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STRENGTH The Magazine of Annie Wright Schools | Spring 2017





Contents 4

Empathy Ignites Design


AWS Wins National Design Challenge


New Programs Highlight Design


Seniors Commit to Collegiate Athletics


Get Ready for May Day


Class Notes

A LETTER FROM The Head of Schools Christian G. Sullivan

Dear Annie Wright Community, In the following pages you will read about how students as young as three approach design thinking and how the design process becomes more complex in a developmentally appropriate progression throughout the grades. You will learn about exciting new signature programs and how they incorporate design. And you will discover how our students have been nationally recognized for their excellence in design thinking. Design thinking is particularly exciting and mission appropriate for Annie Wright Schools because it focuses on people and embodies International Baccalaureate values of inquiry and real world problem solving. With exposure to and practice with design processes and vocabulary, our students are more than ever poised to make a profound contribution in the world.



As you read about the design cycle and student engagement with design, it may strike you that these concepts are not new. Indeed in the recent and not so recent past, Annie Wright students have engaged in design thinking, and several have gone on to successful careers in design fields such as engineering, architecture, product design and entrepreneurship. What is new is the deliberate and weighty approach to design thinking, giving students the tools to approach problems and find solutions based on human need. For some curricular units this may be a subtle reframing, while for others it may incorporate entirely new projects. These curricular enhancements come directly through faculty initiative and leadership. You will read about how peer to peer professional development has exposed the entire faculty to design thinking and exciting classroom

applications. Annie Wright teachers, often our most seasoned ones, eagerly embrace educational innovation while always practicing excellent pedagogy and foundational skill building. I've said this before, and I'll say it again. I am extremely proud to be a leader of Annie Wright Schools. Tradition and innovation are at the heart of design thinking and everything we do. I look forward to watching our graduates focus by design on making the world a better place as Annie Wright moves forward from strength to strength.


Christian G. Sullivan Head of Schools




Lisa Isenman

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Cristiana Ventura


Oona Copperhill


Susan Bauska Jennifer Bills Sandra Bush Katie Erickson, Class of ’17 Erin Fletcher ’97 Angela Heath Julia Henning, Class of ’21 Joe Romano Jennifer Shafer Christian Sullivan Clare Wagstaff


Christian G. Sullivan, Head of Schools Susan Bauska, Assistant Head of Schools Jake Guadnola, Director of Upper School Bill Hulseman, Director of Middle School Victoria Ball, Director of Lower School Mike Finch, Director of Athletics Mary Sigmen, Director of Finance and Operations Jennifer Haley, Director of Advancement Rex Bates, Director of Business Development


John Long, Chair Julia Cho, Vice Chair Tom Hanly, Treasurer Kelly Givens, Secretary Percy Abram Michele Cannon Bessler Stephanie Cook ’88 Bob Crist Jim Defebaugh Laura Edman Tony Escobar Judy (Yengling) Forkner ’63 Tom Hanly Suzanne Hattery Lisa Hoffman John Lantz Marcia Moe Jamie Murray Chris Sakas Cathy Schneider Pamela (Hyde) Smith ’63 Aliya (Merali) Virani ’96


Taylor Cassell ’09 - President Claire Fallat ’08 - Vice President Holly Bamford Hunt ’89 Genevieve Grant, Class of ’17, Student Representative Margot Grant ’00MS Shannon Grant ’96MS Carol Hagen ’92 Alyssa Harvey ’06 John Tinsley ’01MS Ellen Weiland ’95


Strength is published twice a year by the Annie Wright Schools communications office. Submissions of story suggestions, articles and photos are always welcome and may be sent to Please submit class notes and photos to or Annie Wright Schools 827 North Tacoma Avenue Tacoma, Washington 98403 P: 253.272.2216 F: 253.572.3616 THE MAGAZINE OF ANNIE WRIGHT SCHOOLS







Empathy Ignites Design

by Joe Romano, Library Media Specialist and Associate Director of the Girls’ Business & Entrepreneurship Program

Dr. Karl Ullrich is the proud owner of one of the world’s largest collections of ice cream scoops. While he, like many, is likely enamored by waffle cones, sundaes, and banana splits, his scoop obsession extends well beyond a common enjoyment of this frozen treat. Ullrich, the vice dean of entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, uses the ice cream scoop to explore design, which he proclaims “the creation of artifacts that solve problems.” Gelato. Hardpack. Soft serve. The casual connoisseur lifting several spheres of dairy delight from a small container each weekend. The professional ice cream attendant with arms stretched into a chest freezer for one thousand scoops on a summer day. Ullrich is obsessed not with stylish scoops and the dessert they heft but with people, experiences and problems, and how we might leverage the design process to reach those people, understand their experiences and challenges, and prototype ways to improve people’s lives.

Karl Ullrich serves up ice cream scoops as a metaphor we all might use in design thinking to develop our products, processes, and even ourselves. This issue of Strength magazine features so many wonderful examples of how design thinking is currently cultivated throughout the Annie Wright community. When we talk about design thinking, we talk about a collection of processes, tools, and mindsets that anyone can adopt to become a designer of things for people in the world. We might seek to design new apps, electronic devices, programs of study, events, business models or even family traditions. No matter how concrete or abstract, design thinking reminds us to take a good long look at the people we are designing for and make sure we are designing to solve the true, underlying problem, before we dedicate time and effort to brainstorming ideas and prototyping solutions.



The Process

When we design, we use three main lenses to discern what and how we might create something for the world: desirability, viability and feasibility. Last year, a team of Annie Wright educators visited Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (more commonly known as the to explore how design thinking has shifted our priorities in the design process. Our exploration of the’s approach to design thinking revealed so much about the habits, mindsets, and practices the institute uses to cultivate designers. The, along with many prominent design firms around the world, has led a global movement to focus first and foremost on desirability, discerning the human need we hope to fulfill with our designs. The’s design process is typically represented as follows:




y The’s process is most easily understood with this linear fashion, although experienced designers will often move fluidly through each part.


The goal of the empathy moment of the process is to gain a fuller and deeper understanding of the people for whom we are designing and the challenge, opportunity, or obstacle we are targeting. We can think like ethnographers by observing behaviors, understanding motivations, and trying to gain insights from how individuals think and behave. We also seek to develop a full understanding of the situation we are designing for. “Empathy means challenging your preconceived ideas and setting aside your sense of what your think is true in order to learn what actually is true,” said Tom Kelley, founder of IDEO, an internationally acclaimed design firm based in Palo Alto, California.


Albert Einstein knew the importance of a robust problem. “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions,” he said. Often designs are not effective because we do not start with well defined problems. This step in the design process asks us to take insights and observations from the empathy stage and find the “problem beneath the problem” that we originally set out to design.


Ideation may sound fancy, but it’s really a technical term for “brainstorming” without all the associations brainstorming usually evokes: a few people spit-balling around a table, where groupthink and group dynamics dominate. Ideation is the set of tools and techniques that one can use to develop potential solutions to the problems and opportunities we identify. This phase of the design process occurs in two modes: the divergent mode, where we try to air as many ideas as possible, and the convergent mode, where we select one or two ideas from among the possibilities that we would be able to prototype.


