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More Moving Parts…

We hope you are enjoying a wonderful Summer Break and 4th of July holiday! In an effort to keep you up-to-date with regard to the staffing changes associated with our schools, we have two more announcements to share with you.

Keri MilesWith a strong passion for mathematics, related endorsements, and interest in working with middle school age learners, Keri Miles has been selected to serve as Liberty Bell’s new 7th and 8th grade mathematics and robotics instructor. Leaving behind some pretty big shoes to fill (Long-time math and robotics instructor Carrie Fink has transferred to MVES and will be serving as the new 6th grade teacher beginning in the fall.), LB Jr./Sr. High School principal, Deborah DeKalb stated, “We’re thrilled to have someone who knows our students well, has such a strong interest in mathematics and how things work, and enjoys the unique qualities and characteristics of middle school students!” In preparation for her new position, Keri will be traveling to the east coast to participate in Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Workshop this summer.

Lisa MonahanJoining the list of changes in staffing, long-time LBHS science teacher, Lisa Monahan will leaving the MVSD to join the staff at the North Central Educational Service District as the newest Science Coach next fall. As such, Lisa will be providing instructional support in the areas of science education to teachers in grades K-12 throughout the North Central region of our state. When asked, one of her colleagues stated, “It comes as no surprise given her recent work as a science fellows, collaborative nature, and commitment to science education.” Another stated, “We will miss her, but we’re pleased she’ll be available to support us.”

Please join us as we congratulate Keri Miles and Lisa Monahan!

The MVSD will be initiating a search and selection process for a new 5th grade classroom teacher at MVES and Science instructor at Liberty Bell. If you wish to know more about these positions and/or the selection process, please contact Patty Baker, Executive Secretary of the Methow Valley School District.

MVSD Receives Substance Abuse and Prevention Grant from North Central Accountable Community of Health

Student Health Advisory CommitteeLast year, Childhood Protective Services (CPS) reported the rate of intakes for drug-related causes up by 16 percent from 2015 in the State of Washington. During this same period of time, it was reported that state hospitals recorded a steady increase in substance-exposed newborns.

With a focus on developing an integrated approach to implementing evidence-based substance use and prevention curriculum in grades 6 through 9, the MVSD Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC), inclusive of local law enforcement representatives, Room One staff, members of the Winthrop Kiwanis, parents, and staff have been awarded a $10,000 grant from the North Central Accountable for Community Health to select and pilot a substance abuse and prevention curriculum.

More specifically, with a goal that participating students will gain knowledge about the physical, social, emotional, and behavioral effects of opioid addiction, substance abuse and avoidance strategies, the grant will fund the coordination of data collection, curriculum review and selection process, and the implementation and evaluation of a curriculum.

Lead by Executive Director, Linda Evans Parlette (former senator), the mission of the North Central Accountable Community of Health (NCACH) is to improve the health of the North Central region’s communities and the people who live in them, improve health care access, quality, and the experience of care, and lower per capita health care costs in the North Central region which includes Chelan, Douglas, Grant and Okanogan counties (the “North Central Regional Service Area”).

Moving Parts… MVES Announces Anticipated Changes in Staffing

Greek Philosopher, Heraclitus once stated, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

Like a river and those who cross the river, our schools are always changing and evolving, impacted by the changes to its surrounding, the changes that take place within us, and the changes influenced by others.

As we prepare for the 2018-19 school year, we want to share staffing changes taking place at MVES. They include…
Carrie FinkLongtime Liberty Bell Math Instructor, Carrie Fink to Serve as Methow Valley Elementary School’s New 6th Grade Teacher
For the past 21 years, Carrie Fink has taught 7th and 8th grade math at Liberty Bell Jr./Sr. High School. Beginning the fall of the 2018-19 school year, she will be moving to Methow Valley Elementary to teach 6th grade. Carrie is a former LBHS graduate, Whitworth University graduate and National Board Certified Teacher. Interested in preparing students for a successful transition from elementary school to junior high school, she is thrilled to teach 6th grade alongside current 6th grade teacher, Tyler Slostad. As a highly skilled educator, Carrie enjoys challenging students to their fullest potential while loving and caring for them. When asked about her new role, Carrie replied, “I am super excited to be able to continue to make a positive contribution to the students of the Methow Valley.” When she isn’t in the classroom, Carrie likes to ride her horse, bike, hike, ski, and spend time with her family.
Maggie Wickens Selected to Serve as New MVES Kindergarten Teacher
Maggie Wickens has been selected to serve as a kindergarten teacher at MVES beginning in the fall of the 2018-19 school year. Maggie and her family have lived in the beautiful Methow Valley for the past three years. After successfully completing her student-teaching in the general education and special education setting at MVES two years ago, Maggie served as a 1st/2nd multi-age classroom teacher during the first half of the 2017-18 school year. When asked about her new assignment, Maggie stated, “I am overjoyed to be a kindergarten teacher for Methow Valley Elementary this coming fall. I’m so excited to be a part of such a fantastic team of teachers who are working with our youngest learners!”
Joan Stluka Selected to Serve as Full-Time MVES Kindergarten Teacher
Joan Stluka, veteran elementary classroom teacher and recent kindergarten job-share partner with Libby Foley has been selected to serve as a full-time kindergarten teacher. In anticipation of working alongside kindergarten teachers, Libby Foley and Maggie Wickens, Joan stated, “I am thrilled to return to Methow Valley Elementary as a full-time kindergarten teacher next fall. I have spent the last two years sharing a kindergarten position with Libby Foley. I am so blessed to be able to continue teaching in a district that is committed to excellence.” Prior to arriving in the Methow Valley, Joan taught in the primary grade levels for many years with the Puyallup School District. When not teaching Joan and her husband Scott enjoy time spent skiing, biking, playing in the river, and time spent with family.
Hana Baker, Cara Christensen, Meridith Dufresne, and Keri Miles Change Grade LevelsMVES StaffRounding out the known changes in staffing for the 2018-19 school year, Hana Baker will be moving from kindergarten to second grade. Keri Miles will be moving from her current position as a 1st grade teacher into the 5th grade position vacated by Catie Barber, and Meridith Dufresne will be joining the first grade team in the place of Keri Miles. Currently a 1st/2nd multi-age classroom teacher, Cara Christensen will be joining Amanda Armbrust and Meridith Dufresne as one of three 1st grade teachers.

