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...Students to Create a Better World

Designing Experience

The Eastside Preparatory School Magazine | Volume 3 | Issue 2

Eastside Preparatory School Magazine STAFF Editor-in-Chief

Vickie Baldwin

Cover photo: EPSummer students hiking to Costa Rican waterfall. Taken by Tobias Tillemans, Summer 2011.



Katherine Fugitt Senior Writer


Jeff Adair, Amis Balcomb, Vickie Baldwin, Daria Brandt, Paul David, Lauren Formo, Bekah Friedberg, Tina Hadden, Jameson Hall, Barbie Hull, Liz Hunt, Lizzie Krawczak, Jane Lin, Allison Luhrs, Nishad Mulye, Katia Nalimova, Kirsten Pike, Ana Safavi, Sammi Stimson, Tobias Tillemans, Sam Uzwack, Kip Wassink Copy Editors

Laurie Benaloh, PhD, Lauren Formo,Wendy Lawrence, Allison Luhrs, Karen Mills, Elena Olsen, PhD WEB EDITORS

Jonathan Briggs, Jennifer Cross


Terry Macaluso, PhD DEAN OF STUDENTS


Vickie Baldwin Director of Athletics



Jonathan Briggs ACADEMIC DEAN



Bart Gummere DIRECTOR OF Student SUPPORT Services


Sam Uzwack

2011–12 Board of Trustees Officers President

Byron Bishop Vice-President

Rob Short Secretary

Maureen O’Hara Treasurer

John Molloy Past-President

Janet Levinger Read INSPIRE online INSPIRE is published twice a year by Eastside Preparatory School and mailed to all current families, employees, and donors. To remove or change your mailing address, submit a letter to the editor, suggest a topic for an article, or to submit text or photographs for AlumNotes, contact ©2012 EASTSIDE PREPARATORY SCHOOL

Designing Experience

The concept of design thinking, not really the invention of any specific person or entity, can best be traced, in its contemporary form, back to the Stanford University We’ve had B-school for MBAs; now we have for… well, for anybody who thinks about how to think about finding solutions to serious human needs. Stanford gives us a useful rubric—which you’ll find explained in Jeff Adair’s article on page16. The “stages” in the design thinking process are empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test, and iterate. When you look at those words and think about what they mean—and about how ubiquitously present they are in the uniquely “human” things we do, it’s curious that we really have to call them out so deliberately. And that’s just the point… deliberation.

Think about a problem you’ve been trying to solve. Now, think about how you’re thinking about the problem—and redefine it. Consciousness of design thinking as a “method” produces better solutions precisely because there is clarity about what needs solving; design thinking enables us to recognize the difference between a symptom and a cause. The contribution of design thinking to education—to everything—is most profound in the articulation of the first stage—empathy. Read “The Kindness Project,” on page 8 to learn how deliberate it’s possible to be in developing empathy. Thinking about WHO will be served by the results of a “designed solution” is another way of understanding the role of empathy in the design process. The best example of “definition” in this issue of Inspire is in Bob Baldwin’s piece on the EPS Commons Project on page 6. A building is a solution to a problem. The critical part of the process that results in “the building we wanted” is clarity at the beginning about the problem being solved. The EPS Commons is solving three problems for EPS: Problem #1: The whole school needs to be able to gather in a single space. Problem #2: People need a place they can go throughout the day to study, to chat, to grab a snack, to debate existential questions. Problem #3: Performance is a major component of our program – we need a place to perform. Throughout this issue you’ll find examples of ideation, prototyping, testing, and iterative revision. Actually—throughout our program you’ll find the same thing. What we are designing is experience… experience for students, families, and our faculty. Read the articles written by our alumni—and have a look at the “Lifers” profiled on page 26. What you’ll see in those profiles is the design process in action. Each solution presenting yet another opportunity to empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test, and iterate. Welcome to our Design Process issue. We hope it motivates you to think more deliberately about how YOU think about solving serious problems, and how better solutions lead to better experiences.


Contents Spring 2012 Volume 3 Issue 2

Jeff Adair joined Eastside Prep in the fall of 2004, and quickly became a presence across many academic disciplines. He currently serves as the Dean of Students and teaches history. Marcie Catherine Bain is an EPS alumni and a member of the Class of 2011. Catherine (as she now likes to be called) is in her freshman year at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York where she is considering the many options available for her major. Bob Baldwin has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry. He first became involved at EPS while helping to value engineer the remodel of the AD and LC buildings. Bob is the development manager for the school and manages the building contractor through the pre-development and construction phases. Vickie Baldwin joined Eastside Prep as the Director of Institutional Advancement in 2011. Vickie also serves as Editor-in-Chief of Inspire and is the liaison to the Parent Association. Adrienne Behrmann joined Eastside Prep full time in 2007. She taught for seven years in public and private schools in Cape Town before immigrating to Toronto, Canada in 1990. After moving to Bellevue in 2005, she taught for several quarters at BCC before joining Eastside Prep to teach Math classes in the Upper School. Doug Blair, JD, has been at Eastside Prep since 2009. Doug is EPS’s Director of Athletics, teaches PE in both the Middle and Upper Schools, and has coached several of the school’s athletic teams.

Growth by Design 2 TEDxEastsidePrep 4 Campus Update 6 Kindness Project 8 Visual Arts 10 Talk Back 13 Middle School Laptops 14 Experiential Education 16 Guided Study Hall 18 What’s in That Locker? 20

Jonathan Briggs joined the Eastside Prep faculty in June of 2005, after spending the previous four years teaching math and physics, chairing the Upper School science and math departments, and coaching volleyball and golf at the Bentley School in California. Jonathan is the Technology Director at Eastside Prep.

Community Events 22

Jess Claesson joined Eastside Prep in the fall of 2010. She came to EPS with a varied background with experience in acting, communication, and research. Jess earned her Masters in Social Work from USC and currently teaches Upper School Guided Study Hall.

EPS “Lifers” 26

Matt Delaney joined the faculty of Eastside Prep in August of 2007. He spent the previous seven years teaching history, political science, English, and media studies. Matt presently teaches history and social sciences in the Upper School in addition to being the Academic Dean for Eastside Prep. Bart Gummere joined Eastside Prep in the summer of 2006. His 27-year experience in the education field has allowed him to assume a variety of roles—math teacher, baseball coach, college admissions officer, College Counseling Director, Upper School Assistant Head. Bart is Eastside Prep’s Upper School Head and college counselor. Wendy Lawrence was one of the four founding faculty at Eastside Prep. She started as a science teacher and, 3 years after, she became the head of the Middle School. Wendy lives with her husband and two sons in Nashville and blogs at

EPS Athletics 24 Trustee Profiles 28 Outdoor Club Adventures 29 A Well-Designed Game 32 Student Essay 33 New Employees 34 Guess Whose Desk Results 35 Student of the Month 36

Terry Macaluso, PhD, has been a division head and a head of school in four independent day schools, including Lakeside School in Seattle, over a 35-year career. In 2002, she guided the Founding Board of Trustees from the earliest discussions about the school that eventually became Eastside Preparatory School, and was appointed Head of School in spring 2004.

Guess Whose Summer Plans 37

Kelly Moore, PhD, joined Eastside Prep in 2009 as the school’s first Director of Counseling and Learning Resources. She has worked with adolescents and families for almost 20 years in schools, in-patient psychiatric hospitals, and most recently in private practice. Kelly is currently the Director of Student Support Services.

Resident Thinker 39

Sam Uzwack joined Eastside Prep in July 2009. For the prior seven years, he taught 7th grade humanities at The Northwest School in Seattle, where he also co-coordinated the Outdoor Program, served as chair of the Professional Development Committee, and coached soccer and Ultimate Frisbee. Sam is Eastside Prep’s Middle School Head and an Outdoor Club Advisor.

Visiting Thinker 38 EPS Facilities Team 40 Alum Notes 42 Calendar of Events 44

Growth by Design By Terry Macaluso, PhD, Head of School


he idea of designing the school population, i.e., students and faculty, sounds a little bit exalted, but that’s what we do in schools. It all starts with the mission. Fairly quickly, though, some set of “implied” values begins to emerge in the existing population that subtly influences the decisions about who is admitted or hired next. Perhaps it’s more accurate to refer to the organic design of the school population. Over the past several years Eastside Prep has developed a population designed around three key ideas. First, we endorse the principle that “one begins where one is,” whether we’re talking about people or facilities. Our campus has evolved remarkably over time, but that evolution began and remains true to a philosophy of conservation and a commitment to exceptional value. Our resources

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are stewarded extremely carefully, our “footprint” remains modest, and our intent is to continue to use existing facilities rather than duplicating those to which we have access in the community. In the classroom, we start with students wherever they are. Every step they take is progress. Every accomplishment is a benefit of faculty guidance and student effort—merged and synchronous. Second, we believe that self-advocacy is a quintessential quality in designing a meaningful life. From Middle School through the senior year, we aim to empower students to speak for themselves, to ask for what they need, and to initiate communication with faculty, who are poised to respond. Students are the designers of their lives—from very early on. At EPS we make it a goal to develop insightful self-awareness and personal confidence. EPS Students, 2003–04.

EPS Students, 2010–11.

By Billy Collins

EPS courtyard and sport court.

Third, as we design our community, we have in mind these principles: 1. Exposure to different ways of thinking, learning, and communicating is a value. So—we need an array of thinkers, learners, and communicators. 2. Regular experience with ideas and activities that are either unfamiliar or particularly challenging is healthy. So—we need a curriculum that allows us to create the kinds of experiences and opportunities that stretch students “just enough.” 3. Pedagogical practice must be designed with the first two points in mind, i.e., faculty have to be able to engage every kind of learner and they have to know their students well enough to be able to identify what constitutes “just enough” for each individual.

I pour a coating of salt on the table and make a circle in it with my finger. This is the cycle of life I say to no one. This is the wheel of fortune, the Arctic Circle. This is the ring of Kerry and the white rose of Tralee I say to the ghosts of my family, the dead fathers, the aunt who drowned, my unborn brothers and sisters, my unborn children. This is the sun with its glittering spokes and the bitter moon. This is the absolute circle of geometry I say to the crack in the wall, to the birds who cross the window. This is the wheel I just invented to roll through the rest of my life I say touching my finger to my tongue. Billy Collins, “Design” from The Art of Drowning. Copyright © 1995 by Billy Collins. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Reprinted with the permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press. 

Finally, to articulate the imagination and creativity it takes to engage in designing….anything, and to illustrate the three key ideas, a poem by Billy Collins. Peter and Sarah (both ‘12) collaborate.


EPS started in one building, the current Middle School.

Current Middle School building and school busses.

Spring 2012 – 3

By Jonathan Briggs, Director of Technology Almost a year ago, Eastside Prep hosted our first TEDxEastsidePrep event in the Black Box Theatre. The theme was Evolution of Instruction: Inquiry, Innovation, Identity and we had six speakers deliver intriguing presentations. Those talks were also posted to YouTube ( and collectively have received over 21,000 views. We are excited to do it again in 2012. This year, TEDxEastsidePrep will be on May 18th with the theme of Evolution of Instruction: Designing Experience and we have six excellent speakers lined up. We are headed off campus this year to Central Cinema in Seattle which is shaping up to be an great venue. These new talks will be posted at in early June.

