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November 20, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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November 20, 2014

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Page A-28 - Mason County Journal - Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 .S continued from page A-1 the school district has 306 cer- da Hirschi said. college is available to them." tificated employees, up seven Administrators from Shel- Anderson said CHOICE Jarvis gave overviews of the from the previous year. Certifi- ton High School and CHOICE needs to offer more varied class- district's finances and person- cated employees include teach- Alternative School also ad-es, such as science labs, foreign nel, saying the district was ers and administrators, dressed the School Board dur- language, and career and techni- "healthy, but not flush." The district also has 259 ing the meeting, cal education on campus to meet Each year, the school dis- classified employees, up four The No Child Left Behind current graduation require- trict is briefed on the status of from the previous year. TheAct requires some schools to ments. Currently, CHOICE stu- the district's finances and per- new classified employees are present school improvement dents must go to Shelton High sonnel levels, mostly paraeducators, he said. plans based on test scores.School or do Running Start to Jarvis reported that the dis- Jarvis advised that the dis- CHOICE Alternative School complete these credits. trict had about 6.8 percent of trict should begin hiring new Principal Stacey Anderson Anderson said attendance its expenditures in reserve. He teachers and employees for said her school's priority is to is a problem at the school, told the School Board this was next school year in February increase graduation rates and and noted that many students a good ratio, but that 8.5 per- and March rather than June.prepare students for the next struggle with mental illnesses, cent wouldbeideal. He also said the district phase of their lives, drug use, homelessness and He said about 80 percent ofshould make an effort to hire a The alternative school's teen parenthood. the district's $48 million 2014- diverse set of teachers, includ- graduation rate is just below Shelton High School Principal 2015 budget is spent on person- ing native Spanish speakers. 50 percent, Anderson said. Wanda Berndtson said students nel costs and told board mem- "I think this is absolute- "It's not about the rate; it's at SHS are resilient, but said bers this was an ideal ratio, ly the way we ought to go,"about the kids," she said. "We the community needs to build a Jarvis also reported that School Board President Bren- want our students to feel like sense of pride in the school. "This is an amazing place. We're doing great things," she said. "We dream of a community that has a positive image of us." School Board members Hirschi, Gene Crater and Cheryl Williams thanked the administrators for their re- ports. School Board member Sandy Tarzwell was not pres- ent at the Nov. 12 meeting. "I think they've got some re- ally great ideas," Crater said. "I think the trick is, how do we pull off some of these ideas?" The Shelton School Board's next meeting is scheduled for 5:45 p.m. Tuesday at its meet- ing room at CHOICE Alterna- tive School. The board also has meetings scheduled on Dec. 2 and Dec. 4. S. rts weigh" use continued from page A- 1 in the late 1980s and early 1990s, while arrests for heroin were rare, he said. Methamphetamine became more popular about 10 years ago in Shelton, Watson said. Then many residents in their teens and 20s started getting high on such prescription opiate drugs as Oxycontin, he said. When drug manufacturers changed the composition of the pills so they can't be smoked on foil, many users shifted to heroin, Watson said. Ross said her daughter was intro- duced to methamphetamine and then switched to heroin, "and I kind of said 'Thank God,' " because the recovery rate of heroin is better than the recov- ery rate of meth," she said. But then, "The biggest nightmare was the heroin pregnancy," Ross said. Three days after her daughter left the hospital, Ross caught her texting for drugs. Her daughter's son was born addict- ed to heroin and now is Ross's care. Ross said her daughter been through rehab many times, "so it's hard to imagine what will work." At one treat- ment program, $30,000 bought her the slogan "Let Go, Let God," she said. "What I can't do is make her change ... I was trying to save my child's life," Ross said. Her daughter sells drugs and steals and is usually arrested for a secondary offense, but at least she's clean while she's incarcerated, Ross said. "Jail is a safer place for her," she said. Ross said 30-day chemical treatment programs are too short; her daughter after 30 days "is just coming out of the fog." She suggested a minimum of 90- day treatments and said the Affordable Care Act will help patients pay for the treatment. Grapeview resident Robert LaCount told the members of the League he was addicted to methamphetamine from the ages of 14 to 49. He said his turn- ing point came when he encountered his stepdaughter, who had run away from home when she was 17. Every time he stepped forward to talk to her, she stepped back. In 2008, LaCount was charged with possession of meth with intent to dis- tribute and spent 30 days in jail before being released into drug treatment. Six years ago, he founded the first Washington chapter of Crystal Meth Anonymous inside a former Shelton church. He has since helped launch 12 support groups in three counties. "Iql be addicted the rest of my life," LaCount said. "Ill never be fixed." Nevertheless, constantly participat- ing in support meetings "beats the beck out of sitting in prison," he said. It's very difficult for an addict who is being released from prison to find a clean and sober place to stay in Shel- ton, LaCount said. More community programs, such as recovery houses, are needed, he said. Ben Johnson, a health educator and case manager for Mason County Public Health, said his agency is work- ing to prevent youths from turning to drugs. The agency presents programs in the classrooms at Olympic Middle School, Oakland Bay Junior High and Shelton High School but wants to offer the programs to elementary students as well, he said. The final speaker was Dennis Neal, who has worked as a chemical depen- dency counselor for 28 years and owns Northwest Resources in downtown Shelton. Like Lt. Watson, Neal said he has seen the drug of choice in Shelton change from cocaine to methamphet- amine to heroin. "It's very cheap," he said. "It's cheap- er than booze." The costs associated with heroin use "are humongous," Neal said. "The good news is that recovery is possible." continued from page A- 1 cooperative programs that offer food at reduced rates and some- times for free. Cash donations are used to buy some of the extras, in- cluding meats and holiday foods. The volunteers try to get meat to each family, Fleck said. "Protein is a big important thing," she said. "It's one of the harder things to get because it's more expensive." The pantry always welcomes the donation of other types of pro- tein, including peanut butter and .S pop-top cans of soup, Fleck said. Safeway customers can also purchase special $10 bags of food that will be donated to the pantry. Anyone who wants to volunteer to hand out fliers at Safeway is asked to talk to the store manager. Food is distributed from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at the North Ma- son Resources building at 140 NE state Route 300. The Community Food Pantry has no paid employ- ees; all are volunteers. Recently, some homeless youths who are couch surfing came in for food, Fleck said. She said they melted when she offered them some hot chocolate. "You saw years of hardship just fall away, and the light in the young people that they are sup- posed to have," Fleck said. She added, "That little bit of kindness means the world to them." The nonprofit needs more vol- unteers, including a bookkeeper, a tax consultant and a grant writer. To donate time, food or money, call Fleck at 552-2304. Anyone interest- ed in serving on the board of direc- tors can call Dixon at 253-273-6187. '07 JEEP '07 Dodge 1500 Hemi COMMANDER Bighorn Edition 64K miles, Hemi 84K Miles, one One owner owner '97 Chevy 2010 F350 K2500 4x4 Superduty 83K, Always garaged. 53K Miles, loaded! Really clean, Fuel efficient diesel nice track! apP y.. T n k sn gg "r u lt~rmal ef fa~4ttn all v=hidm m all w.ldd~ Vin #s posted at dealership Next to Shell, NE 23791 Hwy. 3 Belfair ~ Bob, Jackie orMark ,-:::c~ .......... Deadline for' the ~::~:-~ November 27 Journal is S" ~ Friday, November 21 :;~ at 5:00 p.m. The Journal office will be closed November 27 & 28 f6al and Belfair Herald