March 15, 2019
In this issue:
Holocaust survivor shares at Maple View
City, district sign proclamation
School will begin 10 minutes earlier, end 10 minutes later
Parents needed for grad requirements committee
Learn about district finances
"Cinderella" with comedic twist opens March 22 at MVMS
Spotlight on classified staff
News briefs
District kudos
Tahoma Band shines at Disney
Coming up in Bear Country
What's for lunch?

Holocaust survivor shares experience at Maple View
Peter Metzelgaar speaks to Maple View eighth-graders last Friday. Metzelgaar was 7 when his family members were taken by Nazis. He survived the Holocaust, with his mother.
Maple View Middle School eighth-graders have studied the Holocaust this year and now they have heard a first-hand account from one of its survivors.

Peter Metzelaar, a speaker with the Holocaust Center for Humanity in Seattle, spoke to Maple View’s 340 eighth-grade students last week, as they gathered in the auxiliary gym. He shared about how he and his mother were able to hide for more than two years on a farm and later escaped the Nazis with the help of an officer from Adolf Hitler’s forces.

“It’s something that I survived and I lived through,” Metzelaar said. He began by sharing Webster’s definition of Holocaust: The total destruction of people by fire. Metzelaar also gave several examples to try to help the students envision what it means to say that 6 million people were murdered by Hitler. By percentage, he pointed out that only about 34 of the students in the crowd would have survived. Or, take the tragedy of 9/11, when 3,000 people died -- and multiply that number by 2,000. The number of Jewish people murdered was nearly as many as the total population of the state of Washington (about 7 million people), Metzelaar explained.

He shared with the students about the Nuremberg Laws, and the invasion of Holland, where he and his family lived. As a child of only 7, Metzelaar didn’t understand what was happening when people from his neighborhood began being taken away by German soldiers.

“Nobody knew -- where were these people taken, and for what purpose?” he recalled, trying to convey the terror and confusion that he felt when the Nazis pulled up in front of his family’s apartment complex in the middle of the night. Soldiers were yelling, doors slamming and babies crying. The next day, several of his friends were not in school, he said. Soon after that, his aunt and uncle were taken away, and not long after, his grandmother and grandfather.

One day in June of 1942, Metzelaar’s mother, Elli, sat him down. She cried as she explained that his father had been arrested. “That’s the last we ever saw or heard of him again,” he said. 

Somehow Elli Metzelaar was able to get in touch with the Dutch Underground, a network of people who helped save the lives of Jewish people. The mother and son were offered a place to live and hide with Klaas and Roelfina (pronounced Klaus and Roefina) Post, who owned a small farm in Holland.

“They were so, so, so courageous,” Metzelaar said, recalling how hard the Post family worked and how kindly they treated him and his mother. The Germans began searching for Jewish people who were in hiding, and the raids grew more and more frequent. Early on, the pair would hide under the floorboards in a hole that Klaas created and covered with a rug to mask the location. The searchers walked directly over their heads, Metzelaar said. “All it would have taken was one cough, one sneeze, one hiccup, and it would have been all over.”

Later Metzelaar and Klaas worked to dig out a cave in a nearby wooded area and disguise it with branches so that the pair could hide there, instead, for the raids, which lasted up to 90 minutes.

“I was always afraid this was going to cave in,” he said, recalling that at age 8 he knew and understood that there were people who wanted to kill him. He still wondered: Where were his father, grandfather, grandmother -- and what would happen to his mother? 

After being with the Post family for more than two years, Elli Metzelaar became worried that they would be caught and killed for sheltering her and Peter. She reached out to the Dutch Underground for a new hiding place, and they moved to an apartment in the city with two women. Living there, the two were frequently hungry, and Elli found out that the women planned to turn them over to the Nazis. So, she asked the underground for a third placement. Then, she sewed a nurse’s uniform and sneaked Peter out of the apartment in the middle of the night. The only way to get to their new hiding place was on a highway that was reserved for the German military. With incredible bravery, Elli signaled for a ride. She had told Peter to stay quiet, and when an SS (Schutzstaffel, or Hitler’s elite force) officer stopped his truck, Elli convinced him that she worked for the International Red Cross and was assigned to transport an orphan.

“He put us in the truck, and they took us to Amsterdam,” Metzelaar exclaimed. “How did she come up with that plan? The enemy took us to Amsterdam -- I get excited every time I tell that part.”

