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Ridgefield High School Student-Athletes Excel Inside and Outside of the Classroom (Photo) - 11/19/15
Thursday, November 19, 2015 -- Ridgefield, WA -- One of the most successful fall sports seasons in Ridgefield High School history saw coaches Bob Ball (boys' golf), Sabrina Dobbs (volleyball), and Angela Shields (boys' and girls' cross country) each earn Coach of the Year honors, while student-athletes Madi Harter (volleyball), Silas Griffith (boys' cross country), Taryn Ries (girls' soccer) and Riley Smetzler (girls' soccer) take home Player of the Year honors. The success wasn't limited to the courts and fields however. 118 of Ridgefield High School's 233 fall student-athletes earned Scholar Athlete status for carrying a 3.2 GPA or better. The girls' cross country team led the way with an overall GPA of 3.84, while the girls' soccer team, with 30, had the most Scholar Athletes.

Ridgefield athletes are supported by a series of Core Covenants that emphasizes sportsmanship, perseverance, teamwork, and excellence. Coaches across the school's athletic programs teach the Core Covenants and stress that academic success is every student-athlete's top priority.

"Providing each student with a quality athletic experience to develop his or her whole self through participation is our priority," notes Debbie Bentler, the district's athletic director.

That experience includes a very intentional emphasis on hard work and a laser-like focus on the team rather than individual accomplishments; two big reasons for all the Spudder success, both inside and outside the classroom.

"The team environment is unlike anything else. We are a family. Being an athlete pushes me to achieve in all things," said Brandon Lehto, a junior on the cross country team.

Sarah Kaufman, a senior goalkeeper, said the soccer program enjoys a strong team bond as well. "We have an amazing family atmosphere; we're all so close. It makes me want to play at a higher level. That desire to be better for my teammates motivates me to give my best every day. "

Ridgefield's coaches play a big role in all the success, working countless hours throughout the year to provide a life-changing experience for every athlete. All that hard work has paid off for the coaches too. Angela Shields has seen her cross country program explode in participation numbers, with more than 50 students participating in her program this year.

"What I have learned from Coach Shields and her team environment cannot be fully measured. She stresses to us that we can be anything we want if we work hard," Lehto said.

Sabrina Dobbs, head coach of Ridgefield's highly successful volleyball program, recently led her team to a third-place finish in the 2A State Tournament. But it is not just volleyball skills that she is teaching her athletes. "I noticed in the past couple of seasons that several girls were having a hard time consistently maintaining their grades for eligibility and decided to include a study hall as part of our weekly routine to provide support for the kids," she said.

Spudder athletes are confident that all the long hours and exhausting practices will pay dividends well beyond high school. "Sports have helped me to be relentless. I know the hard work I put in will pay off," said Kaufman.

Reflecting back on the successful fall, Bentler gave a big smile and said, "The fall season was so exciting and really fun. Our coaches and athletes put in a lot of work all year and it is really nice to see them rewarded."

By the Numbers: Ridgefield High School Fall Athletics Academic Success
* Boys' Cross Country -- 3.38 GPA, 18 Scholar Athletes
* Boys' Golf -- 3.38 GPA, 10 Scholar Athletes
* Cheer -- 3.03 GPA, 4 Scholar Athletes
* Football -- 2.95 GPA, 19 Scholar Athletes
* Girls' Cross Country -- 3.84 GPA, 17 Scholar Athletes
* Girl's Soccer -- 3.67 GPA, 30 Scholar Athletes
* Volleyball -- 3.05 GPA, 20 Scholar Athletes

Alexander Ashmore with Dr. McCann
Alexander Ashmore with Dr. McCann
Ridgefield School District Honors November Employee and Students of the Month (Photo) - 11/10/15
Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - Ridgefield, WA - On November 10 Ridgefield School District officials recognized the November Employee and Students of the Month in the regular Board of Directors meeting.

The Employee of the Month is Nancy Anderson, a human resources specialist in the district's central office. Anderson, who has worked in the district for 22 years, was recognized by her peers for her long-standing dedication to the school system.

Anderson is described by her co-workers as an expert in her position with exceptional organizational skills and a high attention to detail.

