Team up with Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras to help local students play on

November 30, 2015 at 11:49 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | No Comments

(SYSO photo)
Students at seven local public schools get the priceless gift of coaching from professional musicians via the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras‘ Southwest Seattle Strings Project. If needed, the students can borrow instruments for free from Seattle Public Schools. But the ability to assist stops there, which means it stops short of providing badly needed supplies such as replacement strings, chin rests, shoulder rests, rosin, and method books. So a modest donation drive is under way right now – explained in this clip:

SYSO hopes to put together a supply basket worth more than $1,000, with the assistance of the discount at Hammond-Ashley (mentioned in the video), for each of the seven local schools with which it partners – Arbor Heights, Concord, Highland Park, Roxhill, Sanislo, and West Seattle elementaries, and Denny International Middle School. You can help build the baskets by chipping in a bit here.

West Seattle Junction scenes: Climate-action encouragement rally; Pathfinder wreath sales; Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast reminder

November 29, 2015 at 1:57 pm | In Environment, How to help, Seen around town, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 3 Comments

Just back from The Junction, where this was all happening at California/Alaska at noontime:

With the United Nations climate-change conference about to start in Paris, West Seattleites rallied in “encouragement” of climate action:

This was one of many rallies, small and large, planned for today.

Also on the southwest corner of the Walk-All-Ways intersection today: Wreath sellers from Pathfinder K-8. The school community makes and sells wreaths every year to raise money for environmental education and will be in The Junction every Sunday during the holiday season:

Just across the intersection, at the south end of the official Farmers’ Market zone, the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle was bubbling with enthusiasm about its annual Pancake Breakfast next Saturday.

Everyone’s invited to the Masonic Center (40th/Edmunds) 7 am-11 am on Saturday (December 5th) – if you don’t have tickets yet, buy yours for a discount online right now – $8 online, $10 at the door.

YOU CAN HELP! What Chief Sealth IHS Clothing Closet needs now

November 28, 2015 at 11:11 am | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

Maybe you already have some of these items and can donate … or maybe you’ll consider buying something while out shopping. Nicole Sipila from the Chief Sealth International High School PTSA sends word of what the school’s Clothing Closet needs:

Chief Sealth International High School is thankful for the generosity of our community to keep our Clothing Closet stocked with clothing, school supplies and toiletries for our homeless students and other students in need.

We currently need these items:

*College-ruled composition books
*Graph paper composition books (5×5 quadrille preferred)
*Gloves & mittens
*Cold-weather scarves
*Men’s athletic and sweat pants — all sizes and gently used is great
*Men’s dress socks
*Men’s new or gently used blazers and suit jackets — all sizes but especially smaller sizes

Donations can be left at the front office. 2600 SW Thistle St

That’s during school days/hours – but if you want to find out about other ways of getting your donated items there, contact

VIDEO: West Seattle High School, Salty’s in 2015 Holiday Parade

November 27, 2015 at 3:33 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

The marching bands in this morning’s Macy’s Holiday Parade downtown included one local school this year, West Seattle High School. Above is our video, recorded as they made the final turn at 4th and University. We didn’t catch the banner but Nicole e-mailed this photo:

One week from tomorrow – on Saturday night, December 5th – you’ll see and hear the WSHS Marching Band as opening act for the West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays Tree Lighting (Junction Plaza Park, NW corner of 42nd and Alaska, with a street closure providing more room this year!). Back to today’s parade – right in front of the Wildcats were the Nutcrackers from Salty’s (WSB sponsor):

As featured in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, Salty’s has Santa visiting for brunch the next three weekends, plus Christmas Eve.

TOMORROW: Sealth, WSHS marching bands in downtown parade

November 26, 2015 at 5:08 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

IF you’re going downtown to see tomorrow morning’s Macy’s Holiday Parade – you’ll have locals to cheer for: The Chief Sealth International High School and West Seattle High School marching bands are both on the lineup, per their online schedules. The parade starts at 9 am and ends when Santa Claus goes by – the route is described in SDOT’s holiday-weekend alert. You can’t take the Water Taxi over since it’s not running on Friday, but you can take Metro, which will be on a “reduced weekday” schedule. (Anybody else from WS in the parade? Please comment, or message us, so we’ll all know to look for you!)

