Knowledge Bowl: An Athletic Event for the Mind

How quickly can you answer these questions?

  1. Find the next two items in the sequence that begins 1, 5, 13, 17, 25, 29.
  2. Spell the plural possessive form of the word men.
  3. Cloaca, intestine, stomach, mouth, and gizzard are all terms associated with which animal’s digestive system?

If you can answer within seconds—and ring in faster than your competitors—you might be a candidate for middle school Knowledge Bowl.  (The correct answers are 37 and 41, men’s, and bird.  And the View Ridge Middle School team got them all right.)

The Knowledge Bowl team at View Ridge Middle School had a winning year, earning a place at state Knowledge Bowl.  When they couldn’t attend the state competition, they continued to practice with coach David Jacobson—after school, on their own time.

Knowledge Bowl teams get ready to buzz in with the right answer.

Jacobson is an experienced competitor; his high school Knowledge Bowl team won their state competition and went to nationals.  “It’s cool getting to take some of the stuff I learned in high school and share it with these kids to give them that edge,” he said.  “Of course, they’re already so smart to begin with.”  Jacobson isn’t kidding; these kids have answers on an incredible range of topics.

Jacobson divided the students into three teams for practice.  They waited for the questions, hands hovering over buzzers, ready to ring in.  Jacobson usually didn’t get a complete question out before someone buzzed in with an answer.

“Identify the sea nymph who detained Odysseus. . .”  A team rang in with the correct answer (Calypso) before Jacobson finished the question.  “. . . on her island of Ogygia for seven years before releasing him.”

“Give the name of the U.S. President who uttered these words during his inauguration speech:  “The only thing we have to fear. . . “   Another team rang in with the correct answer, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  “For fake extra credit,” Jacobson said, “what year did he say that in?”  Instantly, they answered:  1933.  Jacobson, a history teacher, beamed with pride.

When the students were asked what their favorite part of Knowledge Bowl was, there were a lot of different answers.  “Winning every single match!”  “Singing Queen songs on the bus.”  And finally, snacks.  “Mr. Jacobson gave us snacks, brain food.  The first meet we won by just a little bit.  Then he gave us walnuts, chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, blueberries, and green tea.  And we won every single meet after.”  There’s a training diet for Knowledge Bowl?  Pass the sunflower seeds.

The award for one of the many Knowledge Bowl team wins this season.

Coach David Jacobson and the View Ridge Middle School Knowledge Bowl team.

Meaningful Movies

The Meaningful Movie this month is ‘Coming of Age in Aging America.’ It’s at the Old Liberty Theater Wednesday, June 26. Chuck Green from the Clark County Commission on Aging will moderate the discussion after the movie, which suggests that America’s social and economic institutions must change to adapt to a world where half the population is at least 50 years old.

Lobby conversations and refreshments at 6:30, previews start at 6:45 and the documentary is at 7:00.

The event is free but donations are accepted and welcomed.

A double header on Saturday!

Help celebrate Ridgefield’s Chamber of Commerce First Anniversary at Three Brothers Vineyard & Winery, Saturday, June 29, from noon to 4 pm. There will be live music from Dan Dingman, complimentary wine, a prize drawing and games. Tickets are $10 each at via the Events page.

And after that, come to 3Peaks Public House for dinner and drinks and listen to country western music by Britnee Kellogg. 3Peaks will donate a portion of your entire bill.

Bring the whole family to both events.

Artistry Night Showcases STEAM Projects

Artistry Night at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School and View Ridge Middle School showcased some of the amazing STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) projects Ridgefield students have been working on throughout the year.  It is the inaugural year for the school campus, so it was the first time that some attendees had the chance to see the airy art studios and state-of-the-art STEM labs.

The walls of Alan Adams’ art classroom exploded in color; they were covered in original drawings and paintings all the way to the ceiling.  Students utilized a variety of mediums to create the artwork, and students from 5th to 8th grade were represented in an array of projects.  There was so much art, it spilled out into the hallways, with tables full of ceramics and display boards with progressions that started with pencil sketches and ended with finished products.

Art teacher Alan Adams’ classroom is covered in vibrant works of student art.

In the STEM Fabrication Lab, parents and students discussed the many projects on display.  Students proudly pointed out some of the tools they used to create the projects, including 3D printers and trays of robotics parts.  Some of the projects were creating solutions to real-life challenges, like designing mechanical toys for children with cerebral palsy or developing sample orthoses (braces or splints to stabilize an injured extremity).

The Black Box Theater hosted musical performances throughout the evening.  From the hallway, you could hear the music of the vocal and instrumental solos.  Attendees enjoyed the intimate theater setting, where they could be close to the performers.