After we converge on a particular idea, we need to move beyond discussing it and thinking about it theoretically and embrace the ethos “build to think.” While it is tempting to make the prototype as refined as possible, this stage should resist that phase; the quality of the prototype should match the amount of time spent thinking about the solution. A fast prototype can be completed with paper and pipe cleaners or stick figures and story boards. “The faster we make our ideas tangible, the sooner we will be able to evaluate them, refine them, and zero in on the best solution,” said Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO.


Once we have a prototype, we want to get it into the hands of the people we’re hoping to help. We seek direct feedback in the form of personal opinions on the efficacy of the prototype, but we also want indirect feedback, observing how the subjects interact with the prototype. This feedback launches yet another opportunity for empathy and understanding, providing even more detail about the nature of the problem and the opportunity to find ways to improve and iterate off of the original prototype toward a version ready to share with the world.


Think & Feel?






Say & Do?



Empathy maps are just one tool that help capture our understanding of the people we design for.



Mindsets & Skills

While design thinking encourages us to compartmentalize certain steps in a process, cultivating certain outlooks and mindsets makes the outcomes more fruitful.

Engage in radical collaboration.

This practice disavows a singular designer and emphasizes the need to sit down with our teams, colleagues, and even the folks we’re creating solutions for, in order to clearly define the problems and create the best solutions. While we recognize there should be independent work, we also believe in the saying, “the smartest person in the room is the room.” Radical collaboration entails an openness to listening and understanding, avoidance of blocking others, and an effort to build together without sacrificing the acuity of a particular plan.

Think like an improviser.

Any improv team knows they’ll only be successful on stage if they accept each other’s offerings, building and shaping an unrehearsed moment instead of rejecting a contribution from a fellow actor and ending a scene early and unrealized. Improv coaches are increasingly common at corporate retreats, and short improv activities often open classes and meetings. Coaches encourage building, not blocking, being attuned to others’ ideas, and making adjustments to one’s own behavior, demeanor and contributions to encourage positive progress within a group. Openness and acceptance can make all the difference in one’s ability to empathize or ideate.

Establish a beginner’s mindset.

As design thinkers we must think outside of ourselves in order to dive into observations, interviews and possible solutions without the prejudice of our preconceived notions. “We can’t solve problems that use the same kind of thinking that created them,” said Einstein. Or, as pithily put by Mark Twain, “It’s not what you don’t know that gets you into trouble, it’s what you know for sure that ain’t so.”

Learn in service to others.

While we want all our students to be problem solvers, we also want our students to find problems that matter and learn about the people and context for which they’re designing. The problem is immediate, applicable, and real, one that we spin into actionable solutions. Our learning is not necessarily at the service of a possible career or more learning in the future; instead, we direct the learning in and around design thinking toward a problem that matters in the world.

Develop a bias toward action.

We encourage design thinkers to push ideas into tangible forms and avoid the common tendency to overthink and suddenly be faced with a deadline. Instead, small incremental building sessions encourage us to build to think and test ideas as we move through any process.



In school life, we often suspend action for preparation, constantly studying and preparing for a test, a major or a career. The bias toward action encourages us, however, to start small, creating minor results before developing these into larger projects and ideas.

Start small & fail forward to learn.

While we become confident in our ability to find and solve a problem, we know that our solutions take time to refine, and that the only way to achieve a refined solution is to iterate and test options that we know will not be as good as the final result. "It’s hard to be 'best' right away, so commit to rapid and continuous improvements,” said Kelley.

Manage constraints.

Even as design thinking positions “desirability” first, we still need to consider feasibility and viability. Even if we dream big for a solution to a particular idea, we need to remember our constraints. While they can lead to frustration, they can also lead to even more creativity and better solutions than we originally thought possible.

From classrooms to boardrooms, design thinking has emerged as a dominant process for developing programs, products, experiences and ideas. Its zeitgeist has spread from Stanford and Silicon Valley to Grade 4 classrooms at Annie Wright Schools. You’ll find article after article regarding design thinking in publications like The Harvard Business Review, and you’d be hard pressed not to discover at least three workshops or presentations on design at any professional development event for educators. We are, after all, surrounded by opportunities to think like designers, whether we leverage a particular mindset, a single step in the process, or the formal set of stages and techniques that encompass the entire process. Whether we work on ice cream scoops, office floor plans or fundraising events, design thinking provides that gentle reminder that we should look beyond our own ideas and think about those we are seeking to serve. Stepping outside of oneself and channeling one’s empathic abilities to look at the true needs of one’s community might be our greatest challenge, but along with facilitating expertise in the sciences, mathematics, and humanities, this challenge of empathy is one Annie Wright is committed to cultivate. In this way, we hope to address the most exciting and ambitious vision of our new strategic plan, to “inspire all students to make a profound contribution in the world.” We strive to offer our students experiences in cultivating both a sense of self and a sense of others while we provide opportunities for a creative confidence so everyone might understand how we can start small, keep others in mind, and iterate our contributions at the service of something greater than ourselves.



y Joe Romano, Annie Wright’s Library Media Specialist and Associate Director of the Girls’ Business & Entrepreneurship Program, advises on and creates alternative programs that amplify the school’s strategic and mission-focused initiatives. A consultant with the educational non-profit Leadership+Design, Joe can help you or your organization learn more about design thinking and how it might improve whatever you do. Contact him at to learn about facilitated workshops or customized design sessions.




>> Limited spaces in select grades for the 2017-18 school year

>> Coed Preschool-Grade 8 >> Separate Upper Schools for girls & boys, day & boarding

827 N Tacoma Ave, Tacoma WA 98403 | |

FACULTY explores


by Jennifer Bills, Primary Years Programme Coordinator and Learning Specialist, and Angela Heath, Educational Technology Director

Like other topic groups, the design group comprises faculty from all three divisions. Our members include Primary Years Programme coordinator and learning specialist Jennifer Bills, Upper School history teacher Jeff Freshwater, educational technology director Angela Heath, Middle Years Programme coordinator and individuals & societies teacher John Hunt, assistant Middle School director Clare Wagstaff, Lower School learning specialist Laura Kiely Kukreja, and Grade 4 teacher Steve Parrott. We chose this topic group because it addresses an important educational movement. Many colleges and universities, such as Stanford’s Institute of Design (“d. school”) which some of us visited last year, are actively looking at the idea of design thinking as a way to problem solve, innovate and creatively present information. Our focus this year is looking at the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme’s Design Cycle and seeing how we could adapt it for students throughout the school to have a more deliberate way of engaging in inquiry. Last year, design topic group member Steve Parrott used the MYP design cycle in his Grade 4 invention unit with great success. Steve developed a comprehensive workbook with the central idea “Products evolve through design thinking.” He incorporated the entire design cycle but focused particularly on explaining

the need, developing diagrams, incorporating and justifying changes and evaluating the success of the solution. He also provided structured opportunities and guidelines for creating a design brief, setting goals, constructing a logical plan (with daily planners) and significant self evaluation and reflection. His young students rose to the occasion, and their success prompted us to adopt the full MYP design cycle for Grades 4 and 5, even though it is designed for Grades 6-10. Next, by simplifying the language and incorporating fewer steps, we adapted the design cycle for students in Preschool to Grade 3. Below is the progression we created with developmentally appropriate steps and language. We are now exploring how to integrate the design cycle (seen on page 14) into different subjects and into the Upper School IB Diploma Programme, which has a more set curriculum. We are also developing a design resource area for teachers with access to a range of information, materials and experts.

the ne t is ed a h ? W

The design faculty group adapted the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme design cycle, created for Grades 6-10, to be developmentally appropriate for Grade 1-3. These diagrams represent the design cycles for Grades 2, 3 and Middle School at Annie Wright.




