Thursday, May 30, 2013

WHS Sophomores Participate in Job Acquisition Skills Interviews

More than 40 community members and 200 Washougal High School (WHS) sophomores recently took part in the WHS's annual JAS Interviews (Job Acquisition Skills-pronounced JAZZ).
The process begins with students selecting a hypothetical job they feel they are qualified for.  These include mowing lawns, work in fast food restaurants or retail.  Many students are 15-16 years old and have never been employed.

Through their English classes, students prepare a portfolio that includes a cover letter, resume, references, and an application.  WHS Career Specialists also coach the students on how to best present themselves with a strong hand shake, eye contact, smiles, and dressing properly.   This all culminates with a 15 - 20 minute 'mock' interview by local business and community professionals.

“The experience definitely helps prepare these students for a real job interview,” said Marsha Spencer, WHS Career Specialist.  “There is a lot of pressure and the kids come prepared.”   The interviewer gives student immediate feedback on how well they presented themselves.  They will even let the student know if they would hire them. “Our community members who help with this are fantastic,”  Spencer added.  “Many come back each year and are very good at giving the kind of interview experience and feedback that is useful for the students.”
Community Member Rose Jewell interviews WHS Sophomore Mauro Gonzalez.  Photo by Jared Freeman.

According to Spencer, it is the extra confidence or lessons learned from the experience that could make the difference in finding that first job.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Congratulations to Felecia Clowers for Winning the Watershed Reflections contest

Clark Public Utilities “Stream Team” recently sponsored a writing contest called Watershed Reflections. Entries were submitted from students throughout Clark County. Although many wonderful pieces were submitted, the first place winner was a student from Excelsior High School, Washougal’s alternative high school. Congratulations to Felecia Clowers! First place winner in the Watershed Reflections Contest.


550 participants and countless volunteers celebrated the 10th Annual Student Stride for Education on Saturday, raising almost $20,000 for the Washougal Schools Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that provides teacher grants and scholarships for Washougal.

The Student Stride for Education is a family-friendly event to promote fitness and learning, comprised of a 5K race for experienced runners, closed-course runs for grades K-5, and a ‘Kiddie Dash’ for those 5 and under. In its 10 years, approximately $200,000 has been raised through the sponsorship of local businesses.

Watercare Industrial Services and Waste Connections have been major sponsors for all 10 years, having donated $25,000 each over that time. Discovery Dental has been the title sponsor for the past four years donating approximately $20,000 in that time.

"As a family, we have participated in the Stride for the last 7 years and Discovery Dental is proud to be the title sponsor again this year.  We are excited about health and physical fitness, and we love this community and our schools, so it is easy to lend our full support to programs and events that support all of those values,” said Dr. Dave Stinchfield. “The Stride is an event we look forward to each year, and we hope to see the community out there, helping the WSF to help our students."

Monday, May 20, 2013

EHS Student of the Month - Desirae Hite

Excelsior High School, Washougal’s alternative school, is proud to announce the May Student of the Month or “Phoenix on Fire”. Desirae Hite has overcome many challenges in life and is thriving, graduating, and applying for college entrance. Desire exemplifies the characteristics we would like to see all of our students at Excelsior achieve:
Have great attendance
An Excellent work Ethic
Positive Attitude

March’s student of the month is Desirae Hite

Monday, May 13, 2013

Battle of the Books inspires love of reading

The Battle of the Books wrapped up its fifth year April 16 with a fun competition on Battle Day. The program promotes literacy as Cape Horn-Skye and Canyon Creek students read and summarize a series of books in preparation for the final celebration and competition.

The voluntary reading program kicked off last June when a list of 30 book titles was released so students could read over the summer if they wished. Students are required to read and verbally summarize 10 books to qualify for Battle Day. This year 84 Canyon students and Cape 5th graders submitted at least one book summary. Twenty-one students qualified for Battle Day and two students read all 30 books!

On Battle Day, students are divided into teams with a mixture of different grade levels on each team.

