Jeff Niten Resigns

Ridgefield Community Development Director Jeff Niten is resigning his position effective January 4, 2019. He has accepted a position as the City Manager in the City of Shelton. “I’ve really enjoyed working with the City staff and community over the last four years and helping to meet the challenges we’ve all faced in this unique and fast-growing community,” Jeff said. “The work is incredibly important to the people that call this place home and I’m very proud of what we have been able to accomplish to make Ridgefield the best it can be.” In his four years with the City, Jeff has helped to create and implement plans to shape development. With his leadership, the City has seen changes that meet local needs such as new quality neighborhoods with parks, open spaces, and heritage trees that preserve our environmental quality.

Jeff has helped support the historic downtown through his work with Ridgefield Main Street and helping create a designated Arts Quarter. Jeff also led planning processes including a new Comprehensive Growth Plan and subarea plans to assure Ridgefield grows in a thoughtful, high quality way that retains the City’s small town charm and connection to the natural environment. And, he leaves a fully staffed, professional Community Development Department that will make a transition successful.

City Manager Steve Stuart thanked Jeff for his work with the City. “On behalf of the City and the Ridgefield community, I want to express my appreciation to Jeff for his exceptional service. The results of his dedication to the City and the community will be seen and experienced now and in the future by people living, working, and playing in Ridgefield. We wish him luck in his professional career and his next adventure.”

The City will begin a recruitment process for a new Community Development Director in late December.

Ridgefield School District Now Accepting Student Referrals for Highly Capable Program

The Ridgefield School District is now accepting student referrals for participation in its Highly Capable Program for the 2019-20 school year.  Anyone may refer a student, including parents, teachers, other students and community members.  All students in Grades K-12 are eligible.

Highly capable students perform or show potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to others of their age, experience or background.  These students may demonstrate exceptionally high intellectual ability, memory, creativity, curiosity and leadership ability.

For more detailed information about the program, please refer to “K-12 Highly Capable Program Overview”.  It explains the program’s goals, identification process, service model and the schedule for testing.

If you are interested in referring your child for the identification process for the Highly Capable Program, please click here to access a Referral Form.  Completed forms must be submitted to the following address and received no later than February 1, 2019.  Due to time and testing constraints, forms received after this deadline will not be accepted:

Tiffany Gould

Director of CCTE and Federal Programs

Ridgefield School District

2724 S. Hillhurst Road

Ridgefield, WA  98642


To review the district’s Annual Notification of Referral for Highly Capable, please click here.  It is also posted on the Ridgefield School District’s website at in the Federal Programs Department and clicking on Highly Capable Program.

Give Blood Next Week

Every two seconds someone in the US needs blood.

The Red Cross is sponsoring a blood drive at the Community Center in Ridgefield on Monday, December 31, from 10 am to 3 pm.

Donors are always needed. Sign up at, (sponsor code: Ridgefield), or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Clark County Arts Commission

The current Ridgefield representative for Clark County Arts Commission is Barbara AW Wright, and her term ends December 31, 2018. Liz Kolling, the co-owner of Ridgefield Arts Space, will be Barbara’s replacement on the CCAC. The city will announce her appointment at the City Council meeting on December 20th. The meeting starts at 6:30 at the Ridgefield Community Center and everyone is invited to come and support Liz in her new role.

Ridgefield School District Honors December Employee and Students of the Month

On December 11, Ridgefield School District officials recognized the December Employee and Students of the Month at the regular Board of Directors meeting.

The Employee of the Month is Derell Couch, teacher at Union Ridge Elementary School.  Staff members describe Derell as caring, compassionate, hardworking and enthusiastic–always putting her students first.  She comes to school early, stays late and is constantly thinking of ways to make her teaching more effective.  She communicates well with her students and peers.  Her colleagues love collaborating with her.  She never shows bias and is able to give a different perspective in all situations.  Derell’s former students constantly visit or contact her long after they have graduated to thank her for her devotion and kindness and to express the profound impact she has had on their lives.  The staff at Union Ridge Elementary School is proud to name Derell Couch as December’s Employee of the Month.

