September 19, 2009 in Washington Voices

School upgrade lets cooler heads prevail

By The Spokesman-Review
 
J. BART RAYNIAK photo

“This room is cooler,” said Centennial Middle School para-educator Diane Clinton, about the new air-conditioned classroom she works in with seventh-grade English teacher Ralph Simmered.
(Full-size photo)

Students and teachers entering Centennial Middle School are thrilled about the new chill in the air this year. After years of sweltering in sauna-like conditions during warm months, a new air conditioning system is up and running.

The school paid for the system with interest that accumulated on funds set aside in a bank for building projects at West Valley High School and several elementary schools.

“It was really nice this summer to not be dripping in sweat,” said sixth-grade teacher Kellie Points, who usually comes to her classroom a couple times a week during the summer to work on her curriculum.

Points used to notice students lacked focus and energy on warm afternoons before the new air conditioning. Students would often beg her to hold class outside. “I’ve noticed a big difference this year in fifth and sixth period,” said Points. “Their heads aren’t drooping.”

Seventh-grader Josh Lipe sat through some hot afternoons last year and is glad for the cooler air. “You can wear more comfortable clothes,” he said. “When I come in (from physical education class), it’s really cool and it feels good.

“It’s a lot easier to get stuff done faster,” he said. “It was really hard to focus.”

Back to school

Evergreen Middle School, 14221 E. 16th Ave., will host a Back to School Night Tuesday at 7 p.m. for parents. The Parent Teacher Organization will provide dessert and beverages beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria.

AP awards

Five students at East Valley High School were recently honored for their achievement on Advance Placement exams. Lauren Bergam, Morgan Manchester and Jared Sol were named AP Scholars for completing three or more AP exams with a grade of 3 or higher. Robert Jopson was named an AP Scholar with Honor for earning an average of 3.25 on all AP exams taken and scoring a 3 or higher on four or more of the exams. Nicholas Marquiss was named an AP Scholar with Distinction for earning an average of at least 3.5 on all AP exams and earning a score of 3 or higher on five or more of the exams.

National Merit semifinalists

Two Valley students have been announced as semifinalists in the 2010 National Merit scholarship program. Approximately 8,200 scholarships worth more than $36 million will be awarded nationally. The students are Lewis Lee of Oaks Classical Christian Academy and Amy Bestick of University High School.

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