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News Releases
Kids eat free over the summer at Woodland Public Schools!
Kids eat free over the summer at Woodland Public Schools!
Free summer meals for children at Woodland Public Schools (Photo) - 06/11/19

Tuesday, June 11, 2019-Woodland, WA-Woodland Public Schools once again offers free meals for children 18 years of age and younger at Woodland Middle School throughout the summer thanks to the district’s sponsorship of the Simplified Summer Food Program for Children.

From June 17 to August 16, Monday through Friday, children 18 years and younger can receive breakfast 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every day free-of-charge at the Woodland Middle School Commons located at 755 Park Street, Woodland, Washington 98674.

Please note that the program will be closed on July 4 and July 5.

Parents and adults can also eat at these times with breakfast prices at $2.50 each and lunch prices at $3.50 each.

For more information, please contact Stacy Brown, Business Manager for Woodland Public Schools, at (360) 841-2715 or email rownst@woodlandschools.org">brownst@woodlandschools.org.

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Congratulations to all of Woodland's 2019 graduates!
Congratulations to all of Woodland's 2019 graduates!
Woodland High School and TEAM High School celebrate the graduates of the Class of 2019 (Photo) - 06/10/19

 

Monday, June 10, 2019-Woodland, WA-Woodland Public Schools’ two high schools, Woodland High School and TEAM, the district’s alternative high school, celebrated their 2019 graduates during commencement ceremonies on Friday, June 7 and Wednesday, June 5, respectively.

Woodland High School Graduation Festivities

Woodland High School celebrated its largest graduating class with 161 graduates in a series of events culminating in the Commencement Ceremony on Friday, June 7. Graduates were recognized for their accomplishments during Senior Night, took part in Senior Breakfast, paraded through district schools in the Parade of Graduates, and concluded by walking in the 111th Annual Commencement to receive their diplomas.

Senior Night – Scholarship and Award Recognition

The Annual Senior Night invites friends and family to celebrate the many accomplishments and achievements of the graduating class. Scholarships are awarded to recipients during the ceremony with donors given the option to present their scholarships in person.

The Woodland High School Scholarship Trust Fund, called $50K-for-20, strives to provide 20 scholarships in the amount of $2,500 annually. This year, the $50K-for-20 Trust Fund awarded 23 scholarships thanks to the contributions of many generous community members and local businesses including:

  • Walt’s Meats which donated $50,000 this year and pledged to match the amount in 2020
  • American Paper Converting which donated $10,000 for the third year in a row
  • Sodexo Food Services which donates funds annually and also provides food for fundraisers
  • The Woodland School District Staff through monthly payroll contributions
  • Eric Rodman
  • Aho Construction
  • Woodland Truck Line
  • IBEW Local #48
  • Benno & Klazina Dobbe
  • Karly Bordack of Keller Williams Realty
  • Tammy & Justin Graham
  • Nutter Family Foundation
  • USNR
  • Fat Moose Bar & Grill
  • Columbia River Carbonates
  • Lineage Logistics
  • Paul Cline
  • Chuck Jones Automotive
  • The WHS Class of 1998
  • Ecological Land Services
  • Janice Graham
  • The Donald Family
  • Jefferson Place Apartments

Following the presentation of scholarships, each of the graduates in attendance was recognized individually by Principal John Shoup. Shoup read off a few of each student’s accomplishments made during their time at the high school as well as the student’s plans for their futures which ranged from going on to higher education, serving in the military, pursuing a career, and more.

Senior Breakfast

On Friday morning, graduates gathered at the Woodland Presbyterian Church for a special breakfast provided by volunteers and the church’s pastor each year. The church has celebrated the success of Woodland’s graduating seniors for more than 70 years by serving up a hearty breakfast to get the graduates ready for commencement day.

Parade of Graduates

Following breakfast, the graduates donned their graduation gowns for the annual Parade of Graduates. Graduates parade through Woodland Primary School, Woodland Intermediate School, Woodland Middle School, and Woodland High School while each school’s students line the routes to celebrate their with posters, cheers, and high-fives.

The Parade of Graduates, now in its fifth year, was developed and organized as a joint project by the district's entire administrative team. "The parade gives graduates the opportunity to reconnect teachers from their years in Woodland Public Schools, if only briefly, and acknowledges the significance of their accomplishment,” said Dan Uhlenkott, Assistant Principal of Woodland High School. “For the younger students, seeing the graduates motivates them to continue working their way toward graduation, too.”

