School Board recognized as Board of Distinction
Along with 23 other school boards in Washington, Clover Park School District’s Board of Directors was recently named as a Board of Distinction by the Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA). This is the largest number of boards receiving the honor in the eight-year history of WSSDA’s program.
“The increase in the number of boards of distinction reflects the rise in expertise on boards across the state to improve the quality of public education for each and every child,” said WSSDA President Chris Nation. “Each of these boards demonstrates the excellent work done by Washington’s 295 school boards and 1,477 school board members. This program gives us a chance to acknowledge that commitment to their students and communities.”
The annual Boards of Distinction program honors school boards that demonstrate effective use of the Washington School Board Standards. The standards, developed and adopted by WSSDA in 2009, promote research-based governance practices that lead to high levels of student and district achievement, and help close the opportunity gap.
“We are honored to have our board members recognized for the hard work and dedication to the community they demonstrate through their service,” said superintendent Debbie LeBeau. “To be commended along with so many other excellent boards across the state makes this designation even more special.”
Veterans are honored across Clover Park School District
Veterans and active duty military members were honored for their service by all schools in the district recently through speech, song and art.
Each school held an assembly with its own style of showing respect for the sacrifice of service members from the US Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Air Force. Tributes included speeches, slideshows, patriotic musical medleys as well as handmade banners and murals.
At Clover Park High School (CPHS), the band and choir performed the service song for each branch of the military for their honored guests, veterans and active duty members in the community. JROTC cadets spoke about what Veterans Day meant to them.
“Men used to lie about their ages just to serve. If it weren’t for these brave people, we may not be a free nation,” said CPHS junior Kristopher Rapier.
Junior Teresa Lyons said, “I feel grateful to live in a country that is free. They gave up everything just so we could have a future.”
At one point in the CPHS assembly, students were asked to stand if they had a family member who had served in the military.
Nearly every student stood.
Ninnis named to Hall of Fame
Clover Park High School head basketball coach Mel Ninnis was recently selected for the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame.
Ninnis has worked in the district since 1984 and has served as Clover Park High school’s head basketball coach since 1995 with a win/loss record of 339 and 175. His teams have made it to the playoffs each year but two. Under his leadership, Clover Park High School has 14 league and district boys’ basketball championships, six state appearances and one state championship in 2011.
“This honor is the result of years of consistently building kids up, holding them to high expectations, believing in their potential and pouring more sweat and tears into them than one man should possess,” said Clover Park High School principal Tim Stults.
Ninnis and other Hall of Fame inductees with be celebrated at a banquet in July 2017.
City of Lakewood news
On Nov. 7, 2016, the Lakewood City Council unanimously approved a resolution officially recognizing the vital role and public purpose of the Lakewood Community Foundation Fund.
The Lakewood Community Foundation Fund – a donor-advised fund of The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation – was formed as a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization by the Lakewood Rotary Club and Clover Park Rotary Club to address critical needs in Lakewood and to serve Lakewood residents more directly.
The two Rotary clubs wanted to be more Lakewoodoriented in their charitable efforts, and all the money raised benefits Lakewood organizations and citizens.
The Foundation’s goal is to establish a $1 million endowment in order to fund projects and scholarships to benefit children, families and charities in Lakewood. The $1 million endowment should generate $50,000 or more each year for grants to deserving students and charities that work to meet the needs of Lakewood’s low-income population.
To date, the Foundation has made more than $94,000 in community grants, $25,000 in student scholarships, and facilitated more the $300,000 in specific community projects.
The Foundation Fund is governed by a nine-member board of volunteer directors: three from Lakewood Rotary Club, three from Clover Park Rotary Club and three community representatives.
Middle School Counts events ease transition to high school
“What you do now matters,” said Clover Park High School assistant principal Matthew Fiteny to a group of Lochburn Middle School students.
That’s the message administrators and counselors from Clover Park and Lakes High School hope eighth grade students and their parents take from Middle School Counts seminars held at Hudtloff, Lochburn, Mann and Woodbrook Middle Schools this fall.
Clover Park High School counselor Jennifer Dixon and Fiteny made appearances at the seminar at Lochburn Middle School last month. Both encouraged students to show up, get involved and reach out to counselors, teachers or administrators to work through issues that might get in the way of their success.
At Hudtloff Middle School, school counselors Sandra Hughes and Jen Salstrom, Lakes High School counselor Michael Warren and Lakes principal Kären Mauer-Smith spoke to students and parents on topics ranging from athletics to Advanced placement classes.
“Middle School Counts supports parents and students by providing information they need to make the transition to high school successful,” stated Mauer-Smith.