In May of 1945, Canadian forces liberated Holland. Peter Metzelaar was 10 years old.

“The war was over. No one in my family returned,” Metzelaar said. He and his mother moved to New York when he was 13. Fifty years later with his family, he returned to Europe, and they traveled to Poland. “Twenty minutes outside Krakow was the largest piece of hell ever created, Auschwitz-Birkenau Death Camp.” Metzelaar told the students some of what went on at the concentration camp, where crematoriums would burn 24 hours a day, and as many as 4,000 people were murdered in one day.

He shared a bit about propaganda and how the Nazis used it. 

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it,” Metzelaar said. He encouraged the students to continue learning, and to use critical thinking skills. “Be tolerant. Not everybody prays the same. Not everybody looks the same.” 

On the same family trip, the Metzelaars traveled to Holland and tried to find the Post family to thank them. Although the couple had died, Peter Metzelaar was able to find the farmhouse and the cave where he and his mother hid -- and survived.

For student and staff responses, see related article below.
City, district sign proclamation for inclusion, diversity
Maple Valley Mayor Sean P. Kelly, left; Tahoma School Board President Didem Pierson, center, and Maple Valley City Councilor Syd Dawson listen during a recent joint meeting.

Elected leaders from the City of Maple Valley and Tahoma School District have issued a joint proclamation in support of diversity, equality, inclusion, and safety for all citizens while also denouncing acts of hate and intimidation.

The proclamation is a response to acts of vandalism that occurred last November, when racist graffiti appeared in Maple Valley neighborhoods. Several community members came forward to ask that the city and school district respond to the incident in ways that make it clear that such actions will not be tolerated.

The City Council and School Board asked staff to create a proclamation and decided to issue the document in March to coordinate with Gender and Ethnic Equality Month.

Councilor Erin Weaver offered this statement on behalf of the entire City Council:

“My fellow council members and I are proud to join with the Tahoma School Board and proclaim the month of March as both Gender and Ethnic Equality month. Many of us moved to Maple Valley because of a variety of attributes found in our city. We have affordable homes in outstanding neighborhoods. We have a terrific natural environment with great recreation opportunities. We have an outstanding school system preparing our youth for their future success. But most importantly, we have a sense of community and belonging that makes Maple Valley more than just the city we live in; it is home. And in our home, all are welcome and celebrated for making our community interesting, strong, respectful and kind,” she said.

School Board President Didem Pierson said the proclamation reflects the school district’s core beliefs. “Tahoma School District already has policies and curriculum in place to assure that all students and staff are treated with respect. With that said, it is with great enthusiasm that we have the opportunity to partner with the City of Maple Valley to collaboratively support a culture that embraces diversity, compassion and inclusion in our community. Our hope is that the citizens of our city will join us in supporting what has been outlined in the proclamation,” she said.
Two citizens who asked the city and school district to respond to the graffiti said they are pleased with the proclamation.

Kristiana de Leon, a language arts teacher for Tahoma, said that speaking out against hate provides a valuable lesson to young people. She said her students study the Holocaust each year and understand the importance of opposing acts of hate. “This is our small way of saying, ‘never again,’” she said.

Alicia Busch, in a prepared statement provided to the School Board and City Council, offered her thanks and said silence is not an option when acts of hate occur.

“We cannot stand still or silent in the face of drastic rise of bigotry, hate, racism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and exclusion,” she said. “Remaining silent and unmoved is an act of complicity and an endorsement of the harmful and sometimes deadly consequences of hate.

“It takes courage to take a stand. It is not without risk, but it is far riskier to do nothing. So, I commend the school district and city for taking a stand.”

