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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 7/22/2016

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

    I trust you are enjoying another amazing July week.  This is such an important time to rest, reflect, and renew.

    Last night, the South Kitsap School District Board of Directors interviewed the three finalist candidates for the interim superintendent position. After the interviews, the board met in executive session, reviewed feedback from audience members, and discussed the qualifications of each candidate. The board then returned to the open public meeting and voted unanimously to select Mr. Karst Brandsma as the interim superintendent.

    “We are excited to welcome Karst Brandsma as our interim superintendent. He brings a wealth of experience as a school district administrator. This was a difficult decision because all three candidates were highly qualified professionals,” stated board president Greg Wall.  Mr. Brandsma earned his superintendent’s credentials from Seattle Pacific University, administrative credentials from Central Washington University, and Bachelors and Masters of Education from Eastern Washington University.

    Mr. Brandsma has extensive administrative experience and has held interim superintendent and district administrator positions with the Oak Harbor, Mt. Baker, and Bellingham School Districts. He retired from the Everett School District in 2009 after serving as Associate/Deputy Superintendent for eight years.  Mr. Brandsma’s contract will begin on August 1, 2016 and will extend through the 2016-2017 school year.  Over the next several months, the board of directors will continue to work with Northwest Leadership Associates in a comprehensive search process for a permanent superintendent to take office July 1, 2017.

    In other news, representatives from United Way of Kitsap County were on hand at the school board meeting last night to present a donation to the South Kitsap NJROTC program. The donation was made possible from the proceeds of the Golf Classic held at Trophy Lake on June 15, the third annual tournament hosted by United Way. Executive Director Carl Borg, board member Rich Peterson, and recently retired Executive Director David Foote presented a $16,624.59 check to NJROTC Captain Todd Schapler, Senior Chief Harold Vickers and Career and Technical Education Director Sara Hatfield. This is a wonderful example of our community’s commitment to South Kitsap schools. Thank you so much to United Way of Kitsap County for your partnership and support.  

    Wow, thanks to our hardworking and dedicated Facilities Department and staff, the summer carpet install is 90% complete, with an expectation of having 100% by the end of next week.  The total room count is 53 rooms across 9 school facilities. We have had vendors tirelessly working at multiple buildings through weekends, supported by two of our journeyman Guy Smith and Tony Grubham. 

    Also, the district warehouse physical inventory has been completed at the warehouse thanks to the collaborative efforts of our Warehouse Person – Kristy Laxson, Journeyman Randy Stocking, Lead Journeyman Jeff Hill, Facilities Coordinator Paula Rossa and Business Manager Stephanie Zarifes.  The information has been entered into the system and is in the process of being finalized with the support of Stephanie.  Our grounds department has been busy the last several weeks top dressing and aerating many of our larger fields throughout the district.  This will provide a safer environment for our students and athletes.Great teamwork and well done !!

    Recently, Bob Cooper shared the following — "In the recent edition of Scientific American – Mind there was an extensive article on Alzheimer’s disease and the latest research findings.  In two massive longitudinal studies – the Religious Order Study (which included both nuns and priests… I checked on that Dr. Reid after our conversation yesterdayJ) and the Rush Memory and Aging Project (which enrolled more than 3,200 older adults across the U.S.) some interesting data has drifted to the surface on ways to “shore up cognitive reserve” and delay the onset of this disease.  According to Dr. David A. Bennet, director of the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, wrote, “Perhaps one of the most critical steps toward ensuring better brain health is education (emphasis added).”

    Cognitive psychologist Ferfus Craik and neuropsychologist Robert Wilson found that “…training in a second language, as well as music correlates with a slower rate of cognitive decline”.  Author Bennett goes on to say, “Had I only continued with those violin lessons!”

    This research speaks directly to what we are doing here in South Kitsap.  If, in fact, research in this area continues to reinforce the connection between education, a second language, and the study of music in staving off the ravages of Alzheimer’s, we need to maintain (and grow) our world language and music programs. Being pro-active rather than re-active in regards to the general health of our children (and our staff) will save society and our community money and treasured people in the long run.”  

    I think this is very provocative and worthy of our thoughtful review. Thank you Bob for sharing this article summary with us.   

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.


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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 7/15/2016

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

    What a beautiful July week.  I trust each of you are getting away for a well-deserved rest and are also enjoying the great outdoors.  Sharing this time away with family and friends is so renewing. 

    I want to remind you that Summer Institute is coming soon and I would encourage you to save the date(s).  This is a full week of professional development training for SKSD teachers. Classes will be held from August 15-19 at South Kitsap High School and several elementary schools. Educators will have 86 classes to choose from, which range from half a day to three days in length.  Professional development will include Inquiry, STEM, Socratic Seminar, reading and writing for struggling learners, curriculum training, cultural competence, blended learning, Google Docs and classroom, NGSS, working with special education students in the general educational classroom, TPEP overview, math problem solving, Math talks, STEM challenges, adaptive PE, and dance.  An email with the entire schedule, course descriptions, and registration will being going out to staff early next week.  Many thanks to the Office of Student Success and the District Professional Development Task Force for their dedication and hard work in preparing for this event. 

    With regard to the current interim superintendent search process, three finalists have been announced for the interim superintendent job to lead the South Kitsap School District for the upcoming 2016-2017 school year.  The School Board will be interviewing three candidates for the interim position on July 19, and they plan to offer a contract to a new interim superintendent at the July 20 regularly scheduled Board meeting.  In the meantime, I will continue to support the district on a previously agreed upon basis until the interim replacement is able to report for work and then will provide some transition time and conversations following their appointment.  The three finalists will be interviewed during an open public meeting at the District Administration Building, 2689 Hoover Ave. S. E., Port Orchard on Tuesday, July 19, 2016. The first interview is scheduled for 3 p.m. People who attend can observe, listen and give the board written suggestions about the candidates.  After the third interview, the board will deliberate in executive session, consider the input received and hopes to take action in open session to appoint the interim superintendent, subject to the finalization of a contract.

