Empty Bowl Event Set for Saturday, December 1

Come check out unique ceramic bowls for sale created by local and student artists at the Empty Bowl Project event on Saturday, December 1 at Union Ridge Elementary, Building “A” (11:00 am – 2:00 pm).  $20 includes soup and a ceramic bowl!  All proceeds benefit the Ridgefield Family Resource Center.  A big thank you to sponsors: Pacific Northwest Best Fish Co., El Rancho Viejo, Vinnie’s Pizza, Ridgefield Art Association, RHS Art Club and RHS National Honor Society.

Ridgefield High School Students Learn Marketing Pasta-bilities

A giant Dorito walks up to you and says, “You should try our Cheesy Crunch Pasta!”  You’re not dreaming, you’re at the Pasta Project.

Danny Dorito is the mascot for Cheesy Crunch Pasta.

The Pasta Project is a collaboration between Andrea Reinertson’s marketing class and Sarah Fontyn’s foods class at Ridgefield High School.  The marketing class works in groups to come up with product ideas.  Then the food class creates recipes and cooks the pasta samples.

On the day of the Pasta Project, Reinertson invites other classes into her classroom.  “Imagine you are at grocery store sample day,” she says.  “There are nine displays here of different types of pasta.  But you can only choose three.  You’ll decide based on four categories:  their display, their sales pitch, whether you would actually buy the product, and the taste.”  She hands out three judging slips per students, and the students wander the aisles.

Each marketing group has created eye-catching product displays for their pasta.  There is a wide range of choices, and the sales pitches are flying.

“Did you know 59% of Americans eat pasta twice a week?  Our pasta cooks fast so families can get it on the table.”

“Our pasta is easy to make but offers the same taste as exquisite Italian pastas.”

“9 out of 10 Americans don’t get the recommended of seafood in their diets.  Our pasta has fresh ocean shrimp that’s nutritious and delicious.”

Students taste the pasta samples and select their favorites.  It will be a while before votes are tallied.  But in the meantime, all the students are enjoying the Pasta Project—including Danny Dorito.

Pasta SCHM pasta is made from locally grown ingredients.


Sebastian Interian, Daniel Aleksandrov and Doran Woltersdorf promote Island Pasta.


Third Graders See “Peter and the Star Catcher”

School buses lined up outside the high school, dropping off class after class of excited third grade students.  For the first time, Ridgefield High School theater held a school day matinee so students could see their performance of Peter and the Star Catcher.

Peter and the Star Catcher tells how Peter Pan’s story began.  Students from Union Ridge Elementary and South Ridge Elementary had read the book in class; it was a happy coincidence that the high school had their performance of the story at the same time.  Teachers and administrators worked together to coordinate the third grade field trip.

Students were delighted to see the story brought to life, with orphans, pirates, and even a flying cat.  After the performance, the kids chatted happily about the play and the book.  As they walked back to the buses, they passed posters with a quote from the book, “To have faith is to have wings.”  For just a little bit, they had all believed in the magic of Peter Pan.

Volunteers Needed for Walk and Knock Food Drive on Saturday, December 1

Volunteer to help with Walk & Knock, Clark County’s annual food drive, on Saturday, December 1st.  All it takes is a half-day of your time but can make a huge difference for many.

Walk & Knock is one of the nation’s largest one-day food drives and takes place each year on the first Saturday of December in Clark County.  It solicits charitable donations of food for the Clark County Food Bank to help those in need across our community.  Last year, over nine tons of food were donated.  However, to make this happen, volunteers are needed to collect food donations door-to-door in Ridgefield.

The Ridgefield Lions Club has been a major facilitator for this important community food drive.  If you’d like to help, please sign up as either a driver or walker by clicking here.

All volunteers will meet at the Sunset Ridge Intermediate School/View Ridge Middle School campus at 3215 S. Hillhurst Road, on Saturday, December 1st at 8:30 am.  Volunteers are needed from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Volunteer drivers follow a specified route, assisted by walkers to pick up donations and then return to Sunset Ridge/View Ridge Middle School to unload donations.

Volunteer walkers go door-to-door to collect food, placing them in the vehicles.  It is ideal to have two walkers per car for the collection of food.

If you are not available to volunteer on December 1, see the flyer below for other ways you can help.  All volunteers are greatly appreciated!

For more information about the Walk & Knock food drive, visit http://walkandknock.org or call 877-995-6625.

