School Blog & News

School Blog and News

Archives - March 2017

April, 2017: Coming Up at West Sound Academy

March 31, 2017
By Susan Trower

 Britannica ImageQuest - Spring LeavesApril 3 - 7:

West Sound Academy is
                  April 3 - 7, 2017


 Senior Project PresentationsApril 12 - 13:


Presentations of
 Senior Projects

      will be made to the
               Senior Project panel
                 on April 12 and 13
            in the Conference Room
Wednesday, April 12
  • 2:05 p.m. -  Ching WokFrank Gehry
  • 2:30 p.m. - Miranda Ma, The Kangaroo of Australia
  • 2:55 p.m. - Ryley MercadoMichael Jackson
Thursday, April 13
  • 2:05 p.m. -  Sherry Pan, Hans Christian Andersen Fairytales
  • 2:30 p.m. - Annika HaldThe Effect of Childhood Trauma on Adult Life
  • 2:55 p.m. - Samira Cao, The Effect of Heavy Metals on the Human Body

 April 14:


Friday Sound!

Members of the band Tuesday - l to r, Max Metters, River Gsellman, Alessandro Scott, Emily Bradford, and Lucius VigeantDoors open at 6:30 p.m.
Show starts at 7:00 p.m.
Come to the Commons for live music by local bands and performers.
$5 for students, $7 for adults, $15 for families of 3 or more
Friday Sound is a Listen to Your Art program.

Days for Girls International April 15:


Days for Girls (DFG) International helps girls around the world stay in school by providing sustainable feminine hygiene solutions and health education. The DFG hygiene kits are produced with the help of thousands of volunteers - including the ones in Poulsbo's own DFG chapter.

The Poulsbo DFG is hosting a community work party for anyone who is interested on Saturday, April 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at West Sound Academy in the Commons. Parents and students are welcome to drop by anytime during the day to learn more and help out.

You don't need to sew in order to help; there are many non-sewing tasks also. If you do sew, however, please bring your sewing machine or serger and join in the fun. Feel free to bring friends! For more information contact Molly Masker at

 April 20:

  ACT10th Graders take the

  Practice ACT

 Mrs. Freeman's Room
           Parke 4
  8:20 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

 Britannica ImageQuest imageApril 22:


Saturday, April 22, 2017, is Earth Day

Earth Day is a voluntary service day for West Sound Academy students and staff.

Posted in All School

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 ...


How does your book start? Playing literary games with the IB Spanish class

March 05, 2017
By Julieta Vitullo

Julieta Vitullo's IB Spanish class plays Ficcionario“Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.” The sentence opens Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, one of the best-regarded works of Western literature and by all accounts the single most acclaimed contemporary novel in the Spanish language. Like the first scene in a movie or the overture in a symphony, the beginning of a story has to be captivating enough for readers to want to keep spending time reading it. Those first words, images or ideas will set the tone for what will come.

There’s a game called “Fictionary” that builds on the importance of great first lines by turning readers into writers and giving them permission to have fun manipulating words. In this game, participants need to come up with a believable first sentence for a given novel based on a quick look at the book’s cover, and on some basic knowledge about the plot and the author. Participants write their sentences on a piece of paper and give the paper to the person who picked the book. Then that person has to read all the sentences out loud, including the real sentence from the book, which is slipped into the stash of sentences so that nobody can tell that piece of paper has the real sentence. Participants then get to vote: which one is the actual opening sentence? They collect points when they pick the true sentence but also —and this is where the enjoyment lies, no pun intended— when their fake sentences get picked.

Playing Ficcionario: Spencer Drewry, Ruby Gsellman, IB Spanish teacher Julieta Vitullo, Ben Browning, and Ryley MercadoI must admit that I’ve been waiting for years to play this game with my students. For as long as I’ve been teaching at West Sound I’ve been hoping for the time my Spanish learners would have enough skills to play this game. That means, enough skills to write sentences that are not just sophisticated but also sufficiently well constructed as to deceive others into thinking that they were written by a famous writer. The time finally came and on Friday March 3rd the IB seniors and juniors set themselves to the task of judging books by their covers and writing sentences as compelling as to cajole their peers—or at least good enough to make them laugh.

Books used for playing FiccionarioThis time also coincided with our reading of One Hundred Years of Solitude. No, students did not get to read the 500-page volume in full but they did read more than the first sentence. They spent several classes discussing the context of the novel, building the vocabulary needed to understand the action in the first few pages of the story of the Buendía family and familiarizing themselves with some of the characters. The reading was not without struggles but students got through it. After oral discussions and written exercises, they wrote a news story based on some of the fictional events narrated in those first few pages of the novel. We ended this unit introducing other works of Latin American fiction and expanding the imagination by playing Ficcionario.

Now if you care to play, here is a small selection of some of the opening sentences that students wrote. Do you dare guess which are real and which phony? *

(Click here to find the answers after you are done.)

