West Seattle people 2336 results

CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattle High School graduate Hannah Shelfer’s art on display at U.S. Capitol

That artwork, “The Matriarchs” by West Seattle High School Class of 2021 graduate Hannah Shelfer. is now on display at the U.S. Capitol! Our area’s U.S. House Rep. Pramila Jayapal (also a West Seattleite) circulated the image this weekend, noting that the artist was this district’s winner in last year’s Congressional Art Competition. WSB reader Kathleen pointed this out and wondered if we could find out more about Hannah. We contacted her family, which tells us the artist is now a student at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., majoring in food science. Her award-winning painting, according to her family, “was inspired by the 2020 movie ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’. This digital piece was constructed using multiple layers of color and methods that approximate conventional painting and drawing tools. Hannah’s artwork earned her the Fine Arts Department Scholar Award in the WSHS 2021 graduating class.” Also while at WSHS, she was a swim-team athlete and, her family adds, also competed regionally and nationally as a team member of Pacific Waves Synchronized Swim Club.

Remember Herman Meyer’s ‘solo Ironman’? New short film shows you how he did it

2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking, 26.2 miles of running, in under 17 hours: – A little over two months ago, we reported on 17-year-old Herman Meyer‘s accomplishment, and now his friend, filmmaker Riley Nachtrieb, has released her nine-minute film about it. Here’s the announcement and video:

Back in September, West Seattle High School senior Herman Meyer completed a solo Ironman-length triathlon, going back and forth along Alki Beach.

You can now watch his Ironman journey with the film ‘Tri-ing To Solo’, by WSHS alumni and award-winning filmmaker Riley Nachtrieb, available on YouTube.

Thank you to the West Seattle community for supporting Herman on that Saturday from 8am to 1am. So many people came out and offered so much. Some include: Ryan Connolly, Wes & KT Meyer, Grant Howard, Brendan & Jodi Connolly, Lily & Jac Howard, Mykenna Ikehara, and Rose Feliciano.

Herman had never done a triathlon before his “solo Ironman.”

BIZNOTE: Chase Bank in Admiral saying farewell to ‘friendly branch manager’

The staff at Chase Bank‘s Admiral branch wants you to know their manager is moving on:

On behalf of the Chase Bank Admiral Branch, we would like to inform the community that our friendly branch manager, Jeff Glessner, has been promoted to a new position within the firm. Some of you may have known him from the Morgan Street Thriftway Branch.

Jeff came to JP Morgan Chase with a background in teaching and coaching football. His management style reflected both. He provided positive fun energy, at the same time noticing and promoting each employee’s qualities . Mistakes were learning experiences where he would encourage us to focus on the “next play.”

The game is not over. Having planted their roots on this “accidental island,” he and his wife Dakota, along with their son Lincoln, can’t escape.

Congratulations, Jeff, Dakota, and Lincoln!

His last day at the Admiral branch is November 30th.

SUNDAY: Sendoff sale for West Seattle celebrity couple

West Seattle’s best-known musician/visual artist couple is leaving the peninsula for Vashon Island. Tomorrow is the last day in West Seattle for Chris Ballew (aka Caspar Babypants) and Kate Endle, and they’re inviting you to join the sendoff via their art and garage sale. Here’s the announcement they sent tonight:

Super Duper Art and Garage Sale
featuring Kate Endle and Caspar Babypants

November 21, Sunday 11 am-4 pm
5414 SW Beach Dr Terrace

Come celebrate our last day in our West Seattle house with a garage and art sale! Items for sale include full-price art, deeply discounted art, Caspar CDs and merchandise (including the latest and last Caspar release, “Easy Breezy”!), books, home decor, art supplies, TONS of clothing and more.

Endle says you’ll still see them around town – “Our hearts will always be in West Seattle.”

FOLLOWUP: West Seattle Junction Association hires new executive director

Less than two weeks after West Seattle Junction Association executive director Lora Radford announced her impending departure, she’s already training her successor.