And in the Commons, a wide range of seventh grade science projects were on display.  The seventh-grade life science classes focused on problem solving for specific ecosystems.  Ideas ranged from a trash collector for the Wildlife Refuge to prevent the spread of toxic chemicals to a water collector and purifier for the Amazon Rainforest.

Students at Sunset Ridge and View Ridge are using STEAM to design creative solutions to all types of challenges.  These practical applications of science, technology, engineering, art, and math help them understand how they will use STEAM not just for class projects, but for a lifetime.


Seventh grader Xander Bredemeyer designed a trash remover to keep toxic chemicals from getting to               endangered animals at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.


Students designed mechanical toys that could be used by children with cerebral palsy.



Little Red Wagon Needed

Does anyone have a small wagon we could use to pull Priscilla the Pig on the 4th of July? Christle England is going to pass out jars for pig food and we felt pulling Priscilla would make it easy for folks to know what she’s doing.

In case you haven’t see Priscilla in the library, she’s an adorable pink pig with eyelashes to die for, and she’s raising money for the remodel of the library.


Scholarships Awarded to Ridgefield High School’s 2019 Grads Top $7.5M

This year, a total of $7,536,067 in scholarships was awarded to college-bound graduates in Ridgefield High School’s Class of 2019 according to the school’s High School & Beyond Program, which keeps records of scholarship awards reported by RHS seniors.

While the majority of the scholarships came from the colleges and universities that the graduates plan to attend, $50,200 of the total came from local Ridgefield organizations whose generous support continues to provide scholarship opportunities each year to Ridgefield High School’s graduating seniors.

Said Amy McKenna, coordinator for the school’s High School & Beyond Program, “We are fortunate to have such an amazing community that supports our students in pursuing their future endeavors.”


Ridgefield’s First National Merit Scholar Finalist in Seventeen Years

Until now, Ridgefield High School only had six National Merit Finalists in its entire history.  And this year, Ian Abrams became the seventh.

The last time Ridgefield had a National Merit Scholar, George W. Bush was president and the Oscar for Best Picture went to A Beautiful Mind.  It has been so long because the achievement is so challenging.

This year, about 1.6 million students took the Preliminary SAT (PSAT).  Semifinalists are the highest-scoring students in each state and represent the top 0.5% of the state’s senior students.  And of that number, only the highest achieving students are selected as National Merit Scholars.  Finalists have to submit applications that list academic record, extracurricular achievements, awards, and leadership positions to be admitted to the elite group.

Ian Abrams is one of only seven National Merit Scholar finalists in Ridgefield High School’s history.

When Abrams became a semifinalist, the notification was lost in the mail.  He found out he was a semifinalist by reading it in the newspaper.  But when he became a finalist, he actually received the letter.  “I came home and my mom had the letter.  She said, ‘Well, I might have read it through the envelope,’” Abrams laughed.  “She was pretty excited.”

Abrams had a busy senior year.  He was president of the Associated Student Body (ASB), captain of the cross country team, a team member in Knowledge Bowl, and leader of the Peer Tutoring Program through the National Honor Society.  This fall, he is leaving high school behind and heading to Brigham Young University.  He plans to study biochemistry and hopes one day to help contribute toward finding a cure for Alzheimer’s.

Abrams credits his parents for helping him strive for success.  “My parents have taught me to work hard.  And as I’m doing everything, I’m looking toward the future, how this education will help me to serve people better.”

The Reflector newspaper wrote a profile on Abrams.  The article is available online at

Union Ridge Elementary Puts On Annual Culture Parade

The city of Ridgefield is well known for its old-fashioned Fourth of July parade.  But a smaller annual parade is making its mark on Ridgefield too:  the Union Ridge Elementary School Culture Parade.

The sixth annual Culture Parade went through downtown Ridgefield, showing the community what the classes studied during the school year.  Each grade highlighted a different facet of world culture.

The parade was led by the school’s assistant principal, Brian Heim, and Ridgefield Mayor Don Stose.  The first students in the parade were kindergarteners, who reflected their personal family history and culture with timelines of their lives.

First graders studied the cultures of individual countries.  They wore paper vests decorated with country flags and interesting facts.  Many of the students’ families had personal connections to the countries they chose.

Next were the second graders, who studied the cultural influence of historical figures.  Each student carried a posterboard with a drawing and biographical facts about the person they studied.  The posterboard made a costume of the historic figure, with the student’s face showing thorough a cutout.

The third-grade classes studied the culture of different regions of the United States.  Each regional group marched together, some of them shouting slogans—like ”West is best!”—and handing out postcards to promote their region.  Students carried posters and dressed to reflect the culture of the region they studied.

