West Seattle, Washington
Congratulations to the latest five West Seattle High School student athletes to sign college letters of intent. The photo and report are from WSHS athletic director Corey Sorenson:
We had our spring signing day this afternoon at West Seattle HS. This is our last group to sign their National Letters of Intent:
University Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Major: Business Marketing
University Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Major: International Business and Marketing
San Diego State University:
These 5 make it 12 total from our Senior Class to sign National Letters of Intent to compete collegiately next year joining:
Miles Gosztola: Gonzaga University, Baseball
Jake Lockwood: Everett Community College, Baseball
Owen Earls: Columbia Basin College, Baseball
Elijah Brady: University of Montana, Football
Mason Kallinger: Midland University, Football
Alli Bennett: Long Island University, Soccer
Lina Delgado: Missouri Western State University, Softball
ADDED FRIDAY AFTERNOON: Jennifer Hall adds one more student athlete – Adam Mederos, soccer, University of Notre Dame.
Another local youth-sports team has a big achievement to celebrate – the Pathfinder K-8 volleyball team has won the district championship! Matthew Clark sent the photos and report:
The Pathfinder K-8 Varsity Volleyball team won the Seattle Public Schools K-8 Championships on Saturday, June 17. The Pathfinder team came into the playoffs winning all but one of their games. They beat Catharine Blaine K-8 in the Semi-Finals two sets to one Saturday morning. Pathfinder then went on to win against TOPS K8 (The Option Program at Seward) in two straight sets in the afternoon match. The playoff games were hosted at Louisa Boren STEM K-8. During regular season play, Pathfinder had their single loss to TOPS.
This championship win for Pathfinder marks only the third post-season championship win in the history of the school. They won the SPS K-8 Championships in Boys Varsity basketball in 2016. And in 2017, the Varsity Volleyball Team took home the trophy with Coach Coco Williams, the current Pathfinder Volleyball coach, on the varsity team her 8th grade year.
Congratulations to the whole team including the JV squad for a great season. Thank you to Coach Williams and Pathfinder Athletic Director Leanna Heritage for their strong mentorship and support of our athletes.
(The entire Pathfinder squad including both Varsity and Junior Varsity athletes. From L to R – Standing: Eloise Edwards, Aliza Stier, Dylan Clark, Sasha Lee, Jo Russo, Jewel Li, Asher Frogget, Maia Lindell-Smith, Izzy Frogget, Coach Coco Williams. Sitting L to R: Abby Peloza, Annalise Barrlett, Aiden Jucutan-Barbon, Marley Grantor, Alana Patton, Stella Springwalter, Leila Li, Zia Vallandingham, Starr Walton. Not Pictured: Cozmoke Saskill)
The champs finished the season 8-1.
After school was out for the day, it was time for memories at Alki Elementary, soon to be rebuilt after 111 years. People with connections to the school past and present, and other interested community members, were welcomed inside for a two-hour open house to say farewell.
Visitors were invited to write messages on the lunch-room wall:
The last day of school in the old building is Friday, June 30th; during two years of construction, Alki will hold classes at the former Schmitz Park Elementary.
Thanks to Nicole Sipila of the Chief Sealth International High School PTSA for telling us about last night’s Senior Honors & Awards presentations for the school’s Class of 2023. We attended the event in the CSIHS auditorium. Above are students who received the Seal of Biliteracy, in which we’re told Chief Sealth had the district’s largest number of participants! Next, valedictorian Kayla Buechler:
Salutatorian Merichle Nguyen:
Cords were presented for other academic achievements – single cords for 3.2-3.49 GPA (57 recipients), double for 3.5 or higher GPA (130 recipients):
And the Robert Jackson Block Award was presented for distinguished students in art (Shelby Dow), theater (Shanti Rose Birch), and music (Riley Pomeroy Tobin):
Scholarship recipients were honored too, including 64 recipients of the Promise Scholarship, The ceremony featured a performance by senior members of the CSIHS Jazz Band:
The Chief Sealth Class of 2023’s commencement ceremony is next Tuesday (June 27th), 8 pm at Memorial Stadium downtown.
Reminder (for next year if your school’s already out for summer) – if something’s happening at YOUR school that the community should know about, tell us! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or text/call 206-293-6302 – thank you!
