New coordinator leading Network, community center
Unselfishness must be an inherent quality in any person who seeks work for the Wahkiakum Community Network. The new Coalition Coordinator, Ginger Hake, is as inclined to talk about herself as was her predecessor, Lia Sealund.
Which is to say, she’s not.
Hake’s husband Mark joined the Wahkiakum County Sheriff’s Office in November. He is an experienced law enforcement officer who began his career in Sitka, Alaska. He took a job in Iraq a couple years ago, working in security with a bomb sniffing dog. The money was good, but the distance and time away from his family was too much.
Dad wanted to see his daughter grow up.
“We’ve done a lot of 180’s in the last year,” Hake said. They knew something needed to change, but it took a while for things to fall into place. A year ago, Hake and her daughter had a grand adventure in Ipswich, England. They were making plans to settle in the area. It didn’t take.
“We were looking for something small,” said Hake. “We loved the idea of Sitka, but we wanted to be closer to family. When Mark was looking for places to work, he saw the Sheriff’s Office was hiring here. We did research and we liked it. He got hired in November.”
Their daughter, 12-year-old Stephanie, is living with her grandparents in Washougal to finish out the school year and swim season.
Stephanie is a dedicated swimmer. State competition begins in February. Regionals will follow in March, where she will compete against swimmers from all across the US. She has been swimming for seven years.
“We’ll be shuttling her to Longview for swimming when she moves back in with us,” Hake said. “She’s very athletic. Her coach is not going to be happy when he finds out she is leaving.”
Hake has an associate’s degree in business and has been back at school working to earn a degree in social work with a minor in law. She’s taking a break while she transitions to life on the lower Columbia and settles into her new job.
“This job is perfect!” Hake said. “It falls in line with what I’ve been wanting to do. I like working with youth, I like working with the community. I’ve worked for nonprofits before and really enjoyed it.”
She’s been training this last month with Lia Sealund and Linda Hartung, in what has become a combination of both their positions.
“There’s lots of training,” Hake said. “Lots to learn.”
She’ll be working with the grade school and the high school and will attend Cispus with the middle school students. She’s also learning a lot about grants and their parameters and paying attention to what works and doesn’t, frequently using her daughter as a gauge, as far as potential programs for Wahkiakum youth.
“I’m excited about the possibilities with the community,” she said. “There are so many opportunities with the new center.”
She’s already planning the move, but until the last of the construction work, an ADA-accessible entrance, is completed, she remains in limbo.
In the meantime, when she’s not training or hanging out with her family, she loves to read, do crafts and is excited to learn how to garden.