Did You Know more than 50 professionals volunteered to speak at Ridgefield High School’s Career Day?

Sue Fox (photographer), Renelle Logue (florist), Paul Valencia (sports journalist) and Jill Gicuini (librarian and writer) present to a class

Sue Fox (photographer), Renelle Logue (florist), Paul Valencia (sports journalist) and Jill Gicuini (librarian and writer) present to a class

More than 50 professionals from a wide variety of fields and industries volunteered their time to speak about their careers to Ridgefield High School students during the school’s Career Day, the capstone event for Career Month.

The high school counseling department and the Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation brainstormed Career Day as part of the school’s Career Month activities. “The foundation has supported us in trying to reach all of our students with activities to develop college and career readiness,” said Monica DeShazer, school counselor. “Career Day was the central activity for our Career Month.” After coming up with the idea, Amy McKenna, Program Coordinator for the school’s High School and Beyond program, organized the day itself. “Execution was a team effort school-wide,” said McKenna.

Career Day began with students taking career surveys during their homeroom classes to determine which professionals’ presentations they would like to hear. A total of 56 professionals volunteered providing experience in a wide variety of fields including enology (wine making), hospitality, architecture, iron working, the logging industry, restaurants, writing, floral arrangements, finance, human resources, information technology, and areas of public service including firefighting, law enforcement, and even elected office.

Craig Chilton (logging industry), Gary Gouger (winemaker), Mindy Patee (hospitality) and Ron Onslow (Ridgefield mayor)  present to a class

Craig Chilton (logging industry), Gary Gouger (winemaker), Mindy Patee (hospitality) and Ron Onslow (Ridgefield mayor) present to a class

Professionals were teamed up in different rooms to present their careers and to speak about how they found their career choices as well as to answer student questions. After brief introductions from each professional, the students asked questions including how to get started on particular career paths or how to own their own businesses. Many of the professionals suggested students “job-shadow” people who work in fields of interest to the students. “Do you like the outdoors? Maybe a logging career is for you, but you won’t know if you don’t take a closer look at it,” said Craig Chilton, an expert in the logging industry. “It’s also important to have self-confidence; don’t think you’re not smart enough – figure out what you want to do and go for it.”

Some professionals discussed the importance of being open to options students might not have considered in the beginning. “Your life is going to change a lot and you need to know how to roll with the punches to find your way,” said Ron Onslow, Mayor of Ridgefield and restauranteur who initially wanted to work in forestry. Mindy Patee, an event planner who works in the hospitality industry, agreed with Onslow, “Every experience you have throughout your life can help you shape your future,” she said. “High school and college will teach you a lot, but you need to get out there and experience different aspects of life, too.”

Other professionals talked about figuring out how working at something you love can make work more enjoyable. “Doing what you love as your work will make you look forward to your day,” said Gary Gouger, a winemaker. “I started my career as a pharmacist and I discovered that if you love what you do, you’ll love each day’s work.”

Paul Valencia, sports writer for The Columbian newspaper, spoke about how he loved watching sports and figured out a way to become a journalist without a college degree, “I got my start by becoming a journalist when I joined the military,” he said. Many students asked about the importance of higher education and Valencia spoke of how getting further education should be a priority for every student. “Nowadays, you really do need a four-year degree if you want to become a journalist.”

Some fields were so unique that students simply wanted to know more about the field itself. “The hardest part of my job is creating funeral arrangements,” said Renelle Logue, a professional florist. “I remind myself that I’m helping a family get through a rough time by creating something beautiful to honor their loved one.”

Other professionals spoke of the importance of being self-aware and accepting criticism from anyone, including themselves. “I’m my own biggest critic,” said Sue Fox, a photographer. “You’ve got to develop a thick skin and realize that you are the only person who can decide how great your own work is.”

Other events for Career Month included teachers sharing their job and career experiences with each of their classes throughout the month as well as opportunities for students to win prizes for career trivia questions. The month concluded with field trips to the Port of Portland and Nutter Construction. “We wanted students to have the opportunity to see a variety of careers throughout the month,” said DeShazer. “We want to express our gratitude to our volunteer presenters as well as the Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation for making our Career Month events possible.”

Did you know you can submit story ideas for upcoming Did You Knows? Submit your story idea via the District’s online form here: http://bit.ly/DYK-Submit

For more Did You Knows, visit the district website. You can also get more district news from their Facebook page or on Twitter. You can also subscribe to receive the Did You Knows directly in your inbox by clicking here.