Ridgefield High School Announces First National Merit Scholar in Sixteen Years

The National Merit Scholarship program is designed to recognize academic excellence, and its standards are extremely high.  About 1.6 million high school juniors across the country take the PSAT; only 1% of those students achieve test scores high enough to become National Merit Scholarship semifinalists.

For the first time in sixteen years, one of the semifinalists for the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program is from Ridgefield High School:  Ian Abrams.  Abrams will be the twelfth student from Ridgefield High School named as a semifinalist.  RHS’ last National Merit award winner was Ian Vanwyhe in 2002.

Interestingly, Abrams didn’t hear that he was a semifinalist from the school, which is how semifinalists are usually notified.  “They were supposed to send a message to the school but somehow that got lost in the mail or something.  I found out by reading it in the Seattle Times,” he laughed.

Busy as he is with academics, athletics and community projects, Abrams is able to manage all of his commitments quite well.  Abrams is enrolled in AP courses and maintains a 4.0 GPA.  Currently, he volunteers as a peer tutor for the high school’s Spudder Academy twice a week during some of his lunch breaks.  He is also a varsity athlete and captain of the cross-country team.  Last summer, he traveled to Belize to help build a school library with a humanitarian group.  His Eagle Scout project involved setting up an annual book sale and constructing decorative trees for the Lakeside Community Library.  On the day we interviewed him for this story, Abrams was emceeing the high school’s Veterans Day assembly.

The National Merit Scholarship semifinalist award is sure to be one of many recognitions for Abrams’ hard work.  Ridgefield High School and the Ridgefield School District proudly congratulates Ian Abrams on this remarkable achievement.

Barnes & Noble Book Fair on Saturday, November 17 Benefits Ridgefield Youth Arts Month


Check out Barnes & Noble’s Book Fair, Saturday, November 17th, 1:00 – 4:00 pm at their 7700 NE Fourth Plain Boulevard store.  Participate in book readings, art projects, instrument petting zoo and much more!  A percentage of the proceeds will go towards Ridgefield Youth Arts Month 2019.



Ridgefield School District Honors Veterans at School Assemblies

Every school in the Ridgefield School District held a Veterans Day assembly to honor our fallen veterans and those still serving.  Each assembly was unique–performed largely by the students themselves.

South Ridge Elementary opened their assembly with a song titled Thank You Soldiers performed by third- and fourth-graders, followed by a short talk from guest speaker, Robert Anderson, a veteran who served in the Army and Army Reserve and parent of two South Ridge students.  A slide show honored veterans from families of South Ridge students and staff.

South Ridge Students sing “Thank You Soldiers” at their Veterans Day assembly.

At Union Ridge Elementary, each grade participated.  Musical performances included a song in sign language and patriotic songs along with poetry readings and a slide show.  Handmade poppies of remembrance and thank you cards were distributed to veterans in the audience, and the Ridgefield American Legion led the presentation of colors.

Ridgefield American Legion at Union Ridge’s assembly.


Veterans read thank you cards from Union Ridge second graders.

Sunset Ridge Intermediate School’s assembly presented patriotic songs from the chorus and the national anthem sung by a student.  The poem In Flanders Fields was read, and the band performed two group numbers.  Thank you cards were distributed to veterans, who were then asked to introduce themselves and offer advice to the students.

Sunset Ridge Intermediate students recite a poem in tribute to World War I soldiers.

At View Ridge Middle School, the Lewis and Clark Young Marines led the presentation of colors.  A flute duo performed the national anthem, and the chorus performed.  A student essay was read thanking veterans for their service.  In memory of fallen, missing or imprisoned military service members, the Missing Man Table ceremony, a symbolic single place setting at a table, was presented.  Finally, a slide show displayed photos of students’ family members who had served.

Lewis and Clark Young Marines practice before presenting the colors.

View Ridge Middle School chorus performs.

Ridgefield High School featured a presentation of the colors by the Boy Scouts.  Speeches were given by a veteran and by the event’s student emcee.  The high school choir performed the national anthem, and the symphonic band led patriotic songs.  A video remembering our soldiers concluded the assembly.

Boy Scouts lead the presentation of the colors at Ridgefield High School’s assembly.

These moving ceremonies reminds us all to thank the veterans in our lives and to honor those who have passed.  Many thanks to the students and teachers who helped commemorate this special day.

Ridgefield School District Honors November Employee and Students of the Month

On November 13, Ridgefield School District officials recognized the November Employee and Students of the Month at the regular Board of Directors meeting.