New arrival lands in South Seattle College Aviation Maintenance Tech program hangar

November 26, 2015 at 4:41 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 5 Comments

(WSB photos/video)
The Learjet that just arrived in the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) Aviation Maintenance Tech program hangar is a big deal in multiple ways.

For one – this program is the first in the state to get a plane like this.

For two – it’s a plane worth about $620,000 (original value $3.1 million), obtained by SSC for $10,000 (plus various one-timeexpenses, including hiring pilots to fly it here).

SSC showed off the C-21 Learjet 35A inside its Boeing Field hangar on Wednesday afternoon. Never been there? Here’s a quick look inside:

SSC is one of five schools in the state with Aviation Maintenance Tech programs, but the first to have a Learjet.

It’s government surplus that will now be put to use for hands-on training; Pat Prociv of the AMT faculty told us that they’ll be able to roll it out and run the engine.

The college explained in its acquisition announcement:

The plane was acquired from the Department of Enterprise Services that accounts for government surplus items. Formerly a plane for the Michigan State Police, the Learjet became available in 2014. Through a competitive selection process, South was selected to acquire the aircraft because of the number of potential mechanics it will serve. Each quarter the AMT program enrolls an average of 175 students.

The jet is 48 feet and 8 inches long, with a wingspan of 39 feet and 6 inches. Maximum speed, 471 knots (542 miles) per hour. As for the 8-quarter AMT program at SSC, read all about it here.

From the Gator-bots: Student researchers hope you’ll help again!

November 25, 2015 at 9:00 am | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 2 Comments

Just a few minutes of your time can help student researchers. Last year, you answered the Gator-bots’ call; here’s what they’re up to this time:

We are the Gator-bots, a Lego Robotics team from Holy Rosary in West Seattle. Last year the West Seattle Community was extremely helpful as we researched ways to share new Technology. This led the team to come up with a creative way to share information. We used this research as part of a project that was then presented at a competition in December.

This year our challenge is to do research on TRASH! Our project focus is to choose a piece of trash and identify a problem with the way it is currently handled. We are looking for problems with the way we make, transport, store, or turn trash into something new. Then find out what is being done to solve the problem.

West Seattle is a very progressive community so we are looking for something new. As a team we discussed opportunities we each have and decided that Food Scrap management may be an opportunity. We found out that New York City developed a profitable project to reduce food scraps that were dumped into the garbage and turn that into a profit by selling it as compost. This required a lot of community work and awareness.

Our Survey is developed to find out more about our community and get some thoughts from all of you.

Thank you in advance,
The Gator-bots

Start the survey here!

Former Chief Sealth International HS principal Chris Kinsey dies

November 24, 2015 at 9:58 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 10 Comments

Family and friends are mourning former Chief Sealth International High School principal Chris Kinsey, who died last weekend at just 43 years old. No details are available, and there’s no word yet of a memorial service. Mr. Kinsey was an assistant principal at Cleveland High School for three years before taking over at Sealth in the fall of 2011; he led CSIHS for two school years before announcing in June 2013 that he had decided not to return for a third year. He did not disclose his future plans at that time, and all Seattle Public Schools could tell us today was that he was not an SPS employee at the time of his death. According to biographical information from the district provided when he became Sealth’s interim principal in August 2011, Mr. Kinsey started his education career in 1999 as a teacher at Meany Middle School. (WSB photo, 2011)

YOU CAN HELP! Crowdfunders spring into action to foot the cost of a floor for local high-school gymnasts

November 24, 2015 at 12:14 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 3 Comments

Local high-school gymnasts finally have a place to practice – but it has to be paid for – so a crowdfunding campaign is under way. From West Seattle High School athletic director Trevor Leopold:

The West Seattle High School gymnastics team lost their practice facility when West Side Gymnastics Academy closed its doors this year. Because of the closure, we had to purchase a Spring Floor so the team could practice at the high school. The cost of the Spring Floor is approximately $21,000 and we are trying our best to raise the money. Currently we have about $5000 but are ending up short at this time. West Seattle is also helping the Chief Sealth team by allowing them to come practice at WSHS and use the spring floor as well. This is something which was a must-purchase; we need help. This is the link for SNAP fundraising where people can donate and help the team.

