Letter lists 4 potential names for new school on Genesee Hill – and a potential new plan

April 16, 2015 at 9:40 am | In Genesee Hill, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 16 Comments

(Image captured this morning from construction-site webcam)
Remember the call for suggestions about what to call the new school being built on Genesee Hil, for the program currently housed (and overflowing) at Schmitz Park Elementary? A letter has just gone out listing four finalists, and launching a vote. The finalists are:

*Genesee Hill Elementary School: Genesee Hill is the name of the original building, which opened in 1949.

*Genesee-Schmitz Elementary School: Genesee-Schmitz recognizes the shared identity and history of the neighborhood and the two schools.

*Dietrich Schmitz Elementary School: Dietrich Schmitz was the longest-serving member of the Seattle School Board in history, serving 32 years and multiple times as President.

*Thelma DeWitty Elementary School: Thelma DeWitty was the first African-American teacher in Seattle, working first in West Seattle at the Cooper School.

The four potential names are not the only points of interest in the letter from Schmitz Park principal Gerrit Kischner. It’s been pointed out that the new school, with capacity around 650, might be not be big enough to hold SPE’s continuing-to-swell population, and Kischner’s letter includes this mention of one way that might be addressed:

… Please note that while we would like to move forward to finalize the naming of the new building, we are also continuing to watch enrollment numbers that could affect the long-term plans for both our current and future school sites.

The Building Leadership Team made a point of requesting that we ensure that the Schmitz Family legacy, which has inspired Schmitz Park Elementary School to be a flagship elementary program in the Seattle School District, will continue to be recognized and honored. If enrollment trends continue to the point that our program could be needed to operate at both sites, we will recommend to the Superintendent that the new building be opened as Schmitz Park School at Genesee Hill.

Regardless, we will not change the name of the school building we currently occupy, which is officially named by the School Board as “Schmitz Park School.” This is a promise made by the District to the Schmitz Family, who donated the land for the Schmitz Park Preserve and school site. Important Schmitz Park traditions and our fox mascot and logo will continue at the new building. …

We’re following up with the district regarding the “both sites” possibility; meantime, you can read the entire letter here.

Now, back to the name poll: Make your choice online here; if you’d like to vote another way, the letter mentions you can postal-mail or drop off your choice to/at SPES (5000 SW Spokane, Seattle 98116). Deadline is April 26th – one week from this Sunday.

From Our Lady of Guadalupe to ‘American Ninja Warrior’: James McGrath’s pep talk for OLG students, pre-Jog-A-Thon

April 16, 2015 at 8:41 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 3 Comments

Never give up – always do your best. That was the message Our Lady of Guadalupe students heard on Wednesday from an OLG alum who’s made it into the spotlight, James McGrath, who’s been a featured competitor for the past few seasons of the TV show “American Ninja Warrior” – here’s a clip of him in action last year:

McGrath was the special guest at an assembly looking ahead to the annual OLG Jog-A-Thon.

McGrath attended OLG through 8th grade, back in 2001. His PE teacher Susan Sutton is still at the school, so we caught a pic of both of them:

Also noted: McGrath worked for a while at Full Tilt Ice Cream in White Center; now, in addition to his TV exploits, he works as a personal trainer. Students had lots of questions for him about “American Ninja Warrior,” which airs on the Esquire Network, and he says you’ll see him again on the show in late May. (Thanks to Jog-A-Thon chair Sarah Housknecht for the tip about his appearance!)

West Seattle schools: Science Palooza at Gatewood Elementary

April 12, 2015 at 1:39 pm | In Gatewood, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 1 Comment

Right before Seattle Public Schools got out for spring break (which lasts all of next week), Gatewood Elementary students got to show off their projects for the 4th annual Science Palooza. Here are some highlights from Thursday night’s event, shared by Nicole Sipila, who chaired the science fair:

We had 69 kids with 48 projects. The kids really stepped up the projects this year and everybody was really impressed.

Simone & Delaney exploring sound with their project, The Pitch of Pipes:

​… More than just your average volcano replica, Kailey, Hailey, and Hudson made a model of Mt. St. Helens and showed how much of the mountain was lost and the effects of the lahar:

… We also had some exciting guests. UW Material Advantage was on hand to demonstrate material science applications at a graduate school level. Most popular were the semi-conductors.

