Spotlight – Mrs. Buccola, Olympic Elementary

Spotlight  – Q & A

Where did you grow up? I was born in New Jersey. My Dad got a job at Weyerhaeuser after graduating from Rutgers University. We moved to Longview when I was in the first grade.

What did your Dad do at Weyerhaeuser? Dad was a chemist.

Mrs. Buccola, Olympic Elementary

Where did you go to school? I went to Mint Valley for first grade. After my first year, we moved out to the country and I switched to Robert Gray. I attended Mark Morris High School, class of 1981.

What was Mark Morris like? I loved high school and really enjoyed the teachers. I went to every sporting event, did score keeping for boy’s baseball and was on the track team.

Is your husband from around here? Yes, my husband Steve is an RA Long graduate, class of 1977.

Do you have kids? Yes, we have two boys, Justin and Nick, both Mark Morris graduates who still live in town.

How long have you worked for the school district? I’ve worked for the district for 21 years, but before that, I volunteered for about 4 years.

Who was the principal at Olympic 21 years ago? Karen Acker.

What are some of the benefits of working in the library? The nice thing about working in the library is you get to establish and build a relationship with every student in the school.

Is your job different now versus 21 years ago? The job of a para has changed immensely. Previously I spent most of my time in the library. I am not in the library as much anymore. Twenty years ago, we were called “teacher’s aide”. You would be in one room, or maybe two rooms, a day. We didn’t move around a lot. You went into each room and whatever the teacher told you to do is what you did.

What is the job like now? Now, we have supervisors who plan our detailed schedules. We have special planning meetings with the teachers we work with. We are much more highly skilled in the specific curriculum areas we work in. We are more a partner to the teachers now than just an “aide”.

What is your work schedule like now? This year our scheduling changed immensely. The majority of paras in our building are teaching the 95% reading intervention program. To reach as many students as possible, I travel to five different classrooms throughout the day. Teaching time in the classrooms is tight, so I update and organize my materials daily so I am ready to begin teaching as soon as I walk into a classroom.

What is your focus right now? Right now, I’m teaching reading intervention to small groups in Kindergarten thru 4th grade, plus my library duties.

What is the best part of your job? The relationships with the kids. Building those positive relationships with kids is so gratifying. One of the main reasons I like working in the library so much is because books are great conversation starters. I learn what books a child likes; if they enjoy a specific author, series or subject, and talking about those books creates a connection with them.

How has school changed over the last 20 years? I think many families are more transient today than in the past. That transient nature is really tough on the kids. I feel that’s one reason why building good relationships with kids is so important.

Does the transient nature of things make your job harder? Yes it does. There are so many stories that just break your heart. However, there’s a lot of good things going on too.

Did the internet change anything in the library? Maybe a little bit. The strengths and focus of the librarian affects things more. Our currently librarian is technologically savvy and outstanding.

What are the keys to being a good reader? Having a good teacher who has great relationships with students, so the students know they are cared about is a great starting point. Kids have to know you want them to succeed. When you have strong relationships with kids they work harder – they don’t want to disappoint you.

What is it like to work in the schools? It’s fun, it really is. Kids are fun! It’s awesome working in a small group and seeing the lightbulb go off. And I love working in the library, libraries are wonderful places.

What is your outlook on the future? The outlook for the future is positive. The staff at Olympic Elementary is amazing. We all want what is best for the kids and we work together to make sure all the kid’s needs are met.

Is it like family at Olympic? Oh yes, we are a family here. The staff here is very cohesive. Everyone has my back. Our principal is a good leader that I can talk to when I need things.

What do you do after work? I’m involved at my church where I’m a deacon. I love to travel. Spending time with my family is always a top priority. In my downtime I love to read and I enjoy working on puzzles.

Tell me about a trip you’ve taken? My brother and I did a road trip with our parents two summers ago to visit relatives in New Jersey. We were gone for a month and a half. I really loved staying in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia – the museums and history in that area is so interesting.

