Old school bell gets a new display in Lakewood
The Custer Elementary School bell, which hung in the original “Little Red Schoolhouse” behind the existing Lakewood school, has a new life thanks to a Boy Scout, volunteers and the Clover Park School District maintenance staff. Boy Scout Evan Kaasa, son of Custer kindergarten teacher Melissa Kaasa, was looking for an Eagle Scout project and Custer principal Jane Al-Tamimi suggested restoring and building a display for the old bell. The bell hung in the old schoolhouse but was removed years ago due to concerns it would fall or be stolen.
Lowe’s of Lakewood donated the materials and Evan, his fellow Boy Scouts and other volunteers built a display shaped like the old schoolhouse for the bell. District maintenance staff restored the bell so it was operational. The bell was unveiled and rung during a special ceremony on May 1 at Custer. Several alumni from the original Custer Elementary attended the ceremony and shared stories with students about student life in a two-room schoolhouse. Alumna Jeannette Hurlow, who was a third-grader in 1941, said the bell would ring at 8 a.m. every morning.
“There were only 17 students in my class. There was also no bus transportation so we had to walk to and from school each day,” she said.
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The bell and new display are located in the school’s foyer.
School testing is Tacoma meeting topic
Parents and Friends for Tacoma Public Schools will host educator and author Wayne Au to speak at the group’s next meeting, 6:30 p.m. Thursday. (May 14) Au is an associate professor in the School of Educational Studies at the University of Washington Bothell and an editor for the social justice teaching magazine, Rethinking Schools. He will speak about teachers refusing to test students, as well as parents opting out of standardized testing for their child. The community, parents and educators are encouraged to attend the free event at Wyatt Hall, Room 109 on the University of Puget Sound campus. For more information call 253-906-8827.
Teen art, writing wins honors in library contest
The Pierce County Library’s annual teen writing and art contest has concluded with 36 winners chosen from 672 entries. There will be a viewing of the winning works at 7 p.m. May 27 at Pacific Lutheran University’s Lagerquist Concert Hall. Winners receive cash prizes of $100 for first place, $75 for second place and $50 for third place.
Winners are: Makaela Whalen, Cedarcrest Junior High; Bailey Apthorp and Rebecca Hernandez, Ford Middle School; Mary Holloway, Keithley Middle School; Finlay Adamson and Claire Summa, Gig Harbor High School; Abigail VanDoome, Goodman Middle School; Tristan Crawford, Glacier View Junior High; Nathan Cutler, Kalles Junior High; Kaitlyn Lawrenz, Rogers High School; Kamie Jovag, Stahl Junior High School; Katlyn Daniels, Claire Defrancesco and Katie Lasko, Bonney Lake High School; Amelia Day, Lakeridge Middle School; Rebecca DePalma and Jonathan Ross, Curtis High School; Katherine Hunter, Glacier Middle School; Michelle Smith, Bellarmine Preparatory; Emily Saletan, Charles Wright Academy; Allison Moren, Andrea Ueland, Bao Nguyen, Matthew Pfefferle, Hanna Lawty and Daniel Matsuda, Covenant High School; Nicon Moeini, St. Charles Borromeo; Annika Van Vlack, Taija Perry Cook, Isadora Mattfield, Sydney Paulsen, Penny Rhines, Cole Maurmann, home school; Miya McCarter and Martina Preston, no school identified.
Puyallup presents elementary honors concert
The Puyallup School District presents the Elementary Honor Concert featuring more than 200 students in honor band, chorus and orchestra. The free concert will be held at 7 p.m. Monday May 11 at Rogers High School, 12801 86th Ave., E., Puyallup. It is part of Arts Education Month in the district and the state.
State GET tuition program open through May 31
The Washington Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program will accept enrollment until midnight May 31. Parents wishing to enroll need to complete the process before that time. The program provides tax-free growth and withdrawals for qualified higher education expenses. To enroll and get more information go to get.wa.gov
Gig Harbor student named to state education board
Baxter Hershman, Gig Harbor High School, was recently names the new western Washington student representative to the Washington State Board of Education. He will begin his two-year term in May. His appointment was the result of a competitive application process that culminated with panel interviews conducted by the Washington Student Advisory Council.
Check next year’s Puyallup school calendar
The Puyallup School District’s 2015-16 calendar and bell schedules are now available to students and families on the districts website, puyallup.k12.wa.us. The schedule includes new bell schedules at Emerald Ridge High School and Glacier View Junior High, plus key dates including the first day of school, winter and spring break and last day of school.
Compiled by Mary Anderson and Debbie Cafazzo, staff writers