Grand Ridge students take green challenge to next level

May 5, 2015

The message written on the playground in colorful chalk got right to the point: “Aphids are pests. Ladybugs eat aphids.”

By Neil Pierson Joon Chang, a volunteer with the Issaquah Highlands Community Association, helps students Natalie Burch (left) and Mai Murakami release ladybugs into the Grand Ridge Elementary School garden during and Earth Day event April 22.

By Neil Pierson
Joon Chang, a volunteer with the Issaquah Highlands Community Association, helps students Natalie Burch (left) and Mai Murakami release ladybugs into the Grand Ridge Elementary School garden during and Earth Day event April 22.

That was one of the main lessons Grand Ridge Elementary School students took away from their Earth Day activities April 22. With the help of volunteers from the Issaquah Highlands Community Association, the students released about 18,000 ladybugs into the school’s Grizzly Patch Garden and neighboring landscape.

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Popular preschool is set to close after 20 years

March 31, 2015

The Sammamish Learning Center, which has been serving Eastside families and their preschool students since 1995, will permanently close its doors in June at the end of the current school year.

It wasn’t the original intention of the school’s directors, Jill Porter and Helen Glenn, who sold the property to a developer last year.

By Neil Pierson Students at Sammamish Learning Center play along with teacher Karen Stillwell during a morning classroom session. The preschool is closing in June after 20 years of business.

By Neil Pierson
Students at Sammamish Learning Center play along with teacher Karen Stillwell during a morning classroom session. The preschool is closing in June after 20 years of business.

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Endeavour Elementary School honored for environmental practices

March 31, 2015

Endeavour Elementary School is the first school to attain the title of Level Four Sustaining Green School from the King County Green Schools Program.

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School officials plan new bond vote for 2016

March 25, 2015

Three years ago, Issaquah School District voters approved a $219 million bond measure to refurbish and expand several facilities.

Next year, they’ll likely be asked to do something similar.

Issaquah officials have formed a bond feasibility committee, which will work for the next two months to study options for a ballot proposal that could be presented to voters in the first half of 2016.

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Reflections art contest winners announced

March 17, 2015

The Issaquah School District announced this year’s Reflections art contest winners, who will have a chance to compete at the state level this spring. Students in every grade are eligible to compete in several different categories.

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Family fight — Skyline sophomore Relays for her mom

March 3, 2015

Emily and Lori Kargl sat down in an Issaquah coffee shop last Friday and started rattling off names.

Contributed Emily (left) and Lori Kargl walk the track at the 2014 Issaquah Relay for Life. The Issaquah mother and daughter are actively involved in the American Cancer Society fundraiser. Lori, the mother of Skyline High School sophomore Emily, is a 22-year cancer survivor.

Contributed
Emily (left) and Lori Kargl walk the track at the 2014 Issaquah Relay for Life. The Issaquah mother and daughter are actively involved in the American Cancer Society fundraiser. Lori, the mother of Skyline High School sophomore Emily, is a 22-year cancer survivor.

First, a grandmother, and then a soccer coach. Next, a neighbor, followed by a family friend. All of them, acquainted or not, were connected through a shared battle of a debilitating disease.

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Rite of passage marks Scouts’ long-term achievement

February 17, 2015

The 15 boys who stood on the stage were mostly solemn, but some of them allowed grins to creep across their faces as they absorbed the magnitude of the moment.

By Neil Pierson Alex Hammingh is adorned with a new scarf and his Arrow of Light award, signifying his transition into Boy Scouts during a Feb. 3 ceremony at Pacific Cascade Middle School.

By Neil Pierson
Alex Hammingh is adorned with a new scarf and his Arrow of Light award, signifying his transition into Boy Scouts during a Feb. 3 ceremony at Pacific Cascade Middle School.

Cub Scout packs across the country hold annual transition ceremonies for 11- and 12-year-olds who have fulfilled the requirements to join Boy Scouts. Cub Scout Pack 682, which draws its members from Issaquah and Sammamish, honored its graduating fifth-graders Feb. 3 at Pacific Cascade Middle School.

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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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