About rparrish

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far rparrish has created 109 blog entries.

Monticello Middle School – A Successful Summer!

Monticello Middle School hosted another successful round of summer school. Incoming 6-8th grade students attended regular middle school classes like math, reading, science (robotics), as well as a new advisory class called Character Strong (teachers are piloting this curriculum for next year).

The robotics program clearly engaged the students who became invested in the daily challenges of crafting and coding using LEGO Mindstorms during this 2-week program. Building and programming codes for their own bot designs, students taught their bots to use a wide range of sensors.  Airblock and Blue Heron Force drones and Makey Makey (an inventor’s tool kit) were also part of the curriculum.

In the reading class, students read about Lewis Hine and how his work impacted child labor regulations.  Students focused on vocabulary and making inferences based on sound evidence.  While in math, iReady lessons were utilized as well as student-crafted games.

Overall, the roughly 40 students who attended Monticello’s summer school classes learned new skills, demonstrated creativity, and were fully engaged throughout the program.

Monticello Middle School summer classes

Monticello Middle School summer 2019


2019-06-28T13:43:46-07:00June 28th, 2019|

Great Grad – Jewell Barnes, Mark Morris HS

Have you attended Mark Morris all four years? Yes, I have.

Can you tell me a little about getting through high school? My experience has been very positive. Every single year I have taken rigorous courses to challenge myself academically.

How would you characterize your high school experience? A huge theme of my high school career is the personal growth I have made by becoming a more social communicator. So working on social and communication skills, and leadership skills.

Can we talk about the social skills?  Yes, a little story that is personal to me is that as a young child in elementary and middle school I was very reserved, I was shy, and sometimes talking to adults made me so nervous that I would shake. I knew that to be successful in life I had to overcome those challenges, so I challenged myself in high school by putting myself in situations that allowed me to communicate with my peers as well as adults.

How did you overcome your social challenges? The first thing I did my freshman year was run for student government. I put myself out there and was elected Freshman Class President.

What did you learn being class president? Mark Morris is filled with kids from all around the community. I found that working in class office, there are skills that I do not have yet, so I decided to join the leadership class at Mark Morris my sophomore year to gain those skills.

What did you do in the leadership program? In the leadership program, we work a lot on project planning and management as well as looking at social and emotional education. In other words, how can we evaluate people’s needs throughout the school so we can appropriately help them? That has been a big influence on my career goals as well as my education.

How would you explain your personal growth during high school? Very positive personal growth – rewarding. I feel like I have become more mature and aware of who I am as a person individually and as well as how I relate to other people in my life.

What does being a Mark Morris graduate mean to you?  For me, being a Mark Morris graduate signifies  perseverance because graduating is not an easy thing. The different things we are required to do is difficult in itself, but we all have our personal stories and challenges.

What would you like people to remember about you? I would like people to remember that I always tried to be there, I always tried to show up and work hard. Pushing myself and challenging myself and in that way it shows examples to other students to do the same.

Do you have a better feel for who you are after four years of high school? Oh, absolutely. One thing I realized during my high school experience is my story is diverse in that I can connect both with other people, and those I have similarities with.

When you say your story is diverse, what do you mean?  I am the first generation college student in my family. It is very exciting! I grew up in a family where just my mom raised me. I grew up with my three older sisters. My family went through a huge loss during my sister’s high school years. Also, I am adopted.

What are some of your best high school memories? The first thing that pops in my head is going to leadership camps. I went to two throughout my junior and senior year. My eyes were open to a whole different cultural world – it was nothing I expected. I value that experience greatly.

What are your future plans? In the Fall I will be attending the University of Washington in Seattle. I am thinking about getting a degree in psychology. Psychology touches so many different fields, but I am looking into counseling now.

How did you choose UW?  I choose the University of Washington for its reputation for having really good academics and I was interested in the diversity of the student population.

Are you going to work during college?  Yes, I do plan on working while I am in college. College is expensive. I have multiple scholarships, from both the university and many local scholarships that I am very grateful for. I do plan to work through college, not just for the money, but for the experience as well.

You seem to be a very experience driven individual – why is that? I see life as a learning experience, every day I am learning. There are going to be people who have other experiences that I have never experienced and just connecting with those people is special. I feel like people and the connections we have enriches life.

