Valley View Letters - Thanks to RAK supporters

  • Written by Readers

Recently the Random Acts of Kindness Club at Cedarcrest High School won a national award given by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation based in Denver.

Two weeks ago a video describing our club was posted on YouTube that was created by Storytellers for Good, a company that makes non-profit groups look wonderful.

We have gotten enormous amounts of positive feedback, but I wanted to thank and honor the people who got this whole movement started at CHS and in Duvall.

First, I would like to mention Kerry Gould, former health teacher at CHS, who started the RAK assignment in 1997 for every freshman.  We continue that to this day.

Then in 2000, two CHS seniors, Hadley Rose and Samantha Ritter, asked if I would be the advisor for a new club they wanted to create – the Random Acts of Kindness Club.  I said sure, what will we do, and they laughed and said they didn’t really know – it was random.

Later, Connie Berg, a wonderful local woman, saw several articles about our club in the newspaper.  After the extended power outage of 2007 she created RAK Week in Duvall, which has subsequently spread to Carnation, Woodinville and Monroe.

Finally, I want to honor Leanne Christensen for her continued enthusiasm, support, and newspaper articles about the RAK Club.  It was Leanne who last fall nominated us on the RAK Foundation website for the Extreme Kindness Challenge.  She promptly forgot about it until they called her in January and said that out of 55 nominations nationwide, we were one of the three winners.

The RAK Club has been active for 12 years, but Leanne took the time to shine the spotlight on us and we are very grateful.

CHS has continually supported the RAK movement with their actions and enthusiasm.  The school website has a section called BUSTED for KINDNESS where staff or students can “bust” someone for a kind act they’ve seen or received.

Mr. Doug Hall and student Tyler Butler continually update that section.  Additionally, student Kelsey Jaap has updated our RAK website with useful information including how to start a new RAK Club.

We’ve been contacted by a teacher in Vincennes, Indiana and a student in Shanghai, China who are starting clubs.  Two of the current CHS exchange students from Germany have participated all year and they say they will start clubs at their schools when they return home.

The RAK video can be accessed through the CHS website, Although there were only a few of us interviewed, there are hundreds of others who make or have made this group successful. Thank you to you all.

Peggy Filer

Cedarcrest High School RAK Club advisor

Call for Artists for the 2012 Duvall Art Walk

  • Written by Valley View Staff

The 2012 Duvall Art Walk, presented by the Duvall Cultural Commission, is seeking artists to participate.

This year the Art Walk will take place on Saturday, August 25th, from 5-8 p.m. in Historic Duvall. This juried event aims to showcase the artists of the Snoqualmie Valley along with regional artists of note.

Duvall is one of five small towns in the beautiful Snoqualmie Valley, a rural area 25 miles from Seattle, which combines the best of rural living with easy access to Seattle’s cultural and technological core.

What is the Duvall Art Walk? DAW is where businesses make room for artists to display their work for one day. The public is free to go into the businesses to see the art. The art may be purchased from the artist with the business receiving a 20 percent commission.

Some venues offer free or reduced price refreshments and DCC provides music at appropriate venues throughout the event. Previous year’s art walks had an average attendance of 200. Attendees were of all ages with approximately 80 percent from the Duvall area. More information is online at


• Submissions should include the artist application and a minimum of three examples of work in digital form.

• Artist applications are available online at

•   Artist submissions can be made through email to:    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

•       Deadline to apply is July 25th.  Artists will be notified of acceptance by July 28th.

• There is no guarantee of acceptance into the show.

If you have any questions, please call Kass Holdeman at (206) 715-6693. We look forward to your participation and are excited for you to share your art with us and with the community.

Local preschool and childcare programs featured in tour

  • Written by Wilma June
More than 70 family child care providers spent a recent Saturday touring others’ programs and two Duvall area programs were hosts to the group.   Duvall’s participants included Family Childcare & Preschool, Inc., and Cherry Valley Kids Kastle.

The 2012 tour of homes included seven home-based preschool/child care facilities from Bellevue to Redmond to Duvall.

“As private business owners, most child care providers work long hours, isolated from others in the profession,” said Carol Gibbs, founding president of the East King Chapter of the Washington State Family Child Care Association. “We work long days caring for children in our own homes, so this event allows us to go into our colleague’s homes and place of business, where we find ways to improve our own programs. We glean ideas about everything from environmental design and curriculum, to program administration.”

In comparison, the two programs in Duvall had a lot more space for children to play, both inside and outside than those in the city.  “There is more opportunity for the adventure factor, to explore the outdoors,” said Wendy Avery, current East King Chapter president.

“That’s the joy of operating our own business,” said Irvina Mizell, owner of Family Childcare & Preschool. “Each program is unique to our own design, and while two programs can appear completely different, they can both offer high quality early learning opportunities for children.”

Avery said that this is the most popular training offered each year. “Providers see many different homes on the tour.  They take little bits and pieces to add to their own program’s quality.  This also provides an opportunity for providers to network and share ideas and information.”