CONGRATULATIONS! Ultimate championship for Madison’s A Team

November 23, 2015 at 8:12 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 2 Comments

Thanks to Scott for the photo and report:

Madison Middle School’s A team won the Seattle Public Schools A2 division (Saturday) night with a solid win over Jane Addams Middle School in the championship game at Ingraham High School Stadium. Madison made it to the final after beating the #1 seed Pathfinder in last weekend’s opening weekend of playoffs. Congratulations to the nine 8th graders and three 7th graders who played their hearts out … Go Bulldogs!

As a footnote, our B team took 3rd place in the B division playoffs with great wins over Hamilton Middle School and Eckstein Middle school after losing to eventual winner Southshore by one point in the earlier game. Congratulations to Madison kids for a great season.

Denny International Middle School updates: Online auction ahead; East African families’ meeting

November 23, 2015 at 1:38 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 1 Comment

As the weekend wraps up, two Denny International Middle School updates:

ONLINE AUCTION ANNOUNCED: The Denny PTSA‘s first online auction has just been announced. It’ll be open noon November 30th – one week from today – through midnight December 12th. More than 60 items are already ready to be previewed here. And you can boost that number by donating – follow that same link and click the “donate” button, or e-mail auction manager Cassandra O’Neal at before November 27th (this Friday).

EAST AFRICAN FAMILY MEETING: From Denny IMS principal Jeff Clark, the report and photos from a big event Saturday:

Denny International Middle School and the Seattle Police Department Partner to Connect with Our East African Families

On Saturday, November 21, the doors of Denny were open as we welcomed our East African Families for a full-day meeting. In partnership with the Seattle Police Department, we offered sessions for adults and children on topics including: Academic Opportunities Now and For College, Family Cohesion, Identifying Concerns, and Public Safety in English and Somali. Thank you to all of our families for coming!

A special thanks to Sergeant Diaz and his entire team from SPD, to Denny staff: Ms. Farah, Ms. Amaral, Mr. Abdirahman, Ms. Moland, Ms. Nestor, Mr. Truong, Mr. Rodriguez, Ms. Perdue, Ms. Nevius, Ms. Lehman, Alice from City Year, Ms. Clark from TRIO, and other volunteers, and to Mr. Robles, Ms. Fraser-Hammer, and Ms. Ernst for joining us!

CONGRATULATIONS! Denny 6th graders’ Ultimate success

November 21, 2015 at 6:17 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 2 Comments

From the WSB inbox (via text):

Congratulations to Denny International Middle School 6th graders for an excellent Ultimate Frisbee season, placing third among 6th graders in (the district). Thanks to Mr. Watts and Mr. Espinoza for a great season!

Here’s how their season played out.

High-school football: 2nd state game ends Seattle Lutheran season

November 21, 2015 at 3:56 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 1 Comment

Congratulations to the Seattle Lutheran High School Saints for a great football season. They made it to the second round of the state 1B tournament; that’s where it ended, as Neah Bay beat SLHS 62-12 last night in Silverdale. As noted here a week and a half ago, 10 Saints received All-League honors and Anthony Stordahl was voted the league’s Coach of the Year.