… Also, Gatewood’s choir, conducted by Mr. Hall, performed the National Anthem to kick start the evening and then came back later to perform two more songs.

It was an amazing night of science learning & sharing, along with a great community building event. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped put this wonderful evening together.

‘Not just a Diversity Club thing’: West Seattle HS students teach anti-racism workshops in #embRACEtheRACE campaign

April 10, 2015 at 11:14 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 9 Comments

Thanks to West Seattle High School teacher Rebecka McKinney for another update on the WSHS Diversity Club, which closed out this pre-spring-break week with a workshop for classmates schoolwide:

The West Seattle High School Diversity Club taught workshops in every language arts class Friday, April 10 on racism, bias and privilege.

The workshops went through why this is important work as a part of the Diversity Club’s #embRACEtheRACE campaign to build understanding and capacity for anti-racist efforts at WSHS. They shared the history of race as a social construct and what the concept of race means in this country.

“I feel like more people are thinking about racism and that’s what matters, they’re thinking about it instead of just ignoring it,” said senior facilitator and Diversity Club member Jahine Wallace.

Next, the club used a well-known game to teach a lesson on privilege and why people need to recognize when they have it and help those who have less.

“I felt that it was great because people were actually engaging and participating,” said senior facilitator and Diversity Club member Essence Cassell. “I felt like they learned a lot and they’ve been listening all year.”

After that the workshops covered different types of racism, individual, institutional, and structural racism along with implicit bias. They talked about what each of these are as well as examples of each.

“It was a work in progress, but successful,” said junior facilitator and Diversity Club member Larenn Dixon. “I feel like a lot of people have more understanding than they did before and it opened people’s eyes to more than just individual racism, but institutional and structural.”

Next the workshop had students go through a scenario on racism in education that the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative developed last year for the RACE workshops that went with the Science Center’s exhibit.

“People actually spoke about racism and didn’t feel as uncomfortable,” said junior facilitator and Diversity Club member Analisa Guerra.

The Diversity Club has done several things this year as a part of their #embRACEtheRACE campaign. They led a challenge to erase the n-word that was featured on KING 5 with a video to kick off the challenge on YouTube and time at class assemblies. They have also taught the school about police brutality against people of color through the school’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. assembly.

“I hope more people are aware that racism is a real thing and not just a Diversity Club thing,” said senior facilitator and Diversity Club member Aby Riggins.

The Diversity Club meets twice a week and planned these workshops in response to the walkout that happened after the Michael Brown verdict. The workshops ended with suggestions for how to take action for racial equity.

“I hope people know the different types of racism and know that implicit bias isn’t their fault,” said junior facilitator and Diversity Club member Eryn Johnson. “I hope people at WSHS understand that racism still does exist and that it’s not just a black people’s problem.”

Last month, we featured the Diversity Dinner presented annually by the club – their biggest one yet.

‘Arts Day’ @ Sanislo Elementary, thanks to visiting Kellogg Fellows

April 8, 2015 at 2:26 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | No Comments

(WSB photos: District visual/performing-arts manager Gail Sehlhorst leading students in an exercise)
A break from routine on Tuesday at West Seattle’s Sanislo Elementary … and it all traced back to the founder of the world’s most famous breakfast-cereal company. In honor of the birthday of Will Keith Kellogg, people who had gained leadership training via the Kellogg Foundation fanned out for a Day of Service – and Sanislo was among the stops. Among the Kellogg Fellows visiting Sanislo to provide a day of arts education was Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland, reading “Stone Soup” to students via his iPad:

Another Kellogg Fellow who worked with the Sanislo students, Dr. Lora-Ellen McKinney, who is working with the district to facilitate enrichment experiences:

The day’s theme was “Compassionate Leadership,” and the visiting fellows were joined by Seattle Art Museum teaching artists in using the arts to help students work on those skills. Among them, Regan Pro, SAM’s manager of school and educator programs, who showed kindergarteners Malcah Zeldis‘s triptych of the life of President Abraham Lincoln:

The day’s theme was also meant to underscore the district’s Creative Advantage program to bring more arts into the schools; a new South-Southwest Pathway for arts is expected to include Sanislo. The school’s visual-arts teacher Andrew Wakefield was part of today’s programming, as was librarian/teacher Craig Seasholes.

