Two Issaquah powerhouses become one as schools foundation and community network merge

June 9, 2014

NEW — 5:45 p.m. June 9, 2014

Two leading youth advocate organizations — the Issaquah Schools Foundation and Issaquah Community Network — are joining forces to better serve students of the Issaquah School District.

The two groups will formally merge Sept. 1 with the Issaquah Schools Foundation providing funding for the new initiative.

“We are excited by the possibilities the merger offers,” foundation Executive Director Robin Callahan said in a news release. “The foundation’s goal is to help all students achieve the promise of their potential. The community network addresses the underlying issues that keep our children from reaching their potential. It’s a strategically aligned pairing.”

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Issaquah Community Network seeks youth representatives

May 18, 2014

NEW — 10 a.m. May 18, 2014

The Issaquah Community Network is seeking youth representatives for the 2014-15 school year.

The deadline for applications is June 20. Interviews with applicants will be conducted over the summer and representatives announced in late August.

The Issaquah Community Network operates within the Issaquah School District boundaries to reduce adverse childhood experiences and risky behaviors in youths ages 12-20.

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Liberty student wins ‘Influence the Choice’ video contest

April 16, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. April 16, 2014

Liberty High School junior Ashton Herrild took home the top prize in the Drug Free Community Coalition’s 2014 “Influence the Choice” student video contest.

Herrild’s two-minute video encouraged peers to “live for the nights you’ll never forget,” rather than “the nights you won’t remember,” and live a drug-free life. His overall win came with a prize of $800.

More than 100 Issaquah School District students worked to submit 54 videos encouraging their peers to say no to prescription drugs, alcohol and marijuana. The students spent an estimated 400 hours crafting the videos.

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Drug Free Community Coalition cuts ties with program coordinator

February 25, 2014

The Drug Free Community Coalition Executive Board and Project Coordinator Liz Wilhelm have mutually and amicably agreed to dissolve their contractual relationship, effective immediately.

The board is collaborating with Wilhelm to ensure a smooth transition for the coalition’s future work, according to a news release from the coalition.

In the interim, Dianne Bugge and Barbara de Michele will share the position to keep the coalition moving forward on several fronts.

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Students find joy and meaning in volunteering

February 21, 2014

For Taylor Woo, a particular memory stands out from her time working at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Woo, a Liberty High School junior, serves as a volunteer patient care liaison at the hospital, one of the largest in the Northwest. One day, she was asked to speak with an 8-year-old boy who’d been in a car accident with his parents and younger sister.

The boy was responsive, but his sister lay in coma in an adjacent bed.

Above, left, Taylor Woo, a junior at Liberty High School, helps a visitor at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Top right, Issaquah High School senior Robin Lustig volunteers with organizations like Friends of Youth, the Issaquah Community Network and the Drug Free Community Coalition. Above, right, Skyline High School senior Jonathan Yee helps fellow students through the school’s Key Club and Link Crew, and also works with Treehouse, an organization that supports foster children.

Taylor Woo, a junior at Liberty High School, helps a visitor at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

“You can hear the heart monitor just beeping to her heart, and it was so hard to see,” Woo said. “It was sad how he couldn’t really comprehend what was happening with his parents.

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Liberty teens get candid about marijuana use

February 11, 2014

By Christina Corrales-Toy Liberty High School students (from left) Jenna Purkis, Neil Chakravarty and Ashton Herrild talk about the effects the legalization of marijuana has on teens at a Drug Free Community Coalition forum held at Liberty on Feb. 6.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Liberty High School students (from left) Jenna Purkis, Neil Chakravarty and Ashton Herrild talk about the effects the legalization of marijuana has on teens at a Drug Free Community Coalition forum held at Liberty on Feb. 6.

Not much has changed about the perception of marijuana among teens since voters elected to legalize the drug with the passage of Initiative 502 in 2012.

If anything, legalization has made the drug seem more acceptable, according to a group of Liberty High School students at the third and final forum hosted by the Drug Free Community Coalition Feb. 6.

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Liberty hosts teen marijuana forum

February 4, 2014

As cities continue to grapple with the ramifications of Initiative 502’s legalization of marijuana in 2012, communities across the state are looking inward to determine how it affects its men, women and children.

The voter-approved initiative legalized recreational marijuana use for adults, but it still remains illegal for teens and is technically a federal crime.

The Issaquah Community Network will explore how legal marijuana affects local adolescents with a teen forum Feb. 6 at the Liberty High School Performing Arts Center.

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School officials review survey results prior to contract negotiations

January 17, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 17, 2014

Issaquah School District administrators and members of its teachers’ union bargaining team met Jan. 9 to discuss the results of a community values survey.

The survey, conducted during the fall by the Issaquah PTSA Council, sought to gain information from district parents, students and teachers. The council conducted similar surveys prior to the last two rounds of contract negotiations between the district and the teachers’ union, the Issaquah Education Association.

The current IEA contract runs through Aug. 31. In 2010, negotiations began in March and a new four-year deal was ratified in June.

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Liz Wilhelm to coordinate drug free grant program

December 10, 2013

Liz Wilhelm has been selected as the project coordinator for the federal Drug Free Community grant awarded to the Issaquah Drug Free Community Coalition and the city of Issaquah in September.

The grant, which will bring $125,000 per year for up to 10 years to the Issaquah School District service area, is aimed at reducing teen alcohol, marijuana and prescription drug abuse. Hiring a local project coordinator to oversee a coalition work plan and funding expenditures is a requirement of the grant.

Contributed Liz Wilhelm (right), new project coordinator for the federal grant awarded to the Drug Free Community Coalition in Issaquah, stands with coalition Chairwoman Katie Moeller.

Contributed
Liz Wilhelm (right), new project coordinator for the federal grant awarded to the Drug Free Community Coalition in Issaquah, stands with coalition Chairwoman Katie Moeller.

Wilhelm, an instructor at the University of Washington and Seattle Central Community College, has an extensive background in substance abuse prevention. Previously, she served as project coordinator for a Drug Free Community grant in Kitsap County. She authored Seattle Central’s prevention curriculum.

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Artist, youth advocate Vicki Hoffman dies

October 15, 2013

A celebration of life for beloved Issaquah art and youth advocate Vicki Hoffman is scheduled for 1 p.m. Oct. 19 at Redmond’s Timberlake Church, 4505 236th Ave. N.E.

The family will receive friends at Flintoft’s Funeral Home from 4 -7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at 540 E. Sunset Way, Issaquah.

Hoffman, a tireless advocate for art in schools, as well as a board member on the Issaquah Community Network and the Issaquah School District PTSA Council, passed away Oct. 12, after suffering a brain aneurysm Oct. 10, according to a slew of emails from Hoffman’s friends and colleagues.

Vicki Hoffman

Vicki Hoffman

An active parent in the Issaquah School District, Hoffman once served as the Clark Elementary School PTSA president, and is largely responsible for reviving the district’s volunteer art docent program.

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