"Nancy Anderson's dedication to Ridgefield School District is limitless. She does not stop until the job is complete. She was a regular fixture in the district office this summer after hours and on weekends ensuring that we were securing the highest-quality new staff to meet the demands of our growing district," said Dr. Nathan McCann, Ridgefield's superintendent.

Students of the Month

Naomy Martinez, a first grader, was chosen at South Ridge Elementary School. Teachers and staff offered several comments about her, including: "Naomy arrives at school each day with a smile ready to learn. Even when learning is challenging she always tries her best. She is a joy to be around. We are so proud of Naomy and her success in our classroom!"

Olivia Fenton, a fifth grader, was selected at Union Ridge Elementary School. Union Ridge teachers and staff made several comments about her, including: "Olivia maintains a positive attitude every day in school which is noticed by all, and observed in the smile she wears. She demonstrates exceptional characteristics of a learner such as coming to school prepared to learn, always looking for additional opportunities to extend her learning, demonstrating flexibility in changes to her daily schedule in order to attend sixth grade math class, and leadership. Olivia is willing to work with and help any one of her classmates. She was selected by her peers to fulfill the position of Principal Advisory Representative as they knew she is reliable, responsible, and would represent them fairly."

Alexander Ashmore, an eighth grader, was selected from View Ridge Middle School. View Ridge teachers and staff said Alex is the Student of the Month because of his high character and commitment to doing things right every time.

"Alex is a very responsible student who goes above and beyond what is expected. He is a great team player who responds positively to everyone and every scenario I have had in class. He is a perfect example of work ethic and great sportsmanship, while also demonstrating excellence," a staff member said.

Jenna Mayer, a senior, was chosen from Ridgefield High School. Mayer is enrolled in Advanced Choir and three Advanced Placement courses, has served as a Cispus camp counselor, and been a member of the Spudder softball and volleyball programs.

"Jenna possesses grit and kindness and is an all-around wonderful human being and student. She is responsible and resilient by showing continual growth and determination," said several staff members.

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

Union Ridge Elementary Fifth Grade Teacher, Laurie Pritchard
Union Ridge Elementary Fifth Grade Teacher, Laurie Pritchard
Ridgefield School District Fifth Graders Engage in Outdoor Learning Experiences (Photo) - 11/04/15
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 - Ridgefield, WA - For 46 consecutive years, fifth graders in the Ridgefield School District traveled to Randle, WA to engage in five days of outdoor learning at the Cispus Learning Center. Started by longtime Ridgefield resident and principal, John Hudson Sr., the program has provided a memorable learning adventure for Ridgefield's elementary students annually since the 1969-1970 school year.

While at Camp Cispus, students use the outdoors as their classroom, receiving lessons in geology, biology, astronomy, emergency shelters, and campfire safety from their fifth grade teachers. They study hands-on science and gain appreciation for the outdoors.

Union Ridge student Cameron Jones, said, "I learned that one thing a person or an animal does can impact a lot of other things. In nature, a beaver can block water, killing trees and affecting where other animals are able to live. We need to be careful about how we impact nature."

Parker Daniels said, "I learned that soil can have different pH levels. You can test it by getting a sample and putting drops on it. Then you observe the color to see if it's acidic." His brother, Max, added, "You'll mess it up if you touch it with your hands."

Daily hikes through the surrounding forested terrain give many students their first opportunity to experience some of the beautiful and interesting natural features found in Washington. Hiking destinations include ponds, a creek, a river, a waterfall, and a cave.

Donovan Tront described his experience, "I liked being outdoors in nature. I especially liked the waterfall. We got to walk behind the waterfall which was really cool."

Students sleep in cabins at the camp and eat their meals in the large dining hall. Each day begins with a flag ceremony and ends with a campfire. There is a focus on teaching manners, cooperation, and responsible behavior. Of course, the camp experience would not be complete without the fun camp songs and skits.

Claire Jones reflected on her experience, "I will always remember the campfires, singing songs, and everyone having a good time every night." Max Daniels recalled, "I loved the campfires. We did a skit about the enlarging machine. When we finished, everybody laughed."

