School briefs

STAR FM honors West Mercer teacher

STAR FM honors West Mercer teacher

Mark Headlee, who teaches third and fourth grade at West Mercer Elementary, won the STAR 101.5 FM radio station’s “Teacher of the Week” award. The announcement was aired on Friday morning, June 6. Headlee was nominated by a student. In addition to his work as a teacher, Headlee devotes much of his time to students outside the classroom. For the second year running, Headlee has coached West Mercer and Islander Middle School students in the statewide Destination Imagination championship for creativity and problem solving. This past spring, Headlee’s fourth-grade team qualified for state after winning the Seattle-Metro regional tournament in the structural and architectural design category.

Two Islanders graduate from OSU

Oregon State University held its 139th commencement ceremony on June 15. Two Mercer Island High School graduates participated in the ceremony, along with 4,363 other students — one of the biggest graduating classes in OSU history. Islander Charlotte Alvord earned a Bachelor of Science in zoology from OSU, and Elizabeth Stanley received a Bachelor of Science in business administration. For a list of UW Island graduates, see page B7.

MIHS Class of 2008 distinctions

The Rotary Foundation of Mercer Island honored Crest graduates Anna Reid, Srina Lane-Chase, Kyle Conner and Justin Ibuki with vocational scholarships. The award is granted to those students who “are pursuing educational goals in programs outside of the traditional four-year institution.” The award winners were announced during the June 6 Senior Awards Breakfast.

A number of other awards were personally handed to Mercer Island High School graduates. Pat Braman, president of the School Board and former MIHS English teacher, announced graduate Carrie McKee as this year’s recipient of the Braman Family Writing Award. The distinction recognizes a senior with outstanding writing skills in any and all genres.

Tony Nugent, member of the MIHS class of 1958, appeared at the ceremony to hand over the Ethel C. Johnson Award, initiated by the Chamber of Commerce to remember Johnson’s four decades of service to the district as a teacher and principal. Nugent was the first recipient of the award 50 years ago. Today, MIHS faculty vote on one student who exhibits outstanding qualities of scholarship, leadership, citizenship and service. This year’s winner is Mihir Parikh.

The Robert Studebaker Award, which celebrates a senior who has “excelled in scholarship and leadership, and has been foremost in service to school and community,” was given to Morgan Schoenecker. Graduate Daniella Kuttner received the Gwen Lewis Memorial Scholarship for her “unselfish attention to the needs of others, compassion and empathy for all people, cultures, religions and lifestyles,” and because she pursues learning on her own.

Mercer Island High School senior Ali Soter is one of 100 students across the state to receive a $3,000 scholarship from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The award was designed to recognize students who either have multiple sclerosis or whose parents have the disease.

The students were selected based on academic performance, financial need, volunteer and extracurricular activities, and essays written about how MS affects their lives.

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system. Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. MS is usually diagnosed in young adults between the ages of 20 and 50.

Rotary awards 2008 vocational scholarships

Mercer Island Rotary recently awarded $18,000 to Mercer Island students who juggle family and work responsibilities or have disabilities and need financial aid after high school to complete their dreams, said Scott Bowen, chair of the Rotary vocational scholarship program.

The students include Chris Garwood, to attend Universal Technical Institute in Sacramento, Calif.; Ashley Mendes, to complete her education at Ohio State University; Allison Kissler and Srina Lane-Chase, to attend Bellevue Beauty School; Caroline Mormino and Katie Rogawski, going to Bellevue Community College; Anna Reid, to attend Santa Barbara Cosmetology School; Kyle Conner, Western Culinary Institute, Portland, Ore.; and Justin Ibuki, Renton Technical College.

Mendes, MIHS class of 2003, has used her grants to hire interpreters in all her classes since she is hearing-impaired. Rogowski, who was raised in a Polish orphanage and graduated from MIHS in 2007, is on her way to the health care field. Darling, a bank employee, seeks a degree in financial management to further her career. Others have similar pursuits.

MISD celebrates devoted employee

Pete Domingo, who worked as a warehouse driver, retired from the job in December 2007. On June 3, the employee reunited with his former co-workers and friends to celebrate his retirement.

During last week’s MISD retirement party, which was held at the Community Center at Mercer View, Domingo said that working for the district was the best job he had ever had.

Maintenance and Custodial Supervisor Keith Ellis returned the sentiment.

“Pete was wonderful. He would go out of his way to help everybody, was very dependable and a great person to work with,” Ellis said.

After Domingo retired in December, the department hired school bus driver Sergei Dalakian to take on his responsibilities, which included hauling refuge from the schools, driving the food service truck and delivering district mail.

Domingo worked at MISD for more than seven years. He celebrated his retirement on Tuesday with Mercer Island High School Spanish teacher Carrie Sparlin, West Mercer Elementary Principal Pat Blix, fourth-grade teacher Nancy Frost, interim Director of Testing and Evaluation Sharon Gillaspie, and Islander Middle School paraprofessional Holly Pratt.