Page 1

The IssaquahPress




Above, Carol Mahoney, of Kirkland, tries the Summer Ale drawn from a tapped keg by Fremont Brewing’s Carrie Guest Beer. At left, Steve Repanich, of North Bend, sports a feather-decorated cowboy hat he picked up during the 1980s in Cheyenne, Wyo., while he served in the U.S. Air Force.


Skyline High School rocketry club students, including (from left) Ian Walp, Ankit Madhira and Kieran Dong, prepare to test launch the solid fuel rocket they will enter in the national Team America Rocketry Challenge in Virginia.

Eric J. Elmer, owner of EJ’s Custom Catering, gives pork bratwurst from Fischer Meats on buns to visitors during Boots, Brats & Brews, presented by the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah.

Rocket club The 3 Bs launches dream for national title Kiwanis hosts a good time with Beers, Brats and Boots

By Neil Pierson npierson@ Many of them don’t have the desire to study physics in college, but the eight members of the Skyline High School rocketry club are united this year in lessons in propulsion, weight distribution and mass. Along with Newport High School in Bellevue, Skyline is one of two teams from Washington that have qualified for the Team America Rocketry Challenge, a 100team national competition that takes place May 10 in The Plains, Va., near Washington, D.C. The eight team members are Kieran Dong, Griffin Johnson, Crystal Liang, Ankit Madhira, Gleb Sych, Ben Therrien, Ian Walp and Pan Zhang. Skyline physics teacher Rebecca Fowler is their adviser, although contest rules prohibit her from providing physical help. It’s the third time in four years Skyline will send a team to the challenge, which invites students in grades seven through 12 to participate. The rules change annually, and teams must submit data from practice launches to qualify. This year, teams are trying to launch their rockets to a precise height of 825 feet, with the flight lasting 48-50 seconds from launch to landing. Every foot above or below 825 feet adds a point to a team’s score, and every second outside the time window adds four points. The lowest score wins. Several Skyline club members are seniors who are in the school’s International Baccalaureate program, and their busy academic schedule caused the team to have a late start in design and construction. “We eventually caught up, we met the deadline, we finished the rocket,” said Sych, a sophomore in his first year with the club. “I think everything’s going good right now.” Constructing the rocket isn’t a simple ordeal, said Johnson, a senior. Once the team receives specifications for the challenge, it uses computer models to design a prototype. The students sand, cut, glue and screw materials together, and that requires precision. Contest rules limit a rocket’s weight to 650 grams, about 1.7 pounds, and Skyline’s qualifying model weighed 649 grams.

“One gram can make a difference,” Johnson explained. “Last time we launched, it was kind of moist, so we had to take some weight off … Each launch, the rocket would get wetter and it would add a little mass to it.” “The guidelines are very precise,” Sych added, “and you have to be very precise when you’re building the rocket, because if you’re not, then you’ll end up 10 seconds longer in the air than you want to be.” In addition to the challenge’s height and time requirements, there’s an additional task. Each rocket contains two raw eggs, and both must return to earth uncracked. To accomplish that, Dong, a senior, was responsible for installing TempurPedic foam. She said the super-cushioned material has saved the team from disaster in practice launches, when portions of the rocket have separated and fallen without a parachute. Because the eggs were wrapped in foam, they haven’t cracked. This will be Dong’s third and final trip to the national finals. She’s headed to the University of Idaho in the fall to major in biology. “I’m a little bit of an outlier,” she said. “I’m here just because once you start, it’s kind of hard to stop, partially because it’s such a small group.” Johnson is in a similar situation — he plans to study computer science at California Polytechnic State University. “When I first got into physics last year, I was really interested in this, and I actually built a larger rocket over the summer on my own,” he said. “I’m finishing that up now and I’m going to launch it sometime before school ends. It’s kind of just opened up another hobby for me to pursue.” Fowler said the club has to pay its way to Virginia, and did some fundraising earlier in the year. They’ve also received financial support from the Issaquah Schools Foundation and Aerojet Rocketdyne, a Redmond-based company that specializes in missile defense systems. Fowler said she’s amazed by her students’ teamwork and problem-solving capabilities. “They’re able to really work coherently together as a group, which is a really important skill that a lot of teenagers don’t have,” she said.

Wednesday April 30, 2014

Pink cowboy boots worn by Nazarena Deschiave fit in nicely with the western theme worn by many attendees of Boots, Brats & Brews April 24 at Pickering Barn. Greg Lawless plays his five-string banjo with the Seattle bluegrass band Weavils.

