Radarman 2nd Class Del Spear, 86, visits Marcy James’ classroom at Central Valley High School often. He visited last year and told the students about his experiences aboard USS YMS-302 during World War II.
When he visits, he wears the same uniform he wore during the war. His memories of the day Pearl Harbor was attacked are vivid – he and a buddy drove from his home in Four Lakes to Cheney and heard about it on the radio. He enlisted in the Navy the day before he turned 18.
The USS YMS-302 was a minesweeper that patrolled the Pacific. During his visits to Central Valley, he assigns students positions on the boat, from bosun to yeoman to quartermaster.
This year, Spear also told the students on April 26 about his upcoming trip aboard the Inland Northwest’s Honor Flight scheduled June 8-10. The group takes war veterans to Washington, D.C., to see the many memorials that honor their service.
“My students are asked to put together a World War II scrapbook as if they were actually a participant of the war, so the presentation fits perfectly into our unit’s content,” James said of Spear’s visit. “The kids are always captivated. It is one of the most memorable experiences my students have in or out of the classroom all year.”
Eagle Singers concert
Adams Elementary’s Eagle Singers in the Central Valley School District will present a concert, “Choices Count,” Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Central Valley High School theater, 821 S. Sullivan Road.
The concert is a benefit for the HEART in Hand and the Council Closet programs. Attendees are asked to bring gently used modern clothing, new socks or shoes.
There is a suggested donation of $5 in lieu of a clothing donation.
The Eagle Singers are a group of fourth- and fifth-grade students at Adams. They meet twice weekly after school to practice and have performed at school assemblies, local retirement and nursing homes, and community events and benefits.
Their director is Laurie Wendt.
Joshua Ross, a student at Central Valley High School, has been named the 2011-’12 Trig-Star at the school.
Ross participated in Trig-Star, a competition to determine the most skilled trigonometry student. It’s a timed exercise to solve a trigonometry problem that includes the use of right triangle formulas, circle formulas and the laws of sines and cosines.
The award is sponsored by the National Society of Professional Surveyors and co-sponsored locally.
Math is Cool at Freeman
The fourth-grade Math is Cool team at Freeman Elementary School took first place at the regional competition and is moving on to the state competition in Moses Lake on May 19.
Chris Barron took first place individually, Owen Bryant took sixth place and Thomas Willard placed 10th.
The team of Barron, Willard, Bryant and Trista Gilbert will compete at state.
The sixth-grade team took first place and will move on to the state competition. That team is Nathan Longhurst, Odie Landoe, Carson Atwood and Ryan Crosswhite.
The team is coached by Erin Honeycutt.
National Merit Scholarship finalists
Catherine Roy-Ting and Gabriel Cheeley, seniors at The Oaks, A Classical Christian Academy, have been named finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program.
Evan Gray and Erik Walker, also from The Oaks, were named commended students.
STCU Focus Scholarships
Leah Amsden, a senior at Central Valley High School, has been awarded a $2,000 Focus Award Scholarship from Spokane Teachers Credit Union.
The scholarship is awarded to students who excel in career and technical education courses.
Amsden holds a 3.9 GPA and participates in the teaching academy and marketing. She plans to teach elementary school after attending Eastern Washington University.
Other honorees from Spokane Valley include Hannah Allen from University High School, and Sophia Dien, Kelsey Glynn, David “Joey” Gray and Emily Korotish of Central Valley High School.