    The district received 5 applications for the interim job.  The finalists were invited to interview based on their applications and references.  The three finalists are:

    Dr. Tony Apostle, who is the retired superintendent from the Puyallup School District.  Dr. Apostle also served the Kent School District as their interim superintendent for the 2014-2015 school year.  His Educational Doctorate degree is from Washington State University.

    Mr. Karst Brandsma, who is a retired Washington State Administrator.  Mr. Brandsma has served in a number of interim leadership roles since his 2009 retirement from the Everett School District.  He has held interim superintendent and district administrator positions with the Oak Harbor, Mt. Baker and Bellingham School Districts.  He holds a Washington State Superintendent Certificate from Seattle Pacific University.

    Dr. Jane Pryne, who is the retired superintendent from the Port Angeles School District.  Dr. Pryne has also held a faculty position at the Northern Arizona University in addition to principal and district level leadership roles in Arizona.  She served the Marana Unified School District in Tucson as interim superintendent for the 2004-2005 school year.  Her Educational Doctorate degree is from the University of Arizona.

    Once the interim superintendent position is filled and the school year is underway, the School Board will be working with district and school staff, the community and Northwest Leadership Associates, a regional superintendent search firm, to conduct a comprehensive search for a permanent superintendent to take office July 1, 2017.  More information regarding the subsequent superintendent search will be available via the district website and the district’s usual communication channels.

    On a different note, recently, Olalla Elementary Principal Ted Macomber participated in the third annual Richard Sherman Celebrity Softball Game on Sunday, July 10. The game is a fundraiser for Richard Sherman’s Blanket Coverage Foundation, an organization that provides school supplies and support to low income students in the Puget Sound region including some in South Kitsap. The foundation provided free tickets for several Olalla students and staff to attend the softball game and cheer on Mr. Macomber who wore a jersey with the appropriate number √144. By all accounts Mr. Macomber made some great plays and did a fantastic job representing Olalla and all of South Kitsap.  We are so excited to be a part of our community charity events. 

    I trust you will each enjoy a fabulous summer weekend.  As I have been out in the community this summer, I have heard countless stories of the impact different teachers and support staff members have had on the lives of students and families this past year.  I thought this quote best captures my thoughts as you take some reflective time about the work we engage in each and every day; “Each of us can look back upon someone who made a great difference in our lives, someone whose wisdom or simple acts of caring made an impression upon us. In all likelihood it was someone who sought no recognition for their deed other than the joy of knowing that, by their hand, another's life had been made better.”    —Stephen M. Wolf (born 1941), American Businessman

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.


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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 7/8/2016

    Hello Team South Kitsap, 

    This summer, we are working on a number of summer maintenance projects.  The largest of these is the replacement of the roof at Cedar Heights Middle School.  This project is possible due to the generous voter levy contributions and rounds out the roof repairs across the district.  There are multiple other projects in schools, departments and grounds this month.  Many thanks to the hardworking department members who keep our facilities safe and amazing to support learning in our schools.  We have such a great team in place. 

    Summer school is up and running with several hundred students taking advantage of a multitude of course and content offerings.  This is a great opportunity to catchup on some necessary skills and jump start others.  Many thanks to the staff and students for this extra effort during the summer months.  We are also planning a Kindergarten Jump Start Program for the fall that will provide high support for our high expectations of these young learners. 

    We are having our annual Stuff the Bus Event early next month. Come out to Walmart in Port Orchard on August 6 and donate school supplies for the Back to School Celebration.

    Stuff the Bus

    Have a great July week !!

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 7/1/2016

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

    What a fabulous summer week.  As we anticipate the Fourth of July, I trust each of you have plans to get outdoors and enjoy this incredible part of the world. 

    I would like to update you on the upcoming superintendent transition process.  The School Board met this past Monday to approve the services of Northwest Leadership Associates to conduct the interim superintendent selection process. Earlier this week, our Board President, Mr. Greg Wall, sent a letter to all district staff explaining the transition process and timeline. The School Board will discuss interim candidate applications with the search firm consultants in an executive session on July 12, and will interview the identified candidates in an open session on July 19.  It is expected that the Interim Superintendent will be announced and sworn in at the regularly scheduled Board meeting on July 20.  During the month of July, I will be splitting my time between South Kitsap and Northshore. Please reference my calendar for details on my schedule and the days I will be present in the district.  My South Kitsap email will remain the same through the end of July. 

    Members of the Transportation Department recently attended the Washington Association for Pupil Transportation (WAPT) conference in Yakima.  There was a great deal of information on student management and leadership at the conference.  A welcomed and unexpected surprise was that South Kitsap SD will be receiving a Letter of Achievement from OSPI/WSP for a combined out of service rate of less than 5 percent over the last two years, 2014-2015, during the summer and winter inspection cycles.  Great testament to the mechanics, drivers and support that we’ve received over the last several years.  Our very own Ms. Maurine Simons took 2nd in the mechanic’s competition at the recent statewide WAPT competition and also attended the conference.  Well done !!   In other Transportation Department news, Ms. Jeani Bantam took 6th place and Ms. Loretta Mehs took 18th place at the WAPT state ‘Roadeo’.  It was a great event for South Kitsap!  Well done!!  We are so proud!!

