Ridgefield Fifth Graders Pay Kindness Forward

Mention “act of kindness” to any of the students in Laura Gosnell’s fifth grade class at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School in Ridgefield, and they will tell you about the recent project they just completed together as a class—a baby blanket drive that resulted in a generous donation to Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital and to “Babies In Need”, an all-volunteer ministry in Southwest Washington that provides families in need  with basic essentials for newborns.

After reading a book titled Real Life Superheroes by Alison Hawes, the students learned of the work of Thomas Barnardo (1845-1905) a doctor and social worker for the poor who founded an orphanage and school for homeless children.  The true-life story inspired the students to do a class project that would also demonstrate an act of kindness, so the search was on to find out what they could do to help.

Realizing that there was a need for baby blankets in hospitals and for families in need, the students launched a baby blanket drive.  With their teacher’s help, the class connected with the two local organizations who would receive the donations.

As word got out and donations started pouring in, the students were amazed at the number of baby blankets they were getting.  “The more blankets we collected, the more excited the students became,” said their teacher, Laura Gosnell.  The class learned that hospital volunteers offered to knit baby blankets as well, so yarn donations were also collected for the drive.

The blanket drive, a huge success, is now providing warmth and comfort to newborns at Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital and “Babies In Need”.  “This was such a rewarding experience for my students,” said Gosnell.  “This was a true act of kindness, and I am proud of each student for their inspiration.”



Roxie Rocks Ridgefield

RHS Theatre presents Chicago: High School Edition in the Ridgefield High School Performing Arts Center. May 2-4 and 9-11 at 7:00pm. Tickets are $8 for adults, and $6 for students, staff, seniors, and veterans; available at the door (cash or check only), or at https://ridge.revtrak.net/chicago.

Ridgefield is one of the first high schools in America to present Chicago—the second longest-running show in Broadway history—thanks to a new age-appropriate “High School Edition” of the classic musical, and a special arrangement with publisher Samuel French.

Chicago transports the audience to the Roaring Twenties’ cabaret scene of the title city, where would-be starlet Roxie Hart (senior Lily Ray) gets mixed up in the fast world of glitz, fame, and “All That Jazz”—ending up on murderer’s row with the original jazz killer Velma Kelly (junior Bridget Donaldson). With the help of the city’s best ‘criminal lawyer’ Billy Flynn (sophomore Peter Schafer) and prison matron-turned manager Mama Morton (senior Sofia Lee), and by using Roxie’s hapless husband Amos (junior Sebastian Rojas-Rincon), the spunky slayers hope to turn their notoriety into stardom in a city where the truth is for sale and sensationalism rules the headlines.

Chicago opened on Broadway in 1975 with book and choreography by Bob Fosse and music and lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb.  It is based on the 1926 play of the same name by Maurine Dallas Watkins. Filled with iconic songs like “Razzle Dazzle,” “Mr. Cellophane,” and the “Cell Block Tango,” Chicago is a landmark of American theatre.

Chicago: High School Edition is directed and produced by RHS Theatre Director Kaitlyn Etter, with Fosse-style choreography by Megan Smith of Dance Fusion NW. Vocal Direction by Barbara Choltco, and technical supervision by Aziza Mansuri. For more info on RHS Theatre, please visit spudderactivities.weebly.com/theatre.

Library Ninjas at Union Ridge Elementary

Ninjas are known for being silent, stealthily moving through the night dressed entirely in black.  But would you expect to find a ninja in the library?  Probably not, but there are plenty of ninjas at Union Ridge Elementary.

One wall of the library has photos of students sporting black headbands and big smiles.  They are the Union Ridge library ninjas.  Librarian Jubilee Roth created the library ninja program to encourage good library behavior.  “They follow all library routines in a sneaky, stealthy, leave-no-trace book shopping way,” she explained.  The rules are simple:

  1. Ninjas use their bookshelf markers correctly
  2. Ninjas use their whisper voices
  3. Ninjas clean up after themselves and others
  4. Ninjas read!

Students who follow all the ninja routines regularly become Master Ninja Librarians.  They earn a ninja headband, handmade by Roth, and get a selfie with her that is posted on the wall to celebrate.

