Chalk Talk (with slideshow)


Sequim Education Foundation presented a filmmaking workshop Feb. 29 for students in grades 6-12. Filmmaker Andrew Burke spoke about aspects of making a better film, from story building to lighting tricks. At one point, students broke into small groups and created short films using flip cameras. They edited their films with help from Sequim High School teacher Charles Kleinberg in his multi-media classroom.
The SEF Student Film Festival is slated for Friday, April 20, at the SHS auditorium. Students in grades 6-12 are eligible to enter. Scholarship prizes will be awarded. Film entries are due April 9. For more information, see
Patsene Dashiell, community liaison

The following students from Sequim Middle School will be attending the Washington State Science Fair at Bremerton High School on March 30-31: Kelly Anders, Ryan Nestor, Ian Houghton, Eric Haynes, Skyler Hallinan, Nicole Anders, Nicholas Howe, Owen Morton, Logan Habner, Jacob Gufler, Jessica Craig and Molly Early Crecelius. Helen Haller students Sean Weber, Elizabeth Sweet and Kaitlyn Viada also are attending, as well as Maeve Harris, Joseph Landoni, Olivia Barrell, Ashley Baltrusitis, Sarah Henry, Katherine Landoni and Brenna Neal from Sequim High School, and Grant Shogren from OPA. Attending from Greywolf Elementary are Damon Little, Collin Neal, Porter Funston and Katie Potter, Liam Byrne and Jacobb Denny as partners, and Liam Payne and Claire Payne as individuals. More information about the Washington State Science Fair is available at

Science Fair Club has four high school students attending the Washington Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (Orals) at Seattle Pacific University (SPU) on March 15-16. Katherine Landoni (presenter), Maeve Harris (presenter), Emily Fowler (presenting member of the team project) and Virginia Everett will represent Sequim High School and compete for a trip to the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in Maryland in May.
Deb Beckett, Sequim Middle School science teacher and Sequim Science Fair Club Advisor, Carla Morton, Greywolf Elementary science teacher and Dave Hasepflug, Haller Elementary science teacher


Kindergarten registration began March 5. Any child who is 5 years old on or before Aug. 31 is eligible to enter kindergarten in September. Registration packets are available in the office during school hours, 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Registration must include a copy of your child’s certified birth certificate, immunization record and proof of residency. Kindergarten screening will be held in the library from 4-6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 17. Feel free to contact the office with any questions at 582-3300.
Tricia Stratton, secretary

Shirley Anderson, a volunteer from the Dungeness Audubon River Center, visited second-grade classes this week to share unique and interesting characteristics of birds. This is the first of four visits during spring that will highlight several types of birds. Through stories and hands-on experiences, the students had the opportunity to learn more about ducks this month.
Renee Mullikin, teacher

Emily Ellefson’s second-grade class has been busy writing persuasive letters. After learning persuasion means to convince someone to agree with their opinion, students chose a topic and formed an opinion. They came up with clear, descriptive reasons to support their opinion. Students used the revision process to add transitions at the beginning of their sentences. They also learned ways to restate their opinions with a concluding sentence.

Dear Mrs. Ellefson,
I think a snack on Mondays is a great idea! I think we should have snack on Mondays because we won’t be hungry before lunch. You also won’t hear us complain that we are hungry! On Mondays when we go to lunch we are excited because we didn’t have snack. So if we had snack we would be quiet in the halls. I know for a fact that we won’t concentrate on our stomach. We will concentrate on our work. Are you convinced now? So that’s why I think we should have snack on Mondays.
Love, Lilly Gaskill

Dear Mrs. Ellefson,
I know that you think homework is fair but here is why it is not. People always have to go to soccer practice or maybe even play board games with their parents. Another reason is that you guys would teach us more stuff and we love to learn. We always do our homework and we get tired of doing it so we should stop. As well as that, I do not need a sheet to do my homework. Also, it is a waste of paper. So you can see homework is unfair.
From, Cristian Gonzalez

Dear Mrs. Ellefson,
Don’t you think we should not have homework? I think that homework is unfair. First of all, I have gymnastics after school. In fact, I have gymnastics for three hours. Just so you know, I don’t get home until 7:00 at night. I am really tired in the morning. After gymnastics I have to eat dinner and get my pajamas on. I get to bed at 9:00. As well as that, I am tired after school and have many other things to do at home. To sum up my thought I think we should not have homework because we have other things to do.
From, Gracie Sharp

