Friday, December 14, 2012

WHS Senior Project Aims to Warm Hearts

Washougal High School senior Cheyenne Dady is definitely warming hearts as well as warming those in need through her senior project.  Cady's Warming Hearts campaign has collected several hundred new and gently used hats, scarves, coats and mittens to be distributed to the homeless.

Dady set out donation boxes at area businesses and has been overwhelmed by the amount of giving from the community and the impact she is feeling.  “At first, it was more about getting a good grade,” she said. “But now the best part is being able to hand out the coats personally and meet who I’m helping.”

She will continue to collect items through Saturday, Dec. 22.  She has also established a Warming Hearts account at Riverview Bank for donations. This is just another example of the great community service that many Washougal High School seniors undertake as a part of their Senior Project.

Cheyenne's project was also featured in this week's Camas Washougal Post Record.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Rotary Scholar of the Month for December: Jacueline Steffanson

Jacueline Steffanson was selected as the Camas Washougal Rotary Scholar of the Month for December 2012. Jacueline is a sophomore at Washougal High School and has a 4.0 GPA and is at the top of her class.  Scott Boothy, her Social Studies Teacher, says that Jacueline “is one of those kids that always stays on task and works to her potential.”  He adds that “her work ethic and attitude inspire her peers to work to their potential as well.”

AP Literature Teacher Sheila Good describes Jacueline “is a real joy to have in class” saying she is “dedicated to her work, and also to giving her best effort.”  She wishes she had “900 more students just like Jackie!”  Honors Biology Teacher Pauline Rule lists Jacueline as quiet, studious, intelligent, hard working, friendly, and eager to learn.  Spanish Teacher Rochelle Aiton adds that Jacueline “is diligent in her academics, thorough in her work, and knowledgeable in her subjects” and that she has “a peaceful countenance that makes her a joy to have in class.”

Her parents are Bruce and Susan Steffanson.  Congratulations, Jacueline!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cape Horn Skye Elementary Students Experience the Joy of Giving

Cape Horn-Skye Elementary fourth graders’ “The Giving Tree Project,” allowed them to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate at the Open House homeless shelter in Vancouver.

The students made Christmas crafts in class and then “sold” them to parents for donations of food and clothing for people in need.  The project collected more than 850 items and was a combined effort of students in Mrs. Lawrence, Mrs. Yang and Mrs. Hickey’s classrooms.

“The gift was about giving, not only did your school give lots of food and non-perishable items, but the gift they gave was kindness, love, and interest in our families who live at our shelter,” said Lucy Gaspar from Open House Ministries.  “We truly appreciate all the hard work the school staff and students did in collecting all of the items.”

VFW Essay Contest Winners

Two Cape Horn-Skye students, Tyler Conrad and Maddox Edwards were among a group of Washougal Students recognized by the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) for their essays written for Veteran's Day.   The students were honored during an assembly, and received a certificate from Bill Menton, Ray Loney, and Bob Hitchock.  

Pictured left to right, in the back row are Bob Hitchcock, Ray Loney, and Bill Menton, with Tyler Conrad and Mattox Edwards in the front row.

Here are their winning essays:

I show love for my country in lots of different ways. Some of these
ways are by learning USA history, protecting others and respecting our

Learning United States history is important to me because it helps me
learn about veterans and wars. It also helps us understand how our
freedom was won. Lastly, learning about our history will help me
understand what our country's values and laws are.

Protecting others is really important to me. Stand up means to stick
up for someone if they are getting hurt. Stand up means to help a
friend. If your friend needs help you would find another friend or a
teacher to help.

Our leaders, the president and our city's mayor are important. We
need to respect them by following the laws and talking kind and
respectful about them. Others we need to respect would be our moms
and dads. We should always be polite to them and follow their

I show love for my country by respecting my family, my leaders,
following laws and rules, loving others and learning everything that I
can about my country.
 - Tyler Conrad

The best way to show love for my country is to celebrate the Fourth
of July. Celebrating the Fourth of July is celebrating the birthday of
America. I celebrate the Fourth of July by shooting Roman Candles,
lighting sparklers, and participating in many other colorful and loud
displays. To show my love for my country I can wear red, white and
blue to be patriotic. I can walk in a parade to celebrate my country's

Another way that I show love for my country is to donate time,
money, toys, clothes and food to nearby charities. Showing love for
others is showing love for my country. My family and friends donate
furniture and clothes to a local clothes closet. Our church and its
members, including me, make care packages for the homeless. The
packages include socks, food, toothpaste, a toothbrush and a Bible.

Another way to show love for my country is to recycle. My family and
I recycle paper, plastic glass and metal. Twice a month we take the
recycling items to the transfer station. Recycling is also a way to help
the environment and the Earth. I can also show love for my country and
the Earth by picking up trash and not littering.

