2024 Year in Review

2023-34 Year in Review
Posted on 06/26/2024

Another successful year is in the books for CPSD. Look back at the events, awards and celebrations each of our 26 schools and programs shared during the 2023-24 school year.



  •  Lakes High School named one of the Best High Schools in America by U.S. News and World Report for 2023.
  •  Caring for Kids provided school supplies, hygiene products and clothing for CPSD students at its Ready to Learn Fair.
  •  Secondary schools hosted Jump Start transition events for incoming sixth graders and incoming ninth graders.
  •  Elementary schools hosted back to school events to welcome families to the new school year.
  • CPSD welcomed more than 12,000 students on the first day of school.


  •  The CPSD Administrative Leadership Team presented Caring for Kids with a $5,500 check to support students and families.
  •  Park Lodge Elementary teachers held success conferences and met with each student’s family to build relationships and make sure their needs were met during the school year.
  •  Idlewild Elementary School second grade students in Robert Vaughn’s class watched an educational video about the founding of the constitution.
  •  Twenty-five CPSD high school students attended a presentation from West Point Academy about entrance to the university.


  •  CPSD high school drama students traveled to Seattle for a student leadership conference presented by the Educational Theatre Association and 5th Avenue Theatre.
  •  Carter Lake Elementary School kindergartners enjoyed fun festivities with help from their teachers, the Joint Base Lewis- McChord (JBLM) Fire Department and West Pierce Fire & Rescue.
  •  Harrison Preparatory School hosted its first- annual cultural night, which included student dances, singing performances, shared customs and food.
  •  Thirteen CPSD high school students received Elizabeth Wesley Awards for the 2022-23 school year.
  •  Lakes High School dance coach Deb Yearsley was inducted into the Washington State Dance & Drill Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame.
  •  Rainier Elementary School students received lessons on fire safety from the JBLM Fire Department.
  •  Superintendent’s Youth Advisory Council held its first meeting at Caring for Kids.
  •  More than 50 CPSD volunteers helped improve their community at the South Sound Wildlife Refuge.
  •  The CPSD Board of Directors recognized student leaders from Lakes and Clover Park high schools and Harrison Preparatory School, along with members of the Superintendent’s Youth Advisory Council.
  •  The CPSD Board of Directors honored principals for National Principals Month.
  •  Lake Louise Elementary School worked to strengthen its bond with students, staff, families and community partners by celebrating staff, building lines of communication and creating welcoming spaces at the school.
  •  Clover Park High School (CPHS) celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with an open house event for students and families.
  •  Tyee Park Elementary School students were mentored throughout the year by students in Clover Park High School’s careers in education class.


  •  Beachwood Elementary School students lined the halls for a student-led Veterans Day walking line to celebrate retired and active- duty veterans.
  •  Lakes High School student Khlene Franco received the Heisman High School Scholarship for being an outstanding student athlete.
  •  CPSD received a $2 million dollar grant to support K-8 math instruction by the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA).
  •  Four Heroes Elementary School partnered with KBTC, PBS and Humanities in Washington to host a program called “Prime Time” to engage native Spanish speaking families in literacy-focused activities after school.
  •  Tyee Park Elementary School hosted a culture night that gave families the opportunity to share their culture with others and included dancers from several Pacific Island nations and a band from Thailand.
  •  Lake Louise Elementary School students led the school’s Monday morning meetings to welcome the new week and remind students and staff of the character trait of the month.


  •  CPHS students earned rave reviews for their performances of Max Bush’s adaptation of “Snow White: The Queen’s Fair Daughter.”
  •  CPSD Title VI Native American Education Program students took a field trip to the Puyallup Tribal Youth Center for the second session of the Native American Youth Leadership Academy.
  •  Lakes High School JROTC students participated in Wreaths Across America event on JBLM.
  •  CPSD staff, students and families celebrated the holiday season by participating in the city of Lakewood’s Holiday Parade of Lights.
  •  An anonymous donor provided donated clothes, jackets and shoes for CPSD families.
  •  CPSD hosted local business leaders, politicians and educators for a tour of Career and Technical Education classrooms.
  •  Lakewood Rotary donated 40 bicycles to CPSD elementary school students.
  •  Lakewood Rotary named CPHS student Tate Bloom Student of the Month and CPHS teacher Rachel Parks Teacher of the Month for December.


