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Cascade: To Love or Loathe?

Until recently I was attending a high school by the name of Cascade Christian. As I would not have been able to voice my opinions at the time, I now am taking the liberty of airing my thoughts on the subject. Keep in mind, this is not meant to be an attack on the school but rather a range of experiences condensed into a single article.

Before I begin there are some things I want to make clear. This is a Christian school, but this article in no way represents how I feel about Christianity. I am a devout Baptist Christian, and enjoy the fact that God is very much represented at Cascade.

When I arrived at Cascade in 7th grade, the first impression I got was how small it was. Even though I had gone to a small elementary school, I still could grasp just how miniscule it was compared to other High schools. Even a local middle school that only housed 7th and 8th graders had more room, more teachers, better facilities, and higher-grade technologies.

However, even with all these faults, I still liked Cascade and enjoyed going there because of the inviting, Christ-like attitude of everyone and the aptitude of the administration. This brings me to my next point, the principal. From 7th grade, all the way to 10th, my teacher was Mr. Broberg. He is one of the smartest, kindest, most understanding people I have ever met. He connected with us students in a way that most adults never could. Most everyone liked him as what he was, the guide of the school. And I say guide, because his way of leading the school was just that, leading. He didn’t try to force us to do anything, his very self was able to persuade us.

I point out Mr. Broberg’s excellent qualities so that you will have background on why I feel the way I do about the current principal: Mr. Washburn. Prior to leaving Cascade, there was always some looming reason I didn’t want to go to school in the morning, something I could never quite put a reason to. After having gone to a local public school, I now realize what that was, Washburn. He was always a bit a thorn in the side of everyone. To give you an example, I will tell you how the first day of 11th grade went. Mr. Washburn had us all come to a start-of-the-school year assembly as we always do. But instead of explaining to us how great the school year was going to be, and how God was alive in Cascade, and how we were going to grow, he told us how he was now in charge. Literally, on the first day he made it a point to tell everyone present that he was now the big Kahuna. He dominated the stage with not only a sense of ultimate authority, but also a threatening attitude.

Unfortunately it does not end there. Beginning soon after his inauguration speech, he started using chapel as his own personal soap box. At Cascade, every Thursday, we have an hour long session called Chapel where all the students (separated into two groups by high school and junior high) go to an assembly and listen to a speaker with his sermon for us, it is usually a very good experience. Starting this year, though, Washburn took it upon himself to get up in front of everyone after the speaker was done and give his two cents. As you might guess, this many times has a detrimental effect on the impact because of our dislike of Washburn’s need for attention. I’ll give you an example of one of the worse instances:

A speaker (for sake of not involving him in this article, I won’t mention his name) decided to talk about authority, and our responsibility to it as Christians. He showed bible verses where Jesus talked about how we are to submit ourselves to it. It was after the speaker finished that Washburn came up and made an illusion, explaining that our relationship to him was very nearly the same as a Christian’s position with God. He actually compared himself to God, yes. There are many more instances of Washburn displaying ineptitude and poor judgment, but for the sake of the length of this article, I will digress.

The vice principal, Mr. Peterson, is better, but only in that he doesn’t have the same ego that Washburn does. However, to give you a small example of what the student body thinks of him, one time he was up on stage as he many times is at lunch to give announcements. The students wanted him to stop talking so bad, that they continued to clap before he could begin, until he got so fed up with it that he got off. I can assure you, it was a moment of great triumph for the students.

Let me be clear though. However much I dislike Washburn and Peterson, I love the teachers. The experiences I have had, and the things I have learned I cannot even begin to fully tell you. They are nice, cooperative, friendly, helpful, exciting, joyful, interesting, Christ-like, electrifying, thrilling, accommodating, supportive, intelligent, valuable, and more admirable than I would have thought possible. If there is one good thing you can say about Cascade, it is that the teachers are the best.

I could go on, but I believe I have made my point. If you read all of this, I thank you, I know I can be a tad big winded. These are my opinions, if you have differing ones, please leave a comment. I would be happy to get back with you. Thanks to Lindsey for the idea of this article. It should be noted that opinions in this article are mine, and not necessarily those of others. Also, opinions of Mr. Peterson has improved since the event described.

-Trenton Stahl

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

  1. Benjamin
    March 31, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    When i attended Cascade I was not very fond of Mr. Washburn. I don’t think that he trys to relate with any of the students and i thought of him as a “fake Christian.” I used to think that all he wants is power, as you previously stated. I don’t see him as a humble figure as he should be as the leader of our school. I heard him contradicting the Bible along with many other chapel on countless occasians in his little sermons after chapel. As for Mr. Peterson, i respect him very much as he is a good administrator, who in my opinion, strives to relate with the students. I respect this trait in him and don’t find it in many other administrators I agree with you in the fact that cascade is blessed when it comes to the teachers, minus a few, but overall i believe that they are very capable of the jobs. I left cascade for many reasons but Mr. Washburn was definitly among them and i wish it would be brought to his attention that by his actions, everyone is impacted, because he is the “leader.”

  2. Christine Wagner
    April 1, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    I went to Cascade Christian School from the age of 3 up and i experienced many different administrators and i have to say that Frank Washburn was the best one. He is truely there to serve the school and has its best intrests at heart. There are many administrators past and present that have had WAY bigger egos then Frank and thats a fact. I know that he was a bit of a jerky last year but even then he was better then some of the people i’ve seen in charge. No matter what he does, you can believe me when i say that he has a servants heart and is not out for personal glory. There is a lot more to his job then you know and you shouldn’t judge him with out all the facts. I know that the best years i had at cascade were the ones when Frank was in charge.

  3. Bobo
    April 2, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Honestly I don’t think it’s as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Sure I’ve known him since i was a wee lad but still, don’t think he ruins the whole school experience.

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