Hilander Highlights2018-10-25T11:36:53+00:00
Yearbook class

We Are Kelso: Yearbook Class Turns Moments Into Memories

Yearbook class

The KHS yearbook class is already hard at work capturing all the moments that make up a year of being a Hilander. The smaller-than-usual crew of 19 is out and about documenting everything from athletic games, spirit days, dances and assemblies to classroom work and more.

With students from all four grades on the team, they’ve made this year’s theme “Scottie Nation. Our Pack. Our Home.”  With so many changes coming in the district—new technology, building upgrades, and the new football turf—they’ve incorporated a secondary theme of “Moving Forward.”

Advisor Megan Thomas has high hopes for the Bagpipe, “We hope the yearbook we create will provide lasting memories for students. We hope it will allow students to see that they didn’t go unnoticed. We hope they will show it to their children one day with pride and excitement.”

In addition to all that the Bagpipe does for who receive it, the process of creating it is quite a gift for the students who work on it.

“As a class, we are learning how to interact with each other on a whole different level, from meeting deadlines to bonding activities,” said Vance McDonald, an 11th grader in the yearbook class. “Before I joined the class I would have been one of those students that would hide from a camera, but now I am the kid jumping into the picture. Yearbook has made me a more outgoing and understanding person and improved my people skills overall. I highly encourage giving this class a chance.”



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We Are Kelso: Career Center Staff At Work

Career Center staff

With just five people, our Career Center staff have a big job to do. In both middle and high school, they facilitate career exploration, give skills and personality assessments, assist with course selection, and help with post-secondary planning.

On any given day, you’ll find them helping a student (or an entire class) fill out information on their Xello or Wois accounts (those are online programs for career/future readiness), assisting with High School and Beyond plans, or bringing in a university admissions person to give students tips on writing college entrance essays.

To better help students transitioning from 8th to 9th grade, the middle and high school career specialists work together to make sure those students have a streamlined and focused approach to high school course selection based on their post-secondary goals. And to keep course offerings relevant, the team looks to local employers several times a year for input.

“Our goal is to align with industry as best we can,” said Melissa Boudreau, CTE Director. “By meeting with businesses, they can tell us what their needs are and what types of equipment we should be training on.”



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A Number of Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Kelso School District

Greek philosopher and mathematician, Pythagoras, said, “Number rules the universe.” Numbers are, seemingly, at the heart of everything. We can’t be reached, or even identified, without them (think phone number, address, social security number). Numbers can also tell us stories to help us understand things in ways only numbers can do.

With that in mind, we’ve gathered some numbers to tell you a story that will help you know more about our students and staff, and understand the depth and breadth of work that happens at Kelso School District.

(All numbers are for the 2017-18 school year unless otherwise noted.)

Student Achievement

  • 84.3% of 2017 seniors graduated (compared to 79.3% WA seniors)
  • $3.4 million in scholarships awarded to the class of 2018
  • 70% of all Kelso students have never had an office referral
  • 96% of our Kelso students have never been tardy to class
  • 697 students participated in athletics at Kelso High
  • 100% (20 of 20) Kelso High sports programs advanced either teams or individuals into post-season play
  • 2 Academic State Championship teams at Kelso High: Boys Wrestling & Cheerleading


  • 5,085 students enrolled
  • 20 different languages spoken by students
  • 56.7% of students get free or reduced-price meals (May 2017)
  • 8.85% of all Kelso students have been, or currently are, considered homeless; which equates to 3 students in every class of 25
  • Race/Ethnicity (September 2018) (pie chart)
    • Hispanic / Latino of any race(s) 17.29%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native 1.1%
    • Asian 1.1%
    • Black / African American 0.33%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander 1.71%
    • White 72.37%
    • Two or More Races 6.09%

Variety of Class Offerings at Kelso High

  • 14 AP / Honors / College in High School classes offered
  • 53 CTE (Career & Technical Education) courses offered

Our Staff

  • 29 Administrators
  • 358 Certificated Staff
  • 24 National Board Certified Teachers
  • 345 classified employees

Food Service

  • 658,951 meals served, which equates to:
  • 3,681 meals served each school day


  • 389,329 miles transporting students to and from school, or:
  • 2,162 miles each day
  • 1,950 students transported each day
  • 43,115 field trip miles


  • 785,000 square feet of building space maintained
  • 26,000 square feet cleaned by each custodial staff
  • 105,000 square feet maintained by each maintenance staff
  • 111 acres of grounds maintained
  • 37 acres maintained by each grounds staff
  • 3,198 Work Orders submitted
  • 3181 Works Orders completed


  • 6,490 user devices in schools (Windows, Chrome)
  • 1,303 teaching peripherals in schools (document cameras, projectors, smart boards, printers)
  • 22% increase in technology equipment between the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years

Numbers only tell part of the story. Behind them are dedicated staff and engaged students working every day towards our district goal of 100% graduation and our mission of preparing every student for living, learning and achieving success as a citizen of our changing world.

Want to see this article as an info-graphic?
Click here to view and/or download a visual version.



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We Are Kelso: ASB Leads With Spirit

ASB officers

Elected by the student body last spring, the 23 students on the Kelso High School Associated Student Body (ASB) have big plans for uplifting and energizing the school’s atmosphere. In addition to working with all school clubs to support their activities, the leadership team will also be promoting better attendance through rewarding students each trimester who meet the requirements and starting up a program called We Dine Together, which battles student loneliness.

“Overall, our goal is to promote unity, spirit and Kelso Pride,” said ASB President, Zoe Prothero. “We are also really excited to reintroduce Mr. Kelso and are now searching for sponsors for the student participants.” Mr. Kelso is a fun male pageant event with part of the proceeds going to charity.

“Throughout the year, our team looks for different ways to boost spirit: pep assemblies, lunchtime activities, giveaways for good behavior,” said Adviser Megan Thomas. “If you ever visit Kelso High School you will know – WE ARE KELSO.”



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Food service staff

We Are Kelso: Food Service Team Serves Up Smiles

Food service staff

Every day, a crew of 43 ladies working in 10 schools serve up two full meals for the students in Kelso School District. Some of them arrive as early as 5:15 to prepare breakfast and get ready to greet “their kids,” as they affectionately refer to the students they serve.

More than calories on a plate, a lot of love and care goes into every meal of the nearly 659,000 meals served during the school year. Monthly menus are planned two months out, and a nutritional analysis is done for every single meal.

When asked what the best part of the job is, Food Service Supervisor Vivien Basom said, “Being here for the kids, giving them an encouraging smile and, when they need it, a hug. We build relationships with these kids and we genuinely care about them.”


  • Kelso is a nut-free district due to food sensitivities
  • All food for meals must be grown and purchased in the U.S. as part of the Buy American provision



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