Artist rides in Pride parade in winning design

July 8, 2014

A local girl helped add a little more color to the Seattle Pride 2014 parade.

Issaquah Middle School student Sophie Serumgard decided to enter a City Arts magazine competition to design a custom MINI Cooper F56s. The 12-year-old not only won, but got to ride in the June 29 Pride parade in a MINI wrapped with her design.

Contributed Sophie Sarumgard, an Issaquah Middle School student, stands beside a custom MINI Cooper F56s sporting her winning design that was chosen by City Arts mazagine.

Contributed
Sophie Serumgard, an Issaquah Middle School student, stands beside a custom MINI Cooper F56s sporting her winning design that was chosen by City Arts magazine.

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A program with !MPACT

July 1, 2014

Firefighters bring career perspectives to students

If Chris Tarkir hadn’t been tenacious, he likely never would have landed what he calls his “dream job” with Eastside Fire & Rescue.

“It’s about believing in yourself, and probably the biggest characteristic a person has to have is that you can’t take no for an answer,” Tarkir told a group of students during a June 5 visit to Beaver Lake Middle School’s !MPACT after-school program.

Four of the Issaquah School District’s five middle schools offer !MPACT as a safe haven for students with working parents. The program generally runs until 6 p.m. on weekdays, and costs between $95 and $230 a month, depending on how often a child attends.

By Neil Pierson Firefighter Chris Tarkir, of Eastside Fire & Rescue, helps Jakob McInerney, a sixth-grade student at Beaver Lake Middle School, remove a hose from a hydrant during a June 5 demonstration at the school.

By Neil Pierson
Firefighter Chris Tarkir, of Eastside Fire & Rescue, helps Jakob McInerney, a sixth-grade student at Beaver Lake Middle School, remove a hose from a hydrant during a June 5 demonstration at the school.

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Issaquah Valley Elementary School’s ‘guardian angel’ wins state award

July 1, 2014

Suzie Kuflik receives $500 check from WEA

Suzie Kuflik received statewide recognition May 30 from the Washington Education Association Minority Affairs and Human Rights Committee, for bringing the Angel Program to Issaquah Valley Elementary School.

The award came with a $500 check, which Kuflik donated to the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank, where she frequently volunteers.

Among her efforts to better the Issaquah community, Kuflik created the Angel Program to pair students in need with “adopted families.”

Those families are given the age, size and gender of their child to provide basic necessities, though many donate additional gifts. The Angel Program’s work has inspired other schools in the Issaquah School District to adapt the program to help more students.

By Rachel Osgood Suzie Kuflik (left) is presented with a $500 check by Stephen Miller, vice president of the Washington Education Association, as part of a state award. She then donated the check to the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank.

By Rachel Osgood
Suzie Kuflik (left) is presented with a $500 check by Stephen Miller, vice president of the Washington Education Association, as part of a state award. She then donated the check to the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank.

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Congratulations, Tiger Mountain Community High School grads

June 24, 2014

Tiger Mountain Community High School celebrated its class of 2014 on June 16.

At right, teacher Lane Helgeson tells student Cassie Fowler that he won’t need her services after she completes cosmetology school.

Teacher Lane Helgeson tells student Cassie Fowler that he won’t need her services after she completes cosmetology school.

Above, Gregory Mathiesen shows how this self-proclaimed redneck pronounces America. He has joined the Army and will be heading to boot camp in the fall.  At right, teacher Lane Helgeson tells student Cassie Fowler that he won’t need her services after she completes cosmetology school.

Gregory Mathiesen shows how this self-proclaimed redneck pronounces America. He has joined the Army and will be heading to boot camp in the fall.

Photos by Michael Johnson The members of the Tiger Mountain Community High School class of 2014 throw their caps into the air after the ceremonies.

Photos by Michael Johnson
The members of the Tiger Mountain Community High School class of 2014 throw their caps into the air after the ceremonies.

