The current WES building is a 40,150 square foot structure built for learning. We house classrooms for Preschool through 5th grade students. Our students are 1:1 with computers to help prepare them for a 21st century world. We have a dedicated music room with access to the stage, a library, and a gym/cafeteria multi-purpose room.
Weyerhaeuser Elementary, which is a part of the Eatonville School District, is a K-5 school in the rural Eatonville area and we have just under 300 students enrolled in 12 classes. The entire staff and school community take great pride in establishing and promoting a nurturing and caring environment and a positive climate where all work to instill the desire to learn. Students are encouraged and guided to become life-long learners and to grow in making informed, good choices linked with age-appropriate consequences.
The first Weyerhaeuser School was built in 1904 and was built by the Weyerhaeuser Company to provide for it's employees children in the area. The information we have right now is limited, but we are working on digging some more info up.
The Second building that housed the Weyerhaeuser school was a brick building that was dedicated in 1927. It was a K-8 school, and it featured 2 floors of learning/work space, the main floor and a basement level. This building still exists and it is around 340th and Mtn. Highway just down from the Fire Station. It has recently been through a partial restoration. It sits on land that was dedicated by the Trask Family. The schoolhouse provided K-8 education from 1927 through 1979
Our current building was completed around 1979,the same time as the Eatonville Elementary building. They were twin copies of the same building built almost identically. The building became Weyerhaeuser Elementary School and the 6th, 7th and 8th graders moved into the Eatonville Middle School. When teachers and students moved in the building wasn't even complete yet, still needing ceiling materials and flooring materials to be installed. Teaching with exposed rafters and wiring must have been a challenge! At it's peak it housed over 400 students in 16 classrooms including several classes in portables. Pictures of this building to come!
The building was subjected to an exhaustive renovation in 2009. We love our new building and would like to thank the voters of our district who approved our modernization bond which allowed these upgrades and changes to happen.
We would like to thank current and former staff for the information that helped us fill out this page as well as the wonderful work done by the Eatonville Historical Society and the ever amazing http://eatonvilletorainier.com for it's efforts to bring the historical past of our area into the light of the internet so everyone may enjoy our heritage. Please check the site out, I'm sure you'll find out something you didn't know before!
The Weyerhaeuser Elementary Building sits on 40 acres of land donated originally by the Weyerhaeuser Lumber company. Our property has a variety of fields, trees, buildings, and parking that are used for various activities.
There are currently 4 baseball fields, two at opposite ends of the upper field adjacent to the playground, one on the opposite site of the playground, and another on the lower field next to the overflow parking strip. We have one full size grass area suitable for soccer between our two baseball diamonds and one area that is used as a practice/scrimmage field on the lower field near the parking strip. There is a gravel playground area with 2 large big toys, a variety of climbing apparatus, and a few other activites. We also have a patch of 'woods' with many tall evergreen trees that the kids use for Imaginative Play.
During the torrential downpour the we frequently receive in the Washington State area we also have a visiting feature to our playground. We call it the WES River Project. As the water pools in and around the gravel around the big toy, it drains out and rushes through the patch of trees in a stream. The kids have spent many hours playing around this stream creating dams to hold the water back, bridges to cross cars over the 'river' and then watching the raw power of mother nature pull them apart. The environment is very similar to a real life water system from the source of the stream, to many 'lakes' and ponds along the way, carving in 'ravines' and 'canyons', until it eventually dumps at the end. It's just on a miniature scale that the kids can appreciate at their level.
In addition to our "official" school grounds, we have an educational landscape called Wildcat Woods that has been the home of a massive tree planting effort, water quality testing, and prairie restoration. Wildcat Woods is regularly used as an outdoor classroom as part of our STEM Outdoor Education program.
- Presidential Award for Excellence
- 2015 STEM Lighthouse School
- United States Department of Education Green Ribbon School Award 2018
- Other Awards and Recognitions
President Donald J. Trump Announces Presidential Excellence Awards in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering
On October 15, 2019, the White House announced the most recent recipients of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
We are pleased to announce that one of our certificated staff members, Mr. Matthew “Matt” Pederson, has has been selected to receive the award for Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) . The full list of awardees can be found here.
The PAEMST program, administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy recognizes outstanding teachers for their contributions to the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science.
