About rparrish

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far rparrish has created 23 blog entries.

Civil War Food Drive starts March 4th

Longview Public School students Julia Wright and Faliha Amjad might go to different high schools, but are working together as the Advertising Chairpersons for the upcoming Civil War Food Drive. Their role is to get as much information out as possible, so everyone knows about the food drive.

Julia Wright and Faliha Amjad

In a recent interview, the two shared their thoughts on this year’s food drive goals. Concerning the amount of food they hope to drive Amjad said, “The goal is to get as much food as possible to help people in our community.”

The theme for this year’s food drive, “Food for love, food for life.”

Volunteers started dropping off paper bags to households over the weekend in preparation to start getting the word out about the food drive. If you do not receive a grocery bag at your house, you can still donate. Food can either be put out for pick up on March 9, taken to any school or dropped off at Fred Meyer.

When asked about the competition behind the food drive Wright said, “It is a competition for the schools in a good way. The civil war aspect just creates fun for each school.”

The pair said any size donation is welcome and appreciated.

2019-02-26T16:54:04+00:00February 26th, 2019|

Some buses on PM Snow routes today 2/22/19

Dear Parents and Families,

Due to winter weather bus routes 2, 6, 10, 13, 18, 20, 53 and 15 for elementary will be on PM snow routes today. February 22, 2019

2019-02-23T00:34:45+00:00February 22nd, 2019|

Update 2/11/19: MM basketball game rescheduled again

Updated 1:15 pm February 11, 2019

Today’s Mark Morris High School basketball game vs Tumwater is postponed. The game will be played Tuesday February 12th at Mark Morris High School with a 6:00 start time.

Before the MM game, a 2B girls’ game between Ilwaco and Toledo will be played.  After the MM game, a 2B boys’ game between Ilwaco and Kalama will be played.

A reminder with District 4 events; Longview School District passes are not honored for entry in to the contest.  Ticket prices are $7 for adults, $5 for students and Sr. citizens.


2019-02-11T21:19:16+00:00February 9th, 2019|

Calendar information 2019-2020 school year

Planning for vacation and family celebrations is important. While final details of the next year’s school calendar are not yet finished, several important key dates are set. To help you with planning below are important dates for the 2019-2020 school year. These dates have been finalized and approved by the School Board. (Please note the calendar for Broadway Learning Center is different and parents should check with Broadway for 2019-2020 calendar dates.)

Event Date
First day of school August 28, 2019
Winter holiday December 23, 2019 – January 3, 2020
Spring Break April 6-10, 2020
High school graduation June 6, 2020
Last day of school June 11, 2020

A more detailed 2019-2020 school calendar will be sent to parents and families in the Spring. If you have questions please contact your local school.

2019-01-25T22:05:18+00:00January 25th, 2019|

Spotlight – Ms. Kickabush, MMHS Head Secretary

Spotlight  – Q & A

Where did you grow up? I was born in Chehalis. My Mom was working for the Lewis County PUD in Chehalis, I was on her insurance, which only allowed me to be born in Lewis County.

Were you raised in Longview? Except two years of college, and a couple years in Bellingham while my father finished college, I’ve spent my entire life in Longview.

Ms. Kickabush, Mark Morris HS Head Secretary

Where did you go to school? I attended Columbia Heights Elementary; it was K-6 back then. From Columbia Heights, I went to Cascade for 7th through 9th grade then onto Mark Morris – class of 1977.

What are some of your memories from high school? For me Mark Morris was a second home – I grew up here. I was very active in school participating in drama, choir, yearbook and student government.

What role of student government were you in? Activities coordinator.

How else were you involved in high school? I got involved in every girls league, pep club – I joined just about anything I could. Don Wiitala was my DECA teacher for three years.

What did you do after high school? I loved high school and wanted to be a teacher. My Dad did not want me to be a teacher – he talked me out of it.

Where did you go to college? Since I wasn’t going to be a teacher, I went to Mt. Hood Community College because they had a great marketing program. I spent 2 years at MHCC and decided big city life was not for me.

Did you come back to Longview after college? Yes, I came home from MHCC to figure out what I was going to do for work and got a call from Dave Grocott, who was the principal at Northlake Elementary. Mr. Grocott had an open para position and wanted me to sub until the position was filled. This was the fall of 1979. I ended up working at Northlake until it closed in about 1983.

What did you do after Northlake closed? I was 23 years old at the time and the district transferred me to the ISS (In School Suspension) room at RA Long High School. The job was not a good fit for me.

