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Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Couple of Shout-Outs

To JSIS principal, Kelly Armaki, who won the 2010 Milken Educator Award for Washington with a $25,000 cash prize. Good for him and good for JSIS.

(One slightly sad note: the OSPI website story says that he works to connect Spanish immersion students with native Spanish speaking ELL students. This is great but if you will recall from the NSAP discussions, fewer native speakers will be able to go to JSIS because it is an attendance area school, not an option school.)

As well a shout-out to Lowell Elementary, Stevens Elementary 2nd grade and South Shore Elementary for creating altars for Dia de Muertos at Seattle Center. I'm sure that was a great project for kids, both interesting and educational. There will be altars at the Center House and a candlelight procession from the Center House to the International Fountain at 7 p.m. on Saturday. As well, there are other activities on both Saturday and Sunday.

For those who may not know, Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a traditional Mexican celebration with rituals that dates back centuries. In most of Mexico, November 1 honors children and infants (Dia de los Inocentes) while November 2 is Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). People go to cemetaries to be with their loved ones, tidying up or decorating graves, building little altars with the deceased's favorite food and drink and music. (It can be a bit like an Irish wake on a grave with a lot of remembering of good times.) As well, in most of Europe, November 1 is All Saints Day, a holiday.

7 comments:

Sahila said...

Milken Foundation - sired and run by convicted and jailed junk bond king Mike Milken, who says the purpose of education is to train the next generation of workers and consumers...

Yep - I'd be proud of my award and have fun spending the cash....

wseadawg said...

C'mon Sahila. This is about Kelly, not Milken.

This is great for Kelly & the staff at JSIS. This is more proof that bold initiatives at the school and community level vs. the district level are what really work best.

Kudos to Kelly for recognizing the contributions of staff, without whom, he would not have had such success.

Collaboration, not competition, bears the biggest fruit.

BigB said...

I'm with you wseadawg. It is a big deal to Kelly and the school community. It was also a big enough deal for State Super Randy Dorn to attend but our own super, who was slated to attend, was a no-show.

Rebecca said...

You can see a touching video clip of Mr. Aramaki receiving the award on the MyWallingford blog.

Bird said...

I'm happy for him. We're at JSIS.

Kelly's been great to work with in dealing with the problems coming out of the NSAP. He's been very responsive, very interesting in working with parents and teachers to find solutions that work for them, and very aggressive at dealing with the problem. I can easily imagine him dealing with other problems in a very aggressive but collegial manner.

And, yeah, the loss of the ELL program is a sad outcome of the NSAP. The ELL program was big part of the international-ness of the school. Yet another reason for ths school to be an option program.

Melissa Westbrook said...

That was a great video of Principal Armaki getting the award.

Anonymous said...

I do not know anything about the Milken Foundation, but my child is at JSIS, and I do know Mr. Aramaki. He is the best principal that I know, very dedicated, very hard working and accessible. He is always available to parents, and spends a lot of his time talking to the kids to see how they are doing and what their concerns are. He is not a politician like many of the people who become principals are, when you talk to him about your concerns, you actually get answers and actions and not just lots of political mumble jumble. He is also very concern about social justice and the welfare of FRL and special ed/ELL students. JSIS used to have our own fundraising for our international arts program, but this year, Mr. Aramaki is really advocating for the joint fundraiser (of all 5 international schools), as perhaps some of the other schools might have less access to funding resources. So I think it is very unreasonable to be criticizing him for receiving an award for his hard work. And absolutely he should be proud of receiving it, we are of him.

JSIS parent