South Whidbey School Board approves traveling plans

"South Whidbey's School District's unofficial song could be Ricky Nelson's Traveling Man, at least judging by action taken at the last board meeting.The board on Feb. 26 approved several travel plans to such disparate destinations as Portland, Phoenix and Huntsville, Alabama.Intermediate School Teacher Pam Muncey was given permission for parents in her class to drive the students to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland for an overnight visit. Cost will be $33 per student, which parents will pay. Scholarships are available for the needy through a Soroptimist donation.Principal Doug Hale described Muncey's class as one that is highly motivated to do something special. Muncey said her class of 4th and 5th graders will arrive May 9 after normal museum hours for special hands-on learning. The children will eat and sleep at museum facilities. A highlight will be visiting a submarine moored on the Willamette River.Middle school Principal Greg Willis was given permission to attend the March 8-13 National Association of Secondary Schools Annual Convention in Phoenix, Ariz. Willis estimated the cost at $1,650. Superintendent Dr. Martin Laster noted that the trip is part of the principal's contract, while Willis said he has benefited from similar conferences in the past. A more elaborate trip headed by retired teacher Pam Westling and paraeducator Estela Avila was also approved. They will take 24 students in grades 4 through 10 to the Space Camp, Space Academy and Aviation Challenge in Huntsville, Ala., from March 25-30. It's all part of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center supported by NASA.Westling said this will be the fourth time she's taken a group of students to Huntsville, and several students spoke glowingly of their experiences there.The students are trained as astronauts and pilots, Westling said. Some students are making return trips for more advanced training. There are 12 boys and 12 girls, the first time there have been as many girls as boys, Westling said.Cost of Space Camp ranges from $1,025 to $1,225 for each student. Parents are responsible for paying, although fund-raisers are planned.In other business Monday, Supt. Laster said the search for a new intermediate school principal is down to the final four, including interim principal Doug Hale. The four were to be interviewed Feb. 28. and Laster said the final choice would be presented to the school board this month. "

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