TEDxEastsidePrep 2012 Speaker Lineup

Dylan Arena

Chief Learning Officer, Kidapt Dylan Arena is a learning scientist with a background in cognitive science, philosophy, and statistics. His primary research focus is game-based learning, but he has also worked on issues related to next-generation assessment. He is co-founder and Chief Learning Officer of Kidapt, a new company whose mission is to use tablet technology, exceptional storytelling, and adaptive gameplay to transform the way children learn. Arena has earned a BS in Symbolic Systems, an MA in Philosophy, an MS in Statistics, and a PhD in Learning Sciences and Technology Design, all from Stanford University. Before returning to grad school, he spent three years at Oracle as a software developer. He is a MacArthur Emerging Scholar in Digital Media and Learning, a Science and Technology Fellow for the

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Gordon Commission on the Future of Assessment in Education, and a Gerald J. Lieberman Fellow; he has also been a FrameWorks Fellow, a Stanford Graduate Fellow in Science and Engineering, and a United States Presidential Scholar. Outside of work, Arena is a mediocre but enthusiastic player of rugby and roleplaying games, an avid CrossFitter, and a proud father.

Mike Dillon

President, Dillon Works! Inc. Mike Dillon’s background spans over three decades of experience in custom design and fabrication, including nearly five years at Disney as an Imagineer. Along with working in film and television, he also worked in advertising at Nordstrom, and designed and built mechanical animated window displays for major department stores in New York City. Dillon Works! was founded over 25 years ago, and now occupies its own custom-built 3.9 million square inch fabrication facility just north of Seattle. Beginning with mainly building props and sets, Dillon Works’ capabilities have evolved, supporting collaboration in larger, turnkey projects around the world. You can find their work all over the United States and in Portugal, Russia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Guadalajara, Kuwait, the UAE, Macau, International Waters, and even Canada. You can see more at

TEDxEastsidePrep 2012 is May 18. For the latest information or to watch videos from the 2011 talks, please visit The 2012 talks will be available in early June.

print/digital and interactive/environmental, helping the firm create great interactive experiences that transcend the limitations of any one medium.

Emer Dooley

Professor, University of Washington Emer Dooley serves as adjunct faculty in technology strategy, entrepreneurship, and venture capital in the Business School and the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington. She also works with the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), involving students in all aspects of company creation, technology commercialization and investment. She’s most proud of having won the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award. She is passionate about early-stage companies and raised and runs a small ($4.5 million) early-stage technology investment fund in conjunction with the Alliance of Angels. She is a board member for the Washington Research Foundation, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Julep, a Seattle startup. Emer has a BSc and MEng from the University of Limerick in Ireland, and an MBA and PhD from the University of Washington. She likes to do anything outdoors, and to subject her two girls (11 and 13) to bizarre travel adventures, usually involving marathons in strange places.

Sasha Pasulka

VP Marketing, Salad Labs Sasha Pasulka is the Vice President of Marketing at Salad Labs, a social games company based in Seattle. She began her career as a software engineer, building mission systems software for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. She left to start a celebrity gossip blog, which grew into an international media company with over 13M monthly readers. She exited that business in 2010 and decided to try the other side of publishing, managing digital strategy for Duran Duran, Incubus, Linkin Park, and other rock-star creative brands at the Red Magnet Media agency in San Francisco. Now at Salad Labs, she’s focused on improving the way people acquire information. She’s also a Startup Weekend global facilitator, encouraging budding entrepreneurs all over the world to kick-start their ideas. Pasulka has a BS in computer science from Arizona State University and an MBA from UCLA Anderson. She’s been published in the Washington Post, The New York Observer, The Guardian, Gawker, and Jezebel, and has appeared on CNN and the CBC. You can follow her on Twitter @sashrocks.

Jamie Monberg

Chief Experience Officer, Hornall Anderson Jamie Monberg is Chief Experience Officer at Hornall Anderson, where he quietly (and not so quietly) espouses the belief that defining interactive solely in terms of “digital” technology is an outdated way of thinking. Monberg cut his teeth in Redmond, where he worked in interactive product development and advanced research, winning several technology patents, serving as a consultant for numerous startups, and guiding the successful launch of (a.k.a. CitySearch 1.0). Since joining Hornall Anderson in 2005, Monberg’s focus has been on dissolving the dividing lines of

Scott H. Young

Blogger, Author Scott Young is currently pursuing a degree in computer science via MIT’s OpenCourseWare. He’s doing it all online and in 12 months instead of the usual 48. Among his many projects, he is investigating the future of education and learning by making himself a guinea pig. Young takes his experiences and puts them into books and software aimed at helping people get more out of life. He blogs at 

Spring 2012 – 5

Design: the Bridge Between Vision and Reality

ten buildings in an existing office park that remains the school’s home today. Over the ensuing few years, the school has had explosive growth from sixteen students in its first year to 270 in 2012; just keeping up with the growth has become timeconsuming for the staff and the Board. Now as the school turns the corner from infancy to adolescence, it is clearly time to shape the campus and grounds with the same care that is given each student and prepare for the demands of a maturing and thriving school.

By Bob Baldwin, Owner’s Representative for the EPS Commons Project


en years ago a group of parents, educators, and business people gathered to cast the vision for what became Eastside Prep. This remarkable group defined the need for a school on the Eastside that now rivals the established institutions in the region. They envisioned a school that would be conveniently located and have room to grow. The school was to be a true college preparatory school with state of the art facilities, leadership from academic powerhouses, an intimate environment with low teacher/ student ratios, and support staff unparalleled in the region.

Confident—but with a strong sense of fiscal responsibility—the founding Board identified a prime Kirkland location and eventually acquired

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Faced with this great opportunity, the question of how to transform a 1980’s office park into a state of the art college preparatory campus comes to the forefront.

Step One: Understanding Connectivity Connecting a series of intentionally disconnected buildings is a big task. The office park was clearly designed for folks to stay in one place (and probably eat lunch at their desks) but as office park transforms to campus, walkways, green space, outdoor gathering spots, benches, gardens, accessibility, and safety all become a growing concern. How do we ensure that our students can comfortably move from class to class in five short minutes? How do we make the day’s experience more pleasant and how do we incorporate aesthetics into the design in ways that inspire the imagination? The crown jewel of the campus— The Commons—is under way. To be completed in the summer of 2012, the EPS Commons will be the centerpiece for social interaction. The cafeteria, study hall, outdoor patios, and assembly space all marry nicely with an expanded performing arts facility. This multi-purpose facility will convert from a commons area to a 300-seat theatre and back again as needed. Band, orchestra, and choir classrooms, private practice rooms, theatre classroom spaces, office space, a set shop, and a black box stage round out the design program. Converting an existing one-story office building into a two-story multi-purpose

EPS Campus Master Plan.

space will completely change the look and feel of the space. This hub for gathering will anchor the first stage of the new campus design.

Step Two: Study how the school “lives”… The design process for the EPS campus plan builds nicely upon the vision already cast and in motion. The Master Plan envisions connectivity and pocket/ small group gathering places. EPS is a comfortable and intimate learning environment and its facilities will reflect this way of life. Rather than inventing space for the students, the design incorporates the way the students already live, play, and study into its fabric. Student and faculty input continually feeds the design team and technicians.

Step Three: Conceptualize, test, then design some more…

EPS Commons entrance.

“EPS is a comfortable and intimate learning environment and its facilities will reflect this way of life.”

The dreams and patterns are all thrown on the table. Architects, designers, estimators, contractors, and staff members assemble to invent, critique, and compromise. After all, the tension of design is always constrained by countless challenges: budget, building codes, physical limitations, conflicting expert analysis, and public opinion are just a few. The melding of these ideas, inventions, and constraints is what leads to conceptual design.

this process is called value engineering. This is a painstaking process of cost estimating and testing that picks apart the invention and measures the design against the dream budget or the available funds. This iterative process continues throughout the design development. In some cases it continues during the construction phase as well.

Step Four: Value Engineering

Step Five: Build and Design some more

Regardless of the budget, any conceptual design needs to be “spanked.” The design vernacular for

Construction is underway and most of the major design work for The Commons is behind us. Design lives on throughout the construction stage as the construction team attempts to turn the “invention” into reality and breathe life into these new buildings. As we move from macro to micro, the design process continues and we refine the spaces and move toward completion. Construction is scheduled to be finished in June with a fully operational facility in time for the start of the 2012–13 school year.  EPS Commons theatre space. All illustrations by Anita Lehmann.

Spring 2012 – 7

The Kindness Project By Kelly Moore, PhD, Director of Student Support Services


indness is emerging as a theme this year at EPS. Often considered a “soft skill,” kindness gets relegated to something we teach after we have taught the solid, more substantial academic skills. The field of positive psychology teaches us otherwise,

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” -Mark Twain however. According to researchers in this newest field of psychology, attributes and skills of kindness, gratitude and generosity are the building blocks of happiness, well-being, and engagement (Seligman, 2003). Happiness, well-being, and engagement in turn are the prerequisites for learning. An open, happy, engaged mind is a mind that is ripe for participating in all that is required to be successful in school (and life). In fact, these attributes correlate with success in life more than the usual suspects such as grades, GPA, and IQ. That is why we have spent time this year focusing on kindness—by both hosting the film Finding Kind and through our February celebration of Kindness Month.

the norm across our country. Produced by two college students, Lauren Parsekian and Molly Stroud, this film has started a movement called the Kind Campaign, and has made its way across our country. With the help of 20 Eastside Prep student and faculty volunteers, Kirkland Performance Center was nearly full with 360 people in attendance. As intended, this was truly a community event with about 65% of the attendees coming from outside of EPS. During the event, Eastside Prep presented the film and followed with a Q&A session led by EPS’s Student Body President Brynn Walund and Vice President Jeanine Reina. Brynn and Jeanine led the audience members in a reflection of the film and a discussion of what we can all do as individuals and as a community to end the negative girl interactions and culture that exists in our country. Three EPS teachers facilitated a call to action by asking participants to fill out three cards used nationwide in the Kind Campaign: The Kind Card: to communicate a specific kind message to someone of their choice The Apology Card: to apologize to a person for an action or verbal exchange that they regret The Pledge Card: to pledge how they plan to make our world more kind

Lastly, the audience members were given a chance to publicly pledge their commitments written on their last card, and we had over 40 students walk In September we hosted a screening of Finding Kind, up to the microphone and read their pledges to a film that addresses the topic of girl bullying and the resounding applause. It was a night of tears, hugs, negative peer culture that has unfortunately become communication, hope, and commitment to make the world we live in a kinder place.

Finding Kind

Pay it Forward The month of February was deemed Kindness Month at EPS, which we celebrated in many ways. The first was by launching a “pay it forward” kindness project. Each student was given four “Kind Cards” and then asked to do something kind for someone. Instead of getting paid back, the student would give out a “Kind Card” and ask the person to pay it forward. Each card has a unique serial number which we can later track to

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Image © Finding Kind, used with permission.

see what acts of kindness the card has accomplished and how far reaching its effect.

