More SPS Stories

  • Construction update: See the progress of SPS projects

    Posted by Ryan Lancaster on 8/4/2022
     

    CONSTRUCTION UPDATE: With the start of school just over a month away, let's take another birds-eye view of the construction projects happening across SPS.

    Flett from above

    • New Pauline Flett Middle School : Final touches are being applied to the interior spaces on track for a Sept. 6 opening. The student commons and learning commons are getting furnishings and books as well as surface finishes. Parking lots are paved and fields are growing.

    A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place on the first day of school, Sept. 6. We invite the community to join us for an open house and dedication on October 8 from 10 a.m-1 p.m.

    Design team: NAC

    Contractor: Garco Construction

    Peperzak middle school from above

    • New Carla Peperzak Middle School: Steel structures are going up at the site for the first academic wing, and the classrooms views will be inspiring for students and staff. Masons are also working on the gymnasium structure. This building will open in August of 2023 with 6th and 7th graders only, filling out with all three grades the following year.

    Design Team: Integrus Architecture

    Contractor: Garco

    Sacajawea middle school from above.

    Sacajawea Middle School replacement: The gymnasium is structurally built and exterior brick will soon be stacking up. Crews are standing the steel structures up for the rest of building. This building will open in August of 2023 with 6th, 7th and 8th grade students.

    Design Team: ALSC Architects

    Contractor: Lydig Construction

    Stadium site from above

    • New Stadium: Most of the earth work is completed at the site, with footing and foundations being poured and set for ground level areas. These areas include locker rooms, staff rooms, storage space and other infrastructure for facility operations. Structures of those spaces will take shape in the coming months, tracking for an opening in fall of 2023.

    Design Team: ALSC

    Contractor: Garco

    Yasuhara middle school from above.

    • New Yasuhara Middle School : This beautiful building is moving rapidly toward our ribbon cutting ceremony on the first day of school, Sept. 6. Final touches are being added in the athletic area as well as the learning commons. Lots are paved and fields have been growing.

    Please join us Oct. 15 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. for our open house and dedication.

    Design Team: MMEC Architecture & Interiors

    Contractor: Bouten Construction

    Thanks to the Spokane community for making these projects possible through support of the 2018 bond, and our SPS project management team for moving things along. Keep up with what’s happening at spokaneschools.org/construction.

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  • Exchange experience inspires confidence, career path for Shadle Park senior

    Posted by Ryan Lancaster on 8/1/2022
     

    Family posing with exchange student in front of Christmas tree.

    Shadle Park High School alumna Maria Kamau stepped out of her comfort zone – and country – for seven months of her senior year. 

    In December of 2021 she left for Caceres, a Spanish city about three west of Madrid, as part of a student exchange program through an organization called ASSE International. She said she signed up to earn a wider world perspective. 

    “Traveling abroad not only allows for self-learning, but invites an opportunity in understanding people, experiencing their way of life and what they value,” she said. “That gets you in Flowers on side of building. a different way of thinking.”  

    While the application process and securing a visa were challenging, Maria said adjusting to life in a foreign country was surprisingly easy. 

    She lived with a couple and their two young daughters, who invited her on frequent visits to grandparents in a nearby city and showed her some regional recipes. 

    “They were extremely kind and patient with me, especially on during difficult days of feeling homesick and adjusting to their lifestyle, food, and forms of entertainment,” Maria said. “They taught me to cook tortillas de patatas, empanadas, and we baked cakes too.” 

    She found school in Spain enjoyable, with classes including Latin, philosophy, and technology. One trip to an air museum in Madrid influenced her decision to chase an aviation-centeredTwo girls standing on an overlook. career. Classmates became friends, who introduced her to the city and patiently moved the language barrier aside to exchange ideas.  

    “Learning Spanish definitely opened doors by being able to communicate with others,” she said. “I wanted to learn how people live and to interpret those differences in my life.” 

    The overall exchange student experience gave her the courage to jump into conversations with strangers, remain open, and be more aware and considerate of those around her. 

    “Simplicity and a change of surroundings can open your perspective to understanding yourself and others,” she said. “I am confident in my sense of direction, I was able to have a change of the career I want to pursue, and my confidence to be independent has improved.” 

    If you’re a high school student interested in an international exchange program, please talk to your school counselor. 

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  • ‘Exploring the frontier’: Spokane Virtual gives students, families, teachers new options for success

    Posted by Communications staff on 7/25/2022
     

    Three women at computers.

