Skyline senior attains high honor with Scout troop

October 28, 2014

Most boys who enter the world of Scouting will make a lot of fond memories and learn many valuable lessons, but fewer than one in 10 will accomplish what Jonathan Chriest is doing this weekend.

By Neil Pierson Skyline High School senior Jonathan Chriest will join an elite club Nov. 2 when he earns his Eagle Scout rank. Only about 5 percent of Boy Scouts earn the Eagle rank.

By Neil Pierson
Skyline High School senior Jonathan Chriest will join an elite club Nov. 2 when he earns his Eagle Scout rank. Only about 5 percent of Boy Scouts earn the Eagle rank.

At a Nov. 2 Court of Honor ceremony at The Plateau Club, the Skyline High School senior will receive his Eagle Scout rank from the Boy Scouts of America.

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Siblings think Halloween is right time to be charitable

October 21, 2014

When 11-year-old Ajay Gupta visited Carson Elementary School earlier this month to talk about his fundraiser for UNICEF, he turned some heads and got fellow students thinking about a bigger picture.

Contributed From left, siblings Ajay and Reva Gupta have been busy taking care of their local charity effort through Trick or Treat for UNICEF. Their goal for this year is to raise $2,500, which will pay for clean water and other needs for children in Third-World countries.

By Manoj Gupta
From left, siblings Ajay and Reva Gupta have been busy taking care of their local charity effort through Trick or Treat for UNICEF. Their goal for this year is to raise $2,500, which will pay for clean water and other needs for children in Third-World countries.

Gupta spoke to five classes at Carson on “Popcorn Friday,” when students are invited to purchase bags of popcorn for 50 cents each. But Gupta’s message about giving clean water to children in Third-World countries got through.

“I reminded them that those kids, their only water source may be contaminated, or they might not even have a water source,” he said. “And one of the children … they took their popcorn money and put it in the box that I gave to the class for them to donate in.”

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Carson Elementary School program aims to bring more dads to class

October 14, 2014

Statistics show that only one-fourth of the nation’s classroom teachers are men, and that figure drops to about 16 percent in elementary schools.

By Neil Pierson Jim Gallagher and his daughter Sammy, a second-grade student at Carson Elementary School, share some bonding time during the school’s Watch D.O.G.S. kickoff night Oct. 2. Watch D.O.G.S. is designed to spur fathers’ involvement in their children’s schools.

By Neil Pierson
Jim Gallagher and his daughter Sammy, a second-grade student at Carson Elementary School, share some bonding time during the school’s Watch D.O.G.S. kickoff night Oct. 2. Watch D.O.G.S. is designed to spur fathers’ involvement in their children’s schools.

Schools have had to get creative in order to increase the number of male role models in their classrooms and on their playgrounds. At Carson Elementary School, parents and teachers have banded together to start a Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) program, aimed at increasing male volunteerism.

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Couple pours lots of love into their tasty brews

April 15, 2014

John Julum has been producing beer at home for about 20 years, but the past 18 months have been an entirely new experience for tapping his creativity.

Julum and his wife, Michele, operate Big Block Brewery, the only licensed brewery in the city of Sammamish. It’s considered a nanobrewery because of its 15-keg-per-week capacity, but the Julums have achieved an undeniable small-circle success.

Their neighbors helped them purchase a larger conditioning tank, John said, “because we couldn’t make enough beer to make them happy.”

Photo by Neil Pierson John and Michele Julum own Big Block Brewery, the only licensed brewery in Sammamish, and have grown their operation to produce up to 15 kegs per week.

Photo by Neil Pierson
John and Michele Julum own Big Block Brewery, the only licensed brewery in Sammamish, and have grown their operation to produce up to 15 kegs per week.

The brewery takes up most of the Julums’ two-car garage, although the business’s namesake, a 1967 Ford Galaxie with a big-block engine, occupies the rest of the space. The Julums have 11 beers on tap, and distribute them solely to invited guests in growlers and kegs. They’re not licensed to sell by the pint.

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Desire, precision lead Eastlake dancers to the top once again

April 15, 2014

It’s nothing new for the Eastlake High School dance team to impress the judges at the state championships, but this year, the dancers were a bit stunned with the quality of their own performance.

Eastlake entered the March 28-29 state championships at the Yakima Valley SunDome expecting to perform well because of its detailed preparation. With so many quality Class 4A teams to compete against, though, coaches Corrine Cope and Catherine Dubois-Boutet said they weren’t necessarily looking to take first place in any category.

But Eastlake did exactly that, making some team history in the process. The squad repeated as dance division champions – the fourth straight year the program has won a state title in at least one category – and finished second in both pom and the highly-competitive kick division.

