Issaquah man develops sudoku-inspired game to teach math skills

January 22, 2013

Victor Zou (right), the creator of Sukugo, poses with his wife and business partner Lucy Lu and a Sukugo game board, in their Issaquah home. Sukugo is a family-friendly board game that can help develop a child’s math skills, Zou said. By Christina Corrales-Toy

Issaquah resident Victor Zou first tried sudoku on a long bus ride while headed for a company retreat. He was intrigued by the numbered logic puzzle, but put off by the solitary and bland nature of the game. Sudoku, he said, could be so much more.

So, Zou set out to create a product that could be the centerpiece of family game night and challenge kids and adults alike to use both sides of their brains. The result is Sukugo, a versatile and colorful sudoku board game that develops users’ logic and reasoning.

“Our left brain is really good at math, numbers and logical reasoning, but our right brain is more about color and creative thinking, so I wanted to combine these two together to really make an enjoyable game,” he said.

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Issaquah School Board approves school construction changes

January 1, 2013

The Issaquah School Board approved more than $300,000 worth of changes Dec. 12 for construction at Briarwood Elementary, Liberty High and Maywood Middle schools.

Briarwood’s costs went up by $116,230.69. Of the 25 items included on the change order, 18 are $2,000 or more and nine of those have price tags more than $5,000.

The largest addition, by far, is $29,055 for modifications to the school’s ductwork.

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Issaquah schools receive $150,085 in donations

October 16, 2012

Programs and classrooms in the Issaquah School District got a $150,000 boost last month in the form of donations.

The various gifts were approved by the school board during its regular meetings Sept. 12 and 26.

The first allotment, $90,750 was approved Sept. 12 and included a $56,250 check from the Issaquah Schools Foundation. The money is set to be divided among four district programs — $12,750 for financial literacy, $18,000 for high school robotics, $7,500 for middle school robotics and $18,000 for pre-K summer school.

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Schools’ construction costs rise $176,430

October 2, 2012

The Issaquah School board approved $176,430 worth of school construction changes Sept. 26 at Maywood Middle and Briarwood and Challenger elementary schools.

The largest change order was for an additional $119,241, including a little more than $10,000 in state taxes, for construction work at Briarwood. The contract was originally set at nearly $18.9 million and has already had five additions. The new total for the reconstruction project is now $21.4 million.

The most recent change includes an additional $37,838 to pay workers overtime to make up for construction delays due to bad weather. Another $1,472 is for weekend overtime; $37,766 is for electrical revisions in multiple locations; and another $17,271 is for data revisions per revised drawings. Other additions include $9,266 for lighting and $1,696 for changes to the staff lounge.

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Construction crews clear out as staff, students return to school

September 4, 2012

Construction continues on the performing arts center at Liberty High School. By Greg Farrar

It’s official. The new school year is here.

“It’s always exciting,” Superintendent Steve Rasmussen said. “The beginning of the school year is the culmination of a lot of work.”

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Welcome back from Superintendent Steve Rasmussen

August 21, 2012

Steve Rasmussen

New school year begins amid cycle of change and improvement

Every student enters a new school year ready for learning, surprises, challenges and successes — and, even after 24 years as a superintendent, it’s exactly the same for me! Our schools open Sept. 4, and — just like the state of education in general — we in the Issaquah School District are in a constant cycle of change and improvement. For instance, this school year we will adopt new curriculum including K-5 reading/literacy, middle school Humanities Plus, and high school world language, precalculus and calculus.

But the materials are just the foundation: Our educators will put in hours of professional development to prepare. Another significant change is our work piloting the new teacher/principal evaluation system for the state; we want to be on the forefront of continuing to support all of our professionals to do their very best work!

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Inaugural bus ride-along gets kindergartners ready for school

August 14, 2012

Issaquah School District kindergarten students and their parents line up to board a school bus Aug. 8 at Issaquah High School to become familiar with part of their new school experience. By Lillian O’Rorke

Standing in line next to a row of big yellow school buses, a flock of incoming kindergartners squirmed and jibber-jabbered as they awaited their maiden voyage.

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Police alert neighbors to sex offender address change

April 17, 2012

Michael Vossler

King County Sheriff’s Office investigators said a sex offender changed addresses to a residence near Briarwood Elementary and Liberty High schools last month.

William Michael Vossler, 22, relocated to the 17000 block of Southeast 134th Street and reported the address change March 14.

Vossler registered as a Level III sex offender after being convicted of attempted rape of a child and voyeurism in King County in 2007. Police said Level III sex offenders have a high risk of re-offending.

Police said Vossler stands 6 feet, 1 inch tall, weighs 155 pounds, and has brown hair and brown eyes.

Residents can search for Vossler and other registered sex offenders at the sheriff’s office sex offender website,

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Issaquah PTSA honors outstanding volunteers at Golden Acorn Awards

April 3, 2012

The primary decorations were orange construction cones and yellow caution tape. Winners were described in terms keeping with that theme, such as construction tools or architects. One winner from the Issaquah School District PTSA Council was described as “the construction glue” that holds the council together.

Gathered in the commons of Pacific Cascade Middle School, the Issaquah PTSA Council held its annual Golden Acorn Awards ceremony March 27.

Not counting the several winners from the districtwide PTSA council, the night honored approximately 75 winners from 23 PTSA units, said Becky Lawrence, vice-president of elementary schools for the PTSA council. A committee of PTSA leaders from each school picked the winners from their individual schools, Lawrence added. As you might expect, criteria included what PTSA members have done for their schools, but also the district and their involvement in the community as a whole.

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Funded by voters in 2006, construction continues around Issaquah School District

April 3, 2012

Even as voters begin to mull a $219 capital bond package that will be on a special April ballot, work funded by a 2006 voter-approved bond continues around the Issaquah School District.

Some of the bigger ongoing projects include work at Maywood Middle, Briarwood Elementary and Liberty High schools.

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