Ten Issaquah schools named achievement award winners

April 22, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. April 22, 2014

The state’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and Board of Education announced the 2013 Washington Achievement Award winners April 15, and 10 Issaquah School District schools made the cut.

The awards are selected annually using two academic indexes. A total of 413 schools statewide were chosen this year in six categories: overall excellence, high progress, reading growth, math growth, extended graduation rates and English language acquisition.

Issaquah schools that earned awards in overall excellence included all three comprehensive high schools — Issaquah, Liberty and Skyline — as well as four elementary schools: Cougar Ridge, Discovery, Endeavour and Newcastle.

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Young minds shine at science fair

April 8, 2014

Spring is typically a time when students in the Issaquah School District have a chance to let their scientific flowers blossom.

That was the case at Endeavour Elementary School last week. The school had roughly 400 of its 660 students participate in its annual science fair, Little Minds at Work.

Above, first-grader Anjali Patel makes a magnet levitate during Endeavour Elementary School’s March 27 science fair. At left, Bryant Martinez, an Endeavour Elementary School third-grader, hunts through a plate of pebbles to find tiny garnet stones. Photos by Neil Pierson

First-grader Anjali Patel makes a magnet levitate during Endeavour Elementary School’s March 27 science fair.
Photos by Neil Pierson

“It’s one of the biggest events we have here at the school,” said Jill Bengis, a member of the Endeavour PTSA. “The kids really look forward to it, and it’s a great opportunity for them to really shine and show what they can do.”

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King County conservation program honors four Issaquah schools

February 24, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 24, 2014

Seven King County schools, including four from the Issaquah School District, were recognized this month by the county’s Green Schools Program for having successful conservation practices.

Students and staff at the seven schools embraced waste reduction, recycling and other conservation actions, program manager Dale Alekel said in a news release.

Three Issaquah elementary schools — Cascade Ridge, Challenger and Endeavour — were given Level 2 recognition for energy conservation, waste reduction and recycling practices.

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Special-education programs draw from district M&O levy dollars

January 14, 2014

Like her fellow administrators around the Issaquah School District, Michelle Caponigro is concerned about providing resources for her special-education students.

By Greg Farrar Michelle Caponigro, Pine Lake Middle School principal, visits a computer lab classroom Jan. 10 while giving a tour of the school.

By Greg Farrar
Michelle Caponigro, Pine Lake Middle School principal, visits a computer lab classroom Jan. 10 while giving a tour of the school.

For Caponigro, the principal at Pine Lake Middle School, that means having teachers in two learning resource centers — an LRC I class for students with specific learning disabilities who spend much of their day in a general classroom setting and an LRC II class for students with “significant challenges” who are more difficult to manage.

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First Tee connects golf to life lessons

July 23, 2013

When the physical education teachers working with the greater Seattle chapter of First Tee interact with kids, they are not just handing off golf clubs and sports advice. They dole out life lessons, too, on par with situations that youths encounter in life.

The nationwide First Tee School Golf Program meshes golf and character lessons in the classroom. Since its introduction to the Issaquah School District this past year, it has become a hit in local schools. Fifteen of the district’s physical education teachers participate in the school program, teaching students the First Tee curriculum in a monthlong rotation.

Photos contributed Above, Megan Miller, physical education specialist teaches Creekside Elementary School students to proper form during their courtesy unit. At right, Kira Yoshimura, a first-grader at Creekside Elementary School, lines up her putt during her physical education class in fall 2012.

Photos contributed
Above, Megan Miller, physical education specialist teaches Creekside Elementary School students to proper form during their courtesy unit. At right, Kira Yoshimura, a first-grader at Creekside Elementary School, lines up her putt during her physical education class in fall 2012.

The pioneer behind the program coming to Issaquah schools was Kris Coleman, the physical education specialist at Creekside Elementary School. He first heard about it at a P.E. conference a couple of years ago, and introduced the idea of writing a grant request in one of his monthly meetings with other P.E. teachers in the district.

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Endeavour Elementary School, programs garner gifts

January 29, 2013

Endeavour Elementary School and educational programs in the Issaquah School District received more than $120,000 in donations during a Jan. 9 Issaquah School Board meeting.