High-school soccer: Chief Sealth-West Seattle rematch

April 8, 2015 at 12:30 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

Three weeks ago, Chief Sealth International High School and West Seattle High School opened the boys-soccer season with a 1-1 tie. Tuesday, they met again, and this time the final was a 1-0 victory for Sealth. #3 in the top photo is the Seahawks’ Abel Kidane (featured in our earlier story about 3 Sealth & WSHS players who helped make history last weekend), who had the assist for Yael Pina‘s goal.

Next on the schedule – Sealth plays Seattle Prep at Magnuson, 3:30 pm Friday; West Seattle plays Roosevelt at Walt Hundley, 3:30 pm Thursday.

More baseball today! West Seattle Wildcats win on the road

April 6, 2015 at 9:28 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

As the Mariners were wrapping up their Opening Day win downtown, the West Seattle High School Wildcats were taking the field on the road for what turned out to be a big win. Thanks to Caryn Johnson for the report and photo:

West Seattle Wildcats took on the Franklin Quakers Monday afternoon. Freshman Cameron Paskett (#28) started on the mound for West Seattle. Cameron pitched 5 good innings, striking out four, giving up 6 hits and only allowing 3 runs. Senior Daniel Kemp came in to finish up the game, pitching the last two innings and not giving up a hit.

On the offensive side of the ball, West Seattle dominated Franklin’s pitchers. 5 players had multiple hits in the game, with freshman Alex Pastrana leading the way with three. In the end, West Seattle walked away with the victory 18-3. Next game is Wednesday against Garfield, 3:30 at Hiawatha.

HAPPENING NOW: Buy books, help students @ Sanislo Elementary

April 4, 2015 at 12:10 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

(Photo courtesy Lisa)
Stock your bookshelves, stock your nearest Little Free Library, get someone a gift, find something new to read in your away-from-the-screen quiet time … lots of books for all ages are on sale right now at Sanislo Elementary‘s annual Book Sale, raising money for the 4th-grade camping trip. Treats too:

(WSB photo)
Head over to the forested grounds at 1812 SW Myrtle (map) before 2 pm!

3 Friday afternoon games at Southwest Athletic Complex: Sealth softball & baseball, WSHS softball

April 4, 2015 at 4:32 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

Three scenes and scores from Southwest Athletic Complex in Westwood, where three local varsity teams played ball in the Friday afternoon sunshine:

Click to read the rest of 3 Friday afternoon games at Southwest Athletic Complex: Sealth softball & baseball, WSHS softball…

West Seattle schools: New ‘pathway’ planned for ‘highly capable’ students – Fairmount Park, Madison, WSHS

April 3, 2015 at 1:15 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 3 Comments

Thanks to the reader who called this to our attention. Seattle Public Schools is setting up a “pathway” through local schools for students identified as “highly capable,” the first of its two tiers of advanced-learning programs, the one that was formerly known as APP, and it’s looking for interested people to be part of a focus group. As explained in this letter, the pathway would start with Fairmount Park Elementary, which offers “highly capable” placement now, and would continue with Madison Middle School and West Seattle High School:

The Office of Advanced Learning is collaborating with school and community members to develop a Highly Capable Cohort pathway for students in West Seattle. That is, when the pathway is established, students identified as Highly Capable could eventually be served from kindergarten through 12th grade in HC classrooms at schools located in West Seattle.

We are forming a Focus Group to provide an opportunity for school leaders and community members to collaborate on implementing new HC services at Madison Middle School and West Seattle High School. If you are interested in joining the Focus Group, application forms will be made available by mid-April on the Advanced Learning website www.seattleschools.org/advlearning.

The pathway will take time to develop and will not be fully in place by next school year, but we want to help families understand their options for this fall:

Click to read the rest of West Seattle schools: New ‘pathway’ planned for ‘highly capable’ students – Fairmount Park, Madison, WSHS…

You can help Chief Sealth IHS Class of 2015 celebrate Grad Night – even if you don’t know a grad-to-be. Here’s how.