(2013 photo from Alki Elementary’s centennial by Jean Sherrard)
With more than a century of history, Alki Elementary School has thousands of people with connections past and present. If you’re among them, you’re invited to an event next Wednesday. Here’s the announcement:
Alki Elementary School, a historic institution that has been a cornerstone of the West Seattle community since its construction in 1900, will soon bid farewell to its beloved building. In August of this year, the school is set to be torn down to make way for a brand-new facility, ensuring a modern and innovative learning environment for future generations.
Before bidding adieu to its rich past, Alki Elementary School is inviting the public to a special Community Open House on June 21, 2023, from 4 pm to 6 pm. This free event offers an opportunity for community members, alumni, and anyone with fond memories of the school to step inside and reminisce about the cherished moments shared within those walls.
Though no grand ceremonies are planned, the open house aims to create a casual atmosphere where attendees can freely explore the public spaces of the historic building one last time. From the vibrant hallways that echoed with laughter to the cafeteria that witnessed countless friendships being forged, visitors will have a chance to wander through the school and relive the memories that shaped their lives.
An interactive aspect of the event includes the provision of Sharpie pens for attendees to leave heartfelt notes and messages on the cafeteria walls. These messages will serve as a meaningful farewell for both the students and staff as they embark on their journey to a new facility.
Alki Elementary School recognizes the significance of its place in the community and seeks to honor the building’s legacy by providing this opportunity for all to come together and pay tribute. It’s a chance to celebrate the generations of students, educators, and families who have contributed to the school’s vibrant history. We respectfully acknowledge that Alki Elementary sits on the traditional and unceded land of the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish People past and present, and honor with gratitude the land itself and the Duwamish Tribe.
Don’t miss this final chance to walk the halls of Alki Elementary School before its transformation. Join us on June 21, 2023, and be part of this heartfelt farewell to an iconic institution.
At Alki and elsewhere, Seattle Public Schools‘ last day of classes is Friday, June 30th. The start of construction depends on what happens with appeals filed against the city’s decision to grant zoning exceptions; the appeal hearing is scheduled for late July.
In the waning days of the school year, some longtime educators are not getting ready just for summer, but for the endless summer of retirement. That applies to one at Lafayette Elementary for whom colleagues are organizing a “fond farewell” and hoping you can help:
Did you or your child attend Lafayette Elementary and have Cindy Adams as a teacher? After over 30 years of teaching, she will be retiring. Please help us wish her a fond farewell and thank you for all of her years of teaching. Students and families, past and present, are invited to send cards, art, poems to the front office to be compiled to send as a surprise to her by June 29th.
Please feel free to email your letter to email@example.com and we will print it out. Or mail your letter to Lafayette Elementary (2645 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116) addressed to Cindy Adams c/o Brooke Jones. Thanks so much!
In case you wondered too: Both public high schools in West Seattle are sharing a graduation date again this year. This time, both ceremonies are at Memorial Stadium downtown (401 5th Ave. N.), on Tuesday, June 27th. The West Seattle High School Class of 2023 will take the walk at 5 pm, followed by the Chief Sealth International High School Class of 2023 at 8 pm.
Summer vacation has begun for at least one local school, and for many others, it’s just days away. In case you’ve wondered, we looked up the last-day-of-school dates – here’s what we found via online calendars:
TODAY (June 9): Summit Atlas
TUESDAY (June 13): Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor)
WEDNESDAY (June 14): Our Lady of Guadalupe
THURSDAY (June 15): Westside School (WSB sponsor)
NEXT FRIDAY (June 16): Highline Public Schools, Holy Family, Holy Rosary, Tilden School (WSB sponsor), Vashon Island School District
JUNE 30: Seattle Public Schools
Note that for most schools, the last day is a shortened day, so you’ll see activity outside the usual scheduled hours.
Summit Atlas, the charter middle/high school in Arbor Heights, will be closed today (Wednesday, June 7) because of what a message to families called a “possible school safety threat.” Parents forwarded us the message late Tuesday night:
We are reaching out to you to communicate about a safety concern that was brought to the attention of our Atlas leadership team. At Summit Atlas, we take every reported matter very seriously and act immediately. Your student’s safety and the safety of the entire Atlas community is our number one priority.
