It’s clothing for a cause

Doreen McKercher : May 4, 2015 11:25 AM : News

CHS senior creates apparel company to benefit at-risk youth in Portland

Nitin Beri

CHS senior Nitin Beri shows some examples of shirts available to purchase from his non-profit, Live Love Northwest. All proceeds benefit homeless and at-risk youth.

Nitin Beri didn’t want to have a run-of-the-mill senior project.

So, Beri, 18, combined his interests in clothing and non-profit organizations to form an apparel brand, Live Love Northwest, with all proceeds benefitting programs for homeless youth.

“I really liked the idea of running a non-profit and didn’t want to do a generic senior project,” he said.

He had the help of mentor Nitasha Kumar, who founded the “Focus on Kids” nonprofit lab guild associated with Seattle Children’s Hospital. It directly supports the department of laboratories.

Beri formed his non-profit, created a website and started designing Northwest related clothing logos for tank tops, T-shirts and sweatshirts.

Funds raised support New Avenues for Youth, a Portland organization that seeks to help hungry, homeless and at-risk youth.

“I looked at some of the bigger foundations, but since this is a Northwest-themed apparel brand, I wanted to benefit a charity closer to home,” Beri said. “New Avenues for Youth does after school mentoring programs as well as helps homeless youth. I thought it was a good way to give back to kids who don’t have all the advantages we do in Camas.”

Read the full story at the Post Record.

Comments are closed

New Woodburn Elementary Principal

Doreen McKercher : April 29, 2015 2:14 PM : News

Brian Graham

Brian Graham

Camas School District Superintendent Mike Nerland is pleased to announce that Brian Graham has been selected as the next principal of Woodburn Elementary School beginning in the 2015-16 school year. Graham will replace retiring principal Jan Strohmaier.

An interview committee made up of teachers, classified staff, and administrators participated in a rigorous and thorough selection process. “Brian Graham has served our Camas students as a teacher on special assignment, helping our elementary staff members improve their practice through professional development, one-on-one coaching, and group lesson studies,” commented Nerland. “Brian embodies the Camas tradition of caring and quality in an environment that supports growth. He is the perfect fit to lead Woodburn Elementary School toward continued successes,” he added.

“I’m honored to join the Woodburn community as its new principal. Woodburn, under the leadership of Jan Strohmaier, has created a caring school culture highlighting student voice,” said Graham. “I’m excited to continue this work and begin building relationships with the teachers, students, and families of Woodburn elementary.”

Graham received his Bachelor of Science and his Master’s of Education from the University of Portland in 2000 and 2003 respectively. He earned National Board Certification in math in 2008. Since his arrival in Camas, he has managed many projects including math shifts in the Common Core, the district’s data dashboard, elementary report card alignment to the Common Core, an elementary math website work group, and a Tier-2 academic vocabulary work group. He also facilitated K-5 learning walks, school-focused lesson studies, student growth training for principals and teachers and developed an instructional coaching model.

Comments are closed

Transition events for incoming 6th grade families

Doreen McKercher : April 29, 2015 8:58 AM : News

Liberty Middle School

Parent Informational Meetings

  • May 21, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m., Liberty Commons
  • May 21, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m., Liberty Commons

Fifth Grade Students from Lacamas, Helen Baller, Woodburn Visit Liberty

  • May 26, 1:30 – 3:10 p.m.

Skyridge Middle School

Parent Informational Meeting

  • May 20, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Fifth Grade Students Visit Skyridge

  • June 3, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. – Dorothy Fox
  • June 4, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. – Prune Hill
  • June 4, 1:15 – 2:15 p.m. – Grass Valley
Comments are closed

Another math win for Grass Valley

Doreen McKercher : April 29, 2015 6:54 AM : News

GVE math

Left to right: Maddie McArthur, Baden Currie, Vivian Barnard, Joy Young, Tara Hansen, Mia Holman, Claire McOmie, Taylor Redmond, and Andrew deLeon.

Fourth-Grade Math Team Takes Second Place

On April 20, the Math is Cool team from Grass Valley notched an awesome second-place finish at the annual regional competition. Joy Young placed fourth individually overall. Started this year by parent Roger Young, who admired the Evergreen School District’s rendition, the extracurricular Math is Cool program brings together Grass Valley fourth-grade students for a unique months-long learning opportunity that culminates in a team competition as well as individual assessment. Several dedicated parents took part in working with the students each week in preparation for the big event. Next week the team will find out if it has qualified to attend the state-level masters competition. Great job, kids & parents! To get involved, contact Roger Young at

Comments are closed

Prune Hill Penguins learn techniques to support others

Doreen McKercher : April 21, 2015 2:22 PM : News


The fabulous Prune Hill PTA funded an anti-bullying assembly last Friday which supported curriculum around teaching students how to identify and respond to bullying behavior. Bullying is defined as repeated, one-sided, and intentional behavior that threatens, frightens, or excludes others over time.  Students are taught to respond with the 3 R’s: Recognize, Refuse, and Report! The importance of being an ally to friends who are treated with unkind words or actions was an important enhancement for students.

