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MVSD School Board Unanimously Selects Gary Marchbank to Serve Second Term as MVSD Board Chair

Gary MarchbankKicking off the New Year, members of the MVSD School Board of Directors unanimously approved the nomination of Gary Marchbank to serve a second term as the MVSD Board Chair during their regular board meeting held on Wednesday, January 9th, 2019.

As the MVSD Board Chair, Gary Marchbank will continue to work closely with members of the board, superintendent, staff, students, and community to help the district achieve its mission and vision – Working in partnership with our families and community, to develop curious, creative, compassionate, competent, action-oriented, citizens prepared to change the world.

Gary’s selection to serve a second term as board chair is a clear reflection of the school board’s gratitude and appreciation of his long-standing service to the community, commitment to equity and excellence for all students, strong support for innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and above all else, admiration for the many qualities displayed by Gary that we wish to see in our own children.

Following his acceptance of the nomination, Board Chair Marchbank stated, “I’m truly honored to serve alongside an exceptional team of school board members, staff, parents, and community members who are focused on developing students who graduate prepared for the widest range of possibilities.”

The Methow Valley School District Board of Directors is a cohesive and dedicated team of five elected officials, committed to creating a system of exceptional teaching and learning where every student can shine.

Please join us as we celebrate the selection of Gary Marchbank to serve as the MVSD Board Chair!

Help Us Identify the Qualities and Characteristics We Aspire to See in the Next Liberty Bell Jr-Sr HS Principal

Methow Valley School District Parents and Community Members,

Searching with a lightWe need your input in developing a candidate profile that identifies the characteristics that we aspire to see in our next exceptional leader for Liberty Bell. To that end, we invite you to join us at one of the following sessions in the Liberty Bell Library to provide your ideas.

(Parents/Staff) Thursday, January 17 • 1:00 – 2:00 PM
(Parents/Staff) Thursday, January 17 • 6:00 – 7:00 PM
(Parents/Community) Wednesday, January 23 • 4:00 – 5:30 PM

Input can also be provided on an online survey form:
Principal Candidate Profile Input

Methow Valley School District Launches Liberty Bell Jr-Sr High School Search and Selection Process: A Call for Interview Committee Members

Methow Valley SchoolsAfter 14 years of dedicated service in support of the students, staff, parents and community members who call the Methow Valley home, Deborah DeKalb has announced her plan to retire at the end of the 2018-19 school year.

Under the guidance and direction of committee co-chairs, Anne Andersen, Drew Simmons and Kim Odell, applicants who are selected to serve on the Search and Selection Committee will help to facilitate a thorough and comprehensive interviewing process aligned to the District’s Strategic Vision and described in the “Liberty Bell Jr-Sr HS Principal Search and Selection Committee Charter”.

All interested stakeholders who wish to participate as a member of the Liberty Bell Jr-Sr High School Principal Search and Selection Committee are encouraged to submit an “application” for consideration. Applications can be submitted electronically or in hardcopy (return to the district office) no later than the end of the day on Friday, January 18, 2019. Individuals selected to serve on the committee will be contacted no later than Friday, January 18, 2019.

Methow Valley School District Launches Liberty Bell Jr-Sr High School Search and Selection Process: A Call for Exceptional Candidates

The Yawp • Liberty Bell High School Literary MagazineWorking within the framework of an aspirational “Strategic Vision”, a vision defined by the development of curious, creative, competent, compassionate, action-oriented students who graduate prepared to change the world, the Methow Valley School District is formally accepting applications from exceptional candidates who wish to be considered for the position of Liberty Bell Jr-Sr High School Principal.

After 14 years of dedicated service in support of the students, staff, parents, and community members who call the Methow Valley home, Deborah DeKalb has announced her plan to retire at the end of the 2018-19 school year. Ms. DeKalb leaves behind a legacy – a legacy defined by many highlights, some of which include:

  • The development of a coherent “System of Exceptional Teaching and Learning” defined by it’s recent International Baccalaureate World School designation
  • The establishment of an “Innovative and Flexible” competency-based approach to teaching and learning endorsed by the Washington State Board of Education, affiliated with Big Picture Learning
  • A caring, compassionate approach to “Family and Community Engagement” through the formation of a Student and Family Support Services team focused on ensuring all students succeed at high levels
  • Consistent top twenty rankings by U.S. New and World Report during the past six years
  • Recent North America Advanced Placement Honor Roll Honors
  • 96% on-time graduation rate average during the past six years
  • 85% post-secondary acceptance rate average during the past six years

Exceptional candidates wishing to be considered for the Liberty Jr-Sr High School Principal position are encouraged to submit their application no later than Friday, January 18, 2019. An online application can be accessed from our Employment page.