The program has been a great success.  Roth is pleased with how well the students are following the library rules, hoping to achieve ninja status.  “The kids ask every library class if there are new ninjas and are so excited when they earn a headband.”  So when you see a kid wearing a black headband, you might be talking to a Master Ninja Librarian.


Union Ridge Librarian Jubilee Roth strikes a pose with Master Ninja Librarian Ruby Stenbak.

First Black Box Theater in Ridgefield

When you enter the drama class at View Ridge Middle School, you walk into a room unlike any other in Ridgefield.  The walls, curtains, and even the chairs are black.  It’s a room that could be anything—and that’s the point.

Performing arts teacher Kaitlyn Etter starts her class by placing a cardboard box in the middle of the floor.  “We’re going to do ‘What Is It?’ first,” she said.  The students formed a circle, and she stepped back to watch.  The kids took turns picking up the box and turning it into something they imagined—a car, a birthday present, a jack in the box, a turtle shell, a shield, a table.  And in the black box theater, it was easy to dream up new ideas.  With no stage and no sets, the whole theater is a blank space where actions and ideas take center stage.

As the drama teacher in the former middle school building, Etter was consulted when the new middle school building was being planned.  “We were trying to think of a flex space that could be a classroom as well as a performance space,” she explained.  Etter has a strong background in performing arts, and has worked in many different theater spaces.  “A black box theater seemed to make sense because it was so versatile.”

Etter teaches at the larger performing arts space at the high school in the morning and at the black box theater at the middle school in the afternoon.  “It’s great that it’s like a scaled down version of what we have at the high school,” she said.  “As far as lights and sound go, it’s an ideal learning space because it’s more compact.”

The students were excited when they entered the black box theater for the first time.  “The students just love that it’s this cool; it lends itself to creativity.  And it feels more formal when we turn on the actual stage lights when we’re doing a performance.  It helps them feel important.”  In addition to drama classes, events like speech and debate presentations and high school jazz choir showcases have been held in the space.

“I’m excited that the district is supporting the arts in the way that they are,” Etter said.  “I’m looking forward to seeing how we grow the theater programs, because now we definitely have the spaces for them.”

The black box theater creates an open canvas where the focus is on the performers.


The light board runs a full set of lights for small theater productions.

Sign Up for a Tour of the Ridgefield High School Expansion Project

Public tours showing the progress of new construction at Ridgefield High School are being offered on the following days:

  • Wednesday, April 17 at 3:30 pm
  • Wednesday, May 15 at 4:00 pm

If you are interested in signing up for a tour, please email communications@ridgefieldsd.org.  Please specify the date you plan to attend and the total number of people attending.

All tour participants are to meet at the Emerick Construction job trailer in front of the RHS construction site.  Each tour will take approximately 45 minutes.

Proposed Curriculum Materials Available for Public Review

The public is invited to review the following curriculum materials being considered for adoption by the Ridgefield School District:

  • 6th Grade: History Alive! The Ancient World, Teacher’s Curriculum Institute, 2017
  • 5th Grade: Social Studies Alive! America’s Past, Teacher’s Curriculum Institute, 2017

These are online curriculum programs.  A computer will be available for public use to log in and review the curriculum.  However, sample textbooks will also be available for the review process.

The curriculum materials will be at the District Office in the Ridgefield Administrative & Civic Center (RACC), 510 Pioneer Street in Ridgefield, Washington, April 11th through April 23rd, from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm, Monday-Friday.  Please ask for Dani Taylor.

Click on the following link to view a demo video of the curriculum:



Ridgefield School District Appoints Brett Jones to School Board

Brett Jones, a Ridgefield community member, business owner and Ridgefield school parent, was appointed Ridgefield School District’s newest school board member by unanimous vote on April 2, 2019 at a special meeting of the Ridgefield School District school board.

A lifelong Ridgefield resident, Jones and his wife, Georgianna, have four daughters currently attending Ridgefield schools:  Paige, a sophomore, at Ridgefield High School; twins, Cameron and Claire, eighth graders at View Ridge Middle School; and Elizabeth, a fourth grader at Union Ridge Elementary School.

Jones is a third-generation Ridgefield High School graduate.  His great-grandfather, Walter A. Jones, was a member of the Ridgefield School Board when Union Ridge Elementary School was built in 1952.  “It is an honor to participate in the growth of Ridgefield schools, just like him,” said Jones.  “I believe the schools in Ridgefield are the heartbeat of the community.  Having lived in Ridgefield my entire life, I am excited to be involved with the school district during this time of growth in our town.”

