Chrysalis students to participate in new guide dog training program

  • Written by Deborah Stone
Guide dog training
Courtesy Photo. Pictured from left to right are: Michaela Clouse, 12th grade; Sarah Scarborough (club leader); Sherman (9-month-old black Labrador retriever); Emily Schuler, 12th grade; and Erik Burns, 11th grade. Not pictured, but also participating is William Fogle, 8th grade.
Michaela Clouse has never trained a guide dog before, but she will soon learn what it’s like to have this special opportunity.

The teen is one of four students to participate in a new course offered at Chrysalis School in Woodinville.

Sarah Scarborough, human resources manager at Chrysalis, recently started a local club for Guide Dogs for the Blind at the school and she will be the leader of the program.

“I’ve worked for the organization before and have also trained puppies to become service dogs,” explains Scarborough. “It’s an amazing experience and one that I wanted to give to the students here.”

The animals, which will be coming in early November from the organization’s breeding center in California, will be raised by the students in their homes for the next year. Every Friday, participants will meet with their dogs and Scarborough for a two-hour training class at school.

The puppies will frequently accompany the students when they normally attend Chrysalis, as well as throughout the day when they engage in other activities.

Families are very much a part of the process, according to Scarborough, and their permission was naturally required for participation in the program.

“The student has the main responsibility,” comments Scarborough, “but the dog is a part of the household, so all members are involved.”

She adds, “We had to make sure that each home provided the right environment and those who wanted to participate had to do a trial run with a puppy for a weekend. It’s important, especially if you’ve never had a dog, to see what it’s like to have a puppy in your house. We also needed to be sure that everyone realized the time commitment involved in this program.”

Scarborough continues to explain that the biggest challenge for the students and their families is to understand that the dogs are not just pets.

“They’re like babies,” she adds, “and they must be continually socialized. They need to learn the highest household manners and reach specific milestones in order to be ready at the end of the year.”

The hope, according to Scarborough, is that the experience is fun for the students and that they view this unique volunteer service work as valuable and rewarding.

“It takes a lot of time and heart to train a guide dog, and then to give it back is an incredibly selfless act,” she comments.

Michaela expects that she will have a hard time letting her dog go at the end of the program, but she believes that the experience will be worth it, knowing that the animal will be helping someone in need.

She says, “Who knows? Maybe I’ll handle the loss by training another guide dog!”

The 17-year-old chose to participate in the program because she loves helping people and has always had an affinity for animals. She anticipates that the experience won’t be easy though, adding, “Having the responsibility of taking care of an animal all by myself is going to be a huge challenge for me, not only having to worry about myself, but also another being.”

Emily Schuler, another student enrolled in the course, also enjoys working with animals, and the added element of giving back to the community in this manner appealed to her. She is particularly looking forward to taking her puppy into stores with her when she goes shopping. “I think getting the dog to listen to me could sometimes be challenging,” she notes. “And I know I will get attached to it and that it will be hard for me. But, it will also be rewarding when the dog goes to someone who needs it.”

After the year is over, the dogs will head to Oregon for formal training and when they are ready to graduate, the students will officially present their animals to their new owners.

“They’ll be able to see the efforts of their hard work,” says Scarborough, “and it will make them feel really good.”

Creative use of technology for special needs students

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Laptops, iPads, iPhones, Apps and devices …

With technology constantly changing, what devices are available to help students feel more successful in the classroom and help them become increasingly more independent in learning and living?

What technology options are available in the Northshore School District?

Join SEPAC (Special Education Parent/Professional Advisory Council) for an informative session about technology for students who have special needs October 24 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the NSD Administrative Center, 3330 Monte Villa Parkway, Bothell. A Northshore School District technology representative will provide an overview of the role technology plays in NSD for children with special needs.

In addition, Dr. Cindy Dupuy, a learning disabilities/ADHD specialist and diagnostician with a particular area of expertise in the application of assistive technology, will be on hand to discuss how current technology can assist in the learning process, whether at home or in the classroom. She will present helpful ways that everyday technology can assist and enhance the lives of people with special needs. Visit for more information on Dr. Dupuy.

Secretary Reed forecasts robust 81 percent voter turnout

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed last week predicted a robust voter turnout of 81 percent in the general election that is currently underway.

He said Washington voters will be attracted by highly competitive races for president and governor, hot races for Legislature and Congress and some of the most compelling ballot measures in the country.

