Chicago Boyz coming to Centralia

Acrobatic Team to perform in Corbet Theatre on April 28th

Brooklyn Nets v Orlando MagicThe Chicago Boyz Acrobatic Team, semifinalists of America’s Got Talent, will perform at Centralia College’s Corbet Theatre on Tuesday, April 28th at 7pm.

Featuring talented young men and boys from the Chicago area, this professional gymnastics troupe will captivate the crowd with their stunning acrobatic performance including catapulting off mini trampolines, performing amazing acrobatic stunts and tricks inside twirling jump ropes, and executing thunderous tumbling routines with impeccable timing.

Founded by professional gymnast Tim Shaw in 1999, the troupe recruits inner city youth and offers them a better alternative to gangs, drugs, alcohol or tobacco. They are rigorously trained not only in gymnastics, but in discipline, respect, hard work, integrity and teamwork and are required to stay in school. Many of the boys have turned their lives around thanks to Tim’s positive impact.

Tickets to this incredible acrobatic act are available in the Student Center, Room 101 for $8/CC student and $10/general admission. This show is brought to you by the Associated Students of Centralia College. For more information, contact 360.736.9391, ext. 275 or

CC Alumna gives back the gift of music

Kristina Knutson crop

Kristina Knutson

As a little girl, Kristina Knutson loved to sing. She still does. A 2012 graduate of Centralia College and current senior at Pacific Lutheran University, Kristina is pursuing a degree in K-12 general music education with a concentration in secondary choral music. She wants to share her passion for choral music with middle and high school students.

Nurtured by a family that valued music and encouraged her talent, Kristina shares, “My love for music stems from my parents.” With a background in music education and a passion for music, Kristina’s mom made music a priority. “She carried that love into our family.” At a very young age, Kristina’s parents signed her up for music lessons. She started piano in third grade and singing even before that. She joined the Lewis County Singers when she was only four years old and continued through high school.

Throughout the years, Kristina has performed at the Southwest Washington Fair and has also been highly involved with the Centralia High School Choir. “I’ve always been involved in music,” Kristina says. She was selected for the Washington All State Choir three years in a row and also competed at the State Solo and Ensemble Contest her senior year.

A natural leader, Kristina’s public speaking skills, organization, and confidence are the result of years of training. In addition to music lessons, her parents encouraged her to join the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, a leadership and community service youth organization for girls ages 11-20. She joined when she was 11. Motivated and dedicated, Kristina gained valuable skills in public speaking, planning events, properly presiding over meetings, and leadership. Soon she was asked to serve as the Worthy Advisor (club president) for the Centralia assembly. Eventually she was elected to the position of Grand Worthy Advisor (regional president) for the entire Washington-Idaho region.

Kristina counts her time in the organization as instrumental in shaping who she is today. “Rainbow helped shape every aspect of my being, and showed me how much I enjoy helping others.” Giving back to the program that invested in her, today Kristina serves as an adult advisor for an assembly near PLU. In her mentor role, she plans and chaperones events and provides leadership training for the next generation of girls, something she plans to continue doing after graduation.

Growing up with excellent music and leadership training, Kristina entered college well-equipped to pursue her interest in music education. Her three years at Centralia College provided even more valuable opportunities for her to grow. She was very involved in the Centralia College Choir for three years, serving as president for two.

“I really enjoyed my time at CC. It was a good next step after high school and before university.” One of the music faculty made a lasting impression. “Dr. Donna Huffman was such an inspiration and huge influence on me during my time there. She really encouraged me to keep working hard and still supports me today.” Huffman came to Kristina’s senior recital at PLU, cheering on her former student.

Kristina currently serves as the Music Education Club president at PLU. After graduation, she hopes to get a job as a middle school or high school choir director where she can develop a challenging and inspirational music program available to all students. Continuing her personal love for singing, Kristina plans to participate in community singing organizations and also hopes to be an advocate for music education in her community and state. Lastly, Kristina looks forward to another new chapter in her life with her soon-to-be husband in the summer of 2016.

With her love of music, gift of leadership, and willingness to serve others, there is no doubt that Centralia College alumna Kristina Knutson will make a positive impact wherever she goes.

Spring parenting classes at CC

Parenting is never easy, but the experts at Centralia College can make the job easier. Here are two of the parenting classes offered for spring quarter.

