Ashley LodatoBy Ashley Lodato

Congratulations to Liberty Bell High School Spanish and English teacher Adam Kaufman, who received word over the weekend that he has passed his National Board Certification, which is an advanced teaching credential awarded to applicants who have proven to advance student learning and achievement. The school-year-long application process is grueling enough, but the six-month wait for results can be excruciating.

Only 70 percent of National Board candidates pass the voluntary, rigorous, peer-reviewed certification process each year, so Adam’s colleagues and friends are very proud – but not surprised – that Adam is among those who passed. Adam was the only teacher from the Methow Valley School District who took on the National Board Certification last year, but a couple of others are undertaking it this year and we wish them the best.

Snow at Washington Pass has had many Methow families out seeking fresh tracks on their Nordic equipment. Rita at Winthrop Mountain Sports has handed out something like 170 pairs of skis, boots and poles to about 70 young skiers through the rental program she subsidizes for the Methow Valley Nordic Team, many members of whom are spending Thanksgiving at Silver Star to get a jump start on the ski season.

I received word about two former members of the ski team – Sadie and Erik Bjornsen – both of whom are hoping to be on the U.S. team going to the Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in February.  Sadie is currently in Europe, where she’ll be racing until the end of March. She just got fifth place in a 10K classic race in Beitostølen, Norway, the day after her 24th birthday – a pretty sweet gift to herself and to her team.

Erik, meanwhile, is racing in the states until January, with an upcoming race in Bozeman, Mont., that Tom and Mary Bjornsen will head over to watch. This is Erik’s last year as a U23 and he has pre-qualified for the U23 World Championships in Val di Fiemme, Italy at the end of January.

I was recently at a timber frame house raising party and at one point nearly every adult (including me) had some sort of camera raised, recording the event. Someone looked around and asked, “Were we there or did we just experience it digitally?” We all laughed, but the point was well-taken. It’s one worth remembering as we head into the upcoming holidays of gratitude, family, and celebration. Let’s be there, eh?