High-school basketball season is still four months away – here’s the schedule, taking shape – but the West Seattle High School court was busy on Saturday afternoon.
The first annual West Seattle High School Alumni Game was organized as a benefit for the current program. The schedule included a shoot-around and 3-pointer competition; for the main game, players were split between the school’s past and present mascots, Indians (gray T-shirts) and Wildcats (white T-shirts), with 2004 as the dividing line. Missed the game? Look for the second-annual edition next year. And you can support WSHS athletics any time via the WS Booster Club.
Big afternoon of basketball at West Seattle High School on Saturday – and players are welcome as well as spectators. All the info’s on the flyer above, shared by head coach Keffrey Fazio; basics are that the doors open at noon, shoot-around starts at 12:30 pm, 3-pointer-shooting contest at 1 pm, alumni game’s at 2 pm, food/social event at 3:45 pm. $20 fee for players, with proceeds benefiting the WSHS boys-basketball program.
(WSB Tuesday photo of awaiting-demolition Arbor Heights Elementary)
Three years ago, demolition of the old Denny International Middle School was well under way within a month of the end of the school year. This year, though a month has passed since the last class at Arbor Heights Elementary School, the backhoes aren’t even onsite yet. That’s because the permits haven’t been finalized, since another appeal is awaiting a hearing.
This is separate from the appeal that was argued and rejected in May, challenging the decision that a full environmental review wasn’t needed. This time, the appeal is for the land-use permit itself, and the fact that the demolition permit was approved in the same action. In all, the appeal statement by four area residents and district watchdog Chris Jackins – see it here – lists eight points.
Though a September 15th hearing date was announced by the appeal notice that appeared in this week’s first Land Use Information Bulletin, the city Hearing Examiner’s files now have it scheduled for August 11th. The move was at the request of the district, according to a letter in the online case files, which quotes district staff as saying the extra month would add $70,000 to the project cost.
SPS spokesperson Tom Redman confirms to WSB that appeals for both the Arbor Heights and Genesee Hill projects (the latter has a hearing August 5th, as reported here July 14th) are now pushing back the timeline: “Limited construction activities can be performed on-site, but the bulk of the work cannot commence at either site until we have received MUP [master use permit] approval from the City of Seattle.” He said the district doesn’t know yet if the opening of either new school will be delayed as a result. The new Arbor Heights is scheduled to open in two years, the new Genesee Hill in a year and a half.
P.S. Appeal hearings are open to the public, though only for observation, not for participation/comment. Next month’s August 5th Genesee Hill hearing and August 11th Arbor Heights hearing are both scheduled to start 9 am on those dates in the city Hearing Examiner’s headquarters on the 40th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown.
With two-year superintendent José Banda officially getting the Sacramento job this week, the Seattle Public Schools Board did not waste any time announcing an interim superintendent to succeed him. They’ve just chosen Dr. Larry Nyland, much-acclaimed in his nine years as Marysville superintendent, which ended with his retirement last year, during which time he was chosen as state Superintendent of the Year and was a finalist for the corresponding national honor. His long career also includes leadership of the Pasco School District, interim leadership of Shoreline schools, and six years as Chief Academic Officer/Human Resources Director in Highline Public Schools south of Seattle. His Seattle roots run deep; he is a 1966 graduate of Roosevelt High School. He’s expected to start work August 1st, and the board promises information soon on how it will search for a permanent superintendent.
Today’s Land Use Information Bulletin from the city brings the formal notice of an appeal hearing for the new school to be built on the five-years-closed Genesee Hill Elementary site. The appellants, including district watchdog Chris Jackins and more than half a dozen local residents, are not challenging the entire project; they object to aspects including the zoning exception for the school’s height, where the bulk of its building will be placed on the site, plans for on-street school-bus loading, and the amount of parking (71 spaces might not be enough, they say). The appeal hearing is set for 9 am August 5th in the Hearing Examiner‘s chambers on the 40th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown; it’s open to the public (for observation but not comment). Some preparation work already has been done on the site, but demolition is still to come.
