Tahoma Matters header
May 18, 2017
In this issue
WEB program will foster connections in MS
When the doors to Maple View Middle School and Summit Trail Middle School open this fall, there will be a new program in place to help forge bonds between sixth-grade students and eighth-grade mentors. Called "Where Everyone Belongs," or WEB for short, the effort has been used successfully in other districts to encourage positive culture and climate and to discourage bullying and harassment.

"The No. 1 goal for Maple View Middle School is to make sure all students connect with their school. Each student has to find a place to belong and people they can trust," Cedar River/Maple View Middle School Principal Andy McGrath said. "WEB helps sixth-grade students begin their middle school career by knowing a group of eighth-grade students that they can trust and who will help them find that place where they fit in the school. We believe that before we can get a student to fully buy in 'academically' we need to make sure they feel like they belong and fit in at their school. This program Where Everyone Belongs does just that."

Tahoma/Summit Trail Middle School Principal Sean Cassidy said he's excited to see the program grow at the two middle schools next year.

"It will give a wide range of students an opportunity to be a leader and help support a positive school culture for years to come," Cassidy said. "We believe that every child can be a leader at school, and this is another venue to help kids get involved and improve their community."

Where Everyone Belongs is the middle school version of Link Crew, a model that the high school has used successfully, staff noted. The new program will be led by Katherine Hart and Courtney Staley at Maple View, and by Katrina Alegado and Branda Almli at Summit Trail. The four staff members attended a conference to learn about WEB and how to successfully implement it. In turn, the four staff members will train the eighth-grade students.

"Eighth-graders will be considered leaders and will be helping the sixth-graders feel like they belong and are an important part of the school," Hart said.

The idea behind WEB is to help create a positive experience for students during their first year in middle school, which increases their chances for success. "WEB also acts as an anti-bullying program for your school, by providing it with a cadre of student leaders who look for bullying behavior and stop it," according to the program's website. "WEB gives older students permission to be aware of and report any negative behavior they see, creating a safer school for everybody."

The yearlong program includes an initial session at the beginning of the school year to help establish friendships between the older and younger students, and also follow-up sessions throughout the school year.

"For the sixth-graders, it helps build ownership throughout the year, as well as making them feel more comfortable in a new school," Staley said. "They will see eighth-graders as those they can talk to instead of those who scare them."

Tahoma staff and parents on a Transition Committee selected WEB after looking into several other programs and talking with members of the Culture and Climate Committee.

Students will participate in a number of activities that feel like simple fun and games, but each one is designed intentionally to build connections, Alegado and Almli noted.

"Middle school can be a very difficult transition," Almli said. "Many students (and parents) experience anxiety, worry, loneliness and disconnect."

This program is designed to combat those difficulties and create a powerful, positive support network for students. It's expected that WEB will take about three years to truly take off, because at that point the first class of sixth-grade students will come full circle and serve as eighth-grade mentors.

"The students will love the activities," Alegado said. They will enjoy being mentors and the sixth-graders will feel connected to their group and leaders. They will create a strong bond. They will have fun and they will belong!"
Tahoma makes mark in the night sky, thanks to new group
Astronomy club members from left, junior Kai Parkinson, senior Cheyanne Beatty and junior Jamison Hubbard pose with the school's Meade telescope.
The star named "Tahoma" is just above the tail of the bear in the constellation Ursa Major, also known as the Great Bear.
The name "Tahoma" will now be written in the stars, thanks to a creative idea from the members of the Tahoma High School Astronomy Club.

Students in the club, which is new this year, were talking one day when someone had the idea to buy a star in the school's honor. Although they admit the idea was something of a publicity stunt, they decided to run with it, said co-presidents Kai Parkinson and Jamison Hubbard, both juniors.

"We were like, 'It'd be cool if we bought a star,'" said Hubbard.

They pulled up the International Star Registry, and selected the constellation Ursa Major, also known as the Great Bear, to underscore the bear connection. The new star, "Tahoma," is located near the Great Bear's tail, and it will be listed in the book "Your Place in the Cosmos." Club members chipped in to cover the cost of the registration. They received a certificate with the star's telescopic coordinates, a star chart and will get a copy of the book after it is printed this summer.

