School notes for Dec. 17, 2013

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Matthew Quist

Excelsior names ‘Phoenix on Fire’

Matthew Quist is the December student of the month at Excelsior High, Washougal’s alternative school.

The “Phoenix on Fire,” award goes to a student who is, “inspiring, responsible, respectful, has great attendance, an excellent work ethic and positive attitude.”

Quist maintains high grades and is an active participant in the Washougal High School X-Tet ensemble and chamber choir.

“Matthew consistently displays the character traits that we hope to instill in every Phoenix at Excelsior,” said Michelle Rutherford, school registrar.

Nominations open for Iris Awards

Nominations are now open for the 2014 Iris Awards. Recipients will be honored at a reception and ceremony on Monday, March 3 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Following in the tradition of the Southwest Washington Women of Achievement Awards, this event began at Clark College as a photography exhibit during Women’s History Week in 1985.

In 2012, the Iris Awards were introduced with the focus of celebrating the, “lasting and far-reaching contributions of women in Southwest Washington and beyond.”

The award will be held in conjunction with International Women’s Day Saturday, March 8. A recipient will be selected in each of the following areas: Service in the public sector, service in the private sector and philanthropic leadership. Anyone may submit a nomination, and more than one person may select a specific nominee.

The awards are presented by Clark College, the Vancouver Business Journal, the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce and the Clark College Foundation.

Nomination forms are available at Nominations must be received by Tuesday, Dec. 31.

Anyone can contribute to GET tuition plan

Those looking for a unique holiday gift can contribute to a child’s college account.

GET is Washington’s 529 prepaid tuition plan, where college savings are guaranteed by state law to keep pace with rising tuition and are not subject to the ups and downs of the stock market, according to a press release from GET officials. It offers different savings options, tax-free growth and withdrawals and can be used to attend colleges, universities and technical schools anywhere in the country, and some in other countries.

Contributions to a child’s account can be made online or via U.S. mail. Also, customized certificates to announce the gift are available at For more information, call 1-800-955-2318.

AFS-USA volunteers create scholarship fund

AFS-USA Columbia Pacific, which serves Portland and surrounding area, has a new scholarship fund available to send local students on Intercultural Education Programs. Local volunteers are raising funds for students on as-needed basis.

The scholarship will help students who want to study abroad and need financial help, and it guarantees a faster disbursement than previous scholarships do, according to a press release.

Columbia Pacific AFS team will raise money to meet the scholarship requirements by Jan. 15. The AFS-USA National office will match local funds raised, dollar for dollar, up to $5,000. Local volunteers and host families are organizing fundraising events.

To learn more, visit To donate, visit and click the “donate” link.