Fairwood Community News - Your Local News Source for Fairwood in Real Time

December 1, 2008


Renton School District
Announces 'Good News'

Nelsen Middle School reading teachers Ashlie Tusberg and Nicole Holsather report a 64 percent increase in reading scores on the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) by students in their Tier II and Tier III reading classes. Fifty-one of the 84 students in the classes increased their reading WASL score by an average of nearly 12 percentage points.

Hazen High School Business Education Teacher Ray McCabe recently won the Inspiring Youth Award from Junior Achievement of Washington for his contribution and dedication to students throughout the region. The award recognizes individuals who make a tangible impact in their community through working with youth. At a recent award ceremony, Mr. McCabe was praised for his impact and participation at Hazen High, the Renton School District, as well as the region and the state.

The Fairwood Lions Club, teaming with the Renton Lions Club and Kennydale Lions Club, recently purchased a $6,000 Braille note taking device for Nelsen Middle School 8th-grader Brian Saboroboro. Brian, who is legally blind, depends on the device for completing all of his school work, keeping track of his assignments, and to have an effective method of editing and producing written assignments. Renton Lion’s Club purchased a similar piece of equipment for Brian in 2004. That device became irreparable and had to be replaced.

Fourteen Renton middle school students recently returned from a trip to Nishiwaki, Japan as part of the annual Renton-Nishiwaki Exchange program. During their stay in Nishiwaki, the students lived with the families of the Japanese students who visited Renton in August. Accompanying the students were the Renton delegation leaders, John Schmitz, principal of Dimmitt Middle School, and Wendy Merrill, teacher at McKnight Middle School. The trip offered all participants the opportunity to experience Japanese culture firsthand, visit sites in the area, and tour elementary and junior high schools. Though none of the students looked forward to departing, they carried with them the friendships they developed with the Japanese students in Renton’s sister city of Nishiwaki.

Highlands Elementary School students recently walked to the local Safeway store to learn more about how a supermarket works.  Each year, as part of a learning unit, second grade teacher Ellen Barrett takes her English Language Learner students to meet with Safeway’s produce man and learn about apples and apple products. The store visit helps students improve their English language fluency and reading and writing skills by learning to describe, compare and contrast apples and products.

More than 140 seniors at Hazen High School learned the lessons of democracy on Election Day by working at polling places in Renton schools and throughout south King County. The students, under the guidance of Brett Crueger, Hazen’s social studies department chair and theatre arts director, worked polls as part of the County’s Youth with a Vision program. Crueger wanted the students to experience poll voting during elections. According to King County Elections Office, Nov. 4 is the last election that poll voting will be offered. The students took a training course on their own time to work at the polls and received community service credits for their 16-hour day.

Kennydale Elementary School PTA recently hosted a cultural enrichment potluck that offered more than 350 visitors a chance to celebrate the wealth of cultural diversity that exists in the Kennydale community. The celebration included food, dance, clothing, and family treasures shared by families from 34 regions and cultures. Attendees enjoyed potato latkes and eggrolls, fry bread and fried rice, Taquitos and hummus, among other delights.  Several restaurants also contributed dishes. Attendees also enjoyed traditional Japanese dance performances by 4th-grader Kira Kusumi, an Ethiopian coffee ceremony, and Polynesian dance instruction by 3rd-grader Naomi Tandal and her family.

Lindbergh High School students in Terry Derrig’s business education class recently created boxes of gifts and supplies as part of Operation Shoebox. Students filled the boxes full of personal hygiene items, toys, candy and snacks, and trinkets for little girls. Lindbergh’s boxes will be distributed by Operation Christmas Child to children in need and orphans in the U.S. and throughout the world.

Fourth- and fifth-grade students in Andrea Gollob’s class at Highlands Elementary School are writing a novel throughout November in celebration of National Novel Writing Month. Students are learning how to create interesting characters, setting plot and have set goals for the number of words they will include in their novel. Students will use many resources to create their novel including a Web site for National Novel Writing Month and others for young writers.

Nelsen Middle School and Lindbergh High School’s Choral Programs took donations to support U.S. troops in Iraq during their recent combined concert.  Nelsen students also wrote letters to troops with messages of gratitude and optimism.  The cash donations will be used to purchase hygiene items, Pop Tarts, granola bars, canned fruit and other nonperishable foods, calling cards and more.

Renton High School senior Armin Basic was recently honored by the Seattle Seahawks and the US Army as the high school student-athlete Player of the Week. Armin was selected for his performance on the field, leadership, reliability, dedication to academics and community involvement. The award includes:

  • $250 ASB fund grant for Renton High School
  • Two Seahawks game tickets and sideline tour
  • Recognition on the Hawkvision Jumbotron

Lindbergh High School coach Jef Rettmann was named Seamount League Cross Country Coach of the year for both boys and girls.  

Hazen High School golfer Kekoa Mark was named the Seamount League male golfer of the year.

Hazen High School golf coach Jeff Wood was named Seamount League Boys’ Coach of the year.


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