Monday, December 10, 2012

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Musical Homecoming

On October 27, Grass Valley Vocal Jazz at Grass Valley Elementary School in Camas will be presenting “A Musical Homecoming.”  This fall concert will honor vocal jazz members from the past 25+ years who have paved the way for Grass Valley Vocal Jazz.
Former Camas vocal jazz members from all grade levels are invited and encouraged to attend the concert.  A reception at Grass Valley Elementary School will immediately follow to provide time for conversations.  This reunion was inspired by former members who have stayed connected through the years because of their participation in the vocal jazz program.

Grass Valley Vocal Jazz (GVVJ) consists of students in grades 3-4-5 that perform only jazz music.  Accompanied by a student rhythm section on piano, bass and drums, GVVJ is one of very few elementary vocal jazz choirs in our nation.  Their accolades are numerous: various “Outstanding Musician Awards” at annual jazz festivals; first place at the 2011 NW Vocal Jazz Festival at Mt. Hood Community College in the middle school/junior high division; and student participation in local, state, regional and national honor choirs.

GVVJ­ was selected by audition to perform at the Washington State Music Educators Association (WMEA) Conference in Yakima this February 2012.  They will also be a demonstration choir for a session that director Natalie Wilson is presenting at the NW American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) conference next March in Seattle.  Other activities include the Friends of Frank DeMiero Jazz Reach festival in Lynnwood, Washington, and the NW Vocal Jazz Festival at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon, as well as concerts in our own school and community.

Director Natalie Wilson is looking forward to seeing former jazz members in the audience at Grass Valley Elementary School in Camas.  Please help announce this reunion concert to other former members of the Camas vocal jazz program.  GVVJ looks forward to meeting those who have set the standard of excellence for vocal jazz program where they now participate.  This performance is the GVVJ way of saying “thank you!”
For more information on this program and Grass Valley Vocal Jazz, please direct your inquiries to or at 360.833.5710 ext. 78100.

A Musical Homecoming              
Thursday, October 27, 2011        
6:30 PM | Free
Grass Valley Elementary School              
3000 NW Grass Valley Drive
(Located behind the park across from Lacamas Swim and Sport)

Monday, September 26, 2011

District seeks advisory committee members

In preparation for the new school year, the Camas School District is seeking volunteers to serve on the district's Citizens Advisory Committee. CAC consists of 18-25 school district patrons who advise school administrators and board members on a variety of issues.

Meetings are held the first Monday of each month during the school year. Interested citizens are encouraged to visit the next CAC meeting on October 3, 2011, at the JD Zellerbach Administration Center, 841 NE 22nd Avenue, Camas, in the Dennison Board Room, at 5:30 p.m.

Applications to CAC can be completed at the meeting, online at or by contacting Lynette Marshall at 360-833-5412. All completed applications should be returned to the Camas School District Administration Center by no later than Wednesday, September 30, and will be forwarded to the School Board for appointment.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

CEF Auction Tickets Available Now!

The annual Camas Educational Foundation Auction will take place on Saturday, October 15, at Camas’ own Fairgate Inn, right behind Dorothy Fox Elementary. The event includes a silent and live auction as well as live entertainment. You can register for the Auction at If you can’t attend, but would like to buy a raffle ticket or make a donation, you can that there as well. More information and a link to the CEF site can be found from the Camas School District homepage.

Monday, August 22, 2011

District seeks health committee members

The Camas School District is seeking individuals to serve on the district’s “Student Health Advisory Council” (SHAC) beginning in September for the 2011-12 school year. Ideally volunteers would have a background/interest in one of the following areas: comprehensive school health education, physical education, health services, nutrition services, counseling, psychological or social work, health promotion for staff, and/or family/community experience. Committee members will also be a representative/liaison for a specific school building - elementary, middle or high school. Parents, teachers and community members are encouraged to apply.

This year SHAC members will primarily be assisting in implementing a $3,000 grant “Fuel Up to Play 60” from the Washington State and America’s Dairy Farmers.”Fuel Up to Play 60” is a nationwide movement focused on fighting childhood obesity by empowering kids to take control of their own health. Grant activities include: a once-a-week, before-school physical fitness program at Liberty Middle School; a cooking contest for middle school students; and creating posters with healthy messages and nutritional content of foods to be displayed in the Liberty School commons.