A business owner for 22 years, Jones is an active, contributing member of the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council (SSAC).  His company, Jones Landscape, Inc., has donated time and resources in assisting SSAC student members successfully implement the landscaping project now in progress at the Ridgefield Administrative & Civic Center (RACC).  In addition, his company has supported various school and community events such as the Ridgefield High School commencement ceremonies, the Ridgefield Fourth of July Parade and community fundraisers.

“Brett will be a great addition to the school board,” said Scott Gullickson, Ridgefield School Board President.  “I look forward to working with him and the rest of the board as we continue our pursuit of premier.”

“Brett’s enthusiasm for all things Ridgefield, combined with his extensive business background and common-sense approach make him ideally suited to serve the district as a board member,” said Dr. Nathan McCann, Ridgefield Superintendent.

Jones will represent District 3, a seat formerly held by Steve Radosevich, who resigned in March, after nearly ten years of distinguished service to the school district.

Ridgefield School District Honors April Employee and Students of the Month

On April 9, Ridgefield School District officials recognized the April Employee and Students of the Month at the regular Board of Directors meeting.

Sunset Ridge Intermediate School is super excited to nominate Kelly O’Boyle as the Employee of the Month for the Ridgefield School District.  Kelly is extremely worthy of this honor as she exemplifies what it means to be a Sunset Ridge staff member.

There is no stronger advocate for students than Kelly.  She blends a unique style of compassion and caring with high expectations and a belief that all students can learn.  Kelly is laser-focused on what students should learn and turns to data often to help make the right decision for students.  Kelly is honest and models this for all students and staff.  She is not afraid to speak up and helps to create a learning environment of high expectations at Sunset Ridge.  She has a strong ethical sense of right and wrong, and her excellent judgment is trusted by students and staff.  Kelly is a positive force.  She has a great sense of humor, is upbeat and fun and is a true pleasure to work with.


Students of the Month

Connor Bringhurst, a fourth grader, is April’s’s Student of the Month at South Ridge Elementary School.  The South Ridge Elementary School teachers and staff are very proud of Connor.  They write, “Connor Bringhurst comes in every day excited to be here.  He has a spring in his step and a constant smile on his face!  He looks for ways to help his classmates, whether it be helping them one-on-one with a math skill, calling their attention back to a lesson or gently reminding a student about expectations.  Connor is very focused and is an active, enthusiastic participant in every lesson or activity.  He works very hard to always do high-quality work.  Connor is truly a person of integrity!  He has a kind and generous heart.  He is welcoming and friendly to all and is aware of others and their feelings or difficulties.  Connor is a fun and enjoyable kid to be around.  He brightens every day with his respectful, outgoing personality and engaging smile.”


Iver Kast, a kindergartner, was selected at Union Ridge Elementary.  Union Ridge teachers and staff are very proud of Iver.  They write, “Iver is a kind, caring, funny, and considerate student.  In class, he is helpful to his peers and quick to offer help to his teacher.  Ha always works hard on his projects and school work.  We look forward to seeing Iver grow and excel here at Union Ridge and outside of school.”


Raina Larson, a sixth grader, is April’s Student of the Month at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School.  The Sunset Ridge Intermediate School teachers and staff are very proud of Raina.  They write, “Raina Larson exemplifies the mission for Sunset Intermediate School and is a true Coyote.  She is Respectful, Responsible and Resilient.  Every day, she goes above and beyond by helping to collect and properly return the playground equipment to where it belongs.  She takes great pride in our school and is always disposing of garbage when she sees it, without even being asked to do so.  She is kind and courteous, always looking for ways to help.  We greatly appreciate her and all she does for us.”


Allison Orantes, a seventh grader, was chosen at View Ridge Middle School.  The View Ridge Middle School teachers and staff are very proud of Allison.  They write, “Allison is a hard-working and polite student who strives for excellence.  She is dedicated, ambitious, honest, and smart.  Allison is easy to teach, for she stays on task and is not afraid to ask questions.  You can always count on her to add interesting conversation in classroom discussions.  She is a fearless participant in discussion and is always willing to engage in debate and share her ideas.  Her work is always of the very highest quality, and she works well with all her classmates.  Allison knows how to work in a science group.  She leads by example.  She also knows how to share the workload and allows for all ideas to be heard in a group.”


