Superintendent Message:

From The Superintendent . . . . Welcome to the 2015-16 School Year!

posted Aug 26, 2015, 2:27 PM by Waterville School   [ updated Sep 17, 2015, 8:11 PM ]

The beginning of the 2015-16 school year is upon us, and our staff is hard at work to prepare for the return of our staff and students!  We sincerely hope that the time you have had with your children this summer has given you many memories and opportunities to learn, grown and celebrate!  While our students have been enjoying summer vacation, we have accomplished many things over the last several months that will contribute to an amazing year at Waterville School:

  • Classrooms, bathrooms and office areas have a fresh coat of paint

  • Lockers in the main building and the locker rooms have been repaired

  • District computer servers were updated

  • Chrome books have been purchased for students in grades K-2, adding to the Chrome books that were provided to students in grades 3-12 last year

  • Gym floor was refinished (includes new painting of lines, keys and center logo)

  • Creation of adaptive Special Education room for K-12

  • Building air quality is being monitored and controlled with our updated Heating/Cooling control system

  • Staff attended summer training for English/Language Arts, CTE (Career Technical Education), Science, Leader In Me, and Advanced Placement courses.

On June 30, 2015 I retired from the position of Superintendent of the Waterville Schools.  After an extensive search for a replacement, and following the implementation of a new administrative model, the Waterville School Board offered me a part time (100 days per year) contract and I am back in the role of Superintendent of this amazing district!  Mrs. Tabatha Mires is the K-12 Principal, and Mr. Matt Tait is our Dean of Students/Athletic Director.  Our administrative team is dedicated to the success of each and every one of our students, and will work hard every day to fulfill our mission of “cultivating leaders who T.H.R.I.V.E. (trust, honor, respect, integrity, valor, evolving excellence).  Thank you for putting your trust in us, and for walking alongside us as we work together to help your student learn, grow, and thrive at Waterville School.  

Important Dates and Information for the Start of School:

  • Monday, August 31:  Elementary and High School offices open

  • Wednesday, September 2:  “Meet and Greet” barbecue for students, staff and families

    • 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm outside main elementary entrance (thanks to Booster Club and PTO for your help with this event)

  • Monday, September 7:  Labor Day

  • Tuesday, September 8:  FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

    • 8:00 am:  School starts for K-12

    • 2:45 pm:  School dismissal for K-12

We encourage you to get involved at school in any way that you can, and to contact us with questions anytime.  Feel free to contact the junior/high school office at 745-8583 or the K-5 office at 745-8585 any time during office hours (7:30 am to 4:00 pm).  Mr. Davila, Mrs. Milbrandt, and Mrs. Greenwood will assist you and make sure that your questions are answered or put you in touch with the right person that can help you.  We are anticipating an amazing school year at Waterville School, and look forward to getting started!

Cathi Nelson, Superintendent

Waterville School District #209  Phone: 745-8585; email:

Top Seven Things Leaders Do . . . . (a work in progress!)

posted Oct 13, 2013, 3:53 PM by Waterville School

“Live, love, laugh, leave a legacy” – Stephen Covey

  • Be Proactive
    • Reach out to staff and begin to build relationships right away (ex. schedule short meetings with individual or small groups of staff before school starts – just listen!)
    • Know and understand the mission and vision of the district and the history behind the development of these beliefs
    • “Carry your own weather” and be the positive face of the district everyday! 
  • Begin With the End in Mind
    • Work with the Board to develop 3 or 4 meaningful, intentional, student based & data driven goals that all stakeholders can agree on (staff, parents, business leaders, etc.)
    • Establish board norms and operating procedures that will clarify and streamline board communication, work, meetings and expectations.
    • Embrace and model the district’s mission and vision statements – they should be visible, known and understood by everyone, and the foundation of everything the district does
  • Put First Things First
    • Be engaged with kids, staff, and community during the school day; read and answer emails, phone calls, etc. early in the morning or after the school day
    • Make building and maintaining relationships a priority every day
    • On going communication – establish your system early on and don’t deviate from it
    • Be seen in classrooms, in hallways, at events, and in the community.
  • Think Win-Win
    • Ask staff and the Board about the method and frequency of regular communication from you (ex: our staff wants to have daily email from me, which outlines the “big rocks” for the day and the upcoming week – I send this out before 7:30 am each day. The Board has requested weekly emails and more frequent ) 
    • Ask for input (from students, staff, parents, board, community) before making decisions that affect any of your stakeholders
    • Review board policies and procedures – be prepared to revise if necessary; these are the foundation of how you do business
    • Be transparent, visible, available, and positive.
  • Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
    • LISTEN before you talk!
    • Listen with your eyes, ears, and your heart! This kind of listening brings communication to a powerful level!
  • Synergize
    • Take good ideas and making them better by working with others.
    • Share leadership roles with those who have specific skills and passion for district initiatives
    • Find people and organizations who have more expertise than you and learn to ask for help
      • NCESD – SAC colleagues
      • WASA
      • WASDA – board policy review and revision support
  • Sharpen The Saw
    • Prioritize family, friends and faith time to bring balance to your life
    • Taking care of yourself will help you take care of others
    • Attend as many school functions as you can – but make it part of “Sharpening The Saw” by attending with family and friends