  •  The CPHS Core Plus construction carpentry team earned second place at the Skills USA Puget Sound Region Leadership and Technical contests.
  •  Dower Elementary School created and sent home postcards to students and parents to thank them for their contributions to help foster a culture of belonging.
  •  Lakes High School student Ava Qualls served as a page in Olympia for State Senator T’wina Nobles of the 28th Legislative District.
  •  Gravelly Lake K-12 Academy conferred 22 diplomas for the first time at the Open Doors Youth Reengagement Program Awarding of Diplomas Ceremony.
  •  Hudtloff Middle School students welcomed guest speaker Rob Munn, an American rower who was a member of the USA’s rowing team that went to the 2016 Summer Olympics.
  •  Lakes High School senior Trisha Osgood received an appointment to the United States Army Military Academy at West Point.
  •  Meriwether Elementary School students learned about fire safety from the JBLM Fire Department.
  •  Three CPSD educators earned National Board Certification. Eleven more renewed their certifications.
  •  Carter Lake Elementary School participated in Inner Explorer, a daily mindfulness program that alleviates stress and improves student learning.


  •  Voters approved a four-year CPSD Replacement Levy.
  •  CPHS sophomore Deepak Chaudhary was one of 10 students from across the country chosen to participate in the prestigious Frances Hesselbein Student Leadership Program at the United States Air Force Academy.
  •  Gravelly Lake K-12 Academy held its first ever elementary Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) Fair.
  • Idlewild Elementary School students exercised their science, technology, engineering and math skills with STEM activities and expressed their creativity with Tacoma Arts Live.
  •  Lakes High School DECA teacher Randy Wilson named Washington State DECA Advisor of the Year.
  •  Lakes High School students and coach Dave Miller were recognized by the Lakewood City Council for participating in the 2024 city of Lakewood Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. video series.
  •  Rainier Elementary School fifth grade students in Virginia Durr’s class watched a salmon dissection.
  •  Thomas Middle School sixth grade students were visited by guest Stacia Iwuc from Pacific Medical Prosthetics and Orthotics to enhance their learning about prosthetics.
  •  Tillicum Elementary School earned an ice cream sandwich party from West Pierce Fire & Rescue by encouraging students to create home safety plans with their families.
  •  Clover Park High School and Harrison Preparatory School drama students competed in the Southwest Regional Thespy competition.
  •  Carter Lake Elementary School’s Family Engagement Committee created a brochure to highlight the school’s academics, social emotional learning and family partnerships.
  •  Evergreen Elementary School hosted 235 families in honor of Read Across America Day to celebrate reading with campus activities and events.


  •  More than 125 CPSD students presented their STEAM projects at the district’s annual STEAM Fair.
  •  CPHS dedicated the Merle Hagbo Memorial Baseball Field in honor of longtime coach and educator, Merle Hagbo.
  •  Custer Elementary School student Aliayah Harding was awarded the Citizen Hero Award by West Pierce Fire & Rescue.
  •  Dower Elementary School hosted a glow party to recognize 86 students in the school’s self-manager program.
  •  Hillside Elementary School fifth graders portrayed historical figures in a “Living Museum” project.
  •  Hillside Elementary School’s student voice group raised $1,223.63 for Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital.
  •  Idlewild Elementary School fourth graders charged their social batteries at their Energy Fair.
  •  Lakes High School teacher Briana Navarro was elected to the Educational Theatre Association Board of Directors.
  •  Lakes High School teacher Heather Matsuda was named the Health Science CTE Teacher of the Year.
  •  Lakes High School student Jordan Rivers was named the Washington State Military Youth of the Year.
  •  Lakes High School JROTC cadets competed at the NW Drill and Rifle Conference Championships in Oregon.
  •  Lochburn Middle School and Harrison Preparatory School seventh grade students expanded their understanding of ecology with guest speaker Lacey Wright of the Billy Franks J. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.
  •  CPSD’s Superintendent’s Youth Advisory Council invited school administrators, city officials, leaders of local organizations and families to the premiere of their four-part video series on fentanyl awareness at the Lakewood AMC Theater.
  •  Lakeview Hope Academy multilingual learners were recognized for their learning growth at an awards assembly.
  •  CPSD elementary students competed in the annual Future Chefs culinary competition to test their cooking skills and win prizes.


