April 3, 2012
The primary decorations were orange construction cones and yellow caution tape. Winners were described in terms keeping with that theme, such as construction tools or architects. One winner from the Issaquah School District PTSA Council was described as “the construction glue” that holds the council together.
Gathered in the commons of Pacific Cascade Middle School, the Issaquah PTSA Council held its annual Golden Acorn Awards ceremony March 27.
Not counting the several winners from the districtwide PTSA council, the night honored approximately 75 winners from 23 PTSA units, said Becky Lawrence, vice-president of elementary schools for the PTSA council. A committee of PTSA leaders from each school picked the winners from their individual schools, Lawrence added. As you might expect, criteria included what PTSA members have done for their schools, but also the district and their involvement in the community as a whole.
January 31, 2012
Winner Colby Vuong has chance to enter state competition
Just slightly and not at all.
That’s how much runner-up Bridget Ury and first-place winner Colby Vuong said they studied for Newcastle Elementary School’s National Geographic Bee — which concluded in a showdown of 14 contestants vying for the top spot in front of their instructors, classmates and family members.
Newcastle Mayor Rich Crispo and Deputy Mayor Lisa Jensen served as official judges at the Jan. 13 event.
Each fourth- and fifth-grade class held a geography bee of its own — sending two representatives of each class to go head to head with their peers for the school’s National Geography Bee.
“These questions were a lot harder than the ones in class,” Ury said. “Then we had multiple choice answers of A, B, C, D … here you just pretty much had to know them.”
Because Newcastle Elementary’s bee is a part of the National Geographic Bee, Vuong will have the opportunity to take a written test to qualify for the state bee.
Vuong and Ury, both residents of Newcastle, represented the top-two qualifiers from Mariel Hanna’s fifth-grade class.
The other 12 participants were Olivia Lesnik, Andre Wax, Brooke Ury, Dillon Gyotoku, Joey Eigo, Trisha Jaggi, Tristan Brecht, Jacob Robblee, David Heyward, Toshin Rao, Tommy Todderud and Nathan Jackson.
January 3, 2012
Liberty High School junior Stacey Hurwitz, 16, has no relatives serving in the military.
Still, she noticed some things regarding United States soldiers that bothered her. She saw news stories about high unemployment rates among former soldiers. She read a story about high suicide rates among military personnel over the holidays. In the end, she wanted to do something about what she saw and heard.
“I decided I could probably do something to help them,” Stacey said, adding she became determined to do something more personal than donate money.
“She’s a humble girl but she’s definitely a go-getter,” mom Barbra Hurwitz said.
November 29, 2011
Newcastle Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Liza Rickey leaves no doubt that part of her teaching philosophy is to challenge her students as much as possible. Read more
November 8, 2011
Lessons in life taught by Mrs. Tinnea
I can’t shake the joy in Katie Tinnea’s voice.
She’s just concluded another successful day with her class full of 6- and 7-year-old first-graders at Newcastle Elementary School.
She sounds bright — smart, yes, but more than that. It’s like she exudes happiness —sunshine, even — over the phone as I make my way through another damp, dreary Issaquah day at the office.
Katie tells me that aside from her self-described No. 1 job of being the best mother she can be to her 14-month-old daughter Kennedy and loving wife to her husband Ryan, the 29-year-old Sammamish resident and Newcastle teacher is living with stage IV colon cancer — the most advanced form of the disease.
Stage IV means her colon cancer has been carried through her lymph system to distant parts of her body, including additional tumors in her liver and spots on her lungs.
Stage IV means she’ll be on routine maintenance chemotherapy, a treatment once every other week, for the rest of her life.
August 23, 2011
In February 2006, Issaquah School District voters approved a $241.8 million bond issue to fund new construction and renovations around the district.
The schools are following the plan laid out to voters with one exception, according to information on the district website.
In early 2007, the district acted to redirect construction dollars originally earmarked to fund construction of a new middle school, the district’s fifth. Because of changed enrollment and other factors, officials decided, rather than build a new school, they would convert the Pacific Cascade Freshman Campus into a full-blown middle school beginning in fall 2010. As a result, the Issaquah and Skyline high school campuses were revamped to include space for new freshmen.
Funded by that 2006 bond issue, here are some of the projects still under way in the district.
“The biggies are all down on the south end this year,” said Sara Niegowski, district executive director of communications.
• Planners slated Maywood Middle School in Renton for a modernization and expansion project. According to the latest construction update from the district this month, Maywood’s old administration/commons area and counseling offices are gone, with construction of replacement facilities under way. Demolition of the parking lots and sidewalks are nearing completion with rebuilding scheduled to have already started. Grading of new parking areas has begun.
August 9, 2011
Like the miniscule fish reared in the program, Salmon in the Classroom could return.
June 28, 2011
Thanks to the “green” conservation work of staff members and students, the King County Green Schools Program is honoring 11 schools in the Issaquah School District.
In total, King County will honor 77 schools across the country, including the 11 schools in Issaquah.
The three-level Green Schools Program provides hands-on assistance, recycling containers and signs, and website tools to schools. In addition to the Green Schools Program, King County provides an elementary school assembly program, classroom workshops and support for student green teams.
The program has saved schools and the district money from successful waste reduction and recycling programs, and reducing energy and water use.
Seven schools in the district have achieved Level One status, including Apollo, Cougar Ridge, Issaquah Valley, Sunny Hills and Sunset elementary schools; Pacific Cascade Middle School; and Issaquah High School. Level One schools focus on waste reduction and recycling.
Two schools in the district achieved Level Two, including Creekside and Newcastle elementary schools, after students and teachers targeted energy conservation.
The other two schools — Issaquah Middle School and Liberty High School — completed Level Three after students and teachers worked on water conservation.
“Thanks to support from King County Green Schools and city of Issaquah, the students and staff at these 11 schools understand why conservation is important and are doing a great job conserving natural resources and dollars,” John Macartney, the district’s resource conservation manager, said in a news release.
June 21, 2011
After 47 days of fundraising at McDonald’s and Zeeks Pizza, and in various school parking lots, the Issaquah Schools Foundation and the Issaquah PTSA Council have raised enough money for a new elementary school science curriculum this fall.
The current elementary school science curriculum, last updated in 2003, does not meet state standards.
The fundraising campaign began April 29, the day after the foundation’s annual luncheon. There, foundation community representative Leigh Stokes explained that the district had initially set money aside for the curriculum update, but after the Legislature cut $1.45 million from the district’s budget midyear, the district could no longer afford the curriculum update on its own.
The district committed $700,000 to the elementary school science update, and the foundation and PTSAs partnered to raise the remaining $500,000.
Recently, district administrators negotiated with the curricula vendors and bargained for a better price. Originally, the update was supposed to cost $1.2 million, but after the negotiation, the price tag dropped to $1.1 million. The district is also saving money by developing a specific curriculum of its own, which has a price tag of $50,000.
June 16, 2011
NEW — 3 p.m. June 16, 2011
Thanks to the “green” conservation work of staff and students, King County Green Schools Program is honoring 11 schools in the Issaquah School District.
In total, the county will honor 77 schools across the country, including the 11 schools in Issaquah.
The three-level Green Schools Program provides hands-on assistance, recycling containers and signs and website tools to schools. In addition to the Green Schools Program, King County provides an elementary school assembly program, classroom workshops and support for student “green” teams.
The program has saved schools and the district money from successful waste reduction and recycling programs and reducing energy and water use.