School Briefs for week of Feb. 20

Feb 20, 2013

Students strike gold in art contest

Seventeen Mukilteo School District students have been awarded the Gold Key for their entries in the annual Scholastic Art Awards, which is organized by the Schack Art Center in Everett.

In addition, 25 were awarded Silver Key awards and 27 earned Honorable Mention recognition. The Gold Key winners were Guy Gibboney, Yza Gutierrez, Esther Kim, Megan McDermott, and Austin Stowe from Kamiak High School; Penney Christianson from Mariner High School; Amanda Huiatt from Explorer; Christy Westmoreland, Olivia Blanco and Nadia Domnina from Harbour Pointe Middle School; Karen Jensen, Kelsie Martin, Jessica Truax and Vanessa Olsen from Olympic View Middle School; and Josue Alcaraz, Damaris Antoci and Yulia Semeenyuk from Voyager Middle School.

The Scholastic Art Portfolio Exhibit will be on display through March 3 at the Schack Art Center, at 2921 Hoyt in downtown Everett.

Prepare for the transition to middle school

The move from fifth grade to middle school can be scary for many students.

The Mukilteo School District will host a series of parent information nights for parents and their fifth grade students to help make that transition as smooth as possible.

The parents of fifth graders are encouraged to attend meetings that will take place at Voyager Middle School at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 26; at Olympic View Middle School at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19; at Explorer Middle School at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19; and at Harbour Pointe Middle School at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9.

The principal and school counselors from the middle schools also will meet with fifth grade students in their elementary classrooms to describe the middle school program and distribute pre-registration course information to take home to their parents. Those meetings will occur in mid-April.

Kamiak basketball coach nominated for award

Cory West, coach of the boys’ basketball team at Kamiak High School has been nominated for coach of the year by the Snohomish County Basketball Officials Association.

The award will be presented at the end of the season to a coach who has demonstrated great sportsmanship, leadership of their team and fair play.

The letter nominating West said that he “motivates his players with positive comments and encourages them throughout the game.”

The letter also pointed out that when he deals with officials, he asks reasonable questions and engages in respectful dialogue. “Coach West is the type of leader our student-athletes deserve,” the letter said.

Art show at Rosehill Community Center

The Mukilteo Parks and Recreation Commission, in conjunction with the school district’s visual arts teachers, is holding the second Mukilteo School District Secondary Art Show at Rosehill Community Center through March 29.

This year’s show exhibits the work of students from all seven middle schools and high schools. The artwork covers a broad range of subject matter and styles using media that includes pen and ink, watercolor, pastel, collage, photography, mixed media, acrylic, and others.

Explorer officer named Police Officer of the Year

Officer Mark Carter, the school resource officer assigned to Explorer Middle School, was named officer of the year for the Everett Police Department.

Ali Williams, the principal at Explorer, wrote a nomination letter that outlined all the benefits Carter has provided the school during the last three years and how he touches the lives of the students and staff each day.

She said that while his physical presence provides security and peace of mind at the school, he also educates students about social skills and responsibilities as young adults, and has gone into classes to teach students about the law.

“The data we have collected during Mark’s tenure at Explorer has shown significant decreases in gang-related activity, theft, and vandalism,” Williams wrote.

She also pointed out that the school’s suspension rate has gone down 25 percent since he arrived.

EdCC to hold free STEM event

Edmonds Community College invites students, parents and teachers from the community to spring into science at STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23, in the college’s Brier Hall, at 20000 68th Ave. W in Lynnwood.

The event is free and open to the public. The goal is to engage community members in hands-on activities to explore STEM subject areas. For more information, visit

Number of homeless students in state has increased

According to numbers recently released by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, a total of more than 27,000 students were reported as homeless in the state during the last school year.

That number is 5.1 percent higher than the year before and is up 46.7 percent as compared with the 2007-08 school year.

School districts cite many reasons for the increase, including a struggling overall job market and more students living on their own.

According to the federal McKinney-Vento Act, homeless students must be given the same access to education as other students and cannot be separated from other students.

For example, a homeless student has the right to continue attending the school he or she attended before becoming homeless, which means school districts must provide the student with transportation to and from that school even if he or she resides outside of the school district area.

A total of 105 homeless students are currently attending Mukilteo schools, as compared with 107 at this time a year ago.

These briefs are provided by Andy Muntz, the spokesperson for the Mukilteo School District.

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