Angelina Zhiryada, a sophomore, has been chosen as the April Student of the Month for Ridgefield High School.  Angelina has been nominated by four different teachers in four different months for Student of the Month.  Her teachers say Angelina is “a positive influence in class, a hard worker and a great support to her classmates.  She has outstanding participation and produces top-notch work.”  They also say that Angelina “comes to class every day with a smile and leaves with a ‘thank you for teaching me’ – EVERYDAY!”  As a sophomore at RHS, Angelina is taking three advanced classes (Chemistry, Algebra II and AP Psychology) while maintaining a nearly-perfect 3.97 GPA.  In her spare time, Angelina gives a lot of time to church involvement.


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

Ridgefield Co-Ed Softball Spring League 2019

Ridgefield Community Education is proud to offer a great community event for participants 16 years of age and above.  Rally your family and friends, create a team and participate in the Ridgefield Co-Ed Softball Spring League.  This is a league for all skill levels.  Games are scheduled for Friday nights or Sunday afternoons, tentatively starting April 14th.  Go to https://ridge.revtrak.net and register your team today!  For more information, contact Ridgefield Community Education at terri.cochran@ridgefieldsd.org.



Friendship Bench Installed at South Ridge Elementary

There’s a new place for students to sit at the South Ridge Elementary playground.  But this isn’t just a regular bench—it’s a Friendship Bench.  Karen Moses’ fourth grade class made the bench as a way to support other students.

Every person knows what it’s like to be sad or feel left out.  Now when a student wants someone to talk to or play with, they can go sit on the Friendship Bench.  Other students and staff understand the signal; they can go to the bench to become a friend.  By providing a place for students to go when they are lonely or dealing with issues—big or small—the Friendship Bench helps encourage friendships, support, and kindness.

The Friendship Bench was made and donated by parents Alex and Sarah Peru and their family.  They had a plaque made to designate it as a Friendship Bench.  And the students had a fun time putting paint on their hands to add colorful handprints to the bench.

Moses said, “I’m overwhelmed with the generosity of the family that made this for us!  It turned out so beautiful!”

The first Friendship Bench was designed in 2012 by Acacia Woodley, a fifth grader in Florida.  Woodley was born without complete arms and had experienced feeling different.  But instead of approaching other students with anti-bullying ideas, she decided to be pro-friendship.  She and her family created the first Friendship Bench at her school in Florida, and since then, the idea has spread to schools throughout the U. S. and Canada.

Moses hopes the new Friendship Bench will inspire students to connect with each other at school.  South Ridge students are already using the Friendship Bench, building new friendships one step at a time.

Students got messy with the paint to make handprints.


Karen Moses’ class stands with the new Friendship Bench.


Green Eggs and Ham Day

Green Eggs and Ham is a great children’s book, but would you really eat green eggs and ham?  Hundreds of first graders in Ridgefield had the chance to try it as part of the Dr. Seuss’ birthday celebration.

This special event is a longstanding tradition in Clark County.  Beaches restaurant in Vancouver cooks a special breakfast of green eggs and ham for students and parents.  They also donate a Cat in the Hat hat for each student.  It started in 1996, when one school needed help encouraging parents to get involved.  Beaches volunteered to provide breakfast, reading, prizes, and costumes.  The event has continued to grow ever since.  Now they feed over 7,000 people at 48 schools over five mornings of events.

Special volunteers come to the schools each year to help with the event.  The Mayor, members of the City Council, and members of the Ridgefield Police Department come each year to hand out hats, serve food, and read Dr. Seuss books.

South Ridge and Union Ridge Elementary first graders are always excited to take part—until they get the plate with actual green eggs.  Some kids hesitated before trying the bright green eggs, pushing them around suspiciously with a fork.  But when they ventured to taste, they were surprised to find that they tasted like—regular eggs.  “They’re good!” one student shouted, before digging into the meal.

Much like the characters in the book, they learned that you have to try things first to find out whether you like them or not.   And more than one student said, “I do, I like them, Sam-I-am!”

