Return to Play: A Message from MVSD Activities Director, Michael Wilbur…

Dear Methow Valley Students, Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,

Recent developments have increased the likelihood of interscholastic athletics in the coming months and have cleared a path forward for offering practice and training opportunities for students at LBHS. Most significantly:

  • Practices for traditional fall high school sports will begin on February 22nd (girls soccer, cross country, volleyball) or February 16th (football)
  • Up until February 15th, indoor workout and training sessions will be available for Liberty Bell athletes; some teams have already begun working out and more will be starting soon.

Athletic Competition Update
Our state’s Roadmap to Recovery Plan has established a new set of benchmarks for determining when athletic practice and competition can resume. This plan has also divided the state into 8 regions composed of multiple counties. Regions will move between phases based on performance in four key metrics (test positivity rate, ICU capacity, hospitalization rate, and rate of COVID cases).

Currently in Phase 1, our North Central region is doing relatively well, and, if trends persist, we may reach Phase 2 soon. In Phase 2, competition will be allowed for all low and moderate risk sports whether played indoor or out, as well as those sports designated as high risk, if they are played outdoors.

Schools in our area have collaborated to establish a plan for season sequence and scheduling. Contest schedules have been developed with a greater emphasis on matchups within the region rather than our standard league format. Please note, the season schedule for our region differs from the WIAA sports season calendar.

North Central Region Schedule:

  • FALL: February 22 – April 3 (February 16th for football)
  • SPRING: April 5 – May 15th
  • WINTER: May 17 – June 19

Plans for junior high sports are still being developed, but look for traditional fall sports practices to begin on March 1st with seasons concluding on April 3rd.

Practice and Workout Opportunities
The WIAA recently released a document, Healthy Washington Sport and Activity Guidelines, that clarifies what is permitted during Phases 1 and 2 in our state’s Roadmap to Recovery Plan. Practices and workouts have resumed at Liberty Bell, with all requisite safety protocols in place. During Phase 1, student athletes will practice or train in pods of six or fewer, with no more than two pods in our gyms, ensuring that we easily meet the requirement for at least 500 square feet per athlete.

Questions or concerns? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at: mwilbur@methow.org.

Michael Wilbur
Methow Valley School District
Activities Director

MVSD School Board Unanimously Selects Judith Hardmeyer-Wright to Serve as Board Chair and Dana Stromberger to Serve as Vice Chair

MVSD School Board MembersKicking off the New Year, members of the MVSD School Board of Directors unanimously approved the nomination of Judith Hardmeyer-Wright to serve as the MVSD Board Chair. Shortly following Judith’s acceptance of the position, Dana Stromberger was unanimously selected to serve as MVSD Board of Directors Vice Chair.

Selected to serve as the MVSD Board Chair, Judith Hardmeyer-Wright will be replacing Gary Marchbank. Gary has served as the Board Chair for three consecutive terms. Before handing over the gavel, another board member shared a few words of appreciation and gratitude for Gary’s strong leadership, stating, “I’m so grateful to have had Gary’s calm, level headed leadership these past years. Leading through a global pandemic, civic unrest, an economic shut down, and a strategic reopening of our schools is no small feat. Gary’s quiet wisdom fit the bill perfectly. Always with a twinkle in his eye and subtle humor, helping all of us remain calm, centered, and focused on the overall health and wellness of our students and community.”

Stepping into her new role as the MVSD Board Chair, Judith will 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.

Judith’s selection to serve as the board chair is a clear reflection of the school board’s high level of respect and confidence in her ability to lead the district’s continued efforts to further develop and refine an innovative, equity-driven approach that cultivates high levels of success, one student at a time. Following Judith’s acceptance of the nomination to serve as Board Chair, newly elected Vice Chair, Stromberger stated, “I’m thrilled to have Judith serve as our chair. Her educational background and work-related experiences within a school setting gives her a deep understanding of the complexities school districts face. Pair that with common sense and compassion – I think we’re in good hands.”

Please join us as we congratulate Judith Hardmeyer-Wright, MVSD Board Chair and Dana Stromberger, MVSD Vice Chair!

Thank you Methow Valley School District Board of Directors!

MVSD School Board MembersJanuary is School Board Recognition Month. As such, we wish to acknowledge the visionary leadership, tireless advocacy, and high level of dedication and commitment displayed by past and present members of the Methow Valley School District Board of Directors.