Community Garden has Spaces Available

Did you know that Downtown Ridgefield has a Community Garden?
If your home just doesn’t have the space or the right sun, think about renting a 4′ x 12′ raised garden bed. This space is large enough to grow bushels of food with very little labor involved. The plots are ready to plant and only cost $15 for the year. That includes water.
If you are interested, email or call Sandy Schill at sandyschill33@gmail.com or 887-0329. The garden is provided by the city for its citizens. Some members have already begun planting.

Ridgefield Library Programs March 31 to April 4

Your local library held 21 programs in March, celebrating Youth Arts Month with attendance of 326 people.

Tuesday March 31 –

6:00 p.m.-Adult Book Discussion. We are discussing While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax. Next month’s book is Ordinary Wolves

Wednesday April 1

10:00 a.m.-Stitchery Group meets
10:30 a.m.-Preschool Storytime
4:00 p.m.-Ridgefield Gaming Group

Thursday April 2

1:00 p.m.-Mahjongg
3:30 p.m.-Spanish Conversation Circle

Friday April 3

10:30 a.m.-Toddler Story Time
4:00 p.m.-Teen Council

Saturday April 4

10:00 a.m.-Library LEGO Lovers

Call for Artists – Open Studio Tour

If you are you an artist living and working in Clark County, please consider applying to be a participant in the 3rd annual Clark County Open Studios tour. This year we are very fortunate to have two established gallery directors for our 2015 jurors, Jeannine Grafton owner of the RiverSea Gallery in Astoria and Blake Shell the director at Marylhurst Art Gym. We are excited to be teaming up with North Bank Gallery who will host our Preview show and Reception on First Friday Nov. 6th.  Also new this year, the preview show (featuring one work for sale from each participating artist) will stay up the entire month!

Here’s what you need to know:

Visual artists and artisans living in Clark County, working in all media

Clark County Open Studios is a juried art event, offering a unique opportunity for you to gain further recognition as an artist, open your studio doors to the public, and to show and sell your work. For the community, Open Studios is a free self-guided tour that will enhance awareness of talented local artists while enriching the cultural life of Clark County neighborhoods.

Preview exhibit and artists reception: First Friday NOVEMBER 6, 5–9 pm
Open Studios tour: Sat–Sun, NOVEMBER 14–15, 10 am to 5 pm


Go to the Open Studios Call-for-Artists web page for all the details and the online application


Jennifer Williams



Thought for the Week

Al Jolson April Showers song

Though April showers may come your way
They bring the flowers that bloom in May
So if it’s raining, have no regrets
Because it isn’t raining rain, you know, (It’s raining violets,)
And where you see clouds upon the hills
You soon will see crowds of daffodils
So keep on looking for a blue bird, And list’ning for his song
Whenever April showers come along

Family Loses All in Fire

I’m sad to announce that Carrie Riley, an employee at the Sportsman Restaurant and Lounge, lost all the family belongings in a fire last night that totaled their home. Terry Hurd has set up a donation jar at the restaurant, and tomorrow he will open an account for donations at Umpqua Bank. There will be barrels at the restaurant for clothing donations.

Luckily no lives were lost, but the whole family needs clothing. Here are the sizes:

Son Landon: age 12, 36×30 pants, XL shirts, size 11 men’s shoes

Daughter Paiten: age 9, size 3-4 women’s pants, size 10-12 shirts; size 5 women’s shoes

Husband T: 38×32 pants, XX shirts, 10 1/2 shoes

Carrie: small shirts, size 4 regular pants, size 5 women’s shoes.

They owned the home, which they had lived in for 10 years. The fire was caused by an electrical problem.

The Mason Bees are Nesting!

I noticed mason bees out in force today for the first time. If you have been thinking of attracting some mason bees, now is the time. The value of the mason bee is that they come out earlier than the honey bees, and don’t seem to have the same problems that honey bees have.

If you have any kind of flowering trees around you probably already have bees, and don’t need to buy the straws that are sold with bees in them. Just put out a nest and wait for them to come.

I’ve used both cardboard nests with straws in them and wood nests with drilled holes. I prefer the wood nests that come in layers because they’re easy to clean and seem to give more protection from the cold.

