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Teacher Spotlight – Mrs. Julian, Cascade Middle School

Where were you born?  I was born in Longview.

Have you lived here your whole life?  With exception of going to college and living two years in Virginia when my husband was finishing his service in the Navy.

Where did you go to school?  I went to school at Butler Acres Elementary, Coweeman Middle School and Kelso High School, class of 1983.

Mrs. Dawn Julian

Did you know what you wanted to be in high school? In high school, I wanted to be a biologist. I loved biology and I loved math.

Did you enjoy high school? I loved it, I absolutely loved it! I am a very social being and got along with all students.

Were you in clubs or sports?  I was a swimmer, which was my passion. I was also in Pep Club and Spanish Club. I chose not to be a cheerleader because I was in the pool year round.

What events did you participate in for the swim team? I swam the breaststroke. I was a freestyler, but I was distance, so it was 500 meters.

Do you still swim? No, because it affects my hair. I do work out with teachers at Cascade, we do aerobics and then I lift weights with my husband twice a week.

How did you decide to attend Central Washington University? I was on bike ride with my friend since kindergarten and he was going to go to Central. It was early August and my plan was to go to LCC. We were riding out in Lexington and he said you really should think about going to Central. I think it would be a good fit for you instead of going to LCC. If you go to LCC, I think you will probably end up just staying in town.

Did his comments strike you as being odd? Yes, that struck me as odd because I was always very driven. I did really well in school and I went home and told my parents that I wanted to go to Central – they said okay.

When did you decide to pursue teaching? I was in a calculus class and I couldn’t get it. I didn’t care about the shadow of a tree. I loved writing, humanity classes, history and such. My roommate in college was my best friend since 7th grade, and she was an elementary education major.

At that point, did you want to be a teacher? I thought, oh, no way! I would never want to teach those elementary kids. I went to my advisor and she said, “You are really good with numbers, so why don’t you explore accounting or business classes.”  I did Business Administration with an Accounting emphasis.

What did you do after college? After college, Mike and I were married and moved to Virginia. Mike was in the Navy for 8 years.

What did you do after moving back to the area? I was working 6-7 days a week at Nelson Ball Paper Products (now it is called Newark). I decided to quit my job and go to school to get my master’s degree full-time to be a teacher.

After earning a Master’s degree, where did you start working? I student taught at Wallace Elementary in a 5/6 multi-age classroom because I wanted to teach at a school that was as close to inner city. I like to go down the road with speed bumps in life. I love the speed bumps because that is what gives you, in my opinion, character.

How did you end up at Cascade Middle School? I went to every elementary and middle school in Longview and Kelso and interviewed with the principals. I knew I wanted to be at Cascade Middle School, I just knew it. I was in a behavior classroom, and Bruce Holway and I walked into this room and it was kind of chaos and a boy picked up a piece of paper and threw it at me and I thought, “This is heaven!”

Do you enjoy working with different students? Yes, I believe one of my jobs as a middle school teacher is to take these “wild mustangs”, wrangle them in, but not break their spirit. I love challenges; the naughty kids are the ones that are so challenging. I love all of the kids; I love the challenge of trying to meet the needs of every single kid in the classroom.

When did you start teaching? Twenty-five years ago, in 1995.

Have you had some good mentors? Yes, I have been very fortunate that I learned from the best.  Marilyn Melville, Adele Marshall, Bruce Holway, the list goes on and on.

How long did you teach English and Math?  Bruce Holway would ask me to teach 8th grade and then 6th grade. I was very fluid. I have been a coach for 5 years, but last year I went back into the classroom.

Why did you go back to the classroom? What I found was that I grew so much last year as an educator because I added things to my box. I had also saw and observed things that I could say, “Yes, I do that!” and it really rekindled my love of instruction.

What did you teach last year?  For the first time I taught an elective; it was called Cavalier Pride. I was never allowed to teach an elective.

So how did you get the chance to teach an elective? Last year Mr. Rugg had an opening and I said, “I would really like to teach an elective” He said, “I would really like you to teach Language Arts and Social Studies because you are really good at it.” I said, “Can I have just have one?”  So, I taught two reading interventions.

