Off the Press

March 8, 2011

As a journalist, I’ve covered fatal accidents, murder plots and bizarre incidents involving women jumping naked through living room windows. These stories always catch me off guard, but a room of 11-year-olds recently caught me more off-guard than ever.

Tim Pfarr Press reporter

As part of Newcastle Elementary School’s literacy celebration the first week of March, I volunteered to read aloud to the school’s fifth-graders. After reading, I talked about my job and answered questions from the students.

“Do you do more interviews on the phone or in person?” one girl asked.

Very good question, I told her. Definitely on the phone.

“Have you ever interviewed Tim Lincecum?”

Not yet, but I’d love to, I said.

Then, the weird questions came.

“Who do you like more, the New York Knicks or the Orlando Magic? Who do you like more, the Orlando Magic or the Miami Heat? Do you like Duke University?”


“Knicks? Magic? Yes?” I said.

Read more

Literacy campaign draws children’s author

March 1, 2011

Seattle-based author children’s author Keith Baker treats Newcastle Elementary School’s fifth-graders to a drawing workshop Feb. 17. By Tim Pfarr

There was no place he could hide.

Around each corner, students greeted him with excitement. Whenever he stopped moving, a line would form of students who wanted to say hello, get autographs and share their own story ideas.

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Issaquah elementary schools earn King County eco honor

January 25, 2011

Creekside, Grand Ridge recognized for recycling

Milk carton, paper and bottle recycling? Check.

Composting? Capri Sun recycling? Check and check again.

Madelyn Fernstrom (left) and Jarrod Morgan, students in Sanjana Pathak’s fourth-grade class at Grand Ridge Elementary School, dump a classroom tub of mixed paper into a barrel for recycling. By Leslie Lederman

King County Green Schools Program honored Issaquah’s Creekside and Grand Ridge elementary schools in January for their resource conservation, recycling included.

Creekside and Grand Ridge were two of eight schools honored countywide.

Read more

Issaquah teachers earn national certification

January 11, 2011

After hundreds of hours of self-reflection, videotaping their classes and studying for subject tests, 31 teachers in the Issaquah School District have earned their National Board Certification.

This brings the total number of district board certified teachers to 81. Read more

Newcastle family wins Hallmark Halloween card competition

October 26, 2010

Tina Palmer’s photo from Halloween 2008 of her daughter Kate, left, and son Jack, right, won Hallmark’s Scare Up Some Fun competition this year. By Tina Palmer

Being a parent can be hard, as any mother or father will tell you. Newcastle resident Tina Palmer got a reminder of that Oct. 31, 2008, when she had her then-3-year-old son Jack and 1-year-old daughter Kate put on their costumes and sit next to each other on the front porch for a photo.

It didn’t go so well, and Kate began to yell. As she screamed, Jack covered his ears.

“I was like, ‘Come on, guys. Can’t you just sit normal for a second?’” Palmer said.

She captured a photo mid-scream, and entered the photo with a caption to Hallmark’s Scare Up Some Fun competition this year, which invited customers to create their own Halloween cards with an offer to print the best entries.

Hallmark chose Palmer’s card to be one of 23 customer-created cards sold online and 16 sold in stores across the country.

Read more

Girl Scouts host open houses

September 7, 2010

Local Girl Scout troops are hosting informational meetings or open houses. Learn more by calling 641-1126. Middle and high school troops are welcoming new girls as well. All events are from 7-8 p.m.

Information meetings (all take place in school multipurpose rooms)

-Newcastle Elementary — Sept. 23

-Clark and Issaquah Valley elementary — Sept. 27, Clark multipurpose room

-Apollo Elementary — Sept. 28

-Cougar Ridge and Sunset elementary — Sept. 29, Cougar Ridge multipurpose room

-Briarwood and Maple Hills elementary — Sept. 30, Briarwood multipurpose room Read more

Creekside Elementary welcomes students with natural setting, high-tech touches

August 17, 2010

Robin Earl, Creekside Elementary School principal, stands in a balcony hallway overlooking the library core. Large windows bring the outdoor beauty inside. By Christopher Huber

To the tune of hammering and buzzing saws on a hot day at the end of July, Principal Robin Earl walked through the crowded hallways of her new school.

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Ideas sprout at ‘green’ schools

August 17, 2010

For many students heading back to school this year, green is the new black.

From the clothes and appliances they buy to the way they conserve energy and recycle waste, green students are infusing their lives with an environmental perspective.

But even students with the greenest of intentions need guidance, and many got it from King County’s Green Schools program. Out of Issaquah’s 25 schools, 10 have participated in the program: Cascade Ridge, Challenger, Clark, Discovery, Endeavour and Newcastle elementary schools, Beaver Lake, Maywood and Pine Lake middle schools and Liberty High School.

Jack Sansing (left) and Katie and Noah Springborn directed their classmates to use the correct bins after lunch as members of Cascade Ridge Elementary's 2009 Green Team. By Christopher Huber

King County Green School began as a pilot program in 2002 and opened to K-12 public and private schools in 2003, Project Manager Dale Alekel said.

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King County honors Issaquah’s green schools

June 22, 2010

Issaquah School District schools are lean and green and were honored for being so by King County officials.

King County’s executive, Dow Constantine, and the Department of Natural Resources and Parks honored 65 schools June 14 for their conservation work as part of the county’s Green Schools Program, according to a press release.

Liberty High School, Maywood and Beaver Lake middle schools and Clark, Endeavour and Newcastle elementary schools were each honored.

Since its inception in 2003, the Green Schools Program has helped more than 400 schools provide hands-on assistance and education to put new recycling techniques in action which help save the environment and schools money.

There are two levels of awards county officials gave to Issaquah Schools.

The first level represents schools that have entered the program and initiated or improved their recycling programs by focusing on waste reduction strategies. The second level awards go to schools who also engage in energy conservation techniques, like turning off lights in unoccupied rooms, changing out lighting and water systems for ones with better efficiencies.

Read more

School’s sustainability programs win state award

June 1, 2010

Newcastle Elementary School is the recipient of a $300 grant from the state Department of Ecology, officials announced May 18.

The annual Terry Husseman School Awards program recognizes and rewards schools for their commitment to ongoing sustainable programs, including waste reduction efforts, creating new environmental awareness programs, and developing and implementing innovative curricula.

Newcastle, part of the Issaquah School District, is one of 45 public and private schools from across the state to win an award ranging between $150 and $3,150. More than 70 applications were received.

Newcastle won a Sustainable School Program Award for its ongoing waste reduction and composting program as well as its program to encourage alternative commuting options for energy conservation.

Two other types of awards were given. A Seed Award is given to schools or communities to initiate a new waste reduction or sustainability program and the Creative Environmental Curriculum Award is given to students, teachers or school officials who introduce original curricula to further conservation efforts in schools.

In total, more than $28,000 in funding will be given out.

Funding for the program comes from the Waste Reduction, Recycling, and Litter Control Account, generated by a tax on industries that sell, manufacture, or distribute products and packaging that tend to become litter, a press release said.

See a full list of winners here.

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