Naming a star after their school is a way of leaving a legacy for future students, adviser and Tahoma teacher Ken Loomis said. "Tahoma the star will be there long after they will."

The high school does not currently have astronomy as a course option, and Parkinson said he and Hubbard wanted to start the club to spark student interest in the field.

"We want to bring astronomy to more students -- on more than just a surface-level," Parkinson added.

Club member Cheyanne Beatty, a senior, agreed. She said she has always been interested in astronomy and would love to get more students interested in the club.

The students started meeting in September, and are currently going through the process to become an official club. The effort has been student-driven, and meetings have included activities such as watching documentaries and YouTube videos about astronomy and related discoveries, club members presenting and sharing information and more. They also learned how to assemble the school's telescope, a Meade LX200, which they will use during the solar eclipse event and future star parties.

Club members have a few events in the works, including using the district's StarLab inflatable planetarium to provide a fun and educational glimpse of astronomy during the high school's Spring Fling carnival-type event.They also will host an overnight star party for students and a viewing party for the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21.

"This is going to be a huge astronomical event," Parkinson said.

To learn more about the club, students who are interested can attend meetings Wednesdays at 2:20 in room 202; or, check them out on Instagram or here on their blog.

Track & field seniors credit success to coaches
Photo courtesy of THS track and field
Members of the Tahoma track and field team talk with coaches at a recent meet. For photos of the rest of the team, visit their Shutterfly site.
Tahoma's track and field athletes have had a season of breaking school and state records, and both the boys and girls teams took first in the North Puget Sound League championships. Next up: The district meet at French Field in Kent today through Saturday.

While the news media has covered the success of individual members of the team such as Ginny Mehl and the sprinting team made up of the Wilson sisters and Olivia Ribera, Tahoma's true achievement is the creation of a robust program where each athlete is supportive of the whole. That collective mindset is evident at practice, when you can hear the athletes cheering one another on, and at meets.

"That's just the environment of Tahoma track," senior sprinter Tierra Wilson said. "That's just the norm for Tahoma."

That strong bond and support network throughout all sections of the team means it's not just the boys or the girls as stand-alone teams, nor is it the sprinters or the long-distance kids or the throwers by themselves, the seniors said.

"We're all fighting for one goal, so it's easy to rally together," said senior Carter Reeves, who competes in shot-put and discus.

Talking with a group of seniors from the team, they attributed their own individual achievements and those of the program directly to the coaches.

"We have some of the best coaches in the state, and they push us to be the best," said Ginny Mehl, who competes in the shot-put, discus and javelin.

Senior sprinter Colin Marvin added the coaches push their athletes the peak at the right times -- and just far enough to achieve their best without getting injured.

The coaches also help each group of athletes, whether it's a member of their own assigned group or not, and function as therapists and mentors when needed, Wilson said.

Athletes on the team train across disciplines, with the runners doing strength workouts alongside throwers and the throwers training for endurance alongside the runners, she added.

"As a team, we're strong in all events -- we're all the way around," coach Jeff Brady said. "That's what makes us a really good team, and that's a great reflection of our coaching staff. They put in a lot of time working with our kids."

In addition to head coaches Brady and Keith Eager, the coaching team includes Aaron Blake, Henry Brown, Brad Goodrich, Princess Joy Griffey, Anne Hobson, Howie Kellogg, Steven Kent, Tate Latimer and Brian Martinez.

Beyond the coaches, it's the strong desire for the same end result that helps Tahoma maintain its focus and drive, said Kayla Contreras, who competes in the 1600- and 3200-meter runs.

"We all have the same goal in mind, and I think that's really what pushes us," Contreras said.

Coach Keith Eager credited his athletes' success to the work and conditioning that takes place in the off-season, including the summer track club (for information about the club, see the news brief section).

"I think that has really helped. We put in the maximum amount of time with our kids that we can," Eager said. "We put in a lot of time and work into what we do, and we feel like we deserve success."