What makes for a good teacher?  You have to like whatever grade level you are teaching, that is first and foremost. Secondly, even as a veteran, you need to be open and coachable. As a teacher, it is your responsibility to share your skills with experienced teachers and the newbies. My mentor teacher Dave Woods, I am the teacher I am today because of him and Marylyn Melville, Katherine Smith, Myrna Raff and all of those names.

Is there an art or science to teaching? Some say there is not an art of teaching, but a science. I think there is an art and a science and the art piece has to be present. I can deliver the best lesson all day, but it’s about the relationship and rapport with those kids, and gaining trust.

What is the best part of being a teacher?  When they come back to you and say, “Mrs. Julian, I loved having you as a teacher.” I was lucky to have all of the sixth graders and they come back and they want a hug, they tell you that they love you.

What is the worst part of being a teacher?  When the kids leave you, especially when they go to high school because you may not see much of them anymore. It is bittersweet. The other worst part is when you hear they one of them have lost their life. That just gets you.

What would you tell people who do not have kids in school what school is like today? I have been in all of the schools as a district coach and the staff, including the paras, the custodians, the bus drivers, the teachers, the principals that we really do have the student in mind, which is first and foremost. I want them to know we are giving it our all.

What would you tell a brand new teacher?  It is hard work but it is so rewarding – stick with it. It takes about four years to figure it out. Your first year you don’t know what you don’t know. Your second and third year you are starting to think you do, but by the fourth year, you will know what you don’t know. Seek out those experienced teachers.

What do you do on your own time? I love to be outdoors, whether that is hiking or camping, we just bought a trailer so that is something new. I love to listen to music, go to concerts and plays, the arts. I love to spend time with my family. I am very fortunate that I have 20-year-old twins, one is at LCC, one is at Washington State, and they are successful. Then of course, when I am at the theatre pub. I enjoy that.

Do you spend a lot of time at the theatre pub? Not like we used to. We have a nice crew of people, so we are very fortunate. It is getting less and less after 22 years.

To the people that read this what would want them to leave with? That I am a passionate hard working educator. It is all about the kids. Bottom line. When I put my head on the pillow at night, I need to know that I have given 100% and that I take my job seriously.

What haven’t I asked you that I should have? That I like to cook. I am pescotarian.

What is a pescatorian? I eat things low on the food chain. I will eat fish, eggs, and some dairy. I won’t eat chicken, beef or pork.

Is this because you are allergic to these things, or you wanted certain health benefits?  I did it then for animal reasons and then later it became more health, I don’t like the taste of meat.

What dairy do you do? I will do cottage cheese. It has to be organic; it doesn’t mean it is any better for you. I gave up milk maybe two years ago.

Do you eat eggs?  Only if they are happy eggs. If they are free range, and if I can get them from someone who raises their own chickens.

Do you eat fish? Yes, wild caught.

Do you eat many vegetables? I do eat a lot of vegetables and whole grains. I try to get protein from chickpeas and some kinds of legumes.

2019-11-01T14:48:21-07:00October 22nd, 2019|

Summer Meal Program information

Summer Meals for Kids!

This year the Summer Food Service Program will offer free nutritious meals to all neighborhood children ages 18 years and younger at:

Northlake Elementary, 2210 Olympia Way,  June 17 – August 16, Breakfast 8:30 am – 8:45 am,  Lunch 12:00 pm – 12:15 pm  *No Meals July 1- July 5

Kessler Elementary, 1902 Kessler Blvd., June 17 – July 3, Breakfast 8:30 am – 9:00 am, Lunch 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm,  July 8 – August 16 Breakfast 8:30 am – 8:45 am, Lunch 12:00 pm – 12:15 pm

Olympic Elementary, 1324 30th Ave., June 17 – June 28, Breakfast 8:30 am – 8:45 am, Lunch 12:00 pm – 12:15 pm

Monticello Middle School, 1225 28th Ave., July 8 – July 26, Breakfast 8:30 am – 8:45 am, Lunch 12:00 pm – 12:15 pm

Archie Anderson Park, 22nd Ave & Alabama St., July 8 – Aug 16, Lunch 12:00 pm  – 12:15 pm, Snack 3:30 pm – 3:45 pm  *Monday thru Thursday

Teen Center, 2121 Kessler Blvd., June 17 – Aug 16, Snack 3:30 pm – 3:45 pm  *No Meals July 4- July 5

All meals will meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, so you know your child will be eating a healthy meal. Supervised activities will be offered at Northlake and Kessler Elementary Schools, Monticello Middle School, Teen Center, & Archie Anderson Park. For more information, contact City of Longview, Parks & Recreation Department at 360-442-5400. For more information about the program, or to volunteer to help, call the Longview Public School Nutrition office at 360-575-7172.

