Katya Rukhlinskaia

An International Community School student is the 2019-20 winner of the sixth annual Washington State Zine Contest. Katya Rukhlinskaia, who is now in eighth grade, won for grades 7-9 for her “Tribes: The Cowlitz” zine entry.


When schools closed in March, the traditional end-of-year band concerts that showcase a year’s worth of practice and progress were effectively canceled. Rose Hill Middle School (RHMS) Band Instructor, Angela Laulainen got creative during the remote learning period and had her students record their parts at home.



    Notre Dame Cathedral fire inspires a lesson in letter writing with surprising results

    Stella Schola Letters to France

    The devastating April fire to the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris served as inspiration to Stella Schola teacher, Brigitte Tennis. Students learned how to format a traditional business letter while researching the history of the building and its artifacts and expressing their sympathy to French President Emmanuel Macron.

    In appreciation for their efforts and kindness, the students received a letter back from one of his aides on behalf of President Macron. 

    “The students were amazed that a president would take time to read their letters and answer back,” said Ms. Tennis. “We discussed how creating good feelings from across the world is meaningful…it is a great example of how one person (or in our case 30 people) can make a difference.”

    Below is the English translation of the letter, courtesy of Lake Washington High School French Teacher Emily Wilcox:

    Dear students,

    The President of the French Republic has happily received the letters that you had the kindness to send his way following the terrible fire that ravaged Notre Dame of Paris.

    Sensitive to the sentiments that inspired you to send your thoughts, Mr. Macron thanks you immensely. 

    It is a part of our history that we saw burn and it’s with this vivid emotion and a profound sadness that the leader of the country is eager to speak to Parisians, Catholics, and to the larger community of French people to whom Notre Dame belongs.

    The Gothic work of art is broken, but the ruins, the pillages will not prevent it from rising from the ashes. The treasures that were kept within were saved and placed in a secure location.

    Mr. Macron, from afar, sends you all his best wishes for your dreams to be accomplished and he sends his warmest thoughts.

    With all of my sympathy,
    François-Xavier Lauch