Riverstone Staff

First Harvest

By | Academic Excellence, Community & Service | No Comments

The former asphalt-parking-spaces-turned-community-garden is ready for its first harvest of the season! Jim Harper, the driving force behind getting this garden up and growing, invited our Grade 4 students to come out and thin the radishes. While they were at it, many of them did some taste tasting on the fresh produce. Even Head of School, Bob Carignan, was in on the action!

Chinese Spring Festival

By | International Understanding, Teachers & Staff | No Comments

One of our international students, Lily, invited our Grade 4 teacher, Kerry Fitzharris, to a Chinese Spring Festival party with other international students this past weekend. Kerry and Lily made cookies together and then gathered with the other students at the home of one of our Riverstone host families to enjoy lots of delicious food, socialize, and share Chinese traditions. When Lily woke up the next morning for Chinese New Year, she found the presents that Kerry had wrapped for her as a surprise.

The Chinese New Year tradition is to reconcile, forget all grudges and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone. How wonderful is that?

Teachers Back in Action

By | Academic Excellence, Teachers & Staff | No Comments

Riverstone’s teachers spent the day working in their re-accreditation teams in preparation for next year’s re-accreditation visit by the Pacific Northwest Association of Independent Schools (PNAIS). Accreditation provides school leadership, families, staff, and the general public with an independent, non-governmental validation that the school is effectively delivering a quality educational experience to their students.

The five core values that PNAIS accredited schools follow are:

Independence in determining their own missions and philosophies, are self-governing and self supporting without substantial dependence on government, other entities, or individuals.

Encouragement of free and open inquiry in which students are taught to think critically and to challenge their own perspective and others of others.

Commitment to diversity and creating a community of students, families, trustees, and staff from as many diverse backgrounds and perspectives as possible.

Commitment to ongoing improvement through a continuous process of research, reflection, and on-going improvement that enables schools to stay relevant to their missions and to the students and families they serve.

Voluntary operating in accordance with collegial relationships and ethical leadership within the Association.

To learn more about the Pacific Northwest Association of Independent Schools, visit their website .

Riverstone Annual Variety Show

By | Community & Service, Leadership by Example, Teachers & Staff, Visual and Performing Arts | No Comments

Last Friday night offered families three events to enjoy in one fell swoop. Our Parents’ Association hosted a pizza dinner while families previewed the Scholastic Book Fair, both followed by our Annual Variety Show.

Showcasing our community’s talent and creativity, the Variety Show has become a Riverstone tradition. This year, we had first graders who wrote and performed, “Will You Be My Friend?” and fifth graders who wrote and performed, “This Is How You Otter.” We had dancers, musicians, thespians, comedians, and an international student who taught himself to use nunchucks from YouTube videos! Our Senior IB Music Class ended the show with an awesome rendition of “Train in Vain” by The Clash, causing spontaneous dancing to erupt on the sidelines.

The best part of the show, however, was the standing ovation for Music teacher, Alison Steven, who has made this whacky, zany, wonderful tradition one that Riverstone can call all its own.

Wildnerness First Aid Training

By | Outdoor Education, Teachers & Staff | No Comments

Ben Brock, Riverstone’s Outdoor Education Program Coordinator, is responsible for the successful outcome of all of Riverstone’s outdoor adventures, whether they are short half day rafting trips, two nights of snow cave camping, or five day backpacking trips through Hells Canyon. Not an easy job. The logistics of planning Riverstone’s outdoor trips involves evaluating everything from transportation, weather conditions, terrain, food, students’ health, students’ equipment, group assignments, and more. But the most important aspect of our outdoor education is ensuring the safety of all involved. Should a situation arise that requires medical attention, we need to know that trip leaders are prepared.

To that point, earlier this week, Ben arranged for sixteen staff members to spend two days on Wilderness First Aid training led by Experiential Adventures, LLC. Not only did the coursework include online computer testing but hands on simulations. Congratulations to our staff who passed their certifications and many thanks to Mat Erpelding from Experiential Adventures for making this tough course so enjoyable.

Without a doubt, we are sending our students outdoors with prepared leaders!

Mat has written about his training session with Riverstone on his blog at http://experientialadventures.com/blog/. Check it out!

New Head of School Beginning 2011-2012

By | Teachers & Staff, Uncategorized | No Comments

The following letter was sent to all parents and staff members at Riverstone. Congratulations, Bob!

Dear Riverstone International School Community Members:

After an extensive global search, I am very pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees has selected Bob Carignan as the new Head of School beginning in the 2011-2012 school year. Over the last three years, Bob has served as the High School Director, Director of College Counseling, and Assistant Head of School, and therefore, Bob is uniquely qualified to lead Riverstone through the next phase of growth and development. Bob and Andrew will work closely together over the next six months to ensure that the School has a seamless leadership transition on July 1, 2011.

The search for a new Head of School was highly competitive. The process was lead by John Sims and a committee that included 3 faculty members, 2 current parents, and 3 Trustees. The search process took place during an intense hiring period in the independent school world, and we were fortunate to receive over 40 applications for the position. The committee was thrilled to have had 3 finalists, two of which were ultimately invited to sit for interviews.

Over the last 25 years, Bob has enjoyed a successful and diverse career. He graduated from Brown University with a degree in English and Economics, and pursued a career in the financial world with Cargill. Over the next 15 years, Bob traded financial derivatives for various firms on the Chicago exchange.

In 2000, Bob and his wife, Laurel, moved their family to Boise, Idaho, and Bob decided to follow his lifelong passion and pursue a career in education. He received his Masters in Education from Boise State University in December 2006. He joined Riverstone in 2002, and over the last 9 years, he has made a significant contribution to the success of our School. Bob is a well respected teacher. During his teaching career he taught courses in English, History, and Economics. He played a key role in the development of the School’s English curriculum, and gaining authorized with the IB Organization. Additionally, Bob was instrumental in developing Riverstone’s highly acclaimed college counseling program. Over the years, Bob has provided invaluable advice to our Grade 11 and 12 students, and the resulting admission results and scholarship offers speak for themselves.

In his role as Assistant Head of School, Bob participated in Riverstone’s strategic planning process, and chaired the programs committee which created the plan for our academic, athletic, and extracurricular programs. Bob has supported a number of our service learning and outdoor trips, and has a unique ability to understand and mentor Riverstone’s students. Bob has also participated in the National Association of Independent School’s (NAIS) Aspiring Heads Program.

Bob has a clear vision for what Riverstone needs to focus on to achieve the School’s vision as outlined in our strategic plan. He has a strong understanding of the Riverstone culture, and has a proven record of success. He is respected by the students that he teaches, their parents, and the faculty that he works with on a day to day basis.

Personally, I have a high degree of confidence in Bob’s abilities, and his potential to lead Riverstone through the next phase of improvement and growth. Please join me in congratulating Bob on his new role.

I would like to thank John Sims, and the entire search committee for their tireless work in conducting the search process. This is not easy work, but the entire team did a wonderful job, and I am very pleased with the outcome.


Kurt R. Liebich
President, Board of Trustees