Love and Logic Parenting

4-6 p.m. Tuesdays

April 14 – June 9

Rochester Primary School (gym classroom)

7440 James Road S.W.

$32 per person

Love and Logic Parenting helps parents gain confidence and have more fun while parenting. They learn practical techniques that increase family cooperation through the use of empathy, choices, problem solving, and appropriate consequences.

This class earns two college credits. For more information or to register, contact Linda Wilcox at 360-736-9391, ext. 464, or

Parenting in Recovery

2:30-4:30 p.m. Wednesdays

April 15 – June 10

Chehalis United Methodist Church

16 Market Boulevard


This class is designed for parents recovering from substance abuse. The focus is on understanding the impact of substance abuse on family dynamics, rebuilding trusting relationships, and renewing family bonds. Students will apply recovery principles to parenting while learning about their children’s developmental stages and age-appropriate expectations.

This class earns two college credits.For more information or to RSVP, contact Cynthia Waddell at 360-736-9391, ext. 796, or

Vancouver dentist is 2015 Distinguished Alumnus

Dr Dave CarstenThe Centralia College Foundation is pleased to announce Dr. David Carsten, a Centralia native and 1977 graduate of Centralia College, as the 2015 Distinguished Alumnus.

As a dentist anesthesiologist, Dr. Carsten provides mobile anesthesia for patients who are disabled, very young, fearful, or who may desire anesthesia during a dental procedure. More importantly, he provides empathy and compassion—the core values of his practice, Pacific Dental Anesthesia, in Vancouver.

Dr. Carsten’s Centralia College roots go deep. He literally grew up at the college and watched it grow up around him. His dad, Don Carsten, was the dean of administration for many years and was involved in the construction and expansion of the college.

“I went to all the faculty picnics with my parents. The names attached to the areas and buildings like Hanson, Kiser, etc… I knew them,” Carsten recalled, adding that it was natural for him to attend Centralia College as a student and work as an employee for a while. “It was a good start.”

From Centralia College, Carsten went on to graduate from Washington State University with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. He then completed his doctorate in dental surgery at the University of Washington School of Dentistry. After 24 years of dental practice, 13 years as a faculty member at Oregon Health Sciences University, and three years at the University of Southern California, he entered the anesthesia program at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Carsten is a member of a number of professional organizations and received the Award of Distinction in continuing education from the American Dental Institute. He serves as a lecturer and published author on diverse topics and teaches sedation courses at the University of Southern California.

Carsten will be a featured speaker at the commencement ceremony in June.

Armstrong leads CC Corrections Education program


Jacquie Armstrong 1

Jacquie Armstrong

Like many dedicated educators, Jacquie Armstrong says the best part of her job is “giving people a second chance in life.” As Centralia College’s new Director of Corrections Education, Armstrong oversees educational opportunities for incarcerated adult males at the Garrett Heyns Education Center in Shelton and at the Cedar Creek Corrections Center in Littlerock. Armstrong, who has worked in corrections education for many years, believes that education is “sometimes their only real chance to succeed.”

By law, incarcerated adults without a High School Diploma or certificate are mandated to work towards a secondary completion goal. Part of Armstrong’s role as director includes overseeing the assessment of male offenders entering into incarceration and determining their educational needs. The corrections education program provides classes in basic education for adults including high school equivalency (GED) preparation and professional-technical programs. Students can earn short term certificates in specialties such as office data specialist, horticulture or construction trades. The program is a joint effort of the Department of Corrections and the community college system.

Armstrong is not new to the field of corrections education. In 1998, she started as an Adult Basic Education faculty member at a Washington Corrections Center for Women through Tacoma Community College. After nine years, Armstrong became an educational administrator at the correctional complex in Monroe through Edmonds Community College. Before taking on her new role with Centralia College, Armstrong worked for four years in Olympia as the Policy Associate for Corrections Education at the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.

“In my career, I have had students in the past who now have Master’s degrees in social work. A former grand auto thief is now a head mechanic at a car dealership.” Although there are obvious challenges that come with her job, Armstrong is continually encouraged by the success stories she hears from former students. Some have become successful welders; others have opened up their own upholstery businesses—mostly as a direct result of the education they received through the program.

Armstrong and her husband have three college age children and enjoy hiking and camping when it’s not raining. She joined the Centralia College administration in December. John Martens, Vice President of Instruction, says, “We are fortunate to have recruited an individual of her caliber.”

