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Issaquah, Washington
October 7, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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October 7, 2009

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THE ISSAQUAH PRESS PAGE C 6 WEDNESDAY9 OCTOBER 7, 2009 GOLD STARS Ashwathi Raj . shwathi Raj, a 14-year-old freshman at Pacific Cascade Freshman Campus, graduated from her Indian classical dance program, From Within Acad- emy, Sept. 7. Ashwathi celebrated her graduation after performing a solo dance, called Bharathanatyam Arangetram, for two hours and incorporat- ing 10 different traditional movements. "Bharathanatyam is the oldest of all classical dance forms in In- dia," Ashwathi's mother, Sand- hya Ramabhadran, wrote in an e-mail. "It is extremely tradi- tional and known for its grace, purity, tenderness, statuesque and sculpturesque poses. "It uplifts the dancer and the beholder to a higher level of spir- itual consciousness. The dancer is considered a worshiper of the divine, an embodiment of beauty, charm and grace." Ashwathi performed the dance at the Broadway Perfor- mance Hall in Seattle, with ac- companiment from a visiting orchestra from India. Liberty High School students Liberty High School students Kiera Stevens, Kileigh Clough, Ellie Hitchings, Alina Hitchings and Rhiannon Beatty earned their Girl Scout Silver award Sept. 25. The award is the second highest girls in the organiza- tion can receive. The girls earned the award by creating a public informa- tion video and booklet, "Elderly 101," which featured fun activi- ties seniors and their families and friends could do or share with one another. The video features a variety of skits the girls performed with the residents of Aegis As- sisted Living in Issaquah. Gold Stars highlights accomplish- ments -- big or small -- by Issaquah students. Send a few sentences and the student's name, age, grade, school, good deed and a photograph, if possi- ble, to clusebrink@isspress.com. By Chantelle Lusebrink Issaquah Press reporter Students at Maywood Middle School are look- ing at life through a different lens. Allowed to roam the school property every other day, the students in Hilary Nadell's class are using their creative license to create pieces of art and expand their knowledge of digital pho- tography. "I dream of being a photographer when I grow up," said seventh-grader Anastasiya Kostanyuk. "I like capturing the important moments in life." The class is offered as an elective for seventh- and eighth-graders and allows them a break from pre-algebra, Shakespeare and science ex- periments. "It's cool, because we get to go around the grounds of the school," said eighth-grader Nathan Dahm. "We get free reign of practically the entire campus." But it does more than give them a hall pass to freedom, Nadell said. It teaches them how to be self-directed learners, and how to organize and prioritize their time. "I want them to build study skills tools and or- ganizational tools they can use throughout their life," Nadell said. "It isn't only rigorous studies, like math and social studies, that help them do that. "They come into middle school in sixth grade as babies and we have to hold their hands," she added. "A class like this, I hope, helps them learn to think for themselves and organize them- selves." "This is kind of a free class. We don't have any order we do things," said seventh-grader Signe Stroming, while working on her photos in the computer lab. "Right now, we're just playing with ehotoshop and experimenting." Students are given a database of assignments they have to complete, but choose what assign- ments they want to do when. For instance, the first four assignments, geometric shapes, curious Edck Fesler exercises creativity on his 'geometric shapes' digital photography class assignment by shooting a wire fence. BY GREG FARRAR photographer, focal point and contrasting colors are due together. But students have the freedom to decide which ones they want to work on each day. During one class, a group of girls wandered to a pud- dle to take photos of geomet- ric shapes. While holding a fallen maple leaf over the puddle, they took photos of it against the puddle that reflected the day's blue sky and white clouds. "My family loves photos," said eighth-grader Carolyn Aibinder. "I like to take pic- tures, so I thought I'd try this class." "We're learning to take different kinds of pic- tures," said eighth-grader Victor Mai. "I like the landscape photos and the ones from interesting angles. We take a photo straight on and then take another from a different angle." Students are also learning how to fade, tex- ture, add color or eliminate color from their pho- tographs. "I've taken some good ones of a lamp, where the light around the lamp is blurry, but the lamp itself is not blurry," said eighth-grader Dane Hudson. Each assignment has roughly three compo- nents, Anastasiya explained. They are to take their own photographs using one of the tech- niques; analyze other photographs that exem- plify the technique; and write a reflective sum- mary about