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Archive for the "CAS (Creativity, Action, Service)" Category

Two Teams, Two First Place Finishes: WSA Robotics and Knowledge Bowl

December 03, 2018
By Susan Trower

WSA Robotics team at work - December 2, 2018WSA's Robotics team competed in their second interleague qualifier event of the FIRST Tech Challenge season on December 2 at Bellarmine Preparatory School in Tacoma. Thirteen schools from around the Olympic Peninsula and Tacoma are in the Maxwell League of Washington State's FIRST Tech Challenge and competed in the event. WSA's team won all five of their matches to take first place! Thank you to our sponsors!Coaches Spencer Tryba, Jen David, and Lionel Pummell were very pleased with the terrific effort from the team. Next up: WSA Robotics will be going to the interleague championship event on December 15 at the Amazon Doppler Building in Seattle. 

2018-2019 WSA KB team - Tina Cachules photoA couple days earlier, on November 30, WSA's Knowledge Bowl team competed in the first regional competition of the season at North Mason High School in Belfair.  Teams came from schools throughout the Olympic Educational Service District area, from Port Townsend to Olympia. West Sound's top squad, WS1 (also known as "Team Manifest Westiny"), took first place with 103 points for the day, 16 points higher than the second place team. Coaches Catherine Freeman and Lionel Pummell were very happy with the day's scores. The next regional competition for is January 10, followed by the State qualifier on February 7.

Congratulations to our Robotics and Knowledge Bowl teams! ...and GO HAWKS!!!

WSA Knowledge Bowl Takes 1st Place in 1B at State Tournament

March 19, 2018
By Susan Trower

WSA KB team, L to R: Emily Bradford, Aidan Phelan, Max Morningstar, Anneke Taylor, Delaney Agodon, Ruby GsellmanWest Sound Academy's Knowledge Bowl team prevailed at the State tournament  in Arlington on March 17 to take 1st place in Division 1B.  The WSA squad (aka 'Team Lobster Hut'*) started the morning with a written round of fifty questions Multiple-choice), then four oral rounds of fifty questions (short answer) each, pitted against other Division 1B teams from around the State. At the end of the preliminary rounds, WSA was in first place. 

The 1st Place trophy comes home to WSA!The WSA squad then faced off against the sixth-place team from Waitsburg in the semi-final  round. WSA's win here earned them a place in the championship round against Riverside Christian and Pope John Paul II.  The lead went back and forth between Riverside and WSA, and after 50 questions the two squads were tied at 15 points each for first and second place. The Reader/Judge read a tie-breaker round of ten questions, which WSA won  4-0, giving them the win. Coaches Susan Trower and Lionel Pummell were thrilled with the win - WSA's first first-place finish in ten years of competition in Washington State Knowledge Bowl.

Congratulations to the winners of the Division 1B 1st place trophy and individual medals!
 
Delaney Agodon, '18, captain
Ruby Gsellman, '18
Anneke Taylor, '18
Max Morningstar, '19
Emily Bradford, '20
Aidan Phelan, '20
 

Video of WSA Knowledge Bowl team receiving 1st place trophy at 2018 State Tournament

* Yes, those are lobster claws on the heads of Team Lobster Hut.  WSA team members felt the claws were instrumental in their success at the tournament; those and the many, many practices held during lunch and lots of time spent learning obscure, and not so obscure, facts!

WSA Team Wins 2nd Place at WA State Knowledge Bowl XXXV

March 19, 2017
By Susan Trower

West Sound Academy's team of top academic competitors won 2nd Place in Division 1B at the Washington State Knowledge Bowl Tournament XXXV at Arlington High School on March 18, 2017.  WSA's squad joined 101 other teams from public, private and parochial schools from all over the state at the event, competing for honors and trophies in the six divisions: 4A, 3A, 2A, 1A, 2B, and 1B.  All of these teams earned the right to be at the annual tournament at their respective regional competitions sponsored by Washington's nine ESDs (Educational Service Districts.)  WSA's squad won first place for Division 1B, and the right to go to State, at the Olympic ESD 114 regional competition at Fort Worden on February 23.  

