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Good News May 24, 2016

  • Good News Announcements
Good News May 24, 2016

CTE Students Qualify for State Competitions

We’re starting our Good News Announcements this evening by acknowledging our Career and Technical Education student-scholars who have reached state in a variety of competitions.

But first, have you ever wondered why CTE programs all include a competition component?

Career exploration and life skills planning form the foundation of Career and Technical Education programs. There’s a strong focus in CTE on taking learning outside the classroom and applying it in the community to increase employability.  

What’s more, federal CTE funding requires a leadership component, which is fulfilled by the student organizations you may be familiar with. There are eight nationally recognized student organizations, including DECA, FBLA, FCCLA, FFA, Skills USA, Sports Medicine and ASL. The competitions take place under the auspices of these student organizations.

The following scholars have competed in local and regional competitions to qualify for state. Some have already competed at the state level and have qualified to move on to nationals. In other categories, state-level competitions take place later this month.     

In DECA, the Distributive Education Clubs of America, our state qualifiers include:

  • Gisell Mondragon of Decatur, advised by teacher Michelle Smith.
  • Tierra Willoughby and Tiffani Willoughby of Federal Way High School, who qualified for state in Hospitality Services – advised by teacher C.J. Green.

From Thomas Jefferson High School, the following students went to state:

  • Jennifer Frias
  • Ellie Chang
  • Michelle Truong
  • Madison Nesbitt
  • Nalien Moore
  • Miguel Duran
  • Alexio Huang
  • Raymond Fung
  • David Jaquish
  • Garrett Dahl
  • Khang Doan
  • Tiffanie Sing
  • Vivian Huynh
  • Louis Kim
  • Will Minnick
  • Tien (TJ) Tran

Four Thomas Jefferson students who also went to state qualified for nationals. They are:

  • Luqman Agyeman
  • Victor Sharma
  • Kelly McCandless, and
  • Ashley Baskins

T.J.’s DECA advisor is teacher Connie DaVolt.

And still under DECA, the following Todd Beamer students are state qualifiers:

  • Stella Han
  • Nastasjia Plunkett, and
  • Jessica Luu, who placed third in state and was among the top 20 at Nationals in Nashville.

Todd Beamer’s DECA students were advised by Greg Phillips.

Moving on to Future Business Leaders of America competitors qualifying for state, we have:

From Decatur,

  • Andrews Boateng
  • Amaria Means
  • Adenike Okunuga and
  • Kayla Baldivino.

Decatur’s FBLA advisor is Leslie Nolasco

From Federal Way High School, with advisor Norma O’Malley:

  • Kaleigha Lang and
  • Simon Struthers; Simon will compete at Nationals in Atlanta later this summer.

In the Skills USA category, the following Thomas Jefferson Emergency Medical Tech student-scholars, with advisor Monica Watchie, were – once again -- named state champions:

  • Sarah Ho
  • Michael Zaremba
  • Elissa Cadena
  • Gildardo Alvarez
  • Alexio Huang, and
  • Tyler Lucas

In the Future Farmers of America, or FFA, category, the following Decatur scholars, advised by Jordan Lybeck, qualified for state:

  • Michela Walker
  • Tyler Pitre 
  • Sydney Victor
  • Morgan Kreckman
  • Cierra Zak, and
  • Madison Austin

And finally, while the following is not a competitive category in CTE, it is a noteworthy accomplishment. Two IT Academy student-scholars at Federal Way High School, Simon Struthers and Ha Nguyen, successfully completed the requirements to receive Microsoft Office Specialist Master certification by demonstrating proficiency in at least four Microsoft Office exams. Their outstanding scores qualified both for the Microsoft Office Specialist U.S. National Championship in June.

Their teacher is Patci Serrano.

Congratulations to all of our very accomplished CTE students and their teachers!

Woodmont and Totem Student-Scholars Make Strong Showing in State Contest

Next up, we have three Totem Middle School and two Woodmont K-8 student-scholars who deserve a big round of applause. They have all created an award-winning essay or poster on a biomedical research topic for the 2016 Northwest Association for Biomedical Research Middle School Student Competition.

The contest asks 6th through 8th grade scholars to examine a medical therapy or treatment that a loved one, pet, or they themselves have received. Then, students choose one of the pre-established themes and create an essay, poster, or video highlighting their findings.

The Totem students are:

  • Venessa Yefimchuk, who took third place in the Animal Research Saves Lives poster category,
  • Richie Hayes, who took third place in the English Language Learners Essay contest, and
  • Rhaya Arciaga, who took third in the Advances in Medical Biotechnology Poster category.

The Woodmont students are:

  • Mi Chung and Rhea Kumar, who respectively took first and second place in the English Language Learners Essay category.

Totem teachers Brent Brakke and Sheryl Tingley and Woodmont teachers Leslye Walton, Shea Eakes, and Alan Harvey have all played a role in supporting the achievements of these scholars.

All five will be invited to the NWABR awards ceremony at the Infectious Disease Research Institute early next month.  

Well done, biomedical research contest winners!

Students Commit to UW-Tacoma through Pathways to Promise Program

The University of Washington - Tacoma Pathways to Promise program has a commitment to doing what it takes to create a clear path to a higher education.

The progam is offered in partnership with five nearby school districts, including Federal Way Public Schools, and is geared to create a college-going culture in local schools and organizations, as well as develop college readiness in these scholars. The focus is not only on attending the University of Washington – Tacoma, but any post-secondary institution. 

