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Moving Parts: MVSD Selects Ben Hunsdorfer to Serve as New 6th Grade Teacher

New 6th grade teacher Ben HunsdorferThe MVSD is pleased to announce the selection of Ben Hunsdorfer, Liberty Bell Jr./Sr. High School’s new 6th grade middle school teacher.

Ben will be joining forces with a distinguished team of middle school teachers focused on the continued development of a dynamic middle school model, inclusive of 6th grade.

Ben’s educational background includes a Bachelor’s in Agricultural Ecology from UMass-Amherst, and a double diploma Master’s in Agroecology from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, and ISARA-Lyon in France. Ben has spent the past seven years teaching in Bhutan at The Royal Academy where he taught Geography, Environmental Science, and English Literature, as well as serving as the Head of Life Sciences. When asked why he chose to teach, Ben stated, “My main goal in teaching and learning is to help nurture the innate potential of students so they may self-actualize and become autonomous, inquisitive learners.” Undoubtedly, these rich and diverse educational and teaching-related experiences will serve our students well.

When we asked why he pursued a position with the MVSD, he replied, “My family lives in Winthrop. I am very excited to move to this region with my wife and son to work for the Methow Valley School District.” When Ben isn’t teaching, he and his family can be found camping, hiking, observing wildlife, or travelling and learning about different cultures around the world.

Please join us as we welcome Ben Hunsdorfer, MVSD’s new 6th grade teacher and his family to the Methow Valley!

MVSD to Launch a K-5 Healthy Snack Program Free of Charge

Fruit for snacksAs we prepare for a full return to school in the fall, the MVSD is continuing its equity-driven efforts to eliminate barriers that prevent learners from achieving at their full potential. This includes hunger.

In an effort to promote the development of healthy, well-nourished students who are able to focus on their learning, the MVSD will be launching a K-5 Healthy Snack Program – providing health snack options for all students in grades K-5 at no cost to parents and educators. If successful, the district will look to expand the program across all grade levels.

We look forward to sharing more information about the MVSD’s Healthy Snack Program as we approach the beginning of the 2021-22 school year!

Moving Parts: MVSD Announces Expansion of Educational Programs, Reduction of Class Sizes, and Staffing Changes

As we continue to prepare for the full reopening of our schools in the fall, we wish to provide you with yet another staffing update, briefly outlining some of the internal staffing changes taking place in preparation for our full return in the fall.

These changes, driven by the district’s continued efforts to initiate “innovative and flexible” educational programs, expand after-school enrichment opportunities, and reduce class sizes, include:

Katharine Bill

Katharine Bill and daughter with mountain view in the backgroundCurrently serving as the MVE Family and Community Engagement Coordinator, Katharine Bill will be joining Meridith Dufresne and Libby Foley as a 2nd grade teacher next fall. Katharine’s past work includes over 20 years of nonprofit leadership experience, a Masters in Environmental Studies, and teaching work for Outward Bound and the Teton Science School.

Katharine has been working at MVE for the past 6 years, first as the Early Childhood Education Coordinator, and then as Family and Community Engagement Coordinator (including afterschool programs, learning pods, the REACH homeschool program and internships). When asked about her new position, Katharine stated, “I have a strong interest in hands-on experiential education, and looks forward to continuing to find ways to connect community expertise and enthusiasm to our MVE school community.” Katharine and her husband Flash have lived in the Methow Valley since 1996, and they have two students at MVE (going into 2nd and 6th grades). In addition to her passion for public education, Katharine loves exploring the North Cascades region (by foot, bike and ski), and also loves to look deeply at how people are shaping our future world.

Libby Foley

MVE Teacher Libby Foley and family near a riverLibby Foley, current MVE Kindergarten teacher will be joining Meridith Dufresne and Katharine Bill as a 2nd grade teacher next fall. Libby and her husband Brett moved to the Methow Valley over a decade ago. They quickly put down roots after the birth of their two children, Charlotte and Gilon. Libby has taught in the early primary grades for over 18 years, with 9 of those years being at Methow Valley Elementary School. When asked about her move to 2nd grade, Libby stated, “I feel grateful to work for the Methow Valley School District and to have the opportunity to raise my children in this beautiful valley. While I’ve loved serving as a Kindergarten teacher, I am excited to spread my wings and stretch myself professionally in second grade next year. I also look forward to teaming with Meridith Dufresne and Katharine Bill, two teachers whom I love and admire.”

Jonathan Stratman

MVE student learns to tie flies from Jonathan StratmanJonathan Stratman, current 3rd grade teacher will be joining Tiffany Surface and Andy Miller as a 4th grade teacher next fall. Having taught in the Skykomish School District for several years, Jonathan is nearing the completion of his 6th year with the Methow Valley School District. When asked about his new position, Jonathan replied, “I have had the good fortune to be a member of our 2nd and 3rd grade teams at Methow Valley Elementary. I’m looking forward to taking on a new challenge next year as a member of our 4th grade team.” When Jonathan’s not in the classroom, you’ll likely find him outdoors, in all seasons, exploring our amazing valley.

Please join us as we congratulate Katharine Bill, Libby Foley, and Jonathan Stratman!

After-School Horse Club…Only in the Methow!