This evening, June 6, we learned of an anonymous threat of a possible school safety threat for the Atlas campus for June 7. Upon learning about this possible safety threat, we immediately called local law enforcement. We are now in ongoing conversation with the Seattle Police Department regarding the credibility of the threat we received, and the police are investigating this matter. While we continue to work with law enforcement, our school will be closed for the day tomorrow, Wednesday, June 7, 2023.
Due to this closure, we will be rescheduling our 8th grade promotion ceremony and will share details as soon as possible. While we are looking forward to celebrating the successes and achievements of our students, we hold their safety and that of our staff, as our top priority.
Tomorrow you can expect more communication with updates and our plan to support students when we return to campus. Please reach out with any information you or your student may know to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Summit Atlas Leadership Team
The Summit Atlas campus is at 35th/Roxbury. As we’ve been noting in our morning transportation-info roundups, Friday (June 9th) is the last scheduled day of school.
By the time we got to West Seattle High School for this afternoon’s return of the All-School Reunion, everybody was in breakout rooms. But if you like classic cars, you can take a look at another component of the revived reunion – the mini-show just outside the north side of the school. Our photos above and below show classic MGs of different eras.
And a classic Ford:
At 7 pm, the alumni party moves to Whisky West (6451 California SW) for the afterparty, until midnight, featuring WSHS alums who are members of The Nitemates. P.S. If you missed it previously – current WSHS students are organizing a car show for June 17th.
Thanks to Brandy for the photo! Another event happening right now, spotlighted in our daily list, the Gator Fair at Gatewood Elementary (4320 SW Myrtle). Brandy notes, “Lots of booths, music, prizes, and fun. Goes until 2:30 pm. All welcome!” Indoor science fair and art walk too.
(WSB photo, 2009)
Our photo above is from July 4th, 2009, when Marination brought its already-famous food truck to West Seattle. Co-proprietors Roz (in the photo) and Kamala opened Marination ma kai at Seacrest three years later, and that’s become a West Seattle staple. But now Marination’s original truck is back in West Seattle, in a new role along with a sibling. Here’s the explanation from South Seattle College (WSB sponsor):
Marination, a Hawaiian-Korean culinary team that started with a food truck in 2009 and has now expanded to multiple brick-and-mortar locations in the Seattle area, donated two food trucks to South Seattle College earlier this month, including “Big Blue,” the truck where it all started (read an ode to Big Blue on Marination’s Instagram page).
Automotive Technology students will gain experience working on the trucks to get them in prime working order and then our Culinary Arts students will get to create food truck menus and feed our campus community with both sweet and savory concepts, simulating the entrepreneurial experience many of them may wish to take in their future careers.
The college will rebrand the trucks with new names and paint jobs, involving the campus community to come up with fun concepts. The trucks are expected to be fully functioning next academic year, and Culinary Arts students have already promised their first stop will be feeding Automotive Technology students as thanks for their mechanical expertise.
“Marination’s donation of food trucks to our college is an amazing gift and we are so grateful for their generosity,” said SSC’s Dean of Hospitality and Service Occupations Brian Scheehser. “Marination is a shining example of how to succeed in Seattle’s culinary industry, and we are proud to have part of their company history become part of our college culture and curriculum.”
South Seattle College’s Professional & Technical Career Training Programs have benefited greatly from donations over our 50-plus years in operation, from jet engines to support Aviation Maintenance Technology student learning to shelves that improved our Landscape Horticulture greenhouses. Anyone interested in donating equipment to support our programs (thank you!) can contact the Seattle Colleges Foundation.
Our photo above is from 2019, the last year West Seattle High School alumni gathered for the traditional all-school reunion. It was on pandemic hiatus 2020-2022, and this year it’s back. Grads from all years are welcome. Organizers say it’ll include the usual features such as class breakouts and a classic-car show. It’s set for 4-7 pm Saturday (June 3); you can RSVP here, but reservations aren’t necessary, and there’s no admission fee. Whether or not you go, there’s also an after-party at Whisky West (6451 California SW), 7 pm to midnight, featuring live music by alumni members of The Nitemates.
Just in from Everett, the West Seattle High School baseball team finished another strong season as the #4 3A team in the state. For the second day in a row, they lost by just one run – today’s final was O’Dea 8, WSHS 7.
