Longview teachers have class

We’re proud of our educators and are taking this opportunity to introduce you to two of them, in their own words. They have different interests but share a passion for preparing Longview students for successful futures!

This is a supplement to the Longview Public Schools annual report. Both Gail Wells and Sam Kell are featured in the printed version of the annual report.  

Gail Wells, math teacher, Monticello Middle School.

Gail Wells believes everyone can do math. She works the room and uses technology to gauge how much each student understands, even those who never raise their hands.

Where did you grow up and go to school? I was born in North Dakota and grew up in Federal Way, Washington. I was in the first graduating class at Thomas Jefferson High School in Auburn and went to Western Washington University for a degree in home economics.

How did you get from home economics to math? My passion was food and nutrition, but math is completely entrenched in home economics—measuring food, finance, sewing …

Why do people think math is so hard? Society doesn’t allow people not to be “readers,” but for some reason it’s OK to not be good at math. The mindset should be that “I can do it,” because everyone can.

How long have you been teaching? Twenty-six or 27 years—10 years at St. Helens and 10 years at Robert Gray, with four years as a math coach at Kessler and Robert Gray. Now I’m finishing at Monticello Middle School.

How has teaching math changed? When I was in school, it was, “Here is how you do it. Now copy what I do.” We don’t do that anymore. Instead of just handing students an algorithm or a way to do something, we do a lot of concrete building of understanding before moving to the abstract.

What is the best thing about being a teacher? That look on a student’s face when they “get it”—it’s priceless.

What are some of the keys to being a good teacher? Number one is understanding what the goal is. For me it’s the state standards—I have to know what the students need to know. Also …

  • Making sure the students get the needed feedback so they can self-evaluate.
  • Being ready when they walk through the door—knowing where you’re going and how to get there, not just turning the page on the book and teaching them what’s on the next page.
  • Adjusting if the students are not getting it.

The big thing here at Monticello is I have an amazing teaching partner, Phil Hartley. We collaborate, do assessments, reflect on student work, talk about the goals and are transparent about our work. Today we are going to share kids and do some interventions, so we can get them where they need to be right now.

To be a good teacher, it’s everything, including a great administration that supports you. It’s not just one thing.

What advice do you have for new teachers? Don’t think you already know everything. I’ve been teaching for 26 or 27 years, and every year I learn something new. Every year I get better. So listen to your colleagues, listen to your students, and be willing to adapt. Be a part of the team.

What’s something people might not know about you? I’ve been making gingerbread houses for 30 years. I have two sons who were in the armed service—one still is. I send gingerbread houses to Afghanistan and Bosnia. My daughter taught English in South Korea, so I sent one to her.

What would you tell the community about what life is like in school? When those kids come up the stairs and say hi to me, it’s wonderful. It’s the best place in the world to work.

What are students like today? Students are considerate of each other. They want to do their best—they want to succeed.

Anything else? This is my last year of teaching. I want to have more time with my family and visit my grandchildren—I have six. My career as a teacher has been an amazing journey. I feel deeply blessed by every student I’ve ever had.

 

 

Sam Kell, industrial arts teacher, Mark Morris High School

Sam Kell practices what he teaches. At school, he introduces pre-apprenticeship students (pg. 3) to technical skills like carpentry. In his spare time, he works on his own fixer-upper house.

Where did you grow up and go to school? I spent my childhood in Kelso and Longview, and went to Catlin Elementary, Columbia Heights Elementary, Cascade Middle School and Mark Morris High School. I spent one year at Lower Columbia College and finished my final three years at Central Washington University in the industrial arts program.

Why did you get into teaching? I always liked working with people and going through the learning process. My mom is a pre-school teacher.

Who introduced you to industrial arts? My dad is a self-employed residential contractor. He flips houses and owns rentals. I started working with my dad when I was 10 or 11 years old. I was just a helping hand with sheetrock and roofs. In school I excelled in shop classes and was happiest in project-based learning.

What’s the best part about being a teacher? Building relationships with the students. Teaching is all about the relationships and the growth.

What are the students of today like? They are hard-working and task driven. People may assume students never get off their smartphone or think, “It’s not like when we were in school.” But I still see the drive in students to get things done. Sometimes it takes different teaching styles to motivate different students.

What is one thing you want to teach every student? One thing I’d like to teach every student is lifelong learning and self-evaluation. To be able to reflect on the job you just completed is a very important skill no matter what you do. I learned a long time ago, “reflect and do better.”

What would you like people to know about school? School is about learning, and failure is okay.

 Do you have hobbies? I love hunting, fishing and hiking, and I share season tickets to the Trailblazers. I’ve been a Blazers fan since elementary school. I watched Michael Jordan and Clyde Drexler play. I also own a house in Kelso—it’s a fixer upper.

 Anything else? It’s important for young people in our community to recognize their own skills and recognize what Longview has to offer. Longview is a great place.

