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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Recycled crayon business embodies Earth Day message

April 15, 2014

Local mom Regan Wong found a nifty way to repurpose the contents of that long forgotten box, tucked away in a closet, filled to the brim with broken, sometimes wrapperless crayons.

The vibrant coloring tools undoubtedly lived a life of usefulness at one point, but rather than letting them sit on a shelf reminiscing about the good old days of elementary school, or letting them rot in a landfill, Wong is turning them in to something environmentally friendly and beautiful.

Wacky Crayons takes used crayons, melts them down and, using food-grade molds, crafts new, multicolored drawing tools in various shapes and sizes.

Mike and Leah Wong, children of Wacky Crayons creator Regan Wong, lend a helping hand as they make the unconventional drawing tool in the family’s garage. At left, Wacky Crayons come in fully compostable packaging and include a variety of shapes, from flowers to the Millennium Falcon. Photos By Christina Corrales-Toy

Mike and Leah Wong, children of Wacky Crayons creator Regan Wong, lend a helping hand as they make the unconventional drawing tool in the family’s garage.
Photo contributed

“We didn’t invent this, but we’re sort of perfecting it along the way,” Wong said.

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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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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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Schools honor top volunteers

April 8, 2014

Issaquah School District Golden Acorn and Outstanding Advocate Awards were recognized at a reception at Swedish/Issaquah on March 25.

Golden Acorns are presented, by a local PTA unit or council, to volunteers in recognition of their dedication and service to children and youths.

Since the beginning of the program, more than 44,000 Golden Acorns have been presented to volunteers throughout Washington state. A contribution in the name of the recipient(s) is made by the honoring PTA to the Washington State PTA Scholarship Program. From these contributions, WSPTA is able to provide grants to freshman students entering post-secondary education.

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Robotics Society promotes STEM

April 8, 2014

As the members of the Issaquah High School Robotics Society accepted the FIRST Robotics Competition Chairman’s Award at the district competition held in March, it represented a win for thousands of district students.

In six short years, the robotics club raised awareness in the community and generated a wave of interest and demand for robotics among students in younger grades.

It’s also led to increased interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics class across the district, according to Dennis Wright, Issaquah School District director of career and counseling services.

Contributed Members of the Issaquah High School Robotics Society accepted the FIRST Robotics Competition Chairman’s Award at the district competition in March.

Contributed
Members of the Issaquah High School Robotics Society accepted the FIRST Robotics Competition Chairman’s Award at the district competition in March.

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Issaquah schools partner with Swedish

April 1, 2014

The Issaquah School District recently contracted with Swedish Hospital to provide professional mental health services at all schools.

The three mental-health specialists will be housed at Issaquah, Liberty and Skyline high schools, but all schools will have access to them.

The cost of the services is $280,000, and is being paid with additional state money provided to Issaquah schools this year, said Jake Kuper, the district’s chief of finance and operations.

Issaquah High School IFashion Show and Auction

April 1, 2014

Cyberbullying victim puts past behind her

March 25, 2014

The lewd images and messages scrawled across her daughter’s Facebook page in 2011 still burn bright in Issaquah resident Tara Cote’s memory.

In a case that made national headlines, then 12-year-old Leslie Cote was the victim of cyberbullying, as two classmates hacked into her social media page and posted altered photos, including one with “I’m a slut” superimposed on it.

Two Issaquah girls, who also used the site’s instant messaging service to act as Leslie to proposition boys for sexual acts, were charged with cyberstalking and first-degree computer trespassing.

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Safety, security details changing in Issaquah schools, administration

March 25, 2014

Shortly before Ron Thiele took the reins as the Issaquah School District’s superintendent last July, district officials began looking at ways to heighten security for its 18,000-plus students.

They chose to conduct a safety and security assessment of Issaquah’s 24 schools, as well as its administrative, service and transportation centers.

Michelle Trifunovic, the district’s executive director of middle schools, took charge of the initiative, and the district spent $30,000 to hire a professional school safety expert who could find chinks in the armor.

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