Here is the proclamation:
WHEREAS, the people of the City of Maple Valley and the Tahoma School District value the diversity of the community; and

WHEREAS, equality, inclusion, and safety for all persons are core values of the City of Maple Valley and the Tahoma School District; and

WHEREAS, the City of Maple Valley and the Tahoma School District are committed to recognizing the dignity of all people; and

WHEREAS, verbal and physical acts to threaten or intimidate people are not consistent with our core values, are not part of our culture, and do not reflect who we are; and

WHEREAS, the politics of division, isolation, and hate have no place in our community; and

WHEREAS, all people deserve assurance of the basic principles of equity and human rights guaranteed in our Constitution and Bill of Rights; and

WHEREAS, we celebrate our community’s diversity and welcome all people who live, work, and go to school here, regardless of their national origin, color, race, sexual orientation or gender identity, financial or socioeconomic status, or political opinion; and

WHEREAS, the month of March is both Gender Equality Month and Ethnic Equality Month; 

NOW, THEREFORE, we, the City Council of the City of Maple Valley, Washington, and the Tahoma School District Board of Directors, do hereby proclaim that we reaffirm our community’s shared values of compassion, inclusion, respect, and dignity; and our commitment to building an environment, and a community, in which everyone is valued and everyone has the opportunity to thrive; and we encourage the citizens to likewise affirm these values of inclusion.

Signed by the Maple Valley City Council and Tahoma School Board.
School will begin 10 minutes earlier, end 10 minutes later
Classroom instructional time that was lost when schools closed during the recent snowstorms will be made up without having to use Spring Break days, alter high school graduation, or extend the school year deep into June.

During a special meeting March 4, the Tahoma School Board approved calendar changes to recover 40 hours of lost school time, which meets the state requirement of 1,027 instructional hours. To do that, Tahoma will add 20 minutes to each school day, extend the last day of school one day to June 20 (instead of June 19), and cancel eight early release Fridays.

The changes begin on March 18, when school will begin 10 minutes earlier and release 10 minutes later than the current schedule at each building. Bus schedules will reflect those changes, with pick-up and drop-off times moving 10 minutes earlier in the morning and 10 minutes later in the afternoon. For new bell times, click here.

Early release Fridays will be held on March 8 and 15. The remaining early release Fridays are canceled, with the exception of half-day release for grades 6-12 on May 24 and half-day release on the last day of school, June 20.

The board’s decision also allows the district to request five waiver days from the state Superintendent of Public Instruction, which were authorized under an emergency declaration by Gov. Jay Inslee in connection with the snowstorms that led to seven canceled school days. The office of state Superintendent of Public Instruction approved the waiver request on Thursday.

The first round of snow led to school closures on Feb. 4 and 5. School started two hours late on Feb. 6 and 7. The second round of snow resulted in five more closures, Feb. 11-15. Two of those days are being recovered by using makeup days on May 24 and June 20. Another built-in makeup day on Jan. 28 was used to make up the day missed on Jan. 7 due to the windstorm. The other snow days will not be made up but the instructional hours still must be restored. Waiving five days creates scheduling flexibility that is needed to add 20 minutes to each day to recover lost instruction time, instead of extending the school year. 

The makeup plan was created as a result of discussions with representatives from administration, teachers, classified staff, PTA/PTO, bargaining unit leaders and members of the Human Resources and Payroll departments. A final proposal emerged on Friday after meetings with administration and bargaining unit representatives. The proposal was presented to the School Board on Monday.

In addition to restoring instructional hours, discussion included how to best accommodate Tahoma High School’s graduation schedule, AP and state assessments, and families and staff who have vacation and travel plans in place for Spring Break and the days immediately following the last day of school. 

The changes approved by the school board will not significantly affect the school district’s finances, since few additional costs are incurred. 

Parents needed for grad requirements committee
Two parent volunteers are needed as part of an ad hoc committee to develop recommendations for an ongoing process that will review and identify high school courses that meet core graduation requirements.

The committee is scheduled to have three meetings: March 28, April 25, and May 8. The meetings are from 2:30-5 p.m. in the Future Ready Center at Tahoma High School. Persons interested in serving on the committee are asked to email the school district at Please include contact information (phone and email) and a brief statement about why you would like to serve on the committee and what background or perspective you could bring to the process.

In addition to parents, the committee will include high school administrators, a counselor, teachers, a community business person, students, middle school counselor or administrator, and a School Board member.

Courses that meet core graduation requirements must meet the following criteria:

  • Meet expectations and requirements set by the State Board of Education and OSPI.
  • Position students for success in postsecondary education, gainful employment and citizenship.  
  • Support the district’s vision for each student graduating with a viable personal pathway including Future Ready Skills and a Future Ready Plan.
Learn about district finances at Engage Tahoma
Property taxes pay for public schools, but how much money is directed to Tahoma School District and how is it being used? The community is invited to learn more about school finance on March 20 and April 4 in the debut of a community outreach program called Engage Tahoma.