2018-11-07T14:28:48+00:00November 6th, 2018|

September Employees of the Month

Julie Schneider (on the left) has been a Longview Schools team member for over 20 years, and a good portion of that time has been spent at Broadway Early Learning Center. She is on the PTO committee, Site Based Committee, the Trelis Team, and has many other “hats” she wears at the campus. Julie has so much history and knowledge when it comes to connecting with Broadway families. She truly understands how impactful early intervention can be for our students. Her nominator referred to her as a “gem” and feels very lucky to have her on the team.

Theresa Bru (on the right)  has been a para educator since 2011 when she started at Cascade Middle School, eventually moving to Kessler. Theresa is quick to spot and address student needs and always does so with a smile. She has made it a smooth transition for many students who have moved back to Kessler with the opening of a new Extensive Support Program. Her nominator noted that, “Theresa is amazing!”

2018-11-06T14:37:11+00:00November 6th, 2018|

Broadway’s first day of school

For Broadway Learning Center students, the 2018-2019 school year will begin on:

Monday, Sept. 17, 2018

Mark your calendar for the open house on Friday, Sept. 14, 5-7pm.

We look forward to seeing our students!

2018-09-10T13:36:28+00:00September 10th, 2018|

Welcome to Broadway families and students

Welcome to Broadway Learning Center for the 2018-2019 school year! If your student and your family are new to Broadway, we welcome you to our school family! Broadway is home to the Longview School District Special Education Preschool Services (ages 3 and 4) as well as extended day services for students in need with autism, speech, and motor services. We also provide consultants to Lower Columbia Colleges ECEAP classrooms, and Early Head Start. All of the staff at Broadway are committed to serving your child with high-quality instruction.

As the new Principal of Broadway, I am ecstatic to join this school family and community. A little about myself is I grew up and graduated from Longview School District. I have taught in Arizona as well as Seattle. I completed a Preschool through 3rd grade graduate program through the University of Washington to gain a broader perspective on alignment in our K-12 system to early learning programs. Early Childhood Education is the key to success for students later in their educational career, and we have a fabulous staff here at Broadway as well as our Head Start and Early Head Start counterparts on campus. We will be focusing on how to manage our “upsets” and learn to use the classroom safe place as an avenue to calm. Be looking for your student practicing the “STAR” – Smile, Take a deep breath, And Relax! You can practice too!

A big change for schedules this year at Broadway is we have chosen to move to school sessions on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. There will be NO SCHOOL ON WEDNESDAYS for the 2018-2019 school year. This is time when we assess incoming students, and collaborate as a staff to meet the needs of your child and our classrooms.

Our daily schedule is as follows (UPDATED):

AM Morning Sessions (3 year olds)

9:15      Morning classroom arrival – Students picked up at a double doors off a parking lot
11:20   Lunches served to students
11:55   Dismissal – students go to buses or picked up by parent (please be at the double doors before 11:50am for a smooth transition home)

PM Afternoon Sessions (4 and 5 year olds)

1:00 Afternoon classroom arrival – Students picked up at a double doors off a parking lot
3:40 – Dismissal – students go to buses or picked up by parent (please be at the double doors before 3:35pm for a smooth transition home)

Wishing you well,

Megan M. Shea-Bates
Principal at Broadway

¡Bienvenidos al centro de aprendizaje de Broadway para el año escolar 2018-2019! ¡Si usted y su  estudiante son nuevos a Broadway, les damos la bienvenida a nuestra familia de la escuela ¡J Broadway es el hogar de servicios de educación especial preescolar del distrito escolar de Longview (edades de 3 y 4 años ) así como servicios de día extendido para estudiantes con autismo, servicios del habla y coordinación motriz. También ofrecemos asesorías para las Aulas de ECEAP (Educación infantil y programa de Asistencia, por sus siglas en Ingles) del Lower Columbia College, Early Head Start y clases de inglés como segundo idioma para adultos.  Todo el personal de Broadway está comprometido a servir a su hijo/a con la educación de más alta calidad.

Para mantener nuestros registros al día, por favor complete y devuelva el “formulario de inscripción del estudiante”, la “Forma de solicitud del transporte” y el “Cuestionario de Vivienda” antes del 23 de agosto. Puede traer los documentos a la oficina en Broadway o mandarlos por correo.

Proporcionando actualizaciones de contactos de emergencia, medicamentos, cambios en el teléfono o dirección, así como las necesidades de transporte asegurarán de que el distrito y el personal estén preparado para las necesidades de su hijo/a.

El “Cuestionario de Vivienda del distrito escolar de Longview” es parte de nuestra responsabilidad legal del acta de McKinney-Vento para informar a los ciudadanos en situaciones de hogar temporal sobre los beneficios que pueden recibir. Al principio del año escolar, los maestros también enviarán una tarjeta llamada ” información del estudiante ” por favor, completar y devolver a su maestro. Por favor asegúrese de tener esta tarjeta y el cuestionario de vivienda completado y devuelto antes del final de la primera semana de escuela, septiembre 7th.

Un gran cambio de horario este año en Broadway es que hemos elegido mover las sesiones escolares los lunes, el martes, el jueves, y el viernes. NO HABRÁ ESCUELA LOS MIÉRCOLES durante el año escolar 2018-2019.  Durante este día, se harán evaluaciones de estudiantes, y habrá colaboraciones con personal para satisfacer las necesidades de su hijo/a y nuestras aulas.

