Lighting a fire for learning | Editor's Notebook

As an editor, reporter and photographer at the Bothell-Kenmore Reporter, I’m always aware of what goes on around me. I’ve constantly got my ears and eyes wide open for stories to share with our readers. Even when I think I might take off my journalist’s cap for an hour or two to attend a luncheon, I’m always on the clock. I just can’t help it. Any journalist will tell you the same thing.

I try to put the camera down for a second, but there I am, snapping photos of the Canyon Creek Elementary marimba band at the recent Northshore Schools Foundation “Light a Fire for Learning” luncheon at the Lynnwood Convention Center.

I push the pen and paper away to listen to speakers, and there it goes again, I’m jotting inspirational quotes down that eventually made their way into this column. It’s an addiction — and I’ll jump on it whenever the situation arises. I don’t have a choice, really. Plus as a one-man editorial staff at the Reporter, someone’s gotta make things happen, right?

What an honor it was to be in attendance at the “Light a Fire for Learning” luncheon for another year.

From foundation board member Susan Fyall noting that Northshore School District students are receiving a “rock-star education” to Torchbearer Award winner Mike Sharadin saying, “For me, the thanks is seeing how many people are in this room” (a couple hundred in my estimation), the support is there in droves for local schools.

As a result, the foundation raised $118,000 at the luncheon that will further the foundation’s continued funding initiatives, which include supporting teacher excellence; STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education; support for advanced and disadvantaged learners; fitness, health, music and enhancement; and literacy support in all 31 Northshore schools.

Keynote speaker Dr. Bonnie J. Dunbar, retired NASA astronaut and Washington state native, said that 87 percent of the jobs out there require STEM skills and added that STEM is “important to our youth, communities and nation.”

I’d heard Hannah Thomas, Bothell High ASB president, speak before at a school-improvement plan meeting, so I knew she’d light up the room.

She studied science at Skyview Junior High and then tackled advanced classes at Bothell and will further her education at the University of Washington.

“I can’t wait to see what science research has in store,” she said.

“For me, science and leadership inspired me. Not just me, but thousands of other students.”

As I wrote that quote down, I knew exactly where this column would take me. There was no question about it.

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