Random Acts of Kindness On our website,, we have asked students, faculty and parents to document random acts of kindness they see or experience in their lives. Asking students to look for kindness triggers the second key to happiness, the expression of gratitude (Seligman, 2003). So far we have had entries from students, faculty, and a tutor. A fifth grade boy wrote; “My friend held the door open for me and it felt really good because I had a lot of stuff in my hands. He was so kind.” A faculty member wrote, “Today, I watched a 6th grade student clean out another student’s locker because she wanted to help her friend out. It was so kind and thoughtful!” And an Upper School student told of coming to the aid of a police officer who took a spill on his motorcycle. After pulling the “bike” off the officer and helping him to his feet, the student had the presence of mind to hand the officer a Kind Card.

Finding Kind showing at the Kirkland Performance Center. member of the advisory and it also allows them to get positive feedback about themselves.

Many people ask how I am able to get up in front of teenagers and talk about things like kindness and gratitude, despite eye rolling and elbow nudging. I do it for the same reason I ask my son to eat vegetables, despite his moaning, groaning, and sometimes gagging. I know it is good for him. I know it will help him grow up happy and strong. My goal is not to force it down his throat, but to keep presenting it to him over and over again with the confidence that if it appears on his plate enough times, he will recognize vegetables as a normal part of eating. So too it is with kindness. Some kids Kind Notes never used their Kind Cards and some kids asked for more. Either way, they are being taught by the Instead of traditional Valentine’s Day cards, we decided adults in their life that kindness matters—and that to ask each Middle School student to write Kind like vegetables, it will nourish them in ways not Notes in advisory. Each student writes something kind, obvious at first glance. Plus, it just feels good and I a compliment, an appreciation—something special think we could all use more of that.  about each of his or her fellow advisory mates. This serves two purposes: it allows students the opportunity to think about what they appreciate about each


Seligman, MEP. (2003) “Positive psychology: Fundamental assumptions.” Psychologist. Seligman, MEP. (2003) Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment. New York: Free Press/Simon and Schuster. For more information about Finding Kind and the Kind Campaign, please go to:

Dr. Moore presents The Kindness Project to students.

Spring 2012 – 9

Bird watercolor by Katie (’14).

Designing Experience in the Visual Arts By Wendy Lawrence, Founding Faculty and former Middle School Head


he wide variety of visual arts courses at EPS is designed to get anyone hooked on art. “All of the classes are designed to provide fun art experiences and to enable students to realize that anyone can be creative and develop art skills,” says Amis Balcomb, who's been teaching arts here since 2005. In the Middle School, students are introduced to basic drawing and painting, graphic design, and filmmaking skills. Upper School intermediate and advanced classes allow students to fine tune these skills even further. And then there are the mixed media classes, which Balcomb describes as “just flat out fun.”

Balcomb's love of the arts is evident in her passionate descriptions of her class projects, in the time and care she puts into designing her courses and curriculum, and in the spontaneity she encourages in her classroom. “It is always interesting to see how my instructions are interpreted and how each student discovers ways to work with an idea using the specific tools and materials assigned to produce an artwork. Students always come up with new ideas and ways of using materials, which is the inherent collaborative nature of working in the arts. We learn from each other.”

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Ayush (’18) works on an abstract painting.

Skull drawing by Jamin (’17).

Seona (’18) concentrates on tracing a 3-dimensional object. Ethan (’18) works on a calligraphy quote.

A project inspired by Australian aboriginal art by Leah (’18). Balcomb has led the development of the visual arts program at Eastside Prep, designing and teaching courses with tools as diverse as paintbrushes, pencils, cameras, and computers. But when she's asked what students gain from the arts, skills with these tools is only part of the answer. Balcomb's students also learn “how to generate ideas.” She also adds that generating ideas gives kids “an automatic drive and curiosity to figure out how to make that idea take shape.” She also wants her students to build skills—and that's where the paint brushes and computers come in—and the two goals complement each other. “Often ideas evolve because of the activity of learning a skill. You can see what is possible by using the materials. Learning any art process builds skills and widens the playing field for visual ideas in any discipline to develop.”

Claire (’17) and Kaylee (’16) at work on their painted hand and vine projects. By helping students gain skills and generate ideas, the visual arts curriculum complements and strengthens the rest of the EPS program. Balcomb is often working and integrating with other teachers. She says “the arts can provide a wonderful conduit for disciplines to connect. There is an infinite array of things to do.”

“Students always come up with new ideas and ways of using materials, which is the inherent collaborative nature of working in the arts. We learn from each other.” Spring 2012 – 11

Dog portrait by Derek (’13). Brian (’14) contemplates his dog portrait.

Visual art students also gain a “confidence in their When you ask Balcomb to pick her favorite class to ability to make something they are proud of ” that teach, she exclaims over the impossibility of the task. later develops into “the ability to tell visual stories,” “I've had students tell me that they've discovered says Balcomb. In the process of turning an idea into that every project is my favorite. I have always a 2- or 3-dimensional form, “they develop hand-eye enjoyed floating from one medium to another. I coordination, fine motor skills, and the ability to never get tired of any of it. Each trimester recharges have x-ray vision and see the basic shapes underlying the creative engines.” every object. They learn about the different properties of materials and what the materials can do Balcomb, whose parents met in art school and or can’t do. Perhaps the grandest experience gained earned their living in the arts, has always been is the ability to problem solve. Anyone working in around art, and always been involved in multiple visual art learns to see, think, and apply ideas from artistic disciplines. She says clay and photography a visual arts vantage point that has the ability to were her first loves; she was working in her father's crossover into any topic they desire.” darkroom when she was only eight years old. Today, as Balcomb designs her classes, a lot of time and thought goes into every lesson. She makes sure to choose projects at which a novice can succeed and also from which the experienced artist can learn. She even enlists help from friends and family members, whom she asks to do a project first so she can witness their process. When a project is something she's done many times before though, she can have fun winging it. “Great things can take place with controlled spontaneity.” 

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Tomato still-life by Alex (’12).

By Vickie Baldwin, Director of Institutional Advancement


or our second “Talk Back” feature, we hope you’ll be able to answer these fun EPS-themed questions. Go to to see if you can correctly answer these questions:

1. In which building were we located during our first school year? a. Current Middle School building b. Current Upper School building c. Current cafeteria building d. Former TCU (future site of The Commons) 2. How many students did we have our first year (in all grades)? a. 24 b. 16 c. 32 d. 10 3. Which of these faculty/staff members were here our first year? a. Ms. Hadden b. Mr. Claesson and Ms. Behrmann c. Ms. Fox and Mr. Delaney d. Ms. Mills


ast fall’s “Talk Back” asked these questions (correct answers are circled):

1. The Eastside Prep faculty comes from how many different countries? a. 2 b. 3 c. 5 d. 10 2. How many all school service days do EPS students participate in each year? a. 12 b. 3 c. 4 d. 6

4. How many students have graduated from EPS so far? a. 46 b. 84 c. 103 d. 32 5. In what school year did we graduate 4 students, enroll over 157 students for the first time and receive our PNAIS accreditation? a. 2011–12 b. 2009–10 c. 2006–07 d. 2005–06 6. What year did Edgar the Eagle first appear? a. 2011–12 b. 2010–11 c. 2008–09 d. 2007–08 7. What were the first two grades started at EPS? a. 5th and 8th b. 6th and 7th

3. Which of these plays has not been performed by EPS thespians? a. Little Shop of Horrors b. You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown c. My Fair Lady d. Hair 4. Approximately how large is the total “space under roof ” on the EPS campus? a. 129,000 square feet b. 47,000 square feet c. 96,000 square feet d. 28,000 square feet 5. Which of these is not a country visited by students on the EPSummer Program? a. England

c. 9th and 12th d. 8th and 10th 8. Which of the following current faculty/staff member has been at EPS the longest? a. Mr. Adair b. Mr. Gummere c. Dr. Dartt d. Ms. Pike 9. During what school year did EPS first reach 200 students? a. 2008–09 b. 2006–07 c. 2010–11 d. 2007–08 10. Which current/former faculty member is also a founding Board member? a. Ms. Friel b. Dr. Benaloh c. Mr. Sanderson d. Ms. Lawrence

b. Ecuador c. Scotland d. Costa Rica 6. Approximately what percentage of students participate in Eastside Prep sports each year? a. Under 10% b. About 50% c. About 70% d. About 90% 7. What was the total number of dollars EPS raised in the 2010–11 annual fund? a. $355,000 b. $700,000 c. $850,000 d. $1.1mm

Spring 2012 – 13

Digging into the Details:

The Middle School Laptop Program By Jonathan Briggs, Director of Technology, and Sam Uzwack, Middle School Head


ith the announcement last fall that the Middle School was implementing a laptop program, the real work was set to begin: What device should we use? What practices should be consistent from class to class? We are now well along in the Middle School laptop implementation

“Nearly every assignment we issue in school is really aimed at honing a higher-level thought process.” process, having spent the last few months determining which tablet we’ll use, when we can make use of the machine in and out of class, and perhaps most importantly, when we will choose not to use the machine. The plan we are crafting is quite detailed and spans multiple facets of a student’s experience. No matter how much planning we do, there will be unanticipated challenges along the way. However, we are confident that no matter the challenge, we will be prepared to respond. Middle School students at work in the computer lab.

Some key guidelines have begun to emerge from our discussions that we are excited to share with you. Back to basics—Nearly every assignment we issue in school is really aimed at honing a higher-level thought process. When we ask students to draw what they see in a microscope, the goal is often not to work on drawing skills, the goal might be to have them discern details or identify organelles. If it is, perhaps taking a picture of the microscope, loading it into their computer, and identifying the actual components would be more effective. Or perhaps the goal is, in fact, effective sketching, in which case we would probably not use the computer at all. Having a new tool for the classroom forces us to take a fresh look at all our assignments. 1:1—Just because everyone in the class has a computer doesn’t mean everyone in the class should be using a computer. Often when assigning group work, we inform each group that there should be one note taker. This tends to reduce interruptions and add focus to discussions, since it is important for that one person to be able to capture all of the ideas. We often forget this trick in a room full of laptops. A group of four students should only have one or two laptops open, one for taking notes or doing the project and perhaps a second for side research in support of the project. As a bonus, those notes can now be easily distributed among the group members. Yes, this is more work—While we see huge advantages with this resource being available to our students (otherwise we wouldn’t have taken this on), we absolutely acknowledge that this will be more work for the teachers, including rethinking assignments throughout the year, and new classroom management dynamics. We are always impressed with the willingness and enthusiasm of our faculty to take on new challenges. Organization is the big win—Even if a laptop is never opened in a classroom, our students will realize significant gains from their laptops being an organizational hub. Combined with EPSnet calendars,

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Anna, Mimy, and Phoebe (all ‘16) work together in the computer lab.

drop boxes, and email, we are giving our Middle School students more sophisticated tools to manage their work. Furthermore, we are training them on tools that will be far more similar to the tools they ultimately use in Upper School, college, and work. School serves to teach students about their world today and, insofar as it’s possible, about the world in which they will grow up. Historically, schools were the places we all went to find knowledge. Schools had the greatest access to information, and the most powerful tools with which to gain that access. At home we had bookshelves and crayons. At school we had libraries and science labs.

The dynamic is very different today. When our students look back at the first time they wrote a blog post, the first time they printed something in 3D, and the place where they learned how to use the internet for enrichment instead of just entertainment, we want them to remember Eastside Prep. 

