Issaquah School District superintendent’s contract renewed

July 1, 2014

The Issaquah School Board voted unanimously June 26 to renew the contract of Superintendent Ron Thiele, who just completed his first year in the position.

State law requires school boards to review their superintendent’s contract on an annual basis prior to July 1. Issaquah board members cited several reasons for retaining Thiele, including his work to help the district pass three levy measures in February.

The board felt his leadership in that area and his leading the charge during that campaign was strong, board President Marnie Maraldo said.

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School renames gym after beloved teacher, coach

June 17, 2014

Chuck Lee has left a lasting legacy for his colleagues and students at Beaver Lake Middle School, with or without any kind of tribute on their part.

Lee, 58, died Feb. 6 after a decadelong battle with cancer. He’d made an impression on countless individuals during his teaching and coaching career in the Issaquah School District, which spanned 24 years.

The Beaver Lake community mourned Lee’s passing, holding a remembrance ceremony earlier this spring where students and teachers spoke of their favorite memories with Lee. He spent 13 years at the school, teaching math and coaching basketball.

By Neil Pierson One of Chuck Lee’s favorite activities was the annual International Talk Like a Pirate Day, which gave him license to don a funny hat and an eye patch.

By Neil Pierson
One of Chuck Lee’s favorite activities was the annual International Talk Like a Pirate Day, which gave him license to don a funny hat and an eye patch.

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Kelly Munn receives leadership award

June 17, 2014

The Issaquah School District honored Kelly Munn with its Community Leadership Award at the Washington School Administrator Association’s regional awards ceremony held at the Puget Sound ESD on May 23.

Kelly Munn

Kelly Munn

Munn has been an active volunteer in the Issaquah School District and an advocate for public education for many years. Her leadership has been instrumental in helping the district maintain high quality programs and meet the demands of continued growth as co-chair of the Volunteers for Issaquah Schools Community Bond and Levy Committee, according to a news release.

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Issaquah schools move forward with bond sale

June 3, 2014

The Issaquah School Board approved the sale of voter-approved bonds from April 2012 during its May 28 meeting.

Voters approved a $219.1 million bond two years ago, and the board has previously approved two bond sales toward construction and upgrades at various district schools. The third bond sale installment is worth $55 million, and the board elected to approve the sale now because of what were deemed historically low interest rates.

Issaquah school board approves changes to Liberty modernization plan

June 3, 2014

The Issaquah School Board approved a pair of change order requests regarding Liberty High School’s modernization project at its May 28 meeting.

The first change added more than $116,000 to a contract with Babbit Neuman Construction Co. More than 20 changes were needed to comply with various project specifications and building codes, including some railings, ductwork, fire extinguishers and sprinklers.

The second change added nearly $9,000 to a contract with construction firm Kassel & Associates. Four minor upgrades were approved, including the addition of fire-retardant plywood on a wall assembly, and vent piping for a sink.

The additional money being spent is within the budgets of both projects.

Federal waiver loss could affect schools

May 20, 2014

Last month’s U.S. Department of Education decision to revoke Washington state’s No Child Left Behind waiver is starting to filter down to school districts and individual buildings.

At the Issaquah School Board’s May 14 meeting, officials discussed the loss of the waiver, which was officially announced April 24. Washington had been one of 43 states with the waiver, allowing it to deviate from NCLB, a nationwide accountability system for public schools that has been in place since 2001.

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Chad Magendanz enters race for second term

May 20, 2014

Chad Magendanz

Chad Magendanz

Rep. Chad Magendanz (R-5th Issaquah) wants to continue putting education front and center.

After a busy freshman term in the state House, Magendanz said he has learned a lot and had a great time doing so. He kicked off his re-election campaign May 9 to seek another two years in the Legislature.

“I’m having a blast,” he said. “It’s very rewarding. It can be frustrating, but when you connect with people, it’s really rewarding.”

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Issaquah High School students receive C-SPAN prize, special visit

April 8, 2014

C-SPAN brought awards and a traveling studio to Issaquah High School students April 4.

Seniors Olivia Marcus and Paige Montague won third prize in the network’s 2014 Studentcam video competition, in which high school students tailor a message to Congress on what they see as the country’s most pressing issue.

By Peter Clark Olivia Marcus (left), one of Issaquah High School’s two third-prize winners in C-SPAN’s annual Studentcam competition, listens to C-SPAN Marketing Manager Heath Neiderer explain how the visiting media bus educates the public about the network’s public service.

By Peter Clark
Olivia Marcus (left), one of Issaquah High School’s two third-prize winners in C-SPAN’s annual Studentcam competition, listens to C-SPAN Marketing Manager Heath Neiderer explain how the visiting media bus educates the public about the network’s public service.

The duo submitted a video, “Clean Energy Legislation: A Message to the U.S. Congress,” which was chosen as one of 13 third-place winners from the western United States. They won framed awards and $750.

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Editorial

April 8, 2014

Tiger Mountain school rethink can work

The Issaquah School Board is planning some big changes for Tiger Mountain Community High School. Some of these changes are necessary, but the disruption of the community is not.

Tiger Mountain has about 100 students who would generally be considered “at risk.” The school tries to reach these students with nontraditional methods in an attempt to keep them engaged.

The attempt isn’t working as well as it should. The school’s graduation rate of 37 percent shows this. Whatever methods district officials are attempting are actually reaching only a fraction of the students.

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State Rep. Chad Magendanz moves up to leadership position in House Education Committee

April 4, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. April 4, 2014

Freshman State Rep. Chad Magendanz (R-5th District, Issaquah) was named the new ranking Republican on the House Education Committee March 31.

Chad Magendanz

Chad Magendanz

The announcement came after Rep. Cathy Dahlquist (R-31st District, Enumclaw) resigned her committee position.

Magendanz moved up from the committee’s assistant ranking Republican, a position he has held since he was sworn in as a legislator.

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