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Dusty Anchors
Dusty Anchors
Ridgefield Loses Beloved Coach (Photo) - 05/16/19

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 – Ridgefield, WA – It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Dusty Anchors, head softball coach, after a lengthy battle with heart disease.  He was 68 years old.

Coach Anchors was instrumental in reviving the softball program at Ridgefield High School, where he coached for three years starting in 2016.  The team thrived under his leadership, advancing to state competition in 2016-17.  Last year, it placed fifth in the state with a 21-5 record.  This year, the team is currently ranked second in their league with a 16-4 record. 

Even through his illness, Anchors continued his coaching duties and remained steadfastly dedicated to the team.  His zest for life and infectious enthusiasm for the game will live on in the hearts of the entire Ridgefield community.  He will be sorely missed.

“Today is a difficult day here in Ridgefield with the passing of Coach Anchors.  Dusty was truly a remarkable man who coached with passion, integrity and a deep love for the game,” said Brynan Shipley, the district’s athletic director.  “We will honor his legacy and continue to carry on the culture that he built here.  Our thoughts are with his family and the Ridgefield softball community.”

Counselors are on hand at Ridgefield High School to help students and staff through the grieving process.



Attached Media Files: Dusty Anchors
Ridgefield High School's Caden Whitsitt competes at the 2A GHSL Golf Tournament.  Photo credit:  Bob Ball Photography
Ridgefield High School's Caden Whitsitt competes at the 2A GHSL Golf Tournament. Photo credit: Bob Ball Photography
A Stellar Year for Ridgefield High School Golf Team (Photo) - 05/15/19

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 – Ridgefield, WA – In a year with many successes, the Ridgefield High School golf team had a standout year.  They won the 2A League individual day golf tournament.  They won the Hudson Invitational and the Titan Cup, where they competed with 3A and 4A schools.  In October, they won the 2A District IV Golf Championship.  And with the team’s remarkable performance at District, the entire varsity team—all six members—qualified to go to state competition in May. 

With a field of 80 players at District competition, three of the RHS golfers were in the top five players, and all six students made the top 15.  Cade Bringhurst placed second, Kellen Bringhurst placed fourth, and Kale Suomi placed fifth.  Caden Whitsitt placed ninth, Nick Radosevich placed 11th, and Eli Saenz placed 14th. 

In an interview with the Reflector, Kellen Bringhurst said, “Definitely the fact we could send all six to state was huge for us.  Our main goal—we’ve said it from the beginning—is for this year was that we wanted to win state as a team.”

“We’ve got a lot of good players on this team, and only two of them are seniors, Kale (Suomi) and I.  So for the next three or four years, our team has a lot of great potential and talent.  I want to leave a little bit of a legacy for them to follow.  A state title would be sweet to leave behind.”

Topping off the League honors, sophomore Cade Bringhurst won Player of the Year.  This is his second year as Player of the Year.  And Coach Bob Ball won District Coach of the Year.  “That’s thanks to Cade and the rest of them,” Ball said.  “You don’t win that without players doing well.” 

Coach Ball is proud of the students and what they have achieved.  He pointed out that last year, the same set of students won the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association 2A boys’ golf academic championship, with a 3.9 collective GPA for the team.  “They’re good, smart kids.  Good students,” Ball said.  He expects them to do well both academically and athletically again this year.

Three of the six students are playing other sports right now, so practice time is limited before the state tournament.  But Coach Ball said they will be preparing by working on fundamentals.  They’ll also be learning about the course where they’ll be playing, Liberty Lake Golf Course just outside of Spokane, and learning about the strategy it takes to play it. 

The whole Ridgefield High School golf team will be going to state competition on May 21st and 22nd.  We congratulate them and wish them luck at state.


Braxton Boer
Braxton Boer
Ridgefield School District Honors Employee and Students of the Month for May (Photo) - 05/14/19

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 – Ridgefield, Washington – On May 14, Ridgefield School District officials recognized the May Employee and Students of the Month at the regular Board of Directors meeting.  

The staff and students at Union Ridge Elementary are proud to recognize Carla Bonebrake as the Employee of the Month for May.  Carla started work at Union Ridge Elementary School in 2005 as a classified substitute and was hired as a permanent employee para-professional three years later.  In March 2013, Carla began work as a health room para-professional.

