Ridgefield Sch. Dist.
Ridgefield first graders develop their reading skills by showing that reading is for the dogs (Photo)
In addition to schools, Jason and Bruno visit hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, and even dentist offices
Monday, June 29, 2015-Ridgefield, WA-Throughout the school year, first graders at Union Ridge Elementary School developed their reading skills by reading to Bruno, a Munsterlander dog who participates in the Columbia River Pet Partners program.
Stephanie Frasier, a first grade teacher at Union Ridge, thought of having her students read to Bruno when trying to come up with an idea to get her students motivated to read more. "I wanted to find an idea to get my students excited to learn to read when I heard about Columbia River Pet Partners providing therapy animals for hospitals and schools," she said. "When I emailed the national organization, Jason Winters sought me out because he was newly-certified and wanted the opportunity for Bruno."
Winters, a disabled veteran, decided to join the Columbia Rivers Pet Partners program to provide an opportunity for students and others to learn about animals as well as to learn more about military service.
Throughout the school year, Jason and Bruno visited the classroom each Friday with students getting the opportunity to read by having their names drawn out of a jar. "This has been a great way for the students to learn about animals as well as learn how to read," said Frasier. "Some of my students don't have pets at home, so being exposed to a kind dog helps them become familiar with animals in general."
First graders took turns reading to Bruno, improving their reading skills and also getting to experience how therapy dogs work. Students read a variety of books of their own choosing including a variety of books by Dr. Seuss, some about SpongeBob Squarepants, the Berenstain Bears, and others. In order to be eligible to read, students needed to get permission slips filled out by parents to ensure students with allergies or fear of dogs wouldn't be exposed.
Columbia River Pet Partners, based in Vancouver, is a Community Partner of the national Pet Partners organization whose mission is to enrich people's lives and promote health and happiness through positive human-animal interactions. In addition to school visits, certified pet partners visit retirement homes, assisted-living homes, nursing homes, hospitals, and hospices.
"This has become such a great opportunity to teach our students about compassion for animals and help Jason give back and be a part of his community," said Fraiser. "Most importantly, Bruno's visits give teachers another tool to get our students excited about reading!"
Attached Media Files: In addition to schools, Jason and Bruno visit hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, and even dentist offices
, First graders took turns reading books about the Berenstain Bears, Spongebob Squarepants, and Dr. Seuss characters
, Jason Winters, a veteran, participates in the program to give back to his community
, First graders in Stephanie Fraiser's class took turns reading to Bruno, a Munsterlander therapy dog
School-wide collaborative writing project produces 500 published authors at South Ridge Elementary School (Photo)
Students of all grades created original illustrations used throughout the book
Monday, June 22, 2015-Ridgefield, WA-Throughout the 2014-15 school year, the entire teaching staff at South Ridge Elementary School collaborated on an innovative writing project involving every student school-wide resulting in the publication of a book entitled "Eva Extraordinaire" about the school's mascot which made each of the more than 500 students published authors.
Six sixth graders, Natalie Stephens, Sarah Adams, Nicholas Radosevich, Rhylee Haensel, Fernando Jimenez, and Cade Bringhurst, presented the finished book based on the school's roadrunner mascot, Eva, entitled "Eva Extraordinaire," to the Ridgefield School District's Board of Directors and Superintendent Nathan McCann during a regular board meeting on Tuesday, June 9. Cheryl Shaw, sixth grade teacher and Editor-in-Chief for the project, presented how the school's teachers covered nearly every state academic standard from Kindergarten through sixth grade during the production of the project.
The students presented the entire concept to the board including how they developed the initial general plot and then visited each of the other grade levels to help younger students write their chapters. The sixth graders also spoke of the difficulties keeping the grade levels focused on the storyline and plot. "In the sixth grade alone, there were more than 80 student volunteers who wanted to help out," said Shaw. "We had to split the students into groups including writers and editors so they could all have a hand in the project."