What did you following the stint at RA Long? I came back to work the next fall at Cascade Middle School. Dave Jeitz called me; he was the principal at Cascade. I worked at Cascade as a para for a one year, moved to the nurse’s office for a few years, then finally into the secretary/attendance position.

When did you get a job at Mark Morris? In 1990, I left Cascade and came to Mark Morris to be the registrar. After two years as the registrar, I was the Guidance Office secretary for 15 years, and then became the Head Secretary in 2006.

Looking back what are some of your memories? I have worked with some amazing people over the years. I’ve been blessed to work for great building administrators, teachers and support staff. There are so many great memories. I worked for the volleyball program for about 20 years, which I enjoyed a lot.

What is the best part of your job? The best part of my job is the relationships with kids. I know students who are now grown up and have kids of their own. When I worked in the guidance office, I knew 99 to 100 percent of the kid’s names. I’ve been to more weddings and seen more new babies than I would ever have seen if it wasn’t for this job.

What are your thoughts after all the years? I just hope I made a difference for the kids. I know they have for me.

What is it like being the head secretary? This job keeps you young – you have to stay current. Staying up on what is going on with music, in the theater and current events is important. I’ve always said, “If you can’t be independently wealthy, it’s a great place to work.” I would not want to work anywhere else.

How long has someone in your family worked at Mark Morris? In 1962, my Dad (Jim Kickabush) started work at Mark Morris Junior High, which was in the basement of Kessler Elementary school. (While building Cascade Junior High, Mark Morris Junior High moved to the basement of Kessler Elementary.)

Where else did your Dad work in the district? He moved to Cascade Junior High when it opened, then came to Mark Morris in the fall of 1965 as a history teacher. In the late 1960’s or early 1970’s Dad earned his traffic safety endorsement and taught traffic safety until the end of his career.

Did your siblings attend Mark Morris? My sister Karol Kickabush was a student at Mark Morris, when Dad was teaching. Karol graduated in the Mark Morris class of ’83. My youngest sister Mary Kickabush (Dorland) graduated in the Mark Morris class of 1984.

Did your Mother work in the district? My Mother (Linda Kickabush) was the secretary at Cascade Middle School then moved to Mark Morris in the fall of 1983. Mom and my sister Mary were here for one year together.

When did your Mother retire? Mom retired around 1997-98 as the head secretary at Mark Morris. I moved down here from Cascade Middle School in the fall of 1990.

What did your parents teach you? My parents taught us work ethic, you do not work hours – you work a job. My parents taught us you work until the job is done. For me my job is much more than just a job – it’s a profession.

What do love most about your profession? The people. The day to day tasks of the job – is the job. The profession is being a part of other people’s lives and the life of this building. This building (MMHS) is a living, breathing thing.

What are your earliest memories of Mark Morris? At the age of five I attended high school graduation. I remember asking my Mother why some graduates had gold cords around their neck while others did not. After my mother explained the cords I made the goal to wear gold cords on graduation day – and I did.

Did you spend a lot of time at Mark Morris? As a youngster, I would come with my Dad to MM on Saturday mornings and help decorate for prom or do other stuff. Growing up my whole life revolved around school.

What was it like to grow up in the halls of Mark Morris then come back here to work? Coming back to work here was like coming home. When I leave MM to retire it will be incredibly difficult. For me Mark Morris is home.

How has school changed? There’s lots of emphasis on testing and pushing kids hard. The emphasis know seems to be graduating and going to a four-year college. When I grew up Longview was a true blue collar town. Many kids from my class went straight from high school to work in the mill – it is what we did.

Are we still a blue-collar town? Yes, but we are hurting. Back then jobs in the mill paid well and there were plenty of jobs available.

Has the community changed over the years? Our community has changed, which has changed our schools. We’ve lost so many mill jobs and have a much higher poverty rate, which changes the whole community.

How has this affected school? We spend a lot more time doing social service work now, in addition to teaching, which did not used to be the case years ago.

What activities do you enjoy outside of school? Of course, I am a big supporter of Mark Morris programs. I’m a pretty big crafter; especially paper crafting like scrapbooking, making greeting cards and home décor. I do recipe books and picture frames too.

What sort of recipe books? I make recipe books for bridal shower gifts. The idea is whoever buys the book puts recipes into it for their new daughter in law.

What kind of recipes are in your personal recipe book? I come from a long line of good cooks. My family has some wonderful recipes and a few are so precious we won’t even share them.

What recipes won’t you share? Grandma Kickabush’s chicken coating recipe – it’s like a shake and bake type of thing. Long before there was “Shake and Bake” Grandma Kickabush invented her own version -and we don’t share it.