Meet Chris Mackay, 25-year West Seattle resident and veteran nonprofit manager. Her most-recent role was as executive director of Crooked Trails, a nonprofit that specializes in “meaningful travel opportunities” – tourism and volunteering rolled up into one adventure, for example. But after 20 years of that – doing a lot of traveling along the way – she’s excited to work “close to home” in her new role.

Mackay’s previous work led to a skillset that’s perfect for the WSJA leadership position, from partnerships to development to event production. The latter is especially important as, after the pandemic hiatus, the Junction Association is reviving its signature events, including the Hometown Holidays Tree Lighting and Night Market (December 4th) and a “full-blown” West Seattle Summer Fest next year (set your calendar for July 15-17, 2022). Mackay told WSB in a short introductory chat at the WSJA office that she expects to spend a few months getting up to speed with everything that’s already in the works, and then starting a conversation about future strategy, growth, and direction – “what’s the dream?” as she puts it.

First, she’s working closely with Radford – whose last official day is later this week – “to extract everything from her head … and her heart.” Radford expects Mackay to shine: “Chris will be a wonderful advocate for small businesses; she has wonderful energy and is ready to take over the reins.”

FOLLOWUP: Admiral Church overnight-shelter program not expected to start for at least a month

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“We’re all going to be OK.”

So said a neighbor toward the end of the second community meeting about Admiral Church‘s planned partnership with Operation Nightwatch to give 10 men a safe, warm, dry place to sleep each night. That neighbor was trying to reassure others who continued to voice concerns about the overnight-shelter plan.

Since the Sunday afternoon meeting, which included a chance for neighbors to question Nightwatch executive director Rev. Rick Reynolds, the church’s council has met to further discuss the plan. The church’s pastor, Rev. Andrew Conley-Holcom, says the only update from the meeting is that the program won’t start this month after all – “it’ll probably take around a month or more before everything’s ready on Nightwatch’s end.”

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Rev. Ron Marshall – a West Seattle community ‘giant’ – has died

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Rev. Ron Marshall has died at the age of 73.

His passing was confirmed by First Lutheran Church of West Seattle, where he had been pastor since 1979.

Rev. Marshall was much more than a minister. He was a community champion – especially for nonprofits, particularly the West Seattle Food Bank and the former West Seattle Helpline (which merged with WSFB last year). He was a longtime WSFB board member and even wrote a book about the food bank’s first 30 years.

(WSB photos)

That was not the only book Rev. Marshall authored – he also wrote books on the religious thought of Martin Luther and Søren Kierkegaard. In 2013, he led a celebration of the Kierkegaard bicentennial, commissioning a statue of the Danish theologian/philosopher:

In 2017, he led a commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, for which the church commissioned a plaque of Martin Luther:

His eclectic interests also included the Koran, on which he taught a four-session class four times a year for nearly 20 years – transitioning it to Zoom when the pandemic hit. His weekly services for FLCWS were presented as written liturgies on the church website (we linked to them weekly on Sundays along with other churches’ pandemic-format services), and you can read his most-recent ones here. In the introduction on that page, Rev. Marshall noted that an online-video service “would be inconsistent with our mission statement and the honor it pays to historical liturgies (which require a congregation present). So the liturgies I provide are short, meditative in tone, and solitary.”

He himself was by no means solitary, being well-known and -loved throughout the West Seattle community. Local historian/journalist Clay Eals calls him “a giant.” Along with the West Seattle Food Bank, Rev. Marshall was also a longtime board member for Music Northwest, whose director is his wife, Dr. Jane Harty. When we hear from his family, we will add that here; Forest Lawn is handling arrangements and tells us there is no service date yet.

CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattle rower makes prestigious UW team

Thanks to Eric Odegard for sending this report on a West Seattle student/athlete’s accomplishment:

Brigit O’Rourke of West Seattle realized a long-held ambition when she made the rowing team at the University of Washington this past week.

As one of approximately 40 “walk-ons” trying to make the crew, O’Rourke was evaluated through a series of tests that involved the rowing machine, long runs, and on-water rows, and was over the moon when she was told that she had made the prestigious squad, which is consistently at or near the top of US college rowing.

“Since the first time I walked into a boathouse when I was 13 years old, I realized rowing is my passion. I’m overjoyed and grateful to have earned this opportunity to continue living my dreams,” said O’Rourke, who is studying pre-med.

