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Good News April 26, 2016

  • Good News Announcements
Good News April 26, 2016

Beamer Scholar Thanked for Organizing Color Run

We’re starting out the evening by honoring student-scholar Anastassia Kostin for envisioning and organizing the 5k Color Run, which was held on Saturday, March 26, at Celebration Park, just prior to the United in Greatness Student Rally.

Anastassia is a Todd Beamer High School student and a member of the Free the Children Club, a group of students who raise funds for a village they’ve adopted in Equador. The students’ goal was to raise $4,000 towards those efforts; the event met their goal and then some, ultimately raising over $6,000. It proved to be a lot of fun for the 212 participating runners from across the district, as well. These students’ effort was also a “Local Spotlight in Washington” in We Day’s Pacific Northwest Impact Report.

Anastassia said "By getting youth together, we're empowering them to go out there and not wait for someone [else] to start doing something. If you have an idea and passion, you can really use that to attract people that will help you develop your goals."

A cadre of community sponsors also stepped up to support the event, including Wild Waves, DJ Trophy, Herff Jones, South King Fire and Rescue, the Federal Way Police Department, and the City of Federal Way.

Joining Anastassia tonight is Todd Beamer teacher Sue Bergman, who is the advisor to the 40-member Todd Beamer Free the Children Club. Anastassia and Sue, we’re proud of you! Thanks to you and all who made this event a success.

TAF Academy Recognized for Multiple Awards

I’m excited to ask TAF Co-founder and Executive Director Trish Millines Dziko and TAF Academy Principal Paul Tytler to come to the front of the room to be recognized tonight.  They’ve been invited here to accept our congratulations on some very outstanding accomplishments.

In February, TAF Academy received a 2015 School of Distinction Award, based on sustained improvements in reading/English language arts, mathematics and the school’s graduation rate. This is the fourth consecutive year TAF Academy has received this OSPI award.

In addition, the school also received OSPI’s 2016 Career Guidance Award of Excellence. Quoting the OSPI notification letter, "the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction considers your school and school district to be the ‘best of the best’ for exemplary career guidance programs in Washington State."

In just eight years of operation, TAF Academy has won numerous national and state awards for excellence and innovation, including the Innovative School Designation from OSPI in 2014; an Intel Award as a School of Innovation for middle school math in 2012; the Early Innovator Award from Washington STEM in 2011; and the Partnering for Excellence Award from Ashoka Changemakers and Carnegie Corporation for their teacher-scientist partnership program, also in 2011.

Trish and Paul, thank you for all you do to provide this program for our student-scholars.

National Speech and Debate Competitors Recognized

We are delighted to honor the district’s National Speech and Debate competitors this evening. The following student-scholars have qualified to compete in one of two national Speech and Debate competitions in the coming months.

First up are the student-scholars who qualified for a national tournament held in Salt Lake City. This tournament, sponsored by the National Forensics League – also called the NFL – is billed as the world's largest academic competition.  

Thomas Jefferson High School’s speech and debate team has four student-scholars moving on to the NFL competition.

  • Sandra Ojeaburu who qualified for NFL nationals in the Oratory category,
  • Skyler Yesiltepe who qualified in Extemporaneous Speaking, and,
  • Cindy Lee and Erica Dillard, who qualified in the Duo Interpretation Team category.
  • J.’s coach is Andrew Buchan.

TAF Academy’s speech and debate team student-scholars moving on to the NFL national competition are:

  • Zende Jacobs, who qualified in the Programmed Oral Interpretation category,
  • Mahlet Tiruneh who also qualified in the Programmed Oral Interpretation category, and,
  • Angelia Miranda, who qualified for nationals in Original Oratory with a State Championship win.
  • With the TAF Academy team tonight is coach Andy Stuckey and assistant coach Kim Leach.

From Federal Way High School:

Zachary Gostisha qualified for the NFL national competition in the Congressional Debate category. He is also the State Competition Champion in Impromptu.