April 2, 2015 at 10:08 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 1 Comment

Now that April’s here, the Class of 2015 is just two months from graduating, and celebrating. At Chief Sealth International High School, a bit of a community boost will go a long way toward making sure the biggest party of the summer isn’t out of any grad’s reach:

The Chief Sealth Class of 2015 senior class parents are currently organizing a tremendous event for our graduating seniors. Grad Night is an all-night, alcohol and drug-free party with non-stop, action-packed and supervised fun aimed at keeping our seniors safe on this important night. Where they’re going is a total surprise…but it will be awesome! This special event sends a clear message to graduates that we want to honor their achievement and care about their safety.

Why do we do Grad Night? Statistically, graduation night is the most common night for tragedy among teens and young adults. Students have just been ceremoniously ushered into adulthood and feel invincible – what could go wrong when left to their own plans? For many teens and young adults, this night has ended in tragedy. Why leave it to chance? We want our graduates to celebrate their bright futures, not ruin them.

Did you know? At Chief Sealth, over half of our students qualify for free/ reduced lunch and there are reportedly at least 40 homeless students currently attending Chief Sealth. For many families in our community, senior year expenses are overwhelming. In previous years, the CSIHS community generosity has made this event possible and affordable for all students. Funds raised have provided valuable scholarships to students who cannot afford the ticket price, as well as prizes for the contests and games offered throughout the event and many other details that make this night a lasting memory for students. Your support of this worthwhile tradition is extremely important. We need your help to continue this event.

Seattle Public Schools and the CSIHS PTSA support Grad Night and they commend you for any contribution. Most of all, the graduating seniors are grateful to you for caring enough to help provide a safe alcohol and drug free party.

It’s so easy to help! Contributions can be made online at bit.ly/sealthgradnight. Or you may use the attached form and send in your contribution to the CSIHS Main Office at 2600 SW Thistle St, Seattle, WA 98126, ATTN: 2015 Grad Night. Contributions must be received by May 1, 2015.

Please consider forwarding this letter to the greater community or anyone you know who may support CSIHS Grad Night.

If you have any questions, please call me at 206-932-4760. Thank you for supporting the CSIHS Class of 2015!

Thank you!
Cathy Jimenez
Grad Night Committee Chair

High-school baseball: West Seattle’s rough afternoon vs. visiting Eastside Catholic

April 1, 2015 at 11:54 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

Thanks to Caryn Johnson for the photo and report on West Seattle High School‘s varsity baseball game on Wednesday:

It was a rough afternoon for the Wildcats. The Crusaders of Eastside Catholic jumped out to an early lead and the Wildcats just could not recover. There were a few highlights in the game, but the key was when sophomore Andrew Burggraff [photo above] came in to pitch midway through the 3rd inning. He pitched the rest of the game, giving up only one hit and not letting in a run. In the end, West Seattle lost 13-2 in five innings.

Next game is against Ballard on Friday at Hiawatha, at 3:30 pm.

‘Pajama Game’ opens tomorrow at WSHS – plus, tickets available now for special benefit April 10th

April 1, 2015 at 9:31 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | No Comments

The West Seattle High School Drama Club presentation of “The Pajama Gameopens tomorrow (Thursday) night, 7:30 pm, at the WSHS Theater (3000 California SW).

In addition to the regular run, you have the option of seeing the closing-night performance on April 10th as part of the annual benefit:

Your ticket for the April 10th benefit event also includes:

Gourmet dessert from Essential Baking Company and beverage of your choice (pre-show and during intermission!)
Pajama Game photo booth pictures
Priority seating for benefit ticket holders

You can buy your ticket(s) online by going here – or e-mail tickets@westsidedrama.com.

You can help! Legendary Sanislo Elementary book sale on Saturday: Shop then and/or donate now

March 31, 2015 at 5:04 am | In How to help, West Seattle books, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

Got a little space on your bookshelf? Or maybe in your nearest Little Free Library? A legendary book sale is coming up Saturday – and inviting donations before then if you have some books that need new homes (read this all the way to the end!):

It’s spring, and that means it’s time for the annual Sanislo Elementary Book Sale!

Come join us Saturday, April 4th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the school (1812 SW Myrtle Street) to browse a great selection of used books and buy a sweet treat. All proceeds benefit the annual fourth grade adventure to Camp Sealth on Vashon Island where for three days and two nights, our kids will immerse themselves in environmental education and camp fun. For many of the kids, this is will be their first trip away from home, first ferry ride, first campfire, first s’more, and it is always a highlight of their years at Sanislo. Please come support our kids and your reading habit! We look forward to seeing you Saturday.

