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. email@example.com
(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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Congratulations to the Seattle Lutheran High School Class of 2014, first West Seattle students to receive their diplomas as this school year comes to an end – their commencement ceremony was last night. Three more local high schools have ceremonies in West Seattle in the next week and a half:
*Tuesday, June 17th at The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW)
*Middle College (High Point) High School, 7 pm
While in Arbor Heights, we stopped by the future site of Westside School (WSB sponsor) for a look at the dramatic renovation scene at the former Hillcrest Presbyterian Church. The former sanctuary is basically hollowed out, as you can see, looking over the fence from 34th SW. Westside will spend one more year at its current campus, the former EC Hughes Elementary, leased from Seattle Public Schools, before moving to the new site. Westside’s 2013-2014 school year ended yesterday, and this past week, the school had its first middle-school graduation, having added 6th-8th grades over the past three years. Construction at the new site began just over a month ago.
P.S. We recently asked SPS to reconfirm what happens to Hughes once Westside moves; district spokesperson Teresa Wippel replied, “There are no plans at this point for EC Hughes other than to have it available for emergency use/to hold students when other schools are being remodeled, etc. No plans to lease it to anyone else, either.”
Until 6 pm, the community’s welcome to join Arbor Heights Elementary students, staff, families at the school carnival – autograph the soon-to-be-demolished building, especially if you’re an alum! Games, food, prizes too.
ADDED 5:30 PM: Thanks to our anonymous parent source for the top photo; we stopped by for these:
The “Angry Birds” toss is on the paved playground that’s seen better days – the new school will include an open field:
A tropical touch:
And a hand-lettered poster with a reminder about the next big event:
That’s Tuesday, 6-8 pm, a community gathering for an official farewell to the old school (though the last day of classes isn’t until June 19th).
Thanks to Rob for sharing the photo and report on those two Denny International Middle School scholars’ achievement (congratulations!):
Thursday night, Seattle Public Schools held its annual Middle School Science Fair at the Museum of Flight. Two students from Denny Middle School, Emma Bruce (left) and Rachel Potratz, were awarded the “Best Overall” prize for the 8th grade level. Congrats also to their science teacher at Denny, Mr. William Nelson, who works hard to show his students the beauty of science.
ADDED 3:46 PM: We asked Rob the followup question a couple commenters also asked – what did Emma and Rachel’s project examine? Reply: “Their project tests the current theory that eye color (in humans) affects vision in low-light situations.”
You never know what you’ll get to bid on at a school auction – and what you’ll win. Steve W. shares the story (and photo/video) of how his bid led to a marching-band surprise for a family member:
Last fall at the WSHS Auction, we were the winning bidders of a “Personal Marching Band Performance” at a date to be named. We chose to use this for my father-in-law’s birthday. He was quite surprised to see a marching band coming up the street with a banner that read “Happy Birthday Bud” on it. The band, directed by Ethan Thomas, played 10 or so songs, much to the delight of my neighbors.
If any of the WSB readers would like their own “Personal Marching Band Performance” they can bid on it at this fall’s WSHS Benefit Auction, which will be held on Friday, November 21st. They might have to bring deep pockets, however – as “Bud” may be wanting a repeat performance.
This happened last Sunday – so if you heard mysterious marching-band music echoing around Gatewood/south Morgan Junction/Fauntleroy, this probably explains it!
With days/weeks to go in the school year, most families have summer plans all settled. But in case you still have room/need for camp, three local school programs were still taking applications last we heard:
WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL WILDCAT SUMMER BASKETBALL CAMP: WSHS boys-basketball head coach Keffrey Fazio shares news of this camp, 9 am-2:30 pm Monday-Thursday, July 7th-10th, for boys and girls in 3rd-9th grades, all skill levels:
Our camp is a four day journey focusing on basketball fundamentals, teamwork, player confidence, and FUN! Bring your sack lunch and hoop game, and we will see you in the gym!
WESTSIDE SCHOOL CAMPS: Long list of weeklong camps at Westside School (WSB sponsor) in Sunrise Heights – here are the themes:
K‐6th Grade “Adventure Camps” Out in the World!
K‐8th Grade “Specialty Camps” @ Westside
Ages 6‐12 “Sing Out Seattle!” @ Westside
The first camp starts next week (since tomorrow is the final day of the year at Westside). Read about the camps, including registration info, at this page on the school website. Questions? email@example.com
SUMMER MUSIC CAMP: All local students entering 5th-8th grades who are “actively participating in their school’s music program” are welcome to the two weeks of music camps led by Denny/Sealth music director Marcus Pimpleton, starting July 14th.
Daily activities will include:
• Full Group Music Rehearsal in their primary ensemble
• Sectionals and or individual coaching sessions with a mentor musician
• Games/Icebreakers—time to get to know one another; and an extended recess time in the gym
While this is an educational program, the mood will be quite fun and laid back. Our aim is to have a good time making music together and to help elementary students feel comfortable in the middle school environment.
The program is broken into “marching band,” “cadet band,” and “strings” sections; tuition is $120 if you sign up before July 1st. Here’s the brochure, which includes the schedule and how to register/pay.
P.S. If you have a summer camp with space, you are welcome to post a comment below – but please include a link for families to find out more information/register. (Just include the link in your text – our system automatically hotlinks it if it begins with http or https.)
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