1. El limonero real (The Royal Lemon Tree) by Juan José Saer – It is the last day of the year and a family living on the wild islands of the Paraná river deals with the absence of two of its members.

a) “El limonero mira furtivamente a través de la ventana a la cocina”. / “The lemon tree sneaks up on the kitchen through the window.”
b) “Amanece y ya está con los ojos abiertos”. / “The sun rises and his eyes are already open.”
c) “El limonero que está en el centro del campo es la mejor parte del verano”. / “The lemon tree that is on the center of the field is the best part of the summer.”

2. El lugar sin límites (Hell Has No Limits) by José Donoso – Life is not easy for Manuela, the drag queen who runs the brothel of a small town near Santiago de Chile.

a) “La Manuela despegó con dificultad sus ojos lagañosos”. / “Manuela pried open her crusty eyes.”
b) “Cuando tenía seis años Manuela oyó: ‘Algunos universos son más grandes que otros’”. / “When she was six, Manuela heard: some universes are bigger than others.’”
c) “Su obra era su casa y su pincel era el maquillaje que todas miraban con interés”. / “Her work was her home and her brush the makeup that they all regarded with interest.”

3. Las reputaciones (Reputations) by Juan Gabriel Vásquez - The life of a political cartoonist feared and revered by the most powerful people in Colombia changes after he receives an unexpected visit.

a) “Sentado frente al Parque Santander […] Mallarino tuvo de repente la certeza de haber visto a un caricaturista muerto”. / “Sitting across from the Santander Park […] Mallarino was suddenly certain that he had seen a dead cartoonist.”
b) “Las personas dicen que la política no es cómica: en realidad es la farsa más grande de la historia del ser humano”. / “People say that politics are not funny: in fact, they are the biggest farce in human history.”
c) “El se sentó en su oficina, con todo el poder del país en su mano”. / “He sat at his office with all the country’s power in his hand.”

* While most of the books we used have been translated, the translations I provide here are my own.

Tags: IB, spanish
Posted in Academics

March, 2017: Coming Up at West Sound Academy

March 02, 2017
By Susan Trower

WSA Presents: Death By Design, March 10 & 11, at OC Theater March 10 and 11:


West Sound Academy presents:

    Death by Design

   A Comedy with Murder
             by Rob Urbinati
Friday, March 10:  7:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 11:  7:00 p.m.


Tickets: $10 Adults
               $7 Students
Reservations and Information
                (360) 598-5954
Olympic College Theater
1264 15th Street (15th Street at Ohio Avenue)
Bremerton, WA

WSA Yearbook Photo Contest March 10:


Yearbook Contest                  

Yearbook Club would love to have your photos of WSA student life!
Use the ReplayIt app to upload your pics 
email them to Angie at:
Two winners will be chosen for March!
Deadline for this month's entries:

March 10

This is the last month for submitting photos for the yearbook contest!

 Britannica ImageQuest - Stack of papersMarch 15:



        The end of the 3rd Quarter

                  for the 2016-2017 academic year

                 is on Wednesday, March 15, 2017


 Apple and school books - Britannica ImageQuestMarch 16 and 17:

                     There is
                NO SCHOOL on
   Thursday, March 16 
              Friday, March 17
so that WSA Teachers can participate in Parent-Teacher Conferences.

next Washington State Knowledge BowlMarch 19:

             Washington State
Knowledge Bowl Tournament XXXV
           Arlington High School
Good luck to our State-bound team!

              Go Hawks!!!


next 6th & 7th Grade Extended Research Project (ERP) PresentationsMarch 21:


ExtendedResearch Project


Presentations for
6th and 7th Grades
The Commons
Baker Hall
6:30 p.m.

Boardroom - Britannica ImageQuest March 22:

     There is a meeting of the

West Sound Academy              

   Board of Trustees 

Wednesday, March 22
Conference Room
5:30 p.m.

next 2017 Kitsap Youth Rally theme: Why fit in when you were born to stand out?March 24:

Kitsap Youth Rally
for Human Rights
On March 24, 2017 over 325 junior and senior high school students from the Kitsap Peninsula will gather at Olympic College to educate one another and celebrate the human rights of all students.
WSA music students will perform for the opening and closing ceremonies, and the Listen to Your Art team will present a breakout session: Student Activism 101.
WSA delegation:
     37 students and staff!

next Extended Research Project (ERP) PresentationsMarch 28 - 30:


Research Project


    Presentations for
8th, 9th, and 10th Grades
    The Commons
       Baker Hall

Tuesday,  Wednesday, and Thursday
                March 29-31

Teacher in a village school in Vieulaine (France) working at his desk, 1957 - Britannica ImageQuest March 31:


There will be NO SCHOOL

 on Friday, March 31, 2017

so that WSA Teachers can complete
3rd Quarter narrative reports.
Posted in All School


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