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Riverview School Board Director Dan Pflugrath honored for his selfless commitment and passion for education

  • Written by Leanne Christensen, RSD
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Longtime Riverview School Board Director Dan Pflugrath is retiring. Courtesy photo.
On November 8th at the Riverview School District Office board room, staff, administrators, parents and students gathered to express their gratitude and say farewell to one extraordinary man, Dan Pflugrath. Mr. Pflugrath is retiring from his position as  Riverview School Board director where he has served our district for the past 12 years.

Dan has been an active volunteer in Riverview since 1992, serving on the Goals 2000 and Riverview Schools committees, as advisor to the Northeast King County Vocational Advisory Council, and as a founding member of the R.H.Y.T.H.M parent group (Riverview Helping Youth to Have Music).

Mr. Pflugrath’s service most recently has been on the Northeast District Career and Technical Education Advisory Board and the Washington State School Directors’ Association Small Schools Committee.

The contributions of Dan’s involvement on the school board go far beyond the board room. For years he shared his experiences and expertise in the engineering industry through his participation on the RSD Technical Education Advisory Board.

Cedarcrest Career and Technical Education Director Donna Bielstein shares, “Dan has been the greatest advocate for career and technical education. He recognized the need for CTE for all students and at all levels of education. His attendance at CTE advisory meetings was instrumental in many areas, from working with engineering teacher Mike Miyoshi in upgrades to the Cedarcrest computer lab to the enhancement of curriculum offered to students.”

Mr. Miyoshi stated, “Dan made us aware of the up-dated industry standards, and gave us a perspective which helped to balance the educational standards to meet the industry criteria... he is highly respected by all staff members in the Career and Technical Education Department.”

When asked about his experiences working with Mr. Pflugrath, School Board Director Greg Bawden shared the following: “The Riverview Schools’ community has benefitted greatly from Dan’s behind-the-scenes dedication and commitment to educational excellence. Dan has worked to keep the school board focused on the strategic plan, data driven decisions, and making policy-level decisions. I have enjoyed working with Dan during the eight years we worked together, and I feel I have learned a lot from Dan about the role of the school board.”

When Dan had the opportunity to share of his many years in Riverview he reflected, “My time on the RSD School Board has been a very rewarding experience. Looking back over the last 12 years I feel we should all be very proud of our school district’s accomplishments. I appreciate our school’s administration embracing our strategic planning process. They really came through with an educational environment leading to big improvement in our student’s academic success.

“My most difficult issue to work with as a school director was when our senior culminating project required changes. I commend our teachers for creating a senior project that provides a truly rewarding experience for our students.”

In closing he shared, “I will miss working with the administration and school board members, they are a great team and it has been an honor to work with them. I would like to thank all of those who have supported myself and the school district with your time, your votes and your support for our school district’s mission to ‘Educate Children.’”

HERE A CHICK, THERE A CHICK

  • Written by Valley View Staff

vvchickentotem1Ben Leib, 11, gets a kick out of the chicken totem pole located in the back of Duvall Books. Mike Elledge, who owns the Main Street bookstore with his wife, Vicki, carved the piece from an old-growth cedar log he got from Davidson Sawmill. Elledge said he worked on the project off and on for about three years and says he wanted to do “something different.” The pole has been in the store for a couple of years. Those who have seen the real thing may note the photo has been slightly edited.

CHS senior Riley Wilk named semifinalist in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program

  • Written by Leanne Christensen, RSD
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Riley Wilk has been named a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program. Courtesy photo.
DUVALL–Cedarcrest High School senior Riley Wilk is one of 16,000 high-school students who were named semifinalists in the 57th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Students who have attained this impressive  level of accomplishment are now eligible to compete for 8,300 Merit Scholarships, worth more than $34 million dollars which will be offered next spring.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is a not-for-profit organization which operates without government assistance, and was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program.  Scholarships for the program are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 440 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions, and encouraging them in their pursuit of academic excellence.

Approximately 1.5 million high school juniors in 22,000 high schools entered the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program, by taking the 2010 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSTA/NMSQT).

Cedarcrest Principal Clarence Lavarias said, “Riley is an exceptional student. He challenges himself academically by enrolling in many advanced placement and honors classes. He maintains a solid 3.95 GPA and is deeply involved in both our music and computer programs. Riley is a talented individual with many diverse interests and skills.”

Teacher Mike Miyoshi commented on Riley’s impressive work ethic stating, “ Riley constantly challenges himself and works very hard ... choosing to take such classes as AP computer science for his 3rd year of computer programming. Riley’s dedication to his work, and his ability to continually challenge himself are qualities that stand out to me.”