Contributed photo by Leslie Keck The Eastlake High School dance team had some historic achievements to end the 2013-14 season at the SunDome in Yakima, winning a fourth straight state championship and receiving three superior ratings. 

Contributed photo by Leslie Keck
The Eastlake High School dance team had some historic achievements to end the 2013-14 season at the SunDome in Yakima, winning a fourth straight state championship and receiving three superior ratings.

The 32-member squad not only outshone most of its opponents, it recorded some remarkably high scores. Eastlake’s point totals in dance (275.5), kick (275.4) and pom (274.6) earned superior ratings, meaning they eclipsed 90 on a 100-point judging scale. Only one other 4A team, Moses Lake, earned three superior scores, and it was the first time the Eastlake program had done it at state.

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Christensen writes equine tales from personal experiences

January 7, 2014

After a 35-year career as a horse trainer, Anne C. Christensen is now immersed in an activity that’s worlds away.

Christensen, a Northwest native who moved to Sammamish two years ago, began writing full-time six years ago as A.C. Christensen. She’s published three autobiographical fiction books since then – two of them rooted in her personal experiences with horse culture.

In “Patrick the Naughty Pony,” the first of what Christensen hopes will be a 12-part series called “Over the Rails Pony Tales,” she writes about her adventurous childhood on Mercer Island.

Anne C. Christensen

Anne C. Christensen

Her parents bought her a circus pony, an animal that wasn’t naturally meant for riding or showing, but through determination and repetition, she developed a new friend. And that helped Christensen make her own friends through a local saddle club.

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Skyline alum taking cross-country ride for charity

January 7, 2014

Kyle Roth doesn’t consider himself to be an avid cyclist, but this summer he’ll be covering roughly twice the distance of a Tour de France rider.

The 21-year-old Roth, a 2010 Skyline High School graduate and senior at the University of Washington, is embarking upon a 4,000-mile ride in June to raise money and awareness for disabled people.

Roth is one of four Pi Kappa Phi fraternity brothers at UW – and one of about 75 nationwide – who plan to ride from Long Beach, Calif., to Washington D.C. on a 64-day Journey of Hope.

Photo by Neil Pierson Skyline High School graduate Kyle Roth, pictured with his Raleigh bike, will be pedaling across the country this summer in order to raise money for people with disablities.

Photo by Neil Pierson
Skyline High School graduate Kyle Roth, pictured with his Raleigh bike, will be pedaling across the country this summer in order to raise money for people with disablities.

The group will average 60-75 miles per day, and along the way, they plan to meet with people with disabilities and spread a positive message. From Long Beach, they’ll go to Las Vegas, turn south toward Dallas, then finish up with a ride north through Georgia and the Carolinas before arriving in the nation’s capital.

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Discovery students, parents share food and fun

November 12, 2013

Like the city of Sammamish, the families who are part of the Discovery Elementary School community are ethnically diverse.

The school, which has an enrollment of about 630, is comprised of nearly 50 percent minorities, and more than 40 percent of the student body is of Asian heritage.

Discovery Elementary first-grader Elvin Li enjoys an apple wedge covered with pumpkin pie dip.

Discovery Elementary first-grader Elvin Li enjoys an apple wedge covered with pumpkin pie dip.

That seemingly made Discovery the perfect place for an ethnic food festival, and there was a huge turnout Nov. 6 when the school hosted its free “Taste of Discovery” event.

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Creekside collects for food bank

November 12, 2013

Creekside Elementary School in Sammamish is partnering with Cub Scout Pack 225, Girl Scout Troop 42226 and Eastside Fire and Rescue for a food and clothing drive this month.

The school will be collecting non-perishable food items and winter clothing from Nov. 12-19.

Contributed Firefighters from Eastside Fire & Rescue haul some of last year’s donations out of the school

Contributed
Firefighters from Eastside Fire & Rescue haul some of last year’s donations out of the school

EFR crew members will visit the school Nov. 19 and transport items to the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank.

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Nathan Montgomery engaged

November 12, 2013

Nathan Montgomery, a 2005 graduate of Eastlake, is engaged to Allie Small of Clackamas, Ore. Montgomery is the son of Don and Sue Montgomery, of Sammamish. He is a 2010 graduate of Whitworth University, and works as a consultant engineer for FM Global.

Allie Small and Nathan Montgomery with Maci, the Small family dog

Allie Small and Nathan Montgomery with Maci, the Small family dog

Small is the daughter of Kelly and Joanna Small. She is a 2010 graduate of Clackamas High and expects to graduate from Concordia University with a nursing degree in 2014.

The couple plans to marry June 21, 2014 at Long Barn Farm in West Linn, Ore.

 

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