Scholarships Awarded to Ridgefield High School 2018 Grads Total Nearly $2.5M

This year, a total of $2,449,103 in scholarships was awarded to college-bound graduates in Ridgefield High School’s Class of 2018 according to the school’s High School and Beyond program, which keeps records of scholarship awards information reported by RHS seniors.

While the majority of the scholarships came from the colleges and universities that the seniors plan to attend, it is interesting to note that $28,400 of this year’s total came from organizations in Ridgefield that have consistently made scholarship opportunities available to RHS students.

“We are fortunate to have such an amazing community that continually supports our students in pursuing their future endeavors,” said Amy McKenna, RHS’ High School & Beyond Coordinator.

Stephanie Goad Named Assistant Principal in Ridgefield School District

The Ridgefield School District Board of Directors unanimously approved the appointment of Stephanie Goad as Assistant Principal of Sunset Ridge Intermediate School (Grades 5-6) and View Ridge Middle School (Grades 7-8) during their regular board meeting on Tuesday evening, June 12, 2018.  Goad currently serves as a K-4 reading intervention specialist in the Hockinson School District.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Puget Sound and a Master’s degree in Teaching from Monmouth University.  She earned her Administrative Credential from Washington State University in Vancouver.

“I am honored and excited to be joining the Ridgefield School District,” said Goad.  “I look forward to building relationships with staff, students, and families of Sunset Ridge and View Ridge.”

Stephanie Goad

Goad’s passion for learning and supporting instruction to meet the needs of all learners has shaped her 15-year career in education.  She started as a preschool teacher in Seattle then moved to New Jersey in 2004 where she worked with children with autism spectrum disorders as a teacher assistant and developmental therapist in the private sector.

After obtaining her teaching certification, she taught middle school students with disabilities, and in the years following, taught fourth and fifth graders in classes that also included highly capable students.  She has been with the Hockinson School District for the past six years.

“Stephanie demonstrates a commitment to students at all learning levels,” said Dr. Nathan McCann, the district’s superintendent.  “We are excited that she will be joining our administrative team.”

Goad resides in Ridgefield with her husband and three children.  She enjoys hiking, anything crafty and spending time in Cannon Beach with her family.

She officially begins work at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School and View Ridge Middle School on July 1.

Superintendent Provides Community with School Finance Update

We are pleased to present you with the following letter from the Superintendent’s Office that provides you with school finance update information:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Union Ridge Elementary School Second Graders Serve Up Smiles in Ridgefield

On a Tuesday afternoon in May, Sara Eastham gathers her second grade class at Union Ridge Elementary School for a short walk down the street to the Ridgefield Community Center for a visit with a special group of friends.

It’s lunchtime, and the senior citizens waiting there for them are thrilled to see the kids when they arrive.  Amid the chatter and smiles, everyone settles in for a get-together that developed from a community outreach project that Eastham’s second graders planned last December.

Sara Eastham (at far right) and her second graders make ornaments with seniors at the Ridgefield Commuinity Center in December

“One of my students came up with the idea of making ornaments with senior citizens during their weekly meal at the community center,” said Eastham.  “The visit was so positive that we now plan monthly visits.”

“The seniors love having the second graders there.  They even have little gifts for their special buddies when we show up,” said Eastham.  “We work on geometry, counting money, vocabulary and conversation skills.”

“It’s fun!” said senior Betty Schmitz.  I have had Ava (Fairbanks) the whole time, and she is special.  I get a kick out of these kids.”

“I feel wonderful when they visit,” said senior Ken Carson.  “This girl, Lizzy (Bloom) is the best.  She even made me a card.”

“I think it’s good to see the kids,” said senior Louise Barbo, “but I think it’s good for the kids too.”

Andrus Webb, second grader said, “I thought it would be nice to visit the senior citizens, because they might not get to see kids, and they are so nice like grandmas and grandpas.”

