School Blog & News

School Blog and News

Archives - December 2015

Let’s answer the question ‘Why?’

December 18, 2015
By Lisa Gsellman

If you know me, you know I love this school. If you meet me, you will find out shortly that I really love this school. But when asked “Why?” Wyatt and Kai asking 'Why?'I sometimes find myself fumbling for words to describe what makes West Sound Academy so….lovable.

What is it that we have here that seems to be working so well? Is it the faculty? Is it the students? Families? IB? The peaceful campus? I find myself asking more questions than answering!

We are an International Baccalaureate School and the IB learner profile fits us like a glove. We are not guided by it but it comes to us organically simply through our own curiosity. We are inquirers. We are open-minded. We are risk takers. We are reflective. We all are caring. That is the sweet spot. That is the ‘why.’

I’d like to share a short and inspiring Ted Talk by Ramsey Mussallam with you about why ‘Why’ is so important in our classrooms.

Students here are transformed by their own curiosity and their search to find the answers. Inspiration flows between teachers and students as they work together exploring solutions. Kindness, encouragement, and inquisitiveness have become the culture of West Sound Academy. When I see those bright smiles from grasping a difficult math concept, or writing a great essay, or nailing a guitar solo, I am absolutely filled up with love and inspiration for this school.

Posted in Academics

WSA Announces Robert Burback Memorial Music Scholarship for Students in Grades 8-11

December 09, 2015
By Susan Trower

Poulsbo, WA - December 9, 2015 - West Sound Academy (WSA) is announcing a new scholarship designed to foster interest and engagement with the study, composition and performance of music. This scholarship has been set up by The Charles and Margaret Burback Charitable Foundation to honor the memory of long-time Poulsbo resident Robert Burback. 

A welder by trade and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard retiree, Robert Burback had many interests and talents: sailing, woodworking, amateur radio, cooking, gardening, among others.  His friends knew him as "the guy who could fix anything".  He loved helping people, whether it was to do a much-needed welding job or to give away a huge bowl of his favorite zucchini soup.  His lifelong passion was music, and he played the organ every day of his life from when he first learned music as a young child.

Robert A. Burback, 1937 - 2015
Robert A. Burback, 1937 - 2015
Robert and Paul Burback, 1974
Robert and Paul Burback, 1974

Robert Burback was the father of West Sound Academy music teacher Paul Burback, and the son has carried on his father's musical legacy.  Paul Burback has taught music classes at WSA for over eight years and has developed a program that fosters creativity, diversity and collaboration among his students. The new scholarship will make this program more readily available to deserving WSA music students.

The Robert Burback Memorial Music Scholarship will be awarded to two currently enrolled WSA students in grades 8-11 who are nominated for consideration by the school’s scholarship committee. Each scholarship recipient will be awarded a total of $5,000 each to be applied directly to the cost of tuition and divided evenly over the remaining years of enrollment until graduation.  A student must have already been enrolled at WSA for a minimum of one semester and taken at least one Upper School music ensemble elective class at WSA to be eligible. 

The first nominations will be made in early January 2016, and the award recipients will be announced about a month later in early February.

Paul Burback and Upper School music students
Paul Burback and his Upper School music ensemble students
Posted in Music


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