2013-14 Focus at Waterville School is Learning and Leadership

posted Sep 8, 2013, 9:24 PM by Waterville School

Waterville Staff will focus on several major initiatives this year, with the goal of improving student learning. 

Common Core is a real-world approach to learning and teaching. Developed by education experts from 45 states, these K-12 learning standards go deeper into key concepts in math and English language arts. The standards require a practical, real-life application of knowledge that prepares Washington students for success in college, work and life.  Common Core provides students with:

· Consistent learning expectations for all students

· Clear standards that focus on understanding over memorization.

· Emphasis on the critical topics students need to succeed after high school.

· Faster testing results with a better, more focused online assessment system.

Waterville School piloted the new Teacher Principal Evaluation tool during the 2012-13 school year with 6 teachers and 2 principals.  By the 2014-15 school year, all certified teachers and principals must be evaluated with this new tool.  Waterville’s instructional framework, U of W 5 Dimensions CEL, provides the criteria for evaluations.  All Waterville teachers will use the TPEP evaluation tool during the 2013-14 school year.

TPEP Core Principles:

· Quality teaching and leading is critically important.

· Professional learning is a key component of an effective evaluation system.

· Teaching and leading is work done by a core team of professionals.

· Evaluation systems should reflect and address the career continuum.

· An evaluation system should consider and balance “inputs or acts” with “outputs or results.”

· Teacher and principal evaluation models should coexist within the complex relationship between district systems and negotiations.

“Leader In Me” Year Two:  All Waterville staff participated in Year Two “Empowerment” training on September 3; the “Leader In Me” Lighthouse Team  attended a September 4 “Achieving School Wide Goals” training.  Staff and students will continue to build our leadership model and integrate the 7 Habits into all learning opportunities—classroom, extra curricular, student government, staff collaboration, and curriculum development.  7 Habits training for our community will be scheduled for this fall—watch for more information soon!  Plans will soon be underway for Waterville School’s Leadership Day, an all-school event where students will showcase their leadership skills and successes in school, athletics, and community!



What is Happening at Waterville School During the Summer?

posted Jun 20, 2013, 5:34 PM by Waterville School

By the weather, it is hard to tell it is almost the official first day of summer!  I know the rain and cool weather is making our wheat farmers happy, but the kids at the pool this afternoon didn't look very happy!  The forecast is for clearing skies, so I think we will see summer weather soon!
Although our students are home for the summer, we are hard at work in the buildings, preparing for a new school year!  Secretaries, Custodians, and Administrators are busy finishing up one school year and planning for the new year, which will start for students on September 5.  Here are a few things that we are working on during June, July and August:
  • Construction crews are arriving and beginning the replacement of our buildings heating/cooling and lighting systems.  In the fall, we will have a state of the art, computer controlled H/VAC system that will provide a safe, comfortable learning environment for our students and staff all year.  New lights will also help enhance our classrooms and work spaces, provide a healthier learning environment, and be much more energy efficient.
    • Weekly construction review meetings are held each Wednesday throughout the project
  • Custodians and maintenance staff have assessed the facility needs and planned an intensive summer time work schedule.  The goal is to have all of the facilities ready for students when they arrive in September and to continue preventive maintenance to safeguard your investment in the Waterville School buildings.
  • State and federal reports are being completed for last school year and reports and grant documents are being completed for the upcoming school year.
  • Supply orders are being completed to ensure that teachers and students have materials that they need on the first day of school.
  • New students are being registered in all grades.
  • Student and staff handbooks are being revised and updated for the new year.
  • Staff are being hired to fill personnel needs throughout the district.
  • District budget work is being done in preparation for a new budget proposal in July.
  • District Procedures are being revised to match our recently revised and newly adopted District Policies.  These will soon be available on our school website.
  • Teachers and administrators are attending summer professional development opportunities in preparation for the new school year;
    • Advanced Placement training (teachers)
    • Rater Reliability training (principals)
    • State conferences (counselor)
Those are a few of the many things that are going on at Waterville School during the summer months.  Please call anytime and stop by for a visit - I can be reached at 745-8585 or on my cell phone at 699-1424.  I look forward to visiting and sharing all of the exciting things that we are looking forward to during the 2013-14 school year!
Cathi Nelson, Superiendent
Waterville School District

Happy New Year

posted Mar 3, 2013, 4:15 PM by Waterville School   [ updated Mar 3, 2013, 4:16 PM ]

Parents, community, students and staff:

It is the first day of 2013 and I have many emotions as I am reflecting on 2012. The one constant emotion is the pride that I feel for Waterville School and the Waterville community.  

