Community Cornerstone

February 21, 2014

May 30, 1911, was a special occasion for Issaquah resident Mabel Ek.

So special, in fact, that the moment called for a new outfit. Ek arrived at Issaquah’s Baptist Church, near what is now the Darigold plant, wearing a new dress, knitted gloves and shoes specially ordered from Oregon.

City residents, of which there were only 500 at the time, arrived in droves to honor Ek and her classmates Mary and Olive Gibson.

Issaquah History Museums FIC.2000.049   The 1921 Issaquah High School women’s basketball team are (from left) May Wilkinson, Alix Sween, Erma Brown, Pearl Peck, Marie Chevalier, Alene O’Connor, Julia Erickson and Mildred Thompson.

Issaquah History Museums FIC.2000.049
The 1921 Issaquah High School women’s basketball team are (from left) May Wilkinson, Alix Sween, Erma Brown, Pearl Peck, Marie Chevalier, Alene O’Connor, Julia Erickson and Mildred Thompson.

After all, the three were about to make history, representing the very first graduating class of Issaquah High School.

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Schools won’t revise homework policies

February 4, 2014

After an 18-month process that included many discussions with parents, teachers and students, the Issaquah School District has decided not to make any changes to existing policies and procedures about homework.

Superintendent Ron Thiele announced the decision at the Issaquah School Board’s Jan. 29 meeting. While no changes are coming, Thiele said the process sparked an important discussion throughout the district, and administrators reserve the right to make changes when they are deemed necessary.

Thiele also admitted the decision may not satisfy everyone.

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Schools plan future around expected growth

December 17, 2013

Officials are hoping to break ground on the new Issaquah Middle School next summer, and the replacement building will look much different than what was first envisioned.

The city of Issaquah’s 30-year plan for its central business district is expected to add more than 7,700 residential units, and it’s forcing the Issaquah School District to think more about long-term impacts to its facilities.

Steve Crawford, the district’s director of capital projects, told school board members Dec. 11 that if downtown Issaquah grows as projected in the Central Issaquah Plan in the next three decades, it would add an estimated 2,850 students to the school district’s enrollment. That represents a 15 percent increase over the district’s current population of 18,400 students.

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Issaquah teachers are critical of ‘unsustainable workloads’

November 26, 2013

New standards, longer work days are top complaints

Members of the Issaquah Education Association met with the Issaquah School Board for an hour last week, and much of the discussion centered on what the IEA president termed “unsustainable workloads” for teachers.

During a study session prior to the school board’s Nov. 13 meeting, the IEA — a union of more than 1,000 certificated teachers — spoke about the results of a bargaining survey conducted this fall. More than 70 percent of Issaquah’s teachers responded, and a few common complaints emerged.

Washington’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards, along with a new evaluation system for teachers and principals, have led to increased workloads and a general sense of overwhelming stress among educators, IEA officials said.

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Issaquah School Board honored as WSSDA board of distinction for fifth year

November 24, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 24, 2013

The Issaquah School Board was one of 15 entities in the state named as a Board of Distinction by the Washington State School Directors’ Association on Nov. 18.

It’s the fifth consecutive year Issaquah has earned the Board of Distinction honor. Issaquah’s board is comprised of Brian Deagle, Marnie Maraldo, Alison Meryweather, Anne Moore and Suzanne Weaver.

The other school boards that earned distinctions were Anacortes, Auburn, Ferndale, Franklin Pierce, Kent, Lake Stevens, Monroe, Port Angeles, Pullman, South Kitsap, Sunnyside, Tumwater, University Place and Vancouver.

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Challenger Lisa Callan bests incumbent for school board seat

November 12, 2013

A week after the Nov. 5 general election, challenger Lisa Callan has widened her lead and won a seat on the Issaquah School Board.

Numbers posted to the King County Elections’ website Nov. 8 show Callan with 9,141 votes, nearly 600 more than incumbent board member Alison Meryweather.

Callan’s vote total represents 51.52 percent of the total ballots counted. While there may be a few thousand ballots left to count, Callan’s lead has grown since initial results were reported. Her lead is also well above the threshold of 0.5 percent that would trigger a mandatory recount.

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School board talks policies with state lawmakers

November 12, 2013

Prior to the Issaquah School Board’s Oct. 30 meeting, the five-member board and Superintendent Ron Thiele met with four state lawmakers to discuss how public schools were impacted by this year’s legislative session.

The board had about 90 minutes to speak with Rep. Ross Hunter (D-48th District), Rep. Tana Senn (D-41st), Sen. Mark Mullet (D-5th) and Rep. Chad Magendanz (R-5th), a former Issaquah School Board president.

Board member Anne Moore said the group “had a great conversation” surrounding several issues, including school finances resulting from the state budget; the new Common Core State Standards and Smarter Balanced assessment tests that students will deal with next year; and the end in 2018 of a levy lid lift allowing districts to request more voter-approved dollars.

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School board candidates give opposing views for district’s future

October 22, 2013

Policy and training divided the two Issaquah School District school board candidates at an Oct. 17 candidate forum.

Appointed board member Allison Meryweather is attempting to win her first election for the position against Lisa Callan, who also applied for the board appointment earlier this year.

By Greg Farrar Alison Meryweather (left) listens as Lisa Callan answers a question during their Issaquah School District board candidate forum Oct. 17 with a full Issaquah City Council chamber and city cable television viewers in attendance.

By Greg Farrar
Alison Meryweather (left) listens as Lisa Callan answers a question during their Issaquah School District board candidate forum Oct. 17 with a full Issaquah City Council chamber and city cable television viewers in attendance.

“I discovered first hand the lack of funding our state provides our schools,” Meryweather said about her time on the board and volunteering in classrooms. “It’s not just about funding. It’s also about how we strategically invest those dollars.”

Callan said she believed her leadership roles in The Boeing Co. and a long history involved in the educational system qualifies her for the board position.

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Editorial

October 22, 2013

Lisa Callan for school board seat

Issaquah School District voters are fortunate to have two excellent choices for school board director seat 4. Both Alison Meryweather and Lisa Callan applied for the vacancy last spring when Chad Magendanz resigned to serve in the state Legislature.

The school board members struggled with the appointment, first split evenly between the two women. Eventually, Meryweather got the appointment.

Meryweather does have more lobbying experience and her confidence and knowledge makes her a leader in that arena. But community comes first.

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Complaint alleges Lisa Callan violated public disclosure laws

October 15, 2013

Issaquah School Board candidate Lisa Callan didn’t follow Washington’s public disclosure laws regarding her campaign’s finances, a complaint filed with the state’s Public Disclosure Commission alleges.

Callan, who is facing incumbent Alison Meryweather in the Nov. 5 general election, has been filing reports of cash contributions since her campaign officially began in May. However, she hadn’t filed a single expense report until Oct. 10, a day after the PDC notified her through the mail of the complaint.

Janet Suppes, a budget analyst with the Bellevue School District and longtime public education advocate, filed the complaint with the PDC on Sept. 18.

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