SHAC consists of about 20 school district stakeholders who advise school administrators and board members on a variety of health and fitness issues. Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month during the school year. SHAC members serve a three-year term.

Interested citizens are encouraged to send a letter of interest and resume to Kathy Tomei at 1612 NE Garfield Street, Camas, WA 98607.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Part VI, 2011 Staff Award Winners

Join us this summer as we spotlight our 2011 Staff Award winners each week. In our sixth post, we honor our team award recipients, the Camas Extended Day staff.

Left to right: Sue Rombeek, Linda Jacobs, Casey Greening, Barb Heckman, Carla Kanekoa, Eileen Kutch, Julie Werner, Nancy Pham, Glenda Starks, Jinx Handley, Cindi Morawski, and Theresa Larsen. Not Pictured:  Eileen Formento, Heidi Greening, Debbie McEnry, Jill McNealy, Jamie Nakamichi, and Connie Wilson. 
Before- and after-school care is made fun because of the team members at Camas Extended Day (CED) program who go above and beyond the call of duty. They don’t just sit back and monitor students; they are constantly up and moving, assisting, offering choices, redirecting students to new areas, and helping parents with the pick-up and drop-off process.

The joy is palpable when you enter one of the six rooms located at CED. There is a hum of chatter and enjoyment witnessed in every room. The staff has created so many opportunities; it is sometimes difficult for students to choose. Along with caring for the before/after school program kids, CED staff also does an outstanding job in creating activities and curriculum for the half-day kindergartener program (KCARE) kids.

Anyone can see the staff is consistently engaged and very busy at Camas Extended Day. There are over 240 students enrolled, ranging from kindergarten to sixth grade. Each staff member takes pride in working with the students and making sure that everyone has something to do. Most importantly, they want the students to have fun while attending. Camas Extended Day staff is truly a team of people who make a difference for many Camas School District students and parents. The program continues to grow because of the great CED team.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Part V, 2011 Staff Award Winners

Join us this summer as we spotlight our 2011 Staff Award winners each week. In our fifth post, we honor Ruth Woodruff.

For Grass Valley Elementary media specialist Ruth Woodruff, students always come first. She exemplifies this by discovering each child’s ability and needs. She assists students in finding just the right book for specific assignments based on personal interests; offers monthly poster incentives to reinforce reading activities; designs lessons to accommodate students with particular challenges or skills; and researches best practice pedagogy to reach all students.

Ruth demonstrates enthusiasm and a true love of learning. Her wonderfully attractive and inviting library displays drives home the message that she loves the places books can take you. If you ask her about her favorite books like Guyku or The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, you will be awed by her vivid portrayal and presentation. Students volunteer to be in the library just to spend time with Mrs. Woodruff and soak in this atmosphere.

As a colleague, Ruth is a true media specialist. She assists teachers immediately with specific media issues; constantly provides materials and resources at the drop of a hat—even chasing down items from other libraries if she doesn’t have it; and she is more than willing to assist teachers in mining resources for units in any subject. Teachers report that Ruth sends them emails with resources for reading, writing, and social studies that perfectly align with their learning matrices—without being asked. Ruth is a team player and a special lady.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Part IV, 2011 Staff Award Winners

Join us this summer as we spotlight our 2011 Staff Award winners each week. In our fourth post, we honor Lisa Wilderman.

Lisa Wilderman is a consummate professional who connects with students at all levels at Skyridge Middle School. She goes the extra mile to get to know her students as learners and differentiates her instruction to meet their needs. She also gets to know them as individuals and intentionally creates a classroom environment that is safe, positive, fun, and productive. Lisa is a strong advocate for students at risk and has created special programs, such as the “Highlanders” team to support students who need extra structure and organizational support. The Highlanders program was created in response to students’ various academic needs in math and reading. Within the first year, students showed growth in both reading and math. She continues to be an advocate for all students, helping them realize their potential.

