West Seattle, Washington
(Added) Here’s a sample of their big sound – in our video clip:
Denny principal Jeff Clark was in his Dolphins-blue suit as he provided piñata assistance:
Today (Friday) is the last day of school before winter break for Denny and other Seattle Public Schools – with one-hour early release.
West Seattle’s school communities have been talking for some time now about how to help each other – the West Seattle School Parent Collaborative is one way – and another is coming up with a chance to involve many people from around the community, including you: One big event to benefit five schools next Tuesday (December 19th). Between 11 am and 8 pm that day, dine at Marination ma kai (1660 Harbor SW) and part of the proceeds will go to help kids at this area’s five Title I schools – Concord International, Highland Park, Roxhill, Sanislo, West Seattle elementaries. (Here’s the menu if you don’t already have favorites there but want to plan ahead!)
‘Tis the season for holiday/winter concerts, especially this week, with many local school groups performing in the nights before winter break. Last night at Hope Lutheran School, it was a full house for the “Sounds of Winter” concert by groups from Hope and nearby Seattle Lutheran High School.
We stopped in toward the start of the concert. Above, the Hope Concert Band opened the night; our top photo and our video below feature the Hope Chapel Band/Choir:
Also performing, the SLHS Band and Hope’s Handbell Choir and Glee Club. We’re told some of the Hope musicians will also be performing at the Senior Center of West Seattle this afternoon.
P.S. See the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide for more music (and other events/info)!
Of local note: The agenda document (here are the 145 pages in PDF) has an updated list of schools under consideration for major BEX projects (see pages 27 and 28 in that document), and the list now includes six West Seattle schools, two added since the last work session in September.
The four local carryovers on the “potential project list” are Alki, Lafayette, Roxhill, and Schmitz Park elementaries – and now Boren STEM K-8 and Madison Middle School have been added. Being on the “potential” list doesn’t guarantee making it into the final measure to go to voters (likely in early 2019) – the district is reviewing far more schools than it could ask voters for money to rebuild/remodel. The addition of Boren isn’t too surprising as BEX planning took up a major portion of the meeting there back in October (WSB coverage here) when the district told them that it was no longer looking at moving STEM K-8 to another building.
The agenda document also contains a trove of data, including enrollment projections for schools around the district, which is part of what drove the changes to the list. Overall, the district expects “the largest enrollment growth in the next 10 years is projected in grades 9-12.” The public is welcome at tonight’s work session, which starts at 4:30 pm at district HQ in SODO and is expected to get to BEX around 6:30, but there’s no public comment, and no vote planned – more reviews and work sessions are ahead before levy language is finalized next year.
More than 100 Chief Sealth International High School students are new members of the National Honor Society – 3.5 GPAs or higher – and many celebrated at tonight’s induction ceremony in the school Galleria. Proud family members were there to cheer:
Featured speaker was teacher Luke Azinger, who said that the students experiencing this success are those who are willing to seek out different perspectives and different ideas. He encouraged them to not only challenge themselves to learn, but to also stay close to schoolmates who aren’t there yet – that they have perspectives from which we all can learn.
Other faculty members were also there to honor the new NHS members, including advisor Katie Hubert, and the new members were introduced by this year’s NHS officers – co-presidents Tony Tran and Zhen Williams, vice president Kimseam Chou, secretary Rumi Conley, and treasurer Chandra Burnham.
P.S. Thanks to the CSIHS parent who e-mailed to let us know this event was happening tonight, so we could cover it!
While we’re talking local elected leadership – we should also note that the Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors rep for West Seattle/South Park, Leslie Harris, has just been elected board president. She is beginning her third year on the board. Her next community-conversation meeting, by the way, is 3-5 pm Saturday, December 23rd, at Delridge Library; that and her January and February meeting are listed here along with her contact info.
The photo and report are from Louisa Boren STEM K-8 principal Ben Ostrom:
STEM K-8 Girls Team takes first place in the Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Flight STEM challenge against high-school competition! The competition involves designing, building, and flying electric planes that carry cargo.
You can read more about the competition here.
Story and photos by Judy Pickens
Special to West Seattle Blog
Since the first West Seattle tournament for elementary students, in 2013, chess has been proving its benefit in area schools. Now West Seattle Elementary has hosted its first state-qualifying tournament.
The all-day scholastic event today drew 104 participants from schools across the city, including multi-grade teams from Fairmount Park, Lafayette, Alki, Holy Rosary, Genesee Hill, Roxhill, Arbor Heights, and West Seattle elementaries. At the end of the day, Chess Ratings Northwest updated each student’s rating based on performance after five rounds of play. Those who earn high-enough ratings in multiple meets will qualify for the state elementary tournament in April in Pasco, the largest state meet in the country.
