Issaquah School Board honored as WSSDA board of distinction for fifth year

November 24, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 24, 2013

The Issaquah School Board was one of 15 entities in the state named as a Board of Distinction by the Washington State School Directors’ Association on Nov. 18.

It’s the fifth consecutive year Issaquah has earned the Board of Distinction honor. Issaquah’s board is comprised of Brian Deagle, Marnie Maraldo, Alison Meryweather, Anne Moore and Suzanne Weaver.

The other school boards that earned distinctions were Anacortes, Auburn, Ferndale, Franklin Pierce, Kent, Lake Stevens, Monroe, Port Angeles, Pullman, South Kitsap, Sunnyside, Tumwater, University Place and Vancouver.

Read more

Issaquah School Board seeks applicants for vacancy

January 22, 2013

A seat on the Issaquah School Board is up for grabs.

Board member Chad Magendanz left the position when he resigned Jan. 9 in order to start his new job in the state Legislature.

The remaining four board members have 90 days to appoint a new representative from Issaquah’s fourth district, from the Issaquah Highlands through the downtown corridor south to Tiger Mountain and Mirrormont.

All voting-aged residents of that area are invited to apply for the position by 4 p.m. Feb. 14. The new member would need to serve the remainder of Magendanz’s term, through November 2013.

Read more

Issaquah School Board preserves Liberty High School’s block schedule

December 18, 2012

Steve Rasmussen

A celebratory cry gushed from the audience Dec. 12 as the Issaquah School Board voted 4-1 to preserve the eight-period block schedule at Liberty High School.

“The data to support a six-period day has always seemed to me to be weak,” board member Chad Magendanz said. “At this point, I think it is premature to make a change without a compelling case driving it.”

Since 1995, Liberty has used an eight-period block schedule where students take four 90-minute classes each day. Many in the school’s community like that eight periods give students more chances to explore electives. This, supporters of the block schedule say, cultivates creativity, innovation and a commitment to learning.

“I think we have something at Liberty, that is evidenced by the groundswell of feedback from the community, that says this is very valuable to us,” board President Brian Deagle said. “I don’t know how to measure it. We haven’t been measuring it, yet it’s been proposed that we get rid of it.”

Read more

Issaquah School Board preserves Liberty High School’s block schedule

December 12, 2012

NEW — 10:40 p.m. Dec. 12, 2012

A celebratory cry gushed from the audience Wednesday night as the Issaquah School Board voted 4-1 to preserve the eight-period block schedule at Liberty High School.

“The data to support a six-period day has always seemed to me to be weak,” board member Chad Magendanz said. “At this point, I think it is premature to make a change without a compelling case driving it.”

Since 1995, Liberty has used an eight-period block schedule where students take four 90-minute classes each day. Many in the school’s community like that eight periods give students more chances to explore electives. This, supporters of the block schedule say, cultivates creativity, innovation and a commitment to learning.

Read more

Refinancing bonds saves Issaquah School District $3.9 million

July 31, 2012

Steve Rasmussen

With the lowest interest rates in 40 years, the Issaquah School District saved nearly $4 million July 24 when it refinanced $41.73 million of bonds originally sold in 2006.

The district also sold $55 million worth of new bonds that day.

“The sale went as good as we could have expected it,” said Jake Kuper, the district’s chief of Finance and Operations. “Not only is it a good time to build but it’s a good time to borrow, so it’s a double bonus.”

Kuper, Superintendent Steve Rasmussen and school board members Marnie Maraldo, Anne Moore and Suzanne Weaver attended the 6:45 a.m. sale of the bonds at Seattle-Northwest Securities, which assisted in the sale. Refinancing the nearly $42 million of old bonds meant the interest rate when down from 5 percent to 1.89 percent, meaning that $3.9 million will be saved over the next 10 years.

Read more

Issaquah School Board is unanimous in support for coming bond issue

January 10, 2012

Probably to no one’s surprise, at its last meeting of 2011 on Dec. 14, the Issaquah School Board unanimously passed a resolution supporting a $219 million capital bond issue that will go before voters in April.

The board voted in October to put the question on the ballot. At that point, board member Chad Magendanz voted against the issue.

Magendanz, elected board president Dec. 14, said despite his earlier vote, the bond issue has his total support. Magendanz said his earlier “no” vote was the result of a procedural issue, that he felt the board should have put off the final vote on floating the bond until a later meeting.

A campaign to promote the bond barely has left the starting blocks. Still, board member Suzanne Weaver said she has received many questions about the proposed rebuilding of Tiger Mountain Community High School.

