Tag Archive for: Washougal Schools

Washougal, WA — The Washougal School Board of Directors has named Aaron Hansen as the interim superintendent for the 2024-2025 school year.  Hansen, who has served as the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Student Services for the last five years, will begin in the new role on July 1, when current Superintendent Dr. Mary Templeton starts her new role with the Lake Stevens School District. 

Hansen has worked for Washougal School District for 23 years. He has 31 years of experience in education as a classroom teacher, instructional coach, assistant principal, principal, and assistant superintendent. Prior to his current role, Hansen served as the WHS Principal from 2011 to 2019. He began his teaching experiences with Washougal at Washougal High School and at the former Excelsior High School, where he was a Math and Science teacher providing alternative learning experiences and customized learning opportunities for students. Prior to joining the Washougal School District he was a Math and Science teacher at Rogers High School in Spokane for eight years. Hansen also taught English for one year in Taiwan.

“Aaron has a demonstrated track record of service to Washougal’s students through his various roles,” Board president Angela Hancock. “Aaron brings experience with nearly every aspect of the district’s work to this role, and the strong relationships he has built with students, parents, teacher, staff, and community members will help him be successful in the interim role.  The board is confident in his ability to continue the great progress the district has made to increase student achievement and the graduation rate.”

Templeton praised the selection, saying, “Aaron is an exceptional leader and educator with a passion for ensuring each student is on a bright pathway to the future.  He has  leveraged community partnerships and the energy and excitement students have to help the district rise.” 

Hansen said, “As I step into the role of Interim Superintendent for the Washougal School District, I am filled with both excitement and humility. Washougal is a community that stands out for its strong tradition of supporting education, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to lead in such an amazing environment.”

He added, “Our district is home to outstanding teachers and staff who dedicate themselves daily to creating enriching and powerful learning experiences for our students. I am eager to engage directly with classrooms, collaborating with students, families, and educators. Together, we will continue to advance towards our shared vision, building on the solid foundation of support and commitment that characterizes the Washougal community. It is a privilege to continue to be a part of the WSD community, and I am committed to ensuring that we keep moving forward, making a positive impact on every student’s life.”

Hansen has an undergraduate and master’s degree from Eastern Washington University. He holds a superintendent credential from Washington State University. 

The board took action to appoint Hansen during the April 30, 2024 special board meeting, and noted that it will be gathering community input into a permanent replacement for Dr. Templeton in the fall.  As part of the cost saving measures needed in school year 2024-2025, the Assistant Superintendent position is being eliminated to help solve the district’s $3 million budget shortfall. 

Ponderosa Garage Doors Who said your garage door has to look boring😏😏 Contact Ponderosa Garage Doors today and see what they can do for you. They also give back to the community. Plus, their team has a special! Just mention “Camas Athletics” when you place your order and the team at Ponderosa will donate 5% of the order to Camas Athletics Boosters Club, and it’s a good idea to have your garage doors inspected. Call 360.684.1933. They have a $100 coupon, too. Learn all about it.

Washougal, WA — Citing low voter turnout on the February 14 special election, and with 100 positions at risk, the Washougal Board of Directors has proposed re-balloting two failed levies — the replacement EP&O, and Capital — for a special April 25 election.  

Levies fill a 20 percent funding gap in the Washougal School District (WSD) budget. 

The replacement Educational Programs and Operations (EPO) levy, or Proposition 10, failed 51%-48% (more “no” votes) while Proposition 11, the replacement capital facilities and technology levy, failed 51.5%-48.4% (more “no” votes).

For the second special election, the levies are known as Propositions 11 and 12.

“Schools would not look the same without levy funds,” said Superintendent Dr. Mary Templeton. “Without this levy funding, Washougal School District would be unable to fund school extracurriculars, athletics, performing arts, classroom teachers to maintain smaller class sizes, technology devices, and more. 

“Levies pay the people on the ground at schools, teaching and supporting Washougal youth. The reality is that without levy funding, significant cuts would need to be made to school staffing, which is 85 percent of the budget. A list of cuts that would be needed in the event of a double levy failure was reviewed with the board at their February 28, 2023 meeting. The list is available on the district website, and includes 40 teaching positions, 44 classified staff positions, five administrative positions, and 155 coaches and club advisors.” 