    The largest K-12 school in Spokane may not have a front door, but more than 2,800 students attended last year, led by 125 teachers. 

    Families and students across Washington looking for online learning have two options under the umbrella of Spokane Virtual. 

    Spokane Virtual Learning (SVL) offers a full-or part-time program that is asynchronous, meaning K-12 students manage their online learning without the requirement of live, daily attendance. Teachers create lessons, assess student work, and communicate with students and families through office hours and individual appointments. Students manage their time and classwork. 

    Meanwhile, Spokane Virtual Academy (SVA) offers a full-time, synchronous pathway for K-8 students, who participate in a combination of daily live and virtual whole-class sessions with their teacher and classmates, as well as independent work time using online learning tools. 

    Ideal options 

    Anne Barker is a support specialist lead for SVL, one of dozens of staff who work with teachers, students, and families to make sure everyone is on track for success. Along with taking advantage of scheduled office hours and ongoing help by their teachers, Ann notes that students can attend in-person student support labs at the Shadle Park Library three times a week, staffed by a variety of subject-matter experts. 

    But she and others underline that the virtual learning pathway requires diligence, dedication, and determination to set and stick to a daily schedule, keep in touch with teachers, and stay caught up on courses.  

    “One of the biggest benefits of our program is that it’s largely self-paced but – especially as an asynchronous student – that means your learning is your responsibility,” she said. 

    While virtual school may be a unique way to learn, De Lynn Hughes, an SVL teacher for nine years, said it’s ideal for students who are independent learners, have struggled with traditional classrooms, or those with health issues preventing in-person attendance. 

    “We’re in a position where we can offer choice to families,” she said. “Some really just like the idea of a homeschooling environment, but without responsibility of developing the curriculum, delivering the instruction, and following Alternative Learning Experience responsibilities."

    Woman at computer. Spokane Virtual Learning 

    De Lynn says the beauty of online learning is that it provides flexibility for families without compromising on curriculum. 

    “We work really hard to build our curriculum to match the same scope, sequence, and rigor of what a student would see in a classroom – it’s just delivered online,” she said, adding that lessons can be tailored. “So, if something is going on in a student’s life and they’re struggling with a certain program, we can see if there’s a better fit for them to make sure they’re still moving forward.” 

    De Lynn and other SVL teachers regularly meet online with students and families to measure progress and go through materials. She enjoys that partnership to deepen each student’s understanding. 

    “We really do have this full circle of learning happening,” she said. “We refer to parents as their learning coach, me as their educator, and we’re all going to work together to make sure you’re successful.” 

    Spokane Virtual Academy 

    At SVA, teacher Marcus Potts connects with students and families through regular online meetings, learning platforms, and in-person events. He and other SVA staff held family nights throughout last year, and he started a Culture Committee to help the school feel more cohesive. Man at computer.

    “I love exploring the frontier, as it were, and not being confined to conventional ways of teaching,” he said. “Some of my students are far more successful with virtual learning, and I love finding ways to extend that even further.” 

    Marcus finds time each day for students to connect with each other in small groups, and even offers a “virtual recess” at day’s end for kids who are caught up on their work.  

    “We are reaching kids, enjoying class with kids, and learning a ton,” he said. Our kids truly develop a sense of self, connections with other kids, and new ways of thinking about old things.” 

    Success stories 

    One testament to Spokane Virtual’s success? The principal who oversees the program, Mark Lund, enrolled his own seventh grader in SVL full time. Mark credits the flexible schedule, SVL counselor, and support staff for positioning his son to pursue his immediate dream of elite ski racing while preparing the path toward a university STEM degree. 

    Another Spokane Virtual parent, Robert Thompson, said he and his wife were impressed by the full-time virtual learning their first grader engaged in last school year. 

    “Having the ability to see what my son is working on is amazing,” he said. “When I saw the weekly schedule example with announcements, outlined coursework, and a list of words to work on for the week, my jaw just about dropped to the floor. And on top of that, the feature to see his grades and results is priceless.” 

    Interested in enrolling in either program for the 2022-23 school year? Visit spokaneschools.org/joinSV. 

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  • Rapid Robert Middle School Grit Award honors middle school student athletes, late SPS teacher

    Posted by Communications Staff on 6/21/2022
     

    Rapid Robert Award winner

    Students at Sacajawea and Chase middle schools had a lot to celebrate on the last day of school. There were the usual end-of-year festivities and excitement—including a spirit contest at Sacajawea—and the schools recognized students for their outstanding artwork, attendance, leadership, athletic ability and more.