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The faculty design group, one of ten faculty “topic groups” created to enhance student learning throughout the school, meets regularly throughout the year to help bring design thinking into the classroom.

Peer-to-peer teaching and faculty leadership are integral to professional development at Annie Wright. Teachers presented a “Maker Faire” for their peers to try coding, 3D printing, programming robots, soldering and more, and ran a design challenge (involving designing chairs based on various needs of characters from The Simpsons) at our opening meeting last fall to show how the design cycle can be used in teaching.

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Lower School

Lower Schoolers Inquire Through Annie Wright students from Preschool to Grade 5 explore design in their International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme curriculum.

Preschool | Self Portraits

Our youngest students explore similarities and differences, form and features, self-awareness and the human body, culminating in painting their own self portraits.

Prekindergarten | Collages

Collages provide an opportunity for inquiry into the attributes of natural and man made materials, how materials can be used in different ways, and how creativity stems from flexible thinking.

Prekindergarten 12



h Design

Grade 2 Kindergarten | Home Construction


Budding Kindergarten designers explore the purpose of different types of homes and examine factors such as environment, resources, climate and available materials. They then construct model homes using wood scraps, hammers and other real tools.

Grade 1 | Water Filters

As basic literacy and empathic skills develop, students are ready to apply a simple design process to solve a human need. Grade 1 students learn that water is a finite and life-sustaining resource and apply math, science and engineering skills along with creativity to design a water filter.

Grade 2 | Robotics

The LEGO WEDO system introduces young students to coding and robotics. In their study of basic physics, Grade 2 students explore how force impacts motion by designing a robot with this system that can pull an object over short distances.



Lower School

Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 3 | Storytelling

Students learn basic literary elements of fiction and develop storylines using graphic organizers. After they establish mood, they arrange and compose music using GarageBand to enhance their audio tellings.

Grade 4 | Inventions

Although the IB Middle Years Programme Design Cycle was created for Grades 6-10, Grade 4 students used it successfully this year in building a moving product of their choice. Students explored circuitry, electrics, mechanics of simple and complex machines and more as they brainstormed, developed rubrics, created diagrams, refined ideas and reflected on their inventions.

Grade 5 | Business & Entrepreneurship

Grade 5



In their final year of Lower School, students identify opportunities, organize resources and assess risks as they collaborate to create a consumer-oriented product – cookies! Elements of their small business study include teamwork, ethics, decisionmaking, market forces, branding, budgets, marketing (including print, radio and TV ads) and delivery.

CODE. MAKE. DREAM. Code Make Dream, a new summer experience at Annie Wright, helps young learners find joy and purpose in computer science, engineering, and digital making. We teach coding, 3D printing and engineering, but even more importantly, we inspire kids to find real problems that matter and help them tap their creativity and emerging technical skills to generate solutions. The experiences are fun, hands-on, and physically active. Examples of possible offerings include:

· · · · · ·

Scratch: The Animator’s Studio Spy Camp for Coders & Makers LEGO Robotics: Tournament of Champions 3D Printing & The Art of Flight Hacking Fashion Build a Self-Driving Car




MiDDLE School

Middle Schoolers thrive with 150 hours of design

by Clare Wagstaff, Assistant Director of Middle School

Annie Wright Middle School’s design program is now in its third year. Although it has incorporated some of the beloved traditional Middle School projects such as the Milk Boat Regatta (in which Middle Schoolers create seaworthy vessels out of milk cartons and other recycled materials), it has also established new units that are quickly becoming Middle School traditions. Design is one of eight key subjects in the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP), the curriculum framework for Grades 6-8. MYP focuses on 16 transdisciplinary concepts that guide each subject. For design these concepts are communication, communities, development and systems. Each grade in Middle School has 50 hours of design class per year to focus on inquiry, critical thinking and creative problem solving. Many of the units are interdisciplinary and/or collaborative with other grades or groups in our wider community. At the heart of the design curriculum is the design cycle, a tool that structures problem solving through a cyclical system of events and encourages design thinking. It is based on four criteria: inquiry & analysis, developing ideas, creating a solution and evaluation. Developing



deep empathy, trial and error through iterations,and testing of the solution are also key components. Students do not use the cycle exclusively in design class; they may also apply it in other subjects such as math, science or English. Over the past three years Annie Wright design teachers have conducted extensive research and engaged in professional development to gain a deeper knowledge of design thinking and its use within the classroom and beyond. They have also collaborated with the Middle School faculty, library media specialist and educational technology director to create a three-year course that identifies a distinct scope and sequence to prepare our students in three key strands: empathy, construction and coding. Each unit focuses on design thinking and the design cycle as the underlying scaffolding to solve various challenges. Examples of these include product design, plastic bag bridges, milk boats, Rube Goldberg machines, storytelling, documentary filmmaking, coding, app design and oral histories. The design lab is still a work in progress but has come a long way in the last two years since it was established in the former Middle School art room. Created as a

maker space, the lab combines “old-school” tools for woodworking and textiles with more contemporary equipment such as laser printers that can cut and engrave and access to 3D printers. Still, the most popular items seem to be glue guns, duct tape and the wall of random supplies! The wonderful thing about design class is that no two days are the same, nor will you find any two students doing the exact same thing in the same class. While all students are set the same design challenge, they may approach it in different fashions and with very different solutions. Some may solve the challenge using traditional skills and tools such as hand saws or sewing machines, while others may use the more high tech tools such as the 3D printer to create a plastic scale model or program an Arduino, a microcontroller that senses and reacts to the environment, using JavaScript. The options for differentiation are endless! Collaboration is also a large component in design. Students collaborate with a “client” to create a stool to solve a seating problem, with a team of peers to design, build, and race a milk boat, or with younger students to create a cardboard arcade that will engage and motivate them to learn a new skill. At the core of design and design thinking is developing a deep understanding of the problem that is being addressed. Gaining empathy for the person or specific problem is essential before diving into a new project. This skill shone through in the Grade 8 Verizon App Challenge unit (see page 20), and it was a key factor to the success of winning the Washington State division. The grade spent the majority of the time researching the community issue before they even addressed their possible solutions, and the depth of this research provided a valuable basis to take their solutions to the next level.

