Skagit Valley College logo

Service Projects

Service Oriented Leadership Project

Service Oriented Leadership Project

Each participant will be a part of a small team that will choose, plan, organize and complete a service project that will provide a lasting benefit to our community. The team project is designed as a way to learn and improve leadership skills.

2008 Leadership Development Teams

Team Odyssey

Community Partner: Sea Mar Homeless Program
Project: "Basic Necessities"
To plan and initiate the first annual Sea Mar Homeless Food Drive as an ongoing event to benefit the Sea Mar program. The project also provided a storage unit for 6-12 months storage of food supplies and a van to transport food supplies and other necessities. In addition, the team provided signage to identify the location of the program facility.


Dale O'Brien
Corin Schneider
Erin Long
Shegay Vanderpool
Graeme Wilson

Team Radical Leap

Community Partner: Skagit County Parks Foundation
Project: "Young's Park Peace and Meditation Circle and Path" To provide an environmentally sensitive mediation circle and peace path for residents and visitors of Guemes Island using indigenous materials and based on community input. The project honors its namesake U.S.A.F. Lt. Col. Gerald O. Young and enhances the Park's ongoing use for peace gatherings and individual meditation.


Tony Cook
Delilah George
Kim Grams
Danielle Hester
David Scott
Kirk Johnson


Team Ignition

Community Partners: Little Mountain Elementary School and Skagit Valley Hospital Outreach and Development, Healthy Communities
Project: "'Be the Change' Healthy School Forum" To support and increase participation in the Healthy School Team and to implement a forum to educate and provide information in English and Spanish to children and parents on childhood obesity and related health concerns and steps to overcome the problem.


Kristen Ohlson-Kiehn
Jeremy McCullough
Kristin Garcia
Maureen Enegren
Glenn Sakuma
Linda Bishop

Firstt Team

Community Partner: Skagit County Community Action Agency
Project: "Circle of Support" To provide a sustainable marketing plan aimed at recruiting and connecting groups and individuals to support services for homeless families. The project developed marketing tools, created and printed a brochure and DVD PowerPoint presentation and letter campaign to encourage individuals to join the "Circle of Support" effort.


Kirk Dunn
Ed Zavala
Peggy Stowe
Sue Krienen
Joan Youngquist
Jeff Drayer

2007 Leadership Projects

2007 Leadership Class

CommonWealth/Common Knowledge

Partner: Youthnet

Team Members: Jim Duffield, Coach; Mary Anstensen/Construction Unlimited; Michelle Fry/WSU Extension; Trisha Logue/ Skagit County; Doug Noblet/Skagit State Bank; Elizabeth Risser/McIntyre Hall; Carole Straathof/Sedro Woolley High School

This team distributed 54 backpacks full of books, school supplies, personal care items for foster children. Authored a letter to the children receiving the backpacks. Made presentations to raise awareness about the need for foster care in our community.

Family Fun and Fitness Day

Partner: Mount Vernon Boys and Girls Club

Team Members: Robert Shrumm, Coach; Mavis Betz/ Skagit County; Joyce Cardinal/Skagit Valley Hospital; Tina Davis/Frontier Bank; Amy George/Skagit County Community Action Agency; Allen Grenz/Oasys Inc.; Rena Guadagnoli/DSHS

The goal of the project was to engage the members of the Boys and Girls Club in fun activities with an emphasis on healthy eating and exercise.  Sixty children and 24 adults attended the event held at the LaVenture Middle School on May 19, 2007.  Activities included a bouncy house, Germ City, miniature golf, bean bag toss, and an arts and crafts table.  Demonstrations included dance gymnastics, karate, cross fit training, yoga and cheerleading.

Mud Lake Interpretive Signage

Partner: Skagit Land Trust & Clear Lake Community Historical Association

Team Members: Kate Bennett, Coach; Janie Beasley/Swinomish Tribal Community; Debbie Blunt/LaConner School District; Elinor Nakis/Sedro Woolley School District; Lou Peterson/Skagit County Parks & Recreation; Josh Scott/Windermere Real Estate; Amy Wilcox/North Cascades Institute

This team created a kiosk and sign in front of Mud Lake to educate visitors and residents about the conservation of property and the history of the Clear Lake community. The project strengthened the partnership between the Clear Lake Community Historical Association and Skagit Land Trust and created a model for future interpretive signage at other conservation properties.

