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Danica Allen, Union Ridge Student, was a runner up in the Holiday Greeting Card Design contest
Danica Allen, Union Ridge Student, was a runner up in the Holiday Greeting Card Design contest
Ridgefield School District recognizes star pupils, athletes and employee at Tuesday board meeting (Photo) - 12/17/14
Wednesday, December 17, 2014-Ridgefield, WA-Ridgefield School District recognized its Students of the Month, Employee of the Month, Holiday Greeting Card Design Winner, and the success of the high school's Girls Soccer team in a regular board meeting on Tuesday night, December 16, 2014.

Holiday Greeting Card Design Competition

Students throughout the district were invited to submit designs for a holiday greeting card sent from the district. The winning entry received a $50 cash award and the two semi-finalists each won $25 cash awards, sponsored by the Ridgefield Arts Association.

Olivia Fenton, an elementary student from Union Ridge Elementary School, won the contest with Madison Syring, a student at View Ridge Middle School, and Danica Allen, another student at Union Ridge, winning the runner-up positions.

Ridgefield High School Girls Soccer

The Girls Soccer Spudders had an amazing season, coming in third place at the Washington State Tournament. Robby Trimbo, head coach for the team, pointed to excellent teamwork and dedication to hard work and practice as the reasons for the players' success this season. During the board meeting. The players showed photos from throughout the season and talked about their experience at state.

Don Stose, a city council member for Ridgefield, presented a proclamation from Mayor Ron Onslow declaring December 16 Ridgefield High School Girls Soccer Spudder Day.

Employee and Students of the Month

Superintendent Nathan McCann presented the awards for Employee and Students of the Month:

Employee of the Month - Geoff Varney, Manager of Technology Services
Varney was described by his coworkers as:

* Having leadership instrumental in enhancing the level of customer-service delivered by the technology department.
* Varney successfully oversaw a massive roll-out of approximately 1400 Chromebooks district-wide.
* Additionally, Varney embraced his new role on the Leadership Team, taking an active role in improving department communications with the school sites.
* Finally, Varney's enthusiasm to explore ways to improve technology processes, procedures, and programs is very much appreciated.

South Ridge Elementary School - AJ Bullinger
Teachers described Bullinger as:
* AJ is a responsible, dedicated student. He works hard to do his very best on every lesson, assignment, and test.
* AJ turns in each homework assignment. He is very deliberate and careful, always pushing himself to the next level.
* He is focused, attentive, cooperative, respectful, cheerful, polite, kind.....the list goes on and on! AJ knows why he comes to school and seeks to get the most out of the experience that he possibly can.

Union Ridge Elementary School - Liam Rapp
* Liam is a thoughtful, kind student. Not only is he dedicated to doing his absolute best on his schoolwork, he also cares about the well-being of this classmates. He takes pride in his success and his classmates' successes.
* He helps others without being asked, encouraging and cheering on as he helps.
* Liam has a positive attitude ALL THE TIME and is always smiling!

View Ridge Middle School - Callie Stenersen
* Callie is Student of the Month because of her hard work and positive attitude, which helps her be successful in the classroom.
* Callie's curiosity for learning and natural talent show in her passions outside the classroom like Art Club.
* Callie is a role model for other students: she is always willing to lend a helping hand or share a kind smile.

Ridgefield High School - Stephanie Valdivia
* Stephanie consistently works at learning by asking questions until she has mastered a concept.
* Additionally, Stephanie values education and works diligently to improve her skills.

Special Thanks to Our Sponsor...

The Historic Sportsman's Restaurant and Lounge, a local Ridgefield business owned and operated by Terry Hurd, sponsored the Employee of the Month and Student of the Month programs by contributing funds to pay for the awards and other supplies.

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A Science Olympiad team's casing successfully protected the egg from a dropped ream of paper
A Science Olympiad team's casing successfully protected the egg from a dropped ream of paper
Ridgefield's elementary students learn to use science and engineering to solve complex problems in Science Olympiad (Photo) - 12/08/14
Monday, December 8, 2014-Ridgefield, WA-Students from Union Ridge and South Ridge Elementary Schools recently participated in the Science Olympiad, an annual competition where teams of elementary students from around Clark County compete against one another in a series of events utilizing science and engineering.