In addition, two Federal Way High School Speech and Debate students have qualified to compete in the National Individual Events Tournament Championship in Denver next month. Speech and Debate students qualify for this event, which is widely known as NIETOC through their individual performance at a variety of competitions during the season.

These student-scholars are:

  • Andrea Diep and Victoria Cacho who both qualified for NIETOC in the Original Oratory category. Victoria is also this year’s Washington State Competition Champion in Expository Speaking.
  • With the Federal Way High team tonight is coach Lois Gorne.

State Science and Engineering Fair Recipients Noted

Federal Way Public Schools were well-represented at the recent Washington State Science and Engineering Fair. The following TAF Academy student-scholars all took first place in their respective categories:

  • Favour Orji
  • Ketterra Johnson
  • The team of Skye Anderson and Abrianna Hurst
  • Paola Gonzalez-Rodriguez and Jackson Matthews

Todd Beamer High School students also performed well at the Science and Engineering Fair. The following students took first place in their respective categories as well.

  • Jennifer Paz Meza Nicole Lim
  • Bin Phan
  • Bradley Hoefel 
  • Darryl Worcester teamed with Brianna Ashing from Thomas Jefferson High School to form another winning state category team

Finally, Todd Beamer student-scholar Kevin Lee not only won first place in his category, he took first place over all. Kevin teamed with a student from Kings High School to create a project in the category of Physics and Astronomy. The project name is the Role of Secondary Electrons in IEC and BT Fusion.

As such, Kevin and his partner were named the Grand Prize Winners for the 2016 Washington State Science and Engineering Fair.

For this accomplishment, Kevin has won an all-expenses paid trip to the Intel International Science Fair in Phoenix, Arizona. He also has his pick between a $12,000 scholarship to WSU or a $20,000 four-year renewable scholarship to Wesleyan University in Ohio.

Let’s hear it for these phenomenal STEM students!

Teacher Academy Program Showcased

Student-scholars in Federal Way’s comprehensive high schools have an opportunity to explore a career in teaching while they’re still in high school, thanks to a two-semester program called The Teacher Academy. This Career and Technical Education (CTE) program is available at every comprehensive high school in the district.

The overarching goal of the Teacher Academy program is to attract a diverse set of students into the teaching profession, and encourage them to consider returning to Federal Way as student teachers and eventually, as full-fledged teachers. The program also encourages them to explore two specialties that need more teachers: Special Education and STEM.

The first semester of the program involves classroom work, but in the second semester, each student-scholar moves on to an internship that allows them to assist a teacher in a Federal Way elementary school.

These young, prospective teachers also get opportunities to participate in activities like Leadership Day, an event organized by the district’s CTE Department in partnership with the YMCA of King County and Highline College School of Education. Around 145 students from three elementary schools – Sunnycrest, Wildwood and Woodmont -- were also invited to participate. 

Tonight, we would like to acknowledge Teacher Academy student-scholars who have been identified by their teachers as leaders. These students have stood out in their internship positions and are recognized as leaders in the program and in their schools.

From Thomas Jefferson High School, these students are: 

  • Emma Akins
  • Jade Barnhart
  • Mary Fullmer
  • Jesus McCloskey
  • Blanca Trevino
  • Sidney Walter

From Todd Beamer High School, these students are:

  • Claire Hansen
  • Andrez Molano
  • Jori Denton 
  • Isabella Frost
  • Kelly Hernandez 
  • Ryan Noel 
  • Kendall Tiffany 

From Federal Way High School, these students are:

  • Breann Evenson
  • Madison Hayward
  • Sasha McKinley
  • Emily Goebel
  • Emmy Nguyen

And from Decatur High School, these students are:

  • Katelyn Bomgardner
  • Amber Booke
  • Alexandria Contoravdis
  • Kennedy Davis
  • Olivia Fischer
  • Brandon Ruiz

The district’s Teacher Academy teachers are Yattah Reid at Federal Way High School, Jennifer Williams at Todd Beamer, Heather Oliver at Decatur, and Jodi Frederick at Thomas Jefferson.

Thank you for your leadership and for exploring a career in teaching. Our community would benefit from your service as educators.