At first, the concept of having every student involved was somewhat daunting to the staff. "Some of the staff members weren't sure how to approach the project in a classroom setting when we first started discussing it," said Shaw. "However, once the staff jumped in and allowed the students to be creative, we all loved the outcome!"
Groups of sixth grade volunteers visited Kindergarten, first, and second grade classrooms, helping guide the younger students through the concepts of developing storylines and plot. "When the sixth grade students helped the younger classrooms write their chapters, the sixth graders would come back full of excitement to put the ideas into print," said Shaw. "It was great seeing students so excited about writing."
Art students from each grade level drew illustrations used throughout the book. "My biggest challenge was having 65-90 students in each grade illustrate one or two pictures for their given chapters," said Heather Fukuchi, South Ridge's art teacher. "In order to ensure every student had a chance to participate, I had students create illustration for their chapters and then combined multiple illustrations to create the final pictures in the book; all the artwork in the book is original student work!"
The other teachers greatly appreciated the wonderful artwork created by their students. "Ms. Fukuchi really did a fantastic job guiding the artwork for the book," said Shaw. "The illustrations really make the story come to life and aid in the comprehension of the story."
The collaborative project offered students in all grade levels the opportunity to express their creativity without a lot of restrictions. "Many writing assignments are responses to students reading and analyzing a lot of text," said Shelli Colwell, a fifth grade teacher. "This project allowed the students to use their imaginations and run with their ideas."
Having so many authors working on the project presented its own challenges. "The fifth grade received the story after five other grade levels had written their parts so there were already many twists and turns," said Colwell. "The fifth graders had to continue to develop the plot in a natural way that made sense, and then end the section in a way that could be continued by other students."
Many teachers found that their students were taken by the project because of the entire school's involvement. "Students were completely engaged in this project because they had buy-in to the story," said Nathan Ingroum, a third grade teacher. "The characters were funny while the setting and known landmarks where familiar enough that all students understood the context."
In order to work collaboratively, students from Kindergarten through sixth grade used Chromebook laptop computers and the Google Cloud to share ideas, advance the story, and keep track of all of the content produced by each grade level. "In addition to helping publish and write the story, using Chromebooks helped to increase students' keyboarding and typing skills," explained Principal Janice Sauve.
In addition to cloud computing, many Common Core Standards were addressed by the project including: writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences using effective technique; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose and audience with grade-specific expectations; developing and strengthening writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting or trying new approaches; and using technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others. "One of the exciting things about this project is how it incorporates so many elements of the Common Core curriculum for language arts," said Sauve. "Every grade level wrote to the requirements of the Common Core for their section making this a school-wide collaborative project using the all-new standards."
In addition to the book being available for check-out in South Ridge's library, Ken Bisbee, a fifth grade teacher, created an Accelerated Reader (AR) test for the book so students can read the book, take a test, and earn AR points just like other books in the school's library.
Many local businesses in Ridgefield were named in the story. In addition, much of the story is set in the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge with many species native to the refuge represented in the book. "The businesses will be honored by receiving a copy of the book and letting them know that they are featured in the book," said Shaw. "Also, this year is the 50th anniversary of the Ridgefield Refuge and we felt that focusing on it was a great way to honor the refuge's impact on the Ridgefield community and wildlife in our area."
Principal Sauve arranged to have the book professionally printed by a book printer who offered a special discount when they heard about the project. "When Mrs. Sauve showed me the finished book back from the printers, I was truly blown away," said Shaw. "The book looks like one you can buy from any book store! The entire South Ridge community should be so proud of their efforts." Sauve made copies of the book available at a discounted cost to the students so every student could buy their own copy of the book if they wanted one. "We wanted to make sure that any student who wanted a copy of the book was able to buy one," said Sauve.
