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News from the Schools
Events, awards, and achievements for students and staff in Lake Washington Schools
December 16, 2014 04:25 PM
LWSD schools celebrate Computer Science Education Week
On December 12, the district celebrated Computer Science Education Week in Washington with many schools participating in’s “Hour of Code” event. At Finn Hill Middle School, students were joined by special guests Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (Washington, 1st District) and CEO Hadi Partovi. Students at John Muir Elementary also took part in the Hour of Code, with the help of parent volunteers.

December 04, 2014 04:09 PM
Ben Rush Elementary Intermediate Choir sings National Anthem at hockey game

The Ben Rush Intermediate Choir (students in grades three to five) sang the National Anthem at the Thunderbirds hockey game on Saturday, November 22. Robyn Hodges, the choir director, said she was very proud of them. “They sang beautifully and their enthusiasm was felt throughout the hundreds of spectators there and echoed back with cheers!”

December 04, 2014 03:20 PM
Redmond High School Wind Ensemble shares concert with Pacific Lutheran University

The Redmond High School Wind Ensemble was invited to share a concert with the Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) Wind Symphony on Sunday, November 23. The group performed three pieces of their own in the beautiful Lagerquist Concert Hall on the PLU campus, and the two groups performed a combined piece at the end of the concert.

Photo: RHS Wind Ensemble, led by Andy Robertson, performs at PLU’s Lagerquist Concert Hall on November 23.

December 01, 2014 04:36 PM
Juanita High School gives back to its community

The National Honor Society at Juanita High School has sponsored the Rebel Food Drive for over 25 years. This year, the school collected over 3,200 pounds of food and over $1,500 in cash donations. All donations were delivered to Hopelink on November 25.

November 26, 2014 11:05 AM
Juanita High School receives Best Delegation Award at Model United Nations Conference

Half of the Juanita High School (JHS) Model United Nations club attended the Pacific Model United Nations Conference November 22-23 in Bellevue, which is the largest in-state conference of the year. These ten students impressed the judges, winning the school one of two “Best Delegation” awards. In addition, the following students received Outstanding Delegate awards:

  • Deryck Gebe (senior)
  • Monisha Weerasundara (junior)
  • Fedor Pogulsky (junior)
  • Shawdi Mehrvarzan (freshman)

November 26, 2014 10:37 AM
Redmond High School places 15th in National Math Contest

Redmond High School (RHS) finished in 15th place in the 2014 Fall Startup Event, a national mathematics contest administered by National Assessment & Testing (NA&T). Coach Liz Sirjani prepared students for the first major competition of the academic year. Students worked furiously for 30 minutes, racing to answer 100 problems in a variety of mathematical topics. Daniel Liu placed second in the ninth-grade division, leading his team to place 15th in the nation.

Math is Cool: On Saturday, November 1, 18 of the Math Team members competed in the Math is Cool competition held at Tahoma High School. Both the 9th / 10th grade team and the 11th / 12th grade team took first place. Individually August Chen (freshman) took third place in Algebra 2. Claire Qu (freshman) took fifth place and Mayukha Vadari (junior) took seventh place in the Calculus division. Daniel Liu (freshman) took first place and Virginia Qian (freshman) took fourth place in the Pre-Calculus division.

Fall Classic: On Saturday, November 15, the RHS Math Team participated in the Fall Classic, a math competition held at Thomas Jefferson High School. Redmond High fielded three member teams in a tournament that allows up to four members per team. Overall the RHS 11th / 12th grade team took fourth place and the RHS 9th / 10th grade team took seventh place. The following awards were earned:

Ninth Grade Ciphering:

  • Daniel Liu, second place
  • Virginia Qian, tenth place
Eleventh Grade Ciphering:
  • Mayukha Vadari, first place
  • Adit Murali, fourth place
Ninth Grade Individual:
  • Daniel Liu, first place
  • Virginia Qian, third place
  • August Chen, tenth place
Eleventh Grade Individual:
  • Mayukha Vadari, second place
  • Adit Murali, third place

November 25, 2014 01:35 PM
Nick of Time Foundation screens 427 hearts, refers 10 for follow-up care

On Wednesday, November 5, Nick of Time Foundation took over the gymnasium at Lake Washington High School (LWHS) and screened the hearts of 427 students from around LWSD and the local area. One family even traveled from Port Angeles for this free heart screening. The goal of the Nick of Time Foundation is to educate and empower students, parents, coaches, and community members, in an effort to help reduce and prevent sudden cardiac arrest, the leading cause of death in exercising young athletes. The best way to detect these heart conditions is through a heart screening using an ECG (Electrocardiogram) and in some cases, an Echocardiogram (ultrasound) of the heart.

