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News Releases
Sandee Myers (left) and Krista Roadifer (right) wearing their Boston Marathon medals
Sandee Myers (left) and Krista Roadifer (right) wearing their Boston Marathon medals
Battle Ground teacher and counselor complete Boston Marathon (Photo) - 05/14/19

Every day in Battle Ground Public Schools, our teachers and counselors amaze and inspire. Sometimes it’s simply their ability to connect with kids, or to teach complicated subjects in ways that make it easier for students to comprehend and retain the information. Other times, the inspiration is more of the jaw-dropping variety, like when you have a teacher and a counselor who’ve successfully completed the world-renowned Boston Marathon together.

Captain Strong Primary physical education teacher Sandee Myers and Chief Umtuch Middle School counselor Krista Roadifer accomplished the impressive feat on April 15 at the 123rd Annual Boston Marathon. The race takes place every Patriot’s Day and attracts half a million spectators, making it New England's most widely-viewed sporting event. Having started in 1897 after the successful debut of the marathon at the first modern Olympics in 1896, the Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon. Though it started with only 15 participants at the inaugural race, the event now attracts an average of about 30,000 registered participants each year.

This marks Myers’ fifth consecutive year of running the Boston Marathon, and the fourteenth marathon that she has completed. The 68-year-old shows no signs of slowing down, as her time of 4 hours, 27 minutes and 10 seconds was good for 37th place in her division, and fast enough to automatically qualify her for next year’s race.

It’s no surprise that Myers’ students are impressed by their teacher’s running prowess. When it’s time for Captain Strong’s third and fourth grade students to run the mile in physical education class, Myers gets a kick out of seeing their eyes widen after telling the kids just how many laps around the gym it would take to equal the 26.2 miles she runs on a semi-regular basis.  

“I want my students to understand that health and fitness doesn’t have to be a chore,” Myers said. “They just need to find something active they love to do, and that can contribute to a lifetime of fitness. Even though I’m the same age as their grandparents, I’m happy I can still be a role model for these kids through my running.”

For school counselor Krista Roadifer, being physically fit and active provides an opportunity to talk to students about holistic strategies that promote mental and emotional health.  A lot of the kids Roadifer counsels struggle with anxiety, and healthy lifestyle habits like eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep can be beneficial for coping with issues related to stress and depression.

“Sometimes when kids are struggling, I’ll have them write down how they’re feeling both before and after we go on a 10-minute walk,” Roadifer said. “This helps them make the connection that physical activity can help boost their moods and make them feel better and more confident in general.”

Myers and Roadifer plan to continue running together and sharing their passion for fitness with their students.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s graduating from school with good grades or finishing a marathon, accomplishing a goal takes time and patience,” Myers said.

“And a lot of endurance,” Roadifer added.   

Lessons they hope they can instill in their students.

SVHS student Amanda Howard at a cheerleading competition
SVHS student Amanda Howard at a cheerleading competition
Summit View High School provides flexibility for diverse student needs (Photo) - 05/06/19

Kayla VanSchoiack, a junior in high school, is a prime example of how self-motivation and responsibility lead to success. She has completed enough coursework that she’s on track to graduate high school an entire year early. She plans to work for her dad’s flight school business after graduation, and eventually wants to study interior decorating.

VanSchoiack took her accelerated, flexible path to graduation at Summit View High School, one of three alternative learning experience (ALE) programs in Battle Ground Public Schools. Summit View affords its students the opportunity to work at their own pace and on their own schedules. Students learn independently through one-on-one sessions with teachers in a personalized learning environment. Most students enroll at Summit View because they want to earn their diploma in a flexible environment tailored to their specific needs.

Timothy Gurnik knew he wanted an accelerated path to graduation. He was just 14 years old when he enrolled at Summit View immediately after his eighth grade year. After just one year at the high school, Gurnik is on pace to graduate in half the time it would have taken him at a comprehensive high school. He plans to start earning college credits from Clark College through the Running Start program and has a college goal of earning bachelor's and master’s degrees in accounting. Like VanSchoiack, Gurnik plans to go to work for his father’s company (a local accounting firm) after graduating from Summit View.  

“Summit View is the perfect school for students who are able to stay on task and don’t like the distractions that come with a typical high school setting,” Gurnik said. “It’s been a great experience for me, and I encourage others to consider whether Summit View is the right fit for them.”

Beyond the high achievers seeking to graduate early, there are countless other reasons why students find that Summit View is an ideal fit for their needs. Some students have anxiety disorders or other medical/health issues that make a traditional school setting difficult or impossible to navigate. Other students need to work full-time jobs to help financially support themselves or their families, and Summit View offers the flexibility they need to make ends meet.   

Senior student Cecilia Halme has been working full-time jobs for nearly three years. Halme says she likes the independence of working full-time and earning money, but that it was difficult to balance her work schedule with her studies at Battle Ground High School. She enrolled at Summit View High School last year and immediately knew it was a better fit.

“I had a hard time focusing on school before I came to Summit View,” Halme said. “I felt like I spent a lot of time just sitting around. Now, I’m able to make my own schedule and can complete all my coursework visiting campus just once or twice per week.”

Summit View also has its share of students who attend because of demanding training and competition schedules. Take for example ninth grader Amanda Howard, a competitive cheerleader who travels frequently for competitions with Oregon Dream Teams. The flexible learning format at Summit View enables Howard to focus more on her training and practice regimen so that she can achieve her peak performance levels at competitions.

Working at her own pace has allowed Howard to accomplish more in less time. “I’ve been able to finish more coursework in just two months at Summit View than I would have thought possible,” Howard said.

Summit View provides an individualized learning environment that encourages academic and personal growth to prepare students for the challenges of the future. Curriculum is adapted to each student and the teachers excel in delivering and explaining content in 1-on-1 settings. Students can work towards their diploma through the end of the school year in which they turn 21. Students who are interested in attending Summit View should contact their high school counselor.

BGPS celebrates student art at 60th District Art Show (Photo) - 04/30/19

Hundreds of creative works will be on display May 13-17 during Battle Ground Public Schools' annual District Student Art Show. The event, in its 60th year, will be held at Captain Strong Primary School.

The art show celebrates the work of student artists from every grade level. Pieces on display include 3D sculptures, ceramics, drawings, digital art, photography and paintings. The event was founded by the late Bob Peck, who taught art classes and shaped the art program at Battle Ground High School for more than 37 years before he retired.

A public reception for student artists will be held on Monday, May 13 at 4:30 p.m. at Captain Strong, in conjunction with a regular school board meeting at 6 p.m. At the meeting, board members will recognize the first place, grand prize and best of show student winners. Representatives of the Battle Ground Art Alliance will also present student awards. The school building will remain open until 8 p.m. that evening for the art show.

The public is invited to view the art free of charge at Captain Strong Primary School, 1002 NW 6th Ave., Battle Ground during the following dates and times:

  • Monday, May 13, 4:30 to 8 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 14, 4 to 6:30 p.m.
  • Friday, May 17, 5 to 8 p.m.