We are also accepting donations of used books in good condition for the sale. (Please, no textbooks, manuals or magazines.) Donations can be dropped by the Sanislo front office during the school day. You can contact Lisa at lkeith@pacsci.org with questions. THANK YOU!

High-school baseball: West Seattle wins ‘great battle’

March 31, 2015 at 1:34 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 3 Comments

Hard-fought win for the West Seattle High School baseball team on Monday, in a road game against Nathan Hale. Thanks to Caryn Johnson for the report:

West Seattle jumped on Hale quickly in the first inning when senior Buick McNamara hit a shot to center field to score Jack Page and Jamie Maples.

Jamie started on the mound for West Seattle and threw four scoreless innings. It wasn’t until the bottom of the 5th that Hale mounted their comeback and tied up the game. In the bottom of the 6th, Hale took the lead by one and then it was up to the West Side offense to produce at least one run to tie things up. Morgan McCullough led off the top of the 7th and reached on a single to right field. Jack Page was next to the plate and laid down a beautiful sacrifice bunt which moved Morgan all the way to third. Jamie came up next and singled, which scored Morgan to tie up the game. West Seattle was able to hold off Hale in the bottom of the 7th to send the game into extra innings.

Top of the 8th, Buick was able to get on base due to an error by Hale’s 2nd baseman. Then with a clutch hit, freshman Alex Pastrana doubled to left field to send Buick home. West Seattle now led 4-3 heading into the bottom of the 8th. To close the game out, West Seattle brought in Morgan to close out the game. He faced three batters and recorded all three outs, two by way of strikeout.

In the end, West Seattle topped Nathan Hale 4-3 in eight tight innings. It was a great battle to the very end, and the boys never gave up.

WSHS is back home Wednesday at 3:30 pm on the field at Hiawatha, facing Eastside Catholic.

1 more day for discount earlybird West Seattle 5K registration!

March 30, 2015 at 4:59 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

Quick! If you appreciate a deal – sign up for this year’s West Seattle 5K Run/Walk by tomorrow (Tuesday) night, in order to get the earlybird rate. It’s the eighth annual fundraising run/walk on Alki Beach, set this year for 9 am Sunday, May 17th, presented by and benefiting the West Seattle High School PTSA, with co-sponsors again including WSB. Go here now to register and get the lowest rate!

West Seattle HS baseball @ Safeco Field: Victory on ‘Big Stage’

March 29, 2015 at 9:56 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 1 Comment

Thanks to Caryn Johnson for the report and photos from Saturday’s High School Baseball Classic game at Safeco Field, with West Seattle HS coming home with a win:

The High School Baseball Classic has been running for 9 years and West Seattle High School has been fortunate enough to have participated in every one.

Sponsored by the Seattle Mariners and Safeco Field, this event gives local high schools the opportunity to please on the “Big Stage.” For most of these boys, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to sit in the dugout, practice and play where of some of their idols do. They are treated like a major league team, with their names being called by the announcer, plays being replayed on the “JumboTron” in center field and even the field crew coming out to drag the field during the 4th inning to make sure they played on the best conditions possible. All in all, the experience is one I know the boys from both teams with forever treasure.

Yesterday, West Seattle High School hosted Sedro Woolley High School. It was a brisk sunny afternoon and a wonderful day for baseball.

Sophomore Carson Wright (above) started on the mound for West Seattle and got things underway. He pitched three great innings of baseball, only giving up one run.

(Above, Jack Page sliding into 3rd; below, Morgan McCullough at bat)

West Seattle came out strong and scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 1st. Coach Velko Vitalich made many substitutions during the game, allowing several of the boys a chance to play.

(Jamie Maples scoring the 6th run of the game in the bottom of the 6th)
In the end West Seattle won, 6-1. The next game is Monday against Nathan Hale at Meadowbrook at 3:30 pm.

