High school seniors seek funds for June class trip

La Conner School District board of directors meeting

 

January 24, 2024



La Conner High School seniors started their freshman year wearing masks and learning from home in front of their computers.

Three years later they’re still playing catch-up from the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thus the La Conner’s Class of ‘24 has lagged in fundraising, not possible with the campus closed.

The class must still raise about half of the estimated $25,000 needed for its June trip to Disneyland.

Senior class advisor Theresa James apprised school board members at their Jan. 22 meeting that despite the yeoman efforts of class leader Josi Straathof the class is around $12,000 short of its goal amount.

“It’s very expensive,” James said of the annual senior trip, “(but) Josi has a lot of ideas.”

Among those being floated are a car wash at the Swinomish Casino and Lodge, a benefit dinner at the Santo Coyote Mexican Kitchen, a spaghetti feed and silent auction.

Straathof, one of the board’s two student representatives, has already spearheaded popular “pop shoots” during halftimes of home basketball games.

Time, though, is running short.

The board was empathetic.

Story finished next week

Board president Susie Deyo asked James to them updated on the status of fundraising.

“It would be ideal,” James noted, “if we could use Maple Hall for a spaghetti feed. Just putting that out there.”

Turns out, James’ plea couldn’t have been better timed. New La Conner Mayor Marna Hanneman was in the audience and appeared supportive.

Hanneman said she attended the 90-minute board session to keep open lines of communication with the school district. The institutions are hopeful of joining forces to install a community reader board at the fire station just east of the roundabout.

“We’re a family,” Hanneman insisted. “We want to work hand-in-hand.”

Councilmembers MaryLee Chamberlain and Mary Wohleb attended and Wohleb spoke on behalf of the Skagit Valley Clean Energy Cooperative, which is working to solarize the campus.

“Working with the Town on an emergency management plan,” added Superintendent Dr. Will Nelson, “is important. And with the emergency battery back-up plan, we’d be an emergency shelter.”

The board heard that literacy instruction in Grades K-12 is scheduled between 70 and 120 minutes daily using independent, small-group and cooperative learning activities.

“We’re devoting a lot of time to reading,” said director of teaching and learning Beth Clothier.

Deyo praised the elementary school’s focus on building reading comprehension skills among students.

“They can’t do math story problems without being able to read,” she noted.

Braves Hub Director Ryan Patrick said the afterschool program, now funded through a 21st Century grant award, is at the “infancy stage” of its mission to provide academic enrichment and social-emotional learning opportunities. The grant award allows it to operate on a no-fee basis.

“We still have parents who come in and ask if they need to pay anything,” Patrick said. “It’s nice to be able to say, ‘no, you don’t.’”

Theater arts club coordinators Taylor Pedroza and Alicia Schwind shared that “A Delightful Quarantine” is scheduled for March 15, 16, 17, 22 and 23. About a dozen students are involved.

“It’s not about COVID,” assured Pedroza. “Everybody’s enthusiastic and excited. It’s a fun play. Everybody wants to be there.”

With January School Board Appreciation Month, the district’s conference room was adorned with student messages and artwork thanking the board for its work. District staff read sections of a proclamation issued by Gov. Jay Inslee saluting board members across the state.

 

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