Education Briefly: New Toledo Mascot Meeting Dates; Onalaska Teacher Recognized by Nonprofit


Editor’s Note: Education Briefly is a new weekly feature of The Chronicle. Each Tuesday, Reporter Eric Rosane will round up news from the local education scene. He can be reached at

Toledo Schools Update Dates for Mascot Focus Groups

The Toledo School District has revised dates to meet with stakeholders regarding its ongoing effort to change its Indians mascot.

“In order to be able to get our focus group results to students and have them vote on their preferred mascot name, it is necessary to shorten our timeline and finish the focus groups by (June 2),” the district wrote last week on its Facebook page.

District staff will hear from their coaches and other members of staff during a meeting on Tuesday, May 25. Alumni will have their choice to voice their thoughts at a meeting the next day on Wednesday, and the district will open up the mic to all community stakeholders at a Thursday meeting.

The district will hold a meeting Tuesday, June 1, for anyone who wishes to participate.

All meetings will be held at 6 p.m. at the new Toledo High School commons, except for the June 1 meeting which will take place on Zoom video conferencing. Masks and social distancing are required.

So far, the district has heard from Indigenous people and parents.


Mossyrock Kindergarten Open House Set for Wednesday

The Mossyrock School District will host an open house for incoming kindergarten students at 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 26, for families to meet their teachers and see their classrooms.

Staff is encouraging parents and students to come out to the meet-and-greet and finish their enrollment packet. Attendees will receive a summer learning goody bag as well.

More information can be found on the district’s Facebook page.


Onalaska Middle School Teacher Honored as 2021 EarthGen Green Medalist Recipient

Deb Richardson, a teacher at Onalaska Middle School, was recognized last week as a recipient of EarthGen’s Green Medalist program.

“Working in a conservative community, Onalaska Middle School teacher and Green Team leader Deborah Richardson has exemplified the characteristics of a Green Medalist,” wrote the Seattle nonprofit.

“She fearlessly leads her community in environmental actions like invasive species removal; effectively includes families and administrators in discussions about climate science and epidemiology; and faces opposition with resilience, grace, and solid data.”

EarthGen is an organization that “guides and supports youth, educators and school communities to become leaders for a healthy environment.” It focuses on bringing knowledge and skills to underserved education communities.

It often hosts community projects and is involved in school certifications.

Richardson and eight other educators and community members were recognized for their commitment to making their schools healthier and a greener place to live, their willingness to value others and make them feel welcomed, and for their persistence in the face of obstacles and setbacks.

“These characteristics were more important than ever this school year, and Washington’s educational communities were fortunate to have champions working to ensure that environmental learning continued, even during the pandemic,” EarthGen staff said.