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EHS August Newsletter     

                                                                                                           August Newsletter (printer friendly)

Principal’s Message

Hello EHS students and families. My name is Rod Merrell and I am excited to be the new principal of Enumclaw High School. I have officially moved to Enumclaw and I am looking forward to a great school year and to the opportunity to become an active member of the community. This summer I have tried to immerse myself in all things Enumclaw. I have hiked Pinnacle Peak, ran around Deep Lake, ate too much pizza from Cascadia Pizza, experienced a traffic jam on the bridge into Buckley, bought raspberries from the Thursday Farmers Market, and met some incredible people in the community. It has only taken me a few weeks to learn what a special place this is. Now all I need is for students and staff to show up at the high school.

This year at the high school our focus will be on fostering a positive school culture for the students, families, and staff connected to EHS. The EHS Leadership students are planning for Hornet Days and 9th Grade Orientation, the EHS Administration Team is planning welcome back activities for staff, and our Fall coaches are getting ready to start their seasons strong. My goal is to make sure that every student feels connected and supported at EHS and that all students have a place where they feel comfortable and supported. For some students that will be in a classroom, others will feel connected to their teams and coaches, and for others it might be our amazing music and drama programs. I know that when students feel connected at school they achieve a higher level of academic success.

I hope you have all been enjoying this beautiful summer on the plateau and that you are as excited as I am about the start of a new school year. If you happen to stop by the school before the start of classes on September 1st, I hope you will say hello. Our offices are open Monday through Friday, 7:30 PM to 3:00 PM and we are here to answer any questions you may have, or to offer any support that you may need. Again, I am excited and humbled to be the principal of Enumclaw High School. Go Hornets!


ESD COVID-19 Safety Protocols

In light of the information we received from the CDC, Governor Inslee, and the State Secretary of Health this morning, we will continue our existing mitigation measures for schools as they remain a legal requirement at this time. The WA DOH has released updated Fall guidance for K-12 schools. The full document is linked Here.pdf 

  • For the 2021-2022 school year, schools must plan to provide full-time in-person education for all interested students with the following required mitigation measures: face coverings/masks, physical distancing*, improving ventilation, handwashing and respiratory etiquette, cleaning and disinfecting, staying home when sick and seeking evaluation, testing as indicated, contact tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation, responding to cases of COVID-19, and meeting the reporting requirements to public health. 

  • All staff and students must continue to wear face coverings/masks, regardless of vaccination status. 

  • Correct use of cloth face coverings or masks helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 and is required when indoors at K-12 facilities for all school personnel, students, and visitors.

  • The CDC’s order requiring masks on public transportation, regardless of vaccination status, applies to school buses and transportation. Passengers and drivers are required to wear a mask on school buses.

  • Quarantine protocols have been updated to reduce student exclusions from instruction.

As was stated in a press release this morning, the Delta variant is twice as transmissible as the original virus and more likely to cause serious illness. As the Delta cases continue to increase, our state officials stated they do not feel that now is not the time to decrease the protection for children in schools. The Governor and DOH will continue to review the data, subsequent variants, and the effectiveness of layered mitigation strategies for any possibility that masking requirements and other layers of mitigation can be loosened. The guidance states we can expect the next update to be in late October


9th Grade Orientation (August 16th, 9:AM to 12:PM)

Incoming Freshmen are invited to attend Freshmen Orientation on Monday, August 16 from 9:00AM - 12:00PM.  This event is intended for students only and students can be dropped off at the south end of campus near the auditorium.   Students will have the opportunity to reconnect with classmates and make new connections with other freshmen, upperclassmen and some staff members.  A guided tour of the school will be provided, as well as plenty of Q&A sessions.. Activities will focus on increasing confidence and comfort ot starting high school and learning what it means to be a Hornet.  Look for a detailed flyer to come out on August 9th to student and family emails.  Please contact Christy Weinbrecht if you have any questions.   


Hornet Days (August 19th & 20th, 8:AM to 2:30PM)

Come find out about everything happening for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year.  You’ll have the opportunity to purchase spirit wear, purchase a yearbook, pick up schedules, learn about clubs and classes, meet some staff, pay fines, learn about our PTSO, get your picture taken, plus student I.D. card, update emergency contact information, and buy your ASB card.  Athletic registration has now fully moved online.  We have a new way for athletes to register for sports, this is explained below in the Athletic Registration section.

Students will come to your allotted time slot according to your last name:

Thursday, August 19th
8-10:30 = Last Names, A-F
12-2:30 = Last Names, G-L

Friday, August 20th
8-10:30 = Last Names, M-R
12:00-2:30 Last Names, S-Z


Athletic Registration (Starting August 11th)

Sign up for sports will be housed in the InTouch online registration system.  Starting August 11th families will be able to access the InTouch registration system to pay athletic fees online and complete required athletic forms.