"While all students are set the same design challenge, they may approach it in different fashions and with very different solutions." Another key component to design is reflection. Each student starts a documentation blog in the beginning of Middle School and continues it through all three grades as a way to track progress through the design cycle. Students are then able to review their progress over the years in all four criteria and see development of their skills. One of the most exciting and mission appropriate aspects of the design cycle and design thinking is the development of skills to apply to real world challenges. Students learn how to think beyond their personal bubbles, examine a problem critically and deeply and unleash their creativity in possible solutions, while constantly reflecting on what could be done to modify and improve. Annie Wright is continuing to expand design thinking throughout the schools, transcending grade and subject levels in a purposeful and practical way, preparing students for the world they will inherit.



Created as a maker space, the design lab combines “old-school” tools for woodworking and textiles with more contemporary equipment such as laser printers that can cut and engrave and computers with access to 3D printers. 18




MiDDLE School













C , E V O L , HOPE Middle School design group wins the Verizon App Challenge by Julia Henning, Class of 2021 Last September, Ms. Wagstaff, our design teacher, entered the entire 8th grade into the Verizon Innovative Learning App Challenge as six teams of six or seven students each. The challenge is an app design competition that gives students the opportunity to create a concept that will solve a problem in their community. We were told about app concepts that had been created in the past and that if we won state we would win $5,000 for our school! But it felt a long way away.






In the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP), we use the design cycle, which is a tool to help us generate ideas for solutions to problems. For this project, we solved different problems depending on what group we were in. Our Statement of Inquiry (a formal step in all MYP units) was “Coding is a digital system that can be used to develop innovative products.” My group members were Ranbir Pental, Lauren Janguard, Emily Smith, Connor Stockton and Ananya Kukreja. We brainstormed multiple problems with different solutions before settling on one. This was considered part of the “Inquiring and Analyzing” section of the design cycle. Some of our ideas were apps that would help people suffering from anxiety and depression, domestic violence and disabilities. The idea we agreed upon for our final product was called “Hope, Love, Care,” a simple communication tool to connect patients with their friends and family. Reducing the stress of responding to texts or calls or updating multiple social media, this app enables the patient to update loved ones on their health from one single app that propagates other social media sources. The patient or the person using the app would receive a private patient code that he or she could give to anyone. Once receiving the code, loved ones could access information directly from the patient blog and even send e-cards and well wishes through the app. This app concept was inspired by a problem my family encountered. My grandfather was in the hospital in California, and both of his sons, my uncle and my dad, lived out of state, so it was very hard to stay updated on his health condition. The app idea came to me when we were in the brainstorming process. An app like this would have made it much easier for them because the information would have reduced the stress of my dad and uncle. After we chose the idea, we had to write four paragraphs on the problem we were solving, the app concept itself, the uniqueness and the features. We also had to make a three-minute video about the app concept. On the morning of January 9, Ms.Wagstaff opened her computer and saw this email: “Congratulations! Our judges have chosen Hope, Love, Care as a Best in State winner for Washington in the Verizon Innovative Learning



app challenge! We received more than 1,800 app concept submissions in this highly competitive contest. You and your students should be proud of your hard work and innovation!” When she forwarded this to us and I saw it, words couldn’t and still can’t even begin to describe how happy and proud I felt. All of the hard work and effort we had put into creating the app concept had paid off. As a Best in State team, we won a $5,000 award for Annie Wright’s design program, along with a recognition plaque and banner for the school. Each team member also received a Verizon Ellipsis 10 tablet, t-shirt, cinch backpack, bumper sticker and certificate. We got a listing on the Verizon Innovative Learning app challenge website and eligibility to compete for the titles of Best in Region, Best in Nation and Fan Favorite. The way the next round worked was very complicated. Basically, our original submission was passed on to the regional judges. Unfortunately, we did not win that round. If we had, the judges would have talked to us and considered us for the national competition. If we had won that, we would have had our app made.

“The idea we agreed upon for our final product was called “Hope, Love, Care,” a simple communication tool to connect patients with their friends and family." The second part of the next round was a voting competition. This meant that people could vote for our app concept to win the fan favorite award. On January 16, the voting began. We had to get people to text ‘HOPE’ to 22333. This was not as easy as we had expected. We ended the competition with 1,046 votes. This was a great accomplishment for us, but we didn't receive enough votes to win the award. During the voting competition, there was an article about the app concept in The News Tribune, and Ms. Wagstaff went on the radio to talk about the app. We had the idea of reaching out to a celebrity to get us more votes. One of the celebrities was Ellen DeGeneres. Ranbir reached out to Courtney Garcia, a producer of The Ellen Show. She responded saying that she

“When she forwarded this to us and I saw it, words couldn’t and still can’t even begin describe how happy and proud I felt." would like to have a Skype conference. It was all very nerve-racking, but the call went well. Ms. Garcia was very friendly and seemed very interested in our app concept. About three weeks later, Ranbir received a call from another woman at Ellen. She wanted to know more about the app and the process. It gave us a sense of hope for getting on the show. We are still waiting, but keeping our fingers crossed! All of the support from the community has been overwhelming. We are where we are because of this support. My grandpa and the rest of my family are so proud of me and my team. We have created a memory that is unforgettable. Our team has already entered the competition for next year. I can’t wait to see where the rest of this journey will lead us.




UPPER School

Design perspectives inspire business students by Sandra Forero Bush, Girls’ Business & Entrepreneurship Director

Walking into The Hive ­­– the Rick and Susan Sontag Center for Collaborative Creativity – at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, CA, the four pioneering members of Annie Wright Upper School’s Girls’ Business & Entrepreneurship Program were met with a ceiling fan on a wall in front of them and a chair and table protruding from the opposite wall, among other odd objects. A brief explanation later, the odd scene became clear: this was a sideways room; lying on the ground with your hands by the chair would look like you were doing a handstand next to the chair, touching



the ceiling fan while raising a leg would mimic someone hanging from the ceiling with a foot on the wall, and poking your head through the door would make your head appear to be coming up from a trap door on the floor. This space is all about perspective. Taking a picture from the opposite side of the room and rotating it 90° would create a “right-side up” room where everyone could look “normal,” or walk on the ceiling or hang from the window sill at a gravity defying angle. This perspective-shifting experience neatly summarizes what the GB&E Program, designed to help coach

participants through their high school experience while encouraging them to hone their business skills, is hoping to accomplish. One important goal of the program is to get the girls to see “business” as a foundation to empower them to explore any potential outcome, not as a goal in and of itself. At the same time, through oneon-one interviews and planning sessions, and carefully curated travel experiences including our January trip to Los Angeles that included the above-mentioned visit to The Hive, the students have been able to explore their personal interests and – perhaps most importantly – have been able to safely question these goals. We want them to consider how their expectations manifest in “the real world” and engage with women practitioners, including alumnae, in various fields, as they explore opportunities and curate their personal paths. The design process is about breaking down large projects into smaller, more manageable, chunks. It is also about iteration: defining a problem, gathering information, developing ideas and solutions, and testing these ideas with an eye toward improving these designs. The 2017 cohort of the GB&E Program is living the design process as they explore their professional and

college goals. Personal interviews with women experts in their chosen fields led some of the students to reassess their plans; meeting with a young woman start-up CEO in the fashion tech field likewise resulted in some reassessment of goals. A college visit to USC converted a previously “never-USC” student into a believer, “safe” options began to give way to stretch goals, and previously unexplored outcomes became food for thought. As this year’s juniors begin the process of identifying subjects for their Extended Essays (an IB Diploma requirement involving selfdirected research and a 4,000- word paper), I was pleased to be able to work with GB&E students to help them hone in on a question that honored their interests and encouraged them to explore. It was fascinating and incredibly rewarding to see them work through the exploratory process, ranging from “no idea” to the desired “a-ha!” moment. As they each identified their ideal topic, struggled with “how does this fit” and, ultimately, recognized their ability to explore that interest through a business lens, I watched the picture shift 90°. Like the sideways room at The Hive, that perspective shift is what this process is all about.