What is your grade point average (GPA)?  I have a 3.994 grade average. I got one A- in the first semester of calculus.

What are some of the lighter moments of your high school career? I know I am not a super comedic person, I know a lot funny people. If anything I am more of a serious person, which is how most people would describe me. The more funny people that I meet or just more expressive or compassionate, I feel that not everyone can be enthusiastic or funny, there needs to be the audience members in the performance. Some of the quote unquote friends I’ve met are Mariah Door and Anna Sanchez Matias. Those two people stand out as people who are positive and they are always making others laugh, including myself.

How would describe yourself?  Thoughtful and light-hearted, I use a lot of self-deprecating humor. When I try to be funny, I am only 4 feet 10 inches tall, so I talk about how short I am and how feisty I am – because I am not very feisty at all.

Do you think the Mark Morris class of 2019 is great? I believe so. What I have seen at Mark Morris, students are willing to do the hard work. A lot of them are driven and passionate about what they do and I think they will do great things.

2019-06-21T13:09:03-07:00June 21st, 2019|

Free Environmental Science Summer Camp

Dates: July 8 – 12, 2019 from 8 am to 3 pm each day. The camp is hosted at R. A. Long High School, 2903 Nichols Blvd. Longview, WA 98632.

This is a free event sponsored by NASA. Open to all high school students (including incoming freshmen and recently graduated seniors) in the Cowlitz County school districts. Applicants who have never had an opportunity like this, including students from low-income families and those who will be the first in their family to attend college, are encouraged to apply. Download the registration form and email scanned copies to Mrs. Burleson or take pictures of each page and send them to 360-431-5487.

View camp information here.

Download registration form here.

2019-07-12T07:56:10-07:00June 12th, 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|

RA Long class of 2019 graduates!

It was an amazing evening at Memorial Stadium as the RA Long class of 2019 graduated. This class has more graduates accepted into college and more athletes heading off to play collegiate sports than any other RAL class in the last nine years. Congratulations to Chandler Lyon for being recognized for his commitment to graduating. Way to go Jacks!

2019-06-08T20:31:17-07:00June 8th, 2019|

The Kessler Wax Museum

Fourth grade students from Kessler Elementary put on a “Wax Museum” project. The project entails students researching and learning about a well known person from history or modern culture. The kids prepare a short recap of the persons life to share with others. During the Wax Museum show the students stand in different parts of the auditorium like a wax museum figure, and when tapped on the hand by onlookers, recite the information about their chosen character. What an awesome show – great kids!




2019-06-06T15:17:32-07:00June 6th, 2019|

Teacher spotlight – Mr. McCormick, Mark Morris High School

Where were you born? I was born in La Grande, Oregon. My great, great grandfather was the first white settler in the Grand Ronde Valley. He built the first house ever in La Grande, Oregon.

What was his name? His name was John Brown. If John Brown had not been a politician, I would own that whole valley, but he wanted to be a politician, so he sold it all off.

Did you go to school in LaGrande? My father was a vice president in charge of production at Louisiana Pacific Lumber Company, and my mom was a grade school principal. We moved when I was in the second grade to Sandpoint, Idaho, and that is where I went for grade school, middle school, and high school.

What high school did you attend? Sandpoint High School, home of the Bulldogs! Class of 1976.

Did you like high school? I loved high school. In northern Idaho, in the middle of winter, there was not a lot to do, so everyone went to the basketball games.  Everyone knew all the athletes. If we won a football game, the local fast food joint called DUB’s gave us free sundaes after the game. I mean it was the quintessential little town.

Were you involved in many activities in high school?  Yep. I played three sports: football, basketball, and track. We didn’t have baseball, because it snowed until late in the year. I was involved in student leadership and 4H when I was growing up. I skied a lot and was on our area ski racing team.

Can you tell us about snow skiing?  Well, I started skiing when I was in 3rd or 4th grade, and we would ski 100 times a year. The ski area was about 40 minutes from my house. If we wanted to ski, and our parents did not, we would stand at the bottom of the hill and hitch hike up.

Were you skiing at Schweitzer?  Yeah. Back then, it was $100 for a family ticket, and that’s what everybody did all winter long. My father is still a shareholder in Schweitzer. Everybody in the community bought a share of stock to give them their initial money to build the ski area.

