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!"