High-school baseball: West Seattle Wildcats over Cleveland

March 28, 2015 at 7:29 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 2 Comments

As they look ahead to today’s High School Baseball Classic game at Safeco Field, the West Seattle High School baseball team is celebrating a win. Thanks to Caryn Johnson for the report on Friday’s game:

Under beautiful skies at Hiawatha Field, the West Seattle Wildcats hosted the Cleveland Eagles Friday afternoon. West Seattle started Junior Jamie Maples on the mound. He pitched two full innings, striking out 5 of the 7 batters he faced. Freshman Cameron Paskett and Senior Daniel Kemp came in to pitch the rest of the game holding the Cleveland batters to just 2 hits and 5 runs.

Junior Morgan McCullough started the West Seattle bats will a Home Run blast to center field. He would continue to pile up the hits with another Home Run in the 2nd, a triple and a double. Jamie Maples and Sophomore Jack Page each had three hits. As a team, West Seattle had a total of 18 hits, producing 15 runs, 9 of which were earned.

In the end, West Seattle won in 5 innings, 15-5. Next game is this afternoon at Safeco Field at 12:30. Come on out to cheer on the boys at this free event. The next conference game is scheduled for Monday, vs. Nathan Hale at Meadowbrook, at 3:30.

West Seattle schools: Community performance planned for ‘Wizard of Oz’ featuring Gatewood first-graders

March 27, 2015 at 11:47 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | 4 Comments

The book is 115 years old. The movie, 76 years old. But “The Wizard of Oz” as a story is ageless and timeless .. as evidenced by the Gatewood Elementary first-graders’ production. It was staged the past two mornings, but if you didn’t happen to be in the audience, there’s good news – a performance has been added, in the evening on April 7th, with the community invited to see it! More on that shortly. First, parent Jena Inghram shared photos and information about the production:

Their amazing veteran teacher, Mrs. Donna Schwendeman, has spent the last month helping her first-graders prepare for their own musical production of “The Wizard of Oz”. This has been a huge labor of love for our kids and she has put in many many hours of her own time.

A little bit about what they learned along the way…

In preparation for this play, Donna read aloud The Wizard of Oz while the students drew mental images of the story to share out each day. They viewed the movie and discussed the characters in depth. Each student received a full script that was read aloud in class. Students were asked to list 3 characters that they were interested in playing and were cast accordingly. Donna arranged for a field trip experience to see a production of Cinderella…they discussed and critiqued it. A professional actor was invited to Room 2 to discuss his experiences and to teach theater technique (voice projection, etc.). Students and families came together and assisted in set and costume design.

Parent comment: These first graders are amazing- all of them! They sing a capella solos…And read, memorize, and follow along with a huge script. They remember props and cues better than the adults and remind us when we mess up! And especially to the kids who aren’t in as many scenes, they have had to wait patiently during the many hours of rehearsals supporting their peers who had more speaking parts. These kids proposed creative ideas about the set and the costumes and they helped manifest them. What an amazing experience, Mrs. Donna Schwendeman​​ has given this lucky class of first graders. We are all so grateful for the creativity and the exposure to the arts that she brings to Gatewood.

Now, about the community performance, added, Jena says, after so much great feedback about the play: 6:30-7:30 pm Tuesday, April 7th, in the cafeteria at Gatewood (4320 SW Myrtle), with $5 admission at the door, a donation to start an arts fund at the school.

High-school baseball: Chief Sealth IHS off to 2-1 start

March 26, 2015 at 11:58 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | Comments Off

Thanks to Howard Chilcott for this report on the Chief Sealth International High School Seahawks‘ first week of baseball:

Our Seahawks are off to a nice start to their Metro schedule, posting a 2 win/1 loss record over week 1. That includes strong wins over Ingraham and Franklin and a heartbreaker yesterday vs. Lakeside. Highlights have included strong pitching, increasingly solid defense, and big hits as the team is developing nicely early in the season.

The schedule includes a rematch with Lakeside away on Friday, then Ballard on Monday, 4 pm at SWAC! Also, please join us in supporting the boys at their Annual Spaghetti Dinner & Auction Saturday 4/4 at the School Galleria, 6 pm.

(Sealth is at 2600 SW Thistle.)

Free baseball game at Safeco Field – WSHS Wildcats on Saturday!