Templeton added that “levies are important to strong schools and a strong community.” 

The Washougal School Board has scheduled listening tours to gather feedback from voters about the recent levy results, and has shared a survey with district parents, staff, and community members.

WSD said “reintroducing the measures on the April ballot provides opportunities for the district to correct misconceptions and misunderstandings of the proposed levies that have surfaced in conversations with voters and in the survey results.”

The cost to run a special election varies by the size of the jurisdiction, but according Washington state RCW 29A.04.410 “Every city, town, and district is liable for its proportionate share of the costs. Special election costs must be borne by the city, town, or district concerned.”

February 2020’s special election cost $44,000, as a reference point.

In their statement, WSD said The board has highlighted the need to clearly communicate that the levies are not new taxes, and plans talk directly about the impact on student programs should the levies fail again, and ensure voters understand value of the programs and staff supported directly by the levies. 

“Our youth need opportunities to engage in positive after-school activities,” said Jim Cooper, WSD Board Member. “The local levy is the way school districts in Washington state fund the sports and clubs that engage kids .Can you imagine what the Washougal community would be like with 1,000 teenagers hanging out after school with nothing positive to do?” 

WSD said these levies are not new taxes, but rather they replace the EP&O Levy and Tech Levy expiring at the end of 2023. Combined, the proposed EP&O and Capital levy rates are lower than school levy rates approved by Washougal voters in 2020. The EP&O levy is proposed at a rate of $1.99 per thousand of assessed valuation, which is lower than the previously approved $2.14 rate. The EP&O and Capital levies work in tandem to fund student programs, staffing, and keep schools in good repair. 

Voters are invited to Listening Tours hosted by the Washougal School Board to gather feedback from voters about the recent levy results.  At these events, citizens may sit and chat with a board member, ask questions, and share ideas about Washougal schools. 

The public may also provide feedback to the school board via a survey.  Listening tours are scheduled for March 16 & 28, and April 11 and 21. Time and location information is available on the Washougal School District website. 

If the second levy fails, the school board would need to take action to determine next steps. Most reductions would occur after the end of the current school year. The impacts of these significant cuts would be visible starting in the 2023-24 school year.

Washougal, WA — According to the Clark County Elections Office, Washougal School District voters are rejecting the district’s two replacement levies that were placed on the February 14 special election ballot.

The latest results show WSD’s replacement educational programs and operations (EPO) levy, or Proposition 10, had received 2,433 “no” votes (52%) and 2,331 “yes” votes (47.8%), while Proposition 11, the WSD’s replacement capital facilities and technology levy, had received 2,322 “no” votes (51.7%) and 2,172 “yes” votes (48.2%).


Washougal voters were asked to consider a replacement Enhanced Programs and Operations Levy (EP&O) to fund services and operations not funded by the state or federal government.  

These services include:

  • Instructional Support: Librarians, secretaries, para-educators, textbooks, curriculum, food service, AVID program, community programs including Spanish Speaking Family Nights, preschool, and the Drug Free Communities grant match
  • Student Learning & Staffing: Art & music, Advanced Placement, Highly Capable Program, professional development & training, substitute teachers, classified staff substitutes, special education teachers and support staff, English Language Learner support, teachers above state funded levels to keep class sizes lower.
  • Athletics & Activities: School athletics, coaches, advisors, performing arts programs, extra-curricular activities, transportation
  • Operations & Maintenance: Custodians, grounds staff, maintenance staff, utilities, supplies, equipment, fuel, vehicles
  • Health & Safety: Security staff, counselors, nurses, Family Community Resource Coordinators

The EP&O Levy will be assessed at $1.99 per thousand of assessed value for tax years 2024, 2025, and 2026.  The levy is projected to generate $9,500,000 in 2024, $10,500,000 in 2025, and $11,500,000 in 2026.


According to WSD, the Technology Levy dollars pay for the district’s 1:1 initiative, up-to-date computers and devices, classroom instructional technology, professional development and coaching, technology infrastructure and staffing, and digital curriculum and software.

Starting in 2025, as bond collections decrease, the proposed Capital Levy would increase by a corresponding amount to fund some additional projects.  