The Employee of the Month is Sarah Roberts, Special Education paraeducator at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School.  Said one staff member, “Sarah is an exceptional person.  Without fail, she daily shares her gift of spirit and generosity with the entire Ridgefield School District community.  It is no exaggeration to say that everyone loves her.  Sarah brings a heart, joy and enthusiasm to her daily life that is infectious and contributes to a spirit that has made our schools and our district a unique and special place to teach and learn.”

Sarah Roberts

Another staff member described Roberts as a consummate professional.  “She is always diligent and creative in her delivery of lessons while individualizing her support to ensure success for her students.  Nearly without exception, her students have always shown tremendous growth under her tutelage.  Sarah is also naturally curious and is always reading and researching how to best provide instruction for her challenging students as well as her students with challenges.  On more than one occasion, I have suggested and encouraged Sarah to return to school to get a teaching certificate so she can lead her own classroom and share her natural gift as a teacher to a larger audience.”

While students love Mrs. Roberts, the school and district staff love and appreciate her as well.  For years, she has been a vital member of the school staff at South Ridge Elementary School, and now at Sunset Ridge Intermediate.  Her joyous and sincere interactions with each person makes them feel valued and important.  The staff at Sunset Ridge Intermediate is proud to name Sarah Roberts as November’s Employee of the Month.

 Students of the Month

Mason Roberts, a third grader, is November’s Student of the Month at South Ridge Elementary School.  The South Ridge teachers and staff are very proud of Mason.  They write, “Mason Roberts is a young man that always follows the 3R’s.  He is respectful to his classmates and adults.  He is responsible in everything he does—doing his classwork, returning homework, assisting others and always speaking kindly to all.  His resilience shines through in his problem-solving abilities, he does not give up when presented with any kind of problem, and he is willing to compromise with the partners he is working with.  Most of all, he is a joy to be around.”

Mason Roberts

Nolan Erickson a fourth grader, was selected at Union Ridge Elementary.  The Union Ridge teachers and staff are very proud of Nolan.  They write, “Nolan consistently demonstrates respect, responsibility and resiliency.  He is extremely kind and polite with his classmates and teachers.  He consistently comes to school with a positive attitude and is a classroom leader.  Nolan helps other students during recess and lunchtime.  He is an excellent example of a kind, caring, thoughtful and hard-working student.  Nolan represents Union Ridge Elementary with a great sense of integrity and academic excellence.  Union Ridge Elementary’s Student of the Month award is well-earned by Nolan Erickson.”

Nolan Erickson

Roman Matthiesen, a fifth grader, is November’s Student of the Month at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School.  The Sunset Ridge teachers and staff are very proud of Roman.  They write, “Roman is a very hard worker.  He is kind, considerate, sweet and funny.  He always is up for a challenge and will not move onto even the “fun” stuff until his work is done.”

Roman Matthiesen

Jordyn Davies, an eighth grader, was chosen at View Ridge Middle School.  The View Ridge teachers and staff are very proud of Jordyn.  They write, “Jordyn Davies is very studious and is a wonderful example of how to get the most out of your education.  Jordyn takes pride in her work and thinks outside the box.  She is creative, inventive and ready to challenge her skills in all of her endeavors.”  Another staff member writes, “I have had the pleasure of working with Jordyn for two years in a row, and I am truly impressed with her growth in art and the thought she puts into her drawings.  We can’t wait to see where life takes Jordyn!”

Jordyn Davies

Levi Hipple, a sophomore, was chosen from Ridgefield High School.  The Ridgefield High School teachers and staff are very proud of Levi.  They write, “Levi Hipple has a perfect 4.0 GPA.  Levi takes advanced classes in both science and math.  In addition, he is involved in tennis and soccer, is the vice president of the Leo’s club and is active in 4H.  The reason he was chosen Student of the Month is not because of what he does but because of who he is.  Teachers describe Levi as “exactly the kind of kid you love to have in class.  He makes other students better.”  Another teacher says of Levi, “He is a polite student who strives for excellence,” and another says “Levi is a positive student who raises the bar for all students.”  We are proud of students like Levi Hipple and are honored that he represents Ridgefield High School as the November Student of the Month.

Levi Hipple

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 fifth year that Hurd has provided funding to support the district’s recognition program.

Union Ridge Read-a-Thon

Chief Brooks reads to the kids

Union Ridge Elementary had a Read-a-thon fundraiser last week, and raised over $10,000!

