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WHS music director receives prestigious fellowship award

  • Written by Deborah Stone
Eric_LucasjEric Lucas, Woodinville High School director of instrumental music and chair of the performing arts department, is the recipient of a prestigious fellowship award from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

He will be attending an NEH summer institute at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo, entitled "The Sock Hop and the Loft: Jazz, Motown and the Transformation of American Culture, 1959-1975."

Each year, the NEH’s Division of Education programs offers teachers opportunities to study a variety of humanities topics through summer seminars and institutes.

The courses are typically led by a team of core faculty and visiting scholars and are designed to present the best available scholarship on important humanities issues and works taught in the nation’s schools.

Summer institutes consist of 25-30 participating teachers, who meet to compare and synthesize the different perspectives offered by the faculty, while making connections between the institutes’s content and classroom applications.

Lucas learned about NEH’s programs via another WHS teacher, Jim Schindler, who has been involved with the organization for a number of years, first as a recipient and now as a specialist who helps run summer institutes on Mozart in Vienna.

"I thought it would be a great experience to participate in one of these institutes," says Lucas, "because of the in-depth knowledge it would give me which I could then share with my students. I was particularly interested in this one on jazz and Motown because of the cultural and historical impacts these forms of music had on our society."

Lucas notes that both types of music affected Americans’ taste in fashion, film, literature and even language. He adds, "They impacted history, as they helped to bring about the civil rights movement."

Lucas, who has been at WHS since 2001, teaches wind ensemble, percussion ensemble, orchestra, jazz ensemble and rock guitar.

He has also been an adjunct professor at Bellevue College and served as president of the Northlake Music Educators Association for four terms.

When he heard the news that he was a recipient of the award, Lucas was thrilled as the program is very selective and competitive, and he feels honored to be chosen.

"NEH attracts a high volume of applicants," he says, "and it’s hard to get into the institutes because they draw interest from teachers all across the country. For the institute I will be participating in, for example, there will be teachers who teach a wide range of humanities courses. Not everyone in the class will be a music teacher. There could be people who teach English, for example, or drama, or history and social studies. It will be interesting to get different perspectives."

Lucas is delighted that the institute is in St. Louis, as he looks forward to exploring the area. Other than an airport stopover, he’s never been to the city.

He says, "St. Louis is steeped in jazz and it will be fun to check out some of the jazz clubs, as well as do some tourist-like activities during my free time."

Upon his return, Lucas plans to incorporate his learning into the classroom, as well as share his experience with other teachers.

He adds, "I know it will be an enriching experience for me that will have many applications."

WHS art student has award winning week

  • Written by Don Mann
Art_StudentWoodinville High School senior and art student Zach Herzog had a memorable week.

First, he was selected a regional winner at the Puget Sound Educational Service District High School Art Show where his self-portrait "Fractured" was chosen for the Board of Directors’ Purchase Award of $200 and is now part of the PSESD collection.

Then his neckpiece and wrist cuff won honorable mention in the category of jewelry at the Washington State High School Metal Arts Show, "Passing the Torch." It is on display until May 30 along with other WHS students’ works (Carlos Santos, Laura Orella and Reece Henry) at the Washington State Convention Center in the second level north lobby.

"It feels really nice because it’s the first time I’ve won any type of significant award for my art," Herzog said. All three works were completed in the classroom of WHS art teacher Sue Knowles, who had high praise for Herzog.

"Zach is a da Vinci learner in that he finds all areas of learning intriguing," she said. "He excels in many subject areas, always striving to do his best. His work in the WHS art department has been outstanding in the areas of drawing, painting, stained/fused glass and metal design."

Herzog said he enjoys working in most mediums, though currently he’s been into acrylic on canvas. Painting, he said, is probably his favorite art form.

"Painting, drawing, working with metal, woodcarving and writing — I consider that a form of art, too," he said.

He has no favorite artist, he said, and offered this about his influences: "What influences me is nature, as human beings. Also being in nature."

He will attend Western Washington University in Bellingham next fall, where he will major in industrial design.

"It’s a mixture of art and math to create perfect designs for the market," he said.

His goal is to become a successful industrial designer to pay the bills, he said, while supplementing that by being a private artist and author.

His self-portrait "Fractured" was sketched by pencil on watercolor paper and was augmented by an imaginative personal technique: "I rubbed coffee grounds over it to give it a little bit of texture."

He was asked if there was a particular message or meaning behind the work, and after a long pause asked if he could send along his written statement that accompanied the winning entry.

