Public Schools

Mark Finstrom passes Certified Education Technology Leader exams

Press release:

Highline Director of Technology Services Mark Finstrom is one just 75 school district technology directors across the country to earn the distinction of Certified Education Technology Leader (CETL).

Only two other technology directors in Washington state have passed this rigorous certification program since its inception three years ago.

“This certification demonstrates Mark’s understanding of cutting edge education technology,” said Superintendent Susan Enfield. “We are extremely proud of Mark’s hard work and dedication to his profession and Highline Public Schools.”

CETL candidates must have a Bachelor’s degree, a minimum of four years of education technology experience, and pass a comprehensive two-part exam based on 10 skill areas.

These areas of study include leadership and vision, strategic planning, ethics and policy, instructional focus and professional development, team building and staffing, stakeholder focus, information technology management, communication systems management, business management, and data management.


Press release:

Current Trustee and past chair of the Highline Community College board, Dan Altmayer of Federal Way has been elected to serve as the president of the Trustees Association of Community and Technical Colleges (TACTC).

TACTC is comprised of all the trustees of the 30 two-year college districts in Washington and provides support and coordination for trustees in the areas of education, communication and advocacy. The vision of TACTC is to insure quality, affordable and lifelong educational opportunities for all the people of Washington State.

“Dan's election as president of TACTC is truly an honor for him and the region, and it reflects his hard work and leadership in the community college system and his commitment to student success,” said Highline’s Board of Trustees chair, Bob Roegner. “We are proud of the recognition Dan has brought to Highline, Federal Way and South King County.”


Press release:

On June 24, 2013, the Burien City Council agreed to a proposal by the Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services (PaRCS) Department that will provide two new after-school programs in partnership with Highline Public Schools beginning this fall. The new programs will include two primary components: academic support and recreational enrichment.

Hazel Valley Elementary School and Highline High School have been chosen as program sites. Highline Public Schools staff will administer the academic support portion which will be scheduled directly after the school day ends. The City’s recreation program will follow, and include physical recreation along with other enrichment activities in the arts, nutrition education, and life skills development.

As part of this year’s Council-adopted Work Plan, the PaRCS Department was asked to identify opportunities for program enhancements in partnership with Highline Public Schools, focusing on programs that would benefit Burien youth. Through discussions with principals and staff at Hazel Valley and Highline High and other program partners, PaRCS staff developed two program proposals to present to the Council.


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.”

Community leader Sili Savusa joins board

News release:

Community leader Sili Savusa has been appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to serve on the Highline Community College Board of Trustees.

Savusa is currently the executive director of the White Center Community Development Association, which promotes the development of White Center through authentic leadership opportunities and community-led, neighborhood initiatives.

She also serves on the Governor’s Commission on Closing the Achievement Gap, the Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs committee and Community Center for Education Results steering committee.

“We are pleased to have Sili as our newest trustee,” said HCC President, Dr. Jack Bermingham. “Her dedication to serving diverse communities in our region and her leadership experience at the policy level will be a great asset to the College.”


News release:

Highline School Board Member Angelica Alvarez was honored with a SOAR Partnership Award for Early Learning for her exemplary leadership and contributions to King County communities.

Alvarez has served on the Highline School Board since 2009 and works at Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) as a PreK-3 Systems Coach. Previously, she was with Child Care Resources for fourteen years.

SOAR is a community coalition that promotes the healthy development of children, youth, and families in King County.

Alvarez is one of just three people to receive the award.

In addition to her work at Highline and PSESD, Alvarez is also Chair of Families and Children Early Support (FACES) South, a coalition of organizations that supports young children in South King County.


It takes a whole community to make a wonderful and memorable Fourth of July Parade.

I want to especially thank Ashley Fosberg, executive director of the Highline Schools Foundation, for helping out the three young women who rode in the parade car for the Fourth of July event. The Highline Schools Foundation, Project PROMise loaned the young women dresses so that they could participate in this event and be elegantly dressed. It gave them the opportunity to be beautiful and glamorous looking for the event.

The Project PROMise program gets its funding and dresses from citizens. In the foundation’s own words, “Highline Schools Foundation (Project PROMise) collects beautiful new and gently worn formal dresses and gowns, shoes, and accessories from throughout our community and invites high school students in need to ‘go shopping’ for the perfect dress for their prom. The dresses are offered to the girls to keep, or they may return them to the foundation to be used the following year.


Over the objections of Burien resident Chestine Edgar, the Highline School Board voted June 26 to negotiate a sale of the former Navos mental health center site to the city of Burien.

Burien wants to use a portion of the property to build a storm water facility for its Northeast Burien Redevelopment Area (NERA) project.

The old Sunny Terrace Elementary School is located at 1010 S. 146th St, near Sea-Tac Airport’s third runway. Navos occupied the 9.8-acre site from 1979 to Oct. 2012, before moving to its new facility at Southwest 136th Street and Ambaum Boulevard Southwest. The Sunny Terrace site is now vacant.

The site is within the NERA boundaries, which stretch from South 138th Street to South 152nd Street between 8th Avenue South and Des Moines Memorial Drive South.

Because it is next to the airport, the city and Port want to develop the area with warehouses and other airport-related industrial uses. Burien officials have also suggested new car dealerships along First Avenue South could move to an auto mall along Des Moines Drive.


I attended the School board meeting on June 26, 2013 and it was the first time I was allowed to view the information on the surplus school land sale to the City of Burien. What I found especially interesting was Rose Clark/Burien council member standing up and telling the School Board that the approval of this sale was time sensitive as the ground had to be broken for this storm water facility by the City of Burien by this fall.

I regularly attend and follow Council meetings and have never heard about the land deal, the monies that are available for it and how much Burien citizens will have to contribute to this developing this facility.

If this is so urgent of an issue, why hasn't it been discussed at any recent council meetings? Why hasn't there been open public disclosure on what is going on in NERA, and who will really be responsible for this storm water facility and the expense to develop it?

Please see the letter attached I submitted to the Highline School District School board at this meeting.

June 26, 2013
To: The Highline School District School Board/ Highline Schools

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