“Thanks again to our parent community members who contribute to our school in so many ways,” commented principal Julie Swan. “The partnerships we develop strengthen our school!”

Comments are closed

Several Camas schools named 2014 Washington Achievement Award winners

Doreen McKercher : April 21, 2015 1:47 PM : News


The Washington Achievement Awards are sponsored by the Washington State Board of Education and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. They celebrate Washington’s top-performing schools and recognize achievement in many categories. This highly-selective award is based on our school’s performance on the Washington State Achievement Index.

Schools are recognized as top performers in one of six categories: Overall excellence, high progress, reading growth, math growth, extended graduation rates and English language acquisition.

Camas schools receiving the 2014 honor are: Camas High School (overall excellence), Grass Valley Elementary School (reading growth), Helen Baller Elementary School (reading growth), Liberty Middle School (overall excellence, reading growth), and Skyridge Middle School (overall excellence, reading growth, math growth).

These award-winning schools will be honored at a ceremony on Tuesday, April 28, at Spanaway Lake High School in Spanaway.

Comments are closed

“JAM” Mayoral proclamation

Doreen McKercher : April 21, 2015 8:03 AM : News

Jazz Appreciation Month

“Jazz Appreciation Month” is deemed official by a Mayoral proclamation on April 20, 2015.
Students: Abby Bradshaw, AJ Bradshaw, Garrett Maul and Garrett Monroe. Adults: Grass Valley Jazz director Natalie Wilson and Camas Mayor Scott Higgins.

Comments are closed

CHS students to perform at state

Doreen McKercher : April 20, 2015 10:08 AM : News

In March, several CHS choir students competed in the district Solo and Ensemble Festival-vocal division, with a number of students earning top honors.  These students will now move on to state-level competition on April 24-25, 2015. Participating in this event represents an outstanding accomplishment which is the result of dedication, hard work and focused practice.

  • Becca Weinberg, Winner in the Mezzo-Soprano division
  • Isaac Dizon, Winner in the Tenor division
  • CHS Mixed Quartet (Hayley Glover, Claire Green, Thomas Matthews, Chase Jackson), Winner in the Small Mixed Ensemble division
  • CHS Mixed Quartet (Cambryn Gulzow, Dana Rohlfs, Jonathan Angulo-Standley, Ethan Plock), 2nd alternate in the Small Mixed Ensemble division
  • CHS Mixed Quartet (Becca Weinberg, Edie Myers-Power, Austin Miller, Kai Ejan) received a Superior rating.
  • Kai Ejan received a Superior rating.



Back row: Thomas Matthews, Cambryn Gulzow, Dana Rohlfs, Chase Jackson, Ethan Plock
Front row: Claire Green, Hayley Glover, Becca Weinberg, Jonathan Angulo-Standley, Isaac Dizon


“This is the first time I’ve ever had a student ensemble place in the top three, “ commented choir director Ethan Chessin. “This was a huge undertaking.  I’m so very proud of the work and dedication these student exhibit every day,” he added.


Comments are closed

Lehner gives home fans reason to cheer

Doreen McKercher : April 15, 2015 12:50 PM : News

Overtime goal is the winner of rivalry match


Camas’ Bennett Lehner celebrates his game-winning goal in overtime as Camas beat Union in a 4A Greater St. Helens League soccer match on Tuesday (Kris Cavin/For The Columbian)

Bennett Lehner ended a long night of soccer Tuesday with an overtime goal to give the home crowd one more reason to scream.

And yes, there was a crowd. There were even two student sections.

That’s what happens when Camas and Union get together in competition. In any competition.

Lehner took in a long pass from Toby Pizot as he was getting past two Union defenders, then one-touched the ball past the keeper for a 1-0 Camas victory in a Class 4A Greater St. Helens League boys match at Doc Harris Stadium.

“It’s all in the pass,” Lehner said, giving a nod to Pizot. “The goal wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the pass right there. That kid works his butt off. He deserves it.”

Up until that goal, it was a whole lot of Camas scoring opportunities with a few Union chances scattered throughout the match. Union goalkeeper Grant Alcorn was on his game, credited with five saves but also in the mix to fend off Camas pressure most of the night.

Camas improved to 5-0 in league play. Union dropped to 2-2-1.

The two schools are a 4.4-mile drive apart. The rivalry has been intense since Union opened in 2007. Big crowds are known for the football and basketball games. And while the student sections might not be as big in soccer, they are noticeable. And loud.

