May 12, 2022
New aerospace class at SHS prepares students for high-demand jobs
Omar Montoya has always had an interest in aerospace, so when he went to his school counselor to talk about class selections, a brand new course offering immediately stuck out to him.
“They told me that they had this class called Core Plus Aerospace. Once I heard the word aerospace, I was just like, ‘Oh my gosh, I've been wanting to do aerospace for a really long time,’” said Omar, a junior at Sumner High School.
This year, Omar and 60 other students had the opportunity to learn more about the field of aerospace and potential job opportunities through Sumner High School’s new Core Plus Aerospace class.
Core Plus Aerospace is a two-year high school advanced manufacturing curriculum that prepares students for high-demand jobs through hands-on learning. Students gain real-world skills that open doors to good-paying manufacturing jobs and give them an advantage when applying for apprenticeships, post-high school certificates, and college degrees.
The courses were developed by industry leaders, such as Boeing, in partnership with the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and has been implemented at schools across the state.
The 2021-22 school year is the first year of the Core Plus Aerospace Manufacturing I course at SHS. The course is taught by CTE teacher Trisha Fry, who also has previous experience working at Boeing.
In the course, students learn basic skills, including:
- Introduction to Material Sciences
- Precision Measurement
- Cutting and Grinding
- Blueprint reading
Next year, SHS is planning to launch Core Plus Aerospace Manufacturing II, which covers:
- Pneumatics and Hydraulics
- Basic Electrical
- Introduction to Welding (via virtual welders)
Aaron Tomyn, Director of Career and College Readiness for the Sumner-Bonney Lake School District, said that the program gives students a leg up in getting hired while also addressing the need for people in the aerospace field.
“We often hear from our business partners, ‘If you can teach them to use basic tools, precision measurement, and how to read a blueprint, we can train them to use our specialized tools,’” Aaron said.
Omar, who is the president of Skills USA for Aerospace at SHS, participated in the Skills USA competition at Boeing along with other members of the SHS team in March. The competition included interviews and hands-on activity.
Omar said he’s interested in continuing to explore the aerospace field and possibly an apprenticeship or internship.
“I enjoyed it this year - I’ll definitely want to do it next year,” he said.
BLHS culinary arts team takes 8th place at national competition
The Bonney Lake High School culinary arts team were cooking to win at the National ProStart Invitational in Washington D.C. last weekend.
The Panther chefs prepared a three-course meal for two in one hour using only two butane burners. Each member had their task:
- Luke M. made the seared halibut appetizer
- Alika A. made the entree, including the perfect prime tenderloin steak
- Mallory M. made the dessert, including chocolate raspberry mousse and passionfruit panna cotta
- Grace F. kept everyone working together as the sous chef
- Lucy M. was the glue to the team, calling out times, checking for precision and managing the production schedule as team manager
In the end, the Panthers landed an impressive 8th place at the national competition out of 42 schools! Congratulations to the five members of the team and advisor Kahale Ahina.
The National ProStart Invitational is the country’s premier secondary school competition focused on restaurant management and culinary arts. Annually, nearly 400 student competitors put their skills to the test to earn scholarships from the nation's best culinary and restaurant management programs. The competition was canceled the past two years because of COVID-19.
Mental Health Awareness: Elhi Hill grad shares successes amid struggles
Content warning: This story discusses depression and suicidal ideation.
Emily Jensen remembers when she first started as a sophomore in the Elhi Hill High School Program in the Sumner-Bonney Lake School District.
“I started excelling. I was like flying through courses and they were surprised at how fast I was getting stuff done,” she said.
But it wasn’t always like that.
Throughout most of her life, Emily struggled with her mental health, due to factors both inside and outside of the classroom.
“I did not have any friends. I did not have set social friends. I really just kind of struggled,” said Emily, who is now 19.
From an early age, Emily loved to learn, but around sixth grade, she felt she wasn’t being challenged.
“I was just not doing well and I just didn't care. I felt like I just didn't want to do this. I was already dealing with depression and suicidal ideation,” she said.
In seventh grade, Emily had her first suicide attempt and survived. She went to a long-term treatment center, changing schools in the process, and later returned to SBLSD for her sophomore year. Emily then survived an overdose and went to another treatment center.
“These stays can be anywhere from like one month to, for some people, years. So I’m missing like two to three months of school each time. I'm missing so much school and then when I arrive back or if I even switched schools, I'm lost,” Emily said.
Emily applied to be in the District’s Elhi Hill High School Program, and actually found out she was accepted while in the hospital recovering from her overdose. After treatment, she started there.
“They were so accommodating, like literally I could cry, I love them so much,” she said.