Jessica, Laura, Emily, and Leah (all ‘18) discuss an aboriginal mask.

It used to be the same way with computers: moving the Logo turtle, finding Carmen San Diego, hunting deer along the Oregon Trail, and ultimately learning to program in BASIC was all that happened in Middle School for our generation. For many of us, our first time on the web was through a school computer and our first email account was the one given to us by our college.

Spring 2012 – 15

Sixth graders with a stack of blankets they made for the Humane Society.

Designing the Experience: Experiential Education By Jeff Adair, Dean of Students, and Matt Delaney, Academic Dean


t Eastside Prep, we are never satisfied with the standard teacher-driven model of education (education 1.0). From our inception, we have provided our students with tangible and authentic learning opportunities to ensure that education is a collaborative and experiential process. To this end, we engage in cooperative teacher-student learning (education 2.0) and work to incorporate studentdirected learning experiences (education 3.0). The new Experiential Education Program is a bold step in that direction.

Tenth graders prepare food for the homeless at Operation Sack Lunch. are not interchangeable. The concept of learning through experience is universal. To put it simply, as a curricular philosophy, experiential education takes students out of their “comfort zones” and places them in “real world” scenarios for authentic retention and reflection on lessons learned. At EPS, experiential learning is based on the application of design thinking. “Design” refers to a plan or convention for the construction of a product or system. “Design thinking” is the mindset necessary to actualize one’s product or system. Whether the product is digital, physical, or experiential, the thinking process is the same. To borrow from the Stanford Design School, design thinking is a mindset that prompts people to empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test, and iterate. For the inquisitive student, “design thinking” is not merely a means to an end but a valuable learning experience in and of itself. 7th graders work the dirt at Oxbow Organic Farm.

Trevor and Kathleen (’14), along with Edgar the Eagle, promote their cause. While experiential education is relatively new as a curricular philosophy, it is not a novel concept. One could argue that experiential learning is the most basic form of learning. Through experience, children learn that stoves are hot, and young cooks learn that while salt and sugar look alike, they

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With the marriage of experiential education and design thinking, students don’t just churn out superficial products but rather engage with real people and real issues in an attempt to make an impact on the community. Teachers, as guides on the side, allow students to own every aspect of their project, to make and correct their own mistakes, to organize every detail from transportation to presentation. Whether lofty or mundane, each task has an integral learning component. With this approach, students learn that failure is not the opposite of success. Rather, failure is an opportunity for ideation and improvement. One of the 10th grade Experiential Education projects is a fine example of this process. Students began the year with an empty canvas. The goal was to design a product or system that makes our community a better place. To identify a need, students engaged in empathetic brainstorming and discovered that a staggering number of young people (1,320 ages 18–21 in the 2010 census) live on the streets of Seattle, many of whom lack the basic necessities to survive. Our students applied the design model to define the problem, ideate possible outcomes, prototype a teen homelessness awareness and support campaign partnering with Quality Food Center (QFC), and completed a test of their design with a benefit concert, “Youth Artists in the Round,” in March. Each grade level uses the same design process to address different needs in our community.

Jamin, Jeremy, and Nathan (’17) “Fill the Bus” with food donations. Whether it is the focus on organic food or the construction of a power-generating windmill, EPS Experiential Education projects reflect design thinking at its best. With an understanding of design thinking, students are equipped with the mental tools to address problems and issues in their academic lives and beyond. 

Noah and Stuart (both ‘19) with four-legged friend Holly, at Horse Haven.

Why Design? Life is about designing solutions to problems—both little and big. We embrace the design process because it applies both inside and outside of the classroom. Design thinking stresses that your first idea is usually not your best idea, and that you need to be disciplined in your thinking to find the best possible solution. In our Experiential Education program, academic classrooms, and extracurricular activities, EPS students internalize the design process by employing it themselves. As a result they become more self-directed, more autonomous, and more empathetic. They are already working towards designing a better world. Spring 2012 – 17

Designing Unique Learning Solutions By Jess Claesson, Learning Support Specialist


ypically used in designing classroom-based activities asking the student to explore external issues or concepts, the design process is easily translatable to the Guided Study Hall (GSH) classroom to help us explore learning challenges. Using a design process can provide a framework for us to build empathy for the student, define “the target,” and create strategies to address targeted issues and, ideally, help the student perform better in school.

Establish Empathy One of the first steps in the design process is establishing empathy. In GSH we do this by gathering information from the student, parents,

“Every solution is as unique as the student’s needs.”

and teachers, learning about students’ likes and dislikes, and creating a safe space to share their challenges. This helps us gain insight into what it is like for a student to experience school with a learning difficulty such as executive functioning gaps, dyslexia, dysgraphia, or ADHD. Some students come to Eastside Preparatory School having been judged or put down previously for their challenges. So, for some students and families, EPS is the first time that they feel comfortable sharing their struggles and how their learning challenges affect them. This is why creating a trusting and empathic environment cannot be rushed; taking time to really understand a student’s perspective is priceless. These actions go a long way toward building a relationship in which students feel that they can genuinely explore their learning needs and try new strategies. During this stage it is also important to encourage students to build empathy for themselves. Often, students come into GSH with the perception that they are poor students, lazy, stupid, or dumb. Exploring their learning difficulties can help students normalize their experience and begin to define their struggle as a “problem to be solved” rather than as a personal “flaw.”

Define the Challenge Defining the learning challenge helps establish a framework to begin identifying strategies that will help mitigate the problem. This can be a very vulnerable time for students as they explore possibilities, so having the foundation of an empathic relationship can help students feel more at ease when taking an objective look at how the learning struggles hinder their work, affect their relationships (at home and school), and influence their behavior. Once we gather sufficient information, we select a problem area to focus on, such as forgetting to turn in work, becoming an active reader, or having trouble putting words to paper when writing. For

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Jess Claesson in Orust, Sweden.

instance, one student may find it difficult to write papers because he/she is unable to translate the words from thought to paper, while another could struggle with the organizational skills needed to create a finished product. Every solution is as unique as the student’s needs.

Brainstorm Solutions The “brainstorming” stage provides an opportunity to consider a variety of potential solutions. As a result, creativity and acceptance of ideas is stressed during the ideation stage as we work together to come up with as many approaches as possible. EPS’s Learning Support Team: Kelly Moore, PhD, Jess Claesson, Mike Anderson, and David Ostrer. Examples include dictating papers, setting strict time limits or breaking down assignments, and creating a more thorough outline procedure for Test paper writing. Empathy also remains essential, as students (and families) have often been coping During the testing process we try some of the with the struggles created by learning difficulties strategies identified during the prototyping stage. We for a long time. Fostering a creative, empathic look at each strategy to test how well it addresses the relationship can maintain openness to “out of the learning need and rely on input from the student as box” ideas, help to identify students’ expectations, well as the teachers and parents to assess its success. facilitate exploration of existing strengths to bolster We support the student as he/she begins the process skills, and reduce the impulse to focus on what of implementing these strategies. As students begin doesn’t work. Ideally, at the end of this stage we will to test new approaches to learning and evaluate the have identified several strategies that we would like positives and negatives, we continue to emphasize to try in addressing the learning need. their input and experience. The GSH learning specialist helps in this process to maintain objectivity Try Strategies and restructure strategies so that the student can rely on a technique that will be helpful throughout the Prototyping describes the process of defining and student’s educational career.  refining strategies to address learning needs. For this reason, along with empathy, we work to instill the idea of mastery and flow. When a student is in flow, work appears to take less effort and failure provides an opportunity to refine a strategy, not an opportunity to tell the student that he/she is doing something wrong. Students already use a similar process to play video games. They often spend hours working to master a level that demands a honed set of skills without judging themselves for failing to do so. Instead, they observe the process, learn from their defeat, and continue to fail until they succeed. This concept can be difficult to apply to school, where students are often allowed only one opportunity to pass a subject or demonstrate knowledge. In GSH we take a “mastery” approach so that every attempt to address the learning difficulty is a method for learning, not an opportunity for the student to be self-critical.

“In GSH we [establish empathy] by gathering information from the student, parents, and teachers, learning about students’ likes and dislikes, and creating a safe space to share their challenges.”

Spring 2012 – 19

What’s in That locker? E

ver wonder what students store in their school lockers? We had the opportunity to take a peek into two, and here’s what we found…

Emma’s locker - Index cards. Notes “From my friend -Andre.” - Magnetic note pad “Just for fun to have reminders and notes for my friends to write on it. Also super cute.”

Assorted lotions “For -sharing with friends.” - Paper “Just for school.” Roll magnets -“A Tootsie cute addition to the decorations, and to hold important papers.”

Books “Just for -school!!!” - Pencils.

Racoon “A Christmas gift and locker mascot.”

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Beads “Part of my birthday locker - Sticky notes “Great for notes AND -decorations (now I keep them in my decorating my locker.” locker for fun.” Magnetic container “To keep - Magnetic mirror “Been part of all of my white board markers and hold my locker decorating collection for many years! Use it every year in my locker.”

things such as bobby pins, cell phone, makeup, etc.”

Nathan’s locker shorts “Meant to go in my Monster “Is actually empty and I -PE Gym locker.” use it sometimes, just to mix powder drink with water, or just have water in it.” Sea salt chips “For something to -munch on when I get hungry.” Glue gun “The glue gun is Esther’s.” Camera tripod “Belongs to Esther; letting her store something in there.” “I use them for band -sinceDrumsticks I play the snare and base drum.” Keyboard “As a backup if my keyboard breaks.” Music “Pieces for snare and base -drum.” - Mrs. Fields cookie box “Does not hold cookies, it actually holds Magic - Roller blades “To make my trip the Gathering trading cards that I do to the gas station faster.” not want.” Wrist guards. Tea “I have it there, if I want hot tea, when I bring in one of those coffee - Tupperware “Not mine, it is cup things.” Esther’s. I let her store her lunch in my locker.” Spring 2012 – 21

EPS Community Events By Vickie Baldwin, Director of Institutional Advancement

Olivia (’17) shows fine form.

Fall Drake, Jacob, and Neil (all ’18) both frighten and amaze. Halloween Bowling—What could be more fun than combining costumes and bowling? Many of our students couldn’t think of a thing! Over 130 students and their parents participated in this fall’s Halloween Bowling event at Tech City Bowling, and they clearly had a great time!

Katherine and Ryan Kearny.

Fall Harvest—The EPS community welcomed the new school year with the Fall Harvest Event hosted by the Parents Association. Over 150 new and returning parents, along with faculty and staff members, enjoyed a fun evening at the Bellevue Club. Thanks to the many members of the PA, led by Diane Najm and Desiree Eden, who helped coordinate this great evening!

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PA President Anne Corley, PA PresidentElect Desiree Eden, and PA Secretary Lisa Brashem.

Grace (’17) reveals her inner goth.

Teacher Cascade Lineback, PA Secretary Lisa Brashem, and staff member Jane Lin.

Dress Like a Teacher/Student Day—This year EPS’s traditional Spirit Week included teachers dressing like students and students dressing like teachers.

Winter Rabbi Ted Falcon, Pastor Don Mackenzie, and Imam Jamal Rahman in the BBT.

They could be twins! Victor (‘18) and Mr. Claesson are a very dapper duo.