    According to Ms. Anita Chandler, our intrepid Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, our district will be offering an OSPI approved National Board cohort beginning with the upcoming 2016-2017 school year.  This is a great opportunity to work on your National Board Certification with your colleagues in the district.  Our facilitators are:  Ms. Maura Crisp, Ms. Kristine Lange, and Ms. Emily Yellowlees.  They have completed the state training and are in the midst of planning a wonderful professional learning opportunity for those interested in pursuing this certification.  Throughout the year, the facilitators will help guide you through the Foundations Course and the four components required for certification.  An informational meeting will be held at lunchtime on the LID day, August 31, to share information about the year’s plan and answer any questions you may have.  Thank you to Anita and the new NBCT facilitators for this great opportunity.  Well done !!

    The South Kitsap High School Video Production Program truly is something special and a fantastic opportunity for our students. Take a look at the historical retrospective that celebrates the anniversary of the program at this YouTube link.  This is such an amazing program for our students. 

    This year’s Washington State Honor Marching Band, under the direction of Dr. Brad McDavid, UW Husky Marching Band Director, and Assistant Director Gary Grams, SKHS Band Director, will be traveling to Hawaii next week to march in the Oahu summer parades.  One of the three Honor Band drum majors is our own Taylor Rimer, SKHS Senior Drum Major.  Seventeen of our students will be playing in the 2016 State Honor Band.  We are so proud of these student-musicians and our music teachers throughout the district.  Well done !! 

    The Back to School Celebration is fast approaching!  Again, this year, it will take place at Marcus Whitman Junior High. Our annual FREE EVENT for South Kitsap School District students and families is always an amazing opportunity to build community.  Please consider spending a little bit of your time with us on Saturday, August 20th.   If you volunteer in the morning, we’ll have coffee and doughnuts for you… There are all kinds of little jobs you could choose to help us with during the following time frames:  Set Up: 8-11 AM; Event: 11-2 PM; or Clean Up: 2-4 PM.  We’ll also need help with decorations, parking, crowd control … any amount of time you could spare would be greatly appreciated. Let me know if you are available OR simply show up and check in with us at the volunteer tent on the 20th.  If you know you can’t be with us at the celebration, but still want to help – email or call Annette Stewart directly at 874-7054. There are volunteer opportunities during event preparation too. Thanks so much for considering this as we know how much so many of our students and families depend on these resources.   

    The summer sports camp season is officially upon us and student athletes are taking advantage of the opportunities to stay active. In fact, 75 girls in grades four through nine attended the South Kitsap Volleyball Summer Camp this week. There are more camps scheduled and a complete list is available on the athletics website

    As we look forward to the July 4th holiday, I am reminded of the thoughts of Rev. King; "So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring."   — Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.


    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 6/24/2016

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

    What a great first week of summer break.  I trust all of you are enjoying an energizing break. 

    For those of you that may have missed the SKHS graduation ceremony last week, you can watch the event on YouTube at this link. Congratulations Class of 2016, we are very proud of you!

    Olympic ESD Superintendent Greg Lynch attended the board meeting last night to present Olalla Elementary School with the Washington School of Achievement Award. The award is sponsored by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education. Winners are the highest performing schools in the state based on three years of academic information reported in the Washington Achievement Index. Olalla received the High Progress Award in ELA and Mathematics and has been a recipient of this award for three years running. Well done! 

    I would like to announce several administrative appointments that have been made this past week.  As we now have all the principal positions filled, we made some decisions with regard to assistant principals in the district.  I would like to announce that Mr. Joey Kolattukudy, is the new Assistant Principal at Orchard Heights Elementary School.  Mr. Joey Kolattukudy has most recently served as the Assistant Principal at Sidney Glen and previous to that was a 7th and 8th grade English Teacher at Polson Middle School in Montana.   Prior to his teaching at the middle-school level, he taught 4th and 5th grade at Pablo Elementary School, also in Montana.  Joey earned his Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Montana in 2010.  He also received his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education in 2004 from the University of Montana.  Joey has been an Assistant Basketball Coach for the freshman through varsity teams at Polson High School.  Additionally, he has been a Track, Basketball and Football Coach for Ronan Middle School in Montana.  Joey was recognized as the 2006-2007 IEC Teacher of the Year School, Ronan School District #0 and received the 2007-2008 KECI Gold Star Award. 

    I would also like to announce that Ms. Virginia “Ginnie” Brossard, is the new Assistant Principal at Sidney Glen Elementary School.  Ms. Virginia “Ginnie” Brossard has most recently been the Principal at Mullenix Ridge and prior to that she was teaching 4th and 5th grade at Marvista Elementary in Normandy Park, Washington.  While there, she also served as a principal designee for nine years.  Her previous teaching experience was a classroom teacher for K-6 grade multi-age split classes and gifted education classes for Valley View Alternative Elementary in SeaTac, Washington.  Ginnie earned her Washington State Principal Residency Certificate from Western Washington University.  She earned her Master’s in Education from Lesley University in 2003.  Additionally, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Central Washington University.  In 2012 and 2009 Ginnie received the Washington Achievement Award (5th grade science).  She also was awarded the Outstanding Educator Award in 2010.  She is a member of the Association of Washington State Principals and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development as well as a Teacher Advisory Board Member for Seattle Children’s Theatre.  We are so blessed to have these two gifted educational leaders in our staff family.  

    Our community partner, the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce, is hosting a Golf Tournament at McCormick Woods on July 13. Proceeds from the event will help support a scholarship fund for South Kitsap students. Check the Chamber website for more information.

    Members of the Student Success Office Team and over fifty teachers and principals from all of our secondary schools attended AVID training in San Diego, California on Monday through Thursday of this week. This is so important as AVID provides the high support for the high expectations we have for students here in South Kitsap. 

