Our school: Camas Papermakers

City and school take pride in each other as Papermakers

Student leaders Chloe Higgins and Audrey Tehrani describe what makes Camas High School so special.

The school has powerhouses in football and gymnastics.

Drama and choir are the talk of the community, as well.

And of course, the academics. The science. The math. All of the academics.

Everything at Camas is big.

Yet small, too.

That is why Camas High School is so successful.

Chloe Higgins said seniors at Camas High School will always be connected through memories. Photo courtesy Chloe Higgins.
Chloe Higgins said seniors at Camas High School will always be connected through memories. Photo courtesy Chloe Higgins.

“The thing that makes Camas really special is what makes the town itself special. We have that small-town feel, but it’s a large school. You have this sense of connectedness,” senior Chloe Higgins said. 

“Camas, the community, makes it a great school,” added Audrey Tehrani, a senior and the student body president. “All the teachers are super helpful with all of the students. There are great relationships with each grade between teachers and administrators. Just makes it a lot easier to be happier at school and more positive. 

“The small town makes it a great community. Everyone knows each other, and they are able to bond well.”

Tehrani has been in leadership since her middle school days. She is also a member of the National Honor Society.

There might not be enough room on the internet to list all of Higgins’ activities and achievements. A brilliant mind and artist, she is in the Magnet program (math, science, technology), plus she is an actress and in the choir. 

As the ASB sergeant at arms, she used her voice to handle the daily announcements at school. 

At Camas, the students miss the big things, and the little things, too.

“I would tell a joke every day,” Higgins said. “It was the nicest part of my morning, the energy needed to get through the day.”

She calls the teachers at Camas “caring and very genuine.” 

And she appreciates her classmates.

“We represent so many great groups of people with different opinions and different beliefs,” she said. “It doesn’t bring conflict. It enriches our experience together.”

Audrey Tehrani, the student body president at Camas, said positivity and helping others were her main goals. Photo courtesy Audrey Tehrani
Audrey Tehrani, the student body president at Camas, said positivity and helping others were her main goals. Photo courtesy Audrey Tehrani

Tehrani said she took for granted seeing her teachers and classmates every day.

“I really miss that social interaction. I enjoyed my classes this year,” she said.

There will be no more In-building learning this academic year. The students of Camas still have each other, though, and they still have one of the most famous mascots in Washington: The Papermaker. 

“It’s so iconic,” Higgins said. “Especially during football season when we go all-in and crazy. Everyone is completely in love of being from Camas. … We have a good thing going on.”

Seeing The “C” or the Papermaker brings joy to Tehrani.

“It makes me feel good,” Tehrani said. “Our community is so close. It makes me feel a sense of pride in my town. The accomplishments the school makes are huge in the community. The accomplishments are celebrated by the community.”

Higgins also wanted to point out that she and many of her classmates understand they have it a lot better than most. The schools are well funded, and many of the families are economically stable.

“We can be advocates for people who do not have that,” Higgins said. 

Tehrani said that is certainly a goal of leadership.

“It has really shown me community service,” she said of her experience in ASB. “You have to do what’s good even when nobody’s watching. It has shown me to make a positive out of any negative situation. Do what you can to improve your school and town. 

“I just love the impact I can have on people through leadership,” Tehrani added. “It was where I felt most comfortable. I wanted to leave a legacy at Camas High School of positivity and helping others through community service.” 

Advice to other students during the school closure:

“To remember everything comes in seasons. There will be seasons in life. This is just one of the down seasons. This, too, will pass,” Higgins said. 

And to the seniors: 

“We will have life after this, and we will be connected through this. Connections come through trauma. We’ll always have this town, and we’ll always have the memories. We’ve made tremendous memories. We will come out of this with a fresh new perspective. We will be so grateful for what we have.”

Tehrani wants others to take advantage of this ever-changing situation.

“Use this time to slow down. Sometimes life is so busy and fast you don’t get to take in the small, good things in life,” Tehrani said. “It will be a good time to spend time with family and learn about yourself. Do things by yourself you never had time for.”

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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