Just in from Everett – West Seattle High School fell short in the state 3A baseball semifinals, with a 5-4 loss to Lincoln. That means the Wildcats will play for third place tomorrow morning, also at Everett Memorial Stadium at 10 am, vs. either O’Dea or Lake Washington, depending on the outcome of today’s other semifinal game. This was the second consecutive year that WSHS reached the state semifinals.
Before school gets out for the three-day Memorial Day weekend, Roxhill Elementary plans a fun(draising) Jog/Walk-A-Thon, and community support is welcome – here’s the announcement we were asked to share with you:
Roxhill Elementary would like to announce we are hosting a Jog/Walk-A-Thon FUNDRAISER this Friday, May 26th! We are raising money for our 5th graders to have the experience of attending NatureBridge, an overnight camp on the Olympic Peninsula, next fall.
This trip will build confidence, build community, and connect our young learners to the wonder and science of the natural world. Our goal is to raise at least $6000 to off-set the cost of the trip to the school and families and ensure each student can attend. You can make a pledge on behalf of a Roxhill student, or just make a flat donation. Visit our fundraising page via School Pay to make a donation!
They’re a student car club calling themselves the Greasy Peeps, and they’re inviting you to be part of the second annual car show they’re organizing at West Seattle High School:
Student organizers say it’ll happen noon-3 pm on Saturday, June 17th. If you’re showing a vehicle, check-in is at 11 am. Entry fee is $10 if you’re participating in the show ($5 for students); spectators are free. They’re planning to give awards this year and expecting a food truck. Motorcycles, vans, and buses are welcome too. You’re asked to pre-register your vehicle by using this form.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
By Monday afternoon’s deadline for appealing the city decision to grant nine zoning exceptions for the Alki Elementary School rebuild, six appeals had been filed with the city Hearing Examiner, which today ordered them consolidated into one case.
Two hours after the appeal deadline, Seattle Public Schools discussed the project at an in-person community meeting, which turned contentious as frustrated neighbors at times shouted their concerns about some of those zoning exceptions, particularly those related to transportation, including the removal of all on-site parking.
We reported last month on the city’s recommendation that the zoning exceptions – formally called “departures” – be approved. The district first mentioned in an online public meeting last June that it would seek departures, and a request for public comment went out last fall. However, the usual public process was truncated because of pandemic-related policies, and that’s part of what neighbors are upset about, saying they didn’t have a chance to participate in the design process or, later, to have their concerns heard.
So last night, after listening for an hour to district director of capital projects Richard Best, architect Becky Hutchinson of Mahlum, and transportation consultant Marni Heffron, they did what they could to be heard, at times shouting their disagreement with the project team’s contentions.
Story, photos, video by Tracy Record and Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
The automotive industry needs skilled workers, and a new West Seattle facility is dedicated to educating them.
It’s the Steve and Sharon Huling Automotive Technology Center on the main campus of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) on Puget Ridge, and a ceremony this afternoon celebrated its long road to reality – the plan has been traveling that road for more than a decade (we covered a “future home of …” sign-placement event at the site in 2011).
Now it’s built and open, and carries the names of the couple who have been major SSC benefactors for decades, with a special link to automotive-tech education because of their longtime family business. In honor of the occasion, Mayor Bruce Harrell proclaimed today to be “Steve and Sharon Huling Day,” according to a proclamation read at the event by SSD’s interim president Dr. Jean Hernandez:
Tours of the new 50,000-square-foot facility, which has actually been in service for months, followed speeches by college leaders and supporters, the Hulings, and even a graduate. We recorded it all on video:
Among the speakers, faculty member Doug Clapper emphasized how badly needed the facility is. “We’ve got more jobs than students right now.”
He recalled the facility plan being “first scratched out” as “a dream” that finally came true. It’s a program where the dream of a better life became reality through education and employment for graduate JoAnna Edwards. Her words of gratitude were full of emotion as she told those gathered, “You gave me the opportunity – I snatched it and ran with it.”
She went back to school at 36, a mom of three, a person who had struggled with rough times. “I was always waiting for somebody to rescue me; this school taught me how to rescue myself.” Now she has a new career and a job at an Eastside dealership.
A college supporter/adviser and local industry entrepreneur, Todd Ainsworth of Swedish Automotive (WSB sponsor), was another of those who noted the industry had a shortage of new workers. He was also a former student, mentioning a connection with SSC going back to when he took apprenticeship classes there.