1 more chance to try & buy Northwest Wine Academy fall releases

November 20, 2015 at 9:33 pm | In Puget Ridge, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS beverages | 5 Comments

Shopping for wine to go with Thanksgiving dinner? You have one more chance tomorrow afternoon/evening to taste and buy the fall releases from the Northwest Wine Academy at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). We stopped by tonight toward the end of the second of the three sessions. You have 6 wines to choose from – and handy order forms available to use at checkout:

Here’s the wine list:

2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – Columbia Valley
2014 Chardonnay – Yakima Valley
2014 Reserve Chardonnay – Yakima Valley
2013 Reserve Red – Red Mountain
2013 Merlot – Red Mountain
2014 Viognier – Yakima Valley

One fun feature of Northwest Wine Academy events, a behind-the-scenes view of the winemaking process – these barrels are steps away:

And there’s a “sensory” area where you can learn about details of the process at the only Western Washington college to teach winemaking. Tonight, as is a tradition for the second night of every NWA release, academy alums who have gone on to open their own wineries were offering tastes too – Kitzke Cellars among them:

Don’t miss the final day tomorrow (Saturday), 2-7 pm, with tasty appetizers offered along with the wine – you know SSC is famous for food-making as well as beverage-making. The NWA building is on the east side of the north lot on campus, 6000 16th SW on Puget Ridge – look for the sign by the lot entrance on 16th.

P.S. This is one of the many events featured in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide – where you’ll find many more events for tomorrow and beyond, including open houses and bazaars, and chances for holiday giving as well as buying, celebrating, etc.

West Seattle charter school still planned, despite state Supreme Court’s refusal to reconsider no-public-funding ruling

November 19, 2015 at 10:59 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 37 Comments

(October 2015 photo of planned charter-school site at 35th/Roxbury)
The organization that’s been planning a charter school in Arbor Heights tells WSB tonight that it’s continuing to move forward, despite the state Supreme Court‘s
decision not to reconsider its ruling against public funding for charters..

After word tonight of the court’s denial of motions for reconsideration, we contacted a spokesperson for Summit Public Schools, which has been planning for almost a year to remodel the church/ex-supermarket property at 35th/Roxbury into Summit Atlas. The response:

Today’s news does not change Summit’s plans to move forward with opening Summit Atlas in West Seattle. We are hopeful the legislature will make this right for our kids.

In fact, more than 400 students, parents and educators from Washington’s public charter schools participated in a day of action in Olympia on Thursday, urging legislators on both sides of the aisle to fix the glitch that allowed the state Supreme Court to rule against the more than 1,100 kids currently enrolled in charter schools.

Summit students participated in a civics lesson, toured the Capitol, rallied on the lawn, met with legislators and testified in front of the Senate.

Summit students, families and staff learned on the drive home from Olympia that the state Supreme Court denied both Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s and the Washington State Charter Schools Association’s motions to reconsider the unfair September ruling.

We remain hopeful that our state legislature will ultimately do the right thing for our students.

While we are disappointed in the court’s decision, this does not change our promise to keep our doors open and continue to provide a free, high quality, personalized high school experience that prepares every student for college. We look forward to being able to offer West Seattle students and families this important public school choice.

The West Seattle school, planned to eventually be 6th-12th grades, would not open before next fall; the Summit students mentioned in the response would have been from one or both of the schools opened in Tacoma and Seattle’s International District earlier this fall. We broke the news of the charter-school plan in early January when it turned up in the city’s online files; in June, the site was purchased by Washington Charter School Development for $4.75 million with the intent of remodeling it to house the first Summit Atlas students.

See new West Seattle public-school ‘bell times,’ just finalized by the School Board

November 19, 2015 at 1:47 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 55 Comments

The Seattle School Board has approved the final revised list of “bell time” changes for next school year. First, the announcement, followed by the current and future times for all schools in this area:

The Seattle School Board voted 6-1 Wednesday evening, to adopt a Transportation Service Standard that would revise arrival and departure times for the 2016-17 school year. The changes to bell times will authorize the superintendent to implement the cost-neutral plan as recommended by the Board, allowing minor modifications as necessary for implementation. Additionally, the district reviewed recent community feedback and made the following adjustments:

· Change #1: Adjust all tiers 5 minutes earlier
· Change #2: Add a modification that allows the Superintendent to decrease the number of 3rd Tier schools if “actual routing during spring 2016” can adjust schools while maintaining the no cost option. We will be asking for schools to volunteer to be considered (through the principals) as we realize this may be considered disruptive by school communities and they may not wish to go through this process. Any changes would be announced prior to the end of the school year.