y Sandra Forero Bush, Annie Wright Upper School’s Girls' Business & Entrepreneurship Director, joined Annie Wright Schools in 2010. After earning her BA in international relations and Portuguese and Brazilian studies from Brown University and her MA in international management and public policy from the University of California San Diego's School of Global Policy and Strategy, she worked for the Inter-American Dialogue, a US/Latin America non-profit in Washington, DC. She moved to Tacoma and worked for Russell Investments for a total of 16 years in several capacities, the last five years of which were during her tenure at AWS as part-time Business teacher. During this time, she also served as Chief Operating Officer of the World Trade Center Tacoma. Sandra enjoys the ability to bring her work experience into the classroom, giving life to the theories discussed in class and making the business world understandable and real for the students.



UPPER School

From THe ground up by Susan Bauska, Assistant Head of Schools and Director of the Upper School for Boys

In the best design projects, the needs and desires of end users receive extensive attention at each stage of the process. As a facilitator and advocate of Annie Wright’s increasing focus on the design cycle, I seized the opportunity for the inaugural classes of boys (our end users) to participate in the design and construction of their new boys’ Upper School building. And so was born the Architecture, Design and Government course which will serve, at least during the next two years, as the fine arts academic course for boys in Grades 9 and 10. Already the young men who plan to matriculate from Annie Wright’s Grade 8 to Grade 9 have met with a team of architects from the Mithun Company in Seattle to look over initial drawing proposals for the exterior



of the building. While more such meetings will occur with architects, city officials, engineers and carpenters (among others), the coursework will expand upon the design of the boys’ primary learning space to include a further array of perspectives, from the builder, the urban planner, the lawyer, the philosopher and even the burglar. Annie Wright Upper School boys will have the opportunity not only to leave their legacy in helping to create a building that will serve generations of future students, but also to actively practice the principles of design that now stretch from Preschool through Grade 12 at Annie Wright Schools.

y Susan Bauska, Assistant Head of Schools, joined Annie Wright Schools in 1990 and has served as English teacher, college counselor and director of Upper School. This fall she will be the inaugural director of the new Upper School for Boys. THE MAGAZINE OF ANNIE WRIGHT SCHOOLS


UPPER School

NATIONALsigningDAY Three Yellow Tie seniors, Courtney Cureton, Britnie Casillas and Virginia Miller, committed to college athletic programs in January.

by Katie Erickson, Class of 2017

Courtney Cureton committed to the

University of San Diego, where she will row in the fall. Courtney serves as captain of the Commencement Bay girls’ crew team, where she has rowed for all four years of high school. She currently holds the fastest 4K time on her team with a personal record of 2 minutes and .8 milliseconds. In addition, Courtney has participated in the Head of the Lake Regatta, where she took 3rd place in the varsity quad category. Apart from rowing, Courtney juggles additional athletic pursuits. She can deadlift 285 pounds for five reps and is currently determined to beat the Washington state teen female record, which is 303 pounds for one rep. She trains for a total of 21 hours each week for crew and deadlift. At Annie Wright, Courtney serves as ASB vice president and head of Honor Council. She is also the founder and president of the Black Awareness Club, an African-American culture club. In college, Courtney plans to major in sports marketing with a minor in ethnic studies, concentrating in African American studies.



Britnie Casillas has committed to the

Pitzer College class of 2021 and will play volleyball for the Pomona-Pitzer* team as a setter starting next fall. Britnie will be the first in her family to attend college. Britnie has been on Annie Wright’s varsity volleyball team all four years of high school, serving as co-captain for two of those years. With two league champion titles and two state appearances, she was named league MVP as well as all-league first team setter in both 2015 and 2016. Outside of Annie Wright, Britnie plays club volleyball and has been a team captain for seven years in a row, among four different teams. She has made three appearances at the USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championship. For all of her hard work on the court, Britnie has received numerous most inspirational and MVP awards. Off the court, Britnie has passions for photography and biology. She plans to study pre-med or double major in pre-med and business.

Virginia Miller

Vashon Island native committed to Stanford University, where she will throw the javelin for the track & field team in the fall. Virginia follows in her father Foss Miller’s footsteps, as he also threw javelin in the PAC-12 conference.

Coached by her father, Virginia received the silver medal at the AAU Junior Olympics in both 2015 and 2016. She has thrown the javelin since the ninth grade and has a personal record of 140 feet and 8 inches. Virginia, who has aspirations to attend business school and go to the Olympics, serves the Annie Wright community as ASB President and pursues other sports seriously, including horse jumping and rowing. As a show jumping competitor, she took 1st place at the $1,000 Open Jumper Classic Thunderbird Showpark. She has also been a lightweight rower for Vashon Rowing Club for all four years of high school, placed 8th in Youth Nationals in 2016, and was awarded performance of the year in 2014, 2015 and 2016. *Pitzer is a member of the Claremont college consortium comprising Pomona, Scripps, Claremont McKenna and Harvey Mudd. The five colleges are split into two separate sports teams: the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens and the ClaremontMudd-Scripps Athenas and Stags. Katie Erickson, the online editor-in-chief for Inkwell, Annie Wright Upper School’s student newspaper, will attend Scripps College this fall.

COME TO ! E M A G A Visit for a schedule of all Annie Wright Schools athletic competitions.






Annie Wright gave audiences the “old razzle dazzle” with the hit musical Chicago, bringing to life satirical shenanigans of the 1920s criminal underworld where ruthless murderesses sought stage stardom. Choreographer Kate Monthy ’99 returned to Annie Wright to collaborate with director Elizabeth Gettel. Inspired by the minimalist version currently on Broadway, the show featured an array of student talent as well as racy costumes, sparkling dance numbers and plenty of wicked humor. With book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander, and lyrics by Fred Ebb, Chicago was presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.



UPPER School

A leadership retreat for high school girls by Joe Romano, Library Media Specialist and Associate Director of the Girls’ Business & Entrepreneurship Program Look at leadership through the lens of a designer, and you will encounter so many opportunities to prototype and iterate yourself ideas based on your strengths while being mindful of the needs of the community you are set to help lead. Annie Wright’s Girls’ Business and Entrepreneurship Program is collaborating with the educational non-profit Leadership+Design for a week-long leadership retreat this summer for high school girls around the Puget Sound who are interested in developing a collection of habits, mindsets and techniques to put their superpowers at the service of a community they want to impact. Throughout the week, participants will learn the techniques and capabilities of the design thinking process as they work in groups to create a solution to a girls’ leadership issue they define as a team. They will connect with a group of mentor-leaders from our community, gain a greater understanding of the problems and opportunities of leadership, and ideate solutions together as they manage their unique role and gift to a group. Each attendee will also reflect on her own signature presence, articulating what makes her unique and how she might lean into those strengths to impact a group. Girls will also explore group dynamics and prototype acts of leaderships that respond to the needs of their teams.