The Interfaith Amigos—Rabbi Ted Falcon, Pastor Don Mackenzie, and Imam Jamal Rahman brought their unique blend of spiritual wisdom and humor to EPS in December. The group was welcomed to Eastside Prep by Mr. Hagen’s 8th grade Historical Thinking 3 class and all EPS students and faculty/staff were invited to hear them speak. “Snowmageddon”—The campus was quiet and peaceful during a very snowy week in January.

Eve (‘12) finds some inner peace while channeling Dr. Moore.

Alice Ryan, Sona Mulye, and Vandana Chalana prepare the Valentine’s Day feast.

Faculty/Staff Appreciation—Each year the families of EPS show their appreciation for faculty and staff. This year, special lunches have been provided on several days (including each Wednesday in March), and a feast of sweets was provided on Valentine’s Day.

Lauren (’18) and Ms. Dodd provide some spring color last fall.

Kathleen (’14) and Will (’15) in Almost, Maine.

Jordan and Marta (both ’14) perform in Almost, Maine. Theatre—The Upper School students presented the play Almost, Maine for three performances in – 23 Spring 2012 February.

Miguel (’17) takes aim.

EPS Athletics: Teamwork by Design By Doug Blair, JD, Director of Athletics


lose your eyes and flash back to any given fall day after school at Eastside Prep. What you will see is a blur of cleats, balls, busses, coaches, and athletes heading off to assorted practices and contests. On many days in the fall of 2011, this controlled chaos meant that nearly one third of the entire student body was simultaneously participating in the spectrum of athletic offerings.

As with any budding program, ensuring sufficient participation had been an issue in past years. Worrying about numbers is no longer a concern as the culture and excitement surrounding Eastside Prep athletics has been established. This allowed the creation of new programs including our undefeated Middle School Soccer Team and very competitive Upper School Boys Ultimate Frisbee squad. In addition, the burgeoning numbers have meant more consistent additions of junior varsity teams. This allows for greater participation and levels of competition best suited for each individual athlete. Nowhere is the increased participation better exemplified than by the thirty boys who turned out for Middle School Basketball. This stability at the Middle School level is vital for skill development and sustainability of our Upper School programs.

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Ms. Pike keeps watch over the Crew Team.

Of course none of this could have been successful without the commitment of our student athletes and the leadership of our coaches including new faculty Eric Claesson (MS Basketball), Tobias Tillemans (Soccer), and Kip Wassink (US Basketball). So what is ahead for Eastside Prep athletics? Sending athletes to college teams? State championships? We have already done those things in track and field, but we do have some exciting developments for next year. The game scheduling process is already in motion for Upper School Girls Basketball. This is the latest in a string of program additions, and further evidence of the strength of our Middle School programs. The most sweeping change is that Eastside Prep has been accepted into Upper School volleyballers rocking their striped socks and teamwork at the annual Student/Faculty game.

Ultimate Frisbee action. the Emerald City League for the 2012–13 year. This means competing at the 1A level which brings exciting opportunities to create healthy new rivalries with Annie Wright, Bush, Forest Ridge, Northwest, Overlake, Seattle Academy, and University Prep, all of which make up the current Emerald City League membership. While we intend to maintain some of our traditional rivalries on a non-league basis, the Emerald City League offers a collection of schools which are more closely tied to Eastside Prep both geographically and philosophically. So much has been accomplished this year, and we are still looking forward to an exciting spring season. Our Eagle players and coaches appreciate all of the support from our fans, and we look forward to seeing you on a sideline soon!  A crew member makes a splash at the end of the day. Middle School Basketball Team gets wild and crazy.

Spring 2012 – 25

EPS “Lifers” By Wendy Lawrence, Founding Faculty and former Middle School Head


o be an EPS lifer is to have grown along with the school. These busy seniors reflect on their past seven years. To celebrate the diversity and inclusiveness of the school—something that each of them mentioned—we are including the three words each student used to describe him- or herself along with his or her reflections on EPS.

Alex Copeland

entertainer, logical, imaginative Alex liked Eastside Prep immediately, finding that “everyone was friendly, the teachers weren't distant, and everything felt like part of a greater whole.” Commenting on his own growth, Alex says, “I am

“I am certainly more sure of myself as a person. I’m not as shy, and I feel like I’m more willing to actually learn for the sake of learning.”

curriculars I was really involved in were the Dungeons and Dragons Club and the Tennis Team. I skipped the one dance we had. Nowadays, I'm involved in a show whenever we have one, the Thespians, and Inclusivity, and I try to never miss a dance—they're too much fun!” Outside of school, Amelia is involved in more theatre and takes dance, voice, and audition classes. One of her favorite memories was a science class that was taught in complete silence—and with the teacher dressed as a ninja!

Cameron Greenberg

creative, competitive, empathetic Cameron remembers his first year fondly, from the Ancient Egypt simulation to the class sailing trip. He's grown since then. “I've gotten more confident socially.” Cameron says, “Although I've always only had a small group of extremely close friends, I realized the other day that I have a decent-sized conversation or two with 95% of my class every day.” In his free time, Cameron is editing his novel and working with friends to design a video game. After EPS, he wants to study creative writing and play tennis. One of his favorite memories was when his 8th grade class tried to pull a prank: “While our teacher stood facing the board, one student pulled out an orange and began to eat it, directly violating the rule of no food in the science room. Then someone else pulled out an orange. Soon, everyone was snacking on an orange. Grinning, we stared at his back, waiting. Our teacher turned around, his face expressionless. In his hand was an orange, with one very large bite out of it.”

certainly more sure of myself as a person. I'm not as shy, and I feel like I'm more willing to actually learn for the sake of learning.” Alex is on the Crew Team and plans to pursue the arts after college. He remembers the days before the sport court when his entire class would go out to the parking lot and play Lizzie Krawczak creative, curious, driven capture the flag during lunch. Lizzie still remembers being nervous on her first day of 6th grade, but she's now excited for college Nick Demmert and she credits EPS with helping her become so smart, active, funny Nick describes Eastside Prep as “intuitive” and “easy- confident. Lizzie is a student ambassador, varsity volleyball player, and photographer. She's still close going.” Thinking back to his first year, Nick most with the same friends she met in the 6th grade and appreciated the one-on-one work he did with his teachers. “It was new and refreshing to have teachers loves that the school has a collaborative rather than a competitive atmosphere. She likes the school's care for you as an individual.” Now as a senior, he sense of humor as well: Lizzie is still planning enjoys “the ability to look back on all the years I’ve revenge on the Upper School Head, who plotted been here and see others living through it.” with the admissions director of Colby College to tell Lizzie that her only chance at an interview was Amelia Durham positive, busy, bubbly From sixth grade to today, Amelia's involvement in EPS has grown. “My first year, I think the only extra-

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“It was new and refreshing to have teachers care for you as an individual.”

“I love how our class has bonded.... [E]veryone is free to be themselves here, and I have always loved that. I think it is really a defining characteristic of our school and I hope it never changes.” during the very competitive student vs. faculty volleyball game. Lizzie plans to study neuroscience.

Sarah Krawczak

dedicated, adaptable, compassionate Sarah remembers getting to know her classmates at her first sixth-grade overnight. “I love how our class has bonded.” She says that “everyone is free to be themselves here, and I have always loved that. I think it is really a defining characteristic of our school and I hope it never changes.” Sarah plays volleyball, is a member of the Outdoor, Climbing, and Trail Running Clubs, and volunteers as a study buddy and student ambassador. In college, Sarah plans to study medicine, Spanish, and creative writing, and wants to study abroad and continue working with kids.

This school is just awesome. I am going to miss it very, very much.” Anya wants to pursue a career in the biotech or medical fields.

Sarah Lynne Poole

artistic, caring, passionate Sarah remembers the day when the students, parents, and board members “all got together and spray painted folding chairs. Everyone was excited and eager to help. You could feel the sense of community even before the school started.” Sarah says, “We have grown so much, it’s unbelievable. From the first year my mother and a few other individuals embarked on their crazy adventure of starting a school we have added some six or so buildings and over 150 more students! The one thing that hasn’t changed is the ‘vibe.’ It started out as open, friendly and unique as it is today.” Sarah loves to paint and volunteer with kids. Recently, she has been excitedly opening college acceptance letters. 

Peter Lewis

pensive, level-headed, cynical Peter remembers the sixth grade overnight when “I spent pretty much the whole time annoying Alex C, and from that, a beautiful friendship/rivalry was born.” Peter participates in the instrumental music group and he plays piano “a lot.” “I've been doing that for ten years, so that's a big activity for me.” Peter plans to pursue a degree in the sciences and wants to “do something that actually benefits society.”

Anya Logan

precise, perfectionist, crazy When asked to describe EPS in three words, Anya had this to say: “Best. School. Ever.” When she started, Anya appreciated the structure and supportive environment. Now as a senior, she is enjoying her free time and her senior project. She's a member of the Inclusivity Club and spends her free time writing. She says, “Last March, when I came out of the closet, I got swarmed with people who wanted to hug me, and I have not once faced a homophobic remark from any of my fellow EPSers.

“We have grown so much, it’s unbelievable.”

The “lifers” of the Class of 2012: Anya, Nick, Sarah Lynne, Cameron, Lizzie, Alex, Amelia, Peter, and Sarah.

Spring 2012 – 27

Trustee Profiles By Wendy Lawrence, Founding Faculty and former Middle School Head

Randy Reina

Randy Reina, PhD, has served on the Eastside Prep board for two years and currently chairs the Committee on Trustees. Reina brings experience from a variety of school perspectives. He has taught grade levels from kindergarten to graduate school and also worked as the Director of Technology and Curriculum at a public school. Currently, he runs two software development groups at McGraw-Hill, producing instructional software and services for the K–12 market. Reina found EPS while researching school opportunities for his oldest daughter: he wanted a challenging academic environment that offered leadership opportunities. Now both daughters (Jeanine, a senior, and Kathleen, a sophomore) attend. He enjoys his time on the board, getting to look out over the next few years and plan the future. “Eastside has had a tremendous start, and there is a great deal of enthusiasm for the upcoming plans,” he says. “Most obvious, of course, is the capital campaign to remodel the buildings.”

Randy Reina

Janelle Durham

Janelle Durham has been an EPS trustee for nine years and served on the school’s Accreditation Committee. Durham is a social worker, health educator, and author who initially began her career with people facing chronic or terminal illnesses, but switched to working with pregnant women and new parents when her daughter Amelia was born. Durham also has a background in developing learner-based curricula. She joined the school in its

Andrew Lewis

Andrew Lewis has served on the board for six years. He is the former vice-president of the board and former chair of the Institutional Advancement Committee. Lewis retired from Immunex Corporation in 2002, where he held roles in research, administration, product development, and project management. He has always enjoyed new, small Andrew Lewis ventures and when his son Peter, now a graduating Senior, joined the school, he jumped in with offers to help. “My interest was in building the school to where it is now,” says Lewis. “When I’m done at the end of this year, I know that EPS is in great hands with an active, committed board and great professional leadership as well as fabulous teachers.”

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Janelle Durham

nascent stages when her oldest daughter was still in the fourth grade. “I’m quite proud of how far we’ve come and how the school has fulfilled its initial vision,” she says. Durham is looking forward to The Commons building and theatre space, but says she is “most intrigued by curriculum—what goes on within our classrooms, and the day-to-day of life on campus.” She spends a lot of time with her family at the theatre and movies and is definitely kept busy by her one-year-old, Benjamin, who is “innovating wisely and unwisely every day.” 

