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Cedarcrest High School Thespian Society students celebrate an enduring commitment to theater

  • Written by Leanne Christensen, RSD

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Back row (L to R): Mrs. Lewis, Leif Henrikson, Laura Lango, Jeremy Hager, John Mogridge, Aaron Shell, Nick Tiffany, Aleah Young, Mackenzie Ward, Nikki Dalton, Synove Carlson. Middle row (L to R): Carly Christensen, Kate Sherman, Shaini Candland, Hailee Johnson, Sarah Corbett, Maddii Gallacci. Front row (L to R): Diedre Greenfield, Kylee Morgan, Evan Eaton. Not pictured: Charlie Chittenden. Courtesy photo.
Congratulations to the 2011/2012 Cedarcrest Thespian Society members.

During their induction ceremony, current members were given impressive  ribbons and pins celebrating their prior contributions to the CHS drama department, and newly inducted members were given their official Thespian certificate and pin as a welcome into this very talented and passionate troupe.

The original Thespian Society was established in 1929 at Fairmont State College in Fairmont, West Virginia. The society was the creation of three talented and zealous educators: Dr. Earl Blank, who was then the director of dramatics at the high school in Casper, Wyoming; Dr. Paul Opp, a member of the college faculty; and Harry Leeper, a teacher at East Fairmont High School.

The educators  named their organization the “National Thespian Society for Thespis  the Greek” who, according to legend, was the first actor.

The guiding principle for this society was a dedication for excellence in theatre arts in secondary schools. Initially, seventy-one schools became charter members of the society and the first national convention and election of officers was held in 1930. From this modest beginning, the organization enjoyed steady growth throughout the years.

Today, the Society has become an international organization with more than one million members and troupes in every state and many foreign countries; sponsoring state, regional, national and international theatre conferences. Its members continue to learn more about the art and craft of theater, perform and see outstanding performances, and audition for  impressive scholarships.

Cedarcrest drama teacher/Thespian Director Michelle Lewis and Thespian Society President Kate Sherman shared the following during the inspiring ceremony:

“The Thespian Society continues to strive to give young adults a place for outstanding theatre where the standards of excellence in theatre arts will be advanced, and to honor students who do theatre well. And it continues to be guided by the principles of its founders: a belief that participation in the arts is an essential means of widening students’ cultural horizons and enriching their lives, and where there is a true commitment to theater.”

Cedarcrest Principal Clarence Lavarias addressed the audience and shared of his admiration and esteem for drama teacher/Thespian Director Michelle Lewis.  Mr. Lavarias also expressed his high regard for the impressive growth, progress and improvement in the CHS drama department under the leadership of Mrs. Lewis and to the enduring commitment of her students.

Congratulations to the 2011/2012 Cedarcrest Thespian Society: Shaini Candland, Sarah Corbett, Maddii Gallacci, Jeremy Hager, Hailee Johnson, John Mogridge, Kylee Morgan, Aaron Shell, Carly Benedict, Leif Henrikson, Laura Lango, Charlie Chittenden, Kate Sherman, Carly Christensen, Diedre Greenfield, Nick Tiffany, Aleah Young, Mackenzie Ward, Evan Eaton, Nikki Dalton and Synove Carlson.

A successful and impressive ‘Healthy Challenge’ at CVE

  • Written by Leanne Christensen, RSD

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Fifth grade students Andrea Pitts and Jenna Holt practice flossing. Courtesy photo.
Every year during the month of October, Cedarcrest High School health teacher Peggy Filer promotes a “Healthy Challenge” program, in which she encourages all Riverview staff, students and families to set healthy goals and track their progress on the road to better health.

This year one of the first groups to accept this challenge were 5th graders at Cherry Valley Elementary.  In all (it was a voluntary program) 85 5th graders were eager to participate and encouraged their families to as well. Their challenge...to floss their teeth each and every day from October 3rd through October 28th.

Teacher Jennifer Santamaria was proud to report that the students kept track of their success on a daily graph and were thrilled with their accomplishment.Students also completed some basic research about flossing, and learned that it not only helps to prevent cavities, but gum disease too.  All of the needed dental floss was donated by local dentist, Dr. Sam Castillo of the Duvall Dental Center.

Students reported that before their flossing challenge, they had completed a survey and found that on average 23 (out of 85) 5th graders flossed their teeth daily, which is only 27 percent. However, during the challenge when the stats came in,  an average of 65 students flossed their teeth each day, increasing the average to 76 percent of students.

Here are a few comments/testimonials from the Cherry Valley participants:

“I think that I am going to floss more now because my gums stopped bleeding when I floss,” said Jage Spear from Mr. Nakagami’s class.

“I think that it (the flossing challenge) got most people to floss and it gave me more graphing experience too, and I flossed more than I used to. I also noticed that my breath smelled better,” shared Megan Reid from Mrs. Santamaria’s class.

Diana Chalakova, also from Mrs. Santamaria’s class, added, “My little brother has been flossing too!”