Mason bee three

This picture shows filled cardboard tubes from last year on the left, and the empty wood nest on the right. Notice that I have put straws in the bottom layers of the wood nest – I will fill them all before putting them outside. Having paper straw liners make it possible to take out the filled straws in September and store them in the refrigerator, taking them out when the fruit trees are in bloom. The wood nests are then cleaned and ready for the next generation. You have to have empty nests ready for the bees as they seem to start filling them as soon as you see them flying around.

Notes from City Council Meeting 3-26-15


Tim Dawdy gave a presentation on the purpose of Fire District which includes Woodland and Fire District #2 (unincorporated Clark County between La Center and Woodland). Our tax rate would not change. It will remain $1.50 per $1000 asset of the property value. Because Fire District #2 is a volunteer area, residents would have to pay $1.00 per $1000 on their property tax instead of $.74. If they were to create a Fire Department, they would also pay $1.50. There would still be 5 Fire Commissioners. The breakdown would be 2 from Ridgefield and La Center, 2 from Woodland, and 1 from District #2 .

Tim Shell gave an overview of the City’s street tree program.


Tim Shell gave the presentation on the feasibility of planting vineyard plants in the Pioneer Street roundabouts.The goals would be to promote local wine economy, provide marketing opportunity for local wineries or viticulture programs. Most importantly, by having a vineyard in the roundabouts, it would brand Ridgefield as the gateway to North County wine country.

Each roundabout would have 170 grape plants and the trellises at 5’ centers. The plants would be planted in a north-south direction to get the full effect of the sun. The roundabout at 56th would need WSDOT approval to have a vineyard. All labor would be provided by volunteers.

This was strictly a discussion, no concrete plans were made. The City has a lot of checking and follow up to do.

Resolution No. 480 – Declaring certain equipment as surplus and authorizing its sale. The equipment or property is either obsolete and/or in disrepair. Passed 7-0.

Mayor Onslow read a Proclamation proclaiming April 7th as National Service Recognition Day.

City Development Report – Single Family permits to date are 34 issued, 0 in review and 11 ready for pickup.

The 80 for 80 Campaign

Next year I will be 80 years old. In honor of that momentous day, I have pledged to raise $80,000 to help build our new Ridgefield library.

I’m calling it the 80 for 80 Campaign, and I’d like to invite you to join.

My plan is to raise the money by Thanksgiving, then take a break until the first of the year. After the New Year we’ll plan the party, which will be January 16.

I plan to do weekly updates on the status of the program to keep you aware of what’s happening. We already have several benefit events planned and more are in the works. Stay tuned to find out more.

It’s easy to donate to the 80 for 80 Campaign. Make your check out to the Friends of the Ridgefield Library and mail it to PO Box 534, Ridgefield, WA 98642, or take it to the library. Contributions are tax deductible. The non-profit tax id number is 91-1456753.

Solar Escape Tanning Wins Award

Congratulations to Solar Escape Tanning, which was named the best tanning salon of Clark County.

Solar Escape, owned by Char Hartman, is at 8507 South 5th Street in Ridgefield.

Gideon Freudmann and Brian Oberlin at Old Liberty

Old Liberty Theater will host a duo album release concert featuring Gideon Freudmann and Brian Oberlin this Saturday, March 28th at 7:30 pm. Cost of the event is $13, and all ages are welcome.

Freudmann, a cello innovator, has created his own style of music called CelloBop – a fusion of blues, jazz, folk and much more.

Oberlin is an internationally acclaimed mandolin player and educator. He has been playing swing, bluegrass, and Italian classical music as a solo mandolinist and vocalist.

Tickets are available by phone at 887-7260 or at the door. Doors open at 6:45.

Bird’s Nursery Celebrates 21 Years

Bird’s English Garden and Nursery is celebrating 21 years in business this week end by offering 20% off all plant material Saturday and Sunday, March 28-29. There will be complimentary tea and scones on Saturday, and a drawing to win a beautiful flowering dogwood. Come and help them celebrate!

Apple TreeIt’s a great time to plant fruit trees and vegetables. The nursery has purchased a new load of glazed pottery, and they have beautiful bulb pots. It’s a great time to plant roses.

Bird’s Nursery is at 1296 South Dolan Road, 887-3270.

Legion Offers More Flags


Flag day in Ridgefield

American Legion Ridgefield Post 44 is going to add 40 more American flags, going east up Pioneer this spring. These are the flags that go up each Flag Day and on other occasions.