Carla is calm, knowledgeable, and decisive in high stress situations, which suits her well in not only providing expert care for our students but also in making available important health information and training to parents and to the school community.  The students and staff of Union Ride adore Carla.  Her positive and happy personality puts everyone at ease.  In addition to Carla’s outstanding work at Union Ridge, she also provides support to the Cispus Outdoor Program.  She eagerly shares her time and talents to this school event every year.  Carla’s passion and vibrant personality has helped to make this event a favorite and memorable experience for fifth grade students.  Carla was also active with the school’s PTO during the years her own children attend Union Ridge Elementary.

Students of the Month

Elsie Swenson, a fourth grader, is May’s Student of the Month at South Ridge Elementary School.  The South Ridge Elementary School teachers and staff are very proud of Elsie.  They write, “Elsie is an amazing girl and an awesome role model and leader.  She is a quick learner and is always willing and eager to help those that struggle academically.  She is kind to everyone and goes out of her way to include those students that are sometimes left out.  Elsie rises to every challenge and always gives 100%.  She also challenges herself to do better or write more.  She is always a shining example of being Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient all the time!”

Yumiko Werner, a kindergartner, was selected at Union Ridge Elementary.  Union Ridge teachers and staff are very proud of Yumiko.  They write, “Yumiko is an amazing student and a wonderful friend to others.  She is always striving to do her best on her work in class and out.  Yumiko is a kind, caring, and helpful friend in her class.  At the end of the day, she helps others and myself clean up the room and makes sure everything is where it belongs.  Yumiko always has an upbeat spirit and a smile for all that greet her.  She also plays football and wrestles!  I look forward to watching Yumiko grow and do amazing things here at Union Ridge Elementary and outside of school.”

Quentin Ross, a fifth grader, is May’s Student of the Month at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School.  The Sunset Ridge Intermediate School teachers and staff are very proud of Quentin.  They write, “Quentin consistently represents the three R’s.  His Respectful nature contributes positively to our classroom and school environment.  Quentin is an excellent model of Responsibility and Resilience, which he demonstrates by completing work assignments and tasks thoroughly and to the best of his ability every single time.  He is forever thoughtful and a wonderful friend, student and member of the Sunset Ridge Intermediate School community.”

Alexander Fry, a seventh grader, was chosen at View Ridge Middle School.  The View Ridge Middle School teachers and staff are very proud of Alexander.  They write, “Alex is a delight to teach!  He is progressing well in learning a second language, Spanish.  He has the ability to work with all partners and has a positive attitude.”

Braxton Boer, a sophomore, has been chosen as the May Student of the Month for Ridgefield High School.  The students and staff are very proud of Braxton.  They write, “Choosing one student out of the 900 students at RHS for Student of the Month proved to be a difficult task.  After reading the 22 nominations submitted by staff and getting further input from the staff on those nominees, one student rose to the top.  RHS is pleased to announce that Braxton Boer was selected.  Teachers describe Braxton as “always positive”; “striving to make himself better”; “a student I look forward to seeing every day“; and “a shining example of a student who demonstrates the three R’s – Respect, Responsibility, Resilience.”  Balancing medical issues and school has proven to be a challenge for Braxton, including weekly physical therapy sessions and past surgeries.  Never using those challenges as an excuse, Braxton is involved with Knowledge Bowl and robotics, is in advanced math and science classes, is enrolled in an AP class AND maintains a perfect 4.0 GPA.  Ridgefield High School congratulates Braxton Boer on this well-deserved recognition.”

Ridgefield School District is grateful to its sponsors, James Schmeling of Allstate Insurance Company whose local office is providing funding to support the district’s recognition program during this school year and the Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation.



Ridgefield School District Patron Tour - May 29, 2019
Ridgefield School District Patron Tour - May 29, 2019
Ridgefield School District Schedules Patron Tour on May 29th (Photo) - 05/14/19

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 – Ridgefield, Washington – Ridgefield School District is scheduling a Patron Tour on Wednesday, May 29th from 8:30 am to 11:30 am.  Bus transportation to the schools will be provided.

District and school administrators will lead participants on a tour of Ridgefield High School’s Vocational Education Building and the site of current construction of the RHS Expansion project.  The tour will also include a visit to the property on which the district hopes to build a proposed new K-4 elementary school.

Patron Tour participants will meet at the Ridgefield Administrative & Civic Center (RACC), 510 Pioneer Street in Ridgefield.  Check-in starts at 8:15 am, and a continental breakfast will be provided before the tour.

To register, please send an email to communications@ridgefieldsd.org and provide the name and email address of each attendee.