Teams from Union Ridge and South Ridge regularly participate in the annual Science Olympiad with this year's events including: Glider Golf, Green Eggs Go Blam, Rock Hound, Rocket Boat Rally, and Dynamic Density.

Union Ridge Elementary School

At Union Ridge, a team made of third through fifth graders practiced building rocket boats made from water bottles and powered by the chemical reaction that occurs between vinegar and baking soda. Students calculate the precise amount of baking soda and vinegar that will go into the boat's release mechanism. "The challenge of this event is to not have the entire payload drop at once," explained Sharon Floyd, a third grade teacher who volunteers to help coach the team. "The team who wins this event will have their rocket boat stop at a specific spot on the track."

The teachers who volunteer as coaches do so to help get students excited about science. "I love having opportunities to get kids into science," said Anja Felton, a fourth grade teacher who also coaches the team. "We like to enrich their education with fun experiments and give them as many opportunities as possible to experience all the different sides of science."

Many of the students who participate enjoy science as a subject, and wanted the chance to try more outside of school. "It's just fun," said Gavin Meyer, a fourth grader. "You discover and experiment more in Science Olympiad than you would in a regular science class." Sam Clark, also a fourth grader, agreed, "I like experiments and testing theories to see if they're right."

South Ridge Elementary School

The South Ridge Elementary School team experimented with Green Eggs Go Blam, an event where students design casings from recycled materials to protect an egg from a ream of paper dropped from increasing heights. "A big part of the challenge of this event is creating a casing out of recycled paper product," said Linda Wear, a sixth grade teacher who coaches the South Ridge team, "In addition to the design, there are size restrictions and students can't use anything pre-formed like tubes or boxes which adds a lot of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) concepts where students have to engineer an effective solution using limited resources."

To test their casings, Wear dropped a ream of paper from 50 centimeters onto each team's container. If the egg and container survived unbroken, the ream of paper was raised to a height of dropping from one meter. The team whose casing and egg survive most intact would win the event at the actual competition. "Science Olympiad is such a positive experience for the kids," said Wear. "The whole event is well-organized and well-run."

Students raved about their experience just taking part in the practices. "Science Olympiad is awesome," said Colin Mitchell, a fifth grader. "I really like explosive experiences so I'm looking forward to the Rocket Boat competition." Sierra Stern, also a fifth grader, agreed, "I like doing things after school and Science Olympiad is really fun - I particularly like the big explosions in the rocket boat experiment."

Coaching the Science Olympiad team causes Wear to take a different approach than when she teaches classes. "Most of the time, I feel more like a conductor, gathering the materials and guiding the team rather than teaching them," said Wear. "I feel like I'm creating opportunities for them to create and experience science."

Science Olympiad took place on Saturday, November 8, 2014 at Clark College. Events took place in different buildings throughout campus so students experienced a variety of different types of classrooms such as the chemistry lab. A total of 24 schools from all around Clark County participated.

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Ridgefield School District Board of Directors Scott Gullickson, Steve Radosevich, Becky Greenwald, and Jeff Vigue along with Superintendent Dr. Nathan McCann performed the official ribbon cutting
Ridgefield School District Board of Directors Scott Gullickson, Steve Radosevich, Becky Greenwald, and Jeff Vigue along with Superintendent Dr. Nathan McCann performed the official ribbon cutting
Ridgefield School District Celebrates Capital Facilities Grand Opening and Ribbon-Cutting (Photo) - 12/08/14
Monday, October 8, 2014-Ridgefield, WA-Ridgefield School District held its Capital Facilities Grand Opening and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony on Saturday, December 6, 2014 at 3:30 p.m. at Ridgefield High School. The event represented the culmination and completion of a $49 million construction project supported by a bond passed by the Ridgefield community in February 2012.

Community members viewed the new facilities located on the South Ridge Elementary School and shared Union Ridge Elementary School / View Ridge Middle School campuses between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. followed by the Grand Opening and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony at Ridgefield High School at 3:30 p.m.