The last stop on the tour was Cherry Valley Kids Kastle, operated by Shelly Burtis. Participants enjoyed a BBQ and a presentation on the importance of branding, marketing and advertising.  Examples were given, and Burtis offered individual consulting to  those who needed more assistance.

“It’s an important part of advertising,” said Burtis, “to help the consumer become more familiar with the brand,” while they are looking for quality preschool and child care programs. For more information about quality child care and preschool go to

Sponsorships still available for annual Autism Day WA

  • Written by Valley View Staff

CARNATION—More than 400 families are expected to participate in the day of free activities planned at the annual Autism Day WA celebration at Jubilee Farms in Carnation on Saturday, Aug. 11th.

The fun-filled day will give families and caretakers an opportunity to relax in the peaceful surroundings of an actual working farm. The event has been scheduled from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. as a family activity in a relaxed setting with an assortment of activities for families with children.

“Autism Day WA has been a fun, free tradition since 2001,” said founder Lynne Banki of Sammamish. “Our goal every year is to provide contact with real-life resources available to families touched by autism. The success of our local program will allow us to duplicate Autism Day WA in other areas of Washington, and hopefully other states as well.”

Reservation space is still available for free booths as well as sponsors who wish to be associated with this positive event. Banki said she will begin a waiting list for vendors and service providers once her available spaces are filled.

In an effort to keep the day free of charge for all participants, Banki has employed the services of non-profit specialist GFS Fund Development to coordinate donations.

A list of volunteer opportunities is available online at For more information on donations or participation in the annual event, contact Banki directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Gazala Uradnick of GFS at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (425) 802-7420.

Riverview honors retiring staff members

  • Written by Leanne Christensen, RSD

vvgroup of retirees
L to R: Bob Scharer, Anna Armstrong, Bernice Pond, Gwen Marvin, Cathy Mulligan, Bruce Murdock, Emily Roalkvam and Mitch Weir. Not pictured: Lynn Sinnema. Courtesy photo.
The last few weeks of the year in every school in Riverview are filled with memorable gatherings: award events, class parties, graduations, baccalaureates and move-up ceremonies, with each drawing attention to the culmination and the significance of a successful education.

These events would not be possible without the commitment, dedication and inspiring work of our teachers and staff.  Please join us as we celebrate the following RSD staff members for their many years of educational excellence, and the extraordinary legacy they have left for us all.

We will miss...

Bernice Pond, who has worked at Tolt Middle School for the past 13 years in the lunch room, her positive attitude and sense of humor made her a favorite of many Tolt students year after year.

Lynn Sinnema, a district nurse who has been dedicated to the highest level of caring, kindness and ethical behavior for every child in Riverview for the past four years and for her commitment to the health of our local community  for the last 30 years.

Emily Roalkvam, an inspiring teacher who shared her passion for creating and empowering successful learners in all of her classes at both Eagle Rock and Carnation Elementary for the past 13 years.

Gwen Marvin, a compassionate and caring school counselor who has supported Cherry Valley Elementary students and their families for the past 10 years;  helping to create meaningful, inclusive relationships and a healthy and successful educational environment for CVE students.

Bruce Murdock, Cedarcrest High School science teacher and his innate ability to inspire his students at each and every step of their educational journey. Bruce brought over 37 years of triumphant teaching experience to CHS, and was twice awarded Science Teacher of the Year and Outstanding Educator as well.

Cathy Mulligan, who created a welcoming and success filled environment in the resource room at Cherry Valley Elementary for the past 14 years. Her passion and creative ability to integrate various levels of intervention into her programs was a guiding force to the success of every student.

Anna Armstrong, whose love and dedication to reaching out to all types of student learners for the past 21 years at Cherry Valley Elementary, has left a significant and meaningful educational legacy, not only to her students but to the staff, parents and families as well.

Mitch Weir, who has shared his creative, innovative and encouraging style of teaching with Cherry Valley students for over 34 years. His extraordinary ability for reaching out to his students and celebrating their distinct learning style has been appreciated by many students and their parents year after year. Mitch has left a legacy of meaningful, compassionate teaching for everyone at CVE.

Bob Scharer is a teacher who is not very quickly forgotten by his students. In his 40 years teaching in Riverview, he spent 27 years as a classroom/PE teacher at Cherry Valley and 13 years as an Elementary PE Specialist at Stillwater. He has had the honor of speaking at graduating class ceremonies, which is a privilege  rarely given to elementary school teachers.

Many of his students still own their highly coveted “Birthday Poster” which Mr. Scharer made for each and EVERY student every year during his tenure. If there were lists recording superlative, exceptional, incomparable, extraordinary teachers ... Bob Sharer would be at the very top of each and every one.

Teaching ... “When you love people and have the desire to make a profound and positive impact upon the world.”

~ Sasha Azevedo