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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Hundreds At Open House At Central Valley Schools

Visitors came in ones and twos to Central Valley schools on a snowy Tuesday: Homeschooling parents whose son had just entered University High School, a grandmother who remembered her own career as a teacher’s aide, a nun from Texas who is also an aunt to two Spokane Valley schoolchildren.

Central Valley School District held its third annual open house Tuesday, giving visitors a chance to see a school day with no bells and whistles. An estimated 450 to 500 people turned out.

“Jason loves this class. You’re doing a wonderful job,” Kathy Terry told Spanish teacher Bonnie Hill at U-Hi. Jason Terry enrolled at U-Hi last month at the start of the winter trimester, after years of homeschooling.

Paul Terry, Jason’s father, also visited Horizon and Chester, and wondered why he didn’t find more parents in the schools.

“I didn’t see a lot of parent participation,” he said. “Any parent who really cares about their child should take the opportunity to do this anytime.”

The elementary schools seemed to attract more visitors than the secondary schools - most of them family members.

At Blake Elementary, Sister Juanita O’Hara made an incongruous sight, wearing her full habit and watching a first-grade gym class.

O’Hara was observing her niece Tabitha Waco, a first-grader in Keri Leyda’s class. The children did jumpingjacks while they called out letters: “C-H-I-N-A.” They sat quietly waiting for hula hoops to be passed out. And they swung the hula hoops mightily around their arms, their hips, their necks.

“Blake is a good school,” said O’Hara, who is on an extended visit with family here. “All the schools in Central Valley are.”

At University Elementary, grandmother June Sharp watched her grandson Matthew Matheson in third grade with teacher Teresa Holmes.

Sharp spent 21 years as a teacher’s aide herself, and watched closely as students took a timed multiplication test. Holmes gave her class just four minutes to complete a sheet of multiplication.

“That’s good,” Sharp said. “If they have to do it fast, they’ll just have to memorize them.”

A whirlwind through Paris

Jessica Pease and four schoolmates from West Valley High School whirled their way - almost literally - through Paris over Christmas break.

The five members of the school dance team participated in two parades, one in Paris and one nearby. The Paris parade was bigger than any parade in Spokane. It even had the huge Macy’s-style balloons, said Pease, a senior.

Plenty of American students were in the parade.

The All-Star dance team, made up of students selected nationwide, marched just behind an American high school band. “There were lots of high school bands and bands from military academies,” Pease said.

When they weren’t marching, they were sightseeing. It was difficult to fit in everything in six days. And then there was the afternoon their guide took the wrong Metro - or subway.

No surprise - Pease said she’s ready to go back to Paris again. “It was a lot of fun.”

Honors for EV violist

Kevin Boden, a senior at East Valley High School, will perform with the Washington Idaho Symphony on Feb. 7 and 8 in Pullman and Lewiston. He earned his place in the performance as one of the winners in November’s Washington/Idaho Symphony Young Artist Competition.

Boden is principal violist of the East Valley orchestra and the Spokane Youth Orchestra. He has won several honors around the region.

EVMS and National Geographic

Sixth-grade teacher Nicole Sweet at East Valley Middle School is one of 12 teachers chosen nationwide to help National Geographic and MCI create a website called Xpeditions. The website will offer families and teachers ways to teach geography.

Sweet will use geography lessons she’s taught in the past to create lesson plans for the website. The website will be launched in February.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

MEMO: The Education Notebook is the spot The Valley Voice devotes to telling our community about students’ accomplishments, about learning in classrooms across the Valley. Teachers or parents whose students have earned honors, feel free to toot your horn. Contact Marny Lombard at the Valley Voice, 13208 E. Sprague, Spokane, WA 99216. Call: 927-2166. Fax: 927-2175. E-mail: MarnyL@spokesman.com

The Education Notebook is the spot The Valley Voice devotes to telling our community about students’ accomplishments, about learning in classrooms across the Valley. Teachers or parents whose students have earned honors, feel free to toot your horn. Contact Marny Lombard at the Valley Voice, 13208 E. Sprague, Spokane, WA 99216. Call: 927-2166. Fax: 927-2175. E-mail: MarnyL@spokesman.com

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