Seattle Schools - Good News

 Update: a great story from the Times about the Ballard valedictorian this year.   Mikael Perla got diagnosed with leukemia in the middle of his freshman year.   He spent two grueling years fighting it off (with steroids causing him to have diabetes).   He could have taken time off to fight but he continued his studies. 

Don't mistake Perla's persistence for arrogance. He credits his top grades to hard work and teachers who tutored him.

He doesn't mention that he practically taught himself the language and math of chemistry from textbooks in bed, that he turned in every homework assignment, that he came in after school to do labs when he would be less likely to catch germs from classmates, reluctantly accepting his mom as his lab partner.

Mikael Perla will attend the University of Washington in the fall after completing a summer program in engineering. He's considering a career in medicine.

Good luck, Mikael - you have lots of people behind you.

The West Seattle blog reports that Arbor Heights Elementary raised $500 at a bake sale to help fund cancer research for Seattle Children's Hospital. What a great effort from everyone there.

Top three winners from the district's Science Fair:

Mason Klein, 6th grade at Jane Addams; Ruby Nelson, 7th grade at Whitman Middle; and Bryn Templeton, 8th grade at Blaine K-8. This year's science fair had the biggest turnout yet in terms of students, parents, and other visitors. The fair, held June 7 at the Museum of Flight, had 211 students from 11 middle schools who participated.

Judges volunteered for a half-day from these companies or institutions: Boeing, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research, Google, Institute for Systems Biology, Museum of Flight, Seattle Biomedical Research, US Forest Service, University of Washington, Seattle Public Schools, Wignall Consulting LLC, Starbucks, & Cadence MD.

Staff members in the District are very thankful for funders who financially supported the middle school science fair this year:
• Eureka Lodge #20 FAM of WA
• Puget Sound Engineering Council
• American Statistical Association
• American Institute of Aeronautics and Puget Sound Chapter Astronautics (AIAA)

These organizations donated prizes: Seattle Aquarium, Burke Museum, Museum of Flight, and Woodland Park Zoo. Gary Foss is a friend of the fair and helps in many ways.  

Good work to all the students who participated and a big thank you to all the community supporters.

Adams Elementary won the second annual Schools of Excellence in Arts Education Award presented by ArtsEd Washington together with the Association of Washington School Principals.  This award was presented to just two K-12 schools in Washington State.

From the district press release:

Schools were chosen based on five guiding principles. First, they were required to incorporate all four of the arts disciplines – music, dance, theater and visual arts. They also needed to use creative approaches to learning, encourage parental involvement, learn about other cultures through art, and promote community connections that extend beyond the classroom setting.

Adams was chosen because it “directly integrates the arts into its curriculum and links it to district and state standards.” The PTA, parents and grants have helped to expand Adams’ multifaceted arts program. The school is currently working on creating a “systemic, articulated K-5 arts curriculum plan.”

Good for Adams and I hope it inspires other schools.

Anyone else in their high school marching band ?  (Yay for marching band!)  Ballard's band won third place at the Island Farms Victoria Day Parade held - where else - in Victoria, B.C.

An updated from the thread about the Washington Aerospace Scholars 2012 program.  It was announced that eight SPS high school students - 5 from Ingraham, 1 from Garfield and 1 from Chief Sealth were selected for the WAS summer residency, a one-week session.   They were picked from 297 who applied.

As their final project, students created a proposal for a future colony on Mars. They were challenged to design a colony capable of sustaining 30 colonists for an extended period of time and to create a visual design of their colony. Some of the top designs will be displayed at the Museum of Flight.

Phase 2 of the program is a six-day summer residency experience. In each of the residency sessions, four teams of scholars work cooperatively to plan a human mission to Mars with support from professional engineers/scientists, university students, and certificated educators.

Each session also includes briefings from aerospace professionals, tours of engineering facilities, and hands-on engineering challenges involving model rocketry, robotics, landing devices, and payload lifting. 

President Obama named 97 math and science teachers as winners of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science teaching. Among those winners from Washington State was Robert Ettinger, a science teacher at Mercer Middle School.  Great job, Mr. Ettinger!

Each year the award alternates between teachers teaching kindergarten through 6th grade and those teaching 7th through 12th grades. The 2011 awardees named today teach 7th through 12th grades.
Winners of this Presidential honor receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion. They also are invited Washington, DC, for an awards ceremony and several days of educational and celebratory events, including visits with members of Congress and the Administration.

Denny Middle school students came in first this year for the Math Olympiad competition for all the middle and K-8s in the district.  Good work, Dolphins.


basically said…
All this news is totally awesome, and I would not know about it if I did not read this blog. I know people say you never post the positives, but I always notice that in fact, you do. Thank you for that.
Jet City mom said…
I didn't even know the district had a science fair!
Michael H said…
Too bad they won't be able to give that money to their favored charity. Read the rules on fundraising - and not just the district rules. Read the state laws. I wish these Principals would pull their heads out of their back-sides and realize they can't just do what they want to just because it feels good.
mirmac1 said…
Why the heck doesn't Gates' Wahington STEM help fund the science fair? Is it because the kids weren't taught by their favored TFA teachers?
Anonymous said…
Michael H - can you elaborate a little more on this? Who won't be able to donate to charity, and why? I am not disagreeing with you at all, but trying to find any documents or rules is a trying task at times in this district. A pointer would be a great starting point. I participate in school fundraisers all the time, so I would love to have a source to refer to.


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