Needless to say the Healthy Challenge program was a complete and healthy success at Cherry Valley.

Mrs. Santamaria will be working with the students checking in once a month to see if the flossing habit is holding on.

After hearing the outcome of the “flossing challenge” from Cherry Valley, CHS health teacher Peggy Filer commented, “Learning of the 5th graders’ results from Mrs. Santamaria makes my heart sing! It is wonderful that the students are starting this important habit while they are still so young.  People of all ages can change their behavior with planning and support. Watching kids realize they have a lot of control over their health is the best part of my job.”

Eagle Rock Multi-Age receives 2011 School of Distinction award

  • Written by Leanne Christensen, RSD

Riverview’s  Eagle Rock Multi-Age program is a 2011 recipient of one of Washington State Educational Service District’s highest honors, a “School of Distinction.”

This impressive award is given to honor schools which exemplify outstanding improvement in student achievement.

Eagle Rock is one of 99 schools in Washington state to have received this award in 2011. Each regional Educational Service District will be hosting an award ceremony to recognize all School of Distinction award winners.

Eagle Rock Program Manager Judy Kay Harris says, “Eagle Rock is proud to receive recognition as a School of Distinction. Our staff and students have worked very hard, and it is gratifying to be recognized for dedication toward excellence in education. As a small school, our test scores can be volatile; one student not feeling well on test day can impact the scores of the whole school, so it is especially gratifying that each and every student dedicates themselves daily to giving their best effort. Achieving this award is wonderful; our task now is to continue setting and meeting high standards in order to prepare students for the future. I know this is something we are eager to get on with!”

In the Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) region, which services King and Pierce counties, it was confirmed that 38 schools in 18 school districts are award winners.

Dr. Monte Bridges, PSESD superintendent states, “The PSESD is pleased to be a partner in honoring schools within our region that set a high standard in realizing dramatic achievement gains for students. We recognize the difficult and important work that this takes. We salute the students, families, educators and communities for their successes and for setting a high bar for us all.”

Riverview School District Superintendent Conrad Robertson stated, “I am so proud of the hardworking students and dedicated staff at the Eagle Rock Multi-Age program. This is a total team effort of students, parents and staff working together to achieve this recognition. We are especially proud that this is the fourth time in five years that a Riverview school has earned the distinction of being in the top 5 percent of Washington schools in improving math and reading scores over a five year period.”

Mmmm ... fried chicken!

  • Written by Lisa Allen

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Photo by Christy Allen

Jake the border collie eyes a clump of what the Puget Sound Mycological Society identified from the above photo as “probably but not 100 percent positive” Lyophyllum decastes “Fried Chicken” mushrooms.

The fungi are sharing a Snoqualmie Valley field with many other varieties of mushroom including the ones on the right which are Coprinus comatus (shaggy manes).

Says Marian Maxwell, PSMS president, “The shaggy manes are beautiful...their gills or lamellae are deliquescent (becomes a liquid after maturity)....This is how they spread their spores.”

An ink can made from the liquid of these mushrooms that artists have used in paintings.

Wine tasting dinner and concert in Carnation

  • Written by Valley View Staff

CARNATION–On December 11, from 4-8 p.m., Sliders Cafe, a hip new retro café known for their meatballs, home cooked food, and live music events, will transform from a café to an intimate holiday dinner club.

Sliders Café chef Marty Lepore is cooking a delicious five course Italian meal paired with six wines from award winning Carnation winery, Pleasant Hill Cellars. While guests enjoy the evening finale of port wine with dessert and coffee, nationally known recording artist Orville Johnson will take the stage.  With a maximum of 40 place settings, guests will love the intimacy and friendliness of this holiday event. Tickets are $75 per person for this four hour, five course, six wines, live music evening. Purchase at Sliders Café in Carnation.

Sliders Café is a bit of Route 66 on Route 203. Built inside Carnation’s historic landmark 1938 Gilmore gas station, with authentic vintage gas pumps out front, you will find Sliders Café, an Italian sandwich eatery, retro diner and weekend breakfast stop.  Sliders Café serves their signature meatball sliders, ethnic Italian grinders and other classic menu items Wednesday through Sunday since opening in the spring of 2011.

Along with the retro diner experience inside this repurposed, original two bay garage building, Sliders Café hosts Bluegrass and Americana music concerts on the Marcia Lee Stage and operates Cowgirls Western Wear in what was the original gas station office.

What’s in a name? ‘Sliders’ for steel guitar ‘Café’ for home cooked food.

Sliders Café is the entrepreneurial dream of Marty Lepore and Phyllis Ann Lee, residents of East King County.

Marty Lepore, a long time Northwest Folklife performer, is known as drslide, master of the steel guitar or slide guitar.

Combined with Marty’s east coast Italian family recipes and Phyllis’ western farm heritage, they have created a popular hip café offering wholesome food and live family music in a resurrected piece of Americana history in the beautiful Snoqualmie Valley.