New state assessment tests show nearly 91 percent pass state requirements

In a press release from the Seattle Public Schools today Denny International was included in those that showed improvement in math and writing and reading scores.

From SPS
Continuing the trend of Seattle Public Schools students outperforming the state average, Seattle students’ average scores were nearly 4 points higher than the state average and were at or above the state averages in 17 out of 20 tested subjects and grades, according to test results released today by the Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

These results are a remarkable accomplishment given that most large urban school districts typically perform below state averages. In 2010, across all grades tested, Seattle exceeded the state average by 7.3 points in math, 1.7 points in reading, and 4.5 points in science. Charts comparing Seattle results with the state can be downloaded from the links at right.

Move complete; a ribbon cutting is set for Sep. 7

Westside School is in their new home at 7740 34th S.W. in the E.C. Hughes building and they couldn't be happier. The school is a beehive of activity with teachers, and parent volunteers all preparing for the coming school year.


Jo Ann Yockey, Head of the School, took the West Seattle Herald on an exclusive tour of the new home for Westside and pointed out the surprising and delightful aspects they discovered when they moved in.

"I'm in heaven," said Yockey, referring to the much larger space the school now has, "and we've filled up the building and so it's great. To see it come together, cleaning it up, you don't know when you are getting an old building but it's all wired for the internet, the security is fantastic."

Photo credit: 
Patrick Robinson

The move to the once mothballed E.C. Hughes school building has given Westside School a huge amount of room to grow. The facility had a lot of surprises for the new tenant including full internet capability, security cameras, and lots of light from the windows that are part of the charm of the building.

Seattle Public Schools has sent an invitation to attend the grand opening of Chief Sealth International High School on Sept. 7 at 9:30 AM.
Attendance at the event is limited however so you must RSVP to Dick Lee at 206) 252-0476 or email at

Sealth has been undergoing a $50 million remodel and renovation for the last 2 plus years and will be ready to open for students.

Here's the official invitation wording:

Seattle Public Schools and Chief Sealth International High School
cordially invite you to help celebrate the:

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010
9:30 a.m.- 10:30 a.m.
Please assemble at the main entrance
At 2600 SW Thistle Street at 9:15 a.m.

Please R.S.V.P. to Dick Lee
at (206) 252-0476 or email at
by Monday, August 30th, 2010 - 4:00 p.m.

ribbon Cutting.jpg

Summer Bridge 2010 at Sealth for incoming 9th Graders

August 23-27, 2010 Summer Bridge is for all incoming 9th graders to Chief Sealth High School, and all are strongly encouraged to attend. (Why wouldn't you, right???) During our time from 8:30-11:30, you'll learn High School 101: All that you need to be successful at Sealth!

Contact the school for more information
Main Office
(206) 252-8550

Repeats every day until Fri Aug 27 2010 .

The Swinery at 3207 California Ave. S.W. not only has a new Operations Manager, in the person of Chef Joseph Jimenez but they have formed an agreement with South and Seattle Central Community Colleges to help educate their culinary students on butchery and animal breakdown techniques and practices. The program is called the Seattle Central Culinary Academy.

"I personally learn more every time I instruct other people in how to do this. It gives me a chance to really look deeper at the whole process," said butcher Joey Brewer.

Through Head Chef Garrett Daugherty's connections (he's a graduate of the SCCC program) he arranged to bring in the students to gain some real world experiential training. "When we took over the shop, Sarah Wong, who is a fifth quarter instructor at the school, decided to come over here on Friday's and help us out. We said we were going get a cow and she rallied up some troops to help us break it down, "
Daugherty said.

swinery class.jpg
Photo credit: 
Patrick Robinson

Butcher Joey Brewer demonstrates butchery techniques for David Elliott, of SSCC and Rita Hanhardt, Kyle Wysner of SCCC.

Former Highline School District athletic director Jackie Lewis filed a claim Tuesday against the district alleging he was unfairly demoted from an assistant principal to a teacher because of the actions of former Evergreen campus athletic director Daylene Boehm.
Daylene Boehm is no longer on leave and has been reassigned as an elementary teacher, according to district spokeswoman Catherine Carbone Rogers. Daylene Boehm has a continuing contract with the district. The specific elementary has not been determined.
"She still has a job in Highline," Rogers reported.

Rogers noted the investigation of Daylene Boehm has not been concluded.