Emerson Backyard: Outdoor Classroom

Partner: Youthnet/Emerson School

Team Members: Millie Fosberg, Coach; Terry Belcoe/Northcoast Credit Union; Neta Cahill/Skagit Valley College; Ryan Sakuma/Sakuma Brothers Farms Inc.; Sherri Stites/CPA; Andrea Vallee/Skagit County Mediation Services

This team created an outdoor garden for Emerson High School to replace the one they lost when they recently moved to their new building.  A dumping area beside the high school building was cleaned out and landscaped to include: raised garden beds, & picnic tables and native vegetation, a basketball court, and mural.  A unexpected benefit of this project was the strong mentorship created between the team members and Emerson High School students.

2006 Leadership Projects

2006 Leadership Class

Science and Technology Futures Night

Partner: Mount Vernon High School Science Department

Photo of Person at one of the science fair boothsTeam Members: Jean Alden/Skagit County; Michelle Dietz/Everett Community College Foundation; Bill Malcomson; Tamara Thomas/Terre Source LLC; Lin Tucker/Sedro-Woolley Police Departmen;t Lyle Turner/Beck and Call; Coach: Roger Ridgway/Skagit County Mediation Services

On May 18, 2006 this team co-hosted SciTech Futures at the Mount Vernon High School's New Main Science building.  Over 40 business exhibitors offered hands-on demonstrations and experiments.  The Science Club at Mount Vernon High school acted as demonstrators and hosts.  Students were invited to tour companies and apply for summer internships.

Eye on the Heronry

Partner: Skagit Land Trust

Team Members: Kendra Decker-Gentry/Landed Gentry Homes; Tawni Helms/Skagit County; Gary Lorenz/Skagit Valley Gardens; Andrew Rice/Academic Adventures; Joyce Shoop/Skagit County Community Action; Sue Stolpe/Skagit Valley Hospital; Coach: Kathryn Bennett/Island Hospital Foundation

Skagit County is home to a heron rookery with over 557 nests, one of the largest in the Northwest. To preserve the rookery and share this wonderful resource with the community, a web camera was installed so that community members can observe animals in a non-intrusive way. The Padilla Bay Estuarine Research Reserve incorporated the video stream into a formal display that is being used to educate and inform the community.

Principal for the Day

Partner: Mount Vernon School District

Team Members: Cathrin Hughes-Davies/Skagit County; Glenna Finney/Seattle City Light; Travis Huisman/Moss-adams; Bob Shrumm/Skagit Valley YMCA; Nelia Viloria/Dry Air Technologies; Coach: Maureen Harlan/LaConner School District & Linda Duffield

Assisted the Mount Vernon School District to implement the Principal for a Day program on April 12, 2006.  The project provided a forum in which influential members of the community met and learned about the school district.  The day started with a kickoff breakfast, followed by school visits and ended with a wrap up session.

Welcome to the Skagit Valley!
What you need to know.

Partners: Sakuma Brothers Farms, Sakuma Brothers Farms, Skagit County Community Action Agency,SeaMar Community Health Centers, WorkSource Skagit

Team Members: Letty Alvarez/Skagit County; Kent Egging/Bethany Covenant Church; Britta Escheté/People for Puget Sound; Steve Hopley/Port of Anacortes; Tina McNealey/Skagit Valley Hospital; Coach: Susan Tinker/Skagit Valley College

This group produced a pocket-sized brochure that incorporates information that was deemed critical during numerous interviews and meetings with Latino and indigenous immigrants, along with Russian-speaing immigrants to the community.  The brochure is in English, Spanish and Russian.