A unique feature of the learning experience is the camp counselor role played by Ridgefield High School students, who must apply to be camp counselors for the week. Those chosen support the adult staff and volunteers in providing supervision for the fifth graders. The counselors stay in the cabins with students at night, lead students from one camp activity to another during the day, and support the teachers in facilitating the learning activities. In the process, they gain valuable leadership experience and receive the admiration of the younger campers who view them as role models.

Senior Jacob Burggraff shared his reasons for becoming a counselor; "I loved camp as a fifth grader, and since then I've always wanted to go back. I wanted this year's fifth graders to have an experience like the one I had." Asked about his preparation for the camp, he said, "We met every week in advance of the trip. We received medical training. We learned about what to expect when working with kids and what strategies we could use to lead a group of fifth graders. We also spent a weekend at Cispus to learn about the camp."

All of the preparation made for a memorable week. "I really enjoyed seeing how excited the fifth graders were to be outdoors," said counselor Sophie Miller, a senior. "They were pointing out plants and other interesting things that they saw." She added, "The kids became very close by the end of the week. They had to rely on each other for support, because their parents weren't there. It was awesome! I loved it!"

"The counselors were super nice, and they were supportive when we were homesick," said Claire Jones. "My counselor was really, really fun to be around. She knew all the songs and taught them to us," added her sister, Cameron.

Union Ridge fifth-grade teacher, Laurie Pritchard, has been taking students to Cispus since 1998. She has been one of the lead coordinators of the program for over a decade. When asked about how she believes students benefit from the program, Pritchard said, "Fifth graders return seeing the world around them through a new pair of eyes. We do things at camp to protect the environment and to stay safe in the outdoors. When we return, students suggest doing some of the same things to improve how we work together back at school." She continued, "Many students that thrive in the outdoors, have struggled in the regular classroom. The success they experience at camp gives them new confidence when they return to the regular classroom."

Pritchard also touted the benefits for the high school counselors, "They become mentors to the younger kids and guides for their learning. They learn compassion and understanding."

Outdoor School would not be possible in the Ridgefield School District without the tremendous support of parents, volunteers, donors, and the Board of Directors. In addition to the teachers and camp counselors, many community members believe in the experience so strongly that they make the trip to Cispus along with the students each year. Some even use their vacation to allow them to participate. They serve as the kitchen staff and prepare materials for the activities. There is even an on-site doctor.

Tront summed up the experience, "I made a lot of new friends, even my counselor. They have good food, too! I got to learn things I would have never learned sitting in the classroom."

The Cispsus Outdoor Learning Center is operated aby the Association of Washington School Principals. For more information on the center, visit www.awsplearningcenters.org.

Ridgefield School District Logo
Ridgefield School District Logo
Ridgefield School District Seeks Volunteers to Serve on Capital Facilities Advisory Committee (Photo) - 11/03/15
Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - Ridgefield, WA - Ridgefield School District invites interested residents to join the district's Capital Facilities Advisory Committee. This group will study, analyze, and make capital facility recommendations to the Board of Directors.

Ridgefield School District is Clark County's fastest-growing school district over the past two years and is projected to more than triple in enrollment by 2035. With a current enrollment of 2458 students, the district is serving nearly 300 students in excess of their 2159 student capacity.

The advisory committee's first meeting will be on Tuesday, November 17th from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Ridgefield High School. The committee's work will continue through March 2016 with recommendations presented to the Board of Directors for consideration in April 2016.

The Capital Facilities Advisory Committee will be asked to;
* Evaluate the Ridgefield School District's facility current conditions and needs as they relate to supporting enrollment projections and the District's educational vision.
* Develop criteria for facility decision-making that promote continued success for Ridgefield School District and the community.
* Review proposed concepts to meet the District's future facility needs and provide feedback and recommendation of preferred concept for a potential future bond election.
* Participate in community open houses or communication activities.

In addition to community members, the committee will include district staff, students, local public officials, and business partners.

Those interested in serving on the Capital Facilities Advisory Committee may sign up by calling the district office at 360-619-1302 or emailing Dr. Nathan McCann, the district's superintendent at nathan.mccann@ridgefieldsd.org.

Attached Media Files: Ridgefield School District Logo