(WSB file photo of Madison’s east-facing gym exterior, where the sign would go)
One month ago today, we reported that the city had approved the four-year-old proposal for a 30-square-foot electronic sign outside the Madison Middle School gym. A group of neighbors has appealed the decision, and tomorrow, they go downtown for a conference with the city’s Hearing Examiner, to prepare for a full hearing in July. We talked with one of the neighbors, Claudia Ludwig, who explained why they’re challenging the decision:
One more note from the last week of school:
Thanks to Sally Heit from Hope Lutheran School for sharing the photo from a Thursday morning surprise in honor of the end of the school year. She says the 130 flamingos that surprised arrivals that day were from Westside Flockers.
Congratulations to this year’s West Seattle 8th graders as they move on to high school! Denny International Middle School‘s promotion ceremony was last night, according to principal Jeff Clark, who shared the photo and this report:
The staff at Denny International Middle School were very proud to promote our eighth-grade scholars last night. The ceremony was filled with inspirational student speeches, fantastic music, and awards celebrating terrific academic accomplishments, community-building and school spirit. The auditorium was packed with families and friends — we are all very proud of our kids! Thank you to everyone who helped to make it such a memorable event!
277 eighth-graders in all – good luck to them in high school! Speaking of which, we covered all four of this year’s local high-school graduations – you’ll find the links in the “Big Stories” list on the WSB sidebar.
Our area’s 2013 high-school graduations wrapped up Wednesday night with the Chief Sealth International High School Class of 2013 ceremony at Southwest Athletic Complex, right across the street from the school.
That’s Seattle Public Schools Superintendent José Banda, concluding his first year on the job, helping send off Sealth’s more than 250 graduates. In the stands, celebratory signs included this beyond-life-size photo:
And graduation night didn’t just mean farewell for the students – longtime assistant principal Lupe Barnes is retiring:
According to the program, this year’s Sealth grads were awarded more than 400 scholarships.
Congratulations to the more than 240 members of the West Seattle High School Class of 2013, now on to their post-high-school lives after Wednesday evening’s graduation ceremony at Southwest Athletic Complex. And congratulations, too, to the adults who helped them along their way:
On behalf of the district, West Seattle’s school-board member Marty McLaren accepted the class:
While seniors finished classes last Friday, this coming Friday is the final day of school for everybody else.
From five 17-year-olds to one 62-year-old, 864 people received degrees or certificates in today’s South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) graduation ceremony. SSCC’s communications director Kevin Maloney says Benaroya Hall downtown was packed for the big event this afternoon, and shared the photo. Their commencement speaker was Geo Quibuyen from the hip-hop group the Blue Scholars, the Town Hall Seattle artist-in-residence for the past three months. Congratulations, graduates!
P.S. Coverage coming up later from tonight’s two high-school graduations.
21 students comprise this year’s graduating class – here they are, making their entrance:
This is the first class to graduate since the southern branch of Middle College High School moved into its new High Point quarters, chosen after it lost its longtime home at South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) this time last year. As recently announced on the MCHS-HPC website, the school has extended its High Point lease for another year.
This was the first of our area’s three Seattle Public Schools graduations in two nights; tomorrow night, Southwest Athletic Complex in Westwood will be the site of the graduations for both West Seattle High School (5 pm) and Chief Sealth International High School (7:30 pm). Our area’s lone private high school, Seattle Lutheran, gave its 33-member Class of 2013 their sendoff last Friday (WSB coverage here).
View West Seattle school-zone speed cameras in a larger map
West Seattle’s first school-zone speeding-ticket camera, on Fauntleroy Way near Gatewood Elementary, will likely be joined by two others. In the final week of the school year, Mayor McGinn has just announced five more proposed camera locations around the city, “based on an analysis of documented speeding problems that showed these schools would receive the greatest speed reduction and safety benefit from automated speed enforcement” per the official announcement. Two would be on SW Roxbury: Roxhill Elementary and Holy Family School. (They’re shown in red on our Google Map above, while Gatewood is shown in blue.) If the City Council approves funding, these and three other cameras would likely be installed early next year, according to the news release from the mayor’s office, which also says that the “four existing school zone camera locations have seen an average reduction of 16 percent in citations for speeding, from the week of December 10 to the week of April 22. … 96 percent of those who received a citation and paid it did not get another citation.” Seattle Police activated the Gatewood camera last November.