Annie Wright is committed to the idea that leadership does not just appear in student council members or captains of teams. Instead, everyone holds her own unique powers to lead. By developing empathy for those we engage with, and by taking risks in how we respond to group needs, we can continually iterate our interactions with others, being responsive to those in our care. The week will feature improv activities, reflective conversations and hands-on workshops meant to practice the mindsets of leaders and designers. Everyone will leave the retreat more empowered and capable to lead, ready to immerse themselves in their schools and communities and to make the impact they envision for the world. Annie Wright’s Girls’ Business & Entrepreneurship Program director Sandra Bush and history and global politics teacher Katherine Everitt will facilitate the program, along with Leadership+Design’s Erin Cohn and Tara Jahn. SUPERGIRLS will run from July 31-August 5, with both residential and day options. If you know any high school SuperGirls who would love to connect with like-minded peers and mentors, share with them. We would be excited to see them on campus this summer.



Globetrotting For a Reason Helping families prepare students for a global society is at the core of Annie Wright’s mission. Intentionally designed programs that involve travel complement and bring alive the curriculum. Here are some recent examples… Cuba

Members of the Global Action/Model UN activity group traveled to Cuba, where they toured old Havana and the Museo de Revolucion, attended a performance of the Cuban national ballet, toured a tobacco farm and took a Flamenco course.

Washington, DC

Inkwell, the Upper School student newspaper, visited a number of news organizations including The Washington Post, The Washingtonian magazine, ABC and NPR. They also received a special after-hours tour of the Capitol from US congressman Derek Kilmer.

Costa Rica

Grade 8 students travel to Costa Rica for seven days to study the rainforest and explore a different biome, culture, government and language. This is the capstone trip to the Middle School Journeys program that takes students to California in Grade 6 and Arizona in Grade 7.


This year the Upper School added a partnership with the French high school Lycée La Mennais to its immersive foreign exchange opportunities. Annie Wright French students spent seven weeks going to school and staying with families in the fortified medieval town of Guérande in Brittany. Their exchange sisters came to Annie Wright for the months of April and May.







36 36


A TRADITION OF DESIGN Design has always been integral to the Annie Wright experience. The architecture firm Sutton & Whitney, which designed our current building, was responsible for many prominent buildings in North Tacoma, including the College of Puget Sound (now University of Puget Sound). Both buildings received Honor Awards from the American Institute of Architects. According to the Tacoma News Tribune, the committee commended both campuses: “It is quite refreshing to note the restraint observed in the design of these dignified groups of buildings,” they said. “The beauty of these designs depends largely in the composition of the masses, the scale, and grouping of the windows rather than in the elaboration of meaningless detail.” Just before the building opened in 1924, Bernice E. Newell wrote a description of the school in the Tacoma News Tribune that is still applicable today: “The great of cut ston brick structure with dormers, it e, its picturesque g its finish on all side s countless great wi ables and Puget Sound s that let in the ma ndows the Olympic , Mount Tacoma [Rain rvels of an uplift t s, to be an inspirat ier] and students, p o the family of teac ion and features an ossesses so many spl hers and for all its d such perfect appoi endid halls will needs that one visi ntments many deligh not suffice to compre t to its ts.” hend its




"The design process is challenging and stimulating and allows you to see the world in ways you may never have thought possible"

Strength: What inspired you to go into engineering?

EF: I was inspired by the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. I grew


David Schacher Photography LLC

Balance, creativity + solutions


with structural and civil engineer Erin (Fletcher) Slayton ’97



up in Port Orchard, and crossed the bridge every day to get to and from Annie Wright. At first, I was simply fascinated by the beautiful structure, and frustrated at the traffic that we sat in waiting to cross the bridge. In Mr. Timson's physics class, I learned about the original Tacoma Narrows Bridge, "Gallopin' Gertie," completed in 1940. I also learned about Gertie's magnificent collapse four months after she was completed. The failure of this bridge, right in our own backyard, played such an important role in our understanding of structural mechanics and the effects of wind on a structure.

Strength: How would you define design or design thinking as it relates to your work?

EF: I think that most people think of design as how

something looks. As a civil engineer, I think of design as how something functions. In reality, design is a combination of looks and functionality. It is really amazing to think of all of the considerations that go into design. Not only do I work with lots of other different types of engineers, but I also work with planners, biologists, environmental scientists, archaeologists, construction professionals, economists, and many other disciplines who have a stake in the ultimate design. Design is the ability to balance the factors at play, creating something that is functional, efficient, economical and pleasing to the eye, all while being good stewards of the environment.

Strength: How does design relate to the projects you have worked on, for example the monorail in Seattle and South Mountain Freeway in Arizona?

EF: Design is at the heart of everything we do. Often,

we will engage the public regarding various aspects of the visual considerations of design. After all, the work that we do is for the public. Design is very iterative, and it is a complex process. Each discipline within a project must continually work together so that the various elements of the design fit together. Even for a seemingly straightforward highway, for example, you will have different teams responsible for the pavement design, lighting design, signage, drainage, utilities, geotechnical components, structures and aesthetics. Each of these teams works on their individual aspect, but they must understand how their aspect of the design affects all of the other teams.

Strength: Why is it important for kids to learn about the design cycle/ process?

EF: The design process is where technical ability

and creativity come together. The design process is challenging and stimulating and allows you to see the world in ways you may never have thought possible. Best of's fun!

Strength: How did AWS inspire you to use design thinking?

EF: AWS inspired me by providing me tools to think

outside of the box. Whether it was in my math and science classes or in literature classes, I really had the opportunity to begin developing my analytical and problem-solving skills. In terms of design thinking, AWS helped me learn how to tell a story with my creations. I remember designing and sewing a kite, explaining American literature on a t-shirt and even crafting my own goddess. These and other activities helped show me that even though I may not be the best artist (and believe me, I was not), I could still approach each design as a problem to solve, using my creativity and analytical thinking as a guide.




Y A D Y A M union Re D N E K E E W

e 2-3, 2017. n u J d n e k e e w ion at May Day reun u o y g in 2 and 7, we in g e in e d s n e to s rd e a s s rw la c We look fo re e Upper School th r o n o h ni office if you a y m ll lu ia a c e e p th s t e c e ta w n e e co Whil to attend. Pleas i n m lu a ll a e g encoura lass reunion. c r u o y n la p to lping interested in he


May Day Checklist View our newly updated guide to area restaurants, museums, outdoor activities and more at Prepare for the Pacific Northwest elements: bring both umbrella and sunscreen! Show your love for Annie Wright by making a gift to the Annual Fund. Contact the alumni office for any assistance. We would love to hear from you.



