Dr. Jim Tangeman

Dr. Jim Tangeman. Photo courtesy of the Tangeman family.

The current Fir Grove/Vista is moving into a new building on Norris Road and 18th Street and will become the Jim Tangeman Center. The late Dr. Tangeman was a respected, longtime VPS administrator and advocate for students with special needs and their families. Among his many accomplishments in the district and community, Dr. Tangeman drove the opening of what originally was known as Fir Grove Children’s Center, filling a gap in services for students with special needs. He also served as the school’s first principal. Tina Henry, a retired VPS special education teacher and community member, suggested the name. She noted that Tangeman “tirelessly solicited support for [Fir Grove] students after his retirement.”

Construction on the new school is nearly complete. Staff will move in over the summer, and the new Tangeman Center is projected to open in fall 2021.

The current Lieser Campus will move to the former site of Marshall Elementary, on MacArthur Boulevard. Moving is expected to begin this summer. The former Marshall building is being updated and will be renamed Heights Campus. The new name reflects the location in the Vancouver Heights neighborhood and the school’s commitment to helping students reach new heights of personal achievement. Lieser serves students in kindergarten through 12th grade in a variety of programs.

A student and staff member both suggested the Heights name. Angeline Stefanyuk is a ninth grader in Lieser’s Virtual Learning Academy. Angela Shaw is a lifelong Vancouver resident, Columbia River High School alum and current teacher at Franklin Elementary. Her children once attended the Vancouver Early Childhood Center at the former Lieser School and are now alumni of Vancouver School of Arts and Academics.

This and more stories originally appeared in the January 2021 issue of Inside Vancouver Public Schools.