You grew up in some small towns. Yes, Standpoint’s population is about 4,000. The high school is similar to Mark Morris, about 1,000 kids, 1,200 when I was in high school. Everyone in the county went to the same school.

Growing up, what career did you plan to pursue? My goal when I graduated from high school was to be a millionaire. I was lucky enough to get a college football scholarship to small school in Montana called Carroll, which always had a good football team.

What position did you play?  I played free safety. I was a middle linebacker in high school and then I moved to free safety in college. I studied accounting, and got a degree in accounting because I liked the teacher. He would challenge me. He didn’t like football players and called on me every day for six weeks.

What did you do after college?  I went to work for an oil company in Casper, Wyoming, as an accountant. I passed the CPA test, but didn’t want to do tax work. I worked for the oil company for two years, and then the Schweitzer Ski area needed a comptroller so I went to work for them as the business manager. I did that for two years and decided that I was just making money for other people, there had to be more.

What did you decide to do? My mother was an educator. I spent time at her school, with her kids. I had an opportunity to go to the University of Idaho and get my teaching degree. I was a graduate assistant football coach for Dennis Erickson. He was the head football coach at Idaho at that time. They didn’t pay me, but they gave me free tuition. I got my education degree in 1984 and left accounting.

How did you develop the relationship with Coach Erickson? His staff would come up to Schweitzer and ski. He was the head coach of the nearest college, so I was impressed with him. I would have dinner with him whenever they were there.

How did you go from being a friend to a graduate assistant football coach?  I was pretty “techie” for back then and Coach Erickson figured that out. I told him, “I’m looking for something else to do,” and he said, “Why don’t you come to Idaho and you can be the film guy?” Not actually filming, but cutting and pasting tape.  I considered it, left the ski area, went to work for him and got my degree in education.

Do you ever wish you would’ve pursued coaching football? Probably not. I have some dear friends who are college coaches and they have moved so many times. I have lived in three cities my entire life, so I never had a desire for that life. Too much pressure.

What did you do after earning a teaching degree from the University of Idaho? I got a job at Sandpoint High School. They hired me right away, right out of student teaching. Then I applied to Mark Morris High School. Gary Kipp long-time principal, called and offered me the job. I talked it over with my father and he said, “You wanna be a good ol’ boy at Sandpoint, or do you want to go see what else is out there?”

What job did Mr. Kipp offer? The job I currently have. I’ve had this same job since 1985.

What makes for a great teacher?  You have to like kids, which I do. High school kids are fun. Being a good communicator is huge in every job, maybe more so in teaching. I think there’s a bit of wanting to make the world a better place too.

What is the best part about being a teacher?  The best part is the energy you get from kids. There’s always a constant hum. Somebody is asking me a question, somebody is waiting for help, somebody wants his or her grade improved, usually there’s a parent to talk with. I think we really do good things for kids.

Tell me about your first involvement with DECA.  I was sitting with Mr. Kipp. He asked me, “Greg, if you take this job, you have to do DECA.” I said, “Ah, no problem. No problem at all.” I didn’t have a clue what DECA was. All the way home I’m thinking, “What in the world is DECA?” My first year here I had a good mentor at R.A. Long, by the name of Bill Crossman, who was an excellent teacher – he helped me.

For those who don’t know – what is DECA?  It is a club, the largest in the country, and the largest at Mark Morris. It’s a co-curricular club of marketing for kids who are interested in business management, and finance. It was designed during the Eisenhower administration to teach logistics, because Eisenhower built the interstate highway system and thought, “Well I can’t just build it, I have to teach people how to use it.” So they started what was called a “distributive education club,” and that’s morphed over the decades into a business class.

What sort of things are DECA students doing? My kids are in the computer lab doing virtual business, which is a simulation. They get to build from six different businesses and run them for two weeks on the computer. They learn a lot from it.

It seems you really enjoy DECA.  Absolutely. I like what I do. I’ve had opportunities to go back into business and I turned them down. I get to be a business guy in a classroom with kids. We get to make our fair share of mistakes and failures, but we learn from those too.

What do you like to do on your own time?  Well I’m blessed to have two successful children, and my wife works for a title company. Family is huge, that’s why I haven’t moved, I don’t want to do that.

