School briefs

MIVAL gives arts scholarships

The Mercer Island Visual Arts League has awarded three Mercer Island High School seniors with scholarships of $500. The students are: Claire Goetschel, for a variety of work in several mediums, including metal and jewelry; Frederique Meijer, for ink, colored pencil and water color drawings, and Chloe Sandvik, for photography.

There will be a reception at the MIVAL meeting on May 7 for the students, their families and the community at 11:30 a.m. at the Community Center at Mercer View.

MIVAL, formed in 1961, promotes and encourages artistic pursuits on the Island. Throughout the years, the league has given scholarships to high school students and donated art pieces to the community. MIVAL sponsors the junior art show during Summer Celebration in July.

Students honored for Model UN work

Mercer Island High School students were honored for their work as part of the MI Model United Nationals Club during the state meeting at the University of Washington in late April. Sophomore Steven Adler earned the award for excellence in diplomacy. The MIHS club was run by seniors Kristina Yang, Rory Lubner and Erin Cavanaugh this year.

MIHS at Solo and Ensemble competition

Eleven individuals in the Mercer Island High School music program and five musical groups took part in the state Solo and Ensemble competition last weekend at Central Washington University in Ellensburg.

Student participants included: Whitney Miller, snare drum, mallets and timpani; Matthew Ellis, trombone; Cai Redmond, tuba; Mandy Berman, trombone; Ziv Feinberg, trumpet/cornet; James Kashima, oboe, English horn; Matt Gunby, euphonium/baritone horn; Ben Fang, guitar; Monica Lee, French horn; Woodrow Jacobson, alto-bass clarinet, and Jacob Bloom, alto-bass clarinet. Ensemble groups from MIHS competing included a tuba quartet, Gillingham Percussion quartet, the Galen Thomas Experience and the Rochambeaux percussion ensemble.

Band hosts upcoming car washes

In a continued effort to raise money for new band uniforms, members of the Mercer Island High School band will be out in force on Saturday, May 9, washing cars at various Island locations.

Residents can choose one of three locations for the event, the Storage Court at the southern end of the Island, Island Park Elementary or the North-end QFC parking lot. The event begins at 9 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m. with a traveling troupe of band members performing throughout the day at the different locations.

Pre-sale tickets are available for $10 from any band member, and drive-ups will also be taken.

Parent volunteer Terry Pottmeyer said every band student will be involved, whether washing vehicles, holding or making posters prior to the event.

PTA newsletters move to online-only format

All five PTAs on Mercer Island, each representing one of the Mercer Island School District’s schools, have moved their monthly newsletters to an online-only format. The monthly updates will be sent to members via e-mail.

According to the PTA Council’s Vice President of Communications Kathy Bauman, Lakeridge Elementary adopted the practice at the beginning of the current school year, with West Mercer following suit during the winter months.

“Now, Island Park, Islander Middle School and MIHS have decided that this is the best course of action for their PTA members as well,” said Bauman.

The PTA spent $35,000 last year between the five schools for printing, courier and mailing the newsletters, the single biggest budget item, according to Bauman. Moving to an online-only format also means that the Council will not have to file taxes next year.

“In addition to being an environmentally wise decision by eliminating paper publishing and the logistics involved with moving that paper around, the cost savings are significant,” said Bauman. Other advantages are the timeliness of information. Members will be able to print their e-mailed newsletters, and copies will be posted on each school’s Web site.

IMS earns green honors

Islander Middle School’s Gators Go Green environmental club was honored by King County as the 2009 Earth Heroes school, which honors achievement in recycling, energy and resource conservation. The Gators Go Green Club at IMS created a lunchroom waste reduction and recycling program, facilitated by students and parent volunteer Kenlyn Emerson.

Approximately a year and a half ago, four students at IMS approached Principal Mary Jo Budzius about the school’s disposable lunch trays, asking if there was a way to get reusable trays into the school. Through a grant from the Department of Ecology and later from the school’s ASB and the IMS PTA, reusable trays became a part of the lunchroom. Later, a cost analysis of the new trays found that it saves the district around $2,000 per year.

“It’s a very sustainable approach,” said Emerson. Now, because there is less trash to deal with on a daily basis, the custodians at IMS were able to add two recycling cans to the lunchroom to handle some of the 1,800 bottles and cans that students use in a week, said Emerson. Both those efforts made IMS an Earth Heroes school.

The students who initiated the project, all eighth-graders, are: Allison Froio, Olivia Hargrave, Kaya McRuer, Kelly Park and Rachel Rosenman. Other members of the group include seventh-graders: Kurt Schafer and Michelle Osnis. The Gators Go Green advisors are: Cary Spitz and Alasia Heinritz-Canares.

“All the work and ideas came from these great kids,” said Emerson.

The winners of this year’s award will be honored at 4:30 p.m. on April 30 at the Maplewood Greens Golf Course in Renton.

For more information about the Earth Heroes program, contact Donna Miscolta at or (206) 296-4477.

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