I like celebrating the Fourth of July, but I know that when I help
others and when I recycle, that also shows my love for my country.
 - Mattox Edwards

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Dictionary Project Provides Gift of Words for Local 3rd Graders

Through the Gift of Words Project, Rotarians across the nation help
promote literacy in their local communities. In Clark County, the project
is sponsored by IQ Credit
Union, US Bank, Columbia Vista Corporation and local Rotary Clubs.

Upon receiving their dictionaries, students quickly discover that the book
given to them is much more than just a dictionary, it also includes over
150 pages of supplemental information. Key features include the
Constitution of the U.S., the Declaration of Independence, brief
biographies of all U. S. presidents, world maps, and information about
all 50 states, countries of the world, and the planets in our solar
system. It ends with the longest word in the English language.

The Gift of Words Project targets third graders specifically because it
has been identified as a key year for language development and vocabulary
improvement. Having a dictionary of their own allows students to have a
resource right at their fingertips, one which can be easily stored in a
backpack or desk and doesn¹t require internet access. Owing to the
popularity of this tradition, many of the third graders¹ older siblings
still have their dictionaries and remember the day when they were

This year the project included WHS Interact students, who were
enthusiastic about being involved. Interact is Rotary International¹s
service club for young people ages 12 to 18.  Interact Club members lent a
hand in readying the books for distribution by affixing bookplates in the
front cover and inserting bookmarks into the dictionaries.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Students decorate for Festival of Trees

Students from Canyon Creek Middle School decorate trees for the Festival of the Trees fundraiser at Washougal Town Square.  The event runs Friday, Dec. 7, 3:00 - 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, Dec 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.   The students hope to raise money to help fund the Positive Behavior Intervention Support program and to create a middle school National Honor Society club.
Students are: Karen Kellogg, Sydney Mederos, Rylee Erdwins and Bridgette McCarthy and ASB Advisor, Lori Schilling.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Washougal student runners beat feet to National Meet in New Mexico

On December 8, three Washougal student runners will join close to 3,000 youth athletes in Albuquerque, New Mexico for the 2012 USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championship.  Washougal High School Junior, Megan Anderson, WHS Sophomore, Karina Miller, and Canyon Creek Middle School  6th grader, Gabriel Dinnel qualified in their age divisions after successful meets in Seattle and Spokane.

 “Going to nationals is going to be exciting!” said Anderson.  “We have worked really hard so it will be rewarding to see that all this work has paid off.”

“I think it will be really challenging,” said Dinnel. “There will be people from all over the country there competing!”

So what inspires these young runners?  For each of them it is about doing their best, getting a personal record by beating a previous run time.   “My mom also inspires me. She is a great cross country and track runner,” said Miller.  “And I get inspiration by trying to be a great athlete to represent my school and town.”    Dinnel is also inspired by his family. His father competes in triathlons and he has an aunt who ran in the Boston Marathon.

The runners received an early taste of competitive running in the Washougal Schools Foundation Student Stride for Education.  The Stride, entering its tenth year, is a 5K fun run also offers student-length heats.  More than 600 runners attend the annual event at WHS in mid-May.  “Our family is grateful to the Foundation for this great event,” said Carol Dinnel. “We acknowledge how it has helped Gabriel to realize his running ability and encouraged him to run at a competitive level.”  In fact, Dinnel placed first at The Stride in his age group from kindergarten through 5th grade.  Anderson and Miller said they were also among the top girl finishers when they ran in The Stride.  The two high schoolers now participate as volunteer “rabbits,” running along with the younger students to provide encouragement and security. 

Lately, the students have been putting many miles on their running shoes as they train for the national meet.  Anderson and Miller were teammates on the WHS Cross Country team that won the Greater St. Helens League Championship this season.  They still train together often, adding in some cross training.  “We work on strengthening our bodies and gaining muscle,” Anderson explained.  Dinnel trains by playing soccer, running with his parents and is also a part of a running club in Portland.

Cross country or any distance running takes a strong mind set.  “I think about pace,” said Miller.  “And if I see a person up ahead I tell myself I can pass that person. I set goals and challenges for myself.”  Anderson also likes to pick out runners she wants to pass but admits she goes faster when she is thinking about anything but running.  For Dinnel it is about focus.  “I just think about that finish line and about doing my best.”   The three runners are confident and focused as they prepare to head to New Mexico.  “I feel good.  I’m ready,” assures Miller. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

WHS Students Honored in All-Northwest/All-State Honor Groups

Several WHS band and choir students were recently accepted into the annual National Association for Music Educator's All-Northwest/All-State honor groups.  To be accepted, students must complete a rigorous audition process and compete against thousands of other applicants from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and Alaska.  This is one of the highest honors a high school musician can receive.

