Erika Spellman Selected to Serve as the MVSD’s New Guidance Counselor

Erika SpellmanCurrently serving as the MVSD’s College and Career Advisor, Erika Spellman was recently selected to serve as the new MVSD Guidance Counselor. With over 18 years of college counseling, teaching and student advising experience, Erika will begin her new position in the fall of the 2019-20 school year, replacing current MVSD Guidance Counselor, Amy Knob, who is resigning her position at the conclusion of the current school year.

Beginning her career in the Edmonds School District as a family and consumer science teacher, Erika quickly saw that students and parents were hungry for more access to college and career information. Prior to arriving in the Methow Valley, Erika spent much of her career building and implementing comprehensive college and career programs in both the Edmonds and Shoreline School Districts. When asked about her new position, Erika stated, “I thrilled to take the next step in my career as the MVSD Guidance Counselor.”

Following the search and selection process, MVSD student and interview committee member, Tommie Ochoa stated, “I am certainly excited to welcome Ms. Spellman as our new counselor for many reasons. Not only is Ms. Spellman interested in helping students with any emotional support, but she also strives for academic success in every student. She can make you feel so important…” She added, “She is someone who is very approachable, most of the students have already created a friendly relationship with her and she is a familiar face in the school making her very approachable and comfortable to talk too. Her mindset is so wise and well thought out, a counselor position suits her greatly.”

Hilary Kaltenbach, MVSD parent and member of the search and selection committee echoed Tommie’s enthusiasm for Erika’s selection in by stating, “In her current roles, Erika has earned the trust and respect of families, students, and staff. Her genuine care for each student’s well-being and success will make her an outstanding counselor. As a parent, I feel confident that my daughter will be supported and encouraged as she finds her path, both academic and personal, through junior high and high school.”

When Erika isn’t working with high school students she enjoys spending time with her 3 children, Morgan, Mackenzie, and Montana, her husband Cory and teaching yoga at her yoga studio in Twisp.

We will be posting the open position for the MVSD College and Career Advisor in the near future. Please join us as we congratulate Erika Spellman, MVSD’s new Guidance Counselor!

Triumph and Tragedy: MVSD Student, Keeley Brooks Takes First Place at National History Day State Contest, Qualifies for National Contest in Washington, D.C.

Keeley BrooksLate Tuesday, we learned that Keeley Brooks took top honors at the National History Day State State Contest in the Senior Individual Website category, qualifying her to participate the NHD National Contest scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C. in June.

Led by Liberty Bell teachers David Aspholm and Scott Barber, supported by Rebecca Shoup and the Public School Funding Alliance, Liberty Bell 8th and 10th grade students made a strong impression at the National History Day regional competition that took place earlier this winter, with many taking top honors and advancing to the state competition.

Throughout the fall and winter, Liberty Bell students engaged in research associated with a variety of topics based on the theme Triumph & Tragedy in History. Students asked questions about time, place and context, cause and effect, change over time, impact, and significance related to their chosen themes.

As part of the research process, students were asked to consider not only when and where events happened, but analyze why they occurred, the factors contributed to their development, and draw conclusions about how the topic influenced and was influenced by people, ideas, or events.

A Recap Leading Up to the State and National Contest

At the Regional Contest, the top two finalists in each category moved on to state competition. As you will see by the list below, our students performed well, taking the highest honors in every category.

Senior Individual Documentary

First Place – Greta Laesch, “Bloody Sunday”
Second Place – Lena Nelson, “Forgotten Wonders”

Senior Individual Websites

First Place – Keeley Brooks, “Mine Okubo”
Second Place – Cymone Van Marter, “The Greatest Show On Earth”

Senior Group Website

First Place – Annika Libby and Liv Aspholm, “The Race to the South Pole”

8th grade students advancing to the state competition

Melody Langan – George Melies Impact
Jackson Schmekel – Henry Ford’s First Moving Assembly Line
Carter Sheley – Henry Ford’s First Moving Assembly Line
Beau Tanguy – Henry Ford’s First Moving Assembly Line
Nina Kominak – Alice Paul: Fight for Women’s Suffrage
Lucy Tobiska – Alice Paul: Fight for Women’s Suffrage
Clementine Palinska – Our Bodies, Our Cells? The Life Of Henrietta Lacks
Lily Colin – Vincent van Gogh: From Tragedy to Triumph
We’ve included a link to Keeley’s 1st place, State Contest project for your viewing enjoyment:

Please join us as we thank David Aspholm, Scott Barber, Rebecca Shoup, the Public School Funding Alliance, acknowledge all of our National History Day participants, and congratulate Keeley Brooks, National History Day State Champion!