Commencement Ceremony

The Class of 2019 broke the district record made just last year for largest graduating class with a total of 161 graduates. The 111th Commencement Ceremony was held on the evening of Friday, June 7. The Woodland High School band played "Pomp and Circumstance" as the graduates entered followed by the WHS Jazz Choir singing the National Anthem.

Josiah Morales, Student President of the Class of 2019, served as the Master of Ceremonies, opening with a speech featuring the class motto: “Chase your dreams but always know the road that’ll lead you home again.” Morales encouraged his classmates to dedicate themselves to pursue their dreams and find their “next” whatever that may be. “Our ability to dream will give us the way to create our ‘next,’” he said.

Audrey Adams, one of two senior speakers selected by the graduates, followed Morales and spoke of the different threads tying the graduating class together. ”I’ll remember my time here because of the people who I shared this time with,” she said. “These last four years are setting us up for whatever may come next but remember that we will always have that common thread – the time we spent at Woodland High School.”

The Class of 2019 voted for Shari Conditt, a Woodland High School government teacher, as their Faculty Speaker. Conditt reminded the graduates of the importance of establishing roots to grow strong, “People, like trees, need time to put down roots, build a strong foundation, and to grow,” she said. “Woodland High School is flourishing and it’s because of the roots you’ve put down here not only to support yourself, but also your classmates and the school.”

The graduates selected Shekinah Dunlop as their second student speaker. “Many people have helped me along my way to graduation, and they’re the reason I’m here tonight,” said Dunlop. “We need to surround ourselves with the people who will motivate us to achieve our dreams, not those who make us feel bad or discourage us, and amazing things can happen.”

Woodland High School Principal John Shoup regaled the audience with stories of what the Class of 2019 accomplished during their four years. “Someone suggested I tell you all to remember to be yourselves,” he said. “The graduates in this class never had any trouble being themselves.”

Shoup talked about the graduates’ athletic records, amazing drama performances, and record participation in Running Start, the district’s program that allows students to take college courses. “Carry on, Class of 2019, because soon you will all be graduates of Woodland High School,” he said. “We wish you the best in the years to come.”

Woodland Superintendent Michael Green welcomed the Class of 2019 with a quote from Italian Renaissance artist, Michelangelo. “The greater danger lies not in setting your aim too high and falling short but setting your aim too low and making your mark,” he said. “Whatever you do in life, work hard and strive to be the very best.”

Green then officially certified the graduates had met the necessary requirements to graduate and presented the class to Board President Janice Watts who handed out diplomas to each graduate.

TEAM Commencement

TEAM High School recognized 31 graduates during a ceremony Wednesday night. from TEAM High School in 2019, each earning their diplomas after meeting the state’s graduation requirements.

Principal Jake Hall welcomed families and guests followed by Superintendent Michael Green’s presentation of the Class of 2019 to Board Director Sara Stuart, who handed out diplomas. “Wherever you go, you can carry us in your hearts when you encounter new challenges,” said Hall. “Always know this – we are all so proud of you.”

Jillian Domingo, who teaches Social Studies and English, and Elizabeth Vallaire, who teaches Math and Science, along with Program Specialist Mary Burnett took turns recognizing each graduate individually, reading heartfelt comments about their experience with the graduate during the student’s time at TEAM.

TEAM High School Commencement

TEAM High School recognized 31 graduates during a ceremony Wednesday night. from TEAM High School in 2019, each earning their diplomas after meeting the state’s graduation requirements.

Principal Jake Hall welcomed families and guests followed by Superintendent Michael Green’s presentation of the Class of 2019 to Board Director Sara Stuart, who handed out diplomas. “Wherever you go, you can carry us in your hearts when you encounter new challenges,” said Hall. “Always know this – we are all so proud of you.”

Jillian Domingo, who teaches Social Studies and English, and Elizabeth Vallaire, who teaches Math and Science, along with Program Specialist Mary Burnett took turns recognizing each graduate individually, reading heartfelt comments about their experience with the graduate during the student’s time at TEAM.