Do you kids live in the local area? One does and one lives elsewhere. I’m not sure if I’ll retire here. I don’t know, I don’t like the weather. Love the community, don’t like the weather.

Do you have hobbies?  Coaching football was my hobby for 47 years. I coached here in the middle schools. Some guys went fishing, I coached kids.

Did you miss watching football game film?  Watching film is probably my least favorite part of coaching. I like running drills and competing, learning if we can win, making kids successful.

Do you think about retiring? Yes. I often tell my students that although I’m not rich, I’m wealthy. I will retire sometime within the next three years. What’s nice is that I have the ability to do it on my terms.

What advice would you give a new teacher?  Don’t take anything too seriously. The issue in front of you may seem huge and insurmountable, but come Monday it may be easily taken care of. I would also say take the long game. You might not get exactly where you want to get with a student today, or this week, but take the long game.

What would you tell people who have not been in a school in years? In my life, my most important assets are my children. I would hope that’s a comment most people would make. That said, a quality school, buildings, facilities, teachers, technology, are unbelievably important, because our students are from Longview, but we need them to see the world, and this is where it happens first. I’ve always thought we should build Taj Mahal schools. Beautiful facilities that are open a lot and available to be used.

Do parents get more involved with kids school now? Parents are much more of an advocate for the kids. I think in my high school, there were not as many smart kids, and not as many struggling kids. There was more of a middle group, of which I was part. Now, there might be more smart kids, but there are certainly more kids that are struggling, for a whole host of reasons.

How have things like smartphones changed teaching? I’m sure you remember memorizing the states, there was a bird and there was a flower, and the capital? You don’t need to do that anymore. I worry about their communication skills, and where they go for their social needs. We went to a high school basketball game, we got to school as soon as the door opened so we could all hang for an hour before school. And we usually played a sport, if not because we were good at it, simply because that’s where our friends were. Now they can get their social needs met in their bedroom with their cellphones, which is kind of scary, for me.

What do you want people reading this to know?  That education is our most important asset. It doesn’t have to be college, but education is huge. Teamwork and all those (I hate the term) “soft skills” that we use to define things like work ethic, and integrity, and teamwork.

What would you call “soft skills”?  Essential skills – because if you ask most employers, they want people who are good people, and team-oriented. I always tell kids there are technical skills and people skills, and real successful people have both.

It is clear you love what you do, is that right?  Oh absolutely! It is my career and I’m at the point where I’m at the end of it and it’s been wonderful.

Any other thoughts? Yes. Help us develop lifelong learners. I’ve got a fortune cookie here and it says, “You’re never too old to learn something new.” I’m constantly learning, and I think the only way kids can be successful is if they are constantly learning. So be a lifetime learner, learn, learn, learn.

2019-06-06T14:49:02-07:00June 6th, 2019|

Salas experiences government first hand

Monticello student Criselia Salas shares her experience as a state senate Page in hopes of getting other students to think about applying for the program.

Where do you go to school? Monticello Middle School.

What grade are you in at Monticello? Eighth.

How were you chosen to be a senate page? I was recommended by Mrs. Davis, so I filled out the papers. My mom said it would be a great opportunity for me to see how government works, so I read through it and was kind of interested.

Why weren’t you very interested? Because I am not really into political stuff, I am more a math person.

Criselia Salas with State Senator Dean Takko

Where did you send the application? We emailed it to 19th district State Senator Dean Takko.

How did you find out you were selected? They sent me an acceptance letter in the mail.

How did you feel once the program started?  Once it started and seeing all the action happening, seeing how it really worked; it caught my attention. Seeing how they would debate and all the action was just there and you were just into it, that the time would just pass so fast.

How many days were you up there? We were up there for a week.

What was your introduction to the process of government? They showed us around, showed us how government works.

What was the daily schedule? We would be in an office or on the floor. We had a page room, which was for catching up on our schoolwork. There was a classroom there where we learned more about the government.

What are some of the things you learned about the government? Learning about the bills was our main focus. We had to make our own bill too, and learned how a bill was processed. We had a partner, we went to one of the rooms, and acted like senators. We presented a bill in front of other pages to see if it would pass or not pass.

What was your bill about? It was about starting school later, like maybe an hour later in the day. Just moving it back a little more.

Why did you think starting school later would be good? When we did the research, we found that students, if they were to move school start time back, would sleep late and be more into school.  Research showed more sleeping time would be positive since their bodies are changing.