Congratulations to these students on their achievement:

Allix Fisher (bass clarinet) - All-Northwest Wind Symphony
Sydney Niemi (baritone saxophone) - All-Northwest Wind Symphony
Riley Miller (trombone) - All-Northwest Wind Symphony
Nick Stevens (bassoon) - All-Northwest Wind Symphony
Crystal Saltmarsh (percussion) - All-State Concert Band
Bret Wade (tenor voice) - All-State Symphonic Choir
Austin Smith-Brown (tenor voice) - All-State Symphonic Choir
Zoe West (soprano voice) - All-State Symphonic Choir

Friday, November 9, 2012

Rotary Scholar of the Month for November: Peter Linde

Peter Linde was selected as the Camas Washougal Rotary Scholar of the Month for November 2012.  Peter is a sophomore at Washougal High School and has a 3.9 GPA, taking AP and Honors courses.  Peter is a also a member of the WHS Wind Ensemble and Pep Band, with Kelly Ritter, WHS Band Teacher describing him as “a talented clarinet player.”  AP World History Teacher Ryan Isaacson says “Peter is intelligent, hardworking, but by far one of the most conscientious and caring students.”  

WHS AP Literature Teacher Sheila Good adds that Peter "is really a sweet, positive student" and that he is "very committed to doing his best."  Rochelle Aiton, WHS Spanish Teacher, notes that "Peter quietly excels.  His persistent excellent, without pretense, is a model for other students and a joy to watch in class."

Peter is the son of Robert and Elizabeth Linde.  Congratulations, Peter!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fifth grade classrooms pilot iPad project

This fall, Washougal fifth graders began piloting an exciting project using iPads in their classrooms. Three classrooms (one at each elementary school) plus a group of special education students are taking part in this technology integration experiment into subjects including Science, Social Science and Language Arts.

In preparation for an all-new teaching and learning model, teachers Chelsea Meats, Erin Hayes, Erin Maier and Stephanie Closson received an intensive “boot camp” training over the summer and will continue to receive training and support throughout the year.

Classroom use varies by class and subject, depending on what students are studying at a given time. Teachers work with students to use iPad features, such as text-to-speech and built in word definitions and dictionaries that help students answer questions immediately. These tools have been particularly helpful for struggling learners and also help bridge the achievement gap between student groups. When asked the question, "How has the iPad changed the way you learn?" one student responded "We can do class activities together where we're all on the same website instead of just using one computer or having to share a few computers."

In Erin Maier’s class at Gause Elementary, students used the iPads to film themselves presenting to their peers. The students could then immediately review their work and answer questions such as “Did I speak clearly?” “That was huge in terms of helping them explain their thinking,” said Maier. “Hearing themselves speak helps with clarity of thought.”

Technology Director Les Brown says the project opens doors to new resources. “Technology can engage students in meaningful learning experiences where they research topics they are interested in, receive and give peer feedback, and carry their work through to completion or publication.”

Parents were included in the roll out process, with meetings were held at each school to define expectations and explain what the district hopes to gain through the project.

Curriculum Director David Tudor hopes the pilot will significantly impact student learning based on the experiences of other districts. “We anticipate seeing increases in student achievement particularly in Reading and Math, and especially among struggling students,” he said. “We’re hoping to see gains for special education students and students below grade level in reading.  We anticipate seeing lower attendance problems, fewer discipline referrals, and increased time on task.” 

Maier says the devices have increase motivation and engagement in her classroom. “When we use the iPads, I automatically have 100 percent participation. This is their world and they are quick learners.”

District staff will measure the project’s success by comparing test score data between iPad and non-iPad classrooms to gauge the impact on student academic achievement.  Staff will also consider data on student attendance, discipline, and surveys on student/family perceptions about technology.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Washougal High School Interact Club Members Give Back to Community with Halloween Carnival

Witches and pirates and princesses, oh my!  Washougal elementary kids were tricked and treated at the first-ever Washougal High School Interact Club “Monster Mash” carnival last Halloween night at the Washougal High School.  The Interact Club is the student version of Rotary and is committed to service to their community.

The idea for the event came from WHS senior and Interact member, Justice Rosales, who said he did not always have a safe place to trick-or-treat where he grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas. “Everyone agreed that creating a fun Halloween activity for the kids would help keep them safe and was a great way to give to our community.”

Completely student-run, the carnival took weeks of planning and work to find funds, supplies and volunteers, according to Joshua Banks, Interact Vice President and one of the Monster Mash organizers.  “It was a great success. We had lots of kids running around and having a great time,” he said.  “No one was looking bored!”  Key volunteers, in addition to Banks and Rosales, were seniors Jayden Janzter, Mike McElroy and club president, Liz Brice.  The club advisor is WHS social studies teacher, Ryan Isaacson.

