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TASTE WASHINGTON DAY celebrated in Riverview schools

  • Written by Leanne Christensen, RSD

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Cedarcrest FFA President AJ Schutte shares local produce from Oxbow Farm and Full Circle Farm with students at the Riverview Learning Center at the Taste Washington event. Courtesy photo.
The Riverview School District Food Services Department, in partnership with the Washington School Nutrition Association and the Washington State Department of Agriculture Farm-to-School Program, celebrated Washington agriculture in our schools on September 26th with TASTE WASHINGTON DAY.

The Food Services Department worked with local farmers to bring students a great meal made with locally grown produce from Full Circle Farm and Oxbow Farm to feature what is grown right here in the Snoqualmie Valley.

The produce was served on the salad bars at all schools during lunch, and students from the FFA at Cedarcrest High School were on hand in the cafeterias to share samples of locally grown produce (picked fresh just days prior) with students.

Samples of the shared produce included: rainbow carrots, purple and red radishes, green peppers, spinach, and lemon cucumbers.

The Food Services Department also offered students a whole grain dinner roll and a delicious chocolate brownie made from Shepherd’s Grain flour.  Shepherd’s Grain is a group of 33 family wheat farmers in the Pacific Northwest and the wheat is milled in Spokane.

In preparation for the TASTE WASHINGTON DAY Cedarcrest FFA members and horticulture students spent many hours in the Cedarcrest kitchen, washing, cutting, and bagging the selected vegetables.  The FFA members appreciated having the opportunity to observe the district students enjoying these seasonal foods grown by committed local farmers.

Kaye Wetli, supervisor of the Food Services Department, commented that the success of this day is a team effort between the FFA members, Oxbow Farm and Full Circle Farm, and the Food Services Department to provide the students with a wonderful opportunity to have unique, farm fresh local produce available to them.

Cedarcrest FFA President A.J. Schutte explained of the weeks of preparation necessary for the success of this program, and of the surprise of the elementary students when they taste how delicious these locally grown foods can be!

For PARADE students at the Riverview Learning Center, a favorite of the day was definitely the “dragon tongue beans” that A.J. shared with them.

Thank you to the FFA members whose participation in the school cafeterias made this day such an enlightening and healthy success!

Rick Stewart leaves caring legacy as Duvall physical therapist

  • Written by Tracy Pemble
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Rick Stewart, Duvall physical therapist for 26 years. Courtesy photo.
Rick D. Stewart opened Duvall Physical Therapy Clinic in December 1986 and has been a fixture in the community ever since. He dedicated 26 years, half his life, to working with and getting to know patients in the Duvall community and surrounding areas. Now health issues have caused Rick to leave the practice and patients he loves.

After graduating from the University of Puget Sound, Rick went to work for a therapist in the Lacey area and then went on to manage Physical Therapy Specialties for the same therapist in the Seattle area.  While working for Eastside Physical Therapy in Redmond, Rick decided it was time to branch out on his own. He split his time between his job in Redmond and his new clinic here in Duvall, in what was still a very small community back in 1986.

After establishing the Duvall practice, at the age of 38, Rick was diagnosed with scleroderma. Many of his patients may not have been aware of his condition or the daily struggles of his disease.  Those of us who work with Rick are in awe of how he has handled himself with such dignity and grace through the hardship and the progression of the illness.  More recently after some testing Rick was told that he is not a candidate for a lung transplant.  The only thing the medical community can do for him at this point is manage the progression of his disease.

Anyone that knows Rick knows he is fun and loyal, very dependable, always there for you, and an incredibly hard worker, persevering until he could not work anymore.  He worked through hardship and pain because he loved what he did. Leaving his practice was probably the most difficult thing he has ever had to do.  Rick’s personality, warmth and caring approach to physical therapy kept people returning to him over the years, and in some cases he treated multiple generations of families.