The MVSD Board of Directors, five elected officials, representing those who call the Methow Valley home, provide the vision and leadership necessary to ensure every student graduates prepared to pursue the widest range of post-secondary college, career, and life opportunities possible. Their actions, both individually and collectively, reflect the many positive attributes and attitudes we aspire to develop in our youth.

When asked to comment on the work of the MVSD School Board, Superintendent Venable stated, “Their transformative, equity-driven leadership and strong support has never been more important. Filtered through the lens of equity and inclusivity, supported by a coherent instructional framework that includes innovative and flexible options, their efforts to promote the development of competent, empathetic, action-oriented citizens is unparalleled.”

Please join us as we say “thank you” to members of the Methow Valley School District Board of Directors for their exceptional service in support of our students, parents, staff, and community!

MVSD Staff Members, Don Haley and Mike Putnam Announce Plans to Retire

“The only constant in life is change.”
~ Heraclitus

Dear Methow Valley Students, Parents, and Community Members,

As with the changes in weather and seasons, school districts change over time as well. This typically includes changes in staffing. This year is no different… Don Haley, 4th grade teacher at Methow Valley Elementary and Mike Putnam, Liberty Bell Jr./Sr. High School physical education teacher have recently announced their decision to retire at the conclusion of the 2020-21 school year.

Don Haley, MVE 4th Grade Teacher

Don HaleyNearing the completion of his sixth year of service as an elementary teacher at Methow Valley Elementary, Don Haley is ready to close out a successful career as a public educator. When asked about his time spent teaching at Methow Valley Elementary, Don stated, “I am glad to have spent the last years of my working career with the Methow Valley School District. What a pleasure it has been to work with an amazing staff, eager students, caring families, supportive administration and involved community members. Even under challenging conditions, I enjoy coming to work and love the kids and adults around me.”

When asked what’s next, Don replied, “I sense that the Lord is leading me to something else right now and I look forward to the next chapter of my life. At least in the short term, I plan to continue to serve kids and others within our community in various ways.” He concluded his remarks, stating, “I will leave MVSD with several fond memories.”

Mike Putnam, LBHS P.E. Teacher

Mike PutnamHaving served as a science teacher, driver’s education instructor, and most recently, as a physical education teacher, long-time educator, Mike Putnam has decided to retire at the end of the current school year.

When asked about his decision, Mike stated, “My heart for teaching and being a part of so many student’s lives is still strong. I will truly miss these students. I will miss our fine staff that serves these students daily with all that they have. I will especially miss the excitement Crosby has brought to Liberty Bell and the deep care he has for our students… I will miss the visionary leadership provided by the school board and our superintendent… I so much appreciate dedication and commitment toward a stronger, healthier youth as displayed by our community in the form of the Lion’s Den project.” When asked what lies ahead, Mike replied, “I am very excited to start the next chapter of my life. Erin and I have a bucket list of projects, activities, and adventures planned.”

Please join us as we thank Don Haley and Mike Putnam for their dedicated service in support of the Methow Valley students, parents, and community at large. We wish them well in their future endeavors!

The MVSD Welcomes Sean Fitzpatrick, MVSD’s Newly Appointed Mental Health Care Counselor

Sean FitzpatrickWorking in partnership with Okanogan County Behavioral Health Care Services, the MVSD has appointed Sean Fitzpatrick to serve as the district’s full-time, on-site Mental Health Care Counselor.

A highly regarded and experienced Mental Health Care Professional, Sean graduated from the College of the Holy Cross with a Bachelor’s degree in Religion and Economics, and a Master’s degree in Counseling from Northwestern University. He has a National Certified Counselor certificate, and he is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in WA State.

Sean has nearly a decade of experience supporting youth and families in various settings. More recently he has spent the last few years working as a crisis counselor throughout Okanogan County. When asked about his new role, Sean stated, “I’m very excited to turn my energy towards the health and development of young people in the Methow Valley in collaboration with the schools.”

Sean moved to the Methow in 2018, where he lives just off the ski trail with his fiancé and dog. With passions for biking, hiking, and skiing in the mountains, and for developing a strong and healthy community, Sean is happily at home in the Methow.

Please join us as we welcome Sean Fitzpatrick!

Monday, January 18, 2021 • All MVSD Schools and the District Office will be Closed in Observance of Martin Luther King Day

Martin Luther King Jr quote

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.

Intelligence plus character —
that is the goal of true education.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2021: Professional Development Day - All MVSD Schools will be Closed for "In-Person" Instruction. Friday, January 29, 2021: End of First Semester - All MVSD Schools Operating on an Early Release Schedule