Directions for finding InTouch online registration - 

  1. Go to the Enumclaw district website -
  2. Under the OUR SCHOOLS tab click Enumclaw High School -
  3. Under the ATHLETICS tab click Athletic Registration -

The Fall athletic season starts on two different dates.  First day of Football is August 18th, while the first day of all other Fall sports (Cheer, Equestrian, Girls & Boys Cross Country, Volleyball, Boys Waterpolo, Boys & Girls Golf, Girls Soccer, Girls Swim & Dive, and Boys Tennis) is August 23rd.


Sports Eligibility

All fall sport participants must complete the following prior to the first day of practice, or you will not be allowed to turn out: All fines must be paid.  Complete all sports forms located on the InTouch online registration site (sport specific safety eligibility form, concussion and sudden cardiac arrest forms, and eligibility checklist).  Provide a white physical/insurance card.  Pay the ASB card ($42), athletic user fee ($52), and if appropriate pay the sports specific fee - football helmet reconditioning ($35), swimming pool ($70), or water polo ($100).  Students must have a 2.0 GPA, have passed a minimum of 5 out of 6 classes during last spring semester, as well as being enrolled in at least 5 classes at EHS during the fall semester or the equivalent of that in Running Start, home school, or approved online school.  Running Start, home school, and online students need to present proof of previous semester grades and proof of fall enrollment as stated above.  Running Start students must also complete the EHS Running Start Athletic Contract.  

All freshmen are required to have a physical form that does not say “middle school” on it.  These forms are not valid.  Doctors may sign the high school form if the middle school physical occurred in the last 12 months.

Please note: The athletic user fee is reduced/free for those who qualify for reduced lunch, and for those who qualify for free lunch.


School Meals

Breakfast and Lunch are at no cost to families for the 2021-2022 school year.

Welcome our New Hornet Staff Members

  • Rod Merrell, Principal, served as the Executive Director of Secondary Schools in Marysville before coming to Enumclaw. This is Dr. Merrell’s 30th year in education. He has served as a high school principal, middle school principal, high school assistant principal, and English teacher throughout his career.

  • Morag Crawford, SPED Independent Learning Classroom - has been a highly respected Special Education teacher in the Kent School District  since 2008. Prior to that, Morag was a SPED paraprofessional in the Kent School District. Morag will join Andy Beers and Ryan Picinich in the Independent Learning Classrooms at Enumclaw High School. 

  • Carri Enright, SPED Resource English/Behavior - comes to EHS from Kent-Meridian High School where she  has worked in a Behavior Intervention program since 2017. Prior to that Carri taught classes in Psychology, Anatomy & Physiology as well as Math at the Pima Institute. Earlier Carri was a para in the Federal Way School District from 1999 to 2008. Carri will join Elyssa Greene and Lindsey Ryan in the Resource English PLC and also Katie Green and Kathy Smith in the Behavior PLC.

  • Heather Hitch, SPED Resource Math - assumed a caseload and Resource Math classes earlier this year. Heather has a degree in Business Administration from Pacific University and is pursuing her endorsement in Special Education. Heather is a former EHS graduate and currently coaches basketball and volleyball. Heather will continue to teach Resource Math classes and manage a caseload in 2021.

  • Zoe Yeley, SPED Resource Math - comes to us from the Snohomish School District where she has been a K-6 Resource Support Specialist since 2018. Prior to that Zoe was a 4TH & 5TH grade Resource Teacher in the Bakersfield School District. Zoe says she loves Math and will be teaching Resource Math classes at Enumclaw High School with Heather Hitch.

  • Jay Weinbrecht, Automotive Technology - has six years of experience teaching high school automotive technology in the Kent school district.  He is excited to work with students and help develop their skills and passion in the industry.  He is currently developing plans to expand courses and update the facility.  We are excited to see how his expertise grows the program.

  • Carrie Swanson, Sports Med./Health Science - we are not sure the Puyallup school district will ever forgive us for hiring Carrie.  She has worked at Emerald Ridge, developing their sports medicine program since the day the school opened more than 15 years ago.  In addition to anchoring our new Sports Medicine pathway, Carrie will teach Human Anatomy and Physiology as well as Human Biology.    

  • Heather Oliver, Family and Consumer Science -  Did you know that the food and restaurant industry is one of the top growing industries in Enumclaw?  We know it is popular at EHS, and we are excited to add Nicole Oliver to our Family and Consumer Science culinary program at EHS as we increase our course offerings in this area.  Nicole is an excellent fit for our program as she has experience in several areas of family and consumer science including family health, food and fitness, Teaching Academy and several levels of culinary.  She was highly recommended for her ability to relate to students and work collaboratively with students, staff and community.

