Take survey by July 24 to help choose new Challenger Elementary School principal

July 22, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. July 22, 2013

Former Challenger Elementary School Principal Sue McPeak has taken a position with the Shoreline School District, so district officials need to start the hiring process for a new principal.

Superintendent Ron Thiele wants to work closely with the public in the process and is asking people to fill out an online parent survey here by 4 p.m. July 24.

Your answers will provide a foundation and “look fors” that the interview team will use to narrow down the candidate pool. The superintendent hopes to choose a new principal by early August, and will keep the public posted on the progress along the way, according to a news release from the school.

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Challenger principal leaving for new post

July 9, 2013

Dr. Sue McPeak, the principal at Challenger Elementary School for the past four years, is leaving the Issaquah School District.

McPeak has accepted the principal’s position at Ridgecrest Elementary School in the Shoreline School District. Issaquah officials have begun the search for her replacement.

McPeak said Shoreline Superintendent Sue Walker sought her for the new position.

“I was not looking to make a change,” McPeak said in a letter to the Challenger community, “but I believe it’s important to make the most of life’s serendipitous opportunities and to continually accept new challenges — these are the same lessons we teach all of our students.”

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Record Brain Freeze

February 26, 2013

Students build, eat ‘world’s largest’ ice cream sandwich

By Greg Farrar Freyana Kapadia, a Pacific Cascade seventh-grader, sprays ‘!MPACT’ with whipped cream on a giant ice cream sandwich the students assembled Feb. 21 at Beaver Lake Middle School.

By Greg Farrar
Freyana Kapadia, a Pacific Cascade seventh-grader, sprays ‘!MPACT’ with whipped cream on a giant ice cream sandwich the students assembled Feb. 21 at Beaver Lake Middle School.

Twenty-seven pounds of flour, 48 eggs, 9 pounds of white sugar, 9 pounds of brown sugar, 15 pounds of butter and about 10 gallons of vanilla ice cream — those are just some of the ingredients that went into making the state’s (unofficially) largest ice cream sandwich Feb. 21.

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Off the Press

January 8, 2013

Each new shooting jars painful memories

Joe Grove
Press proofreader

The imprinted memories come back with every school shooting. I was in my first year of teaching at Westside High School in Jonesboro, Ark. It was March 28, 1998, during my prep period. I heard the principal in the hall.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“There’s been a shooting at the middle school and we’re locking down the school,” he replied.

I helped him finish the task and then stood in front of the glass doors to observe the middle school about 50 yards away. Two boys, 11- and 14-year-olds, had set up a sniper’s nest just off the school playground.

One slipped into the school, set off the fire alarm, and ran to his post. The students and teachers, thinking it was a fire drill, filed out of the building. The boys began picking them off, killing four students, one teacher and wounding 16 others.

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Students learn not to bully, or let others act as bullies

January 1, 2013

Pam Ridenour, counseling specialist at Challenger Elementary School, is surrounded by students from Haley Davis’ first-grade class as they declare they want to turn thumbs down on bullying. By Greg Farrar

What can parents do when their child is being bullied, or — gasp — when their child is the bully?

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Issaquah School Board OKs construction changes

December 18, 2012

The Issaquah School Board approved nearly $72,000 worth of changes to the construction projects at Maywood Middle and Challenger Elementary schools during the board’s Nov. 28 meeting.

Eight changes were made to Maywood’s building project and add up to $64,681 before taxes. The most expensive item on the list is $51,000 for additional underdrains for the softball field. According to the change order, the softball field contains large areas of poor draining fill soil. The $51,000 price tag does not include the cost of any impact to landscaping work.

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Issaquah schools receive $43,000 from donors

November 6, 2012

The Issaquah School Board accepted nearly $43,000 worth of donations Oct. 24 to be used mostly at Skyline High School.

Lin Zhou gave $5,000 to Challenger Elementary School for buying student and staff materials.

The Skyline gymnastics team received $20,000 from Larson Caldwell through the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund Program.

Skyline’s general student body also received $17,750 from the school’s PTSA. The money is to be used for several things, including $10,000 toward curricular grants; $4,500 to fund the International Baccalaureate program; $3,000 for student scholarships; and $250 to buy emergency preparedness supplies.

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Klahanie food drive, pumpkins return for 24th year

October 9, 2012

In the span of 23 years, local Realtor Bob Richards has collected more than 80 tons of food for the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank, through his annual food drive held in Klahanie.

Richards started the food drive after reading that the local food bank needed some assistance many years ago.

“I ran across an article that the Issaquah food bank was struggling at the time and we just made a decision to do our part, and it’s just kept going, and this will be the 24th consecutive year,” he said.

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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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