Dear Kitchen Ladies,
I think having pears every Wednesday would be a good menu choice! Pears are good for you. Plus fruit makes you stronger. People love how pears taste. They would never stop eating pears. It would give students more energy. More students would buy lunch on Wednesday because of the pears. Having good food like pears would make us healthier and help us focus on our work. Having pears on every Wednesday would be a delicious treat.
Sincerely, Zackery Gufler

Third- and fourth-grade students are investigating the physics of sound. They discovered sound is created by vibrations and has identifiable properties. In collaborative groups, students are exploring variables that change pitch, such as sound source material and length, as well as how sound travels through various materials.
Young scientist Tarrah Stipe, a third-grader from Pat Quinet’s class, observed, “I learned that sound is a type of energy that travels in waves; pitch is how high or low a sound is and you can change it by changing the sound source length. “
Carla Morton, science teacher

Here is a sampling of persuasive speeches from Chris Stevens’ second-grade class:

Dear Mom and Dad,
I would like a rabbit. I will clean my room for a year. I will clean my rabbit’s cage. I’d be quiet when you’re cleaning. I will take care of it. Most important, I will play with it.
Love, Andreana Johnson

Dear Mom and Dad,
I would like a guinea pig because they are playful. I promise I would clean up after them. I would also clean the cage, feed it and play with it. This will help me learn responsibility.
Love, Leo Lentzner

Dear Mom and Dad,
I really want to tell you I want to have a pet of my own. I’ll be nice to my little brother. I will clean my room and clean my Legos. I’ll do my chores too. The pet I want is a leopard gecko. Most important of all … you can hold them! I’ll take care of it too.
Love, Henry Hughes

Dear Mom,
Can I have a dog? I will do the dishes. I will feed it. Then take it for a walk. Most important I will play with the dog.
Love, Marley Reeder

Dear Mom and Dad,
I really want an Anoles Lizard. I’ll plant flowers in the summer. I will clean my bedroom. I’ll clean your bedroom. I’ll do everything that you say! Most important of all, I’ll teach the cat do not eat it!
Love your son, Kristian Mingoy

Dear Mom and Dad,
I would like a … SHARK!
I will feed it and clean the tank.
I will clean dishes and do the laundry.
I’ll work out.
Love, Jastin Bailey

Dear Mom,
I want a guinea pig. I will feed it. I will give it water. I will clean the cage. I will let my friends play with it and most important, I will play with it too.
Love, Preston Wright

Dear Mom and Dad,
May I please have a kitten? I would feed it every day. I’d help make dinner. Most important dad loves cats. It would look so cute! It would be really furry too.
Love, Hannah Hampton


The Kindergarten Readiness meeting will be from 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, in the library. Parents will have the opportunity to meet and talk with the principal and kindergarten teachers, who will present information about curriculum, first day expectations, what you as a parent can do to prepare your child, busing, immunization requirements and the importance of attendance, as well as answer any questions you may have regarding entering your child into kindergarten.
Kindergarten registration will be from 4-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, in the library. Parents will need to bring their prospective kindergarten student, as they will go through a brief screening process with the kindergarten staff while parents complete paperwork. An original birth certificate or passport for the child, immunization dates and proof of residency in the Helen Haller area also are required.
Debbie Buchillo, secretary

Sharing their love of reading and promoting National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America, over 300 Sequim High School Leadership students visited the school to read one-on-one with elementary students. Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss!
Patra Boots, principal

Robi Andison’s fourth-grade class has been studying the traditional life of the Northwest Coast Native American People and writing narrative tales about their characters set in the rain forest.
They also wrote poems from the point of view of their characters they would like to share. As you can tell, the students felt inspired by learning of the life of the People.

“Life in the Forest” by Echo Naputi
I see cedar getting stripped
I hear birds chirping
I touch the smooth canoes
I smell the salmon getting smoked
I feel alive

“The Deer” by Douglass Peecher
I see a deer prancing through the forest
As the wind crackles in my ears
I feel my bow in my hand
I smell the sweet cedar emanating from the trees
I feel brave!

