their high school
career,” said Rice.