Betty Schmitz and second grader Ava Fairbanks

Ken Carson (center) with second graders Lizzy Bloom (at left) and Clara Bruguier

Second grader Tanya Pivkach and Louise Barbo

Lynn Mitchell, Program Supervisor for the Nutrition Program and Meals on Wheels for North Clark County, organizes the Senior Citizen Tuesday Lunch in Ridgefield.  “It is so great to see the inter-generational interaction,” she said.  “It has been wonderful for everyone involved.”

Eastham and her current second graders have kept their lunch date every month since meeting their new friends.  “One time, we had to do an all call for umbrellas because it was raining so hard.  We got 15 of them, and off we went!”

She plans on continuing the lunch visits next year, adding that the seniors were very excited to learn that they would meet a new group of second graders in the fall.

Ridgefield High School Announces Mary Christian Jones Scholarship Recipients

Three Ridgefield High School seniors have been selected to receive Mary Christian Jones Scholarships.  The school announced the award recipients yesterday.

Adrienne Nicholson has been awarded $1,500.  She will attend Concorde Career College.  Kelsi Morris and Rylee Melvin will each receive $750.  Morris plans to attend Boise State University, and Melvin will attend Western Washington University.

Adrienne Nicholson

Kelsi Morris

Rylee Melvin

The Mary Christian Jones Trust Fund has awarded scholarships to deserving high school seniors for nearly three decades.  Established in 1990 in honor of Mary (McRight) Christian Jones, the scholarship furthers Jones’ intense lifelong interest in the education of youth.

Mary Christian Jones was born in 1904 in a rural farm community in Mississippi.  She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Blue Mountain College in Mississippi.  While teaching, she continued her education at Bowling Green College of Commerce in Kentucky and earned both a B.A. in Commercial Education and a B.S. in Commerce.  After moving to Washington state, she earned a Master’s degree from the University of Oregon in 1952.

Mary Christian Jones was a teacher in the Ridgefield School System starting in 1945.  She taught bookkeeping, typing and shorthand at Ridgefield High School.  In 1956, Jones went on to teach English and reading in the North Kitsap School District in Poulsbo until her retirement in 1969.

The Mary Christian Jones Scholarship is awarded to students pursuing education at a two-or four-year college or vocational school.  Applicants must have at least a 3.3 GPA, have attended Ridgefield High School for four semesters at graduation and be able to demonstrate financial need.

Ridgefield Student Advances to National Level Competition in National History Day Contest

Tyla Engstrom, an eighth grader at View Ridge Middle School, has earned a spot to compete nationally in the National History Day Contest in Maryland in June.

National History Day (NHD) is a nonprofit organization that creates opportunities for teachers and students to engage in historical research.  Through the NHD Contest, students examine history by selecting topics of interest based on an annual theme.  This year’s theme is Conflict and Compromise in History.

Engstrom’s project, entitled Sophie Scholl and the White Rose Movement, is a monologue she wrote based on research she did on Scholl, a German anti-Nazi political activist.  Engstrom herself performed the monologue at the school competition, then at the state competition where she qualified to advance to nationals.

“It has been a roller coaster through the making of my project from writing my script, to expanding my bibliography.  Honestly, I can’t even describe how happy I am to be going to nationals for NHD,” said Engstrom.  “Overall, this has been such a life-changing experience.”

Tyla Engstrom

It’s not surprising that Engstrom, who has aspired to be an actress from a young age, chose to perform her monologue.  “I feel like because of National History Day, I might be able make my dream a reality.  NHD has helped me practice and get better,” said Engstrom.  “The thing that has made this fun has been the competitiveness and just doing what I love, which is acting.”

“Tyla’s project was exceedingly creative and engaging,” said Justin Nelson, View Ridge Middle School history teacher.  “Tyla is a natural performer and used her skills to strengthen her project.  But what I was most impressed with was how she seamlessly weaved her historical research into her performance script.  Everyone watching her performance was learning lots of great information while being entertained.”

“I was not surprised after watching her performance here at the school in January, that Tyla has gone this far,” said Tony Smith, View Ridge Middle School principal.  “She is a talented performer and chose a compelling, inspirational and courageous person to be the focus of her monologue.  We are proud to have her representing us on the national stage.”

