Nooksack Valley School District coverage
Mount Baker Rotary club gave a total of $32,400 in scholarships to 18 students who graduated from Whatcom County high schools in 2012 and are going on to college.
Each student received a $1,800 scholarship.
- Lynden Christian: Brennan Huleatt, Jami Jo Libolt, John Pawlowski, Chad Heerspink, Kayla Aupperlee and Kaitlyn Brown.
- Lynden: Amber Stokes, Taylor Witman, Fraser Shindruk, Jeremy Korthuis, Cassidy Gunst and Sarrah VanZanten.
- Meridian: Denver VanderYacht and Kelli Terpsma.
- Mount Baker: Rachel Larson and Ben Koehler.
- Nooksack Valley: Charity Caldwell and Courtney Edwards
Six Whatcom County high school graduates have received the 2012-13 Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program award, Comcast Foundation has announced.
They were among 90 students named in Western Washington and Spokane.
Comcast asked schools to nominate students who showed leadership abilities in school activities and strong commitment to community service.
The Whatcom County students and their schools are:
- Emily P. Steelquist, Blaine High School
- Patricia M. Castrejon, Ferndale High School
- Fraser J. Shindruk, Lynden High School
- Kaitlyn M. Michaelson, Meridian High School
- Brett T. Copher, Nooksack Valley High
- Janice E. Liang, Sehome High School
The Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program gives $1,000 scholarships to students.
Lynden Christian, Lummi and Windward kicked off graduations in Whatcom County with their ceremonies on Thursday, June 7.
Lynden and Nooksack Valley high schools are up next, with their graduations beginning at 7 p.m. Friday, June 8.
Below is a round-up of high school and college graduation ceremonies this month. Ceremonies are open to the public, unless otherwise noted.
FRIDAY, JUNE 8
Lynden High School: 7 p.m. in the school gym.
Nooksack Valley High School: 7 p.m. at Sid Lambert Field or Kay LeMaster Gym, depending on the weather.
SATURDAY, JUNE 9
Ferndale High School: 11 a.m. at Civic Field.
Western Washington University:
- 9 a.m. College of Business and Economics, College of Fine and Performing Arts, Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, and Huxley College of the Environment.
- 12:30 p.m. College of Humanities and Social Sciences (Humanities Division) and Woodring College of Education.
- 4 p.m. College of Humanities and Social Sciences (Social Sciences Division) and the College of Sciences and Technology.
All three ceremonies are in Carver Gymnasium. Tickets are required for seating in the gym, but there will be overflow seating in the Science, Mathematics and Technology Education building with the ceremonies broadcast on a screen. The ceremonies also will be broadcast live on Comcast channel 26 and streamed live on www.ustream.tv/channel/wwu-live-events1.
MONDAY, JUNE 11
Blaine High School: 6 p.m. in the school gym.
Community Transitions (Bellingham School District): 7 p.m. Bellingham Cruise Terminal, Dome Room.
TUESDAY, JUNE 12
Mount Baker High School: 6:30 p.m. at the school’s Bob Tisdale Field.
THURSDAY, JUNE 14
Meridian High School: 7 p.m. in the school gym.
Explorations Academy: 7 p.m. at Squalicum Boathouse. Space is limited so people need to contact Explorations before June 13 if they wish to attend.
FRIDAY, JUNE 15
Bellingham High School: 7 p.m. in the school gym. Tickets required.
Northwest Indian College: 4 p.m. in Wex’liem community building.
Whatcom Community College: 6:30 p.m. in the Pavilion. Tickets are required to sit in the pavilion; however there will be overflow seating in Heiner Theatre with the ceremony broadcast on a screen.
SATURDAY, JUNE 16
Squalicum High School: 11 a.m. at the school. Tickets required.
MONDAY, JUNE 18
Sehome High School: 6 p.m. in Carver Gym at WWU.
TUESDAY, JUNE 19
Options High School: 7 p.m. in the theater at Bellingham High School.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20
Bellingham Technical College: 7 p.m. at Mount Baker Theatre. Tickets required.
