Public Schools

Press release:

The Environmental Science Center (ESC) will be reaching students and families through out-of-school science education thanks to a $10,000 grant from Google.

Google awarded ESC this grant to provide after-school, school-break, and summer programs at schools, low-income apartment complexes, and community centers in South King County.

“We strive to close the academic achievement gap that often exists for low-income students who do not have equal access to enrichment programs to enhance their learning,” says Caroline Bobanick, Executive Director of the Environmental Science Center.

For these out-of-school programs, ESC works with several social service organizations to engage their students and families including New Futures, Community Schools Collaboration, Neighborhood House, and Para los Niños.

The city of Burien also works with ESC to provide STEM education at programs such as Gym Jams and Camp Craz.


Highline Schools superintendent Susan Enfield has commented on Highline's successful bid for a federal Race to the Top grant.

Enfield said Tuesday, Dec. 11,"As many of you know, Highline joined with several South King County school districts to apply for a federal Race to the Top grant.

"I am thrilled to announce that our proposal has been granted full funding of $40 million. We are one of just two applications across the country to receive the full $40 million.

"I want to thank Alan Spicciati and other members of the Highline team who contributed to developing our application. This was a regional team effort, and I am so proud to be part of the coalition that put together this successful application.

"Most importantly, this grant will give us the opportunity to make a significant difference for the children of Highline and the South King County Region.

"Exciting times are ahead!"

Here is our previous coverage:

Press release:

Highline and Tukwila are among the seven South King County school districts that have won $40 million in federal Race to the Top funds, the U.S. Department of Education announced Tuesday.


Highline Public Schools press release:
Health Sciences and Human Services High School (HS3) has been recognized for outstanding academic improvements in math and reading over a five-year period that put the school in the top five percent of the highest-improving schools in the state.

“I am delighted that HS3 has been recognized with this award,” said Dr. Susan Enfield, superintendent of Highline Public Schools. “HS3 students, staff, and families deserve to be honored for their hard work and focus.”

As the only Health Sciences themed high school in Washington, HS3 offers students the opportunity to prepare for college while exploring the complex issues connected with global health and service.

HS3 is a small school, with 363 students who represent the diversity of the region. Many HS3 students aspire to be doctors, nurses, scientists, social workers, and educators.

HS3 is among only 19 high schools and a total of 97 schools statewide that met the Schools of Distinction performance criteria for the 2011-2012 school year.

Challenges other teens to teach swimming in underserved communities

Highline Public Schools press release:

Jackie Beal, a senior at Mount Rainier High School, created “Teach2Swim” for her Senior Culminating Project. Jackie’s goal was to teach swimming to teens in underserved communities so they in turn could teach others to swim.

During the summer of 2012, Jackie worked with five teenagers from the New Futures program at the Woodridge Apartments in Burien. She then supervised the teens as they each taught basic strokes and water safety to two other children.

Jackie also presented her project to the Drowning Prevention Network at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

“It was fun for me to be able to pass on some of the skills I’ve learned, but teaching a few kids to swim isn’t enough,” said Jackie. “There are 1,200 club swimmers in Puget Sound between the ages of 15 to 17. I hope to challenge these youth to consider a culminating project focused on teaching others to swim.

December 14 event will benefit the American Heart Association

Highline Public Schools press release:

Highline High School (HHS) will turn red on Dec. 14 when Pirate fans hold their first “Red Out” in the spirit of raising awareness about heart disease, our nation’s No. 1 killer, and raising donations for the American Heart Association (AHA).

The Red Out will be held during the Quad basketball games versus Renton High School from 3:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at the HHS Main Gym.

Leadership Class students at Highline have organized and are leading this event.

“Heart disease is a growing issue that almost no one hears about,” said senior Austin Sita, ASB treasurer and organizer of Red Out. “The Red Out gives us a chance to raise awareness among students and our community about heart disease.”

Students, players, cheerleaders, and fans will all wear red for the game.

The Burien/Normandy Park Fire Department will offer free blood pressure checks from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. The AHA will bring dummies so that attendees can practice hands-only CPR, and two Highline staff members will speak at half-time about their experiences with heart disease.


