Monthly Archives: May 2019

Denali introduces Self-Guided Study to Summit Expeditions

By Ellen Hu

Denali Editor-in-Chief

During the 2019-20 school year, Summit juniors will get a chance to practice their self-directed learning through a new Expeditions course that was first introduced to Summit Denali High School this year. Currently, the half-day course allows juniors to study for AP classes or conduct an independent study while still participating in the required College Readiness course.

“We can only offer so many courses as Expeditions teachers and at Summit,” Self-Guided Study teacher Rebecca Breuer said. She believes that this course is great for students who want to expand on their knowledge in certain subjects.

“If you really like a subject that is not taught in school, or it’s just something you want to try out, this is a great opportunity,” Denali junior Leopold Chen said.

The class gives students a chance to experience a sense of “freedom” Denali junior Cameron Hess said. “She would say that if we need to go to the bathroom or get water we could just go. It gives you more independence.”

During the course, students can study the following AP classes: 2-D Art and Design, 3-D Art and Design, Art History, Drawing, Music Theory, English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, Comparative Government and Politics, European History, Human Geography, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Psychology, United States Government and Policies, United States History, World History: Modern, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Computer Science A, Computer Science Principles, Statistics, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics 1, Physics 2, Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism, Physics C: Mechanics, Chinese Language and Culture, French Language and Culture, German Language and Culture, Italian Language and Culture, Japanese Language and Culture, Latin, Spanish Language and Culture and Spanish Literature and Culture.  

During the pilot year, students were given the chance to participate in an independent study or an AP study course. In the future, students will only be given the option to study for an AP course. “[Changes] will depend on the teachers who are doing it and at what site,” Ms. Breuer said. Self-Guided Study will be introduced to Summit Prep, Everest, Summit Tahoma, Summit Rainier and Summit Shasta in the 2019-20 school year.

Ms. Breuer plans to continue supervising the course at Denali. Students who are interested can contact Expeditions Dean Kalyn Olson at to discuss next steps.

See below for a video about the Self-Guided Study course:

Tahoma displays their fondness for compassionate Operations Manager

By C.M. Bateman and Maxwell Taniguchi-King

Staff Editors

Lupe Talamantes-Escobedo, known as Ms. Lupe to students and fellow staff members, is the Operations Manager for Summit Public School: Tahoma. For nearly four years, Ms. Lupe has shaped Summit Tahoma through her valuable guidance and positive impact. Students and teachers alike appreciate Ms. Lupe’s continuous assistance and will miss her comforting presence when she leaves her current role at the end of the 2018-19 school year.

See below for a video tribute to Ms. Lupe:

Tahoma community commemorates student work in Expeditions

By C.M. Bateman and Caden Vu

Staff Writers

Parents, siblings and friends of students filled the walkways of Summit Tahoma, gathering together for its annual Celebration of Learning event. Celebration of Learning is Tahoma’s showcase of work students have accomplished over the year in their Expeditions courses. People are welcome to roam from classroom to classroom to learn about the unique aspects of each Expeditions class through student-led presentations.

“I think it’s wonderful; it’s a great opportunity to see all the terrific things that go on in the Expeditions,” a Tahoma parent, Larry Samuelson, said. Another parent, Nora Wilkinson, said, “It’s great; I think it’s always nice to get together as a community and see what the students are up to.” Both parents have children who are juniors at Tahoma.

Various attractions were scattered around campus for everyone to enjoy. People sold food and snacks like pizza, popcorn, cotton candy and snow cones. The faculty raffled off prizes, like shirts, candy and even a flat-screen TV.

Each class held presentations in a classroom to exhibit what students learned during their eight weeks of Expeditions coursework.

Students who took Independent Study and Internship created posters to demonstrate what they did and learned during their time in Expeditions.

Intro to Programming had games made from an AI program. One of the games consisted of a bee collecting pollen on a computerized grid of flowers. Robotics demonstrated the various robots they created from Lego pieces and put them to the test through different games the students made.

The Stage Combat class performed a play for their audience. Groups took turns performing an act that tells a story in silence utilizing skills commonly used in miming.

Intro to Drama performed multiple skits and monologues, including a piece from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The advanced course, Modern Acting & Theatre, performed a showcase which featured the play “Selfie” by Bradley Hayward, scenes from “Dear Evan Hansen” and other monologues from the upperclassmen.

Students in classes like Human Psychology, Human Rights and Ethnic Studies made trifolds of a topic they researched in depth for Celebration of Learning.

Students enrolled in the two journalism courses covered the evening by taking photos of every presentation and interviewing the audience.

Parents especially enjoyed the night’s festivities. Tahoma parent Vicky Tran said, “Our child is new at the school and we just want to … check things out, see what’s going on. She seems to like it here, and I think I know why.”

Staff Writers Omar El-Bandrawy and Erick Godinez contributed to this article.

