Public Schools

Ballard High School principal Phil Brockman was presented with the Thomas B. Foster Award for Excellence April 9.

While attending a ceremony honoring the school's top students of the quarter, Brockman was surprised with the award by Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson and Alliance for Education President Patrick D’Amelio.

The award is for outstanding leadership from a secondary school principal and comes with a $50,000 grant for the school.

"The $50,000 is well-timed," Brockman said. "We know exactly what to do with it."

Brockman, a Ballard High School graduate, has worked for Seattle Public Schools for 26 years and been principal at Ballard since 2004.

Ballard Associated Student Body President Cole Finchen and Vice President Michael Gore introduced Brockman.

He always listens to suggestions from students, but he also goes above and beyond that because he is a man of action, they said.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Ballard High School Principal Phil Brockman receives the Thomas B. Foster Award for Excellence April 9, while his mother, father and wife watch.

The Alki Masonic Lodge #152 of West Seattle will recognize the outstanding junior class students from West Seattle and Chief Sealth high school with a program at the Alki Masonic Hall on Monday, April 20, 4736 40th Ave. S.W.

Alki Lodge and the two public high schools in West Seattle have encouraged excellence in education and participation in community activities for the students of the Junior Class by a ceremony of recognition for these qualities. This program has been recognizing outstanding students for thirty consecutive years.

Each year the faculties of the high schools select outstanding students to represent the junior class in this annual ceremony. The students are introduced, their abilities and activities are read and they receive awards as a recognition of their achievements.

This year students selected by the faculty are;

Rachel Cormac, Daniel Davis, Monick Keo, Paul Duncan, Megan Korling, Duran Jones, Leilani Sommers, Dominic Napat, Michelle Tran, and Jan Nichols from Chief Sealth High School.


The Ballard High School softball team almost didn't need to swing a bat to earn its first win of the season in a 7-4 April 8 game against Garfield.

The team scored seven runs but only had two RBIs, both by Amry Kimmerly. The rest came on an errant pitch and four bases-loaded walks – three in the fifth inning. Take away the RBIs and that still equals a Beaver victory.

"We had a big inning where we were patient at the plate and took some walks and had timely hitting," coach Kyle Gray said.

It wasn't all walks for Ballard. Bernie Cardon, Katie Seibel, Elisa Vatn and Karissa Marshall each added hits for the Beavers.

Catcher Cardon threw out three runners, including one trying to steal third in the fourth inning that was the play of the game, Gray said.

Pitcher Sophie Overlock-Pauley, who doubled and walked in a run on offense, pitched all seven innings, throwing nine strikeouts and giving up six hits.

Gray said it was easily her best game of the season.

"Overall it was nice to get a win," Gray said. "We are trying to get these girls to play with confidence because they are very talented, and tonight they took a step in that direction."

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

April 8 – Ballard: 7 Garfield: 4. Click image for more photos.

The Ballard High School girls lacrosse team dropped its third game in a row when Klahowya handed them an 18-5 loss April 7.

The Beavers won their first game but lost their next three contests by an average of 12 points per game.

Once again, Ballard was able to hang with its opponent for the first half but found itself outmatched in the second.

Klahowya lead 4-3 at halftime, but closed out the game with a 14-2 run. On March 24, Ballard was tied with Eastside Catholic at two apiece at the end of the first half. Eastside Catholic finished the game on a 12-3 run.

The Beavers can end the skid when they face North Kitsap at 5:30 p.m., April 10 at Ballard High School.

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April 7 – Klahowya: 18 Ballard: 5

The wind at Whitman Middle School picked up and carried seemingly any ball that was hit that day. It also carried away a Ballard High School offense that had averaged nearly 10 runs per game during a recent three-game stretch.

Newport handed the Ballard baseball team an 8-0 defeat, its third in a row, April 7. The Beavers were also shut out 4-0 in an April 4 make-up game against Bothell.

The team is now sitting at 4-5 overall and 3-4 in the conference while its offense has disappeared. In three games, from March 26 to April 3, Ballard scored 29 runs and went 2-1. They have not scored in the two games since.

It wasn't only the Ballard offense that struggled against Newport. After pitching three shutout innings and giving up only two hits, Ballard senior Jordy Donald gave up four hits, loaded the bases and walked in a run in the fourth inning.

