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An Invitation to Support Construction of the MVSD Multi-Use Trail

As part of the Methow Valley School District’s continued efforts to support the development of healthy, fit, active youth, the MVSD has teamed up with an “action-oriented” group of students and the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance to develop a multi-use trail system on the school campus.

Initiated by MVSD students and Methow Mountain Bike representatives, Stella Scholtz, Carter Sheley, Graham Sheley, and Ila Newman, the concept of developing healthy, fit, active youth by providing all youth with increased access to a year-around, multi-use trail system on the MVSD campus was presented to the MVSD school board and approved earlier this winter.

In the wake of COVID-19 and at the request of the Methow Valley School District, Stella Scholtz, Methow Mountain Bike Team Representative has sent a letter providing a brief update regarding their progress. The letter includes an invitation to those who wish to further support the project.

Dear Superintendent Venable, Members of the MVSD School Board, and Methow Valley Community,

In spite of the recent setback due to COVID-19, we are very excited for the new multi-use trail to start production. It is something to look forward to. We hope it will provide kids without access to trails and bikes to experience mountain biking and other related outdoor activities.

Once started, the construction will probably take six to eight weeks. Understandably, we are a bit behind because of COVID-19. We postponed our fundraising efforts back in March because it didn’t seem sensitive for us to ask people for money when so many people were losing their jobs.

However, with the goal of moving forward in support of the health and wellness of our youth, we want to reach out to those who may be in a position to help. We are expecting the total cost to be about $35,000. We already have $15,000 of which Evergreen Bicycle Alliance has set aside for us. We are expected to raise the remaining $20,000 ourselves.

For those in a position to help and interested in contributing to the development of a multi-use trail, here is the link to the fundraising page for Evergreen Bicycle Alliance:
https://www.evergreenmtb.org/donatetomethow

Thank you,

Stella Scholz- LBHS Student and Methow Mountain Bike Team Representative

A Year Like No Other…

Dear Methow Valley Students, Parents, and Community Members,

As we conclude a school year that will likely be described by many as one of the most complex and challenging in our nation’s history, certainly within my household, our staff and I find ourselves turning our attention to the reopening of our schools in the fall.

Our State Superintendent, Chris Reykdal has stated, “It is my expectation that schools will open for in-person instruction.” We share this goal. He has also directed school districts to develop contingency plans involving partial and fully-remote learning plans should conditions worsen, requiring further restrictions or school closures.

With the intent of reopening our schools for in-person instruction in the fall, the Methow Valley School District has established a “Reopen MVSD Schools Workgroup.” Comprised of administrators, staff, parents, community members, and public health officials, the Workgroup will be coming together in mid-July to engage in a deliberative process that includes:

  • Reviewing “Reopen MVSD Schools Survey” feedback provided by students, parents, and community members.
  • Developing health and safety practices that include screenings, physical distancing, hand washing protocols, use of personal protective equipment and face coverings, the cleaning and disinfecting of physical spaces and high touch areas, and the grouping of students in preparation for in-person return to school in the fall.
  • The development of contingency plans for a partial and fully-remote learning model in the event of further restrictions or school closure.
  • Transportation, Meals, Childcare, and Athletics – Working within a parallel process, our Transportation Food Services, and Custodial-Maintenance Departments and Athletics Department will be working on formalizing related plans.

With the requirement of submitting a Reopen Washington Schools Plan to OSPI no later than August 14th, I anticipate receiving a final recommendation from the Workgroup prior to August 1st that I will communicate to you.

While it hasn’t been perfect, I want to publicly express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to our school board, administrative team, teaching staff, childcare providers, transportation department, and food services team for their unparalleled dedication and commitment in service and support of our youth, families, and community during this unprecedented period of time. They have served as a bright spot during some of our darkest days.

And finally, to each of you for your tireless display of grace, humility, compassion, resiliency, and generosity… I’m confident that when our children are adults, they’ll talk about the worldwide pandemic. And when asked what they remember, they will go on to describe how a rural, remote community came together in support of one another like no other.

We look forward to seeing you in the fall!

Sincerely,

Tom

The Methow Valley School District Welcomes Michaela Query, New Special Education Teacher!

Michaela Query, Special Ed TeacherMichaela Query has been selected to serve as a Special Education teacher with the Methow Valley School District. The new position is part of the district’s efforts to expand the range of Special Education services across all grade levels, inclusive of our growing pre-school and life skills program.

Michaela attended Metropolitan State College of Denver for her Bachelor’s Degree. She received her Master of Education from University of Washington of Tacoma.

More recently, Michaela has been working for the Awsaj Academy in Doha, Qatar, serving as a Grade 3 Special Educator. Previously Michaela worked for the Franklin Pierce School District, providing special education support as a Math Specialist in grades K-5.

When Michaela’s not working, she enjoys traveling and planning for adventures. Michaela’s favorite adventures have included completing the Poon Hill trek in Nepal and Hiking The Camino De Santiago Del Norte with kids in tow. Michaela also enjoys learning about culture and language, cycling, backpacking, climbing, and cooking.

Please join us as we welcome Michaela Query!

Moving Parts 2020: MVSD Announces Changes in MVE Staffing Assignments

As we prepare for the 2020-21 school year, we want to share a few staffing changes taking place at Methow Valley Elementary. They include…

Ray Sanders

Ray Sanders and FamilyRay has been selected to serve as Methow Valley Elementary’s New Physical Education Teacher.

In addition to Ray’s most recent role as second grade teacher at MVE, Ray has taught Kindergarten in Brewster and has served as a wrestling coach, as well as a youth soccer and t-ball coach.