Skagit Special Olympics Web Site

Partner: Skagit Land Trust
Team Members: Mike Almvig/Skagit County; May Haley/Skagit Valley College; Stephanie Hooper/Bayside Specialties; Kevin McKeown/Artistas Finas; Jill Reid/Mount Vernon Boys and Girls Club; Coach: Jim Duffield

This team successfully launched the Skagit Special Olympics website to coincide with the 26th anniversary of the Skagit Special Olympics program.  This website provides easy access to information for current and prospective Special Olympic athletes, coaches, families, caregivers, volunteers and the community regarding events, requirements and general information.

2005 Leadership Projects

Photo of the 2005 graduating class
2005 Leadership Class

WHALE Car Seat Safety Program
Partner:  Skagit County Emergency Medical Services

Team "Local Color" worked with a national car seat safety program called WHALE™ (We Have a Little Emergency), translated it into Spanish, and now promot its use in Skagit county.  Skagit County Emergency Medical Services Commission partnered on this project.  Team members include Linda Duffield, Lisa Janicki/Janicki Industries, Bruce Klewer/Skagit Valley College, Karen Parnell/Skagit County Community Action Agency, Steve Schultz/Skagit Valley Hospital, Kauleen Shelton/Chicago Title Company, Mark Watkinson/Skagit County EMS.  This team is coached by Maureen Harlan.

Celebrate Skagit Audio CD
CD cover art

Partner:  Skagit County Historical Museum

Team "Celebrate Skagit"  released an audio tour of the Skagit Valley.  The CD will feature local history, geology, tourism, and culture of the Skagit Valley all tied to the scenic Highway 20 corridor.  The Skagit County Historical Museum partnered on this project.  Team members include Ron Feld/Skagit County Mediation Services, Millie Fosberg/Whidbey Island Bank, Alan Muia/Skagit Valley College, Katie Philbrick/Preview Properties, Peggy Taylor/Island Hospital, and Margie Wilson/Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland.  This team is coached by Jon Aarstad.

Lincoln Healthy School Action Planning
Partner:  City of Mount Vernon

The "Seeds of Change" team worked with the Mount Vernon Healthy Communities Project to help Lincoln Elementary School create an action plan to improve the health of students by promoting healthy lifestyle changes that decrease the risk of childhood obesity.  They have inspired a shared vision for the Lincoln School community and to created a model for other schools in Mount Vernon and beyond.  Team members include Dave Brookings/Skagit County, LuAnne Burkhart/Villaorba Property Management, Suzanne Butler/Skagit Valley Food Coop, Elizabeth Detillion/RE/Max Valley Homes, Jennifer Larson/ Mount Vernon School District, Roger Ridgway, and Alison Studley/Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group.  This team is coached by Peggy Cortelyou.

Sharing and Caring Mentoring Program 
Partner:  Department of Social and Health Services

"The Breakfast Club" team created a mentoring program and support network database for WorkFirst program clients.  Their project will recruit mentors, develop program policy and procedures, and promote the existence of the program.  The end goal is to enable those with the desire to enter the workforce and leave public assistance behind.  The community partner for this program is the Department of Social and Health Services.  Team members include Mindi Brock/Printwise, Lisa Geil/Skagit Valley Hospital, Leon John/Swinomish Tribal Community, Jodi Monroe/Skagit County EMS, Karen Pitt/Business Bank of Skagit County, Bill Short/Port of Anacortes.  This team is coached by Susan Tinker.

Play Area for Boys & Girls Club 
Partner:  Mount Vernon Boys & Girls Club

"Team Outstanding" has designing and built an outdoor covered play structure for the Mount Vernon Boys & Girls Club.  This team has had great success enlisting the support of skilled professional assistance and securing donation of materials.   Team members include Rebecca Bradley/Leonard, Boudinot & Skodje, Steve Flude/Skagit County Public Works, Liz Hoffman/Frontier Bank, Russ Johnson/Port of Skagit County, John White, and Sue Williamson/Skagit Valley College.  This team is coached by Kathryn Bennett.

