Proud to Be NCSD- Podcast
Looking for informative and entertaining interviews with students, teachers, administrators, and NCSD community members who make our school district special? Well HEARS the place to go! Longtime NCSD principal and current Community Relations Director Curtis Long handles hot topics and hears heartwarming tales from staff and students down the district directory from Ardenwald to View Acres…and all the schools and departments in between! Available wherever you hear your podcasts…subscribe today!
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When our students face changes and challenges both inside and outside school walls, where can they turn to confess their concerns, discuss their doubts, and shout out their successes? NCSD school counselors are always there to make sure ALL students feel seen, supported, and most importantly, celebrated for who they are. In this episode, it’s a conversation full of compassion as we’re joined by a school counselor from each level: Clackamas High School’s Laura Nelson, Alder Creek Middle School’s Stephanie Atkinson, and Scouters Mountain Elementary’s Jessica Winfrey. Together, they explain how they help meet student and family needs by lending advice, a helping hand, or sometimes, simply a listening ear.
Although January is Oregon School Board Recognition Month, a certain ice storm put the freeze on our first try at coordinating calendars to record this appreciative podcast. Now that the ice has melted away, we’ve made a new motion to honor the seven superheroes who tirelessly volunteer on our NCSD Board. In this episode of the Proud To Be NCSD Podcast, get to know two of our newest Directors, April Dobson and Paul Kemp, as we call to order topics ranging from why they chose to run for such an important role…to the unfinished business they continually advocate for on behalf of all North Clackamas students and families.
As the first round of final exams wraps up in NCSD high schools, we shine the spotlight on three amazing Rex Putnam High School students whose journey through NCSD schools has looked (and sounded) a little different than most of their peers. These high-achieving high schoolers have been a part of the district’s Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program since elementary school, meaning they’ve spent parts of their days learning in English…and the other parts 100% in Spanish. This week, meet seniors Sebastian Castillo-Graduno and Leslie Osorio Martinez, along with sophomore Dahlia Sanchez Martinez, who share how growing up in NCSD’s DLI program has not only helped them develop bilingual skills, but also develop lifelong friendships that even resulted in the formation of a successful local band!
Students’ first years in elementary school can bring them their first best friend, and of course their first favorite teacher. But for one Scouters Mountain Elementary student, fifth grade started with a not-so-pleasant first experience for him— being teased on the playground by classmates he considered his friends. This week, hear the incredible story of 10-year-old Makiah Butler, who not only forgave the teasers, but took the negative emotions he felt and turned them into a positive…by starting a schoolwide recognition program awarding kids for being “Upstanders,” and motivating an entire school to break down bullying before it begins.
When discussing extracurricular activities in our North Clackamas high schools, the conversation often turns to athletics. But what about the hundreds of high schoolers who spend countless hours before and after school practicing an instrument, singing in choirs, or like this week’s special guests, creating costumes and memorizing lines for an unforgettable drama performance? This week, meet Nelson High School sophomore Melly DaMetz, junior Tyson Thames, and junior Emily Sutliff…three lively leaders of the school’s latest stage production, “Alice In Wonderland.” We go behind-the-scenes to learn what it takes to bring the famous children’s story to life, especially when your school currently doesn’t offer any drama classes during the school day.
For more than three decades, the North Clackamas Education Foundation has been serving NCSD through teacher grants, scholarships, gifts to after-school and pre-K programs, services for food-insecure families, and so much more. In the past year alone, members of this amazing foundation funded more than $227,000 to students, teachers, and families. How do they do it? In this episode, we meet two of NCEF’s “heartest” workers – Executive Director Stephanie Rose and Communications Coordinator Sam Hobson. Learn why giving back to the NCSD community is so important to them, and hear from students excitedly putting a recent grant to good use!
With the first eight weeks of the school year now in the books, it seems likely that NCSD’s elementary students have chosen a favorite subject they love learning most about each day…but you may be surprised at the overwhelming answer! Recess? TAG- not it! Social Studies? That’s history! These days, NCSD elementary students are falling head over highlighters for writing time! In this episode, we learn why students can’t wait to put their pencils to paper, thanks to some energizing professional development for teachers and NCSD author-ities like Mt. Scott 3rd grade teacher Liz Maxwell, Oak Grove 1st grade teacher Rachel Wong, Emergent Literacy Specialist Kari Tunstill, and Early Learning Coordinator Jen Burkhart.
Converted from a neighborhood elementary school nearly 13 years ago, NCSD’s Wichita Center For Family & Community offers district families access to resources including dental screenings, employment training, preschool, mental health support, a food pantry, and a clothes closet…all under one roof. Yet perhaps the center’s most important offering—hope for a better future. In this episode, meet three of the special staff members who help manage this one-of-a-kind community hub, Natalie Whisler, Jen Kiltow, and the person who knows and greets every visitor by name, Claudia Milena.
Season #2 kicks off the school year visiting with our district’s top leader, Superintendent Dr. Shay James, who helps introduce us to members of our amazing Student & Community Engagement team, dedicated to making sure students and families from all cultures feel safe, welcome, and celebrated in each of our district’s 32 schools. In this episode, hear incredible insights from three of NCSD’s Student & Community Engagement Specialists, Cheryl Shane, Raquel De Jesus-Mendoza, and Ed Villa, along with their recently named Director, Dr. Khaliyah Williams-Rodriguez.
Media reports say that teen suicides have risen nearly 30% in the past decade, but the stories of lives saved rarely make headlines. Neither do the powerful prevention efforts of teenagers featured in this episode: Adrienne C. Nelson High’s Imani Lewis, Delanie Woolcock, and Natalie Sangasy are charter members of a new peer leadership group called Sources Of Strength, and take time out of their lunch break each week to host wellness activities and make sure students who feel they have no way out…always have an “in” with classmates who care about them.