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.



    Redmond Middle School student CEO advances to national entrepreneur competition


    Nir Pechuk, Redmond Middle School, advanced to the 11th annual Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) Saunders Scholars National Semi-Finals College Scholarship competition May 3 in Rochester, New York. He won second prize at the national competition.

    A panel of judges made up of investors selected Nir who pitched his business, Extentek, at the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce YEA! event on March 20. His company aims to offer a contactless material level indication device to help people who are blind or visually impaired to pour any substance into a container without over-pouring. Nir was inspired by the desire to help his grandma who is visually impaired.

    “There are over 280 million blind and visually impaired people in the world,” said Pechuck. “That’s about [one in] every 23 [people]. Less than 1% of them can effectively pour water. I am determined to help people like my grandma be independent again.” 

    The investor panel awarded $4,100 to the student-run companies to help them with the start-up costs through the Bellevue Chamber Foundation. Nir was chosen to represent Bellevue and to advance to the national competition. 

    YEA! is an educational program that takes students in grades six through twelve through the process of starting and running real businesses over the course of a full academic year. Students work in close cooperation with local leaders of industry, community members and educators to develop ideas and objectives, write business plans, pitch potential investors, obtain funding, register with governmental agencies, develop their brand identity, and much more. By the end of the class, students own and operate fully functioning businesses that can be carried on after graduation.