School winners

ORCA wins at Orca Bowl, heads to nationals

Everett’s Ocean Research College Academy’s “A” team took top honors at Washington’s 17th annual Orca Bowl on March 1. ORCA beat newcomer Redmond High School in the finals. Last year’s champion, the Garfield High School “A” team, and Washougal’s ExCEL Academic League rounded out the top four.

ORCA will represent Washington in the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, May 1-4 in Seattle. More than 100 students from 13 high schools competed in the state event, which was hosted by Washington Sea Grant and other programs from the University of Washington College of the Environment.

Everett High School’s Navy Junior ROTC Seagull Company also competed.

Lakewood musicians return soggy, happy

Lakewood High School’s Cougar Marching Band and jazz choir Swingbeat recently returned from a trip to Disneyland, sponsored by the Lakewood Music Boosters. The two performance groups had auditioned and were accepted to perform at Disneyland and rehearsed for months.

While the teens were there, the region marked a break in a long drought with more rain falling in two days than it had in the last two years for the Los Angeles area. “This made for one of the most emotional, up and down, passionate, while pleading and negotiating, 1-hour periods of my life,” said Katy Trapp, music teacher.

The performance almost didn’t happen because of the rain and the park’s typical protocol for having bands perform in rain, which can make the pavement slick. “I told him that we are from Washington and we call this ‘a mist,’” Trapp recalled. After a delay and a break in the clouds, the band was able to march on. A similar break occurred for the jazz choir. The two groups were the only ones to get through their whole sets that weekend, Trapp said.

The Lakewood music program has been steadily growing. At about 60 students, this was the first year the band qualified to audition for the Disneyland performance.

Siblings serve as 39th District pages

Lake Stevens siblings Bethanie and Ethan Heitzman served as legislative pages for the Washington House of Representatives during the seventh week of session. They were sponsored by 39th District Rep. Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish.

The pair also attend Sky Valley Education Center through their parent partnership program, which assists home-schooling parents with creating and administering lesson plans. In her free time, Bethanie enjoys singing, dancing and playing the violin, viola and piano. She is a member of the Pilchuck Valley Riders 4-H club. Her brother, Ethan, plays flamenco guitar, is a Boy Scout and enjoys tae kwon do.

Fourth-graders join Symphony on stage

Northshore Christian Academy fourth-graders recently played their recorders on stage with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra at Benaroya Hall, part of a Carnegie Hall-sponsored school-partnership program called Link Up.

Students, with the help of music teacher Lisa Walchenbach and Symphony artist Bryce Ingmire, learned six new songs for the performance in just seven weeks. Songs included Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” Dvorak’s “Going Home” melody from Symphony No. 9, and Copland’s “I Bought Me a Cat.”

Student craft eye-catching bridge

A Lynnwood High School team placed third in the “Most Aesthetic Bridge” category in the annual Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition put on by the Seattle American Society of Civil Engineers’ Younger Member Forum.

The RMJ team was one of three Lynnwood High teams and 32 teams total to compete and placed ninth overall. Monroe and Cedar Park Christian also fielded teams.

Exchange student wins essay contest

Katerina Hatija, a senior at Cascade High School, was one of four winners in a national essay contest sponsored by the Maryland-based Civilizations Exchange and Cooperation Foundation. She wins a free trip to the foundation’s Better Understanding for a Better World conference, to be held in San Diego in March. Katerina is an exchange student from Tirana, Albania.

Arlington teacher receives fellowship

Michele Wolski, a teacher at Arlington High School, has been selected by the nonprofit Ecology Project International to participate in an eight-day Marine Education Fellowship in Costa Rica from March 15-22.

Wolski will spend three days at a leatherback sea turtle preserve and meet with Costa Rican teachers and students for a day of cultural exchange.

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