The format for Engage Tahoma is to focus on one topic in two 90-minute evening meetings. The first meeting will provide background information about the topic. The second meeting is focused on conversation among attendees and district staff and School Board directors about the topic. Participants are asked to commit to attending both meetings of either session by signing up here.

If you have trouble with the link, please email

The second Engage Tahoma topic, on April 30 and May 20, will focus on classroom technology. All Engage Tahoma meetings begin at 6 p.m. in the Board Room at Central Services Center, 25720 Maple Valley-Black Diamond Road SE, Maple Valley.
"Cinderella" with comedic twist opens at MVMS March 22
Photo courtesy of Tahoma Junior Drama Boosters
Leads from both the Blue and Gold casts of the middle school production of "Cinderella" gather on stage with a few of the props that will be used in the production. To see the students in action and check out their costumes, attend one of the shows on March 22, 23, 29 or 30.

As the tale goes, the clock strikes midnight and Cinderella rushes away from the Prince. What happens next in this year’s middle school production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s version of the beloved story? You won’t want to miss seeing the answer for yourself in this production by drama students from both Summit Trail and Maple View middle schools.

“It’s the classic version of the fairy tale you love, with a slightly more comedic twist,” said Cheri Ayres-Graves, who directs the play.

The middle school production of “Cinderella” has a Cinderella character with slightly more spunk, goofy and endearing stepsisters and a prince that the audience actually gets to know, added Camille Long, choreographer. In fact, this prince has a name -- Christopher -- unlike many of the other versions, where he is known simply as “the prince.”

Many of the themes and threads running through the tale are applicable to the real world and real relationships, Ayres-Graves and Long said. In the lines and lyrics runs the message that “Dreams don’t mean anything until you put action behind them,” Ayres-Graves said. “I love that idea.” 

One of the songs has another great message: “Do I love you because you’re beautiful, or are you beautiful because I love you?” Ayres-Graves said. “I think when you sit back and listen to the lyrics, you will be surprised by the depth. … It’s a meaningful show.”

The play is recommended for ages 4 and older, and has a run time of about two hours, including intermission. Each of the matinees will include a photo opportunity for preschoolers and young children on the stage after the show with the prince and Cinderella.

Asked which parts of the production they particularly love, the duo said it is hard to pick. However, they mentioned three elements: the enchanted animal ensemble; a twist on Cinderella’s carriage, which is a live carriage portrayed using actors from the show; and a fairy godmother who may not fit the stereotypical role for that character.

“It’s a middle school production, but it’s a real show,” Long said. “The passion of these kids really adds that layer of magic that you need for a good show.”

“Cinderella” opens at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 22 at Maple View Middle School. Additional performances are at 7 p.m. on March 23, March 29 and March 30. Matinees are at 2 p.m. on March 29 and 30. Tickets may be purchased at the door using cash or check; $7 for students and seniors and $10 for general admission. 
Tahoma School District’s support staff were honored and celebrated last night at the annual appreciation dinner that is part of Education Support Professionals Week. District administrators, such as Tahoma Elementary School Dean of Students Nicole Plyler (above left) served dinner and dessert to about 200 staff members and guests, gathered in the Commons at Maple View Middle School. In the photo at right above: among the guest speakers were Charlotte Shindler (far right), state president of the Public School Employees of Washington, who joined Tahoma PSE President Vickie Glockner (center) to enthusiastically greet the audience. Other speakers included Superintendent Tony Giurado, School Board President Didem Pierson, Tahoma Education Association President David Aaby, and members of the Maple Valley City Council, who read a proclamation honoring classified employees. The dinner also celebrated the Tahoma PSE chapter’s 50th anniversary.

Flu-related absences increase
Several Tahoma schools reported unusually high absentee rates this week, as many students reported flu-like symptoms. To learn more about flu treatment and prevention, please visit the Public Health -- Seattle and King County website.

News from the School Board
Superintendent Tony Giurado this week administered the oath of office to Katrina Montgomery, who was selected by existing board members from a pool of eight District 2 residents who applied for the vacant position on the Tahoma School Board. Bill Clausmeyer resigned from the board for personal reasons; Montgomery will serve out the remainder of his term, which ends in December. 

