Community Briefs for Dec. 5, 2019

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The Cape Horn-Skye Science Olympiad team competed at the Southwest Region A Tournament on Nov. 16 at Clark College in Vancouver. (Photo courtesy of Washougal School District)

Camas business collecting toys, blankets for families in need

For the 18th year, Temple Financial, of Camas, has adopted local families for the holidays.

This year, the company is sponsoring three families with several young children. As in previous years, Temple Financial will be collecting new, unwrapped items for the families’ holiday celebrations. A giving tree is set up in the Temple Financial lobby with ornaments indicating the items in need and wish list toys for the children.

The business also is collecting blankets for donation to the Clothing 500 initiative for the winter months. Over the past two years, Temple Financial and its clients have donated more than 600 blankets to local charities.

New, unwrapped presents can be dropped off through Thursday, Dec. 19, at the Temple Financial office, 532 N.E. Third Ave., Ste. 200, Camas. Temple Financial staff will wrap the gifts and deliver them to the families in need.

For more information, call Chris Foster or Erin Wallace at 360-834-6470.

WSD board thanks Lees

Washougal School District employees and board directors said “thank you” to outgoing board member Teresa Lees on Nov. 22.

WSD Superintendent Mary Templeton presented Lees, who has served on the board for five years, a bronze apple engraved with the dates of her service. Board members praised Lees for her support of schools, athletics and staff members.

“Teresa Lees was appointed to the school board in October 2014 and has used her time on the school board to listen and learn about the district while guiding initiatives to support students, families and teachers,” Templeton said. “Teresa thoughtfully approached the work on the board, leveraging her experience as a parent when considering the impact of changes on the experiences we offer to students and their families.”

Templeton said that “during (Lees’) tenure, she served as board vice president and helped challenge the district to do more to address the achievement gap for students from different backgrounds and family statuses.”

An enthusiastic parent supporter of athletics, Lees used her board position to cheer on WSD student athletes, praise coaches and see Washougal’s programs rise to competitive standards.

Jim Cooper, who defeated Bill Durgan in the Nov. 5 election for Lees’ No. 1 director seat, will be sworn in at the WSD board meeting Dec. 10 at Gause Elementary School.

Cape Horn-Skye science team earns honors at tournament

Members of the Cape Horn-Skye Elementary School’s (CHSES) Science Olympiad team earned honors at the Southwest Region A Tournament, held Nov. 16 at Clark College in Vancouver.

The team, consisting of 18 fifth-grade students, earned first place in Rockets, second place in Weather, third in Benthic Bugs and fourth in Electricity.

The group met once per week for two months under the leadership of CHSES teachers Darcy Hickey and Hana Gustely.

“My favorite part about this year has been bringing in community members such as water resource educators, a pilot, an electrician and a retired science teacher to talk with the kids about their field of expertise,” Gustely said in a news release issued by the Washougal School District. “We had a lot of hands-on time as well as a field study along the nature trails near our school.”

Gustely is proud of how confident and supportive the students were during the event.

“They not only learned a lot of science, but practiced perseverance, problem solving and teamwork,” she said. “After this experience, some students may choose to participate in our school’s after-school STEM club, and then they will have another opportunity to participate in Science Olympiad at Washougal High School.”

“I see science as a gateway subject,” CHSES principal Penny Andrews said in the news release. “Science helps to students to be curious, innovative, engaged and active in hands-on work. We hope students will take lessons they have learned in the study of science to their math and reading work. It is a win-win for everybody.”

Science Olympiad is an international nonprofit organization devoted to improving the quality of science education, creating a passion for learning science and providing recognition for outstanding achievement in science education by both students and teachers. These goals are accomplished through classroom activities, research, professional development workshops and the encouragement of intramural, district, regional, state, national and international tournaments.