More students venture into digital classroom for online courses

November 20, 2012

Matthew McSweeney, 17, works at his online math course after school at Skyline High School. He says he finds math easier now that he’s learning about it online. By Lillian O’Rorke

Matthew McSweeney spends a lot of time on the computer, so when the senior at Skyline High School failed geometry last year his parents suggested he give math class another go, but instead online.

Fast-forward to fall semester and McSweeney is less than half way through his online course but is already three weeks ahead in the material.

“Some people think it’s hard, but for me I think it’s easier, because I just learn better through a computer,” he said, explaining that he has a hard time concentrating in class because it’s hard to ignore all the other things going on around him. “So, instead, I can work at home and not have to hear other students and it’s more personal.”

It also helps, he added, that the credit retrieval course in basic math explains everything with digital pages full of step-by-step instructions that he can review anytime he has questions.

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Wedding: McManus, Schaffer

November 20, 2012

Kelly McManus and Noah Schaffer

Kelly Ann McManus and Noah Martin Schaffer, both of New York City, were married Oct. 6, 2012, at the Tribeca Grill, in New York City.

Cory Labanow officiated. A reception followed at the Tribeca Grill.

The bride, the daughter of Rich and Karen McManus, of Issaquah, is a 2004 graduate of Issaquah High School. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology in 2008 from Western Washington University. She is currently a student at Hunter College School of Social Work.

The groom is the son of Eric and Gretchen Schaffer, of Pondicherry, India, and Fairfield, Iowa, respectively. He is a 2000 graduate of Willistone Northhampton High School. He earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Iowa in 2005, and master’s and doctorate degrees in usability in 2009 from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He works at Human Factors International.

The couple honeymooned in Barbados.

College News

November 6, 2012

Liberty grad is Harvard College Scholar

Jay Chakravarty, the 2011 valedictorian of Liberty High School and a student at Harvard University, has been designated a Harvard College Scholar.

Students of the sophomore, junior and senior classes in the top 10 percent of their respective classes are designated Harvard College Scholars.

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Bellevue College selects president; Issaquah campus is on horizon

November 6, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Nov. 6, 2012

Bellevue College trustees selected a Portland Community College administrator Monday to lead the local institution.

David Rule

The choice of David Rule to lead the largest community college in Washington came as Bellevue College envisions a campus in the Issaquah Highlands. City officials said college administrators intended to select a permanent president before delving deeper into the plan.

Rule, president of Portland Community College’s Rock Creek campus, oversees 26,000 students. The campus boasts innovative curricula in solar-voltaic manufacturing, microelectronics and biosciences.

“I am thrilled to have been chosen as the next president of Bellevue College,” Rule said in a statement. “I look forward to beginning this new adventure and working with the trustees, students, faculty, staff, businesses and the community to build on the strong foundation that already exists at this institution,” Rule said.

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Pragmatism defines Issaquah, Eastside voters

October 30, 2012

Local voters could choose a Democrat for the White House, a Republican for the Governor’s Mansion and split legislative seats between the parties.

Experts said voters in Issaquah and the Eastside prefer a brand of politics anchored in pragmatism, rather than party. The effort to appeal to moderate voters is intense as candidates scrounge for votes in the last days before Election Day.

“Democrats and Republicans both get elected there. I think of it as a pragmatic, rather than ideological, sort of politics, which is what Washington state used to be known for,” independent Seattle pollster Stuart Elway said. “I think the state as a whole has gotten more partisan, as the country has, and the party lines seem to have gotten harder.”

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Engagement: Schubert, Hall

October 30, 2012

Brandon Hall
and Jessica Schubert

Jessica Rose Schubert, of Issaquah, and Brandon Keith Hall, of Kirkland, recently announced their engagement to be married on May 12, 2013, at Pickering Barn, in Issaquah.

The bride-to-be, the daughter of Gary and Teresa Schubert, is a 2008 graduate of Issaquah High School.

She graduated in 2012 from Western Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in cultural anthropology.

The future groom, the son of Brian and Christine Hall, is a 2007 graduate of Bellevue Christian School.

He graduated from Northwestern University’s Pastoral Ministries. He works as a middle school pastor at Westminster Chapel.

Gubernatorial hopefuls support hatcheries, parks

October 23, 2012

Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna clashed in a recent series of debates, but the candidates vying to serve as Washington’s next governor share similar positions on local issues, such as support for the state parks system.

Jay Inslee

Rob McKenna

The race at the state level is focused on the candidates’ policies on education and transportation — hot topics on the docket as Inslee and McKenna met in recent weeks.

The Issaquah Press asked the candidates about funding for state parks, salmon restoration and growth management — key concerns in Issaquah and the surrounding area.

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Change in geography alters landscape for congressional race

October 23, 2012

Karen Porterfield

Dave Reichert

The showdown in the 8th Congressional District is far different from the most recent contests for the seat.

Incumbent Republican Dave Reichert held on amid spirited challenges from Democrats in 2006, 2008 and 2010. Redistricting last year reshaped the landscape for the district, and the 2012 race is not attracting the same kind of attention — or money — as the earlier battles.

Reichert’s opponent is Issaquah Democrat Karen Porterfield, a nonprofit professional and adjunct instructor at Seattle University.

Porterfield grew up in Seattle, in a family active in Democratic politics, and settled in Issaquah more than a decade ago. She said the expertise she gained in affordable housing development and in leadership roles at nonprofit organizations means she could offer a unique perspective in Congress.

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Issaquah High School graduates embark on trip of a lifetime

October 2, 2012

The transition between college graduation and the rest of one’s life can be an uncertain time as students enter the job market and walk down the path to true adulthood.

So, three recent Western Washington University graduates with strong Issaquah roots decided that now was as good a time as any to head off on the trip of a lifetime, before a career gets in the way.

Matt Benson, Justin Kay and Andrew Baer have been friends since elementary school and the three have remained close through their time at Pine Lake Middle School, Issaquah High School and finally, Western Washington University.

The 2008 Issaquah grads will travel to Europe on a monthlong excursion, visiting England, France, Germany, Spain, and possibly the Netherlands and Italy.

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Personal stories define Referendum 74 discussion

September 25, 2012

Dana Alixander (left) and partner Sage Alixander stand on the staircase of their Sammamish home with their California-issued marriage license and photographs chronicling their life together. By Greg Farrar

In the moments before the state Senate voted on a landmark same-sex marriage bill Feb. 1, Dana Alixander joined other supporters in the gallery overlooking the chamber.

“I was there, waiting for history to happen — and terrified that it wouldn’t,” she said in a recent interview.

Legislators, after impassioned debate, passed the bill and sent the measure to the state House of Representatives for consideration. In February, Gov. Chris Gregoire signed the legislation as supporters looked on from the packed State Reception Room at the Capitol.

The measure, Referendum 74, goes before voters on the November ballot. Opponents to the same-sex marriage law gathered enough voter signatures to put the measure before the electorate.

R-74 is the centerpiece in a high-dollar, high-profile contest in the national battle between same-sex proponents and foes.

Alixander headed to Olympia to support marriage rights — a long-running fight for the Sammamish resident and partner of 22 years, Sage. (In 2008, Sage and Dana got married in California before Proposition 8 outlawed same-sex marriages there.)

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