Kodiak pride was bursting out of the gymnasium at Cape Horn-Skye Elementary Thursday.
All the students and teachers gathered for a recognition ceremony, to celebrate being a state School of Distinction, an award given for sustained improvement in reading/ELA and math achievement.
It was the fourth time since 2006 that Cape Horn-Skye has earned the honor.
“Very few schools have achieved what your school has,” said Tim Merlino, superintendent of ESD 112. “You have done very, very well in math and reading and are in the top 5 percent of all schools in the state to improve those scores over a five-year period of time.”
His next comment drew chuckles from the audience. “If I knew the recipe for how you achieve what you do there, I could bottle it, sell it and retire.”
Merlino also noted that principal Mary Lou Woody had shared many things with him about what makes Cape Horn-Skye a unique school.
“Your teachers and support staff go the extra mile for each and every student,” he said. “They never give up. Teachers tutor before and after school. They really like working together, and this school is like a big family.”
Woody noted that parents, staff, students and the community had all helped make the school a success.
“We work hard, but we play hard too,” she said. “We have monthly assemblies and celebrate all our traditions and holidays. We have numerous evening events that are very well attended and always have a packed house.”
During the ceremony, students spoke about their experiences at Cape Horn-Skye.
“Teachers help the students and teacher us to be kind and good friends to others,” said second-grader Clara Jones. “They want us to grow up to be good people.”
Fifth-grader Violet Hancock noted Cape Horn-Skye is a special school because teachers are always willing to help.
“My favorite time of day is recess,” she added.
Fourth-grader Holten Bea has made friendships that will, “never go away.”
“I want to thank all the teachers for making our school so special,” he said.
Washougal Superintendent Mike Stromme told the students it was an honor to participate in the celebration.
“There are very few schools in the whole state that get recognized,” he said. “It means you, your teachers and parents are doing something very special.”
Merlino noted that Cape Horn-Skye was among only six schools in the entire 30-district ESD 112 region to receive the award.
“We are very proud of all of you,” he said. “Congratulations on receiving this honor.”