It read, in part, as follows: "Every individual must ask one important question of his or herself. What is my identity? My artwork seeks to express not the answer ... but the question of the individual’s identity. What is the nature of one’s place in the world? What does one wish to hide and to show? And most importantly, what does one stand for? My piece, ‘Fractured,’ in particular explores the complexity and realm of possibility present within one’s mind. The image of a coherent and whole person is shattered like a mirror into the bits and pieces that distinguish the individual and compete for the individual’s attention. The void is the awaiting place in a person’s identity that, when filled, establishes the central belief of the individual and therefore both is constantly challenged and wholly completes one’s identity."

 

House fire in Bothell

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

On May 2 at 9:39 p.m., crews from the City of Bothell Fire and E.M.S., Northshore Fire Department and Shoreline Fire Department responded to a single family residence structure fire located in the 21000 block of 6th Avenue West in Bothell.

Upon arrival, firefighters found smoke and flames coming from the roof. The fire had spread quickly from the kitchen to the attic after occupants attempted to rapidly extinguish a cooking fire with a dry chemical extinguisher.

The two occupants of the home were transported to a local hospital with minor burns and smoke inhalation. There are no firefighter injuries to report at this time.

After investigation, the official cause of the fire was an accidental cooking fire started in the kitchen. The home endured significant fire, smoke and water damage. The current damage estimate is $200,000.

High honors for Northshore PTAs

  • Written by Don Mann
Northshore School District PTAs (Parent-Teacher Associations) won a backpack-full of awards at the Washington State PTA Convention held April 29-May 1 at the Doubletree Hotel in Sea Tac, Wash., and the volunteer group from Arrowhead Elementary School in Kenmore was once again sent to the head of the class — selected the WSPTA 2011 Outstanding Local Unit of the Year.(Yes, they even hold conventions for PTAs.) Arrowhead, which also won the award in 2009, will receive a stipend from WSPTA to allow them to send delegates to the National PTA Convention in Orlando, Fla. in early June.

"Arrowhead has accomplished some wonderful things this year and are truly deserving of the title," Northshore PTA President Sue Freeman said, "but other Northshore PTAs have done some amazing things as well."

The list of awards:

Outstanding Local Unit of the Year: Arrowhead; Gold Level Honor Unit: Arrowhead; Silver Level Honor Unit: Wellington; Bronze Level Honor Unit: Canyon Creek; Local Unit Standards of Excellence: Gold level- Arrowhead; Silver level- Wellington, Canyon Creek;

PTAs Taking Significant Action Award/ Local Unit Winners: Canyon Creek ("Science Enrichment Program"), Wellington ("Helping Hands Service Club"); Outstanding Newsletters/ Junior/ Middle and High School: 2nd Place - Bothell HS; Outstanding Newsletters/ Elementary: 2nd Place - Arrowhead; Communications Awards/ Elementary Electronic Media: 1st Place (tie) - Arrowhead; Communications Awards/ Elementary Web Division: 3rd Place - Arrowhead; 100 percent Membership Award: Arrowhead (one of 28 Local Units statewide to earn the achievement); Council Standards of Excellence: Gold Level - Northshore Council PTA; Communications Awards/ Council Electronic Media: 3rd Place - Northshore Council PTA; Communications Awards/ Council Web: 1st Place - Northshore Council PTA; PTA Men Essay Contest Winners: Megan Jensen from Arrowhead in the 3rd-5th Grade group.

Freeman said a record number of Northshore delegates, including several first-timers, attended the convention and the group’s "Scholarship Raffle Basket" helped raise funds for the WSPTAs scholarship program.

The Arrowhead contingent was led by co-presidents Cindy Jensen and Laura Nordyke, who were delighted for the recognition, but passed it on.

"The success of Arrowhead can be attributed to a great relationship with the staff, a community of parents who care about all the kids and a lot of volunteers who work really hard and implement creative, fun and educational programs," Nordyke said. "Arrowhead PTA is built on a foundation of great leaders that came before us and paved the way to help make the school the great place it is to be a part of today."

Said Jensen: "I can tell you it’s a total honor to be named the No. 1 PTA in a state with over 950 local PTA units. We’ve been fortunate to have great leaders come before us to set the stage."

Everything is under control with this ‘Principal for a Day’

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

 Principal_for_the_day

Wellington Elementary School first grader James Schatz was "Principal for a Day" on April 19. He won the "Principal for a Day" silent auction during the school’s sock hop event. Wellington Principal Bagnall reported that Principal James Schatz handled his responsibilities admirably on that important day.