The recommendation reflects Seattle Public Schools’ extensive community and stakeholder outreach over the past year. This is in response to a resolution approved by the School Board in March of 2014 in response to ongoing discussions between School Boards and Superintendents since 2008, around the benefits of shifting to later start times for adolescents.

“We will become the largest district in the country to make this switch, and hopefully we will set a trend,” said Board Director Sharon Peaslee. “This is a historic moment.”

The Resolution directed the Superintendent to determine feasibility, costs, impacts and logistics of shifting to later start times for adolescents, for implementation in the 2016-2017 school year, while continuing to simplify the transportation standards and align them with the Student Assignment Plan. The Bell Time Analysis is the outcome of this directive.

Transportation costs will increase in 2016/17 due to enrollment growth, boundary changes and Special Education program service updates. That amount is estimated to be $182,500.00.

It’s a big change for many local schools. From the citywide list in the last pages of this district document, here are the West Seattle times, now and next year (note that these are the actual start/end times, not the bus arrival/depart times that bookend them in the doc, and also remember that “this year” refers to this school year (2015-2016), while “next year” refers to next school year):


Chief Sealth International HS
*This year – 8:40-3:10
*Next year – 8:45-3:15

West Seattle High School
*This year – 7:50-2:20
*Next year – 8:45-3:15


Denny International MS
*This year – 7:50-2:20
*Next year – 7:55-2:25

Madison MS
*This year – 7:50-2:20
*Next year – 8:45-3:15


Louisa Boren K-8 STEM
*This year – 9:30-3:40
*Next year – 9:35-4:05

Pathfinder K-8
*This year – 8:40-3:10
*Next year – 8:45-3:15


*This year – 8:40-2:50
*Next year – 7:55-2:05

Arbor Heights (at Boren this year, new building next year)
*This year – 8:40-2:50
*Next year – 7:55-2:05

*This year – 9:30-3:40
*Next year – 7:55-2:05

Fairmount Park
*This year – 8:40-2:50
*Next year – 7:55-2:05

*This year – 8:40-2:50
*Next year – 7:55-2:05

Highland Park
*This year – 8:40-2:50
*Next year – 7:55-2:05

*This year – 9:30-3:40
*Next year – 9:35-3:45

*This year – 9:30-3:40
*Next year – 7:55-2:05

*This year – 9:30-3:40
*Next year – 7:55-2:05

Schmitz Park
*This year – 8:40-2:50
*Next year – 7:55-2:05

West Seattle
*This year – 8:40-2:50
*Next year – 7:55-2:05

It’s been four years since a district transportation-plan change pushed Concord, Lafayette, Roxhill, and Sanislo to 9:30 am start times; we covered Sanislo’s fight against it. Now, three of the four will be moved to the district’s near-universal 7:55-2:05 elementary schedule – all except for Lafayette.

STUDENT SAFETY ALERT: Denny students report luring attempt

November 18, 2015 at 9:32 pm | In Safety, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 4 Comments

Thanks to the Denny International Middle School parent who shared this e-mail sent to the school community tonight:

This afternoon, two of our 8th-grade scholars reported to us that they were approached by a man in a red Sports Utility Vehicle who called to them to get in the back of the vehicle as they walked home from school yesterday. The scholars did the right thing by running away and telling an adult at home and at school. Seattle Police have been informed.

As a precaution, we reminded our scholars this afternoon about safety tips for walking to and from school. We would appreciate your help by having a similar conversation at home. The walking-safety advice includes:


Pay close attention to your surroundings, avoid “automatic pilot.”

Walk with a purpose; project an assertive, business-like image.

Use common sense; plan your route to avoid uninhabited parks, parking lots, garages and alleyways.