If approved, the Capital levy would be assessed at $0.21 per thousand of assessed value for tax year 2024, $0.84 per thousand in 2025, and $0.85 in tax year 2026.  The levy would collect $950,000 in 2024, $3,950,000 in 2025, and $4,150,000 in tax year 2026.

The additional funds would be used to replace the roof at Washougal High School, improve security at our schools, improve ADA access for main entrances, update carpet and vinyl flooring in schools, and install more efficient heating systems and controls.

Washougal, WA — When Veronica Paredes moved to the United States, she looked into becoming a teacher, and didn’t see a way for her to complete the rigorous coursework required by many teaching programs while continuing to work.  After learning about the ESD-U teacher certification program from fellow staff, she realized the flexible schedule and opportunity to use her current work experiences could open the door to becoming a teacher.

The ESD-U teacher certification program, offered in partnership with ESD 112 and Washougal School District provides a pathway to earn a teaching certificate for WSD staff with a bachelor’s degree working in a classified instructional capacity such as a paraeducator. This residency-based program offers alternative routes to teacher certification, as well as a ‘retooling’ route for currently certified teachers seeking to add an endorsement in another education specialty.

“The program supports the idea of us ‘growing our own’ teacher staff from our talented classified employee base,” said Renae McMurray, WSD Assistant Superintendent. “It provides an opportunity for staff interested in pursuing an advanced career in education, and it lets the district invest in and retain these excellent employees as they build their skills.” 

Murray added that, “The alternative routes program supports a diverse set of staff who might otherwise not be able to complete the rigorous coursework required for a teaching degree, recognizing the need for flexible schedules and opportunities to use experiences in their current position.”    

Participation in the program includes attending courses, completing field experience hours in a classroom environment setting and passing a state-required assessment. Students in ESD-U can use their regular position to fulfill a majority of the field experience requirements if the position matches the endorsement pathway. For instance, a special education paraeducator getting a special education endorsement. Certificates include endorsements in areas like English Language Learners (ELL), Reading, Special Education, and Elementary Education.

Veronica Paredes participated in ESD-U to earn a certificate in ELL and Elementary Education and is currently a Dual Language Kindergarten teacher at Hathaway Elementary.

“I had a job as an ELL Paraeducator, and the ELL teacher told me about the classes at ESD-U,” explained Paredes. “I also heard about it from a student teacher, who studied there.  After that I asked the Washougal School District and Renae McMurray gave me more information and I started getting all the documents I needed to apply.”

Paredes saw benefits to participating in the ESD-U program as opposed to other teacher certification programs.

“I think to study in ESD-U is a good opportunity,” she said. “Their class schedules are accessible when you have a full-time job. All the instructors and staff have a lot of experience. They teach and guide you.”

The admission process begins each January, with successful candidates beginning instruction during the summer. When the public school year begins, students are placed in a residency with a district while they continue ESD-U courses and training.

“It is an amazing job and now I thank all the teachers for what they do, teaching all the children,” Paredes said.

ESD-U is operated by ESD 112 and has been approved by the Professional Educator Standards Board.  ESD-U offers a variety of payment plan options to provide financial flexibility for candidates as well as scholarships.Visit www.esd112.org/esd-u/ for information on the upcoming classes for 2022-23.

Washougal WA — Washougal School District welcomed new Transportation Supervisor David Tsao on August 30, 2021.  Tsao had worked at Bainbridge Island School District since 2013 as a bus driver and, for the past four years, a driver trainer. In that role he provided administrative support as part of the Bainbridge Island Transportation Leadership Team.

Through his experience in transportation, Tsao is well versed in the challenges school bus drivers face.  

“It takes a special type of person with skills to drive a big vehicle and multitask,” Tsao explained.  “Drivers need to be constantly aware of what is going on around them in and outside of the bus and prioritize their focus.”

The physical task of driving the bus becomes a smaller concern once a driver earns their license, according to Tsao.  

“The biggest issue is the 40-50 children they are responsible for,” he said. “They are precious cargo!  And the best drivers have compassion for kids.  They can connect and relate to each of them even with the variety of family environments kids come from.  Once they leave their home, our bus drivers are the first adult they see before school and the last one after.”

Prior to working with the Bainbridge School District, Tsao had extensive experience in business and financial management during his first career in construction and facilities/property management and real estate development. He established long standing relationships with national retailers, local commercial clients, and local government agencies.