In the original bond proposal put forth by Superintendent Steve Rasmussen, rebuilding Tiger Mountain High was interconnected with rebuilding Issaquah Middle School and Clark Elementary School. The total cost of the interrelated Tiger Mountain projects was $86 million.

Read more

Jan Colbrese steps down from Issaquah School Board after more than a decade

December 20, 2011

By Tom Corrigan Issaquah School District Superintendent Steve Rasmussen was one of the many well-wishers who feted former school board member Jan Colbrese as she attended her last meeting Dec. 14.

Issaquah School District Superintendent Steve Rasmussen was one of the many well-wishers who feted former school board member Jan Colbrese as she attended her last meeting Dec. 14. By Tom Corrigan

Joining the school board was simply a natural progression of earlier involvement with the Issaquah School District for Jan Colbrese.

After 12 years in office, she attended her last meeting of the district school board Dec. 14, at least as a member of the board.

After the meeting, Colbrese said her time on the board really was a combination of her two passions: education and public service.

“It’s everyone’s job to give back to their community,” she said.

Colbrese announced prior to the November election that she would not run for re-election. She was replaced by Bellevue resident Anne Moore, who took her oath of office Dec. 14 along with board members Brian Deagle and Suzanne Weaver.

Moore ran unopposed for Colbrese’s vacated seat. Deagle and Weaver both beat out challengers to win re-election.

Moore is no stranger to the district having served with the PTSA and on various district committees for what she said has been 14 years. Among other activities, Moore has served on bond and levy committees, including the committee that made initial recommendations for a bond question that will be in front of voters next year. Like Colbrese, she has said joining the board feels like a natural progression of her past involvement with the schools.

Neither Colbrese nor Moore made any formal comments during the Dec. 14 meeting. Later, in listing a few of her accomplishments, Colbrese talked about working through district financial problems in some tough economic times. During her tenure on the board, Colbrese said she often found herself frustrated by not having the money to do some things she and other board members felt needed to be done, adding she was especially annoyed by recent “clawbacks” adopted by the state Legislature.

“Clawbacks” are promised dollars taken away in one form or another in the middle of the school year.

Read more

King County election turnout beat estimates

December 6, 2011

King County officials certified the Nov. 8 election late last month, and closed the book on the contests for City Council and Issaquah School Board seats.

The tally also reflected a higher-than-expected turnout in the off-year election.

In local contests, the certified results differed little from the initial figures released on Election Day. Incumbents scored landslide victories against lesser-known challengers.

Turnout in City Council and school board races reached 52 percent. King County Elections predicted 52 percent turnout countywide in the days before the election.

In the contested council race, incumbent Joshua Schaer defeated newcomer TJ Filley by 1,871 votes — 4,448 to 2,577. In addition, 28 people cast write-in votes in the race.

Read more

Bellevue resident Anne Moore readies to join school board

November 29, 2011

Anne Moore

Long before the first ballot was mailed back to King County, Issaquah School District residents were guaranteed of seeing at least one new face on their school board of directors next year.

Bellevue resident Anne Moore ran unopposed for the District One seat being vacated by current board president Jan Colbrese.

“I will always be deeply invested in the Issaquah School District,” Colbrese said.

But after what will be 12 years on the board, Colbrese said that following discussions with her husband, she decided it was time to move on. She further noted that all of her children have now graduated from district schools.

Colbrese announced her decision not to run in June, prior to the election filing deadline. Issaquah School District 1 covers an area of the district to the west of Issaquah and south to Coalfield and north to Lake Sammamish.

Read more

King County Elections certifies November results

November 29, 2011

NEW — 2:30 p.m. Nov. 29, 2011

King County officials certified the Nov. 8 election Tuesday morning, and closed the book on the contests for City Council and Issaquah School Board seats.

The certified results differed little from the initial figures released on Election Day. Local incumbents scored landslide victories against lesser-known challengers.

Turnout in City Council and school board races reached 52 percent. King County Elections predicted 52 percent turnout countywide in the days before the election.

In the contested council race, incumbent Joshua Schaer defeated newcomer TJ Filley by 1,871 votes — 4,448 to 2,577. In addition, 28 people cast write-in votes in the race.

Issaquah voters also chose incumbents Fred Butler and Stacy Goodman, and newcomer Paul Winterstein, in uncontested council races.

Suzanne Weaver, a school board incumbent, outpolled newcomer Brian Neville by 5,914 votes — 14,005 to 8,091. The race also included 73 write-in votes.

Read more

Next Page »