Stick to well-lit areas.

Develop a plan before you see trouble. Crossing a street or entering a store may get you out of a potentially bad situation.

If a car follows you or beckons you while you are walking, do not approach it. Instead, turn and quickly walk the opposite direction.

Consider wearing clothing and shoes that you can move freely and quickly in, especially when walking or waiting for the bus.

Carry minimal items; overloading yourself can make you appear vulnerable.

Always plan your route and stay alert to your surroundings. Avoid shortcuts. Walk confidently. Scan your surroundings and make eye contact with people.

Avoid walking alone at night. As much as possible, walk or travel with a friend, even during the daytime.

As always, thank you for your help and partnership!

Jeff Clark, Principal

That’s the e-mail in its entirety, with no location-specific information regarding where the incident happened; Tweets by Beat notes a “lewd conduct” call not far from the school, at 28th SW and SW Elmgrove, but we likely won’t be able to check that directly with police until tomorrow morning.

CONGRATULATIONS: West Seattle HS swimmer Gabby Carufel gets 2nd at state!

November 15, 2015 at 8:43 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 5 Comments

Following up on our Friday report about West Seattle High School senior Gabby Carufel swimming the 100-meter backstroke at this weekend’s 3A state tournament: She finished second, with a time of 58.24. So what’s next? We asked her mom Danette Carufel, who replied that Gabby “swims for King Aquatic Club as well as high school. She will continue to swim for them and plans to swim in college. Which college is yet to be determined.”

West Seattle schools: $475 million levy, schedule changes, assignment-plan changes at next School Board meeting

November 15, 2015 at 8:23 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 9 Comments

When the School Board meets next Wednesday, for the last time before its four new members – including West Seattleite Leslie Harris – are sworn in, the agenda includes three topics we’ve been watching. We’re previewing it tonight because if you want to speak during the public-comment period, you have to sign up by phone or e-mail first thing tomorrow morning, and spaces often go fast.

SCHEDULE CHANGES: Earlier this month, the board delayed action on changing “bell times” (start/end schedules) until the November 18th meeting. Here’s the final proposal. The 9:35 am start times for Lafayette Elementary and Louisa Boren K-5 STEM, as part of “Tier 3,” are still in the plan, despite some opposition.

$475 MILLION BTA IV LEVY FOR FEBRUARY: On February 9th, the district will have two levies on the ballot (here’s our coverage of the September public meeting about both). The first one, the Operations Levy, which provides a fourth of the district’s budget, has already received board approval. On Wednesday, the final draft of the Buildings, Technology, Academics/Athletics Levy, aka BTA IV, will go to the board – $475 million, up from $270 million for the last version of the same levy. Here are the West Seattle specifics:

*$6.7 million for EC Hughes upgrades to enable it to reopen as a 550-student elementary school (to which, the district has said, it will move the Roxhill Elementary program)
*5.4 million for Gatewood Elementary, most of that for HVAC, also some $ for cladding work
*1.8 million for athletic-field lights at Southwest Athletic Complex (ID’d in the documents as Chief Sealth IHS, which is across the street)
*$1.5 million for the roof at West Seattle HS
*94,000 for doors at Sanislo Elementary

ASSIGNMENT PLAN: The changes made at the last minute before what was to be a vote earlier this month – including the abolition of the summer/fall waitlist and the “distance” tiebreaker – will be brought back for a vote.

IF YOU WANT TO GET ON THE PUBLIC-COMMENT LIST for Wednesday’s meeting, here are the rules. In short, starting at 8 am tomorrow, here’s what to do:

To sign up for public testimony, members of the public should e-mail or call 206-252-0040 and give their legal name, telephone number, e-mail address, and the topic they would like to address.

High-school football: Seattle Lutheran wins 1st game @ state

November 13, 2015 at 9:40 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 1 Comment

(Photo courtesy Jeanne Flohr)
9:40 PM: Just in from southwestern Washington, thanks to Mike JensenSeattle Lutheran High School has won its first game in the state 1B football tournament, beating Naselle 44-22. Though the official bracket‘s not filled in yet, the Saints’ opponent next week – location TBA – will be Neah Bay, which beat Clallam Bay tonight, 68-0.