Upon hearing that Rick was stepping down, a few current and former patients had this to say about Rick:

“Rick is one of those rocks in the Duvall community. I first went to him when body parts were not cooperating during my triathlon training, and he took care of me. I actually looked forward to seeing him (and the gang) when I had recurring issues in these past years. When I needed to talk to him about a torn meniscus, he welcomed me during his lunch hour when the clinic was closed. I can’t think of another PT I can entrust, so I am naturally bummed. But I am more devastated to know that he has been suffering and cannot continue the work he loves. There is a big hole now where that rock was.”

–Elizabeth

“It has been my pleasure to have known and been a client of this kind and caring man Rick Stewart. If we are to be measured by those who we attract then Rick surely stands out.”

–Client and friend Dennis

“From my broken arm in 2004, through MS relapses and pinched nerves, Rick was always there with kindness, humor and excellent treatment. If I had one thing to say about Rick’s practice, it would be family, because I always felt that whenever I walked in the door.”

–Charlene

A personal letter from Rick to his patients:

“Some of you are aware of my long battle with an auto-immune disease scleroderma, which has caused fibrosis (scarring) in my lungs, esophagus, stomach and hands. First and foremost I want to thank you all for entrusting your care to me. I take this as an honor and a privilege and have never taken this trust for granted.

The relationships and friendships that have been created during my 26 years practicing in Duvall have been priceless to me and have allowed me to continue working past the expectations of my physicians.

Over the past few months it has been increasingly difficult for me to work physically, but the emotional benefits of positive interaction with all of you has made it all possible and worthwhile.

The fibrosis has now reached the point where working is no longer possible and this has been a difficult thing to accept. I have however found a fantastic team of physical therapists that will resume treatment in the clinic on October 16th.  I am confident that you will be pleased with their care. Check out their website at www.physiocarept.com.

If you would like to contact me the best way is by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. May God bless all of you as he has blessed me with wonderful friends and family.”

–Rick

Cherry Valley PTA FAMILY NIGHT at ‘Jump Rattle and Roll’ in Monroe

  • Written by Leanne Christensen, RSD
With the busy schedules of so many families these days it is a welcome and refreshing opportunity to participate in an activity which allows not only for that much desired family time, but also offers family fun, the opportunity to meet new friends, and inspires the entire family with a healthy, enjoyable exercise filled evening of activity.

This is exactly what the Cherry Valley PTA is hoping to provide at their Family Night Event at “Jump, Rattle and Roll”  in Monroe, on Oct. 18 and 19 from 6-8 p.m. Children and adults are invited to enjoy the 8,500 square foot facility offering “bouncing family fun” with interactive inflatable structures of all kinds and for every age.

Cost: $5.00 (per person jumping), $3.00 (per child 2 and under jumping).

JUMP, RATTLE AND ROLL in Monroe is located at 17631 147th St. SE Suite #6, Monroe, WA 98272.

Please reserve your spot now, limited spots available. The waiver is available on their website www.jumprattleroll.com/faq to send in with your cash or check make out to SVPTA.

An email/phone call will be sent back with confirmation of payment and reservation! Feel free to email Melissa McDowell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions, or if you need additional waivers.

Cedarcrest teacher brings practical application of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) into the classroom and beyond

  • Written by Leanne Christensen, RSD
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CHS’s new science teacher Jeffery Wehr brings extensive experience with science curriculum and education. Courtesy photo.
CHS science teacher, Jeffery Wehr, is new to the Riverview School District this year. However, his extensive experience with science curriculum and the process of bringing the STEM educational offerings into the classroom is most definitely not.

For the past nine years Mr. Wehr has been the science teacher at Odessa High School in Odessa, Washington. Prior to that his teaching experience not only existed in the science realm, but in the discipline of music education as well.

Jeff received his BAs in biology (with emphasis in both zoological and environmental sciences) and music from the University of Montana and his masters degree in science education from Montana State University.

