Golden Acorn 2017

Every year, we award volunteers in the Genesee Hill community who go above and beyond to help out in and around our school. The state refers to this as the “Golden Acorn Award*,” but we’d like to officially welcome the new members to “the nut club.”

The 2017/18 Golden Acorn recipients are Matt Cannard, Karen Kasameyer, Pam Linxweiler, and Katie Greenberg.

Our volunteer community is the glue that keeps our amazing programs running. Thank you!

From left to right: Matt Cannard, Karen Kasameyer,
Pam Linxweiler, Katie Greenberg

*A Golden Acorn Award is presented by a local PTA or council to a school or community volunteer in recognition of her or his dedication and service to children and youth. Since the beginning of this program in the 1930s, more than 54,000 Golden Acorn Awards have been presented to volunteers throughout Washington state. Recipients receive a certificate and pin, and a contribution is made in their name to the Washington State PTA Scholarship Program that benefits students.



Spotlight on Move-A-Thon Sponsors, Pt. 2

Nakean Media

Nakean Wickliff is father to kindergartner Craiggan. He is a local Seattle photographer specializing in outdoor portrait and landscape photography. If you need headshots, portraits, or just need to cover some wall space, he is your guy!  Check out his portfolio at



Hotwire Coffee | Flying Apron | Angela Cough and Jeffrey Silva

Angela and Jeffrey are parents to Samantha (3rd grade) and an incoming kindergartner. They are the owners of Hotwire Coffee ( and Flying Apron (

Flying Apron Bakery & Cafe is a GFCO certified and 100% dedicated gluten-free & vegan bakery & cafe. They pride themselves in using the best ingredients with an emphasis on non-GMO whole-grain flour alternatives, healthy oils and offer goods with sugar alternative sweeteners such as maple and agave.

Hotwire Coffee has been voted the best coffee in West Seattle for a number of years. Hotwire is an Internet cafe located in the heart of the West Side who prides themselves on hand-crafted espresso.


Sue Austin, co-founder of EvoFit (, is mother to Penelope (kindergarten) and Phoebe (1st grade). The EVOLVE by EvoFit program is designed specifically for women. The formula created by EvoFit of HIIT workouts, nutritional accountability, and a motivational and inspiring setting will help you evolve into the healthiest, fittest you.

Law Offices of Susan Carroll, PLLC

6041 California Ave. SW, Suite 101
Seattle, WA  98136
Phone: 206-452-5483
Fax:  206-452-5688


Rene Bibaud is mother to kindergartner Craiggan. Rene is a five-time world champion, former ESPN commentator for the sport of jumping rope and artist and coach of the renowned Cirque Du Soleil. She is an educator, motivational speaker, and entertainer with a special focus on fitness and specialty performances. Rene organizes jump ropes shows, workshops, and camps. Find out more at

West Seattle Runner

Owners Tim and Lori McConnell are West Seattle residents. They are long time supporters of all the schools in West Seattle and have donated shoes to the winners of the our school’s Move-A-Thon for the past two years.


SPS Capacity & School Location Community Meeting: June 1

Date: June 1, 2017 at 6:30pm
Location: Louisa Boren STEM K-8

Meeting Topic: Flip Herndon, Seattle Public Schools Associate Superintendent for Capital, Facilities, Enrollment Planning will present options to address capacity and enrollment issues that impact our school.

Why should I attend this meeting?

Seattle Public Schools formed a Capacity Management Task Force to address increases in current and projected enrollment, with a charter to prepare a report and set of recommendations to the Superintendent of Schools. An option under consideration by the District is the relocation of Louisa Boren STEM K-8 to the Schmitz Park elementary school building.

The Louisa Boren STEM K-8 PTA has serious concerns about the consequences of this option:

  • In its current location, STEM is able to serve all of West Seattle. By contrast, the boundaries of Schmitz Park’s northwest location would negatively impact equitable access to the school for students in the community.
  • STEM is the only option school in the Denny Middle School service area, and has a geographic zone aligned with West Seattle Elementary. That geozone would change if the school moves to Schmitz Park, which means placement of students from the less diverse, more affluent neighborhoods of West Seattle would take priority over students living in the central and south areas.
  • The current capacity of the Schmitz Park building is 216 without portables. The public voted to approve the BEX IV levy, in part, to get children out of portables. Moving a school from an adequate site to one where 60% of students would be in portables disregards the wishes of the taxpayers and the goal of the District to provide permanent classrooms for West Seattle’s growing student population.
  • STEM provides a unique project-based curriculum. The high demand for this type of curriculum, as demonstrated by our projected 2017-18 enrollment of 539 (and waitlist of 189), will continue to grow and can only be accommodated at Boren. STEM’s Special Education families depend on the valuable services offered at the school – any disruption to these services is unacceptable.
  • Schmitz Park was designed as an elementary school and does not have the physical infrastructure to support middle school programs and activities.
  • A move to Schmitz Park will create logistical hardships for families living in the southern neighborhoods of West Seattle, increase transportation costs for the school district, and increase vehicle traffic in the residential neighborhood surrounding the location.