Talking with the team before a practice this week, Brady encouraged the athletes to follow through with all the "little things" such as getting quality sleep, eating right and stretching. They view the season as a series of stepping stones, Brady says, with each meet and practice leading up to districts, and the final performance at state.

"We're in a nice position, but we need to finish," he said. "It's going to be who's best prepared on that day. It comes down to who is mentally prepared to win."

Awards for the NPSL this season include: Nami Wilson, girls track athlete of the year; Ginny Mehl, girls field athlete of the year; Jeff Brady, girls coach of the year; Bobby Say, boys field athlete of the year, Keith Eager, boys coach of the year.

For the full list of Tahoma athletes competing in each event this weekend, click here.

Spotlight on spring sports

Members of the Bears baseball team celebrate last week
Photo courtesy of Sean P. Kelly
The Bears baseball team celebrates after a recent game.
The Bears baseball team will play the first game of the state tournament against Puyallup at 1 p.m. Saturday at Heidelberg Park in Tacoma.

The team won playoff games on May 2, 9 and 10, then on May 13 won one and lost one.

Currently 16-7, the team fared well in a very competitive league, coach Russ Hayden said.

Awards for NPSL include: first team, Andrew Osterman, pitcher; Adam Paganelli, outfield; Kyle Sherick, utility player; second team, Jake Bacon, pitcher; Hunter Jenkins, catcher; Henry Murphy, shortstop; Cameron Green, outfield; Conner Hargesheimer; honorable mention, Brody Magbaleta, first base; Connor Kiffer, second base; Grayson Kibby, third base.

Seniors Osterman, Murphy and Hargesheimer were selected to represent Tahoma in the NPSL Senior All-Star Game, on May 31. The seniors from the NPSL Cascade Division will be playing a double-header against the seniors from the NPSL Olympic Division. The games will be held at Auburn high School and times will be 4 and 7 p.m.
Fast pitch softball
Members of the Tahoma Bears fastpitch team
Courtesy photo
Tahoma Bears fast pitch players pose after winning first place in the North Puget Sound League over the weekend.
The Tahoma High School fast pitch team won the North Puget Sound League last week, and moves on to district playoffs tomorrow.

"Both wins from this past weekend were a complete team effort," coach Christina Millan said. "In the first game against Auburn Riverside we started out the game hot with our bats with Kaylee Hazelwood leading the way and Danika Dennis was able to shut down their offense." The Bears won that game 7-1.

"The second game against top ranked Auburn Mountainview was a pitchers' duel," Millan continued. "We found ourselves in tough predicaments for multiple innings due to walks, but our defense made some huge plays and back-to-back double plays to get us out of the innings. Danika pitched another great game and although she struggled walking numerous hitters, she also struck out quite a few."

The team's defense made great play after great play, she said, and the players' speed on the bases created many opportunities to get runs on the board.

"Leading into this upcoming weekend at districts, we are hoping to use this momentum and continue raising the intensity -- minimize the walks and have quality at bats to give us opportunities to get runners on base," Millan said.

Tahoma plays Auburn at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Kent Service Club Ballfields.

Members of the Tahoma boys golf team
Photo courtesy of Boomer's Photography
Members of the 2016-17 boys golf team.
Members of the girls golf team
Courtesy photo
Members of the Tahoma girls golf team.
The boys golf team this week qualified two additional players to the state tournament, which will be May 23 and 24 at Liberty Lake in Spokane. This week's qualifiers were junior Parker Kneadler and freshman Colby Watkins, who will join junior Colt Sherrell and senior Justin Pederson.

Coach David Reynoldson said the team hopes to place in the top five or better.

Representing the THS girls team at the state tournament will be Abby Goodell, who also qualified this week. Her teammates Camryn Cox and Abigail Mozzone also played in the qualifying tournament.

Members of the Tahoma Bears boys soccer team
Courtesy photo
Members of the boys soccer team pose on the field at the new Tahoma High School.
The boys soccer team took on Wenatchee this week in the first game of the 4A state tournament, but came up short with a final score of 1-0 to end their season.