    One award handed out at each school was especially memorable: The Rapid Robert Middle School Grit Award. Created in 2020, the award recognizes an eighth grade male and female student athlete who shows initiative and determination in overcoming obstacles or personal challenges to perform in the classroom and on the field or court.

    Michaela Daou This year’s winners were Michaela Daou (left) from Sacajawea and Joshua Casey (top) from Chase. Both received a trophy and a $600 scholarship to participate in the Counselor in Training program at YMCA Camp Reed after they finish their freshman year of high school.

    The award is named after Robert (Bob) Isitt, who passed away from cancer in 2020 and spent his entire career in Spokane Public Schools. Isitt taught and coached at Shaw Middle School and Shadle Park High School and is a member of the Washington State Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He was an accomplished athlete at Rogers High School and Whitworth University, where he still holds the record for the 5,000-meter run.

    “He was amazing. He was a man of grit,” said Dave Stenersen, a friend of the Isitt family and retired school administrator. “He had state level teams. He was the kind of coach where when schools would show up for track meets, he would always have 111 kids on his bus.”

    Karmen Isitt, Bob Isitt’s wife, was at Sacajawea and Chase to witness the award presentations.

    The award is named “Rapid Robert” because that’s the nickname Isitt had when he was a counselor at Camp Reed. “Rapid” stuck with him his entire life, to the point where that was the only name many people called him.

    The Greater Spokane Area Middle School League Athletic Coordinators nominate and select the award winners each year. The Camp Reed scholarship is made possible by contributions to the Rapid Robert Isitt Memorial Campership Fund through the Innovia Foundation. This was the first year the award was given in person.

    Isitt taught and coached for 42 years—eight at Shaw and 34 at Shadle. He mentored many students and many athletes over the years.

    “It's an amazing thing, and we do it because we want to recognize leadership,” Stenersen said. “So this is an amazing award.”

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  • Shaw student glad to be back on his feet after scary accident

    Posted by Communications Staff on 6/13/2022
     

    Listen:

    Read:

    Arthur Wedge and Nina Martinsen Perhaps nobody is looking forward to summer vacation more than Shaw Middle School student Arthur Wedge.

    The soon-to-be eighth grader is an excellent student, but his seventh-grade year came to a halt in late September after he was struck by a car, leaving him with severe injuries.

    Arthur only remembers bits and pieces of the accident.

    “Half of my memory has just disappeared from that day, and even the rest of it is still kind of in fragments,” he said. “All I remember is I asked my dad if I could go outside to hang out with a friend. I walked outside, blank, was crossing the street, turn, see headlights, blank. I was then in a hospital car, then a hospital bed and then I was being taken out on a wheelchair. That’s all that I remember.”

    Arthur suffered level four whiplash, a fractured pelvis, bruising and scarring on his feet, arms and knees, and a lot of road rash. Thankfully, his hospital stay wasn’t too long, but he had a long road ahead recovering at home.

    “It was very painful to move or just do anything and it was kind of just a pain and really not the (most fun) thing I could have had happened,” Arthur said. “It was very hard, especially since I was hurting a ton, and my mom and dad say that for the first five days, I couldn’t even smile, which is something that I regularly do.”

    Nina Martinsen is the seventh-grade counselor at Shaw and played an integral role in helping Arthur.

    “When his mom called me, I think Arthur was probably still in the hospital or just getting out of the hospital. But mom told me what happened and we kind of immediately planned to set him up with a 504 plan,” she said. “A 504 plan is a legal document that sets up accommodations in the classroom for students when they have anything that impacts their learning, but it’s not like a specific learning disability. But for his grades in the meantime, we really just were like, ‘Let’s freeze them. You need to heal. That’s the priority is making sure that your body is OK and your brain is OK and you’re going to heal so you can learn.’ So that was my focus, just making sure he’s OK instead of pushing any stress on him.”

    After about two months, Arthur came back to school on a part-time basis. He used a wheelchair and a walker, and even got his hands on a coveted elevator pass to navigate the two floors of Shaw Middle School.Arthur with walker

    “I was eager and then it got too much for me, especially with walking and anxiety,” he said. “I did not need to learn how to walk again. I did need to learn how to use a walker and stuff to accommodate my pelvis since it wasn’t strong enough to hold me up.”

