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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sunset’s Karen Azzinnaro Teacher of Year

Karen Azzinnaro a third/fourth grade teacher at Sunset Elementary in Airway Heights has been chosen as the Teacher of the Year for Educational Service District 101, a seven-county region of Eastern Washington.

More than 5,700 K-12 teachers, from 59 public school districts in Adams, Ferry, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Spokane and Whitman are eligible for the award.

This is Azzinnaro’s fifth year in the Cheney district school and 18th as an educator. Prior to that, she taught in the Medical Lake School District.

Azzinnaro’s nomination packet included letters from Cheney School District Superintendent Mike Dunn, Sunset Elementary Principal Noreen Jochim, fellow teacher Jean Forrester, and Deborah La Chance, a parent whose children have benefited from Azzinnaro’s teaching style.

La Chance wrote: “She creates life experiences for the children. Her activities are focused on real situations which enable the children to ponder issues of economics, social justice, bureaucracy and professionalism. She is able to make complex issues stimulating and fun. This is truly a gift.”

Being creative can be a challenge in today’s WASL test environment, but Azzinnaro said she tries to keep the classroom stress-free.

“Taking the test is just something else that we do. You guide your classroom by talking about it, or making it a positive by saying, ‘You’re going to do really well on it because we’ve been doing this all year,’ ” Azzinnaro said.

On Sept. 15, Azzinnaro and the eight other regional Teachers of the Year were flown to Olympia for interviews. The state winner will be announced in Seattle on Oct. 18. That winner will represent Washington state for the national competition.

Azzinnaro was born in Idaho’s Silver Valley and spent much of her youth in Southern California. After high school, she returned to the Northwest as a student at Spokane Falls Community College.

She completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Alaska and began her teaching career with the Fairbanks School District.

After returning to the Spokane area in the early 1990s, she taught in the Medical Lake School District and earned her master’s degree from Eastern Washington University.

Azzinnaro is married, with five grown sons and eight grandchildren.

LC senior all-nighter fund-raiser

The Lewis and Clark High School senior all-nighter committee will hold a garage sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday at 29th and Post.

Items for sale include furniture, household items, sports gear, electronics, toys, baby items, books, CDs and videos.

Proceeds will pay for food, entertainment student scholarships and other expenses for the annual graduation party, an alcohol and drug-free event.

In the past, 80 to 90 percent of LC seniors have attended.

Ferris music program fund-raiser

The Ferris Music Parents’ Association will sponsor its annual Luigi’s spaghetti dinner and open house from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday in the school cafeteria, 3020 E. 37th Ave.

Tickets are $5 per person at the door and include spaghetti, salad, bread, beverage and entertainment by Ferris music students.

Cyrus O’Leary’s pies will be available by the slice or whole pie.

For more information, call Cindy Erler at 443-1955.

St. George’s students score high

St. George’s School’s class of 2005 seniors averaged a score of 1,300 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test.

SAT scores for St. George’s students averaged 639 on the verbal score and 661 in math, for a combined total score of 1,300.

Washington state average scores were 532 in verbal and 534 in math for a 1,066 combined score.

The national average verbal score was 508, and math was 520, for a combined average score of 1,028. A top score is 800 in verbal and 800 in math for a 1,600 total score.

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