“Owl” by Jayda Wright
I see an owl flying above my head
I feel fear striking my heart
Suddenly I see water
Water everywhere
Surrounding my body
I feel nothing
I feel myself to make sure I’m still alive
I feel alone
I’m surrendering myself to the cold, brutal earth

“Shaman” by Taylor Ariza
A tall cedar like a temple
The shaman healing an Indian girl
The forehead of an injured boy
Fear from the wounded child
Love and care

“Picking Berries” by Rita Welch
Green bushes all around me
The song of birds
The prickly green bushes
The sweet smell of cedar
I feel helpful

“Blazing Fire” by Jaren Trujillo
I see a blazing fire
I hear the flames roaring
I hold the children
I smell the deer cooking over the fire
I feel the hotness

“Inspiration” by Ayriana Ward
I see a river flowing rapidly
I hear the hoot of an owl
I see a river flowing
I touch the soft bark of a cedar tree
I smell the sweet smell of cedar
I feel inspired by this life

“A Peaceful Day” by Christian Nicholson
The mountains on the horizon
The wolves howling in the wind
The fire light on my body
The smoke tingling my nose
I feel peaceful

“On a River” by Sequoia Swindler
I see a bird flying
I hear the water moving
I touch the silky water
I feel warm in my heart

“Doom” by Nicholas Charters
I see an owl fly over my head
A cedar falls in the forest
I touch the smooth cedar bark
I smell the scent of smoked salmon
I fear that doom is on its way

“Rain Forest Adventure” by Dalton Metzger
Tall cedar trees and dark clouds
The water crashing against the rocks
The moist dirty floor
The fresh smell of cedar trees
The tingle of the warm wind

“Water Feelings” by Adrian Funston
As the salmon swim the waters
The cold mountain water splashed on my feet
My toes feel as cold icicles
Fish seize me with their yellow eyes and swim away

“Beach Days” by Maddie Henderson
I see golden sand
I hear birds chirping
I touch the wet sand
I smell the salt water
I feel happy

“Attack” by Brenton Barnes
I see war canoes coming after me
I hear the screams of innocent people
I touch the heavy ash of a roaring fire
I smell a sweet cedar burning
I feel my body aching

“Forest Feelings” by Madalyn Richmond
I see cedar
I hear an echo of a bird
I touch the soft bark of the cedar
I smell the beautiful flowers
I feel happy

“Forest Inspiration” by Ajene Heaton
I see the icy forest floor
I hear the snow crushing under my feet
I touch the bare branches of a berry bush
I smell a burning fire
I feel inspired by the forest

“The War” by Ridge Armstrong
I saw blood running down my leg
I heard owls hooting
I held my wooden sword
I smelt death of my people
I felt pain

“Rain Forest Wonders” by Gemma Davis
I see a river running rapidly
I hear the fire crackling softly
Suddenly I touch something
The rough cedar bark
I smell the mist of the trees
I feel my heart pumping

“Attack!” by Dustin Daniels
I see the fire raging and roaring after me
I hear the people screaming
I touch the souls of my people
I smell the cedar burning
I feel like my world has disappeared

“Forest” by Mariah Fox
I hear the fire crackling in the distance
I smell the sweet cedar burning
I smell the deer cooking and
The salmon cooking
I feel alive

“Wilderness” by Zachary Mueller
I see a bear
I hear hunters yelling
I hold the bear skins
I smell the fresh bear meat
I feel warmth in my heart

“Rain Forest Wonders” by Gabby Happe
I see the forest
Bushes of berries
Birds singing
Animals running
Across the forest floor
I feel the slimy skin of salmon
I am inspired by this life!

“The Forest” by Raelee Wessel
Beautiful flowers
Plants in the forest
Beautiful trees
Salmon smoking nearby

“In My Forest Home” by Erick Morales
I see the fire
I hear people talking
I touch the snow
I smell smoke from the fire
I feel my bear skin

“The Owl Flew Over My Head” By Braven Headley
I hear the owl
It flies over the trees
Sounds like growls
I touch the rough bark of trees
As I look
I smell the smell of waterfowl
I feel scared when I know I’m being watched

“In the Cedars” by Ben Mitchell
I see the cedar falling
I hear them cutting the wood
I touch wet wood
I touch wet fish
I smell cedar sap
I feel weak and strong and brave

“Animals” by Kyliegh Solway
I see deer prancing though the woods
I hear wolf packs howling
I tough the salmon in the water
I smell squirrels cooking
I feel the warm breeze in the air

Kendra Lomax reports her third-graders had a great time dreaming up ideas, playing with words and getting a little silly during the Cougar Writing Conference in early March. They read “Bartholomew and the Oobleck” by Dr. Seuss and decided to come up with their own versions.