The district currently has three high school options: Clover Park High School, Harrison Preparatory Academy (grades 6-12) and Lakes High School. Students who wish to attend a school outside their neighborhood attendance boundary must apply for a waiver, a process counselors reviewed at the seminars.
Daffodil princesses lead by example
Lakes and Clover Park High Schools have selected two outstanding students from a pool of exceptional candidates as their Daffodil Princesses. Lakes senior Christine Lew and Clover Park senior Vilma Alvarado Garcia will represent their schools and the Lakewood community as part of the 2017 Daffodil Festival.
Lew has maintained a 3.98 GPA throughout the past three years while taking Advanced Placement (AP) language and calculus classes. She has served as her senior class president, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) president and National Honor Society vice president for two years. She was a member of the cross country team for one year, and the softball team for three years. Lew’s favorite extracurricular activity is drama. She says her fondest memory and greatest achievement has been spending every waking moment for four months writing, managing, directing and producing a full-length adaptation of “The Princess Bride.” Lew has accumulated more than 150 hours of community service. She is also fluent in American Sign Language. She wishes to pursue a career in foreign language studies or journalism.
Garcia has earned a GPA of 3.63. She is a recipient of a Palmer Scholarship and was the algebra II and biology student of the year. Garcia has participated in the Latino/Latina Educational Achievement Program conference for three years, meeting with state legislators to discuss the educational opportunities for students in the Hispanic community. She serves as the vice wing commander of Unit WA-931 and is also on the cross country team. Outside of school, Garcia volunteers as a mentor to students at Tyee Park and Park Lodge Elementary Schools. She is active in her church, serving as a first communion teacher and a member of the youth choir.
Lew and Garcia will compete for the title of Queen of the Daffodil Festival in spring 2017.
Lake Louise Elementary finds superheroes at bus stops
Not all superheroes wear capes – in fact, some wear pajamas as they wait with their children at early morning school bus stops. Just ask Lake Louise Elementary staff. “Lake Louise Elementary’s bus stop heroes are making a big difference in their children’s day – and contributing to their overall success in school–by ensuring their child makes it onto the bus safely and on time,” says Lake Louise family involvement coordinator Miriam Webb.
Webb and partners from the district’s transportation and student services departments launched the Bus Parent Appreciation (BPA) program this fall, recognizing guardians waiting with their children by surprising them with chocolate bars. The chocolate bars have a custom label with superhero graphics that say, “Our volunteers are super!”
Everyone appreciates being recognized for the things they do, however big or small,” said Webb. “We want to show these parents, grandparents and neighbors that we are grateful for their support in keeping their children and other students safe while waiting at the bus stop. The reaction from the adults has been very positive, and the students love it too. I have heard lots of students say to me, ‘I saw you at my bus stop today!’”
BPA is one component of a larger districtwide focus on family engagement. Lake Louise and other schools in the district adopted the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS) model from John Hopkins University in 2010 to develop and maintain programs that are intended to increase involvement.
“NNPS gives us great guidelines to organize and sustain family involvement. We ask each school, ‘What is one issue we can work on together to increase family engagement?’ then work with them to develop a plan within the framework set by the action team for partnerships committee. So far we’ve seen great success, and BPA is just one of these initiatives,” said district family and community partnership coordinator Holly Bocchi.
The next step in Lake Louise’s bus safety plan is to reward students for good bus behavior. Bus drivers keep track of students’ conduct throughout the year, and students on the bus with the best overall score will get free tickets to a Rainiers game.
Lakes High School students focus on STEM fields
Lakes High School students considering a future in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers have found ample opportunity to explore their options through local military partnerships, including a school visit from the US Army’s robotics team and a new cyber security club affiliated with the US Air Force.
The US Army STEM – Interactive Robotics Demonstration Team visited Lakes, giving students the chance to watch live demonstrations, manipulate robots through controllers and talk with the robotics team about how the army develops and utilizes STEM in its many career paths.
Another exciting opportunity for students is the JROTC CyberPatriot team. Started by Lakes’ new JROTC advisor Lt. Col. Allen Patty, Ph.D this fall, the team currently has six members, all JROTC cadets.
The Lakes team is a chapter of the national CyberPatriot program started by the Air Force in 2005. CyberPatriot teams at elementary, middle and high school levels learn cyber security tactics, then compete at regional, state and national levels in all-day workshops, tackling simulated cyber security threats. In 2015, 3,379 teams from across the country competed.
There are 20 CyberPatriot high school teams in Washington state.
Patty thinks the club will provide a great experience for JROTC students exploring STEM career options. “Developing the ability to understand systems and solve problems quickly in a stressful environment is great experience for the type of challenges students will face later in high-tech careers,” Patty stated.