Renton School District Good News Announcements December 10, 2008 1. Renton High School freshman Seth Jinka has been selected to take part in the Inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. Seth is one of a few outstanding high school students from across the U.S. chosen to take part in the celebration on Jan. 20, as part of the Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference which provides student-scholars a deeper understanding of the history behind the electoral process and the rich traditions surrounding the presidential inauguration. During the five-day program, Seth will have the opportunity to interact with White House officials, congressional staff members, political experts and other VIPs, such as former Secretary of State General Colin Powell and former Vice President Al Gore. After the inauguration, scholars will attend a Black Tie Gala Inaugural Ball. Other events and festivities include visiting the numerous historic sites and monuments and participating in roundtable discussions, debates and other activities. 2. Students in Terry Derrig’s Business Education class at Lindbergh High School recently made 150 Thank You cards for service members in Iraq as part of a Veterans Day project. The cards will be mailed to Army Specialist William Wallace, a young man Derrig has known since he was 10-years-old, who will give the cards to members of his unit on Christmas Day. 3. Hazelwood Elementary School students recently held a “Kids for Cans” food drive that garnered nearly 850 cans of food. The school’s PTSA used some of the food for families as part of Thanksgiving baskets and will use the remaining food for Christmas meal baskets. 4. Family Liaison Nancy Piombo was recognized in a recent Seattle P-I newspaper column for her work to manage a program that sends a backpack full of food home with 18 elementary school students every weekend. The program, funded by the Renton Salvation Army and Wizards of the Coast, helps families in Bryn Mawr, Campbell Hill and Lakeridge elementary schools by sending food home with the students on the weekend. 5. Hazen High School senior Lorilyn Roller was recently selected as one of only two students to represent Washington state as part of the U.S. Senate Youth Program, which includes visiting Washington D.C. in mid-April during Washington Week. Lorilyn was selected based on her leadership at Hazen and as a student leader in Washington state. She will have a chance to meet President Obama, members of the Presidential Cabinet and members of the Senate to learn about public service and government. In addition to the week of hands on government, all participating students will receive a $5,000 scholarship from the Hearst Foundation. 6. Students in Hazen High School’s DECA Chapter and who serve on the Association of Washington School Principal’s State Leadership Council, recently hosted the “Walk with Champions” fund drive at Seward Park in Seattle. The Hazen students managed more than 150 students from across the state at the event and raised more than $2,200 for Special Olympics. Guests included Special Olympic Athletes, Renton School District Superintendent Dr. Mary Alice Heuschel, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Terry Bergeson. This was the first annual event. Hazen students are hoping to increase the size and participants of the event next year. 7. Journalism teachers from the district’s three comprehensive high schools recently hosted a journalism conference at Lindbergh High for more than 30 students from all three comprehensive high schools. Ben Graeber, from Hazen High, Kent McCleary from Lindbergh High and Derek Smith from Renton High hosted the Journalism Day to offer district students an intensive, hands-on training in essential article writing and desktop publishing skills. The event connected students with local publishing-community professionals including writers, photographers, advertisers, layout and design experts. Students were able to attend four different sessions, including tips for writing headlines, newspaper layout and design, and more. 8. Two Hazen High School seniors in Kerri Dowd’s leadership class have been selected to take part in the annual Macy’s, Seattle Times and KING 5 TV Follow-a-Leader contest. Senior Shelby Lyonais will get to spend a day with Bellevue Chief of Police Linda Pillo who is also a Hazen graduate. Senior Kevin Martin will spend a day with Tomio Moriguchi, the chairman of the Asian specialty supermarket Uwajimaya. The Follow-A-Leader mentor program is designed to encourage students to develop their writing and communication skills, and to think and learn about various career options.This year’s contest featured about 20 local business and community leaders from the greater Puget Sound region. The two winners will also receive a $1,000 savings bond. This is the fourth year that Hazen’s leadership class has participated in and had winners in this contest. 9. Seven Hazen High School musicians have been chosen as part of the Washington Music Education Association’s All State and All Northwest Honor groups. The students were selected from more than 7,000 applicants into groups of about 150, and are considered among Washington’s finest musicians. • All State Orchestra: Kent Coburn – Acoustic Bass • All Northwest Wind Ensemble: Zacariah Shugart – Clarinet • All State Symphonic Choir: Dan Lucier – Tenor Kevin Martin – Tenor Kyle Nation – Tenor Mason Catt – Baritone Colin Jones – Bass 10. Students from Talbot Hill, Hazelwood, Benson Hill and Maplewood Heights elementary schools recently represented the Renton School District at the Seattle Kids Marathon Run. The marathon is structured to allow children — kindergarten through eighth grade — to complete a full 26.2 mile marathon at a rate that is fun and safe for their growing bodies. It also encourages students to read 13 books and perform 13 “do rights” (good deeds) to be eligible to take part in the run. Deeds performed by the students included: • Donated their own money to charity • Cleaned the park near their home • Picked up litter around school • Helped neighbors work in their yard • Helped a person carry groceries 11. Recently-graduated Lindbergh High School student Dalia Amin was invited by the Prime Minister of Kurdistan in the summer to visit him in his palace. Dalia’s family is from Kurdistan in Northern Iraq, and moved to Renton when she was 10-years-old. The Prime Minister was very impressed with Dalia’s many accomplishments in school and in her community including writing for an international newspaper, volunteering and working on her own non-profit organization called Family Care, which provides support to Washington newcomers by helping translate documents, search for jobs, manage cases and apply for citizenship. The Prime Minister offered Dalia a position in the Kurdistan government if she agreed to change her major from medicine to political science. Dalia agreed, and was also awarded funding from the Prime Minister for her education. Because Dalia’s studies have afforded her scholarships to pay for school, she instead invested the Prime Minister’s money into her uncle’s business. 12. Renton High School language arts teacher Jessica Buchan and the school’s Speech and Debate Team recently hosted a state-qualifying Speech and Debate Tournament at Renton High. Twenty area teams participated in the event. This is Jessica’s first year as the Renton High’s Debate Team advisor and staff and students at the school are proud of her leadership skills and accomplishments. 13. McKnight Middle School sixth-grader Kalina Cook has been selected to play the role of Maria in the Renton Civic Theater 's production of the holiday play, "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus.” Kalina began her acting career at Hazelwood Elementary School, playing major parts in the school’s productions of "Peter Pan" and "Wizard of Oz.” She has managed to combine acting while maintaining an A average in school. “Yes, Virginia…” runs from Dec. 5 - 20. 14. Seventh-graders in David Black’s classroom at McKnight Middle School have collected nearly 2,000 non-perishable food items for the Renton Food Bank. Students collected the food from their own families and also worked with local grocery stores like QFC to bring in the food that will be delivered to Renton Food Bank to be distributed to Renton families by Christmas.
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