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Northshore Schools Foundation raises more than $135,000 for students

Northshore School District Superintendent Larry Francois visits with students. - Contributed photo
Northshore School District Superintendent Larry Francois visits with students.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Hovercraft, talking robots and an electric car were on display at the 11th annual Northshore Schools Foundation Light a Fire for Learning Luncheon held April 8 at the Lynnwood Convention Center.

The event, attended by more than 400 people, highlighted the Northshore School District’s Computer Science, Composites and Automotive programs and emphasized the value of hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) learning in the classrooms. Students from Woodmoor Elementary, Kenmore, Timbercrest and Skyview Junior Highs, and Bothell and Woodinville High Schools were on hand to demonstrate their creative and technical skills, showing how they are using computer aided design (CAD), engineering and fabrication to create projects and get ahead in their education.

“I realized that I excelled at hands-on and project-based learning” said featured student speaker Anela Garringer, a senior at Woodinville High School. “I struggled with English and History because these subjects were open to interpretation, there was never one simple right answer. Because I struggled with ambiguity, I was pushed more towards technical subjects. I loved those because I was able to know if my answer was wrong or correct, right away.” Positive experiences in technical courses enabled her to adapt to her new school after moving here from Hawaii in 2010. The logical nature of CAD and welding helped her feel successful as a student and hopeful about her future.

Keynote speaker, UW student body president and Inglemoor High School graduate, Michael Kutz, emphasized the value of the education he received in the Northshore School District, citing the rigor of the coursework he took through the International Baccalaureate program and the real-world learning he experienced. He feels prepared to succeed in the field of computer science and is a determined advocate for public education funding, particularly for STEM classes.

School district Superintendent Larry Francois shared his pride in the achievements of the District and gratitude for Foundation support. Significant District accomplishments include adding new Advanced Placement courses, International Baccalaureate courses and innovative new programs like Bio-Medical Science, Robotics, Composites Engineering and Manufacturing, and Sustainable Engineering & Design; and building stronger relationships with local higher education partners, Cascadia Community College and the University of Washington Bothell.

Auto Tech instructor Pat McCue was honored with the Foundation’s inaugural Innovation in Education award for his forward-thinking ideas and personal investment in cutting-edge student projects like the electric car conversion that was featured at the event.

Paulette Bauman chaired the luncheon, which was attended by more than 20 local elected officials. She spoke passionately about the value of education and community involvement.

The event also featured the award-winning Bothell High School Jazz Band, which has been selected to perform later this month at the Hot Java, Cool Jazz concert. The Luncheon broke records for attendance and raised over $135,000 for students in the Northshore School District.

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