Beverly Summerhill, Ridgefield school bus driver, retires after 46 years (Photo)
Beverly says respecting the kids will result in them giving you respect
Thursday, June 18, 2015-Ridgefield, WA-Beverly Summerhill, a Ridgefield School District bus driver of 46 years, is retiring this year after 455,000 miles of driving for the district. The district's Communications Manager, Eric Jacobson, interviewed Beverly what it's like to drive school buses for more than four decades.
RSD: Why did you decide to become a bus driver?
Beverly: I love kids. I was about 26 years old and when you're young, you'll try anything. I thought bus driving would be a good thing because I'd be home during the day and do my housework and then go back to work. If I'm going all day long at a job, I can't get my household chores done.
Bus driving is a great job; it's a great job for both young and older people. To me, it's not a job. Honestly, I've never felt like "Oh, no, I have to go to work." I love driving the bus. I love the kids.
RSD: How do you keep the bus under control?
Beverly: First of all, you have to have control of the kids, and they have to know where you stand. Of course, no one has a perfect bus because kids will be kids. If you see something come up, you have to get right on it. I have written discipline slips but before I turn them, I talk to the students: I say, "What are we going to talk about?" and make sure they're given a chance to straighten up. If they straighten up, then I don't turn in the discipline slip. I always give them a chance. Giving kids a chance almost always works; you have to have good communication and a love for the kids.
RSD: Do you have any special stories from your time driving buses?
Beverly: It's always special when there's holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter; I always give the students treats and I always dress up. The kids always get a big kick out of that as do their parents. I like to do anything I can to make their day.
Some kids just hate going to school each day, and I don't want that to happen. I always say "Good morning" and tell the kids to have a good day. As the bus driver, you have to be joyful yourself because whatever attitude you have yourself, it will carry on to the kids.
RSD: Do students of different age groups act differently?
Beverly: The elementary kids are a lot more active and loud. As the driver, you often need to calm them down. With my high school kids, the bus is so quiet you can hear a pin drop. Between the junior high and high school, there's a bit of difference, even through the individual years. In 7th and 8th grade, they sit toward the front of the bus and the high school kids sit toward the back.
RSD: What are you going to miss most about driving the school bus?
Beverly: I'm going to miss the kids and my coworkers. Most drivers go to work early where we have an office to sit and talk. I always make myself friendly and joyful. I don't go in with a chip on my shoulder. Some of my coworkers I feel real close to and you can feel that coming back to you through the years.
RSD: What was your favorite bus route?
Beverly: My favorite route is the one I have now. I've been driving in Ridgefield for the entire 46 years in different routes. It has beautiful scenery. Sometimes, you can see the ships go by on the river. There's all the farmland with strawberries and raspberries, and you can see the farmers work in their fields. It's a relaxing route, really. Plus, my kids sit and are respectful.
RSD: What are you going to do in retirement?
Beverly: My husband, Larry, has been retired for about six years. He wants to travel. We've been on cruises. We're planning on going to Easter Island. We've been to Alaska for a few weeks. We've been to the Panama Canal just last year. We are busy. We're involved in our church with church activities we attend. Also, I will get to spend time with my three children.
Ridgefield School District celebrates its 103rd graduating class with Olympics, parades, and awards (Photo)
The Ridgefield School District Board of Directors and Superintendent Nathan McCann handed out graduates' diplomas
Monday, June 15, 2015-Ridgefield, WA-Ridgefield High School celebrated the graduating class of 2015 with a series of events culminating in the commencement ceremony on Friday, June 12. Graduates competed in the annual Spudder Olympics, paraded through the district's schools in the annual Grad Parade, honored one another during the Senior Breakfast and Recognition, and walked in the 103rd Commencement to receive their diplomas.
