Teen Talk: How has substance abuse affected your school or community?

April 22, 2014

Liberty High School

Alina Nguyen, senior

“It has caused many people I know in my community to grow distant from relationships and hide from their responsibilities or problems.”
Christine Dao, junior

“I’ve witnessed families being torn down due to it.”

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Let’s Talk About It: Healthy Youth Survey shows increase in substance abuse

April 22, 2014

The prevalence of substance abuse among teenagers is skyrocketing, as more youths are being challenged by emotional, mental and social difficulties.

In October 2012, the Issaquah School District conducted its fifth biennial Healthy Youth Survey among Issaquah sixth-, eighth-, 10th-, and 12th-graders. The anonymous survey asked about students’ physical activity and nutrition, drug abuse, emotional health and other “risky behaviors.” Questions regarding substance abuse made up more than half of the survey.

Noela Lu  Skyline High School

Noela Lu
Skyline High School

Today’s high school students experience laborious amounts of homework, time-consuming extracurricular activities and elevated parental expectations. As teenagers begin entering high school, some resort to substance abuse to cope with the additional stress and responsibility they didn’t face in 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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Principal Lisa Hechtman leaving Skyline High School for Issaquah School District position

April 19, 2014

NEW – 6 a.m. April 19, 2014

Skyline High School Principal Lisa Hechtman will leave her position at the end of the school year.

In an email to Skyline families April 14, Hechtman said she had accepted an offer to serve as the Issaquah School District’s executive director of personnel.

Hechtman was in her second stint at Skyline. She was one of its original staff members when the school opened in 1997, serving for seven years as a humanities teachers, dean of students and assistant principal.

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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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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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