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MVSD Receives Clean Financial, Federal, and Accountability Audit

Methow Valley mountain view with yellow arrowleaf balsamroot blooming in the foreground.The Methow Valley School District was recently notified by the Washington State Auditor’s Office that it has received a clean financial, federal, and accountability audit for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years.

When asked about the results, MVSD Board Chair, Dana Stromberger stated, “Speaking on behalf of the MVSD Board of Directors, we couldn’t be more pleased by the results. Consistent with what we’ve come to expect of our school district, it’s a clear reflection of the District’s stewardship of state, federal, and local funding, compliance with state and federal laws, and the policies and procedures that govern school districts.”

MVSD Vice Chair, Frank Kline chimed in stating, “In spite of the complexity associated with public school funding, I’m not surprised. We have established an exceptional business and operations team. Led by Business Manager, Sherry Sloan, we strategically invest in what we value, our students. We plan the work and work the plan, building, high quality, educational programming, enriching extracurricular activities, and services, all at no cost to students and families.” He also noted, “The results of our audit not only validate our practices, but they have an impact on our financial ratings. Our positive rates enable the district to secure the lowest (bond) rates possible, resulting in lower school-related tax rates.”

Please join us as we acknowledge MVSD Business Manager, Sherry Sloan, Assistant Business Manager, Chris Eckstrom, and Executive Secretary, Jessica McCarthy.

2023 MVSD Graduation Week Information

LB Mountain Lion Mascot LogoGreetings Class of 2023 and MVSD Families,

The 2023 Methow Valley Graduation and Commencement Ceremony is only a week away! Starting at 6 p.m. on June 9, at the Liberty Bell stadium, we will be celebrating the accomplishments of the Class of 2023. All family, friends, and community members are invited to attend the Graduation and Commencement Ceremony

One notable adjustment from our last update is that graduates will be able to reserve up to 10 seats for family members. Additionally, family and friends are invited to attend the MVSD Awards Assembly and Scholarship Ceremony at Liberty Bell. See the agenda below for details.

Following a longstanding tradition, siblings of graduates will be invited to serve as flower bearers at the beginning of the ceremony. Graduates with no siblings are welcome to appoint one special person in their life to serve in this role. Similar to last year, there will be no sibling rehearsal. They will be prompted to line the center aisle prior to graduates entering.

Please see the draft 2023 Graduation Week Agenda for additional events and details, including our all-school awards assembly and scholarship ceremony.

Please submit all questions to Liberty Bell Principal Crosby Carpenter or ILC Principal Sara Mounsey.

Congratulations Class of 2023!

Crosby Carpenter
Principal, Liberty Bell High School



June 5th – June 9th

All School Awards Assembly @ LBHS (8:30 – 9:45 a.m.)

Senior Checkout @ Liberty Bell & ILC (10 AM – 1 p.m.)

No Events

Baccalaureate (6 p.m.)

Mandatory Graduation Rehearsal (9 – 11 a.m.)
(*graduates will be assigned 10 seats each via lottery)

MVE Graduate Walk

Group Photo (w/caps & gowns)

Senior Slideshow @ LBHS library (graduates only)

Scholarship Ceremony & Social @ LBHS Library (1 – 2:30 p.m.)

Parade Prep & Staging @ Hank’s Parking Lot (3:30 – 4 p.m.)

Parade Leaves Hank’s (4 p.m.)

Parade Arrives in Winthrop (approx 4:30 p.m.)

Ceremony Staging + Family Member Arrival (gates open @ 5:15 p.m.)

Outdoor Commencement Ceremony (LBHS, 6 p.m.)

MVSD Selects Bob Cordes to Serve as ILC Advisor

The MVSD is pleased to announce that Bob Cordes has been selected to serve as the Independent Learning Center’s (ILC) new advisor. Bob will be replacing Jeremiah Wicken who will be relocating to the Spokane area with his family.

Bob Cordes headshotBob Cordes was born and raised in southern California. After graduating high school, he spent a gap year in Israel and then attended UCLA where he earned a BA in Political Science and, more importantly, met his wife Hannah. They lived in southern California before moving to Seattle. Bob then earned an MBA from the University of Washington. He spent several years working in management at various software companies and recruiting firms while he and Hannah raised their two sons, Sam and Isaac. In 2013 they moved to the Methow Valley where Isaac graduated from LBHS. Bob and Hannah own and operate the Aspen Grove kitchen store in Winthrop.

Bob initially volunteered at LBHS as a math tutor before he began substitute teaching in 2018. Over the past year, he primarily served as a substitute at the Independent Learning Center. When asked about his interest in working at ILC, he said, “I was just instantly impressed with the students, the faculty and the entire Big Picture Learning approach at the ILC.” He is excited to join the ILC as an Advisor as well as teach business and entrepreneurship.

