School Briefs

Jun 06, 2018

Mariner staff members wins Lighthouse Awards

Barbara McPherson, an English teacher at Mariner High School, and Jerrie Engelhardt, a paraeducator at Mariner, were both winners of the second semester Lighthouse Awards, the highest honor that can be bestowed on a Mukilteo School District employee. The winners were announced at last Tuesday’s school board meeting. Also nominated for the award were Susan Betts, paraeducator at Mariner; Bruce Calico, first grade teacher at Fairmount Elementary; Sherri Cushman, paraeducator at Odyssey Elementary; Wendy Eidbo, principal at Columbia Elementary; Katie Griffin, paraeducator at Columbia; Phoebe Herradura, Title 1/technology teacher at Discovery Elementary; Gretchen Houghtaling, 4th and 5th grade teacher at Picnic Point Elementary; Andy Mark, science teacher at Explorer Middle School; Tia Matthews, paraeducator at Columbia; Krista Neighbors, resource room teacher at Serene Lake Elementary; Jim Nettles, science teacher at Kamiak High School; Rhonda Norman, paraeducator at Olympic View Middle School; Maureen Stevens, paraeducator at Discovery; and Shirley Tune, teacher and dean of students at ACES High School.


Bus drivers win big at regional competition

When it comes to maneuvering a school bus and safely transporting Mukilteo students, three of the district’s bus drivers have it mastered. They demonstrated their expert driving skills at the annual Bus Safety Road-e-o held recently at Mariner, where they competed against drivers from the Bellingham, Edmonds, and Marysville school districts. Drivers were tested on their knowledge of road laws and skill at pre-tripping the bus to ensure safe operation, as well as backing, parallel parking, cornering, loading students, rail-grade crossings, and more. Congratulations to Aaron Sushinsky, who won first place and was named safest driver in the region. Tim Stafford came in second and Katie Hansen placed second in the rookie division. Sushinsky and Stafford will now compete in the state-level Safety Road-e-o this summer.


Staff members shoot hoops for a cause

Staff members from Kamiak and Mariner had a great time playing in the Battle of the Ages staff-versus-staff basketball game held recently at Mariner. The gym was filled with plenty of excitement. After a close scoring game, Mariner clinched a 56-54 win. The event started when Nick Angelos, a teacher at Mariner, thought a staff basketball game would be a great way to raise money to support the boys’ basketball booster fund. He assigned his marketing class students to help promote the game as a class project. The event raised over $1,300. The cheerleaders from both schools added a lot of spirit, the Mariner band and Mariner STEP team performed, and the audience had a great time showing their school pride.



To Marysia Koltonowska, a junior at Kamiak, on qualifying for the summer Washington Aerospace Scholars six-day summer residency. The program is designed to connect high school juniors with educational and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math through independent learning, hands-on interaction, professional guidance, and site-based tours. During the summer session, she will work with other students, engineers, university students, and educators to plan a human mission to Mars.


Congratulations also

To the Olympic View band and drill team on winning the Lilac Gold Standard Award at the Spokane Torchlight Parade. To be eligible for the award, competing bands were observed by judges and were required to meet standard in all required categories: rhythm, musicality, ensemble skills, percussion, individual and ensemble technique, spirit, and overall audience appeal.


Lake Stickney recognized by the state

Lake Stickney Elementary School has been recognized by the state’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction for meeting high-performance schools design requirements. “The design includes sustainable characteristics and building systems that deliver superior energy performance, reduce water use, and provide excellent indoor environmental qualities,” said Justin Rogers, director of school facilities and organization for OSPI. “Lake Stickey Elementary School students and staff are learning and working in a safe, comfortable, and healthy environment.”

It’s almost graduation time

Mukilteo high schools will hold graduation ceremonies in the weeks ahead. The ceremonies for both Mariner and Kamiak will be held on Friday, June 15 at Everett’s Angel of the Winds Arena (formerly Xfinity Arena). Kamiak’s ceremony will begin at 4 p.m. and Mariner’s will get underway at 8 p.m. Graduation for ACES will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 14 in the school gym and the graduation ceremony for the Community-Based Transition Center will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 12 at the Sno-Isle Tech Skills Center. All of the ceremonies are open to the public.


Parent survey has positive results

An annual survey of school district parents indicates that they generally have a positive impression about the schools that their children attend. More than three quarters of the parents report feeling welcome at their child’s school and parents say they are happy with the education their children are receiving in Mukilteo schools. The survey, which has been conducted for 20 straight years, was held from April 2 through May 4, during which time a total of 2,715 responses were recorded. A complete report of the findings can be found at:


Insights for families

The Mukilteo School District hs recently added information to their website that provides tips about summer safety. It’s the latest in a series of articles that is intended to help parents in their role as a partner in education. The website also includes information about helping children understand and use maps, sneaking in learning during the summer, teaching children about money, tips to combat summer learning loss, and getting children moving. The information is located at

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