In the last hour and a half of the day on Friday, June 5, Ridgefield High School students celebrated the upcoming end of the school year and graduation with the annual Spudder Olympics. Teams comprised of six students in a variety of themes including teams dedicated to television shows like The Walking Dead and Orange is the New Black competed in different events including: Beach Ball Relay, Dizzy Tee Ball, Shaving Cream Shoot-Off, Human Bowling, Nerf Slingshot, Water Balloon Battleship, Fill 'er Up, Tug of War, Soap Basketball, Wheelbarrow Floaty Race, and Army Relay.
The RHS Leadership Class organizes the Spudder Olympics as one of many events they put on for their fellow students throughout the school year. "This year's Spudder Olympics had 32 teams with 200 students participating - the most ever in the history of the event," said Kim Allais, Leadership teacher at Ridgefield High School. "With this many students participating, the leadership class really rose to the occasion to organize even more events and to ensure everyone has a good time; the Spudder Olympics always energizes the students and the staff."
Annual Grad Parade
On Wednesday, June 10, students took part in the 4th Annual Grad Parade. Donning their caps and gowns, graduating seniors walk in parades at each of Ridgefield's two elementary schools and the middle school. "The Grad Parade serves as visual proof for younger students to see the end goal of their school careers," said Ray Lions, high school counselor for the graduating class of 2015. "In addition, the graduating seniors get the chance to revisit their own previous schools and reconnect with their teachers from throughout their school careers."
Students in the younger schools prepared banners and posters celebrating their older counterparts' graduation, and lined the parade route to cheer and give high-fives to the graduates as they passed.
Senior Breakfast and Recognition
On the morning of Thursday, June 11, graduates gathered at Lucy's Garden, a venue generously donated by its owners for the event, to eat a breakfast with food provided by the Ridgefield High School's ASB.
Many local groups and organizations presented scholarships to the graduates including the U.S. Armed Forces, Aja Leigh Gerrity Memorial Scholarship, the City of Ridgefield AWC Center for Quality Communities, the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Scholarship, the Ridgefield 4th of July Scholarship, the Ridgefield Alumni/Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation Scholarship, the Ridgefield Education Association, the Ridgefield Boosters Scholarship, the Ridgefield Federated Women's Club Scholarship, the Ridgefield Leos Club Scholarship, the Ridgefield Lions Club Scholarship, and the Mary Christian Jones Trust Fund Scholarship.
This year marked the third Henry Ronald Smits Memorial Scholarship in honor of the late teacher who substituted for Ridgefield School District for years. Rena Jones received the scholarship in the amount of $1,000. Raigan Page received the Mary Christian Jones scholarship in honor of the teacher who taught in Washington State from 1945-1969.
Four students received G.I. Bill scholarships for volunteering to serve in the United States Armed Forces, drawing a standing ovation from those in attendance.
29 Graduates reported a total of $2,136,086 received in scholarship awards this year. The complete list of scholarship winners follows at the end of this article.
A total of 128 students graduated from Ridgefield High School in the Class of 2015. Ridgefield High School held its 103rd Commencement Ceremony in the high school's stadium on the evening of Friday, June 12.
Superintendent Nathan McCann recognized graduates who enlisted in the United States Armed Forces which drew a standing ovation from the audience. Ridgefield High School Assistant Principal Allen Andringa presented Citizenship Awards to Taylor Holeman, James Nguyen, and Victoria Pfeifer.
Andringa also recognized the Honor Graduates and presented each of them with certificates including Bridget Beatson and Bailey Smithline who both earned a perfect 4.0 grade point average throughout her high school careers, Kaylene Brink, Taylor Holeman, Rena Jones, and Abigail Smithline.
The graduating class selected Taylor Holeman as Senior Class Speaker whose speech "Connect the Dots" compared the transition from Kindergarten through Graduation to connect-the-dots pictures where the pictures became more and more complicated the older the students grew. "I love babysitting and one of my kids asked to trade math homework with me - her addition problems for my calculus problems," she said. "I remember wishing for those simpler days in a way but still appreciating how far we have all come."