Did your family drive across county when you moved to Longview as a kid? Yes, when my family moved out here we drove. We visited Mt Rushmore along the way. On our recent trip with our parents two summers ago we visited Mt. Rushmore again. As an adult, Mt Rushmore wasn’t as big as I remember, but it was still impressive!

Do you have any family trips planned? We are getting ready for a big family trip this year during Spring Break – everybody is going to Hawaii. Hawaii is the only state my parents have not been to. Ten years ago, on our parent’s 50th anniversary, the family went to Sicily. Now on our parent’s 60th wedding anniversary we are going to Hawaii.

2019-01-30T22:39:48+00:00January 30th, 2019|

Calendar information 2019-2020 school year

Planning for vacation and family celebrations is important. While final details of the next year’s school calendar are not yet finished, several important key dates are set. To help you with planning below are important dates for the 2019-2020 school year. These dates have been finalized and approved by the School Board. (Please note the calendar for Broadway Learning Center is different and parents should check with Broadway for 2019-2020 calendar dates.)

Event Date
First day of school August 28, 2019
Winter holiday December 23, 2019 – January 3, 2020
Spring Break April 6-10, 2020
High school graduation June 6, 2020
Last day of school June 11, 2020

A more detailed 2019-2020 school calendar will be sent to parents and families in the Spring. If you have questions please contact your local school.

2019-01-25T22:05:18+00:00January 25th, 2019|

Olympic Champions 1-18-19


Reading: Josiah Larson; Cohen Saavedra; Adrian Vazquez-Alcaraz; Akayleah Barnes; Conner Ward; Bailee Smith;  Jacob Craft-Taylor; Erandi Murillo; Kianna Palow; Madison Peters; Antonio Teodoro-Andres; Jason Cifuentes;

Math: Nathan Nation; Xander Potter; Wyatt Schulz; Mekhia Scott; Wyatt Hill; Chase Sanger; Marc Rasmussen;

Science: Joseph Merchant;



Respectful: Soshana Robeson; Olivia Price;

Safe: Gabryle Dietz;

Cooperation: Morgan Brown;

Kindness: Micah Welch; Sosa Thacker;

2019-01-18T21:12:04+00:00January 18th, 2019|

Capital bond information and input sessions

Longview Public Schools plans to put a capital bond measure to voters later this year. Capital bonds raise funds for school districts to upgrade facilities and build new schools.

To provide citizens information about the bond measure three community input sessions will be held. At the meeting you will get information on the facility upgrades and changes the district’s Facilities Advisory Committee has recommended.

Thursday, January 24 at 6 pm, district administrative offices next to RA Long High School – 2715 Lilac Street.

Wednesday, January 30 at 5 pm, Mark Morris High School.

Tuesday, February 5 at 5 pm, Mint Valley Elementary School.

We hope to see you at one of the community input sessions.

2019-01-25T18:07:08+00:00January 15th, 2019|

Olympic Champions 1-11-19


Reading: Elias Contreras- Chavez; MaryKate Walliby; Gabby Tovar-Bacall; Paige Rogers; Hali Miller; Peyton Boyd; Leeland Hoyt; Elijah King; Elexis Barnes; Ava Luther; Mikalah Carson; Corbin Kemp;

Math: Touseng Moua; Christopher Gomez; Bryden Jeffries; Xander Fallis; Natalie Ramirez; Hudson Good-Mazzucchi; Kimberly Yescas; Zane Barge; Jacob Craft-Taylor;



Respectful: Hallei Ritchie;

Being Safe: Bybi Chavez-Gaytan;

Responsible: Lily Nelson;

Kindness: Kimmy Cadena-Marquez; Lexie Docherty; DeAndre Hollins; Ellie Hodges; Victor Contreras Salas;