    The Office of Student Success coordinated the Level II Threat Assessment Training which was held Wednesday and Thursday this week. SKSD staff and representatives from Law Enforcement and Mental Health were participants in the training as well.  These partnerships and this training supports our safe schools initiatives.  Well done.

    In an effort to better connect our community with South Kitsap schools, a new Facebook page has been formed called SK Parents and Educators. This is a public site that is moderated by community members – check it out.


    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 6/17/2016

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

    I trust this note finds you enjoying the last week of the school year.  I want to share some news with you as it has become public in the Seattle area and locally this afternoon.  I want to share with you that I have been offered and chosen to accept the opportunity to become the next Northshore School District Superintendent.

    I want you to know that I am sincerely grateful to have had the opportunity to serve you (such an amazing staff family), our students, families, our community, and our South Kitsap Board of Directors.  On occasion, jobs come up that are simply worth taking a look at and when asked to consider them; in this case, I have chosen to take a look and have decided that this is one such opportunity I cannot pass up.  Opportunities knock on the door of our lives at different times and we need to be open to them.   I wish each of you in this amazing staff family, the students, parents, and community all the best in the coming years.

    Rest assured that this great district will be in good hands.  Our South Kitsap School District is financially healthy and stable, innovation is flourishing, enrollment is on the rise; we are blessed with an excellent staff and a district leadership team that share a common commitment to excellence.  We have come through a great deal together and are set on a path to continue to build on the strengths of each and every one of you.  All will be as it should be….  As the School Board determines next steps, I will keep you posted (yes that means there will be a Thursday Memo for a few more weeks ;>)  !!

    In other news, this week we celebrated graduation for the Explorer Program and South Kitsap High School.  What a fantastic capstone event these graduations have become.  Graduation Photo Gallery on Kitsap Sun website .  A great big round of applause for all graduates, their teachers, support staff and families.  Well done !!

    I am proud to announce the appointment of the new Principal at Orchard Heights Elementary School.  It was exciting to introduce Ms. Kris Christenberry, the current Assistant Principal at Marcus Whitman, to the Orchard Heights staff this afternoon as their new principal.  Kris graduated Valedictorian and Athlete of the Year from Mt. Tahoma High School in 1987.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Evergreen State College in 1991, a Master’s Degree from City University in 1994 and her administrative credentials from Central Washington University in 2000.  Kris began her career with the South Kitsap School District in September ’91 and has served our district at Marcus Whitman for twenty four and a half years, first as a Teacher for seven and a half years, then as Dean for three years and most recently as Assistant Principal for the last fourteen years.  Kris has also been involved in coaching and the junior high athletic director role since 1990.  Please take a moment and welcome Kris to this new role.  We are so excited that someone who is so passionate about our South Kitsap School District has accepted this very important leadership position.  We will be posting an assistant principal position soon.  Thank you to all the staff, students, and community members who participated in this process and especially to Ms. Misty Dieffenbach, who managed the process.  Well done !!

    Our very own math teacher, Ms. Kari Freiboth, from John Sedgwick Junior High, was awarded the regional Excellence in Mathematics Education award today.  Kari, the math department chair, has been a teacher in our district for the past 18 years, six at Mullenix Ridge Elementary and the past 12 at John Sedgwick Junior High.  This year, she is teaching Math 8 and Algebra to 7th and 8th graders.  As the department chair, she leads the other math teachers in a PLC (Professional Learning Community) model, meeting weekly with her team to share curriculum and assessment ideas and look at student work.  She is thirsty to learn and stays up-to-date on the latest learning trends and mathematics strategies.  For example, last summer, she attended the AVID Summer Institute in San Diego and served as a member of the building AVID Site Team, helping to launch the AVID program within the school.  Kari was instrumental in promoting the use of WICOR (Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, Reading) strategies such as the use of Cornell notes and interactive notebooks in her department.  Kari also attended the Middle School Math National Conference in New Mexico this winter, bringing back valuable information to her school regarding establishing a growth mindset.  One example of this adoption of a growth mindset was in the math department’s consideration and implementation of a supplemental online math program used to bridge the standards gap for students who are skipping a level of math and students who are in need of math intervention.  Kari is also a member of the District Math Assessment Committee.  Kari works tirelessly to improve math education in her schools and has had an exceptional impact in the lives of their students.  The Excellence in Mathematics Education award was presented to her by the Washington State Mathematics Council and the Olympic Education Service District.  Wow and well done !!

    This week the school hallways at South Colby and Mullenix Ridge Elementary Schools were packed with students anxious to express their congratulations for South Kitsap High School graduating seniors on Monday morning. Principal Joe Riley and Principal Ginnie Brossard invited students from the class of 2016 to return to their former elementary school for a special event. Cheers of “once a bobcat, always a bobcat” could be heard echoing across South Colby. At Mullenix Ridge, the seniors talked with sixth grade students about their plans for the future and favorite elementary school memory. “Our elementary students can see the accomplishments of the seniors and what will come in their future. We are so proud of them and want to show them how much they mean to South Colby,” stated South Colby Principal Joe Riley.  This graduation walk idea is one that is so exciting.  Thank you to Heather Hays and other staff for sharing the idea with us. 

    I am pleased to announce that Orchard Heights Elementary students reached a goal that has been five years in the making. Congratulations Sharks on reading 1,000,000,000 words!  This is quite an achievement and demonstrates serious shark perseverance !!  Well done !!