O’Rourke rowed as an 8th grader and then took a few years away from the sport. But she found she really missed rowing, and was drawn back to it in 12th grade when she joined the Burton Beach Rowing Club (BBRC) on Vashon Island. Unfortunately, Covid prevented any official racing in her senior year, but Brigit dedicated herself to training, taking a very early ferry to Vashon from her West Seattle home six mornings per week to be on the water under the guidance of BBRC coach Richard Parr.

“Brigit’s work ethic has always been amazing, and throughout Covid she actually dug deeper every day, even though there was no racing for her. She is incredibly driven, and a great teammate. Brigit may well be the smallest Husky rower, but she’s just so easy to coach and there is always 100% commitment from her, which is why her selection at UW doesn’t surprise me at all,” said Parr.

O’Rourke said, “Through rowing at Burton Beach, I learned the importance of dedication, integrity, and teamwork. These ideals and Richard’s unconditional support are what inspire me to grow as a rower. At UW I will continue to push myself to become faster and stronger every day, and I know I can always count on the support of my teammates and coaches, both at UW and at Burton Beach.”

The only downside to O’Rourke’s selection is that her planned race as a Burton Beach crew this weekend at UW’s Head of the Lake regatta in the Parent/Child double sculls with her dad Shawn now has to be withdrawn.

But both father and daughter wouldn’t have it any other way.

Lora Radford leaving West Seattle Junction Association after 5+ years as executive director, but ‘not going to be far away’

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Since West Seattle hasn’t been a city since 1907, it doesn’t have its own mayor.

But it does have civic champions. Few have worked more tirelessly in recent years than Lora Radford.

After five and a half years as executive director of the West Seattle Junction Association, she’s just announced that she’s moving on to serve the West Seattle community in a different role, as a community liaison in Sound Transit‘s next phase of light-rail planning.

Her Junction involvement actually goes back more than a decade before she moved into the Junction Association’s cozy office across from the Senior Center of West Seattle.

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CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattleite honored as Firefighter of the Year

If you don’t know Roger Webber, that video will introduce you to him. Both the Seattle Fire Department and King County Fire Chiefs Association have announced the West Seattle resident as Firefighter of the Year. As explained in the video, he had a pivotal role in SFD’s launch of the Health One service, which, as he explains it, responds to assist “society’s most vulnerable people.” Though he and his family live here in West Seattle, he has been based at SFD’s Fire Station 10 in Pioneer Square for two decades.

West Seattle woman running New York City Marathon to help save kids’ lives

Maybe you’ve seen Alisha Timm out running in her orange shirt. She is in training for this year’s New York City Marathon, just a week and a half away, and wants to explain why:

Hi There! My name is Alisha Timm and I am a proud five-year West Seattle resident – I’m also the girl running around in the orange ‘Imagine a World Without Cancer’ shirt. It’s been so fun to run around all of the neighborhoods in West Seattle and fall even more in love with this beautiful community
Growing up I played competitive soccer and ran cross country, but after a terrible knee injury and a horrific car accident found myself being told I shouldn’t run any more. Well, twelve half-marathons later, I’ve found myself training for my first marathon, the 50th New York City Marathon. After being postponed last year, it is officially happening on November 7th this year.

When I started on the pursuit of completing the NYC Marathon, it was a check off the bucket list for me – but, I couldn’t bring myself to a place where I could imagine not taking the opportunity to raise awareness and do good for something bigger than myself. Joining Fred’s Team was a no-brainer for me as every single person in this world has been impacted by cancer; driving awareness and funding research is critical to making a change. Fred’s Team is affiliated with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NY, the largest and oldest private cancer center in the world. As part of the team, you can select if you’d like to contribute to a certain type of cancer – I went with childhood.

Raising awareness for childhood cancer was my choice for several reasons, but the largest being that these kids have their whole life ahead of them and are starting out with this unfathomable battle, I cannot even begin to imagine being the child or family in that situation. Below are some statistics that really surprised me when I started digging in:

-#1 cause of death in children
-Only 4% of research dollars spent annually are on childhood cancer
-95% of survivors have significant health-related issues due to treatment options
-43 kids per day in the US are diagnosed with cancer

Statistics are based on US only; imagine adding in the rest of the world.

