June 7, 2014 in Washington Voices

Inside Our Schools: EVHS students, local officials discuss Constitution

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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Nathan Edgerton, left in purple, listens as Brandon Dunwoody, center in black, speaks about issues relating to the Fifth Amendment on Thursday at East Valley High School.
(Full-size photo)

For their last day of class, seniors in Lori Merkel’s American government class at East Valley High School proved their understanding of the U.S. Constitution to local officials.

State Sen. Mike Padden, Liberty Lake City Councilman Daniel Dunne and Ed Carroll, a public defender, listened to the students speak about different amendments Thursday.

“They do have issues they care about,” Merkel said of her students.

One of those topics was the Eighth Amendment and how it sets limitations on the government regarding excessive bail fines and whether the death penalty should be considered cruel and unusual punishment.

The death penalty was the topic upon which not everyone agreed.

Students Cody Kilby, Shania Desjarlais, Jesserae Ellis and Richie Greene read up on recent executions, such as that of Clayton D. Lockett. Witnesses in that case said the sedative did not thoroughly take effect and Lockett could be seen writhing on the table and tried to sit up before he finally died more than 40 minutes after they started. They also cited the execution of Michael Lee Wilson whose last words were, “I feel my whole body burning.”

“This is not civilized,” Ellis said.

Padden asked the students about Washington’s other method of execution: Hanging. He asked them if they thought they would be for it if there was a better way to put someone to death.

“With any method at all, something could go wrong,” Kilby said.

Greene was the only member of the group who disagreed.

“If you’ve taken someone’s life, you don’t have the right to live,” Greene said.

The class also presented discussions about how religious freedom is protected, the components of the Fifth Amendment and why they were important and the fundamental American values embodied in the Fourth Amendment.

Carroll said the students impressed him, but now that he’s participated in the event for six years, he’s always wanted to hear if the students changed their minds in five years or so after attending college or getting a few years of the military behind them.

Administration changes in Central Valley schools

Students in the Central Valley School District will see some changes to the administration at their schools.

University High School Principal Alan Robbins is stepping down at the end of the year to be closer to his family in Montana.

Assistant Principal Keven Frandsen will serve as interim principal next year until a formal principal search can be done at the beginning of 2015. Kerri Ames, who is the principal at Barker High School, will become assistant principal as well as Brandon Deyarmin, who comes to U-Hi from Central Valley High School.

Ken VanSickle will continue in his position as activities director/assistant principal.

At Horizon Middle School, Jason Francek will serve as assistant principal next school year, taking the place of Ty Larsen, who will be the next principal at Bowdish Middle School. Francek comes to Horizon from Ponderosa Elementary School where he completed his principal internship and is a teacher.

Randey Thompson will fill the assistant principal position vacated by Deyarmin at Central Valley.

At the elementary school level, Lindsay Ehlers will be the new principal at Greenacres and Josh Wolcott will be the new principal at University. Ehlers is currently assistant principal at Greenacres and Wolcott comes to CVSD from Edison Elementary School in Walla Walla, where he has been principal since 2010.

Longtime U-Hi Assistant Principal Sherry Clark is moving to the district office as student services coordinator, working to implement career and college readiness initiatives, oversee the highly capable program, manage the truancy board and the collection of evidence processes.

Meet the candidate forum

Community members are invited to meet Central Valley School District’s top three candidates for principal at Barker High School.

The forum will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the school’s gymnasium, 13313 E. Broadway Ave. Attendees will be able to ask questions and submit feedback.

Twenty people applied to replace Principal Kerri Ames, who will be assistant principal at University High School next year.

The district expects to announce the new principal June 23.

Scholarship recipients

The Comcast Foundation has announced three winners from the greater Spokane Valley area of its annual Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program.

Katelyn Dolan, Central Valley; Rachel Postlewait, West Valley; and Madison Nicole Yerges, University High School, will receive $1,000 scholarships.


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