The water swirled, the rocks tumbled, and the boys worked their pans awkwardly.
Their concentration glittered like, well, like gold.
Panning for gold was one element of Rendezvous Days last week at Greenacres Junior High School.
Students Dustin Lowe, Bo Hall and a couple of onlookers paid close attention as science teachers Tom Herrmann and Kirby Jones explained the basics.
An anthropologist, a physician, a sprinkling of former athletes and a mountaineer will be among the honorees of the brand-new West Valley Hall of Fame.
Seven alumni of West Valley High School will be inducted into the hall of fame next week.
"We hope what we'll have in the future will be people bringing forward other names," said Les Rurey, one of the organizers of the hall of fame and the year-old West Valley Alumni Association.
East Valley School District honored parents, teachers, retirees and other staff this week.
The banquet, a Mexican meal served by sombrero-wearing administrators and school board members, was East Valley's third annual Spotlight on Education.
1. Bill Nuchols, who is retiring from Skyview Elementary after teaching for 28 years, admits his classroom is often noisy. Photo by Steve Thompson/The Spokesman-Review
2. No mas: Spanish teacher Joe Espinoza is retiring from U-Hi in June. Photo by Steve Thompson/The Spokesman-Review
3. Marguerite Munk teaches one of her last classes in Greek mythology at West Valley. Photo by Steve Thompson/The Spokesman-Review
Bowdish Junior High seventh- and eighth-graders will rise and shine early next year.
In order to fit the roughly 320 Bowdish students into North Pines Junior High, the two schools will stagger their schedules by one hour. Bowdish kids will start their day at 7:30 a.m., and go home at 2 p.m.
About 200 students received a graphic anatomy lesson, this week at the annual High Five Conference.
Brains, livers and lungs, preserved in formaldehyde and enclosed in plastic, sat on tables, where students could squeeze, heft and poke.
Central Valley School District gave its highest honor to a group of community residents who help guide at-risk students through their public school education.
The Child Support Team was nominated for the community Meritorious Service Award by teachers who also serve on the team.
1. Jim Larson, Corey Holcomb-Hockin and Erin Lally are part of an East Valley High class that is writing a historical novel set in London. Photo by Steve Thompson/The Spokesman-Review
2. Julie Seipp gives instructions to her honors humanities class that is writing a historical novel. Photo by Steve Thompson/The Spokesman-Review
Liberty Lake residents are holding a dinner and auction next weekend in their drive to equip the new Pavillion Park.
The Friends of Pavillion Park hopes to raise $87,000 in the next month or so, through the auction and other fund-raising activities.
First-year helpers and veteran volunteers joined in a meal of soup and appreciation this week.
It was the second annual soup supper for volunteers of the Valley Center of Sharing. The event also recognized the center's volunteers for recently winning the United Way/ J.C. Penney Golden Rule Award for Volunteers of the Year in the public service category.
1. The second-grade students of Tracy Wheeler at Freeman Elementary School work through a math exercise in class. Photo by Steve Thompson/The Spokesman-Review
2. Teacher Traci Wheeler works through the numbers with some of her students. Photo by Steve Thompson/The Spokesman-Review
Using security guards at a few Spokane County parks was so successful last year, it will be repeated this summer.
Liberty Lake Park was one of the parks assigned a part-time security guard last year. That was mostly due to the length of time it took to hire a permanent park caretaker, said Wyn Birkenthal, parks director.
Lee Lee Everette is out for approval from only one source.
"The man upstairs," she says, pointing overhead.
Chances seem fair that her powerful voice - singing gospel, jazz and R&B; - reaches all the way to his ear. And surely, he approves.
Everette, 42, has sung for thousands of people in the Inland Northwest - with the former Planet Lounge Orchestra, the North Idaho College concert choir and now The DeSotos, at weddings and clubs.
Moms liked the deluxe brownie cutter.
"No more whining over which brownie is the biggest!" said one mother at East Valley Middle School's Invention Convention.
An empty cable spool provided the cutting edges for Jeff Jenkins' invention.
"I was thinking of a graph-maker that draws lines, and I thought it could cut stuff," explained Jenkins.
The last to leave are the dead. Firefighters tried to save the life of a "victim," played by senior Sabrina Page, who was thrown through a windshield in a mock druken driving accident staged at Central Valley High School. Photo by Steve Thompson/The Spokesman-Review
1. Velma Jeanes crosses the porch of her home, which sits in the shadow of neighbor Norm Thomson's house. Photo by Steve Thompson/The Spokesman-Review
2. Left, a World War I vintage photograph of a home on the south bank of the Spokane River near today's Felts Field. The home belonged to the Knight family. Mabel Knight, after whom the rowboat apparently was named, lived there with her brother and husband. The family used to rent rowboats to fishermen, said Theo Egan, who owns the photograph. Mabel Knight lived there until she died in her 90s. William and Rita Baker bought the property in 1970, tore down the Knight house and built their home in 1974. Photo courtesy of Theo Egan
3. Above, Jim and Velma Jeanes walk from their home down to the Spokane River. "There are 51 steps going down, 79 going up," says Velma. Photo by Steve Thompson/The Spokesman-Review
The Spokane Valley needs another 248 acres of community parks to meet national standards, the county parks advisory board learned this week.
Using those same standards, the entire unincorporated area of Spokane County is short 580 acres, given today's population of about 202,000, said parks planner Steve Horobiowski.
Moving day coincided nicely with spring break at Ness Elementary School, one of several West Valley grade schools with complete or nearly complete additions.
Four new classrooms at Ness were in varying stages of readiness this week. Custodians Donna Tweedy and Mindy Shulkin spent much of the week assembling desks and other furniture.