In addition to being great with kids, Lisa is always willing to do what is best for Skyridge. She has willingly taught multiple subjects at different grade levels and serves on many committees, such as the Shared Leadership Team. When she sees a need, she responds swiftly with a plan.

Lisa exemplifies excellence in collegiality and professionalism in both word and deed. Team playing is her mantra in her daily practice.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Schedule Changes for 2011-12

The Camas School District staff and administration have developed a modified school schedule which will begin this fall. Camas High School, Liberty Middle School and Skyridge Middle School will all begin and end the school day 15 minutes later than in previous years. The Hayes Freedom High School schedule has been adjusted as well.

This change will benefit both secondary and elementary students. For elementary students, the actual start and end times will remain the same which is 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM. The change for elementary students will occur in the morning bus drop-off time. In the past, elementary students who rode a bus to school would typically arrive thirty minutes before the school day began. Although students were supervised by adults during that period, thirty minutes is a lengthy amount of unstructured time before school. Beginning this school year, buses will drop elementary students off at 8:45 AM. Parents of elementary students are also welcome to drop their kids off at school beginning at 8:45 AM. Secondary students will benefit from the later start time as well. Research is very clear that providing a later start time for teens improves student performance. Additionally, this change creates efficiencies in busing district wide.

Families should anticipate that busing will be affected by about 15 minutes, however, some re-routing may occur that could impact pick-up and drop-off schedules. As in previous years, the transportation department will mail bus route information to parents in late August.

All regular, secondary late start, and inclement weather late start schedules are outlined in the table below.
If you have any questions, please contact the transportation department at 360-833-5585.

Regular Schedule for 2011-12 School Year
7:45 AM   -    2:25 PM
Camas High School
8:10 AM   -    2:15 PM
Hayes Freedom High School
8:00 AM   -    2:45 PM
Liberty and Skyridge Middle Schools
9:00 AM   -   3:30 PM
All Elementary Schools
Secondary Late Start for 2011-12 School Year
10:15 AM   -    2:25 PM
Camas High School
Normal Schedule
Hayes Freedom High School
10:15 AM   -    2:45 PM
Liberty and Skyridge Middle Schools
Normal Schedule
All Elementary Schools
Inclement Weather Late Start for 2011-12 School Year
9:45 AM    -   2:25 PM
Camas High School
10:10 AM   -   2:15 PM
Hayes Freedom High School
10:00 AM   -   2:45 PM
Liberty and Skyridge Middle Schools
11:00 AM   -   3:30 PM
All Elementary Schools

Monday, July 25, 2011

Part III, 2011 Staff Award Winners

Join us this summer as we spotlight our 2011 Staff Award winners each week. In our third post, we honor Bonnie Murdock.

Courage, determination, and strong work ethic are words that describe Bonnie Murdock, CSD senior grounds staff member. Challenging tasks and hard work do not daunt Bonnie; she just rolls up her sleeves and gets the job done. In recent years, she faced serious health challenges, but Bonnie always put her best effort forward saying, “It is what it is, and I just need to make the best of it.”

Whether Bonnie is on the mower, lining a sports field, spraying for weeds, or any other task, she will gather input, comply with all regulations, and complete the job to the very best of her ability. She is driven by her desire for Camas students and staff to thrive in an attractive, safe, and healthy outdoor school environment. She is always friendly and strives to keep positive connections among her colleagues.

Working in the “back lot” of the district can sometimes keep the limelight away. Undaunted, Bonnie lets her internal drive and self-satisfaction of a job well done be her reward. She is a hard worker who keeps her certifications current by attending classes and reading books and articles to keep her skills sharp. She is careful to safeguard student and staff safety by applying pesticides prudently and keeping diligent, detailed records. Bonnie is always willing to share her expertise with coworkers and is excited about new equipment and training. She is a gem!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Part II, 2011 Staff Award Winners

Join us this summer as we spotlight our 2011 Staff Award winners each week. In our second post, we honor Richard Mancini.