“Oobleck” by Mitch Horton
One day the president said, “I want a new type of weather. I’m sick of this old weather! Stomp on the floor to get my court.” Tyler stomped on the floor. Suddenly there was a sound from the room behind them, it sounded like, “Har har har!” then someone jumped into the room. “At your service, Mr. President. Har! Har! Har!” “I want you ten to make a new type of weather.” “Oobleck!” they all shouted simultaneously. “What’s oobleck?” “No one knows,” one of them shrugged. “Well go make oobleck.” “Ok Mr. President.”
The president looked back expected to see the court, but they weren’t there, probably on their way to their mountain. They a high place to do their weird magic. The president looked out the window, it was dark out. I think I’ll go to bed, he thought. On his way to bed he heard something slimy and heavy drop from the sky. Must be my new weather, he thought. When he woke up he gave a great yawn and peered out his window. “Oh no!” There were people and cars glued to the street! He ran to the police chief. He ran outside and almost instantly got glued to the ground. Same with the weed whacker company, same with the goo inspector company, and so on. The president threw himself into the chair in front of the window. “Ohhh,” sighed the president, “I’m sorry I made this weather!” Suddenly all of the oobleck disintegrated and the sun shined through the oobleck clouds and they lived happily ever after, for now.

“Paola and the Oobleck” by Paola Villegas
Oobleck starts falling from the sky because the queen Lomax was sick of all the other weathers, but the oobleck is dangerous because of all its sticky slime. So I go run to get Austin but he is stuck to Kate and Riley. So I ran to go get queen Lomax, but she was stuck to paper and a pen. So I ran to go get Mary. She was inside sleeping in. So I had to yell, “Mary, get up!” What do you need, Mary said stretching out. “Just look out the window,” I said to her. “Holy cheese,” screamed Mary with her eyes popping out. “I can help,” said Mary with a smile.
She went over to the window and scooped some on her hand. “This is cool. It’s a liquid,” Mary said. Mary put her hand on the wall. “Oh! That’s great!” I said walking out. I forgot about queen Lomax, I told myself. I rushed upstairs just to find the queen surrounded by a big blob of oobleck. “Don’t just stand there, help me out of this thing!” the queen demanded. “Just say you’re sorry. That’s what you need to say,” I told her. “Ok,” the queen said, “I’m sorry.” And all the oobleck started to leave. Some people say what the queen said is what stopped the oobleck. Some say not. But what we do know is that no one will ask for oobleck again.

“Ms. Lomax and the Oobleck” by Chloe Van Proyen
Once upon a time there was a queen. Her name was Ms. Lomax. She wanted new weather because she was tired of rain, hail and snow. Ms. Lomax called her magicians. The magicians came right away. I told the queen this was not a good idea, but she did not listen. She told her idea to the magicians and the magicians went to their cave. The magicians went to their cave and started to make the oobleck. The oobleck started to go up in the air. It was raining oobleck. Then it sticks to people, dogs and cats. Then the worst part happened the oobleck broke the windows of the castle and it stuck to the queen’s throne. I told her to say sorry and she did. Then the oobleck melted from the hot sun.

“Oobleck” by Emily Green
Once upon a time a queen named Ms. Lomax wanted to stop the rain. So she zoomed to her magician and said, “Stop raining,” but it started to oobleck and everyone got stuck in it. So she went to the bellman to ring the bell to tell everyone to stay inside, but the bell got stuck and couldn’t move. Then she went to the man that plays the horn to tell everyone to stay inside, but it got stuck. Then she went to get the drum man to play the drum to tell everyone to stay inside, but it got stuck. The oobleck was falling on everyone. The queen went to her magicians and said, “I’m sorry,” and the magicians made it stop ooblecking and the queen liked the normal weather.

Here are more of teacher Ione Marcy’s first-grade students’ samples of persuasive writing:

Dear Mom and Dad,
I think we should have pizza every night because it is my favorite food. There are a lot of flavors: Cheese, pepperoni, pineapple, onion, and more. So I could try a new kind. I would eat my vegetables and fruit. Promise! Really, really! I will also have protein.
— Your Pizza Girl Ruby Coulson
P.S. What kind of pizza do you like?

Dear Mom,
I know I am not allowed to have a pet dog and a pet chicken. Can I please, please? I will clean my room from now on. The chicken will give us breakfast. Oh please can I have a pet dog and a pet chicken? I will train it and feed it. I will teach my new dog tricks. I will play with my dog. At night I will put her in her cage. I will sleep with my new dog. I will clean my new dog’s cage every day. Please can I have one? Please?
Kori Miller

Dear Mom,
Can you please get me a Game Boy? I will clean whenever you want me to and I will listen to you.
Hunter Gallauher

Dear Mom and Dad,
May I have a typewriter because it will be way easier for me to write letters to you? I really, really need one cuz then I can write way better.
— Your little Princess Danika Chen
P.S. Can we have salad almost every night?

