Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Challenge Day Activity on March 6, 2012 at WHS and EHS

On Tuesday, March 6, 2012, 100 Washougal High School and Excelsior High School students and more than 30 adults will participate in Challenge Day, an event designed to unite participants around a common vision, addressing issues of suicide, harassment, racism, conflict management, and alcohol and drugs.

The goal of challenge day is to make WHS and EHS an even more welcoming places to be, to increase personal power and self-esteem, to shift peer pressure to positive peer support and to eliminate the acceptability of teasing, violence and all forms of oppression. Trained Challenge Day Leaders create an environment of safety and trust to address social issues. Challenge Day is designed to unite the members of the school and community and to empower them to carry the themes of the program back to the greater school and community population.

Adult participants include 30+ members of the Washougal School District staff, elected officials, and community members. More than 100 WHS and EHS students across all grade levels will participate in the event.

Challenge Day is made possible through a grant from the Clark County Department of Community Services. Washougal High School Counseling Center staff wrote the grant and WHS/EHS was one of just two recipients.

Since 1987, Challenge Day Programs have touched the lives of over half-a million teens and adult’s, receiving awards from the juvenile justice system, government officials, and many school districts and cities nationwide. Through thought-provoking games, activities, and discussions, Challenge Day provides participants with tools to break down the walls of separation and isolation and build new levels of respect and communication.

To find out more about the Challenge Day Program at Washougal High School, please contact WHS Counselor Owen Sanford at 360-954-3113.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

WHS Choir Students win 2nd in regional competition

Congratulations to the Washougal High School Choir's Mixed Ensemble group, which took 2nd place at the regional Solo and Ensemble Contest on Saturday, February 25th, at Heritage High School. The group came in just behind Union High School, and may be invited up to the state competition in April. The Men's Ensemble scored I- (superior) rating, and the soloists and Ladies Ensemble scored Is and IIs (superior and excellent). The scores are based on state and national assessment standards for high school performing ensembles and soloists up to AAAA. WHS Choir Director Jennifer Mahorney was with the students as they competed, saying she is "SO PROUD Of my singers for their hard work and they way they represented our school and district." Watch next week's Camas Washougal Post Record for a feature story on the choir!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WHS Students Take 1st and 3rd in Regional Machining Competition at Clark College for Skills USA

On Saturday, Feb. 12, four students from the Washougal High School Metals program took part in a machining competition at Clark College for Skills USA. Ilia Svistun was the first place winner and Douglass Murray was the third place winner. These two students are now eligible to compete at the state level. Also representing WHS were Robert Raynor and Braden Devlin "These student should be congratulated for their outstanding accomplishment," said CTE teacher Don O'Brien. First place winner Ilia won $1,500 worth of tools and equipment, and 3rd place winner Douglas won $800 worth of tools and equipment, which was donated by local manufacturing companies.

Five local high schools – Evergreen, La Center, Mountain View, Prairie and Washougal -- were represented in the machining contest, which began at 9 a.m on Saturday. It was held in the machine shop in at Clark College, The top three finishers will take the next step by advancing to the state contest in the Tacoma Dome.

For additional information about Clark College’s machining and welding programs or the Regional High School VICA/Skills USA Machining and Welding Contest, call 360-992-2341.

Pictured are Douglas Murray, Ilia Svistun, Robert Raynor, and Braden Devlin from left to right. Photos courtesy of Clark College.

Monday, February 13, 2012

WHS FBLA Students win at Regionals

Please congratulate the following students for their successes at Friday's Regional Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) competition at Mark Morris High School in Longview!  For most students it was their first conference, now they qualify to compete at the State Level of FBLA.  Thanks for your support of these students.

