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Camas teacher wins state award for passionate commitment to inclusion for all students - 09/11/19

On September 9, 2019, Camas special education teacher and ESD 112’s Regional Teacher of the Year Amy Campbell was announced as the Washington State Teacher of the Year. The state’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) held its annual awards ceremony at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle.

Campbell has been a special education teacher working with children with moderate to profound disabilities at Helen Baller Elementary School in Camas for 12 years, and as anyone who knows her and has worked with her will tell you, no one deserved this award more than her.

“We’re so excited for and proud of Amy,” said Camas School District Superintendent Jeff Snell. “She is so deserving of this award and she is an amazing advocate for public education.”

As more and more schools and districts across the state and country are making significant strides toward supporting the whole child in their programs, Campbell’s commitment to and perseverance toward inclusion for all students truly stands out.

“I believe in the power of inclusion for all learners…and seeing students from a perspective of their ability to contribute rather than their deficits,” Campbell said.

What distinguished Campbell among her colleagues from the eight other ESDs in Washington was her obvious passion for helping students with special needs get the same quality of education as their peers. Campbell has made inclusion a top priority in her classroom to ensure that no child feels unsupported while they are at school.

“I believe that there is inherent value in modeling helping the struggling student,” Campbell said, “and I have seen the beauty and benefit when all students achieve together.”

Campbell’s efforts towards inclusion for all students are particularly effective because she acknowledges that “inclusion is not a one size fits all model.” Every child is unique and has their own needs when it comes to being included and feeling a part of the whole school community, and Campbell makes sure to tailor learning activities towards her students’ particular needs.   

Campbells’ enthusiasm and passion for implementing inclusion in the classroom doesn’t stop with her students. She frequently invites and encourages her colleagues and others in her community to work towards understanding the critical need for inclusion of all students in their educational experiences.

“Amy has the ability to inspire team members to contribute to and celebrate student successes and that’s what makes her a unique teacher and leader,” said Jessica Bullock, Helen Baller Elementary School’s Speech-Language Pathologist. “I am excited to see how she inspires countless other educators, families and students…as Washington State Teacher of the Year.”

Even after 12 years as an educator, Campbell regularly makes the effort to further her own professional development in order to stay ahead of trends in the dynamic world of public education. She frequently communicates and collaborates with her colleagues in special education to be informed of best practices in the classroom.

“I work hard to be knowledgeable and collaborative,” Campbell said, “because I believe we need to provide all students the opportunity to experience the joy of a community achieving success together and helping each other so no learner is left behind or excluded.”

As part of her tenure, Campbell will travel the state this year, speaking to students and representing Washington’s educators. As Washington State’s Teacher of the Year, Campbell will also now be considered for the highly prestigious National Teacher of the Year award, the winner of which will be announced in early 2020.

Two community events, one mission; helping youth access the services they need to be resilient and empowered - 09/04/19

Resiliency resource fair pairs educators and community organizations to support youth

School staff, student assistance professionals and other youth behavioral health providers are invited to attend a special event to get information about programs that are available to youth in their schools and communities. Hosted by Educational Service District 112 and the Prevent Coalition, the Resilience Education Fair is designed to connect educators who provide youth services and those who have important resources related to youth resiliency. The fair is on September 18, 2019 from 3:30-5 p.m. at the ESD 112 Conference Center, 2500 NE 65th Ave., Vancouver. 

“We are thrilled to host this event where we bring educators and community partners together to become better informed and learn from each other about youth resiliency,” said Christopher Belisle, ESD 112 community prevention project coordinator. “Our goal is to build youth resiliency and hope through collaboration,” he added.

The event will begin with a brief panel presentation from service providers and will feature a community spotlight highlighting success stories from three outstanding programs. Following the opening presentation, guests can visit with professionals from the community organizations and find out about programs and resources to help students get the services they need.

Participating community organizations include the YWCA, Triple Point, Teen Talk, FYSPRT (Family Youth System Partner Round Table), Fort Vancouver Regional Library, Janus Youth Programs, Police Activities League, the Youth Mobile Crisis, the SMART team, Clark County STASHA (Strong Teens Against Substance Hazards & Abuse) and many more!

Light refreshments will be provided; guests do no need to RSVP, but providers who would like a table should contact Belisle by emailing

More information can be found on Facebook: or on the Prevent Coalition website: 

New Youth Empowerment Project aimed at building healthy relationships with adult role models

Community members are also invited to attend the newly announced “Youth Empowerment Project” on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 from 3:30 PM – 5 PM in the ESD 112 Conference Center. The project is designed to help youth build healthy relationships with positive role models, develop leadership skills such as public speaking and advocacy, and implement local prevention projects or campaigns.