    As time went on, Arthur’s injuries started to heal, and his anxiety waned. His parents were extremely helpful in his recovery.

    “It was a great partnership that we had with his family, and we just were very communicative with each other. ‘How’s he doing today? Does he need a break?’ Just kind of within that process of getting him back to school, we just went really slowly, and kind of listened to what Arthur needed,” Martinsen said.

    Despite his trials this school year, Arthur maintains all A’s. He said his favorite classes are art and woodshop because he likes the hands-on, project-based learning. He’s looking forward to a relaxing summer.

    “For summer, I just want to have fun and just do good,” he said.

    “I feel like it was as smooth as it could be with the circumstances,” Martinsen added. “Arthur had great support at home and that helped with his recovery a lot, and we just went slow at school.”

    Note: Please be mindful of pedestrians and cars this summer as kids are outside enjoying summer vacation.

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  • “Bike friendly?” Community School students investigate Spokane’s status

    Posted by Communications Staff on 6/7/2022 7:00:00 AM
     

    The Community School students and teachers

    Clara Cesaratto rode her bike about five miles from her home in the Indian Trail neighborhood to The Community School (TCS), where she’s a junior student. She made the trek as part of a school project dubbed “Livin’ Life on Two Wheels,” which aims to determine whether bike commuting is an equitable mode of transportation in Spokane.

    The project helped expose students to the benefits of bike commuting and challenged them to think of ways to make biking more accessible to Spokane residents.

    The students divided into six groups and zeroed in on three strategies:

    1. Look for comparable examples of great bike cities
    2. Analyze the current reality in Spokane
    3. Define what actions would make Spokane great too

    The groups presented their findings to the city’s planning department on June 1. But before that date, the students needed to see for themselves how bike friendly Spokane truly is. That’s why Cesaratto hopped on her bike and started pedaling south on Indian Trail Road.

    “It was quite a ride and ended up taking me about an hour,” she said. “It was difficult, and I knew it was going to be too risky to ride on Indian Trail Road because the lanes are very small and drivers drive very fast on that road. I decided to ride on the sidewalk, but even then there are trash cans and people and I’m trying not to hit anyone. I realized there was definitely a change that needed to happen on Indian Trail.”

    Students routed the safest ways to their school, which was helpful because TCS students commute from all over Spokane County. They also explored West Central and the Centennial Trail with Colin Quinn-Hurst, a city engineer, and Billy Norton of Commute Smart NW, an initiative aimed at reducing traffic congestion and air pollution.

    Students took a ride to Gonzaga University to meet with the school’s sustainability officer about changes they’ve made to make bike commuting easier and accessible on campus. The students also rode to parks and elementary schools across the city to see how easy or difficult it might be for elementary students to bike to school.

    The Community School students at Spokane City Hall Back at City Hall, students shared what they learned and proposed solutions. One group proposed expanding the availability of e-bikes for residents who live in distant locations or near a lot of hills. Another proposed “bike boxes,” designated bike lanes at intersections, to protect bike commuters from vehicle traffic.

    As one student put it, “On the road, bikes are supposed to follow the same rules as cars, but bikes aren’t at all like cars.”

    Cesaratto and her group focused their improvements on the Indian Trail area, specifically the Indian Trail-Francis intersection.

    Another student focused on communicating more widely the benefits of biking and riding the bus. Other solutions included installing bike repair stations at the public libraries, storage stations for bikes at the Spokane Transit Authority park and ride plazas and improving road conditions.

    Livin’ Life on Two Wheels allowed students to go in-depth on a subject important to a lot of Spokane residents. Students practiced being engaged citizens at City Hall, perhaps encouraging equitable change in their city.

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  • After last issue’s release, Kids Newspaper owner recalls 30 years in print

    Posted by Communications staff on 6/3/2022
     

    Woman sitting on couch In November of 1993, Mary Helen Black watched the first issue of Kids Newspaper roll off the press.

    “I’d always wanted to do something for families that would be fun for kids and would feature different kinds of topics,” she said, reflecting from her living room sofa. “I was used to selling advertising, because that had been my business, so I thought, ‘why not do a newspaper that is supported by advertising but is free?’”

    It was a family business from the beginning, mostly conducted from home. Mary Helen founded the monthly paper with her mother, Rita Wessels. Husband Bob has been the bookkeeper, and daughter Shannon the designer.