We Invest in What We Value – Our Students!

MVES StudentMVSD to Invest in Smaller Class Sizes, Adding a Third Grade Teacher in Fall of 2019-20 School Year!

Research and best practice suggests the relationship between the teacher and the student is the one of the most important factors contributing to a child’s academic progress, social-emotional wellness, physical health, and future success, only to be exceeded by a “coherent system” reflecting these same attributes throughout the entire school from one classroom to another.

Committed to supporting strong relationships between the teacher, student, (and parents), MVES will be investing some of our limited resources into the addition of a third, 3rd grade teacher, beginning in the fall of the 2019-20 school.

Using projected enrollment figures, the additional classroom teaching position will lower the K-3 class size average to a ratio of less than 17 student per classroom teacher.

Thank you Methow Valley community for your generous support of our students!

U.S. News and World Report Released the 2019 Best High Schools in America’ Ranking – LBHS Among the Top

LBHS Teacher with StudentU.S. News and World Report announced it’s ‘2019 Best High Schools in America’ report, ranking Liberty Bell High School 18th in the State of Washington out of 656 high schools (506 high schools ranked last year) in Washington State and #1,166 out of 23,000 public high schools (20,500 high schools ranked last year) across the country.

To produce the 2019 Best High Schools rankings, U.S. News & World Report teamed with North Carolina-based RTI International, a global nonprofit social science research firm. RTI implemented the U.S. News comprehensive rankings methodology, which is based on these key principles: that a great high school must serve all of its students well, not just those who are college bound, and that it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show it is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators.

Please join us as we celebrate the the strong partnership between our students, staff, parents, community partners, and recognize the exceptional teaching and learning taking place throughout our schools and community!

MVSD Teachers, We Love You!

“When I grow up, I want to be a teacher!” These were the words recently shared by a first grade student at MVES. When asked why he wanted to be a teacher, he stated, “Teachers help other people to learn and do lots of other important things.”

When asked to describe examples of “other important things”, he said, “Well, like give us healthy snacks when we’re hungry and more recess when we need to get our wiggles out.” We concluded our conversation by asking if there was anything else his teacher does that is important. He said, “Yes. She loves us.”

While not everyone wishes to be a teacher, we do wish to take time to recognize the exceptional work of the Methow Valley School District teachers.

Jennifer & LeoNext week, May 6 through May 10, as part of National Teacher Appreciation Week, the Methow Valley School District will be celebrating the exceptional work of our teaching staff. Teacher Appreciation Week is a weeklong celebration in recognition of teachers and the positive contributions they make to education and society. It provides an opportunity to share kind words of appreciation and gratitude for the important role our teachers play in the lives of our youth.

Please join us as we acknowledge the unparalleled commitment and dedication to service displayed by the MVSD staff.

Methow Valley Elementary School Playground Project

Led by MVES P.E. Teacher and Playground Committee Chair, Jean Koreski, the MVES Playground Committee, comprised of a highly engaged and motivated team of students, parents, and staff, have submitted a final recommendation to the superintendent to move forward with the installation of a new ADA-compliant playground that meets National Playground Safety Standards, is accessible by all, and promotes the development of healthy, fit, active youth through creative play. No it doesn’t include a hot tub, but it does include a zipline!

Utilizing the feedback provided by current and former elementary students, the committee examined several designs before submitting their final recommendation. Barring any unforeseen challenges, the new playground equipment will be installed during the summer in advance of the start of the 2019-20 school year.

Please join us as we thank the MVES Playground Committee and the Methow Valley community for making the dream of an inclusive playground a reality for all of our children!

It is a happy talent to know how to play.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

MVES Playground Plans


Have a wonderful summer break!