Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Get ready for school, kindergartners!

Hello, kindergarten families!

Your first day of school is Sept. 12, but we want to get to know you a bit before then.

Your school will be contacting you soon to schedule a visit with a kindergarten teacher on Sept. 7, 8 or 9.

This visit is part of the WaKIDS transition process, which helps students get a successful start to their K-12 experience. One of the program’s goals is to connect the important adults in each child’s life. (WaKIDS stands for Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills.)

You and your child will have an opportunity to meet individually with a kindergarten teacher, share information about your child and his or her previous learning experiences, and ask questions.

***If you have not yet enrolled your kindergartner—students who turn 5 by Aug. 31, 2016—please do so today at http://www.longview.k12.wa.us/registrations.html.

We look forward to meeting your family soon!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Longview Luminaries: Jim Caple

The schools and community of Longview, Washington have long supported the development of outstanding individuals whose contributions have enriched the city, state, nation, and world.  We would like to take some time to highlight some of these notable individuals and the nurturing community from which they came. These bright spots in the Longview community exemplify the values that the Longview School District aims to instill in all of its students and serve as beacons of integrity, passion, and brilliance. Here, we introduce the next of many notable Longview Luminaries, sports writer Jim Caple.
Photo courtesy of ESPN
Many young students dream of being sports stars, hitting the game winning home-run or finishing a race in record time. For R.A. Long graduate Jim Caple, this dream has taken a different shape; Caple is a senior writer for ESPN.

Caple credits much of his inspiration for writing as having come from his parents, who would often take him and his sister Kathy, who now writes children’s books, to the library. Jim’s literature of choice was newspapers from other areas, especially the sports sections.

After graduating from R.A. Long in 1980, Caple went on to attend the University of Washington. As a college student, he didn’t initially pursue sports writing. Once he “fell in love”, however, there was no going back. He wrote for the sports section in the school’s paper. After graduating, he held jobs with various sports magazines and papers before returning to Washington to work at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Now, a senior writer for ESPN, Caple travels the country and the world, experiencing sporting events, such as the Tour de France and the Wimbledon tennis tournament, in a way that many other fans might only dream of. In 2003, he wrote an article for ESPN.com about his experience rooting for his alma mater, R.A. Long high school, as he watched them compete in the state basketball tournament for the first time in decades.

Caple also takes on physical challenges and writes about them for ESPN. As an avid cyclist, some of his challenges have included cycling up Alpe D’Huez, completing the Seattle-to-Portland in one day, and, more recently, the grueling task of cycling to the top of Mont Ventoux. In a different category of challenge, Caple’s travels have taken him and his wife to Finland, where they competed in the World Wife Carrying Championship. He also competed in a Tough Guy competition in 2007. Caple’s write up about the grueling and potentially lethal competition won him a Sports Emmy. His documentation of these events could make anyone a sports fan; drama, humor, and suspense flavor the stories, giving readers the chance to experience the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

During his career, Caple has also authored books on sports. In 2005, he published The Devil Wears Pinstripes. The book largely focuses on the New York Yankees and Caple’s title as ESPN’s “Designated Yankee Hater”. In 2006, he co-authored The Best Boston Sports Arguments with Steve Buckley.

Pursuing a dream takes a lot of courage, but, as Jim Caple can attest, is often the best decision a person can make. Caple’s career as a sports writer and his dedication to the challenges he takes on exemplifies tenacity and passion. Longview Schools strive to impart these values in each and every one of their students. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Rotary helps Little Free Libraries sprout at schools

The Longview (noon) Rotary Club is helping the Little Free Library movement take root and grow at our elementary schools.

Encouraged by the success of a Little Free Library (LFL) established by the Robert Gray Elementary Principal Kala Lougheed and her daughter, the Rotary Club is raising money to establish LFLs elsewhere throughout the district. LFLs offer free checkout and book exchanges in neighborhoods across the country.

Raffle tickets for five deluxe gift baskets will be sold at the Aug. 13 Squirrel Fest to supplement a Rotary District Grant being used to kick off the project.

The project is consistent with Rotary's long-standing emphasis on literacy. Over the past six years, the club has donated nearly 400 books to our schools as an honorarium to its weekly speakers. It also was a Rotarian from Hudson, Wisconsin who started the Little Free Library movement in 2009.

This local effort is expected to spring up this fall with the construction of the fence-post mounted libraries (they look like big bird houses).  A local Rotarian will adopting each LFL to keep them orderly and stocked. Be watching for ribbon cutting ceremonies for the Little Free Libraries that will help put books in the hands of our students!

