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Woodland teacher named region's Teacher of the Year - 09/16/14
Woodland High School teacher Sharon Conditt has been named Educational Service District 112 region Teacher of the Year. Conditt is one of nine finalists from around the state for the Washington State Teacher of the Year Award. One teacher will be selected to represent Washington State in the National Teacher of the Year Program.

Conditt teaches history and government at Woodland High School, a position she has held for the past 14 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in History from Illinois State University and a Master's Degree in History from Washington State University.

As a high achieving student who always excelled in social studies classes, she was told that smart kids don't become teachers. Encouraged to pursue a pre-med pathway in college, she couldn't ignore her love of history and desire to become a teacher. "As I started my student teaching placement, I immediately sensed that I was doing the career that I was meant to do," said Conditt.

Her passion for history and approach to teaching has made her a favorite among students. Traditionally, Woodland seniors select a teacher to speak at graduation. Conditt has been selected seven out of the past eight years, a testament to the relationship she has established with the students she teaches.

Conditt is one of the first National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) in Social Studies in her region and the first NBCT in Woodland Public Schools. In 2009 she earned the James Madison Memorial Foundation Fellowship for teachers seeking a Master's degree in History or Political Science. After completing her thesis, she graduated in May 2013 with her students cheering her on in the audience.

"Shari has a core belief that all of our students need to experience our national and world history in order to strengthen their understanding of their place in the world regardless of their career path or their current grade in school," said Principal John Shoup in a nomination letter. "Her honest and straightforward approach to teaching is valued by her students as they clamor to take any class she teaches."

Conditt will join other nominees from Washington at the state Teacher of the Year Award Ceremony, September 22, 1:30 p.m. in Seattle.

Educational Service District 112 enables school districts to concentrate more time, money and energy on student learning. Headquartered in Vancouver, ESD 112 provides local and regional cooperative programs and services to school districts and communities in the six counties of Southwest Washington. ESD 112 was established by the Legislature in 1969 as one of nine regional educational service centers to work in partnership with local communities and school districts to provide support services for student instruction, professional development for
staff, and technical assistance in the administration of schools. The agency offers more than 250 cooperatives and services ranging from interactive telecommunications to the child care network. There are 30 public schools, 23 private schools and two state schools serving 100,000 students and 15,000 school employees who benefit from ESD services.

ESD 112 Board of Directors appoints former school superintendent to fill vacancy (Photo) - 08/27/14
The ESD 112 Board of Directors has appointed former school superintendent Rainer Houser to the Director District 2 board position vacated by Kenneth Botero, who retired earlier this year. Houser will represent the Longview, Naselle-Grays River Valley, Ocean Beach, Toutle Lake, and Wahkiakum school districts on the ESD 112 board. His region also includes parts of Castle Rock and Kelso. He joins the other six members of the ESD 112 board who represent the various six-county geographic regions covered by ESD 112. Houser will officially be sworn into office during the October 28, 2014 regular board meeting.

"I have such a high regard for ESD 112 and the work they do," said Houser. "I'm excited to join an organization that aligns with my life's work and represents such a deep commitment to all students in Southwest Washington," he added. Houser was superintendent of the Ocean Beach School District from 2005-2009, which is located within the ESD 112 region. While superintendent, he completed a one-year term as Chair of the Regional Superintendents' Executive Advisory Committee and engaged in numerous ESD services. He most recently served as a consultant on school improvement, leadership, and student achievement for various school districts and organizations including OSPI and the Washington State Leadership Academy. He began his career as a high school teacher and worked as a high school principal in the Chehalis and Edmonds school districts.

ESD 112 Board Chair Steve Wrightson said the board is pleased to have a new member with such an impressive professional and educational background. "Rainer has been an enthusiastic and passionate educator for 50 years," said Wrightson. "He knows ESDs and understands their important role in the state's education system. He will be a great addition to our board and major contributor to our continued success," added Wrightson. Houser will fill Botero's unexpired term until 2016, at which time he would run for re-election.

Houser and his wife of 50 years, Darlene, reside in a home on the Pacific Ocean, which he says "continues to provide recreation, balance and inspiration."