  •  CSPD’s parade float won the Spirit Award at the Daffodil Parade.
  •  CPHS students visited the Milgard Window & Doors manufacturing facility for a work-based learning opportunity.
  •  The CPHS drumline performed in the Lincoln Invitational Drumline Festival at Lincoln High School.
  •  Harrison Preparatory School’s chamber choir received a superior rating and earned first place in its division at Columbia Basin College’s Jazz Unlimited Choral Festival.
  •  Beachwood Elementary School hosted a parent cheer tunnel to welcome students back from spring break and celebrate the Month of the Military Child.
  •  Lochburn Middle School students explored their entrepreneurial spirit by presenting business pitches to district and community representatives.
  •  Lakes High School was named one of U.S. News and World Reports Best High Schools in America for 2024.
  •  Lakes High School students featured their work at a photography ceremony at St. Clare’s Hospital.
  •  Lakes High School senior Wyatt Blanchard received a four-year $260,000 ROTC scholarship to Pacific Lutheran University.
  •  Lakewood Rotary named three CPSD high school students as its Students of the Year.
  •  Rainier Elementary School won the 2024 CPSD Battle of the Books.
  •  CPSD hosted a financial aid event for high school juniors and seniors to help navigate financial aid application changes.
  •  CPSD fifth graders took field trips to Lakewold Gardens for a hands-on learning experience about our local ecosystem, which were guided by Lakes High School students.
  •  Lakeview Hope Academy students powered the school’s student voice group, which included doing social emotional learning lessons in kindergarten classrooms.
  •  CPSD students and staff volunteered on Parks Appreciation Day to help restore the Lakewood Community Garden.
  •  Evergreen Elementary School hosted 270 families for lunch to celebrate the Month of the Military Child.


  •  Lakes High School Senior Dylan Pant was one of five students in Washington state named a U.S. Presidential Scholar in Career and Technical Education.
  •  CPHS hosted events in partnership with the Asia Pacific Cultural Center to recognize May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Hertiage Month.
  •  Harrison Preparatory School senior Nevaeh Dawkins Watson received a scholarship award from the Zeta Omega Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
  •  Carter Lake Elementary School fourth/fifth grade teacher Julie Twiggs (certificated), Custer Elementary School paraeducator Claudia Gonzalez Cruz (classified) and Idlewild Elementary School principal Sheri Warrick (administrative) named a CPSD Employee of the Year.
  •  Lakes High School senior Lola Pascoe received a full-ride scholarship through the Naval ROTC program.
  •  CPHS hosted its annual art show to showcase the creativity of its students through art, theater and music.
  • CPSD earned a Purple Star Award from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for its commitment to military- connected students and families.
  •  Lakes High School hosted its annual Artasia and DECA Showcase event to display student artwork and business sense.
  •  Former CPHS student Kris Durr and Lakes High School graduate Joseph Gray were elected into the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Hall of Fame.
  •  CPSD honored Kenneth Hooks, Lola Stephens, Jaelle Shamsid-Deen and Lorenzo Ward with the Washington Association of School Administrators Student Leadership Award.
  •  CPSD honored Cheri Arkell, Lisa Boyd, Baron Coleman and LaMarco Mitchell with a Community Leadership Award at the Washington Association of School Administrators awards ceremony.
  •  The Kiwanis Club of Clover Park presented 2023-24 school year awards: 33 elementary and 8 middle school students received the Inspirational Student Award; 12 high school students received sportsmanship, instrumental, vocal and art awards; and Kimberly Estrada, Daryna Vdovenko and Alondra Estrada-Perez received $3,000 scholarships.
  •  Seventeen CPSD student volunteers joined community partners to clean up the South Puget Sound Wildlife Area.
  •  Clover Park and Lakes high schools, GLA and Harrison Preparatory School hosted senior award nights to celebrate the accomplishments of graduating seniors.
  •  CPSD students Hope Affolder, Katherine Kaiser, Cassidy Reibestein and Abram Sterling received a Mike McGowan Educational Incentive Award from Lakewood Rotary.


  •  668 seniors graduated from Clover Park and Lakes high schools, Harrison Preparatory School and Gravelly Lake K-12 Academy.
  •  Superintendent Banner received the Patriotic Employer Award from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.
  •  Custer and Idlewild students operated lemonade stands at various locations around the city.
  •  Beachwood students participated in a growth parade celebrating their biggest achievements and were cheered on by 460 family members and staff.
  •  Superintendent Banner earned the Learning from Leaders Award from Washington Association of School Administrators.
  •  CPSD students Liam Wells, Samara Oliver, James Rogowski, Joshua Velasquez and Xyrus Gianni Navalta began Boeing internships.
  •  38 CPSD staff members retired this year— thank you for your service.