Chalk Talk


Thanks to teachers and students for their participation in the annual Box Top contest. Every classroom participated in the program. Through February, we collected 11,360 box tops. From March to June 14, we collected another 4,309 box tops, which will be “banked” to be used for the next school year.
In this program, labels or clippings from numerous grocery items are collected to be converted into cash. PTA then spends the money on new equipment for the school. This year, P.E. classes will enjoy new equipment and games such as “Nerf Frisbee,” “Co-Op-A-Walk,” “Eggs and Spoons” and “Skip It,” in addition to balls in a variety of sizes and colors.
Everyone can help with this program by continuing to collect box tops and soup labels during the summer months!
Top classroom winners are:
Jennifer Lopez — fourth grade, with 1,220 box tops
Patty Sullivan — p.m. kindergarten, 1,043 box tops
Teresa Iversen — fifth grade, 1,069 box tops
Monique Brasher — first grade, 1,062 box tops
Special mention goes to Bethanie Robbin’s a.m. kindergarten class for bringing in over 25,000 soup labels!
— Tricia Stratton, secretary


Kindergarteners at Helen Haller Elementary School this academic year took part in Art Club, held in teacher Stephanie Grotzke’s classroom after school on Thursdays. Students enjoyed coloring with scented markers, among other art assignments. The last week of Art Club culminated with students exhibiting their work for parents to admire.
— Stephanie Grotzke, teacher

Avoid the rush and register now for fall kindergarten. The office will be open until Thursday, June 30, from 8 a.m.–3 p.m. (closed for lunch noon–1 p.m.), then closes for the summer until Aug. 23.
— Debbie Buchillo, secretary

Claire Hallinan’s third-graders were inspired to create a Kindness Chain after learning about a teenager named Rachel Scott. Rachel Scott was the first person killed in the Columbine High School tragedy on April 20, 1999. Since that tragedy, Rachel’s father has spoken around the country and used writings and drawings from Rachel’s many diaries to illustrate the need for a kinder, more compassionate nation. Rachel’s writings have inspired an organization called Rachel’s Challenge that promotes kindness. Rachel’s Challenge mission states: “We exist to inspire, equip and empower every person to create a permanent positive culture change in their school, business and community by starting a chain reaction of kindness and compassion.” (To read more about Rachel’s Challenge, visit the website at
During the last three weeks of the school year, the students have been recording single acts of kindness on individual slips of paper, and pasting the paper slips together to create a Kindness Chain. The students have noted that performing these acts of kindness makes them feel really good and that good feeling seems to spread to the people around them.
— Claire Hallinan, teacher

Third-graders in Claire Hallinan’s class created bridges from cardboard and other on-hand materials. Here, in their own words, are their impressions of this project:

In my class, we are making bridges. Our bridge is called the Super Suspension Bridge.
— Caden Habner

Anthony, Kyliegh, Ari, and I have built our suspension bridge. We built the bridge because Mrs. Hallinan wanted to do something fun for the end of the school year. It was hard to choose what type of bridge to make, because Anthony wanted to make an arch bridge. But he finally gave up. It took a while to get the legs on, but after a while, we finished them. Then, we put up two of the towers, but had to wait because we used too much glue. But when we finished that, everything was easy.
— Ethan Williams

My team and I made a bridge. We named the bridge the Brianna Bridge, because Brianna did the most.
— Madeline Henderson

Our team made an Arch bridge called Archie.
— Toby Bellis

Camryn, Trenton, Sydney, and I were putting the sidewalk on the bridge that we were making. I am getting supplies. Sydney was cutting the paper.
— Patrick Tenneson

We had teamwork. We worked really hard on the bridge. This is the best bridge we ever made. At the end, we put all the bridges together to make a bigger bridge. It looked really cool with all the bridges put together. There were lots of hills, because some bridges were low, some were high.
— Elizabeth Sutton

We had a lot of fun. We used string, paper towel rolls, and lots of other things. We did a very good job.
— Camryn Wallen

The bridge isn’t really finished. What we needed was the road, cars, people, and sidewalk.
— Ari Turner

We have been working on our bridge for at least two weeks. It was hard to decide how to do the bridge. It was really fun. We worked really, really hard on making a bridge as a team.
— Regan DeMetz

We weren’t done with our bridge, but we were about to be done. All we had to do is put the road and make people and cars. My desk is the one with just the notebook. Our bridge is called the Silver Gate Bridge. I thought our bridge is pretty cool. We had just gotten done and our bridge is a masterpiece, well, that’s what our group thinks.
— Kyliegh Solway

Our class took a photo of our bridges. We built the bridges in one week, so we are impressed with ourselves. Regan is taking the bridge home. I wish I could. I think group four’s bridge is the best.
— Nicholas Charters

Brianna’s Bridge is the name of our bridge, because Brianna did most of the work. But we all did a little. It is an arch bridge.
— Jaren Trujillo

I built the truss. It was hard, but easy at the same time, too. I had fun building the truss, and under the bridge is an arch, and on the top is a truss, so we called it Jonah Elizabeth Emma Eyeglass Bridge.
— Jonah Bataef

Our bridge is named The Brianna Bridge, because she did most of the work.
— Navy Thomas-Brenske

On the first day, we gathered all of the supplies we needed. Elizabeth and I worked on the toilet paper stands on the bridge, while Jonah worked on the truss. Elizabeth and I finished taping the toilet paper stands on right when we stopped working. Jonah finished the truss at the same time. On the second day, our whole group helped make arches for the bridge. On the third day, Jonah wasn’t at school, so Elizabeth and I finished the truss. We couldn’t find something to hold the truss apart so, we stuck them together. On the fourth day, Elizabeth was absent. Jonah and I decorated the bridge and put blue paper on the bottom for water. We also put black paper with yellow lines on it for the road.
— Emma Beuke