Tsao was responsible for all financial and operational aspects of a construction management business, establishing operational overhead budgets and revenue goals with senior management staff. He was responsible for overseeing payroll for nearly 200 employees and actively involved in recruiting, hiring and supervising staff as well as involved in continuing education, personal accountability, and staff development with outside consulting firms.

“My philosophy when working with one employee or a group of employees, is we need to work as a team to get the job done,” he explained.  “We may have different roles, with some in a union and others in management, but we need to keep in mind that we are all working toward the same goal and to find a common solution.”

Tsao received his Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Washington. He is a Washington State Certified Bus Driver and Trainer and a Washington State Department of License Class B CDL Trainer. He is also fluent in Mandarin Chinese and hopes that he will be able to support our students and families if an opportunity arises.

Tsao was drawn to the area due to its proximity to the Columbia River Gorge and Portland. “I am excited to be in Washougal,” he said. “I wanted to find a place to work that could use my expertise and experience.  Bainbridge is actually a larger district, but Washougal has a larger Transportation Department.  I am looking forward to taking on that challenge.”

Washougal, WA — With a generous Camas Washougal Community Chest grant and donations from The General Federation of Women’s Clubs Camas-Washougal (GFWC-CW), Washougal School District Early Learning is able to provide “Summer Learning, Summer Fun” packets to pre-K students entering kindergarten this Fall.

These packets include a “Get Ready for Kindergarten” workbook, two new books, and “Kindergarten Readiness Guidelines” for parents. 

The workbook is filled with skill areas such as letters, numbers, reading, writing, and math.  If the workbook is completed before the first day of school on August 31st, the student will receive an additional three new books.

The “Kindergarten Readiness Guidelines” outline the various skills a student should have when entering kindergarten to support their success. The guidelines encompass physical, social/emotional, language, literacy, math, and cognitive skills.  Parents can indicate if “Yes, my child can do this” or “We are working on this.”  

It provides a template for parents as they prepare their students for a smooth and confident transition to kindergarten.

At the end of the school year, Washougal pre-K students in the Washougal Community Education Preschools, ECEAP, and EOCF (Head Start) programs received packets at their preschool graduation.  Outreach continues so all pre-K families have the opportunity to participate in this summer learning. Over 125 packets are planned for distribution.

“Our goal is to reach every Washougal student that will benefit from this summer learning packet,” according to Lisa Young, Washougal School District Extended Learning Manager. “The generosity of the Community Chest and GFWC-CW is unparalleled. They fully understand the importance of ongoing learning opportunities for our youngest learners. As a community, we are fortunate to benefit from their sustained care and commitment of resources to education.”

Washougal, WA — About 60 local parents held a rally Tuesday night calling for open meetings with Washougal School District administration and the school board to more readily discuss curriculum issues, equity programs, sexual education, and Critical Race Theory, as well as mask mandates.

Here’s the full video report featuring an interview with Patricia Bellamy, a parent who was not permitted to return to Washougal School Board meetings: https://youtu.be/72q6Ru6Y45g

She explains what happened a few weeks ago and said more than 70 grievances have been filed against Washougal Schools, and is calling for face-to-face meeting with school leaders. She said if they don’t accommodate these meetings and hear parents they will call for the resignation or start a legal process to remove administration leaders from office.

Washougal School District responded with this statement: 

“When the state of emergency was declared in the state of Washington last year, the normal Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) rules for in-person meetings were suspended, and school boards, along with other organizations, were required to meet via Zoom.  The governor modified this rule in early 2021, to allow boards to choose to hold in-person meetings, but only if they’re able to meet certain safety requirements. 

“Our board started meeting in person in February, and was pleased that patrons wishing to address the board and listen to the board’s meetings were following the required safety measures.  After the May 11 meeting, when a very small group of patrons refused to comply with posted and required safety measures, the board indicated that they will meet via Zoom, with no one attending in-person, for the until further notice.  This is specifically allowable under the Open Public Meetings Act as amended by the Governor’s Emergency Proclamation 20-05 and the OPMA changes in 20-25 and as amended in 20-28.14 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  You can find some information from the Washington State School Directors Association on this topic, which outlines the legal parameters for board meetings at this time. 