WSA's State KB team with their 2nd Place trophy, Left to right, Callay Boire-Shedd, Eleanor Uyyek, Graeme Forbes, Max Morningstar (captain), Anneke Taylor, and Nolan GreggWSA's State team members:

 
Callay Boire-Shedd, '19
 
Eleanor Uyyek, '17
 
Graeme Forbes, '19
 
Max Morningstar, '19, Captain
 
Anneke Taylor, '18
 
Nolan Gregg, '19
 
 

The day of the tournament was a long one, beginning with check-in at Arlington High School at 7:30 a.m.  Next came an assembly in the gym, with hundreds of Knowledge Bowl players, coaches, parents, and friends.  In the middle of the gym was a table with a display of all the trophies for all six divisions - plenty of incentive for everyone!  At 8:30 a.m., all teams began the first round of the morning, a 50-question multiple-choice test.  Each team worked collaboratively for 35 minutes to choose the correct answers to each question, then submitted their Scantron sheet for grading.

Scorekeeper's wall at State Knowledge Bowl tournamentThen came four oral rounds, 50, short-answer questions in each, starting at 9:15 a.m. and ending around 12:30 p.m.  The stakes were high:  only the top six of the Division 1B teams at the State Tournament would be allowed to go on to the Semi-Final and Championship rounds in the afternoon. WSA's team started strong, with the second-highest written round score in the Division, then winning decisive victories in all four morning oral rounds.  WSA finished the morning in second place, meaning they would face off against fifth-place Odessa High School in the Semi-Final round.

After a well-deserved lunch break that began with Girl Scout cookies and ended with delicious take-out teriyaki brought in by WSA parents, the team was ready to go another round.  The semi-final game with Odessa turned out to be another definitive win for WSA, 18 - 7.  Now the winners of the semi-final matches were set off to compete for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place trophies:  WSA, Pope John Paul II High School, and Waitsburg High School.

Wally Trower guarding WSA's new trophy at his home until it can be brought to school for permanent displayAll three teams scored points, with the lead bouncing back and forth between WSA and Pope John Paul II.  The finish was very close, with Pope John Paul II scoring 12 points, WSA 11, and Waitsburg 7.  WSA coaches Catherine Freeman, Susan Trower, and Lionel Pummell were extremely pleased with the outcome.  WSA's five newcomers to State, and their one returning senior, came very close to taking it all!  Many, many photos were taken of the team - now 350 questions more tired than they were at 7:30 that morning when they first arrived at Arlington High School - then everyone dispersed to enjoy the rest of a (hopefully) relatively question-free weekend.

The State Knowledge Bowl State Tournament marks the end of the season, but plans are already underway for next year.  Lunchtime practices for the 2017-2018 WSA Knowledge Bowl team will resume on Wednesday, September 6, 2017, and are open to students in Grades 9-12. 

Congratulations goes to our WSA team for their strong showing at State and ...

GO WSA!!!

Listen to Your Art 3 Music & Arts Festival - Fundraiser for The Trevor Project - Set for July 9

November 21, 2016
By Susan Trower

Listen to Your Art - July 9, 2017, at Mike Wallace Park in KingstonWest Sound Academy (WSA) students have organized and directed Listen to Your Art music and arts festivals in Port Gamble for the last two summers.  These entirely student-run festivals have raised over $13,000 for The Trevor Project, the nation’s largest suicide prevention hotline specifically geared toward LGBTQ teens.  The three founders graduated from West Sound Academy in June, but now current students are planning for a third Listen to Your Art festival, set for July 9, 2017 at a new location: Mike Wallace Park in Kingston.

Past Listen to Your Art festivals have tackled two goals:  promoting greater awareness to the Kitsap community of the problem of teen suicide, and raising funds for a nationally-recognized organization that is addressing the problem around the country.  "Listen to Your Art is important because it educates people about The Trevor Project, while providing a super fun day of music and festivities," Grace Schmitt, a WSA freshman, explains.

Listen to Your Art 2, August 2016 - Espen Swanson photoLast summer's Listen to Your Art festival in August was very successful, with 300 attendees, around $7,000 raised for The Trevor Project, and involvement of fifteen business sponsors and artists.  Espen Swanson, WSA senior and veteran of the first two festivals, is one of three student co-leaders of this year's Listen to Your Art team, serving as strategic planning manager.  "As we’ve started work on Year 3, one of our biggest challenges has been to figure out how to restructure with new people," he admits.  Swanson is using a web-based project management and collaboration tool to organize students' efforts in marketing, planning, and fund-raising. 

