Battle Ground Sch. Dist.
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News Releases
Top row, L to R: Mike Hamilton, Ken Evans, Sherri Bosch, and James Scheurman. Bottom, L to R: Tim Bealer, Kevin Baker, Bette Morton, and Roxy Freeman.
Top row, L to R: Mike Hamilton, Ken Evans, Sherri Bosch, and James Scheurman. Bottom, L to R: Tim Bealer, Kevin Baker, Bette Morton, and Roxy Freeman.
BGPS says so long and farewell to 31 retirees (Photo) - 06/08/18

Battle Ground Public Schools is saying goodbye to many employees this year as they prepare for retirement. The following is a list of employees stepping into the next phase of their lives. Join us in wishing them all the best!

Served 35 years or more
Dave Lund, teacher/Dean of Students at Summit View High School, 38 years of service

Served 30-34 years
James Scheurman, music specialist at Pleasant Valley Primary, 34 years of service
Roxy Freeman, health/fitness teacher at Glenwood Heights Primary, 33 years of service
Mark Watrin, instructional support specialist at CASEE A, 31 years of service
Tamera Blackman, health/fitness instructor at Chief Umtuch Middle, 31 years of service

Served 25-29 years
Glenn Haag, warehouse lead in the District Warehouse, 29 years of service
Sherri Bosch, special education assistant at Yacolt Primary, 29 years of service
Tom Lawrence, woodshop teacher at Battle Ground High School, 27 years of service
Ken Evans, principal at Glenwood Heights Primary, 25 years of service 
Bette Morton, teacher/librarian at Pleasant Valley Primary, 25 years of service

Served 20-24 years
Penny Lenaeus, fiscal specialist at CASEE A, 24 years of service
Tim Bealer, HVAC technician for Operations, 24 years of service
Jay Tryon, skilled trades craftsman for Operations, 24 years of service
Sharon Whittingham, media technician at Captain Strong Primary, 24 years of service
Diane Gullickson, special education assistant at Yacolt Primary School, 23 years of service
Kevin Baker, social studies teacher at Prairie High School, 23 years of service
Nancy Fertig, K-12 teacher at River HomeLink, 23 years of service
Lisa Hergert, 5th grade teacher at River HomeLink, 23 years of service
Sherry Lilly, technology/STEM teacher at Tukes Valley Middle, 22 years of service

Served 15-19 years
Dorothy Amos, basic education assistant at Daybreak Primary and Middle, 19 years of service
Wrennie Warren, 8th grade teacher at Amboy Middle School, 19 years of service
Becky Neely, media technician at Battle Ground High School, 18 years of service
Debra Ross, 4th grade teacher at Maple Grove, 17 years of service
Jan Thomas, basic education assistant at River HomeLink, 15 years of service
Lauren O'Neal, art specialist at Daybreak Primary, 15 years of service

Served 10-14 years
Lisa Vea, 8th grade teacher at Pleasant Valley Middle, 14 years of service
Jane Pallister, support services instructional assistant at Battle Ground High School, 13 years of service
Judith Wilson, kindergarten teacher at Tukes Valley Primary, 12 years of service
Linda Gellings, director of business services at CASEE A, 11 years of service

Served 1-9 years
Marilyn Gilberts, ELL resource teacher at Tukes Valley Primary, 5 years of service
Teresa Taylor, director of student services at CASEE A, 4 years of service
Mike Hamilton, principal at Battle Ground High School, 3 years of service

Pleasant Valley's Marching Band performs at the Hazel Dell Parade
Pleasant Valley's Marching Band performs at the Hazel Dell Parade
Pleasant Valley Marching Band wins Sweepstakes at Portland Rose Festival's Junior Parade (Photo) - 06/08/18

The Pleasant Valley Middle School Marching Band won the Band Sweepstakes award at this year’s Fred Meyer Junior Parade! Part of the annual Portland Rose Festival, the Junior Parade took place on Wednesday in Portland’s Hollywood District.

Other schools from the Battle Ground Public Schools district also placed at the Junior Parade. In the A Class (99 or less students), Tukes Valley Middle School’s Marching Band placed first, while Maple Grove’s Marching Band placed third. Congratulations to all of our talented musicians and teachers who participated and represented our schools so well!

Free Summer Meals Program offers nutritious meals to kids - 06/06/18

Children and teens ages 1-18 can enjoy a free lunch this summer through the Simplified Summer Food Program (SSFP) for children. The program is funded through a grant from the Department of Agriculture and provides lunches Monday through Friday at two Battle Ground locations. 