Catie Barber Selected to Serve as MVSD’s New Integration Media Specialist

Catie Barber and classFifth-grade MVES teacher, Catie Barber has been selected to serve as MVES’s new Integration Media Specialist (IMS).

As such, Catie will be collaborating with classroom teachers within the Library/Media Center to facilitate the development of critical thinking, research, communication, and self-management skills needed to be successful in school and in life beyond high school graduation. As one person on the selection committee stated, “The IMS position is designed to work with students and teachers to teach students, not what to think, but how to think.”

Catie Barber has worked as a classroom teacher and technology integration specialist for almost 17 years all over the world, including places such as the Philippines, Dubai, Nicaragua and Poland. Her husband, Scott Barber, a Liberty Bell HS History teacher, and son Brodi moved to the Methow Valley three years ago and loves living here.

When asked about the selection for the Integration Media Specialist position, she said,

“I am honored to be given this new job and cannot wait to throw myself into it next year. It has all of my favorite elements of a job: students, books and technology!”

Liberty Bell Jr./Sr. High School Principal, Deborah DeKalb Announces Plan to Retire at Conclusion of 2018-19 School Year

Deborah Dekalb with Lily HolstenAfter 22 years of service as a public school educator, Liberty Bell Jr./Sr. High School Principal Deborah DeKalb has informed the Methow Valley School District of her plan to retire at the conclusion of the 2018-19 school year.

Following two years of service as a mental health counselor with Okanogan County Behavioral Healthcare, Deborah began her career with the Methow Valley School District as a guidance counselor in 1996. Deborah served as a guidance counselor for nine years before stepping into her current role as the principal of Liberty Bell Jr./Sr. High School and the Independent Learning Center (ILC).

During her tenure as the principal, Liberty Bell and the ILC have thrived with both, Liberty Bell and the ILC receiving many accolades for it’s academic achievements and social/emotional support systems. A few noteworthy accomplishments in recent years include:

  • Liberty Bell has been consistently ranked as one of the top 20 achieving schools in the State of Washington and nationally by US News and World Report.
  • Liberty Bell was one of only six school districts in the State of Washington to be placed on the Advanced Placement (AP) Honor Roll.
  • Liberty Bell boasts one of the highest annual average, on-time graduation rates and post-secondary acceptance rates in the State of Washington.
  • Liberty Bell has established a comprehensive “Student and Family Support Services Team” focused on providing students and families with the social/emotional support services needed to be successful.
  • The ILC is one of only six schools in the State of Washington to receive a “Competency-Based Waiver” from the Washington State Board of Education, allowing staff to engage students in a personalized and real-world approach to teaching and learning.

The list of accomplishments in support of the students and families who reside in the Methow Valley goes on and on… Superintendent Venable states, “This doesn’t happen without a clear vision, strong leadership, and high levels of support. Deborah’s commitment to supporting students, parents and staff, her tireless advocacy in support of public education, and her humility will be missed dearly.”

When asked about her decision, Deborah stated,

It’s been an amazing tenure and I am eternally grateful for this opportunity. I am humbled by the magnitude of the job and I seem to learn something new everyday.

For those interested in participating in the Liberty Bell Jr./Sr. High School interview and selection process, more information will be made available in the fall of the 2018-19 school year.

Methow Valley School District Welcomes New Activities Director, Michael Wilbur

Michael Wilbur with StudentsMichael Wilbur is a graduate of Ferndale High School and Fairhaven College. He recently earned a Masters degree from Western Governors University, completing his student teaching at Liberty Bell Junior/Senior High. In addition, Michael is a certified Sports Performance Coach through USA Weightlifting.

When asked about the important role of athletics and extra-curricular activities, Michael stated, “Participating in youth athletics has been one of the most consistently rewarding experiences in my life.” With this in mind, Michael began volunteering his time with the LBHS baseball team in 2009, eventually taking the role of assistant coach in 2015 and then becoming head coach the following year.

Leading and supporting the continued growth and development of healthy, active youth, and a vibrant activities-based culture in the Methow Valley, Michael looks forward to applying his passion for athletics, personal growth, life sports and working with young people within his new role as Activities Director.

Please join us as we welcome Michael Wilbur, MVSD Activities Director!


Enjoy a Wonderful Summer Break and We'll See You in the Fall!