The Art Wall at Listen to Your Art, August, 2016 - Espen Swanson photoThe group is excited about the new location and changes planned for Listen to Your Art 3 on July 9 at Mike Wallace Park in Kingston.  "We will have more bands (two stages), more artists, and more educational opportunities like workshops," Swanson says. "One of our main goals this year is to increase community engagement, so we are looking for educational organizations, such as GLSEN or The Trevor Project, to participate more in the festival," he adds.

Listen to Your Art crowdsourcing page on YouCaringThe students have launched a crowd-sourced funding drive on YouCaring to raise the necessary seed money to stage the festival.  The overall fundraising goal this year is $10,000.  All donations are tax deductible, and all profits will go to benefit either Listen to Your Art programs or The Trevor Project. 


The group's fundraising page is at: 

https://www.youcaring.com/listen-to-your-art-661329


The Art Wall at Listen to Your Art, August, 2016 - Espen Swanson photoAs they work through all of the details of putting on a complex event, student organizers keep in mind their ultimate goal, stated in the Listen to Your Art mission statement: "We hope to overcome the taboo that is assigned to the topic of suicide and create a safe and open space that is willing to discuss and overcome the issue through a day of creative education."  Quinn Lanning, WSA junior and member of the team, says, "Being a part of Listen to Your Art has been an amazing experience. It's expanded my knowledge of event organization and it's brought me closer to my community. As an LGBT person and activist, I love knowing that this festival will benefit many other LGBT youth in need of a voice. "

Annika Nelson at Listen to Your Art, August, 2016 - Espen Swanson photoAnnika Nelson, another WSA junior, sums up the feelings of all of the students involved in planning next summer's festival.  "I've been involved with Listen to Your Art since the beginning. It started with a bunch of high school students wanting to raise awareness about the Trevor project and get people comfortable talking about the subject. Throughout the process, we've grown as a team professionally, as well as gained the opportunity to be advocates for an important cause. I can't wait to see how it all turns out."

 
More information about Listen to Your Art can be found at:
 
 
Listen to Your Art social media include:
 

Taking the Initiative Doesn't Mean Inventing

June 22, 2016
By Barrie Hillman

Barrie's pressure washer at work on the front steps to Baker HallIt is Week Two of summer vacation and I bet that some students are already getting a little bored. Summer is a great time to get a jump start on Creative, Active & Service Learning (CAS) for the 2016-17 school year. However, just doing these types of activities is not enough to "count for CAS". Students must also reflect on their activities and account for meeting any of the seven CAS Learning Outcomes.

One of the trickier Learning Outcomes is to initiate an activity. Students will often equate initiating with inventing making their CAS projects more complex and challenging than they need to be. Initiating is not inventing. Initiating is being someone who reaches out to start an activity rather than waiting to be asked. For example, summer is a time of clean-up and maintenance at WSA. Railing on the back of Ryan Hall - BEFORE pressure washingWe always have projects underway in summer that more often than not are done by WSA staff.

In fact just today Lisa remarked, "Boy, you sure like power tools," just as I was firing up my gas-powered pressure washer to work on the front entrance.

Railing on the back of Ryan Hall - AFTER pressure washing

See the cool "before and after" picture that shows just how much gunk gets built up on our stairs. That gunk is no match for my awesome pressure washer. A student can meet the initiating learning outcome by simply emailing me and saying, "I want to spend some time helping to make WSA a beautiful place this summer and how can I help?"  And just like that, you have initiated yourself into a fun and rewarding project such as helping me to restore the railings on the back stairs.

Railing on the back of Ryan Hall - BEFORE pressure washingLook at the amazing difference between what the Ryan railings looked like before the treatment and after. All this benefit from a safe non-toxic process that just requires some scrubbing muscles. If scrubbing isn't your thing, perhaps flooring can provide some reward.

The floor in Gretchen's classroom has been floating for two years now and it isn't meant to be a floating floor! We need to pull up the old tiles and make way for the flooring installer to put down a new floor product.

Railing on the back of Ryan Hall - AFTER pressure washing

Yes, we have a plethora of activities waiting to be initiated by you! For more information, just initiate an email conversation with me at

bhillman@westsoundacademy.org

Pennies for Patients Wrap-Up: A Big (Exclamation Point!) Success

May 12, 2016
By Angie Gangi

Teachers' donation jars for the Pennies for Patients fundraiserWest Sound Academy ended the third year of fundraising for the Pennies for Patients campaign with an exclamation point! For three weeks in April, WSA worked with the Pennies for Patients campaign to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The LLS aids patients through cancer research and the search for a cure to all blood-related cancers.

