"One-third of the 15 high-school jazz bands selected as finalists for this year's Essentially Ellington competition in New York are from the Seattle area.
The five schools are South Whidbey High School, from Langley; Mountlake Terrace High School; Shorewood High School, from Shoreline; and Seattle's Garfield High School and Roosevelt High School.
Also, Mountlake Terrace High School's Kelsey Van Dalfsen won first place in the Essentially Ellington student-essay context."Eckstein Middle School and Roosevelt also dominated the awards at the Lionel Hampton Competition in Idaho over mid-winter break.
So many parents, students and especially the dedicated directors of these programs, specifically Clarence Acox from Garfield and Scott Brown at Roosevelt deserve a cheer for their hard work. (The only cloud on the horizon would be if the new assignment plan will make it difficult for these music directors to assemble the great bands they now have. Do all these students live in the same area? Will that make other schools rise to the challenge or lessen the abilities of these bands to compete nationally?)
Not to leave anyone (or any competition out), Franklin High and its outstanding mock trial team will move on, along with 4 other regional high schools, to represent King County in the state mock trial competition in Olympia later this month.
There are good things happening in our district and students and educators who want excellence and are willing to work for it.