Comments are closed

Liberty Middle School proudly presents Pirates of Penzance Jr.

Doreen McKercher : April 15, 2015 11:50 AM : News


Comments are closed

“Joined Voices” brings together CHS Choir with indie bands

Doreen McKercher : April 14, 2015 1:59 PM : News


Photo: Phoebe Flanagin / OPB

It’s 7:05 a.m. on a Friday morning, but the students getting ready for choir practice inside the Camas High School theater building are wide awake.

Instead of practicing the same old choir tunes by long-dead composers, they’re rehearsing a series of new compositions written for the choir by four composers from around the globe, including local indie rockers Sama Dams and Alan Singley. The 150-student-strong choir will join with the two bands on April 18 for a concert called “Joined Voices“ at the First Congregation Church in downtown Portland

“The rationale,” says choir director Ethan Chessin, “was [this]: in English class you study Hamlet, but you also learn to write essays. Why is it that in music class we just perform works that have already been composed – we just study the master works? Why don’t we give the students the tools to write their own music?”

Read and listen to the full story on OPB’s State of Wonder.

Comments are closed

CSD featured at colloquium

Doreen McKercher : April 14, 2015 11:08 AM : News

Teacher on Special Assignment Mark Gardner was a guest speaker last week at the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) Colloquium. The Colloquium was a full-day event which featured eight presenting districts and their implementation and best practices of the teacher evaluation system. The colloquium was designed to facilitate discussion across and within districts as participants learn about other district’s best practices and experiences.

Presentation materials from the event are available here:

The CSTP is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to building a strong, supported and effective teaching force for Washington’s students.

Comments are closed

HFHS info night for families

Doreen McKercher : April 13, 2015 4:04 PM : News



Did you know that the Camas School District has an innovative school of choice for ninth-twelfth grade students? Indeed we do!

Hayes Freedom High School was founded on the principle that not all students thrive in a large, comprehensive high school environment. If your student may benefit from any of the following hallmarks of HFHS, she or he might want to get to know us!

Hayes Freedom High School offers:

  • Small class sizes; usually about 20 students per class.
  • Longer, intensely focused classes; students take three 1:40 core classes with a 30 minute advisory each day. This allows students more time with teachers, time to work on projects in class, and a deeper understanding of material.
  • Intentional, project-based learning; Hayes students are encouraged by teachers to approach assignments and projects in creative ways focusing on the learning styles of individual students.
  • Strong relationships; with only 150 students and eight teachers, students will have the same teachers for several subjects over time. This cultivates a tight-knit community where students know teachers and teachers know students. Attending Hayes is like joining a family “where everybody knows your name.”

You are invited to come find out what Hayes Freedom High School, a school of choice, has to offer.   Parents and potential incoming students seeking admission for fall 2015 are encouraged to attend the meeting on Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. in the commons at Hayes: 1919 NE Ione Street.

If you are not able to attend and would like more information, please contact Kristi Thomas at 360-833-5600.

Comments are closed

CHS Named One of America’s Best High Schools

Doreen McKercher : April 3, 2015 3:49 PM : News


For the fourth time in six years, Camas High School has been awarded Silver Medal status by US News & World Report.  Every year, the magazine rates all U.S. public high schools according to school-specific data on enrollment, ethnicity, participation and success in Advanced Placement classes, and results of state assessment proficiency tests compared to other schools in our state.

“While rating formulas do not give a complete picture, it is consistent from year to year and it gives schools feedback on its students’ level of college readiness’” commented Principal Steve Marshall. “It makes me proud to see Camas High School listed among the top five percent,” he added.

Schools are given a college readiness index score, with the top scoring 5,238 schools receiving a gold, silver or bronze medal and – in the case of gold and silver schools – a numerical ranking.  CHS ranked #892 nationally and #20 in the state. To put those rankings in perspective: US News rated over 19,000 public high schools in the U.S. and nearly 600 in the State of Washington.  Click here to see how rankings are calculated. more »

Comments are closed

CHS Mock Trial sets a personal best record

Doreen McKercher : April 3, 2015 9:13 AM : News


Camas High School’s Mock Trial team placed third in the State last weekend, the best result in team history. Leading the team were Nicole Buckley and Matthew Svilar, both nominated for Best Attorney along with first-year competitor Madi Vance. Nicole and Matthew are four-year Mock Trial veterans and their accomplishment represents four years of dedication and determination. The team also applauds Acacia Mays, Sayge Sword, and Tiara Naidu for their Best Witness nominations and Chase Jackson for sweeping in to win Best Witness in the State Competition this year.

“This year’s team overcame many challenges while remaining positive, dedicated, and focused on doing their collective best,” commented team coach Jackie Hofer. “Our coaching team is an example of the kind of collaboration we foster in Mock Trial.  Team alumni Jacob Marsh and James Marsh joined coaching team this year and provided the extra edge the team needed to succeed at this level.”

