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Mail: 10903 Gravelly Lake Drive SW, Lakewood WA 98499
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
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.”
Check out the Events Calendar
District, school and athletic events are
listed on the district website under
“Calendar” and “Events Calendar.”
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
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
“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
Council Officially Recognizes Lakewood Community Foundation Fund
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
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
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,”
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
There are 20 CyberPatriot high school teams in Washington
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.
Winter break quickly approaching
Schools will be closed for winter break starting Monday, Dec. 19
through Monday, Jan. 2. The
Student Services and Auxiliary
Services Center will be closed
Friday, Dec. 23 through Tuesday,
Dec. 27 and Friday, Dec. 30
through Monday, Jan. 2. Schools
will resume regular schedules on
Tuesday, Jan 3.
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Evergreen Elementary School
Located on Joint Base Lewis-McChord,
construction of the new Evergreen Elementary
School is expected to reach substantial
completion soon, which means any remaining
work is minimal. The district has begun moving
in furniture and equipment.
After winter break, students and staff are
scheduled to move in to the new school in
Seniors: Get your Golden Clover Card!
The Golden Clover Card is a partnership opportunity
that allows senior citizens living in Clover Park School
District to attend high school activities, performances
and athletic events at no charge. The card provides
a way for senior citizens to connect with our schools
and is a way to appreciate our seniors by sharing
the amazing experiences students bring to our
community through education and activity.
The Golden Clover Card admits one senior citizen (65
years of age and older who qualify for the Senior Citizen
and Disabled Person Property Tax Exemption Program)
to high school sporting events, concerts, plays and
other district events for which admission is charged.
Golden Clover Card applications are available at the
Student Services Center, 10903 Gravelly Lake Drive
SW, or by calling the Community Relations Office
at 253-583-5040. Apply today and celebrate our
seniors and students!
Evergreen Elementary School
Our alumni webpage highlights
Clover Park School District alumni who
graduated from Clover Park, Lakes or
Harrison Prep and are contributing
positively to their communities. If you
would like to be featured, visit the
Community Relations Department
page on the district website and click
“Alumni Information.” An easy-to-use
questionnaire has been created for
you to add your information. Take a
moment to look at the alumni profiles
and create your own! If you want to
recommend a classmate as a featured
alum, please call the community
relations office at 253-583-5040 and
give us their contact information.
We’ll follow up with them to create an
Featured alum Alejandro Ramirez is an engineer at Kongsberg, a technology corporation based in Norway.
Spotlight on Schools
Oakbrook Elementary School students welcomed their male role models onto campus for Donuts and
Dads. Similar to Moms and Muffins events, the Dads and Donuts event series encourages parental
involvement. It’s also part of the Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) program.
(From left to right) Olivia Cheng
and Dustin Dreyer share a
moment at Donuts and Dads.
(From row) Elisha Stewart and Jeremiah Stewart spend time
with (back row) Anthony Caldwell-Love, Julius Brown and Samar
Clover Park School District held an open house for the district’s Early Learning Program (ELP). The open house, at
the site of the former Southgate Elementary School, celebrated the relocation and centralization of district early
learning programs that were formerly located in Lakewood-area elementary schools.
Students from the Early Learning Program lead the Pledge of Allegiance at an
open house to celebrate the consolidation of Lakewood-area Head Start and
Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP).
Executive Director of Washington State Association of Early
Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) and
Head Start Joel Ryan visits an Early Learning Program (ELP)
Board looks to committee for
recommendations on district facilities
Deborah L. LeBeau Superintendent
With a catalog of buildings old, new, repurposed, renovated or under construction, along
with the constantly changing needs of students and staff, the Clover Park School District
Board of Directors relies on its Facility Advisory Committee (FAC) to survey, monitor and
make recommendations on the best plan for district facilities. The FAC’s members include
architects, district staff and involved citizens.
Other responsibilities of the FAC include updating the capital facilities master plan, and
recommending short- and long-term solutions related to the district’s deferred maintenance,
educational adequacy of schools, safety and security, future plans and use of district property.
The FAC also provides input on capital bond propositions.
To come to a consensus on its recommendation to the board on district facilities, the FAC relies
on data from third parties. “For its current facilities overview, the district has contracted with Meng Analysis, an architecture
and engineering firm. We look to them as our technical experts through the entire process,” said Rick Ring, the district’s
administrator for business services and capital projects.
Contractors, surveyors and architects, such as Meng Analysis, supply the FAC with information to identify and prioritize
potential facility modifications, replacements, additions and/or closures to best enhance student achievement opportunities,
and support ongoing economic development and a healthy community.