Longview Luminaries: Paul Laufman

The schools and community of Longview, Washington have long supported the development of outstanding individuals whose contributions have enriched the city, state, nation, and world.  We would like to take some time to highlight some of these notable individuals and the nurturing community from which they came. These bright spots in the Longview community exemplify the values that the Longview School District aims to instill in all of its students and serve as beacons of integrity, passion, and brilliance. Here, we introduce the next of many notable Longview Luminaries, Aerospace engineer Paul Laufman.

Laufman speaking at RA Long, courtesy of the Daily News
Paul and Marlene Laufman as LCC students, courtesy of LCC



Paul Laufman is a prime example of how far hard work can take you: to infinity and beyond. Though he describes himself as having been an average student, his career has been extraordinary.

As a student in Longview’s schools, Paul Laufman spent a lot of time on the field, leaving a legacy at R.A. Long as a gifted baseball player. After graduating in 1956, he attended LCC, later marrying his fellow classmate, Marlene Worley. In 1961 he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from Washington State University. With his degree in hand and boundless determination, Laufman set out into the world of mechanics. He found that he was intrigued, as much of the world was at this time, with the prospect of space travel. He accepted a position working with a team to develop the first intercontinental ballistic missile in America’s history. Though he didn’t realize it at the time, his work and the responsibility he was given was far beyond that which is usually given to fresh, young engineers. 

He continued his career in the aerospace industry, which was quite new at the time. He ended up leading a team that developed the escape motor for Apollo 11, among other projects for which he was honored by the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. He discovered his name engraved on the Wall of Honor at the 2003 Induction ceremony, saying he was honored and that he didn’t expect that kind of recognition. He has also been honored in WSU’s Mechanical Engineering Hall of Fame in 2010 as well as the R.A. Long Hall of Fame in 2013.

In 1995, Laufman co-founded United Paradyne Corporation, the exclusive supplier of rocket fuel and oxygen to government aerospace projects. This came after many years working on various projects with Lockheed and AeroJet. Laufman decided it was time to be his own boss. In 2004 he retired, stepping down as CEO and chairman, but remaining on the board.

He has made a point to speak at schools in Longview and the surrounding areas, including his alma maters, RA Long and LCC. In his talks, he has encouraged young students to find their passion and follow it. Attitude, he says, is what can make or break a young student’s success. He describes himself as having been an average student, saying that he had to work for his success. It didn’t come easily.

Though he describes his love for aerospace projects as somewhat romantic, it is clear that his passion has had a major impact on the Aerospace scene as we know it. Laufman represents spirit and determination. Longview schools values his dedication to changing the world—and beyond—and instilling these values in a new generation.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Longview Luminaries: Becky Dowling Calder

The schools and community of Longview, Washington have long supported the development of outstanding individuals whose contributions have enriched the city, state, nation, and world.  We are taking time to highlight some of these notable individuals and the nurturing community from which they came. These bright spots in the Longview community exemplify the values that the Longview School District aims to instill in all of its students and serve as beacons of integrity, passion, and brilliance. Here, we introduce pioneer aviator Becky Dowling Calder.

Becky Dowling Calder on the court, Photo courtesy of Navy Sports
As anyone who has worked with her will tell you, Longview native Becky Dowling Calder is a pioneer on many counts. After attending Olympic Elementary School and Monticello Middle School in Longview, Becky graduated high school from  Phillips Academy Andover in 1994, and was recruited to the United States Naval Academy’s women’s basketball team. Although she graduated from USNA in 1998, her legacy is still alive and well in Navy sports. In 2014 she was honored as the first woman to have her jersey (no. 32) retired in Navy basketball history. It proudly hangs from the rafters of the Naval Academy Alumni Hall along with those of the five previous honorees, all of whom were male. She was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Year during her first season with the team. Over the next four years, she was not only a two time captain, serving in both her junior and senior years, but also gained the title of MVP two years in a row.

But her tenacity does not just lend itself on the court. After graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1998 with honors, she went on to receive her Aviator’s wings in 2000. From there, she was assigned to varying operations, learning to fly the F/A-18 Hornet. In 2004, she was invited to join the US Navy’s Fighters Weapons School from which she would be the first female in history to graduate. Of this accomplishment, she comments that “I might have been the first woman that went to Top Gun, but most importantly, I won't be the last.”[1]

An active duty pilot for more than 14 years, Calder has not only made great accomplishments for herself, but has proven through every point in her career to value teamwork and individual determination. She has garnered over 2,500 flight hours, but has also served as a training officer and instructional pilot, helping to rise up a new generation of pilots and inspiring greatness in all whom she has worked with. For many of the women who are now students at USNA, Calder has served as an inspiration and a trailblazer. She now lives with her husband and children in Japan where her husband, an active duty Naval executive officer, continues to serve with the VFA-27 “Royal Maces”.