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'Big Bad' depicts the trial of The Big Bad Wolf complete with an absent-minded judge, wry attorneys, and an on-the-scene news reporter.
'Big Bad' depicts the trial of The Big Bad Wolf complete with an absent-minded judge, wry attorneys, and an on-the-scene news reporter.
Woodland Middle School's new Drama Class and After-School Club performed 'Big Bad,' the school's first play in more than five years (Photo) - 06/03/19

Monday, June 3, 2019-Woodland, WA-Drama students at Woodland Middle School performed the school’s first play in more than five years in May, ‘Big Bad,’ a courtroom drama depicting the trial of The Big Bad Wolf, a character in many fairytales, with characters from other stories providing witness testimony. The play involved a cast of sixth through eighth graders directed by Ronda Oathes who teaches the new drama class which started at the beginning of the school year. 

Oathes, a seventh-grade English teacher at Woodland Middle, has always been interested in offering drama at the school which resulted in the formation of an afterschool club. “I’ve wanted to put on a play since I first started teaching in Woodland, so when the school was looking for additional extracurricular activities for our students, I suggested a drama club,” she said. “At first, I thought we might have a handful of students, but then 42 signed up!”

The popularity of the club led to a full drama class offered as an elective. In order to prepare for the class, Oathes earned her teaching endorsement for drama. “I’ve been involved in drama throughout my life, so spending five months preparing for the certification went pretty quick,” she said.

Oathes teaches students the foundations of performance including improvisation, characterization and how to become comfortable playing a part in front of an audience without laughing or breaking character. “I start by having students sit at a table and try acting out their parts while reading from a script,” she said. “Acting from reading a script is much different than simply reading aloud during class; students have to learn to embellish and express how a character might act.”

During the course, students learn the importance of reacting to other actors as well as how to improv, creating new content as a character right in the moment.  During one activity called “Freeze,” two students improv a scene with the rest of the class observing. When another student comes up with an idea, they yell “freeze!” and take the place of one of the actors to act out the new improv. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how willing the students are to try anything and improve their acting skills,” said Oathes. “I’m regularly developing new activities to encourage these budding actors to explore different ways to express their characters.”

The course’s success led Oathes to organize and direct the school’s first play, ‘Big Bad,’ since the middle school transitioned to the old Woodland High School Building in 2015. Students in both the drama class and the afterschool drama club gave several performances for parents and community members in May. “I’ve always wanted to be an actress,” said Emme Gola, a seventh grader who played the attorney for the Big Bad Wolf. “When I was younger, I was super shy, but I discovered that acting is a great way to meet people with similar interests so I started coming out of my shell.”

Savannah Doughty, a sixth grader who played Little Red Riding Hood, signed up to participate after acting in plays since three years of age. “I like using exaggeration and movement to reach the whole audience,” she said. “Mrs. Oathes is really nice – she also happens to be my neighbor so I know her really well.” 

Calista Conder, a sixth grader who played a journalist reporting on the trial, agreed with Doughty. “For me, my biggest challenge is keeping my excitement under control and managing my energy level, and she said. “Mrs. Oathes is incredibly patient and gives you the time to get it right if you make a mistake.”

Acting and performing can present a big challenge for introverted students who often shy away from speaking in front of large groups. “I balance stage work with in-class assignments so I can reach both introverted and extroverted students,” said Oathes. “We study the history of acting starting with how basic storytelling evolved over time followed by Roman and Greek theater, Shakespearean plays, and continuing all the way to vaudeville and the development of modern performance.”

For Keegan Strom, an eighth grader who played the title role as the Big Bad Wolf, acting was something he always wanted to do, but he knew he would need to overcome his fear of speaking in front of audiences. “I have a passion for drama and really like learning different characters, adding to them as I practice,” he said. “I used to get pretty bad stage fright, but the more practice I have talking to larger groups, the more I get used to it.”

Other students signed up for drama to help develop presentation skills for their other classes. “I always like performing in band, but I wanted to get better at speaking in front of people,” said Caitlin Nelson, an eighth grader who played Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother. “I like exploring different characters like Grandmother Hood where I have to act the way a grandmother would.”

For Oathes, her greatest satisfaction comes from watching her students develop their newfound talents, “I really love watching the kids come out of their shell and then nailing their performances,” she said. “There’s a lot of pride that comes from watching their confidence grow to the point where they own their performances by adding quirks and mannerisms to their characters.”
 