their photo and the other photos they've chosen to analyze. "We find out how to be better photographers and how to focus our photos so they stand out," At left, Glsela Ramlrez, Carolyn Albinder and Madison Kelly (from left) experiment with digital cameras and an autumn leaf on a 'curious photogra- pher' assignment for their Maywood Middle School digital photography class. Below, Taylor Jackson extracts portraits out of photographs with Photoshop in digital photography class. PHOTOS BY GREG FARRAB she said. "In order to become better photographers they need to see what makes other photographs good and reflect on why they like the photograph," Nadell said. In doing so, "they learn about what mistakes were made in the photograph, and what good things the photo has they can learn from." Projects the students are looking forward to are the portfolio project, where they compile their 20 best photos, and the alma mater project, where students describe their school and its cul- ture through photographs. "I really took the class to learn to take better pictures, because I might want to be a photogra- pher one day," Dane said. "So far, all the assign- ments have been really cool, and we're using the camera and getting to know how to use them, which is pretty cool." Chantelle Lusebrink: 392-6434, ext. 241, or clusebrink@iss- press, com. Comment at www.issaqaahpress, com. Take parent survey A new survey asks par- ents how district officials should expand after- school programming to in, clude a new middle school School-age Care Program. Go to www. issaquah, wednet, edul Click on "For parents of el- ementary and middle school students" under "Hot Topics," before 4 p.m. Oct. 14. Volunteers kick off school levy campaign While residents don't vote on the Issaquah School District's levy pack- age until February, Volun- teers for Issaquah Schools kicked off campaign efforts at the King County Library Service Center Oct. 6. Volunteers met to rally community support for the three-levy package, which includes a Mainte- nance and Operations levy, a Transportation levy for school buses and a Capital levy, which in- cludes critical repairs and technology. The Maintenance and Operations levy would bring in about $25.9 million. The one-year 2011 transportation levy will tax each household 7 cents for every $1,000 of assessed property. It will provide the district $1.7 million between 2011 and 2014 to purchase 41 buses. The total revenue from the technology portion of the levy over four years would be $40.4 million. The technology component would bring in about $34.8 million in four years. The critical repairs piece would be about $5.6 million over four years. District officials also an- swered questions about the measures and how they might impact residents. By Sarah W'llcock ften, the story is the same -- a student too tired to concentrate be- cause he had a game that ran late last night, a student who didn't finish her homework because she had an ex- tended practice and a student who does not care about his grades, just his sport. Usually, student athletes are re- quired to maintain a C average and told to put school first. Recently, Seattle Public Schools have been working to change that message. Seattle Public Schools are pro- posing to drop the requirements for participating in sports from a C average, a 2.0, to a D average, a 1.0. By doing this, a clear message is sent to students -- school isn,t as important as sports. While sports play an essential role in high school by providing a method of exercise, giving stu- dents a passion, teaching team- work and creating school spirit, it is undeniable that the academic side of school should take priority. Only about 2 percent of high school athletes are awarded ath- letic scholarships to compete in college, according to the National Collegiate Athletic Association. In Hall Monitor Sarah Wilcock Uberty High School football, only 1.8 percent of NCAA students become professional ath- letes. According to the NCAA Web site, "Of the student-athletes participat- ing in sports that have profes- sional leagues, hardly any go on to be professional athletes. In reality, student-athletes depend on aca- demics to prepare them for life af- ter college." Knowledge of a sport can't make up for knowledge in English, math or history and a student cannot have truly learned these subjects with a D average. At Liberty High School and other Issaquah schools, student athletes are still held to the C average; this standard helps them gain the knowledge and skills they need while still allowing them to enjoy sports. Throughout the school, there are many scholar athletes and students who continuously push themselves to a higher stan- dard. In one class of Calculus BC, the highest level of math offered in high school, there are four varsity football players. The class has many other scholar athletes as well, and who knows if these stu- dents would achieve as much with lower standards. Regardless of their career paths, students still need to be well- rounded and able to positively contribute to society. 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