Washington has over 3.85 million registered voters – an all-time high – and more are expected to be added, since new registrations are still being accepted in-person at county elections offices.

About 120,000 new registrations have been added since the August primary.

Washington’s historic average for presidential/gubernatorial year turnout since 1952 is 79.2 percent.

Reed, making his final turnout prediction before leaving office in January, said he expects a somewhat better-than-average participation due to the quality of the races and the ballot measures. Also, this is the first presidential/gubernatorial election conducted entirely by mail.

“It is true that there have been an avalanche of TV and radio commercials for months, blanket news coverage for the past year and heavy spending by the campaigns,” he said. “But the thing that generates turnout is whether you have compelling races and ballot measures that people care about.  We have that this year, big time.

“The presidential race has been front and center, and our open governor’s race has been highly competitive from the very opening bell. Unusually, we have four wide-open statewide offices (governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and auditor) and three open congressional seats (1st, 6th and new 10th). The two parties are fighting a ferocious battle for control of the Legislature. Local communities have some terrific races and measures, and we are electing our judges.

“And our ballot measures seem custom-made for driving up turnout this year. We are voting on same-sex marriage, decriminalizing marijuana, authorizing charter schools, and deciding whether to require two-thirds supermajorities to pass taxes in Olympia.”

Counties have mailed out ballots, and return ballots must be postmarked no later than Nov. 6. Ballot dropboxes are open until 8 p.m. on election night. Help is available for voters with handicaps.

Reed said he doesn’t expect the turnout – ballot return, really – to match or exceed the record levels set in 2008, 84.6 percent. The state and nation were “really revved up” that year, with the open presidential race generating the most excitement in a generation, he said.

This year, despite a long list of attractive races and issues, the state is coming off a weaker-than expected primary turnout (38.5 percent) and there has been talk of an “enthusiasm gap” in some quarters, he said.  Balancing those factors with all of the incentives for a great turnout, Reed said he’s still thinking turnout will be better than usual.

Woodinville Heritage Museum offers new attractions

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

The Woodinville Heritage Museum is offering several new attractions for visitors during its open hours of 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4.

“We have assembled a hands-on children’s table where kids can play with various objects of bygone days while adults are viewing such new exhibits as our early 1900s teacup collection,” said collections director Suzi Freeman. “And the museum is asking the public’s help in identifying several objects from the 1920s and 1930s that have stumped us,” said Freeman.  The museum has assembled a table with several of these objects in hopes that visitors might recognize their use.

Museum volunteers have also created a packet of old-fashioned holiday recipes from WHS members which will be available free to museum visitors Nov. 4. For local residents, there is a continuing display of 1920s and 1930s county maps of the Woodinville area so visitors can visualize what their own property was like in that era.

For sale at the museum are DVDs covering such topics as Woodinville’s Early Days, the DeYoung Family, Life on Hollywood Hill, 1940-50s School Days, Woodinville Methodist Church History and Life in Woodinville as narrated by Dr. John Halver, descendant of a pioneer family.

The museum is housed in the historic DeYoung House at 14121 NE 171st St., just east of the Woodinville Urgent Care Center.

Woodinville Library to host Robert Horton and ‘The End of the Trail ...’

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

“The End of the Trail: How the Western Movie Rode Into the Sunset” will be presented by Robert Horton Sunday, November 18 at 2 p.m. at the Woodinville Library.

The Western was America’s bedrock mythology – and greatest movie genre – for the first 70 years of film history. But, during a tumultuous period in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the “revisionist” Western took up a fiercely critical argument with the past: In the disillusioned age of the counterculture and Vietnam, you could no longer distinguish heroes from villains by the color of their hats.

Movie critic Robert Horton will lead a discussion, including clips from representative films, exploring how movies reflect the history and culture of their times.

Robert Horton has spent more than 30 years writing and talking about film. A graduate of the University of Washington, he reviews movies for The Herald in Everett and KUOW-FM in Seattle, as well as a number of national publications.

Refreshments will be provided by the Friends of the Woodinville Library. The presentation is sponsored by Humanities Washington.

The Humanities Washington’s Speakers Bureau brings Washington’s finest scholars, authors, musicians and storytellers to communities for engaging free and public presentations.

Reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities is available; please contact the library prior to the event if you require accommodation.

Woodinville Library  is located at 17105 Avondale Road NE. For additional information, call  (425) 788-0733.

Library hours are Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.;  Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 1-5 p.m.