For WSHS Graduates and families: The WSHS music department will be offering concessions before and during the graduation ceremony on Wednesday June 12th. We will have hot dogs, chips, snacks and beverages. We also have a limited number of flower and candy leis to purchase for the graduates. Flower leis are $25 and candy leis are $10. All proceeds will go directly to the WSHS music program.
The WSHS ceremony is at 5 pm Wednesday (June 12th), Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle). Our full list of local graduation ceremony dates/times/places is here.
The graduations have begun! The first high-school commencement ceremony in West Seattle this year was Friday night at Seattle Lutheran High School. The Saints’ 33rd graduating class also numbered 33; family and friends gathered in the Menashe Family Gym on campus for the ceremony; we photographed them outside, just before their grand entrance. Video too:
Co-valedictorians this year were Jihyun Lee and Madison Jones; 17 – more than half – graduated with honors. The rest of West Seattle’s graduations are next week, all on our quick-reference list.
At tonight’s West Seattle High School All-School Reunion, hundreds of alumni were on hand from nine decades. But the spotlight shone brightest on the Class of 1963, celebrating its golden anniversary. While we were there, class members were posing for photos grouped by the elementaries they had attended – as you’ve probably guessed from the sign, the people in our picture had gone to nearby Lafayette Elementary. All around the WSHS Commons, where the Class of ’63 met, there were displays with historical photos:
Other classes met in various locations around the school, before attendees gathered in the theater for the program to announce scholarships and Hall of Fame inductions. Outside, for the first few hours, the traditional display of classic cars, like this gleaming Ford Mustang:
Thanks to reunion chair Jim Biava of the WSHS Alumni Association for sharing this electronic copy of the program – it includes the names of tonight’s honorees. Keep a eye on the association’s new website for future alumni events.
Today brings the second ribbon-cutting in two days involving South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) – but this one wasn’t AT the college; instead, it happened a few miles north at Vigor Shipyard, where the new Harbor Island Training Center has just been dedicated. It includes a computer lab, classroom space, and industrial training floor, and its purpose, as explained in the announcement, is to provide students with the industrial skills they need to get family-wage jobs at the region’s industrial manufacturers.” Those jobs are available – but companies such as Vigor have trouble finding skilled workers to fill them, so this will help “bridge that disconnect,” as Vigor’s senior VP of HR Sue Haley puts it. SSCC already had welding and manufacturing programs, so the partnership made perfect sense. Vigor Industrial CEO Frank Foti and SSCC president Gary Oertli were among those who spoke:
Other local leaders on hand included City Council President Sally Clark and State House Transportation Committee Chair Judy Clibborn, in the photo below with SSCC president Oertli:
Enrollment information and other details about the new training center can be found on this SSCC webpage.
Big event tonight at South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) – the photo and update are from SSCC communications director Kevin Maloney:
SSCC President Gary Oertli (center) cut the ribbon to officially open the new home for South’s Northwest Wine Academy. The new building will be open to the public for tastings tomorrow from 2-8 PM for tastings that will include NWWA’s 2013 Spring release. From left to right: NWWA Instructor Regina Daigneault, President Gary Oertli, and NWWA faculty member Peter Boss.
The building is on the east side of SSCC’s north parking lot.
Chief Sealth International High School is the latest West Seattle school to announce a principal change. Just e-mailed by principal Chris Kinsey, who’s led the school for two years:
As we wrap up the school year and begin planning for next year, I am writing to you with a sense of pride and a heavy heart. I write to you with a sense of pride because of all the incredible programs, students, staff, and community that belong to Chief Sealth International. I write to you with a heavy heart because I have decided not to return to Chief Sealth as your Principal.
In my two years as your Principal, I have been extremely proud of how we have grown as a community, flourished as learners, and strengthened each and every program at Sealth — ensuring academic and emotional success for ALL students. In my time at Sealth, I have enjoyed the incredible diversity, remarkable teaching, and the overall commitment and dedication to the students who walk through our doors each and every day. It has been an honor and privilege to work with the staff, students, and community.