Let’s Head to the Woods…with the EPS Outdoor Club By Sam Uzwack, Middle School Head and Outdoor Club Advisor


s another gust of wind pummeled the evergreens sheltering us, steam escaped from two pots of noodles perched on a flat, granite boulder. The clouds spat rain as the light faded from the sky, and just as the pasta was about to be served, a discovery was made.

“Where’s the Alfredo sauce?” Backpacks were upended, tents scoured, but alas, no sauce. Just a whole lot of plain spaghetti. “Let’s just use the Parmesan…what else do we really need?” And so it went…lightly-cheesed plain noodles, rain coming down, night falling, and ten EPS students and faculty circled around a makeshift dining-room table, laughing uproariously about the situation, with not a negative comment expressed, as we basked in the warm feeling that comes from the camaraderie of the woods. Our backpacking trip to Lake Colchuck is just one example of the expanded offerings available to students through the EPS Outdoor Club. So far this year, in addition to the Colchuk overnight, we have hiked to the rocky, exposed summit of Mt. Dickerman and mountain-biked the trails of St. Edward State Park near Kirkland. We also have an overnight planned to Vantage to rock climb, a snowshoeing and snowcamping trip to the high country in May, and a couple more mountain bike outings in the works.

2012 – 29 Outdoor Club members rest for a moment atSpring Mt. Dickerman.

(Clockwise from top left) Outdoor Club members at Lake Colchuck. Ms. Pike and Mr. Uzwack in the Glacier Peak Wilderness. Ben (’11) and Andrea (’14) in the Glacier Peak wilderness. Kieran (’14) enjoys a meal in the Glacier Peak Wilderness. Background photo: Glacier Peak Wilderness.

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So why does EPS offer these experiences? There are many answers. One reason is to offer students the opportunity to leave the urban environment behind for places where humans are visitors, rather than residents. The trips are also opportunities to learn new skills, be they technical skills such as belaying a climber, lighting a stove, or hopping your bike over a stout log, or leadership skills such as consensusbuilding, problem-solving, and trip planning. At the heart of these outings is this: students are tested in ways not possible in the classroom. The wilderness is the perfect laboratory to test one’s ability to plan, work together, and overcome challenges. Finally, it is the goal of the Outdoor Club to put students on a lifelong path of wilderness exploration; skills developed on these outings can lead to many years of outdoor enjoyment. What’s next for the Outdoor Club? A wider variety of outings (i.e. kayaking, geocaching, and road

“At the heart of these outings is this: students are tested in ways not possible in the classroom. The wilderness is the perfect laboratory to test one’s ability to plan, work together, and overcome challenge.” biking), as well as longer and more involved outings during EPSummer, and perhaps, one day, during Spring Break. In the meantime, we will continue to offer trips that take advantage of our beautiful region, and encourage any student who has the slightest inclination to explore the outdoors to sign up for a trip. Current EPS students interested in learning more should contact Outdoor Club Advisors Sam Uzwack or Kirsten Pike. 

The Outdoor Club strikes a pose at Mt. Dickerman.

Spring 2012 – 31

What Does Design Mean to You? by Ayush, Class of 2018


hat does the concept of “design” mean? It seems like just an ordinary word at first glance, yet this idea of “design” is so vast. Most dictionary definitions Laura and Ayush (’18) work the Marshmallow Challenge. have the words “pattern,” or “sketch,” or other things along those lines. But what does design mean to me? A design doesn’t have to mean a plan, or a sketch. It can tall tower out of spaghetti sticks and a marshmallow. just be as simple as an inkling of an idea. Then, you design a way to make the tower stand up straight. And finally, you design a way to make that tower stand still without any support from anything. “A design defines the boundaries of the ideas we work on.

It lays down the foundation of where to begin our work.”

So now that we know a tiny bit about this notion of design, how does it affect us in our daily life? What does the concept of design do for us? The first thing that probably comes to mind is a blueprint, and that is a true and hard use of design. But then I realized that we use design every day in life. For example, in Scientific Thinking, we use this to “design” a hypothesis, or “design” a procedure. We also use design outside of school, like when the Basketball Team designs plays to score on the opponent. Another example is the Marshmallow Challenge we completed on our grade-level trips at the beginning of the year. First, you design a way to make a very

Ayush (’18) making blankets for the Humane Society.

32 – Inspire

I also used design to create a fun game in Kodu Game Lab for my Spanish class. First I used design to write the story for my game. Then I constructed the setting around that story. I followed that up with writing the code for the game. I then wrote the dialogue, in Spanish, for the characters in my game. Having a design to start with really helped me make a game that had a nice flow. It made it easier for me to revise the game by cutting out parts that disrupted the story line. We use design every day in life, for all sorts of things, big and small. A design defines the boundaries of the ideas we work on. It lays down the foundation of where to begin our work. Without design to guide us, we would be wasting a lot of time and energy working on a project. So when someone says the word design, ask yourself: what does design mean to you? 

EPS Student Design Perspectives

Screenshot of w prototype.

A Well-Designed Game By Cameron Greenberg and Alex Copeland, Class of 2012


s our senior project, four artists, four designers, one web designer, and one programmer have been working on the creation of a computer game called “w.” We are now in the groundwork phase, designing the game’s mechanics such as combat, user interface, and basic landscapes. We have tried to design mechanics that separate w from typical online multiplayer games; especially among games where combat is a focus. Our game is intended for personal servers where people can play with a large group of friends, and maintains a balance between the feel of a single-player tactical role playing game and a large multiplayer game. For example, most games geared toward a large number of people employ the usage of “instances.” This means that when a player fights a “boss-level” monster, he or she is fighting only one of thousands of copies of the same monster, so the game won’t run out of enemies. Our game avoids this pitfall by infinitely expanding its world. As players explore, terrain is generated, with more enemies, and more towns. When a player kills a boss in w, the cave where it lived is boarded up, and a sign pops up outside attributing the kill to that player. Players also affect the world by their reactions to random occurrences. For instance, a goblin army could attack a town, and the player could help them loot it or try to stop them, which will influence the town’s fate when other players encounter it. Another uncommon design aspect for w is the combat. We have found this to be the most difficult so far, as balancing the numbers to favor neither close combat characters nor those who attack from a distance, hasn’t been easy. Each player controls a group of four characters that each have access to a variety of skills. Most games are either real-time or turn-based, however w uses real-time movement in exploration, and then turn-based combat. The turns are short, only a few seconds to command characters to attack or move. A final step we took to separate this game from other multiplayer games is that it doesn’t depend

Eastside Prep was founded on the belief that interdisciplinary learning is vital. As part of our Experiential Education program, each senior designs his or her own independent project. This project allows students to combine their learning in many different subjects in any manner they choose. Students are given relatively few directions. Most central they are told to “do something that you love doing so much it will distract you from the rest of your classes.” - Bart Gummere, Upper School Head

on leveling up through quests. You don’t need to do tasks for the NPC’s (non player characters) to get experience; instead you can gain it from exploration, fighting, representing factions, and more. While the design team has been chugging through combat and unique mechanics, our art team has also been hard at work. The first big task was basic terrain, such as grass, dirt, or water. The map is configured from small hexagons, so we needed to create a hexagon for every type of terrain, as well as for each sub-type. With every combination of hex needed, this came out to more than 60 hexes for each type of terrain. After the basic terrain, our next task was the menu. Creating every different popup that can appear and every button that the player can press. Once we started further imagining the game world, the design team sent the art team ideas and descriptions for races and locations in order to get an idea of what things should look like. Currently, the artists are creating “sprites,” so when the player makes a move, there is a corresponding animation that relates to walking, fighting, or changing direction. In a 2D game like w, this is created with a series of images much like a flip book, so whenever the player decides to move to the right, the game picks the “moving right” flip book and plays it. We continue to work hard on w. When it’s complete, we hope you have a chance to play it!  Game designers Cameron and Alex (’12).

Spring 2012 – 33

New Employees By Wendy Lawrence, Founding Faculty and former Middle School Head

David Ostrer David Ostrer is the new Learning Support Specialist at Eastside Prep. In that role, he provides academic coaching, coordinates the Learning Support program, and manages student accommodation plans. David has worked for 15 years as a classroom teacher in Shoreline, teaching everything from math and science to the humanities and special education. He spent the past two years as the Academic Coach at Eastside Catholic. Ostrer has a BA in Special Stacie Siegfried Education and Elementary Education from Central Washington University and an MA in Educational Stacie Siegfried Technology from City University. He’s currently finishing up the coursework for a second MA in Stacie Siegfried joined EPS as the Admissions and Educational Leadership. Marketing Administrative Assistant. “Everyone is so welcoming,” Siegfried says. Joining the school in David likens joining Eastside Prep in the middle the peak of the admissions season, Stacie “hit the of the year to trying to drink from a fire hose. He pavement running,” saying she was supported and loves the fantastic students at EPS and enjoys encouraged by her fellow staff. She loves the fast “collaborating with my colleagues, parents, and the pace of the job, meeting all of the new families and students to help ensure their academic success.” students, and being involved with such an energized environment. David lives with his family on Queen Anne. When he’s not busy with the “fire hose” of Eastside Prep— Stacie is not new to being busy: she holds two or pursuing yet another degree!—he can be found degrees, one in English from the University of cheering on the Seahawks and the Sounders with Washington and a second degree in Digital Video his two sons, ages 8 and 11. Production from Bellevue College. While at school, she worked in the college television station on various productions including It’s Your City, Bellevue College’s version of Evening Magazine, and Coffee and Conversation. Stacie has been a videographer for ten years and a photographer for thirty. She also loves the needle arts, gardening, and any time she can spend outside, whether she is hiking, salmon-fishing, bird-hunting, or just taking her RV to some great wineries. Stacie has two daughters, one who graduated from the University of Washington and one who just joined Washington State University as a freshman. She lives on five acres in Maple Valley with her husband, three dogs, two cats, and a goldfish. 

34 – Inspire

David Ostrer


Dr. Elena Olsen

Guess Whose D e s k .. .


The Answer s



Ms. Jess Mabe

Mr. Matt Delaney

Ms. Katie Dodd



1 Mr. Jack Nolan


Mr. Michael Cruz


Mr. Matthew Kruse

Mr. Bart Gummere

3 Ms. Jessica Heaton

Mr. Sam Uzwack



Ms. Kirsten Pike


Ms. Allison Luhrs

Mr. Jeff Adair


Dr. Kelly Moore

And the w in n e r is .. . Mr. Adair with “Guess Whose Desk” winner Izzi (’15).

Our last Inspire featured the “Guess Whose Desk” survey containing desks of fourteen of our faculty and staff. Your job, as our reader, was to correctly determine exactly who belonged to which desk. Many of you accepted the challenge and one reader got them all right—Izzi (’15). Not only does Izzi get kudos for her correct answers (she does give some credit to sister Amelia, Class of 2012), she is also the proud recipient of a $100 Amazon gift card. Congratulations, Izzi! 

