Sawhorse began our partnership with Interagency Academy (IA) in Spring 2014 when linked up with an existing garden program. Our crews updated the garden beds, built new work tables, and created several Juniper boxes for a nearby Columbia City community space. From there, we worked with IA staff to outline an independent program structure for the 2014-15 school year. We set up shop in an unused portable, and assembled our larger projects in a covered outdoor space right across from the new Columbia City PCC.

It’s great to work with our crews in such a visible way; I think our program is a direct example of the importance of investing time and energy toward working with students who haven’t thrived in typical school settings. We’ve completed a whole variety of projects that show students how their hard work and learning are important to our community. ADA access ramps, small improvements around the aging school building, and tiny homes destined for the new Georgetown Tiny House Village have all been built by our IA students.

Our goal there is to provide a safe and welcoming space with nearly no barriers to entry, where students can explore their personal and shared strengths and challenges through hands-on projects that really matter.

-Micah Stanovsky, Operations Director


Below, we’ve reprinted IA’s Core Values and Beliefs from a poster the school kindly gave to Sarah Smith. We find these values inspiring and resonant with¬†those that we try to integrate into our own programs. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we do!


Interagency Core Values and Beliefs


  1. We believe in the value of being present.

  2. We believe in the value of knowing every student well academically, socially, and emotionally.

  3. We believe that everyone matters and should be treated with kindness.

  4. We believe that we can create an environment that is physically, emotionally, and spiritually safe for everyone.

  5. We believe in meeting every student where they are and supporting them as they grow.

  6. We believe in celebrating success.

  7. We believe in the value of team.

  8. We believe joy should be experienced every day.