Liberty High School community speaks out against schedule change

October 16, 2012

It’s a little after 9 o’clock on a Thursday morning at Liberty High School and Marcus Milyko is working on his short video “Hidden Places,” which airs on the monthly broadcast show that is written, filmed and edited by the TV and Video Production class.

“I want to do video in my life,” he said. “I love all parts of it.”

But film wasn’t always Marcus’s passion. He hadn’t thought too much about it until Liberty’s film production course caught his eye last year when he was searching for a class. It’s this sort of chance to find a passion that Marcus, and many others in the Liberty community, are concerned will be lost if the district goes through with a proposal to change the high school’s schedule.

“Because of the eight-period schedule, I found this and without it I never would have,” Marcus said to members of the Issaquah School Board during its Oct. 10 meeting.

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Local legislative candidates answer questions

October 16, 2012

Click on the image to read candidate responses from state House of Representatives and state Senate candidates in the 5th and 41st legislative districts.

5th Legislative District — state House of Representatives

Chad Magendanz

How can the state fulfill its “paramount duty” to fund education, despite budget limitations?

• Budget writers must follow the Supreme Court ruling to fund education as our “first and highest priority before any other state programs or operations.”

What specific steps can state government take to entice businesses to expand or relocate to Washington?

Reduce burdensome regulations by aligning with federal standards, reform workers compensation and unemployment insurance programs to lower costs, and simplify the B&O tax structure.

What specific steps can state government take to increase revenue, despite the existing limitations?

A revenue-neutral swap of state property tax for local school levies would bring $1 billion of education funding into a more regular and dependable tax structure.

What specific steps can state government take to shore up Washington’s higher education system?

Return to a 50-50 deal with university students and restore funding levels to their historical average, rather than just 8 percent of the general fund.

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Meet congressional, legislative candidates at forum

October 9, 2012

Hear from the candidates for offices in Olympia and Washington, D.C., at a candidate forum cosponsored by The Issaquah Press, the American Association of University Women and the League of Women Voters.

The lineup for the Oct. 18 forum includes candidates for the state House of Representatives and state Senate, plus a candidate to represent Issaquah in Congress. The forum includes candidates in contested and uncontested races.

The event is not a debate. Candidates offer opening statements to the audience and then answer a series of questions from the moderator, Publisher Debbie Berto.

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5th Legislative District House contest includes familiar faces

October 9, 2012

Education is the No. 1 priority for state House of Representatives candidates in the 5th Legislative District — a local school board member and a citizen advocate for education.

Chad Magendanz

David Spring

Issaquah School Board member Chad Magendanz, a Republican, and North Bend Democrat David Spring remain focused on education in the race for a rare, open House seat.

In a 7-2 ruling delivered in January, state Supreme Court justices said the state is not fulfilling the “paramount duty” to fund education. Both candidates in the 5th District race said education funding is a bipartisan issue.

“There’s a huge amount of work to do together,” Magendanz said. “When you set aside all of the partisan rhetoric and you really focus on what needs to be done for our kids, for our future, there is a lot of work there.”

Issaquah School Board members appointed Magendanz to the panel in 2008. The software design consultant ran unopposed for the seat in 2009.

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Local legislative candidates join chambers’ forum

October 2, 2012

Voters can hear from candidates for the state House of Representatives and Senate on Oct. 9 at a forum organized by the Issaquah and Sammamish chambers of commerce.

The lineup includes the contenders for a 5th Legislative District House seat — Republican Chad Magendanz and Democrat David Spring — and the Senate seat — Democrat Mark Mullet and Republican Brad Toft.

The candidates in the 41st Legislative District, state Rep. Marcie Maxwell, D-Renton, and Issaquah Republican Tim Eaves — plus state Sen. Steve Litzow, R-Mercer Island, and Mercer Island Democrat Maureen Judge — also plan to attend.

State Rep. Jay Rodne, R-North Bend, the uncontested candidate for the other House seat in the district, is also expected to attend.

The forum is from 3:30-5 p.m. at Blakely Hall, 2550 N.E. Park Drive. Organizers plan to focus on business and economic issues.

Under Initiative 1240, local charter school is unlikely

September 25, 2012

On Nov. 6, people across the state will cast their vote whether to allow charter schools in Washington, and locals stand on both sides of the argument.

Supporters say the schools could pursue innovative educational techniques, free from most state regulation and without unionized teachers.

Opponents say charter schools have insufficient oversight and would drain money from traditional public schools.

“We have great schools, we have great teachers,” said Jodi Mull, an Issaquah High School parent who said she had no problem gathering signatures to get Initiative 1240 on the ballot. “Maybe it’s not going to help me in my community, but it will help others.”

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How did Issaquah vote?

September 18, 2012

Data from the Aug. 7 primary shows how Issaquah voters decided  — and offers clues to how the local electorate might vote in the November general election.

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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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Issaquah School Board tackles long to-do list

August 28, 2012

Over the course of two days the Issaquah School Board and several of the district’s administrative members met Aug. 21-22 for the Board Cabinet Retreat.

Marnie Maraldo

With participants shuffling between the library at Issaquah Valley Elementary School and a meeting space in the administration building, it wasn’t as glamorous as the name would suggest. Nor was it held in the resort town of Leavenworth, as is the choice of other school districts.

What it was, though, was 14 hours of discussion regarding everything from the new teacher/principal evaluation pilot program to scheduling to the importance of science and math, and the consumption of a whole lot of M&Ms.

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Brian Deagle is new Issaquah School Board president

August 28, 2012

Chad Magendanz has stepped down as president of the Issaquah School Board. Brian Deagle has been named Magendanz’s predecessor, effective immediately.

Brian Deagle

The announcement came at the end of the Aug. 22 school board meeting. Magendanz is running as a Republican for the 5th Legislative District seat in the state House of Representatives and cited the upcoming political debate season as his reason for passing the gavel.

“The only person who can really speak for the board is the board president,” he said. “And there was concern that there would be confusion when I talk in a debate as to who I’m speaking for — the board or myself.”

He added that the beginning of the school year seemed like the most logical point to step down.

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