In other business, the School Board:
  • Heard a report about graduation requirements, and an ad hoc committee that is being put together to make a recommendation to the board (see related news brief above).
  • Approved adoption of a new high school math curriculum called “Envision.” We will share more about this in an upcoming issue of Tahoma Matters.
  • Had their mid-year review of progress on board targets.
  • Received an update from the Teaching and Learning Department about the Future Ready Skills.

Safety Committee holds regular meeting
The district Safety Committee gathered this week for one of its regularly scheduled meetings. The committee includes representatives from each building and department as well as local law enforcement, fire representatives, School Board representatives and others.

Wednesday’s agenda included regular updates on injuries; emergency supplies; “Run, Hide, Fight” training refresher; emergency response plans; drills; safety topics for next year and more.

Rock Creek PTO invites community to International Fair
Community members are invited to Rock Creek Elementary PTO’s International Fair, from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, March 15 at RCES. 

The “Festivals of the World” fair will include food, performances, table displays and activities. The schedule calls for food and table displays in the gym, along with activities in the library from 5-6 p.m.; performances in the gym from 6-7 p.m.; and a “Night Lights” activity in the courtyard along with activities in the library from 7-8 p.m.

Volunteers are preparing and planning food and activities to represent Brazil, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, the Philippines, South Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States.

Proper license, placard required for disabled-parking spots
Parking places designated for people with disabilities can only be used by vehicles that display special license plates or parking placards issued by Washington state. Tahoma School District has received recent complaints that the special parking spaces are being used at times by vehicles that do not appear to have proper licensing or placards. Persons who park illegally in the disabled-access areas could be cited by police and fined $450.

Legislators invite community members to Town Hall
The 5th Legislative District Town Hall will be held at 10 a.m. on March 16 in the Performing Arts Center at Tahoma High School, 23499 S.E. Tahoma Way. 

State Sen. Mark Mullet, Rep. Lisa Callan and Rep. Bill Ramos will give a legislative update, then answer questions.

Tahoma teacher job fair rescheduled
Hiring season for certificated staff positions is right around the corner. Do you know a teacher or other certificated staff member who would like to work in the Tahoma School District next year?

The district is hosting a Tahoma Teacher Job Fair from 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19 in the learning commons at Tahoma High School. Administrators will be in attendance to meet candidates and chat with them about our school district. We are looking for K-12 classroom teachers, counselors, special education, BIS, OT/PT, and school psychologists.

For more information call 425-432-3456 or to view current openings, click here: 

Tickets on sale for “Evening of Illusions” to benefit TSF
Las Vegas illusionists Garry and Janine Carson will perform in the auditorium at Tahoma Elementary School at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 31 to raise funds for the Tahoma Schools Foundation.

“Evening of Illusions,” offers “comedy, magic and grand illusions” in a family friendly performance, according to information from Carson Entertainment. The Carsons will perform here as part of a national tour to raise funds for charities and foundations.

Advance tickets can be purchased for a reduced price online at Brown Paper Tickets.

The Tahoma Schools Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization that raises and distributes funds to benefit Tahoma School District students and programs. To learn more about the foundation, click here for their Facebook page or here for their website.

Save the date for Backpack Buddies fundraiser
Backpack Buddies of Maple Valley will host another fundraiser event to help cover the costs of feeding Tahoma students in need.

The event will be at 6 p.m. on April 26 at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, and will include dinner and bunco. Tickets will be on sale next week. Wine and auction tickets will be available for additional purchase.

To learn more about Backpack Buddies and their work, which helps feed students from all Tahoma schools who wouldn't otherwise have enough food to eat over the weekend, click here.
Speech & debate members qualify for nationals
The Tahoma High School speech and debate team recently competed at the National Qualifying Tournament for the Western Washington district at Auburn-Riverside High School.

"This tournament determines which teams in the Puget Sound region will qualify to compete at the National Tournament in Dallas, Texas this June. It was a highly competitive tournament with a lot of talented students from all over Washington," adviser Kaveh Dilmaghani said.
"I am proud to announce that three Tahoma competitors qualified this year!"

The qualifiers are:

• Joey Ribera & Djanaya Esiong; Duo Interpretation
• Saanvi Mehrotra; Humorous Interpretation

It is Esiong's second and Ribera’s fourth year qualifying for the national competition, Dilmaghani said, adding that Ribera is one of only two Tahoma competitors who have managed to achieve that feat.

