School notes for Oct. 1, 2013

Letters about Literature begins

Now in its ninth year in Washington, the Letters About Literature competition encourages young readers to write letters to their favorite authors, living or dead. The contest, co-sponsored by the Washington State Library, is for children in fourth- through 12th grade.

Students enter the contest by writing a personal letter to an author, explaining how his or her work shaped the students’ perspective on the world or themselves. Students can write about works of fiction, nonfiction or poetry. They cannot write about music lyrics. Entries in Spanish will be accepted and translated for the Washington State judges.

Letter writers compete at three levels: Level 1 for fourth- through sixth-grade; Level 2 for seventh- and eighth-grade; and Level 3 for ninth- through 12th grade. Entrants must be at least 9 years old. One letter from each level from each state is entered into the national competition.

There are two deadlines for this year’s contest: All Level 3 entries must be postmarked by Dec. 10. All entries for Levels 1 and 2 must be postmarked by Jan. 10, 2014.

The state’s winners will be announced in March. A ceremony to honor the Washington champions, runners-up and honorable mentions will be held at the State Capitol in Olympia next spring.

Each letter must be accompanied by an entry coupon that can be found at Coupons should be stapled to the last page of the letter. Entries should be mailed to: Letters About Literature, Competition Level (Indicate Level 1, 2 or 3), P.O. Box 5308, Woodbridge, VA 22194.

Skills Center welcomes new assistant director

The Clark County Skills Center has named career educator Mark Osborne as its new assistant director. Osborne replaces Kari Duffy, who served as director when Dennis Kampe retired this summer.

Beginning his 14th year in education, Osborne has served as an English and psychology teacher, a department head, a dean of students at Evergreen High School, and an associate principal at Mountain View High School.

He has a bachelor of arts in education from Western Washington University; a master’s degree and professional teaching certificate from Washington State University/Vancouver and a principal’s certification from City University/Vancouver.

A published author in a variety of educational periodicals, his passions are working with struggling learners, developing strong teaching skills and knowledge, and analyzing student growth and achievement data to improve learning, according to a press release.

Owned and operated by the 10 Clark County school districts, including Camas and Washougal, the Skills Center provides technical and professional training programs to prepare Clark County high school and college students for the workforce. Visit to learn more.

Local student makes OSU honor roll

Cara B. Mazzacavallo of Camas has been named to the honor roll at Oregon State University. To qualify, a student must carry at least 12 graded hours of course work and earn at least a 3.5 GPA.

WSU Vancouver to host information night on Monday, Oct. 8

Washington State University Vancouver will host an MBA Information Night at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8 in the Dengerink Administration building, room 129. The event is free and open to the public.

MBA Information Night will feature an overview of the program, its requirements and costs. WSU Vancouver’s MBA program is designed to prepare students for current and future leadership positions, strengthen analytical skills, teach students to build stakeholder relationships, and provide an understanding of the role stakeholders play in creating competitive advantage, a press release states.

To learn more about the MBA program, visit

WSU Vancouver is located at 14204 N.E. Salmon Creek Ave., east of the 134th Street exit from either I-5 or I-205. Parking is free for participants in Orange Lot 1.