Students honor Veterans at recent board meeting
Students honor Veterans at recent board meeting
Posted on 11/05/2019
FJH musicians

The meeting began with the Presentation of the Colors by Rogers High School Junior Reserve Officers’ROTC with board Training Corps (JROTC) for the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. This was followed by the National Anthem and God Bless America performed by Ferrucci Junior High Band, Choir, and Orchestra students.

During District Highlights, Chief Communications and Arts Officer Brian Fox reminded directors of the many celebrations and solemn recognition assemblies held in each Puyallup school as students and staff take time to honor veterans in our schools and community.

To conclude the Veterans Day recognition, Fox introduced the family of E. Arthur Larson who passed away at the age of 95 on August 13. Art worked for 31 years in the Puyallup School District as a teacher, assistant principal at PHS, and as the first principal of Rogers High School when it opened in 1968.

Mrs. LarsonHe also served in the military. During World War II he served in the Navy in the Pacific Theater and was on the island of Okinawa when the war ended and was in Tokyo Bay on VJ Day.  Art also served in the Korean War and continued a proud tenure in the Naval Reserves for 28 years with a final rank of Commander.

In appreciation of Mr. Larson and to honor both his legacy at Rogers and his service in the military, Rogers High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) teacher Jon Cerio and his students constructed a special flag box to present to Art’s family.

Joined by RHS student Drew Kowalchuk, Mr. Cerio met gave the flag box to Art Larson’s widow, Lorraine Larson who was sitting in the front row with her daughter. This brief presentation was especially meaningful to many in the audience and resulted in a standing ovation.

Next, staff from Stahl Junior High were honored for their heroic efforts to save a student during a medicalSJH heros emergency.

On October 2, Stahl teacher Nick Treich noticed a student was having a medical emergency, cleared the classroom and called for help. Without hesitation, the school nurse, Amy Palacios activated 911 and began providing CPR while Treich retrieved the automated external defibrillator (AED) equipment which was used to deliver an electrical shock to the student. CPR was continued after the shock and the student began to sputter and gasp for air, then began breathing on his own.

The paramedics arrived on the scene and quickly took over.

These efforts resulted in the eighth grade student making a full recovery.

In their press release, Graham Fire and Rescue praise these staff members, noting “Without the quick thinking and efforts of these staff members, the student may have suffered further illness or even death.”

Automated External Defibrillators (AED) are portable gadgets that deliver a brief electrical shock to the heart to get it pumping normally. During cardiac arrest the heart stops sending blood to the body and brain. When brain cells are oxygen-starved they begin to die – unless someone steps in to aid in the crisis and provide CPR. 

When cardiac arrest occurs, it is essential to start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with two minutes. After three minutes, the lack of blood flow to the entire brain can lead to progressively worsening brain injury. By nine minutes, irreversible brain damage is likely.

The Puyallup School District, and Stahl JH in particular, are fortunate to have such competent and quick-thinking people on staff. Fox noted, “There is at least one family in our community who will be eternally grateful for their actions.”

Directors were eager to shake the hands of Nick Treich and Amy Palacios to thank them for their work. They too, received a standing ovation.

To conclude the District Highlights portion of the agenda, and to continue recognizing individuals for deliverables in the district, the Board of Directors honored those responsible for building and maintaining a strong AVID Program in Puyallup Schools.

Achievement Via Individual Determination (AVID) is in place in all elementary schools and is offered to secondary students as an elective course.

In Puyallup, AVID is designed to increase school-wide learning and performance. The mission is to ensure that all students, especially the least served students in the middle, will succeed in rigorous curriculum; enter mainstream activities of the school; increase enrollment in four-year colleges; and will become educated and responsible participants and leaders in a democratic society.

AVID began in Puyallup in 2006 with one elective class at Emerald Ridge High School. Thirteen years later, AVID is a district-wide K-12 system with 32 schools and touching every Puyallup student.

Chief Equity and Achievement Officer Gerald Denman shared some date with directors about the impact of this program.

AVID data

Denman went on to thank several people for their leadership in AVID and for their support of Puyallup students.

Those honored include:

Cari Ake, chief academic officer for region I

LaShawnda Baldwin, principal at Karshner Elementary

Sari Burnett, assistant principal for Zeiger Elementary

Lauri Cotton, teacher at Ridgecrest Elementary

Nancy Ellis, teacher at Dessie Evans Elementary

Dr. Arturo Gonzalez, director of instructional leadership K-12

Kari Helling, principal at Woodland Elementary

Jamie Lee, assistant principal for Kalles Junior HIgh

Dr. Brian Lowney, chief academic officer for region II

Dr. Christine Moloney, chief academic officer for region III

Additional thoughts shared by Superintendent Yeomans reminded the directors that knowing how to do school is different than knowing the content. “The reality is that we are preparing our children to be very successful. This has been a statement of values. AVID is a statement of values. Its resources put behind the children in our system who need it most and it changes the game,” said Yeomans.

“Thank you to each of you who have made good on that promise,” said Yeomans. “Director Keaton asked us three years ago, ‘What are we doing for the students in the middle?’ This is what we do for the middle, and for all kids.”

Board Policy Updates – Directors were presented with the first reading of school board policies which have been revised due to legislative changes, suggestions by the Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA), or to implement district efficiencies and effective use of available resources.

Assistant Superintendent Casey Cox provided directors with a review of the changes being recommended.

  • Policy 3143 - District Notification of Juvenile Offenders

  • Policy 3144 - Release of Information Concerning Student Sexual and Kidnapping Offenders

First Reading – Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Leadership Vince Pecchia presented an annual update on the Career and Technical Education Program for 2018-2024. This report is required as part of the updated Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) Perkins Grant Application Process.

To view the slides used in this presentation, click here.

Action – Chief Academic Officer Brian Lowney presented directors with recommendation to consider approval of a $10,545 donation from the Brouillet Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and designated for grade level enrichment field trips.

Dr. Lowney introduced Brouillet PTA President Molly Church who thanked the board for their support and quick response to questions asked. She promoted the idea of sending students on field trips where students can learn through “hands-on” experiences.

Directors approved the donation.

Human Resources Report – The Human Resources report approved by the school board can be found on the HR website.

Upcoming meetings – The next meeting of the Puyallup School District Board of Directors will be at 6 p.m. on Monday, November 18, 2019, at Ferrucci Junior High, 3213 Wildwood Park Drive, Puyallup, WA 98374.