Who determines which recipes are shared and which stay in the family? My mother. Mom was very clear which recipes are family secrets. I tell people I’ll happily cook food for them, but cannot share the recipe.

What are your personal favorite dishes? Grandma Kickabush’s Shake and Bake chicken. Chicken cacciatore, the recipe is a lot of work – but it’s really good. Hungarian Goulash is another favorite.

Did all families growing up years ago have a goulash recipe? Yes, but we call the hamburger and macaroni recipe “glup” in my family. Our Hungarian goulash is a thick, rich red sauce with chunks of beef and sauce on the top – very different from glup. I love glup too, they are just different.

What about dessert? We have never been a big dessert family. My Mom didn’t love to bake, she loved to cook savory dishes. My Grandma Gudgel was the “sweet baker”.

What will you do in retirement? I will stay active and involved in the schools in some way, whether it’s volunteering in an elementary reading program or in the office. I just want to give back to my community.

What about outside schools? I was active at St. Vincent de Paul for years a number of years, so I plan to do some volunteer work there. I’m also interested in working on the Go Fourth committee. Go Fourth is a wonderful thing for our community.

What else? I am not a big traveler, but love the beach. Long Beach is my favorite because it’s so quiet. The ocean is rejuvenating; something about the waves going in and out is very cleansing. I can sit for a long time and just watch the water – it clears my mind and soul.

Do you have any final thoughts? What’s in your heart is what’s important, do what’s in your heart – kids have always been in my heart.

2019-01-24T19:23:11+00:00January 23rd, 2019|

Pre-apprenticeship students visit Big C Industries

Students in the district’s pre-apprenticeship program were welcomed on a site visit to Big C Industries in Longview.

Big C Industries General Manager, Matt Montgomery, helped develop the pre-apprenticeship program and continues to support students through experiential learning.

Work site visits benefit students by giving them the chance to see the same technology and equipment they are using in the pre-apprenticeship program in use in the workplace. District Director of Career & College Readiness Jill Diehl said, “It gives students validation that the things they are working on are applicable in the real world.”

Diehl went on to say, “We hope students discover relevance, relevance to what they are learning in the classroom, to the standards we are teaching them and the professional and technical skills. Students are going to see this is what I’m learning in school and this where it will take me in the future.”


2019-01-17T19:42:24+00:00January 17th, 2019|

Capital bond information and input sessions

Longview Public Schools plans to put a capital bond measure to voters later this year. Capital bonds raise funds for school districts to upgrade facilities and build new schools.

To provide citizens information about the bond measure three community input sessions will be held. At the meeting you will get information on the facility upgrades and changes the district’s Facilities Advisory Committee has recommended.

Thursday, January 24 at 6 pm, district administrative offices next to RA Long High School – 2715 Lilac Street.

Wednesday, January 30 at 5 pm, Mark Morris High School.

Tuesday, February 5 at 5 pm, Mint Valley Elementary School.

We hope to see you at one of the community input sessions.

2019-01-25T18:07:08+00:00January 15th, 2019|

Coach Bakamus wins 600th career victory!

Mark Morris boys’ basketball coach Bill Bakamus won his 600th game – an amazing accomplishment.

Coach Bill Bakamus

The Monarch boys beat the Ellensburg Bulldogs 49-36 to win coach Bakamus 600th career high school basketball game. With 600 wins Bakamus ranks 6th all-time in the state for career games won. Bakamus trails retired Colfax coach Bob Bafus by just three wins, so he will soon rank fifth in state history for career wins.

Coach Bakamus is in his 27th year coaching the Monarchs. Bakamus teams have won 25 League Championships, 11 District Championships and 12 State trophies.

Congratulations coach!

2019-02-06T00:54:34+00:00December 28th, 2018|

Madrigal Dinner

Come enjoy this holiday season at the 6th annual Madrigal Dinner featuring a four course meal by a professional chef and performances by both RA Long and Mark Morris Choirs. Come be transported into a medieval world full of song, food, and joyous holiday cheer. Start your holiday season off right and support the Mark Morris and RA Long Choir Programs!

Friday, November 30, at 7:30 PM
Saturday, December 1, at 7:30 PM

Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online and in person at either Mark Morris or RA Long ASB offices, starting November 13.

Online by going to:

Create a new account, click to shop items.

We hope to see you!


2018-11-19T23:24:01+00:00November 19th, 2018|

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.

2018-11-07T22:28:49+00:00November 6th, 2018|