Once a month, at schools throughout Washington, Nick of Time Foundation, in partnership with the University of Washington Medical Center, conducts on-site heart screenings for adolescents and young adults ages 14-24. Screenings consist of a Heart Health Survey, asking about possible signs and symptoms or family history of a heart condition. An ECG is performed that analyzes the electrical signals of the heart. In some cases, a limited physical exam or Echocardiogram of the heart is conducted. The results are reviewed on site by cardiologists and sports physicians experienced in heart screens.

In total, ten students at the LWHS screening were found to need some follow-up and monitoring. This event was planned by Lake Washington High School senior Bryden Robertson. It succeeded with the help of 133 volunteers.

November 25, 2014 09:06 AM
Fifty-two LWSD high school music students named to WMEA All-Northwest or All-State Ensembles

Fifty-two LWSD high school music students have been accepted to the 2015 National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME) High School All-Northwest Honor Groups and the 2015 Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA) High School All-State Honor Groups.  After three days of rehearsals, under the direction of outstanding national level music educators and internationally renowned conductors, the students will perform at the conclusion of the 2015 NAfME’s Northwest Division Conference in Spokane, Wash., on February 15, 2015.  Besides Washington state, the Northwest Division of NAfME includes Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Wyoming. Each of these musicians was required to submit audition recordings to be considered.

2015 WMEA All-Northwest Band

  • Abby Bergman, senior, flute, JHS (Kirkland)
  • Jake Berreth, freshman, flute, RHS (Redmond)
  • Clark Ellis, senior, trombone, JHS (Kirkland)
  • Leslie Fisher, senior flute, JHS (Kirkland)
  • Elizabeth James, senior, flute, RHS (Redmond)
  • Abraham Jonsson, freshman, euphonium (baritone horn), RHS (Redmond)
  • Victoria Liu, senior, flute, RHS (Redmond)
  • Caeli MacLennan, junior, French horn, STEM (Redmond)
  • Thomas Mikkelson, junior, alto saxophone, JHS (Kirkland)
  • Tyler Roberts, junior, bass clarinet, RHS (Woodinville)
  • Kaitlyn Yoon, junior, Bb soprano clarinet, RHS (Redmond)

2015 WMEA All-Northwest Jazz Choir

  • Tyra Overby, senior, soprano 1-vocal jazz, JHS (Kirkland)

2015 WMEA All-Northwest Concert Choir

  • Jacob Berg, senior, bass 2, EHS (Issaquah)
  • Georgia Newman-Taylor, junior, soprano 2, EHS (Redmond)

2015 WMEA All-Northwest Treble Choir

  • Janeen Richards, sophomore, alto 1, RHS (Redmond)
2015 WMEA All-Northwest Orchestra
  • Logan Esterling, senior, oboe, LWHS (Kirkland)
  • Sophia Hwang, freshman, violin, RHS (Sammamish)
  • Madeline Kramer, junior, viola, JHS (Kirkland)
  • Siri Mellem, sophomore, viola, RHS (Woodinville)
  • Chris Potter, senior, string bass, JHS (Kirkland)
  • Luisa Rodriguez, freshman, violin, ICS (Redmond)
  • Ryan Saathoff, sophomore, French horn, EHS (Sammamish)
  • Jennifer Yeh, senior, violin, STEM (Sammamish)
  • Kyungyoon Yoo, junior, violin, RHS (Redmond) 
2015 WMEA All-State Concert Band,  
  • Jonathan Azpeitia, senior, bass clarinet, JHS (Kirkland)
  • Isrea Butler, sophomore, Bb soprano clarinet, RHS (Redmond)
  • Han Yuan Chen, junior, Bb soprano clarinet, RHS (Redmond)
  • Harriet Clarke, sophomore, trombone, RHS (Redmond)
  • Thomas Donahue, freshman, euphonium (baritone horn), JHS (Kirkland)
  • Ben Formantes, sophomore, Bb soprano clarinet, RHS (Redmond)
  • Alexander Gilbert, senior, Bb soprano clarinet, LWHS (Kirkland)
  • Adrian Goodwin, sophomore, trombone, JHS (Kirkland)
  • Izabel Jo, junior, trumpet (cornet), JHS (Kirkland)
  • Andrew Luo, senior, flute, RHS (Redmond)
2015 WMEA All-State Symphonic Choir
  • Erik Abramson, junior, tenor 2, LWHS (Kirkland)
  • Justin Buell, junior, bass 1, JHS (Kirkland)
  • Madison Forsmann, junior, alto 2, STEM (Redmond)
  • Promise Hammond, senior, alto 2, RHS (Redmond)
  • Catherine Hatlelid, senior, alto 1, EHS (Sammamish)
  • Olivia Heindel, senior, soprano 1, LWHS (Kirkland)
  • Brianna Murillo, senior, soprano 1, LWHS (Kirkland)
  • James Rowan, junior, tenor 2, LWHS (Kirkland)
  • Jonas Rutledge, senior, tenor 1, LWHS (Kirkland)
2015 WMEA All-State Symphony Orchestra
  • Jaime Cantwell, sophomore, violin, RHS (Redmond)
  • Grace Chen, sophomore, violin, RHS (Redmond)
  • Christina Chou, sophomore, violin, RHS (Woodinville)
  • Chanson Kuo, junior, violin, RHS (Redmond)
  • Prajwala Mantha, junior, viola, RHS (Redmond)
  • Kyle Oppermann, junior, viola, LWHS (Kirkland)
  • Aditya Ramanathan, junior, violin, STEM (Redmond)
  • Nick Roels, senior, percussion, RHS (Redmond)
  • William Ronneburg, sophomore, trombone, RHS (Sammamish)

