Josie Bolinger named to Top 300 in 2022 Broadcom Masters STEM Competition

LB Student Josie Bolinger standing in front of a tree.Liberty Bell student Josie Bolinger was named to the Top 300 in the 2022 Broadcom Masters, a competitive program for grade 6-8 students sponsored by the Society for Science. This honor places Josie among a select group of 300 finalists named from 1,807 entrants throughout the United States – themselves representing the top 10% of projects from state science fairs.

Josie entered her seventh grade “Be A Scientist” project, titled Cell Deterioration in Spider Plant Roots, into the Washington State Science and Engineering Fair (WSSEF). “My project was exposing spider plant roots to different pH levels,” she explained, “and how that would affect the biology of the cells.”

Josie encourages other students to enter their projects in competitive science fairs. “It never hurts to enter it into the science fair,” she said. “Your topic doesn’t have to be extravagant. It would be really great if more people would enter it.”

In the WSSEF, students were interviewed online by a panel of judges. After winning a Broadcom Masters nomination from WSSEF, Josie completed a rigorous application process that not only examined her project, but also asked essay questions about other topics – such as who she would choose to bring on a mission to Mars! “ It was a very good learning experience,” said Josie of the application process.

In her future, Josie is interested in pursuing further studies in science subjects such as psychology, biochemistry, and astrophysics. “I’ll want to pursue that because science has always been an interest of mine,” she said.

The “Be A Scientist” project was made possible thanks to funding from the Methow Valley Public Schools Funding Alliance and by the volunteer efforts of Methow Valley scientists who mentor students through individually-designed experiments. The volunteers are essential to the students’ success in this project, and Liberty Bell will be recruiting “Be A Scientist” mentors this fall to work with students in January. Because scientist mentors work in small groups with students, “having more mentors would be very helpful,” Josie explained.

Please join us in congratulating Josie for this incredible accomplishment!

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MVSD Air Quality Protocols Update

The MVSD is committed to protecting the health and well being of all students and staff. Much in the same way we monitor weather to determine that travel to and from school is safe, we routinely monitor air quality in order to ensure that all staff and students have access to a healthy environment.

Color-coded Air Quality ScaleAs a district that is regularly faced with air quality challenges due to the presence of wildfire smoke as well as periodic inversions, we have partnered with Clean Air Methow in order to develop and refine procedures for determining when and how it is safe for students to spend time outdoors.

The MVSD Air Quality and Student Health 2022-2023 [pdf] lays out these procedures and offers insight into how and why they were adopted, as well as providing information regarding steps taken by MVSD to improve indoor air quality during periods when wildfire smoke is an issue. We hope this document helps to address many of the questions and concerns of our parents, students and community members.

While periods of poor air quality seem likely to be a persistent feature of life in this beautiful place, the MVSD has benefited greatly from the support and guidance of Clean Air Methow in developing protocols that will protect the health and well being of our students and staff.

Please visit our Air Quality Protocols & FAQs page for additional information.

MVSD Welcomes Graduating Class of 2035!

Kindergarten girl wearing a red net skirt with a female adult in front of colorful playground equipment.Dear Methow Valley Students, Parents, and Community Members,

Today, our staff welcomed the MVSD graduating class of 2035 – MVE’s Kindergarten students and their families. Equipped with their backpacks, sparkly shoes, unicorn hair bands, hopes, dreams, and aspirations, we must say, the future looks bright!

Cheers,
Tom Venable
Superintendent, MVSD

LBHS Graduate, Exie Romero Selected to Serve as Half-Time World Language Teacher and Multilingual Learner Coordinator

Exie RomeroExperiencing continued growth in student enrollment, coupled with the increased need for translation and interpretation services in support of multilingual students and families, the MVSD is pleased to announce that it has selected LBHS graduate, Exie Romero to serve as a half-time World Language Teacher and Multilingual Coordinator.

Growing up in the Methow Valley Exie always felt her community’s strong support and encouragement. This was evident last year when hired on a conditional teaching certificate to co-teach with members of the LBHS World Language and Humanities Departments. When asked about her teaching experience last year, Exie stated, “I felt so honored to be able to work directly with students while receiving the support of an exceptional team of mentors.”

In June of 2021, Exie graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in American and Ethnic Studies from the University of Washington Bothell. During college, she had valuable experiences collaborating with very diverse groups of people; many from different cultural backgrounds. Last year, Exie served as a half-time World Language and Humanities teacher, co-teaching with staff from each department.

When Exie isn’t teaching, you can find her pouring over all sorts of music, rewatching spaghetti westerns, or driving across the state sightseeing and visiting friends.

Please join us as we congratulate Exie!

MVSD Selects Annika Troyer to Serve as LBHS/ILC’s Integration Media Specialist

Annika Troyer and familyThe MVSD is pleased to announce that Annika Troyer has been selected to serve as the certificated LBHS/ILC Integration Media Specialist. Working under a conditional certificate, Annika will assume an elevated role in support of student learning through the integration of technology and engagement in the research process.

Born in Washington State, Annika became a self-reported, “TCK (Third Culture Kid)” at the age of four when her parents elected to pursue careers as educators for the Department of Defense. Living abroad, Annika attended AFNORTH International School at the NATO Base in Limburg, the Netherlands. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and Theory of Arts & Literature from Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany. Following her graduation from Jacobs University, she attended the European School of Economics in Lucca, Italy to pursue a Master’s Certification in Art & Event Management.

Returning to the United States in 2010, she met her husband, Brandon Troyer and started a family that includes Lucia Rose, their daughter, their dog, Moose, and cat, Ninja. After several adventurous years of exploration, the Troyer’s settled in the Methow Valley. Upon their arrival, Annika was hired by the MVSD as a substitute teacher. Shortly thereafter, Annika was selected to serve as the MVE Integration Media Specialist Paraeducator, working alongside Integrated Library/Media Specialist, Catie Barber.

Given Annika’s love of learning, curiosity about the world, and collaborative nature, we’re not surprised by her continued growth and development as a professional educator. When asked about the District’s decision to select Annika, MVSD Superintendent, Tom Venable stated, “Much like Lotty Ekblad’s recent transition from a Paraeducator position into a certificated Special Education teaching position, reflecting our belief in the capacity of our staff, we believe this is good for students, good for our staff, good for our school district… A win-win-win all the way around!”

As she steps into her new position, Annika is eager to facilitate changes within the LBHS library to keep pace with advances, serve in support of students and staff, and complete the certification process. She hopes to create a contemporary media center with new books, easy access to online resources, and areas for both quiet study and conferencing.

Outside of school, Annika enjoys making sushi, evening walks with her family, hot-spring hopping, editing, motorcycle rides with her husband, watching anime, playing soccer, cooking huge hotpots, traveling and, of course, reading!

Please join us as we congratulate Annika Troyer, LBHS/ILC’s new Integration Media Specialist!

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Professional Development Day: Friday, October 7 - All MVSD Schools and the District Office will be Closed to the Public