High School Music Students Advance to State Competition
Bellingham, Sehome and Squalicum high school students will compete in the state solo/ensemble contest April 27 and 28 at Central Washington University in Ellensburg.

State competitors are those students who took first place in the Jan. 28 regional solo/ensemble contest at Bellingham High School, where they competed against peers from Skagit, Island and Whatcom County schools.

Contestants at the state-level competition will include the following:

Bellingham High contestants: Caitlin Hill, soprano; Daniella Smith, mezzo; Large Mixed Vocal group, The Showstoppers; Women’s Small Vocal Ensemble, Viens/Hill;   and Abby Senuty, trombone.

Sehome High contestants: Bryce Bernal, Baritone; Small Mixed Vocal ensemble, Sehome Quartet; Shannon Davies, cello; EEEC, small string ensemble;  and large strings ensemble group The Sehome Chamber Orchestra.

Squalicum High contestants: Dakota Stone, viola; small woodwind ensemble Hot Sax; large woodwind ensemble The Octet; Zach Mumford, snare drum; Western Summerton, piano; and Rachel Goertz, guitar.

Squalicum Business Club Excels at Regional Leadership Competition
Squalicum High students won 60 awards in 35 business-related events at the Feb. 14 Northwest Region Future Business Leaders of America Conference in Stanwood, where they competed against students from 10 other high schools in the area.

Thirty-nine students qualified to compete at the State Leadership Conference in April.

First-place winners were: Kayla Chang, Business Math and Marketing Team; Parker DeWilde, Intro to Tech Concepts; Keegan Dohm, Hospitality Management; Maddie Dohm, Word Processing; Patrick Gibson, Global Business Team; Claire Krause, Desktop Publishing Team; Michael Malone, Business Procedures and Personal Finance; Caleb Thorsteinson, Cyber Security; James Tan, Entrepreneurship Team and Marketing; Madeline Vorenkam, Desktop Publishing Team; Rebecca Wilson, Entrepreneurship Team and Marketing Team; and Josh Yeend, Global Business Team.

Bellingham Students Sweep First Place at County Math Championship
Bellingham School District students swept first place for all grade levels at the Whatcom County Math Championship earlier this month.  First place winners were:  Ben Krautwald, Silver Beach grade 4; Jacob Van’t Hoog, Lowell grade 5; Tadeusz Pforte, Fairhaven grade 6; Elliot Nestor, Fairhaven grade 7; and Henry Han, Fairhaven grade 8.

Second place winners from the district included Ethan Flanagan, Lowell grade 5, and Nicholas Bourlier, Fairhaven grade 8.  District third place winners were Anishka Duggal, Wade King grade 4; Nicholas Vulic, Happy Valley grade 5; Trey Herron, Fairhaven grade 6; Christopher Lo, Fairhaven grade 7 and Liam Hood, Fairhaven grade 8.

For the remaining individual results, please visit the county math champions website at: http://www.wcmathchamps.org/WCMC/2012_Results_files/Individual_1.pdf

Alderwood Increases Health and Nutrition with USDA Grant
Alderwood Elementary was awarded a grant of more than $21,000 in the 2011-12 Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).   

The FFVP provides all enrolled students in participating elementary schools with a variety of free fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the school day. It is an effective and creative way of introducing fresh fruits and vegetables as healthy snack options.  Participating schools receive reimbursement of the cost of offering free fresh fruits and vegetables to students throughout the school day. These fresh fruits and vegetables must be provided separately from the lunch or breakfast meal, in one or more areas of the school during the official school day.  

The Washington state program is coordinated through the Office of Superintendent for Public Instruction (OSPI).

