Investigation into Skyline threat continues as attendance drops elsewhere

September 20, 2012

UPDATED — 5 p.m. Sept. 20, 2012

Police continue to investigate a shooting threat against students at Skyline High School, as attendance at other Issaquah School District campuses — particularly Sammamish Plateau schools near Skyline — declined Thursday.

District administrators announced a decision late Wednesday to close Skyline after a threat made online targeted the school for a mass shooting. The district kept all other schools open.

Skyline also canceled all extracurricular activities and school athletics events scheduled for Thursday.

Sammamish Police Administrative Sgt. Jessica Sullivan said police continue to follow several leads on the identity of the user behind the threat posted Wednesday on the online bulletin board 4chan. Investigators have not yet been able to determine if the user is a Skyline student.

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Students needed to star in ‘The Sound of Music’

September 11, 2012

Students from Clark, Sunset, Issaquah Valley and Grand Ridge elementary schools, as well as those who attend Pacific Cascade and Issaquah middle schools, are invited to audition for the upcoming production of “The Sound of Music.”

The musical, being produced by Issaquah High School, is looking to fill five Von Trapp children roles with students from feeder schools.

Auditions for younger children are scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Sept. 12 in the choir room at Issaquah High and should last one to two hours. High school student auditions will be at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 11 and could take more than three hours.

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Issaquah police train for active shooter incidents

September 4, 2012

The worst-case scenario for most police agencies is a mass shooting — and Issaquah officers spend time preparing for the unthinkable.

The recent spate of such incidents — a Colorado movie theater and a Sikh temple in Wisconsin — called attention to the so-called active shooter training police undergo.

“Active shooter incidents are kind of rare, but they’re very traumatic when they happen, so we try to get as much training and expertise in that field as we can, along with many other things they train for,” Issaquah Police Chief Ayers said in a recent interview. “A lot of those things that they train for in active shooting can be used in their regular work — safety issues, how to react and those types of things.”

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Clark Elementary is among state’s most improved schools

September 4, 2012

Clark Elementary School is one of 58 Title 1 schools across the state that have been designated as “Reward Schools” by State Superintendent Randy Dorn.

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Issaquah police reactivate speed cameras near schools as students return

August 28, 2012

Issaquah police plan to reactivate speed-enforcement cameras near Issaquah High School and other campuses Sept. 4, as students return to schools along Second Avenue Southeast.

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Neighbors protest proposed firearms home business

August 28, 2012

Concerns about safety and traffic led downtown Issaquah residents to join forces to stop the city from approving a permit for a home-based firearms business.

The municipal Development Services Department is considering a proposal from Michael Marinos, a longtime Issaquah resident, to open the business in the Olde Town neighborhood south of East Sunset Way.

Marinos created Bigg Dogg Firearms to offer federally licensed firearms transfers to customers purchasing weapons online. Customers could then stop at Marinos’ home-based business to pick up the firearms.

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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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See local students’ visions of future at Seattle Center

July 24, 2012

The Classroom of the Future Exhibition, featuring the works of 20 students in Mary Rusk’s second-grade Clark Elementary School class, launches July 31 and runs through August.

Many of the young minds behind the event will be present at the July 31 launch to explain their predictions for learning in the future.

The launch starts at 6:30 p.m. at Seattle Center’s Intiman Theatre, 201 Mercer St.

After that, the exhibition — which showcases children’s ideas about what classrooms will look like 50 years from now — will be open noon to 5 p.m. Fridays through Sundays at the playhouse. Both are free and open to the public, but because of limited space, organizers suggest reserving a ticket for the launch.

Reserve tickets at Learn more about the Classroom of the Future exhibition and other Seattle Center 50th anniversary events at Follow the “Next 50” links.

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert honors Issaquah police officers

July 17, 2012

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert recognized the Issaquah Police Department last month to honor the officers involved in a deadly shootout late last year.

Dave Reichert

Cpl. Christian Muñoz, officers Laura Asbell, Jesse Petersen, Brian Horn, Tom Griffith and Sgt. Chris Wilson earned recognition from Reichert, a former King County sheriff and Auburn Republican.

Officers fatally shot Ronald W. Ficker just before noon Sept. 24 after the rural Maple Valley man abandoned a rental car at a downtown intersection and, carrying rifles and ammunition, set off in the direction of school campuses.

In a King County-mandated inquest held in May, jurors determined Asbell, Horn, Muñoz and Petersen faced a life-threatening situation and used proper procedures to stop Ficker on the Clark Elementary School campus.

On May 4, Asbell, Horn, Muñoz and Petersen also earned the Law Enforcement Medal of Honor, the top law enforcement honor in Washington.

Reichert also recognized the officers from the House floor May 10.

“On that day, as on every day, law enforcement officers saved lives calmly, swiftly and selflessly,” he said then.

Issaquah School District schools welcome new principals

July 10, 2012

The Issaquah School District is welcoming several new faces this month.

Superintendent Steve Rasmussen recently announced the arrival of three new principals. Starting July 1, Michael Schiehser took over at Tiger Mountain Community High School, Tod Wood started at Clark Elementary School and Stacy Cho took the helm at Beaver Lake Middle School.

Schiehser began his career teaching high school science in Southern California and is a national board certified teacher. He joined the Mercer Island School District in 2005 as an associate principal at Mercer Island High School.

He has also served as the director of instruction and assessment and secondary learning support, before moving to his current position as director of teaching and learning, which includes the responsibility of serving as the primary instructional leader at Mercer Island High School.

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