"We've had a solid regular season," coach Zackary Pittis said earlier in the week. "The wins that really propelled us to a second place league finish, and a state tournament berth were a pair of 2-1 victories over rivals Kentwood and Mt. Rainier."

The team's 2-1 win in the district tournament over Auburn Mountainview secured their first-round state game in Wenatchee, which Pittis said the team was looking forward to as a rematch of last year's state final game.

The all-league players for the NPSL were announced this week. For Tahoma, the recognition includes: Cascade Division Most Valuable Player, senior Charlie Wilcox, midfielder; First Team, sophomore Robbie Guyer, forward; Wilcox; senior Alex Bailey, defender; Second Team, senior Wesley McClure, defender; Honorable Mention, senior Greg Trask, midfielder.

ParentSurveyParents: What do you think about your child's school experience?
Tahoma parents are being asked to share thoughts about their child's school experience by participating in the annual School Climate and Culture Survey.

The survey is a tool to help school administrators and teachers to better understand how parents view the way their child's school operates. The information from the survey is used to adjust and improve how schools serve their students.

"We greatly value the information we receive from parents through this survey," Dawn Wakeley, executive director of teaching and learning, said. "We want and need parent input; it's a partnership that helps us provide a great education to our students."

Parents are asked to fill out a separate survey for each child they have in school. There are 22 questions and the survey provides parents with the opportunity to make general comments as well.

In addition to the survey link that is provided in this story, the school district will send an email to all parents to ensure that every family has the opportunity to participate.

DistrictKudosDistrict kudos
Cedar River students recognized for being Future Ready
Students at Cedar River were recognized for Future Ready skills
About 90 Cedar River Middle School students were recognized Wednesday for their use of Future Ready skills, which include Complex Thinker, Quality Producer, Self-Directed Learner, Responsible Decision-Maker, Effective Communicator, Collaborative Teammate, Community Contributor and Conscientious Worker. Parents were invited to an assembly, where students were presented with certificates and recognized by staff and their peers.
May 25 elementary school open houses
Parents and students are invited to attend open houses for next year's elementary schools on Thursday, May 25. The open houses are part of the school district's transition to new grade configurations and schools next year.

Elementary school students, grades 1-5, and families have open house on the same night, from 6 to 7 p.m. Families can tour the schools, ask questions and receive information about school programs. Maps for bus routes and safe-walking routes also will be available. Kindergarten open houses were held in April and the first week of May.

Because there is limited parking, shuttle buses will be used at Lake Wilderness Elementary and Glacier Park Elementary to transport families to the schools. Details will be provided on the schools' web pages.

District to host job fair next week
Looking for a rewarding local job with fun coworkers, flexible schedule and the chance to help our students become Future Ready? Consider joining Team Tahoma.

The district will host a job fair from 1-3 p.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 24 in the boardroom at the Central Services Center. We'll share more about positions available as bus drivers, custodians, food service employees, playground monitors and paraeducators.
Staff will be available to answer questions and help with the online application process.
For more information about the jobs and requirements, click here or come to the job fair.

Auto show fundraiser scheduled
Community members are invited to a Spring Car Show from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 3 in the parking lot at Tahoma High School. Hosted by the Tahoma Auto SkillsUSA Club, the event is a fundraiser to help send club member Tylur Sommerdorf to the national SkillsUSA competition.

Free to the public, the event will include the car show, music, a food truck, door prizes and the distribution of scholarships. Anyone who would like to register a car to exhibit in the show may do so for a $10 donation; those entering vehicles may register on the day of the event. Vehicles will be judged by students in 12 categories: Ford, Chevrolet, General Motors, Mopar, Japanese, Euro, Antique, Modern Muscle, Truck, Lowered, Custom and Offroader.

Bears basketball camps planned
Students in grades 3-8 are invited to register for one of two basketball camps being offered June 19-22 at Tahoma High School.

The Tahoma Lady Bears basketball camp, will be led by coach Pete DeBolt and four seniors. The cost is $75. Campers will practice defensive drills, rebounding techniques, and participate in shooting clinics, passing and dribbling stations, competitions and games.

