Meadowdale teacher says hola from Spain

  • Tue Mar 6th, 2012 6:41pm

Meadowdale High School Spanish teacher Sonja Bricker is cycling, touring and hiking her way through parts of Spain, sending back reports to her students – and, yes, homework assignments – along with holding weekly Skype broadcasts.

“Spain with Sonja,” a blog written primarily in Spanish about her adventures, is at http://spain It includes interviews with local Spanish teenagers and views of the countryside around Tenerife, which is the largest of the Canary Islands, and Andalucia, in southern Spain.

Among the dispatches are images and descriptions of the famous Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, held in February.

“Want to know how it was? Imagine the center of Edmonds, from Anthony’s to Starbuck’s on Fifth Avenue, without cars and 5,000 people wearing disfraces (costumes), and I swear, no one was without disguise,” Bricker blogged (translated from Spanish). “The scene was amazing!”

Her dispatches include video of the gala election of the Carnival Queen, a kind of beauty pageant involving some of the world’s most elaborate costumes, which can weigh more than 400 pounds.

Bricker is taking an unpaid leave of absence for the trip. Donations to cover her expenses are accepted through the Edmonds Public Schools Foundation.

Bricker started the trek Feb. 6 and returns April 10.

Students of the Month for February

Edmonds School District high schools recently honored their Students of the Month for February:


Liz Wilson is an active cheerleader and captain of her school’s squad. She also coaches the Sparkles cheer team for girls with disabilities. In the summers, Wilson works as a lifeguard at Yost Pool. She carries a 3.93 GPA and hopes to pursue math or journalism at the University of Washington.

Gabija Vaicekonis is an award-winning classical pianist who also carries a 3.1 GPA as she works toward a rigorous International Baccalaureate diploma. Born in Lithuania, she moved with her family to the United States at age 2. Lithuanian is her first language and she enjoys sharing her culture through folk dancing and singing. She hopes to pursue a double major in environmental studies and classical piano.


Jennifer Schmitz is “Pit Boss” on the Royal Robotics club and teaches a robotics summer camp at the Alderwood Boys and Girls Club. The aspiring biomedical engineer carries a 4.0 GPA and has been honored by the American Association of University Women for her math skills.

Radu Cracut also is active in robotics and is vice president of the Royal Robotics club. An active volunteer, she’s put in more than 100 hours at Oak Heights Elementary School and the Lynnwood Library. The Edmonds Community College technology intern carries a 3.97 GPA plans to study electric engineering at the University of Washington.


Chelsea Noel Richardson can’t imagine life without stories, and wrote a book-length work in 30 days for National Novel Writing Month. Richardson, who carries a 3.9 GPA, loves her college-level Advanced Placement class in European history, knits blankets for African orphans and has helped out with the Edmonds Mural Society.

Drew Petriello is an aspiring thespian who has parlayed his talents this year acting in school plays and improv club, designing the lighting for Meadowdale Middle School’s “Aladdin Jr.” and volunteering with the Driftwood Players community theater. Petriello, who carries a 3.95 GPA, also plays guitar and is a former Police Explorer.


Erika Moe hopes to one day be a lawyer for the deaf and hard of hearing. She is active in American Sign Language activities and for her culminating project is learning how to write opening and closing statements like a lawyer. Moe carries a 3.4 GPA and is a Girl Scout Bronze Award winner.

Sean Rose is an Eagle Scout with more than 150 hours of community service under his belt, from cleaning up local parks to working at a food bank. Rose, who carries a 3.14 GPA and takes college-level Advanced Placement calculus, aims to earn a computer science degree. He’s currently building his own computer from scratch.


Tebra Draper carries good grades and is an avid artist. She started a “New Start Trash Art” environmental craft club for students at Edmonds Heights and Scriber Lake. Her post-high school interests are varied, from world traveler to screen printer. Draper was named a Hidden Winner youth leader by the Edmonds Daybreakers Rotary Club.

Lauren Nein carries good grades and was recently honored by the Edmonds Exchange Club with an “Accepting the Challenge of Excellence” Award. She has taken ballet classes for 10 years. Her career goals could take her into music therapy, teaching or animal protection services.

College planning night March 15

High school sophomores and juniors are invited to a college planning night, 7 p.m. March 15 at Meadowdale High School, 6002 168th St. SW, Lynnwood.

Come learn about financing college, applying to in-state or out-of-state universities, taking the ACT and SAT, advising artistically talented students, writing an admission essay, attending college for first-generation students and more.

For more information, visit

Educational play groups launch

Play and Learn Groups are now meeting weekly at four elementary schools. The free program, for children ages 3 to 5, includes caregivers, which may be parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles.

Play and Learn groups will be at Beverly (9-10:30 a.m. Fridays), Lynnwood (9-10:30 a.m. Fridays), College Place (9:30-11 a.m. Wednesdays) and Mountlake Terrace (9-10:30 a.m. Wednesdays) elementary schools.

Groups will run one day a week through June 22. To register, call the school offices (Beverly: 425-431-7732, College Place: 425-431-7620, Lynnwood: 425-431-7615, Mountlake Terrace: 425-431-7894).

This program is funded by the Lynnwood Rotary Foundation and operates in partnership with the Volunteers of America.

Town hall focuses on minors drinking

Jackson High School in Mill Creek invites the community to a “Town Hall on Underage Drinking,” 6 p.m. March 12. The school is at 1508 136th St. SE.

Dinner and child care are provided. The event includes a panel discussion focused on giving parents the tools to effectively address these issues with their children.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Lyn Lauzon at or 425-385-7178.

UWB administrator is Fulbright scholar

Hung Dang, of the University of Washington Bothell, has received a Fulbright Award. Dang is the associate vice chancellor for enrollment management and student affairs.

As a Fulbright scholar, Dang will participate in the U.S.-Japan International Education Administrators’ Seminar, designed to introduce participants to the society, culture and higher education systems in Germany, India, Japan or Korea.

Dang plans to travel to Japan to strengthen his knowledge of the Japanese education system and student learning styles between the two countries.

“With this award I will have the opportunity to further the mutual exchange between the people of the United States and Japan by demonstrating the qualities of service, excellence and leadership,” Dang said in a statement.

Ed reform group names new director

Robin Lake recently was named director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington Bothell.

Lake has been an active part of CRPE for many years. She succeeds research professor Paul T. Hill, who headed the research and policy analysis group for 19 years. For more information, visit