ADDED SATURDAY MORNING: Kristen Okabayashi (SLHS mom and Hope Lutheran principal) reports, “JJ Young scored 4 touchdowns and passed to Isaiah Dowding-Albrecht for another, Brandon Lulow scored one more.”

GOOD LUCK! Gabby Carufel swimming for WSHS at state meet

November 13, 2015 at 11:23 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 2 Comments

Congratulations and good luck to another West Seattle High School student athlete – senior Gabby Carufel “will be competing at the WIAA 3A State Swimming Championships this weekend [starting at 2 pm today]. At Metros, she got 3rd in the 100 back with a time of 58.76 and 4th in the 200 IM with a time of 2:14.55, both State qualifying times! Last weekend she took first at Districts in the 100 back.” (Thanks to Gabby’s proud mom Danette Carufel for the report and the photo.)

CONGRATULATIONS! ‘Signing Day’ for West Seattle High School senior stars Lydia Giomi, Morgan McCullough, Gabby Wenn

November 13, 2015 at 4:41 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 4 Comments

This is a big time of year for many high-school seniors – decisions about college. For three West Seattle High School seniors, that brought a ceremony on Thursday afternoon:

Three star student-athletes at WSHS gathered with their coaches, family, and friends for a “Signing Day” event. From left above are Lydia Giomi, who’ll play basketball at the University of Oregon, with Coach Sonya Elliott; Morgan McCullough, who’ll play baseball at Oregon, with Coach Velko Vitalich; and Gabby Wenn, who’ll play softball at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, with Coach Trevor Leopold, who’s also WSHS’s athletic director. It was a big photo-op moment for proud parents and other supporters:

Each coach offered words of tribute.

(WSB photo from last February)
Of Giomi, who was on Coach Elliott’s state-tournament team last school year (after which the coach left WSHS): How much she meant to her teammates each year, and how she thanked the coach after each practice.

(Photo by Caryn Johnson, from last April)
Of McCullough, who was on the USA Baseball 18U national team that won a world title in September, Coach Vitalich said he was proud of that and amazed by how many schools called to ask about him.

(WSB photo from last May)
Of Wenn, a member of Coach Leopold’s state-tournament team last spring, he noted how much her pitching intimidated other teams, and recalled her perfect game. (At Villanova, as at WSHS, she’ll be a Wildcat.)

These three have one last high-school season ahead – so you’ll hear more about them in the months to come.

Get your West Seattle Wildlife Calendar during tonight’s Art Walk, or 6 other ways

November 12, 2015 at 9:13 am | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, Wildlife | No Comments

Photographer Mark Wangerin has kindly shared dozens of West Seattle wildlife photos here again this year, often beautiful bird photos in which he invests an amazing amount of time and talent – you don’t just walk up to a spot in a park, see a bird on a branch, snap a photo, and walk away; sometimes it’s an hours-long stakeout. And again this year, he’s donated photos for the West Seattle Wildlife Calendar that’s being sold as a benefit for environmental programs at Chief Sealth International High School, where he taught for a decade. The printing run was expanded this year but the $14.99 calendars are still going fast; here’s how to get one, including a special event tonight:

*You can buy yours from Sealth students who will be at CAPERS in The Junction during tonight’s West Seattle Art Walk, 6-9 pm (4525 California SW).

*They’re also on sale while supplies last during regular business hours at West Seattle Thriftway (California/Fauntleroy, WSB sponsor); Emerald Water Anglers (42nd/Oregon, WSB sponsor); J.F. Henry (4445 California SW); and West Seattle Nursery (California/Brandon).