January 2012:  The first month of 2012 found us focused on work to align curriculum/teaching with new state standards, with an emphasis on Math. We worked together as we continued focusing on the new Teacher Principal Evaluation (TPEP) Pilot work. Paul Katovich and his levy committee found creative, effective ways to share district needs with our community, in preparation for the February levy votes. The annual Chili/Oyster Stew & Art Auction was another resounding success, thanks to a fantastic volunteer crew headed by our PTO.  The month ended on January 31 by honoring our Senior Boy and Girl of the Year at the Chamber Banquet.  

February 2012:  The Waterville community once again showed their support for our school by passing both the M & O levy and the Capital Project Levy!  The Missoula Children’s Theater returned to town and wowed audiences as they showcased our amazingly talented kids!  

March 2012:  Waterville’s School Improvement Team continued their work; analyzing data, looking at district needs, and building our SIP on the Leader In Me foundation.  Students in grades 3-12 began state assessments.  Classified employees were honored throughout the week of March 12.   

April 2012: Following spring break the first week of April, students continued state high school biology and math assessments. Prayers went out to Mr. VanWinkle after he received sad news about his health.  

May 2012:  Tabatha Mires officially earned her Administrative credentials from Heritage College after a year long commitment to late nights of studying, long weekends away at classes, and “on the job” training.  Waterville School is blessed to have her as our 7-12 principal!   Mr. and Mrs. VanWinkle continued to be in our thoughts and prayers. 

June 2012:  The Class of 2012 received their diplomas and the well wishes of our community at graduation on June 2.  8th graders were promoted to high school on June 7.  Waterville School was awarded a “Leader In Me” foundation grant, and we made plans for all staff summer professional development. Teacher Diane Petersen and students presented the “Literate About Biodiversity” project at the Governor’s Conference in Ellensburg on June 10. On June 11, students left for the summer and on June 12, construction crews began roof demolition! 

July 2012:  A short summer school program was planned, developed and taught for students in grades 4-8 by teacher Angie Dieshl.  Construction on the new roof and the fire protection sprinkler system continued.  Office staff took some much deserved time off and Principals attended a 4 day Leadership Conference in Seattle. 

August 2012:  Summer school and construction continued.  Principals attended professional development for TPEP.  School offices opened in mid August for orientation meetings, registration, and the beginning of high school volleyball and football practice.  “Leader In Me” staff training was held August 27 – 31 and the Shocker football season began. 

September 2012:  Students returned on September 5.  Work on curriculum, TPEP, the new Common Core standards, and our leadership model began again in earnest!  Students at all levels applied for student leadership jobs; elections were held and interviews took place.  Leaders were everywhere!  Thanks to Kimberly Gormley, new murals and signs appeared around the buildings to create an environment that highlights a culture of leadership. 

October 2012:  Crisis Management Team began work to update our district plan.  3 board members and I attended the WASDA conference in Spokane.  The Lighthouse Team met weekly (at 7 am) to plan the December 18 Leadership Day and spread the vision.  Staff continued to work on Common Core, TPEP, “Leader In Me” and Math alignment.  Students continued to fill leadership roles around the district. 

November 2012:  Leadership Day planning continued.  Thanksgiving break gave us time to reflect on the important things in life – health, family, friends . . . . On November 28, hundreds of people came to see (and hug) Mr. VanWinkle at an Open House co- hosted by Orondo and Waterville School districts. 

December 2012:  On December 18, Waterville’s first ever “Leadership Day” was a huge success, with over 100 students from grades Kindergarten through 12th grade participating in leadership roles!  Christmas break began on December 19.   

On December 26, Mr. VanWinkle lost his battle with cancer and we lost an amazing friend.  Our hearts and prayers are with Mrs. VanWinkle and the family. He touched so many people and we will never forget him.  

It is with a heavy heart but with much hope that I wish you all a Happy New Year!  Waterville School recognizes your support, understands your high expectations, and honors your vision for the kind of school we can become.  We pledge to work hard to meet our mission of “Creating Leaders Who T.H.R.I.V.E.” – trust, honor, respect, integrity, valor and evolving excellence. It is an honor to work with the Waterville staff and students and to live in a community that supports all aspects of our children’s education in such a positive way!  

Cathi Nelson, Superientendent/K-6 Principal 
Waterville School District    

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