Students inflate their knowledge

September 14, 2010

Fourth-graders Riley McCabe and Donovan Bahall (above) and Haley Magee (right) paint paper mache balloon globes blue during a geography lesson at Challenger Elementary School. Photos by Laura Geggel

Many elementary school students know their city, state and country of residence. But do they know the difference between latitude and longitude? The definition of the prime meridian? The number of oceans swishing around the earth? Read more

Girl Scouts host open houses

September 7, 2010

Local Girl Scout troops are hosting informational meetings or open houses. Learn more by calling 641-1126. Middle and high school troops are welcoming new girls as well. All events are from 7-8 p.m.

Information meetings (all take place in school multipurpose rooms)

-Newcastle Elementary — Sept. 23

-Clark and Issaquah Valley elementary — Sept. 27, Clark multipurpose room

-Apollo Elementary — Sept. 28

-Cougar Ridge and Sunset elementary — Sept. 29, Cougar Ridge multipurpose room

-Briarwood and Maple Hills elementary — Sept. 30, Briarwood multipurpose room Read more

Teachers take the initiative in learning program

August 31, 2010

Dr. Duane Baker presents to about 900 Issaquah School District teachers at Skyline High School, telling the teachers about improving instruction through observing other teachers’ classrooms. By Laura Geggel

Teachers are a valuable resource, especially for one another. Read more

Volunteers sought for VOICE mentor program

August 24, 2010

Paula Cockerham earned Cs and Ds in her high school classes until her biology teacher pulled her aside and said, “You’re smarter than this.”

Cockerham began spending more time on homework and studying harder, transforming herself into an A student. Now, she works at The Boeing Co. as an environmental chemist.

“It just took having someone tell you, ‘You can do this’, and ‘I believe you can do this,’” she said.

In 2006, Cockerham decided to return the favor to Issaquah’s students. She registered with Volunteers Of Issaquah Changing Education — more commonly known as VOICE — and began mentoring high school students in physical science.

Cockerham is one of VOICE’s 155 mentors, and Director Susan Gierke said she hopes to raise membership to 200 volunteers this year. Read more

Ideas sprout at ‘green’ schools

August 17, 2010

For many students heading back to school this year, green is the new black.

From the clothes and appliances they buy to the way they conserve energy and recycle waste, green students are infusing their lives with an environmental perspective.

But even students with the greenest of intentions need guidance, and many got it from King County’s Green Schools program. Out of Issaquah’s 25 schools, 10 have participated in the program: Cascade Ridge, Challenger, Clark, Discovery, Endeavour and Newcastle elementary schools, Beaver Lake, Maywood and Pine Lake middle schools and Liberty High School.

Jack Sansing (left) and Katie and Noah Springborn directed their classmates to use the correct bins after lunch as members of Cascade Ridge Elementary's 2009 Green Team. By Christopher Huber

King County Green School began as a pilot program in 2002 and opened to K-12 public and private schools in 2003, Project Manager Dale Alekel said.

Read more

Powered by gravity, steered by fun

July 20, 2010

More than 50 special-needs children suit up for 13th annual Rotary challenge race

By Greg Farrar Mary Hartung (left), co-driver, waves at the crowds and Caitlin Gaylord, driver, prepares to pilot their gravity car

On July 17, Second Avenue Southeast was transformed into a racetrack as soapbox cars full of grinning children whooshed down the hill in lieu of the usual streams of weekend traffic.

The road was closed off for the 13th annual Issaquah Rotary Challenge Gravity Car Race.

More than 50 special-needs children of all ages came to participate in the race as co-drivers. Each was accompanied by a driver, one- or two-dozen children ages 11-13 who were trained to operate the cars earlier in the day. Read more

Big stars are on the rise at Challenger Elementary School

June 15, 2010

Challenger Elementary School students danced and sang their way to school success at the recent talent show. Below, fourth-grader Kyliann McClain’s Hula Hoop/dance extravaganza was a showstopper, as she twirled to several popular songs, including MC Hammer’s ‘Can’t Touch This.’ Photos by Tanja Fontana

Challenger Elementary School students of all ages danced, sang and dribbled their way to community stardom at this year’s school talent show June 4. Read more

Skyline grad going strong after first Formula series win

April 27, 2010

When David Cheng, of Sammamish, won his first Pacific Formula 2000 race March 6 in Fontana, Calif., his operations manager, Dan Gulickson, cried for hours.

Emotions ran high as Cheng, 20, and his crew had to adapt to last-minute monsoon-like conditions and drive intelligently to beat out the competition. In the final lap, he had a 20-second lead, but the flagger had not put out the white flag to signal the last lap, Cheng said. He slowed down a bit, confused and trying to stay ahead. With no windshield, water sprayed in his face at up to 160 miles per hour. But he still managed to cross the finish line first.

“I’m not losing this … I’m not losing this,” Cheng told himself in the car’s cockpit. “You need incredible mental concentration.”

After meeting at Chrysalis School in Woodinville, Cheng and Gulickson, his former teacher, teamed up to pursue both of their passions: speed.

“With racing, I always loved it,” said Cheng, a self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie, who found an interest in racing at age 6.

Gulickson, a Klahanie resident, helped Cheng rise through the racing-circuit ranks and eventually go pro in 2009.

Read more

Middle-school programs making an !MPACT this summer

April 13, 2010

Looking for something to keep your elementary or middle schooler occupied this summer?

Look no further than the Issaquah School District’s summer programs.

District officials are registering students for their Club Connection and !MPACT programs through April 16. The programs provide care for students from 7 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. during the workweek, and provide fun activities and field trips for students at neighborhood schools all summer.

“It’s not a normal summer camp and it’s not a daycare,” said Amanda Enright, a program leader. “This is way more fun for kids. In fact, we’re away from the schools three days a week. And on the days we’re there, we have cool activities, like theater improv, video game design contests, water battles, cooking and food fights.”

!MPACT serves all 2010-11 incoming sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders. There are two locations — Beaver Lake Middle School and Pacific Cascade Middle School (the former freshman campus).

Club Connection is hosted at five locations: Apollo, Challenger, Grand Ridge, Cascade Ridge and Sunset elementary schools. Read more

Locals step up to aid Haitians

January 26, 2010

Nine cafeteria tables are covered with baked goods provided by more than 300 Sunset Elementary families for the Sunset Kids for Haiti bake sale. World Vision, American Red Cross and Partners in Health were the charities selected to receive the $4,164 raised. By Greg Farrar

Issaquah community groups, churches and schools are stepping up to help Haiti.

Since Jan. 12, when a 7.0-magnitude earthquake devastated the country, rescue and relief efforts have been sent from around the world amid recurring aftershocks, which have registered upward of 5.0 magnitude.

Haitian officials have recorded more than 70,000 deaths. However, they estimate the death toll may rise to nearly 200,000. Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere, according to the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook.

Locally, Issaquah School District schools, like Sunset and Challenger elementary schools and Liberty High School, have raised thousands of dollars to help relief efforts in Haiti.

Challenger is accepting donations for the U.S. Fund for United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund for Haiti. Read more

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