Endeavour PTSA gave $24,647.98 to the school, with $10,000 of that earmarked for buying reading book sets for a new book room. The remaining money is to replace the building’s sound system equipment.

The Issaquah Schools Foundation donated $96,606 to programs in the district, including $4,000 for Career & Technical Education; $12,500 for Financial Literacy; $2,600 for the PSAT; $19,000 for TEALS; $26,000 for VOICE; $6,231 for English Language Learners; $7,475 for All in for Kids; $18,000 for National Board Certificate Training; and $800 for Robotics/STEM at Issaquah High School.

Residents create 1,000 snowflakes for Sandy Hook Elementary School

January 1, 2013

Arden Caley, a second grade student at Endeavour Elementary School, said she liked the idea of making snowflakes. By Lillian O’Rorke

Fold after fold and snip after snip, white paper trimmings piled up Dec. 21 at the Beaver Lake Lodge, where more than 130 local residents, mainly children, gathered to create snowflakes for Sandy Hook Elementary School students.

After the Dec. 14 shooting in Newtown, Conn., Sandy Hook students will return to class Jan. 3 in a new building. To help welcome them back, volunteers plan to turn the school into a winter wonderland using paper snowflakes.

Corene Caley, who has a 7-year-old daughter at Endeavour Elementary School, saw a post about the snowflakes on Facebook and thought it would be fun to join in the effort.

“It’s cool to live in a place where you can have an idea, send out an email and 48 hours later this happens,” Caley said.

After reading about the snowflakes online, she contacted Dawn Sanders, volunteer coordinator for the city of Sammamish, to rent the space at Beaver Lake Lodge. Sanders said, “Let’s do one better.”

In order to get the lodge for free, she connected Caley with the local nonprofit Kids Without Borders. Word about the snowflakes spread and by 3 p.m. Dec. 14 a crowd of people from around Sammamish, Issaquah and beyond was busy turning ordinary printer paper into giant ice crystals.

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Eastside Fire & Rescue’s Reindeer Engine to collect food, toys

December 11, 2012

NEW — 5 p.m. Dec. 11, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue’s Reindeer Engine is scheduled to deliver holiday cheer — and collect food and toys for families in need — as Christmas approaches.

The fire engine — decked out in blinking lights, reindeer and a sleigh, and a holiday banner — heads to Endeavour Elementary School on Wednesday and then, on Sunday, to Four Lakes, Mirrormont, and other communities in May Valley and on Tiger Mountain.

Residents can donate food and toys Sunday as volunteers from Fire Station 76 on Tiger Mountain drive the Reindeer Engine travels through the communities near Issaquah from 5:30-7 p.m.

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Students choose Barack Obama, Jay Inslee in mock election

November 27, 2012

Students statewide and in the Issaquah School District chose the same candidates as grown-up voters — Barack Obama for president and Jay Inslee for governor.

The exercise included 38,848 students statewide, including classes at Cascade Ridge Elementary, Endeavour Elementary, Sunset Elementary, Pine Lake Middle and Issaquah High schools in the Issaquah School District.

The number of students participating statewide shattered the record for participation — about 18,000 students — set in 2008.

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Issaquah High School stage comes alive with ‘The Sound of Music’

November 27, 2012

Maria Rainer, played by Annika Dybevik (center), is surrounded by the Von Trapp children, played by (clockwise from lower left) Zoe McDowell, Reagan Panah, Elizabeth Moore, Daniel Repp, Rachel Panah, Jenni Young and Matthew Bratton, during the song ‘Do-Re-Mi’ from ‘The Sound of Music.’ By Greg Farrar

When Annika Dybevik, a senior at Issaquah High School, was younger, she had a well-worn VHS copy of the “The Sound of Music.”

“I’ve grown up with the movie,” she said. “My cousins would re-enact the show when we were little and watch it over and over again.”

So, when Dybevik was cast in the lead role of Maria Rainer in her high school’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s final collaboration, she already knew most of the lyrics.

That was also the case for much of the cast, which has been rehearsing since the middle of September for its Nov. 29 opening night. Along with 12 crewmembers, the cast of 35 is made up of mostly Issaquah High students with the exception of five Von Trapp children, who were cast from area middle and elementary schools.

Staying true to their characters, the older Von Trapp children and Maria help look after the younger actors, keeping them focused during rehearsals that can span several hours.

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