West Seattle Elementary introduced chess in 2012. According to teacher Ritchie Garcia, the game of strategy is proving especially helpful for the school’s many English-language learners.
“Chess provides a different way for students who are not yet proficient in English to demonstrate their abilities, especially critical thinking,” he said. “They have the immediate reward of making a smart move and even winning.”
Chess is on the schedule every week in every classroom at the school, plus students can join the after-school chess club.
Given that many West Seattle Elementary families are recent immigrants, only about a dozen students usually have funding to attend a tournament, Garcia explained. “By hosting, our club members were able to compete for free in a rigorous event and we could offer other students a discount on registration.”
Dance for education! A tango charity gala is in the works for programs including the Concord International Elementary PTA and the Heritage Spanish program at Kennedy CHS, “A Milonga for a Cause,” with live music featuring the Chicharra Tango Orchestra, a pre-milonga lesson, dance performances, a DJ, and more. It’s set for 8:30 pm Friday, December 15th, at Eden Seattle Event Place and Nightclub (1950 1st Ave. S.) Tickets are $40 in advance – buy yours now – and after advance sales cut off (or at the door), $50. Tickets include two drinks and a bite.
#2 Jasmine Smith was also in double digits for the Seahawks, with 13 points. Under new head coach Cartiea French-Toney, the Sealth girls are now 2-1 on the season.
Their next game is at Cleveland, 7 pm Friday.
Thanks to West Seattle High School boys-basketball head coach Keffrey Fazio for the report:
West Seattle boys basketball traveled to O’Dea high school last night. The Wildcats lost in overtime 57 to 55. Leading scorer for West Seattle was senior Anthony Giomi with 19 points. Wildcats are now 2-1 on the season.
Next up: Friday at Ingraham.
The Chief Sealth International High School boys-varsity team was back home tonight and added to the win column, 77-67 over visiting Nathan Hale HS. #0 Jauvan Gary-Jones led the scoring with 19 points; next was #2 Tyrell Moore (top photo) with 14, followed by #22 Elijah Jackson with 12.
The Seahawks held on for the win despite a Hale comeback in the fourth quarter; they’re 3-1 on the season so far.
Next game is at Cleveland on Friday night.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
But more are needed, contend the Alki Elementary parents and staffers who formed a Traffic Safety Task Force to campaign for safety improvements at the intersection. On Monday, they met with SDOT managers at the school to seek answers about what’s possible, what’s not, and a timeline for what’s next.
Representing SDOT were traffic engineer Dongho Chang (who had gained some fame earlier in the day) and Brian Dougherty, who has long worked on Safe Routes to School. From the TSTF, Merkys Gomez, Barbara Ott, teacher Alia Delacour, and parent Emily Cier. Brianna Thomas from Councilmember Lorena González‘s staff was there too (a representative from Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s office had planned to attend but took ill). Here’s how it went.
Thanks to the reader who shared the report and photos:
West Seattle High School’s 1st Team All-Metro Sound Division Football Selections
Senior Anthony Coats, senior Alex Pastrana, and junior Oliver Carlson have been selected to the First Team All-Metro Sound Division Football Team. Anthony (above right) was named 1st Team Quarterback, Alex (above center) was named 1st Team Offensive Guard and 2nd Team Defensive Tackle, and Oliver (above left) was named 1st Team Wide Receiver. Congratulations to these boys for their leadership and achievements on the field that have been recognized by the coaches throughout the league. It was a tough season for the young and inexperienced Wildcats but the team never quit, battled, and worked hard all season long for new coach Marcis Fennell.
The team also had its year end football banquet Friday night, which was an incredible event held at The Hall at Fauntleroy. During the celebration of the student athletes’ season Coach Fennell and the West Seattle Alumni Monogram Club surprised this year’s qualified lettermen with brand-new Letterman jackets, bringing back a tradition that has been absent for 20 years.
The boys were excited, stunned and extremely appreciative of this awesome gesture. You could see the pride these boys have in WSHS and could feel their excitement about representing their community in their new jackets.
It was a fun and rewarding evening for all involved that has set the standard moving forward for WS Football. A special thank you to Coach Marcis and all his assistant coaches for their hard work and dedication to WSHS. Go Westside!
Just in from Madison Middle School assistant soccer coach Paul Bennett:
Madison Middle School Girls Varsity won its game 5 to 1 this morning. They will be playing in the final game at Memorial Stadium at 3:30. It will be Madison Middle School vs Jane Addams Middle School. Both teams have gone undefeated this season. The winner will be the Seattle Middle School Champions.