So did your bill pass? Yes.

What were some of the tasks you were assigned and what were some of the things you experienced? It was mostly being out on the floor. We had to pass out papers to the senators. We learned their names and they would just debate on and on. We would also get to be in the legislature and see how that worked. We would hand out papers to their offices, so we would go to the Jack Building.

What did you experience at the end of your week? Towards then there was not much to do because they were off the floor, it was more like passing out notes and being in our schoolroom and doing our presentations to other senate pages.

What did you think of Senator Takko? He was funny and kind. I really enjoyed meeting him. I did not really expect that, but he had a great personality. His office was interesting. He had deer and elk hung up on his wall.

Did you meet any other senators that you liked? I would talk to some but I did not catch their names. We would be talking to them on the floor starting and they would get back to their offices.

How did your last day end? It was a slow day, most everyone was able to leave at noon. We got a certificate for being senator’s pages at the capital. We earned about $200.

What will you do with all that cash? Probably by clothes and shoes for school.

As you look back on your time as a senate page, what are your thoughts? I recommend it. At first, I wasn’t sure because I am not a political person, but when I look back, I really enjoyed it. I made memories and learned how government works. At first I did not even know what bills were, once I got there I learned so much.

What was it like being away from home? It was kind of a struggle at night because I missed my family, but at the end of the week, I realized I enjoyed it. The week passes by so fast, at first you kind of worry but at the end you just want to go back and redo it.

What should I ask that I have not? There are not many students recommended for this or who know about it. They want more people to experience being a page and they do want the help. In a textbook, you do not get the caption of it all like you do when you are there. It is a great opportunity for middle and high school students and it makes you think – maybe this is what I want to do when I grow up.

Would you consider being in politics when you grow up? Maybe, I actually like debating and seeing how government works. At first, I was not interested in any of that, but after I came back, I was interested in it.

Do you know what you want to do when you grow up? I am thinking of being a doctor or maybe a lawyer, I do not know yet.

Will this experience you will help you be a more knowledgeable citizen? Yes, I really think so.

To your Mom, Mrs. Taylor – What are your thoughts on Criselia’s time as a senate page? I am just so proud of her.

Mrs. Taylor – are you glad Criselia had the opportunity to be a page? I am glad she had the opportunity. I agree with her that even if people are interested a little bit in the idea of being a senate page they need to look into so they can have that experience.

Mrs. Taylor – were you nervous about Criselia going away for a week? One of the things I noticed in her is when she left she was emotional and it was scary. She was very nervous. It was a hard decision for her. However, when she returned, she returned more mature. She came back with this great reflection, this great experience and knowledge of how our government works and why bills are so important.

Mrs. Taylor – did you encourage Criselia to go? Yes, we encouraged her to go and learn about the process, because she had no idea. When you are a mom trying to explain to her what a bill is, that is such a boring conversation. When she actually got to experience it herself she was able to have the understanding she needed to come back and grow from it, share it with others. She said she really wants her younger sister to be a page.

Mrs. Taylor – what else? I am happy she had the opportunity to learn from this experience. She did not go because her mom made her do this. She learned from the experience and did not take it for granted. I am a very proud mom.

Also, I would like to sincerely thank Mrs. Davis for her support in making this opportunity possible for Criselia. Mrs. Davis was very encouraging and amazing in helping make this process fell safe and comfortable for our family. Thank you!

2019-06-04T07:52:44-07:00June 4th, 2019|

Seniors featured in Spring Concert

Sixteen members of the senior class were featured within two orchestra groups in a Spring Orchestra Concert on Sunday, June 2 at the Lower Columbia College Rose Center for the Arts.

The following students are pictured: Olivia C. Barella, Hannah M. Bischoff, Emma E. Chang, Xavier M. Goddard, Alexsander F. Guyll, Gwynedd B. Heriford, Maraia G. Jewell-Jacobsen, Hannah R. Matson, Delaney R. Morgan, Caroline A. Nesterkin, Joshua S. Robinson, Ana Maria Sanchez Matias, Josette R. Shepherd, Sara C. Todd, Megan R. Tosh, Tiffany A. Zodrow.

2019-06-03T10:33:04-07:00June 3rd, 2019|