According to Smith, all eighth graders at View Ridge Middle School complete a project for National History Day.  The National History Day website estimates that more than half-a-million students participate in the contest annually.

The national competition will take place at the University of Maryland, June 10-14.  Engstrom will be competing among 3,000 students from across the United States, Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and from international schools in China, Korea and South Asia.

“I’m super happy to be going to nationals, and I will try my very best,” said Engstrom.  “But no matter what the outcome is from this competition, taking first in state and making it to nationals is better than I can ever ask for.  Even if I don’t place in this final round of competition, I hope that I can still inspire others.”

For more information about the National History Day Contest, visit www.nhd.org.

Ridgefield High School Earns 5th Avenue Award Nominations for “Footloose”

Ridgefield High School received nominations in four categories in this year’s 5th Avenue Awards for its musical production of Footloose.  The nominations were released on May 22 by The 5th Avenue Theatre.

Now in its sixteenth year, the 5th Avenue Awards honors outstanding achievement in high school musical theatre production throughout Washington state.  Out of this year’s field of 119 high school productions, RHS’ Footloose received two Honorable Mentions and two nominations for Outstanding Performance awards.

Lily Ray, a junior, played Ariel Moore and received Honorable Mention for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role.

Lily Ray

Calvin Lieurance, a senior, played Ren McCormack and received Honorable Mention for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.

Calvin Lieurance

Max Kunetz, a senior, played Chuck Cranston and is nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Featured Ensemble Role.

Max Kunetz

Ridgefield High School’s Chorus is nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Chorus.  Kudos goes to the hard work of the group and the leadership of RHS’ amazing student assistant choreographer, Callie Stenersen, a junior.

Callie Stenersen

“I am incredibly proud of these students and their hard work!” said Kaitlyn Etter, Theater Arts Director at View Ridge Middle School and Ridgefield High School.  “Go Spudder Theatre!”

The 16th Annual 5th Avenue High School Musical Theatre Awards will be presented on Monday, June 11 at 7:00 pm at The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle.

 

Ridgefield Kindergartners Learn About 3D Technology

At South Ridge Elementary School, kindergartners in Erika Muir’s class are learning about shapes–two- and three-dimensional shapes, to be exact—which can be used in design and engineering.

“We have been incorporating STEM into our math and science workshops,” said Muir.  Her students have been studying 3D shapes and their attributes and have been collaborating to include them into designs for a castle.

That’s why the class was excited when Dan Meyers, an independent contract software engineer with technology company, Asurion, paid them a visit.  Meyers will be printing the students’ castle designs in 3D.  Meyers’ daughter, Ava, is in Muir’s class.

Dan Meyers visits with Erika Muir’s kindergarten class at South Ridge Elementary School.

Meyers talked to the kindergartners about using art, math, science and engineering to develop ideas into actual 3D printed objects.  He also shared his career path with the kids.  “This was a wonderful opportunity for the kids to see how what they’ve been learning can be turned into an occupation,” said Muir.

The students reflected on Meyer’s classroom visit.  “Mr. Dan knows a lot about numbers, science and shapes to make his own art for people to use,” said Cora Silbernagel.  Said Kai Robinson, “It was fun to see our shapes working like a team to make a castle.”

Ridgefield School District to Break Ground on High School Expansion Project

Ridgefield School District will host a groundbreaking ceremony in the courtyard of Ridgefield High School, 2630 S. Hillhurst Road, at 10:00 am on Wednesday, May 30.

The ceremony is open to the community and marks the beginning of construction that will expand Ridgefield High School.  The expansion is the second of four phases included in the district’s 2017 Bond Program which voters approved in February 2017.

The high school’s new two-story 42,000 square foot facility will be built on the space now occupied by the high school’s administration offices and library.  It will house a new science learning wing, special education instruction, fine arts, media services, a college career center and additional general educational classrooms to accommodate the district’s rapidly growing student enrollment.

Construction will begin in mid-June, immediately after the school year ends and is scheduled to be complete by Fall 2019—ready for the opening of the 2019-20 school year.