Two students qualified as alternates: Nikita Chepuri in Informative Speaking and Caroline Quevedo in Extemporaneous Speaking.
Dance team heads to state contest
The Tahoma High School dance team will compete at the state competition in Yakima March 22 and 23.

Coach Simone Odegard said that it has been an uncertain year due to changes in the scoring system that the judges association uses.

“A lot of teams were nervous about even qualifying for districts, so it was a huge accomplishment to make district qualifying scores at our second competition,” Odegard said. “When we found out we made it to state, the team was ecstatic.”

The team competes in two categories, pom and hip-hop, both of which will be performed at state. 

Tahoma graduated 11 seniors from the team last year, so this year’s group included a handful of returning members and quite a few new dancers, she said. Their team is one of the smallest at the competitions.

“The team had to work extremely hard to learn to dance as a unit and in sync with each other, but their hard work paid off when we surprisingly placed and took home a trophy at the Hazen Dance Competition in pom!

THS jazz bands compete at Newport 
The jazz bands from Tahoma High School traveled to compete in the Newport Jazz Competition last weekend.

“Jazz Ensemble 1 (Advanced Band) and Jazz Ensemble 2 (Intermediate Band) both did a great job in their performances,” Director Matt Cole said. “Our Jazz Ensemble 2 earned a spot in the finals competition. Additionally, Jazz 2 won Runner-up and placed!”

This was the first time that Tahoma has had a band make it to the finals at this contest, and the first time they have placed, Cole said. “Our future looks -- and sounds -- great!”

Band soloists will compete at state
Some of the Tahoma band students who performed in the Regional Solo and Ensemble Competition will proceed to the state level in April at Central Washington University.

Moving on as soloists are Claire Cunningham, clarinet; Maya Cheam, oboe; Keila Jellings, bass clarinet (first alternate); Jason Parshal, alto saxophone; Gabe Weisenburger, baritone saxophone; Alexa Meyer, french horn (first alternate); Gabe Smedes, trombone (first alternate); Sonya Letko, mallets-marimba (first alternate); Abby Wooster, harp; Ethan Andrew, piano. Moving on as an ensemble is the Tahoma saxophone quartet of Parshal and Isabel Kirkham on alto saxophone, Ethan Buck on tenor saxophone and Ian Duarte on baritone saxophone.

Orienteering teams navigate to strong finish
Students from Summit Trail Middle School who compete in orienteering had a wonderful season, said team advisers John and Sherri Brady. While the team is not an official school club or team, it includes many students from Summit Trail.

“The kids from Summit Trail absolutely killed it this year,” the advising duo wrote in an email.  

Highlights include:
  • Benjamin B. was the first eighth-grader to run at the varsity level. He earned 4th overall for the seven-race series, and second at the state championships
  • Daniel C. finished the Washington Interscholastic Orienteering League Series with a perfect 400 points and a championship for High School Junior Varsity. Daniel and Benjamin will be on the varsity team next year.
  • Corbin J., in his first year of orienteering, earned second place in the middle school WIOL series. 
  • Brian C. got second place in the middle school state championships this weekend.  
  • The Summit Trail team won first place for both the series and the state championship. The state championship came down to a tie, and Summit Trail won in the tie-breaker due to the high finishes of Brian (2nd), Corbin (4th), and Jack B. (7th).  
In addition to the teammates above, team members include: Ben C., Lucas A., Lance B., Yash B., Ben C., Hank M., Will P., Zariah Z.
Some of the team members will travel to the National Junior Orienteering Championships this year in Quantico, VA.
Art students win awards
Artist: Laura Myers
Artist: Kaleb Magee
Artist: McKayla Jackson
Three Tahoma High School students recently won awards for their artwork, which will be on display in the Regional High School Art Show at the Puget Sound Educational Service District at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20 (awards will be at 7 p.m. following the 6-7 gallery viewing). An additional five THS students will have work on display during the show.

Award winners include:

  • Laura Myers’ photograph “Old Ellensburg” was selected to receive a King County Executive Award.
  • McKayla Jackson’s entry “Dissociation in the Bathroom” has been selected to receive an Outstanding Achievement Award.
  • Kaleb Magee’s sculpture “The Abomination from My Imagination” has been selected as a Regional Winner, and his entry will advance to the 46th Annual State High School Art Show in Olympia. In addition, his entry won Overall Best in Show Award (3D).

