News Briefs for Feb. 20, 2020

Tax-Aide offers free tax help; 'Teacher of the Year' nominations sought; police investigate after man found injured on road outside Washougal

Local AARP Foundation Tax-Aide coordinator Sherry Davis (right) inspects documents provided by taxpayer Nadia Samiee (left) of Vancouver at the Camas Public Library in February 2019, while Tax-Aide counselor Vicki Millard (second from right), of Washougal, watches and Tax-Aide counselor Mike Leonardich (third from right), of Vancouver, works on another tax return. (Post-Record file photo)

Amy Campbell, a special needs educator at Helen Baller Elementary School, teaches children on the first day of the 2019-20 school year. Campbell is the 2020 Washington Teacher of the Year. (Contributed photo courtesy of Camas School District)

Tax-Aide volunteers offer free tax help

The American Association of Retired People (AARP) Foundation is providing in-person tax assistance and preparation through its Tax-Aide program through April 15.

The program is free and available to those who need to file personal federal (as well as Washington or Oregon state) tax returns. Volunteers will help prepare and e-file the returns for taxpayers of all ages.

In 2019, AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers helped millions of residents nationwide and helped 50,000 residents in Washington claim $54 million in federal refunds.

Tax preparation sites include the Camas Public Library on Wednesday and Thursday and the Stevenson Community Library on alternating Saturdays, as well as the following Clark County locations:

Battle Ground Community Library (Friday and Saturday); Cascade Park Community Library (Tuesday and Wednesday); Bridgeview Resource Center (Monday, Wednesday and alternating Saturdays); Marshall Community Center (Tuesday and Friday); Three Creeks Community Library (Thursday and Friday); and Vancouver Community Library (Monday, Tuesday and Saturday).

“Tax-Aide is a tremendous free service for anyone who needs help completing their tax return and filing it electronically,” Dorothy Lyon, Washington Tax-Aide District 1 coordinator, stated in a press release. “Our dedicated volunteers receive rigorous training and are certified by the Internal Revenue Service.”

For more information on site hours, or to make a reservation at sites that take appointments, call 360-690-4496 or visit aarp.org/money/taxes/aarp_taxaide/.

ESD 112 seeks ‘Teacher of the Year’ nominations

Educational Service District (ESD) 112 is now accepting nominations for the regional “2021 Teacher of the Year” award, which is presented to an exceptional Southwest Washington educator each year.

The winner of the regional award will proceed to the Washington State Teacher of the Year competition in September.

Camas School District educator Amy Campbell, a special-education teacher whose work is heavily focused on building inclusive practices in the classroom and throughout the entire school system, won the 2020 regional and state “Teacher of the Year” titles. Campbell said the recognition and professional development opportunities afforded by her new status have helped her grow in ways she couldn’t have imagined.

“Being nominated by my district as Teacher of the Year has been the highest honor of my career,” Campbell stated in a press release. “It has been a great opportunity for self-reflection, personal growth and professional development. I now feel more prepared to take on teacher leadership roles and am excited to bring my experiences back to the classroom where all my future students will benefit.”

To be considered for the regional award, the teacher must meet the following requirements: have the respect of their community; be knowledgeable in their field and guide students of all backgrounds and abilities to achieve excellence; works in collaboration with colleagues, students and families to create a school culture of respect and success; deliberately connects the classroom and key stakeholders to foster a strong community at large; demonstrates leadership and innovation inside and outside of the classroom walls that embodies lifelong learning; and expresses themselves in an engaging and effective way.

The Teacher of the Year award is the highest honor a teacher can receive in Washington. School districts and community members are encouraged to submit nominations for exceptional teachers in their community using the Teacher of the Year nomination form k12.wa.us/educator-support/awards-recognition/educator-awards/teacher-year. The deadline for nominations is March 1.

For more information on Campbell, camaspostrecord.com/news/2019/sep/12/camas-teacher-takes-top-state-honor/. For more information about the state’s 2020 regional award winners, visit k12.wa.us/educator-support/awards-recognition/educator-awards/teacher-year/state-and-regional/2020.

Police investigate ‘suspicious circumstances’

The Clark County Major Crimes Unit is investigating “suspicious circumstances” connected to an incident that occurred over the weekend outside Washougal, which left a man with “significant injuries.” Police say a “suspicious circumstances” call came in at 1:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15. A motorist had found a severely injured man on the shoulder of the roadway in the 38500 block of Southeast Gibson Road, east of Washougal city limits. Deputies from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office as well as East County Fire and Rescue responded to the call and found the man had significant injuries and transported him to an area hospital for treatment. The victim’s family is requesting privacy at this time. Police ask that anyone who has information about the incident call Detective Justin Messman at 360-397-2051.

St. Anne’s to host book discussion

St. Anne’s Church in Washougal will host a three-part discussion series about “Far From the Tree,” a book by Andrew Solomon, in late February and early March.

The presentations, which will be open to all, will be led by Washougal resident Steven Clark, a biology professor at Clark College.

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, with a pancake dinner. At 6:30 p.m., Clark will give an introductory lecture and lead discussions about the book. On Tuesday, March 3, “Far From the Tree,” an 2018 documentary based on the book, will be shown at 6:30 p.m., followed by discussion. On Tuesday, March 10, a panel discussion will begin at 6:30 p.m.

“Andrew Solomon wrote ‘Far From the Tree’ to examine how families responded when a child was born who was quite different from the parents (deaf children, children with autism, Down’s Syndrome children, virtuoso children, etc.),” Clark said. “His 700-page book has dozens of interviews and copious research on the many ways that families can be born together yet be simultaneously far from one another. He calls the experience of writing the book difficult but ultimately deeply joyous. I think it’s a beautiful glimpse into the way people are supposed to interact and the true basis for love of humanity. In a three-week venture, we will scratch the surface of the beautiful diversity of humans and the Godly, unifying love that we can enjoy between us.”