Questions regarding the position, selection process, timeline, and/or application procedures can be directed to Patty Barker, Executive Secretary of the Methow Valley School District at or (509) 996-9205.

7th Annual MVSD Poetry Out Loud Competition: A Display of Literary Competence, Compassion, and Courage

Poetry Out LoudThe seventh annual Poetry Out Loud competition for Liberty Bell High School and Independent Learning Center students was held on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at The Merc Playhouse in Twisp.

Cymone VanMarter from Liberty Bell and Chloe Blum from the ILC secured first place to move on to the regional competition in Spokane on February 1st. Stella Gitchos was second and Greta Laesch came in third for Liberty Bell and Rivers Leeman was the second place finisher for the ILC.

For the past six years, the Methow Valley has sponsored a robust Poetry Out Loud competition through a collaboration between Methow Arts, Public School Funding Alliance, and the Methow Valley School District. Each December, local high school students compete for slots at local, regional, and state POL competitions. Poetry Out Loud (POL) is a national memorization and recitation contest that helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.

Created in 2006 by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud gives students an opportunity to work with recitation coaches who help students select poems from the anthology of allowed poems, provide them with structure for memorization, and coach them on performance skills such as projection, pacing, emphasis, and movement. Poetry coaches tutor students throughout the duration of the competition as students advance to the next level.
The winner of the local competition advances to the Eastern Washington Regional Poetry Out Loud contest in Spokane, and have a chance to make it to the state championship. The Washington state champion will advance to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington, D.C.

Beginning with Tom Zbyszewski in 2013, it’s been five times in the past six years that a Liberty Bell student has won one of two top slots at the regional competition and advanced to the state event. Regional winners that have followed Tom Zbyszewski have included: Liam Daily (2014), Claire Waichler (2015), Lilly Cooley (2016), Mia Stratman (2017), and Mackenzie Woodworth (2018).

We’d like to extend a huge thank you to Kelly Grayum as the organizer and MC, Scott Barber for his talented guitar playing, and Methow Arts for supporting the event. We’d also like to thank the volunteers who had the very tough task of judging the competition. It was truly a lovely evening of poetry!

Cub Club Explores the Beauty Found in Nature

Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art more and more. ~ Vincent Van Gogh

Cub Club Nature Club ArtWhat do you get when you combine the garden with art? Nature Club! When asked about the concept, local artist, Bruce Morrison stated, “What could be a better source of inspiration than the explosion of colors that unfolds within a garden during the fall.”

Last year, nearly two-thirds of our elementary students participated in one or more Cub Club activities!

Sponsored by the Public School Funding Alliance, coordinated by Katharine Bill, MVSD’s Family and Community Engagement Coordinator, Cub Club provides Methow Valley Elementary students in grades 1-6 with access to high-interest, engaging enrichment after-school activities that range from no-cost to low-cost for families. After-school transportation is provided to the Community Center in Twisp and Red Barn in Winthrop.

We are forever grateful to our many community partners, some of which include: Methow Arts, The Merc Theater, Classroom in Bloom, Methow Nordic, The Winthrop Ice and Sports Rink, Methow Valley Fly Fishers, Methow Recycles, Methow Valley Riding Unlimited, Methow Valley Youth Soccer, and the many community volunteers that generously donate their time, energy, and passions to make enriching after-school activities possible.

If you wish to learn more about the schedule of enriching activities and/or you’re interested in helping with any of these clubs, or you have another club idea you’d like to initiate, please contact Katharine Bill, MVSD Family and Community Engagement Coordinator at or (509) 341-4210.


End of 1st Semester - Thursday, January 24, 2019: All MVSD Schools Operating on Early Release Schedule. Professional Development Day - Friday, January 25, 2019: All MVSD Schools and the District Office will be Closed to the Public