Plucky students meet ukulele master

May 13, 2014

Riley Frasier’s mother could hardly keep her 7-year-old from popping out of his seat.

Every time world-renowned ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro started plucking a symphonic range of sound few others have ever drawn out of the short, four-stringed instrument, Riley had to stamp his feet, rock his head so hard his glasses could barely stay on his nose and strum the air.

And who could blame him? Certainly not other fans of Shimabukuro’s ukulele solos, an eclectic and international audience that includes the likes of cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder and the Queen of England (who has shaken Shimabukuro’s hand).

By Lindsey Wasson/The Seattle Times Jake Shimabukuro plays ‘This Land Is Your Land’ with dozens of students from Sunny Hills Elementary School, among them Ellie Lindley, Natalie Anderson and Mia Rogers in the front row.

By Lindsey Wasson/The Seattle Times
Jake Shimabukuro plays ‘This Land Is Your Land’ with dozens of students from Sunny Hills Elementary School, among them Ellie Lindley, Natalie Anderson and Mia Rogers in the front row.

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Letters

May 6, 2014

Tiger Mountain

Librarian hopes school will continue for years to come

My personal experience with Tiger Mountain Community High School was limited to about an hour and a half on Dec. 7, 1992.

I was at that time the young adult librarian at the Issaquah Library, and I visited the school to present a program to a group of young parents.

I didn’t know what would be of interest, but I took along cloth books, board books, books about making toys or clothes or baby food — everything I could think of.

In my entire career as a librarian, I’ve never addressed such an interested, even rapt, audience! Those students were so keen to see the materials I’d brought. They loved the hand puppets (which at that time were for circulation), and some decided then and there to convert the stuffed toys they were scheduled to make into hand puppets instead. Their teacher agreed to help them with the project.

I was able to give every parent a copy of “Goodnight Moon,” (and incidentally, I’d really had to work to persuade the library administration to let me have those books for that particular audience).

The teenagers were happy to show me their lovely babies after the program, and to tell me how they were caring for them — only 15 or 16 years old, but devoted caregivers.

I’ve often thought of those students and their children, children who would now be much older than their parents were in 1992. I do hope their lives turned out happily. I’m sure that attending Tiger Mountain Community High School helped a lot in that respect, and that the school will continue to assist all its students for years to come.

Marnie Webb

Issaquah

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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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Safety, security details changing in Issaquah schools, administration

March 25, 2014

Shortly before Ron Thiele took the reins as the Issaquah School District’s superintendent last July, district officials began looking at ways to heighten security for its 18,000-plus students.

They chose to conduct a safety and security assessment of Issaquah’s 24 schools, as well as its administrative, service and transportation centers.

Michelle Trifunovic, the district’s executive director of middle schools, took charge of the initiative, and the district spent $30,000 to hire a professional school safety expert who could find chinks in the armor.

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Sunny Hills principal takes position with district

May 28, 2013

Sunny Hills Elementary School Principal Sarah White announced that she will leave the school to become the district’s director of instructional support.

“This was not an easy decision to make. I will miss everyone here tremendously,” she wrote in an email to Sunny Hills families. “However, I am following an important life lesson that we try to teach all of our students: Challenge and change are often necessary for growth and fresh perspectives.”

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Sunny Hills Elementary School receives donation for books

January 29, 2013

The Issaquah School Board approved a $5,000 donation from the Sunny Hills Elementary PTA on Jan. 23.

The money is for “Just Right” books for classroom libraries. The books are part of a leveled reading method that determines how well individual students within the same classroom read and then matches them to books that are challenging enough for them to make progress.

Issaquah students cast ballots in mock elections

October 30, 2012

The minimum age to vote is 18, but the hurdle did not stop students throughout the Issaquah School District from casting ballots in the tight races for president and governor.

Educators on local campuses organized mock elections or joined the annual Student Mock Election overseen by the state elections office to educate students about the importance of participation in the political process.

Students at Issaquah and Tiger Mountain Community high schools, Issaquah Middle School, and Creekside, Endeavour and Sunny Hills elementary schools cast ballots in ersatz elections or plan to do so by the actual Election Day, Nov. 6.

Teachers involved in the mock elections said the exercise is about more than determining whether students support Jay Inslee or Rob McKenna for governor.

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Student Mock Election asks for future voters’ opinions

October 25, 2012

NEW — 9 a.m. Oct. 25, 2012

The minimum age to vote is 18, but the hurdle did not stop students throughout the Issaquah School District from casting ballots in the tight races for president and governor.

Educators on local campuses organized mock elections or joined the annual Student Mock Election overseen by the state elections office to educate students about the importance of participation in the political process.

Students at Issaquah and Tiger Mountain Community high schools, Issaquah Middle School, and Creekside, Endeavour and Sunny Hills elementary schools cast ballots in ersatz elections or plan to do so by the actual Election Day, Nov. 6.

Teachers involved in the mock elections said the exercise is about more than determining whether students support Jay Inslee or Rob McKenna for governor.

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Issaquah schools receive $150,085 in donations

October 16, 2012

Programs and classrooms in the Issaquah School District got a $150,000 boost last month in the form of donations.

The various gifts were approved by the school board during its regular meetings Sept. 12 and 26.

The first allotment, $90,750 was approved Sept. 12 and included a $56,250 check from the Issaquah Schools Foundation. The money is set to be divided among four district programs — $12,750 for financial literacy, $18,000 for high school robotics, $7,500 for middle school robotics and $18,000 for pre-K summer school.

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Spurred by Skyline threat, absences jump 70 percent at other schools

September 25, 2012

Student attendance in the Issaquah School District tumbled Sept. 20, and absences spiked by 70 percent, as police investigated a shooting threat against Skyline High School.

District administrators decided late Sept. 19 to close Skyline the next day in response to the online threat and keep other campuses open. Staffers and students at other schools felt the ripples early.

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