• BBRC WEEKLY NEWSLETTER • VOL 21, NO 43, MAY 26, 2009 •




"The New Plan: Reconnecting with Our Young People," Bernadette Bascom, whose passion is finding common ground with our young people and extending your heart and knowledge to help them in today's world. The daughter of Civil Rights Activist Rev. Marion Bascom, Bernadette Bascom began her career as a disc jockey in Baltimore. She later signed with Philadelphia International Records and was the first artist signed to Stevie Wonders' label Black Bull. She forged a great recording career in the Pacific Northwest. For 15 years, she was a headliner on the Las Vegas strip in the award winning show "Divine Divas," which duplicated the show of the Supremes. She was also one of the Motown Moments at the Motown Cafe. Bernadette recorded for her own labels Penguin and Solidarity Records, which were distributed by D-Town Records. She has worked with the likes of Elton John and Lenny Williams, and her standout performance of "Seattle Sunshine" is still her trademark song. Ms. Bascom returned to Seattle in 2004, where she currently teaches vocal lessons, performance and production, and is the creator of "PRAISE!, a Sunday Gospel Supper", which has run at the Triple Door in downtown Seattle. [O'Brien]


"The price of the democratic way of life is a growing appreciation of people's differences, not merely as tolerable, but as the essence of a rich and rewarding human experience." ~ Jerome Nathanson, journalist, philosopher & author of many books on democracy

Click here to view a slideshow of photos from this week's meeting.

Invocation & Introductions

BBRC Reveille
Paul Martin & Christine Addison

The meeting was opened with an invocation by Paul Martin, and Christine Addison introduced guests and visiting Rotarians.

BBRC Reveille
David Bolson & Chip Erickson

President Jenny Andrews introduced Sergeant at Arms David Bolton to restore a sense of family in the group after last week’s flying emails. David indicated that sometimes, when a hot button is hit, we are reminded of a song, which we all sang together, “I love you, you love me ...”

Student of the Month/Year Recognition: Tsolomon Dashdorj

BBRC Reveille
Tsolomon Dashdorj

Larry May introduced the Student of the Month for Rotary and Student of the Year, Tsolomon Dashdorj, from Eastside Academy, a school founded in 2001 for troubled youth. It is the only school of its kind in the country, where troubled youth have a fresh start, with curriculum specially designed for each one, focusing on the unique needs of each student. The academy has approximately 45 to 50 students per year.

Tsolomon has been an amazing student, getting on the honor roll and being a leader to the rest of the students. He played basketball and won a trophy in a tournament, and he has participated in a mentoring program and mentored others. He is graduating from the Academy with honors.

Tsolomon was joined at the meeting by his proud parents and administrators, teachers and counselors of Eastside Academy. What an accomplishment this young man has made!

BBRC Reveille
Toni Esparza & Tsolomon Dashdorj

In a recent email to the BBRC, Eastside Academy Executive Director Toni Esparza said, "I wanted to thank you for the time you set aside last week to honor our student, Tsolmon Dashdorj.  Five minutes out of your meeting has undoubtedly created a memory he will not forget and that he can be proud of.  For a student who was once routinely being expelled from every high school in the region, to willingly accept the help to transform his life and then make such amazing strides as to be recognized by an esteemed group of business men and women … wow!  Eastside Academy could not accomplish the work we do without the encouragement and support of those in the local community.  More specifically, the encouragement of the BBRC has truly allowed our students to be celebrated and acknowledged in a very special way.  We are truly grateful for your partnership." 

Update on the Golf Tournament

Ted Ederer reported that the committee is working hard to get at least 144 golfers registered for the Golf Tournament on July 27th at Willows Run. Kim Shrader announced some of the early sponsorships, including Jeff Cashman, Sadru Kabani, Ruben Ladlad, and Jonathan Koshar. He also encouraged everyone to sponsor for $250. This should be a great event and one of our very best events for fund raising.

Click here for a registration form.

Last Minute Announcements

Steve Lingenbrink encouraged everyone to bring their loose change next week for Rotary’s Polio Plus. Empty your piggy banks or bring whatever change is lying around. When combined, this will add up to a great amount for our club.

Jane Kuechle reminded everyone about the Bellevue 5K debrief at Kindering this week, Tuesday, May 26, at 3:30 pm.

Proposed Members: Lehrer & DeJulio

Benjamin Lehrer is a sales associate and marketing coordinator for Banners on a Roll. He has learned about Rotary through his father, who is an active member of the Redmond Rotary Club.  Despite his young age, Ben is committed to service above self.  He serves as Youth Advisor at the Jewish Community Center and volunteers for March of Dimes.  He lives in Redmond, plays the guitar, and loves baseball.  Go, Mariners!  Ben's sponsors are Steve Lingenbrink and Jenny Andrews.