Take a virtual tour of the Ridgefield High School’s new building and learn more about Ridgefield School District’s 2017 Bond Program by visiting the district’s website at http://www.ridgefieldsd.org/bond–2.

Paula McCoy Elected to WASBO Board of Directors

The membership of the Washington Association of School Business Officials (WASBO) has elected Paula McCoy to serve on the WASBO Board of Directors.  The announcement was made at WASBO’s 74th Annual Conference last week in Tacoma.

McCoy, Ridgefield School District’s Executive Director of Business Services, will serve as Director, Member-At-Large for WASBO’s Southwest Region, a seat currently held by Larry Mayfield, Business Director at Washougal School District whose term expires at the end of the month.

Paula McCoy

“This is an exciting opportunity to work with my peers in Southwest Washington to provide additional resources to school districts,” said McCoy.  “I look forward to serving the districts in this region and continuing public service.”

McCoy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from Western Washington University and an endorsement as a Certified Fraud Examiner.  She previously worked at the Washington State Auditor’s Office serving as an Assistant Audit Manager for three years, and Assistant State Auditor for seven years prior to joining the Ridgefield School District in June 2015.

“We are super proud of Paula,” said Superintendent Nathan McCann.  “She will represent Southwest Washington well at the state level in her new role on the WASBO Board.”

We congratulate Paula on her WASBO directorship!  She will serve on the Board effective June 1.

Music Scholarship for Ridgefield Students Created in Honor of Tanner Trosko’s Legacy

The Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation (RPSF) announced that it has developed a need-based music scholarship open to students enrolled in Ridgefield School District (K-12). The scholarship is funded through a $15,000 donation made by a generous organization close to the family of Tanner Trosko.

An anonymous donor approached the Foundation interested in giving back to the students of Ridgefield in honor of Tanner Trosko.  When the Foundation learned of Tanner’s love for music and involvement in the Ridgefield High School band, they began development of a grant that would benefit students interested in music. The scholarship will focus on supporting those students who lack the chance to receive music lessons due to financial barriers.

Elizabeth Flynn, grants committee member and Vice Chair for RPSF, said, “Any child who has an interest in music deserves the opportunity to nurture it to its full extent, and we are excited to be able to alleviate this financial barrier for families and students so they can reach their full musical potential.”

RPSF is grateful to be partnering with two local organizations, Opus School of Music and Ridgefield School District Community Education. These organizations will work with RPSF to provide lessons for students who are eligible for the Tanner Trosko Music scholarship.

Rob Melton of Opus School of Music said, “Opus is excited to participate in this scholarship program in honoring Tanner and his love of music.  Here at Opus, we have been growing artistic spirits since 2006 and welcome Tanner’s spirit into our school by giving the gift of music in his honor.”

Students enrolled in Ridgefield schools (K-12) interested in individual or group music lessons through one of the partner organizations can apply for the scholarship through the RPSF website http://www.ridgefieldpsf.org/tanner-trosko/.  Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis, and funds could cover one term of classes and instrument rental (if required) for up to a year of lessons.

Information about music lessons and classes available can be found at the Opus School of Music website http://opusschoolofmusic.com or at RSD Community Education http://spudderactivities.weebly.com/classes–registration.html.

To learn more about the Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation or apply for a scholarship through the Foundation, please go to www.ridgefieldpsf.org.

The Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation is a privately funded, non-profit organization, established in 2009.  Our mission is to advance programs and activities that support whole student development for which public resources are insufficient or unavailable.

 

Jill Neyenhouse Named South Ridge Elementary School Principal

The Ridgefield School District Board of Directors unanimously approved the appointment of Jill Neyenhouse as Principal of South Ridge Elementary School during their regular board meeting on Tuesday evening, May 8, 2018.  Neyenhouse currently serves as the Assistant Director at Cascadia Technical Academy in the Evergreen School District.

“I am thrilled to become part of the team at South Ridge.  I am really excited to meet staff and students and start learning about what makes South Ridge so great,” said Neyenhouse.

