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Toutle Lake School District Opens its Doors to 691 Students


Albeit a few days late, we are excited to have been able to open our school doors to 691 “Fighting Ducks”! All of us at Toutle Schools are happy to have the work stoppage behind us and we appreciate everyone’s patience as we worked through that difficult time. We recognize that we as a staff will need a time to heal, and that healing will be a process. Some will need more time than others, and in the meantime we will each strive to respect one another’s journey. And along that journey, we look forward to reunifying and refocusing our collective energy on our goal of supporting student learning.


It is my pleasure to introduce to you eleven new staff members, who are going to assist us in meeting the needs of our student body. We have a new transportation supervisor, Daryl Spinneberg. Daryl came on in early July and has been working hard preparing our bus fleet, receiving some training, and learning all of the “ins and outs” of the district’s transportation system. We have also added two new school bus drivers to our ranks, Sarah Boss and Erin McBride.


In an effort to lower class sizes in the elementary school, we have added two new positions and replaced one teacher who left our team. Kelsey Hynning will be teaching 2nd grade for us. She earned her BA in Music Business from Belmont University, and her MS Ed in Early Childhood Education from Northern Illinois University. She has one year of teaching experience in Illinois.

            Chelsea Meats has 12 years of teaching experience (7 in Washougal School District and 5 in Battle Ground School District). She will be teaching 4th grade for us. She earned her BA in Elementary Education from Washington State University, and her MA in Educational Theory and Teaching Practices from Arkansas State University.

            Nathan Ross, has 24 years of teaching experience, all in the State of Washington (his longest teaching assignment was for 16 years at Morton Jr/Sr High School). He will be teaching 6th grade for us and he earned his BA in Elementary Education from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. He also earned an MA in Educational Technology from City University.

Joining us this year at our secondary school are Donna DeNoble, our new Ag Science teacher. She has 34 years of teaching experience. 27 of those years have been in the State of Washington (his longest teaching assignment was with Orting School District for 16 years), 6 have been in Arizona and one in Pennsylvania. She earned two BS degrees (Ag Ed and Dairy Production) and a Master degree in Ag Ed, all from Pennsylvania State University.

            Sean Zeff, a Toutle Lake student during all of his K-12 education, is our new Spanish/Art teacher. He earned his BA in Biology and his MA in Secondary Teaching, both from Washington State University. This is his first full-time teaching assignment.

Additionally, we have four new para-educators – Kelly Weighall, Jennifer Mays, Brenna Casi and Lena Palmer. We are extremely pleased to have all of these outstanding, new employees joining the Duck team!


Our 19-20 school calendar was in need of revision, given that we started the year four days later than originally planned. Students will now attend on March 5th and 6th, and June 11th and 12th. Graduation will be rescheduled for Saturday, June 13th. See the revised calendar included in this newsletter.


Parents will notice that our calendar has several more early-release dates for K-6 students, in an effort to allow the teachers more time to consider and study curriculum; and to collaborate with other staff members teaching in the same grade band-width. The District and staff appreciates the cooperation and understanding of the parents, while we attempt to improve our instructional deliveries to their children.


Within the next month, I plan to write a report entitled, “The Fiscal State of the Toutle Lake School District”. This report will hopefully provide taxpayers and all community members with an insight to our local school funding mechanisms, and shed some light on the need for the District to put forth an enrichment levy later this winter.


I am happy to say that I am finding that “DUCKS” is more than just a mascot. It can also be an acronym, describing the learning environment here in Toutle. I like to think of “DUCKS” as follows:







I look forward to continuing to meet and working with each of you during this school year. I truly believe that with all of us performing a critical role and standing in unity, we can effectively create killer success for our students and for one another!







Bob Garrett

Toutle Lake School District Superintendent


Inclement Weather & snow route info

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For snow routes please click here. For information regarding school closures or alerts click here.


Strengthening Families Class
The Strengthening Families Program is a partnership between the Castle Rock CARE Coalition and WSU Cowlitz County extension. It is for parents/caregivers and their youth ages 10 - 14. Click here to view the flyer and click here for the form.

Dolly Parton Imagination Library
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is proudly sponsored by the Cowlitz & Wahkiakum County United Way. Please click here for information regarding this exciting program.


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