Spring 2012 – 35

Bellevue Rotary Student of the Month T

he Bellevue Rotary Club has honored several Eastside Prep attendees as their Student of the Month over the past few years. The Bellevue Rotary consists of local professionals who promote humanitarian efforts, high ethical standards, and world understanding. Rotary Club Students of the Month are selected based on their dedicated and diverse work in volunteering and strengthening the community as well as academic achievement. Congratulations to current students Nathan (‘13), Sarah Lynne (‘12), Brynn (‘12), Maris (‘12), Sarah (‘12), Casey (‘13), and Diane (‘13) who join alumni Eric Wu (‘11) as recipients of this distinguished award. 

Guess Whose Summer Plans... A Mr. Andrew Boyd

B Ms. Jennifer Cross C Ms. Kelly Fox

D Mr. Bart Gummere

E Ms. Kristina King

F Ms. Cascade Lineback G Ms. Allison Luhrs

Nathan, Casey, and Diane (all ‘13). Sarah Lynne, Sarah, Brynn, and Maris (all ’12).

H Ms. Kirsten Pike I

Ms. Sammi Stimson

J Mr. Sam Uzwack

K Mr. Adam Waltzer

36 – Inspire

L Mr. Kip Wassink


atch the name of the EPS employee that corresponds with the listed summer plans. Go to to play. The first person to submit all correct answers will receive an Amazon gift card. Responses must be received by June 15, 2012. Only students, parents, and alumni may submit entries. EPS employees (and relatives) are not eligible.

Who will be... ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?


Hosting family members visiting Seattle from thousands of miles away; working at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; and playing the “ultimate” sport ever invented and not getting injured.


Travelling to Montana to take advantage of some outdoor activities; visiting another country in order to practice Spanish skills and enjoy the outdoors; and taking a motorcycle trip to the San Juans.


Having a baby girl; learning to change a diaper; and going for hikes with my husband and little one.


Running “Angel’s Staircase,” a beautiful 50-kilometer trail run in the wilderness of the Methow Valley; camping out on Lopez Island for five days of biking, swimming, running, and smoothie-drinking with a group of friends; and participating in the Heart of the Sound Triathlon on Vashon Island for the 6th time.


Working on the EPS campus to get it ready for Fall 2012; installing new windows and siding on my house (doing all of the work myself ); and going on a few camping/fishing trips in state.


Planning my wedding; completing many DIY (Do It Yourself ) projects for my wedding; and aiming to walk without crutches so I can dance at my wedding!


Spending lots of time in my garden, helping tomato, squash, cucumber, and snow pea plants grow big, strong, and tasty; transforming my guest room into a room that will be housing a very tiny new member of my family in the fall; and spending as many days as possible outside on my patio, soaking in the sun and working my way through a big pile of books.


Attending the Clambake Conference in Newport, RI; going to a Cubs game in San Diego; and playing golf.


Working! I don’t have the summer off; reading some vampire novels; and whitewater rafting.


Backpacking in the Olympics with family; continue preparing for MS laptop program launch; and climbing Mt. Baker with friends.

Spring 2012 – 37

Visiting Thinker: Dr. Jacquie Greenberg By Adrienne Behrmann, Upper School Math Teacher


hen my stepmother Dr. Jacquie Greenberg mentioned that she would be traveling to North America in October to attend a conference in Montreal, I thought it would be great if she could come to EPS and address our Upper School students. The timing was perfect; the 2011 Upper School summer reading was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a true story which deals with genetics and the ethical issues surrounding the use of genetic material.

“Greenberg also mentioned how impressed she was with the engagement of the students and with the insightful questions they raised both during her assembly talk and her class visits.” Greenberg is a Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She has done significant work in the field of genetic testing, specializing in inherited blindness and genetic conditions that lead to mental and physical impairment. While at EPS, Greenberg visited two of Adam Waltzer’s biology classes, enlightening students on what goes on in a genetics research lab and fielding numerous questions from an obviously interested audience. She also addressed the Upper School assembly on the topic of ethical issues related to stem cell research and genetic testing in the 21st century. In the afternoon, Greenberg spoke to a small group of faculty and parents on the subject of stem cell research with a talk entitled “Moving from Hype to Realistic Hope,” during which she addressed several issues surrounding the use of stem cell treatment, highlighting both its pros and cons and the controversy surrounding it. Her visit ended with a dinner with several faculty

38 – Inspire

Dr. Jacquie Greenberg. members at Purple Café in Bellevue during which she was able to connect with teachers from other disciplines and enjoy some good Northwest cuisine. Following Greenberg’s visit, several students remarked to me how much they had enjoyed her presentation, particularly those senior students who are interested in pursuing a career in the life sciences. “It was very interesting to learn what goes on in a research lab and what a job as a geneticist really entails,” said one student. Another student remarked that although Dr. Greenberg was not able to address every issue raised, the mere fact that Greenberg raised them provided much food for thought and made students aware of the many ethical concerns surrounding stem cell use. Greenberg also mentioned how impressed she was with the engagement of the students and with the insightful questions they raised both during her assembly talk and her class visits. She thoroughly enjoyed her time at EPS and was particularly struck by the great rapport she saw amongst the faculty and between the faculty and students. 

Dr. Jacquie Greenberg presents at EPS.

Resident Thinker: EPS’s World of Genetic Engineering By Haneen, Class of 2013


E. coli bacteria producing red fluorescent protein.

lot of people know that genes are a set of coded instructions that are passed down from parent to offspring and that they play a key role in determining physical and genetic traits that make you who you are. But most people don’t understand the complex processes that go on in our bodies involving those coded instructions. Genes are pieces of DNA that act as recipes for building proteins, the most abundant type of organic molecule in our bodies. Proteins perform a wide range of significant functions, from transporting molecules in and out of the cell to acting as catalysts in chemical reactions that take place in our bodies. These different “jobs” performed by proteins in turn determine an organism’s traits through gene expression.

Haneen (’13). the jellyfish Aequorea Victoria and plays a major role in the medical field. One of the many ways GFP is used is in the treatment of injuries or diseases of the central nervous system. Scientists have been studying Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) to treat the central nervous system. They used enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) to determine that MSCs expressing EGFP were a good source of stem cells that could be used to study treatment of the central nervous system.

The role of DNA goes far beyond the simple physical features of an organism. Through the study of DNA and its role in the synthesis of proteins, scientists have been able to find causes of different diseases as well as understand proteins involved. Through Understanding gene expression has helped scientists conducting these types of experiments at EPS, understand genetic modification or genetic students can further understand and enjoy studying engineering. This is the manipulation of the genetic the importance of different concepts such as genetic makeup of an organism by introducing foreign engineering and the green fluorescent protein.  DNA. Genetic engineering was first successfully completed in 1972 when scientist Paul Berg combined DNA from the monkey virus SV40 with the DNA of the lambda virus. One year later, scientists Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen Sources produced the first transgenic organism by putting D. Gordon, Clover CP, Merrison AM, Uney JB, and Scolding antibiotic resistant genes into the plasmid (a circular NJ. “Enhanced Green Fluorescent Protein-expressing Human piece of DNA) of an E. coli bacteria. A similar Mesenchymal Stem Cells Retain Neural Marker Expression.” experiment was performed at Eastside Preparatory 3 Dec. 2007. Web. 4 Feb. 2012. School by a group of biology students. The students inserted foreign DNA containing a jellyfish gene Tsien, Roger Y. “The Green Fluorescent Protein.” 1998. into E. coli bacteria. The purpose of this experiment Web. 5 Feb. 2012. was to see if the bacteria would “read” the coded instructions and create a red fluorescent protein. “Genetic Engineering.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. 1 Feb. 2012. Web. 06 Feb. 2012. The red fluorescent protein is a modified version of green fluorescent protein (GFP) which comes from

Spring 2012 – 39

Behind the Scenes:

Our EPS Facilities Team

himself a “family-oriented” guy who is “very fond of my kids and grandkids.”

Myrna Belt

Myrna Belt is an EPS Custodian. Before joining EPS in July 2010, she worked in Fulton County Schools in Atlanta. Myrna enjoys working in the evenings and likes being part of a small department that gets along well. “The staff and students are really great and the school is very clean internally By Wendy Lawrence, Founding Faculty and former Middle School Head and externally,” she says. She likes “coming to an environment where there are fewer than 300 staff verything good is built on top of a strong members. That allows me to get to know them foundation, and academics is no exception. Here better.” And she’s happy to be back in Seattle. Not we meet the caring, dedicated folks on the facilities team only because she’s closer to her siblings, but because who build, maintain, and strengthen the foundation of she plans to take advantage of all the beautiful learning that is the Eastside Prep campus. beaches and lakes that surround the city.


Gilbert Bell, Jr.

Gilbert Bell, Jr., joined the school facilities team in September 2011 and has multiple tasks at EPS, primarily security. His favorite parts of the job include helping with pick up at the end of the school day and monitoring the sport court. He enjoys being in a school environment. Bell calls

Mr. Bell keeps kids and cars safe every afternoon.

Victor Guevara

Victor Guevara joined EPS as a Custodian in the Spring of 2010. He describes the favorite parts of his job as vacuuming and working with the EPS staff, not necessarily in that order! Having worked at an elementary school before this, he appreciates that EPS students are older and take better care of their environment. Guevara lives with his wife, daughter, and grandson. He has two dogs, a Golden Retriever named Arwen and a Yorkie named Pixie. His favorite hobby is watching his grandson play football, lacrosse, and basketball.

Zach McKee

Zach McKee began his job as Assistant Facilities Manager on his birthday, December 15, 2009. Before that, he worked as an animator at Microsoft on games and navigation software. McKee loves the diversity of projects he gets to tackle. “One day might be building a wall and the next is designing a website.” He's also been involved with projects in graphic design, advertisement, and concept art. McKee calls Eastside Prep “a completely different experience than most jobs I've had before. Getting to work with students is a lot of fun, and being involved in a smaller community of co-workers gives a real sense of family and team work.” He loves extreme sports, and has lived most of his life in Alaska where snowboarding and hockey were his backyard sports of choice. Alaska is also where his famous “truck” originated as a personal project in high school.

40 – Inspire

Jimmy Smith

Jimmy Smith drove a truck for 34 years before joining Eastside Prep in September 2011 as a bus driver. He likes the variety of work he gets to do in the small school environment. When he's not driving, Smith enjoys fly fishing, golfing, and camping. And he's rightfully proud of his record. “After 34 years of driving and about 1.7 million miles, I've never had an accident. Knock on wood!” Surely this is something our Upper School student drivers can strive toward.

Ms. Belt tosses some snow.

Ms. Stimson plows the parking lot during a very snowy week.

Sammi Stimson

Sammi Stimson is Facilities Manager. She joined the EPS community in June 2009 and immediately started making an impact. Stimson has had a long and distinguished career history: she's been a contractor and building inspector, an MP in the army, and a police officer. She's also been a professional athlete and a basketball and softball coach at Cleveland State University. “It's great working at a small school,” Stimson says. “You get to know all of the students and faculty and it's like having an extended family. Everyone works together to make EPS a special place.” Stimson says she works with a “great crew,” which is good because she also says “every day is unique. You never know what is going to happen. I can truly say it's an adventure working at EPS.” Stimson is currently working on her MS in Emergency Management. She spends her free time with her two dogs, a Boxer named Stella and a Chihuahua named Rusty, who, she says, run her house. 

