With 2009 coming to a close, here is a look back at some of the biggest stories of the year. Click the image above for a slideshow of the year in photos.
Ballard thief arrested
By Michael Harthorne
A 46-year-old man suspected of stealing from numerous businesses in Ballard in the past weeks was arrested Dec. 31 near 20th Avenue Northwest and Market Street for an outstanding warrant in Missouri.
According to victims, the man is suspected of entering businesses on Market Street and Ballard Avenue during business hours and taking money from back offices, safes and employees’ purses.
“I’m glad he’s been caught,” said Kylee Harris, owner of Cugini Café on Ballard Avenue. “But, I think the real thing we need to figure out is how to bust him for what he’s stolen.”
Macefield house to be sold
By Michael Harthorne
The house once belonging to Edith Macefield that has stood empty in a cocoon of new development since her death in June will be sold by its new owner, Barry Martin of Ledcor Construction.
On Nov. 18, the Seattle School Board voted unanimously to approve the New Student Assignment Plan boundary maps. The New Student Assignment Plan and recently approved boundary maps will be phased in beginning in the 2010-2011 school year for students at entry-grade levels—usually kindergarten, sixth and ninth grades.
The final maps will reflect the changes included in an omnibus amendment submitted by the School Board Executive Committee that outlines adjustments for the Whittier and Loyal Heights attendance areas.
Staff will incorporate the approved amendments to the boundaries into a final set of maps. Those maps, and an updated address look-up tool, will be available on the district’s Web site next week.
In what was one of the more controversial aspects of the new attendance areas, the northern boundary for Ballard High School will remain Northwest 85th Street.
Seattle Public Schools is committed to providing an excellent education for every student and we are dedicated to preparing every student to graduate from high school ready for college, careers and life.
The District’s strategic plan, Excellence for All, focuses on raising student achievement by ensuring excellence in every classroom, strengthening leadership throughout the district and building an infrastructure that works well.
As part of Seattle Public Schools’ engagement process, the community is invited to four meetings designed to share information about curriculum alignment. One of the key strategies of our strategic plan, Excellence for All, is to align curriculum across the district to provide consistently high standards in every classroom.
The high school curriculum alignment projects will result in aligning high school Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies and World Languages core classes to college-ready standards, revising course offerings in academic subjects to better prepare students for college, careers and life and providing professional development for teachers to support their delivery of the aligned curricula.
Boundary maps for Seattle Public Schools were presented during the School Board workshop on their New Student Assignment Plan at John Stanford Center auditorium on Tuesday, November 3rd. The boundaries are used to determine which school students in elementary, middle school and high schools will attend. The SPS Communications Department has built an address lookup tool which can be found here:
The links specific to certain schools are as follows:
Sealth High School
West Seattle High School
Denny Middle School
Madison Middle School
Alki Elementary School
Ballard may be known as a Scandinavian enclave, but one North Beach family is creating a new generation of Francophones right in their own backyard.
Isabelle and Sean Kuhlmeyer haven been operating La Petite Maison, a French immersion preschool, in the home of a north Ballard neighbor for the past year and a half.
The Kuhlmeyers decided to start the school when Isabelle, who is from France, was pregnant with her son Cedric and was having no luck finding a place for him to learn the language before he was 2.
"He has to be able to say, 'Hey, that's my ball' in French on the playground," Isabelle said of Cedric, who will be visiting his cousin in France regularly.
There are a few French immersion preschools and daycares in Seattle, but none close to Ballard, and the Kuhlmeyers said they weren't quite what they were looking for.
Isabelle said they did not want a 25-child school in a commercial space.
La Petite Maison is the realization of that desire. There are five to six children on any given day in the home of the neighbors, who are on a multiyear tour of the globe.
Instructors Bruce Scott and Jessie Murphy taught the fundamentals with some novice motorcycle riders during motorcycle training classes on Saturday, Oct. 10 in the north parking lot of South Seattle Community College.
The training was conducted by Evergreen Safety Council, who holds a contract with the state to offer rider courses as part of the Washington Motorcyle Safety program. This was a two-day novice rider course, teaching people how to ride and enabling them to get a waiver for skills testing with the Department of Licensing.
Twelve students attended the Saturday class.
"This class involves learning the basics, riding 40 feet and stopping, just to get familiar with basic operation," said, Jessie Murphy a second instructor.
Ballard High's Jesse V. Chugani is one of several Seattle Public School students who was announced as a semifinalists in the 55th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
The Seattle students are among 16,000 students nationwide who earned top scores on the 2008 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.
These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for about 8,200 National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $36 million, that will be offered next spring.
To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and approximately half of the finalists will
win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.
Seattle students competing for the 55th annual National Merit Scholarship Program:
Lily I. Albrecht, Garfield High
Kate A. Lemly, Garfield High
Jixia Ao, Roosevelt High
Annika Linde, Garfield High
Lillian L. Brown, Garfield High
Jesse V. Chugani, Ballard High
Ted Nutting, a 12-year veteran math teacher at Ballard High School, was presented the first ever PI Award for excellence in math education during a Sept. 17 Ballard PTSA meeting.
The award was given to Nutting by Where's the Math?, a non-partisan advocacy group of parents, educators, and community members in Washington, for raising the Advanced Placement test scores of his AP Calculus students to the highest in the Seattle School District over the last two years.
Ballard High School Principal Phil Brockman said the test scores are just amazing.
"He knows how to do it," Brockman said. "He knows how to reach those kids."
In 2007, Nutting was selected to present "The Ballard Miracle: How AP Calculus Scores Quickly Rose from the Depths to the Stratosphere" to a conference of superintendents.
Brockman said Nutting's success in teaching comes from his high expectations of students and his knowledge of the curriculum.
"The bottom line of every great teacher is knowing what to teach and how to teach it," Brockman said. "He knows mathematics. He knows that material forward and backward."
With school back in session the need to raise extra money will start to boggle the minds of many parents. Wrapping paper, candy bars, cookies and magazine subscriptions are just a few of the many items kids take home to sell to neighbors and friends to support their schools.
A few year ago, owner of Ballard's Market Street Traders Tammy James teamed up with Annie Adams of Globaledventures, a non-profit organization formed to provide education to work toward alleviating world poverty, to create the Fair Trade Fundraiser program.
“People buy stuff in this store (Market Street Traders), so why not give to the schools through fair trade fundraising?” Adams said. “Why not empower and educate kids through fundraising?"
James and Adams realized that many schools go through large corporations when choosing fundraising items. But, Adams said that most of the money earned just feeds back into the corporations that are already making loads of money.
“So, why not do something that actually has meaning behind it?” Adams said. “Kids are able to see that they’re making a difference in somebody’s life and money isn’t just going back to big businesses.”
Students attending Seattle Public Schools will be heading back to school on Sept. 9 and West Seattle's School Board representative Steve Sundquist will be at Uptown Espresso at 9 a.m. tomorrow to talk to the community about any concerns or ideas.
Uptown Espresso is located at 3845 Delridge Way S.W.
Sundquist said anyone not able to make it can contact him with their concerns at (206) 252-0040 or firstname.lastname@example.org.