“We want to motivate and inspire young people to pursue their goals and dreams. This project will help youth overcome obstacles and build resilience,” said Belisle.

For more information visit or contact Belisle at">


Retired educator Mark Hottowe appointed to ESD 112 Board (Photo) - 09/03/19

Mark Hottowe is the newest member of the Board of Directors for Educational Service District 112. Hottowe, who has held numerous education leadership positions throughout Southwest Washington, was sworn in by Superintendent Tim Merlino at the board’s regular monthly meeting on August 29.  

Hottowe will represent Director District 2, which includes Castle Rock, Kelso (partial), Longview, Naselle-Grays River Valley, Ocean Beach, Toutle Lake, and Wahkiakum school districts. He succeeds Rainer Houser who resigned after moving to Oregon. 

“I am honored to be selected to serve on the ESD 112 board,” said Hottowe. “I am very familiar with ESD 112’s work and the important role they play in the success of the 100,000-plus students served in Southwest Washington,” he added. Hottowe said he’s looking forward to fully engaging with the other longtime board members and becoming even more familiar with ESD leadership, programs and services.

According to Ann Campbell, President of the ESD 112 Board, Hottowe will be able to hit the ground running. “He has such a deep understanding of education and the challenges and needs of local schools,” said Campbell. “We are very fortunate to have him serving alongside us,” she added.

As a 40-year veteran of education, Hottowe began his career in 1976 teaching Native American students in Neah Bay, Washington. He then moved on to become an assistant middle school principal in the Sumner School District. After receiving his Master's Degree in Education Administration from Central Washington University, he served as a middle and elementary school principal in Longview, followed by district administrative roles in the Kelso School District for several years. He received his superintendent's credential from Washington State University and was hired by the Ocean Beach School District as superintendent in 2011. He finished his career as superintendent of the Battle Ground School District in 2017.

Among other student initiatives, Hottowe is passionate about the importance of providing social/emotional supports to students to help them succeed academically.

The Director District #2 position appointment expires in January 2022, but because there is board election this fall, Hottowe is required to run for election to fulfill the remaining two years of his term, through 2022.


Six ESD 112 board members to run for re-election - 08/26/19

Six ESD 112 board members are up for re-election this fall – and all six incumbents plan to run for their current board seats.

The election is to fill four expired terms beginning January 2020 and ending January 2024 (Districts 1, 3, 5, and 7) and two unexpired terms beginning January 2020 and ending January 2022 (Districts 2 and 4).

Members up for re-election are:

  • Dr. Richard Graham, who represents Director District 1, which includes Kalama, Green Mountain, Woodland, La Center, parts of Kelso and Battle Ground school districts. Graham was appointed to the ESD Board in 1997.
  • Mark Hottowe, who represents Director District 2, which includes Castle Rock, Kelso (partial), Longview, Naselle-Grays River Valley, Ocean Beach, Toutle Lake, and Wahkiakum school districts. Hottowe was appointed to the ESD Board in 2019.  
  • Steve Wrightson, who represents Director District 3, which includes Hockinson, parts of Battle Ground and Evergreen school districts. Wrightson was appointed to the ESD Board in 2004.  
  • LeAnne Bremer, who represents Director District 4, which includes Ridgefield, and parts of Battle Ground and Vancouver school districts. Bremer was appointed to the ESD Board in 2019.  
  • Marilyn Koenninger, who represents Director District 5, which includes Vancouver School District. Koenninger was elected to the ESD Board in 1988.
  • Ann Campbell, who represents Director District 7, which includes Camas, Gorge Districts and parts of Evergreen school districts. Campbell was elected to the ESD Board in 1995.     

Other candidates wishing to run for the ESD 112 Board may obtain a form from the Administrative Resource Office, Old Capitol Building, P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, Washington, 98504-7200 (360.725.6132/Fax: 360.753.4201) – Declarations of candidacy and optional Candidate Statements must be filed with the Administrative Resources Office September 1-16, 2019. Voting by ballot will take place October 1-16, 2019.

To be eligible for membership on an ESD Board, a candidate must be a registered voter and live in the ESD district for which the candidate files. ESD Board members serve a four-year term and are elected by the members of local school boards within each ESD.

ESD 112 Contact:
Amber Scott, Administrative Assistant to the Board of Directors, Educational Service District 112, 2500 NE 65th Avenue, 360.952.3317.