The facilities team: Ms. Stimson, Mr. McKee, Mr. Guevara, Mr. Smith, Ms. Belt, and Mr. Bell.

Spring 2012 – 41

Alum Notes In my free time, which has actually been fairly abundant, I’ve walked around town and loitered in library cafes, reading, listening, and observing. I’ve quickly picked up a lot about student culture here. Midterm exams are called “prelims.” A place with the unfortunate nickname “Nasties” is actually a pretty decent convenience store. It is not a good Marcie Catherine Bain idea to make fun of New Jersey; however, “Hotelies” (Hotel School students) are acceptable targets. Since n the first day of you can’t put “eavesdropping” on a resume, I also my first semester signed up as a volunteer piano teacher. I was assigned of college, I was the three students—two fellow freshmen and an adult typical anxious freshman. employee—whom I taught for the entire semester. I I left for class an hour got to design mini-curricula for them and hone my early, burdened with instruction skills. about fifty pounds of textbooks, notebooks, Despite so many apparent free hours, there is always and everything else the looming pressure to study for upcoming exams. the College Board’s For me, this is the biggest difference between high lists had said I’d need. I walked quickly, trying to school and college—not the huge lecture classes or the be inconspicuous. Finally, I came to the bridge 20-page papers, but how and what we are expected to from North to Central campus, which crosses over study for tests. While at EPS most tests are conceptone of this region’s famed gorges. At the middle focused and frequently open-book, now we’re expected of the bridge, I stopped and looked down. The to memorize all the factual information, too. Tests beauty of the craggy rocks, the enormous waterfall, are longer and less frequent, so the sheer amount and the autumn trees struck me for the first time. of information can be very daunting. At first, this In that moment, I at last internalized my new perplexed me: why memorize something when you circumstances: I was now virtually independent, in can just look it up? It went against everything I knew control of my studies and activities. Over the next about learning. Nevertheless, exhausting as it was, I four months, I managed to adapt surprisingly well forced myself to memorize all the material for the first to this environment, largely owing to everything I’d round of exams. learned at EPS, both in the classroom and out.

Marcie Catherine Bain is an EPS alumni and a member of the Class of 2011. Catherine (as she now likes to be called) is in her freshman year at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Catherine writes to us from New York about her first impressions of Cornell and her reflections on what she learned at EPS.


Choosing my courses was daunting, with thousands of options and no idea what I wanted to study. With my advisor’s help, I settled on an eclectic mix: Astronomy, Cognitive Science, American Lit, French, and a freshman writing seminar. I especially loved Cog Sci, English, and writing, and though my major is still “undecided,” I’m leaning increasingly toward English and Psychology. Fortunately, I have until the end of sophomore year to choose, and until then I plan to take many of the strange and fascinating courses here, like casino management and wine tasting.

42 – Inspire Catherine at Cornell.

Weeks later, when I’d had time to relax from the stress of cramming, I noticed a strange phenomenon. The facts had stuck, and I had gained expertise in all my subjects, at least in the small areas I’d studied. Maybe there was something to memorization after all. It occurred to me that this was what higher education meant: to attain greater proficiency, you have to have knowledge, which includes concepts and facts alike. If high school lays the framework for this, then college fills it in. Memorization is still grueling, but I don’t resent it so much. Although this was one area where I initially felt unprepared, I think it was precisely EPS’ emphasis on concepts that has helped me excel on factual

tests. Thanks to this, I’m able to imagine outlines of the course topics and the connections between them. Memorization becomes the simple task of filling in these outlines. The facts stick with me because I can see their context, their meaning, even their relation to my own life. My peers here, who’ve been memorizing all their lives in more conventional schooling, don’t appear to take this approach: they complain the material is difficult, boring, and irrelevant, and then complain when they do poorly on exams. By last semester’s end, I gained new appreciation for my time at EPS. It equipped me with one important advantage: the ability not just to learn, but to understand. 

We are thrilled to get updates from our EPS alumni to find out what they’ve been up to and where life and school are taking them these days. David O’Hara, ‘10

Recently I was able to take advantage of a great opportunity, going on what is called a “birthright” trip with the Penn State Hillel. Birthright is ten-day all expenses paid trip to Israel available to any Jew. I did the trip through Penn State so that I would be with friends along the way. It was an amazing experience! A trip that only lasted ten days felt so much longer. We did everything, from the hokey tourist activities like riding a camel and floating on the Dead Sea to the historical like climbing Mount Masada and visiting the Western Wall. My favorite part of the trip was the people I met. In addition to our group of forty Penn State students we were joined by a group of about eight Israeli soldiers. We had one soldier who was on duty and was there for security reasons, but the rest were off duty. What was so great about it was these were soldiers who were our age and were taking a break from their training to go on this trip with us. They got bored at the same stuff we did and we hung out with them at the end of the day when the activities were done. I still chat with them on facebook today.

Becca Fine, ‘09

I am actually currently studying abroad in Quito, Ecuador at Universidad de San Francisco. I have only been here a short time and just started classes, but am very excited to improve my Spanish and be immersed in another culture. I am a political

science and Spanish major and am taking classes in both areas here in Quito. I am living with a family and will be here until mid-May.

Paul Strong, ‘09

How’s it going, Eastside Prep? When I last wrote to the Alum Notes, I talked a little bit about the project I was working on through ASU’s Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) program to build a water filtration system for a girls’ school in Bangladesh. I’m pleased to tell you that our group (now called 33 Buckets) is still together and has made great progress in the last year! We received a $1000 Global Innovation Award from Innocentive last fall and have been featured in the State Press, the official newspaper of Arizona State University. However, we still need a lot more support and resources before we can build a prototype and travel to Bangladesh in the summer to make our work a reality. If you are interested in helping out or learning more about what is at stake, visit our page on the Dell Social Innovation challenge at and vote for us before May 13. It only takes a minute and will help us compete to win an award of up to $50,000! Additionally, you can follow us on Facebook at, email us at, or just check out the newspaper article (with a picture of our team) at Thanks everyone! 

Spring 2012 – 43

Upcoming Dates Following are some of the upcoming events at Eastside Prep. Events open to the public have short descriptions (except those listed as “by invitation only”) while the ones without are exclusive to the EPS community. For more information, please send an email to For a complete listing of EPS activities and events, visit our website ( and go to the Community/Calendar page. MAY 1

JULY 9–13 and 16–20

All School Presentation Day. This culminating event brings to a close the year’s Experiential Education projects. The entire day is given to presentations, panels, and workshops, all conducted by students.

These sessions are open to rising 5th–12th grade students; cost is as follows: 1 Program $160, 2 Programs $290, 3 Programs $420, 4 Programs $550.

MAY 16–17 All School Musical Production. The Secret Garden, script and lyrics by Marsha Norman, music by Lacy Simon; presented by the EPS Grades 5–12, 7 pm, Kirkland Performance Center. Based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s beloved novel, The Secret Garden follows recently orphaned Mary Lennox as she’s sent to live with her uncle on an English estate where many discoveries await. (Limited seating; contact the director of the production, Michael Cruz to reserve a seat:

MAY 18

TEDxEastsidePrep, 10 am to 4 pm. This is a TED offshoot organized independently by Eastside Prep. This year’s theme is Evolution of Instruction: Designing Experience. Our audience and speakers will consist of a diverse group of leaders, stakeholders, and entrepreneurs in the world of education, technology, and design science. To learn more about this event, visit (By invitation only.)

MAY 29 Middle School Family Ice Cream Social, 4-6 pm.

MAY 30 Upper School Family Ice Cream Social, 4-6 pm.

MAY 31 Fine and Performing Arts Showcase, 4 pm, EPS Cafeteria. Choral concert, vocal soloists, and small vocal ensemble pieces, as well as student visual art displays and, possibly, theatre improv and monologues or scenes.

JUNE 14 Middle School Continuation Ceremony. (By invitation only.)

JUNE 15 Graduation Ceremony. (By invitation only.)

July 9-13, am session: RC Car Racing. Customize and race OFF-ROAD radio controlled cars while progressing to different levels of skill. Learn math and architecture through the construction of ramps, bridges, tunnels, and other obstacles. July 9-13, pm session: iPad2 Animation (Air). Animate scenes with fantastical and realistic characters flying through the air with wings, propellers, jet packs, etc. Students will explore some basics on the history of flight for inspiration while animating on the iPad2’s program called DoInk. July 16-20, am session: LEGO® Animation (Impossible Worlds). Push the limits of reality through animating imaginative worlds using stop-motion animation and LEGO® pieces (bring pieces from home too!). Animation classes seamlessly integrate visual art and theater with basic math, science, and language arts. July 16-20, pm session: Clay Animation (Morph). Explore the endless combinations of shape shifting between characters and objects using the same process of animation that is used in movies such as Wallace and Gromit and Pirates: Band of Misfits.

JULY 30–AUGUST 10 Creative Writing: The Art of the Screen Play. Learn how to story board and scout out camera shots. Have the opportunity to produce a completed original script for a short film. Have a chance to produce that film and submit it to a student short film contest. This may be the first step towards your own star on the Hollywood walk of fame! Open to rising 5th–12th grade students. Cost: $125 per week.

AUGUST 6–9 NW Photography Workshop. This trip will give students the opportunity to meet successful local photographers, hone their photographic technique, explore western Washington with a camera and a photographic eye, and present their work. Open to rising 8th–12th grade students. Cost: $320.

AUGUST 13–17

There is limited space available in the EPSummer Camps; email Student Life Coordinator, Ana Safavi ( to find out if a class is still open.

Keytime® Typing Program. This program will teach a new language-based typing methodology that incorporates a variety of hands-on techniques including unique ergonomic finger paths and color-coding of finger patterns. Learn the location of every letter on the keyboard (without looking) in one hour! Open to rising 5th–8th grade students. Cost: $325.

JUNE 25–29

August 30–31

Fish Biology. Learn about fish biology, including doing dissections! Spend some time at the University of Washington Fish Collection looking at cool specimens. Visit the Seattle Aquarium and the Sound to check out some tide pool aquatic life and spend time with real biologists working in the field! Open to rising 5th–8th grade students. Cost: $250.

Parent, Student, and Advisor Conferences.

EPSummer Camps

SEPTEMBER 4 First Day of School.

SEPTEMBER 27 New Parent Orientation, 5:30 pm. Back to School Night, 7 pm.

Inspire Vision Students Our

is to


create a better world

Guide Mission Students Our


is to

think critically act responsibly lead compassionately innovate wisely



Balance Understanding Self-knowledge Respectfulness Dialogue Flexibility

Eastside Preparatory S chool

10635 NE 38th Place Kirkland, WA 98033

This striking image was captured by EPS Photography Club member Lizzie (’12). While the photo may transport you to a fragrant forest, it was actually taken indoors on a dark winter day using a glass bowl of water, a green cloth, and an active imagination. The best photography is rarely only about what is seen, but rather about what isn’t seen, or—as in this case —what is imagined. An image like this allows our minds to color outside the lines, to see precisely what we wish to. It is an honest and beautiful lie.

Profile for Eastside Preparatory School

Inspire Magazine - Spring 2012  

Inspire Magazine - Spring 2012 from Eastside Prep

Inspire Magazine - Spring 2012  

Inspire Magazine - Spring 2012 from Eastside Prep