Memorial Stadium is at Seattle Center downtown.
West Seattle High School‘s #32 Meghan Fiso starred in Friday night’s 78-36 victory over Nathan Hale, which sent the Wildcats out to a 2-0 start, both wins by a margin of more than 40 points. Fiso racked up 30 points to lead the team.
#4 Kelsey Lenzie was next with 13 points, and #11 Jasmine Gayles with 10.
#20 Grace Sarver and #5 Rilcy Newsome contributed 8 points each. WSHS’s next two games are on the road (here’s the season schedule).
In boys-varsity basketball at West Seattle High School Friday night, the Wildcats scored a big win over the defending state champions, Nathan Hale, and are now off to a 2-0 start.
On the way to their 70-47 win, the West Seattle boys were led by #5 Abdullahi Mohamed and #2 Elijah Nnanabu, with 14 points each, followed by #23 Anthony Giomi and #24 Simon Harris with 10 each. (Full stats here.)
The Wildcats’ next three games are on the road (see the schedule here).
One year ago, the West Seattle High School girls-basketball team’s district-championship season began with a game against Bothell HS, as this season just did. Last year, Bothell took the win, but not this time. In Wednesday night’s game, the Wildcats were dominant right from the tipoff, scoring 17 unanswered points in the first four and a half minutes before the Cougars finally got on the boards with a basket. WSHS looked as good as they had, maybe better than, last season, with their starting stars back, including #11 Jasmine Gayles:
Gayles had the first four points of the night, on her way to the second-leading scoring total, 15, as well as numerous assists. Top scoring honors belonged to #20 Grace Sarver (top photo), with 18. #4 Kelsey Lenzie was in double digits too, at 11. And #10 Jenna McPhee had 8.
… as did #32 Meghan Fiso:
Smothering defense and aggressive pursuit of the ball – both via rebounds and forced turnovers – marked the West Seattle play, too, even once they’d built a big lead. The gap did allow reserves to get significant time, including #34 Anissa Babitu:
At the end of the first quarter, WSHS was already up 23-4; at halftime, it was 35-11.
The second half opened in showy style – starting with Lenzie sinking a three-pointer on an assist from Gayles; a few seconds later, Sarver netted two, soon followed by a Gayles basket, and a three for McPhee on a Sarver assist, all of this happening in the half’s first minute and a half. The Wildcats’ lead soon opened to forty points and then some. Everybody had a share of it; midway through the final quarter, Babitu had a three-pointer, and a few baskets later, the buzzer sounded with WSHS getting the 69-20 win. They’re home again Friday night, vs. Nathan Hale at 7 pm.
COACHING NOTE: The Wildcats were coached tonight by JV coach Mike Gutierrez, whose reminders about rebounding and other exhortations carried across the court:
He filled in for third-year head coach Darnell Taylor, who is suspended for the first two games of the year because of a rule violation toward the end of last year – one WSHS caught and reported itself – it played one game more than permitted, as explained in this Seattle Times report from last May.
More basketball home openers tonight. One went so fast, it was over before our photographer arrived. It took less than an hour for the Chief Sealth International High School boys to dispose of the Australian travel team that visited tonight, 81-45. That was just one night after they opened the season on the road, 84-72 over Mount Rainier High School (Des Moines) Tuesday. Next up for head coach Colin Slingsby‘s Seahawk boys: They play at Rainier Beach, 7:30 pm Saturday.
On Mayor Jenny Durkan‘s second day in office, she made her second visit to West Seattle, taking her first step toward fulfilling one of her campaign promises – two years of free community college for all Seattle high-school graduates. The program she calls Seattle Promise is set in motion by an executive order she signed at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), which for almost a decade has been home to a program called 13th Year Promise. That program offers a free year at SSC to graduates of certain Seattle public high schools – currently including Chief Sealth International High School, and starting next year, to also include West Seattle High School.
Durkan’s plan is for ultimately all Seattle graduates to be able to get two years of free community college. But the order she signed at SSC – read it here – first guarantees a second year for those in the 13th Year Promise program this year, and then sets up a process for figuring out how to pay for expansion, with a plan due by next March:
Identify how existing resources and funding sources, including federal, state or regional
funds, the Families and Education Levy and Seattle Preschool Program Levy renewal, the
Seattle Public school local levy renewal, and philanthropic resources, can be deployed to
maximize student access to the Promise Program.