Chorus celebrates America June 29

June 24, 2014

Celebrate the Fourth of July at Pickering Barn, where Master Chorus Eastside will hold its 14th annual Celebrate America concert.

“The concert is very informal and a lot of fun, with ample opportunity for the audience to sing along” said Dr. Linda Gingrich, artistic director and conductor of the chorus. “We tend to do a lot of watching in our culture, and it is important to keep these songs and traditions alive as we sing together.”

This year’s concert focuses on the great American oratory tradition with excerpts from historical speeches, such as Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty, or give me death” speech.

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Apollo students pen book about the ABCs of firefighters

June 24, 2014

Kittens, ladders, sirens and zombies — yes, zombies — all have something in common. They each make an appearance in the Apollo Elementary School student-penned book “Firefighter Nozzlehead Letter by Letter.”

At just 7 and 8 years old, Jamie Burcheci’s second-grade students are now published authors. They unveiled at a June 17 celebration their picture book about what firefighters do.

By Christina Corrales-Toy Jamie Burcheci and her second-grade students celebrate their new published book, ‘Firefighter Nozzlehead Letter by Letter.’

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Jamie Burcheci and her second-grade students celebrate their new published book, ‘Firefighter Nozzlehead Letter by Letter.’

Firefighters use ladders to save kittens, sound the siren when someone is in trouble and even take down zombies with water hoses, according to the book.

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The birds and the bees revisited

June 24, 2014

Most of us think flowers are pretty just in order to decorate the world. Wrong! Flowers are pretty so that they can procreate, so they can have babies and make more flowers.

Beauty creates sexual attraction in flowers as well as in human beings. We think we are alone in the ability to appreciate beauty. Wrong again! The birds and even the lowly insects, the targets of fly swatters, have an eye for color, pattern, shapes, movement, smells and all things that we attribute to the term “beautiful.”

Plants reproduce in two ways: by wind and by pollinators. Wind-pollinated flowers are plain, like grains of grass. They start out pale green and turn to a very bland hay color when ripe. We don’t pick them and put them in vases, and bugs don’t like them either. What these flowers like is wind, wind that blows their pollen around and doesn’t care what they look or smell like. These plain flowers don’t waste any effort trying to be beautiful.

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Chemistry club wins competition

June 24, 2014

The Issaquah High School Chemistry Club took first place in the “Imagine Tomorrow” competition.

The club created a portable shower kit intended for use in countries that lack proper hygiene. It utilizes a filter system that reuses water from the shower that is cleaned before each use.

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Birthday aboard the Belle

June 17, 2014

Ride in World War II bomber was a journey of mixed emotions

Dan O’Neill was faced with a conundrum.

As the founder of Mercy Corps, he has dedicated his life to humanitarian causes and social justice. But, as an admitted thrill seeker, O’Neill was like “a kid on Christmas morning” when his staff surprised him with an early birthday present — a ride in a vintage B-17.

Contributed Dan O’Neill, of Sammamish, stands in front of the Memphis Belle, a World War II B-17 bomber he was able to ride aboard as a birthday present from his staff at Mercy Corps.

Contributed
Dan O’Neill, of Sammamish, stands in front of the Memphis Belle, a World War II B-17 bomber he was able to ride aboard as a birthday present from his staff at Mercy Corps.

O’Neill, of Sammamish, describes the World War II bomber as the “most lethal killing machine ever invented by man.” His view is based on reports that more people were killed during the fire-bombing of Dresden in Germany than were killed by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

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Former Issaquah teacher dies

June 17, 2014

Longtime Issaquah High School teacher Frances Crelly passed away peacefully at her Seattle home May 5.

Crelly influenced generations of Issaquah students, beginning at the school in 1944 and retiring in 1983. She started as an English teacher, taught art, directed school plays and ultimately retired as a Spanish instructor.

“Words seem to be inadequate to recount the hundreds of lives you have touched in your 39 years as a classroom teacher, confidant, adviser, director and friend to young people at Issaquah High,” Issaquah School Board members said in a letter upon her retirement.

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