“Moving back to the virtual meetings will support meeting the safety restrictions currently in place in Phase 3 for public gatherings. Once the COVID health restrictions/requirements are lifted per OPMA, and it is safe to do so, we look forward to returning to our in-person meetings.  Because we don’t know the timing of the changes in the restrictions and requirements, this could happen at any time.  

“The meeting location and ways the public can participate in the board’s meeting are posted ahead of each meeting, and we would encourage patrons and community members to watch for updates on the board meeting page. 

“As it relates to masks, we are following the guidelines from the Department of Health for K-12 schools, and from Labor and Industries which apply to our employees.  You can find the relevant information for schools here: 

https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/FallGuidanceK-12.pdf  (see page 11 for the Mask information)

“For employees, the Labor and Industries requirements on page 5 states: ‘Cloth face coverings must be worn by every employee not working alone on the job site unless their exposure dictates a higher level of protection under L&I safety and health rules and guidance.’”

Camas, WA – The Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Riverview Community Bank, names Taylor Greenberg of Washougal High School and Joey Stanley of Camas High School as this year’s recipients of the Camas/Washougal Chamber College Scholarships. They were selected for their dedication to academics, extra curricular activities, sports, volunteerism, and community involvement.

On Wednesday, June 2nd the scholarship recipients will be honored along with the Businessperson of the Year: Marquita Call, Camas Gallery; and the Citizen of the Year: Doug Quinn at the Annual Award Banquet at Camas Meadows Golf Club. Teachers of the Year from Camas and Washougal will also be honored at the banquet. Social hour begins at 5:30, with dinner being served at 6:30 pm.


Greenberg is graduating from Washougal High School and plans on attending Whitworth University pursuing a major in Elementary Education and ultimately obtaining a Master’s degree in Education Administration.  Greenberg’s positive experience at Camas Schools and Washougal Schools helped her develop a sense of community and love for education.  She recognizes the importance of dedicated teachers and the true impacts that they have on their students’ lives. Her goal in life is to make a difference and change the world.  She wants to teach kids in the Camas-Washougal community how to thrive both educationally and in life.  She enjoys golf, basketball and dance.  


Joey is graduating from Camas High School and plans on attending John Hopkins University pursuing a degree in Environmental Engineering. Stanley is a self-starting, diligent, creative problem-solver who is courteous and trustworthy.  He is logical, mathematical, and physically capable.  He values promptness, collaboration and is steady under pressure.  Stanley serves at the Camas High School ASB government treasurer.  He received the WoHoLo Award the highest award earned in Campfire USA (similar to the Eagle Scout award).  His Science Olympiad team placed first in regionals in 2018, 2019, 2020 and first in state 2018; second in state 2019. Stanley plays the flute, piano, and is an active fly fisherman involved with Clark Skamania Flyfishers Club. 

Washougal, WA — A recent Camas-Washougal Community Chest grant will support Washougal School District efforts to address historical, systemic inequalities for students with disabilities. The CWCC funds will provide the community with on-demand viewing access of the award-winning documentary Hearts of Glass on June 2-12, 2021.  This will be the first showing of the movie promoted in Washington State. 

This 2018 film follows the initial months of operation of Vertical Harvest, a state-of-the-art hydroponic greenhouse that grows crops while providing meaningful, competitively paid jobs for people with disabilities working alongside people without disabilities.  

“Our goal is to bring awareness of the needs for competitive employment opportunities within our community for young adults with disabilities,” said Jessica Nickels Washougal Adult Transition Program Teacher.

A follow up webinar discussion panel will also be presented on June 9, featuring a Washougal community member, former WSD student, and the films’ cast and crew.  

“The discussion aims to create awareness of the benefits of hiring people with disabilities from the perspective of the individual and the employers,” said Nickels.  “This conversation and collaboration between the school district and community will also help improve employment outcomes for these young workers.”

“Our goal is for the film and webinar to provide a platform to advocate for greater inclusion of individuals of differing abilities into all aspects of our community,” explained Heather Kassel, WSD ELA/EdTech Instructional Coach. “The discussion around the film is meant to serve as a catalyst for change and the creation of new partnerships between local businesses and the school district.”

“This film shows that innovation and inclusion can go hand-in-hand, benefiting citizens with disabilities and the community at large,” said filmmaker Jennifer Tennican in a press release.

