Press release:

Central Washington University - Des Moines taking applications for fall

Stop by the week of July 15-18th

2400 South 240th Street, Des Moines WA

Next event: New Student Orientation

When: August 7th 1PM-6PM

What: New Student Orientation

Community College Week releases 2013 results

Press release:

Highline Community College in Des Moines earned national recognition as one of the top 100 associate degree producers in 2013 from Community College Week.

Highline was recognized in two categories with a rank of 53 in the Top 100 Associate Degree Producers for Asian American Students and a rank of 29 in the Top 100 One-Year Certificate Producers for African American Students.

Highline had a 16 percent increase in associate degrees awarded to Asian American students and 21 percent increase in one-year certificates awarded to African American students in the 2011-2012 academic year. Community College Week used data provided by the U.S. Dept. of Education for these rankings.

“These honors reflect our mission to support success for all of our students,” said HCC President, Dr. Jack Bermingham. “While we are pleased with these rankings, we continue to strive for excellence and aspire to rise even higher in future standings.”


Most of our new college graduates have a hard time finding jobs, yet Boeing has to import young people to fill its positions that need math and science skills.

Well, of course--reducing taxes prevents schools from being adequately funded. If a student, in spite of that, finishes with a good background in technical subjects, he also finishes with a large debt.

He can't afford to pass on his knowledge by becoming a teacher; he needs the much larger pay he can get from a job in industry.

Science and math classes are left to be taught mostly by people whose primary interests and talents aren't in those subjects. Over the decades, fewer and fewer qualified people are available to even consider teaching them.

Should we keep on letting it get worse, or should we ask the investors in our high-tech businesses to pay a little income tax to finance a quality of education that will produce enough talented employees for both our schools and our industries?

Bruce Pringle
Normandy Park

Highline faculty member named Microsoft MVP

Press release:

Highline Community College faculty member Michael Girvin, has been named as a 2013 Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP).

The Microsoft MVP award is presented annually to recognize outstanding technology community leaders from around the world that share their respective expertise with Microsoft.

“Michael Girvin is a great example of the kind of talent, energy and new ideas that our faculty bring to their work,” said Jeff Wagnitz, Highline’s vice president for academic affairs. “The Microsoft MVP award recognizes his exceptional leadership and vision in creatively applying technology to the teaching and learning process. He’s extraordinarily effective both in teaching about technology and in using technology to teach.”

Girvin is nationally and internationally recognized for his over 1,200 Microsoft Excel how-to videos on YouTube. These video tutorials receive more than 15,000 views daily.

He is also the author of Slaying Excel Dragons, a book designed to give readers a comprehensive understanding of Excel and how to use it.


Highline Public Schools press release:

Highline Public Schools has refinanced a portion of the district’s outstanding capital bonds, taking advantage of a 40-year low in interest rates.

By reducing the interest rate from 5.23 percent to 2.43 percent, this transaction will save taxpayers over $6.6 million over the next thirteen years.

Combined with two other refinancing transactions over the past year, the district has reduced interest costs by nearly $12 million.

“We are grateful for the generous support of our Highline voters who approved capital bonds that ensure our students and staff have safe schools in which to work and learn,” said Superintendent Susan Enfield. “Refinancing at this time allowed us to demonstrate that Highline Public Schools is a responsible steward of the funds that our voters entrust to us.”

Taxpayers benefit directly from these savings. Refinancing bonds is similar to refinancing a home mortgage. Locking in a lower interest rate reduces the overall cost of paying back the bonds, and the savings stays in the pockets of property owners.


Highline Community College press release:

The Highline Community College Library Exhibit and Art Gallery is pleased to announce the arrival of the collection, “Indonesian Cultural Arts from Tanah Air Kita—Our Homeland, Our Land and Water.” This collection will feature traditional Indonesian pieces and crafts such as Batik, woven and dyed textiles, ornamental arts and theatrical crafts.