My team worked so hard on our bridge. First, we glued the arch on a cardboard piece, and then we put the road part on top. We put on the keystones and the other stones around it. Then we put on blue paper for water and drew fish and then we made blockers on the sides. The name of our bridge is Archie.
— Lily Engeset

One thing about our bridge is that it is a suspension bridge. We put the string on it. We made a road and some little people on the bridge.
— Anthony Hernandez

Our bridge is the one with the car. I made a car and people. Caden made a surfer dude. It took a long time to finish it, but finally we did. We thought that it would turn out bad, but it turned out pretty good.
— Naishla Miranda

My team and I made a bridge and named it Archie. The people in my team were Toby, Lily, Reid and myself. It is good because we did a good job. Our bridge is the best one.
— Mekaela Gardner

We made bridges that had strength. Our groups made the bridge with surprise that some people brought. I’m glad the people brought surprise because if nobody did, we wouldn’t be able to build awesome bridges. Every body’s bridge is really awesome. We had so much fun building the bridge. I hope next year we can build another awesome bridge.
— Trenton Phipps

— Claire Hallinan, teacher

Robi Andison’s fifth-graders were assigned Reading Buddies from Judie Lawson’s first-grade class. The Reading Buddies paired up during the school year to read together. These reading teams celebrated the end of the school year together by making paper airplanes and holding a massive “launch” on the Haller playground.
— Robi Andison, teacher


The science department of Sequim Middle School would like to showcase the following students as “Catalysts” for Term 4. Just what is a catalyst? Well, these are students who consistently display an exceptional level of participation in their science class. They ask those thought-provoking questions that extend understanding. They clearly and accurately share their observations, both verbally and in writing. They are the sparks that ignite learning! So without further ado, let us recognize and celebrate these fine young scientists.


In sixth grade, teacher Meredith Johnson celebrates the accomplishments of Sarah Holloway, Edison Lamphear, Dusty Wessel, Evan Chatters and Jasmine Moniz.


Teacher Steve Koehler recognizes sixth-graders Shailah Wood, Lane Danielson, Jett Gag-non, Jadyn Overby-Morrison, Chelena Erickson, Patrick McCrorie, Victoria Hall, Hannah Patterson, Dailey Sampson, Nicole Anders, Ella Christiansen, Jake Ryan, Megan Begley, Nathan Whitney, Riley Chase, Alondra Franco, Michael Larson, Molly Earley-Crecelius, Jack Drennen, Breyanna Taylor, Alexa DePrati, Jamie McCracken, August O’Shea and Elizabeth Rosales.


For her seventh-graders, Isabella Morrison gives a standing ovation to Mattie Clark, Jackson Oliver, Hunter Cauffman, Austin Wagner, Hayden James and Emily Webb.


Teacher Joe Landoni tips his hat to seventh-graders Breanna Campbell, Evan Hurn, Jack Ellison, Kyla Rigg, Mariam Davitadze, Daniel Knight and Michael Latimer.


Keep up the fantastic effort, young scientists! You are excellent role models for your peers.


The Science Department also would like to recognize those fine students who find themselves “On-a-Roll.” These students were able to boost their Term 4 grade at least 10 percentage points, sometimes more, over their Term 3 grade. Congratulations to sixth-graders Justin Cary, Hannah Warren, Johnny Chapman, and seventh-graders Rylie Roberts, Lilly Allen, Kiana Troxler, Jake Coulson and Noah Fulmer. Keep on rolling, middle schoolers!


— Joe Landoni, science teacher


First Teacher activities:
The First Teacher rooms will be closed for July, but families are encouraged to continue to visit the playground on Mondays and Fridays and connect during the usual “First Teacher” times, from 10:30 a.m.–noon. The rooms will re-open Aug. 15 with a Monday and Thursday schedule. Have a great summer and keep on reading with your children!
Tuesday, July 5 – WIC (Women, Infants and Children). For more information about the WIC program, contact Pam Walker at 417-2275.
— Cynthia Martin, director, and Nicole Brewer, parent coordinator


Science teachers assembled students from their integrated science and biology classes in the cafeteria on June 20 to celebrate highlights of the sustainable living projects conducted throughout the school year. The funding for teacher training, field trips, and teaching materials came from a grant from Learn and Serve America. The focus was to integrate sustainability-related service-learning projects into core science classes. About 400 students and five teachers participated. Those teachers were Joe Sullivan, Jennifer Van De Wege, Isaac Rapelje, Laura Gould and Dave Ketter.


Some of the tasks students undertook included carrying out a thorough waste and recycling audit at the school campus, producing and airing announcements to the student body about campus recycling, and installing more recycling containers around campus. Results show that recycling on campus increased by approximately 50 percent.


Students also completed a home energy audit, developed and carried out an energy conservation plan, and calculated energy savings on an average of 10-20 percent per student. A group of students volunteered to help one Saturday removing Scotch broom on Siebert Creek. Life Skills students picked up all recycling around campus each week, which represented approximately 7,200 pounds of recycled materials per year!

Field trips took the science students to Sequim’s waste water treatment plant, the Dungeness beach, Port Townsend Marine Science Center and the Water Reuse Park.

Community members who partnered on various aspects of the program include Helen Freilich of Clallam County Solid Waste Division, Jennifer Garcelon of Clallam County Environmental Health Services, Mattias Jarvegren of Clallam County Public Utilities Department, Susie Richards and Chris Burt from the Service, Education and Adventure Program. Many thanks to these individuals and their agencies for contributing to the success of this learning venture.

— Dave Ketter, teacher

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