While Ray loves teaching in the classroom setting, he couldn’t be happier to step into what he refers to as his “dream” role, “working to develop healthy, fit, active youth.” Filling a vacancy created by the retirement of longtime P.E. Specialist, Jean Koreski, Ray states, “I’m humbled and honored to be following in the footsteps of Jean Koreski. She created such a strong P.E. program over her tenure.”

Ray loves playing and being active with kids and is passionate about supporting their personal growth. He can often be found on the playground or in the “kid section” of any community event.

He lives with his wife Dani and their two lion cubs, Marcel and Rainier, now entering 3rd and 5th grade. When he’s not teaching or coaching, he likes to wrestle, bike, BBQ, and chop wood.

Meridith Dufresne

Meridith Dufresne playing ukulele for studentsMeridith has been selected to serve as the new 2nd grade teacher, replacing Ray Sanders.

Meridith grew up and taught in Sydney Australia, and moved to the United States in 1992. Prior to teaching in the United States, she studied fine arts at Cornish College in Seattle and worked solely as an artist for ten years.

Meridith moved to the Methow Valley with her husband Garry (a third generation ‘Methow-ian’) to raise their boys. She rejoined the teaching profession and “has never looked back.” When asked about her work at MVE she responded, “I love my work here with your children and I’m very excited to be the newest member of the second-grade team.”

Max Thomas

Max Thomas reading to studentsMax has been selected to serve as MVE’s new 1st grade teacher, replacing Meridith Dufresne.

Max is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has a degree in Outdoor Education from the University of Minnesota Duluth. Since college Max has taught in National Parks, for non-profits, summer camps, and school gardens.

Most recently he has served as a paraprofessional and a long-term substitute teacher in first grade at Methow Valley Elementary. When Max is not working, he enjoys loves to run, garden, and play all kinds of sports. When asked about joining the first grade team at MVE he stated, “I am honored and excited to be a part of this wonderful education team and intend to continue for many years to come!”

Mindy Miller

Mindy Miller with grandchildrenMindy will be returning to MVE in the fall, teaching 5th grade with Kelly Wiest.

The interview committee acknowledged her strong leadership, collaborative approach, classroom experience, and ability to connect with all students in her classroom.

When asked about her thoughts regarding returning to MVE, she replied, “Teaching in the Methow Valley School District is a delight. I am so thankful to continue to support the good work being done at the elementary school. I feel fortunate to join the ‘The Fifth Grade Dream Team’ with Kelly Weist and Jennifer Duguay.”

Mindy went on to state, “Since 1977 I have been lucky enough to have had an active part on this staff in some form or another. This year I will be teaching and sharing the campus with four of my grandchildren, five generations of teaching and learning in this beautiful Valley. Thanks to the extraordinary community and team of educators that make this a reality for all of us. I’m looking forward to an exceptional year.”

Please join us as we congratulate Ray, Meridith, Max, and Mindy!

The Methow Valley School District Selects David Mills to Serve as the New Liberty Bell Jr./Sr. High School Music Instructor!

David Mills has been selected to serve as Liberty Bell Jr./Sr. High School’s new music instructor. David will be teaching concert band, jazz band, and offering a musical elective course driven in part by student interests.

A recent graduate of Western Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in music education, David comes to us with a broad range of musical experiences and strong recommendations from his university professors and mentors. Originally from Aberdeen, Washington, he was an active member of the musical community playing in various groups including the Grays Harbor Symphony Orchestra. While concert music is his specialty, he also has expertise in musical theatre and jazz music.

When David isn’t working on a musical project he likes to spend time outdoors playing disc golf. He is very excited to make his way to join the Liberty Bell staff.

Please join us as we welcome new LBHS music instructor, David Mills!

The MVSD Selects Matt Hinckley to Serve as LBHS’s International Baccalaureate – Middle Years Program Coordinator!

Matt Hinkley, LBHS IB PYP CoordinatorIn keeping with the MVSD’s vision of developing curious, creative, compassionate, competent, “action-oriented” citizens prepared to change the world, LBHS Science Teacher, Matt Hinckley has been selected to serve as the Liberty Bell’s half-time IB – MYP Coordinator. In addition to serving within the role of IB – MYP Coordinator, Matt will retain a half-time role as a science teacher at LBHS.

Matt Hinckley has taught at Liberty Bell for two years and has been a teacher for 15 years. His philosophy of teaching rests upon three principles: building a strong learning community, putting idealism into action by ensuring every student learns, and sharing the excitement of learning by doing. As LBHS’s I – MYP Coordinator, he will serve as a pedagogical leader and will support teachers in strengthening the IB program of study at Liberty Bell. He will also work closely with Methow Valley Elementary’s newly appointed IB – Primary Year Program Coordinator, Kelly Wiest to evaluate MVSD’s IB program development.

Prior to Liberty Bell, Matt taught at Longfellow Middle School in Berkeley, California and at Nathan Hale High School in Seattle. In Berkeley, Matt worked for two years as a teacher on special assignment and was responsible for facilitating the development of science curriculum and improved instructional practices in kindergarten through eighth grade in ten elementary schools and three middle schools.

When asked about replacing long-time IB Coordinator, Anne Anderson, school board member Dana Stromberger stated, “She’s leaving some pretty big shoes to fill. In fact, it appears that it might take two people to do so… I’m confident we found the right two people to do so in Matt and Kelly!”

When asked about his new role Matt states, “I feel lucky that every school where I’ve taught there has been a strong learning community with enthusiastic teachers, students, and families—that’s what I appreciate most about Liberty Bell, and it’s why I’m excited to take on this new role.”

Please join us as we congratulate Matt Hinckley, MVSD’s new IB – MYP Coordinator!

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