Junior Ryan Garrett took over in the fourth for Donald with the bases loaded and no outs. He got out of it with a nifty second-first-home triple play, but Newport was on top 3-0.

Garrett would get beat up in the sixth inning, giving up five hits and four runs.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

April 7 – Newport: 8 Ballard: 0. Click image for more photos.

These days, the teen fiction market enjoys an enormous audience. It seems some girls around school are never seen without a copy of "Twilight" clasped underneath their arm. And while teen fiction rakes in its share of revenue for the publishing houses, when compared to good adult fiction, the majority of teen fiction is often clichéd.

“If a student is capable of reading and comprehending adult fiction, he should definitely go ahead and try harder material,” said West Seattle High School Librarian Sarah Moges. “Challenge yourself.”

Teen fiction serves up the same story again and again in the hunt for the buck. Luckily for those tired of vampire romances and stale "Catcher in the Rye" copycats, there’s hope on the adult-fiction rack.

For the suspense-lover, bestselling authors John Grisham and Stephen King write guaranteed delights that you will enjoy many times over.

John Grisham’s 2008 novel "The Appeal" is a courtroom drama that tells of a multi-billionaire chemical plant dumping toxic waste into a neighboring town’s water supply.

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Photo credit: 
West Seattle High

Less than three weeks after being blanked 10-0 by Roosevelt, the Ballard High School softball team again found themselves on the wrong end of a 10-0 rout April 6.

Ballard, now 0-2 in the conference and 0-3 overall, has had a hard time on both sides of the ball.

In three games, the team is averaging only one run and is only doing that by scoring three runs against Sammamish March 23.

In that same span, it is giving up an average of 11 runs per game.

Most recently against Roosevelt, the Beavers got two hits but gave up 11.

As far as positives for the game, Ballard's pitchers Sophie Overlock-Pauley and Haley DeGarmo threw six strikeouts.

Ballard matches up with Garfield at 4 p.m., April 8 at Lower Woodland.

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Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

April 6 – Roosevelt:10 Ballard: 0. Click image for more photos.

Tomorrow, Wednesday April 8 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Madison Middle School, the community is invited to a workshop to help prevent teenage drinking.

The event is sponsored by the Madison Middle School Parent Teacher Association and the Southwest Healthy Youth Partnership. It features special guests the author's of "From Binge to Blackout: A Mother and Son Struggle with Teen Drinking," Chris and Toren Volkmann.

Madison Middle School is located at 3429 45th Ave. S.W. For more information contact Renae Gaines at 396-2945 or


Eric Shoner, a seventh-grader at Salmon Bay School, got a taste of state competition last Friday at the 2009 Washington Geographic Bee at Stadium High School in Tacoma.

Shoner, for whom maps have been a hobby since he was 3, was one of six contestants in his preliminary round who was perfect through the first five questions. He succumbed to the next three, however, and did not advance.

Of the 20 students in his group, only one made it to the final 10; 101 students from throughout the state qualified for the event.

The bee is promoted by the National Geographic Society and sponsored by nationally Google and the timber resources company, Plum Creek.


They live eight blocks apart, on either side of California Avenue --- the private-schooled sixth-grader and the Madison Middle School eighth-grader. When the dust had settled on the 21st annual Washington Geographic Bee at Stadium High School in Tacoma last Friday, these two West Seattle students had claimed two of the top seven places in the whole state.

Newcomer Mark Mockett placed fourth, while five-time veteran Sean Keller finished seventh.

Keller's total of five appearances in the state-level competition, beginning as a fourth-grader, is uncommon. At the earliest, his feat will not be matched again until 2011, and the most recent instance was 2003 or prior. The Bee is open only to grades four through eight.

The competition began with 101 students, separated into five groups. Alphabetically, they had come from Anacortes to Yakima, and from many places in between: from tiny Royal City, from distant Nine Mile Falls.

Photo credit: 
Ruth Leonard

Center of geographical knowledge: West Seattle students Sean Keller (left) and Mark Mockett (right) prepare to take the stage for the finals of the 2009 Washington Geographic Bee last Friday in Tacoma.

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