Calder’s commitment to her personal success in academics, athletics, and the military shows just how important personal integrity can be to the success of a team as a whole. Her accomplishments inspire new generations of students, athletes, and pilots. The Longview School District is proud to count Becky Calder among its many brilliant alumni.





[1] Comment made to Bill Wagner of the Capital Gazette

Friday, July 22, 2016

Longview Luminaries: Lyndsay Faye

The schools and community of Longview, Washington have long supported the development of outstanding individuals whose contributions have enriched the city, state, nation, and world.  We would like to take some time to highlight some of these notable individuals and the nurturing community from which they came. These bright spots in the Longview community exemplify the values that the Longview School District aims to instill in all of its students and serve as beacons of integrity, passion, and brilliance. Here, we introduce the next of our many notable Longview Luminaries, Lyndsay Faye.

Lyndsay Faye, photo courtesy of author website.
From a young age, her passion for storytelling was boundless. With a little nurturing, Lyndsay Faye-Farber, professionally known as Lyndsay Faye, became the star she knew she could be. Now an international bestselling author, Faye shines as a beacon of what Longview Schools can instill in its students.

Raised in Longview, Washington, Faye was an avid reader from the start. Her love for books was stoked by her parents as a homeschool student, and then by her instructors and teachers as an R.A. Long High School student. She describes her experience working with writing instructors at R.A. Long, mentioning the heavy emphasis that was placed on simply writing and honing self-editing skills. She graduated from RAL with a 4.0 in 1998 and was a participant in many theater productions during her time there.

Now living in New York, the Longview native has published several successful books, including 2012’s “The Gods of Gotham”. Much of her work falls into the “Mystery” genre, and this book in particular earned her the American Library Association’s best mystery novel in 2013. The novel was also nominated for the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award. Her love for the world created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle weaves itself into many facets of her life, including her writing. Her debut novel, Dust and Shadow, is narrated by none other than Sherlock Holmes’s sidekick himself, John Watson. Other works by Faye include Seven for a Secret (2013), The Fatal Flame (2015), and Jane Steele (2016).

This alumna of Longview Schools continues to shine as she to follows her passion and works on new books and stories.






Friday, July 15, 2016

Longview Luminaries: EJ Taylor

The schools and community of Longview have long supported the development of outstanding individuals whose contributions have enriched the city, state, nation, and world.  
We would like to highlight some of these notable individuals and the nurturing community from which they came. These bright spots in the Longview community exemplify the values that the Longview School District aims to instill in all of its students and serve as beacons of integrity, passion, and brilliance. Here, we introduce another of the notable Longview Luminaries, author and visual artist EJ Taylor--
Photo courtesy of artist's website
EJ Taylor’s imagination has taken him all over the world, literally. A native to the Pacific Northwest, Taylor graduated from R.A. Long in 1964. His childhood seems comparable to what you might expect of one of his characters, or perhaps one of his dolls. He grew up on his family’s farm, where his father and brothers worked as salmon fishers. The family would often spend time in Alaska, as well, working in salmon canneries.
One of Taylor's many book illustrations 
A spark of his imagination led Taylor to pursue a different path, however. He describes an early interest in doll-making. Though he abandoned the hobby as a child, he could not stay away and returned to it in adulthood. His arsenal of artistic talents quickly covered a wide range, including theatre design, writing, illustration, and, of course, doll-making. After moving to London in 1979, Taylor began work on his children’s books, a four-book series Ivy Cottage. The books center on a doll maker and her life with her child-like creations.
Christmas Elves window display. Courtesy of artist's website 
His dolls, little works of art with unbelievable detail and personality, are often for sale, but have been displayed in shop windows and for the National Institute of American Doll Artists, where Taylor also serves as an instructor. He continues to show his dolls and give lectures around the world.

What started as a hobby grew into a shining artistic career. Taylor’s work and devotion to his craft has not only produced beautiful works of art, but has helped new artists develop skills and add their own narrative to the art world. He exemplifies a creativity and passion for the arts that Longview Schools hopes to impart in each of its students.