Should you decide to learn more, my page is here.

Thank you for your interest in reading about this, it means a ton and is such a large part of my life!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! West Seattle has a new centenarian – Rev. John Van Lierop

Happy 100th birthday to West Seattle’s newest centenarian! His family sent the announcement:

Rev. John Van Lierop is turning 100 today (born October 27, 1921 in Yakima) at The Kenney in West Seattle, where he has been a resident in Memory Care the last 7 years. His son John, Jr. is planning a small celebration party today.

Rev. Van Lierop is a retired Presbyterian minister, having served for 42 years pastoring 7 churches in 4 states. He retired from his last church in Sandy, Oregon, in 1986 and moved back with his wife to the Gatewood Hill home to live with his grown children. In 1987 he was asked to be the new Chaplain of The Kenney, where he served until 2004. Rev. Van Lierop returned to the Kenney Home as a resident of the Memory Care in 2014 following a fall that fractured his hip. A number of the present Kenney staff still remember him when he was chaplain and have fond memories of his working there.

Rev. Van Lierop’s hobby was collecting used books. At one time he had 20,000 books. His friends kidded him that he had enough to run a used book store. Even the owner of the famous Powell’s Book Store in Portland, Oregon, offered to buy Rev. Van Lierop’s entire library for a lump sum when he retired, but it was to no avail since he couldn’t part with his books. Rev. Van Lierop is the first of the Van Lierop clan to reach the milestone of 100. His son credits his longevity to clean living, since he lived what he preached!

READER REPORT: Joe’s ‘virtual Tokyo’ in West Seattle

Sent this afternoon by Amy:

Our neighbor and friend Joe Drake is running the six major marathons this fall. He has completed in person Berlin, London, Chicago, and Boston. He is running the Tokyo marathon virtually today with his route taking him along beach drive, Lincoln Park, back to Don Armeni. If you see a runner with long pink socks, cheer on his virtual Tokyo!

All the more impressive is, he is living with Parkinson’s. His last of the majors (not the last of his running) will be New York in three weeks. You can follow him at his blog:. joesgottarun.medium.com/about

This all started with Berlin just three weeks ago! (Toward the end of that post, we found links for Parkinson’s research fundraising Joe’s doing while running, too.)

FOLLOWUP: He did it! 17-year-old Herman Meyer’s ‘solo Ironman’ triathlon

As previewed here Friday, 17-year-old West Seattle High School senior Herman Meyer spent his Saturday swimming, biking, and running a “solo Ironman” triathlon. Family and friends posted as-it-happened updates and photos in the comment thread of the original report, but in case you weren’t following along, he finished in just over 16 and a half hours. Herman’s mom Katherine Meyer reported, “He started just after 8 am and finished strong at 12:40 am! He had to dig deep, and he did.” The day began with more than 2 miles of swimming off Alki:

Then 112 miles of bicycling (in loops around West Seattle):

And finally a marathon run:

That’s friend Riley Nachtrieb running with Herman, in a photo by Riley’s dad Erik Nachtrieb. In her preview of Herman’s “solo Ironman,’ published here Friday, Riley explained that Herman’s feat was simply out of personal motivation – “purely driven by his determination.”

Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex scoreboard now honors namesake

If you’re going to the West Seattle High School football game tonight vs. Kent Meridian, you’ll see that new feature at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex – the stadium’s full name is now on its scoreboard. The photo is from Mr. Cantu’s friend Doree Fazio-Young, who says the signage was installed this week and that the official dedication is expected next month; she also says West Seattle muralist Desmond Hansen is painting a portrait of Mr. Cantu for his memorial garden. Mr. Cantu, the stadium’s longtime grounds manager, died in 2018 at age 51; this past spring, the School Board approved naming the complex in his honor.

