MVSD School Board Unanimously Selects Gary Marchbank to Serve Third 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 third 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 third 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 humbled and honored to serve alongside a team of school board members, staff, parents, and community members who are making good things happen for our students.”

During the same meeting, school board members Mary Anne Quigley, Frank Kline, and Judith Hardmeyer-Wright were sworn in to serve a new four-year term by Superintendent Venable.

Following the oath of office and election of officers, Dana Stromberger was also recognized by WSSDA for 10 years of service to the Methow Valley School District as a school board member.

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!

Dream Big Event: MVSD to Kick-Off Budget Development Process, Invites All Interested Stakeholders to Participate

We Invest in what we value, our youth and their future!

2nd Grade Town Planner - Cane McCarthyThe MVSD is kicking off its annual Budget Development Process by encouraging all students, staff, parents, and community members to participate in the first-ever, Dream Big Event.

The Dream Big Event is scheduled to take place on the evening of Tuesday, January 14, 2020 in the Liberty Bell Jr-Sr HS cafeteria, beginning at 6:00 pm. Light refreshments and childcare will be provided.

Facilitated by LBHS Principal, Crosby Carpenter, ILC Principal, Sara Mounsey, and MVE Principal, Paul Gutzler, participants will have the opportunity to provide input into what the district should prioritize as it attempts to strategically align the investment of its limited resources with the shared vision, beliefs, and learner outcomes established by our community.

All input received will be reviewed and considered by the MVSD Budget Development Task Force prior to making a final recommendation to the Superintendent.

Further information will be made available in mid-January for those interested in participating on MVSD’s newly established Budget Development Task Force.

We hope to see and hear from you on Tuesday, January 14th!

Happy Holidays Methow Valley!

Snowflake in the sunWhether you find yourself celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, or other holidays and traditions, we hope you find yourself surrounded by the laughter, love, and joy that comes from time spent with close friends and family.

Its with sincere gratitude and appreciation that we want to thank you for your generous support of our schools and the students, families, and community we serve.

Please Note: All MVSD schools and the district office will be closed to the public Monday, December 23rd, 2019 through Friday, January, 3th, 2020 in observance of the Winter Break.

MVSD Expands Transportation Service to Include After-School Activities Bus

Bus Driver - VinceWorking within the Strategic Area of Focus titled, “Equity and Excellence for All,” the MVSD is taking positive steps to eliminate the barriers and obstacles faced by our students and families by expanding its transportation services, including the transportation of students participating in after-school extracurricular activities.

When will the new route begin?

The new route will take effect on Monday, January 13, 2020.

Where will the new route stop?

The stops associated with the new route include: the Winthrop Baseball Field and Library, the Winthrop Ice Rink, Little Star Montessori, The Merc, and the Twisp Airport Soccer Field. Stops will vary from one season to the next and are subject to change based upon the activities taking place within our community. Changes to routes will be communicated in advance.

Is it true that the district will begin transporting skis?

Yes. The newly established route will include three stops where students traveling with larger equipment (e.g. skis and hockey sticks) may board. This includes Hank’s Market, the Winthrop Ice Rink, and the Mazama Store. Depending upon the season and related activities, pick up and drop off sites could change. Please note, skis will need to be in a ski bag.

Will this result in some changes for regular bus riders?

Yes. Some students will be assigned to the new route as part of their regular route. Parents of students who will be assigned to the new route will be notified of the change during the week of January 6, 2020.

How was the decision made?

In late November, a team of building administrators, secretaries, and representatives from the MVSD Department of Transportation, met to review bus routes, ridership rates, staffing capacity, and student needs. Based upon the data and feedback, it was determined that another route was needed to accommodate our district’s growing enrollment, expanded ridership, and increased participation in after-school activities. Balancing the safety of our students and drivers with the desire to ensure all students are able to access the many enriching after-school activities taking place throughout our community from one season to the next, they identified a solution. It was recommended that we establish a new “After-School Activities Route.”

Will it be perfect?

No. But it’s a place for us to begin as we attempt to ensure all students can access the many enriching activities taking place throughout our community.

Thank you for your continued support of our efforts to invest in what we value — the health and wellness of our students, parents, and community!
If you have further questions, we encourage you to contact Bud Hover, Director of Operations at or Leanna Jensen, Secretary at or call (509) 997-2113.

The Hour of Code a Big Hit with MVE Parents and Students!

“Whether you want to uncover the secrets of the universe, or you just want to pursue a career in the 21st century, basic computer programming is an essential skill to learn.” ~ Stephen Hawking

Hour of Code EventOn Thursday, December 12 approximately 100 students and parents participated in a countywide event called, Hour of Code in the MVE library. Facilitated by MVE Integration Media Specialists Catie Barber and Annika Troyer, students and parents enjoyed the opportunity to have fun exploring basic concepts of computer programming.

What is the Hour of Code? describes the Hour of Code as an invitation into the world of computer science aimed at “… increasing access to computer science by breaking stereotypes and opening doors. Somebody may learn programming concepts like loops, conditionals, or basic debugging through the Hour of Code. But a much more important goal is for students and teachers to learn that computer science is fun — you can start at any age, in any classroom, even if you don’t have a computer.”

What is Coding?

Simply put, code is a series of commands or instructions written for computers to produce a desired output. Coding is just the act of writing these commands.

Computer programmers are the specialists who use programming languages to code just about everything in our technology-driven society. Code is used for everything from building websites and keeping the internet functional to developing new apps and software. Programmers can find themselves being well compensated, working in nearly any industry, ranging from agriculture, healthcare, and finance, to automotive, alternative energy sources, and manufacturing.

We’d like to extend our gratitude and appreciation to MVE Integration Specialists Catie Barber and Annika Troyer, MVSD Director of Technology Integration and Information Systems, Drew Simmons and the many parents and students who participated in the Hour of Code.

We’d also like to thank the taxpaying citizens of the Methow Valley for their generous support of our students through the successful passage of our local levies, ensuring a bright future for every student.

Poetry Out Loud, A Dazzling Display of Literary Competence, Courage, and Compassion

Poetry Out Loud 2020 Participants

On Wednesday, December 11th, the MVSD and The Merc hosted the Eighth Annual Poetry Out Loud competition involving students from Liberty Bell High School and the Independent Learning Center.

Those in attendance were treated to a series of exceptional performances displayed by each student, making the selection process challenging for the panel of esteemed judges. However, at the end of the night, LBHS student, Cymone Van Marter and ILC student, Chloe Blum took top honors for each their schools, advancing the regional finals scheduled to take place on January 30 in Spokane. Cymone Van Marter and Chloe Blum were closely followed by Lena Nelson who took second place and Connor Herlihy in third place.

For the past seven years, the MVSD has sponsored a robust Poetry Out Loud competition through a collaboration between Methow Arts, Public School Funding Alliance, and The Merc Theatre. 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 seven 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).

Please join us as we congratulate our Poetry Out Loud Participants, their coaches, and thank Methow Arts, Public School Funding Alliance, and The Merc for their continued support of our students!