March 26, 2015 at 9:00 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | Comments Off

(2014 photo by Greg Slader)
See a baseball game free at Safeco Field this Saturday – while cheering for local players! West Seattle High School assistant baseball coach Bryan Tupper shares the reminder:

Come out and support West Seattle High School Baseball at Safeco Field. WSHS continues the annual tradition of playing in the High School Baseball Classic for the 9th year in a row! This year, they take on Sedro Woolley from the Northwest Conference. Admission is free and concession stands will be open.

The game is at 12:30 pm Saturday (March 28th).

Global Reading Challenge: Scenes from the finals, featuring teams from West Seattle, Lafayette Elementaries

March 25, 2015 at 9:09 am | In West Seattle books, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 3 Comments

(Tuesday night WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
We went downtown last night for the 20th annual Global Reading Challenge finals, in which West Seattle Elementary‘s Reading Warriors (above) and Lafayette Elementary‘s Rad Radical Hyperactive Jellyfish (below) were among the seven teams that made the cut from around the city.

Even this event was affected by the southbound Highway 99 closure – our area’s teams made it in time, heading northbound, but the start time was postponed so everyone could arrive from the north end. Ahead – scenes from the competition:
Click to read the rest of Global Reading Challenge: Scenes from the finals, featuring teams from West Seattle, Lafayette Elementaries…

High-school baseball: West Seattle HS vs. O’Dea at Hiawatha

March 23, 2015 at 11:45 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | Comments Off

Thanks to Caryn Johnson for this report on today’s West Seattle High School varsity baseball game on a showery afternoon at Hiawatha:

Sophomore Carson Wright started on the mound and pitched 5 2/3 innings. He pitched well against a big-hitting O’Dea team. Giving up 11 hits, but only giving up 6 runs (4 earned). He struck out 3, hit one, and didn’t walk any. Freshman Anthony Coats came into pitch in the 5th inning and pitched the remaining of the game not giving up a hit.

Jamie Maples led the team on the offensive side of the ball with 4 hits and 2 RBI’s. Morgan McCullough also had a good outing with 3 hits and 1 RBI. As a team they had 9 hits.

Defense had their first test of the season against the big bats of O’Dea. Everyone on the field got into the action and recorded outs. The highlight on the defensive side was a 6-4-3 double play in the top of the 7th inning by Morgan McCullough, Jack Page and Alex Pastrana. This closed out the top of the 7th and gave West Seattle one more shot to score some runs. In the end they fell a little short, losing to O’Dea, 6-4.

WSHS is on the road for its next game, Wednesday against Cleveland at Rainier Beach HS.

PHOTOS: Biggest-ever West Seattle High School Diversity Dinner

March 22, 2015 at 4:59 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | 4 Comments

Thanks to West Seattle High School teacher Rebecka McKinney for sharing photos and info on a big event this past week – the biggest-ever Diversity Dinner organized by the WSHS Diversity Club, with more than 200 people attending, the largest turnout ever, and performances including members of the wider community as well as students:

The night started at 6 p.m. with a wide variety of cultural food that people brought to share. There were many cultures represented with a variety of dishes that included pad Thai, injera, lasagna, pupusas, pan dulce, rice and beans, lumpia and many more.

“It was a great turnout, even more than I expected,” said senior Diversity Club co-president Emily Fiso. “It was a great atmosphere, seeing different cultures interact with each other.”

After everyone got food, the entertainment began with the WSHS Latino Club.

They performed the punta dance. This group included WSHS seniors Shaneen Walter-Edwards, Brian Silva and Maaza Tsegai.

“It meant a lot to me to be able to perform because there’s not very many Hondurans in Seattle,” said Walter-Edwards. “I was happy to share my culture.”

Next was an Eritrean dance group that performed a Tigrinya dance.

This group included three WSHS students as well.

After the Eritrean dance, the WSHS Chinese class performed a traditional Lion Dance.

Chinese teacher, Su-Chun King, put this performance together.

Mahelet Wondie from Chief Sealth High School followed this with a spoken word piece on Africans and Americanization.

WSHS senior Kate Longabaugh followed that with a traditional Irish dance piece:

Next up was a local mariachi band that was made up of students and adults, some of who attend Chief Sealth:

The Mt. Rainier and Kennedy High School Pacific Islander Club followed this up with two Samoan dances and one Hawaiian dance.

“It was nice to be able to see my own culture represented,” said Fiso, a Samoan student who invited the club to perform. “I like how they brought a different energy to the crowd and everyone was involved.”