“It is wonderful to see high school students involving themselves with our elementary school communities,” said Dawn Tarzian, Washougal School District Superintendent.  “Many of the Interact members attended these schools and that is where they began to develop the building blocks of being a good citizen. This event was a marvelous example of how the whole community wins when our student leaders step up and give back.”

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monster Bash 2012 at WHS on 10/31/2012

Washougal High School's Interact Club is hosting the MONSTER BASH Wednesday October 31st, 2012 from 4-7:30 PM in the WHS Commons.

Students in grades K-5 are invited for a fun evening of games, candy, movies, and an optional costume contest.

 What is it? 
A FREE and safe way for our Washougal Youth to celebrate the fall! 
What will be there? 
• Movies “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” & “Monsters, Inc.” will be playing! 
• An optional costume contest! 
• Lots of games! 
• Even more candy! 
• And even more fun! 

Washougal High School Commons 
4:00-7:30 P.M. 
Please only Kindergarten through Fifth Grade! 

Questions or would like to help? 
Please Email 

Parents are required to check in and check out their children. 
Children are free to stay however long they want but parents WILL have to sign them back out for them to leave! 
Refreshments will be provided for parents who want to stay and join the fun!!! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Rotary Scholar of the Month for October: Grace Collins

Grace Collins was selected as the Camas Washougal Rotary Scholar of the Month for October 2012.  Grace is a sophomore at Washougal High School and has a 4.0 GPA.  WHS Honors Chemistry Teacher Bruce Stanton says that Grace “is an excellent chemistry student AND a very nice person.” WHS Textiles and Apparel Teacher Mary Walker says Grace is “thoughtful of others” and that “She helps other students with a smile., always does her best work, and is a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day or  a sunny day!”  

WHS Spanish Teacher Rochelle Aiton describes Grace as “sweet and attentive, intelligent, talented and self-disciplined, in addition to being a joy to have in class.”  WHS Honors Sophomore English Teacher Sheila Good says she “really enjoys having Grace in her class.”  She adds that she is “very pleasant and kind, and sets a positive tone in the classroom.  She is also extremely conscientious and makes sure that her work is as perfect as it can be.”

Her parents are Mark and Leann Collins.  Congratulations, Grace! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Washougal School District Raises Energy Star Scores and Saves $379,000 in Energy Costs

The Washougal School District has saved $379,000 in energy costs since beginning an energy saving program two years ago. Money saved from lowering costs has been used to support facility operations and fund future energy-saving measures throughout the district.  As a result of the program, Washougal High School, Canyon Creek Middle School and Cape Horn-Skye Elementary School have earned Energy Star certification.

Six of the seven Washougal schools are now eligible for Energy Star certification.  This will qualify the District as an Energy Star Leader, one of only 219 such school districts in the nation.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Energy Star certification signifies that buildings perform in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meet strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA.
Washougal High School underwent a “building tune-up” that brought its Energy Star score from a 17 to an 85.  The EPA ranks school energy efficiency on a scale of 0–100, with 75 as a minimum passing score.  “The tune-up will bring significant utility savings over the next 10 years, and the cost of the improvements was paid for in utility savings the first year,” said Aaron Hansen, Washougal High School principal. “These improvements have also created a more comfortable learning environment here at school.”

Washougal School District contracted with ESD 112’s Construction Services Group, with Geert Aerts as Resource Conservation and Retro-Commissioning Manager, to oversee the improvements. They worked to tune up the buildings’ heating, cooling and ventilation systems and optimize the computer programming that controls the heating and cooling throughout the year.  “It’s very gratifying to see savings start just as budgets have shrunk,” said Aerts. “After all the buildings are tuned-up, the district will have saved $10 million over the next 20 years to invest in teachers, students and programs rather than on the energy costs.”   

Canyon Creek Middle and Cape Horn-Skye Elementary Schools also received a tune-up.  “I like that we now use less heating energy over holidays and snow days, less lighting after school activities end and still make sure people are comfortable when using our building after hours,” said Sandi Christensen, Canyon Creek Middle School principal. “These changes to our computer control systems were a huge step in reducing energy waste and improving comfort.”

Commercial buildings that earn EPA’s Energy Star certification use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  "We hope the students and families see the Energy Star label on the buildings and know that we are working to lower energy costs and be a steward to the environment,” said Mary Lou Woody, Cape Horn-Skye Elementary principal.  “And the good news is no one needs to be too hot or too cold!  Everyone is just right!” 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Blue Note Cafe 9-20-2012 at 7 PM

Our first BLUE NOTE CAFE of the year is this THURSDAY at 7pm at the
Washburn PAC. WHS brings back the coffeehouse of the '50s and '60s
with the Blue Note Cafe concert series. Students, faculty, alumni, and
community members perform acoustic folk, blues, jazz, and rock tunes
in a casual, cafe atmosphere.

