This and That And Good News in our District

Tomorrow, Sunday, April 1, Seattle Children's Hospital will be giving away bike helmets on a first-com, first-serve basis.  They have 400 helmets to give away and your child must be present to be fitted properly.  This is happening at the Ballard Commons Park from 10 am to 1 p.m. 

Salmon Bay's Leo Pfeifer won first place in C-Span's documentary video contest.  He won $3,000 and his video will be aired on C-Span on April 25th.  This is the second year in a row Leo has placed in the top tier of this competition.  Students in grades 6-12 created videos with the theme, "The Constitution and You."  They had to select any provision of the Constitution to work on.  Over 1200 videos were submitted. 

Congrats to Leo, his parents and his teachers at Salmon Bay.

In the Global Reading Challenge competition, two Seattle teams have advanced to the next round: Alki Elementary and Adams Elementary.  Those two teams will compete against a Canadian team in video conference competition on April 13th.

Adams was the city winner with Alki also qualifying.   The competition is between teams made up of 4th and 5th graders. 

Good luck to both teams!

Also out Ballard way, news that the Robotics Club at Ballard High won first place last weekend at the Seattle Olympic Regional FIRST Robotics competition.  They won with a basketball-shooting robot that competed against other robots in a basketball game.  Ballard now goes on to nationals in St. Louis.

Two Hamilton International students, Jessie Ma and Tiffany Shen, designed a state flag for the Youth Art Month flag contest and their entry was selected as the winner.  Both traveled to Washington, D.C. last week with their art teacher to see their flag displayed at the Flags Flying High Celebration.

Roosevelt High teacher Tom Nolet has been named a finalist for Civic Educator of the Year by the state legislature.  Mr. Nolet was co-founder of RHS's Hand for a Bridge program more than a decade ago which sponsors exchanges between RHS students and student in South Africa and Northern Ireland. 

I know Mr Nolet and his work and he is one the best teachers we have in our district.

Principal Appointments

Chanda Oatis at Alki Elementary - She has been serving as interim principal this year and had previously been at Denny as an assistant principal.  She won the Washington State Assistant Principal of the Year for 2012. 

Neil Gerrans at Lawton - Dr. Gerrans has been serving as interim principal at Lawton this year.  Before coming to Lawton, Dr. Gerrans taught in the Renton School District.  Interesting fact: his PhD is in computational electromagnetics.  (Get this guy a STEM school.)

Chris Kinsey at Chief Sealth High School - Mr. Kinsey has also been serving as an interim principal this year.  He has taught at Meany and worked administratively at Hale, Eckstein and Cleveland.

Kristina Bellamy-McClain at Emerson Elementary - Principal Bellamy-McClain has been serving as interim principal and previously was an administrator at Denny. 

The district wants you to know that they use NONE of the ammonia-treated beef (better known as "pink slime") that has been in the news lately. 


mirmac1 said…
Would be interesting to know HOW much teaching experience these "instructional leaders" have...
seattle citizen said…
Hot Java, Cool Jazz poured over the packed house at the Paramount last night, a demonstration of "good news" and partnership that has been going on for 17 years and raised a quarter million dollars for public school music programs.

Starbucks, and partners in the local jazz community, yearly support musuc programs by offering this evening of some of the best live jazz to be heard in the city.

The incredibly talented jass bands represented last night were
along with two middle school bands (during seating and at intermission): Eckstein and, I regret I don't know the other one, we were a tetch late...

Best of all, this money is given to the schools so staff on-site can determine the best use of it to advance their programs. Starbucks isn't telling them how to make music, it's just demonstrating its citizenship by supporting schools, not telling them what to do.
seattle citizen said…
"Jass", jazz wired on too much morning coffee? Or zomezing...
seattle citizen said…
mirmac1, I hadn't read your comment before I commented on the "good news" about Starbucks supporting, no strings, music instruction in schools, but I note that your comment seems to jibe with mine. I haven't read the original post yet, either, but I'll bet the post you're commenting on has something to do with people and organizations which, unlike our friends at Starbucks, use money to direct policy. Am I right or am I right? I'll go read now and see...
Louise said…
Seattle Citizen, I was there too, with two BHS freshman girls who are the marching band and who totally look up to the jazz band kids. Ballard was honored to be invited for the first time. The other middle school band in the lobby was Hamilton. They raised over $40,000 last night, all of which will go to the schools' music programs. What an amazing evening - there was so much talent on that stage, it was incredible.
seattle citizen said…
Yes, absolutely incredible talent. 10-20 musicians, working as a team to create just amazing music.

I wish we could spread more music programs around the city, music of all sorts is such an inspiration to students.

But, even with Starbucks (and others) help we have to speak up to make this happen. I remember when the Cleveland HS BLT had to make the difficult choice to cut its music program: One of the "regular" (non-music) teachers stepped in to volunteer and created a large drum ensemble. Great, wonderful music that the students really focused on and made sublime, but also the pride of,and the example for, the other students.

It was wonderful that that teacher could pull it together, but why was the music unfunded in the first place? It certainly wasn't the fault of the school's budget committee or BLT; it was a lack of FTE to support these things.

Why the lack of FTE? I have no idea/ Maybe we think music and other arts just don't matter. Maybe we think the other tasks of schools are just so expensive (read the comments in the paper about how schools apparently just waste money); maybe these days it's all about data and a musical note, sounded perfectly, isn't measurable by anything but the soul...

We need more music. We need to support all sorts of activities in schools that aren't riectly related to measurable "achievment" but instead merely fill the soul.

Who's with me?
Josh Hayes said…
No strings? So, no orchestra?

(That's a joke, son....)
mirmac1 said…
"Am I right or am I right? I'll go read now and see..."

Okay, sounds like too much coffee : )

It's just that I know at least one of those new permanent principals is a teaching lightweight.
seattle citizen said…
@Hosh - Ha. No pun was intended!

@mirmac - I did read the original post, and your comment is NOT, as I suspected, about the "usual suspects",,,but it could have been!

There's no such thing as "too much coffee"!
Anonymous said…
I was at Hot Java/Cool Jazz -- what an utterly amazing performance from all five bands. Thank you so much to the middle school bands who entertained before the show and at intermission in the lobby. Their schools didn't receive any of the money from the evening (as far as I know), yet these kids actually spent much more time playing than the high schoolers. The younger kids sounded wonderful and I look forward to seeing them on the big stage in a couple of years.
Anonymous said…
seattle citizen, when are you recalling that Cleveland HS didn't have a full-time music instructor and program? I've worked there since 2004 and there has always been a full-time music teacher in that period of time.

--an eagle
seattle citizen said…
an eagle,
1998 or so was the time when Cleveland's BLT had to cut music, and a drum line was formed independently. Perhaps they've since been able to add it back in.
seattle citizen said…
an eagle,
1998 or so was the time when Cleveland's BLT had to cut music, and a drum line was formed independently. Perhaps they've since been able to add it back in.
Anonymous said…
Gerrans should get an existing STEM if he wants placement there. He should not try to turn Lawton into one.


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