Lewis has been reassigned to a secondary school, yet to be determined, according to Rogers. Lewis also had been assistant principal at Highline High in Burien.

In the claim, Lewis said Daylene Boehm's direct supervisor, Evergreen Principal Paula Montgomery was not significantly disciplined. Montgomery, one of the principals of three small academies on the Evergreen campus, also supervised Evergreen's athletic program last year.

$50 million remodel will make school a regional showpiece

The West Seattle Herald recently toured the refurbished Sealth International High School, now two and a half years into construction. Robert Evans, project manager for Heery International and sub consultant to DKA Architecture the Construction Program Manager for the project, and Principal John Boyd were our guides for the two-and-a-half hour peek at what they believe will be a world-class facility. Absher Construction is the General (primary) Contractor.

Other adults present were heard commenting that they wish they could go back to high school as they seemed in awe of the modernization.

A construction levy in February 2007 provided 125 million dollars for two buildings in the West Seattle area. One was the construction of a new Denny Middle School and the other was the renovation of Sealth. Denny was allocated funds to build a new school (75 million dollars) and Sealth was allocated 50 million dollars for remodeling. The work on Sealth is nearly complete and they will open this fall.

A complete overview of the project is available online at

See video
Photo credit: 
Patrick Robinson

Sealth Principal John Boyd stands on the walkway of the Galleria, a shared dining and activity space on the campus of the newly remodeled and upgraded school.

Alki Elementary and Madison get new principals too

Seattle Public Schools made several announcements today regarding personnel, but the most significant for West Seattle was the naming of the new principal at West Seattle High School, to succeed the departing Bruce Bivins. They also named new principals for Alki Elementary and Madison Middle School.

Here's the SPS press release:
Ruth Medsker has been appointed interim principal at West Seattle High School.

For the past five years, Ms. Medsker has served as an education director for Seattle Public Schools, during which time she directly supervised nine middle schools and 10 K-8 schools in the district.

Prior to that time, she was principal and assistant principal at Seattle’s Mercer Middle School. In 2004, Medsker received the Alliance for Education’s Thomas B. Foster Award for Excellence for outstanding leadership. She also received two awards from the Association from Washington School Principals: as a Seattle Regional Distinguished Principal in 2004 and as a Seattle Regional Distinguished Assistant Principal in 2003.


Two unexpected speakers added extra drama June 23 to the Highline School Board's regular meeting.

Ayanna Brown, mother of 12-year-old Alajawan Brown who was gunned down in a case of mistaken identity in the Rainier Valley April 29, urged school officials to listen to at-risk students and provide them with activities to keep them out of trouble.

Burien resident Lorin Sandretzky, better known as "Big Lo, Seattle's biggest sports fan," requested district staffers find a better field for the Burien Bearcats youth football team.

Brown also supported the Bearcats' request, noting, "Kids need something to do" to keep them out of gangs.
"A 35-year-old gang member shot my baby," Brown declared.

She also spoke in support of The Movement, a nonprofit Tukwila-based group that works with high-risk youth through mentorship and personal development training.
Big Picture High principal Jeff Petty said the group has worked the past two years at his school "using the power of story to reach out to kids." Big Picture is an alternative high school that emphasizes learning through internships. It is housed at the old Glacier High building in SeaTac.

Photo credit: 
Eric Mathison

Lorin Sandretsky, better known as 'Big Lo, Seattle's biggest sports fan," addresses the Highline School Board Wednesday night.

Following an investigation of the athletic program, Highline Public Schools administrators have posted job openings for a new district athletic director and Evergreen High School campus athletic director.

Jackie Lewis, the district's athletic director is on leave following revelations that Jayson Boehm, a substitute Highline Field stadium manager, had given physicals to male students without appropriate medical supervision. Boehm, who had been hired to provide first aid at athletic events, was not licensed to give physicals. The district fired him.

Daylene Boehm, Jayson Boehm's sister, was also placed on leave. The district is now advertising an opening for her former position.
The district is also advertising for a coordinator of athletics, which is a lower job classification than district athletic director, according to spokeswoman Catherine Carbone Rogers.

However, the job is a full-time position. Lewis served part-time as athletic director.
He was also an assistant principal at Highline High School. Whether Lewis returns to Highline High or the Highline district is on hold, pending the conclusion of the investigation and an athletic program audit.

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