November 19, 2014 03:32 PM
Redmond Middle School teacher named Symetra Hero in the Classroom

Rathan Mahendran, a math and science teacher at Redmond Middle School (RMS), will be recognized as a Symetra Hero in the Classroom at the November 23 Seahawks game versus the Arizona Cardinals. On November 18, representatives from the Seattle Seahawks (including Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avriland Symetra surprised Rathan with the award during a school assembly. Rathan won $1,000 for RMS, plus a customized Seahawks jersey and tickets for the game, with an opportunity to go down on the field before it. Rathan was nominated for this award by former student Christine Ito, a graduate student at the University of Washington, pursuing her master’s degree in teaching. Award recipients are selected for making a real difference in the lives of students by going above and beyond in their day-to-day responsibilities and for helping students build life skills.

November 14, 2014 11:33 AM
Thirty-eight LWSD students selected for junior all-state music ensembles

Thirty-eight LWSD students have auditioned and been selected for Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA) Junior All-State ensembles. Students from Evergreen Middle School (EMS), Finn Hill Middle School (FHMS), Inglewood Middle School (IMS), International Community School (ICS), Kamiakin Middle School (KaMS), Kirkland Middle School (KiMS), Redmond Middle School (RMS), and Rose Hill Middle School (RHMS) were selected. These students will perform at the WMEA conference in Spokane, Wash., on February 14, 2015. The ensembles rehearse for a day under the direction of outstanding music educators and perform in a culminating concert later that afternoon. Each of these young musicians were required to submit audition recordings to be considered for these ensembles. The students selected for WMEA Junior All-State ensembles are as follows: 

WMEA Junior All-State Band

  • Marisa Allyn, eighth grade, Bb clarinet, IMS (Sammamish)  
  • Stefan Arsov, eighth grade, baritone saxophone, IMS (Sammamish)
  • Grace Burt, eighth grade, alto saxophone, KaMS (Kirkland)
  • Jennifer Chou, seventh grade, flute, EMS (Woodinville)
  • Priti Das, eighth grade, flute, IMS (Sammamish)  
  • Samantha Ellis, eighth grade, flute, FHMS (Kirkland)
  • Camille Fang, eighth grade, Bb clarinet, EMS (Redmond)
  • Abigail George, eighth grade, mallets and timpani option, EMS (Redmond)
  • Vivian Gray, eighth grade, Bb clarinet, RHMS (Redmond)
  • Travis Hannemann, eighth grade, euphonium / baritone horn, KiMS (Kirkland)
  • Riley Huston, eighth grade, trumpet, KiMS (Kirkland)
  • Jack Kendall, eighth grade, snare drum and mallets option, IMS (Sammamish)
  • Evelyn Locker, seventh grade, bassoon, KaMS (Kirkland)
  • Claire Longcore, seventh grade, Bb clarinet, KaMS (Kirkland)
  • Skylee Lorenz, eighth grade, Bb clarinet, KaMS (Kirkland)
  • Ben Maier, seventh grade, snare drum and timpani option, IMS (Sammamish)
  • Ashwin Naresh, eighth grade, Bb clarinet, RMS (Redmond)
  • Davin Schaible, eighth grade, oboe, KaMS (Kirkland)
  • Martin Shi, eighth grade, French horn, EMS (Redmond)
  • Eric Stilwell, eighth grade, Bb clarinet, IMS (Sammamish)
  • Bridget Wilson, seventh grade, Bb clarinet, IMS (Sammamish)

WMEA Junior All-State Mixed Choir

  • Kate Cocales, seventh grade, soprano voice, KiMS (Kirkland)
  • Sanika Joshi, eighth grade, alto voice, RMS (Redmond)
  • Melissa Lin, eighth grade, soprano voice, RMS (Redmond)