Come see the great talent we have at WHS and in our community. We are
so proud of our Blue with a House Band led by Gordon
Washburn himself! 

This Blue Note is FREE OF CHARGE, so tell your
friends and let's pack the house, Washougal!  =)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

CW Rotary Donates Backpacks for Students!

Backpacks filled with school supplies will be delivered to designated elementary school students in Camas and Washougal school districts.

This year the Camas-Washougal Rotary Club’s backpack program donated 200 backpacks to families in need. 100 backpacks were given to Camas schools and 100 to Washougal, making the start of the school year a little easier for recipients and their parents.

Washougal School District Superintendent Dawn Tarzian and Camas School District Superintendent Mike Nerland, presented the backpacks to school administrators who will make sure that selected students in need receive them.

This year contributions to the Backpack Project from the Rotary Foundation and club members totaled nearly $3,000. The 200 backpacks were purchased at a discount from Columbia and JanSport and filled with school supplies by Rotary volunteers.

“Eight years ago this program donated only 25 backpacks to students in need, today that number has risen to 200 thanks to support from the community and other Rotarians," said Rotarian Jim Curry, Backpack Program Chair. "We’re hoping next year to include some high-school appropriate backpacks and supplies to continue to grow the program.”

Rotary International is a service organization with over 1.2 million members in more than 160 countries. The Camas-Washougal Rotary meets at 7 a.m. on Thursdays at the Fairgate Inn, 2213 NW 23rd Ave., Camas. For more club information visit

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

WHS Graduation Program 2012

Graduates and their families who did not get a copy of the WHS Graduation Program from the June 2012 graduation ceremony can download it here.

Washougal Students Score Above State and National Average on ACT Test

Scores for the ACT college readiness test were released August 22 and the news is good for students in our state, but even better for students in Washougal. Washougal students exceeded state and national average scores in all subject areas. WHS students had a composite score of 26.3, above the state average of 22.9 and the national average of 21.1. Fifteen WHS students took the test, representing about ten percent of students in Grade 12. "Though just 10 percent of Washougal High School students took the test, those that took it did very well and we are very pleased to see this progress," said David Tudor, Curriculum Director. "We plan to increase the number of students participating in these college readiness tests. A larger sample size of data will help to inform our instructional system and our goal of students leaving our district college and career ready."

Monday, August 20, 2012

Equestrian Drill team featured on KPTV

Members of the Equestrian Drill Team were featured on KPTV Channel 12's Sports Spotlight on Friday August 17.  You can watch the video here:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

WSD Summer Work Crew Preparing Schools for 2012-2013 School Year

Members of the Washougal School District summer work crew are busy preparing the schools for the new school year.  Workers are restriping the parking lots, repainting the interior hallways of most schools, and power washing the outsides of almost all buildings.  In addition, the gym floors in each building are being buffed and finished, wood chips are being put down under play areas, and carpets are being cleaned in many areas. 

Some major projects underway this summer include adding an auxiliary pump in the well that provides water to Cape Horn-Skye and Canyon Creek, installing electric basketball hoop lifts at Jemtegaard, replacing the gravel in the parking lot at Excelsior, and replacement of the worn out wood floor in the main gym at Washougal High School.  Swing by the schools and take a look, the buildings are cleaned up and getting ready for students to come back in September!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Jemtegaard and CCMS Students Visit East Coast for History

Twenty five eigth grade students from Jemtegaard and Canyon Creek Middle School visited the East coast for a US History trip, visiting Washington, D.C. and New York. The trip was organized by Jemtegaard History teacher Scott Rainey, and chaperoned by volunteers. To read more, please read this article in the Camas Washougal Post Record about the trip. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Free Summer Lunch Program for Youth Ages 1-18

There is a Free Summer Lunch Program at Hathaway Elementary School each weekday Monday to Friday from Noon to 1 PM, July 9 through 31.  All children are welcome ages 1-18.  There is no paperwork to fill out, meals must be eaten on site, and adults may not eat any portion of the child's meal.  However, thanks to our generous community partners, adults will be provided a free snack when accompanying a child.  

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TTY). “USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.”

In addition to the above federal rules, Washougal School District also does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Gause Student Poetry Featured in National Publication

Students in Gause Teacher Julie Taie's classroom submitted poems they wrote as part of a the "Creative Communication: A Celebration of Today's Writers" program through Mrs. Taie received a communication from the editors saying that they normally only consider a portion of the poems "publication ready" but that every one of the ones from her classroom will be published! 

Poems will be published online and in printed books, available after June 21, 2012.

Below is one of the poems students wrote, edited, and submitted.

The Closet
by Trenton H.