 Students of the Month

Cameron Branch, a second grader, is December’s Student of the Month at South Ridge Elementary School.  The South Ridge teachers and staff are very proud of Cameron.  Cameron embodies the three R’s of South Ridge Elementary every day.  He shows true grit by remaining resilient in all of his scholastic pursuits.  If he is asked to try again, he will with a smile on his face.  Cameron proves how responsible he is every day by walking to and from specialists in a calm and quiet manner without being asked or reminded.  He has a kind gesture or thought to share at almost every moment.  His sense of wonder is hard to match.  He is a respectful member of the community who always tries to be helpful to students and teachers.

Troyce Gosney, a third grader, was selected at Union Ridge Elementary.  The Union Ridge teachers and staff are very proud of Troyce.  They write, “Troyce always has a smile on his face.  He brightens any room he walks into, and his joy for learning is contagious.  He works extremely hard and never gives up or gets down on himself.  He is extraordinarily kind and is always there when someone needs to be cheered up.  Troyce is an amazing example of a Ridgefield student who is respectful, responsible, and resilient.”

Kimberly Diaz, a sixth grader, is December’s Student of the Month at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School.  The Sunset Ridge teachers and staff are very proud of Kimberly.  They write, “Kimberly is extremely helpful to adults and students alike.  She is always kind and wants to be a friend to all.  She has a great attitude about everything that she does, and she is the first to jump up and do something if she sees that something needs to be done.  Kimberly demonstrates the three “R’s”.  She is always respectful, responsible and resilient.  She is a hard worker, and she strives to turn in quality work.  She is a pleasure to work with and to have in class.”


Aaliyah Vogan, an eighth grader, was chosen at View Ridge Middle School.  The View Ridge teachers and staff are very proud of Aaliyah.  They write, “Aaliyah Vogan is a strong student, role model and leader among her peers.  She works well with others in collaborative groups and is respectful and courteous, helping to create a positive learning environment.  Aaliyah consistently works hard and strives to do her best and challenges herself.  Aaliyah demonstrates progress based on self-reflection and feedback.  She is kind to everyone and is just a nice person to have around.”

Davin Tjia (pronounced Day-vin Cha), a junior, was chosen from Ridgefield High School.  One staff member describers Davin as an exceptional student who seizes every opportunity to learn.  Another says, “I’ve never had a student challenge himself like Davin does.”  In addition to Davin’s exceptional work ethic, he is also described as a student who “is kind and thoughtful to everyone” and is a “person who truly reflects the three R’s.”  Davin is a member of Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA), National Honor Society and Robotics and is taking five AP classes at RHS, including AP composition and U.S. History.  Davin participates in the Poetry Out Loud competition at RHS and made it to the RHS finals last school year.  What is so exceptionally impressive about Davin’s accomplishments is that English is his second language.  He moved to Ridgefield from Taiwan in January 2017.  In less than two years, Davin has learned English, has immersed himself in RHS activities and has shown himself to be beyond outstanding.  We are proud of the many students at Ridgefield High School who work hard every day and are honored to have Davin Tjia represent RHS as the December Student of the Month.

Ridgefield School District is grateful to its sponsor, James Schmeling of Allstate Insurance Company, whose local office is providing funding to support the district’s recognition program during this school year.

Operation Secret Santa

Please join us again this year in helping the residents of the Ridgefield Living Center. We have a giving tree inside the Old Liberty Theater/Season’s Coffee. The residents have 3 wishes, mostly basic necessities, on each tag. We are a bit late in getting information out, so we ask to return the tags by December 17th. We also have some envelopes if a cash donation is easier for you, then we will do the shopping.

Thank you Ridgefield for your generosity.

Ridgefield School District Announces Winning Design in Holiday Greeting Card Art Contest

Lily Cox, a seventh grader from View Ridge Middle School, is the first-place winner in the Superintendent’s Holiday Greeting Card Art Contest for the Ridgefield School District.  Her artwork was selected by judges as the entry that best exemplifies “Holiday Magic,” this year’s contest theme.

Lily’s winning design will decorate the cover of the district’s holiday greeting card this year, which will be mailed out to school districts, public entities and private businesses on Ridgefield School District’s holiday mailing list.  As the first-place winner, Lily receives a $50 cash award.

Winning design by Lily Cox

Three artwork entries were also selected for Runners-Up honors.  These entries were submitted by Estelle Blystone, a junior from Ridgefield High School; Anna Chapin, a second grader from South Ridge Elementary School; and Liam McAllister, a senior from Ridgefield High School.  Each runner-up receives a $25 cash award for their winning design.