Photos by Greg Farrar

Clark Elementary School draws attention to Literacy Month By Peter Clark Literacy, dogs and polar bears, oh my. Students at Clark Elementary School kicked off Literacy Month with a two-day visit from author Erik Brooks on April 17. The longtime author and illustrator of children’s books hosted a wide range of presentations and workshops for all nine grades. Brooks, of Winthrop, has not only made a career out of creating books, but he also regularly takes part in working with children. “I love them,” Brooks said about presentations and sharing the creative process. “At one point, I dreamt of being a K through 12 art teacher.” In his 14 years as an author, he has written, illustrated and published four books, and illustrated even more. His first began with

a drawing of a polar bear — he really likes polar bears — wearing pajamas. He thought about what would lead a polar bear to wear pajamas and in time he wrote “The Practically Perfect Pajamas” to tell the whole story. The 41-year-old author also draws a weekly comic strip for the Methow Valley News called Hart’s Pass, which he also believes can help teach the basics of writing to children. “Even if it’s just a comic strip, it’s still an introduction into the parts of a story,” he said. Brooks had a full itinerary for the two days, including large presentations and smaller workshops for kindergarten through eighth grade. He said it was a little unusual to plan for such a wide range of ages, but he By Peter Clark

See AUTHOR, Page B3

Children’s book author Erik Brooks shows Clark Elementary School students a book he illustrated, ‘Who Has These Feet?’



Gilman Baseball Team in Uniform The 1893 Gilman Baseball Team from left to right was back row: Fred Ryerson, Herman Settem, James Wilson, Tom Patterson and Joe Settem; middle row: William Francis, John Francis and Al Beisel; and front row: Hugh Fitzhugh and ‘Doc’ Garner.

The Issaquah History Museums take requests regarding what people would like to see in the Digital Collection. Roughly quarterly, volunteers have a data-entry day and prep a bunch of records for upload. If there is a particular name, place or item you’d like to see more images of on the website, email Erica Maniez at erica. maniez@issaquahhistory. org. If you have a photo or subject you would like to see in this feature, email editor@

Send veterans photos for memorial special section May 7 is the last day to send in your photos for The Issaquah Press’ fifth annual veterans section — Lest We Forget — that will print in the May 21 paper, in time for Memorial Day. Whether you served in a war or during peacetime, we want to honor you. If someone in your family was a veteran, but he or she has passed away, we still want to include him or her. It is important for us to honor and remember all local veterans, living or deceased. If you have already sent your photo and information to us, you don’t need to do so again. Fill out your form at and email your photo to

B6 • Wednesday, April 30, 2014 Ten Issaquah schools named achievement award winners The state’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and Board of Education announced the 2013 Washington Achievement Award winners April 15, and 10 Issaquah School District schools made the cut. The awards are selected annually using two academic indexes. A total of 413 schools statewide were chosen this year in six categories: overall excellence, high progress, reading growth, math growth, extended graduation rates and English language acquisition. Issaquah schools that earned awards in overall excellence included all three comprehensive high schools — Issaquah, Liberty and Skyline — as well as four elementary schools: Cougar Ridge, Discovery, Endeavour and Newcastle. Cougar Ridge, Discovery and Newcastle were also honored for reading growth, while Endeavour and Liberty were recognized for reading growth and high progress. Issaquah High earned awards in four of the six categories: overall excellence, reading growth, high progress and English language acquisition. Apollo Elementary earned recognition for reading growth, Challenger Elementary for English language acquisition and Clark Elementary for high progress. The award-winning schools will be honored at a ceremony April 24 at Timberline High School in Lacey.

Principal leaving Skyline High School Skyline High School Principal Lisa Hechtman will leave her position at the end of the school year. In an email to Skyline families April 14, Hechtman said she had accepted an offer to serve as the Issaquah School District’s executive director of personnel. Hechtman was in her second stint at Skyline. She was one of its original staff members when the school opened in 1997, serving for seven years as a humanities teachers, dean of students and assistant principal. In 2004, Hechtman left Skyline to become principal at Nathan Hale High School in Seattle. She also taught math and social studies in California in the early 1990s, earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Davis. In 2003, she earned a principal’s credential from Seattle Pacific University. “I leave a familiar, outstanding staff of educators and a community dedicated to supporting their students in pursuit of learning,” she wrote. “I do this in order to accept the broader challenge of supporting staff across the district for the benefit of all students in the ISD.” Issaquah Superintendent Ron Thiele said Hechtman would replace outgoing cabinet member Kathy Miyauchi. He also said the search for a new Skyline principal would begin immediately. Thiele plans to select a new principal by early June.

Bartell Drugs accepting mudslide donations In conjunction with the Salvation Army, Bartell Drugs is accepting donations to support ongoing relief efforts for those affected by the recent Oso mudslide. Donations of any amount can be made with a cashier at Bartell Drugs at 5700 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway S.E. The Seattle-based chain has pledged $10,000 to match customer contributions with a donation to Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services. “When tragedies like this occur, the Salvation Army’s staff and volunteers are focused on the needs of individuals, families and first-responders,” Bartell Drugs Chairman and CEO George D. Bartell said in a news release. “Donations by our customers, along with our company’s matching pledge, will be committed to on-the-ground recovery efforts in Oso and surrounding communities.”

The Issaquah Press