    In the early years, they would print and paste each page to a board, then hope the logos didn’t fall off as they drove out to a web press in Airway Heights. Once printed, Mary Helen’s four children were enlisted to hand out issues in front of grocery stores and on soccer fields.

    Distribution soon became a lot simpler after Cynthia Lambarth, Associate Superintendent for Spokane Public Schools, gave her permission to circulate the paper in schools.

    “That response really began my career,” Mary Helen said. 

    Mead and Central Valley followed suit, and Kids Newspaper was eventually welcomed into 15 regional school districts. More sponsors started coming onboard to underwrite special sections, features, and columns about wellness, family activities, and excellence in education. The paper grew to a monthly circulation of 30,000 newspapers, published 10 times a year. 

    “It really morphed into a dream come true career,” she said. “Then COVID hit, and I thought, we’re done, because we had no place to distribute.” 

    But with the help of Mike Dunn, former superintendent of Northeast Washington Educational Service District 101, Mary Helen transitioned to a digital format that reached 48 school districts across the Inland Northwest. 

    While it was a win, Mary Helen decided that, after 30 years in print, the June 2022 edition would be the paper’s last. Three decades of tracking education has left her incredibly grateful for the chance to celebrate so many successes. It’s also shown her how much schools have changed.

    “It isn’t just math and science and reading anymore,” she noted. “School is home, school is safety, school is where children feel their value. So, school has become everything. It went from curriculum to taking care of the whole child.” 

    Reflecting on her life’s work with a stack of back issues saved in her basement, Mary Helen  points to favorite covers, remembering interviews with countless teachers, staff, administrators, and superintendents.kids magazine

    She said she’s come to understand that education is about learning, but it’s also about mentorship and partnership between schools and caregivers. 

    “You cannot believe just how passionate these people are about every child,” she said. “If you can be open with a teacher, if you confide in them about the challenges your child has, their dreams, anything that can help them better understand – they can change the world for your child.”

    kids magazine

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  • SPS special education programs celebrate student workers

    Posted by Communications Staff on 5/31/2022 7:05:00 AM
     

    CTE Special Ed Awards

    It was a festive atmosphere at the Spokane Community College Lair auditorium last week, as Spokane Public Schools honored students from its Career Focus and Specially Designed Instruction class in high school and Secondary Transition programs.

    These programs are for students with disabilities who learn job skills through internships in their high school or the community. Businesses like Ace Hardware, DeLeon Foods, Goodwill Industries, Gold Seal Plumbing, Pizza Rita, My Fresh Basket, the Spokane Indians baseball club and many, many more, open their doors for these students to learn valuable job skills.

    The awards ceremony started with a video slideshow from the students’ experience this school year, and each school and program honored excellent student interns. Some students had trouble earlier in the school year adjusting to working at a job but improved, while others used their unique and special personalities to impress their coworkers and customers. Twenty-eight students have earned paid employment this year.

    Congrats to this year’s winners!

    Ferris High School

    • Most Value to Employers: Elizabeth Scherbakov
    • Most Reliable Employee: Courtney Samaniego
    • Most Improved Employee: Leo Dement
    • Student Employee of the Year: Yariel Caban

    Lewis & Clark

    • Most Improved Award: Amyha Green
    • Most Dedicated Award: Sam Kahsay
    • Student Employee of the Year: Sam Campos

    North Central

    • Most Improved Employee: Ocean McCann
    • Leadership Award: Tamir Duncan
    • Most Enthusiastic Attitude: Most Enthusiastic Attitude
    • Student Employee of the Year: Juan De Asis Baldovinos

    Rogers

    • Most Improved Employee: Patrick Hannah
    • Hardest Worker Award: Alex Hernandez
    • Student Employee of the Year: James Williams

    Shadle Park

    • Best Attitude Award: Danae Myers
    • Most Improved Award: Danae Myers
    • Best Attitude Award: Joshua Harding
    • Student Employee of the Year Award: Redlen Caesar

    Project SEARCH

    • Most Perseverant: Kim Nieto
    • Intern of the Year: Zander Ziolkowski
    • Student Employee of the Year: Alicia Menjivar Hernandez

    IMAGES

    • Most Improved: Trinity Hogue
    • Most Dedicated: Yermos Sabuni
    • Student Employees of the Year: Cyprus Coleman, Parker Sutherland

    STEP

    • Most Dedicated: Sarah Wheeler
    • Most Improved: Coby Mitchell
    • Student Employee of the Year: Ismael Fernandez

    Learn about all SPS special education programs here.