Jill Neyenhouse

Neyenhouse has been an educator for 19 years.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Western Washington University and a Master’s degree in Education from Washington State University.

She began her career teaching English and Choir at Stevenson High School.  Her appreciation of music remains.  “I love musicals and singing.  You might hear me singing in my office from time to time,” Neyenhouse said.

She is known for her commitment to maintain a safe and positive school for all students and staff.  Her extensive experience with developing and implementing professional development will be a great asset to the district.

“Jill is an enthusiastic, personable, student-centered leader.  Throughout the process, she demonstrated a strong understanding of our district and commitment to our pursuit of premier,” said Dr. Nathan McCann, the district’s superintendent.

Neyenhouse, her husband, and two boys reside in La Center.  “We are huge Mariners fans, love camping, and our favorite place to visit is Disneyland,” added Neyenhouse.

Neyenhouse officially begins work in Ridgefield on July 1.

Ridgefield School District Honors May Employee and Students of the Month

On May 8, Ridgefield School District officials recognized the May Employee and Students of the Month at the regular Board of Directors meeting.

The Employee of the Month is Margo Manke, teacher at South Ridge Elementary School.  Margo goes above and beyond to incorporate every aspect of our South Ridge Elementary Roadrunner’s mission statement in her teaching. She takes time to connect with staff and makes parents as well as volunteers feel welcome with her cheerful disposition.  She is always thinking of others first!  This is especially apparent with just how much she adores her students, and they feel just the same towards her!

Margo Manke

Margo challenges her student’s minds each and every day, and her students come to school excited and ready to learn! She makes challenging learning moments an enjoyable task by incorporating music and songs in her teaching and encouraging each one of her students to continue to give it their very best effort.  As they persevere and rise to the occasion, you can see the growth that each student has made as a reader, writer, mathematician, and scientist.

Knowing that all students have the right to learn in a safe, caring, and supportive school environment exemplified by problem-solving, critical thinking, self-discipline, responsibility, and respect, Margo makes every effort to create these kinds of opportunities for self-managing citizens and lifelong learners to emerge. We are so very proud to have her as part of our South Ridge Roadrunner’s Team.

Students of the Month

Brooklyn Browning, a third grader, is May’s Student of the Month at South Ridge Elementary School.  The South Ridge teachers and staff are very proud of Brooklyn.  They write, “Brooklyn deserves to be recognized as Student of the Month because she consistently demonstrates the 3Rs. She is respectful to all–a constant example of the “ripple effect” that a single person can have when they choose kindness. She is responsible for herself, her school work, and her learning. She is constantly seeking to learn and grow and knows what she needs to do when faced with a challenge–persevere! When she’s not feeling challenged, she SEEKS challenges to ensure that she’s always growing and learning. Additionally, Brooklyn strives to help others be responsible with caring, gentle reminders. Brooklyn is RESILIENT. Because she looks at every frustration or obstacle as an opportunity to learn, she is driven to overcome obstacles.”

Brooklyn Browning

Viggo Bowen, a sixth grader, was selected at Union Ridge Elementary.  The Union Ridge Elementary teachers and staff are very proud of Viggo.  They write, “This year, Viggo joins the sixth grade class for all specialist classes as well as math.  He comes to math class and works on improving his math skills. Not only has his math skills improved, his social skills have really grown.  Viggo has made many new friends this year.  Here is what his friends say about him:   “I like how he can be silly and yet still work at the same time.”  “He is very lively and brightens up the room every time he comes in the door.”  “He’s funny and fun to hang out with.”  Viggo is also a great helper.  He works in both the lunchroom and the library. In the library, Viggo makes sure the book shelf markers are returned to the bin, puts books away, checks books in, and helps with recycling.  In the lunch room, Viggo helps direct students to drop off their dishes, and makes sure the table tops are clean. Viggo is a very hard worker and a great student and a wonderful member of Union Ridge Elementary School.