The final group of the night was the Northwest Tap Connection African class performing the kuku. This group included performers from age 5-17, led by Ms. Lakema Bell.

“I thought it was really nice that the African dance class could incorporate that type of dancing with people of all ages,” said senior attendee Shaheeda Kariko.

The night ended with a cultural fashion show that represented many of the cultures of WSHS.

This included Irish, Filipino, Somalian, Ethiopian, Yakima Nation, Samoan, Nigerian, Namibian, Eritrean, Moroccan, and Mexican.

“I was really happy to help bring different communities together,” said junior Diversity Club co-president Meron Mulu. “This was the first year we reached out to connections our students had outside of West Seattle. It’s not only important to celebrate culture, but it’s fun.”

See a list of WSHS’s many cultural, service, and interest groups/clubs on the school website.

High-school baseball: West Seattle shuts out Rainier Beach. P.S. – Boosters still selling M’s tickets!

March 21, 2015 at 1:54 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 3 Comments

The West Seattle High School baseball team won its first conference game of the season on Friday in a big shutout, 12-0 over Rainier Beach. Thanks to Caryn Johnson for the photo and report:

Jamie Maples #6 pitched the entire game. He struck out 12 and only gave up 1 hit. The West Seattle defense was able to keep Rainier Beach off the bases for the most part, only allowing one runner to reach as far as 2nd base. Lots of offense for the game by West Seattle. In the 2nd inning, they sent 11 batters to the plate.

Next game is Monday against O’Dea, at Hiawatha at 3:30.

Also coming up, the team’s game vs. Sedro Woolley at Safeco Field, one week from today, 12:30 pm on March 28th, admission free! To qualify for the High School Baseball Classic at Safeco again NEXT year, as well as to raise money for the Wildcats’ team, boosters are selling tickets for a Mariners game THIS season – 7:10 pm Monday, June 22nd, vs. Kansas City. You can buy one or more $12 tickets by e-mailing wshsmarinerstickets@gmail.com. (You’ll get a reply with info on what to do from there.)

West Seattle scenes: Mini Pow-Wow at Highland Park Elementary

March 21, 2015 at 1:46 am | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | 6 Comments

Dancing, drumming, and dinner were part of the festivities last night at Highland Park Elementary, as Native community members, family, and friends gathered for a Traditional Mini Pow Wow. We photographed Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen after the blessing she gave to open the event:

This was the second year of the event.

The group Niksokowaak – “all my children, all my relatives” – organized the Pow Wow.

You name the school! Community suggestions sought for new elementary on Genesee Hill

March 20, 2015 at 11:19 am | In Genesee Hill, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 21 Comments

(Rendering envisioning the new school’s interior)

As construction continues on the new elementary school at the site of the former Genesee Hill Elementary, the process of deciding what to call it has just expanded to include you! Here’s the announcement:

The West Seattle community, along with Schmitz Park Elementary families, staff and Genesee Hill School alumni, are being invited to submit suggestions for the name of the new school building being constructed to replace the old building on the Genesee Hill school site.

This Seattle Public Schools Building Excellence IV (BEX IV) project was approved by Seattle voters in February 2013. The Schmitz Park Elementary program is scheduled to move into the new building at the Genesee Hill site in September, 2016.

“We hope to select a name that honors our legacy as Schmitz Park Elementary, while building a new tradition, in a new location, on Genesee Hill,” said Gerrit Kischner, Principal, Schmitz Park Elementary.

If you wish to nominate a name, including the current Genesee Hill School name, please email it to communications@schmitzparkpta.org. All nominations need to be received by March 31, 2015. Please include the criteria for why the name should be selected. Seattle Public Schools’ School Board naming procedure states that the naming of new buildings should be selected based upon: (a) geographical location or local community name; or (b) distinguished individuals who have served the local community, state, or nation, whether in education or other fields.

Once names have been received, a committee that includes a representative from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society will compile the names. The community will then be asked to vote for their preferred name. The results of the poll, along with other submitted information, will be used to make a recommendation that will be sent to the Seattle Public Schools superintendent for review and consideration. The superintendent would then make a recommendation to the School Board for approval. For more information, please visit schmitzparkpta.org.

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