Music man Richard Mancini goes above and beyond as a teacher and staff team member. He offers an extensive music curriculum that includes marching band, concert band, symphonic band and three jazz bands. However, he is dedicated to much more than classroom instruction—which he does at both Camas High School and Skyridge Middle School. Richard inspires students and colleagues alike to be their best and do “what is right” (a Mancini quote). He connects with his students and instills a desire within them to learn and excel at a level many of his fellow staff members admire and appreciate. He teaches much more than music to our youth as he focuses on life’s lessons and continually integrates the importance of discipline, perseverance, achievement and pride in them while encouraging them to “set the bar high” (another Mancini quote) on both a personal and group level.

His students are proud to be self-described “band nerds.”  They support school spirit during sporting events and perform extraordinary half-time shows at football games. Richard also engages the band in gigs not only in the Camas community and regions in Oregon and Washington, but also as far away as California and Florida. Thanks to his efforts, the Camas High School marching band is the premier band for the annual Portland Macy’s Holiday Parade each November.

Through endless hours of dedication and detailed organization, he impacts our students, staff members, and the Camas community in ways that go far beyond the norm.

Friday, July 8, 2011

District seeks parent input via survey

District officials in Camas are currently seeking feedback from parents through a comprehensive survey titled "Taking the Pulse of Our Parents." Initially launched in 2004, the survey asks questions specifically aligned with AIMS and goals set by the district’s strategic plan.

Parents are encouraged to respond and have two options to do so: online by clicking here or by filling out a hard copy of the survey at the district office. For additional information, patrons can call Doreen McKercher, Public Information Officer, at the district office at 360-335-3000, extension 78220.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Part I, 2011 Staff Award Winners

Join us this summer as we spotlight our 2011 Staff Award winners each week. In our first post, we honor Cathy Carlson.

In the early part of 2009, Cathy Carlson, who had worked in various jobs around the district, took a position in the capital programs department. Since that time, she has become a furnishings and moving genius. She took on the responsibility to work with the planning principal and lead office staff of our new or remodeled schools and offices to determine furnishing needs including the purchasing, installation and troubleshooting of said furnishings. Additionally, she also arranged for the physical moving of contents of these schools.

To date, Cathy has coordinated the moving of more than half of our district staff and programs including Helen Baller, Grass Valley, Hayes Freedom, Extended Day, Special Services, District Office, Technology, Operations, Community Ed, Copy Center, and more. She also took on project management responsibilities, such as the conversion of JDZ into the Zellerbach Administration Center–which turned out amazing.

Cathy is highly organized, and refers to herself as the Queen of Spreadsheets. She also notices things that need to be done, and does them without fuss. However, what makes her special is her personal touch, caring attitude, and style. Her ability to treat all staff with the same kindness and patience has removed much of the difficulty engendered by the stressful process of moving. She brings problem-solving skills and a calm, cool, professional demeanor to work every day, and consistently does an incredible job.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Three Papermakers win credit union scholarships

Lacamas Community Credit Union (LCCU) has announced the recipients of three $1,500 Joseph J. Boyle Memorial Scholarships.

LCCU’s President/CEO Kathleen Romane presented the scholarship awards during a ceremony at the credit union’s Terrace Branch in Camas on June 1st. The three recipients are:

  • Joanna Guo is a graduate of Camas High School, and is the daughter of Wen Zhang of Camas. She is enrolled at the University of Southern California.
  • Stephanie Guo is a graduate of Camas High School, and plans to attend the University of Southern California. She is the daughter of Wen Zhang of Camas.
  • Martin Horn is a graduate of Camas High School. He is the son of Dean and Gail Horn of Camas. He will attend Seattle Pacific University.
Left to right, Martin Horn, LCCU President/CEO Kathleen Romane, Stephanie Guo, Joanna Guo.

“These three students exemplify the best qualities of today’s young adults. In addition to their academic achievement, they are also actively engaged in volunteer work and they truly reflect the credit union practice of giving back to the community. LCCU is pleased to help them in their pursuit of higher education,” said Romane.

Lacamas Community Credit Union was the first credit union established in Southwest Washington, chartered in 1936. The credit union serves anyone who lives or works in Southwest Washington. A full-service financial institution, LCCU serves its members through six convenient branch locations in Clark and Skamania Counties as well as online banking. For more information about Lacamas Community Credit Union, visit our web site at, or call (360) 834-3611 or (888) 834-3611.