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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Students honored at piano competition

April 1, 2014

Several students from Issaquah and Sammamish were awarded prizes at the 17th annual Helen Crowe Snelling Memorial Awards Piano Competition on March 9.

Division one winners from grades six through nine include second-place winner Athena Dai, of Pine Lake Middle School, and third-place winner Lisa Zhou, of Beaver Lake Middle School.

Division two winners for grades nine through 12 include first-place winner Lisa Tang, of Skyline High School, second-place winner Lisa Zhou, of Issaquah High School, third-place winner Kristin Yose, of Skyline, and honorable mention Austin Chang, of Skyline.

 

 

Young musicians take their talents to big stage

March 4, 2014

Heliqiong Sun began playing the piano when she was 4. Ten years later, it’s the instrument she’s most proficient with.

But Sun, an eighth-grader at Beaver Lake Middle School, has some versatility. She picked up the violin three years ago, and has mastered it enough that she can be considered among the best violinists in the state for her age group.

Photos by Neil Pierson Named to the Washington Music Educators Association All-State Orchestra were (from left, during recent school rehearsals) Beaver Lake Middle School violinist Heliqiong Sun; Pacific Cascade Middle School seventh-grade trumpist Sarah Hall, trombonist Emily Ko, bass clarinetist Joshua Lee and eight-grade clarinetist Austin Denton.

Photos by Neil Pierson
Named to the Washington Music Educators Association All-State Orchestra were (from left, during recent school rehearsals) Beaver Lake Middle School violinist Heliqiong Sun.

She was among 58 middle-school students from the Issaquah School District selected for the Washington Music Educators Association’s Junior All-State groups. Students from across the state converged Feb. 15 in Yakima, and they spent several hours rehearsing before the three choirs, two bands and one orchestra took the stage that evening for their performances.

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King County conservation program honors four Issaquah schools

February 24, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 24, 2014

Seven King County schools, including four from the Issaquah School District, were recognized this month by the county’s Green Schools Program for having successful conservation practices.

Students and staff at the seven schools embraced waste reduction, recycling and other conservation actions, program manager Dale Alekel said in a news release.

Three Issaquah elementary schools — Cascade Ridge, Challenger and Endeavour — were given Level 2 recognition for energy conservation, waste reduction and recycling practices.

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Walking in her footsteps

February 11, 2014

Family travels to Tanzania in honor of late daughter

Kristy LeMond was an Issaquah girl.

She grew up in this community she called home, attending Sunset Elementary School, Pine Lake Middle School and Issaquah High School, where she starred on the Eagles volleyball team before graduating in 2007 and enrolling at the University of Washington.

Photos Contributed Above, Barry, Kathy and Kevin LeMond visit in December, for their first Christmas without Kristy, the Tanzania orphanage that stole Kristy’s heart in 2011.

Photos Contributed
Above, Barry, Kathy and Kevin LeMond visit in December, for their first Christmas without Kristy, the Tanzania orphanage that stole Kristy’s heart in 2011.

She had a second home, though, and it was more than 9,000 miles away in a Tanzania community she grew to love deeply after a 2011 post-graduation volunteer trip.

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Special-education programs draw from district M&O levy dollars

January 14, 2014

Like her fellow administrators around the Issaquah School District, Michelle Caponigro is concerned about providing resources for her special-education students.

By Greg Farrar Michelle Caponigro, Pine Lake Middle School principal, visits a computer lab classroom Jan. 10 while giving a tour of the school.

By Greg Farrar
Michelle Caponigro, Pine Lake Middle School principal, visits a computer lab classroom Jan. 10 while giving a tour of the school.

For Caponigro, the principal at Pine Lake Middle School, that means having teachers in two learning resource centers — an LRC I class for students with specific learning disabilities who spend much of their day in a general classroom setting and an LRC II class for students with “significant challenges” who are more difficult to manage.

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Teen writer pens imaginative, adventurous debut

January 7, 2014

Most 12-year-olds spend their summer vacations riding their bike, swimming and trying not to think about school, but Sammamish resident Jacqueline O’Hara sat with her computer and wrote.

During her 2012 summer break, O’Hara authored several small stories, which she began piecing together into a bigger novel. Eighteen months later, the results are available for everyone to read. Tate Publishing picked up O’Hara’s story, “When Circles End,” and released it Dec. 31.

By Neil Pierson Jacqueline O’Hara, a Pine Lake Middle School student, holds her debut novel ‘When Circles End.’

By Neil Pierson
Jacqueline O’Hara, a Pine Lake Middle School student, holds her debut novel ‘When Circles End.’

“It was just kind of a way to stay ready for school when summer ended,” the now 14-year-old O’Hara said of writing the novel.

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Pine Lake student lauded for handling bus emergency

July 2, 2013

On the afternoon of June 11, Pine Lake Middle School student Ernie Yang nearly caught a ride a home with his mother, but his decision to ride the school bus turned out to be an important one.

Yang, 14, was on his way back to his Sammamish home with bus driver Adrienne Gelfer, whom he’d been riding with for three years. Gelfer made three stops, and most of the 70 students she typically carries got off.

Then Gelfer began coughing, and she couldn’t stop. The bus sat alongside the road at a regular stop, which may have caused the dozen or so children aboard to believe nothing was wrong.

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Pine Lake Middle School Geography Bee tests young minds

January 22, 2013

Pine Lake Middle School students Ethan Hines (left) and Arjun Malhotra had to answer several tiebreaker questions in the championship round of the school’s geography bee. By Lillian O’Rorke

Pine Lake Middle School students Ethan Hines (left) and Arjun Malhotra had to answer several tiebreaker questions in the championship round of the school’s geography bee. By Lillian O’Rorke

What Chinese river does the Three Gorges Dam span? The city of Baltimore is next to what large bay? In what city is the Suleymaniye Mosque, which was built to honor the 16th century Ottoman ruler?

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Organizations donate $17,000 to students

January 1, 2013

Students at Pine Lake Middle and Cougar Ridge Elementary schools got an early Christmas present Dec. 12, when the Issaquah School Board approved more than $17,000 in donations from the schools’ PTSA groups.

The Pine Lake PTSA gave $12,000 to support various teacher grants at the middle school.

The $5,350 from the Cougar Ridge PTSA will help make it easier for families to pay camp fees for students attending Camp Warm Beach, an environmental camp that fifth-graders attend every fall.

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