I can assure you that I will remain committed to Sealth and will work diligently with Carmela Dellino, Executive Director of Schools for West Seattle, to ensure a successful transition for your next Principal. Ms. Dellino will be working with the staff and community to gather feedback and input into the qualities and characteristics for your next Principal.
I want to thank the students of Sealth for their passion for learning and commitment to changing the world, the Sealth staff for creating opportunities for ALL of our students to find success, and the Sealth community for their dedication and support. You have provided me with passion and inspiration, for that I am grateful.
Kinsey’s predecessor as Chief Sealth principal, John Boyd, was at the school for seven years. District spokesperson Teresa Wippel tells WSB that there is not an interim principal waiting in the wings for a quick announcement – “we will be looking for someone.”
SIDE NOTE: Other West Seattle public schools changing principals for next year include Madison Middle School (here’s our story from earlier this week), Sanislo Elementary (here’s our story from April), and Lafayette Elementary (here’s our story from April). We’ve also reported on an independent-school change – Our Lady of Guadalupe (here’s our story from April),
(WSB photo from June 2012 West Seattle High School graduation @ Memorial Stadium)
From the “in case you wondered” file – it’s almost graduation time! And this year, graduating seniors and their families from local schools will not have to make the trek downtown. Here’s the schedule:
“Joyful, Joyful” is the song you hear in our clip of the Chief Sealth International High School Choir performing their final concert of the year, sharing the bill last night with orchestras from their school and adjacent Denny International Middle School. You’ll see the two schools’ orchestras playing together in this next clip:
No matter what year you attended West Seattle High School, you’re welcome at the All-School Reunion this Friday (June 7). Event chair Jim Biava (WSHS Class of 1971) asked us to remind you it’s just two days away. We asked him for the schedule of events:
5:00 pm: Doors open
5:00 – 6:00 pm: Pick up programs, name tag & roam the halls
6:00 – 7:15 pm: Individual CLASS REUNIONS in assigned rooms
7:00 – 7:30 pm: “Meet Our Hall of Fame” video presentation in the Theater, accompanied by WSHS student musicians
7:15 pm: Alumni dismissed to the Theater
7:30 – 9:00 pm: PROGRAM in the Theater, including Scholarship Awards & Hall of Fame
This year’s Hall of Fame inductees, who are already featured on the new official WSHS Alumni Association website, are Kathleen Stake Brose (Class of ’75) and John Jasperse (Class of ’53). In addition to the events above, classic cars will be on display along SW Stevens, in front of the school, 4:30-7 pm; from 5-9 pm, at the west entrance, you can buy food/drinks and support the WSHS music program; and 5-9 pm, alumni merchandise will be on sale in the Alumni Room.
They came from behind to beat St. Louise of Bellevue. Down 8-1 in the 3rd inning, the team comes back to win 10-8. With good defense, solid pitching and timely hitting, the OLG Bulldogs came back in thrilling fashion to claim the CYO title, in a game played at Walt Hundley Field.
Players: Kellen, Cristian, Nathan, Matthew, Caitlin, Jackson, Issac, Issac, Brandon, Aidan, Luke, Jaiden, Chase
Coach Jon also credits Coach Peter and the fans for their roles in the big win.
3:02 PM: We’re at Madison Middle School, where Mayor McGinn will be speaking momentarily as part of an announcement that dental care will be provided for some Seattle Public Schools students starting next year. The news release that’s been provided explains that the money comes from the Families and Education Levy passed by voters in 2011, and Neighborcare Health – whose CEO is also scheduled to speak – will be the provider. Neighborcare already runs clinics at some SPS campuses. We’ll add any West Seattle-specific details that emerge in the briefing.