Elhi Hill was a turning point for Emily. The learning style was liberating, she said, because it laid out everything she needed to accomplish, allowing her to go at her own pace and easing her anxiety. She said the staff there always checked in to see how she was doing and asked her what she needed to be successful when creating her independent learning plan.
“That takes effort, that takes, like, your dedication, your own time,” Emily said about the staff. “They just blow my mind with their hearts, honestly.”
An Elhi Hill teacher, Mr. Hagen, helped Emily to take an assessment at Pierce College to go straight to Precalculus, despite being behind two years in math, and would also sit down to help her with the work.
Having staff check in with students, to get to know them rather than only handing them a list of suicide hotline numbers, makes a difference, Emily said.
“It’s that consistent dedication that is really important for students,” Emily said.
Emily graduated on time through the Elhi Hill High School Program in 2020 and is now enrolled at Central Washington University’s Pierce County campus and is working to become a teacher herself and help students like her.
For other students who may be facing the same struggles as Emily had as a student, she wants them to know that they are not alone and encourages them to talk about how they’re feeling with others.
“In the end, talking about it is really what we can do,” she said. “Talking about mental health is actually one of the ways that we can process it the most.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255, or text 741741. More resources are available at sumnersd.org/counselingresources.
About Elhi Hill High School Program
The Elhi Hill High School Program provides a caring environment for students who need services beyond the traditional school day to meet state and district standards. Students must be referred and accepted to the program. Students who graduate from Elhi Hill receive a diploma from Bonney Lake or Sumner High School.
Mental Health Awareness Event, May 23
Do you know a teenager struggling with their mental health? Please share information about a Mental Health Awareness Event, geared toward youth*, featuring a documentary film about a 16-year-old’s suicide attempt and her journey to help others find hope.
In providing foundational knowledge about mental health and resources for help, the event also includes:
- Community mental health panel
- Community resource fair
- Prize drawings; free food and T-shirts (while supplies last)
Attend this free event from 4 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, May 23 at Sumner High School, 1707 Main St.
The event is sponsored by the Sumner-Bonney Lake School District in partnership with Kids' Mental Health Pierce County and Coordinated Care. For more information, visit kidsmentalhealthpiercecounty.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org at (253) 891-6000.
*Students under the age of 13 are encouraged to attend with a parent/caregiver or trusted adult.
SHS band takes home win from Wenatchee festival
Sumner High School band, color guard and dance team traveled to Wenatchee over the weekend to perform in the Apple Blossom Festival.
Competing against 17 other bands, SHS walked away with the Sweepstakes title for best overall band and First Place Auxiliary in 4A for color guard/dance drill.
Events for incoming 6th grade students, families
Do you have a child transitioning from 5th to 6th grade? Our three middle schools are hosting events for incoming 6th grade students and their families, with opportunities to meet school staff, tour the building, review core and elective classes, and learn what middle school is all about. Here’s an outline of the dates and times. For detailed information, please contact your child’s middle school.
Sumner Middle School
New Bobcat Night: May 25 or 26
All 5th graders scheduled to attend Sumner Middle School next year will be personally invited to SMS on May 25 or May 26. Students will be given an opportunity to tour the school and make elective (Encore) requests for next year.
Families will be invited to a Parent Night on May 26 from 6 to 7 p.m. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more information from Sumner Middle School.
More information: Call Sumner Middle School, (253) 891-5000.
Panther 5K event benefits BLHS ASB
Come run for a good cause: Bonney Lake High School ASB is hosting their inaugural Panther 5K and Fun Run on Saturday, May 21 at Donald Eismann Elementary, 13802 Canyon View Blvd E in Bonney Lake.
Start times for the races will be staggered:
- 8:15 a.m.
- 9:15 a.m.
- 10:15 a.m.
Kids Fun Runs:
- 9 a.m.
- 10 a.m.
Also enjoy face painting and refreshments. All proceeds from the event will go to support the BLHS ASB for student clubs and activities. To register, click this link.
School Board: Study session highlights, upcoming meetings
The public is invited to attend School Board study sessions and meetings, which are held both virtually and in person. Please note that dates, times and locations are subject to change. Agendas are published a day prior to each meeting.
Study session highlights: May 10
- Presentation: School Board Director Redistricting
- Presentation: Comprehensive School Counseling Program
- Meeting recording (passcode: .0wrA^mE)
Board meeting: May 16
- 6 p.m. at Central Office Board Room (1202 Wood Ave)
- Virtual meeting link (passcode: 453531)
- Register for in-person or virtual public comment
- Submit comments online
Next meeting: June 8
- There will be no study session in June. The previously-scheduled June 15 school board meeting is rescheduled for June 8 at 6 p.m. at the Central Office boardroom.