The Mercer Island Schools Foundation recently held its 15th annual Breakfast of Champions fundraiser at Mercer Island High School (MIHS).
Emceed by KING 5 news anchor and MIHS graduate, Steve Bunin, the breakfast highlighted recent student and district accomplishments in the past year including the recent LEGO Heroes Campaign with Islander Middle School.
The breakfast also served as the kickoff to the Bridge Campaign. The Bridge Campaign looks to secure financial leverage to fund teachers and maintain class size. Throughout the spring, Bridge events are held at individual schools.
The highlight of the breakfast was the Pathfinder Awards. The annual Pathfinder Awards celebrate graduates of MIHS whose achievements, strength of character, and citizenship inspire and challenge today’s youth.
There were four recipients this year: Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Fraser, presidents of Nordstrom Pete and Erik Nordstrom, and posthumously Blake Nordtrom.
The recipients were selected from dozens of nominations submitted by the community at large and chosen by a selection committee comprised of staff, students, administrators, community members and alumni from the district and board of the Mercer Island Schools Foundation.
Fraser is a 1979 MIHS graduate and is the author of her critically-acclaimed biography “Prairie Fires” about the life of author Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Fraser said she was “humbled and honored” to receive the award.
“When I look back at my time here, there were so many teachers who inspired me and first introduced me to the subjects and topics that would lead to my professional success,” she said.
Nordstrom, initially a shoe store, was founded by John W. Nordstrom and Carl F. Wallin in Seattle in 1901. John Nordstrom passed the shoe store to his three sons. Over time, it grew from a local Seattle business to one of the largest independent shoe store chains in the US.
Erik and Pete Nordstrom also received their Pathfinder Awards.
“It’s really great to be recognized with my brothers, and it’s great to be back here,” Pete Nordstrom said.
Erik Nordstrom said he was grateful to the Mercer Island community while he attended MIHS.
“This is such a strong and dominant community and it definitely supported us throughout our lives,” he said.
Their brother, Blake Nordstrom, also received the award. His wife, Molly, accepted the award on his behalf.
“I know Blake would have been honored to receive this award,” she said. “Thank you.”
A video tribute to Blake was played at the breakfast, honoring his life and his time at MIHS.
MISD Superintendent Donna Colosky later addressed the audience and restated the district’s mission and goals for its students.
“We work to enhance professional learning and serving the whole child,” she said. “Happy teachers equals happy classrooms.”
Following the event, the attendees were asked to donate to the Mercer Island Schools Foundation. At the Breakfast of Champions, the Mercer Island community raised more than $475,000.