Mayor Stose reads to the kids

This was their first time having a Read-a-thon fundraiser, where the students ask for flat rate pledges from family and friends. Every penny will go directly back to school activities, recess toys, teacher wish lists, and many more fun things!

Mayor Don Stose and Police Chief Brooks came and read books to many classes. Teachers decorated their doors with book themes, and many turned their classrooms into fun reading forts!

The Parent Teacher Organization at Union Ridge appreciates all of the donations they received, and want to share with Ridgefield residents how amazing the Mayor and Police Chief are.

Yoga for Kids

The students balanced themselves in the tree pose, like a line of somewhat shaky flamingos.  But the smiles on their faces said it all:  they were having a great time.  “Yoga is for everybody and for every body,” said instructor Kristen Matthews.  “I really love working with the kids.  They’re just so fun!”

Students practice the tree pose.


Students make a human mandala.

While there are many yoga classes in the region, few of them focus exclusively on children.  Matthews learned yoga as a child herself, teaching herself yoga poses from a magazine article.  Now she is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) and a Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher, with 595 hours of training.

To study yoga and children’s yoga, Matthews made three trips to India and a trip to Mexico, staying a month at a time.  There, she felt the impact of yoga’s thousands of years of tradition and practice.  Matthews even had the opportunity to have a private teaching with the Dalai Lama at his temple in Dharamshala.

Matthews at the Swag Ashram in Rishikesh, India.

Matthews explained that the teachings of yoga go beyond the poses, or asanas.  “Yoga is not a religion.  It’s not a sport.  The more flexible and capable I am with my body, I can achieve that much more.  I learn how to be peaceful and emotionally stable.”

With three children of her own, she is proud to share the benefits of yoga with kids of all ages.  “I think it’s so important for children to have the tools that yoga gives you,” she said.  “Like ‘I’m having a stressful day, I can meditate it out.’  That’s what we need more of, we need more children who have these skills.”  And judging by the smiles on the faces of her students, there are more children having fun too.

To sign up for Matthews’ children’s or adult yoga classes, register online at https://ridge.revtrak.net, click on Community Education and select Youth Sports.  Classes are listed under Youthful Yoga

Ridgefield High School Partners with Providence to Offer Free Youth Heart Screenings

Ridgefield High School is partnering with Providence Heart Institute (PHI) to offer all students in grades 9-12 a free heart screening during the month of November.  PHI’s program, called Play Smart, will provide screenings on November 9th and November 30th from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm in the Auxiliary Gym at Ridgefield High School.

To receive the free screening, students must complete a Consent Form and Questionnaire and submit them to the RHS Athletic Office.  The forms are available here:  Consent Form and Questionnaire.

The Play Smart Youth Heart Screenings Program has been extremely successful in screening over 25,780 youth and identifying 1,328 students (6% to date) for further follow-up treatment.  Young people with undiagnosed heart defects, especially athletes, are susceptible to sudden cardiac arrest.  Often, there are no advance signs or symptoms.  An electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG) is usually necessary to reveal signs of heart irregularities, something not normally done in “well-child” checks or routine physical exams.

Play Smart heart-health screenings are free, painless and non-invasive.

For more information about the Play Smart Youth Heart Screenings Program, visit their website at www.playsmartgetscreened.org.

Robotics Team Runs on Student and Mentor Power

When you think of robotics teams, you might think of BattleBots, the television show with robot combat.  “They spend $40K, $60K, $80K for these really fancy robots,” said Jeff Brink, the robotics team advisor at Ridgefield High School.  “Then they crush them and break them.”  But what if robots were builders instead of destroyers?  Now you have the concept of the STEEL Ridge Robotics team.

STEEL Ridge Robotics takes part in the national FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) program.  FIRST works to get more students of all ages into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) careers by inspiring their interest and participation in activities like robotics.  At the high school level, students are designing robots for cool, interesting, science-based games.

This year’s theme is Destination Deep Space, honoring the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.  In just six weeks, students will work with their mentors to build a robot that can accomplish the mission’s goals.  Previous years’ themes have included Steampunk (building a working airship), PowerUp (navigating through video game type activities), and Stronghold (storming the castle).

Students work together to problem-solve during competition.


Students, coaches and mentors work together on the competition floor.


STEEL Ridge Robotics’ team for Girls Generation, a competition focused on ensuring STEM equity.

Mentors are a critical part of the robotics team.  Adult mentors work with the team all year on a wide range of activities, including robot design, mechanism builds, and business plan creation.  Mentors come from many different fields, from electrical engineering to media, from computer programming to graphics, and they are always glad to bring more mentors aboard.  “These people are amazing, all the stuff that they can do.  Without them, our program doesn’t go anywhere,” Brink explained.

