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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Issaquah Alps club announces scholarship topics

April 15, 2014

The Issaquah Alps Trails Club has announced the topics for its annual Bill Longwell Memorial Scholarship.

Longwell was a longtime club member who taught English at Hazen High School for many years. He was an avid hiker and trail builder who, often with the help of his students, was responsible for building and maintaining many of the trails on Tiger and Squak mountains.

Each year since his death in 2007, the Issaquah Alps Trails Club has offered a $1,000 scholarship available to graduating seniors at Issaquah, Liberty, Skyline and Hazen high schools. Often, runners-up qualify for smaller awards.

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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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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.

Exchange project

April 1, 2014

Liberty welcomes Japanese visitors

Alex Tachiyama, a Liberty High School senior, was lucky. He got to partake in a Thanksgiving dinner twice in the past six months.

He celebrated the gluttonous holiday in November with the rest of the nation, but he also munched on helpings of turkey and mashed potatoes again in March.

By Greg Farrar Liberty High School students (from left) Daniel Doan, Shannon Hsu and Emily Hsu, cultural exchange students Nao Shimomura and Kazuyoshi Hirata, and Liberty student Alex Tachiyama get acquainted over a welcome meal.

By Greg Farrar
Liberty High School students (from left) Daniel Doan, Shannon Hsu and Emily Hsu, cultural exchange students Nao Shimomura and Kazuyoshi Hirata, and Liberty student Alex Tachiyama get acquainted over a welcome meal.

The March feast was for the benefit of his foreign visitor, Kazuyoshi Hirata, as 20 Liberty High School families hosted 24 students from Japan through a cultural exchange program.

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Liberty High School hosts sustainability workshop

April 1, 2014

Inspired by TED Talks, Liberty High School is introducing its own forum to share ideas about building a culture of sustainability.

Liberty’s STARTalks, set for April 3, will feature three presentations about how sustainability fits in the classroom. STAR stands for Sustainability Tools for Assessing and Rating, the nation’s first self-reporting system for measuring progress on sustainable community conditions.

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Who’s News

April 1, 2014

Damon Sterne serves as senate page

Sen. Mark Mullet and          page Damon Sterne

Sen. Mark Mullet and page Damon Sterne

Damon Sterne, of Renton, recently served a week as a page in the Washington State Senate and was sponsored by Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah.

During the week, pages assist senators, staff and attend seminars where they learn from guest speakers and hold mock hearings on bills they create.

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Naomi Florsheim wins Teen Poetry Slam

April 1, 2014

The fourth annual Issaquah Teen Poetry Slam, hosted by the Issaquah Youth Advisory Board, was held March 2 at the Issaquah Coffee Co.

Naomi Florsheim, an eighth-grader at Issaquah Middle School, won first place.

Teachers Christine Boas, from Skyline High School, and Henry Level, from Liberty High School, served as judges. They determined the first-, second- and third-place winners, who received gift cards for the Issaquah Coffee Co.

About 15 middle and high school students from Issaquah attended and participated, bringing their poetry to life.

 

Exchange student: Bablina Celis

March 25, 2014

Imagine moving to a different country, where you don’t know anyone, and having to join a school when you barely understand the country’s culture. This is reality for exchange students like Bablina Celis, from Cancún, Mexico, who is attending Liberty High School.

Celis said moving to America for the school year was a fascinating experience.

Azan Sarosh Liberty High School

Azan Sarosh
Liberty High School

“The thrill of going to a different country to live with a different family and change my everyday life has been absolutely amazing,” she said.

Things are different in America, but in a good way. As an exchange student, she had to move in with an unfamiliar family: the Guzmans.

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