Click this link to see Tahoma’s newsletter for more information about the Celebration of Learning showcase. Click here to see an interactive catalog of Tahoma’s Expeditions courses. 

See below for a video of the event:

Modern Acting and Theatre teaches the profession of acting

By Joshua Rivera

Staff Writer

Modern Acting and Theatre is a different experience compared to the introductory drama course. The advanced course teaches students the techniques and emotions of acting: it’s a college-level course meant to prepare students for the acting world. Ran by the production company Estronemicas, the drama course is a chance for aspiring actors to show the experience they have.

Ron Johnson, a professional actor and teacher of the advanced drama course said, “I wanted to do a theatre class with a twist, because Expeditions is supposed to be about giving students experiences that they’d get should they chose to move into a profession, but without having to actually, definitely make the choice.”

Tahoma senior Sydney Martinez, who has been with the course for four years, said, “We learned how to make our own acting resume and be able to find ways to make a career out of the things we learned in the class. Over time that stuff grows and becomes more complex.”

See below for a video about the Modern Acting and Theatre course:

Featured image (at the top of this post): The Modern Acting and Theatre class rehearses for their end-of-year performance. PHOTO CREDIT: Joshua Rivera

Class of 2019 says their final goodbye to Tahoma

By Monique Contreras

Staff Writer

As the year comes to an end, emotions are heightened as the Class of 2019 launches into a new journey. They will have to say goodbye to the bonds, the friends and the family that they have made here to grow and be successful in their quest for college.

The departure of the Class of 2019 not only affects the other students at Summit Tahoma but the teachers as well. Each year, another class leaves and leaves behind an inspiration to the following class that graduates.

The mentors who have been with the Class of 2019 since their first day are the most deeply affected. This is because the mentors helped their students grow and be successful in high school, and they even raised them as their own children.

High school was a long, arduous journey that has prepared us for what will come in the future, whether it be college, work or trade school. The bonds made will not be broken nor forgotten but remembered as a warm memory.

Our relationship with our mentors will always be remembered as loving parents who wanted nothing but the best for us. Our mentors played a significant role in our journey, and they will never be forgotten.

I would like to speak for the Class of 2019 and say that we appreciate everything that was given to us, and we wouldn’t be able to make it to where we are without the love and care given to us since freshman year.

Shown below is a video where some seniors from the Class of 2019 discuss what they will remember from Tahoma and how they are prepared for their new journey ahead. Two mentors are also shown explaining the impact their mentees had on them and how they are expecting great things from us.

See below for a video tribute to the Tahoma Class of 2019:

Featured Image (at the top of this post): Summit Tahoma seniors smile for their last picture as the Class of 2019. PHOTO CREDIT: LifeTouch

College Readiness prepares students for the future

By Erick Godinez

Staff Writer

College Readiness prepares students for their future when they enter college. This course is required for juniors to take to prepare for their senior year and beyond. This course helps out by covering content such as financial aid, student loans, finding the best fit college, etc..

Melissa Thiriez, the College Readiness teacher, says “College Readiness is a chance for students to really plan on getting prepared for their next step whether it is college or a job. It is the best opportunity for students to take the time to learn more about what steps will make them happy and lead them to a fulfilled life after high school.”

A student in College Readiness shares a similar sentiment, Melissa Espinal, a Tahoma junior, says “I learned so far how to prepare for my future like what I can do with my debts in college, what colleges I want to go and if they can provide what I need.”

Learn more from this video:

Local Wilderness students reflect on their time in the class

By Nethan Sivarapu

Multimedia Editor

It’s the middle of a normal school day, but, instead of being in a classroom, the Local Wilderness Expeditions class is outside, making fires and cooking lunch. The teacher of the class, Vaughan Wilkins, has been an avid outdoorsman and supporter of finding your inner peace in nature. He also teaches psychology and knows firsthand the kind of hardships that we as human beings go through.

Mr. Wilkins said, “Much of the stuff that we learn in psychology and all of the bad things that can happen to people can actually be healed and restitched by doing wilderness work.” In today’s world, it is well-known that too much time spent in front of technology can corrode your mind, so Mr. Wilkins uses his wilderness course as an opportunity to teach his students how getting in touch with nature can ultimately help them.

When asked what their favorite part of the class is, many students said it was the ability to go outdoors and spend time with their peers while learning about important information. Tahoma sophomore Rae Frescas said, “It’s making the new experiences with friends because everyone just seems to get along so well together.”

As the class prepared to cook their lunches, many students said that before the class they had no idea how to cook, start a fire or even use a knife. In the last year they had gained knowledge about surviving with fewer resources and that had given them confidence as well.

When asked what influence he wants to put on the students, Mr. Wilkins said, “That they love being outside more and that working together and being human is OK.”

See below for a video about the Local Wilderness course:

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