Competing is expensive; registration for all the season events is $10,866, which includes a basic robot kit.  While they do have some grants to support the team, they welcome local sponsors and donations as well.  For more information on how you can help, contact Jeff Brink at jeff.brink@ridgefieldsd.org.


Cispus Students Thank Their Counselors

When fifth grade students leave for Cispus outdoor school, they are going to an unfamiliar place, with many students they don’t know.  Camp counselors make the experience less frightening, helping fifth graders with everything from getting up on time to learning outdoor skills.

Teacher Erika Muir brought her fifth-grade class to Ridgefield High School to say a special thank you to the counselors who made their time at Cispus special.  The students walked over from Sunset Ridge Intermediate School with handmade cards and Spudder colored balloons.  “So, why are we here?” Muir prompted.

“To say THANK YOU!” the students responded.  Some students shared the things they appreciated about their counselors.  “How nice they were.”  “He helped me build a shelter.”  “She tried to help me fix my camera.”  “They got up earlier than us.”  There were a lot of smiles as they remembered their week at Cispus.

Muir shared her thoughts as well.  “I appreciate you because I was new to Cispus.  As a teacher, it was a little nerve-wracking to take kids out to the woods.  I appreciate how many ways you helped them, encouraging them, and hanging back with them on hikes.  Thank you very, very much.”

Counselors Gracie Bisila and Mia Tomillo receive cards and balloons.


Erika Muir’s fifth grade class with their Cispus counselors.


Counselors Ethan Mollet, Liam McKenna and Clexious Mendoza high-five Cispus students.

The counselors—Mia Tomillo, Gracie Bisila, Liam McKenna, Ethan Mollet, and Clexious Mendoza—were excited to see their Cispus cabin groups again.  Some of the counselors had first been to Cispus when they were fifth graders themselves.  Some had never been before.  Tomillo said, “It was my first year this year, and it was so much fun!  I really liked being around the kids.  They were great!”

The students and counselors posed together for a happy picture outside.  And as the kids left to walk back to their schools, the counselors made an impromptu line to high five them, adding another great moment to their Cispus experience.

Ridgefield School District Schedules Patron Tour

Ridgefield School District is scheduling a Patron Tour on Thursday, November 15 from 8:30 am to 11:30 am.  Bus transportation to the schools will be provided.

District and school administrators will lead participants on a tour of Union Ridge Elementary School, Sunset Ridge Intermediate School, and Ridgefield High School.  Citizens will also visit the former View Ridge Middle School to view the progress of renovation work currently under way to convert the structure into administrative offices for the school district and the City of Ridgefield.

“This tour will give citizens an opportunity to get an inside look at the many wonderful things going on in our schools,” said Superintendent Nathan McCann.

Patron Tour participants will meet at the Ridgefield High School Commons at 2630 S. Hillhurst Road in Ridgefield.  Check-in starts at 8:15 am, and a continental breakfast will be provided before the tour.

To register, please send an email to communications@ridgefieldsd.org and provide the name and email address of each attendee.

2nd Annual Turkey Trot 5K/10K Walk/Run Scheduled for November 22

The Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation is hosting its second annual Turkey Trot 5K/10K Walk/Run on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 22, 2018.  Proceeds will benefit the Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation and the Ridgefield Family Resource Center.

The race begins at 9:00 am and includes a 5K Family-Friendly Walk/Run and a 10K Run, both of which start and end at Union Ridge Elementary School in downtown Ridgefield.  Registration is $25 for adults, $20 for school district staff, and $15 for students.

Go to http://www.ridgefieldpsf.org/turkey-trot to register online or to download a registration form containing event details.  Registrations received by November 15th will include a T-shirt.

Non-perishable food items will be accepted during race packet pickup on Wednesday, November 21 and at registration prior to the race to benefit the Ridgefield Family Resource Center.  Each food item donated will generate a raffle ticket entry for a drawing to win $100 worth of gift cards for local Ridgefield restaurants.

The Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation is grateful for the support of its Presenting Sponsors, Krippner and Opsahl Dawson, its Supporting Sponsors, Northwest Funding Group, Inc., Draper Orthodontics, Royal Throne Restrooms, RPM Mortgage, Advanced Excavating Specialists and Ridgefield School District; and the many Race Sponsors whose assistance makes this annual event possible.