We’re often asked, “When’s the next benefit car wash?” This weekend’s answer – Sunday (July 13th)! 10 am-2 pm at West Seattle Autoworks (WSB sponsor), the West Seattle High School softball team will wash cars, by donation, to help pay for a trip next year to play in France, according to WSHS athletic director Trevor Leopold (who shared the photo – and who was honored as All-Metro Softball Coach of the Year this past spring). WS Autoworks is at 35th/Webster.
Big milestone reunion this year! We were asked to share this reminder:
The West Seattle High School Class of 1974 40th Reunion is July 19th from 6:30 to 11:30 PM at The Hall at Fauntleroy, 9131 California Ave SW. All tickets must be purchased by this Friday, July 11th. None will be sold at the door. To register, go to WSHS1974.com. PayPal and credit card accepted.
If that’s your reunion – have a great time!
Local public-school enrollment continues to rise, and even new construction/expansion isn’t taking all the pressure off some campuses. Latest evidence: Today, a portable classroom is arriving at West Seattle Elementary in High Point, according to Seattle Public Schools spokesperson Tom Redman. He says it’s a “single-classroom portable -to be used as a homeroom.” According to district numbers featured here last month, WSE expects 443 students this fall, up about twenty from last year.
Update: Seattle Public Schools might be changing superintendents again: José Banda ‘finalist’ for Sacramento jobJune 20, 2014 at 11:06 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 29 Comments
11:06 AM: Bombshell from Seattle Public Schools on the first day of summer break – the district might be looking for a new superintendent. After two years, José Banda announced he is a finalist for the same job in Sacramento. That district has fewer students than Seattle – 43,000, according to its website. He and school board president Sharon Peaslee have sent letters to the community here via e-mail in the past half-hour; Peaslee’s letter says Banda has family ties in California. Both will be meeting the media for a 1 pm briefing today. Banda’s most recent public West Seattle visit was last Saturday night, at the Chief Sealth International High School commencement ceremony (WSB photo at right).
He became superintendent one year after the board fired the late Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson; Susan Enfield, who was interim superintendent for that year, is now superintendent of Highline Public Schools south of Seattle. Goodloe-Johnson was Seattle superintendent for four years, succeeding Raj Manhas, who also held the job for four years.
ADDED 11:43 AM: According to the Sacramento Bee, Banda is not “a” finalist for the job there, but “the” finalist. And as usual when it comes to Seattle Public Schools news, there’s more background, discussion, and context in coverage at saveseattleschools.blogspot.com. Here’s Peaslee’s letter:
Here in the wee hours of the first full day of summer vacation for thousands of local kids, we have one more scene from the last day of classes, ever, at the “Original Arbor Heights,” as dubbed by our trusty parent correspondent. Also nicknamed, that’s “The Famous Mr. Wilkie” in the crosswalk, last one to enlist the crossing guards’ assistance before the soon-to-be-demolished old school went out of service. Reports our correspondent:
(He is) the heart and soul of The Original Arbor Heights Elementary school. Did you know that he went to kindergarten in the same Room 4 in which he has been teaching? Yup. Known to many, loved by all.
AH will share Boren with STEM for the next two years, while its brand-new school is built on this same campus.
Even as the school year ends today, planning is under way for the next one starting in September – and that’s what this call for volunteers is all about: Girls on the Run is on its way to Highland Park Elementary for 2014-2015.
HPE is starting Girls on the Run at our school starting in the fall. Girls on the Run is an after-school program that uses the power of running to give girls the tools to celebrate their bodies, honor their voices, recognize their gifts, and activate their power!
