Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce names citizen, businessperson, teachers of the year

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The Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce held a reception June 4, to honor its 2024 Citizen of the Year, Businessperson of the Year and Teachers of the Year.

Washougal City Councilwoman Molly Coston — also the city of Washougal’s former mayor — is the local Chamber’s 2024 Citizen of the Year. A longtime Washougal resident, Coston serves on a variety of community organizations, including the Camas-Washougal Rotary Club, Citizens for Better Schools PAC and the Columbia Gorge Refuge Stewards.

The Chamber’s 2024 Businessperson of the Year is Lori Reed, owner of the Washougal-based Reed Creative graphic design studio. Reed is involved with many volunteer organizations and has volunteered with the Downtown Camas Association, the Camas Farmer’s Market, FISH and the C-W Chamber of Commerce, where she has served on the Chamber’s board of directors for several years. Reed currently serves on the Washougal Business Association’s board of directors.

The Chamber’s 2024 Washougal Teacher of the Year is a teaching team: Kelly Chen and Jaymi McQueen. This duo teaches third graders at Hathaway Elementary School in Washougal. The teachers saw a 27% year to year increase in student learning, as measured by the English Language Arts Smarter Balanced Assessment, through their strong investment in Professional Learning Communities. The two teachers work closely to identify standards, plan lessons and calibrate interventions based on data they gather each week. In addition, the team works within the Multi-Tiered System of Support structure at Hathaway to advocate for support for students who need higher levels of support to be successful.

The Chamber’s 2024 Camas Teacher of the Year is Alia Woolfe of Grass Valley Elementary School in Camas. According to the Chamber’s news release, “Woolfe advocates tirelessly for the necessary resources and opportunities for some of the youngest learners in the Camas School District … has met with state legislatures to advocate for continuing funding for the transitional kindergarten program (and) is a master teacher that uses evidence-based practices which lead to increased student achievement.

The Chamber also honored its 2024 scholarship recipients: Ellie Dryden, a 2024 Washougal High School graduate who plans to pursue a degree in education at Whitworth, Wheaton or Stanford in the fall. The Chamber will award Dryden $1,500 to use during her 2024-25 college academic year.

The Chamber’s 2024 Camas scholarship student is Maria Navarro Alejandres, a 2024 Hayes Freedom High School graduate who will study law at Washington State University Global Campus. Navarro Alejandres, the force behind the Downtown Camas Association’s newly unveiled Camas Culture Art Block, will receive $1,500 from the Chamber to use during her 2024-25 academic year at college.