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Woodburn teacher is finalist for Presidential Award

Tara-Obermiller-postState Superintendent Randy Dorn announced that five teachers from Washington have been selected as state-level finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

The finalists were selected over the summer by a statewide selection committee comprised of content area experts and award-winning teachers. Their nominations were recently confirmed by the national PAEMST program.

About Tara Obermiller
Tara is in her sixth year of teaching. She currently teaches third grade at Woodburn. Tara’s classroom is alive with hands-on instructional tools including manipulatives, iPad apps, visual models, whiteboards, fraction strips and more. She has embraced technology and integrated it into her daily lessons. These tools aren’t just props. They kindle a classroom culture full of vibrant discussions and risk-taking. Tara is also an expert at using data to guide instruction. Her efforts have recently led to the creation of a Wednesday math intervention time that engages volunteers to work with specific students on the specific skills they are struggling with. Tara’s skill as a communicator and her dedication to the profession also make her a standout. One parent observes, “I cannot think of any other who so full exemplifies dedication to and excellence in teaching. Being a teacher isn’t just something Tara does; it is who she is.”

“What makes these five teachers so great is the hands-on learning that’s happening every day in their classrooms,” said State Superintendent Randy Dorn. “Under the guidance of Deborah, Tara, Sadie, Lorianne and Meredith, students are solving real-life problems, collecting scientific evidence and presenting their findings to each other and the communities. That’s how we build a new generation of scientists and engineers, and I’m proud to call each one of these amazing individuals Washington teachers.”

The national PAEMST program typically announces national award recipients in the spring. State-level finalists are recognized by regional and state math and science associations and invited to several annual state events for award winning educators.

Lelooska Cultural Center captivates kids


Numas, the old man, is among many masked dancers telling Native American stories to students during a Lelooska living history program in Ariel on Thursday morning. The children were entertained with stories, music and masked dancers during the one-hour program. Photo: Steven Lane


In the woods near Lake Merwin, yellow school buses pull up to a cedar house. The bus doors open, ejecting energetic third-graders who propel toward the house.

It’s field trip day at the Lelooska Cultural Center in Ariel, 10 miles east of Woodland. Over the course of a school year, about 10,000 third- and fourth-graders visit the site. Thursday’s students are from four Clark County schools: Marshall and Washington elementary schools from Vancouver Public Schools, Woodburn Elementary from Camas School District and Pacific Crest Academy, a private school.

Read the full story at The Columbian.

Bridging the generation gap

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Second grade students at Woodburn Elementary get to read to a special audience on Thursday mornings. Each week, residents of the Columbia Ridge Senior Living facility take a shuttle bus to the school and spend an hour reading with students. The senior citizens enjoy the interactions with young readers, and students are thrilled to shine in a one-to-one setting.

Teacher Tracey MacLachlan said, “The kids really love the interactions with seniors. Each week they sign up for a turn to read, and most can’t wait for it to be their turn.”

CEF Auction Chair needed

That’s right – the CEF Auction never sleeps. Believe it or not, preparations for the 2014 Auction are well underway. In fact, the date and venue have already been secured, but one piece is missing: a co-chair for the committee. Or maybe we should say a dynamic co-chairing duo. Three-year alum Mandy Huth has committed to co-chairing this year’s auction in a supporting role, but she needs a person who will take over the reins.  If you have been looking for a good way to get seriously involved in fundraising in Camas, this may be the job for you! See this job description for more detail about what’s involved, and contact Mandy at cefcamas@gmail.com  if you are at all curious.