Kulshan Students Engage in Energy Conservation Campaign

A sweeping 97 percent of Kulshan Middle School has pledged to reduce carbon usage as part of their  participation in the “Make an Impact – Change Our 2morrow” school challenge. Under the direction of science teacher Criss Forslund, sixth, seventh and eighth grade science students partnered with Alcoa Intalco Works on the challenge to raise awareness about the link between energy use and climate change. Students encouraged staff, families and friends to pledge to reduce carbon usage and to participate in the home Carbon Calculator, making Kulshan a regional leader in pledge numbers.  Kulshan earned $1,000 award for participating in the challenge.

Sehome Coaches Win NFHS Coaches Association State Coaches Awards
Sehome High’s Mark Kerr and Kevin Ryan have been selected by the National Federation of State High School Associations to receive the 2011 NFHS Coaches Association State Coaches Award in girls’ cross country.

Athletic director Colin Cushman commended Kerr and Ryan on successfully managing a highly competitive program that last year was the largest in the state – this past fall, they had more than 170 students in their program. “They find a way to connect with every member of the team whether the students is a beginner or competing for the state title,” Cushman said. “We are extremely fortunate to have coaches who care so much about the kids they coach. They have been doing this for a long time, are very successful at what they do, and seem to get better at it every year.”

Squalicum Business Club Fundraises for Make A Wish Foundation
Squalicum High’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club raised nearly $800 for the Make-a-Wish Foundation during Squalicum’s Make-A-Wish Week on Jan. 30 through Feb. 6. Club members collected donations during lunch and encouraged students to share their own wishes.  These were displayed in the school’s commons.  The FBLA also put on halftime events, including a Make-A-Wish testimony by a Squalicum High senior, at a school basketball game.

“It has been difficult to organize all of this,” said Ellie Stephenson, Squalicum’s FBLA community service coordinator, “but I know the work will pay off with all the benefit our community can do for this amazing organization. I am so excited for what our school can do to change the lives of children in our state.”        

Sehome Student Publishes Novel
Sehome Junior Emily McCracken has published her first novel The Raven King.  In her own words, the story is “a fantasy about a girl who gets wrapped up in a rebellion against a corrupt king.”  Released by Black Rose Writing in January 2012, the book is available online and in local bookstores.



Elementary Teams Compete in Sasquatch Super Bowl 2012
Thirteen grade 4 teams and eleven grade 5 teams from Bellingham School District elementary schools participated in the districtwide Sasquatch Super Bowl competition at the Bellingham Public Library in March. 

Sasquatch Super Bowl is a competition for fourth and fifth grade students who enjoy adding an extra challenge to their pleasure-reading. Each year, school and public librarians nominate a list of recently published books for regional awards - The Sasquatch Award in Washington State, and the Young Readers' Choice Award in the Pacific Northwest.To be a part of this event, students form a team of three to four readers from their grade level.  Fourth graders must read all of the books on the Sasquatch list. Fifth graders must read all of the books on the Sasquatch, plus the Junior Division of the Young Reader's Choice lists.

The schools participating this year included Alderwood, Carl Cozier, Columbia, Cordata, Geneva, Happy Valley, Larrabee, Lowell, Northern Heights, Parkview, Roosevelt, Silver Beach and Wade King.  First place went to the Sugar Plums, Roosevelt's 5th grade team, and to the Beanie Bar-ba-loots, Happy Valley's 4th grade team. (Photos left and below.)

Fifth Grade Exhibition Presented at Wade King
A requirement of an International Baccalaureate school, Wade King Elementary fifth graders presented culminating projects reflecting their engagement in the five essential elements of their Primary Years Program (PYP): knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes and action. These projects were shared with staff, students and families at an exhibition evening in mid-March.  The students displayed a total of 19 exhibits, with students working in teams on their research and displays.  The exhibit themes included global child education, fast food nutrition, a study of leatherback sea turtles, worldwide water pollution and brain cancer, to name a few. See photos left and below.

Aside from the engagement in inquiry, the PYP exhibition also provides students an opportunity to show independence and responsibility in their learning, and to celebrate their transition from elementary to middle school.  For more information about their IB program, visit the Wade King website.