MSHS = America’s Top High School List 2014

What an honor!

Once again, Mt. Spokane High School has been recognized by The Daily Beast as one of America’s Top High Schools for 2014. Taking five different indicators into account including ACT/SAT scores, graduation rate, rigor, college bound and free/reduced lunch data, high schools who qualify are ranked on their annual, prestigious list.

Mt. Spokane High School is only one of three local high schools to qualify for this honor. (The other two are Lewis & Clark and North Central.) Our ranking of 586 is the highest in the area, and we are thankful to our incredible teachers, students and community for creating an environment where our kids achieve incredible feats!

Congratulations, Wildcats!

Please click HERE to access The Daily Beast list.

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MSHS Thoughts to Marysville

Please take a moment to read the letter I penned to our community regarding the tragedy that occurred at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.

Our collective thoughts and prayers go out to all those directly impacted by the tragic events that transpired last Friday, October 23rd.



MSHS Experiences POMP at SFCC

POMP – Place of Most Potential

This acronym served as the title for a full-day workshop for high school students of color across the greater Spokane area. Held, organized and sponsored by Spokane Falls Community College, students were given the opportunity to attend breakout sessions focused on college life and admissions, listen to inspiring speakers and experience the community college setting this past Friday, October 23rd.

Among all schools, our contingent of 24 Mt. Spokane High School scholars was the largest. (Way to represent, ‘Cats!) Special thanks to staff member Jeff Naslund for attending, too!


Think-Know-Act-Go & Ready-Set-Grad

Earlier this fall I blogged regarding our work around college and career readiness and Dr. David Conley’s “Think-Know-Act-Go” work.  Today, I wanted to provide a resource from the Washington Student Achievement Council.

Ready. Set. Grad. is an interactive tool for parents, students and educators that aims to provide assistance through the college planning and admissions processes.  Students as early as 6th grade are able to access this tool, and I hope it proves valuable!

As always, please don’t hesitate to call our counselors for more information regarding college planning and admissions.  They can be reached daily at 465-7208.

Go ‘Cats!


Bell Reflections – What a Night!

The Bell has returned, students are excited, and there are many “thanks” to spread throughout our community.

Thanks to our booster club for serving hundreds of hungry Wildcat families for FREE. Setting up at 3:30pm and working until kickoff at 7:15pm, booster club members gave of their time to start a very memorable evening. THANK YOU!

Thanks to our Athletic Director, Paul Kautzman, for the numerous hours spent planning, stuffing programs, and coordinating with the Greater Spokane League. THANK YOU!

Thanks to Joanie Pringle-Jones and Jody Sanford for their work on the first-ever “Battle of the Bill” at Twigs. In addition to raising money for our school, this was a fantastic way to start our weekly festivities and added and extra element to the volleyball match on Thursday evening. Thanks, too, to these ladies for helping transport tailgate essentials including food, t-shirts and rally towels. . . you are appreciated! THANK YOU!

Thanks to Shane and Tony Rhodes for their tailgate assistance and helping to transport the bell to Joe Albi AND back home!  THANK YOU!

Thanks to Scott Jones, James Layman and our award-winning marching band for their performance of “The Heist” at halftime. The 2014 show was amazing both musically and visually, and our crowd was extremely impressed and appreciative of the hard work that was reflected on the field. THANK YOU!

Thanks to Nancy Butz and our Associated Student Body (ASB) for their leadership. Starting with the energetic assembly that ended the day on Thursday to our staging area before the game and the intense, fun, LOUD experience that extended through all four quarters at Joe Albi – THANK YOU! (Thanks, too, for the incredibly LARGE sign that covered our students – WOW!)

Thanks to our football coaches and players for their preparation and execution against Mead on Friday night. The evening could not, and would not, happen without your dedication to the game, and we appreciate the effort and class that was evident on the field. THANK YOU for representing Mt. Spokane High School in the best way possible. We are proud!

Finally, THANK YOU to our spirited, fun and proud student body. You did your part by coming to the game, staying engaged, and making it a night to remember. Truly, you were the 12th man!

The following pictures by team photographer Jason Davis represent the evening that the ‘Cats brought the bell back home. . . enjoy!