West Seattle teen to spend Saturday swimming, biking, running ‘solo Ironman’ triathlon

That’s Herman Meyer, who you might see around West Seattle tomorrow attempting an intense atyletic feat. Herman’s friend Riley Nachtrieb tells the story:

West Seattle High School senior Herman Meyer (17 years old) is attempting to complete a solo Ironman around West Seattle on Saturday, September 25th. This is an unorganized event.

Not only is he doing his first Ironman triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2-mile run), he is doing it alone, competing only with himself.

Herman will be attempting this as a personal endeavor. It is purely driven by his determination to finish the 140.3 miles. He says, “I talked about it with a friend and I thought it would be fun to do. I have always wanted to do something like it, so I committed.”

He’s going to start the swim at 8 am near the Alki Bathhouse. Around one and a half hours later, he will be transitioning to his bike, riding loops around West Seattle until he reaches the 112-mile mark at his house- This will be around seven and a half hours later. From there, he will continue onto his 26.2 mile run. If everything goes according to plan, he will finish his solo Ironman around 12 am.

Herman will be accompanied by friends and family for safety, support, and pacing. West Seattle High School friends will be following on paddle boards; His parents, Kathrine and Wesley Meyer, will be following on bikes; And WSHS alum Riley Nachtrieb, who attempted to run the first 140mi Olympic Discovery Trail FKT, will be running with him.

On Saturday, if you see a person swimming alongside paddle boards, a cyclist wearing a pink helmet, or a couple people running on Alki at zero dark thirty, that is Herman! The public is always welcomed to show support publicly and virtually throughout this amazing effort.

On Saturday, you can follow along live on Instagram: @hermanasaurus_rex and @rileyknachtrieb.

He spent years cleaning up a West Seattle greenspace. Now he’s asking for help with a different kind of cleanup

A West Seattle man who has given to the community is now hoping he can get a helping hand.

What Scott Dolfay is dealing with is a side effect of the pandemic. In short, he was unable to evict renters who he says trashed the house he was renting to them, not only falling into arrears on rent, but refusing him access for inspection. But there’s more to the story than “aggrieved landlord.” And he’s not asking for money – he’s asking for cleanup help this weekend.

His own previous community work, in fact, involved a different kind of cleanup. We reported here four years ago on Dolfay’s ongoing work at Seola Pond, organizing restoration of a site that he described as a “de-facto community park.” With little fanfare, he managed to corral volunteer help – including local students – and donated material,

Now he’s hoping some neighbors will lend a hand at his former rental house in north Arbor Heights. Here’s what he sent us:

Our family’s only major investment, a small house first bought in 1977, was intended to support our only child, Taichi, an adopted Down syndrome young man.

As aging parents we have no extended family to care for him when we are no longer able to. Recent history has demonstrated that if we rely solely on the government to care for him he may well end up abused or worse.

Due to the unconstitutional eviction moratorium and our tenants’ abuse of it, the hope of keeping the house to fund his special needs trust is no longer an option. After cleaning up the mountain of trash, we will sell “as is.”. We received some federal compensation but nothing from the city or state (the mayor’s directive didn’t allow for even the sale of property while occupied). Yet we still have to pay property tax and utilities. Unable to evict while observing the property’s destruction, the federal payment didn’t come close to covering our losses. Please consider helping with cleaning up the aftermath.

Cleanup days: Saturday (18th) & Sunday (19th)

We will provide a limited number of N95 masks along with light-duty gloves and bottled water.

Things to bring if you can (not required):
Hand truck – wheelbarrow – weed whacker – impact driver (to remove many screws).

The “destruction,” he says, includes a skateboarding facility the tenant built in the back yard, mostly dismantled but “a lot of trash remains.”

Dolfay says that prior to this, he has been trying to get help from city officials for many months. (He also notes that he is a party in the Rental Housing Association‘s lawsuit over eviction restrictions.) He says he was asked to offer suggestions, so he did: Waive a year of property tax, pay for a year of insurance, waive the unpaid utilities for which he says he’s been targeted for collection, supply a city crew to help with cleanup. None of that happened. Eventually, he says, sometime this spring, the tenants just “abandoned the place” and he regained control of the property this summer. Now he’s proceeding with plans to sell. Anyone who can help with the cleanup can reach him at satomiscott (at) q.com.

