Gold Stars

May 18, 2010

Girl Scout Troop 50614

Girls from Girl Scout Troop 50614 from Sunny Hills Elementary School served dinner to residents of Tent City 4 prior to their departure.

The girls served up barbecued pulled pork, baked potatoes and other homemade goodies. The girls also donated several staple items, like butter, cheese sticks and yogurt, and a special box of Girl Scout cookies.

Katie Raissipour and Jessi Wanamaker

Katie Raissipour and Jessi Wanamaker, two freshman at the Pacific Cascade Freshman Campus, showed support for others by participating in this year’s Day of Silence April 16.

The two made short-sleeved shirts to show their support and sported them around campus.

The Day of Silence is a national day promoting tolerance for and recognizing the equality of students who have various sexual orientations. The day focuses on ending lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools.

Discovery fourth-graders

Discovery Elementary School fourth-graders won the state’s Disney Planet Challenge on April 20.

Students in Tasha Kirby’s fourth-grade class won the state’s competition, which asked them to submit a portfolio about local killdeer preservation. For their efforts, students received certificates and a $1,000 grant.

Gold Stars highlights accomplishments — big or small — by Issaquah students. Send a few sentences and the student’s name, age, grade, school, good deed and a photograph, if possible, to

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Who’s News

May 4, 2010

Karissa Zadinsky named top performer at music festival

Karissa Zadinsky, a ninth-grade honor student at the Pacific Cascade Freshman Campus, was the 2010 Performing Arts Festival of the Eastside top concerto place winner April 9.

Zadinsky, 15, was also a featured performer with Gerard Schwartz and host Margaret Larson on the KING-5 television show “New Day Northwest” on April 22.

Kiwanis, Key Clubs honor students

The Issaquah Kiwanis Club sponsors two high school Key Clubs at Issaquah and Liberty high schools.

It gives quarterly Distinguished Service Awards and Key Clubber of the year for exemplary attitude and service to the community. Jessica Choi was named IHS Key Clubber of the Year and Kaileen Dougherty, IHS Key Club president, was honored with the second quarter distinguished service award.

Jordan Faires earns Eagle Scout honor

Boy Scout Troop 636 will honor Jordan Faires, 18, at an Eagle Scout Court of Honor at 3 p.m. May 16, at the Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church. Faires is the son of Rich Faires and Maria Faires.

An Eagle Scout must have completed at least 21 merit badges and organized a service project that benefits his church, community or school. Faires led a crew that worked with EarthCorps and the Klahanie Association to restore a grove of old-growth cedars.

Faires, a 2009 graduate of Skyline High School, is a freshman at Occidental College in Los Angeles, where he studies diplomacy and world affairs.

Skyline senior is presidential scholar semifinalist

Derrik Petrin, a senior at Skyline High School, has been named as a semifinalist for the Presidential Scholar Program.

The 560 semifinalists were selected from more than 3,000 candidates throughout the U.S. based on superior achievements, leadership qualities, personal character, and involvement in community and school activities.

A male and female finalist from each state will be selected in May.

Firefighters graduate from training academy

Eastside Fire & Rescue volunteer firefighters Luke Hansen and Michael Langlois both recently graduated from the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress training courses at the Washington State Fire Service Training Academy, meeting the requirements of Firefighter 1 and 2.

The first 10 weeks of the program provide comprehensive training in all aspects of basic firefighting skills, with an additional two weeks of training to complete the Firefighter 2 certification. The entire course is designed to meet skills established by fire departments as entry-level firefighters.

Hansen is a Station 76 volunteer out of the Tiger Mountain area and Langlois will be responding from Station 85 in Carnation.

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Point guard leads math team to new directions

April 27, 2010

Evan Shieh is passionate about mathematics.

The 17-year-old is the founder of the Washington Math Student Association, a student-run organization aiming to “create a supportive community in Washington for students to pursue math as a hobby, not an obligation.”

Shieh’s love for math is evident in the way he describes the subject.

By Tiffany Xu

“There is something inherently enjoyable about doing puzzles,” he said. “Math is an art form.”

His unique perspective led him to start math clubs at the Pacific Cascade Freshman Campus and Skyline High School, whose math team has earned awards at several regional competitions.

Yet, Shieh said he realized that no organization existed in Washington that provides a complete database of math resources for high school math clubs.

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Broadway classic comes to Pacific Cascade Freshman Campus

April 27, 2010

Count your ponies, put down your bet and grab your dames as Pacific Cascade Freshman Campus students pull up the curtain on “Guys and Dolls.”

“These students have been working hard since the end of February,” said vocal director Joellen Santos. “They’re a great group.”

The directors settled on the show when they found out how many students, especially boys, they had interested in turning out for the spring musical.

“We wanted something that would be flexible, so we could use as many kids in the show as possible,” Director Amy Byus said. “What high school kid doesn’t want to pretend to be a gangster?”

Like the rabble-rousing movie starring Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando, these ninth-graders have some panache of their own to add.

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Good songs, good times at Mostly Americana

April 13, 2010

Yearning for a little apple pie, big band and crooning quartets?