The program is open to 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade girls. Both girls from HPE and from the surrounding community who do not have GOTR at their home school are encouraged to join. We are looking for volunteers to coach our girls. The commitment would be one or two times a week Starting September 29th and running through December 8th. Minimum age is 16. If interested please contact Holly Briscoe, the site liaison for HPE. firstname.lastname@example.org
(Photo courtesy SSC)
This year’s biggest West Seattle graduation happened at Benaroya Hall downtown, where more than 800 graduates received degrees and certificates last night from Puget Ridge-headquartered South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). The announcement from SSC quotes president Gary Oertli as saying, “From academics to professional-technical, our student-oriented staff strives to help our students reach their professional dreams. And to our graduates, I’m truly proud and honored to share this special occasion with you. Your hard work, drive and commitment have helped you earn this special day.” Derrick Coleman from the Super Bowl-champion Seattle Seahawks delivered the commencement address: “There’s only one voice that matters. Listen to what is inside you. You call your own plays. Use your own God-given talent to overcome any obstacles. How hard you work will determine how far you go.” SSC says the graduates ranged in age from 17 to 68, with achievements including “bachelor of applied science degrees, associate transfer degrees (which open up the opportunity to transfer to four-year colleges and universities to pursue bachelor’s degrees), high-school diplomas, and associate degrees and certificates that prepare graduates to enter the workforce with desirable skillsets.”
Thanks to our Arbor Heights Elementary parent correspondent for sharing that photo from today’s 5th-grade graduation ceremony. The final graduate of the last 5th-grade class at “Original Arbor Heights,” as our tipster dubs it, was Max Zuber. The building is scheduled for demolition in late summer or fall, as per the construction schedule laid out at a community meeting two weeks ago. Tomorrow is the last day of classes there, as is the case all around the Seattle Public Schools district.
(Cart awaiting missing book; photos courtesy Cheryl Sullivan)
Tomorrow is the last day of classes for Seattle Public Schools – and among the loose ends to be tied up before that last bell sounds, administrators are trying to get students to bring back school-owned materials. At Chief Sealth International High School, assistant principal Cheryl Sullivan says, “We currently have more than $47,000 in lost/ outstanding books and fines that we are desperately trying to recoup. That includes almost 400 math books alone.” And yes, there’s a price for not returning something – she explains:
Current and former students of Chief Sealth International High School are being requested to bring and return all library and/or textbooks to the school this week. Our current 5th period classes are having a bit of a friendly competition to see who can clear their accounts fastest. As a reminder to families, students will be unable to participate in athletics, overnight field trips, dances, and other extra-curricular activities in the 14-15 school year if they have overdue/lost books and/or fines on their student account. Questions regarding individual student accounts may be directed to Cheryl Sullivan, Assistant Principal, at 206-252-8708 or by e-mail to email@example.com.
Optimally, families will find these items and get them back by the end of school tomorrow. If you turn something up over the course of the summer, Sullivan says she’s planning to spend a day or two at Westwood in mid-August to collect items. Here are some of the notices up about who owes what:
But even if your student goes to another school, taking one more look around for anything to return will doubtlessly be appreciated; we suspect Sullivan’s sentiment applies elsewhere: “As everyone knows, we don’t have much by way of materials budgets any longer; any books located and returned would be much appreciated.”
One more round of graduation congratulations tonight: A commencement ceremony at The Hall at Fauntleroy celebrated the 14-member Class of 2014 from Middle College High School‘s High Point Center campus, a Seattle Public Schools program also known as the School for Social Justice and Community Engagement.
Congratulations to the graduates, in alphabetical order:
Congratulations also to their administration, faculty, and staff, led by MCHS principal Cindy Nash, at right below with West Seattle’s school-board rep Marty McLaren:
MCHS’s location at High Point Center facilitates environmental education and volunteering, including participation in Keep High Point Green, featured here earlier this year.
(Click image for larger view)
What you see above is a major step in volunteers’ quest to get a better playground for Pathfinder K-8 and its Pigeon Point neighbors (along with anyone else in West Seattle who’ll want to come play there): The design by Johnson Southerland debuted at a meeting Monday night. It’s the result of a community-participatory process, and dozens of people were there to get a look:
The meeting also was an ice-cream social, popular with the youngest participants as well as the parent volunteers.
Next step for the playground committee and its helpers – fundraising to get the playground built!
It could cost up to $100,000; grant money (beyond what was obtained to make the design happen) is being sought to cover at least part of that, with more fundraising details to come. It’s hoped that ground can be broken next year. Watch pathfinderplayground14.wordpress.com for more on the design and the project!