To underscore the mention of the levies, two paragraphs later, the mayor’s order directs two departments to “immediately consider the Seattle Promise College Tuition Program for inclusion in the proposal for the renewal of the Families and Education Levy and the Seattle Preschool Levy in 2018.”
This afternoon’s announcement was held with a gathered backdrop of SSC students – who were hailed as the real “dignitaries” at the event – plus others including City Council President Bruce Harrell (who spoke), Councilmember Sally Bagshaw (who did not), SSC and Seattle Colleges leaders including the system’s chancellor, Dr. Shouan Pan.
Dr. Pan said this program will be a “gamechanger” for many. (Added) He was the first speaker; here’s our video of the full event:
We also saw former SSC president Gary Oertli, who was beaming, saying the 13th Year Promise program “was my baby” and expressing pride that it’s up for expansion. Speaking of expansion, the event was held in the foyer of newly opened Cascade Hall on the northwest side of the SSC campus. While classes are being held there now and some faculty members have moved into offices, its formal dedication is still a few months away. It’s headquarters to the SSC nursing program, and we got a quick peek this afternoon into classrooms such as this hospital simulation area:
SIDE NOTE: So far, no third-day-in-a-row plan for a mayoral visit tomorrow – she has announced a visit to Capitol Hill, where she’ll tour small businesses (as she did during a campaign visit to West Seattle a few months ago) before announcing the creation of a Small Business Advisory Council.
Two big events are coming to Arbor Heights because of this partnership that Westside School (WSB sponsor) has just announced:
Westside School is excited to announce our temporary partnership with Town Hall during their reconstruction project.
We are honored to host Beverly Tatum, who will present her research on Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting In The Cafeteria Together this Sunday, December 3 from 2 – 4 p.m. in Westside School’s theater. This event is open to the public and is sold out (320 tickets).
We have contacted SPD Lieutenant Smith to send a traffic officer or two, during arrival time on Sunday to ensure positive traffic flow. Westside will put out no-parking signs in front of the houses located directly across from our site to keep people from inappropriately parking. Additionally, Westside School staff will be present to assist in directing people to the site.
We are super excited about this Town Hall partnership and we expect this event to be positive for the West Seattle community.
The second Town Hall event set for Westside School will be at 7:30 pm January 22, “The German Art of Raising Self-Reliant Children” with Sara Zaske. Ticket information and other details are on the Town Hall website.
5:57 AM: As announced Tuesday afternoon, drivers for First Student, which provides yellow-school-bus service for Seattle Public Schools, are out today on a one-day strike. That means no buses for about 12,000 students around the city. School IS in session, so those students’ families have to get them to their schools some other way. Teamsters Union Local 174, which represents the drivers, says the strike is a protest of “First Student’s unilateral change and implementation of an inferior medical plan for its employees,” adding, “Bus service should resume on Thursday, November 30; however, a longer strike can be called at any time if a deal is not reached.” The district says it expects to confirm the end of the strike with messages to families and the public later today.
12:08 PM UPDATE: The district says some buses did run this morning, though it doesn’t say where, and that those buses will run again this afternoon. (You might have seen video of one bus going through the picket line in South Park; we have a version of that – added above.) Affected families will be notified directly by phone, according to the district. Meantime, the district still says it’s expecting full service to resume tomorrow.
5:42 PM: If your child(ren) use yellow-bus service to get to Seattle Public Schools, you likely have already received a message with the district confirmation that First Student yellow-bus service is expected to be back to full strength tomorrow after today’s one-day strike.
Between a slow start and a close call toward the end, the Chief Sealth International High School varsity girls played some exciting basketball on their way to a season-opening home win Tuesday night, 39-30 over Kennedy Catholic HS. It was a promising debut for new head coach Cartiea French-Toney.
The first quarter had Sealth down 6-1 at one point – but the Seahawks fought back, and by its end, they were up 10-7.
#2, senior Jasmine Smith, was top scorer. But Sealth’s defense against the Lancers was vital too. A dramatic double-teaming moment with two minutes left in the first half forced Kennedy to turn the ball over, and that was extra momentum propelling Sealth to a 19-13 halftime lead.
The second half was barely 30 seconds old when #1, senior Aundra Tuchscherer, got the first basket.
The lead kept growing, with a three-pointer by Smith just about a minute later giving the Seahawks a double-digit lead.
Kennedy wasn’t giving up, though, and with less than two minutes left in the game, pulled to within three points. Sealth’s resolve toughened and they piled on a few points in the next minute, then a few more, and the final score was 38-30.
Next scheduled game for the Sealth girls: 6 pm Saturday at Rainier Beach.