LONG BEACH - "I learned a lot about a whole new way of teaching children and seeing the world. I grew in huge amounts," said Ocean Park School kindergarten teacher Miki Frace while being recognized at Monday night's school board meeting as one of three Ocean Beach School District teachers who recently received National Board Certification.
Joining Frace are high school art teacher Charlotte Kelly and high school science teacher Sean Stern.
"It's a tremendous amount of work and dollars to receive this honor. It is very, very rigorous but a very, very worthwhile process. We're very honored," said Superintendent Rainer Houser.
The three teachers followed Kelly Jacobsen, who teaches the highly capable program in the district, who received her National Board Certification last year.
"I'm so proud of myself," said Charlotte Kelly. "I guess the hardest part is that we do live in a very isolated area, no easy access [to the classes] in the process. That makes it difficult. Without a lot of guidance we were able to accomplish this and that says a lot about our determination."
Kelly and Stern attended courses at WSU in Vancouver, while Frace did hers every Saturday in Chehalis. Jacobsen referred to it as like a WASL for teachers, and said that them passing this course was "a credit both to our district and our staff." Less than 4 percent of the teachers in the state have this distinction, and the four that the OBSD boasts puts the district well over the state average.
OBEF brings the loot"This was our most successful event yet," said Ocean Beach Education Foundation vice president Karen Snider Monday night while presenting the district with a check for just over $19,000, "Let's do even more next year!"
The award was about a third of what the OBEF made from their annual dinner and auction this year - over $85,000. Every year the OBEF gives back a third of what they make to fill requests by teachers for equipment that the district cannot afford. Snider also gave a check for just over $2,000 for computers to be used by the Ocean Park School special education class - a late request by Martha Murfin. Board chairman Kim Patten remarked that nearly everything that was requested was to be funded by this award, which he called "amazing."
"This is probably by far the most rewarding thing I have volunteered with," said Snider. "I get goose bumps every time I think about the amount we raised this year."
This and thatDuring her reports to the board, district business manager Linda Thompson noted that during and after the windstorms two weeks ago the high school building had three power outages and caused damage to a breaker. The cost of these outages, including repairs and replacement of the breaker will cost the district in the range of $10,000 to $20,000.
Superintendent Houser reported that contractors RB&G are in the process of bringing the subcontractors back onboard at the Hilltop project and said that work to finish paving the parking lot has been completed. Houser said that construction managers Team Build is onsite and meeting with the district on regular basis and anticipate being finished in the spring.
During a report on levy information, the board briefly discussed a possible technology levy to run on the ballot as part of the maintenance and operations levy that is already set for the Feb. 19 election. Houser said that this would be to replace old and purchase new computers, which are in most cases outdated and in short supply in classrooms. He said that adding the technology piece to the M&O levy would still cost tapayers lower assessment rates than what they voted for on the M&O levy in 2005.
Houser said that of the 290 student computers in the district (serving over 900 students), around half are below the state-defined level of quality. The district's annual budget only allows for the purchase of eight or nine a year. The district has never run a technology levy before.
"The power outages also showed that our servers are in real trouble," he said. "To be able to compete (in a technological world) the students need to know how to utilize the Internet and technology. It is the equalizer for our kids, voters need to understand that."