It was cap, gown, and umbrella time, with showers arriving for the Chief Sealth International High School Class of 2014 commencement at Southwest Athletic Complex tonight. 268 graduating seniors, according to the program:
Since the spectator area at SWAC has an overhang, families and friends could cheer and wave signs without getting rained on:
Featured student speakers were Alison Nichols (below) and Miguel Castillo:
This was the first Sealth graduation for principal Aida Fraser-Hammer, who’s been running the school since last summer – she is second from left below, with (L to R) executive director of schools Israel Vela, school-board rep Marty McLaren, and district superintendent José Banda:
Chief Sealth Band musicians who played during the ceremony also entertained those on hand just before it – that’s Spencer Duncan singing, and Marcus Pimpleton directing:
ADDED EARLY SUNDAY: The entire opening procession, with faculty and then graduates:
Congratulations to all!
(Photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand unless otherwise credited)
Commencements always mean a lot to principals – but this afternoon’s graduation ceremony for the West Seattle High School Class of 2014 had extra meaning for principal Ruth Medsker, who pointed out that they arrived at WSHS in fall of 2010, just as she had. She is second from left in the next photo, with (L-R) assistant principal Mike Kelly, West Seattle’s school-board rep Marty McLaren, WS executive director of schools Israel Vela, and assistant principal Michelle Peterson:
The program lists 192 graduates.
(Photo by Greg Slader)
Hundreds of proud relatives and friends were there to cheer them on:
Giving the valediction, Megan Antalan, class president and one of 25 National Honor Society-member grads this year:
ADDED EARLY SUNDAY: Our video of the procession with all the grads walking in:
Congratulations to all!
The big moment is almost here: The Pathfinder K-8 PTA invites you to be there Monday night as its playground design is revealed:
Pathfinder K-8 and our neighbors are very excited about next Monday’s unveiling of the playground design that was created through a community process funded through a Department of Neighborhoods Small and Simple Grant. The design took pieces from three distinct concepts and integrated comments from many. Once this playground concept is built, it will truly be a resource for not only our school, but a destination for all of West Seattle. To that end, everyone is welcome to join the design unveiling on Monday, June 16th at 5:30 at Pathfinder K-8 School in the Pigeon Point neighborhood. Ice cream social to follow immediately! For project details, please visit our blog (here).
Pathfinder is at 1901 SW Genesee.
That’s just part of what’s been donated already during the clothing/textiles (towels, sheets, etc.) dropoff drive that culminates today outside Denny International Middle School – along with a canopied stack of bags that have been dropped off, a room inside the school is full of what students and their families brought before today’s big finale. (It’s a fundraiser; the recycler pays them by the pound.) You are invited to bag up whatever you can donate and drop it off outside Denny (2601 SW Kenyon) before 4 pm. Our original preview includes a link with full details on what they can and can’t accept.
Less than a week of classes left for Seattle Public Schools and lots more good news to share before the school year ends. We have another report of local students showing their work at the district’s recent Middle School Science Fair – this time, from Madison Middle School‘s science department co-chair, teacher Fred Jenner:
Madison students worked hard on their science fair projects and a few represented our school at the Museum of Flight the evening of June 5.
Here are a few of Madison’s bright and cheery students demonstrating their science pizzazz at the Museum of Flight.
A few participants were pulling double duty needing to return for Madison’s musical performance that evening.
Although our school did not have recognized winners of this event, their willingness to attend the district science fair was representative of the strong character elements that Madison helps produce.
Congratulations to all the students on their hard work!
For years, Lafayette Popcorns jump-rope performances have enthralled people around the peninsula – but student jump-ropers were onstage at the school last night for a bittersweet occasion: The PE teacher who kept the Popcorns hopping, Laurie Belfor, is retiring after 18 years. The Lafayette community threw a party last night for her and another longtime teacher who is saying goodbye, Sharon Rollins (below right) (31 years):
Good luck to Ms. Rollins and Ms. Belfor in their next adventures!
P.S. Anyone special leaving your school? Let us know!
As newly expanded Fairmount Park Elementary gets closer to its fall opening, three weeks of work on the south end of adjacent Fairmount Playfield starts next Monday. The work will close the playground for the next three weeks, the project team just confirmed. Here’s the official notice:
Seattle School District is constructing a path in Fairmount Playfield. This path will be built from Fauntleroy Way SW to Fairmount Park Elementary School. To facilitate construction, the south portion of Fairmount Playfield will be closed. However, the ball field will remain open.