Nuestro horario es el siguiente (ACTUALIZADO):

 Sesiones de mañana (3 años)

9:15 Llegada al aula– los estudiantes serán recogidos en las puertas dobles por el estacionamiento
11:20 hora del almuerzo
11:55 fin de clases – los estudiantes irán a los autobuses o serán recogidos por sus padres (por favor este en las puertas dobles antes de 11:50 para una transición fácil a casa)

Sesiones de la tarde (4 y 5 años de edad)

1:00 PM Llegada al aula– los estudiantes serán recogidos en las puertas dobles por el estacionamiento
3:40 PM fin de clases – los estudiantes irán a los autobuses o serán recogidos por sus padres (por favor este en las puertas dobles antes de 3:45 para una transición fácil a casa)

Con mis mejores deseos,

Megan M. Shea-Bates
Directora de Broadway

2018-09-28T13:52:41+00:00August 14th, 2018|

LPS celebrates summer reading!

Longview Public Schools Superintendent Dan Zorn and School Board member Phil Jurmu set the pace at Longview’s Go Fourth parade.

While serving as grand marshal of the 2018 Go Fourth parade, Superintendent Dan Zorn and his crew of LPS staff, board members, family and friends passed out thousands of bookmarks encouraging everyone to read this summer.

The bookmarks include a link to “Superintendent Storytime,” where Dr. Zorn shares several of his favorite children’s books.

 

2018-07-09T08:04:34+00:00July 5th, 2018|

LPS graduates take diverse paths: Becky Grubbs, MMHS

Young people sample lots of activities in high school, and by the time they graduate each has a unique set of experiences to call their own. We asked three members of Longview’s class of 2018 to share something about their high school careers, a piece of advice and their post-graduation plans.

MMHS grad Becky Grubbs

Mark Morris grad Becky Grubbs

Mark Morris High School: Hardwired to help

Becky Grubbs seems hardwired for volunteering.

“I’ve been doing non-profit work since I was 18 months old,” said
the senior, describing those early times with her grandparents
at FISH of Cowlitz County, which distributes food and other services.

This year and last, Becky received Volunteer of the Year honors from the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum United Way.

Becky began volunteering at the United Way as a sophomore and soon was helping plan events, like the Day of Caring campaign. This year she worked with LPS to implement a literacy program that put 100 Mark Morris and R.A. Long students in third grade classrooms where they encouraged the younger students to read for fun.

“Becky took it on as her pet project … and set up student teams at the high schools,” said Brooke Fisher-Clark, United Way executive director. “It was really magical to see that partnership.”

Becky said volunteer work has taught her that there is always a way to help.

“United Way really helped me find out how to contribute,” she said.

Next steps: Finish an associate’s degree in business at Lower Columbia College and then pursue a four-year degree to become a financial planner or accountant.

Advice for younger students: “I would suggest they look for opportunities for things they can do in their own community. There’s always some way to help. You can always find something to do.”

Click here to read about Discovery graduate Natalie Rodriguez .

Click here to read about R.A. Long graduate Hamzah Amjad.

*

Story originally appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of the Longview Schools Review.

2018-06-21T14:53:56+00:00June 21st, 2018|

LPS grads take diverse paths: Hamzah Amjad, R.A. Long

Young people sample lots of activities in high school, and by the time they graduate each has a unique set of experiences to call their own. We asked three members of Longview’s class of 2018 to share something about their high school careers, a piece of advice and their post-graduation plans.

R.A. Long High School: Intent on STEM

R.A. Long grad Hamzah Amjad

R.A. Long grad Hamzah Amjad

From Hamzah Amjad’s perspective, having technology isn’t enough.

“It can be used to solve most of the world’s problems,” he said. “We just haven’t yet figured out how to help people who need it.”

Hamzah is preparing to do just that. In April, he was among 49 Washington high school seniors—one from each legislative district—who signed letters of intent to pursue careers in STEM—science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In September, he will begin engineering studies at the University of Washington.

“I like things that manifest into real-life scenarios,” he said, describing how his calculus and AP statistics classes helped him see real-world applications for theoretical material.

Hamzah points to medicines that are designed to cure cancer but perhaps aren’t used in the most efficient way. And he mused about artificial intelligence in cars—couldn’t it be used to prevent vehicle accidents?

His teachers anticipate he will make a difference.

“Hamzah is a phenomenal person who is always ‘on his game,’ and he carries himself with a humility that people are drawn to,” said math teacher Paul Jeffries. “He is committed to his future and will be successful, because he doesn’t know how else to be.”

Next steps: Study engineering at University of Washington.

Advice for younger students: “Everyone’s different, so you have to find your own way … but ask for help if you need it.”

Click here to read about Discovery graduate Natalie Rodriguez.

Click here to read about Mark Morris graduate Becky Grubbs.

*

Story originally appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of the Longview Schools Review.

2018-06-21T14:58:06+00:00June 21st, 2018|
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