With us this evening are our scholars who have confirmed their intention of attending the University of Washington – Tacoma, in part thanks to the district’s partnership through Pathways to Promise.

From Decatur High School:

  • Edward Jeong
  • Nicholas Adams           
  • Isabel Alexandra Cole                    
  • Genevieve Summers                          
  • Riley Wirfs                
  • Erdenetugs Sergelen             
  • Alyssa Kraft                              
  • Elijah Arko                             
  • Kobe Benavente              
  • Evan Quade                           
  • Summera Monet Reid                   
  • Trisha Genota                        
  • Isata Sesay

From Federal Way High School:                     

  • Terrin Raspa                       
  • Bailey Chatterson               
  • Daniel Chaurra                    
  • Andrea Torres                           
  • Emily Sandoval                             
  • Breann Evenson                        
  • Hernan Alvarez                             
  • Yolanda Solis                 
  • Chantel McKinney                     
  • Jonathan Martinez                          
  • Hector Miranda                             
  • Arthur Petryakov

From Thomas Jefferson High School:                  

  • Devin Mygatt                      
  • Bailey Draeger                            
  • Boomer Lusink                  
  • Jin Ho Kim                                
  • Kaori Huanca                         
  • Pavandeep Singh                           
  • Nadezhda Dobrogorskaya             
  • Shemsudin Mustafic                    
  • Jose Aguilar                      
  • Nalien Moore                           
  • Jinho Justin Yoon                          
  • Samuel Hipolito                          
  • Erick Rodriguez

From Todd Beamer High School                           

  • Lukas Brown                            
  • Ali Mushtaque Qazi                        
  • Akeel Mushtaque Qazi                                         
  • Thong Lam                            
  • Erynn Littlefield                        
  • Vanessa Garcia                  
  • My Nguyen                         
  • Eddie Woo                            
  • Breanna Mathews                       
  • Angelo Espinosa                   
  • Sanjuana (Maggie) Martinez               
  • Kaelynn Miller                        
  • Nathen Stout                       
  • Nazim Zerrouki                          
  • Quianna Aquino        
  • Sharon Butler      
  • Dannis Thompson                            
  • Kulsoom Shah
  • Cornelius Ngy

We look forward to hearing about your future accomplishments, scholars!

Federal Way High/Puget Sound Skills Center Student Earns HOSA Nationals Appearance

Federal Way High School student-scholar Shanique Dickens also attends the Puget Sound Skills Center part-time in the Certified Nursing Assistant program. This program covers fundamentals of caregiving, cultural diversity, understanding body systems and exploring various careers in the medical field.

Scholars in the CNA program also participate in the Health Occupations Students of America, or HOSA, competition. This past March, Shanique competed in the Personal Care category and took third place, for which she received a medal and an invitation to the International Leadership Conference and Competition in Nashville, Tennessee.  It’s expected that 12,000 students from around the world will attend this four-day conference.

This is a great achievement and opportunity for Shanique, who has faced many challenges in her young life. The skills center has rallied around Shanique, providing her with the professional clothing she needed for the state and national  competition. Her skills center instructor, Jane Judd, says “The enthusiasm and comradery of her classmates, putting Shanique in the spotlight, was truly a highlight for me as an educator. I have seen Shanique transform from a quiet and independent girl to a self-confident young lady with goals and aspirations for her future.”

Shanique has a vision of becoming an Emergency Medical Technician and taking care of people in emergency situations. Shanique, we’re excited and proud to know you will participate in nationals next month. Good luck to you!

One of Shanique’s teachers at Federal Way High School, Wendy Van Skyhawk, is with us this evening.

Federal Way Special Olympics Basketball and Track Teams Honored

The Federal Way Special Olympics basketball and track teams both have much to celebrate. Serving Federal Way Public Schools’ special needs student-scholars through age 21, this program provides special needs scholar athletes an opportunity to participate in soccer, basketball, track and bowling: This year alone, around 200 scholars participated in the program. They all have true competitors’ hearts:

Four Federal Way Special Olympics track athletes who will participate at state in June are:

  • Wille’ Blockson
  • Tevin Boyd
  • Apollo Hoffman
  • Parker Woodhouse

Federal Way Public Schools Stars Seniors Basketball Team, whose members represent all high schools and the Employment Transition Program, were this year’s Washington State Special Olympics Basketball Champions:

  • Olivia Barry
  • Vivica Black
  • Anias Blockson
  • Wille’ Blockson
  • Corey Nettles
  • Donte’ Peoples
  • William Schumacher
  • Destiny Todd
  • Kyerra Toro

Finally, a number of our Special Olympics athletes compete on what are called “unified teams.” Project Unify is a national program that brings Special Olympic athletes and other students together in competition.

The following scholars make up our state champion Federal Way Public Schools’ High School Unified Decatur Basketball Team:

  • Marcus Creary
  • Marquesha Greene
  • Christianna Hopson
  • Jowell Francia-Figueras 
  • Gary Mork
  • Jacob Nguyen
  • Tremon Spears
  • Elijah Tauala, and
  • Teven Thomas

The Decatur Unified basketball team has not lost a game in six years. It has taken first at state every year, except one, for a total of five state championships in those six years. It happened to snow one year, preventing the team from making the championship game. This basketball team also went to nationals in 2014 to represent the state of Washington and finished third.

Special Populations Activity Coordinator Sharon Boyle manages all of these programs, and is with us this evening.

We’re very proud of all of you!