All four students will be recognized at the district’s regular school board meeting on Tuesday, December 11.

The Superintendent’s Holiday Greeting Card Art Contest, now in its fifth year, was first launched by the Ridgefield School District in 2014, in partnership with the Ridgefield Art Association to promote student creativity and encourage student appreciation of the arts.


First place winner, Lily Cox, Grade 7, View Ridge Middle School


Runner-up, Anna Chapin, Grade 2, South Ridge Elementary School


Runner-up, Estelle Blystone, junior at Ridgefield High School


Runner-up, Liam McAllister, senior at Ridgefield High School

Ridgefield Fifth Graders Shine at Elementary Science Olympiad Tournament

A team of 13 fifth graders from Sunset Ridge Intermediate School placed among the top five competing schools in every scheduled event at the Eleventh Annual Elementary Science Olympiad Invitational Tournament at Clark College on November 17, 2018.  The students competed against students from 15 other schools from throughout Clark County.

The event, sponsored by Clark College and Southwest Washington Regional Science Olympiad, encourages science exploration for elementary school students in Grades 3-5 via competition structured in a fun tournament framework.

Teams competed in three building challenges (Gummy Bear Long Jump, Hold the Cold, and Toppling Towers) and two knowledge challenges (Physiology Fun: Sense-ational Senses and Weather or Not).

The Sunset Ridge Team placed second in the Toppling Towers building challenge and captured sixth and eighth place in the other two building challenges.  In the knowledge challenges, the team placed second in Physiology Fun: Sense-ational Senses and fourth in Weather or Not.

Linda Wear, Sunset Ridge Intermediate School teacher, tells her students that science is collaborative, not competitive.  “Although you cannot “win” at the Science Olympiad, you can do well in the individual events,” she said.

Ribbons were awarded to the teams who placed among the top five schools in each event, and Sunset Ridge was recognized for having the second highest small team scores in three of the five events.

“Our students made a spectacular showing that day,” said Wear.  “They and their families, who spent the entire morning with us, were excellent ambassadors for our new school.  In case it doesn’t show, I was very proud of them!”

Ridgefield Gets Storm Water Grant

 Storm water discharge at the Heron Ridge Bridge  (Oct,  2013)

On Friday, the 7th of December, The Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board made it’s final listing of Projects for the Clark County Clean Water Fund.  The CCCWF  has $689,120 available for projects this year.  There were seven applications for projects and Ridgefield’s Heron Ridge Storm Water Pond project was ranked the highest of the seven project applications.   The money was able to fund six of the seven projects.

The city was given $150,000 in grant funding  and will match $125,000 in Real Estate Excise Tax.  The city is negotiating with the property owner where the facility will be located and the city has budgeted $60,000 for it’s purchase.  The old town storm water main passes through this property already.   The design of the facility is nearing completion and construction is expected to be finished by the end of October next year

Old Town Ridgefield has approximately 12 acres between Pioneer Street to Division Street and from North fifth Avenue to North Main Avenue.  These blocks drain into a storm water main that discharges into Gee Creek at the Heron Ridge Bridge. This  untreated storm water is the largest source of storm water pollution for the city.  Treating this storm water will improve water quality in Gee Creek, especially during low summer flows when the creek is less able to dilute a sudden discharge.

Last spring, the remote site incubator on Riemann Road put 60,000 Coho Salmon fry  into Gee Creek and there exists a native population of Coastal Cutthroat trout.  The fry of both species have been seen above and below the Heron Ridge area.   Treating storm water before it enters the creek protects these fish from being exposed to a variety of pollutants.

Contributed by Paul Snoey






Christmas Party

Stacy Robinson and Melanie Abrams of Berkshire Hathaway are sponsoring a “Friends & Family Christmas Party, December 15th from noon to 3 pom at 1900 South 2nd Place, and the public is invited.

There will be free crafts, cookies and cocoa, games and raffle prizes as well as free Santa photos. Questions? 360-953-1341 or 360-784-4550.

Thought for the Week

“To one who walks in darkness there is no black or white or red or yellow – he see nothing.

To one who walks in light there is no black or white or red or yellow – he sees everything.”