The Summer Food Service Program is sponsored by The U.S. Department of Agriculture

2019-06-12T11:37:18-07:00June 12th, 2019|

Merzoian, Shepherd & Shepherd discuss closing the achievement gap

Scott Merzoian, Monticello Principal, served on a panel of high performing principals in Seattle at the state principal’s Equity Conference. Merzoian did a fantastic job communicating the success Monticello has enjoyed under his leadership.

Pictured from left to right:  Jennifer Leach, Longview School Board; Christopher Carter, Principal Asa Mercer MS, Seattle; Maggie O’Sullivan, School Leader Rainier Prep, Seattle; Scott Merzoian, Principal Monticello MS; Sylvia Campbell, Medical Lake MS near Spokane; Lanette Shepherd, Orchestra Director Longview School District; Stephen Shepherd, Vice Principal, Mt. Solo MS

Mr. Merzoian was the final panelist to speak to 80 principals from around the state and finished off an informative session about Closing the Achievement Gap for Low Income Students.

Dr. Lanette Shepherd, Longview Orchestra Director, conducted research as part of her recertification for National Board this year about high performing middle schools serving low-income students.  From this research, she formed a panel for the Equity Conference with principals across the state. This was done because Dr. Stephen Shepherd, Vice-Principal Mt. Solo, proposed this panel discussion to the Association of Washington State School Principals Equity Conference for 2019.

Jennifer Leach, Vice-President of the Longview School Board attended, and was impressed with Monticello Middle Schools growth and Longview Public Schools representation.

2019-05-23T12:59:45-07:00May 23rd, 2019|

You are invited to Cascade’s new play!

The community is invited to a fantastic evening watching the first two act play at Cascade Middle School in over ten years. Come enjoy the evening and experience, “A Gwesty Family Thanksgiving”.

The play is set in the Gwesty’s family home, which is surrounded by their 2,000 acre turkey farm. All the Gwesty children are coming home for Thanksgiving, and everyone has secrets and surprises to share including a surprise fiancé, a life-like robot from the CIA, violent mute twins, crazy neighbors, money troubles, and that’s all before they find out that Pa has cancer and is selling the turkey farm right after dinner. Add to that a robbery, overwhelmed census takers, and finally a miracle at the end that leaves everyone feeling good. It is fun, crazy, and family-friendly.

The play will run for three nights on the 29th, 30th, and 31st of May from 6 to 7 pm each night at Cascade Middle School. The cost is as follows:

Kids 0-5              free

Students 7-18     $3.00

Adults                  $5.00

Seniors                 $4.00

 

2019-05-24T16:45:38-07:00May 15th, 2019|

Spotlight – Bryanna Smith, Cascade Middle School

Spotlight Interview

Where were you born? I was born in Mesa, Arizona. My parents got divorced and my mom moved to Washington, while my dad went to Texas. My two younger sisters and I went with my dad to Texas.

Where in Texas did you go? We started in Houston, Texas.  My dad had an apartment with his girlfriend but it wasn’t big enough for all of us so he bought a house in Willis, Texas. It was about 45 minutes south of Houston.

Where did you go to school? Until 3rd grade, I went to school in Mesa, Arizona and then from 3rd grade to 7th grade in Texas. There was a change of custody and my mom got custody of us, so we moved to Washington. In 8th grade I went to Mt. Solo, for high school Mark Morris, and Running Start at LCC.

How was 8th grade? It was kind of a hard move for me. I actually met my friends thanks to Mrs. Gates at Mt. Solo, who saved me because she started this “new kids” group to help new kids acclimate to the school.

Did you like high school? Overall, not so much. I did love choir though. Mr. Mitchell was amazing and good at making students feel welcome. I wasn’t very good at being social because I have always been so focused on school.

