The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

School board OK's staff, funding changes


The Wahkiakum School District Board of Directors meeting began on Tuesday with an hour long presentation on the English Language Arts curriculum from several teachers in the district, including high school English teacher Audrey Petterson and six of her students from the senior class.

After the presentation, Shelley Olsen commented that as a third grade teacher who tried to create a foundation in English Language Arts, it was great to be able to see exactly how the teachers worked to help students increase their skills each year.

Washington State University Extension Agent Carrie Backman was in attendance to answer questions about a 4-H archery club which hoped to meet on school grounds.

“It’s happened in other places in the state, but a lot has to come together to get an archery program in our area,” Backman said.

Backman reported that a local resident, Chris Gartski, had volunteered to lead the club. He has gone to a training to learn about safety and the basics of archery. They have received donations from the community to purchase a kevlar curtain as well as all the targets and bows, and other materials they will need. The club members will be using recurve bows, which will be purchased by 4-H and “tested every year to make sure it is in safe operating condition.” The bows will go home with Gartski.

The club will maintain a ratio of one volunteer to eight youths. They will be able to participate in regional and statewide competitions.

“Right now, we have four kids interested,” Backman said. “We just wanted to get a risk management plan in place before we put a bow in any kid’s hand.”

“We’ve been hearing all these great accounts,” she added. “Kids have been chomping at the bit to get started.”

Superintendent Bob Garrett said that he had gotten approval from the insurance representative and Dan Bigelow, the board’s counsel. The school board gave him, and the 4-H club the go ahead.

In other sports news, Garrett reported that repairs and striping are planned for the track. He asked the board to consider taking on the expense of reconditioning and replacing football helmets, which could cost $2,500-3,000 each year. The ASB has paid for it in the past.

The board agreed.

The board has already taken on some of the costs that formerly were the responsibility of the ASB, including remunerating officials and paying for lodging when athletes travel to state tournaments.

“It’s been a huge help to the ASB,” Garrett said.

Cindy Fudge, who was hired to finish out the school year as the kindergarten teacher when the position came open, was on the list of teachers who are being offered contracts for the 2017-2018 school year.

“When we listed the position,” Garrett said, “five people applied. The administrative team looked at the applications and we were all on the same page that Cindy Fudge is doing a fabulous job. She’s the best fit for us.”

The board approved the contracts for the 2017-2018 year.

The board also approved Michele Haberlach’s resignation as the high school math teacher.

Enrollment decreased by two full time students in May, per Garrett.

Principal Theresa Libby reported that a lot of field trips were planned for the end of the school year. Students will be going to the zoo, OMSI, Seaside and more.

A bowling trip is a tradition for students who make the honor roll, according to Libby.

“We had to get two buses this year,” Libby said. “We had over 75 percent of our kids in the middle school make the honor roll at least once. We had more 4.0s this year than we have had in my career. These kids are athletes and academics.”

Following a closed executive session, Garrett reported that the board voted unanimously to approve a conditional teaching certificate and a 2017-2018 certified contract for Eli McElroy, who will be teaching math. They also approved a conditional CTE teaching certificate for Paul Lawrence for the 2017-2018 year. He will be teaching architecture. Finally, they approved an offer to Brent Freeman for a one year contract for the new position of Administrative Director.

The next school board meeting, usually on a Tuesday, was moved to a Wednesday, June 21 at 5:30 p.m.


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