Nicholas Fellows - 1st Place in Cyber Security
Crimson Morgan - 4th Place in FBLA Principles and Procedures
Josh Harrel, Heather Duelen, Nicole Zawaki - 1st Place in Banking and Financial Services
Joey Rubino, Maren Clark, Sierra DeHart - 3rd Place in Banking and Financial Services
Allix Fisher - 4th Place - Introduction to Business Communications
Joey Rubino - 5th Place - Public Speaking II
Sami Andersen - 5th Place - Business Law

Friday, February 10, 2012

Rotary Scholar of the Month for February: Alexis Jensen

Congratulations to Alexis Jensen, the Camas Washougal Rotary Scholar of the Month for February 2012. Alexis is a sophomore at Washougal High School, and has a 3.688 GPA. Jennifer Mahorney, her choir teacher, says "Alexis has been an outstanding contributor to the choir program at JMS and WHS." She notes that she "is a great role model for others when it comes to rehearsal discipline and commitment." Spanish teacher Rochelle Aiton describes Alexis as "cheerful, intelligent, and hardworking." She also says Alexis "comes into class with a smile on her face prepared to learn and work hard." English teacher Heather Carver describes Alexis as "always mindful of others' feelings but also willing to think for herself." Alexis is the daughter of Matthew and Jessica Jensen.

Congratulations Alexis Jensen!

Friday, February 3, 2012

WSD teachers Marcia Hershaw and Lucie Willeman earn National Board Certification

Washougal School District teachers Marcia Hershaw and Lucia Willeman earned National Board certification this year. Marcia Hershaw is a Health and Fitness teacher at Hathaway Elementary. Lucia Willeman teaches third grade at Cape Horn-Skye Elementary. Certification is a one- to three-year-long introspective process that requires teachers to submit a four-part portfolio and a six-exercise content and pedagogy assessment. The four entries document a teacher’s success in the classroom as evidenced by his or her students’ learning. A national panel of peers then assesses the portfolio. “It was a highly reflective and analytical process that really helped me focus on the effect my instruction had on each child,” said Marcia Hershaw. “I assess student performance more frequently as a result, and shape future lessons to address areas that need to be strengthened.”

“Going through the National Board certification process was the most intense period of self-discovery and professional development that I have ever undergone,” said Lucie Willeman. “It was beneficial for not only myself, but my students as well as I have explored my own teaching practices and how they align with a set of stringent national teaching standards. This has helped refine my own classroom instruction and community building. Achieving the National Board Certification is definitely a life-time professional highlight.”

Considered the “gold standard” for teaching excellence, this year 6,200 teachers across the nation achieved this distinction. This brings the total number of board certified teachers in the U.S. to nearly 100,000.

A report by the National Research Council found that students who were taught by board certified teachers show higher gains on achievement tests than those taught by other teachers. National Board Certified Teachers must demonstrate advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices. Completion of the certification process signifies that teachers have developed and demonstrated the skills required of an accomplished professional educator.

The two newly certificated teachers join several other Washougal School District teachers, including: Brian Amundson, Penny Andrews, Scott Rainey, Heather Santos, Chelsea Waldron, and Bryn Walker.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Inherit the Wind Play at WHS Performing Arts Center February 10-18

Inherit the Wind, the classic 1950's courtroom drama by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee (not that one!) is coming to the Washburn Auditorium. Written during the height of the McCarthy trials of the 1950's, this classic play looks at both sides of a divisive court case and speaks to the freedoms of thought and expression in a way that is still relevant today. Come support over 25 of Washougal High's young actors and technical staff in a thrilling evening of theatre.

Tickets are only $5 for adults and $4 for students and seniors and take place on February 10, 11, 17, and 18 at 7:00. On February 11, the Senior Grad Night parents will be serving a pasta dinner and hosting a raffle and auction before the show. We'd love to see you there!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Community Input Gathering for Strategic Planning Process

The Washougal School District is in the process of developing a five to six year strategic plan to guide our district and school improvement work. As part of this process, we hope to gather input from a broad range of district constituents through several means. If you are interested in attending a community input session, one will be held in the Washougal High School Library on March 6, 2012 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM.

Community members who are parents can also give input through their school's parent advisory group. Meetings are being held at each school during the month of February to collect parent feedback. To view a list all meetings, please click here.

In addition to these input sessions, a short online survey is available to help guide our work around strategic priorities. You can take the survey by following this link. If you have other feedback you would like included as the new strategic plan is developed, please send us an e-mail at