East Ridgefield Crossfit set up a fun obstacle course as part of South Ridge Elementary's Sport-A-Thon fundraiser.
East Ridgefield Crossfit set up a fun obstacle course as part of South Ridge Elementary's Sport-A-Thon fundraiser.
South Ridge Elementary School's Sport-A-Thon: Catch Us If You Can! (Photo) - 05/13/19

Monday, May 13, 2019 – Ridgefield, WA – Action was everywhere at the South Ridge Elementary Sport-A-Thon.  Footballs flew into targets, students crawled and jumped through the obstacle course, and inflatable “boards” were broken with Taekwondo.  It was perfect weather to be playing outdoors—and the day was also an impressive fundraiser for South Ridge Elementary. 

The Sport-A-Thon fundraiser started last year.  Event chairperson Kelli Bushnell explained, “I came up with the Sport-A-Thon as a fundraiser to replace the auction, which was adults only.  We wanted something fun the kids could participate in.”  

Students collected flat fee donations prior to the event.  Each class worked together as a team, competing for prizes that included popcorn parties, free recess, a sundae party with the principal, Amazon gift cards, and a pizza party. 

The team competition made for a very successful fundraiser.  “Our goal this year was $10,000,” Bushnell said.  “We don’t have final numbers yet, but we will be over $10,000.”  Bushnell worked with committee members Jen Dawson, Tina Krause, Alisha Lasch, Melissa Nove and other volunteers to raise money for school activities throughout the year. 

Out in the spring sunshine, the kids didn’t know how much work went into planning the event; they were having a great time walking, running, and playing together.  The huge inflatables were busy, with students waiting their turn for basketball, baseball, and football challenges.  And a DJ kept the music going, with some kids dancing on the sidelines.

South Ridge second grader Callum Wilson was participating for his second year in the Sport-A-Thon.  He went through the obstacle course once—then went through the obstacle course again.  He had a huge smile, his face flushed from running and jumping.  “I like the obstacle course and the football game,” he said.  “It’s so fun!”  He took a short break to catch his breath, then headed back across the wide field to join the other kids. 


Union Ridge Elementary Annual World Celebrations Parade
Union Ridge Elementary Annual World Celebrations Parade
Union Ridge Elementary School Organizes Sixth Annual World Celebrations Parade in Ridgefield (Photo) - 05/13/19

Monday, May 13, 2019 – Ridgefield, WA – Union Ridge Elementary School students will be participating in the school’s annual World Celebrations Parade on Thursday, May 30th from 10:00-10:30 am in downtown Ridgefield.

The parade, now in its sixth year, is a tradition at the school.  In a fun parade setting, it gives the students (in Grades K-4) a chance to show the community the different representations of a variety of cultures they have been studying in class.

In Kindergarten, students will focus on their own unique culture by way of a timeline they will share at the parade.

First graders studied the different cultural elements that make countries unique.  At the parade, each student will share this information based on a country from their family heritage.

Second graders researched a person of historical significance and created a biographical timeline containing interesting facts that they will share at the parade.

Third graders studied the cultural landmarks and geography of five regions of the United States.  Based on their research, they created postcards which they will hand out to spectators along the parade route. 

Fourth graders have been studying Washington State and the many wonderful things that represent it.  They selected Washington’s state dance--the square dance—to share at the parade.

Come to downtown Ridgefield on Thursday, May 30th to cheer on our students as they participate in a parade that celebrates the diversity of various world cultures.


"Final Judgement" by Grace Arnold from Ridgefield High School received Honorable Mention in the 46th Annual Superintendent's High School Art Show.
Ridgefield Students Receive Top Honors at State High School Art Show (Photo) - 05/13/19

Monday, May 13, 2019 – Ridgefield, WA – Two Ridgefield High School students were honored for their artwork entries in the 46th Annual Superintendent’s High School Art Show at the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

Kylie Brown, a junior, was recognized as one of the State Winners.  Her entry, a ceramic/mixed media piece entitled Lamia’s Pierre, won the Professional Educator Standards Board Award.

Grace Arnold, a freshman, received an Honorable Mention Award for her entry, Final Judgement.

Both student artwork entries advanced to the state competition after receiving high marks at the 2019 Southwest Washington Regional High School Art show at Educational Service District 112 held in March.  In the recent statewide competition, after several rounds of judging and selections, Brown’s artwork stood out as one of the 15 state award winners, and Arnold’s entry was one of six selected to receive an Honorable Mention award.