MVE students at after school horse club“Hey, What’s with the horse corral on the school campus?” This was the question we received from a curious community member yesterday. Our response, “Well, it’s for horses… We’ve partnered with Annie B. and Methow Valley Riding Unlimited to offer an after-school horse club.” Their response, “Horse Club? Are you kidding me? How cool… Only in the Methow.”

Not only do we agree that Horse Club is pretty cool, but we think it’s pretty cool to see how our community has come together in support of its youth, particularly during the pandemic, offering all students with the ability to participate in a variety of enriching, after-school clubs and activities, providing connection with their peers, and with caring, competent mentoring adults.

Fly fishing, breakdancing, skate cubs, socratic debate, green team, theatre, ski cubs, garden art, soccer, mountain biking, strength and conditioning, disc golf, horse club… The long list of high interest after-school clubs and enriching activities facilitated by our many community partners continues to grow.

Under the direction of MVE Family and Community Engagement Coordinator, Katharine Bill and MVSD Activities Director, Michael Wilbur, the MVSD has established strong partnerships with a long and growing list of community-based nonprofits to provide high interest after-school clubs and activities.

Exciting things to come…

Looking forward toward the 21-22 school year, the MVSD not only intends to expand upon the many after-school clubs and activities currently being offered, but to coordinate the development of a series of “weekly” Summer Enrichment Camps.

Facilitated by our many community partners, the camps would take place on the MVSD campus, providing school-age youth with the opportunity to participate in enriching camp activities and help fill the childcare gap during the summer. The camps would include transportation, meals, and low-cost to no-cost registration fees. More detailed information will be forthcoming as our plans develop…

Please join us as we thank Annie B., Methow Valley Riding Unlimited, and our many partners for making the Methow Valley such a great place to raise children!

Have a Student who is eligible for the COVID VACCINE?

Register for our free May 26th Vaccine Clinic for students 12 and older!

"Vaccinated" by Lisa VollrathMethow Valley School District is partnering with Okanogan County Public Health and local medical providers to host another Pfizer Vaccination Clinic, specifically for students 12 years and older.*

Where: Liberty Bell High School
When: Wednesday, May 26 • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
(Students who received their first Pfizer dose on May 5th will be receiving their second vaccine from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.)

Preregistration is required for all first-dose participants so we have an accurate count. Parents/Guardians and (siblings 12 and older) are invited to receive the vaccine along with their students. Please sign up as soon as possible using the button below to register online or contact your school office for a form.

Register for the Vaccination Clinic Now →

*NOTE: While parent/guardian attendance is NOT required at the clinic, during the clinic they must be available by phone to verify that they indeed do want their student vaccinated. The Consent for Minors form must be completed and sent with all students. This form will be included in the registration confirmation or can be downloaded here for printing: EnglishSpanish

Moving Parts: MVSD Selects Grant Storey to Serve as the CTE/Dual Credit and Technology Coordinator

New LBHS teacher Grant Storey The MVSD is pleased to announce the selection of Grant Storey as the district’s Career and Technical Education (CTE)/Dual Credit, and Technology Coordinator.

As the CTE/Dual Credit, and Technology Coordinator, Grant will be working closely with Crosby Carpenter, LBHS Principal, Sara Mounsey, ILC Principal, Catie Barber, MVE Library Media Specialist -Technology Coordinator, staff, and community-based mentors to cultivate expanded pathways and related course offerings toward graduation and beyond. In addition, Grant will be joining the LBHS Science Department, teaching science coursework.

When asked to describe how he felt about being hired by the MVSD, Grant stated, “I am excited to have the opportunity to serve the Methow community as the CTE/Dual Credit and Technology Coordinator at LBHS. I look forward to joining a passionate team of administrators and educators in the Methow Valley School District already working to create meaningful CTE pathways, expand dual credit opportunities, and integrate technology, preparing Methow Valley students for a broad range of post-secondary educational and career opportunities.”

For the past 9 years, Grant has served as a CTE and College in the High School (CiHS) teacher at Cleveland STEM High School in Seattle Public Schools. Before teaching, Grant was a graduate student and post-doctoral researcher at UW, focused on biophysics and understanding the effect of drugs on cellular function. As an educator, his role at Cleveland HS centered around the collaborative development of a project-based CTE pathway that creates hands-on, career connected learning experiences. He also taught the CiHS course, Biology 100: Addiction and the Brain, through the University of Washington in the High School Program. When asked about his experience developing meaningful pathways and course offerings, Grant remarked, “I have seen how well designed CTE pathways and dual credit opportunities increase student engagement and rigor, propelling students towards success. I look forward to supporting and growing the work of the district, through community partnerships and mentorship already present in the Valley.”

Outside of the school setting, Grant and his wife Helen, “…love showing our girls (Cora and Abby) all our favorite things: Trail running, biking, camping, hiking, playing in the lakes and rivers, and skiing!” Having spent a considerable amount of time getting to know the Methow Valley over the years, they are now ready to call it their home.

Please join us as we welcome Grant, Helen, Cora and Abby!

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MVSD Summer Hours: District Office will be open Tuesday-Thursday, 9 am - 3 pm. All school offices will reopen August 16th. Enjoy a wonderful summer break!