    We are excited to announce another opportunity for students to get involved in school sports with the introduction of the South Kitsap Crew Program. The SKHS Athletics Department is happy to introduce Mr. Jake Brisson as the Head Coach of our 2016/17 Crew Team and Mr. Chuck Perkins as the Assistant Coach.  Head Coach Jake Brisson began rowing his freshman year at Washington State University for WSU Men's Crew in 2012. He went on to win ACRA National Championships for rowing in the Novice Lightweight 4+, as well as 3 Lightweight WIRA Championships in 2013, 2014, and 2015. He finished out his Senior year in 2016 stroking the 2nd Varsity 8+ at ACRA National Championships. Coach Brisson's hobbies include snowboarding, skiing, running half marathons and competing in the annual WSU Men's Crew Triathlon. He is now 22 years old, graduating WSU at the end of the summer with a Bachelor's Degree in History. "I am extremely excited to take on the challenge of beginning South Kitsap High School's first Rowing team! GO COUGS, and now GO WOLVES!"  The SKHS Athletic Department also welcomes Assistant Crew Coach, Mr. Chuck Perkins. In October of 1973, Chuck was a walk-on for University of Washington’s Crew and his life changed forever. He found one of his passions in life. Chuck has taught grades 4-6 at Manchester Elementary from 1980 – 2005 and taught at Explorer Academy from 2005- present. His three sons have all graduated from SKHS, are successful in their careers and most importantly happy in life. Chuck currently rows with the Clam Island Rowing Club with their Masters group and has also been an assistant coach for their junior’s team and their adult Learn to Row team. The second assistant coach is Mr. Eric Delacorte.  Eric has been working as a teacher in the South Puget Sound area for the past five years, after receiving a master’s degree in teaching from the University of Puget Sound.  Prior to graduate school Eric rowed for UPS during his senior year of his under graduate studies.  In college Eric rowed port side as part of the stroke pair for the top novice 4 and 8 boats, and won a novice championship at the Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference.  Outside of rowing and teaching, Eric is a cyclist and has coached mountain biking, shotput and discuss, and football tackling.  We are so excited to begin this program for our student athletes and are looking forward to their inaugural season. 

    Here is a great quote to end this week’s letter…“He had spent much of the night simply staring at his gold medal, contemplating it as it hung on the end of his bunk… As much as he had wanted it, and as much as he understood what it would mean to everyone back home and to the rest of the world, during the night he had come to realize that the medal wasn’t the most important thing he would take home…” The Boys in the Boat 

    I wish you all the best for a joyful and active last weekend of the school year.  

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Sad Florida News

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 6/14/2016

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

    As we start another week following the aftermath of an apparent targeted mass shooting, it is difficult to comprehend the impact this has on those close to the tragedy as well as those around the country.  Like you, I know that we are keeping the families and friends of the Orlando, Florida victims in our thoughts and prayers.  This is a difficult time in our country and world.  There is so much division and the rhetoric seems at times to escalate the violence. 

    As for us here in South Kitsap, -- in our House -- we will continue to care for one another, respect one another, and support one another; whether or not we have a difference of opinion(s), religion, sexual orientation, or political view, etc.  We are safe here and will resolutely work to remain safe. 

    Today, you will likely have colleagues, students, parents or families you work with who are deeply affected and impacted by the horrific events of this past weekend.  Be present for those who want to talk about this and share your best compassionate self.  Take a moment and be silent and reflect on all we can do personally and collectively to break this cycle of senseless violence. Together, we can overcome anything….


    Have a peaceful last week of school.  All the best and warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 6/10/2016

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

    What another amazing week (and also the last week for our graduating seniors).  This is such a milestone to mark and one the entire district can celebrate.  Each and every staff member in this great district can take great pride in the young men and women who are graduating this spring as regardless of your role, you played an important part in the development and achievements of these young people.  They are our young people and the very best of our community.  Well done !!

    On Monday June 6th, Discovery Alternative High School held their graduation ceremony for the 90 students who completed their requirements for graduation.  According to Principal, Mr. Pat Oster, “Discovery’s mascot is the “Phoenix” and like the Phoenix, these students have risen from the ashes to earn their High School diploma and are now college and career ready.”  He reports that some highlights of the evening included graduate speeches from Ariel Loch, Jocelyn Schirmer and Chris Rothlin.  Also everyone was dazzled by a performance from Jada Sills who sang the “National Anthem” and “Read All About it” by Emeli Sand’e.  Many students received special awards and scholarships including Teddy Colenaty who received the Olympic College tuition waiver scholarship, Chris Rocconi and Alonna Davies who received the Kurt Wagner Memorial Scholarship, and Lauren Phelps and Kaitlyn Lawrence who received scholarships from the Soroptimists.  Congratulations to all of the students and their families on their success.  We are so proud of you all.  Thank you also to our community partners who made these scholarships possible. 

    On June 4, the South Kitsap High School video production students won two awards for excellence at the annual Northwest Emmy competition held at the SeaTac Hilton. Students compete in 12 categories from News Reporting to Short-Form Movies. Avery Krumsick and Brenan Kovach won in the category of Best Sports Reporting and featured profiles on high school tennis, football, and basketball. Discovery student Chris Rothlin won the Best Writing category. Chris shared a first-person account of his battle with mental illness and depression. The competition is sponsored and judged by media professionals. South Kitsap’s winning entries now move to the national level competition in Washington, D.C. The results will be announced this fall.  Well done and Go Wolves !!  Also kudos to Coach Mike Downum; wow amazing talents !!

    The Kiwanis Club of Port Orchard held the final Students of the Month recognition lunch on Wednesday, June 8. Spencer Goodin from South Kitsap High School, Emily Nass from Cedar Heights and Joaquin Anderson from Cedar Heights received awards.  This is such an affirming celebration of our amazing students. 