To view the official press release by the Office of the Press Secretary view the link: https://s3.amazonaws.com/paemst.static/recognition/RW2019+EASE+WH+Press+Release+10.15.19.pdf or here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trump-announces-presidential-excellence-awards-science-mathematics-engineering/
Fact Sheet about awardees: https://s3.amazonaws.com/paemst.static/recognition/PAEMST_2019_FactSheet_Name.pdf
For more information: https://www.paemst.org/recognition
Matthew Pederson Eatonville, WA | K-6, Mathematics, 2018 (The official biography below was current at the time of the award.)
“Being considered for the Presidential Award is a humbling honor. Millions of teachers spend untold hours of their own time honing their craft. We do this entirely for the satisfaction of seeing students achieve with no expectation of any outside recognition. It is a high compliment to all educators when any one of us is recognized at such a high level for our devotion and drive to help students succeed. I hope to represent all of us well.”
Matthew "Matt" Pederson has been teaching for over 20 years and has spent the last eight years at Weyerhaeuser Elementary School. For the past year, Matt has been a teacher on special assignment with a focus on mathematics. During this time, he has provided coaching and modeling lessons for teachers. He also taught enrichment and remediation lessons to students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Matt previously taught for seven years each at McKenna Elementary School and Mill Pond Intermediate School. Matt's passion for teaching in general, and engaging mathematics instruction in particular, extends beyond his own classroom. He regularly provides building and district professional development as well as presenting at regional and national conferences. For several years, Matt has served as a district mentor for new teachers, and has recently taken on responsibility for coordinating the district mentor program. He is also a member of the Washington State Mathematics Council and will soon begin serving on the council's Board of Directors. Matt earned a B.A. from Pacific Lutheran University and a master’s in teaching from City University. He is certified as a kindergarten through eighth grade teacher.
Weyerhaeuser Elementary School, Eatonville, Wash.
A stream runs through it
With the intentional integration of STEM through an environmental lens, Weyerhaeuser Elementary School (WES) aims to inspire, foster innovation, create safe and strong academic opportunities that allow all students to realize success, and develop 21st-century competencies. The school is in a rural area, miles from any town, surrounded by woodlands and open spaces, with an eight-acre outdoor classroom serving as the natural laboratory centerpiece. A recent grant-funded energy upgrade of the WES facility included a comprehensive energy audit and an upgrade of HVAC system with occupancy controls for the entire school. All WES classrooms have doors that open to the outside and large, energy-efficient windows that let natural light in.
Students and staff employ refillable water bottles, implement a food-sharing program in the cafeteria that donates excess to a local agency for distribution to needy families, and recycle – including aluminum, plastic, ink cartridges, and tallow -- extensively. Students help monitor and contribute to the building’s conservation goals. They use only sustainable certified paper.
For students’ health, Weyerhaeuser is active in a farm to school network with other districts sponsored by the Washington State Department of Agriculture, and has focused on increasing fruit, vegetable, and milk consumption. Over the past several years, WES has implemented a wide range of programs designed to support student mental health and school climate. WES participates in the Fuel Up to Play 60 nutrition and physical activity program, and offers a morning mileage club. Students partake in a full 60 minutes of recess daily, and engage in brain breaks in the classroom. The school has a full-time counselor, and a staff member designated to support a Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) program schoolwide. WES is served by its own well that is regularly sampled and tested for contaminants. The school implements both indoor air quality and IPM plans.
Wildcat Woods, the Weyerhaeuser outdoor education area, includes forest and seasonal wetland. Students are outside in this learning space daily. The school is within the Nisqually River Watershed. Two seasonal freshwater streams flow through the campus, providing students with the opportunity to participate in water testing; studies of rocks, minerals, and macroinvertebrates; and streamflow observations.
Weyerhaeuser has a longstanding partnership with the Nisqually River Education Project to gather water quality data from these and other local streams on a regular basis. Classes discuss results and possible explanations, then explore possible solutions to any adverse conditions. WES invites experts to explain stream problems associated with over-clearing of the riparian zone. Then students engage in action to resolve these problems with yearly tree planting field trips.
The Center for Sustainable Forestry at Pack Forest with 4,300 of working forestland, is 10 minutes from Weyerhaeuser and provides students with the opportunity to learn about forest ecology, forest management and current research in sustainable forestry in a real-world setting. Similarly, Mt. Rainier National Park, with its wide variety of plant and animal species and glacial and volcanic activity, is a short half-hour drive away.
Weyerhaeuser Elementary has a strong network of partners eager to work with students and staff to strengthen environmental STEM education. Its green school staff and student groups have been diligent, public, and persistent in their efforts and the communication of results.