Schedule of events Friday, June 2 1:30–3:15 pm May Day festivities on the front lawn 4:00 pm Campus Tour 5:00–7:00 pm Alumni Cocktail Party, $35 Saturday, June 3 9:30–10:30 am Chapel Service 10:30 am–12:00 pm Brunch and reunion class photos, $35

CAN'T MAKE IT? There are many ways to connect with the school. Visit Annie Wright to see IB learning in action (contact Jennifer Shafer at 253.284.8611 or to arrange a tour), host an alumni gathering in your home city or country, or share your recent news at


nifer Sha n e J t c ta n o c r /mayday o rg .o w .a w w w t a Register online fe a h s _ r e if n n or je at 253.284.8611




Class Notes

The Otter Mr. and Mrs. Olie Otter Had a little baby daughter. Fancy toys they often bought her, But she’d only frolic in the water. When she was six she started school; Lessons were taught in the backyard pool. She learned to submerge for hours in water most cool,


To use her mind, the invisible tool,

Olive (Bell) Reid ‘45

A talented child the daughter became

Olive was recently featured in The News Tribune as a member of the Active Older Adults group at the Tom Taylor Family YMCA in Gig Harbor. At 90 she is one of the older members of the group, which offers exercise classes and social gatherings. She credits these opportunities as important to her quality of life.


And at all times to follow the Golden Rule.

And many years she spent the same, Practicing water ballet, her favorite game. Then one day her lucky break, it came. For the aquarium she did audition Where she faced the fiercest competition, And performed the most difficult rendition For the members of the City Commission,

Shirley Anderson, PhD ’52

Who accepted her for the position. But she insisted her contract state (in fine print)

In December 2016 Shirley met with Christian Sullivan in her hometown of Philadelphia where she lives with her beloved dog, Gretchen. She shared some of her original poetry and agreed to have us publish this charmingly waggish poem. Shirley is looking forward to returning to Annie Wright this spring for May Day and her 65th reunion.

Her one condition.

In signing the contract they did not tarry And of the fine print they were not wary So they did not heed the message it did carry, And the city found numerous people it had to bury, While she became Aquatic Prima Ballerina Super

Extra Ordinary.

Her condition in the contract said for sure That people who buy coats of fur Shall be submerged along with her.

– Shirley P. Anderson Shirley Anderson visited with Head of Schools Christian Sullivan in Philadelphia.



1960s Catharine Talbot-Lawson '63 Never thought we'd leave Washington and all our family! We've been at Pebble Creek Resort in Goodyear, AZ, for a year and a half now and certainly don't miss the cold winters up north! Come summer, we escape for a short time, but there's so much to do here (especially pickleball), that we've acclimated well. We have numerous visitors and would be delighted to welcome any Annies who would like to come!

Marie (Dodge) Eaton, PhD ’64 I retired from teaching at Fairhaven College at Western Washington University, and the day after my retirement party took a job as the Director of the Palliative Care Institute at Western ( The Institute is part of a wider collaborative that is seeking to make our community a better place for people with serious illness or facing end of life. It focuses on improving training for providers and educating and activating our community to know their choices about care and to become better advocates for themselves, their loved ones and their community. Keeps me busy! Mary Ellen and I are also finding some time to travel to visit with friends and the five grandchildren.

Amy and Brett Maddox's beautiful baby girl, Grace.

Kate Monthy ’99 Kate is the development coordinator for Spaceworks Tacoma, which provides training and support for artists and creative entrepreneurs, as well as a dancer and dance teacher. She collaborated with Annie Wright music teacher Liz Gettel to choreograph the Grades 8-12 musical Chicago. See page 30 for photos of this extraordinary production.

2000s Tessa Taylor '03 A senior software engineer at Content Management Systems, Tessa published an article last fall about The New York Times Developers’ trip to the Grace Hopper Celebration, the world’s largest gathering of women in computing. Read it at

Nicole McClure '04 I am currently an employee of Dick Clark Productions, and a working film and television editor. I would be happy to talk to students via video chat about the film and television industry if that is their area of interest.

Marie (Dodge) Eaton’s new book, published last November, is available at

1990s Amy Condon ’98 Amy and her husband Bret Maddox welcomed a new addition to their family last fall. Grace Maddox was born on October 2, 2016 weighing 7lbs 3oz and was 19 inches long. Her parents look forward to having her be a future Annie!

Pioneering members of Annie Wright Upper School’s Girls’ Business & Entrepreneurship Program met with Nicole, second from left, at Dick Clark Productions last January. THE MAGAZINE OF ANNIE WRIGHT SCHOOLS


Adrienne Ottum ’04

Scarlett Tucker '08

I am engaged to Daniel Peterson, a PhD candidate at the University of Washington in their Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media department (also known as dXarts). We’ll wed in his aunt and uncle’s backyard in Bellevue, in a sunset ceremony surrounded by friends and family and end the night making s’mores around the fire pits, with glow sticks and a sparkler send-off! My son, Preston Black, attends AWS and adores Dan. Preston and I couldn’t be luckier to have such an amazing man in our lives. We look forward to starting a family together and remaining strong supporters of Annie Wright Schools.

Almost 22 years after this photo was taken on my first day at Annie Wright, I am excited to say that I'm only a few months away from graduating medical school and recently matched into a general surgery residency for my postdoctoral training. I cannot thank my peers and my teachers enough. The unique opportunities provided by Annie Wright played an enormous role in my education and the institution's encouragement for strong women and their accomplishments is a priceless foundation on which its alumnae can build their futures. Also, if any Annies are considering a career in medicine, I am more than happy to answer questions or help them out:

Adrienne Ottum ’04, with her fiance Daniel Peterson and son Preston Black, teaches Preschool at Annie Wright. Scarlett Tucker ’08 arrives for her first day of Annie Wright.

MaryAlice Parks ’04 In March ABC news correspondent MaryAlice ’04 rushed back from Capitol Hill, where she was covering the government’s new health care plan, to meet with six Annie Wright student journalists from Inkwell, who were visiting DC. She gave them a tour of the station and answered questions about her career and covering politics. MaryAlice spent nine months traveling with Bernie Sanders during his Presidential primary campaign.

2010s Leilei Wu ’13 Leilei was recently accepted into Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Master in Landscape Architecture program.

The pioneering members of the Upper School’s Girls’ Business & Entrepreneurship Program, Minyi Jiang, Serafina Xie, Keyariee Cooks-Nixon, Amy Hou, met with several alumnae during a trip to Los Angeles last January. Along with Nicole McClure ’04 of Dick Clark Productions, they met with Gabrielle Bates ’12, Global Securities Operations Associate at Capital Group, and Sara Pelster ’15 and Crystal Zheng ’16, college students at the University of Southern California. Business students met with University of Southern California students Sara Pelster '15 (3rd from right) and Crystal Zheng ‘16 (far right) in Los Angeles.