    What a wonderful evening we had recently recognizing all of our district retirees. This is such an important and memorable milestone for these veteran educators and support staff, as recognizing their enormous contributions for good in our district is important.  A special thank you to our elementary music specialists for the entertainment. After being inundated with requests, I am linking to their Grammy nominated hit ;>)  The talent and creativity of their group made the evening extra special. There is a photo gallery of the event posted on our website.

    In exciting news from Ms. Kelly Ogan’s  World Literature and Composition class, her sophomores worked on an extensive research paper this semester.  Students chose a global issue of concern and spent about two months researching, pre-writing, and drafting and then revising into a final polished paper.  They then worked to transform their learning into a movie documentary after studying film techniques such as camera angles, voice overs, transitions, etc.  As her students viewed their classmates’ documentaries, they took notes and rated them in order to determine the documentary they felt was the strongest.  They held a vote in each class, and awarded the 2016 Best Film Documentary Awards and runners-up, complete with trophies and medals.  Students who were selected are now featured in one of the display cases on campus.  Most students enjoyed the departure from the more traditional PowerPoint approach for presenting their learning, and in their reflections, many of them commented on how much fun they had trying their hand at film making! Great innovative approach !!  Well done !!  Go Wolves !!

    First place winners are the following:

    Gabrielle Lund Gabrielle Lund  and her documentary on shark finning, Annie Larson  Annie Larson  and her documentary on endangered species, and Alainna Widdifield Alainna Widdifield , Alicia Zmijewski Alicia Zmijewski , and Sienna Shilston Seinna Shilston  and their documentary on coral reefs.

    Runners-up are the following:

    David Mansfield David Mansfield , Grace Ebuen Grace Ebuen , Kyle VanMeter Kyle VanMeter , Jermiah Merrell Jermiah Merrell , Yvette Jordan Yvette Jordan , Madison Jackson (absent for picture), and Alexis Gunzer Alexis Gunzer .

    As a point of summary interest, for this 2015-2016 school year, we had 1099 student athletes who competed in 2015-2016, which is the highest number ever for South Kitsap High School and the overall student athlete GPA was 3.13!!  This is great news and a real testament to our hard working student athletes, coaches and families.

    Students in Mr. Lafferty’s 5th grade class at Hidden Creek went to Manchester this past Monday in connection with their current unit of study “Sharing the Planet”. Pat Kirschbaum from the Kitsap County Water Department and her intern Kenzie explained how the park worked improved the quality of storm water runoff that found its way to the Puget Sound. This was a great learning experience for the students. They learned first-hand how the Earth’s systems combined with human behavior can impact our resources and biodiversity.  Another amazing innovative learning opportunity for our young students.  Well done !!

    Each quarter our community partner, the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce, honors stand out South Kitsap School District employees with Star Staff Awards. This quarter Faith Serka, ELA and Social Studies teacher, earned the Certificated Star Staff Award and John Scott, head custodian, earned the Classified Star Staff Award. Both Ms. Serka and Mr. Scott work at John Sedgwick Junior High and were nominated by Principal Dan Novick.  Also, Clayton Hutchinson was selected to receive the first scholarship from the Chamber of Commerce Education Committee for pursuing a career in business. Funds generated during Chamber of Commerce luncheon announcements and also at the upcoming golf tournament will support the scholarship in upcoming years.  This is a wonderful new community partnership.  Well done !!

    In a retrospective thought this afternoon; ““Don't count the days. Make the days count.”   —  Muhammad Ali

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 6/3/2016

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

    What another amazing week here in South Kitsap!!  The weather is great and the energy in the schools is electric. 

    What a wonderful evening we had last night recognizing all of our district retirees. This is such an important and memorable milestone for these veteran educators and support staff, as recognizing their enormous contributions for good in our district is important.  A special thank you to our elementary music specialists for the entertainment. The talent and creativity of their group made the evening extra special. There is a photo gallery of the event posted on our website.

    As the year fast reaching a close, I am reminded of all the ‘Breakfast Club’ visits I have had over the past three years.  I have now hosted ninety-six breakfasts with students in the district.  Having said that, I have broken bread with close to one thousand students representing roughly 10% of our entire district student population.  It is so interesting to have this authentic face time with our students as they have a great deal to say about their experience here in this amazing district.  Please know that I am so excited to hear their complimentary affirmations about their classroom and school experiences; thank you for all your efforts and dedication.  Also, a special thank you to all the School Office Coordinators, School Principals, and the Food and Nutrition Services for their support of this important initiative.  It matters. 

    In a recent update, Ms. Shelby MacMeekin, our Director of Special Education, shared that we have been accepted as a part of the 2016-2018 CCTS/DVR “Transition Learning Communities Pilot Project”.  This is so exiting for our high school team and presents a tremendous opportunity for data analysis, collaboration, and enhanced post-secondary outcomes for our students with disabilities.  We are also pleased about the excellent turn-out for the “Start Now” lunch at the Community Transitions Program.  We had many families, students, and staff in attendance.  Representatives from DVR, DDA, Special Olympics, and the Kitsap Parent Coalition were also there.  The high school staff have worked hard to make this program a success.  Well done !!

    Special Services       Special Services

    Over this past weekend the South Kitsap Track and Field team competed at the State championship at Mt. Tahoma high school. It was a great weekend for track and field athletes as the boys team were 4th in the state. Nolan Van Amen was 3rd in the shot put , and won the discus with another school record with a throw of 184 ft 8 inches. Albert MacArthur was second in both the triple jump and long jump , Albert also broke a school record in the long jump with a jump 22 ft. 11 and ¾ inches . William Vargus finished 6th in the state in the high jump with a jump of 6 ft. 2 inches. On the girls side Mylie LaFountaine ran very well in the 300 hurdles and freshman Paxton Depoe finished 8th in the state in the 800 meters setting a new school with a time of 2:15. 47 and breaking the old record by more than 2 seconds. Congratulations to the state competitors!  Way to go Wolves !!’