The graduating class selected Rena Jones as their Honor Graduate Speaker who gave a speech entitled "See You Again" where she spoke of the permanent connection that she shared with her classmates as graduates from Ridgefield High School for the Class of 2015.
Rick Morris, a 22-year career veteran with the U.S. military and alumni of Ridgefield High School, gave a guiding Commencement Address entitled "YOLO," a play on modern slang meaning "You Only Live Once." Morris provided the graduates with words of encouragement and advice. "You may only live once, but you remember that you do, truly, only live once," he said. "Take chances but be sure to acknowledge the importance of calculated risk in everything you do; it's worth taking a risk but be sure the risk isn't too great." Morris also spoke of the lessons he learned in serving for the U.S. military for over 22 years.
Following the Commencement Address, the Ridgefield School District Board of Directors and Superintendent Nathan McCann presented the diplomas to the 128 graduating seniors followed by Assistant Principal Allen Andringa's Presentation of the Class of 2015.
Complete List of Scholarship Winners
29 Ridgefield Graduates reported a total of $2,136,086 this year:
* Ryan Alderman received $88,000 from the University of Portland for the President's Scholarship Award.
* Tevin Atkinson received $72,000 from the University of Portland for the President's Scholarship Award.
* Bridget Beatson received a total of $22,500 including $1,500 from the Ridgefield Lions Club; $20,000 from Brigham Young University; and $1,000 from the Ridgefield Boosters Club.
* Olivia Bonebrake received a total of $2,000 including $1,000 from the Central Washington University Merit Scholarship and $1,000 from the Cornish College of the Arts' Regional Silver Key Scholarship for her art portfolio.
* Kaylene Brink received a total of $7,200 including $1,200 from the Aja Leigh Gerrity Memorial Scholarship; $1,000 from the Ridgefield Boosters Club; $2,000 from the Opportunity Pathway Scholarship of Western Washington University; and $3,000 for the President's Scholarship from Western Washington University.
* Ashley Christensen received a total of $9,482 including $1,000 for the KMR Group Foundation Scholarship; $750 for the Clark County Fair Association Pomona Grange Scholarship; $1,732 from Tacoma Community College; and $3,000 from the Clark College Foundation.
* Katherine Collins received the Concordia University Dean's Award for $26,000.
* Adam DeBroeck received a total of $103,500 including $86,000 for the Pacific Lutheran University Faculty Scholarship and $17,500 for the Washington State Opportunities Scholarship.
* Grant Gaspar received a total of $88,000 including $40,000 from Purdue University for an Academic Scholarship and $48,000 from Gonzaga University for an Academic Scholarship.
* Bailey Hooghkirk received a total of $52,000 including $50,000 for the Dean's Scholarship from Hofstra University and $2,000 for the Washington State University Viticulture & Enology Scholarship.
* Rena Jones received a total of $46,500 including $1,000 for the Henry Ronald Smits Memorial Scholarship; $2,500 for the Ridgefield Lions Club scholarship; $1,000 from the Ridgefield Boosters Club; $18,000 from the University of California Davis for the University Grant; $16,000 from the Washington State University Regents Scholarship; and $8,000 from the Washington State University Deans Merit Scholarship.
* Liam Knoeppel received $68,000 from Clarke University to attend on an athletic soccer scholarship.
* Emily Langdon received a total of $13,000 including $7,000 for the Treasure Valley Community College Foundation Scholarship and $6,000 for the Treasure Valley Community College Soccer Scholarship.
* Madison Laycoe received a total of $3,500 including $500 from the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Scholarship; $2,000 from the Central Washington University Merit Scholarship; and $1,000 from the Golden Grad Alumni and Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation Scholarship.
* Juan Maldanado received $250 from the Golden Grad Alumni and Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation Scholarship.
* Bill Martin received $250 from the Golden Grad Alumni and Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation Scholarship.
* Grant Mersinger received $250 from the Golden Grad Alumni and Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation Scholarship.
