School Winners

Stanwood coin drive raises $28K for Oso Parent groups in Stanwood coordinated a district-wide coin drive and raised an impressive $28,373.04 for Oso mudslide relief efforts. Nucor Steel in West Seattle contributed generously; an employee is a parent of a student at Stanwood Elementary School. Stanwood Middle School PTO pooled all the donations and then directed them to the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation Disaster Fund.

Everett PTA, student tops at conventionForest View Elementary’s PTA (Everett) was named a Silver Level Honor Unit and was given a Gold for its Standards of Excellence. The group also took Bronze for “PTAs Taking Significant Action” for its multicultural event highlighting student heritage.

Mailynn Jeffries, a kindergartner at Forest View, also was her age division’s winner in the PTA Men’s Essay Contest. “My daddy is my role model,” she wrote to start her essay. “He is not afraid of spiders and other creepy stuff.”

The Everett PTA Council as a whole was named a Gold Level Honor Unit, Gold for Standards of Excellence, and was also honored for “Taking Significant Action.”

Other local Everett PTA units earning Standards of Excellence kudos were Gateway Middle School (Gold), Cedar Wood Elementary (Silver) and Heatherwood Middle School (Silver).

A full list of awards and Mailynn’s essay are at

Penny Creek student wins award for storyPenny Creek Elementary School student Elise Moe’s story, “The Little Seed,” won an Award of Merit in the Primary Division of the National PTA Reflections art contest.

Cascade teen’s painting part of state collectionCascade High School student Laila Vik’s “Still Life Study” received the Judges’ Choice Award, which comes with $200, in the annual state Superintendent’s High School Art Show. Vik’s oil painting was among the winners featured in the May 16 show at the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction in Olympia and will now become a part of the office’s permanent collection.

Monroe FFA honored by state fairs groupWashington State Fairs Commissioner Ron Crawford recently presented the Washington State Fair Commission’s Black and White Award for outstanding exhibitors to the Monroe School District FFA and adviser Anne Lowe for their participation in the Evergreen Junior Dairy Show, held April 25-26 at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe.

The Commission showcases agriculture-related activities and displays at fairs throughout the state. Crawford noted the coordinated efforts of 4-H leadership on the Evergreen Junior Dairy Show Board along with the lend-lease dairy cow program that allows FFA members, without their own cows, to participate in fairs.

Local students’ art in Spanish compilationTwo local students were among those honored May 3 for their winning entries in the “Escribo en español” contest from the University of Washington Center for Spanish Studies. The ceremony, held at the Seattle Art Museum, was attended by several dignitaries, including Luis Fernando Esteban, the honorary consulate of Spain in Seattle.

Local honorees:

Keoni Erickson, Cascade High School, first prize in photography for “Family ties”

Magalí Hernández-Hernández, kindergarten student at Presidents Elementary School in Arlington, honorable mention in drawing

See their work in a compilation of the winners’ work, on the theme “Esta es mi familia,” at

Honor for Granite Falls Middle School yearbookGranite Falls Middle School has been inducted into the Walsworth Gallery of Excellence for their 2013-14 yearbook. The Gallery of Excellence is a showcase of the best yearbooks published by Walsworth. Only 2 percent of yearbooks are chosen to be in the Walsworth Gallery annually, and more typically from high schools.

Carla McCubbin is yearbook adviser and helped introduce new features, such as “aurasma,” an application that allows smartphone users to hold their device over certain photos in the yearbook and receive links to online articles or videos related to that photo, such as a football touchdown.

Terrace Rotary honors teacher, paraeducatorTeacher Karly Kline and paraeducator Sonja “Sonny” Adams are the May Rotary Club of Alderwood-Terrace Educators of the Month. The club presented them with a gift certificate and certificate of appreciation. The women work together at Mountlake Terrace Elementary School.

South Everett-Mukilteo Rotary honors studentsThe South Everett-Mukilteo Rotary recently named Students of the Month for April to June from ACES High School, an alternative school in Mukilteo.