Highline College press release:

Reconnect with classmates, faculty and staff and enjoy an evening of Highline memories. The night will include a welcome back toast from President Bermingham, giveaways, a photo booth and more!
Be sure not to miss the great raffle prizes from Anthony's Restaurant, Panera Bread, Ivar's, Red Robin, Starbucks and more.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 from 6–8 p.m.
Highline Community College, Building 8
Located at 2400 S. 240th Street, Des Moines.
Tickets are $10 per person and include dinner, beer and wine.
Please R.S.V.P. and pay online by Wednesday, December 12 at:
Guests are welcome.

Thanks to our generous sponsors: BECU, BNY Mellon, Red Canoe Credit Union, Burien Toyota Scion and the Highline Community College Foundation!

If you have questions, contact Madison Gridley at or (206) 592-3312.

Seahurst Elementary nearly doubled its original goal to collect 2,000 items for the Highline Food Bank.

Highline Public Schools press release:

Seahurst Elementary students, families, and staff set a goal to collect more than 2,000 items for the Highline Food Bank.

Thanks to the leadership of students and the generosity of families, the school nearly doubled its goal, contributing 3,661 items for needy families.

The Seahurst Student Council, comprised of two representatives from each classroom in grades three through six, enthusiastically led publicity for the food drive. They made and placed posters and talked with students in all classrooms about the importance of the event.

“The generosity shown by our families is remarkable,” said Seahurst Elementary Principal Chris Larsen. “More than 80 percent of our students qualify for free- or reduced-price lunch, and our families may be struggling themselves during this holiday season. I am very proud of our students, who have demonstrated the joy of giving to those less fortunate.”

As a reward for reaching and exceeding the goal, the entire school will enjoy an extra recess period.


Highline students, including football players, joined leaders from Highline Public Schools, the City of Burien and King County Parks and Recreation Division for the dedication of upgrades to Moshier Park Field Thursday, Dec. 6.

Highline School District and the City of Burien partnered to create a safer, more functional practice field at Moshier Park for use by school and community teams. Poor drainage kept the field covered with water and unusable for 
several months each year. A new drainage system was designed and installed, and
 the field was hydro-seeded.

Half of the cost of the $38,425 project was funded by
 Highline Public Schools and the City of Burien, and the King County Parks and
 Recreation Youth Sports Facilities Grant Program awarded a $20,000 matching grant.

The event was hosted by John Boyd, one of three Exec. Directors of Highline Schools K-12. He is also involved with their athletic program. He is the former Chief Sealth High School Principal for seven years.

Moshier Park Field dedicated
Photo credit: 
photo by Steve Shay

The dedication of upgrades to Moshier Park Field in Burien took place Thursday, Dec. 6. The event was hosted by John Boyd, one of three Exec. Directors of Highline Schools K-12. He is also involved with their athletic program. He was the popular high school principal at Chief Sealth for seven years before that. Pictured L-R: Montae Ringwater, sophomore, Steven Roemer, Burien Parks Manager, Butch Lovelace, King County Parks, Tyrone Curry, Sr., Highline School Board, John Boyd, Michael D. Spear, Highline School Board, Angelica Alvarez, Highline School Bd. Pres., Michael Lafreniere, Parks, Rec & Cultural Serv. Dir. & Zach Mahn, senior.

Highline superintendent receives journalism award

Highline Public Schools press release:

In recognition of her “unwavering support of students’ rights and scholastic journalism,” the Journalism Education Association (JEA) has honored Dr. Susan Enfield with the 2012 Administrator of the Year award.

Kathy Schrier, executive director of the Washington Journalism Education Association, wrote, “Dr. Enfield is a school superintendent who understands the crucial role that a free student press plays in our schools. She has shown her commitment on the front lines in Seattle, and will continue to do so as the first superintendent of schools to serve on the Student Press Law Center Board of Directors.”

Dr. Enfield started her career in education as a high school teacher of English, ESL, and journalism. Over the years she has been a passionate advocate for the free press rights of students.


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.

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