This year the theme was:

SURVIVOR : Canyon Creek
Out Play - Out Wit - Out READ

Decorations and food centered around the Survivor TV show and the reading list had a number of adventure/survival type selections as well. Students played four preliminary rounds in the morning with the top two scoring teams compete in the Grand Battle after lunch in the gym in front of an audience from both schools. 

Food service staff Mark Jasper and Chef Dave treated Book Battlers to a South Pacific lunch of skewered chicken and jicama salad with pineapple and strawberries. Students created colorful posters and signs to give the school a festive look and played Survivor-type relay games including Elephant Bowling.

Librarian Holly Vonderohe coordinates the event with the help of 32 staff and parents who help with the monthly reward parties and on Battle Day.

In the end, Team Amazon won the Grand Battle but not by much. Both teams did a great job.

Team Amazon: Cody Harding, Emma Hein, Rebekah Muir, Megan Stogin, and William Weihl.

Team Borneo: Eric Brown, Victoria Corkum, Samantha Eakins, Cameron Hatton, Gus Shelley, and Hadley Warta.

The Grand Battle Winners with organizer and librarian Holly Vonderohe.

Kam Lawrence and David Tudor,
judges for the morning battle.

Superintendent Dawn Tarzian and Boo Stevens
review the rules before the Grand Battle.

The winners of the Grand Battle.
A group discussing an answer.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Rotary Scholar of the Month for May: Mackenzie Kitchen

Mackenzie Kitchen was selected as the Camas Washougal Rotary Scholar of the Month for May 2013. Mackenzie is a sophomore at Washougal High School and has a 3.6 GPA.  Misty Young, WHS Athletic Secretary, says "Mackenzie is a fabulous student and athlete." Mackenzie's Geometry Teacher, Karen Wysaske, describes her as "always a joy to have in class; she comes in with a smile and gives her best in math, regardless of whatever else is happening."

Rochelle Aiton, WHS Spanish Teacher adds that "Mackenzie is a young lady with a sweet disposition and a strong determination to succeed." WHS World History teacher Ryan Isaacson echos that determination, adding that "She played basketball for me as a Freshman with a quiet determination that accepted nothing less than her best."  Mackenzie is the daughter of Cameron and Beth MacKenzie.  Congratulations, Mackenzie!

Washougal Elementary Runners Prepare for The Stride

Community volunteer and avid runner, Tracey Stinchfield, was amazed at the turn out for her new running club for elementary students in Washougal.  Nearly 100 Gause Elementary students and around 50 Hathaway Elementary students signed on to participate in the six-week program offered through Washougal Community Education and Recreation.

“I know that not all kids like team sports, but they do like to be with friends, and be active and run,” Stinchfield said.  “So I thought it would be fun for those kids to be a part of a running club.”  The club was free to participants thanks to parent volunteers and Discovery Dental who covered course expenses.

Using the Student Stride for Education Fun Run (The Stride) as a goal event for the runners to prepare for, Stinchfield leads the groups from 3:30-5:00 p.m. once a week.  “After the first week the kids said that running is hard,” Stinchfield admitted.  “But what they discovered is the more you do it the easier it becomes.”

In order to make running fun, Stinchfield mixes up the work outs.  “One week we did a warrior dash with a bunch of obstacles,” she explained.  “Some days we run relays, or play running games like capture the flag and or running drills.  We also focus on teaching kids how to run and to think about things like pacing.”

Second grader, Caroline Collins, has run The Stride for two years and is looking forward to participating again this year. She agreed with Stinchfield that, “Running was hard when we started but now it feels easier.  And it is fun.”

Stinchfield did not know what to expect when she offered the program but was delighted to find the kids eager to learn and participate. “I hope they leave this experience with the impression that running is fun to do and that they will continue to have an active life.”

The Student Stride for Education, on May 18, is a student fun run and adult 5K run and walk to benefit Washougal public education through the Washougal Schools Foundation. It is held at the Washougal High School stadium and surrounding areas.

For more information about the Stride, please visit
For information about Discovery Dentistry, please visit
Tracey Stinchfield makes exercise fun for Hathaway running club students with creative courses and obstacles to move through.