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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
December 16, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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December 16, 2009

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THE IS SAQUAH PRES S SECTION WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2009 BY Karen Peterson, bank teller at the Bank of America branch on (right), takes a deposit from one of her Iongtime customers, AI GREG FARRAR Front Street Erickson. By Chantelle Lusehrink Issaquah Press reporter A big smile and a wave from be- hind the counter is how Karen Pe- terson, 60, has been greeting Is- saquah residents at her bank for 42 years. The exchange is usually imme- diately followed up with some- thing like, "Hi, A1, how's it going?" or "Hi Susan, it's been so long. How's your father doing?" In a world of online banking, ice issues: ATM machines and computers, it's not often you enter a bank and the Q: teller knows your name, said Paul Mills, manager of Issaquah's Bank of America on Front Street North, "It is so un- usual to have someone with this amount of tenure and even more so to have stayed in one place," he said: "She is a rock." Peterson is a banker from an- other era and it's coming to an end as she greets cus- tomers in the bank one last day, Dec. 31. On Jan. 1, she retires. "I can't wait to be able to go to the ocean and be able to say, IF YOU GO Karen Peterson's retirement reception p.m.' 10Dec. a.m.-316 Bank of Q: What h America 665 Front St.N. Any and all customers, friends and former employees are welcome to swing by, grab refreshments and wish Peterson well. 'Yeah, let'sg,o. Or no, let's head back Tuesday or Wednesday,' since I won't have to worry about work on Mondays or Saturdays anymore," she said. A1 Erickson, a retired Issaquah city parks department employee, stopped by the bank Dec. 10 to make a deposit. "I opened my account when I was 7 at the SeaFirst Bank," he said. "That was about 50 years ago and I've been coming back since. Karen is part of that." 0bvio ]y, there are some big shoes to fill. "She is a great example for all of us," teller Mary Ellen Houston said. "She was born and raised here, so she really knows every- one and has the same values as the people that live here. "She is friends with the clients, calls everyone by name and noth- ing ever ruffles her feathers." "I started in 1989 as a trainee and Karen is the one that trained me," Mills said. "Karen has always provided such a nice consistency. i : i !ii!ii! i'!i i !iiiili !i i "She has always been very ex- acting and has always done things the right way," he added. "Her said she is also going to keep busy philosophy is really, 'This is other planning her 32-year-old daugh- people's money and the bank s ter's wedding. After that, she said, and we have to do it right.'" she'll be waiting to spoil her two Aside, from being a mentor, daughters children, when they re trainer and auditor, Mills said, he ready to have them. Her youngest is most fortunate to have become daughter is 29. friends with eeterson. The bank's employees are host- 'I count myseff, lucky to ,be her ing a public reception to honor Pe- and her husband s friend, he terson and they re hoping former said. "It's nice when you can work classmates, customers and em- with your friends." ployees come. But community members are "Everyone knows our branch happy for her. because Karen works here," Hous- "Karen has been a wonderful ton said. "She's really something. teller and these have been won- You know, she has opened kids' derful years at this bank. The best savings accounts and now they 42 years, though, have been since come in and they have kids of Karen has been here," Erickson their own. She really has so much said. "But I'm happy for her, be- history here. She's one of the peo- cause I know she's retiring and I ple I personally look up to." know she will enjoy it." "Really, it's good news for her, bad Aside from accompanying her news for us," Mills said. "But we husband to the ocean and an R.V. want to send her off right and we're trip across the county, eeterson hoping her customers will, too." L Above, children enjoy relay races of screaming and running with Youth Advisory Board members on the community center basketball court during Kids Night Out Dec. 11. CommuniO" center hosts an evening full of activities PHOTO~ BY GREG FARHAH At left, Bdan Ruggles, an Issaquah High School junior, shows youngsters how to craft a fish out of paper plates. Above, Nauchelle Martinez, an Issaquah High sen- ior (standing), watches over young people tracing their hands and cutting out images on construction paper in one of the craft projects 'S By Christopher Huber Issaquah Press reporter or much of her child- hood, Pine Lake Middle School eighth-grader Jordan Lederman has preferred having pet chickens, rather than the typical dog or cat. She feeds them, cares for them and even totes them through the house and back yard like a foot- ball, according to her mother, Gina Lederman. "Some kids like kittens and puppies, but she just likes chick- ens," she said. "It's been a really great thing for her." So, when they heard the U.S. Department of Education was holding the I Am What I Learn video contest for students to show how their education helps them attain their goals, they thought, why not make one about raising chickens, the Ledermans said. C ONTHIBUTED VIEW ONUNE Check out Jordan's winning at www.issaquahpress.com and click on Photo/Video or at www.youtube, com/watch ~-Ute5 oNpc9uw. chickens on a farm. "When I grow up, I want to be a chicken. Oh wait, I want to raise chickens," Lederman says in the video. "And school is going to help me to fulfill that goal. I can be a vet, a teacher, an ornitholo- gist, and maybe queen of chicken world, if I want to. Lederman said she plans to save some of her prize money for college. But she also wants to put some of it toward taking care of her pet chickens: She will use some of it to help World Vision In- Little did they know that Jor- Jordan Lederman, a Pine Lake Middle School student, has won the U.S. ternational buy chickens for poor families abroad. dan's two-minute video, which Department of Education's I Am What I Learn contest. She created a video "I just thought that sending opened with a chicken standing and got the most votes. She's one of three who won a $1,000 savings bond. chickens would be really fun and on her head, would go on to be one of three national winners, a good idea," she said. She won $1,000 and recognition from the department. The news brought her to tears, she said and her response was, "Oh my gosh, really, this is, like, awesome. Jordan said she got a congratu- latory call from Washington, D.C., on Dec. 7 and had to keep it quiet until Dec. 10, when they made the official announcement. Her friends and family helped get out the Vote after she made the top- 10 list. "It feels awesome knowing that I have such good support from my friends.., and family and stuff," she said. Pine Lake Principal Roy Adler learned of Lederman's success Dec. 10. ens that live on their deck and in their house," Jordan Lederman said. The video contest launched Sept. 21 and asked students across the country to make short videos demonstrating the impor- "It's a neat production from just tance of education in achieving a really good kid, he said, adding their goals. Students submitted that Lederman has been bringing more than 600 videos that fea- eggs to Assistant Principal tared a diverse range of stories. Michelle Caponigro for a couple of In her video, Lederman ex- years, plains how her education could "Not many people have chick- help her in ultimately raising pet Employees of the U.S. Depart- ment of Education's Office of Com- munications and Outreach re- viewed the videos and narrowed them down to 10 finalists, which they announced Nov. 16. More than 28,000 people voted on their favorite video between Nov. 16 and Dec. 4. Lederman's video was in the top three highest vote getters. Christopher Huber: 392-6434, ext. 242, or chuber@isspress.com. Comment at www. issaquahpress, com.