Dr. Nathan McCann, Ridgefield School District Superintendent, opened the ceremony and introduced the speakers who included notable Ridgefield residents who made presentations including:

* Scott Gullickson, President of the Ridgefield School District Board of Directors, who presented an overview of a bond 21 years in the making,
* Ron Onslow, Mayor of the City of Ridgefield, who discussed how new school facilities can help transform a community,
* Dr. Nathan McCann presented Facilities Project Appreciation Awards to LSW Architects, Triplett-Wellman, and Ketchum Enterprises, Inc.,
* Scott Combs from the Land Here, Live Here, Learn Here Program presented The Real Heroes Awards presented to former Ridgefield School District Superintendent Art Edgerly and Ridgefield Resident Jim Maul,
* The Ridgefield School District Board of Directors and Superintendent Nathan McCann performed the Official Ribbon Cutting.

"We are so grateful to the Ridgefield community for their support of this capital facilities project," said McCann. "The district looks forward to strengthening partnerships with the community to continue to enrich and improve student learning in our schools."

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Attached Media Files: Ridgefield School District Board of Directors Scott Gullickson, Steve Radosevich, Becky Greenwald, and Jeff Vigue along with Superintendent Dr. Nathan McCann performed the official ribbon cutting , Ridgefield Mayor Ron Onslow spoke about the importance of schools to a cities including Ridgefield. , Scott Gullickson, President of the Ridgefield School District Board of Directors, spoke about what a new bond means to a school district and the amount of effort that went into passing the bond. , Superintendent Dr. Nathan McCann introduced the ceremony and the guest speakers. , The Clark County fire department lent a ladder truck to hang the American flag over the new facilities at Ridgefield High School , Jim Maul (far left) received a Real Heroes Award from the Land Here, Live Here, Learn Here Program presented by Scott Combs with Superintendent Nathan McCann. , Superintendent Nathan McCann awarded a Facilities Project Appreciation Award to Triplett-Wellman for their work on the project. , Superintendent Nathan McCann awarded a Facilities Project Appreciation Award to LSW Architects for their work on the project. , Ridgefield School District Board of Directors Scott Gullickson, Steve Radosevich, Becky Greenwald, and Jeff Vigue along with Superintendent Dr. Nathan McCann performed the official ribbon cutting , Art Edgerly, former Superintendet of Ridgefield School District, (middle) received a Real Heroes Award from the Land Here, Live Here, Learn Here Program presented by Scott Combs with Superintendent Nathan McCann.
The Pacer Test encourages students to run faster with each passing minute
The Pacer Test encourages students to run faster with each passing minute
View Ridge Middle School students learn to stay healthy and active by taking the National FitnessGram (Photo) - 12/01/14
Monday, December 1, 2014-Ridgefield, WA-Jerry DeShazer, physical education and health teacher at View Ridge Middle School, teaches students that exercising, staying active, and learning about their bodies can lead to healthier and more productive lives filled with more energy and less sickness.

DeShazer uses a physical fitness test called the FitnessGram to ensure students not only stay healthy physically, but that they also know why and how to maintain their health for the rest of their lives. The FitnessGram, developed by the Cooper Institute in partnership with the National Football League's (NFL) Play60 initiative, tests five components of physical fitness: cardio and respiratory endurance; muscular strength; muscle endurance; flexibility; and body composition. "Body composition is the relationship between fat mass and fat-free mass," explained DeShazer. "As a class, we calculate body composition by using the results of the different exercises the students execute."

The FitnessGram includes four primary exercises: Push-Ups, Curl-Ups, the Pacer Test, and the Sit-N-Reach. Before beginning each exercise, DeShazer demonstrates the proper form for the exercise.