2004 Leadership Projects

Photo of the 2004 graduating class
2004 Leadership Class

Welcome Baby! Bookmobile
  Sedro-Woolley School District

This team, coached by Dr. James Ford, Skagit Valley College President Emeritus, secured the donations and provided the labor necessary to transform a donated school bus into a bookmobile for children from birth to three years old.  Team members Bonnie Anderson, Anita Ordóñez, Gary Rowe, Rissa Warner, and Jeannie Youngquist removed seats, cleaned, sanded, painted the interior and exterior, obtained donations for carpeting, exterior signage, interior decals and books.  They partnered with the Skagit County Health Department Welcome Baby! Program and the Sedro-Woolley School District to accomplish this project.  The team was able to drive the newly painted school bus to the Leadership Skagit graduation.  Not only did the team accomplish its goal, they also learned a few things about leadership along the way.  Rissa Warner stated, "Our team was not able to move forward until we had agreed upon some core values we shared in common. Once we realized we could work toward something that was aligned with everyone's core values, we really began to make progress."

Highway Infarmation Station
Partners:  Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland & Washington State Department of Transportation

Andy Cline from Cline Consulting served as coach to Arden Ainley, Brad Barton, Peggy Flynn Cortelyou, Jan Iverson, and Don Wick, as they explored creation of a 10-watt AM radio station that would broadcast information about Skagit County agriculture and secondarily serve as an emergency alert beacon.  The team identified installation requirements, equipment costs and began conversations with several potential funding sources.  Community partners for the project were Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland, Skagit County Department of Energy Management/Homeland Security, and Washington State Department of Transportation.  The scope of this project was too large to completely implement within the 6-month time frame, but the team has committed to continue working on this project until its completion next year

Family Night at the Y
Partner: YMCA, Mount Vernon

If a family is looking for entertainment on a Friday night, what are their options?  This team, coached by Vice President Emeritus of Skagit Valley College, Brinton Sprague, wanted to create a program where families could be together and do something active.  Team members Jerry Heller, Mary Lou Meader, Ellen Rak, Jim Bishop II, and Jean Leib partnered with the Skagit Valley YMCA to create Family Nights at the Y, a program active in over 2,600 YMCA's across the country.  They wrote a grant request and received $1,000 in funding from the Skagit Coalition for Physical Activity to purchase equipment and market the creation of the program.  The team scheduled three family nights on the last Friday of the month in February, March and April.  For $5 an entire family could attend an evening session with access to the pool, activities in the gym, and arts and crafts.  An estimated 67 families attended the events and the YMCA has committed to continue Family Nights at the Y.

WorkLink Skagit
Partner:  Skagit-Island-San Juan PrepWork Consortium

This task-oriented team, coached by Susan Tinker, Vice President of Skagit Valley College, wanted to start a process to link interested employers to those people seeking their first significant work experience.  The team consisting of Kathryn Bennett, Laurel Browning, Georgiann Dustin, Brian Gentry, Kraig Rosencrantz, and Daniel Stahl, developed a survey that was sent to 300 employers in Skagit county to identify entry level employment openings and skill requirements.  The data from 98 returned surveys was summarized and reported.  The most exciting result for team members was seeing the information used in counseling sessions with high school students, and hearing back from students that they received jobs because of the information collected.  The community partner for this project was the Skagit-Island-San Juan PrepWork Consortium which has committed to maintain and update the database.

Storeroom for Staples
Partner:  Bread of Life Food Bank, Marblemount

This team, coached by Lyle Hildahl, Culinary Arts Director at Skagit Valley College, knew they wanted to help people in a tangible way, provide services to the eastern part of Skagit county, and do something related to food.  They found their project when the team spoke with the director of the Bread of Life Food Bank in Marblemount about their need for food storage.  Team members Jon Aarstad, Mike Killien, Debra Lancaster, Dee Raudebaugh, Barb Strauss, and Carrie Youngquist obtained donation of a freight van, applied for the permits to place the van, and prepared the site with the help of the Mount Vernon-Skagit Rotary Club and students from Job Corps.  At the end of this month they will transport the van from Skagit Transportation in Mount Vernon to Marblemount and place it on its pad with the use of a crane donated by Seattle City Light.  Michael Killien spoke of the tremendous community support the team found as they pursued their objective, "We tapped the community pretty well from Concrete to Anacortes.  It just goes to a show there is a lot of willingness to support something that is going to provide tangible help to people.  Our team was just the catalyst."