The purpose of the path is to provide a safe walking surface from the new bus load zone on Fauntleroy Way SW to the school playground. It also provides a new paved, barrier-free access to Fairmount Playground at its southern boundary.
The Seattle School District is working with the contractor to minimize construction impacts that may include truck traffic and construction noise.
The district expects almost 300 students at Fairmount Park when it opens in September, seven years after it was mothballed in a districtwide round of closures.
(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
Congratulations to the scholarship winners honored by the Rotary Club of West Seattle at this week’s meeting! Above, the Students of the Year – all graduating seniors chosen from the “Students of the Month” announced throughout the year – from left, Elliott Snodgrass from Chief Sealth International High School, Mariel Smith from West Seattle High School, and Robert Leslie from Seattle Lutheran High School. Next, the three recipients of the Gambriell Scholarship:
From left, they are: Martha Girma from WSHS, Joseph Werlech from Kennedy High School, and Tomas Woldemichael from WSHS. Each spring, the Rotary invites applications for the Gambriell Scholarships; meantime, the selection of Students of the Month is explained here.
(L-R, Raegan Jarvis, LaVera Shields, WSHS music director Ethan Thomas, Chris Newcombe)
Thanks to Elizabeth Shields for sharing the news (and photo):
Congratulations to West Seattle High School sophomores LaVera Shields and Raegan Jarvis, recipients of the Newcombe Foundation Instrument Grant.
The Newcombe Foundation believes every child should have the ability to learn how to play a musical instrument as a tool to foster creativity and extended learning. Chris Newcombe, founder of the Newcombe Foundation, believes the Instrument Grant allows students to benefit from the many intellectual, social, and educational advantages that a background in the arts can provide for them. LaVera Shields is the recipient of a new trumpet and Raegan Jarvis is the recipient of a new viola. Both girls were very excited and honored to receive the brand-new instruments. They are looking forward to playing their new instruments in the upcoming WSHS Band spring concerts at 7:00 p.m. June 11, 2014.
That’s tomorrow! P.S. Read more about Chris Newcombe (a student himself!) and his foundation here.
Big week for soccer, as the World Cup starts Thursday. For local high-school-soccer athletes, the season has ended, but there’s a postscript: Congratulations to the local high-school-soccer players who made the Metro all-conference list this year! The Chief Sealth International High School and West Seattle High School athletes on the list are:
All-Metro Sound Division
M Devin Offord, Sr., Chief Sealth
M Yael Pina, Jr., Chief Sealth
D Lorenzo Waller, Jr., Chief Sealth
GK Sam Orlin, Jr., Chief Sealth
F Justin Alvarez, Jr., Chief Sealth
F Alazar Gilay, Sr., West Seattle
M Max Sadow, Jr., West Seattle
D Joseph Wally, So., Chief Sealth
D Brian McMonigle, So., West Seattle
D Cole Nofsinger, So., West Seattle
D Riley Germundson, So., Chief Sealth
GK Akil Kasin, Fr., West Seattle.
Chief Sealth — Daniel Herrera, Carlos Cardoza
West Seattle — Logan Schiller, Conner Elder, Thomas Mensing, Carter Mensing, Johnston Means
(Thanks to Tim McMonigle for sharing the list – see the full conference list on SeattleTimes.com.)
Old clothing/towels/other textile items you don’t want/need? Bag them up and get ready to drop them off outside Denny International Middle School next Friday. From the Denny PTSA:
Denny IMS will host its first clothing drive as a fundraiser next Friday, June 13th, with drop off for tied garbage bags of dry items at the main entrance of the school, from 7 am to 4 pm. We are accepting sheets, towels, rags, shoes, purses, throw rugs and any clothing. We will be paid by the pound, so please do your spring cleaning and bring the goods to Denny! Thank you for your support!
This doorhanger lists more of what they’ll take (and won’t). Denny is at 2601 SW Kenyon.
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