Video: Back-to-school assembly pitches “college pledge” at Denny

September 3, 2008 4:09 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools | West Seattle video

That’s video of the Denny Middle School Marching Band — directed by Marcus Pimpleton. The band was the opening act this morning for the biggest media event of Seattle Public Schools‘ first day of classes, with a guest list including district Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson, Mayor Nickels, West Seattle school-board rep Steve Sundquist, not to mention a sizable contingent of cameras, as you can see in the video. (We brought you a brief update on this shortly after it happened; now, here are full details.) The most important guests of all, the audience — Denny’s brand-new sixth-grade class, which had the school all to themselves today, since the 7th and 8th graders don’t arrive till tomorrow. With two exceptions: Two 8th graders spoke as part of a presentation about a college-scholarship program — read on to see what they had to say:

While the mayor had his remarks, including a side note that his two children were former Denny students, and the superintendent had hers, the real news came from Denny principal Jeff Clark, who notes that his school has marked a milestone in college prep:

The College-Bound Pledge is the program that was pitched today — state-funded scholarships for kids in families of certain income levels (here are more resources to help middle-schoolers get ready for college), as long as the kids and their families sign a pledge committing to, among other things, maintaining a grade-point average of at least 2.0 — and Clark says his school has almost 200 students who’ve signed up for it. One of the two Denny eighth-graders who spoke to the assembly about the pledge was Laisha Tisino, who says she knows where she’s going and what she’s going to do for a career:

uriel.jpgThe sixth-graders also heard from Uriel Lopez-Cabrera (photo at left), who said he plans to be an architect, and from Tiffany Jones, who’s with the college-funding program — which so far has enrolled 33 percent of the Seattle students who are eligible. During her portion of the program, Jones led the sixth-graders in a verbal college pledge:

You can find out more about the College-Bound Pledge by going here; you can read the official city news release about today’s event here. Meantime, we have one more round of back-to-school coverage before the night’s out – some notes about getting there safely. (Lt. Steve Paulsen at the Southwest Precinct, by the way, tells us it’s been a quiet first day back, from the precinct’s perspective – they spent a lot of time planning the best way to be in the right place at the right time, a tactic that’s paid off in earlier years too.)

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