The program will be offered in Battle Ground at:

  • Kiwanis Park, 422 SW Second Ave., from June 25-Aug. 17. Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Maple Grove K-8 cafeteria, 610 SW Eaton Blvd., from July 23-Aug. 10. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Sponsored by Battle Ground Public Schools, the program addresses the need for nutritious meals during the summer months when school is not in session. Children do not need to attend a Battle Ground school to participate; all children and teens are welcome. 

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact the USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. 

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to the USDA by mail to U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or by fax at (202) 690-7442; or by email: program.intake@usda.gov.

Battle Ground Public Schools’ Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) held its annual Pass in Review on Saturday morning at Prairie High School.
Battle Ground Public Schools’ Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) held its annual Pass in Review on Saturday morning at Prairie High School.
Celebrating Tradition: BGPS AFJROTC Pass In Review (Photo) - 06/05/18

Battle Ground Public Schools’ Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) held its annual Pass in Review on Saturday morning at Prairie High School. AFJROTC cadets from both Battle Ground and Prairie high schools lined up in formation; marched for review in front of commanding officers, school board members, administrators and guests; received awards and completed a change of command.

Pass in Review is a long-standing military tradition that began as a way for the newly assigned commander to inspect troops. The district uses this tradition to celebrate student accomplishments and dedication to the AFJROTC program. Superintendent Mark Ross congratulated the cadets on their success. The event also highlights the change of command for each Corps unit. Battle Ground’s Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Adriana Esparza relinquished command and Cadet Major Rylee Petersen assumed command. Prairie’s Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Chris Flynn relinquished command and Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Heather Lee assumed command. 

The AFJROTC program is a part of the district’s Career and Technical Education Department.

Top, L to R: David Kennedy, Lynnell Murray, Kelly Gorby, and Damen Hermens. Bottom, L to R: Kara Kent, Justin Pierce, Lori Schilling, and Julie Williamson.
Top, L to R: David Kennedy, Lynnell Murray, Kelly Gorby, and Damen Hermens. Bottom, L to R: Kara Kent, Justin Pierce, Lori Schilling, and Julie Williamson.
BGPS announces additional administrative changes for 2018-19 school year (Photo) - 06/02/18

Battle Ground Public Schools announces additional administrative changes for the 2018-19 school year, including principals, assistant principals and directors. The administrators will begin their new positions July 1.

Principals
Lynnell Murray, the current assistant principal at Yacolt Primary School, will be the school’s new principal. Murray replaces David Kennedy, who will be the district’s new Director of Professional Learning.

Assistant Principals
Kelly Gorby, currently a special education teacher at Tukes Valley Primary School, will be the new assistant principal at Yacolt Primary School. Gorby replaces Lynell Murray, who is taking over as the school’s principal.

Kara Kent, currently an eighth grade English language arts and history teacher at CAM Academy, will split her time as an assistant principal between Glenwood Heights Primary and Laurin Middle School.

Rachelle Simmons will be the new assistant principal at Daybreak Middle School. Simmons is currently an eighth grade math and algebra teacher in the Longview School District. She replaces Justin Pierce, who is moving to Chief Umtuch Middle School.  

Justin Pierce, current assistant principal at Daybreak Middle School, will be the new assistant principal at Chief Umtuch Middle School. Pierce replaces Matt Kesler, who is taking over as principal at Laurin Middle School.

Damen Hermens, currently the assistant principal at Glenwood Heights Primary School, will be the new assistant principal at Tukes Valley Middle School.

Erin Thompson, currently the assistant principal at Tukes Valley Middle School, will be the new assistant principal at Laurin Middle School.

Lori Schilling, current assistant principal at Laurin Middle School, will be the new assistant principal at Glenwood Heights Primary School.  

Julie Williamson, currently the dean of students at CAM Academy, is transitioning to a new role. Williamson will spend half of her time as assistant principal at CAM, and the other half as the district assessment coordinator in the district's Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment department.

Pending board approval, Neil Varble will be the new assistant principal at Captain Strong Primary School. Varble replaces Jennifer Kerr, who is taking a leave of absence. Varble is currently a fourth grade teacher in the Kelso School District.

Dean of Students
Eric Sakshaug will be the Dean of Students at Battle Ground High School, while Andrea Wooster will be the Dean of Students at Prairie High School. These are new positions at the schools. Sakshaug is currently a seventh grade English language arts teacher in the Vancouver School District. Wooster is currently a geography teacher at Heritage High School in the Evergreen School District.

