May 14, 2013
State auditors found no problems in finances or accountability within the Issaquah School District for the 11th year in a row.
Each year, state law calls for each school district to go through two audits — an accountability report and a financial audit report. The audits took place between Sept. 1, 2011, and Aug. 31, 2012, and, just like the previous 10, found no blemishes on Issaquah’s record.
May 7, 2013
State Superintendent Randy I. Dorn and State Board Chairman Jeff Vincent recognized several Issaquah schools with the Washington Achievement Award at an awards ceremony in Covington on April 30.
A total of 381 schools received awards, including Discovery Elementary School for overall excellence, math and science; Grand Ridge Elementary School for overall excellence; Beaver Lake Middle School for overall excellence; Cascade Ridge Elementary School for math; and Sunset Elementary School for science, according to a press release from the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
The Washington Achievement Awards are based on Washington’s School Achievement Index and recognize elementary, middle school, high school and comprehensive schools. Schools are awarded using performance from 2010 to 2012 on statewide assessments in reading, writing, math and science, as well as graduation rates.
May 7, 2013
On April 26 and 27, Issaquah High School won several awards at the Washington State Solo and Ensemble Contest.
Hi Tones won first place in the women’s large ensemble category. Led by Savannah Young, other first-place singers are Maddy Bennett, Alita Campbell, Samantha Cook, Annika Dybevik, Caroline Hamblin, Melina Jones, Tali Magidson, Mackenzie Minehan, Elizabeth Moore, Julianne Nienhuis, Areesa Somani, Maryn Spangler, Rache Strand, Makenna Thomas and Ashley Young.
Other state winners are Andy Able, who took second place playing tuba, and Gregory Ketron taking second place on his trombone.
May 7, 2013
For the fourth year in a row, Issaquah High School sophomore Hannah Balducci has won an award in the Scholastic Art and Writing competition.
Balducci won the gold medal for Best in Grade in the 2013 contest.
For the past three years, Balducci has won for either photography or writing in the competition. Truman Capote, Sylvia Plath and Andy Warhol have all been recognized. This year, Balducci is a Gold Key winner, the top honor at the regional level. This is a global competition and more than 230,000 works of art and writing were submitted. Only about 15,000 submissions received Gold Keys and only 1,950 medals were awarded.
Balducci has been invited to attend the awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
May 7, 2013
I am a person who is interested in many things — science, art, hockey — the list is long and arbitrary. Two interests that I tend to prize are politics and music, and rarely do they ever come together and work as a pair.
They interact, they disagree with each other, they try to get rid of each other, but sometimes they end up creating an historical event such as Woodstock. The music project had political significance. Apart from the “sex-drugs-rock and roll-hippie” counter-culture of the 1960s, Woodstock had more problems.
April 30, 2013
Taking advantage of recent low interest rates, the Issaquah School District saved more than $2 million April 24 when it refinanced 21.17 million of bonds originally sold in 2004.
The district also sold $55 million worth of new bonds that day.
Seattle-Northwest Securities assisted in the sale. Refinancing more than $21 million of old bonds meant the interest rate went down from 5.25 percent to 1.27 percent, meaning that about $2 million will be saved over the next six years.
April 30, 2013
Local students got more than a $95,000 boost when the Issaquah School Board approved a slew of donations during its April 24 meeting.
The Pacific Cascade Middle School PTSA gave $5,707 for curriculum enrichment at the school. Students at Creekside Elementary School also received a gift from their PTSA, which gave $5,000 to offset the costs of the Fifth Grade Environmental Camp.
The bulk of the money, $85,271, came from the Issaquah Schools Foundation. It awarded 10 Kateri Brow Grants, worth $1,000 to $10,000, for a total of $77,540. Tiger Mountain Community High School received two of those grants, one to form a teen center, which will help at-risk teens earn credits for graduation while preparing for careers. The other will provide Kindles for reluctant readers. Echo Glen School also got two grants. The first for a Web-based math program and the second for the Vocational Veterinarian Program, which offers students an inside look into various medical fields.
April 26, 2013
NEW — 4:36 p.m. April 26, 2013
In a letter sent to Issaquah High School families, the school’s principal, Paula Phelps, announced that she would leave her post at the end of the school year to become the district’s executive director of high schools.
“For the past 15 years, this school community has been such a family to me,” Phelps wrote. “I can’t tell you what a rich experience it has been to watch your students learn, grow, laugh and leave here ready to pursue their dreams.”
Phelps said she originally turned down the offer from Superintendent Steve Rasmussen. Now that she is making the move, Phelps told families that the district wants to work closely with them in the process of selecting a new principal. A survey to help shape the selection criteria is on its way, she added.
April 23, 2013
Every year, high school seniors graduate, and every year, people need to step up to fill the shoes that these seniors leave behind.
In many high school programs, students spend their entire high school careers pouring their hearts and souls into their activities and often rising as student leaders. But, more often than not, their zeniths at these positions are short-lived, as these leaders move onto college and beyond. Once they leave, others come in and these transitions can be graceful or ugly.
April 23, 2013
I founded Engineering Club last March with a different vision for science and engineering clubs at school. The Skyline Engineering Club would teach engineering concepts that underlie the physical experimentation present in other clubs.
These concepts, not detailed in school, would then be incorporated into regular projects. Yet, the club did not begin this way; it was rooted in lecture-based discussion. Despite suggestions for improvement from general members through a Google survey, it was leadership initiative that resulted in more interactive projects.