Vol. 17, No. 28, January 10, 2005


This Reveille Home Page | The Friday Program: Progress Report at Sammamish High School | January BBRC Social Alert | Friday Potpourri | Tsunami Relief Plan Adopted | Alex Rule: Reclassification Talk ... and Talk ... and Talk | Web Fun


“Antibiotics: Friend or Foe” is the subject of Friday’s program. Chris Velicer from the UW Medical Center will discuss her research on increased risk of breast cancer with the use of antibiotics. The BBRC returns to its familiar haunts at the Glendale Country Club on Friday, with breakfast served at 7:00 a.m., followed by the weekly meeting and the program. Be prepared to contribute to Tsunami Relief. Rotary International has set up a special account called “Solidarity in South Asia.” If you want to see your contribution go to a Rotary-sponsored group, note that on the memo portion of your check. Make your check payable to the BBRC Foundation.


It’s our semi-annual check-up of the data you’ve provided to the club’s database. Do you have a new email? A new home or business address? Been a member of another Rotary Club before you joined the BBRC and didn’t tell us about that? (The time spent in that previous club counts toward your “Years in Rotary.”) How about letting us know about your children? Clubmate (our software program) only likes to have DD/MM/YYYY when adding family members to the database. An upgrade is easy. Just go to the Members Only section, put in your ID and Password (ask the computer to remember it for future visits), click on “Online Directory.” This will reveal the club’s directory for individual members. It is your responsibility to keep the information current. You can do so by scrolling down to the “Directory Information Form,” which asks you to fill in information that you wish upgraded. Remember to click on the “Submit” button when you’re finished and DON’T USE the ENTER key while moving around the form.

Thanks for helping us keep tabs on you. We only sell this information to various online health and financial firms ­ WHOA! JUST KIDDING!

The Friday Program:
Progress Report at Sammamish High School


WelchSeventy-four Bellevue Breakfast Rotarians went back to school Friday to welcome in the New Year 2005. Breakfast in the cafeteria of the newly-remodeling Sammamish High School was a particular treat with a fine meal served. SHS Principal Spencer Welch conducted the program and participated in a question-and-answer period following his remarks.

Since its founding, the BBRC has partnered with Sammamish High, creating such programs as Student of the Month and annual scholarships for graduating seniors. This 20-year partnership has seen a parade of outstanding students and faculty being recognized for their achievements.

Principal Welch opened his presentation with some confidential information about former students he’d taught. “I had Steven Goldfarb in the first history class I taught. He’d forgotten that epic when we later met through the BBRC! Fred Barkman was one of my wrestlers and I taught Ted Ederer’s sons.” (It was noted that all three of these fine Rotarians were absent from Friday’s back-to-school meeting. They called it truancy in those days!) Spencer said he really had grown to appreciate all that the BBRC does for Sammamish High School.

Sammamish High School is a moderately-sized, grades 9-12 high school currently undergoing a massive renovation project. Spencer said the project, which began at the end of the 2003-2004 school year, is pegged at $22 million dollars, of which $15 million was approved by voters in the 2002 Bond issue providing $324 million for upgrades on schools in the Bellevue School District. All four high schools (Sammamish, Interlake, Bellevue and Newport) are undergoing renovation during the next two years. Other elementary and middle schools in the district will have upgrades, a program that continues through 2013.

StevensSpencer said that SHS is the “most diverse school on the Eastside ... 35% of our students receive help in the form of daily lunches ... there are 41 different languages spoken by our 1150 students. Our ethnic diversity counts 22% of our students as Asian, 12% Latinos, and a large group with Middle Eastern backgrounds. Sammamish students are instilled with high academic expectations. We equate the word ‘potential’ to ‘unlimited capacity.’ Fourteen percent of our students are classified as special education students; 12% are enrolled in English as a second Language programs. A total of 650 of our students took 800 Advance Placement (AP) tests during the past school year, making it two thirds of our student body participating in the AP program. We are very proud of our staff and students for their achievements.”

As for the renovation project, a thoroughly-renovated library is now in operation and the new Performing Arts Center will open soon. This new facility will house 450 people and has state-of-the art acoustics and staging for the Sammamish drama and music programs.

Matt Stevens, one of four Sammamish counselors, strode to the lectern to give some statistics about SHS students. “Ninety-four percent of our students will go on to college, with two-thirds of those enrolling in 4-year institutions. Our students are accepted at Universities across the nation. Our counselors are currently working with our sophomore class to prepare their thinking about their future education. This includes vocational planning as well. Each of our 1150 students meets with their counselor at least once a year.”

StudentsPrincipal Welch introduced two students, Winston Loftin and Dan Blaugh, ASB president and vice-president, respectively, and who, coincidentally, are recent Students of the Month award winners at the BBRC. Dan told about a project the ASB created recently, when it was learned that Tom Trong, the school custodian for many years wanted to visit his native country of Viet Nam, but did not have the resources. The students — with the help of the graphics arts department — created a T-shirt that said “Tom to Vietnam,” which sold for $5.00. At the Veteran’s Day Assembly, Tom was presented with a check for $4,300 and gave an emotional speech of gratitude to the students. Dan said the entire student body stood silently listening to their custodian while he spoke — an emotional moment for all.

Winston said the students would be raising funds for Tsunami relief this week. He said the goal of student government is to “connect with the student body throughout the year. We have rejuvenated our Student Body Council, conducting ‘open mike’ sessions for students to air their comments and concerns. We’ve seen an improvement in morale in our student body as witnessed by returning students impressed by our spirit.”

OBrienGordonSpencer stood for questions and received several hot potatoes. Don Chandler was upset about the report in the morning paper that showed Washington down the list in spending on education. Spencer replied that it’s the state’s duty to fund "basic education," and up to the districts to supplement that. “The Bellevue District is considered to be one of the more well-funded districts, but it’s still not enough to make our salaries competitive.”

Rourke O’Brien commented about the emphasis on arts education. Spencer replied that his school has the “best program on the Eastside, with four full-time visual arts teachers. The emphasis will continue for these programs.”

Chandler asked about the drug and gang problems. Spencer said, “We’ve got a caring community within our school and we are aware of what’s going on within the school population. Drug use appears to be down, according to nationwide statistics.” He also pointed out that the school’s block instructional program reduces the number of classes daily (4), but extends the time for each class. This gives the instructor more time with the students and a better way to observe any problems waiting to happen.

Jim Gordon asked about students entering the military. Spencer said that about 3-4% of the graduating class joins the military. This doesn’t count students who go on to college and enroll in ROTC programs.

WelchJohnsonBob Vallat raised the question about turnover of teachers. Spencer said this was a continuing problem. “We lost 22 of our 70 certificated teachers at the end of last year. That’s nearly 1/3 of our teaching staff. Eight of those leaving cited not being able to afford to live in the area. Based on exit interviews, 50-60% of the departing faculty indicated that the job wasn’t paying enough for them to afford to live in Bellevue.”

Closing the Friday meeting, President Norm Johnson awarded a certificate of performance to Spencer Welch, noting that 1220 pounds of food had been donated in his name to Rotary First Harvest. Thanks to Norm for his introduction.







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