Matthew DeJulio is the owner of the moving and storage company, Western Van Lines, in Kent.  He lives in Bellevue with his wife Julie and two children, Alexei and Lindsey.   He has visited our club more than a half-dozen times already and cannot wait to jump into the fun we have in helping communities. He is involved in St. Monica Church and School and Seattle Jesuit Club. Matthew is sponsored by Tim Leahy and co-sponsored by Jenny Andrews.

REMINDER! Off-Site Meeting July 10 at Boeing

There will be an off-site meeting at the Everett Boeing Plant on July 10. If you have not sent your RSVP, DO IT NOW! Email Chris right away and tell him the number of persons in your group (including children 4 ft or taller). If you would prefer to drive separately rather than take the bus, please make note of that in the email. If you are NOT attending, please let him know that.


  • Buses pick us up at 7:30 am in Bellevue (location TBD, probably a park-n-ride lot)
  • 45-minutes tour begins at 8:30 am
  • Buses return to Bellevue around 10:00 am
  • Continental breakfast provided on the bus

There will be no additional charge to members for this program. The cost for guests will be similar to that for our regular meetings. 

This is a wonderful and unique opportunity to tour the world’s largest building, where the new 787 Dreamliner jet is assembled, and to see how the region’s largest employer manages a highly complex and fascinating manufacturing process.  This promises to be one of the year’s best meetings and a once-in-a-decade experience.  You won’t want to miss it!

Today’s Program

"Outrageous Learning — Foundational Thoughts on Reforming our Public Schools," Scott Oki

BBRC Reveille
Scott Oki

Steve Waltar introduced our speaker, Scott Oki. Scott was born in Seattle to Nisei parents who had been interned during World War II. In 1980 he co-founded his own software company. In 1982, he joined Microsoft, founded the International Division and later ran sales, marketing, and services. Oki left Microsoft in 1992 to pursue his interest in helping children. He is former President of the U.W. Board of Regents and a member of Governor Locke’s Commission on Early Learning. He is the founder of six non profits and has served on 34 Boards at one time. He is married to Laurie and has three children. Oki’s 2009 book is OUTRAGEOUS LEARNING: An Education Manifesto – Foundational Thoughts on Reforming Our Public Schools, which he spoke about in his talk.

Oki began his talk with an astonishing fact: every 9 seconds another kid drops out of school! He said, “Oops, there goes another one, and then … another one! There are 1.2 million kids a year who drop out. What we have is outrageously bad, but where is the outrage about it?” He said that this issue is the most important thing we should, as a nation, be addressing. “It defies our imagination. We’re failing our kids and what we’re doing is really sad. We spend a half trillion dollars and where are we?” His approach in his own retirement is to tackle this problem, and so he began by publishing this book. He said there are tons of books on the subject, for every issue there are two sides to examine and it is hard to draw conclusions. Everyone has a different opinion.

Oki discussed some of his 11 “planks” to fixing our public school education system. Many, like himself, simply place their children in private schools, but what about the main stream parents who can’t afford to do so. He said that the most important thing is to start early, since by the time kids are in high school, it’s too late. The 11 planks are:

  1. Let local leadership lead.
  2. Have “insanely” great teachers.
  3. Have the freedom to choose.
  4. Spend more time educating.
  5. Have early learning rigor with optional high school.
  6. Muster an army of volunteers.
  7. Don’t standardize curriculum. One size does not fit all.
  8. Have early intervention and specialized instruction.
  9. Spend money as though it were your own.
  10. Plant the seeds of success in life: values, character, and leadership.
  11. Establish a culture of excellence.

BBRC Reveille
President Jenny Andrews & Scott Oki

Oki’s rationale is to return to the basic way we used to teach — like in the one-room schools of long ag,o where teachers ruled the classroom. He said that now we are so totally centralized that centralization is one of the main reasons why education is not working. The principal is the CEO of the school, but controls only 5 percent of the budget. They don’t hire or fire; they have no decision on janitors, transportation, nurses or security. “So, why do we have principals? We need to return power to them. We have no choices as parents except for private schools. We’ve lost our way.” Oki also mentioned that in Washington State there are 104,000 total employees in the system and 54,000 (over half) of them are non-teachers.

Scott Oki gave a very thought provoking talk with much interest and discussion by Rotarians and guests. Many of the guests were educators who came specifically to hear his thoughts. His book is published through the Washington Policy Center and his website is: www.outrageouslearning.org.



Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club Reveille Newsletter