More than 700 people showed up at Roosevelt Elementary School the evening of Thursday, May 24, to see student performances and artwork.
It was the Bellingham school’s second annual Children’s Art Festival Extravaganza.
The school’s 430 students each displayed several pieces of art.
Roosevelt also held a dedication ceremony for the Poet Tree — a sculpture created by artist Tony Hermanutz.
Hermanutz donated it to the school.
Voters in all seven school districts in Whatcom County, as well as the city of Ferndale, have until Tuesday, Feb. 14, to return ballots for the special election for school funding and a sales tax increase.
Ballots must be postmarked or received by Tuesday to be counted.
The school districts are asking voters to approve different types of levies — replacement measures for technology as well as maintenance and operations, and new requests to pay for technology and small renovation projects.
Blaine schools are asking for a yes vote on a $3 million bond as well, with $2.4 million of that to remodel Blaine High School’s science building.
In Ferndale, voters also are being asked to increase the city’s sales tax by two-tenths of 1 percent to raise money for road repairs.
The levies and sales tax need a simple majority of more than 50 percent to pass. The bond needs 40 percent voter turnout from the last general election and 60 percent approval to pass.
When voters approve a levy, they are approving the maximum amount of money a district can collect in property taxes from residents. The tax rate may fluctuate, but the bottom-line amount the district receives can’t be above the approved amounts.
Voters can drop off ballots at one of the following locations until 8 p.m. Tuesday:
- Blaine Public Library, 610 3rd St.
- Deming Public Library, 5044 Mount Baker Highway.
- Everson branch of Whatcom Educational Credit Union, 106 E. Main St.
- Ferndale City Hall, 2095 Main St.
- Lynden Public Library, 216 4th St.
- Meridian Middle School, 861 Ten Mile Road, in Laurel.
- South parking lot for Whatcom County Courthouse, 201 Grand Ave. in downtown Bellingham.
The Bellingham Herald published articles on all the items on the Feb. 14 ballot in Whatcom County. To read those, which provide details on the levies, tax and bond requests, click here.
Nooksack Valley School District will be closed on Thursday, Jan. 19, because of inclement weather.
It joins Mount Baker School District, which announced earlier today (Wednesday, Jan. 18) that classes would be canceled on Thursday because of continuing frigid temperatures and icy roads.
Nooksack Valley School District voters will be asked to approve two levies on Feb. 14 — one a replacement measure to help pay for day-to-day operations, and the other a new one to pay for technology as well as maintenance of school roofs and floors.
If approved, the four-year measures would bring in $3.7 million to $4.2 million a year from 2013 through 2016.
“Our schools are a great investment,” Superintendent Mark Johnson said.
To continue to improve “we need local folks to continue to support our schools and our children,” he said. “It is an investment but it’s an important one. I can’t think of a more important one.”
The new levy, known as the technology and capital project levy, would begin the same year a bond is paid off. (The last bond payment is December 2013.) For that reason, its proposed collection in 2013 is lower — at $100,000 — before climbing to $500,000 in the remaining years.
Even with both levies and the last of the bond payment, the projected tax rate would be lower starting in 2013, when it is expected to be $5.67 per $1,000 of a home’s assessed value, compared to $5.85 for 2012.
That means the owner of a $200,000 home would pay an estimated $1,170 in school property taxes in 2012, but $1,134 in 2013.
Here’s a look at both levies, which voters are being asked to OK as the school district grapples with more than $1.2 million in federal and state cuts in funding in recent years:
- The educational maintenance and operations levy would replace the current levy that expires at the end of 2012.
Like the current one, it would make up more than 20 percent of the district’s budget and would pay for educational needs such as textbooks, class-size reduction and support, building operations and extra-curricular activities that include athletics and music.
- The technology and capital projects levy would pay for major maintenance and needed technology, such as classroom computers and replacing a 25-year-old phone system. The state doesn’t pay for classroom technology, district officials said.