As they have with the original 130 flags, sponsorships are being offered to help pay for the flags and to remember. A plaque is fixed to each flagpole remembering the donor or family member who served. Post 44 cares for and secures flags. Scouts and the Legion put out the flags.

The flags are accompanied by a certificate verifying that they flew over U.S. Capital. Order forms are available at Bob’s Automotive/ Post 44 Office on Pioneer.

If you wish to honor a loved one, please send a $50.00 check to Ridgefield Post 44, PO Box 1566, Ridgefield, WA, 98642.

Did You Know what happened during Winter Activities and what Spring Activities hold for the Ridgefield School District?

The RHS Track Team practices for the upcoming Spring season

The RHS Track Team practices for the upcoming Spring season

After a successful winter season, Ridgefield School District’s sports program sets its sights on the upcoming spring season with returning champions and a brand-new softball field for its Fastpitch team.

“Winter sports brought lots of excitement and pride to the district with our basketball and wrestling teams competing in our brand-new home gym,” said Debbie Bentler, Athletic Director for Ridgefield School District. “Seeing the community and our opponents enjoy what was described by a guest radio announcer as the ‘crown jewel of high school gyms’ was definitely a high point of the season for me.”

Recapping the District’s Winter Activities Season

Ridgefield High School Athletes reach State competition

Many of Ridgefield’s student athletes in Winter Teams had extremely successful seasons:

  • Trevor Newburn, sophomore, placed second at the State Wrestling Tournament at the Tacoma Dome.
  • Kylee Tjensvold, sophomore gymnast, placed 9th on the balance beam and 5th place on the uneven bars at State competition. Rosie Mayfield, sophomore, and Teagan Haden, senior, also competed at State, rounding out three State competitors for our Gymnastics team’s inaugural year.

Ridgefield Winter Sports Teams and Activities earn WIAA Academic Distinguished Honors

Gymnastics, Girls Basketball, Forensics, and Boys Basketball all received Distinguished Honors from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA). Ridgefield’s teams’ average Grade Point Averages (GPAs) are as follows:

  • Gymnastics – 3.44 GPA
  • Girls Basketball – 3.36 GPA
  • Forensics – 3.26 GPA
  • Boys Basketball – 3.05 GPA

Basketball All-League Recognition

For second team, Travis Gotsch (Sophomore) received All-League Recognition along with J.D. Wolniewicz (Senior), Hannah Farley (Freshman), Bailey Hooghkirk (Senior), and Abbi Smithline (Senior) receiving Honorable Mentions.

Gymnastics team makes State; Coach receives Coach of the Year

“Our gymnastics team competed at a high level for their inaugural year with three members qualifying for the State Meet, an exceptional accomplishment,” said Bentler. In addition, Richard Samuels, the Ridgefield High School Gymnastics Coach, received the 2014-2015 Washington State Coach of the Year Award for Division 2A/3A. Samuels coached the Ridgefield Gymnastics team for several years as part of a cooperative with Vancouver School District before the team was brought into the Ridgefield Athletics Program this year.

Equestrian Team makes Top-10

Several of Ridgefield’s Riders made the Top-10 in the Equestrian Competition:

  • Freestyle Fours (Drill/Quad): Olivia House (Freshman), Mikaela Schuman (Sophomore), Brittney Thornton (Sophomore) and Jordyn Wishard (Sophomore) received 4th place.
  • In-Hand Obstacle Relay: Mckenzie Derheim (Senior), Randi Richards (Freshman), Mikaela Schuman (Sophomore) and Brittney Thornton (Sophomore) received 6th place.
  • Canadian Flags: Olivia House (Freshman), Mikaela Schuman (Sophomore), Brittney Thompson (Sophomore), and Jordyn Wishard (Sophomore) received 6th place.
  • Dressage: Randi Richards (Freshman) received 5th place.

Forensics team become District 4 Champions

The Ridgefield High School Speech and Debate team claimed the AAA district trophy at the District 4 Tournament in February for the eighth time in the last nine years.