Karen Galvan Vazquez, 17, moved to the United States at age 3 from Mexico. She is now married and has a 10-month-old daughter and continues to volunteer. She is slated to graduate on time this June and continue her studies at Edmonds Community College. Her goal is to study architecture at the University of Washington.

Austin Mayes, 18, keeps busy in part with an apprenticeship at Parkour Visions, a nonprofit in Seattle that promotes parkour, the sport of traversing environmental obstacles by running, climbing, or leaping rapidly and efficiently. He’s also “fluent in sarcasm.” Mayes, who graduates on time in June, plans to attend Everett Community College for a transfer degree.

Rebecca Wilkins, 18, enjoys sports and singing, and has been spending up to nine hours a day working to reach her goal of graduating on time this June. She plans to attend Everett Community College for a transfer degree with the ultimate goal of becoming a math teacher. In the “fun facts” department, Wilkins once was a quarterback on a boys football team.

County students win honors at jazz festivalJazz Unlimited, a festival by the music department at Columbia Basin College, each year hosts 4,500 student performers in a jazz and concert bands and choirs from Washington, Oregon and Idaho. This year’s festival was held in April. Several local student musicians performed well.

Cavelero Mid-High School: Jazz band (second place, “Junior” Jazz Bands); Calvin Cardwell, trombone and Julia Harnish, soprano sax (each named “AAA” Outstanding Soloists)

Edmonds-Woodway High School: Mello-Aires jazz choir (first place after sing-off with Meadowdale); Jake Houser, Emma Howeiler (on piano) and Jack White of Mello-Aires jazz choir (Outstanding Musicianship Award); Howeiler (piano), Alyson Podesta and White of Dorian Singers jazz choir (Outstanding Musicianship Award)

Lake Stevens High School: Viking Jazz I (third place, “AAAA” Jazz Bands); Mac McDermott, trumpet, Savannah Murphy, tenor sax and Will Strotmeyer, keyboard (each named “AAAA” Outstanding Soloists)

Marysville-Pilchuck High School: Symphonic Band (“AA” Division Gold); Faith Verburg, flute (“AA” Outstanding Musicianship Award); Ben Crawford, soprano sax and Nick Novy, guitar (each named “AAA” Outstanding Soloists)

Meadowdale High School: Concert Choir (winner of the CC-2 division); Angela Birchman, piano (Outstanding Musicianship Award); Impressions jazz choir (second place after sing-off with Edmonds-Woodway); Jan Carroll, Ori Levari (on piano and sax), Ryan Petriello (bass), Katie Tussing, Brandt Reutiman (guitar), Emma Williams and Nick Sanches of Impressions jazz choir (Outstanding Musicianship Award); Gjerde of the Impressions jazz choir (Outstanding Rhythm Section); with Director Jeff Horenstein (Outstanding Choral Department Award)

Meadowdale Middle School: Michael Hagen, piano (Outstanding Musicianship Award); Jazz Choir (first place); Mikaela Jones, mixed ensemble (Outstanding Musicianship Award); with Director Kathy Miller (Outstanding Choral Department Award)

College Place student wins for ‘travel’ writingOne of College Place Middle School’s students submitted a winning essay in the World Affairs Council’s 15th annual World Citizen Essay Contest. Students were asked to “be Rick Steves” and imagine traveling to a country of their choice to connect with the people and learn about their country and culture. The World Affairs Council received more than 400 submissions from students all over Washington State.

Gaby Chappell’s essay on Guatemala won third place in the grade 6-8 division this year. The nine essay contest winners will be recognized at a special World Affairs Council’s awards ceremony in early June. Steves will be the keynote speaker.

Snohomish students learn city’s historyLocal historian Warner Blake led a tour of historic Snohomish as a hands-on lesson for all the third-graders at Emerson Elementary School. Blake led the school’s 100 third-graders over two days along the route published by, which describes historical points from the former Cathcart Opera House to the Snohomish River railroad bridge.

“A tip of my hat to teacher Kim Moritz who contacted me to help her introduce the history of Snohomish to her students rather than use a generic instructional unit on ‘community,’” Blake said. Soon, the rest of the third-grade classes at Emerson had joined in. “A good time was had by all.”

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