Active Learning Classroom promotes student interaction

Assistant Mathematics Professor Preston Kiekel works with students in the new ALC.

Active Learning Classroom

A visitor walking into Centralia College’s new Active Learning Classroom (ALC) will notice right away that something is different. The room buzzes with conversation as students work together in small groups, discussing last night’s online lecture or the material from yesterday’s assigned reading. Plugging their laptops into ports at the center of each table, they begin working on group projects. The busy rattle of keyboards can be heard amidst their animated conversations. After a while, colorful images and data are projected onto the large 42-inch monitors next to each group’s table. Students turn to the screens, pointing, commenting, sharing. Meanwhile, the professor walks around the room and checks in with each group—asking and answering questions. Unlike traditional classrooms where students sit in rows passively listening to a lecture, the ALC hums with activity.

Designed as a student-centered classroom, the layout of the new ALC capitalizes on social learning. Individual desks are replaced with group conference tables, each with large 42-inch monitors and several ports for students to plug in their own laptops. While this technology is not required for active learning, the setup allows students to share information with each other interactively.

“I found that being able to present the work on a screen in front of my own little group was helpful because we could talk about it, whereas with the other room, when it was displayed in front of the whole class, we couldn’t discuss it together,” described one student.

While the ALC is relatively new on campus, active learning itself is a recognized strategy for student engagement. Students participate in the process as they discuss material, share resources, problem solve and work on projects together.

In the Active Learning Classroom, professors spend most of the class time walking around answering questions, interacting with students, and facilitating projects.

Because students are now taking an active part in the process, it forces them to be mature in their approach to learning. For students, this might mean reading assigned chapters or watching online lectures in advance, freeing up class time for discussion, reflection, and collaborative projects. “If they come unprepared, there’s a lot more pressure from their group,” said Jeff McQuarrie, communications instructor.

Dave Clary, a Centralia police officer and student in the Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Management program, said, “You can talk about how to do something all you want, but actually rolling up your sleeves and doing it is what makes it stick.”

Classmate Hailey Norby, agrees, “The (ALC) teaches us how to collaborate, and it’s a better test of what we’ve learned than a lecture class.”

Another benefit of the ALC is better teacher-student interaction. Expanding on this idea, professors Atara MacNamara and Preston Kiekel (psychology and math, respectively) teamed up to teach the introduction to statistics class winter quarter. With two teachers in the ALC, they are finding more time to meet with students individually. They have also noticed students are more willing to ask questions in small groups versus large groups. “We are exploring the boundaries of the ALC and how to use it best. We don’t yet know the limits.”

The Active Learning Classroom, located in the Walton Science Center, “activated” in January. With its successful launch, instructors from every department are now eager to use the classroom. In addition, space for up to four more Active Learning Classrooms is planned in the new TransAlta Commons building, which is expected to be completed in mid-2017.

Elk Hunt Raffle tickets on sale

Tickets for the Dave Sherwood Memorial Scholarship Elk Hunt raffle are now on sale at selected outlets across Lewis, Thurston, and Cowlitz counties.

Tickets are $25. The raffle winner will be allowed to hunt for a bull elk (minimum three-point) on TransAlta Centralia Mine lands. The hunt is open to all modern rifle, late muzzleloader, and late archery hunters and will take place during the appropriate hunting season in November (as established by the 2015 Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations).

The drawing will take place at 4 p.m. May 3 at the Centralia College Foundation office, 401 Centralia College Boulevard. The winner need not be present to win. The winner is responsible for buying a Washington state hunting license and tag, and will be accompanied by a TransAlta representative during the hunt.

Raffle Ticket Outlets

TransAlta’s main office in Centralia (cash or check only; contact Sandy Yanish at

Centralia College Foundation office

Joe’s Outdoor Shop (Lewis County Mall)

Sunbird’s Shopping Center

Book ‘n’ Brush

Ethel Market

Stanley Store (Onalaska)

Colton’s Pharmacy (Morton)

Grand Mound Licensing

Hedden’s Pharmacy (Tenino)

J&S Guns (Olympia)

The Gun Shop (Longview)

All proceeds from the raffle go toward the Dave Sherwood Memorial Scholarship administered by the Centralia College Foundation. Sherwood was killed in a tragic accident while hunting elk near Mount St. Helens in 2011. He was a popular and respected manager at the Centralia TransAlta plant.

For more information on the Elk Raffle, contact the Foundation office at (360) 736-9391 ext. 290 or