Network keeps Patriots informed

February 25, 2014

The Liberty Student Network is a news channel broadcasted to all Liberty High School staff and students every month, keeping Patriots up to date on new topics regarding the school.

LSN works to provide its viewers with diverse topics, such as fun facts about teachers, updates on construction progress and much more. The network’s main priority is keeping Patriots informed.

Azan Sarosh Liberty High School

Azan Sarosh
Liberty High School

The network is changing this year since new teacher Torrey Womble has taken over. With the change in leadership came a change in equipment as well: The network now has newer equipment that it hopes will allow it to provide viewers with more special effects and better quality video.

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Students find joy and meaning in volunteering

February 21, 2014

For Taylor Woo, a particular memory stands out from her time working at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Woo, a Liberty High School junior, serves as a volunteer patient care liaison at the hospital, one of the largest in the Northwest. One day, she was asked to speak with an 8-year-old boy who’d been in a car accident with his parents and younger sister.

The boy was responsive, but his sister lay in coma in an adjacent bed.

Above, left, Taylor Woo, a junior at Liberty High School, helps a visitor at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Top right, Issaquah High School senior Robin Lustig volunteers with organizations like Friends of Youth, the Issaquah Community Network and the Drug Free Community Coalition. Above, right, Skyline High School senior Jonathan Yee helps fellow students through the school’s Key Club and Link Crew, and also works with Treehouse, an organization that supports foster children.

Taylor Woo, a junior at Liberty High School, helps a visitor at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

“You can hear the heart monitor just beeping to her heart, and it was so hard to see,” Woo said. “It was sad how he couldn’t really comprehend what was happening with his parents.

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District may close alternative high school for one year

February 18, 2014

Tiger Mountain students would go to the nearest high school

The Issaquah School District is considering a plan to close Tiger Mountain Community High School for one year while the school is moved to a different location, and then reopen the alternative school with a revamped educational model.

Issaquah Superintendent Ron Thiele spoke about the plan with school board members at a work study session prior to the board’s Feb. 12 meeting. The audience included about two dozen Tiger Mountain staff members, parents and students.

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Liberty teens get candid about marijuana use

February 11, 2014

By Christina Corrales-Toy Liberty High School students (from left) Jenna Purkis, Neil Chakravarty and Ashton Herrild talk about the effects the legalization of marijuana has on teens at a Drug Free Community Coalition forum held at Liberty on Feb. 6.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Liberty High School students (from left) Jenna Purkis, Neil Chakravarty and Ashton Herrild talk about the effects the legalization of marijuana has on teens at a Drug Free Community Coalition forum held at Liberty on Feb. 6.

Not much has changed about the perception of marijuana among teens since voters elected to legalize the drug with the passage of Initiative 502 in 2012.

If anything, legalization has made the drug seem more acceptable, according to a group of Liberty High School students at the third and final forum hosted by the Drug Free Community Coalition Feb. 6.

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Liberty athletes prepare for the next level

February 11, 2014

No Liberty High School athletes signed national letters of intent on signing day Feb. 5 to his knowledge, said Stark Porter, the school’s athletic director.

There are a handful of athletes, however, who plan to continue their careers at the next level.

Aaron Bowe, who led the boys cross-country team to its first state appearance this year, will compete at Gonzaga University.

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Young Liberty team falls to Mount Si

January 28, 2014

By Greg Farrar Emily Culbertson, Liberty High School sophomore, grips the low uneven bar with the momentum to begin her routine, earning 6.3 for third place on the apparatus, part of the 27.85 points that earned her fifth place all-around score Jan. 23 against Mount Si.

By Greg Farrar
Emily Culbertson, Liberty High School sophomore, grips the low uneven bar with the momentum to begin her routine, earning 6.3 for third place on the apparatus, part of the 27.85 points that earned her fifth place all-around score Jan. 23 against Mount Si.

With just one upperclassman on the Liberty gymnastic team’s 21-person roster, it’d be an understatement to say the program is experiencing a youth movement.

