By Gale Fiege Herald Writer
SNOHOMISH — The graduating sixth-graders at Dutch Hill Elementary wanted to leave behind a gift to be placed in the courtyard of their school.
The gift had to reflect the history of logging in Snohomish while paying homage to local wildlife, especially their school mascot, the hawk. Dutch Hill students have been the Hawks since their elementary school first opened in the fall of 1985, and presenting a gift from the graduates is a tradition that’s almost as old.
To raise money, the sixth-graders collected pledges for their Jingle Bell Run and St. Patrick’s Day Run. Students dressed as elves to run around, and around, the school grounds on a day before Christmas break. In March, they dressed as leprechauns for their “fund-run.” They raised $680.
On Thursday, the students saw their gift take shape before their eyes.
Parent Rachel Escoto arranged for chain saw carver Jacob Lucas to travel from his Bonney Lake home near Puyallup to fashion a hawk from a cedar log.
The 80 sixth-grade students paid him $300 for his work, which took place off the back end of his pickup, parked out behind the school gym.
Students Isabelle Strehle, 12, and Simon Stephens, 11, watched intently as their classmates crowded around.
In 45 minutes, with wood chips flying, Lucas deftly carved pieces of wood away to reveal the image of a hawk, its feathered head cocked and its eyes locked in a majestic glare. The students cheered.
“It’s a good idea to give back to the school and leave a legacy,” Simon said. “And this is such a cool way to do it. I can’t believe how talented this guy is. He probably has many years of experience. The detail is amazing.”
The new hawk, complete with a plaque from the sixth-graders, is to be unveiled June 20 at their graduation ceremony. The rest of the money the students raised is to be used for the ceremony and for a field trip.
“The carver knew just where to place his saw,” Isabelle said. “I am very pleased this is our gift. And it’s very special because we can always come back to school and say we were here when the hawk was carved. I am going to miss Dutch Hill.”
Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; firstname.lastname@example.org.