The Fourth of July may be far off but you can have it all by attending Issaquah High School’s fifth annual Mostly Americana chorale concert to honors veterans at 7 p.m. April 17 at the Pacific Cascade Freshman Campus.

With more than 350 performers from local schools and Breath of Aire, a regional Northwest community choir, singing patriotic songs, swing, show tunes, gospel, barbershop, spiritual and rock songs, the event promises to be an evening of fun.

In addition to allowing students to practice with professionals, proceeds from the event go to help the schools pay for travel expenses for the many shows their chorale groups are invited to across the country.

But it isn’t just the songs and fundraising that stirs up emotions; it’s whom the songs are for, said Barbara Irish, the school’s chorale director. Read more

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Gold Stars

April 13, 2010

Issaquah High School

The Issaquah High School community raised $2,100 March 11 during the annual Battle of the Bands competition at the Pacific Cascade Freshman Campus. This year’s competition also doubled as a benefit concert for victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

Hundreds of students, parents and employees throughout the district came to donate their money to the cause and Barefoot Contingent donated its time to play as a special guest. Read more

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Scouts go scuba diving

March 16, 2010

Nick Co, 15, and the dive master take a moment to double check insulated gloves, hood and wet suit between dives. By Judy Co

Cold waters greeted Boy Scouts from Troop No. 609.

Submerging up to 60 feet underwater, 20 of the 39 troop members completed their final dive off Alki Beach for their Professional Association of Diver Instructors certification for scuba diving and their Boy Scout merit badge.

“I’ve been scuba diving before in Maui and it was one of the most fun experiences of my life,” said Scout Sean Fite, 14, who goes to Eastside Catholic High School. “This opportunity came up and I thought I should take it to get my full certification.”

“It was cold,” said Scout Will Dodeward, 15, who goes to Mount Si High School. “I know 46 degrees doesn’t sound cold, but it’s cold.”

These boys seem to be the first ones in the nation to complete the required courses and training for the new Boy Scout merit badge added this year by the national offices, said parent volunteer Judy Co. The troop is the first to place an order for the merit badge, but there is no national database to confirm it for sure, she added.

Troop 609 is one of the largest troops in the area, with members ranging in age from 11-18 and attending schools in Issaquah, North Bend, Sammamish and Renton.

Beneath the water’s surface — once the shock of the cold water wore off — the boys saw a world full of marine diversity. Read more

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Student bands rock out for a good cause

March 2, 2010

Issaquah High School’s leadership class is getting ready to rock for a good cause and its members want you to join them.

The class is hosting its annual Battle of the Bands competition for high school students March 11.

The battle is one of the most anticipated events each year, said student Maria Tilden.

While rocking out, though, your admission and donations will go to a good cause, the American Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund.

About 10 bands from the school will play three songs each throughout the night.

Leadership students are still finalizing the lineup, but they said it’s guaranteed to be a good time for the community.

“I’m looking forward to seeing all the different bands and help expose them to the public, because I just think it’s great that we have so many talented high school bands and I think that is awesome,” said student Lindsay Baringer.

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Community leaders of tomorrow

February 23, 2010

Youth activism can lead to a better world

Teens today are changing the world one day and one life at a time and Issaquah youths are joining the movement.

Volunteering by 16- to 19-year-olds has more than doubled since 1989, from 13.4 percent to 28.4 percent, according to a 2007 report from The Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that oversees service programs in the U.S. Volunteering by that age group is also 36 percent higher than it was in 1974, when it was 20.9 percent. Today, 8.2 million people ages 16-24 volunteer their time.

Mitchell Byron, a Liberty High School alumni who volunteered for Athletes for Kids and is deaf, is one of them.

“I want to give back to a community that has given so much to me,” he said.

Students are learning philanthropy at home; through community organizations, like Kiwanis and Rotary clubs; in children’s leadership groups; and in school, according to the agency’s reports.

Locally, there is an Issaquah School Board policy dedicated to ensuring students learn philanthropy before they graduate, said Superintendent Steve Rasmussen.

“Globally, we want kids to know that we’re in a world that they can impact, personally and in larger groups,” he said. “I want them to know what they do impacts the rest of the world, and it is incumbent upon them to be much wiser than my generation.”

Students in Issaquah have taken that message to heart, not just for their grades, but also in hopes of leaving their world better.

“We have to take action to see the outcome that we want,” said Lindsay Baringer, a senior at Issaquah High School who volunteers with the Issaquah Schools Foundation. “If you help out, the world will be a nicer place to live.”

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Students, driver are OK after downed power lines block bus

January 15, 2010

NEW — 9:25 a.m. Jan. 15, 2010

Downed power lines blocked an Issaquah School District bus carrying students to Pacific Cascade Freshman Campus earlier this morning.

Puget Sound Energy officials assessed the situation and allowed the bus to leave the area, in the 19000 block of Southeast 24th Street near Pine Lake Middle School, at 8:25 a.m. The students and the driver remained inside the bus for safety.

While driving to Pacific Cascade, the bus driver encountered windy conditions and a fallen tree. The tree had caused several power lines to come down on the roadway, Sara Niegowski, district communications director, wrote in an e-mail.

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