When I hear laughs
and other eerie sounds
coming from the closet,
I get frightened.
What kind of monsters
are living
in my mind?

Congratulations Excelsior High School Graduates

A video of the Excelsior High School is available on YouTube. Click the link below to watch it!

Congratulations to all of the students and to their families as well.  We wish you well!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Congratulations, Graduates of the Class of 2012

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2012!  A total of 173 students graduated from Washougal High School on Saturday, June 9th during a ceremony at Fishback Stadium.  Please use this link to see a copy of the Graduation Program, listing the senior class and their accomplishments.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Washougal's 2012 Teacher of the Year - James Bennett

WHS Physics Teacher Jay Bennett, Washougal Teacher of the Year!

Washougal School District is proud to announce that Jay Bennett has received the 2012 Teacher of the Year award.  Mr. Bennett teaches math and physics, including Advanced Placement Physics, at Washougal High School.  He has been teaching for 13 years, 12 of those in Washougal, since graduating from San Jose State University with a degree in Physics.  

Mr. Bennett is an exceptional educator with a passion for his subject, who strives daily to make physics interesting and applicable to the real world for his students.  His communication with students and parents is also unparalleled.  He uses a teacher website to provide course syllabi, homework packets, practice tests and many additional educational resources and videos to families.  Mr. Bennett also frequently emails students and parents with assignment deadline reminders and updates.

In a recent letter from a Washougal High School parent, Mr. Bennett was praised for “communicating in a style that draws his students in and makes them want to learn the material, even to the point of re-teaching it to their families at home.”   The parent thanked Mr. Bennett for  “finding ways to help students and parents be successful in his challenging physics course”.  

Washougal School District also thanks Mr. Bennett for his deep dedication to students and student learning.  Congratulations, Mr. Bennett!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Students benefit from outdoor school program

Washougal middle school students will participate in Outdoor School 2012, a 2-day outdoor science education field trip at both Beacon Rock Park and Steigerwald Natural Refuge. Sponsored by Friends of the Gorge, the experience offers students hands-on science learning about trees, leaves, animal footprints, the nature trail and even a snapshot of Lewis and Clark. Students will walk the Steigerwald nature path, learn about plants, animals and how the mountains were formed, and participate in a Service Learning Project, pulling invasive plants. Students will interact with experts in the fields of biology, naturalist, arborist, botanist, and history.

David Shapiro, author of Terra Tempo spoke to Canyon Creek Middle School students May 17. The story starts in Portland, Oregon and takes readers on an adventure with three kids traveling through the ice age to see how the Columbia River Gorge was formed.

“Outdoor School is no ordinary field trip,” said teacher Lori Schilling. “It gives students an interactive and hands-on learning experience on how the Missoula Floods and Ice Age formed the Columbia River Gorge, which is Washougal’s backyard.”

Students will participate in the program May 24-25 and May 31-June 1.  The program is a partnership between Washougal School District and the Friends of the Columbia Gorge with funding from the Clausen Youth Fund, which was established in 2008 by long-time supporter and Vancouver resident Phyllis Clausen in honor of her late-husband.

The goal of the program is to expose local youth to the wonders of the ColumbiaGorge, its significance as a national treasure, and story of its preservation through the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Act.

To view a slide show of last year’s adventure, visit:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Rotary Scholar of the Month for May: Christina Zack

Christina Zack was selected as the Camas Washougal Rotary Scholar of the Month for May 2012.  Christina is a sophomore at Washougal High School and has a 3.944 GPA.  WHS Social Studies Teacher Jim Reed says that “Christina is one of the best students I have ever had the pleasure of teaching,” and that “she is kind, caring, and can truly light up a room.”  

WHS Biology Teacher Pauline Rule says “Christina is highly intelligent, has a cheerful disposition, is responsible, dependable, a team player, respectful, polite, and helps fellow students to understand concepts in a positive way that brings them along.”  Pauline also notes that Christina “has a fantastic smile.”  WHS Math Teacher Jason Blaesing describes Christina as “really bright and always happy,” noting that it is “ a pleasure to have her in my class.”  Christina is the daughter of Mark and Karen Zack.

Congratulations, Christina! 

Monday, May 14, 2012

WHS Chamber Choir competes in "Best in the Northwest" Festival

The WHS Chamber Choir competed in the Best In the Northwest Choir Festival last Friday, May 10, 2012.  This festival included choirs from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.  Our choir came in 4th behind Heritage HS, Union HS, and Sprague HS (Salem), all big 5A+ schools.  Please join us in congratulating the exceptionally talented members of the WHS Chamber Choir for their accomplishments!

WHS E-Team competes at State

The Washougal High School Equestrian team competed at State in Lynden, Washington March 10-13.

