October 29, 2011 in Washington Voices

Inside Schools: U-Hi aims high with ‘Beauty and the Beast’

By The Spokesman-Review
 
J. Bart Rayniak photoBuy this photo

The cast of University High’s production of “Beauty and the Beast” features 20 elementary and middle school students and 130 handmade costumes. “It’s our biggest production ever,” said Briane Green, director and co-choreographer.
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The drama department at University High School, 12420 E. 32nd Ave., will present the Disney musical “Beauty and the Beast” Thursday, Friday, Nov. 5, 10 and 12 at 7 p.m. There will be a Sunday matinee Nov. 6 at 2 p.m.

To tell the tale of a young woman who meets a vicious beast who turns out to be a handsome prince on the inside, drama teacher Briane Green has recruited students from outside U-Hi to fill some of the roles. Students from Horizon and Bowdish middle schools and Chester, Ponderosa, South Pines and McDonald elementary schools perform in the play.

It’s the largest production the school has ever staged and includes more than 130 handmade costumes.

The cast includes Shelby Horton as Belle; Brad Duffy as the Beast; Quinn Johnson as Gaston; Josh Nelson as Lefou; Brittany Holden as Mrs. Potts; Evan Figuracion as Chip; Loren Mellik as Cogsworth; Joseph Hall as Lumiere; Victoria Gatts as Babette; Hailey Wesselman as Madame Bouche; Tyler Lucas as Monsieur D’Arque; Matt Gerard as Maurice; and Taylor Gatts, Adara Tredway and Elyssa Grossman as the Silly Girls.

The ensemble cast includes LT DeVleming, Mathias Oliver, Alex Weir, Jeramie Pope, Randy Sylvester, Kayla Blackwood, Jessica Blackwood, Bethany Smith, Rachel DeVleming, Ashley Fowlkes, Ally Ramirez, Lili Gorman, Emily Lyonnais, Juliana Hein, Sierra Bray, Mariah Smith, Amanda Clark, Caitlyn Horton, Hannah McKee, Catharine Judkins, Gabrielle Elrod, Torey Routson, Josh Koester and KayLa Hagerty.

Children in the cast include Jasper Knuston, JoElla King, Bryce Hussey, Liam Carothers, Lola Green, Campbell Green, Clare Deyarmin, Taylor Bennett, Liberty Moeller, Josie Krum, Lily Allen, Mallory Carbon, Logan Krum, Tyler Fales, Dominic Figuracion, Kylie Turner, Jade Read and Madelyn Ballard.

The crew includes Elyce Gamble, Becca Marsh, Austin Bolt, Shane Pierce, Rylee Harlan, James Gonzalez, Brenda Duross, Lucas Rasmussan and Aaron Cermak.

Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door.

For more information, call the school office at (509) 228-5240.

Kudos

• The West Valley School District has been chosen as one of eight public school districts to participate in the Teacher Principal Evaluation Project Regional Implementation Grant for this school year.

The districts will make up a consortium to collaborate on a project aimed at developing new criteria to evaluate teachers and principals.

This is the second phase of the project that began last year. Central Valley School District was part of phase one.

The revised system of evaluation will be implemented during the 2013-’14 school year.

• George Barlow and Tim Severns, teachers at East Valley High School, have received a $5,000 Student Achievement Grant from the NEA Foundation.

The funds will be used to teach the scientific method through a year-long project to create and test an environmentally-friendly substance used to remove barnacles from ships’ hulls.

Central Valley School Board

The Central Valley School Board on Monday unanimously approved a resolution to put a $27.1 million replacement levy in front of voters Feb. 14.

The district will be one of many in the region to hold a levy election that day. The levies are not new taxes – the levy voters approved in 2009 will expire and this levy will take its place.

If approved, taxpayers in the district can expect to pay $4.19 per $1,000 of assessed property value in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The levy is for three years and the district will collect the same amount – $27.1 million – each year.

Levy funds in the Central Valley School District are used to support special education, transportation, nutrition services, highly-capable programs, staff above state funding, curriculum adoptions, instructional materials and equipment, extracurricular and co-curricular activities, technology, utilities and insurance.

By state law, school districts are able to collect as much as 28 percent of their budgets through levy funds. District officials expect levy equalization funds – money the state provides to districts with lower tax bases – to be cut by the state.

West Valley School Board

The West Valley School Board voted unanimously Wednesday to set its levy certification for 2012.

Voters in the district approved levy funds of $7.7 million during its last election, but the district will only collect $7.2 million in 2012 – a rollback of $536,596.

The board also voted to approve contracts with its various unions at its meeting Wednesday.

The West Valley Education Association, the teachers union, agreed to a 1.9 percent salary cut, which is equivalent to about three and a half days of pay.

They agreed that due to the cut in salary, there will be three early release days this year – students and teachers will take half days on the day before Thanksgiving, the day before Christmas vacation and the day before spring break.

Slow down

Drivers in Spokane Valley may notice two new school zone speed limit signs with flashing beacons near Chester Elementary School and Orchard Center Elementary School.

The Spokane Valley Public Works Department installed the signs to alert drivers when the 20 mph -speed limit around schools is in effect. They usually flash for 30 to 45 minutes and the schedule of operations may vary, so keep a lookout for them.

The city said it conducted a study around Progress and University elementary schools and found the signs have reduced the fastest speed of traffic by as much as 31.9 percent.

The signs were purchased with help from a grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

Food drive

Students at Central Valley High School have been collecting food and other donations for Spokane Valley Partners since Oct. 19.

Representatives from the Key Club will be at URM Cash and Carry, 16808 E. Sprague Ave., today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Monday from 3 to 6 p.m. to collect nonperishable food items, clothing, toiletries and other donations.

“We’ll take anything,” said teacher Leanne Donley.

If you would like to donate, but can’t make it to URM, you can drop off your donations at the school, 821 S. Sullivan Road.

For more information, call the school office at (509) 228-5100.

Fundraising auction

The West Valley Education Foundation will present its Fourth Annual “Taste the Spirit!” auction Nov. 5 at CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place.

The evening will include wine tasting provided by local wineries, food and beverages, and an auction.

Proceeds benefit the West Valley Education Foundation, which offers scholarships to West Valley students and grants for teachers in the district.

The event starts at 6:30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased for $35 per person or $350 for reserved tables of 10 at the West Valley District office on the corner of Argonne and Buckeye.

For more information, call Chris Howat at (509) 230-0726 or Ann Anderson at (509) 924-2150.


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