Also on display will be works by Ella Piksa, William Edwards, Aidan Mercado, David Amsden and Ashlyn Bair.
Tahoma band shines at Disney
One hundred Tahoma High School band students recently returned from “the happiest place on earth,” where they performed on stage at California Adventures Hollywood Backlot. The band played for a full audience with standing room only, and many audience members were from the Tahoma community.
Other highlights of the midwinter break tour included a 90-minute session at a real recording studio with a Disney composer. The students sight-read new music and recorded a final take with Disney movie segments. Students also had the chance to indulge in some tourist activities including a meal at Medieval Times and a day at Universal Studios.
Director Matthew Cole said that his students had tremendous input and ownership of the tour. They chose the destination, and participated in many fundraisers during the past few months to help bring their individual costs down. Students were able to select the concert music and vote on their favorite tour T-shirt design.
Ten chaperones helped keep tabs on the students. “(The students) listened well, had great energy and were fun to hang out with,” shared chaperone and band mom, Kristin Burdge. “They were all calling me mom by the end of the trip.”

Cole said it was a successful trip. 

“Bravo to our Tahoma Band members who had a great time, practiced hard during the snow days to prepare their music and were respectful everywhere we went.”
Staff, student voices: Reaction to Holocaust survivor story
Teacher Courtney Staley arranged the assembly to bring Holocaust survivor Peter Metzelaar to speak at Maple View Middle School for the eighth-grade students, after hearing about the Holocaust Center for Humanity several years ago, she said. (See Metzelaar's firsthand account above).

“I felt that it was important for them to hear from a person who had their own story to tell,” Staley said.
 “The generation that we are teaching will be the last generation to be able to experience a firsthand account of what the survivors went through. It is one thing for students to hear their teachers explain how horrible this event was and that millions of people died. It is something entirely different when a person who can share their story explains how terrible that portion of history was. I have had students ask me in the past, ‘Did the Holocaust really happen or was it made up?’ That question, which scares me, shows just how important it is for students to understand what went on during the Holocaust.”

Eighth-grader Emily B. wrote that hearing Metzelaar’s story did give her a deeper understanding.

“When a person is telling a story through their own experience, they often give a lot of incredible details. This is exactly what happened. Mr. Metzelaar explained the horrors of this event with passion and understanding. Because of this, he gave everyone details that you can only grasp if you saw the event firsthand. When I listened to Mr. Metzelaar’s speech, it added to my understanding of the absolute horrors that the Jews were put through,” Emily said. “Mr. Metzelaar’s experience and knowledge gave me a window into the past, in a way that very few would ever get to see.”
“The most impactful part of Mr. Metzelaar’s story was when he visited the concentration camps 50 years after the Holocaust ended. He had the bravery to go to a camp, where many of his family members probably perished. He had to carry the burden that millions of people were slaughtered, but he survived. He must have felt regret that he couldn’t have helped any of his family and friends. All he could do was imagine the horrors that they must have went through,” she continued. “It is definitely important to learn about the Holocaust, because we can’t let history repeat itself. If people aren’t educated about our past, then they don’t know how to prevent mistakes in the future. We also have to honor all of the people that died. We can’t let their stories be forgotten.”

FRIDAY, March 15
Rock Creek Elementary PTO International Fair (open to community), 5-8 p.m., RCES

Engage Tahoma Finance session 1, 6 p.m., (see brief above) Central Services Center

FRIDAY, March 22
Opening day for "Cinderella," presented by students from both middle schools, 7 p.m., Maple View Middle School. Additional shows at 7 p.m. on March 23; and at 7 p.m. on March 29 and 30. Matinees at 2 p.m. March 23 and 30. All at Maple View Middle School.

SATURDAY, March 23
Tahoma High School PTA Father-Daughter Ball, 6-9 p.m., THS (tickets on sale now; see email from district on March 12 for details).

SUNDAY, March 31
Tahoma Schools Foundation magic & illusion show, 3 p.m., Tahoma Elementary School (tickets on sale now; see email from district on March 12 for details)

What's for lunch?
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:
Tahoma School District | 425-413-3400 | Visit our website
25720 Maple Valley-Black Diamond Rd. S.E., Maple Valley, WA 98038