Letters to the Editor for June 12, 2012

Nationally recognized ‘athletes’ have incredible year

You may have missed it recently in the Post Record. The headline wasn’t large but the story sure was…our Camas High School Science Olympiad team finished 11th in their second consecutive trip to the National Science Olympiad tournament. The team’s intellectual leader Marcus Bintz, working with several different partners garnered two national first place titles as well as a third place medal, and top 15 finishes in two other events. In addition team advisor Ron Wright received a national ‘Coaching Excellence’ award. These are extremely remarkable achievements on both an individual and team level!

Earlier this year the Post-Record also reported on several other accomplishments for our local ‘intellectual competition’ teams: the CHS Knowledge Bowl team become a three time state champion, and two CHS Mock Trial teams finished 12th and 14th at the state competition in Olympia, the first time two teams from a single Clark County school have placed at state. In addition, the Camas/Washougal FIRST Robotics team achieved its second consecutive regional title as well as a semifinal finish at the subsequent international competition. It’s been an amazing year for all of these students!

Just like traditional athletes, the ‘intellectual Athlete’ (or i-Athlete, to coin a phrase) only gets so far on talent alone — the rest is coaching, training, and preparation. Like their physical sports counterparts, the best of the best train year around for their events.

Many of these i-Athletes will spend their summer training for competitions that don’t start until the middle of next year. Their season truly never ends.

In addition to team and individual preparation, community support is also key for this sustained level of success. Volunteer coaches and mentors, local business donations of equipment and facilities, and monetary donations all help support the i-Athletic team’s efforts. For example, through Camas Educational Foundation seed funding and the passion of our local teachers, Camas has become the only community in Washington State (and one of a handful nationally) with a the Science Olympiad program that extends across the entire district, with teams at the high school, middle school, and elementary school levels. This systemic approach insures years of future success for the high school team (not to mention instilling a love of science and technology in our students).

While the competitions don’t fill the stands with spectators and the teams don’t get the same coverage as traditional sports throughout the year, the preparation, dedication, and teamwork exhibited by these i-Athletic teams is just as laudable. The next time you see one of these young people or their coaches, tell them how proud you are of their accomplishments, and how you look forward to following their results next year.

Patty and Brian Kuhta, Ellen Burton

Potential Washougal Council candidates need to step up

I do hope anyone, who has an interest in our community, will think about our City Council and consider seriously applying for consideration for this appointment. We have a great little town but need citizens to step up and be recognized.

Washougal has been through a lot but I think now it has a chance to turn around.

We need our Council to represent all of its citizens and we need people on our Council from all walks of life, young or old, Democrat or Republican, to sit together and guide Washougal forward.

I have discussed this with several people I think would make excellent candidates but hear too often, “I don’t want to get into that dysfunctional mess. I want to wait till the Council rights itself.” The problem is folks, the seat is open now, not later. We must start someplace. Let it be now.

If you have any interest at all, please step forward and place your name to be considered for Washougal City Council.

Mike Briggs, Washougal