“Our vision with this project is to align with the Washougal School District’s mission to Know, Nurture, and Challenge ALL students to rise,” said Kassel.  “The district strives to promote equitable educational opportunities for all students, and this film provides a model of what is possible.”

“It is our task as a school district to prepare students for successful post-secondary outcomes,” said Nickels. “It is our task as a community to recognize individual’s abilities and to work toward equitable inclusion into social and economic aspects of our community.”

Find the movie during the June 2-12 view period on the WSD website. The trailer can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuBSMUZa8wQ. For additional information about this film, please visit https://www.heartsofglassfilm.com/

Washougal, WA — Students are filling the classrooms, hallways, and playgrounds of Washougal schools after nearly a year away.  However, approximately 200 students were already meeting in school buildings in small groups one to four days a week since September 2020 for personalized education.

“These learners needed specialized instruction that could not be offered effectively with distance learning,” said Penny Andrews, WSD Director of Special Education.  “Some students had formal Individual Education Plans (IEP), while others either were not able to connect to the internet or not successfully learn online. Our staff worked hard to bring in as many students as possible to support them with their learning goals, their assignments and even some tutoring thrown in there.” 

Noah Dentler, a six-grade student at Canyon Creek Middle School, is an example of the significant progress these students were able to make during the pandemic.  “He is a student that has really blossomed in small groups with in-person-learning,” said CCMS teacher Katherine Baxter.  “The small group offered him a lot of one-on-one support. Now that we are in hybrid, he is flourishing. He is loving school and has a great attitude. He is more focused than he was at the beginning of the year.” 

“It was hard with everything online,” Noah explained.  “Now I feel more confident in my regular classes and I am working hard to keep up on all of my work.”

“The end of last year was rough… really rough, with the sudden move to online learning,” said his mother, Anni Dentler.  “It was so stressful for him that I took him out of the school.  The start of this year was also difficult, with the change to a middle school schedule with more teachers teaching different subjects.” But thanks to the improved communication between parents and teachers, development of a plan and small group instruction, Noah is doing much better now.” 

“Noah started out in the small groups as quiet and shy,” said Baxter.  “He would appear alert, focused and on task, but he was struggling and never let anyone know. His missing work was growing, but now we have a plan in place to work with the paras that helped him get caught up and keep him caught up.” 

“He now only has five missing assignments,” said Anni Dentler.  “And that is such an improvement. I’m proud of him.” 

The small groups allowed Baxter and the para educators to really get to know the students like Noah. “With the first two hours of study hall and Asynch learning, we were able to see what they know and how they learn,” she explained.  “The paras and I were able to see them in all their classes and how they focus and teach them how to start on assignments, to ask questions and advocate for themselves.”

With the move to hybrid learning, Noah and others continue the small group instruction two or three days a week as well as attend school on their regular days with peers.

“This 1:1 teacher support is important to providing them a focus on their learning goals to prevent them from losing ground,” said Andrews. “We have also had an increase of communication with families as teachers develop support plans to meet the needs of each individual student and family.”

“The communications between me and Noah’s teachers have tremendously improved,” Anni Dentler said.  “We have created a bond as we work together to help him.”

“Just the time of letting Noah know how much we all care for him and for him to be successful plus coaching from home, he began advocating for himself and asking clarifying questions,” Baxter said. “He has such a great support system at home that keeps us updated on things there or how he was doing.” 

“We have a number of ways our teachers are working to support students with special needs or IEPs at this time,” said Andrews. Those supports include: joining students in their class Zoom sessions, zooming with them to offer tutoring on assignments and learning goals, advocating for more time in person when students were struggling, request home visits from school personnel when students struggle with attendance, holding group sessions for students to work on collaboration and social goals, helping students access their classroom zoom meetings and assignments while at school, helping students stay organized and working proactively with families to offer assistance. I am proud of our entire special education staff in Washougal. And, by watching the work that Katherine is doing, and how she advocates for students, I can see she feels strongly that students do best when there is a human connection and when the students know that they have an adult who is cheering them on and supporting them.” 

“It is nice to see a child come out of their shell and go out of their way to learn all they can and to be successful,” said Baxter. “Noah is that student. He is a hard worker and has managed to persevere through this time to stay on track.”