The Annie Wright Schools Parents’ Association chose to celebrate tradition and innovation this year by hosting a crab feed in place of the formal gala auction. The crab feed, a beloved tradition at Annie Wright for many years, was adapted into a live auction event complete with full crab dinner, festive games, spectacular live auction and hours of dancing to the popular Seattle party band Hit Explosion. The enormous success of this fundraiser and party was due to the hard work, creativity and vision of the AWSPA, as well as Visionary Sponsor Columbia Bank and all of the volunteers, donors and sponsors who stepped up to make a meaningful impact on the students and programs at Annie Wright. The 2017 Fund-A-Need similarly celebrated tradition and innovation by supporting the Lower and Middle Schools art room, one of the few spaces in our building that is still being used for its original purpose. These funds will provide the resources to restore the beautiful bones of this room while updating it with modern equipment, lighting and technical capabilities.

Annie Wright

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SAVE THE DATE Save the date for Annie Wright Schools' Beach Bash Family Night & Auction Friday, May 5, in the Bamford Commons. The evening will include dinner, silent auction and fun beach-themed kids activities!

827 N Tacoma Ave | | 253.272.2216 | THE MAGAZINE OF ANNIE WRIGHT SCHOOLS



In Memoriam Susanne (Fisher) Hubbach ’37 Susanne (Fisher) Hubbach died on January 5, 2017 on Mercer Island at almost 97 years old. Born in Seattle in 1920, she attended Annie Wright Seminary, which she loved and continued to support as an active alumna. She graduated as a dietician from the University of Washington, where she was in Gamma Phi Beta Sorority. In 1961, the family moved to Portland, Oregon, where she became very active with the Girl Scout Council. Sue and her husband William returned to Mercer Island in 1975, and she then dedicated her time and energy to the Seattle Opera. A generous patron of the arts and Annie Wright Schools, Susanne was awarded the 1999 Alumnae Achievement Award. She was predeceased by her husband, William Hubbach, Jr., and leaves behind a son, John Hubbach, and his wife Dana from Colorado, and a daughter, Carol (Hubbach) Fratt, and her husband Norbert Fratt, Jr. from Arizona, as well as four grandchildren and ten great granddaughters.

Bette-Jo (Simpson) Buhler ’38 Bette-Jo (Simpson) Buhler, 95, of Victoria, Texas, died on January 9, 2017. She was born on May 2, 1921 in Olympia and graduated from Annie Wright Seminary in 1938 and from the University of Washington in 1942. She married Frank Sibley Buhler, Jr. in 1942, and they moved to Victoria, Texas, in 1948. Bette-Jo played a major role in building a statewide Republican party in Texas and was active in national Republican politics throughout her life. In 2001, she was named Republican of the Year by the National Republican Congressional Committee. She was also active in a variety of other organizations, including the Junior League, schools and universities, youth organizations, healthcare organizations, performing arts organizations and the Episcopal church. Bette-Jo is preceded in death by her husband and by her brother, Jess Taylor Simpson. She is survived by her five children: Frank Sibley Buhler III, Leslee Kathryn "Honey" Alexander and her husband, the Honorable Lamar Alexander, Blanche Orbin "Bambi" Carter and her husband, Monty Carter, Jessica Weiland and her husband Cass Weiland, and Bruce Taylor Buhler, as well as 13 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.



Virginia (Baker) Woolf ‘36 Virginia (Baker) Woolf, who died on February 18 at the age of 98 in her home in Carlsborg, WA, attended Annie Wright 1925-32, then The Bush School and the University of Washington. At Annie Wright she was a page for May Day in the late 1920s and later served as the secretary of the Alumni Board for several years starting in the 1950s. She married William Bates Woolf in 1939 and lived in Lakewood and Eatonville, where she raised cattle and bred German shepherds. She was also an accomplished horsewoman and gardener and active member of the Episcopal Church. Virginia was preceded in death by her husband in 1991, as well as her son, John Woolf, half sister Bernice (Baker) Keys, and sisters Martha (Baker) Russell and Anne (Baker) Johnston. She is survived by her two children Viki (Woolf) Kocha ’61 of Port Angeles, WA and William Baker Woolf (Karen) of Nordland, WA, as well as several grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Dagmar “Dee” (Quevli) Knight ‘48 Dagmar “Dee” (Quevli) Knight died on March 28. After graduating from Annie Wright in 1948, she went to the University of Washington and pursued a career as a museum docent and librarian, earning the Alumni Achievement Award in 1986. Dee met her husband, Wayne, at an Annie Wright dance, and they were married in Annie Wright’s Raynor Chapel in 1952, where Wayne’s memorial service was held in 2010 and Dee’s was held in April. She was preceded in death by her son Rolf and survived by two other sons, Eric and Tor, and her niece Michelle (Perrow) Burkheimer ‘66.

Barbara (Lewis) Clarke ’50

Darlene (Gobel) Calleja ’69 Darlene (Gobel) Calleja died on December 9, 2016, in Tampa, Florida, after her third battle with cancer. Born on April 7, 1951, Darlene grew up in Seattle, and graduated from Annie Wright in 1969. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tampa and a master’s in rehabilitation and mental health counseling in 1983 from the University Of South Florida. She was a social worker at the Florida Department Of Children And Families and a mature adult counselor at the University Of South Florida Department Of Aging And Mental Health. She also maintained a private practice for many years in Tampa.

Barbara (Lewis) Clarke died on December 6, 2016. She was born on September 2, 1932 in Raymond, WA, and attended Annie Wright Seminary (where she was May Queen in 1950), Mount Vernon Jr. College and the University of Washington, where she studied early childhood education, joined Delta Gamma sorority and met her future husband of 60 years, John "Jack" Clarke. Their family lived in Seattle, Mercer Island, Bermuda, Ireland, Olympia and Lakewood. Known for her kindness, loving and giving nature, Barbara had many lifelong friends. She is preceded in death by her brother, Raymond "Buddy" Lewis, and sister, Shirley Lewis Lake. She is remembered by her husband, John M. Clarke; three children, Ray Clarke, Caroline Clarke and Jenifer Hartt; and five grandchildren.

Merlin Bernard-Toledano, former staff Merlin Bernard-Toledano, a longtime and beloved member of the security and maintenance team at Annie Wright Schools, died in Fife on November 25, 2016, at the age of 75. Merlin was born in 1940 in New Orleans, Louisiana, served in the Army 1966-70 and began his career at Annie Wright in 1982. He took seriously his place in an educational community and always put our students at the center of everything he did. He knew our girls and boys as individuals and evinced authentic joy in serving decades of Annie Wright students and faculty members. He was an active member of Seattle Iron Indians Motorcycle Club and loved to ride and work on his motorcycle well into his 70s. Some of these club members as well as family, friends, faculty, staff and alumni attended a beautiful celebration of his life hosted by the Heiss family in Annie Wright’s Great Hall on February 25. Please for a full obituary.





Grade 4 students worked throughout the year on the central idea that products evolve through design thinking. Along with robotics, students explored circuitry, electrics and mechanics in simple and complex machines. They also developed their own rubrics for self and peer assessments. THE MAGAZINE OF ANNIE WRIGHT SCHOOLS


ANNIE WRIGHT SCHOOLS ANNIE WRIGHT SCHOOLS 827 North Tacoma Avenue Tacoma, Washington, 98403

Profile for Annie Wright Schools

Strength | Spring 2017  

The Magazine of Annie Wright Schools

Strength | Spring 2017  

The Magazine of Annie Wright Schools