When not working, Bob enjoys flying, hiking, camping and reading. He has also served as a volunteer firefighter for Okanogan County Fire District 6 since 2015.

Please join us as we welcome Bob Cordes, ILC advisor!

MVSD Appoints Leanna Jensen to Serve as the District’s Transportation Manager

Leanna Jensen headshotThe MVSD is pleased to announce that Leanna Jensen has been selected to serve as the District’s new Transportation Manager.

Currently serving as the Secretary to the Director of Operations and Capital Projects, Leanna will be assuming a lead role and responsibilities associated with the daily management and operations of the Transportation Department, duties previously held by the retiring Director of Operations and Capital Projects, Bud Hover.

As the Transportation Manager, Leanna will manage all facets of the Transportation Department. When contemplating the qualities associated with the newly established Transportation Manager, one driver stated, “The choice is clear. Leanna knows our students, their families, our drivers, the routes, the daily routines… She knows the geographic attendance area we serve like the back of her hand. And, she’s familiar with our weather. Those are just a few of the qualities that come to mind that describe Leanna. She is well-prepared and deserving of the position.”

When we asked about her new position, Leanna stated, “I look forward to supporting a highly skilled and dedicated team of professional drivers who are responsible for safely transporting our students. Daily trips from home to school and back, field trips, athletic events, adverse weather… It’s a dynamic, ever-changing setting. I enjoy the challenge.”

Born and raised in the Methow Valley, Leanna and her family enjoy travelling, camping, river floats, and exploring all that the Methow Valley has to offer.

Please join us as we congratulate Leanna Jensen, MVSD’s new Transportation Manager!

Kady Hammer, WIAA 2B “Two-time” Track and Field State Champion

Kady Hammer sprints for the finish line setting a state record.This past weekend, eleven LBHS track and field athletes (who qualified at the district meet) traveled to Yakima, WA where they competed for a place on the podium in their respective events at the WIAA 2B Track and Field State Championships.

We’re pleased to report that not only did many of our athletes set personal records, but many found themselves on the podium. Better yet, we’re thrilled to announce that Kady Hammer won the 2B Ambulatory Shot Put State Championship and 2B 100 Meter Dash State Championship.

Please join us as we congratulate the LBHS Track and Field team and coaches on a successful season!

Elyse Darwood Selected to Serve as LBHS Interim Principal for 2023-24 School Year

Dear Methow Valley Students, Parents, and Community Members,

I am thrilled to inform you that Elyse Darwood has been selected to serve as the LBHS Interim Principal for the 2023-24 school year.

Elyse Darwood with her husband and young son and daughter.Commonly referred to by her colleagues as a “leader of leaders,” Elyse Darwood is ready to take the reins, acting as LBHS’s Interim Principal. For those who are not familiar with Elyse, she is a learner-centered, national board certified, veteran teacher of twelve years (eight years with the Pateros School District and four years with the Methow Valley School District), recent instructional coach, current LBHS humanities teacher, CLIMBS advisor, and member of the LBHS leadership team.

When asked about the decision to name Elyse as LBHS’s new principal, a Liberty Bell student captured it well by stating, “As a classroom teacher, Mrs. Darwood appreciates me for who I am. She sees me for who I’m becoming. She helps me to believe in what’s possible. I’ll miss having her as a teacher. But, I can’t think of a better person to lead our school.” When we asked the same question of staff, one member stated, “I can’t think of a person who cares more deeply about this community, our schools, the students we serve, and their families. She is a community builder, cultivating an inclusive environment of belonging, where every student feels valued, respected, dignified, and inspired to realize their full potential.”

As a leader who embodies the vision, beliefs, and values reflected in our schools and community, Elyse will not only serve as LBHS’s Interim Principal, she will be completing a Master’s in Educational Leadership/Certification program. When asked about her new position, Elyse said, “I am honored to serve as Interim Principal at Liberty Bell and to support the goals of students, staff and families in our beloved community.”

Elyse and her husband, the owner and operator of Darwood Outfitting, live in Carlton, just down from where his family homesteaded in 1889. They have two children, both of whom attend Methow Valley Elementary. When Elyse isn’t working, she enjoys time spent with family and friends, from one end of the Valley to the other, riding horses and supporting youth sports and activities.

Looking ahead to next year, we will reassess our situation and options available to us, ranging from an open search and selection process to a full appointment. Until then, you will not hear me refer to Elyse as the “interim” principal, rather the LBHS Principal. It’s a title that is well deserved on many levels.

Please join us as we congratulate LBHS Principal, Elyse Darwood!


Tom Venable
Superintendent, Methow Valley School District