Did you participate in any high school activities? I didn’t take much time for friends or activities. Looking back, I wish I had done more sports or activities, but it was all homework for me – all the time.

Did you get all “A’s” on your report card? Yes, I was a straight A student all the way. I did Running Start and got all A’s. When I graduated, I was in the top 5% of my class and top 10% in the state.

What year did you graduate? Mark Morris High School class of 2013.

After high school you what did you want to do? I did not know what I wanted to do. I went to WSU Pullman to finish my Associates degree and pursue my Bachelors. When I first got to Pullman, I thought I wanted to go into law.

Why did you think about being a lawyer? After being in a family with divorce, I wanted to be a divorce lawyer. I wanted to help kids because I know what it is like to go through that experience and I wanted to be the advocate for those kids.

What did you end up studying at WSU? After taking some classes, I took psychology and really enjoyed it, so I focused more on psychology.  I majored in psychology and earned a minor in human development for the kid’s aspect of it. I graduated from WSU in 2016.

What did you do after graduating college? I was actually living overseas at this point because I went to WSU Pullman my first year, but I had been dating someone since my sophomore year of high school. We continued dating after high school and he went into the military. While he was at boot camp and training I was at school, he called me and said, “I am going to Korea after this and if you want to come with me we have to get married. So, what do you think about that?”

Do you say yes? Yes. We had talked about it already and I knew that is probably what we would do. I knew how the military worked. I was like, “Wow, what a great proposal!”

What was South Korea like? It was overwhelming. I was thrown into a situation where I did not know anyone, I did not have any friends, and my husband was at work pretty much all of the time. But there were really cool aspects of it as well.

What did you like about it? Korea had all kinds of cool stuff to see and to do. One of my favorite things was all the different themed cafes. They have animal cafés where you go in and order your coffee and you can pet all dogs or cats that are running around. I even went to a raccoon café.

Did you visit Seoul? Yes, I went to Seoul Tower; it is like the Seattle Space Needle. I also went to all sorts of cool museums. They had a trick eye museum, which was all about optical illusions and an ice museum where everything was made of ice. I also went to a few festivals in Seoul and toured the DMZ.

How is Korea different from America? It is different in so many ways. Koreans are all about keeping in shape so you would go to a park and they would have work out equipment bolted into the ground — like stationary bikes. Parents would work out while the kids play. Public transportation is also very common there so I would take subways and trains everywhere. Stores were also very different; with the little space they had stores would be small and stacked high instead of large and spread out.

Did you know or speak any Korean words? I knew some words like ‘hello’ and ‘thank you.’ The language was very challenging and complex and many people spoke English.

How long did you live in South Korea? Almost three years.

From South Korea, did you move back to Longview? Yes, I got divorced and moved back home. I came back and I had no car, no job, and hardly any money – just two suitcases.

How did you end up with a job in education? The one thing I was always good at was school. There is more to school than being smart: you have to be organized to get things done, you have to be efficient, and you have to meet deadlines especially with college. My mother said, “That sounds like a school secretary to me.”

What did you think about being a school secretary? I thought it was a great idea. I applied to be a sub secretary to get the feel of it. When I applied, it was around summer time so I didn’t get too many opportunities at first except in HR. Before school started, a part-time job opened up at Robert Gray. I applied and got the job at Robert Gray for the part-time secretary.

Were you working with Misty Woodrum? Yes, I was working with Misty and she was such a good teacher. It was a lot of learning in a short amount of time.

When the head secretary role opened at Cascade were you nervous about applying? Yes, I thought, “I am not ready for a lead position yet. I am learning and there is so much to learn”. Everyone was encouraging me to apply. It was something I definitely wanted to do, and am glad I did.

Do you feel like you found your calling? It is hard to say. I am 23 and plan to continue in school at some point. I have definitely enjoyed it here, but I have a thirst for knowledge. I like to learn and I love to be proficient at what I do, but I have a lot of working years left so I am not sure.

What is the best part about being a secretary at Cascade? The people. It is definitely family here and the kids are so great. We have kids that come into the office and share their stories. We connect with kids.

What is the toughest part of your job? It is a chaotic job. There are 20 million things going on at once. The phone is ringing and parents want help and students have questions. That is the hardest part but at the same time, the rush makes the day fly.