In addition to school roofs and floors, this levy would pay for energy retrofitting that would save future energy costs.
The levy would be a pay-as-you-go approach and, unlike a bond, would not require interest payments, officials said.
When voters approve a levy, they are approving the maximum amount of money a district can collect in property taxes from residents. The tax rate may fluctuate, but the bottom-line amount the district receives can’t be above what voters approve.
Estimated tax rates property owners in Nooksack Valley School District would pay if voters on Feb. 14 approve two levies, one a replacement levy for maintenance and operations and the other for technology and capital projects.
- 2013: $5.67 per $1,000 of a home’s assessed value.*
- 2014: $5.09.
- 2015: $5.09.
- 2016: $5.09.
* The projected tax rate includes a bond, which will be paid off in 2013. That bond adds another $1.19 per $1,000 of a home’s assessed value.
Even though the Ferndale School District had the only two contested school board seats in the county, some people have been asking me about the results from the rest of the districts.
Here is a break-down of candidates and vote totals for all seven Whatcom County school boards.
As of Wednesday evening, Nov. 9, about 45,800 ballots have been counted, out of about 117,000 registered voters. I don’t have a break-down of number of ballots per school district.
Bellingham School Board (all races uncontested)
Camille Diaz Hackler – 14,191
Ken Gass – 14,776
Kelly Bashaw – 14,529
Blaine School Board (all uncontested)
Campbell McClusky – 2,767
Todd Berge – 2,776
Charles Gibson – 2,747
Ferndale School Board
Kevin Erickson – 4,697
Stuart McKay – 3,377 – vs. Jeffrey Marks – 1,844
Hugh Foulke – 3,109 – vs. Tim Ballew – 2,028
Lynden School Board (all races uncontested)
Dominic Shiu – 2,935
Gary Vis – 3,271
Kevin Burke – 3,016
Stephan Jilk – 3,080
Meridian School Board (all races uncontested)
Craig Wasilewski – 1,623
Marty Gray – 1,557
John Bosche – 1,532
Mount Baker School Board (all races uncontested)
Gary Chadwick – 2,085
Ellen Dodson – 2,099
Trish Hart – 2,071
Russ Pfeiffer-Hoyt – 2,111
Nooksack Valley School Board (all races uncontested)
Cheryl Thornton – 1,331
Chris Haugen – 1,310
Mark Olson – 1,300
The Bellingham Public School Foundation and Communities in Schools of Whatcom County raised about $11,000 at the recent Race for Education 5K.
The press release from the Bellingham Public School Foundation about the event is below:
The Race for Education a Great Success!
Bellingham, Washington – October 18, 2011 – On Saturday, October 8, 2011, the sun came out for over 400 runners and walkers, over 40 volunteers, and the Bellingham High School Band, all who came together to participate in the third annual 5K Race for Education. This friendly fund-raiser in and around Civic Field was co-hosted by the Bellingham Public School Foundation and Communities in Schools of Whatcom County and generously sponsored by WECU. This year’s tripling of participation over prior years was the result of great support from our school community, resulting in proceeds of nearly $11,000, support that will directly benefit students. Geneva Elementary School won the prize for the highest percentage of school community participation with honorable mention going to Sehome High, Fairhaven Middle School, Shuksan Middle School and Roosevelt Elementary.
Our thanks to everyone who helped to make this a great success! Together, we can really make a difference!
The top three Male finishers were: R.B. Wick 16.10, Eric Bachmeier 17.23, and Thomas Race 17.57. The top three female finishers were: Alma McCurry 18.44, Jen Gallant 19.37 and Cynthia Calderon 21.24.
The Bellingham Public School Foundation supports and enriches learning experiences for students in Bellingham Public Schools by articulating the needs and engaging community support from individuals, corporations, foundations, and non-profit partners.
Communities in Schools uses funds to staff schools with resources coordinators, currently focused on Bellingham and Nooksack Valley Schools, and provide programming to reduce the dropout rate in Whatcom County.