July 1, 2009
They volunteer as chaperones, scoliosis screeners and copy room assistants. Mount Si High School’s parent volunteers can be found just about anywhere before, during and after school hours.
But, June 18, the volunteering crowd stopped their work and gathered at the Wildcat Café to be honored for their services. The dozen volunteers sampled punch and cake prepared by Mount Si High School culinary students as two Mount Si musicians entertained them with music.
Wildcat Idol Emily Beekman sang “Never Alone” for the volunteers as her sister, sophomore Amanda Beekman, accompanied her on the piano. Mount Si Assistant Principal Beth Castle followed the presentation with a big thank you to volunteers from the PTSA, Learning Improvement Team, Music Boosters and more.
Parent Lynette Smallwood sat back and sipped on her punch, enjoying the concert. Smallwood, who has a sophomore and a senior at Mount Si, spends her Monday mornings in the high school’s copy room.
Every week, she spends between one and eight hours copying worksheets for the busy teachers at Mount Si. Smallwood also volunteered at Chief Kanim Middle School, but acknowledged she had to go more behind the scenes, as her children grew older.
Still, she figures her volunteer hours help both her children and their school.
“They know I’m here and I get to know their teachers,” Smallwood said.
There are three copy machines at Mount Si, two of which produce double-sided copies. To volunteer, call Mount Si High School at 831-8100.
Pam Stewart, whose son Blaine is a sophomore at Mount Si, chaperones at school dances.
“I get to look at all of the beautiful girls in their dresses and watch everyone dance around,” Stewart said. “It makes you feel good if parents are around.”
She not only gets to know her son’s friends, but also befriends other parents who volunteer, connecting her more with the community.
Noelle Rollins has volunteered in the schools since her children started second grade, but said that volunteering changes as children age.
“It’s not even remotely the same,” said Rollins, who is PTSA co-secretary. “Elementary volunteering is more hands-on, like cutting out silly things and organizing parties. At the high school, it’s more supporting the teachers.”
Teenagers may notoriously tell their parents little, but volunteering can bridge the gap, at least a bit.
“They want their independence and they should have it,” Rollins said. “But I have a connection.”
Volunteering helps Laurie Edwards bond with her daughter Nicky, a freshman at Mount Si.
“Wherever I go, she goes,” Edwards said, ticking off the places the duo had volunteered together, including eighth-grade orientation and Wildcat Days.
“I like it because I get to be around the school before everyone else and I get to know people,” Nicky said.
Mount Si PTSA President Beth Burrows commended the volunteers for their hard work and invited more parents and community members to offer their time to the schools.
“I know this is public education with public dollars,” Burrows said. “They need people to help.”
Reach reporter Laura Geggel at 392-6434 .221 or email@example.com.
July 1, 2009
Six Snoqualmie Valley students in the Highly Capable Program recently took a high caliber test.
Opstad students Megan McCullough, Samantha Bleha, Jimmy Morris, Jacob Engdahl, Ashley Buzard and North Bend Elementary’s Savanah Manos each participated in the Johns Hopkins Talent Search Exam, which tests children on mathematical and verbal reasoning abilities. Last year, about 63,000 children worldwide took the university’s Center for Talented Youth exam.
Engdahl and Bleha scored high honors on the exam and received the Johns Hopkins Washington State Award. Students who receive this award are given the opportunity to take university classes at places like the University of Washington or Stanford University.
Coordinator for the elementary Hi-C program Marcia Townsend offered students who had scored well on the WASL the chance to take the exam. Students had to pay their own admittance fee and take the test on their own time.
“What’s different about the Johns Hopkins is that they’re compared to other children at that high level,” Townsend said. “It’s above grade level and they’re being compared to kids at above grade level.”
July 1, 2009
They run early, they run every week and they run for fun.
Most importantly, though, they run together.
Inspired by his own experience and continued requests from friends, Valley resident Sean Sundwall began the Mt Si Running Club early last month. The group, which includes several dozens of running enthusiasts from around the Valley, meets at 7 a.m. every Saturday at the track at Mount Si High School.