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Crystal Apple Award recognizes Hanford High teacher

Rachael Morgan, German and AVID teacher and former dance team coach at Hanford High School, has been named a recipient of the 2018 Tri-Cities Crystal Apple Award. The award will be presented at the 20th annual Crystal Apple Awards ceremony March 15 in Pasco. Community businesses coordinate the program to honor exceptional educators and innovative instruction in the

Tri-Cities area.

“Rachael is passionate about helping students learn and grow,” says principal Tory Christensen. “She encourages students to reach their full potential.”

When Morgan started teaching German in 2007, the program was declining and lacking in numbers. Eleven years later, the number of students has doubled with Hanford High now offering the largest German program in the Tri-Cities.

“Rachael has a gift for creating personal connections with students….meaningful connections that contribute to each student's life…both in the classroom and beyond,” adds Christensen.

The Hanford High School Falcon Fever Dance Team had much success under Morgan’s leadership. In her nine years of coaching, the HHS girls earned eleven state championship titles. And yet Morgan says there was something much more important going on than winning trophies.

“Empowering these young girls to be the best they could be and encouraging them to excel in all aspects of their lives were the more important goals,” explains Morgan. “The real ‘wins’ were each time a dancer made a positive life choice over a negative, helped a teammate in need, or achieved higher goals than she once thought possible.”



SafeSchools Online Alert System

The Richland School District is rolling out SafeSchools Online Alert System at all secondary school’s effective March 1st.

SafeSchools Online Alert System enables students, staff, parents/guardians, and community members to submit tips online regarding issues such as, but not limited to, cyberbullying, harassment, threats, weapons, drugs, mental illness, domestic abuse, family/home issues and suspicious activities.  Additional information is located at Board of Directors report.

The system supports submittal of anonymous tips. However, providing as much information as possible will help the district respond more quickly and efficiently when resolving issues.

The next step will be implementing SafeSchools at RSD elementary schools. That will take place sometime this spring. We will provide another update when that is operational. Please continue to work directly with your elementary school staff as needed.  However, if you prefer, you can submit a tip via SafeSchools and we will route the tip accordingly.

Attached is the SafeSchools Online Alert System flyer for your review/use, please feel free to share with your students, friends, and family.  The system is accessible online https://rsd-wa.safeschoolsalert.com/ or http://1610.alert1.us.  In order to view the introductory videos, you must use a browser that supports Flash/Shockwave.

Contact Mike Leseberg, Executive Director of Information Technology at Mike.Leseberg@rsd.edu with questions or for additional information.

SafeSchools Alert Flyer.pdf 

Way To Go!

The Veterans of Foreign Wars announced that Hanford High School senior Hannah Doyle is the winner of the Washington State Voice of Democracy audio essay contest.


In her winning entry (essay link), Doyle addressed the theme of this year’s contest “American History: Our Hope for the Future”. Doyle is one of 53 National Finalists who are receiving an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C.

HHS student selected for prestigious Youth Senate Program


The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) announces that Hanford High School senior Eman Ahmed will join Senator Patty Murray and Senator Maria Cantwell in representing Washington in the nation’s capital March 3-10 during the 56th annual USSYP Washington Week. Ahmed was selected from among the state’s top student leaders to be part of the 104 student delegation who will also each receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study.




At the Richland Invite on Saturday, October 8th during their Cross Country race, a girl collapsed next to Kara Shibley.  Kara stopped and cared for the girl who had passed out and was not responding, but did have a pulse.  Kersten saw the situation and ran to get a parent of one of our runners (Mr. Taylor) and then got back into the race.  Kara stayed with the girl until she was assured things were ok and then started running again.  Both of these girls exemplified what we want in our young people.  They noticed a situation where help was needed and responded.  So often, we may see a situation but assume someone else will respond – and no one does. – Coach Sean Mars

Students honored for commitment to school

At Tuesday night's Richland School Board meeting, Hanford High School principal Tory Christensen recognized students Gabe Grenz, Makayla RattyDaunte Blackwell,and Briana Martinez for their improved efforts and decision making. “These students are committed to being at school every day, having a positive attitude, and staying on track academically.”

Hanford High teacher recognized for career readiness efforts

Laurie Price, Career Choices and Work Based Learning teacher at Hanford High School, has been named Teacher of the Year for Career Counseling and Employment Readiness by the Washington Association of Career and Technical Education. “Laurie is continually interacting with employers, helping them understand the value of providing job placement opportunities for special needs students,” says Claudia Cooley, CTE Director for the Richland School District. “Her efforts have resulted in life-changing opportunities for students."



Falcon Attendance


  • Students should miss no more than 9 days each year to stay engaged, successful and on track to graduation. 
  • By 9th grade, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.
  • Missing 10%, or about 18 days, of the school year can drastically affect a student’s academic success.
  • Students can be chronically absent even if they only miss a day or two every few weeks.

Kiera Lucas earns WSU cheer spot

Congratulations to Hanford High School senior Kiera Lucas on earning a spot on next year's Washington State University cheer squad. Kiera has been an integral member of the HHS cheer squad the past four years. She carries a 3.9 GPA while being active with Key Club, National Honor Society, and student leadership. "Kiera is the epitome of what a student-athlete should be," noted Kim Mayer, HHS cheer coach.