WSA's goal of raising $3,000 was a high bar that was not only met but crushed as students, faculty and families raised a grand total of $4,889.60!

That's more than $43 per student!

Student fundraising teams were formed by advocacy. Here's a break down of how the funds were raised per team:

A flying' Ryley Mercado pies his advocate, Gretchen Nordleaf-Nelson

  • Lionel's Team - $1,177.71
  • Mrs. Freeman's Team - $614.21
  • Jen's Team - $530.57
  • Mr. Miller's Team - $509.23
  • Gretchen's Team - $452.83
  • Ms. Garvin's Team - $384.05
  • Karen's Team - $327.36
  • Lorri's Team - $308.86
  • Brittany's Team - $264.62
  • Kim's Team - $210.54

  After our kick off assembly April 11th, students began to raise money by collecting change and asking family and friends for online donations. Online donations accounted for more than half of the total amount raised.

A BIG donation from the WSA community to help fight blood cancersStudents were excited about the difference their funds would make in the lives of cancer patients after hearing about how far the medical advances have come in the past several years alone. They were also looking forward to earning a few of the WSA exclusive incentive prizes along the way including: candy, popsicles, water play day on the last day of school, staff silliness jars, and the grand prize of egg roulette played by a few brave teachers if we reached our $3,000 goal. Needless to say, the teachers got slimed with dozens of raw eggs to great applause at the big results assembly May 2nd when WSA presented the LLS with a huge check for $4,889.60. The final donation amount went up slightly after the final pennies and checks were deposited. Bonus!

The Pennies for Patients campaign highlights the generosity and spirit of the students and families at WSA, and offers hope to those who have been touched by cancer.

WSA's Knowledge Bowl Team Takes 5th in State to Finish the Season

March 20, 2016
By Susan Trower
WA State Knowledge Bowl Tournament XXXIV - March 19, 2016West Sound Academy's varsity squad took 5th place in Division 1B at the Washington State Knowledge Bowl Tournament XXXIV at Arlington High School on March 19.  WSA's team joined over 600 students from 102 teams from public, parochial and private schools from all over the state who came to Arlington for a day of academic competition.  Judges posed questions on topics ranging from geography to geology, literature to law, biography to biology.  Anything that can be considered as part of a high school curriculum is fair game in Knowledge Bowl.
 
The WSA team members's brains got a real workout: 50 multiple-choice questions in the beginning written round, 350 short-answer questions in six oral rounds, and a naill-biting 10-question tie-breaker with Almira-Coulee-Hartline that decided the 4th- and 5th-place finishers.
 
WSA KB team, 5th in State at the 2016 TournamentCongratulations goes to the entire squad for a hard-fought competition:  
  • Peter Silvernale, '16, Captain
  • Karsten Hald, '17
  • Ben Silvernale, '17
  • Eleanor Uyyek, '17
  • Alex Welch, '17
  • Delaney Agodon, '18

Division 1B, 5th in Stateand to WSA staff members and Knowledge Bowl coaches Susan Trower, Catherine Freeman, and Lionel Pummell.  Thanks also goes to WSA parents and KB Boosters Jeff and Kim Uyyek and Rose and Kelli Agodon for their help with transportation and care and feeding of brain-weary teenagers!  Jonah Uyyek, WSA '15, home on break from UC Santa Cruz was also in Arlington to lend his support to the team.

The season is over for now, but West Sound Academy Knowledge Bowl practices will start up again in September, preparing the team for 2016-2017:  WSA's 9th season of competition.  

GO HAWKS!!!

Listen to Your Art Year Two Set for August 6 in Port Gamble

March 09, 2016
By Aidan Moore

Listen to Your Art Two - August 6, 2016 in Port GambleAfter the success of Listen to Your Art 2015, this year’s team is excited to announce the official date of the second year of the arts and music festival. Listen to Your Art Year Two will take place on August 6th in Port Gamble from 12-9pm. The event will showcase eight local bands along with a showing from a variety of local artists and restaurants. Other events include a raffle and an interactive art wall--where everyone is invited to create and buy art.Angie and Gwynn at Listen to Your Art, August 22, 2015 - Espen Swanson photo

Listen to Your Art was founded in 2015 by Ben Taylor, Megan Hall, and Aidan Moore as a way to raise money and awareness for the Trevor Project. The Trevor Project is the nation’s leading organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ teens and young adults.Listen to Your Art, August 22, 2015 - Espen Swanson photo

Listen to Your Art has and will continue to be completely student-run and organized. Each member of the team is committed to eliminating the taboo that is associated with the topic of suicide. The purpose of Listen to Your Art is to foster the creation of a safe and open community that is willing to discuss and overcome the issue through a day of creative education and interaction.