* Raigan Page received a total of $42,200 including $1,500 from the Ridgefield Lions Club; $500 from the Ridgefield Leos Club; $8,000 from Western Washington University for the Opportunity Pathway Scholarship; $12,000 from Western Washington University as an athletic scholarship; and $8,000 from Western Washington University for the Multi-Cultural Diversity Scholarship.
* Reeya Patel received a total of $2,000 including $1,500 from the Ridgefield Lions Club and $500 from the Ridgefield Leos Club.
* Victoria Pfeifer received a total of $291,084 including $52,000 for the Westminster Founder's Scholarship; $64,000 for the Pacific Lutheran University Academic Achievement Scholarship; $48,000 for the Seattle Pacific University Dean's Scholar Award; $36,000 for the University of Portland's Arthur Schulte Scholarship; $31,084 for the Seattle Pacific University Grant; $20,000 for the High Point University Academic Scholarship; $36,000 for the Gonzaga University Academic Achievement Scholarship; and $4,000 for the Washington State University Academic Achievement Scholarship.
* Cami Pickett received a total of $446,800 including $96,000 for the Upper Iowa University Presidential Athletic Scholarship; $30,800 for the University of Wisconsin Academic Scholarship; $10,000 for the Montana State University Academic Scholarship; $92,000 for the Capital University Presidential Academic Capital Grant; $56,000 from Central Christian College for Academic and Athletic Scholarships; $59,200 from Valley City State University for Academic and Athletic Scholarships; $28,8000 from Jacksonville State University for Academic and Athletic Scholarships; $8,000 from Bemidji University for an athletic scholarship; and $66,000 from Salem International for academic and athletic scholarships.
* Micah Ritchie received a total of $26,000 in scholarships from the University of North Texas, the University of Washington, and Walnut Grove Church.
* Madison Rooney received a total of $4,950 including the $500 AWC Scholarship from the City of Ridgefield; $3,500 for the KMR Group Foundation Scholarship; $250 from the Golden Grad Alumni and Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation Scholarship; and $700 from the Ridgefield Federated Women's Club Scholarship.
* Alexandra Serface received a total of $143,000 including $24,000 from the University of Idaho Achievement Gold scholarship; $16,000 from Washington State University as an academic scholarship; $16,000 from the Washington State University Regents Award; $7,000 from Washington State University's Dean's Scholarship; $24,000 from the University of Hawaii's Academic Scholarship; $24,000 from Montana State University's Academic Scholarship; and $32,000 from Hamline University's Academic Scholarship.
* Abigail Smithline received a total of $228,888 including $80,000 from the University of Portland's President's Scholarship; $52,000 from Carroll College's Trustee Scholarship; $8,000 from Carroll College's St. Albert Scholarship; $8,000 from the Carroll College Opportunity Grant; $12,000 from the Carroll College Community Living Grant; $2,808 from the Carroll College Borromeo Guild Grant; $10,080 from the University of Portland Grant; and $56,000 from the George Fox University Trustee Scholarship.
* Bailey Smithline received a total of $241,232 including $88,000 from the University of Portland President's Scholarship; $8,000 from the Carroll College St. Albert Scholarship; $5,080 from the University of Portland Grant; $4,000 from the Carroll College Opportunity Grant; $4,152 from the Carroll College Borromeo Guild Grant; $12,000 from the Carroll College Community Living Grant; $60,000 from the Carroll College Presidential Scholarship; and $60,000 from the George Fox University Presidential Scholarship.
* Colin Stalcup received $500 from the Ridgefield Education Association.
* Carter Strader received $11,000 from the Oregon State University Provost Scholarship.
* Rebecca Werbowski received a total of $122,000 including $1,500 from the Ridgefield Lions Club; $1,000 from the Ridgefield Boosters Club; $500 from the Ridgefield Leos Club; $84,000 from the University of Portland Presidential Scholarship; $16,000 from the University of Oregon Apex Scholarship; $3,000 from the Western Washington University Presidential Scholarship; and $16,000 from the Oregon State University Provost Scholarship.
