Thursday, October 31, 2013

“Day of the Dead” comes to life for WHS Spanish students

An important component of learning a foreign language is to gain an understanding and appreciation for its culture.  Recently, Washougal High School Spanish language students were introduced to the Mexican celebration of El Día de los Muertos or “The Day of the Dead,” a yearly experience provided by the Spanish teachers.

The celebration is a fusion of Catholic and indigenous traditions that has come to manifest itself differently in each region of Latin America.  “The key is that it's a celebration of life: mostly of those who have gone before us,” explained Brian Eggleston, WHS Spanish Teacher.  "Students learn about the different way a culture looks at death without the unnecessary dread or horror that we've seen in some other societies."
As a part of the celebration, students created actual sugar skulls.  They combined sugar, meringue powder, and water together, and then with a mold, they made skulls that harden for decoration.  “After learning about the holiday and surrounding customs in Mexico, the students will decorate them in class,” Eggleston said.  “They always turn out beautiful.  The best work goes on display in each Spanish classroom for others to admire.”

“Students become more invested in a culture when they can get involved with hands on activities such as this,” said Spanish teacher Rochelle Aiton.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Take your parent to school day at Canyon Creek

The student population at Canyon Creek Middle School grew by more than 70 on Tuesday, October 29, as parents joined their students for the second annual “Take your parent to school day.”

Principal Sandi Christensen was excited for parents to spend time in class with their students. “There are a lot of opportunities for them to come into the elementary schools, but parent involvement really drops off in middle school,” she said.  “We want to encourage our parents to make connections with the school and their students and know they are welcomed here.”

CCMS School Counselor, Michele Mederos said parents get more out of this experience than the students.  “Education has changed a lot since these parents were in school,” she said. “While students enjoy their parent's presence and showing them around, parents get valuable insight out of the experience. They come away with a better understanding of what their kids are exposed to and get a flavor of the higher expectations they are working under.  That helps the parents realize how to be more supportive of their students.”

Monday, October 28, 2013

Harvest Festival at Cape Horn-Skye

Students, parents, siblings and teachers of Cape Horn-Skye Elementary enjoyed a fulfilled evening at the annual Harvest Festival carnival on Saturday, October 26.  A big thank you to the many volunteers who worked hard to make this great community/school tradition so successful.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Artifact Detectives Program Gives Students Hands on Experience with History

Third graders at Cape Horn-Skye Elementary got a hands-on opportunity on Thursday, October 17 to explore area history participating in a new “Artifact Detectives” curriculum developed by their teacher, Lucia Willeman.  Students not only learned about early life in the Northwest, but were allowed to take on the role of an archeologist as they brushed, washed, measured, discussed and categorized real local artifacts.

The project was supported through a Teaching American History (TAH) grant, administered by Carol Boyden, Federal Projects Director for the Washougal School District, and by the Clark County Historical Museum.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Rotary Scholar of the Month for October: Cassie Tran

Cassie Tran was selected as the Camas Washougal Rotary Scholar of the Month for October 2013. Cassie is a sophomore at Washougal High School and has a 3.8 GPA.  Heather Carver, Cassie's Honors English teacher, says "Cassie is a really hard worker and has a great sense of humor."
To read more, please visit the Student Success Blog.

Kelly Ritter, her Symphonic Band teacher, says "Cassie is a wonderful young lady" adding that she "plays the flute in the symphonic band and pep band" and that she is "positive, always smiling, pleasant to be around."  WHS Biology Teacher Pauline Rule notes that Cassie is an excellent student, quiet leader, has great attitude and is a friend to all."  Social Studies Teacher Ryan Isaacson notes that "four weeks and a few days is all it takes to notice strength, patience, and perseverance."

Cassie is the daughter of Hao Tran and Kao Yang.  Congratulations, Cassie!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Excelsior Phoenix on Fire for October 2013 - Richard Young

Congratulations to Richard Young, Excelsior High School's "Phoenix on Fire" for October 2013.  Richard is a new student at Excelsior and is starting the school year off with a bang.  He's already finished a course, has great attendance, an admirable work ethic, and is an inspiration to his peers.

Richard exemplifies the characteristics we would like to see all of our students at Excelsior achieve: Inspiring, Responsible, Respectful, Have great attendance, An Excellent Work Ethic and a Positive Attitude.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Congratulations to Hathaway Elementary students of the month!

Teachers from each grade level choose students for this special honor.  Students are selected who have proven that they are striving to do their personal best. September honorees are: back row, left to right: Paige Maas, 4th grade and Elizabeth Moreland, 5th grade.  Front row, left to right: Karina Berry, 2nd grade; Wyatt Brannen, kindergarten; and Aubrey Hettling, 1st grade. Kailey Rhyner, 3rd grade (not pictured).