Viggo Bowen

Karis Garrison, an eighth grader, was selected from View Ridge Middle School.  The View Ridge teachers and staff are very proud of Karis.  They write, “Karis is an enthusiastic member of class always tries her hardest. She is persistent and committed to her learning.  She is an active participant in all class activities and encourages her classmates to do better. Karis is incredibly self-aware and mature. She holds herself and her peers to a higher standard, and always pushes herself to improve. She always has a smile on her face and is genuinely excited to learn and grow as a person. Karis is kind to everyone and has a great moral character.”

Karis Garrison

Michael Rapp, a senior, was chosen from Ridgefield High School.  The Ridgefield High School teachers and staff are very proud of Michael. They write, “Senior Michael Rapp has been chosen as the Ridgefield High School Student of the Month for May.  Michael is described by his teachers as a student who is “super courteous and who always does his best.”  One staff member says of Michael, he “may be the hardest working student I’ve had the pleasure of working with this year.  He diligently completes every assignment, contributes to class discussions, has an outstanding attitude, and is inspiring in his perseverance.”  Michael is involved in the production of the school yearbook working as a photo journalist and interviewing students and coaches for stories for the yearbook, and has been a member of the school’s art club and drama club.  Michael plans on attending the GATE program after high school to gain independent living skills and employment skills and hopes to work in photo journalism after high school.   We are proud to recognize Michael as Ridgefield High School’s Student of the Month.

Michael Rapp

Ridgefield School District is grateful to its sponsor, the historic Sportsman’s Restaurant and Lounge, a local Ridgefield business owned and operated by Terry Hurd.  This is the fourth year that Hurd has provided funding to support the district’s recognition program.

Capital Facilities Community Forum Wednesday, May 2nd

The Ridgefield School District’s Capital Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC) is hosting a Community Forum on Wednesday, May 2 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. in the RHS Commons.  The public is encouraged to attend and provide feedback.  For more information, please call 360-619-1301.      

Ridgefield School Board Approves Changes to School Boundaries and Start Times

On April 10, at the regular Board of Directors meeting, the Ridgefield School District school board approved the proposal to change the district’s elementary school boundaries and school start times to take effect in the 2018-2019 school year.

The proposal for these changes was submitted to the school board on February 27 by the Boundary & Start Time Committee, which was formed by the district in Fall 2017.  The committee was tasked to determine adjustments to boundaries and school start times necessary to serve the district’s continued rapid growth and opening of new schools.

The committee ran a deliberative and inclusive process.  In early March, the district shared the committee’s proposal with school staff, parents and the community.  View it on the district’s website at http://www.ridgefieldsd.org/article/41661?org=district.

New School Start Times

Effective school year 2018-19, school start times will be as follows:

9:05 – 3:35 South Ridge Elementary and Union Ridge Elementary (both K-4)

8:05 – 2:35 Sunset Ridge Intermediate (5-6) and View Ridge Middle School (7-8)

8:00 – 2:45 Ridgefield High School (9-12)

Boundary Shifts

The district’s current boundaries are impacted as follows:

Students residing in the carve-out in the Pioneer Canyon subdivision area previously in the South Ridge boundary area will return to the Union Ridge boundary area to adhere to neighborhood school attendance and to increase transportation efficiency.

The boundary between South Ridge and Union Ridge will shift northward to move newer developments from the Union Ridge boundary area into the South Ridge boundary area to balance out school attendance zones.  Without this adjustment, expanding enrollment from new subdivisions would add to the rapidly-expanding student enrollment at Union Ridge, already one of the state’s ten largest elementary schools.

The district realizes the challenges associated with boundary adjustments and the impact they have on students.  To prevent current third graders from moving to a new elementary school for their final year, the district will automatically approve boundary exceptions.  This will allow next year’s fourth grade students to remain in their current school if they so choose.

The district will also continue to allow all students to apply for in-district boundary exceptions.  To ensure operational efficiencies and create greater equity, the district will adhere to the expectation that student transportation is the responsibility of parents and guardians for all in-district boundary exceptions.

The district is grateful to the members of the Boundary & Start Time Committee for their time and dedicated efforts in their work during this process.