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Ridgefield School District Superintendent, Nathan McCann
Ridgefield School District Superintendent, Nathan McCann
Ridgefield School District Finalizes Sale of School Bonds (Photo) - 05/24/17

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 -- Ridgefield, Washington -- Ridgefield School District reached some significant milestones this month as it prepares to construct the first schools to be built in the district in over 40 years.

Following a groundbreaking ceremony in early May, the district successfully completed the financing for the projects today by selling bonds to fund the $77,965,000 local share of the $98.5 million in construction projects.

The bonds, which were overwhelmingly approved by district voters in February, were sold through a public offering led by the securities firm Piper Jaffray & Co. The bonds were purchased by investors from around the country, consisting mostly of professional money managers, banks, and insurance companies.

Investors were attracted by the district's strong Aa3 credit rating from Moody's Investors Services. In their recent report, Moody's noted the district's conservative budgetary management and the above average wealth levels of district residents as credit strengths.
The district also benefited from receiving the state's rating of Aa1 on the bonds by its participation in the Washington School Bond Guarantee Program.

The overall cost of the 20-year financing was 3.32%. "Interest rates on these types of bonds are near historic lows," said Ridgefield School District Superintendent Nathan McCann. "This is a good time to borrow at low rates to complete these important projects for the community."

The stable bond market and strong investor demand on the day of the sale were factors in bringing interest rates down during the sale, saving approximately $180,000 in total debt service when compared to the initial interest rates.

"We are pleased to lock in these low rates and provide some meaningful savings to district taxpayers," said Paula McCoy, the district's Director of Business Services.

According to McCoy, the district officially received the bond proceeds this morning, completing the financing of the district's construction projects effective today.

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AAUW award recipients from Ridgefield High School (from left) Sally Bishop-Smith, Natalie Dean, and Kaitlan Miller.
AAUW award recipients from Ridgefield High School (from left) Sally Bishop-Smith, Natalie Dean, and Kaitlan Miller.
Ridgefield High School Students Honored for Achievements in STEM (Photo) - 05/18/17

Thursday, May 18, 2017 -- Ridgefield, Washington -- Three Ridgefield High School students were presented with Certificates of Excellence on April 29th by the local branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) for their achievements in the high school's STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) program.

The awards were presented by AAUW Washington State at a recognition ceremony at Washington State University-Vancouver.

RHS junior, Sally Bishop-Smith, won the award for Mathematics. Natalie Dean, also a junior, received the award for Science, and Kaitlan Miller, a sophomore, was recognized for her achievement in Technology.

The young women were nominated by the Ridgefield High School faculty for their outstanding accomplishments in STEM.

The American Association of University Women is a nationwide organization committed to encouraging women and girls to pursue success in the STEM fields.

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Emily Enquist, newest member of Ridgefield School District's school board
Emily Enquist, newest member of Ridgefield School District's school board
Ridgefield School District Appoints New School Board Member (Photo) - 05/12/17

Friday, May 12, 2017 -- Ridgefield, Washington -- Emily Enquist, a Ridgefield community member and Ridgefield school parent, was appointed Ridgefield School District's newest school board member by unanimous vote late yesterday afternoon at a special meeting of the Ridgefield School District school board.

A Ridgefield resident since 2006, Enquist has four children currently attending Ridgefield schools: Colby and Peyton, a senior and freshman, respectively, at Ridgefield High School; and Conner and Mya, a third grader and first grader, respectively, at Union Ridge Elementary School.

"I understand how fast Ridgefield is growing and see the challenges our schools are facing," said Enquist. "I feel I can contribute a unique perspective being that I have made great connections with my community, while being involved as a stay at home parent, and also now as a working parent."

As a school parent, Enquist is active in PTO activities, is a classroom volunteer at Union Ridge Elementary, and actively supports Ridgefield athletics and activities. She recently contributed her time and efforts toward fundraising and canvassing for the district's highly successful school bond campaign. Voters passed the bond measure in February.

In the Ridgefield community, Enquist is a member of the Ridgefield Fourth of July Sponsorship Committee and the Ridgefield Fourth of July Scholarship Program Committee. Enquist also helps with the Annual Mayor's Ball, a signature event for her father, Ridgefield Mayor Ron Onslow.

"I love this school district," said Enquist. "I am committed and care about our schools, students, staff and community. As a school board member, I can support our schools in a more direct way."

"On behalf of the entire Ridgefield School Board we welcome Emily," said Scott Gullickson, Ridgefield School Board President. "She is a great addition and shares our vision of being the state's premier school district and will be a tremendous advocate for all our students."

"Emily brings a passion and love of the Ridgefield community -- outstanding qualities that will serve the school district well in her new role," said Nathan McCann, Ridgefield School District Superintendent.

Enquist will fill the District 1 seat formerly held by Jeff Vigue, who served on the school board after 10 years of distinguished service to the school district. The seat has been vacant since March.