CONGRATULATIONS! AAUW continues scholarship support for Anna Nguyen

As the new school year continues, a local college student is getting support again from the Seattle AAUW, which sent the announcement and photo:

Anna Nguyen, a West Seattle resident and 2019 South Seattle College graduate, has been awarded a scholarship of over $5,000 for a third year from the Seattle Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

Ms. Nguyen, a senior at UW-Seattle, is double-majoring in public health-global health and sociology.

AAUW’s mission is to advance gender equity and economic security for women and their families, through education, advocacy and research. Learn more about AAUW and our scholarships at www.aauw-seattle.org.

LABOR DAY: West Seattle writers collaborate on newsletter about ‘work, expertise, and stories of women’

Meet Niki Stojnic (left) and Nia Martin (right). We’re spotlighting these West Seattle writers on Labor Day because they are collaborating on a project that “focuses on the work, expertise, and stories of women in the greater Seattle area and how we impact and shape the city and Pacific Northwest region.” It’s a twice-monthly newsletter called Parts & Labor. Martin says, “We’ve gotten some great interviews over 31 issues — featuring accomplished women across the spectrum, from the new executive chef of Canlis, Aisha Ibrahim, and her partner on how they’re changing kitchen culture, to how Vivian Hua helped keep Northwest Film Forum going during the pandemic.”

Martin and Stojnic launched Parts & Labor just as the pandemic began, in fact – March 2020. Since both are West Seattleites, Martin says, “We frequently feature West Seattle women’s small businesses in our ‘She Made It’ short feature section and our ‘Attn’ section, which calls out timely events, businesses and organizations.” After almost a year and a half, they stopped down during August for a break but are now getting ready for their next issue – scheduled publication date, September 16th. You can browse past Parts & Labor issues here (that’s also where you can subscribe, free!). They also publish “featurettes” on Instagram.

READER REPORT: Scout Troop 282’s summer success

West Seattle’s Scout Troop 282 is continuing weekly meetings after a summer to remember. The report and photos are from Jay Brock:

School’s back and Troop 282 had another successful and exciting summer. Between Troop 282 and Crew 282 the 2021 summer was awesome. The Troop continued meeting outside at Lincoln Park on Tuesdays throughout the summer. They trained in the areas of dining fly setup, rope fusing & whipping, Dutch oven cooking, hypothermia, and many other hiking & camping skills. The scouts used the skills learned for a terrific summer camp at Chief Seattle Council’s Camp Parsons. They also completed a 5-day, 4 night backpacking trip for new scouts in the Alpine Lakes area between North Bend and Snoqualmie Pass. The last hoorahs for the summer were a swimming and water-sports day at Seward Park and fun at Wild Waves Theme Park.

Crew 282 completed a long-awaited trek to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. The high adventure crew comprised of more than 15 scouts (14 and older) split into three treks at Philmont covered between 60 and 120 miles, depending on the crew, hiking over a 12-day period. All three groups summited Mt. Baldy at more than 12,400 feet and had adventures that included archaeology, blacksmithing, gold mining & panning, shotgun shooting, wildlife conservation, and others. The crews were completely self-sufficient carrying and cooking their own meals, orienting their way through the more than 140,000 acres of rugged terrain, and completing a conservation project. The trek had originally been planned for 2018 but was moved to 2020 due to a devastating fire and then got pushed to 2021 because of COVID-19.

Troop 282 will be continuing their meetings on Tuesdays at 7:30 at Lincoln Park or Westside Presbyterian Church please check our troop calendar for details http://troop282.net/calendar/. All are welcome as Troop 282 has boys’ and girls’ troops. COVID-19 guidelines are followed, so please bring a mask. Our fall adventures include a rafting trip, at least one campout a month, and day/snowshoe hikes when the snow arrives.