3:15 PM: “You can’t learn when your teeth hurt,” the mayor noted in the briefing (which we are recording on video). Also speaking: Pat Sander from the school district, who notes, “In recent years, we’ve become much more aware of the importance of dental health, and the toll it may be taking on student attendance.” She says this will be offered at elementary and middle schools. Mark Secord, CEO of Neighborcare, says they are “thrilled” to receive the grant. “We hope to cover at least 11 schools through this grant support.” He says this will particularly benefit some students who otherwise might never get to go to a dental clinic. Speaking next: Neighborcare’s dental director, Dr. Marty Lieberman. They have not yet worked out which schools this will be offered in, for starters.
ADDED: Video of the briefing, above. Afterward, the mayor was taken on a tour of the Madison clinic, including a demonstration of the kind of portable dental equipment that’ll be used in the new program:
One more news item about Madison Middle School: Mayor McGinn will be visiting after school tomorrow, to join in a media briefing about “new health services” for students around the city. That’s according to a brief announcement we received this afternoon, which says he’ll be joined by representatives of Neighborcare Health (which runs some school-based clinics in West Seattle) and Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic.
4:10 PM: Madison Middle School will have a new principal next year, according to this letter from current principal Henterson Carlisle to Madison families, just shared with us by a parent:
Writing this letter is bittersweet. I want to let you know I will not be returning to Madison Middle School next year as your principal. My work here at Madison has been both a privilege and an honor. The progress we have made as a school, academically and as an inclusive community, is work that I am fortunate to have led.
As your principal, it has been my job — along with our staff — to create a safe, academically challenging and socially fulfilling learning environment for each of your children. With your support Madison has become just that — a safe, challenging learning environment. I am at a time in my life and educational career that I am ready for the next challenge. Madison has afforded me the opportunity to grow as a leader and a person. I feel this is the right time, and I believe that Madison is poised to take the next step on its continued journey to be one of the best middle schools in Seattle.
My position as principal will continue in full force until June 30. I will continue my dedication and focus as your school leader for the remainder of the year.
Carmela Dellino, Executive Director of Schools for the West Seattle region, and Superintendent José Banda will soon announce details about your next principal. I look forward to ensuring a smooth transition for the 2013-14 school year.
This is just to let you know of my plans in a timely manner. However, I am sure we will be talking about this in all of our upcoming meetings and as I see each of you at school. Fortunately, having such a strong, committed staff, your children will continue to be in good hands.
Thanks to each one of you for giving me the opportunity to be your school leader. Watching your children grow, learn and blossom each and every day has been a gift. I will miss the work tremendously.
This is the fourth school year that Carlisle has led Madison; he became interim principal for 2009-2010, then got the permanent appointment toward the end of that school year.
ADDED 4:10 PM: Minutes later, a separate message to parents announced an interim principal:
I am pleased that we are able to appoint longtime educator Dr. Robert Gary, Jr. as the new Interim Principal for Madison Middle School, starting on July 1. Dr. Gary comes to Madison from the District’s Interagency Academy and Skills Center, where he has served as co-principal during the 2012-13 school year.
You know Seattle Public Library branches are places to go for books, videos, computers, more … but don’t forget the art! It was a big reason why Gatewood Elementary 4th graders hiked up SW Morgan Street to get to the High Point Branch last Thursday. Teacher Darren Radu, who shared the photos, says local ceramic artist Steve Gardner talked with them there:
The artist, says Darren, “is the creative genius behind the beautiful artwork that adorns the High Point library exterior. He provided insight to his creative process and retold the ‘Sky Legends’ from Somali, Mexican, Native American, Asian, and Greek cultures that inspired his work. The kids were extremely impressed with both the art and the stories, and made a number of connections to their studies of myths and legends this year. We’re grateful to Steve for taking the time to meet with us and share his expertise.”
While at the library, he adds, they also talked with librarian Nathalie about summer reading. “The kids wanted to pass along a message – they hope that the West Seattle community spends the summer appreciating both great art AND great books!”
Young musicians from West Seattle are showing their stuff at Disneyland this weekend, and gaining recognition for it, reports Denny International Middle School principal Jeff Clark:
It is an honor to share with you that the Denny International Middle School senior band, senior orchestra, and jazz band musicians are performing this weekend at the Disney Magic Music Days in Anaheim, California. Mr. Pimpleton, Ms. Shaffer, and other Denny staff and volunteers are with nearly 100 students as they perform. Our scholars are having a great time and earning some prestigious awards. So far, we have been presented with a 1st place and overall top Jazz Band, 2nd place Middle School Orchestra, and 3rd place Middle School Concert Band awards! Congratulations, Dolphins! Thank you to our staff and volunteers!