* Push-Ups: Students partner up so they can motivate one and another and ensure they use the correct push-up form. Students cheer each other on, particularly when one student excels.
* Curl-Ups: Similar to sit-ups, students pull themselves partly up, hold their position, and then release in order to increase abdominal and core muscle strength.
* Pacer Test: The Pacer Test is a multi-stage progressive aerobic test that gets more and more challenging every minute. Students run a length of 20 meter laps back and forth. After each minute, a pre-recorded message increases the pace students must run a bit more, causing students to use more and more energy. Students attempt to run as many laps as they can to meet their goals. Some students ran more than 80 laps!
* Sit-N-Reach: During Sit-N-Reach, students are challenged to increase their overall flexibility by keeping one leg straight while reaching their arms as far as possible while DeShazer or another student measures the length of their reach. Students then alternate to their other leg and see how far they can reach with the other leg fully extended.

Students track their own fitness performance using portfolios where they record the results of their exercises throughout the year. "I don't think grading students based on a student's specific level of fitness is fair," said DeShazer. "I grade my students based on their participation and effort so my students are motivated to improve and not give up."

In addition to physical education exercises, health lessons are incorporated into the curriculum including topics on nutrition, heart rate, muscles, and bones. "We use activities related to the concepts so students know which muscles they're working while they're studying them," said DeShazer. "With our curriculum, students can learn about the health topics while they're moving around; I want to make sure the students exercise while they're learning about health at the same time so they can be as active as possible during class."

At the start of each class, students direct their own warmup activities while DeShazer takes attendance. "I prefer to maximize the amount of time students use on moderate-to-vigorous physical activities each class," said DeShazer. Students set their goals for the day based on their performance from the results of their last test. Students know the national standards for each test from posters on the wall so they can select their goals based on their own performance as well as the standards. In addition to making in-class goals, students create exercise regimens for themselves when they're at home and not in school.

DeShazer decided to become a physical education teacher after having a physical education teacher inspire him when he was younger. "I had a great teacher who saw something in me, and that nurtured my passion for fitness and motivating others to reach their full potential," said DeShazer. "Watching a student develop the skills to become active for the rest of their lives is what drives me to become the best teacher I can be."

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Britnee Kellogg
Britnee Kellogg
Two-Time American Idol Contestant along with 15-Year-Old Singer-Songwriter to Perform Benefit Concert for Ridgefield's Performing and Fine Arts Program (Photo) - 11/25/14
Tuesday, November 25, 2014-Ridgefield, WA-Britnee Kellogg, country singer and two-time American Idol contestant, along with Lexie Miller, a 15-year-old songwriter, singer, and actress, both from Vancouver, will perform a benefit concert to support Ridgefield School District's Performing and Fine Arts program on Thursday, December 4, 2014.

Britnee Kellogg started singing country music after first hearing Reba McEntire sing Does He Love You. "From that moment, I knew I had found my chosen career," said Kellogg. "Every day since then has taken me one step closer to my dream." Kellogg, a Vancouver native, was a contestant on seasons 11 and 12 of American Idol, a television show on FOX that feature aspiring singers selected by judges and viewer voting to proceed to the next round of competition.

Lexie Miller is a 15-year-old singer, songwriter, and actress native of Vancouver. Lexie started singing when she was two years-old and won a Little Voices Contest at the Clark County Fair. "I use my everyday life experiences as my inspiration for writing music," said Miller. "I hope to inspire others with my music to let everyone know that we are all the same and that everyone is beautiful."

The benefit concert became a reality when Jeff Vigue, Vice President of the Ridgefield School District Board of Directors, reached out to Kellogg through a mutual connection to see if she would be interested in performing for the school district. Following Kellogg's interest, Vigue spoke with Miller's mother, Michelle, with whom Vigue works, leading to Lexie performing as the opening act. This concert will be one of the first performed at the district's new Performing Arts Center, part of the first new construction at the school district in more than 21 years as the result of a recently-finished $49 million bond project adding new facilities throughout the district.

"We're very excited to have these two very talented Vancouver natives perform for our district," said Vigue. "We expect this performance to draw a lot of attention and attendees from throughout the area including Washington and Oregon."

The concert will be held on Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and tickets can be pre-purchased for $10 each. Tickets can be purchased online via TicketsWest by visiting the following link: http://bit.ly/RSD-Britnee-Kellogg More details can be found from the Ridgefield School District website at www.ridge.k12.wa.us

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