And, addressing the Hulings, Ainsworth offered a comment that many a longtime West Seattleite could echo – “My family bought cars from your family!”
Seattle Colleges‘ interim chancellor Dr. Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap, who previously led SSC as president, talked about how having a new, modernized facility can inspire students as well as enhancing their education. “You bring people in who may not have a sense of what they want to do, then they walk into a place like this and say, ‘THIS could be my classroom?’.”
She also noted the Hulings’ support for the college’s 13th Year Promise scholarships, dating back long before that became a city-backed program. The Hulings themselves (whose children were there for the occasion) offered words of gratitude as well as praise for the program.
Steve Huling pointed out that the industry is continuing to innovate – “an industry that’s just starting to reinvent itself, with electric cars.” To underscore that point, several EVs from Lucid Motors were on display at the event.
(It was noted that’s what the Hulings drive.) In addition to high-tech equipment, the new building also has art:
“Oil Bloom” by Will Schlough, made from recycled oil drums painted into a flower, is over the staircase in the building’s foyer; the artist was there (lower-left corner of the photo above) to answer visitors’ questions.
Overall, dean of hospitality and service occupations Brian Scheehser, who emceed this afternoon’s event, declared the new center “an incredible learning space for our students.”
You can find out more about the Automotive Technology program at SSC by going here.
Meet four of the 16 high-school juniors honored this year for academic achievement by West Seattle’s Alki Masonic Lodge #152. They are all from West Seattle High School – from left, Joaquin Huerta, Ruby Athan, Kamil Ignacio, and Linda Alvarracin. Also honored but not present at the ceremony were eight juniors from Chief Sealth International High School – Jurry Flores, Ocean Freeman, Amirah Helms, Tyler Jones, Jayson Nguyen, Joy Ohta, Samantha Scaia, and Stoli Sylwester – and four more from WSHS – Gaia Corvino, Quinn Dumont, Nathan Kellison-Miller, and Leah Morgan. The presentations were made during the Masons’ 42nd annual “School Awards Night in Support of Our Public School System.” The honorees are nominated by their schools’ faculty, and the awards include monetary gifts.
The photos and report were sent by West Seattle High School music director Ethan Thomas:
The West Seattle High School Music Program traveled down to Southern California last Saturday. The Marching Band and Orchestra had performances at Disneyland and California Adventure yesterday and are participating in Studio Soundtrack Session Workshops today.
We will be wrapping up our tour by visiting Hollywood and Santa Monica tomorrow [Tuesday] before heading back to Seattle tomorrow evening. The Orchestra is under the direction of Taylor Fritts and Band is directed by Ethan Thomas.
With a little over one month left in the school year, fundraising season is winding down, but you still have opportunities to help local PTAs/PTSAs support their schools. Here’s the latest announcement we’ve received to share with you:
Alki Elementary PTA’s auction is online this year and is now LIVE – Click Here to begin bidding! Online bidding will close at 9:00 pm on Thursday, May 25th.
This year’s auction features artwork created by the K-5th grade classes, a 2-night/3-day stay at Suncadia, roundtrip tickets to Victoria B.C., dance & music classes, and so much more!
Your generosity will support vital programs and community-building events that enrich the lives of our students and make Alki Elementary the thriving community that it is! Funds will support purchasing library books, class field trips/supplies, all-school assemblies (guest speakers), ensuring all students have access to yearbooks, school supplies and recess equipment to name a few.
Thank You in advance for supporting Alki PTA’s largest fundraiser of the year!
Additional details can be found on the Alki PTA Auction website. Contact: Auction@alkipta.com
Tomorrow – Monday, May 22nd – is a doubly important date in Seattle Public Schools‘ plan to rebuild Alki Elementary.
-Tomorrow at 5 pm is the deadline for filing appeals of the city’s decision to approve nine zoning exceptions (formally known as “departures”) for the project. Our story on the decision explains how.
-Tomorrow night at 7 pm, SPS plans a community meeting with information about the project, which seeks to expand the size and capacity of the school. The meeting will be held in person at the school (3010 59th SW) and online via a link to be posted on this page sometime tomorrow.
The district’s current timeline for the project is to start construction this summer and be ready in time for students and staff to move into the new building in fall 2025.