Stories by Danielle Frost

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September 21, 2010

School enrollment figures stay above projections

Student enrollment is higher than expected in both the Camas and Washougal school districts. Washougal began the school year with 2,799 students, which was 14 more than expected, while Camas counted 5,628, or 85 more than projected. "Camas schools have a reputation for academic achievement at all grade levels, so the increase in numbers is not surprising," Finance Director Donna Gregg said. "Between the talented staff, supportive community and wonderful facilities, I believe people know Camas is a place where their children will receive an excellent education."

September 21, 2010
Psychic Seth Michael McKay visits with Washougal resident Alison Meyer at The Wild Hair salon in Camas last week.  Meyer came in wanting to know more about a close friend who had recently passed away.

Using his intuition

When most people hear the word "psychic," they picture a palm-reading, tarot card-holding shadowy figure. But Seth Michael McKay, who prefers the term "spiritual advisor," said that image isn't reality for him. "This is a wonderful gift to have," he said. "I don't even like to charge people for what I do, but my guides have helped me realize that I also need to be able to eat and sleep in order to be functional."

September 20, 2010
Varun Medhal (center with plaque), stands with his mom, Vidyavathi and other dignitaries from the United States Tennis Assocation. Varun was honored with a weekend trip to New York City for his essay on famous tennis player Arthur Ashe's greatest accomplishment.

Camas youth one of 10 winners of national essay contest

Varun Medhal spent a weekend enjoying what most tennis enthusiasts can only dream of doing: He had an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City to tour the National Tennis Center, sat in a Presidential Box during Arthur Ashe Kids' Day, and ate lunch at the hospitality suite at the United States Open. The Camas youth was awarded the trip after being named one of 10 winners of the USTA's National Junior Tennis and Learning essay contest. The theme of the 12th annual contest was to write about whether he believed Arthur Ashe's greatest accomplishment was winning the U.S. Open.

September 14, 2010
Chandler Audette enjoyed her internship at Dolphin Encounters in the Bahamas and hopes to return as a trainer someday before heading out on another life adventure.

Encounters with dolphins

When most of us remember internships, we picture days spent doing someone's "busy work," usually in an indoor environment. But that's all changed in the past several years. Recently, the Post-Record profiled several Camas students who spent the summer in internships ranging from new inventions to architecture.

September 7, 2010

District nixes cell phone use at school

In an effort to curtail texting during class, Washougal School District administrators have put together a new, detailed cell phone policy for students. The new policy, which went into effect when school began last week, explicitly prohibits the use of cell phones and other electronic devices during the day, except during lunch and passing periods.

August 31, 2010
Students in Camas will see increased sports fees this year due to reductions in the athletic budget.

Camas School District increases athletic fees

Due to athletic budget cuts, sports fees will increase this year in the Camas School District. Students at Camas High School will see a $10 boost in fees, from $40 to $50 per sport. Middle school user fees will increase from $25 to $30 per sport. "We lost some coaching positions and some money that was used to pay for game management, transportation and helmet certification," said Terry Cavender, CHS athletic director. Questions about the athletic fee increases can be directed to Cavender at 833- 7206.

August 31, 2010
Carolyn Foster conducts a scientific research project at CID Bio-Science, Inc., in Camas. She was one of several students who interned at area businesses as a part of the CHS math, science and technology magnet program.

Partnering for success

While many of their peers spent a carefree summer before the start of senior year, several Camas High School students were getting a taste of the "real world." The students, from the CHS math, science and technology magnet program, worked at internships ranging from studying on-site wind energy production, to unraveling the mysteries of Parkinson's Disease to helping design a new Camas elementary school. The internship program was coordinated by teacher Ron Wright. He made contacts with several area businesses and helped students find the best fit. The students took it from there, and worked with the individual businesses all summer.

August 24, 2010
Eleven students and three chaperones from Skyridge and Liberty middle schools recently returned from a trip to Poland. Pictured here are (back row, left to right), Zach Pfeifer, Elijah Wolfe and Liam Bradley. In the front row are (left to right) Liberty principal Marilyn Boerke, Danielle Przedwojewski, Rachel Rakoski, Lacy Harness, Emily Brusseau and Juli Bradley. Not pictured are Marcus Roberts, Bennett Lehner, Ella Dewars and Calla Mavros, and chaperone Carolee Dewars.

Broadening their horizons

It's difficult for anyone to be "out of their element," in a new culture with new customs, language and food. But try being only 12 or 13 and doing it. However, it's just what several local middle school students experienced this summer when they spent 14 days in Poland as a part of an exchange program with the city of Zabierzow. For years, Camas High School has sent students to Poland for an English language camp, but it's the first time a group of middle schoolers has gone. The trip came about after Camas Superintendent Mike Nerland recommended to Liberty Middle School Principal Marilyn Boerke that she set up a partnership with Zabierzow.

August 24, 2010
Levi Kitchen, who says his favorite part of racing is "winning," was invited to join Kawasaki Team Green through Pro-Caliber in Vancouver. This photo was taken when Kitchen placed fifth at the World Mini's Grand National, in April.

Kitchen it up a notch

At first glace, Levi Kitchen seems like any other 9-year-old: Full of energy and a bit shy around adults. But give him a minute or two, and you'll soon see a different side. He's a bit of a motocross prodigy, having placed in the top percentage at several national races. He recently returned from a cross country trip with his family to compete at the Loretta Lynn National Motocross Championships in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. Levi won an area qualifier in Richland, Wash., followed by a regional championship in Milford, Calif., to earn the opportunity to race against some of the best competitors in the nation during the week of Aug.2-7.

August 17, 2010
Geert Aerts checks the HVAC equipment at Washougal High School. He is helping the school district with an energy conservation project that includes retro-commissioning the heating and cooling systems.

Construction, energy savings projects abound

While students and parents may just now be thinking about school, both local districts have been busy this summer with a variety of projects. In Camas, construction on the Doc Harris Stadium, Camas High School and Dorothy Fox additions, as well as the completion of Hayes Freedom High School have been on the forefront. In Washougal, a variety of energy efficiency improvements, including retro-commissioning the heating and cooling systems at the high school, installing programmable thermostats in portable classrooms, and programming and monitoring heating/cooling control software so that unused spaces are not heated or air-conditioned unnecessarily.