Top placers include:

  • Andy Besel (Senior) and James Nguyen (Senior) tied for district champions in Expository Speaking.
  • Jacob Anderson (Junior) won the District Championship in Extemporaneous Speaking with Andrew Goaring (Sophomore) placing third in the same event.
  • Sarah Kaufman (Junior) and Randy Sokolowski (Junior) claimed the District Championship and second place, respectively, in the Humorous Interpretation category.
  • Jackson Taylor (Junior) and Jacob Anderson (Junior) shared the District Champion Title in Impromptu Speaking with Randi Richard (Freshman) placing second in Original Oratory.
  • James Nguyen (Senior) is the District 4 Champion in Congressional Debate with Makeila Wilson also (Sophomore) qualifying for State.
  • The team of Jacob Anderson (Sophomore) and Jackson Taylor (Junior) placed second in Public Forum Debate.
  • Kayla Besel (Sophomore), Natalie Dean (Freshman), Kellen Hartnett (Freshman), Corbyn McGill (Freshman), and Makeila Wilson (Sophomore) also attended the State Speech Tournament at the University of Puget Sound in March.
  • Jacob Anderson (Junior), James Nguyen (Senior), Jackson Taylor (Junior), and Makeila Wilson (Sophomore) represented Ridgefield High School at the State Debate Tournament.

Additional athletics and activities updates can be found under the Activities & Clubs menu at the Ridgefield High School’s website at: www.ridge.k12.wa.us/rhs

Spring Sports Preview

Girls Tennis hits the courts for some practice

Girls Tennis hits the courts for some practice

Starting March 2, Ridgefield’s Spudders hit the fields and courts with baseball, Fastpitch, Boys Soccer, Girls Tennis, Girls Golf, and Track. League opponents include: Mark Morris, Hockinson, Hudson’s Bay, R.A. Long, Washougal, and Woodland.

The Varsity Boys Soccer team returns to defend their championships

The Varsity Boys Soccer team returns to defend their championships

Varsity Boys Soccer will defend their Division 2A Greater St. Helens League (GSHL) and District 4 championships. Erin Siegel, sophomore golfer, heads to the links with the hopes of returning to the State Tournament for the second time. She placed 30th as a Freshman in 2014. In addition, Shyanne Chandler, senior Fastpitch player, returns as the reigning GSHL Most Valuable Player.

 Erin Siegel, sophomore golfer, returns with hopes of returning to State

Erin Siegel, sophomore golfer, returns with hopes of returning to State

Shyanne Chandler, senior Fastpitch player, returns as the reigning GSHL Most Valuable Player

Shyanne Chandler, senior Fastpitch player, returns as the reigning GSHL Most Valuable Player

“As the Spuds move outdoors this season for spring sports, I am really excited for all of the participants and coaches,” said Bentler. “The student athletes and coaches exhibit great anticipation and enthusiasm for the upcoming season after putting in significant training and preparation during the pre-season.”

Fastpitch home games will be played on the district's brand-new softball field

Fastpitch home games will be played on the district’s brand-new softball field

The district’s new facilities also contribute to the student athletes’ excitement. “Our Fastpitch teams competed off-campus last year while construction work continued at the high school, so they can’t wait for their first home game,” said Bentler. The first Fastpitch home game will take place on Wednesday, April 15 versus Washougal’s team on Ridgefield’s newly-finished softball field.

The district’s stadium continues to attract attention with its state-of-the-art track and field. “We will host over 20 schools for the 2nd Annual Spudder Classic on May 8 as well as the 2A District Track Meet on May 22,” said Bentler. “Events like these are great for both our kids and our community.”

Community members interested in volunteering at field events can contact track coach, Gregg Ford, at gregg.ford@ridge.k12.wa.us. The district’s athletics hotline will continue to provide the latest daily updates and rain-out information at (360) 619-1393.

Did you know you can submit story ideas for upcoming Did You Knows? Submit your story idea via the District’s online form here: http://bit.ly/DYK-Submit

For more Did You Knows, visit the district website. You can also get more district news from their Facebook page or on Twitter. You can also subscribe to receive the Did You Knows directly in your inbox by clicking here.

Tour to Guatemala

Guatemalan Woman Carol Pinnell is taking a small group of women to Guatemala for 10 days on a tour that covers her favorite places and is quite affordable. Most of the women are from Ridgefield: they’re well educated and well traveled.

Tour leaves Portland airport on November 6 and returns the 15th. It is all-inclusive with all meals, all activities, all hotels, a great itinerary, all airport transfers, all transportation and excursions, and costs a very reasonable $2400. There are only three seats left, so if you’re interested you should call today. The contact is Sandra Day, 972-978-8838, because Carol is presently leading a tour to Mexico.