    In other SK Athletic news, please note the SKHS Team GPA medalists…it is an Olympic year!

    Boys                                                          Girls

    Sport      # of athletes  GPA     Medal    Sport        # of athletes   GPA

    Golf                  9         3.40    GOLD    Cross Country    18          3.70

    Cross Country   37        3.30    SILVER  Soccer              54          3.53

    Waterpolo         24        3.21   BRONZE  Volleyball         43          3.47

    In a recent news flash, Ms. Sheila Reynolds, staff member at Orchard Heights, shared that  Orchard Heights is the first school in the District to receive a Washington Green School Flag designation.  This has taken a lot of work and dedication from the kids to get this certification and the kids loved it.  Sheila has even begun flying the flag again on the school flag pole.  Next school year with the SOAR program here they plan to take it to the next level. It will tie into IB perfectly and I think more kids will embrace the next step that means we will be on our way to Tier 2.  The SOAR teachers are excited and so is Sheila. We will be looking forward to updates on their progress in the coming school year.  This recycling and green stewardship is inspiring.  Well done !!  Go Sharks !! 

    Recently, South Kitsap High School teacher, Mrs. Angelique Colson set-up a great after school field trip to Tacoma Community College where our Anatomy & Physiology students were front and center for surgical demonstrations. They observed surgical techniques of a fasciotomy, cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal), appendectomy (appendix removal), and mastectomy. Students were also encouraged to take a hands-on approach. It was great to see the students’ faces light-up because they understood the anatomy, physiology, and were able to answer questions during the presentations. In fact, I believe we were the only high school group in our session. The other groups were from local colleges (which made our students feel pretty awesome).

    Colson     Colson

    Meanwhile, our high school Physics students took their knowledge straight to Hi-Joy Bowl for one of their recent labs. This lab focuses on an activity everyone knows how to do, like bowling, and compels students to break down the physics behind a seemingly simple pastime (they addressed every concept they learned this year). Students find themselves taking-on any lingering misconceptions lurking about. We appreciate Hi-Joy Bowl so much as they’ve been amazing to our students !!

    Project Learning   You gotta love the project based learning !! Well done !!

    In other South Kitsap alumni news, here is another great article of a former graduate (2013)—thought you’d like to read.  Despite seven surgeries this past year and still no front teeth, her strength and “never let anyone stop you” mentality took her very far and our very own Ms. Rosa Buss is a very proud mom. J  She graduated with a 31K academic scholarship to attend Linfield College and play fastpitch for the Wildcats.  The Linfield Wildcats won their conference, then won regionals enabling them to compete in the Nationals.  We are so proud of our gritty Wolves and their incredible spirit !!

    Students in Mr. Laverty’s fifth grade class at Hidden Creek got silly with red noses to help raise awareness of childhood poverty.  This is such an important topic to have authentic and age appropriate dialog about as our community faces many challenges in this area.  Well done !!  Go Hawks !!

    In my provocative quote this week, I want to note that; “The enemy of great is good.”  -- David Foster; 16 Time Grammy Winner, 3 Time Oscar Nominee, Emmy Winner, Renowned Producer.  This is true in music and all other aspects of our lives together.  Have a great June weekend !!

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 5/27/2016

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

    Last night, it was a pleasure to attend the CTE Student of the Year Celebration. Career and Technical Education (CTE) provides a rigorous combination of academic and technical courses preparing students for college as well as successful careers in high-skill, high-wage occupations. Sixteen students and their families were honored for their achievements in their CTE program areas:  A+  and Business - Brett Mize, Agriculture Science - Stephen Kanekkeberg, American Sign Language - Mackenzie Powell, Athletic Medicine - Monica Ohman, Automotive Tech - Vincent Timmerman, Computer Aided Drafting - Caleb Ogden, FACSE/Top Student - Cassie Peeler, FACSE/ProStart - Autumn Templeton, Info Tech - William Webster, Graphic Arts - Liberty Morey, Marketing - Aiyana Stringer, NJROTC - Danielle Corpuz, Photography - RaeAnna Gottlieb, Video Production - Whitney Bolar, Woods Technology - Jacob Sartor, and Yearbook - Tiffiney Mitchell.  Thanks to our NJROTC program that provided the color guard, ProStart prepared salads and dessert and our Horticulture program created floral basket centerpieces for the event.  Food Service also served the entrée.  Please visit the CTE web page to view the student profiles Well done to all!!

    Ms. Marissa Rathbone, the Washington State Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (WSASCD) awards co-chair, has informed us that our very own Ms. Courtney Vetter has been selected as the 2016 WSASCD Outstanding Young Educator Award recipient. We are very excited about this, as we too, believe that Courtney does amazing work! Courtney will receive the award at the Washington Teachers' Conference on Saturday, November 5th, 2016, and will have complimentary registration for the conference.  We are so excited to have one of our South Kitsap teachers honored at the State level, as this reflects so well on all of Courtney’s teaching colleagues, the PLC work that inspires such strong results, and the support staff that contribute to our teaching and learning mission here in this great district. 