In November 2013, the Seattle School Board acknowledged the value STEM K-5 provides to the diverse student population in West Seattle by voting to permanently locate the school at Boren and expand it to K-8. Since then, the school has continued to thrive and grow, expanding the programs and
services it offers to the community.

To remain accessible to all families who want a project-based STEM education for their children, the Boren building remains the right location for Louisa Boren STEM K-8.

To stay updated on this topic visit, follow Louisa Boren STEM K-8 PTA on Facebook, or send email to:


Spotlight on Move-A-Thon Sponsors, Pt. 1

 Kevin Broveleit / re206ps

Kevin is father to Joelle (1st grade) and Dora (3rd grade).  He is an active part of the school community, contributing countless hours to the Annual Auction, classroom volunteering, and many other activities. Kevin has been working in real estate since 2003 and specializes in helping people buy and sell real estate mostly in West Seattle, but also in the greater Seattle area. For more information visit

West Seattle Bowl

Established in 1948, West Seattle Bowl ( has become part of the fabric of the West Seattle Community. Owners Mike Gubsch and Andy and Cheri Carl (parents to 3rd grader Ryan) believe in giving back to the community and support fundraising efforts and local schools through discounts for charity bowling events and in-kind donations. Annually this support totals nearly $100,000.  This is the 5th year for their Kids Bowl Free Program, which gives kids two free games of bowling, every day, all summer long. Click here for program information and to sign up. They hope to see you on the lanes.

Western Specialty Contractors

David Kimble, father to Liam (2nd grade), is the manager of the Seattle branch of Western Specialty Contractors ( The company has been a generous sponsor for our school for several years.


 West Seattle Natural Medicine

Dr. Adrianne Cook is mother to Kinder Austin Saltzman and 4 year old Phoebe. Dr. Cook practices as a Primary Care Naturopathic Doctor at West Seattle Natural Medicine Clinic with a focus on nutrition and optimizing health. Her specialty is treating adults with digestive issues, fatigue, thyroid disorders and hormone imbalance. West Seattle Natural Medicine Clinic sees patients of all ages and is credentialed with most major health insurances. In her spare time, she enjoys time with her family and catching up on sleep.


Matthew & Casie LaBella / West Seattle Foot and Ankle Clinic

The West Seattle Foot & Ankle Clinic was established in 1979. Their goal has always been to provide the highest degree of foot and ankle care possible while treating patients as a whole. In addition to helping their many patients, Matt and Casie are parents to Jesse (4th grade) and Lucy (2nd grade). Casie has been generous with her volunteer time in the classroom and at the school, where she has co-chaired the Passport program.

Julie Ambrose, MSW, LICSW

Julie Ambrose is mother to Jackson (3rd grade) and Josie (2nd grade) Ambrose. She owns the Morgan Junction Building, a mental health clinic housing 11 therapists with a wide range of specialties. Julie herself specializes in Individual and Family Therapy for teens and adults; focusing on treatment of anxiety, depression, school-related problems, relationship issues, and life transitions. In her free time she enjoys running, hiking, reading, cooking and sharing food with family and friends. For more information on her practice, you may visit



Open Discussion – Homework Policy 2017

From the Principal

Over the course of the last several months, our Instructional Leadership Team has been hard at work studying the issue of homework and crafting a policy that can make our approach to homework clear and consistently applied in every classroom. The issue of homework has received a lot of attention recently, and we started this process by doing a thorough review of the literature and research about different elementary homework practices. After reading parent comments on the Parent Conference Survey in November and aligning our current practice at different grade levels at Genesee Hill with what we read in the research, we were then able to identify the core values we wanted to craft a policy around. Our next step was to consider a number of sample policies from schools around the country so that we could think through what was practical and what the implications of our decisions at the building level would be.

The Seattle School Board requires that every school draft its own homework policy, and we have changed dramatically as a school since the simple idea of “ten minutes per grade level” was first introduced in the Eighties. We now have a strong policy draft that we are eager to introduce to families for additional comment. With your help, we will be able to ensure that the policy we approve for the next school year is one that will help build our home-school connection and will provide a coherent philosophy and expectation to support children in every classroom.

