The Grammy-winning Okee Dokee Brothers played at Westside School (WSB sponsor) this weekend, part of the independent school’s ongoing partnership with Town Hall Seattle. Opening its doors ever-wider as a community hub is one of the school’s goals under its first-year head of school Steve de Beer. We sat down to chat with him this week. While it’s his first year at Westside, the school is already in its fourth year on its Arbor Heights campus, remodeled from its previous incarnation as a church. Moving here last summer after seven years at Friends School in Boulder, Colorado, de Beer is leading Westside through continued growth. He notes that Westside has doubled the size of its middle-school math faculty, with math contests and robotics enhancing the curriculum, part of “being an excellent independent school” in his view. The school also has added its first full-time counselor. Students have a new turf field – added last year – to play on. And Westside is looking at the possibility of more space for preschool: The neighboring New Apostolic Church recently moved its congregation to a new “Puget Sound Metro” site in Federal Way, and approached Westside to see if they might be interested in renting the space. The discussion is in a very early stage, de Beer stressed, with exploratory filings on record with the city. Earlier this decade, Westside expanded to add middle school. Meantime, the next step in the school’s community-hub plans is on March 28th, when Westside will host the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s monthly After Hours gathering. “Lots of good energy” at the school, de Beer summarizes.
West Seattle, Washington
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