The Listen to Your Art team, August 22, 2015 - Espen Swanson photoAfter shattering all expectations last year by donating $6,000 to the Trevor Project, the LTYA staff has high hopes for this year’s event.

Like the Listen to Your Art Facebook page for more information and updates:  https://www.facebook.com/listentoyourart/

Questions, comments, and vendor inquiries can be made to listentoyourartevent@gmail.com

WSA Knowledge Bowl Team Takes 1st in Division; Headed to State

February 25, 2016
By Susan Trower
West Sound Academy is sending a team to the
 
WA Knowledge Bowl XXXIV
 

in Arlington on March 19, 2016.  The WS1 squad, captained by WSA senior Peter Silvernale, took first place in Division 1B, and so earned a spot at the annual tournament.  Last year's event featured 102 teams from all over the State, competing for 1st through 6th place in all divisions.

Congratulations to all of our West Sound quick-witted masters of the buzzer.  Good luck at State, and 

GO HAWKS!!!

 
WSA Knowledge Bowl Team - February 24, 2016
WSA's 2015-2016 Knowledge Bowl Team: Back row, l to r: Delaney Agodon, Ben Silvernale, Karsten Hald, Coach Lionel Pummell;
Middle row: Coach Catherine Freeman, Callay Boire-Shedd, Eleanor Uyyek, Pudge, Nolan Gregg; Front row: Peter Silvernale, Alex Welch, Coach Susan Trower, Graeme Forbes.

WSA's Chess Masters Visit Silverwood School to Teach (and Play) the Game of Kings

January 20, 2016
By Lionel Pummell

Katie Komar, WSA 8th Grader, supervising a beginner's chess matchChess anyone? West Sound Academy’s Strategy Gaming Club took a field trip to Silverwood School last Thursday with the goal of teaching chess to elementary school students. Silverwood - an independent school for children in Kindergarten through 6th grade - had a group of students waiting, ready to learn how to play the classic game.

WSA's faculty advisor for the Gaming Club, Lionel Pummell, in coordination with Silverwood’s Business Manager Sara Adams, set up this opportunity for students from the two schools to come together. The common area at Silverwood was alive with thoughtful energy and intense concentration during the meeting. West Sound Academy’s students taught chess strategy to the younger children while the classic pawns, rooks, and knights were maneuvered around many boards.

River Gsellman, WSA 8th Grader, giving advice to two young game-playersJon Torgerson, Silverwood's Head of School, was happy to welcome the WSA group. “Silverwood School is honored to partner up with the students at West Sound Academy in offering our students an opportunity to learn and fine tune the game of chess.  I find that any time schools are able to collaborate in a natural and authentic way it is always a benefit for the students.  It was delightful to see the focus and fun that happened on Thursday afternoon,”  he said.

Twenty students, both from Silverwood and local homeschool families, came to learn and play. West Sound Academy sent eleven volunteers to the event: Peter Silvernale, Stuart Parkington, Aidan Phelan, Boaz Adams, Emily Bradford, Katie Komar, Lucius Vigeant, River Gsellman, Chase VanDerek, Micah Adams and Matt Thornell.

With the success of this first experience with mentoring and learning, Lionel and Sara are planning to have the visit of the WSA chess masters be a monthly event.

Have Used Markers?  Color Cycle Them!

September 30, 2015
By Susan Trower

A recycling Color Cycle bin for 'dead' markers (AKA 'marker graveyard') has been set up in the Conference Room in Baker Hall. 

Have a marker that no longer works?  Bring it to the Color Cycle bin!  Any type of marker can be recycled:  highlighter, Sharpy, washable, fabric, dry-erase, etc.

Thanks go to Valerie Allen-Keane, WSA's Director of Residential Life, for setting this program up for us.  She will collect the markers when the bin is full and ship them off to Crayola for recycling.  The markers will be turned into diesel and other liquid fuels that don't need refinement.  A welcome green addition to the WSA campus!

marker recycling bin

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