Millayna Klingback – An Inspiring Story


This is the word that MSHS staff member Millayna Klingback chose as the focus for the 2014-15 school year, and she is truly modeling the notion of what it means to be empowered.

Captured beautifully by KHQ, Millayna’s inspirational story is one of strength and hope. As a burn survivor, Millayna completed the Chicago Marathon this past weekend in support of the Phoenix Society to help raise awareness for burn victims and the support that is needed during recovery. Congratulations, Millayna, on your successful race!

We are fortunate to have Mrs. Klingback at MSHS each and every day. Thank you, Millayna, for how you support students!

Click HERE for the KHQ story.


What a Week!

A cup of coffee on Saturday morning always provides the opportunity to reflect on the previous week, and what a week it was for our Wildcats!

Junior and senior students visited with post-secondary representatives during the day. All 42 options then were organized for a community college and career fair that evening that brought over 200 people through our doors. What a great start to the week!

Racing at 4:00pm, both our girls and boys cross country teams defeated district-rival Mead at Mead High School. Nationally ranked Johnny Dressel paced our boys with Micaela Kostecka leading our girls. What a fantastic way to end a beautiful fall day!

For the first time since 2003, our varsity football team defeated 4A perennial power Ferris at Joe Albi Stadium. A back and forth affair, our boys never quit and made plays when they mattered most. This was a great momentum starter for our Bell game next week versus Mead High School!

Accentuating our evening, the Mt. Spokane Marching Band unveiled their 2014 marching show: The Heist. Halftime on the field was suddenly awash with our students giving an unbelievable performance, and this halftime show helped prepare our program for their first scored show of the season this weekend in Kennewick.

The Wildcat girls’ soccer team kept their perfect GSL record with a 3-1 against a talented Ferris squad. Additionally, our volleyball program started the Linda Sheridan Crossover Tournament in fine fashion with an opening win against Cheney. Great job, girls!


Scholarships? Where do we start?

While there are plenty of studies to support the power of post-secondary education, the largest barrier for many families lies in the financial commitment that is tied to the decision made after high school commencement.

As our college fair has now come and gone, I’m hoping the following resources may prove valuable for students entering their scholarship search. Remember, each and every dollar earned from a scholarship helps towards reducing the cost of tuition, books and room & board.

The first is Fastweb offers a targeted scholarship search based upon specific student information that is logged into their database. It’s absolutely free and worth the time needed for sign-up. Click HERE to register.

Next, provides a similar service to fastweb, but it’s based primarily in Washington state. Taken from their website, washboard states:

“Looking for scholarships? makes it simple.
We connect Washington students of all types with Washington scholarship providers….for FREE. Whether you’ll be attending in state or out, you save time by entering your profile once and letting us find the scholarship opportunities that fit. is spam-free and will never sell your information.”

Click HERE to register.

Finally, our Student Services department at MSHS has a dedicated webpage to provide students and parents valuable resources to aid with post-secondary planning.  Please click HERE to access this webpage.

Stay tuned for our annual financial aid night coming in November!


MSHS College Fair – Success!

Counselor Rob Renner didn’t leave MSHS until 9:00pm this past Monday night, but he was smiling from ear to ear as he entered the parking lot.

Due to the efforts of many staff members at Mt. Spokane High School, students and families were able to engage over forty colleges, universities, tech schools and military branches. Starting during the day, junior and senior students had the opportunity to sit and listen to representatives from three different post-secondary options of their choosing. As each session was thirty minutes in length, specifics about student life and financial aid could be addressed, and students left feeling like they had a greater appreciation for the institutions that were represented.

Then, on Monday evening, families across our district were invited to Mt. Spokane for a more traditional “college fair” scene. In addition to our vendors, four “mini-sessions” were held that focused on “Finding the Right Fit” – “Mapping Your Senior Year” – “Financial Literacy” and “What Makes a Great Student.” Over 200 people made their way through our hallways, and we are so thankful that MSHS was able to host.

We plan for this to be an annual event at Mt. Spokane High School, and we’re excited about the partnerships that are growing between our school community and higher education! Special thanks to staff members Rob Renner, Juli Kistler, Josh Cowart, Sue Dunfield and Nancy Butz for their support and organization. Additionally, kudos need to be extended to our incredible cooks and custodians for their support!

Go ‘Cats!