*If you know a Sealth 9th grader, ask about a calendar. If not, e-mail

*Last but by no means least, a few remain available for online purchase at

CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattle HS golfers headed for state

November 11, 2015 at 9:22 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 3 Comments

Thanks to Kristin for the update on West Seattle High School golfers’ postseason results. She sent the photo and report on two golfers headed to state competition:

WSHS Wildcats Bailey Fuentes and Zach Gibson finished 3rd and 10th at the KingCo/Metro District Tournament to move on to the 3A Boys State Golf Tournament at The Creek at Qualchan Golf Course in Spokane on May 24 and 25, 2016. Pictured with Coach Velko Vitalich are the team members who competed in the district tournament. From left, Bailey, Alex Nguyen, Tony Flores, Zach.

CONGRATULATIONS! Seattle Lutheran High School’s All-League players and Coach of the Year

November 11, 2015 at 8:55 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 2 Comments

Congratulations to the Seattle Lutheran High School athletes who have received All-League honors. The school’s announcement:

Seattle Lutheran High School has ten students who were named to SeaTac 1B League All-League teams.

The Saints’ football coach, Anthony Stordahl, was voted almost unanimously as the Coach of the Year for the 1B league. (There was one vote for another coach which came from, you guessed it, Coach Stordahl!) We are proud of our coach and assistant coaches, who put in many hours of work with our football team. Thank you, coaches!

Football – 1st Team Offense: Isaiah Dowding-Albrecht ‘17 Quarterback; Nick Lidstrom ‘16 Offensive Line; Brandon Lulow ‘16 Running Back; JJ Young ‘17 Running Back

Football 1st Team Defense: Jacob Fay ‘16 Defensive Line,

Football 2nd Team: Eric Bauman ‘16 Defensive Line

Volleyball: Abbi Sanders ‘16

Girls Soccer – 1st Team: Taylor Stordahl ‘16

Girls Soccer – 2nd Team: Macey Crooks ‘16 and Emma Figgins ‘17

P.S. If you missed it in the update to our story on SLHS’s postseason football game last Saturday, the team’s state-tournament play begins this Friday night (November 13th) on the road at Naselle in southwest Washington, 7 pm.

YOU CAN HELP! West Seattle High School PTSA ‘Reaching for the Stars’ in 10 days

November 10, 2015 at 10:40 am | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

West Seattle High School‘s PTSA is “Reaching for the Stars” with its annual fundraising auction in just 10 days – Friday, November 20th, at Brockey Center on the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus – but they can’t get there without you. Nikki Page from the PTSA e-mailed to say they’re still selling tickets and you can get in at the discounted early rate, $50, if you buy yours by Friday: “Please come and support West Seattle High School!” is their message to you and the rest of the community; here’s where the money goes. You can get your ticket(s) online.

High-school football: Seattle Lutheran advances in the postseason with another victory

November 7, 2015 at 7:49 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 2 Comments

ORIGINAL SATURDAY NIGHT REPORT: After another postseason win today, the Seattle Lutheran High School football team is waiting to find out who and where they play next. This afternoon at the King’s High School stadium in Shoreline, the Saints faced the Washington School for the Deaf (from Vancouver), winning 52-12.

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)

#3 is junior Isaiah Dowding-Albrecht, who ran back the game’s opening kickoff for the first touchdown. Two of his teammates scored two TD’s – senior Brandon Lulow, #22:

And junior JJ Young, #23, the second one on a 92-yard run.

Other Saints TDs were from senior Hawkins Ehret and sophomore Joe Meehan. The Terriers’ two touchdowns were toward the end of the first half and the end of the game; they have a very mobile backfield, and while those players could move the ball back and forth, they had trouble getting up the field. We should know by tomorrow who the Saints will play next, and we’ll update this story.

SIDE NOTE: Seattle Lutheran got some regional recognition this week, with the Seattle Times reporting on how their excellent season followed heartbreaking loss.

ADDED SUNDAY NIGHT: The date/location aren’t posted yet, but looks like SLHS will play Naselle next as the postseason continues.

ADDED MONDAY NIGHT: The game will be at Naselle (in southwestern Washington), 7 pm Friday.

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