Enquist attends her first official school board meeting on May 23. "I am ready to learn," she said.

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Siegel_Donna2453.jpg
Siegel_Donna2453.jpg
Ridgefield School District Honors May Employee and Students of the Month (Photo) - 05/10/17

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 -- Ridgefield, Washington -- On May 9, Ridgefield School District officials recognized the May Employee and Students of the Month at the regular Board of Directors meeting.

The Employee of the Month is Donna Siegel. As Registrar/Secretary in the office of Ridgefield High School, she provides secretarial support and invaluable assistance to the counselors, teachers, students, staff and the community. She is knowledgeable, dependable and skilled at her job. She is also an active member of the Booster Club, which supports the high school's athletic programs and activities.

Donna exemplifies the qualities of the many exceptional employees at Ridgefield High School. The district is proud to congratulate Donna Siegel for being selected as May's Employee of the Month.

Students of the Month

Catalina Hagen, a sixth grader, is May's Student of the Month at South Ridge Elementary School. Teachers and staff are thrilled to nominate Catalina. They describe her as an exemplary student for many reasons. "She is respectful, responsible and resilient," they wrote. "What makes Catalina stand out is her interest and engagement. She is focused, interested and engaged in discussions and classwork. She asks questions, digs deep, and actively pursues learning. She is a delight to have in class." In addition, they describe her as being respectful, kind and engaging with everyone. South Ridge Elementary is proud to name Catalina Hagen as their Student of the Month for May.

Zuzu Hunziker, a fifth grader, was selected at Union Ridge Elementary for being an outstanding student. According to teachers and staff, Zuzu "excels in all academic areas and is always curious about the next learning opportunity. Her love of learning is contagious, and she is often in a leadership role among her peers." Zuzu is also described as kind and helpful, enabling those around her to shine. She is currently part of the fundraising effort to help the sixth grade ASB raise monies for the Southwest Washington Humane Society. Union Ridge Elementary is proud to name Zuzu Hunziker as their May Student of the Month.

Mackenzie Dewey, an eighth grader, was selected from View Ridge Middle School for being a dedicated learner and an active participant in class. She leads by example and is supportive of her fellow classmates. Always trying her best, she is persistent in reaching her goals. View Ridge Middle School is proud to select Mackenzie Dewey as their Student of the Month for May.

Trey Knight, a freshman, was chosen from Ridgefield High School. Described as a "dedicated student with high integrity," Trey has been nominated 13 times this year by several teachers. "Trey always goes above and beyond in the classroom and is always polite and willing to help," said one teacher. Other teachers describe him as a leader in the classroom, a positive influence on fellow classmates and a student who is consistently prepared for class. Outside of the classroom, Trey is involved in track and field where he is the current national freshman class record holder in shot put. Ridgefield High School is proud to recognize and congratulate Trey Knight as their May Student of the Month.

Ridgefield School District is grateful to its sponsor, the historic Sportsman's Restaurant and Lounge, a local Ridgefield business owned and operated by Terry Hurd. This is the third year that Hurd has provided funding to support the district's recognition program.

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Tony VanderMaas, Ridgefield High School Principal
Tony VanderMaas, Ridgefield High School Principal
Ridgefield High School Earns Spot in U.S. News 2017 Best High Schools Annual Ranking (Photo) - 04/28/17

Friday, April 28, 2017 -- Ridgefield, Washington -- Ridgefield High School in the Ridgefield School District has been named a 2017 Best High School in U.S. News & World Report's annual ranking report released this week.

Among the 22,000 public high schools evaluated nationwide by U.S. News and World Report, Ridgefield High School placed in the top 6,000 high schools who were awarded national gold, silver or bronze medals for student performance on state assessments and level of college readiness. RHS was awarded a national bronze medal in this year's rankings as a high-performing school based on state exam performance.

In its rankings for individual states, U.S. News & World Report placed Ridgefield High School as #40 on its list of Best High Schools for the state of Washington. It evaluated 606 Washington public high schools this year. The top-rated high school in the state was #1 ranked Tesla STEM High School, part of the Lake Washington School District. Only schools awarded a national medal were eligible for a state ranking.

Schools awards were determined based on reading and math results on state proficiency tests and graduation rates. AP student test scores and participation rates figured into the calculation to determine college readiness for each school.

"We are extremely proud of our staff and students at Ridgefield High School for this accomplishment," said Tony VanderMaas, Ridgefield High School Principal. "Our staff has taken seriously the charge to become the state's premier district and continues to work collaboratively to accomplish the feat."

"Receiving this recognition is tangible proof of the team effort put forth by the Ridgefield High School staff and students, providing an environment where students can pursue unlimited possibilities," said Nathan McCann, Ridgefield School District Superintendent.

More information on U.S. News World Report's Best High Schools rankings can be found on: www.usnews.com/highschools.

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