What do you like to do outside of work? I really enjoy working out. Since 6th or 7th grade, I have been in some form of an exercise class. I do not enjoy working out by myself but I enjoy structured workout classes especially if it is some sort of dance type, Zumba or hip-hop.

What else do you like to do outside of work? Well, my boyfriend and I like to go on as many dates as possible. We actually just went and saw Aladdin, the Broadway musical. I love anything that has to do with music like music festivals, concerts and musicals. I also just had a baby boy and I absolutely love spending time with him and watching his personality form.

What would you want people that read this to know? I try hard to think about people’s backgrounds and where they come from; it helps me with students to think about that. People have a past and people are at different levels at different times, so that would probably be the biggest thing to take away from knowing me; never judge a book by its cover.

2019-05-15T08:25:51-07:00May 15th, 2019|

Southwest Washington Middle School Choir Festival

(March 14, 2019) Mt. Solo Middle School hosted a Choir Festival featuring eighteen different choirs today. The choir festival gives students and music teachers the chance to perform in front of judges, get evaluated and receive an onstage clinic to help improve the choir.

Mr. Noakes (sound engineer), Mrs. Walworth (Monticello accompanist) and Ms. Davis (Mt. Solo accompanist) supported the all-day event. Mrs. Noakes organized the event with the help of teachers and students.

A great day of choir!

 

2019-03-14T13:51:52-07:00March 14th, 2019|

Family Resource Center opens at Monticello

Teachers and support team members across the district are seeing a growing number of kids and families who lack a stable food source and/or housing. To help the kids and families the district opened a Family Resource Center at Monticello Middle School. The resource center gives parents a place to get help and connect with food, housing, mental health or other services. It doesn’t matter which school a child attends – the family resource center is open to help them. The resource center was put together through donations and did not require district funds.

The Daily News wrote a front page story about the resource center that published March 2. This is another example of the district putting extra effort towards helping our kids be successful.

The Family Resource Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 11 am and from 1 pm to 3 pm.

 

2019-03-08T14:24:07-07:00March 7th, 2019|

Calendar information 2019-2020 school year

Planning for vacation and family celebrations is important. While final details of the next year’s school calendar are not yet finished, several important key dates are set. To help you with planning below are important dates for the 2019-2020 school year. These dates have been finalized and approved by the School Board. (Please note the calendar for Broadway Learning Center is different and parents should check with Broadway for 2019-2020 calendar dates.)

Event Date
First day of school August 28, 2019
Winter holiday December 23, 2019 – January 3, 2020
Spring Break April 6-10, 2020
High school graduation June 6, 2020
Last day of school June 11, 2020

A more detailed 2019-2020 school calendar will be sent to parents and families in the Spring. If you have questions please contact your local school.

2019-01-25T15:05:18-07:00January 25th, 2019|

Capital bond information and input sessions

Longview Public Schools plans to put a capital bond measure to voters later this year. Capital bonds raise funds for school districts to upgrade facilities and build new schools.

To provide citizens information about the bond measure three community input sessions will be held. At the meeting you will get information on the facility upgrades and changes the district’s Facilities Advisory Committee has recommended.

Thursday, January 24 at 6 pm, district administrative offices next to RA Long High School – 2715 Lilac Street.

Wednesday, January 30 at 5 pm, Mark Morris High School.

Tuesday, February 5 at 5 pm, Mint Valley Elementary School.

We hope to see you at one of the community input sessions.

2019-01-25T11:07:08-07:00January 15th, 2019|

Teacher Spotlight – Mr. Jensen, Cascade Middle School

Spotlight  – Q & A

Where did you grow up? I was born in Fullerton, CA while my Dad attended optometry school. At the age of 8 years old, we moved to a small town called Logandale, NV, near the Utah border.

What schools did you attend? I graduated from Moapa Valley High School; I was a part of the first graduating class of over 100 students.

Mr. Jensen, Cascade Middle School

What did you do after high school? Right after high school, I worked for 2 years to save money. I was an assistant cook at the senior center, worked construction and cleaned up in a machine shop.

After working for 2 years what did you do? I went to the airport, looked at the flight departure board and randomly picked Marseille, France as my destination. I left from McCarron Airport in Las Vegas headed for France.