The exhibit comes to Highline through the efforts of 10 visiting Indonesian faculty members with the Community College Faculty and Administrator Program for Indonesia (CCFA). The CCFA professional development program allows instructors and administrators from Indonesia’s technical colleges to witness how community-based institutions of higher education in the United States deliver quality technical and professional education to vital sectors of society. The faculty arrived at HCC this summer and will stay until mid-December.


At the same time as one local school superintendent started work in a new district, another one stepped down.

Ethelda Burke, facing racial discrimination charges, resigned June 26 as Tukwila School District superintendent, effective June 30. Burke had been on administrative leave since March 27, pending investigation of the charges.

On July1, Susan Enfield moved south from Seattle to assume the Highline Public Schools superintendent position.

In its official response to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC,) Tukwila School Board members said they had found no evidence to support charges that Burke had discriminated against African American staff members who had brought the racial discrimination complaints. Burke is also African American.

However, in a letter to board president Mark Wahlstrom, Burke wrote she had decided to resign.
“It would be impossible for me to return and be effective as superintendent,” Burke wrote. “I want the staff and students of the Tukwila School District to remain focused on education.

“My returning, after what has occurred, would be a distraction from that focus.”


Press release:

Burien, SeaTac, Tukwila, Seattle and four other South King County cities were named All-America Cities by the National Civic League on July 2 based on the region’s ambitious plan to ensure that more children are reading at grade level by the end of third grade.

Chosen from a field of more than 100 entries, the proposal for Seattle and the cities of Auburn, Burien, Federal Way, Kent, Renton, SeaTac and Tukwila was submitted by the Road Map Project, a cradle-to-college-and-career initiative aimed at improving education in South Seattle and South King County. The community was one of 14 awardees selected from 32 finalists.

The awards were handed out at the conclusion of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading conference in Denver. Awardees will compete again in 2016 based on results obtained from efforts to improve third-grade reading.


Music and music education are sometimes thought of as secondary when compared to the reading, writing and mathematics basics. But The Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra (SYSO) is having an impact not just on music appreciation but on the test scores and lives of those they can include.

In 2008, the New York based Wallace Foundation granted $7.7 million dollars to local arts groups with $500,000 going to the SYSO. They expanded their partnership with the Seattle Public Schools through The Southwest Seattle Strings Project.

A video by Lindsay Thomas has been produced (also funded by the Wallace Foundation) on the program that includes interviews with students, a parent and the Director of Orchestras for Denny International Middle School Heather Shaffer who said, "In two years of coaching we've gone from 16 students to about 45 in the sixth grade orchestra. 16 to 45 is a pretty telling indicator of how successful it is and what a need there is for it."

The program provides selected school instrumental music departments with weekly free group instrumental lessons for students in the early stages of learning on the following instruments:

• Violin
• Viola

Southwest Seattle Strings project brings music lessons to local schools
See video
Photo credit: 
Seattle Youth Symphony

West Seattle string students perform Side-by-Side with members of the Seattle Youth Symphony. Students in the get extra instruction through an outreach program offered by the SYSO. Student involvement with music has proven to be beneficial in several key ways. Their next concert is May 20.

Free training classes offered in English, Computers, GED Preparation,
Math, Customer Service and Citizenship

Press release:

Burien Goodwill’s Job Training and Education Center, located at 1031 SW 128th Street, will register people for free classes May 7 – 11, 2012.

The eight-week session runs from May 21 – July 12, 2012.

Classes fill up fast and sign-up is on a first-come, first-served basis!

The center will offer the following classes:

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

Basic Computers: Introductory classes for people with little or no computer skills.
Computer Basics
Computer Basics for ESOL
Microsoft Word
Microsoft Excel
Online Job Search

GED Preparation

Basic/Intermediate Math

Retail and Customer Service

Citizenship Preparation


Open Computer Lab
. Open lab time for help with career related activities, practicing computer skills, or practicing English skills using Rosetta Stone.

For class availability and enrollment information, contact the center at 206-957-1026.

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