To become a finalist, semifinalists such as Riley must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the high school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.  Riley will now submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes an essay and information about his participation and leadership in school and community activities.

Eagle Rock Multi-Age student wins state bus safety poster contest

  • Written by Leanne Christensen, RSD
‘I See the Driver – The Driver Sees Me’

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Hailey Hummel’s bus safety poster is on its way to the national contest. Photo by Leanne Christensen
Hailey Hummel, a 5th grader at Eagle Rock Multi-Age, created the winning poster for the Washington Association for Pupil Transportation (WAPT) Bus Safety Poster Contest. Hailey was awarded a $50 check for her winning entry themed “I See the Driver – The Driver Sees Me.”

Hailey entered the poster contest last spring, and was thrilled to hear that her poster was chosen as a state winner. Her entry will now be sent on to the national contest.

Riverview bus driver Diane Magnochi paid a special visit to Eagle Rock in September to share the exciting news with Hailey and her classmates, and to award Hailey her prize.

Eagle Rock Principal Judy Kay Harris says, “Students were very excited to do this as a classroom project, and all posters submitted were wonderful examples of their art and thoughtful ideas about bus safety. We are so proud of all of our students who completed their entries, and are excited that Hailey won the state competition. Our best wishes are with her as her poster travels to the national competition.”

The National School Bus Safety Poster contest is sponsored each year by the National Association for Pupil Transportation, the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Services, the national School Transportation Association and the Pupil Transportation Safety Institute.

In Washington state the WAPT was organized in 1976 to promote education, safety and efficiency for transportation supervisors around the state, and to provide forums of education which expand the capabilities and broaden the opportunities for all those in pupil transportation.

The association current serves over 650 members from local school districts statewide.

Carnation-Duvall Citizen Corps Council recognized for preparedness efforts

  • Written by Valley View Staff

Two local organizations were recognized last week by King County Executive Dow Constantine for their commitment to emergency preparedness and response.

VashonBePrepared and the Carnation-Duvall Citizen Corps Council were both honored with the first-ever Executive’s Awards for Community Preparedness.

“When storms knocked out power and blocked roads last winter, I saw first-hand how members of VashonBePrepared jumped into action to open warming shelters and deploy a ‘bucket brigade’ to distribute fuel for generators, keeping Island residents from suffering in the cold,” said Executive Constantine. “I was also very impressed with the work of the Carnation-Duvall Citizens Corps Council to provide shelters and keep their community informed during flood events. I am pleased to honor the spirit of self-reliance shown by these hardworking volunteers and encourage others to follow their lead.”

VashonBePrepared was chosen for its quick action after last year’s Thanksgiving week winter storm that knocked down power lines and left many Vashon and Maury Island residents in the dark. Volunteers also coordinated the emergency response with King County and Puget Sound Energy to restore power to the area in half the time originally forecast.

“The impressive work done by VashonBePrepared in those cold, dark days went beyond the basics,”  Executive Constantine said. “Their ongoing actions demonstrate a ‘whole community’ approach to disaster response.”

“Island communities can be isolated from emergency resources if disaster strikes. Preparation is the most important thing a community can do to ensure their safety,”  said Councilmember Joe McDermott who represents Vashon and Maury Islands.

The Carnation-Duvall Citizen Corps Council was also honored by Executive Constantine. The council, one of the first of its kind in King County, is a partnership of local volunteer groups and first responders who are active in disaster preparedness and response.

“Every year, residents of the Snoqualmie Valley experience flooding that impacts peoples’ lives and livelihoods,” Executive Constantine said. “Through the planning and education efforts spearheaded by the Carnation-Duvall Citizen Corps Council, residents of the Snoqualmie Valley are better prepared to take action when floodwaters rise.”

“The dedicated volunteers in the Carnation-Duvall Citizen Corps Council are a huge asset to the community, and they continue with regular training and drilling nine years after formation of the Corps,”  added Councilmember Kathy Lambert, who represents the Snoqualmie Valley communities and helped establish the organization. “They offer community emergency response team classes with the breadth and depth of information and experiences that empower residents to respond to many emergencies. Their efforts were recognized by FEMA Region X as one of the first and most successful Citizen Corps in the country, and they continue to provide an excellent model of grassroots community coordination.”

“As we head into another winter storm season, with the prospect of a ‘double-dip’ La Nina on the horizon, it is more important than ever for communities to be prepared,” Executive Constantine said.“We encourage everyone to take the steps necessary to prepare themselves, their families, and their neighborhoods for emergencies.”

For tips and information on emergency preparedness, visit www.kingcounty.gov/prepare.