The Working Fours Drill team brought home the Bronze medal. Team members are: Captain Rachel Nelson, Captain Tenley Stedman, Maddie Kitchen and Nina Pawelzick. The team is coached by Rene' Carroll.

Shelby Valaer placed fourth in Dressage.

Fee Harrison placed sixth in the Idaho Stake Race.
Shelby Valaer (Stevenson) took sixth in Saddle Seat and Mattie Olson (Stevenson) took sixth in Driving.

Chelsea Wright placed tenth in Over Fences.

Congratulations team!

Monday, May 7, 2012

May 7-11 is Teacher Appreciation Week

Please join the Washougal School Board of Directors and Administration in saying "Thank you!" to all the wonderful teachers we have!  The School Board will recognize the amazing contributions that teachers make during tonight's school board meeting.  Teachers not only instruct and mentor their students, but also come to develop meaningful personal connections as well. Teachers - you are creating the leaders of tomorrow and we appreciate the hard work you do every day.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Hathaway Elementary Adopt-A-Shelf program

Sixty fourth and fifth graders at Hathaway Elementary have adopted a shelf in their library as part of a new program. The idea for the Adopt-A-Shelf program came from Library Assistant Kathy Stanton's daughter Jacqueline, from a book she was reading. Kathy loved the idea and decided to try it at Hathaway.

Students choose a library shelf they want to take care of and Kathy puts their name and grade level on it, asking that they check on their shelf at least once a week.

So far, 32 4th graders and 28 5th graders have adopted a shelf.

"I have been having the best time watching our students take care of their library," said Kathy. "Younger students (kindergarten, 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders) have noticed the names on the shelves and want to help too. Right now we are working on an idea for creating a Pick-A-Job garden for our younger helpers. Hathaway's library will shine!"

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

WHS Students Win in Culinary Competition

WHS Students Win at Culinary Competition on April 21, 2012
WHS students competed against students from Woodland, Prairie, and Battle Ground high schools in the 4th Annual Clark County Culinary Competition April 21.  The event was held at Battle Ground High School and was sponsored by Sodexo Food Services.
Washougal team members Andrew Bastian, Melissa Cain, Danielle Crowley, and Jesse Kraff made beef kabobs, rice and a pineapple/coconut slushy for dessert. The team won Best Beef Entrée and Overall Finest Asian Entree for Taste and Presentation.

"The students put a great deal of time and effort in to the competition and preparing for it. It is wonderful to see them work hard and be awarded for it," said Mary Walker, who teaches Foods and You and Culinary Management classes at WHS.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Washington Aerospace Scholars

Three Washougal High School students have completed Phase One of the Washington Aerospace Scholars (WAS) program this year. They are: Joshua Banks, Jacob Bischoff and Anna Kellogg.

Pictured are Jacob and Joshua.
WAS is an educational program for high school juniors from across the state. The WAS program emphasizes science, technology, engineering, and math, and encourages students to consider careers in these fields. These students are now eligible to participate in Phase Two, a six-day summer residency experience hosted by the Museum of Flight.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Clark County Culinary Competition

Please come support Washougal High School Students who are competing to create Asian themed entrees at the Clark County High School Culinary Competition. WHS Students Melissa Cain, Danielle Crowley, Andrew Bastian and Jesse Kraft will be preparing and serving dishes, which will be judged by reception guests, voting to decide the best overall taste and presentation. The competition takes place at Battle Ground High School at 300 W. Main St. in Battle Ground, from 12:00 to 1:15 PM on April 21st.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Camas Washougal Rotary Scholar of the Month for April: Mac Wright

Congratulations to Mac Wright, the Camas Washougal Rotary Scholar of the Month for April 2012. Mac is a sophomore at Washougal High School, and has a 4.00 GPA. Library Assistant and Drama volunteer, Fran Mccarty notes that she has "worked with Mac on several occasions in drama. He has always been so polite and cooperative." Band teacher Kelly Ritter describes Mac as a "hard worker, enthusiastic, great attitude, very pleasant young man." Science teacher Pauline Rule says "Mac is highly intelligent and surprises teachers with his quietness in class, then wonderful expansive character portrayal in school plays."

Spanish teacher Rochelle Aiton says "Mac is an unassuming, talented, athletic and academic student, an all-around great guy!" Mac is the son of Scott and Jennifer Wright.

Congratulations Mac Wright!

Stuff the Scholarship Online Auction

Help sponsor Stuff the Scholarship - a sister program to Stuff the Bus. Each year, Stuff the Scholarship provides one scholarship to a senior student at Washougal High School and one scholarship to a senior student at Camas High School based on their academic performance as well as their community involvement.

This year, the fundraiser will be an online auction with products and services from our own community up for bid along with a daily deal to a local retailer, service provider or restaurant. Don’t miss this opportunity to get a bargain AND support the kids in our community!

