News / Passing the Teaching Torch

2323 E. 12th St. ∙ The Dalles, Oregon
(541) 298-8385Contact Us

Press Release: For Immediate Release

Date: March 22, 2019

Columbia Lutheran School, Contact Rev. Jesse Jacobsen, Principal, 541–298–8385,, 2323 East 12th Street, The Dalles, OR 97058 or Linda Griswold, Marketing Director, 541–993–4624

Passing the Teaching Torch
(The Dalles, March 22, 2019) News that a long-time, much-loved teacher has decided to retire can leave a school wondering how to fill the hole. Not so Columbia Lutheran School (CLS). Doug Radliff, who has been at the helm of the lower grade classroom since the school’s opening five years ago, announced his retirement this past fall. Columbia’s school board voted to turn to a familiar face—Erica Jacobsen.

Jacobsen has already spent substantial time in Columbia’s classrooms, serving as substitute teacher and teaching K–8 science several afternoons every week. Community members may also recognize her as the “science lady” from her free hands-on activities during the past several The Dalles Farmers’ Market seasons. These roles have meshed well with her part-time work over the years, including writing chemistry activities for the American Chemical Society and her ten-year stint as high school editor for the Journal of Chemical Education.

While her original degree and teaching licenses focused on the middle school and high school levels, her experience classically homeschooling several of her children from kindergarten through high school has primed her for this fall. She recalls, “Fifteen years ago I stumbled across a library book about using classical education, and the ideas just blew me away. I was thrilled when Bethany Lutheran Church decided to open Columbia and offer this educational choice to Gorge families.” The classical model includes the usual school subjects, plus things like Latin and logic, but follows a sequence keyed to the natural learning stages of children. For example, young children love to memorize and can easily absorb the foundation of subjects, such as facts and dates.

Those wishing to learn more about classical education and talk with Jacobsen are invited to visit the school or attend one of several upcoming open houses over the next few months. Additional information is available at the school’s website,, the school’s Facebook page,, or by calling the school at 541–701–9137. Past student families of Doug Radliff are also invited to a Retirement Open House at the school, 2323 E. 12th St., The Dalles, on Sunday, June 2, from 2 to 4 p.m. as CLS celebrates his years of teaching.

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