Dear Mrs. Boots,
I want to have a sleepover in the cafeteria because it will be fun. You can play hide and go seek. My sister can watch us. I will read more at school and I will read more at home. Please. Yes or no?
Lauren Johnson

Dear Mom,
I want to go to Texas when the baby grows up. But I want to stay for a long time. I want to ride my horse.
Hector Morales

Hi Mom,
Can we have chili three nights? Please? Please? It has beans in it. It has corn in it. It has tomatoes in it. It is good for you and I will clean up my room all by myself that I share with my sister Rylee.
Alivia Bender

Debbie Buchillo, secretary


The sixth-period Science and Engineering Class in Room 402 hosted a poster session on March 2. Students from other classes were invited to view the posters and ask questions of the young exhibitors.
Deb Beckett, science teacher and Sequim Science Fair Club advisor


First Teacher activities:
Thursday, March 15 — Kaleidoscope Play and Learn, as well as open play at 10:30 a.m.
Friday, March 16 — Crafts for Kids at 10:30 a.m.
Monday, March 19 — Reading Time with Sequim Youth Librarian Antonia Krupicka-Smith at 10:30 a.m., and a talk on interactive reading. All children attending Reading Time will receive a free book!
Tuesday, March 20 — WIC (Women, Infants and Children). For more information about the WIC program, contact Pam Walker at 417-2275.
Questions about First Teacher? Need to sign up for a free monthly newsletter? Call 582-3428 or 681-2250, or visit the website at
Cynthia Martin, director, and Paula Cunningham, AmeriCorps member


HSPE testing for all 10th-graders and for any 11th- or 12th-graders who have not met standard on either assessment is March 14-15. HSPE testing is 8:15-10:40 a.m. School starts for ninth-graders and non-testing juniors and seniors at 10:45 a.m.
Students who need to take the bus will ride it at their regular time. There will not be a second bus run. Students who arrive early may go to the cafeteria until school starts. Parents are encouraged to call if they have questions about state testing requirements. For more information about HSPE and graduation requirements, go to
Lora Millet, secretary

This year’s Talent Show will be at 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, March 16-17, in the auditorium. Our line-up includes a little bit of everything, from staff acts, bands, instrumentals, martial arts, dancing and more. Friday is judges’ choice and Saturday will be fans’ choice for audience members to vote for their favorite act.
Cost is $4 for senior citizens and students with ASB cards, $5 for adults and students without ASB cards, and $10 for a family pass. We hope to see you there!
Dave Toman (“Mr. T”), campus security and talent show coordinator

Last summer, high school students Lorah Steichen, Quinn O’Neil, Grace Trautman and Carson Lewis enrolled in the Cascades Climate Challenge, a three-week program located throughout North Cascades National Park and National Forest. Forty students from Washington and Oregon participated in the program, which included a 12-day backpacking hike in the park. For more information on the program, check out
On March 2, these four students presented a lesson on climate change to Carla Morton’s fifth-grade science class at Greywolf Elementary. After an overview given by Lorah Steichen, the younger students were split into small groups to participate at different learning stations about the watershed (taught by Quinn O’Neil), the carbon cycle (taught by Carson Lewis) and glaciers (taught by Grace Trautman).
Lorah Steichen, Sequim High School senior

Reading with area elementary students on Dr. Seuss’ birthday has been a Leadership class project for the past few years. All Leadership students serve as a project manager at least once a semester. Allison Masangkey, sophomore class secretary and organizer of the reading project, coordinated with 50 teachers and more than 800 students. Arrangements were made to have Spanish-speaking high school students read stories in Spanish to ELL students. For a special treat, the high school students provided paper Seussical hats for the elementary students to wear.
Jennifer Van De Wege, teacher and Leadership Club advisor

The advanced photography class, comprised of 14 students and teachers Joy Karsgaard and Jim Heintz, went on a day field trip to Seattle. We visited the Seattle Central Community College photography department. At the college, we learned there is a long list of students competing for spots in the photography program. Each fall only 32 students are accepted for the coveted two-year program.
In addition to the school tour, we spent time taking photos at Seattle landmark spots including Pike Place Market, Seattle Center and the view of Seattle from Kerry Park. The students enjoyed the trip and learned a lot.
Jim Heintz, photography teacher
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