School Blog & News

School Blog and News

Archives - June 2018

WSA Seniors Offering Art Camp this Summer

June 21, 2018
By Jailee Bishop, Maizy Goerlitz and Trinity Pine

Student painting a picture in art class - Britannica ImageQuestHello!

We are a group of students at West Sound Academy who love creating art. We’ve planned a four-day summer camp to teach children about expressing themselves through art. We wish to help each child develop their own interests and abilities in art, and support them in finding the mediums that interest them the most. We will explore acrylic painting, collages, self-portraits and drawing people, and children will have a free day to use any of the materials they enjoy.

We’ve had experience with children before and we really enjoy showing what we’ve learned through our own experiences in the world of art. The camp takes place August 6 – 9, Monday through Thursday, from 9:00 a.m. to Noon, and is for children 6 to 12 years of age.  The fee for the class is $30. 

Middle School art student working on self-portrait - Britannica ImageQuestTo enroll, please complete the Art Camp Registration Form and email it to  The registration deadline is August 1, 2018.

We're looking forward to having a lot of creative fun!

Jailee Bishop          Maizy Goerlitz          Trinity Pine

Posted in Visual Arts

A Summer Challenge from the Head of School: Go out and play!

June 07, 2018
By Barrie Hillman

Dear WSA,

The last three weeks have been full of joy and exploration through our June Term classes. The campus has been hopping with creativity and creation. We also are happy to welcome home our June TREC travelers from their trip to France and Spain!

The Maker Playground class with 'The Bunker' that they made for WSA's new adventure playgroundHaving worked so hard all year long on academics, this experiential learning opportunity allows for deeper collaboration, innovation and problem-solving with students of all ages in each group. While the faculty can recognize the achievements of the students, the students often think of it as play. In fact, I am such a huge fan of play that I created the Maker Playground June Term class specifically for the purpose of encouraging more free play that is not sanitized with lots of direction and adult intervention.

Play can stimulate brain activity, relieve stress and build valuable skills and we, adults and kids, simply do not do enough of it. Teens and tweens desperately need more play and we often forget about this as kids grow more autonomous. So my challenge for you all this summer ( need to play too) is to mindfully embrace play. Look for opportunities to create play in unexpected places. Stuck in a ferry line? Create a game out of items you can find in the car. Going on a hike? Find a cool stick to carve. Hanging out with friends? Put down your phones and play cards. Play with electronics is not the same as unstructured play and doesn't reap the same benefits.

At "The Gully," as our maker playground was named, we play with "loose materials" and tools. We hope to have some open sessions this summer and will invite you to come play with us! It was a great school year and to everyone: students, parents, staff, faculty and dogs...job well done and happy summer!


Graduate Presents Gift of Aloha to Her Classmates at 2018 Commencement

June 03, 2018
By Susan Trower

The class of 2018 in the staging room before graduation - Espen Swanson photoThe West Sound Academy community - faculty, friends and family of the Class of 2018 - came to the House of Awakened Culture in Suquamish on May 25 to celebrate the school's 17th annual commencement. The graduates represented a diverse group: international student graduates from China, Vietnam and France, and some domestic students who had lived in other states before settling in Kitsap: Pennsylvania, Texas, Hawaii. All of these students, representing such different cultures and backgrounds, were thrilled to be at this celebration and acknowledgement of their achievements.

Jenna-lin Tabisola giving leis to her classmates, assisted by WSA Head of School Barrie Hillman - Espen Swanson photoJenna-lin Tabisola, originally from Hawaii, began the evening's ceremonies with a presentation of gifts from her family to each of her fellow classmate: fabric leis, in West Sound Academy's school colors. Tabisola's mother, Jennifer Komatsu, made the leis from "yards and yards of satin"; the entire project took several months to complete. Tabisola explained the significance of the gift.

Jenna-lin Tabisola giving a lei to her classmate, Yanli Zhang - Espen Swanson photo    "The Hawaiian word "Aloha" means love, mercy, compassion, hello and goodbye. It is a word that has to do with deep feelings and emotions. Giving a lei as a gift expresses the same meaning as "Aloha". A lei traditionally shows honor and love and is an extra special gift, as it carries not only a blessing and tangible beauty, but also represents the giving of time. We give these to the graduates to show our feelings of love and appreciation and in recognition for their hard work. Like a ring, a lei has no beginning or end, symbolizing your part of the West Sound experience. [West Sound] is a place you can always call home and a place that will always welcome you back."

Barrie Hillman, West Sound Academy's Head of School, gave assistance as Tabisola gave each of the graduates a lei. Then Randy Komatsu, the graduate's father, came up to the dais carrying his younger daughter Rielly so that the little girl could give a matching lei to her sister.


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Posted in Special Events


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