March 24, 2011 in Washington Voices

Education Notebook: Teen honored for good works

By The Spokesman-Review

Zach Merkling received a President’s Volunteer Service Award.
(Full-size photo)

Zach Merkling, a Mead High School sophomore, was recently honored with the President’s Volunteer Service Award from President Barack Obama.

According to a press release, the award recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of time serving their communities and country. It was presented by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program on behalf of President Obama. Merkling participated in the Spirit of Community program this year as a representative of his high school.

As a volunteer, Merkling visited with the residents of the Rockwood retirement community and served meals to the Spokane homeless community. Merkling volunteered more than 500 hours.

“I am so proud of Zach,” said Mead Principal Ken Russell. “The countless volunteer hours Zach has spent provides tremendous modeling for the rest of our student body, reminding us all of the importance and power of serving others before self.”

St. George’s hosts open house

St. George’s School will hold an open house on Saturday for kindergartners through students in fifth grade and their families.

The open house will be at St. George’s Lower School, from 10 a.m. to noon, to meet teachers and learn about opportunities at the school.

To reserve a space and for more information call (509) 466-1636, ext. 304 or email

Cheney breaks ground

Government officials, district administrators, school board members and building representatives will help celebrate the groundbreaking for one of Cheney School District’s two new middle schools at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The school will be built at 6120 S. Abbott Road in the Geiger Heights area. Transportation to the site will be provided from Windsor Elementary School, 5504 W. Hallett Road. Garco Construction is the general contractor

The district held the groundbreaking for Cheney’s other new middle school on March 19. That school is being built on Betz Road, adjacent to the current middle school, 2716 N. Sixth St. Lydig Construction is the general contractor.

District voters approved a $79 million bond issue to build the schools on Feb. 9, 2010.

For more information call the superintendent’s office at (509) 559-4502.

School plans ‘Discovery’

Discovery School, 323 S. Grant St., will host “Nights at Discovery” for parents and their children to learn about Discovery’s hands-on, interactive adventures in learning on April 14.

The event is from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and will give parents an opportunity to meet the school’s teachers and see a presentation from Discovery’s school chief Gingie Watt about the school and its interactive learning activities.

For more information call Karen Montague at (509) 838-0606 or visit

Banquet honors local scholars

Spokane County high school seniors will be honored for their academic achievements on April 20 at the 19th annual Spokane Scholars Foundation Banquet.

The evening will commend 134 seniors from 23 high schools, both public and private, and their outstanding academic success in one of six content areas including English, social studies, mathematics, science, world languages and fine arts. The students are nominated by their high school principals, counselors and teachers based on the student’s overall grade-point average, grades in content area, test scores, awards and achievements and letters of recommendation.

The banquet’s keynote speaker will feature Ambassador Ryan Crocker. He will speak about his work with the U.S. Foreign Service including service as ambassador to Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait and Lebanon. He is currently the dean and executive professor of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.

The Spokane Scholars banquet will be held at the Spokane Convention Center at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $30 and may be purchased by calling (509) 838-8568 or mailing a check to the Spokane Scholars Foundation, P.O. Box 1278, Spokane, WA 99210. Checks must be received by April 14.

Rainey Coffin can be reached at (509) 927-2166 or via email at

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