Education briefs

Teacher, volunteers recognized

Washington Middle School teacher Barbara Hoonan was named 2007 Teacher of the Year for the Olympia School District.

The following school volunteers recently were honored as Advocates of the Year for the 2006-07 school year:

Nanette Stewart, Boston Harbor Elementary; Chris Cooper, L.P. Brown Elementary; Sheue-Lan Shyu, Centennial Elementary; Kathy Cognasso, Garfield Elementary; Diana Alfonso, Hansen Elementary; Dee Scott, Madison Elementary; Pat Dubois, McKenny Elementary; Melissa Chase, McLane Elementary; Meg Goehle, Pioneer Elementary; Nikki Crist, Roosevelt Elementary; Cathy Shaughnessy, Jefferson Middle School; Paulette Stephens, Reeves Middle School; Rinae Perron, Marshall Middle School; Karen Schrank, Washington Middle School; Bette Hall, Capital High School; Stephen Bray, Olympia High School.

Lincoln Elementary recognized all of the parents in its Options Program.

SPSCC student wins national award

Kara Wilken, a student at South Puget Sound Community College, is among 278 students across the country set to receive the 2007 Congressional Award Gold Medal on Tuesday.

Members of the U.S. Congress will present the honors to students for serving a combined total of more than 150,000 hours of public service to their local communities.

Wilken completed more than 400 hours of voluntary public service by working at Providence St. Peter Hospital, for her local Explorer Scout troop, for first aid booths and as an usher for a local theatre. For her personal development goal, Wilken worked on writing, editing and re-writing an original piece of fiction, titled "Poetic Justice."

Wilken's physical fitness goal was to increase her walking time and frequency in order to lose weight. She was most challenged by her exploration of the Oregon wilderness.

Local Musical Theatre Awards

Several local students recently received recognition at the fifth annual 5th Avenue High School Musical Theatre Awards.

The award-winners were: Capital High School, outstanding lighting design for "Aida"; Capital's Lynn Le special honors for student achievement; and Olympia High School's Kevin Flynn special honors for student achievement.

Capital grad excels in sports, grades

Capital High School graduate Jessica Beach has earned recognition as California State University Northridge's 2007 Wolfson Scholar, the university's highest honor for a graduating senior.

A biology major with a 4.0 grade-point average, Beach juggled her classes along with hammer and discus throw practice, tutoring fellow students and studying. She made the dean's list every semester.

A member of the Western Athletic Conference Women's Indoor Track and Field Championship Team, she twice was Northridge Female Scholar Student-Athlete of the Year. Beach compiled a record of Mountain Pacific Sports Federation All-Academic Honors and Big West Conference honors, and also was the College of Science and Mathematics' choice for its 2005-06 Heald Outstanding Junior Award.

In 2006, Beach completed a summer internship with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and became interested in genetics. Inspired by a professor researching the genetics of cell death in the fight against leukemia, Beach plans to pursue a master's degree in science at Northridge, with an emphasis on biomedical genetics.

Construction tour coming up Thursday

The Steilacoom Historical School Board plans to conduct a walk-through of Chloe Clark Elementary School to view work completed in the second and third phases of that school's construction project.

The walkthrough is set for place at 5:15 p.m. June 28 at the school, 1700 Palisade Blvd., DuPont.

Community College summer classes

The 2007 summer quarter at South Puget Sound Community College begins Monday.

Students can register for summer classes now through the first week of classes.

Also during the summer, students can go to the college's Walk-in Mondays and Walk-in Tuesdays to enroll for the fall quarter.

Register from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays or Tuesdays at the college's Enrollment Services Office in Building 25. No appointment is necessary. After taking a placement test, they will meet with an adviser and receive help registering.

Evergreen to help strengthen schools

The Evergreen State College once again will host the Learning Communities National Summer Institute from Tuesday through July 1.

The institute is designed to help campuses start or strengthen community learning programs.

Colleges and universities selected for the institute are matched with resource faculty who are leaders in learning community work and other reform movements in higher education. Some workshops also are designed around practical problems.

Attendees for the 2007 National Summer Institute already have been selected.

In partnership with the Historically Black Colleges & Universities Faculty Development Network, the 2007 National Summer Institute on Learning Communities will include campus teams from historically black colleges and universities.

For more information about the institute, go to