We invite you to share your comments. This is a trial run of a way to garner community input on an idea with transparent civic discourse. Our idea is that sometimes questions and concerns expressed on surveys can feel like they go into a black hole. We will commit to reviewing and getting all comments posted within 24 hours. Please take time to read the other comments posted, and I will endeavor to clarify and answer questions as needed.

The draft of the 2017 Homework Policy can be reviewed here.


Public Education in a Democratic Society – GH Equity Team Family Forum

How do we support democratic values in today’s classrooms? How does this connect to the conversations we are having (or not having) at home?

Join us for a conversation about the vital role public education has played—and continues to play—in our democracy. Free dinner and childcare provided onsite.

Date: May 4
Location: Genesee Hill Library

Dinner served at 6pm
Discussion and presentation begin at 6:30


Equity Team Family Forum – A Historical Gallery of Equity in Seattle

An evening with Anita Garcia Morales senior trainer with Class Action

  • April 6th @ Genesee Hill Library
  • Dinner served 6pm
  • Speaker begins 6:30pm
  • Questions and conversation 7:30-8pm

Free dinner and childcare provided on site.

Anita Garcia Morales grew up in a migrant farm worker family in Eastern Washington. She served Seattle Public Schools for 35 years as a classroom teacher and Equity & Race Relations Specialist who co-designed and co-facilitated racial equity trainings for all levels of district staff. Now an independent consultant, Anita continues this work with organizations looking to make systemic change. Anita is a Senior Trainer with Class Action, a non-profit whose mission is to inspire action to end classism ( She teaches in the University of Washington Seattle Teacher Residency Program and is a Positive Discipline Certified Parent and Educator Trainer. In all the circles Anita convenes, she honors the gifts and knowledge people bring, and with them, creates and maintains environments that invite taking risks, making mistakes and learning from and with each other.


Special Screening – The Mask You Live In

Join us for this upcoming event… A special screening of the documentary film, The Mask You Live In

  • Where: Genesee Hill Elementary Cafeteria
  • When: Tuesday April 18th, 7pm-9pm

Genesee Hill Elementary PTA and South Seattle College Cooperative Preschools are partnering to bring this screening to our families. The event is open to adults only (strong language and adult subject matter) and will include a 30 minute community discussion after the film.


The boy in my life is much younger than the young men in the documentary – why should I be worrying about this now? Can’t I just cross this bridge when I come to it? Yes … but. A lot of the unconscious messaging and language we and society as whole use with young boys plants seeds from a very early age that can bear fruit later in life. Educating ourselves now, when boys are in preschool and elementary school, raising our own awareness, can teach us to be present, to help our boys as they grow into young men and have to navigate these increasingly choppy waters.


This is a free event for Genesee Hill and SSC Co-op families. Reserve your spot by clicking here.

Trailer (*strong language*)

From the Producers

“The documentary follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity. Pressured by the media, their peer group, and even the adults in their lives, our protagonists confront messages encouraging them to disconnect from their emotions, devalue authentic friendships, objectify and degrade women, and resolve conflicts through violence. These gender stereotypes interconnect with race, class, and circumstance, creating a maze of identity issues boys and young men must navigate to become “real” men.

Experts in neuroscience, psychology, sociology, sports, education, and media also weigh in, offering empirical evidence of the “boy crisis” and tactics to combat it.

The Mask You Live In ultimately illustrates how we, as a society, can raise a healthier generation of boys and young men.”


Next Generation Science Curriculum – Raise the Paddle!

If you were unable to attend the auction, check out this video to learn more about our proposed science curriculum.

You can also learn more about our plan by visiting this page.

If you are still looking at ways to support Genesee Hill kids, this is a tangible way you can directly help create the very best learning environment possible for our kids!





Registration for Spring Enrichment Classes and Study Club

Spring 2017 Enrichment (April 3 – June 16, 2017): Online registration for Spring enrichment classes will open on Tuesday, March 7th at 7:00 PM and close on March 12th at 5:00 PM. Class descriptions, days/times and fees are now available on the Course Descriptions page. Register here (link available March 7, 2017).

Spring 2017 Study Club (April 3 – June 26, 2017):  Online registration for the Spring session of Study Club will open on Wednesday, March 8th at 9:00 AM. Study Club will also be offered for early dismissal on May 10, during the gap week from June 19 – 23, and on June 26 (new last day of school).  Registrations will be accepted until all spots are filled. Register here (link available March 8, 2017).