Even more pictures from the above events can be found on Ridgefield School District's Facebook page located at www.Facebook.com/RidgefieldSchools
Attached Media Files: The Ridgefield School District Board of Directors and Superintendent Nathan McCann handed out graduates' diplomas
, Rick Morris, a 22-year military career veteran and RHS alumni, gave the Commencement Address
, A total of 128 seniors graduated in Friday's Commencement Ceremony
, Four graduating seniors will receive the G.I. Bill scholarship for joining the U.S. Armed Forces
, The graduating seniors get to see teachers and staff from their previous schools
, Graduating seniors parade through the other schools as part of the Annual Grad Parade
, Students form teams of six in themes like The Walking Dead and Orange is the New Black
, Students form teams of six in themes like The Walking Dead and Orange is the New Black
, The Spudder Olympics includes events like Soap Basketball and Human Bowling
, Ridgefield School District celebrated its 103rd Commencement Ceremony on Friday, June 12, 2015
Ridgefield School District names new Assistant Superintendent, Chris Griffith (Photo)
Assistant Superintendent Chris Griffith
Wednesday, June 10, 2015-Ridgefield, WA-The Ridgefield School District Board of Directors unanimously approved the promotion of Chris Griffith to Assistant Superintendent of Ridgefield School District during their regular board meeting on Tuesday evening, June 9, 2015.
Chris Griffith has served in education for nearly 20 years, starting his career as an elementary school teacher for Clackamas Elementary School. He rose through the ranks serving as Assistant Principal at an elementary school then a middle school before becoming the Principal of View Ridge Middle School in August 2008.
Chris decided to take on a bigger role in guiding Ridgefield School District to become the premier school district in Washington State. "Working with Dr. Nathan McCann for the past year and hearing his vision for the district inspired me to become a bigger part of the team," he said. "I want to support all of the district's schools, the entire staff, and the Ridgefield community."
When asked what he would miss most about View Ridge Middle School, Chris pointed to the staff and students. "The staff at View Ridge Middle School is like a second family to me," he said. "In addition, I'm going to miss my daily dose of the students; over time you really get to know each student, where they come from, and what makes them who they are."
Chris holds a Master of Science in Administration and Leadership from Portland State University and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Western Oregon University.
Chris has two children; a son, Nicolas, in first grade and a daughter, Talya, in seventh grade, both of whom play soccer and are involved in other extracurricular activities. When not working, Chris enjoys outdoor activities with his wife, Jill, and the rest of his family including rock climbing, camping, boating, and surfing.
"I'm excited to work with Dr. McCann as a team and help create a vision to move the district forward," said Griffith. "It's exciting to have the opportunity to think big, dream big, and then work to make that happen."
Ridgefield High School's Class of 2015 includes Washington Scholars, a President's Volunteer Service Award Winner and college athletes (Photo)
Monday, June 8, 2015-Ridgefield, WA-Ridgefield High School's Class of 2015 includes two Washington State Scholars, a President's Volunteer Service Award Winner, and eight college athletes.
The President's Volunteer Service Award
Madison Rooney received the President's Volunteer Service Award after completing nearly 500 hours of community service working for the Clark County Youth Commission. "Madison exhibits characteristics that have not only made her family proud, but have also made Ridgefield High School proud," said Ray Lions, high school counselor for the Class of 2015. "Her sense of humor, motivation, dedication, and work ethic are just a few of the many reasons she will be successful after high school."
During her freshman year, Rooney volunteered to help host the Youth Achievement Celebration. "After receiving an award for my help, I decided to serve on the commission itself," she said. "I'm very extroverted and I enjoy public speaking, so I volunteered to serve as the hostess for this year's award ceremony."