The team is riddled with freshmen and sophomores, some of whom have never even played the sport.

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Flutist whistles to her own tune

January 28, 2014

Liberty High School sophomore Paige Balut stood on the football field at the University of Montana this fall, and felt at home.

She was there, flute in hand, with 150 other band students, handpicked for the school’s first all-star high school band experience.

Contributed Paige Balut, a Liberty High School sophomore, practices her flute at home.

Contributed
Paige Balut, a Liberty High School sophomore, practices her flute at home.

“I have this friend who made a joke that I was ‘among my people,’” Paige said.

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Liberty sports will move to 2A next season

January 14, 2014

Liberty High School sports teams will compete in the 2A classification for a two-year period beginning in the 2014-2015 school year.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association released enrollment numbers showing that Liberty, at 891.8, is the size of a 2A school. Schools with less than 990.8 students, but more than 472, are considered 2A.

In the recent past, the Patriots have opted up to the 3A level, despite its stature as one of the state’s smallest 3A schools, but this time around administrators have decided to test the 2A waters.

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Three school levy proposals are headed toward voters

January 7, 2014

Voters will have the chance to approve or deny three levy proposals the Issaquah School District is placing on the Feb. 11 ballot.

The district is seeking the renewal of its existing maintenance and operations levy, which provides a large chunk of employee salaries not covered by the state.

By Greg Farrar Construction, funded by the previous bond issue, continues Jan. 3 on a classroom and library wing at Liberty High School.

By Greg Farrar
Construction, funded by the previous bond issue, continues Jan. 3 on a classroom and library wing at Liberty High School.

The district is also asking for a one-year, $1.7 million transportation levy, and a four-year, $52 million capital levy aimed at improving technology and making key repairs to facilities.

If all three levies are approved, the total tax rate for a district property owner would rise 8 cents to $4.83 per $1,000 from 2015-18. That equates to a $40 annual increase on a $500,000 home.

Bonds and levies: the differences

Jake Kuper, chief of finance and operations for the Issaquah School District, said it’s common for people to confuse bonds and levies.
“The easiest way to remember the difference is bonds are for buildings and levies are for learning,” he said.
Because the state doesn’t fund regular maintenance costs for existing schools, or construction costs for new schools, districts like Issaquah rely on voters to approve bonds. Similar to a mortgage, Kuper said, bonds are paid over a long-term period, typically 20 years. State law requires bond dollars to be spent on capital projects, like new construction or major maintenance, not classroom operations.
Levy dollars “help districts close the gap between what the state pays for education and the actual cost,” Kuper said. Issaquah’s current maintenance and operation levy pays for 21 percent of classroom costs.
Capital levies pay for technology — including hardware, software and infrastructure — and repairs to items like heating and cooling systems, roofs and security systems.
Like classroom costs, the state doesn’t fully fund transportation needs, and a levy like Issaquah’s one-year, $1.7 million proposal helps districts pay for new bus purchases, Kuper said.

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Freshmen phenoms

January 7, 2014

Liberty’s fall sports underclassmen take the stage

By Greg Farrar Liberty High School freshmen varsity athletes, swimmer Sydney Hartford, cross country twin sisters Brigette and Kelsey Takeuchi and football player Noah Pritchett, stand by a poster in the Liberty High School commons proclaiming ‘We Are One,’ the motto of Patriot athletes and their student body fans.

By Greg Farrar
Liberty High School freshmen varsity athletes, swimmer Sydney Hartford, cross country twin sisters Brigette and Kelsey Takeuchi and football player Noah Pritchett, stand by a poster in the Liberty High School commons proclaiming ‘We Are One,’ the motto of Patriot athletes and their student body fans.

Less than a year ago, Brigette and Kelsey Takeuchi, Sydney Hartford and Noah Pritchett roamed the halls at Maywood Middle School.

Fast forward to their first year at Liberty High School. Three of them have competed among the top athletes in the state, while the fourth has found a place on a varsity squad that rarely makes room for freshmen.

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