– Brian Ogawa

Bird Count

Every year between December 14th and January 5th, tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas brave snow, wind, or rain to take part in the Christmas Bird Count (CBC). Audubon and other organizations use data collected in this long-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations, and to help guide conservation action. Ridgefield NWR has been a part of the “Sauvie Circle” since the 1960s. Our 15-mile diameter circle encompasses the Columbia River covering Sauvie Island and some of the Scappoose area on the Oregon side and west of I-5 from Vancouver Lake bottoms through the refuge and up to the Lewis River on the Washington side.

This year our count will be on December 23rd with a back up date on December 31st. Teams are assigned an area to survey, results are submitted to the compiler who puts it all together and submits the information to the National Audubon Society. Being part of the count can be as simple as counting at your own feeder if you are within the boundaries of the circle, surveying a park you like to visit for a couple of hours or spending all day in the field walking your territory. If you are new to the CBC, we can pair you with more experienced birders. There will be several teams on the refuge and adjacent areas who will be out that day. You will need binoculars, a good field guide or app, and likely good winter weather clothing and footwear. If being part of this big citizen science effort has appeal for you, check out the National Audubon website at If you would like to participate this year, contact Susan Setterberg at, preferable before December 7th, for more information.


There’s a new auction item at the library – a BASKET OF ITALIAN FOOD. It’s jammed full with the following items:

D’Napoli Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs,

Cora Bella Tortellini Tricolor Four Cheeses,

Demi Tasse – Espresso Cup – Medaglia D’Oro Espresso Instant Coffee,

Da Vinci – Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

Palermol – Stuffed Olives – Jalapeno

Galufetti Grated Parmesan Style Cheese,

Da Vinci – Tortellini,

DeLallo Sundried Tomato Basil Cheese Pesto,

Matilde Vicenzi Millefoglie D’Italiano,

Bella Sun Luci Sundried Julienne Cut Loacke Tomatoes with Herbs,

Quadratini Dark Chocolate Wafer Cookies,

Pomi Finely Chopped Tomatoes,

Napa Valley Extra Virgin Olive Oil,

Casa Milo Fogille D’Autunno Pasta

Olive Tray

The Friends of the Ridgefield Library group is actively raising money to help fund a new library in Ridgefield by holding a silent auction of useful items.

Every month a new item is listed, and the sale ends on First Saturday of the next month. The winner will be notified by phone and the items can be picked up from the library immediately after the close of the auction.

If you are the highest bidder you can help fund the new library and host a special Italian dinner at the same time.


Ridgefield Community Education Offers December/January Activities

Ridgefield Community Education is currently offering the following winter activities for students (see flyers below):

  • Name the Mascot Contest for Ridgefield Raptors (Grades K-12) – Entry deadline December 14th
  • Basketball Cheer Camp (Grades K-5) – Register online by December 12th at
  • Cheer Bootcamp (Grades 6-8) – Register online by December 24th at



Special Guest Helps Ridgefield First Graders with Pottery Project

“I need help please!” One of the first graders in Sara Marshall’s class at South Ridge Elementary School looked up from the clay on his desk. A parent volunteer came to help him trace the outline of his hand in the clay for a holiday pottery project.

Richard Moody, an artist and retired teacher, taught the class how to make special, handcrafted ornaments out of clay. He took a moment to show the kids how to make the shape of Santa’s face with their hands. “Hold your hand like this,” he said, holding up his hand with fingers together. “If you do it like this,” he said, holding up his hand with fingers spread apart, “Santa is going to have a weird beard.”  The kids chuckled, imagining Santa with a wild, crazy beard.

Each student cut out the shapes for Santa, Cinnamon Bear, and snowman ornaments. On another day, they will paint the projects, then Moody will fire the pieces in the kiln at South Ridge Elementary. The students will be able to take the finished ornaments home in time for the holidays.

Moody watched the students working on their ornaments, carefully tracing and cutting the shapes.  He smiled. “We’ll let them use the scraps when they’re done. We’ll see what they come up with.”  With so many creative second graders, the possibilities were endless—maybe even Santa with a weird beard.


Artist and retired teacher, Richard Moody, helps students make handcrafted ornaments from clay.


Ornaments are cut out and marked with student initials.


Finished ornaments ready to take home and display.