Lacey Sutton is the first in her family to graduate from high school, an accomplishment the Spokane teen calls a decent start. “I don’t like to feel too proud of myself, because I’m not all the way to my goal,” she said. The North Central High School senior will boast when she graduates from college.
Spokane Public Schools teachers and staff voted Wednesday to have a one-day walkout on May 27 to protest a lack of state funding for schools. More than 65 percent of nearly 2,500 Spokane Education Association members cast yes votes. All schools and work sites turned in ballots.
Coordinating a concert featuring 2,600 elementary school kids blasting brass horns, blowing through woodwinds and dragging bows across stringed instruments seems nothing short of miraculous. But the annual Band and Strings Spectacular has become a “well-oiled machine” under Dave Weatherred, visual and performing arts coordinator at Spokane Public Schools, who has organized it for 18 years. He ended his role on a high note at Tuesday night’s concert by conducting a song at the event for the first and last time; he’s moving on to other administrative duties.
Heading outdoors this weekend might require rain gear. On the other hand, sunglasses could be in order. With a mixed weather pattern, having both handy is a safe bet. The only consistency is high temperatures will be close to 70 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday; lows are expected to hover around the mid-40s, according to the National Weather Service.
University High School’s theater program is one of three drama departments statewide producing “Mary Poppins.” “We traditionally do at least one big show each year, and we try to go bigger and better each year,” said Briane Green, U-Drama director and high school drama teacher. “This year it’s ‘Mary Poppins.’ ”
Spokane teachers will start voting today on whether to stage a walkout May 27 as a statement to legislators about funding smaller class sizes and pay raises. An unofficial vote taken last week showed Spokane Education Association’s membership is “overwhelmingly” in favor, union President Jenny Rose said. Before taking any action, “the leadership wanted to know if we should even go there,” Rose said.
Five teen suicides this school year – including three in the past month – have jolted the community. It’s the highest number in the history of Spokane Public Schools, prompting parents, students and community members to ask what they can do to help. “There’s an increased need. I see the whole community hurting,” said Sabrina Votava, Spokane’s Youth Suicide Prevention Program field coordinator. “It’s affected all the schools, even districts outside of Spokane.”
When Carissa Outen walks across the stage to receive her diploma from Gonzaga University today, she’ll have an anchor on her mortarboard. It’s in memory of one of her heroes, Pat Fiorillo, who lost his second bout with cancer when Outen was a college freshman. Fiorillo had given her hope and strength when she was fighting the disease in her senior year of high school.