School Notes

Published on Thu, Mar 27, 2003
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School Notes

New school district superintendent chosen
Dr. Mary Lynne Derrington has been selected as Blaine school district�s new superintendent, effective July 1. Her appointment was announced at the school board�s regular monthly meeting on March 24. Derrington replaces Dr. Gordon Dolman who indicated his desire to retire last year. Derrington is currently superintendent of Chimacum school district, a position she has held since 1995. She was selected after a review process that included meeting with parents and educators at open houses held to gain input in the hiring process. �All of us [board members] read every comment received,� said Barrie Hull.

Teams place at math championships
The Whatcom County Math Championships was held March 1 at Whatcom Community College and several fourth grade students placed. Devon Carter finished third in the individual testings, and the team of Libby Moore, Dustin Dhanani, Megan Varner and Kristian Freeman brought home the third place trophy in the team competition. Devon Carter, Clint Richardson and Andrew Miller came home with the fifth place trophy in the team competition. The third team of fourth graders, Emily Kramme, Derek Dobbs and Sophia Sennett finished in the top half.

State math championships bring 399 teams
A total of 399 teams from 102 schools across the state attended the Washington state math championship last Saturday at the Blaine schools complex. Students first competed individually then in teams on tests in mental math, probability, algebra, geometry and potpourri, a combination of questions from all categories. The Washington state math championship is the largest academic competition in the state. It is sponsored by ConocoPhillips Ferndale Refinery, which donates $5,000 to underwrite event costs. The Ferndale refinery has sponsored the event since 1988.

Marshall, Schumann perform at concert
Two Blaine high school students performed at the annual All-State Gala concert on March 16. Mary Marshall, a sophomore soprano, and Kit Schumann, a junior alto saxophonist, went to the event, held at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. In order to be selected for the concert, students must submit an audition tape, and more than 2,000 tapes are submitted state-wide. About 600 students are selected, of whom 350 are choir, 140 are orchestra, and 140 are band.

Teacher receives White House honor
The White House honored Blaine mathematics teacher John Freal last week at the 2002 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching ceremony. Freal is among 167 teachers to be recognized for an extraordinary ability to inspire students to learn by bringing challenging concepts to life in the classroom. The award was established by the White House in 1983, and is the nation�s highest honor for elementary and secondary school math and science teachers. The program is administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Freal received a special citation from President Bush, a $7,500 cash award from NSF to improve science and mathematics instruction, gifts from donors and a trip to the March 21 ceremony in Washington D.C.

Three students place at Music History
Anna Halpin and Steinun Sigfusson, both eighth graders at Blaine middle school and Michelle Halpin, a sixth grader, competed in the annual Music History Day event sponsored by the Whatcom County chapter of Washington state music teachers association. Over 45 students competed with works of art, displays and live performances including dance, voice and piano. Anna took the first place ribbon for the eighth grade division for her in-depth study and display on the composer Offenbach. Steinun placed second in the eighth grade division for her original compilation of information, essays and articles which she formatted into a magazine display. Michelle placed second in the sixth grade division with her study of the musical Strauss family. All three students study piano with Deborah Cole-Highley, a 19-year member of the Whatcom County chapter of music teachers association. All three also received outstanding achievement awards for their efforts.

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