One of Rooney's favorite parts of volunteering is meeting new people and seeing the difference a group of volunteers can make. "The biggest challenge has been getting to know everyone in the group," she said. "I appreciate everyone for the differences and strengths we share; we all have a common goal which is making our community a better place for everyone."
Following graduation, Rooney plans to attend Clark College to pursue a degree in Civil Engineering. Rooney credits two courses, in particular, which helped shape and prepare her for the future: Gary Dietderich's Draft and Design course which sparked and solidified her interest in design and Monica DeShazer's College 101 course which encouraged her to apply for scholarships and compare colleges. "Last year, when I took Drawing and Design, the course made me fall in love with design and this year, I took Steve Rinard's pre-engineering course," she said. "I'm just excited to take part in engineering; I want to do something that helps people."
In addition to her volunteer work, horses have been a passion in Rooney's life for as long as she can remember. She works with her trainer, Tim Wirgren, at Command Performance Training Center where she learns to rehabilitate and train horses along with various riding techniques. Rooney has worked with Wirgren for nine years, taking joy in working with a particular horse named Keylijah. Rooney helped rehabilitate Keylijah, who was rescued from a burning barn, providing proper nutrition, physical therapy, and practice for competition.
Washington State Scholars
The Washington Student Achievement Council presents the Washington Scholars designation as a prestigious recognition reserved for Washington State's most exemplary high school students, celebrating excellence in academic achievement, leadership, and community activities during their high school careers.
This year, two Ridgefield High School graduates, Bridget Beatson and Bailey Smithline, were named Washington Scholars. Washington Scholars receive award certificates and congratulatory letters from Governor Jay Inslee. In addition, the governor proclaimed June 2015 as Washington Scholars Month.
Ridgefield High School looks at three aspects for nominating a student as a Washington Scholar: cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA), SAT/ACT test scores, and community service. "Bridget and Bailey represent the top 1% of this year's graduating class," said Lions.
Beatson points to her love of learning more about the world around her, being a perfectionist, and Ridgefield High School as her motivations to excel at her studies. "By learning you can come up with greater ideas," she said. "I love the culture at Ridgefield High School with its amazing music program and smaller class sizes than other high schools." Beatson will attend Brigham Young University to major in Mechanical Engineering.
Smithline developed her drive from competing with her twin sister. "I'm definitely a perfectionist and she helped me become even more competitive," she said. "I like how Ridgefield High School is small so you have better opportunities to receive recognition, plus it's easier to associate with different people from different walks of life than a bigger school." Smithline will attend the University of Portland where she plans to major in Environmental Engineering.
Ridgefield High School's athletic program continues to produce outstanding student athletes who combine physical prowess while working hard at their studies. This year is no exception with eight students going on to play at universities in Washington, Oregon, and Iowa:
* Bailey Birch (not pictured) will attend Eastern Washington University and play on the track-and-field team. During her senior year, she was a state participant on Ridgefield High School's Cross Country team.
* David Causey will attend Trinity Lutheran University to play on the track-and-field team. During his senior year, Causey also participated in Football.
* Shyanne Chandler will attend Lower Columbia Community College and play softball and volleyball. During her senior year, Chandler was the Volleyball League Co-MVP and First Team All-League in softball.
* Cody Duncan will attend George Fox University and play football. During his senior year, Duncan was a First Team All-League Lineman and also played baseball.
* Nathan Eggleston will attend Central Washington University and play football. During his senior year, Eggleston served was a First Team All-League Running Back and also participated in Track and Field.
* Raigan Page will attend Western Washington University and play on the track-and-field team. During her senior year she also played volleyball.
* Cami Pickett will attend Upper Iowa University and play on the track-and-field team.
* Samantha Rice will attend Concordia University and play softball. During her senior year, she was First Team All-League on both volleyball and softball.
The Class of 2015, Ridgefield High School's 103rd graduating class, includes 126 graduating seniors. The Graduation Commencement Ceremony will be held this Friday, June 12, at 7 p.m. in the district's stadium.