The weekend was full of festivities as graduates from local high schools received their hard-earned diplomas. Students of varying backgrounds and accomplishments celebrated as family, friends and teachers looked on. The following is a collection of stories from the various commencement ceremonies.
Determining whether a middle schooler appreciates something can pose a challenge for adults at times. However, local outdoor school organizers are convinced that the program makes a big impact with the students, even if they don’t display it outwardly. “You may not see it now, but we’re hoping that in the future, they can draw from this experience and the memories,” said Maegan Jossy, outreach coordinator for the Friends of the Columbia Gorge. “There’s something special about this experience, something you can’t get in a classroom.”
Brian Christopher has always been able to blend in with his surroundings. At more than six feet tall, that is no easy accomplishment. But it isn’t something he tried to do, it’s instinctive, which helps the photojournalist capture scenes as they unfold. “I was born a documentary photographer,” Christopher, 53, said. “Despite my size, I can blend in and seem invisible.”
Every Wednesday, a myriad of tantalizing aromas, music and conversation floats through downtown Camas when the Farmer’s Market opens. Located between the library and City Hall, this local market includes fresh fruit, produce, cooking demonstrations, wine and food vendors, beverages, kids activities and much more. “I really like to see the spirit of community come alive every Wednesday when the market is just bustling with energy and happiness,” said Marilyn Goodman, program coordinator, who began her job with the market two years ago. “It has been so exciting to see how much people love this small town market,” she said. “I enjoy talking with customers about what brings them back each week and hearing their stories. We are so fortunate in having an excellent crew of volunteers who set up the market each week and help us tear down and our board members, some who have been with the market since it started out seven years ago.” On a typical Wednesday evening at the market, families can be found eating dinner together and children are often running around on the lawn of the library, a book in one hand and a treat in the other."
Driving a school bus can be a tough job, but also incredibly rewarding. Just ask Connie Allred. After a few weeks driving a bus for the Washougal School District, the driver was ready to quit. “I came to the office in tears, thinking, ‘I’m too slow and too short and too stupid to figure out how to do this right.’”
Obsession. Madness. Love. Forgiveness. All of these will portrayed on stage for audiences with the opening of “The Phantom of the Opera” at Washougal High School this Friday. Based on a novel by French writer Gaston Leroux, it is partly inspired by historical events at the Paris Opera during the nineteenth century. Its plot revolves around a beautiful soprano, Christine Daae, who becomes the dark obsession of a mysterious, mentally ill musical genius with a severe disfigurement.
With the area’s first taste of warm weather recently, summer is on the minds of many, particularly children. And what to do during the long months without school is a question now being considered by parents everywhere. There are several camps in Clark County that offer anywhere from a few hours to several days of activities. Camps include everything from how to improve sports skills to how to improve cooking skills.
Since 1970, people from all walks of life have gathered to do their part in making the Earth a better place. Last week, Camas and Washougal students continued that tradition with a variety of Earth Day projects. At Grass Valley Elementary, students participated in a nature walk to a local park, where they studied different plants, animals and insects, recording their observations on a checklist.
What started out as a trip to build a house for three orphans has changed the direction of one man’s life. Paul Heberling, 24, of Camas, traveled to Baja, Mexico, during spring break with a group from Central Washington University. They rebuilt a home for three children after it was destroyed in a fire, which also killed their father. Adding to that suffering, their mother lost her battle with cancer last year. “It was my first time in Mexico and it was a very humbling experience,” Paul said. “Traveling from San Diego to Tijuana, you saw the world change. It filled my heart with compassion.”
If not for an army of volunteers, Krista Bashaw estimates it would take her two weeks to stuff the 10,000 eggs for the Camas Parks and Recreation annual Easter egg hunt. “That’s a lot of work time,” Bashaw, recreation coordinator, said. “The volunteers are instrumental in the success of the egg hunt.”