What was your plan once you arrived in France? I didn’t have a plan.

Did you make this trip with someone? No, all by myself.

What is the first thing you did upon arriving in France? I arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport and missed my connecting flight. A German man noticed my confusion and helped me get a taxi to the train station, which got me on a train to Marseille.

What did you do upon arriving in Marseille? Marseille was big, loud, and a little overwhelming for me – I stayed for 2 days. I bought a bus ticket and when it stopped in a city I liked, I got off.

Did you work in France? No, I used my savings to experience the differences between small town life in France and my small town in Nevada.

How is France different from America? Definitely, the food is different. Transportation is different too. You could walk about anywhere you needed to go in the small towns I visited. When I got bored of a town, I jumped on a train and did the same thing in another town.

How long did this last? For 2 years.

What were some of the memorable experiences? My first Christmas away from home was in a small town called Aubagne. Aubagne is famous for nativity scenes – it was magical. During my time in Nice it snowed for the first time in 15 years – I was on the beach at the time.

One time, I was riding my bike in the middle of the country and didn’t even know where I was. I stopped, there was a wheat field on one side of me, a vineyard on the other side and the purple mountains (the Alps) in front of me and I realized – this is the song America the Beautiful. It was such an amazing moment I wrote a story and sent it to my local newspaper, who published it.

Did you learn to speak French? Yes, I taught French class in Clatskanie for a few years.

Upon arriving home, how much money did you have left? 44 cents.

Where did you go to college? When I got home, my parents had applied to college for me. In three days, I had to report to Brigham Young University (BYU). I was not excited about this at all.

What happened at BYU? After three semester’s my grades were poor, so I dropped out. I just did not try.

Did you work after attending college? I spent time doing all the jobs I ever wanted to do.

What sort of jobs did you do? I worked in a bookstore, delivered flowers, drove a limousine, worked at a summer camp in California. I was an extra in Hollywood movies. None of the jobs were careers I wanted. This lasted 2 years.

What next? I met a girl on a blind date and got married 12 months later. We have four kids now.

Did you go back to college? Yes, I restarted at Whatcom Community College then transferred to Western Washington University. From WWU I moved on to Willamette University and earned my Master’s in teaching.

During college did you work? Yes, I worked the gun counter at Joe’s Sporting Goods. I started teaching firearm/hunter safety and taught over one-thousand people in one year. It was during this time I realized teaching was my passion.

What did you learn from teaching hunter safety? I realized teaching kids in the 12-15-year-old age group was what I wanted to do.

Where was your first teaching job? In Winston, Oregon down by Roseburg.

When did you start teaching in the area? I taught for five years in Clatskanie, but wanted something closer to home (we live in Kelso) and ended up getting a job here at Cascade.

What are some traits of a great teacher? Know the subject really well and care enough to make sure nobody falls through the cracks. Everyone must learn the skills before moving on.

What is the best thing about being a teacher? Having a captive audience, if they are not laughing and having fun I am not doing my job. Learning grammar and sentence structure is not fun, so finding ways to make it fun helps students learn.

What is your outlook for the future? It’s positive. There are enough kids working very hard that society will be okay. There will always be kids who struggle, but many come from challenging family backgrounds who try so hard.

What advice would you have for new teachers? Keep it light, but data is your best friend. If you don’t have data telling you where the kids are it’s tough. Knowing what the kids did and did not learn is crucial to success.

What are some of the keys to being a good writer? Know your subject and don’t leave anything out.

What are the kids of today like? Kids of today are bombarded with society – they cannot escape it. It affects them negatively and positively, they need more time away from technology.

If you could talk to the entire community what would you say? I would tell the community to love your kids and spend as much time with them as you can. Cherish every moment possible with your kids.

What is the hardest part of teaching English? Grammar. This is the only place grammar matters. Kids ask why they can’t use the letter “u” to write the word “you”. Some kids don’t understand the importance of learning proper English.

Are good writing skills hard to come by? Absolutely. Being a good writer is tough, when I have student who is naturally gifted I want them to use it.

What else? I like things because they are unique. I love the sport of curling because it’s unique – curling is fascinating.

2019-01-02T10:12:04-07:00January 2nd, 2019|