Volunteers from the Ridgefield City Council, Ridgefield Police Department & Beaches Restaurant.


Mayor Don Stose serves up green eggs and ham.


City Council members Jen Lindsay and Dave Taylor hand out hats.

Ridgefield High School Theatre Presents “Chicago” Starting May 2nd

A musical spectacular not to be missed!  Ridgefield High School Theatre proudly presents “Chicago” starring our talented RHS students.  Opening night is May 2nd at 7:00 pm at the RHS Performing Arts Center.  Tickets are available online at https://ridge.revtrak.net and at the door.

Ridgefield School District Seeks Candidates for Seat on School Board

Steven Radosevich, School Board Director representing District 3 in the Ridgefield School District, has announced his resignation from the board.  Radosevich has served on the school board for nearly ten years.  The district plans to honor Radosevich at a school board meeting next month.

Ridgefield School District now begins a search for highly qualified candidates to fill the vacant School Board Director position representing District 3.

Applications are available online at the district’s website by clicking here:  Application for Appointment – District 3.  Applications are also available at the Superintendent’s Office, Ridgefield Administrative & Civic Center, 510 Pioneer Street in Ridgefield, Washington.  Applications must be received in the Superintendent’s Office by 4:00 pm on March 27, 2019.

A special meeting of the Ridgefield School Board will be scheduled for the purpose of interviewing candidates in an open public session.  Appointment of the new board member is anticipated to be April 9, 2019.

The Ridgefield School District Board of Directors consists of five members.  Each Director represents one of five geographic districts in which he or she resides.


District 3 boundaries are as follows:

Director District 3 Starting at the intersection of 71st Ave and 304th St.

East on 304th St to 51st Ave.

South on 51th Ave to 289th St.

East on 289th St to 31st Ave.

South on 31st Ave to 10th St.

East on 10th St to I-5

South on I-5 to northbound freeway off-ramp for 219th St.

North and East on 219th St to school district boundary

Counterclockwise following school district boundary to northern crossing of Union Pacific RR. South on Union Pacific RR to Lancaster Rd.

Southeast on Lancaster Rd to 71st Ave.

South on 71st Ave to the point of the beginning


The district reserves the right to extend the application deadline if necessary to obtain a sufficient number of applications.

The Board of Directors is the governing body of the Ridgefield School District.  Directors must be a U.S. citizen and resident of the state of Washington; be a resident and qualified voter in the school district; and reside in the director district which he or she represents.

Ridgefield School District Receives Clean Audit Report

On March 14, 2019, the Office of the Washington State Auditor released its Financial Statements Audit Report and Federal Single Audit Report (for Special Education) for the Ridgefield School District for the period September 1, 2017 through August 31, 2018.

The 2017-18 school year marked significant changes for the district.  It experienced record-breaking student enrollment and continues to deal with rapid growth.  Additionally, the district took over management of the Special Education Program from Educational Service District 112 who managed the program in prior years.

The audit reports that the district continues to produce accurate and reliable financial information for the public and notes no concerns with compliance or internal controls over Special Education program management.

“We work diligently to ensure the information we disseminate to our public is accurate. We are also grateful for the continued support from our citizens and public in providing the District with the resources it needs to continue to offer unlimited possibilities for our students and families,” said Paula McCoy, the district’s Executive Director of Business Services.

To view the complete 2017-18 Financial Audit Report, visit the Finance Page of the district’s website at https://www.ridgefieldsd.org/o/district/page/finance–5.

CAPS Survey Welcomes Community Input for New Coffee Shop at RACC


Business and Marketing students in the CAPS Program at Ridgefield High School are working to set up a coffee shop inside the new Ridgefield Administrative & Civic Center (RACC).  To best serve customer needs, they have created a short survey to gather feedback from the local community.  We invite you to take a few minutes to participate.  The survey will be available through March 25th.  Thanks for your support!

To take the survey, please click on the following link:  https://goo.gl/forms/UM8Ct2hegn4Fii2d2

Innovation Ridge Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) at Ridgefield High School is a nationally recognized, innovative high school program.  Working together with business and community partners, it produces personalized learning experiences that prepare students for careers in high skill, high demand jobs.  Strands of study include Engineering; Health Services; and Business, Marketing and Entrepreneurship.