Jeffery has also been the recipient of numerous awards and has participated in countless high level student/leadership activities, such as: Teacher of the Year State of Wash. 2011, Keynote Speaker for SBI Tech Camp, Letter of Congressional Commendation, National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium,  and has accompanied students to regional and international science fairs from 2000-2012, just to name a few.

Most recently Jeff had the opportunity to spend part of his summer vacation  attending a discerning research program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  He worked with a team of scientists and other teachers studying new sources of bio-fuel energy prepping plants for use of the neutron detection systems at ORNL’s Spallation Neutron Source and its High Flux Isotope Reactor.

This work was part of an influential fellowship program arranged by the Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education Oak Ridge Associated Universities and the College Board.

Mr. Wehr was one of only 20 teachers from across the country selected to participate in the research project at ORNL through the esteemed Siemens Teachers as Researchers (STARs) fellowship program.

The Siemens College Board explains the goals of this extraordinary program: “STARs is part of the Siemens STEM Academy, a premier online professional development community for STEM educators, empowering and celebrating excellence in STEM education.

The Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education and their partners developed the STARs fellowship to invigorate teachers by immersing them in authentic research alongside some of the country’s brightest scientific minds. The hope is that these teachers will bring the experience back into their classrooms and inspire their students to pursue STEM education and careers.”

“I am a research scientist at heart,”  shares Jeffery,”so it is an enormous honor to have been invited to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory as a STARs Fellow and now to share my experience with colleagues, students and student researchers.”

Mr. Wehr continued, “While at the ORNL, I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Barbara Evans, of ORNL’s Chemical Sciences; Special Projects Division in the study of the cutting edge developments regarding the creation of innovative sources of bio-fuel energy.  In addition I and other STARs fellows participated in facility tours and seminars created to help us more effectively incorporate the overall research process into our classrooms. Each teacher also received a grant, to be used in the purchase of equipment and/or supplies for their classroom.”

Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, president of the Siemens Foundation, shares, “Our hope is that Jeff’s experience at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the experiences of all his cohorts, will help inspire their students to become our country’s next generation of scientists and engineers.”

In closing, Mr. Wehr expressed, “ My experiences at ORNL and being involved in cutting edge research will definitely be applied toward my classroom laboratories as well as help facilitate the honors science research program.”


Drive safely

The ‘Study Zone’ educational assistance programs available to students K-12 at King County Libraries

  • Written by Leanne Christensen, RSD
Local libraries are a wonderful resource for students, parents and community members.  One of the many innovative programs offered by the King County Library System (KCLS) is the “Study Zone.”

The Study Zone is a great place/program which allows for students to study, do homework and get help with their questions.

Volunteer tutors provide free homework help during Study Zone hours. Students can find help in all subject areas, including math, science and MSP/HSPE and SAT test preparation.

How do students join Study Zone?

Students are not required to register or provide personal information to participate in Study Zone. There is no need to sign up in advance, just drop in any time during Study Zone hours.

How much does it cost? The Study Zone program is a free service of the King County Library System. There are no registration fees and there is no cost for students to participate.

Grades K-12: Study Zone tutors offer help with ALL SUBJECTS for Grades K-12, at every Study Zone location, including math help and MSP/HSPE test preparation.

Duvall Library Board President Paige Denison shares, “Our Duvall library is a tremendous educational resource for the entire community. The new state of the art facility, now open an additional 22 hours weekly, provides not only the additional space but also the computer availability to accommodate the popular Study Zone program for local students.”

Both the Carnation and the Duvall Libraries offer the Study Zone. Their current schedules are as follows:

Carnation Library:  Tuesdays from 3:30–5:30 p.m. (additional days to be determined)

Duvall Library:  Thursdays from 5– 7 p.m.

There is also an “online” Study Zone available Monday – Thursday from 3–8 p.m. and on Sundays from 1–6 p.m.

For complete details on the Study Zone and other family- friendly KC Library programs, please visit the King County Library System website at:  www.kcls.org.