Wednesday, December 14, 2011

White Center Pride

Sili Savusa (left) with Principal Dave Darling at the White Center Summit
 Tonight marks a changing of the guard between two titans of the White Center community, who both dearly love their community and the community loves them back. A sincere thank you to outgoing board president Sili Savusa, whose leadership led to the Equity Policy and the district's heavy involvement in White Center Promise, among many, many other things. And welcome to new board member Tyrone Curry, longtime custodian and track coach on the Evergreen campus.

Last Saturday, I spent the afternoon at White Center Heights Elementary for the annual White Center Summit, organized by the White Center Community Development Association. The event brought together hundreds of White Center residents and supporters for a day of community building. Participants heard speakers on a variety of topics and got to enjoy free family portraits, music and dance performances, and great food! Here are a few pictures from this wonderful event...

Participants signed an "I Love White Center" banner

The huge gathering was entertained by groups, such as these dancers

Music teacher Mark Rice led WCH students in performance 

White Center CDA staff celebrate the opening of the Unity Village residences

I love this mural of Martin Luther King, Jr., made from traced hands of WCH students

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hidden Gems at the Tyee Holiday Bazaar

L to R: DECA student Araceli, Mrs. Vinther, and Global graduates Amanda Ouch and Cathy Jimenez
I was assistant principal of Tyee High School from 1997 to 2000, so I know a thing or two about the Tyee Holiday Bazaar. (Like how one time, the reader board used the less conventional "bizare" spelling, until I caught it. True story.)

What I didn't know is how much the Bazaar has grown in the decade since I worked at Tyee. This past Saturday, Tyee campus hosted 130 exhibitors, selling a wide variety of wares, such as jewelry, candles, and many seasonal gift items. And they turned more away due to lack of space! Demand is so high that the event fills the large gym, small gym, and cafeteria.

Global Connections High School has assumed sponsorship of the event, in partnership with the SeaTac Rotary Club, of which principal Rick Harwood is a member. But in large part, the event is run by G.C.H.S. DECA students. DECA is a nationwide program that supports marketing education.

You might not know that the Global Connections DECA program is among the top handful of DECA clubs in the state. Global DECA students routinely take home top prizes in the statewide DECA competition, and often place highly at the national competition as well. Teacher Alana Vinther is an absolute rock star!

The other tradition of the Tyee Holiday Bazaar is the tree and wreath sale by the Global Connections band boosters. Some of the gentlemen in the band helped me pick out a beautiful wreath that is now hanging on my house. (And Mrs. S. approves!) Like DECA, the Global band program is noted for its statewide accomplishments, specifically in the state solo and ensemble contest, where individual Global students have finished first in the state in recent years and groups like brass quintets routinely are competitive. I'd be surprised if any other school in the state either as small or economically diverse does as well as Global. Big kudos to band director Lyn Nelthropp for carrying this tradition forward year after year!

Note the full parking lot. (I checked the spelling, just to be sure!)

The gym was packed! As were the small gym and cafeteria. 130 vendors in all.
Entrepreneurial DECA students sold pancakes to Principal Harwood
A Global band wreath now adorns my house. $20 well spent!