2019-01-11T20:58:01+00:00January 11th, 2019|

Olympic Champions 1-4-19


Reading: Adrian Vazquez-Alcaraz;Xander Potter; Gianni Thomas- Giles; Slater Register; Taneisha Clevenger; Linda Shortridge; Mathias Collinsworth; Hunter Barnes; Jillian Woodruff;

Math: Wyatt Schultz; Ryder Worel; Jeremy Flores-Salinas; Parker Holian;



Respectful: Shane Pederson; Aron Vazquez- Alcaraz;

Safe: Anthony Armenta;

Responsible: Kimberly Yescas Martinez; Simon Allen; Elexis Barnes;

Kindness: Elizabeth Lee; Viviana Tover Carino; Emiliano Araiza; Analani Magana- Gonzalez;

Striving for Excellence: Ahriya Milian;

2019-01-04T19:09:08+00:00January 4th, 2019|

Olympic Champions 12-21-18


Reading: Xander Potter; Braelynn Vossen; Jonah Harriman; Sebastian Roth; Olivia Burch; Zeek Norbury; Brayden Harriman;

Math: Maria Jaime-Galindo; Ximena Araiza; Hailey Conrad; Kassidy McClure; Alex Banuelos; Thomas Moulton; Conner Ward; Dimitri Gerritson-Riley; Liliana Andron; Aurora Perton; Reese Hotchkiss; Ryan Pickering; Kolbi Anderson;

Writing: Zoey Jason; Banessa Contreras-Salas;

P.E. : Issac Luther; Sabas Rojas-Aguilar; Sarah Greenly;



Respectful: Gavin Owens; Abbie Williams; Skylar Esponde; Palix Beatty; Jewel Bent; Bowynn Hasty;

Responsible: Thatcher Register; Camdyn Crigger; Trinity Gillette; Alex Carson; Brooklyn Frank; Emily Esponde; Natalia Gonzales;

Cooperate: Issac Luther; Jaxson Rivenes;

Kindness: Steven Reddington; Lane Pfeifer; Logan Cress; Irosy Karuo; Kalena Erece; Erandi Murillo;

Striving for Excellence: Nakeila Stachowiak;


2018-12-21T20:35:15+00:00December 21st, 2018|

Winter break early release and January back-to-school

Longview students will be released early on Friday, December 21, 2018 to begin their winter vacation.  Release times are:

  • Elementary schools – two hours earlier than regular release time
  • Cascade – 11:45am release
  • Monticello – 11:50am release
  • Mt. Solo – 11:55am release
  • High schools – 11:50am release

Students return back to school on Wednesday, January 2, 2019. Students will be released one hour early on that day.

Broadway Learning Center has no school on Friday, Dec. 21. School resumes for Broadway students on Thursday, January 3, 2019.


2019-01-03T00:27:18+00:00December 20th, 2018|

Ten district teachers earn National Board Certification

Great news for ten teachers in Longview Public Schools – they are now Nationally Board Certified.  Five teachers from Olympic Elementary School including Jennifer Sharer, Carmen Hewitt, Angela Richards, Angela Guinn and Shawna Wilson all  recently earned Board Certification. Additionally, from Mark Morris High School Diondra Beck and Lauren Princehouse earned certification along with Jamie Axon of Mt. Solo Middle School, Kristen Peterson from Monticello Middles School and Stacey Niemi from Columbia Valley Gardens.

According to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, certification was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. It is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education.

Created by teachers, for teachers, the National Board Standards represent a consensus among educators about what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do. The certification process requires that teachers demonstrate standards-based evidence of the positive effect they have on student learning in alignment with the Five Core Propositions. They must exhibit a deep understanding of their students, content knowledge, use of data and assessments and teaching practice. They must also show that they participate in learning communities and provide evidence of ongoing reflection and continuous learning.

Olympic Principal Mike Mendenhall said, “To take on a huge amount of work outside class to reach the goal of being Board Certified shows their dedication to our students and the school. I’m appreciative and thankful for their hard work.”




2018-12-11T22:55:29+00:00December 10th, 2018|
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