Tilden School founder Whitney Tjerandsen retiring; celebration next weekend

One week from tomorrow, an outdoor celebration is planned to celebrate the past, present, and future of West Seattle’s Tilden School. At the heart of it, the school’s founder. Here’s the announcement:

Whitney Tjerandsen of Tilden School Retiring

Almost 37 years ago, Whitney Tjerandsen had the same angst as many other West Seattle parents: how to find the right school for her own soon-to-be Kindergarten son. The difference was that she had taught in the Berkeley Public Schools for 12 years, so she really knew what she was looking for: a school where he, and any child, would learn and thrive.

She found one on Capitol Hill, only to face a waiting list that was completely full. Words from the director of that school kindled a spark: “You are a teacher! Use your teaching skills and love of kids and their learning – and start your own school.”

With Whitney ‘s boundless and newly focused energy, she did just that. Putting the word out to the West Seattle community, the first year of Tilden School began with 12 students and ended the year with 17; the next year, it grew to 35; the next 78, and so on. Tilden School was a reality! As the school grew, Whitney hired a cadre of like-minded teachers with the same love of kids and philosophy of teaching.

What makes Tilden School unique? Keeping the class size small (no matter the looming waiting lists) allows individualized education. Whitney herself meets with each child every few weeks, K through Grade 5, to review their reading progress, to help them utilize the crucial phonics and syllabification rules to open up the sounding out of new words that make a reader and writer.

Ever dramatic and engaging, she wears her Super-E cape to teach those logical, and illogical, rules of English words. After all, knowing “I can teach a rock to read,” (and has the rock that proves it!) inspires children to tackle learning, even the difficult tasks.

She holds high expectations for each child, while building in the structure to help them succeed-not only academically, but personally. Just as important as strong academics is expecting and promoting the qualities of “responsible, good people” in society who know how to treat one another with kindness and respect.

Children learn to be responsible for themselves and celebrate who they are without needing to see themselves as better than anyone else, not as competitors, but with each as an important part of the whole.

This Covid year, Tilden continued to welcome and nurture children from K through 5th grade, and it became Whitney’s retirement year. It was not an easy decision, because in her words, ” I LOVE it! And I will so miss the kids and teachers.” The stars aligned and it became the right time. One of the Tilden teachers, Sarah Shearer, was ready to take the lead, so the school will continue.

Some favorite teachers and staff will also be retiring this year: Elaine Connell, Jan Foster, Karin Beck, and Administrator Monica Riva. Tilden teachers are also what makes Tilden a special place. Drawn to a small school after working a decade or more in public schools, they all relished the opportunity to get to know each child. Whitney describes her teachers as: “dedicated, hardworking, calm, smart, able to balance leadership with kindness, having a sense of humor, and a sense of what is right.” And so much fun!

What is next for Whitney in retirement? She will still take a small part in Tilden School, meeting individually with each student for reading skills. She will continue with her small part of the former Lou Magor and Whitney music program. They were friends for almost 50 years–since he was her director in the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. She feels that she could never fill his shoes, but will do her part, admittedly with a heavy heart.

She won’t have to find new hobbies in retirement because now she will have time to revel in her varied interests and skills-gardening, music (chamber music on cello, barbershop singing, 2 choirs, fiddle lessons, ukulele with the kids, learning crumhorn and alto recorder) and she has two grandchildren who live nearby, which is just a joy!

If you experience a Whitney “celebrity sighting” as a current student or family, be sure to catch her eye, and as a Tilden alum or family, expect her\ to swoon in delight and ask for a life update!

Join us to celebrate the retirements:
Sunday, August 29 from 3-6 p.m.
Hiawatha Park
(2700 California SW)

Please help us spread the word to current families, past students and their own growing families, past parents.

VIDEO: Human-powered parade on day 2 of Alki Beach Pride 2021

What a day for pup-watching as well as people-watching at the beach. Just after 1 pm, the second major parade of Alki Beach Pride 2021 took off eastbound from Statue of Liberty Plaza – this one, people-powered:

The people who powered it most of all – ABP organizers Stacy and Jolie Bass-Walden:

This is the seventh year for ABP – usually a giant beach party until the pandemic forced some changes last year and this year (here’s the full schedule).

Not too late to be part of it – the outdoor movie “But I’m a Cheerleader” screens at Alki Playground starting at 8:15 pm. (Our coverage of some of yesterday’s events is here.)