“Our team’s motto ‘Team First, Self Less’ recognizes our commitment to building up each other first and working to give our best for the team—this is what brought us here,” she added.

This year’s tournament included 24 schools representing hundreds of students from around the state. The Washington State YMCA Youth and Government Mock Trial program is dedicated to the ideal that Democracy must be learned by each generation.

Comments are closed

New preschool program for three-year-old students launches fall 2015

Doreen McKercher : April 2, 2015 3:13 PM : News

preschoolpostThe Camas Community Education program is happy to announce its new Tiny Tots Preschool. Geared for students who are three years old on or before August 31, this class will focus on developing early childhood social skills. Children will learn by sharing with classmates and exploring the world around them in a fun, safe environment. Tiny Tots is led by pro-tech paraprofessional teachers with early childhood education experience. Classes occur on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday each week from 9:00-11:30 a.m.

The Tiny Tots Preschool compliments Community Ed’s current Little Learners Preschool for four-year-old students. For details and registration information, visit To talk with a staff member or take a tour of the facility, call (360) 833-5544.

Did you know about our before- and after-school care?

In addition to preschool, Camas Community Education operates Camas Extended Day (CED)—a program for before- and after-school care for four-year-old through fifth-grade students.

CED is based on understanding the needs of children. Warm and caring staff members pride themselves in creating a home away from home for students. The atmosphere is structured, but relaxed and allows for small group, large group, and individual social interaction. The staff members at CED work closely with families and school staff members to provide the best care for each individual child. Activities include arts and crafts, music, science discovery, games, gym, outside play, and more.

The CED program is located at the Zellerbach Administration Center at 841 NE 22nd Ave, Camas, WA 98607. Hours of operation are 6:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. on regular school days. Transportation to school in the morning and after school in the afternoon is provided.

Comments are closed

Grass Valley and Prune Hill students shine in Honor Choir

Doreen McKercher : April 2, 2015 8:26 AM : News

Congratulations to the Camas students who participated in the Lower Columbia River Music Educators Association Regional Elementary Choir on Saturday, March 28, 2015. The Grass Valley Elementary and Prune Hill Elementary students who auditioned and were selected then participated in a one-day workshop as well as a concert for students’ parents, teachers, as well as the community. They rehearsed and performed under the direction of Kristina Ploeger from Eastern Washington University.

Top row (L-R): Lily Boyer, Maddie Henion, Luke Martinez Nicholas Leetham, Jordan Harris, Noah Fearrington Middle row: Lena Pauly, Rachel Hawes, Kailen Ludt, Morgan Patterson, Luke Gillespie, Aiden Shafiuzzaman Front row: Avery Hieronymus, Lily Walsh, Katelyn Daniels

Top row (L-R): Lily Boyer, Maddie Henion, Luke Martinez Nicholas Leetham, Jordan Harris, Noah Fearrington
Middle row: Lena Pauly, Rachel Hawes, Kailen Ludt, Morgan Patterson, Luke Gillespie, Aiden Shafiuzzaman
Front row: Avery Hieronymus, Lily Walsh, Katelyn Daniels

Grass Valley Elementary students:

  • Luke Martinez
  • Jordan Harris
  • Lena Pauly
  • Rachel Hawes
  • Kailen Ludt
  • Morgan Patterson
  • Aiden Shafiuzzaman
  • Avery Hieronymus
  • Lily Walsh

Prune Hill Elementary students:

  • Maddie Henion
  • Katelyn Daniels
  • Noah Fearrington
  • Lily Boyer
  • Luke Gillespie
  • Nicholas Leetham

“The LCRMEA Regional Elementary Honor Choir is composed of 140 talented, young singers from 20 schools around Clark County. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to share their vocal abilities and grow as musicians,” PHE Choir Director Kim Ray stated.”

Comments are closed

Liberty Middle School selected as Model School

Doreen McKercher : March 31, 2015 3:54 PM : News

2015 National Model School badgeThe International Center for Leadership in Education has selected Liberty Middle School as a 2015 Model School. At the 23rd Annual Model Schools Conference in June, Liberty principal Marilyn Boerke and teacher leaders Jackie Hofer and Sarah Kankelberg will share their innovative schedule allowing three “schools” to be run simultaneously. Their plan includes providing daily opportunities teacher collaboration as well as methods for building the leadership capacity of staff in order to increase student achievement. Strategies such as these maximize the role of teacher leaders within schools to manage initiatives, create a culture of collaboration, and arrive at mutually exciting outcomes for students and staff. All of this knowledge and expertise will be offered to other educational leaders from across the country. Congratulations to Liberty Middle School—Go Lions!

Comments are closed
« Page 1, 2, 3 ... 9, »
District Events