    Ms. Erin Simon, Vice President for the South Kitsap PTSA Council, was recently awarded a Crystal Leadership Award at the Washington State PTA Convention. The Washington State PTA Board of Directors created the Leadership Academy Awards Program with the purpose of recognizing and acknowledging leadership skills attained by PTA leaders throughout all levels of the association. PTA leaders are encouraged to join the Leadership Academy program and submit their activity annually to create a record of their leadership in the association. The program awards points for leadership positions held in both PTA and other educational committees, classes presented, conference attendance, and other WSPTA and National PTA events. The award recognizes four leadership levels from bronze to crystal. This past weekend, Erin Simon was given an award for achieving the crystal level, the highest in PTA. Thank you to Ms. Simon and all of our wonderful parent partners.  Well done !!

    The Port Orchard Rotary Club recognizes stand out students at each elementary school and junior high school. The students are selected by their teachers and building principal for academics, leadership, and strong character. Congratulations to all these outstanding students! Reed Chermak and Josilyn Bates from Burley Glenwood, Ezekiel Rivera-Guadamuz and Kayla Moody from EPO, Emily Holtcamp, Tom Petroff, Sierra Dague, Gabriel Curvin, and LeEssa Dague from Explorer Academy, Piper Scheitlin and Owen Collins from Hidden Creek, McKenna Dorsey and Leila Donyaei from Manchester, Amellia Schlatter and Kiersti Tailleur from Mullenix Ridge, Will Morgan and Asher Burns from Olalla, Hana Chollar and Kayden Wetzel from Orchard Heights, Rhiannon Gorski and Elise Thorley from Sidney Glen, Ziva McCullough and Kina Painter from South Colby, Megan Miller and Collin Bass from Sunnyslope, Francesca Corso, Kadin Backlund, and Jordan Javier from Cedar Heights, Jenna Young, Noah Follis, and Devon Keyt from Marcus Whitman, and Piper Willson, Leah Hannan, and Thomas Bidewell from John Sedgwick Junior High.  Our future is in good hands.  Well done !! 

    Cedar Heights students traveled to Washington State University to compete at the Imagine Tomorrow science competition.  They participated with over 400 students, 141 different teams.  On Saturday, May 21, Thomas Bailey and Sidney Higley along with contributions from student Ramiah Rente, presented their project on Algae Agriculture to Judges from Microsoft, Tacoma City Light, NARA Biofuels, Alaska Airlines, USDA, British Petroleum and many more.   They met and interacted with students from three states working to solve our energy challenges and present solutions for a brighter tomorrow.  They won an award for Best Project from a newly participating school with a prize of $100 for each student and $500 for their school.  Thomas, Sidney and Ramiah have already started planning their project for next year and can’t wait to represent South Kitsap at WSU in 2017.  For more information on the competition please visit Well done !!

    On Saturday in the pouring rain  the track and field team finished competing in the district track meet where Nolan Van Amen broke another school record in the discus  with a throw of 174 feet 5 inches.  Albert MacArthur was 2nd in the triple jump , Mylie LaFountaine finished 5th in the  300 meter hurdles , Paxton Depoe finished 7th in the 800 meter and the girls 4x400 finished 8th with a season best time of 4:06 . Congratulations to the 5 members of the track team who are moving on to state finals this weekend at Mt. Tahoma: Albert MacArthur in the long and triple jumps, Nolan Van Amen in the shot and discus, William Vargas in the high jump, Mylie LaFountaine in the 300m hurdles, and Paxton DePoe in the 800m run.  Our SK Fastpitch team played very well in the West Central District Tournament, losing their final game to the nationally ranked Tahoma Bears.  It was a great season and most of the team returns next year, so look for great things in the future.  Go Wolves !!

    Recently at Burley Glenwood Elemntary School, as part of a class assignment, young students in Ms. Delynn Maples wrote a class book entitled “What Does Our Principal Do All Day?”  Some of Ms. Maples’s favorite responses are: “Mr. Grant puts up with kids that are being bad at recess. He lives in the office and loves us.”- Albert  “He talks to people about being nice to people. I love you Mr. Grant and you love me!” –Olivia  “Mr. Grant  watches out for kids being mean. He works all day. Mr. Grant is the best principal. The school is the best. It is fun being at school.” Cassidy  “He will sleep all day and dream everyone was bad.” Charlie.  Children so often capture the amazing simplicity in our lives.  It is wise for us to remember not to make complicated that which is by nature simple…

    The CTE Department recently submitted an application for the CTE Makeover Challenge, a grant that would support the development of a makerspace at South Kitsap High School.  The CTE, IT, Facilities and Fine Arts Departments, along with Kitsap Regional Library, have partnered to develop a makerspace vision that would provide a space for students and teachers to “make” for their courses and for their own personal interests.  A dark room from one of our former film photography spaces is being redeveloped into a makerspace activity hub, with the ability to branch out into our existing CTE instructional spaces as projects require.  The team has been meeting weekly to develop a vision, scope, budget and plan for implementation in the fall.  This innovative thinking is so inspiring.  Well done !!

    Coming soon, the talented SKHS Choirs will present One Night On Broadway on June 4 & 5. This cabaret style show features songs and medleys from musical theatre productions produced by students. The evening features a two act show and a dessert at the intermission. Tickets are by pre-sale only and are available through any SKHS Choir student or through Mr. Allen (360-874-5648) at South Kitsap High School.  We are blessed to have so many talented students and staff in South Kitsap.

    Finally, I wish each of you the best Memorial Day week-end ever.  I would also ask each of you to pause during the BBQ, and other fun activities we will be having this weekend … to think about and thank those who have served our country so valiantly and remember the many sacrifices made on our behalf. It is so true that we are free because of the brave.  Thank you.

     Memorial Day

    “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”  — Earl Nightingale (1921-1989)

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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Last Modified on August 1, 2016