Just visit and enter your name and email to be notified when you can begin bidding!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Congratulations to Team Mean Machine, the Washougal, Camas & Hockinson Robotics Team

Congratulations to the Robotics Club and specifically the Team Mean Machine that took first place at the Seattle FIRST Regional Robotics Competition. The theme of the competition was “Rebound Rumble” which basically required that the robots play basketball. Our Camas, Washougal, Hockinson team was also awarded the Delphi Engineering Excellence Award. They are now headed to the World Championship in St. Louis scheduled at the end of the month – April 25 – 28. Their flight is paid for but they are raising the funds for food, ground transportation and hotels. Donations can be made at

To read more about the robotics team, and Head Mentor Bruce Whitefield and mentor Bob Croucher, who were featured in an article in the Camas Washougal Post-Record, please click here.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Washougal Schools Foundation Hosts Ninth Annual Student Stride for Education Fun Run Event

The Washougal Schools Foundation’s ninth annual Student Stride for Education (The Stride) all-student fun run and 5K run/walk will be held at the Washougal High School stadium and the surrounding area on Saturday, May 19, 2012. Proceeds raised will fund teacher grants and student scholarships distributed by the Washougal Schools Foundation (WSF).
The WSF is proud to have Dave and Tom Stinchfield of Discovery Dental in Washougal as the Title Sponsor for the 2012 event. "We are grateful for the opportunity to be the title sponsor of The Stride for a third year,” said Tom Stinchfield, D.D.S. “Discovery Dental is dedicated to serving within our community to support the great team of leaders and selfless volunteers that make this worthy event happen each year.”

Runners of all ages throughout Clark County are invited to participate in The Stride. Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade students will run a 1.5K course. The 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students will run a 2K. Middle and high school students and adults will take part in the 5K run or walk or as volunteers. The final heat of the day is The Dash, a special race for the pre-kindy crowd, just one lap around the track. The Stride kicks off at 8:00 a.m. with the 5K run and walk and then individual grade-level heats follow starting at 9:00 a.m. and ending around noon.
“The Stride has become a mainstay in our community,” said Stephanie Eakins, Stride Event Director. “The magic of the event is that it not only promotes Washougal Schools, but it promotes the well-being of the community.”

Each year The Stride event features a unique logo created through a contest among Washougal art students. This year the contest was open to middle school students. Dozens of creative designs were submitted. The winning 2012 event logo was created by Jemtegaard Middle School 7th grader, Tessa Walcott, and features a happy running Stride Cat with a Stride banner above him.
“We expect between 500-600 students, teachers and community members to register for The Stride,” said Eakins. “If you have never been to the event we really encourage you to sign up or at least come down and see it. It is so heartwarming to watch these kids cross the finish line with such a sense of accomplishment.”

The Stinchfields were drawn to the event years ago. "My immediate and extended family has participated in The Stride for the last six years,” said Dave Stinchfield, D.D.S. “Our passion for physical fitness and running, combined with our passion for our community, education and children, compelled us to throw our full support towards the annual Stride.”

The Stinchfield brothers enjoy running so much that they have added a little fun and friendly competition to The Stride’s 5K. The doctors are challenging participants to beat them across the finish line. Everyone who is able to “Beat the Docs” will get a special award from Discovery Dental. The two will be easy to spot with targets on the backs of their shirts. “I have been so anxious to be a part of this great event,” said Tom Stinchfield, who recently joined his brother in the business and moved his family to the Washougal community. “Running is a huge part of our lives. My wife, Tracey, and I can frequently be seen running the streets of Washougal in the early morning hours. We are excited to have our kids be a part of this great event too.” More information on the “Beat the Docs” competition and a map of the 5K course can be found at

Sponsors joining Discovery Dental in support of WSF as of April 3 are Watercare Industrial Services, Waste Connections, Sodexo School Services, Corwin Beverage Company, Washougal School District, City of Washougal. According to Eakins, The Stride is also pleased to make its medal and t-shirt purchases locally with new Stride sponsor, Glory Days. “We depend on our sponsors as well as donations from local businesses and families for the fund raising component of the event,” Roger Daniels, WSF Fund Raising Chair explained. “The Foundation does not profit from runner fees.”

Registration remains just $10 for all runs. The fee covers race costs and provides each runner with a commemorative t-shirt, race-day medal and finish line refreshments. Deadline to guarantee a race shirt is April 26. Runners can still register up to and including race day, but for best chance to get a shirt, they should register in advance. If runners would like to have their name listed on the back of the shirt with other donors, they can donate $10 per name. Deadline for those donations is also April 26. Registration forms are available at all Washougal schools and their websites, Discovery Dental and at or

For more information on the Washougal Schools Foundation or The Stride contact Eakins at 360-513-0525 or visit the WSF website.