All 15 state-winning art pieces will become part of the permanent collection on display at OSPI and various participating partner organization offices in the state.  All of the 2019 Art Show entries, including regional winners, state winners and honorable mention recipients can be viewed online at:  http://www.k12.wa.us/Arts/ArtShow/default.aspx.

A Reception and Awards Ceremony will be held at OSPI on Friday, May 17th to honor all state award recipients.


Ridgefield sixth graders prepare for their upcoming
Ridgefield sixth graders prepare for their upcoming "Math Is Cool" state competition.
Ridgefield Students Advance to "Math Is Cool" State Competition (Photo) - 05/08/19

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 – Ridgefield, WA – Fifth and sixth grade students filtered slowly into the classroom after school.  They talked about their day and munched on some cookies.  One student turned a stool on its side and sat on its post like an axle, pretending to motor along the floor.  Just kids hanging out.  But these students are going to spend another hour practicing math problems as they prepare for the statewide Math Is Cool competition. 

At the Clark County Math Is Cool competition in February, the fifth grade team from Ridgefield was the first place winner, and the sixth grade team was the second place winner.  The top four students from each team qualified to go to state competition.  

This year, Sunset Ridge Intermediate School fielded Ridgefield’s largest team to date.  Kelly O’Boyle, coach for the sixth grade team, said they had 24 students on the original team and 30 on the fifth grade team.   O’Boyle is proud of all the students.  “It says something about Ridgefield schools, how many kids want to be a part of our program.  That’s what I love about it.  We don’t say that they have to be in accelerated math.  They join because they like math; they like to compete.” 

The Math Is Cool competition is comprised of six sections: 

  • Mental Math (individual competition with eight problems, no writing, talking, or answer changes allowed)
  • Individual Test (individual competition with 40 questions)
  • Team Multiple Choice (each team works together on ten problems, with penalties for incorrect answers)
  • Team Test (each team works together on ten problems)
  • Relays (each team takes turns answering two series of four related questions—one wrong answer can render other answers incorrect)
  • College Bowl (each team competes with another team to be first to buzz in with correct answers to ten problems each round)

Each section requires its own strategy.  And the more you practice, the more familiar you are with the format.  Team practices were two and a half hours each in the weeks leading up to countywide competition; now they know what they are facing and practice an hour at a time with a smaller team.  State competitions are in May.

James Stevens, coach for the fifth grade team, explained that several of the students had been to statewide competition before.  One fifth grade student called out his friend for staying up late and drinking Pepsi at last year’s competition.  “But I had a good reason!” he responded.  “I was playing Zelda!” 

O’Boyle said “They are looking forward to competing again.  We are really proud of all of them.”  And the students are proud too.  A hand-lettered t-shirt worn by sixth grade team member, Emily Merrill read:  Math Is Cool RULES! 

Congratulations to our Math Is Cool students and their coaches.  Best of luck at state!



Students in Laura Gosnell's fifth grade class at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School with the baby blankets they collected for donation to Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital and
Students in Laura Gosnell's fifth grade class at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School with the baby blankets they collected for donation to Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital and "Babies In Need".
Ridgefield Fifth Graders Pay Kindness Forward (Photo) - 04/23/19

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 – Ridgefield, WA – Mention “act of kindness” to any of the students in Laura Gosnell’s fifth grade class at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School in Ridgefield, and they will tell you about the recent project they just completed together as a class—a baby blanket drive that resulted in a generous donation to Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital and to “Babies In Need”, an all-volunteer ministry in Southwest Washington that provides families in need  with basic essentials for newborns.

After reading a book titled Real Life Superheroes by Alison Hawes, the students learned of the work of Thomas Barnardo (1845-1905) a doctor and social worker for the poor who founded an orphanage and school for homeless children.  The true-life story inspired the students to do a class project that would also demonstrate an act of kindness, so the search was on to find out what they could do to help.

Realizing that there was a need for baby blankets in hospitals and for families in need, the students launched a baby blanket drive.  With their teacher’s help, the class connected with the two local organizations who would receive the donations.

As word got out and donations started pouring in, the students were amazed at the number of baby blankets they were getting.  “The more blankets we collected, the more excited the students became,” said their teacher, Laura Gosnell.  The class learned that hospital volunteers offered to knit baby blankets as well, so yarn donations were also collected for the drive.

The blanket drive, a huge success, is now providing warmth and comfort to newborns at Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital and “Babies In Need”.  “This was such a rewarding experience for my students,” said Gosnell.  “This was a true act of kindness, and I am proud of each student for their inspiration.”