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  • Pacific Islander clubs promote community and culture

    Posted by Communications Staff on 5/23/2022
     

    Rogers Islander Organization

    When students returned to in-person learning in 2021, Ferris junior Catherine Loeak noticed something in her fellow Marshallese students.

    “Everyone was just slacking, especially at showing our culture out in the community,” she said.

    Loeak knew she needed to change that for the wellbeing of her fellow Marshallese students and all Pacific Islanders at Ferris. So, she created the Ferris Islander Club to build community, become more of a family, and promote their culture.

    Since creating the club, Loeak’s seen a change in her classmates.

    “Some were getting into trouble and I’m like the mom of the group, just telling them, ‘You need to stop skipping and focus more on school,’” she said. “They look at school differently, so I thought, ‘How could I make them excited to come to school? How could I make them want to come to school?’ I figured them having their own place at school would help that process. Once I started the Islander Club, I saw them be more serious about coming to school and being more excited about coming to school.”

    Loeak’s brother helps lead the Rogers Islander Organization (RIO) at Rogers High School. That group started in 2018 and continues today.

    “They had the idea after noticing some of the Marshallese were kind of splitting off into their own groups, so they wanted to have everybody be with each other just to share our culture,” said senior Nathanael Hermios, the RIO leader.

    The goal of the RIO is simple: “To spread our culture to other places so other people can see us and learn from our culture,” said junior Malachi Ankien.

    Ankien, who transferred to Rogers recently, said the club helped him meet new people and be involved.

    Much like the Ferris Islander Club, the RIO promotes community and holds members accountable.

    “We meet after school to update on grades. We’re not only about community but trying to raise the generation for next year without having trouble,” Hermios said. “A couple people might struggle here and there but we just want everyone to be their own person and not live for anybody else.”

    Pacific Islander Graduation The RIO is involved with an event in June that will bring together Pacific Islander groups and clubs from other SPS schools and across Spokane County to play games and meet each other. Some senior SPS Pacific Islander students also attended the first-ever Asian/Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Graduation Celebration on May 1, which kicked off Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

    Similar clubs are present in other SPS high schools, and all of them promote community and the Pacific Islander culture—one that is abundant in the Spokane region.

    Loeak understands she and her classmates only have four years to make high school memories. Starting the Ferris Islander Club was one way to make do that and make a difference in the lives of her fellow classmates.

    “I wanted this to be a pivotal moment in their life as well, a moment to remember.”

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  • Indian Trail honors late teacher with memorial fun run, Little Free Library

    Posted by Communications Staff on 5/16/2022
     

    Indian Trail Horse Course

    They came for a fun run—dubbed the Indian Trail Horse Course—but the real reason hundreds of Indian Trail Elementary students, parents and staff put on their running shoes last Friday was to honor Jennifer Johnston, a teacher who passed away unexpectedly last year due to complications following a minor surgery.

    It was a festival atmosphere, with music, shaved ice, face painting, a bubble machine, a fog machine and raffle prizes galore. Participants young and old wore race bibs, and trophies were handed out to the winners in each age group. The Spokane Indians’ mascots were there to encourage the runners.

    Flowers And then there was the flower arrangement sitting under the sun near the face painting and the raffle prizes. The arrangement honored Johnston and an accompanying message shared her passion for reading.

    Her love of reading is reflected in a Little Free Library constructed in her honor by Indian Trail parents Devin and Stephanie Berend. The race day raffle and donations from local businesses funded the library and will help provide for continued maintenance.

    Andy Johnston, Jennifer’s husband, was there alongside their three daughters and other extended family members. Andy shared his thanks and astonishment at the outpouring of support.Indian Trail Little Free Library

    “This gesture is not only a testimony to who Jen was and what she meant to your lives, but also a testament to how much each and every one of you meant to her,” he told the crowd. “This school, this staff, the kiddos and PTO were like a family to Jen. Please make no mistake that she absolutely loved each and every one of you.”

    The Little Free Library is full of children’s books and shares this quote from Dr. Seuss, one of Jennifer Johnston’s favorite authors:

    The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

    “I’ve made it a point to focus on the good memories that I was fortunate enough to have and make with her, trying not to focus on the fact that she is no longer physically here with us, but instead that she’ll continue to live on through our memories and constantly in our hearts,” Andy said.

    Jennifer Johnston’s legacy will surely live on thanks to the Little Free Library at Indian Trail.

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