District Administrators
David Kennedy, currently the principal at Yacolt Primary School, will be the new Director of Professional Learning. Kennedy replaces Paula Koehler-Martin, who resigned.

Unless noted otherwise, changes have been approved by Battle Ground Public Schools’ Board of Directors and will be effective on July 1.

Campus Branch Coordinator Casey VanDaam (left) with the students of the Financial Operations class
Campus Branch Coordinator Casey VanDaam (left) with the students of the Financial Operations class
BGHS students land jobs thanks to career classes, internships (Photo) - 05/25/18

It’s almost lunchtime at Battle Ground High School, which means it’s just about time for the school’s iQ Credit Union branch to open. Once the bell rings, the bank’s lobby quickly fills with students waiting to deposit a check or withdraw some cash ahead of the weekend. Despite the rush of customers, BGHS seniors Emmie Rhoades, Tori Abernathy, and Cambrie Korpela stand patiently and confidently behind the counter, well equipped to weather whatever rush comes their way. 

These seniors are part of business teacher Kevin Weeks’ Financial Operations class. Going back to 2001, the class and its students have been tasked with running and operating the high school’s very own bank branch. And this isn’t just a make-believe, practice bank—it’s an honest to goodness, nearly-full-service branch of iQ Credit Union (iQCU), and the students running the show graduate with years of experience working behind the counter and behind the scenes to keep operations running smoothly and accurately. Besides operating the bank, the class and its 15 or so students also manage human resources, marketing, and communications functions for the branch. 

The students gain real-world job experience and build connections that often lead to paid jobs after high school, and students hired as paid interns can earn additional high school credits through the Work-Based Learning program. 

“This is a phenomenal program for students’ educational and professional development,” said BGHS business teacher Kevin Weeks. “The students learn skills and characteristics that make them highly desirable employees right out of high school, and it helps students find their career niche.”

The program is one of Battle Ground Public Schools' Career and Technical Education (CTE) paths that students can take in high school. CTE programs provide hands-on training in skills that help students get jobs or prepare them to continue their educations. These programs are key strategies in meeting one of the district's goals: Support the future success of all students by preparing them to be career and college ready at graduation. In Battle Ground schools, approximately 200 CTE classes are taught each semester in 36 content areas by teachers who have worked in the industry they are teaching. 

In Battle Ground High's Financial Operations class, seniors Rhoades, Abernathy and Korpela all have similar stories to tell about their experience. All three started as sophomores working behind the scenes on marketing, human resources or auditing assignments before becoming managers or assistant managers of the iQCU BGHS branch, where they work behind the counter handling cash and processing customer transactions. All three were eventually hired to work part-time as paid interns at external, full-service iQCU branch locations. 

Cambrie Korpela found herself hired at the end of her sophomore year, and since then has been working part-time outside of the class. While she plans to go to college and become a second grade teacher, she says her experience provides advantages that she’ll take with her to college. “Working for iQCU has been a great first job experience,” Korpela said. “I’ve loved everything about the Financial Operations class, and I believe the skills and work experience I’ve developed will give me an advantage while I continue to work my way through college.”    

Tori Abernathy was hired as an intern at the Battle Ground branch last July, working full-time over the summer and then part-time throughout the school year. She impressed her employers so much that she was offered and accepted a full-time job, which she’ll start right after graduating from high school in a few weeks.     

“I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do for a job before I took this class,” Abernathy said. “After gaining experience and being able to work with such a great team and company, I know there’s nothing I’d rather be doing than starting a career in the financial services industry.”   

Emmie Rhoades echoed the sentiment of finding career direction thanks to the class and the resulting internship. Starting out as a communications officer in the class her sophomore year, she didn’t have a clear idea of what she wanted to do after high school. She advanced to an assistant branch manager role her junior year and was hired as an intern at the Ridgefield branch. After graduating, she plans to continue working at the Ridgefield location and is seeking a full-time, permanent position. 

“I was really nervous and felt stressed out when I first started working as an intern, but my initial experience at the BGHS branch made the transition way less intimidating,” Rhoades said. “While the environments are different, starting at the campus branch helped me ease into it and get up to speed much more quickly.”       

Kevin Weeks estimates that five to 10 students are hired each year as paid interns through the campus programs. In fact, the last manager at iQCU’s main Battle Ground branch location was a graduate of BGHS who worked her way up through the high school’s program.  

“We’re continually impressed with the attitudes, skills, and abilities of the student interns we hire each year,” said Casey VanDaam, iQCU’s campus branch coordinator. “These kids help contribute to our success as an organization each and every day, and we’re proud to have them as member service representatives.”