To close the parade, the fourth graders brought their study of the culture of the state of Washington.  On each block, the students waited for the music to start before performing Washington’s state dance, the square dance.  Dressed in western wear, they brought a lively close to the parade.

Many people lined the streets to cheer for the students.  But one set of parade watchers got a lot of attention:  the firefighters standing by the fire truck parked near City Hall.  As the students passed the fire truck, their eyes widened.  One kindergartener got brave and asked a firefighter, “Why are you here?”

The firefighter answered, “We’re here because you’re here, buddy!  We’re here to support you!”  The firefighters applauded and high-fived the students as they walked past.  And the students beamed, enjoying the support of the community for their culture parade.

Third grader Leela Weeks dressed as the Statue of Liberty for the Culture Parade.


First graders display country flags and facts on their paper vests.


A firefighter high-fives students as they walk the parade route.


Help Spruce up Ridgefield’s Parks and Trails

Have some extra time to help spruce up some of Ridgefield’s great parks and trails? Citizens meet the 2nd week of every month at 9am to donate some time in our great community. The next opportunity is at Davis Park on Tuesday July 9th. It’s easy to sign up for a Tuesday or Wednesday of your choice on the attached link:

Another Little Library

Ridgefield has another little library – this one on Depot Street between Main and First. Some of the libraries are stocked by the homeowners, some by the Friends of the Library.

Please take a book, and if possible leave another in its place.

The idea of putting little libraries in town was to promote reading, and they certainly have done so. You’ll find them all over – look for them while you’re traveling around town.

What Makes Ridgefield So Special? #11

Gail Alexander posted on Next Door that Allene Wodaege had re-injured her back and needed an electric reclining chair as it was too painful to use a bed. Within hours of the posting a chair had been found and the problem was taken care of.

Good work Ridgefield – we work together!

3Peaks Cash Back Night

Save the date! Saturday, June 29, 3Peaks Public House and Taproom will have a cash-back night to benefit the Ridgefield Friends of the Library. All food and drink ordered inside 3Peaks will be eligible. You can order food made at Pacific NW Best Fish and it counts for the rebate, but you must order it at the bar in 3Peaks. Going next door for food doesn’t count.

Friends of the Library will be bussing tables – come and watch your friends work!

As an added bonus, country-western singer Britnee Kellogg will perform between 6 and 8. It’s going to be an evening of fun and music. Kids are welcome and there’s plenty of room outside for them to play.

This is a major fund raiser for the library, and we hope lots of people will be there.

Pioneer Day at South Ridge Takes Students Back in Time

 A covered wagon was parked in the grass.  Women in sun bonnets and aprons guided children through doing laundry on a washboard, hanging the garments up on a line to dry.  Kids sporting coonskin caps and straw hats played with cornhusk dolls in the shade.  Ridgefield in the 1800’s?  No, Ridgefield in 2019 as students at South Ridge Elementary celebrated Pioneer Day.

The entire fourth grade at South Ridge spent many weeks studying pioneer life.  And the unit culminated in Pioneer Day, an outdoor event where students could get a taste of pioneer life.  They rotated through several stations, learning something new at each one.

Some of the stations focused on home life and daily routines.  The students peeled apples and ground wheat to learn about food preservation.  They poked holes in tin to make tin lanterns.  They learned how to make yarn from wool.  And they even milked real goats right there in the schoolyard.

Other activities focused on things pioneer children would have enjoyed.  Quills and ink let them practice the hand lettering pioneer students would have learned in school; there were a lot of ink blots on the paper as they practiced the new skill.  For playtime, they had to learn how to make their own entertainment.  They made cornhusk dolls and learned how to do the cat’s cradle with yarn.

To make the day a little more magical, all the fourth-grade teachers dressed in costume.  And Clark Public Utilities brought their Water Wagon, a reproduction covered wagon, for the children to see.  For a few hours, students brought their pioneer studies to life.  They enjoyed stepping back in time with a taste of pioneer days.

South Ridge fourth grade teachers dressed in costume for Pioneer Day.


Students learned hand-lettering with ink. Clark Public Utilities Water Wagon is in the background.


Students learned to wash clothes using bars of soap, washboards and tubs of water.


Milking goats was harder than it looked!






R Biz Networking

Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce will hold their monthly R-Biz networking event tonight at Windy Hills Winery from 5 to 7 pm.

Ridgefield Main Street Meeting

Sen. Ann Rivers will be guest speaker at the Ridgefield Main Street Community Meeting this Thursday, June 20, 8:30 a.m. She will update us on the results of the latest legislative session in Olympia and more. Please join us at the Sportsman’s Road House, 121 N. Main Ave. Complimentary coffee provided, and breakfast service is available.