To The Editor
November 3, 2009
Calling for Kids
Thank you for helping to raise more than $235,000 for local schoolsThank you all who donated to Calling for Kids last month, making it our most successful ever with $235,000 pledged from 1,986 donors! These funds will be used to raise academic achievement, support struggling students and provide professional development opportunities for staff. They come during a critical time of declining resources for our district.
We are grateful to the entire community for their support — the high school students who made the calls, and in doing so, raised money for their clubs and teams; the teachers and other school district staff members including Superintendent Steve Rasmussen, who addressed envelopes and made phone calls; the Issaquah Schools Foundation Board and Advisory Council for their critical support; the event committee led by Deborah Parsons and Leigh Stokes; and most importantly, the community, who gave so generously.
Thank you, everyone, for your support.
Robin Callahan, executive director
Issaquah Schools Foundation
Fundraiser will help pay to elevate, enrich school programs
Thank you to all of the families in the Issaquah School District who answered the call to support our children during the Issaquah Schools Foundation’s Calling for Kids campaign.
On the evenings of Oct. 20 and 21, more than 200 high school students from Issaquah, Liberty and Skyline gave up their evenings to help give back to our schools. Our students were joined by PTSA members, Superintendent Dr. Steve Rasmussen and members of his executive cabinet, teachers, parents and community volunteers. Together, they called every family in the Issaquah School District.
So far, the campaign has raised more than $235,000 from 2,000 families and has put the foundation on track to reach its $1.4 million annual fundraising goal.
Calling for Kids contributions will fund programs that elevate and enrich education for all students — After-School Homework Clubs, Academic Enrichment Grants, financial literacy through the Junior Achievement Program, National Board Certification scholarships for teachers, critical curriculum updates and more. The willingness of our community to support our schools with their donations — especially during this critical time of declining resources for our schools — is so gratifying.
Did you miss the call? It’s not too late to join the campaign and make a difference for our students and schools! Learn more and donate online at www.issaquahschoolsfoundation.org.
Deborah Parsons and Leigh Stokes
Calling for Kids co-chairs
Thank you, Issaquah Press staff
Awards are a testament to 20 years of service to local community
Twenty service and journalism awards! Wow. Way to go, guys. There should be something on the masthead denoting this, so that all of the readers can be reminded and assured of the quality of the reporting and writing.
I enjoy The Issaquah Press because it reports on what’s happening in our city and environs. There has been a lot of talk and discussion in the media about the demise of newspapers and movement toward the computer and Internet.
I am happy to get my international or national news via TV or the internet. I enjoy receiving the local paper and reading stories, articles and reports about my local area.
As an example, I had no idea that 180,000 visited Issaquah for Salmon Days. Salmon Days ended two days before and already we had a full report in the paper.
Rather than reading about it two weeks later, when other events have taken center stage, we get the statistics and human interest stuff right away; very timely and interesting reporting.
Thanks again, newspaper staff. You guys are the best.
Where’s the PTSA representation for the south-end enrollment?
A new school year is upon us — but with an old problem.
In my e-mail inbox recently was a note from the Issaquah School District. It told of an election preview meeting for school board candidates sponsored by the Issaquah PTSA Council to be held at Pacific Cascade Freshman Campus. The Issaquah Press hosted a candidate’s night for Issaquah City Council and school board positions in Issaquah.
The PTSA president told me that because no one on the plateau knows the candidates, they decided to have the meeting up there. One of these candidates will represent this area on the school board. So far, none of the area schools have volunteered to have a candidate’s night. How many south-end residents know who the candidates are?
The PTSA and district are two separate entities. But once again, south-end residents are left out. I attended the boundary review meeting at Liberty High School a couple of years ago. Parents attending the meeting were concerned about Liberty students not having as many classes as Skyline and Issaquah high students have to choose from.
The same goes for the number of classes at Maywood Middle School versus plateau or valley middle schools. District staff blew the parents’ concerns away.
“We are going to meet to discuss this problem and will be seeking a solution,” the audience was told. The principals met last year. I was told that the district will use what it “learned” last year to help decide on a new math curriculum and how to smoothly integrate the Pacific Cascade freshmen back to Skyline and Issaquah high schools — among other things. So much for equality among the various district schools when it comes to classes offered at the various schools.
In the coming months, there will be districtwide discussions — with and without the PTSA Council and district staff — regarding the upcoming February levy vote. Maybe the south-end residents should reject the levy to let the PTSA, other parts of the district and district administration know that we exist out here.
Task force of same cast of characters can’t solve same old problems
Remember those “Force 10 From Navarone” World War II movies? The same group of mercenaries saving the world from evil?
Now, here in Issaquah, we have yet another task force to deal with the same combination of subjects — economy, environment, central Issaquah plan and everything else under the sun. And just like in the movies, it’s the same cast of characters.
Can somebody please explain to me how the same group of people, who know and work with each other right now, when they are not on a task force, and have not figured out all the answers to our municipal problems, are going to now get it right just because they are on a task force?
Kudos to all of us for the keep-on-trying-like-a-salmon-going-upstream mentality, but at some point, don’t we ask the question — are we swimming up the right stream and perhaps shouldn’t we get some new help? Perhaps that is what our City Council is for? I’ve said it before — you can’t solve problems with the same thinking (or people) that created the problems.
Thanks for asking candidates about local museums
In the Oct. 21 article about the upcoming election, I was pleased to see that The Issaquah Press asked candidates how the city of Issaquah might help fund a new facility for the Issaquah History Museums. The construction of a new facility for the photographs, artifacts and archival material of the community is sorely needed.
We currently operate out of the Issaquah Depot Museum and the Gilman Town Hall Museum. After the completion of a new exhibit at the depot in 2010, we will have filled our available exhibit area. Our storage space for collections is even more limited; many of our collections are currently stored under less-than-ideal conditions. Workspace is also at a premium, and staff and volunteers work very closely, in every sense of the phrase.
Our primary need is 5,000 square feet of climate-controlled, masonry-constructed, collections storage space. That space also needs a fire-suppression system. We have witnessed devastating losses at other organizations due to fire; even when the fire is put out before it can do any damage, water used to extinguish the blaze causes its own brand of destruction. We also need roughly 1,000 square feet of rotating exhibit space, which will give us the opportunity to address many facets of Issaquah’s past and share a variety of artifacts and images with guests.
The city has been one of our most generous supporters over the years, providing the space that we work in, along with most of the funding needed to pay staff. The museums also generate roughly $50,000 annually through other grants, donations and earned income. When we launch a capital campaign for a new museum facility, the support of the city — both the government and the residents — will be critical to our success. City support will also continue to help us leverage funds from other sources.
If you haven’t had an opportunity to visit the museums recently, I invite you to come take a look at your community’s history at the Gilman Town Hall or the Issaquah Train Depot. Location and hours are available on our Web site at www.issaquahhistory.org.
Erica S. Maniez
Issaquah History Museums director