P.S. After they return, the orchestra’s final concert of the year, along with Denny singers, is this Wednesday night.
SIDE NOTE: Thanks to ALL local school staffers, volunteers, parents, and others who have helped us update tens of thousands of people in the West Seattle community and beyond with news of many local schools/students’ activities, honors, open-to-the-public events and more, again this year. We appreciate hearing from any and all schools in the area! Whether it’s an upcoming event announcement, an invitation to cover something at/involving your school, or photos/info on something that’s already happened, firstname.lastname@example.org is the place to send it (and if you have questions on how or what to send, same address – thanks!).
Late lunch? Early dinner? Concession booths are part of what awaits you at the Arbor Heights Elementary carnival, on till 6 pm; our photo’s courtesy of a parent volunteer. The community is invited; lots of bouncy rides, too, with wristbands on sale. Even if you’re not going for rides, games, and food, remember they’re collecting items for Northwest Center – gently used household items and clothing, in particular.
ADDED: WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand stopped by for a few more photos:
The sun came out to match that tropical-themed bouncy slide! And to make dunk-tank duty a little less chilly – that’s kindergarten teacher David Wilkie in the rainbow wig:
The donation drive filled two trucks, we’re told.
Just two more weeks of school for AH and other Seattle Public Schools campuses. Not that anyone’s counting …
If you haven’t already seen local schools’ “bell times” for next school year, check this link for the district-wide list shared by West Seattle High School principal Ruth Medsker in the new edition of the school’s online newsletter, Westside Weekly. It’s part of a message from the principal to WSHS families, published in the newsletter put together each week during the school year by editor Beverly Corey. WSHS will start at 8 am next year, same as this year, and the principal goes on to address this bigger issue:
We have heard that some members of the larger Seattle Public Schools community would like the District to consider later high school start times and earlier elementary start times. This has major ramifications for high school students, including after-school jobs and athletics, as well as before- and after-school child care for elementary school families. It also means that elementary school students would be waiting for buses in the dark during much of the year.
The District is committed to thoroughly studying these ideas, but we ask for your patience as it will require time and public involvement. The District is working with families, staff on these long-term issues. Our plan is to develop a District-wide survey in the fall and to make recommendations to the School Board in time for the 2014-15 school year.
You can read the principal’s entire bell-time message (and the rest of the newest Westside Weekly) by going here.
(2009 Arbor Heights carnival photo, shared by since-retired teacher Mark Ahlness)
The weather has brightened just in time for big weekend events, and here’s another one: Tomorrow’s carnival at Arbor Heights Elementary. The entire community is invited, we’re told. You’ll find a 27-foot pipeline slide, obstacle course, bouncy houses, mini-golf course, dunk tank, indoor games, concessions, more. Wristbands are $15 for unlimited rides, with 5 game/concession tickets included. And – even if you’re not coming to ride or play games, they’re having a clothing drive for Northwest Center, and will gladly accept donations of gently used clothes, shoes, and household items. AH Elementary is at 37th/104th; the carnival is scheduled for 3-6 pm.
(Denny Jazz Band)
More achievements by local student musicians in the waning weeks of the school year – the Chief Sealth International High School was the scene last night for performances by jazz bands from both Sealth and adjacent Denny International Middle School, whose principal Jeff Clark shared photos and this note:
The sweet sounds of jazz filled the auditorium as the scholars in the Denny and Sealth jazz bands skillfully performed. A special thanks to our partners at the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra and all of our families and volunteers. Congratulations to all of our kids, to Mr. Pimpleton, and to Mr. Morales–your performance was fantastic!
(Sealth Jazz Band)
Denny, Sealth, and other Seattle Public Schools have just two weeks to go till summer break – the official last day is June 14th; some independent schools get out even sooner.
P.S. Any more school performances coming up before year’s end? Please be sure to send an announcement for our calendar! Thanks!
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