WMEA Junior All-State Orchestra

  • Spencer Boyer, seventh grade, string bass, EMS (Redmond)
  • Ryan Butler, seventh grade, string bass, RMS (Redmond)
  • Kelly Chen, seventh grade, cello, KaMS (Redmond)
  • Craig Deng, eighth grade, violin, IMS (Sammamish)
  • Alexander Matveyenko, seventh grade, viola, RMS (Redmond)
  • Olivia Mauer, seventh grade, viola, RHMS (Redmond)
  • Grant Poupore, seventh grade, viola, KiMS (Kirkland)
  • Tanner Rodriguez, eighth grade, cello, ICS  (Redmond)
  • Meghna Shankar, eighth grade, viola, RMS (Redmond)
  • Jasmine Zhang, eighth grade, violin, RMS (Redmond)

WMEA Junior All-State Treble Choir

  • Sage Boyd, eighth grade, soprano voice, KiMS (Kirkland)
  • Fiona Fisher, sixth grade, soprano voice, RMS (Redmond)
  • Sophie Root, sixth grade, alto voice, KiMS (Kirkland)
  • Deveshi Thakur, sixth grade, alto voice, EMS (Sammamish)

November 13, 2014 11:33 AM
Veterans Day events in Lake Washington School District

Schools around LWSD honored our veterans this week. Some held assemblies, others had in-class discussions, and still others created displays with photos and stories of our veterans. Here are a few examples of the events held in our schools to honor our veterans:

Blackwell Elementary – Families submitted information and pictures of relatives who have served. Music teacher Mrs. Sabo put together a beautiful slide show featuring music from each branch of service along with the photos and information about each veteran and the student or staff member who is related to them. The choir also sang patriotic songs.

Mann Elementary – Mann’s “Spirit Team” created a video of staff and students responding to the questions “What is freedom?” and “How much does freedom cost?” The video was shown at the school assembly, to which local veterans were invited.

Rockwell Elementary – Rockwell’s choir performed a number of patriotic songs while local veterans listened. Students throughout the school created artwork to honor veterans they know and the artwork was posted around the school. Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops presented the flags in a flag ceremony.

Wilder Elementary – The focus of Wilder Elementary School’s assembly was on the history of the national anthem, as “The Star Spangled Banner” celebrated its 200th anniversary in September. The assembly featured the history of the song as well as the symbolism of the flag. Veterans were invited to attend the assembly and shared with students what the flag and our national anthem means to them.

Kamiakin Middle School – Staff and students filled out a Veteran’s form with information on a veteran they know and attached a photo that was made into a display. Each homeroom class toured the display so that all students could read about and see the photos of our veterans.


Kirkland Middle School – Students honored three staff members who are veterans during their assembly on November 10: Owen Jones, Lou Rosen, and Terry Higbee. Guest speaker Tim Waters also shared his experience serving in our military, including two tours as an infantryman in Iraq and now as a Platoon Sergeant in the Washington Army National Guard. Tim is also the Board President of One Less Mountain, a foundation based in Redmond that offers support to veterans who are transitioning from military to civilian life. Tim challenged students to think about what they have in relation to what others don’t have and to think about how they can give back for the greater good. Students also wrote letters to veterans during their Panther Time classes, thanking them for their service.

Rose Hill Middle School / Stella Schola – The schools combined for an assembly held Friday, November 7. The assembly featured two guest speakers, both veterans, who shared their stories and told students how they could help military families. Students also heard about the history of Veterans Day and the national anthem. The eighth grade band performed a number of patriotic songs.

Juanita High School – Juanita’s assembly featured staff member Lynn Osborn’s son, Robert Zsigmondovics, who is currently on active duty in the U.S. Army and is stationed at Joint Base Lewis / McCord in Tacoma. The band and choir also performed patriotic songs.



November 07, 2014 11:48 AM
Seahawks Blitz joins Turkey Trot at John Muir Elementary

It was all smiles and high fives at John Muir Elementary when the Seahawks mascot, Blitz, joined the students at their 14th Annual Turkey Trot on Wednesday. This much anticipated week-long event takes place during lunch recesses and promotes the importance of physical fitness and activity. The students walk, jog, and trot around the soccer field. The top boy and girl from each class with the most laps wins a frozen turkey donated by local businesses. Also, the top two classes with the most laps run will win a class party. This event is made possible by the generous turkey donations from the local community and businesses. Last year, the school gave away more than 50 turkeys. Interested in making a turkey donation? Contact the school’s office at 425-936-2640 for more information or to make a donation.

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