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Club Adviser Kim Miller enjoys taking the team on the road to state and national competitions so her students can experience different parts of the state and country.
Club Adviser Kim Miller enjoys taking the team on the road to state and national competitions so her students can experience different parts of the state and country.
Woodland High School's SkillsUSA team brings home medals, Adviser of the Year award from State Conference (Photo) - 05/20/19

Monday, May 20, 2019-Woodland, WA-Woodland High School’s SkillsUSA team members dedicate themselves to honing their areas of expertise, and this dedication certainly shows as four students brought home six medals from the 2019 State Conference held in Yakima. In addition, organizers selected Kimberly Miller, a Woodland High School teacher who also serves as the team’s adviser, as the SkillsUSA Adviser of the Year for Washington State.

SkillsUSA, a national program, offering high school students the opportunity to compete in 100 different workplace categories. Categories focus on technical, workplace and personal skills including early childhood education, culinary arts, computer literacy, customer service, professional development and public speaking among many others.

During the regional, state and national competitions, students in each category compete in events which may include a combination of written and practical activities. For example, students competing in Customer Service must take a written test followed by a demonstration of their skills during real scenarios with challenging customer service activities such as helping a disgruntled customer return a purchase while managing phone calls, other employees and additional customer inquiries, all at the same time.

The Restaurant Service competition took more than six hours and included both written and practical tests as well. Following the written test, students met with a chef who provided a menu and table plan. The students set up the “front of the house” which included properly sanitizing the food area, setting tables to the chef’s detailed specifications, serving food as waitstaff and even taking payment for meals. “The team members must demonstrate the skills needed to manage every element of a restaurant,” explained Miller. “Add in that the category’s lengthy timeline and the competition can get pretty intense.”

In addition to fending off student teams from dozens of other Washington schools, three Woodland team members competed against each other, eventually dominating the Restaurant Service category by taking home the bronze, silver and gold medals.

Woodland High School’s team won a total of six medals in four categories:

  • Camila Avelar won the silver medal in Early Childhood Education.
     
  • Caleb Mouat won medals in two events. He received the gold medal for Prepared Speech and the bronze medal for Restaurant Service.
     
  • Katelyn Paulson won the gold medal in Restaurant Service.
     
  • Brooke Schimmel won medals in two events. She won the gold medal for Customer Service and the silver medal for Restaurant Service.

The state champions now head to the National Conference held in Louisville, Kentucky from June 24-29. Miller particularly looks forward to the annual national competitions. "I love taking the kids to the different competitions because a lot of our students haven't seen much of the country outside of Woodland," said Miller. "It's great getting to see the kids experience different areas of the state and throughout the country."

In addition to the competitions, Miller teaches her SkillsUSA students the value of giving back to the community. The SkillsUSA team caters and serves food at fundraisers, manages food drives and performs other forms of community service. "Our team organizes community service projects both in the school and also around the community," said Miller. "The kids put in a lot of time and effort to give back to Woodland."

Miller first learned about the SkillsUSA program from teachers in neighboring school districts more than eight years ago. "When we first started, we only competed in one category, but now we compete in restaurant service, job interview, community service, chapter excellence, medical terminology, pin design, extemporaneous speech, job demo and so much more," she said. "In order for the team to succeed, I'm at the school a lot after hours helping the students; I make the time commitment because I see the difference the program makes for our kids."

Miller’s dedication to Woodland’s SkillsUSA team earned her recognition at this year’s conference as the organizers selected her as the Adviser of the Year for Washington State. “It was quite the surprise and a big honor,” she said. “I had no idea the organizers were considering me!”

The SkillsUSA team is holding a fundraiser on Friday, May 24 featuring a free presentation of Disney’s “Lion King” movie at Woodland High School with doors opening at 7 p.m. and the movie starting at 7:30 p.m.

All of Woodland’s families and community members are invited to attend. The team will be preparing and selling snacks including popcorn, candy and cupcakes with funds raised from concession sales going to pay for transportation and other expenses incurred from going to and from the team’s regional, state and national competitions.

Woodland High School students interested in joining SkillsUSA can attend any of the meetings which take place on Thursdays during advisory period. They can also reach out to Kimberly Miller via email at millerk@woodlandschools.org or visit the SkillsUSA website at www.skillsusa.org for more information.

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