  • Timothy Hager-Wentz, Band - comes to us from the Central Kitsap School District where he was a 6-12 Band and Orchestra teacher. Previously, Tim attained his Instrumental Music endorsement from PLU in 2017. Tim brings experience in directing bands at various grade levels, hosting a variety of music events and is highly recommended for his collaboration with peers and strong communication with parents, student families and guardians.

  • Rebekah Young, English - has moved to the area from Arizona with her fiance to be closer to his family.  She taught both 11th grade and AP English at Dobson High School in Mesa, AZ for 5 years.  Apart from teaching, she served as the girl’s head XC and Track & Field coach.  Bekah’s past principal had high praises of her abilities.  This principal stated, “What stood out about Bekah is her ability to maintain high standards, appropriate rigor, and have strong relationships with students.  Her classroom is engaging, interactive, and well-managed and students feel safe to contribute thoughts, ideas, and ask questions.”

  • Gary Kinniburgh, Head Custodian - comes back to EHS after serving TMMS as the night lead custodian. Gary has a diverse skill set that has served him well in a variety of professional realms.  Aside from serving as a custodian, Gary has been an underwriting program + territory manager, risk management director, and tax professional.  This diversity gives Gary a leadership skill set, along with a work ethic, that will set him up for success as our new head custodian.  One principal in the EHS district that Gary had time to work custodial duties at his building noted, “Gary continued to improve the campus, Gary thinks beyond the typical custodial duties.  I heard several comments about how much people appreciated his service.  He took ownership in our campus, solved tricky spots, and worked diligently when no one was even there to appreciate his efforts.”

  • Wyatt Martin, Night Custodian - long time substitute custodian, past EHS student, is now serving as a night custodian.  He is a student success story straight out of our ILC & Transition programs.  In talking to our Ag & Welding program, Kaitlin and Mark rave about his work ethic and willingness to help in any capacity.  We were excited to hire Wyatt knowing his desire was to be a long time custodian here at EHS.

  • Ella Kurczewski, Attendance Secretary - comes to us from outside of education.  She has been in the healthcare field for the past eight years.  References raved of Ella’s work in a field that definitely got busy and stressful during this past pandemic year.  She went above and beyond her duties, and was always willing to step in for any and all when needed.  However, Ella’s been commuting to Tacoma, and really wants to be closer to Enumclaw, plus her 2 children since she lives in Enumclaw.

  • Kody Dribnak, Dean of Students/Athletic Director - He completed his administrative internship last year as a PE teacher at EMS.  Kody has been a PE/Health teacher at Tyee High School and Enumclaw Middle School over the past seven years.  He has also coached several sports ranging from girls basketball, baseball, and football.  Kody is a Minnesota native who relocated to Enumclaw with his wife Mindy who is a teacher at EMS.

Additional Hires - EHS still has a few positions to fill. We will share information on our new staff as soon as we have filled in these positions.


From the Counseling Center

counselor characters

We are so excited to welcome all of you back to school this year.  The 2020-2021 school year was full of lots of emotions, lots of learning and adapting, and lots of change.  Please know your counselors are here to support you with any challenges you may be facing with the transition this year. The “Counseling Center” tab under the “Academics” tab on the EHS website is full of lots of info and tips and tricks for you. Check it out!

This is the time of year we get a lot of questions about schedules and schedule changes.  Below you will find our schedule change policy from our handbook.


EHS Schedule Change Policy

Students are expected to choose classes carefully and remain in those classes for the entire length of the class term. 

Schedule changes will only be allowed for:

  1. Students with an incomplete schedule 
  2. A senior needing a class for graduation 
  3. A student who does not meet the prerequisite for the class or 
  4. Errors made during data input

A student may not add a class for credit or drop a class after the second Friday of each semester. Students desiring a schedule change for a different reason must write a formal letter stating what circumstances warrant a schedule change. It must be signed by the student's parent or guardian and the student. Return the letter to your counselor; your counselor will present the request to an administrator for review.

If you need to reach your counselor the fastest and easiest way is through email (which can be found below).  You can also visit the counseling center, once school starts,  to leave a note for your counselor with Mrs. Caldwell, our fantastic Counseling Secretary.

Note: Counselors are back in the office August 23, 2021 and will begin to return emails at that time.

Student’s Last Names A - D  
Kami Johnson

Student’s Last Names E - K
Alisha Snell

Student’s Last Names L - Rh
Kim Kravagna

Student’s Last Names Ri - Z
Necia Engebretsen

We are excited for the 2021-2022 school year.  Go Hornets!