The Tahoma Basketball Skills and Drills Summer Camp will be led by Coach Kilgallon, Tahoma basketball players, college coaches and college players. It will focus on fundamental skill development, passing, shooting and dribbling drills, and daily competitions. The cost is $100.

At each camp, students will receive a basketball and T-shirt.

To register or for more information on either camp, visit www.tahomahoops.com and click on "News and Events."

THS will host summer track club
The Tahoma Track Club will run from June 6 to July 31 at Tahoma High School. Open to students in grades 6-12, the club will meet from 6-8 p.m.

Coaches will include Keith Eager, throwing; Princess Joy Griffey, sprints; Brad Goodrich, hurdles; Mekco Caldwell, jumps; Aaron Blake, sprints; Henry Brown, jumps and hurdles; Howie Kellogg, throwing; Rosetta Jones, hurdles.

The fee of $300 covers training with coaches, facility usage, uniform, secondary insurance and weight training. Additional fees will be collected for a U.S.A. Track & Field card and for Junior Olympic events.

For more information, email keitheager@comcast.net or show up to register and pay fees at the first practice at 6 p.m. on June 6.

Tahoma alum wins Pac-12 track and field event
Tahoma alumnus Brock Eager recently won first place in the hammer throw at the Pac-12 Track and Field Championships. The son of Tahoma track and field coach Keith Eager, Brock Eager graduated from THS in 2014 and is attending Washington State University.

Students learn about wood carving, more from master carver
Tahoma Junior High students in Cary Collins' and Angela Watts' Pacific Northwest history classes had the chance to learn about Native American history, culture and wood carving recently, when Snoqualmie Nation Elder John Mullen and his son, John, visited the classes.

Mullen shared that the area around Maple Valley and along the Cedar River is part of the traditional lands of the Snoqualmie people. He shared examples of hats, tools, paddles, drums, rattles and miniature canoes crafted from cedar trees and other natural materials. Students practiced wood carving on a six-foot dugout canoe.
Students at Tahoma Junior High learn woodworking from Snoqualmie Nation elder and son
Master Carver John Mullen assists students Anthony F., Glenn F. and Tyler H. on a dugout cedar canoe.
Pacific Northwest History students at Tahoma Junior High School pose with Master Carver John Mullen and his son, John, of the Snoqualmie Nation.
Construction at a glance
Progress continues at Lake Wilderness Elementary
Crews from FORMA work on the library at the new Lake Wilderness Elementary
Crews from FORMA work on the library at the new Lake Wilderness Elementary.
Cubbies_ carpet and ceiling tiles in a classroom at the new Lake Wilderness Elementary
Carpeting, cubbies and ceiling tiles are being installed in some classrooms at the new Lake Wilderness Elementary.
FRIDAY, May 19
Rock Creek Elementary PTO family night, 7 p.m., RCES

Tahoma High School senior snow make-up day, 8-11:30 a.m., THS

Elementary open house events, 6-7 p.m., CRES, GPES, LWES, RCES, SLES, TES

FRIDAY, May 26
Green Day half day release for all students grades 6-12

MONDAY, May 29
NO SCHOOL, districtwide in observance of Memorial Day

NO SCHOOL, districtwide for students due to teacher work day

Name | Company | Phone | Email | Website
What's for lunch?
Green beans_ raspberries_ sandwich and fries

The Tahoma School District does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following employees have been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination: 

Title IX Officer
Director of Human Resources
25720 Maple Valley Highway
Maple Valley, WA 98038

ADA Coordinator
Director of Human Resources
25720 Maple Valley Highway
Maple Valley, WA 98038
Section 504 Coordinator
Director of Special Services
25720 Maple Valley Highway
Maple Valley, WA 98038
Tahoma Matters staff: Wendy Castleman: wcastlem@tahomasd.us
Tahoma School District |   425-413-3400  | http://www.tahomasd.us
25720 Maple Valley-Black Diamond Rd. S.E.
Maple Valley, WA 98038