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WSA's Class of 2024 toss their caps after graduating on June 1, 2024 at Village Green Community Center in Kingston - Mark Gsellman photo

Graduating and Celebrating: the Class of 2024.

West Sound Academy families, friends, and faculty came to Kingston on the first day of June to celebrate the achievements of the Class of 2024. The school hosted its 23rd…
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The Class of 2024 out in the field - on their way to the Declaration Day ceremony - May 31, 2024

Declaration Day 2024: Graduating seniors announce their fall plans

  West Sound Academy’s 23rd class of graduates, the seniors of 2023-2024, came back to campus on May 31 – the day before graduation. They had already submitted the last…
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WSA students at the Castillo de Felipe de Barajas in Cartagena, Colombia

Diving into Colombia: WSA Students’ International Expedition!

West Sound Academy’s Junior and Senior classes traded in their usual finals week for a ten-day service trip to Cartagena, Colombia. After handing in their final evaluations the weeks prior,…
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Two Witches, No Waiting

West Sound Academy Theatre Company Presents: Two Witches, No Waiting

Laugh til you cry with Pat Cooper’s – Two Witches, No Waiting!  West Sound Academy Theatre Company continues its theatre season with this hilarious comedy.  Arlene Marcus and her sister,…
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Every member of the Class of 2023 helped with the painting of the math mural

WSA senior explores math topic with a collaborative artwork. 

Students in Ben Owen’s IB Math Applications & Interpretations class do an assignment of math exploration, connecting a specific mathematical topic to something that is personally interesting or relevant. Owen…
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Graduated Class of 2023 BEFORE the cap toss

Class of 2023 graduates, then celebrates.

On May 27, the Indianola Clubhouse was the setting for West Sound Academy’s commencement for the school’s 22nd graduating class: the seniors of 2023. Family, friends, and teachers of the…
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Class of 2023 on Declaration Day - May 26, 2023

Declaration Day 2023: Graduating seniors announce their fall plans

    West Sound Academy seniors have finished all of their exams, submitted the last few assignments to Google Classroom, and have returned their library books. They have picked up…
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WSA Team - everyone with their hand on the trophy

West Sound Academy takes first place at Knowledge Bowl State Tournament

West Sound Academy’s Knowledge Bowl team prevailed at the state tournament on March 11 and took first place in Division 1B. Congratulations go to the members of WSA’s team: Mia…
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Bunraku Puppet Project, 10th Grade Theatre class - Gretchen Nordleaf-Nelson photo

Theatre students’ research leads to building and creating Bunraku-like puppets.

“The I in IB truly does stand for International. IB schools are known for their focus on producing global citizens who are educated about the world.”1  This semester the 10th-grade…
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10th Grade Theatre students doing the Mirror Exercise

Theatre Students Learn Life Skills Through Active Learning.

One of the most common acting exercises in the theatre classroom is the Mirror Exercise. Students imagine they are looking into a mirror, and taking turns leading their partner while…
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Dr. Netland talks with WSA Theatre student on September 19, 2022

Visiting Norwegian history scholar gives WSA actors new perspectives on their play.

The West Sound Academy Theatre Company is producing Lizzie Nunnery’s The Snow Dragons, as their fall production. The play’s plot is based on the true story of the Nazi occupation…
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West Sound Academy Graduates

WSA’s Class of 2022 graduates and celebrates

The Indianola Clubhouse has been the venue for numerous West Sound Academy dances and music concerts in the past.  On May 28, the clubhouse doors were opened for a day…
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High School Graduates

Announcing! College destinations & post-graduation plans for the Class of 2022

West Sound Academy seniors came back to campus on May 27 to pick up their caps, gowns, and stoles for the commencement ceremony to be held the next day in…
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6th Grade ERP Project

6th and 7th Graders learn that history is created from many perspectives.

By Georgia Chehade. In Humanities, 6th-grade students have been researching a Washington State History topic since October, a project culminating in a website that students shared with the WSA community…
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Brothers Grimm Theater

West Sound Theatre Company presents: The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon

West Sound Theatre Company presents the wacky sideways fairytales of The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon by playwright Dan Zolidis, May 13 & 14, 2022.   Performances are Friday and Saturday at…
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We Need Diverse Books Image

WNDB grant will bring diverse books and author visit to WSA.

West Sound Academy’s students will be reading more books by diverse authors next school year, thanks to an Educators Making a Difference grant from We Need Diverse Books. The grant…
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6th/7th Grade Exploratory Art - March 15, 2022

Middle School students turn discarded materials into art.

Students in the 6/7th Exploratory Art class are finishing up their artwork sculptures created with repurposed materials. The requirement was a sculpture that is made solely from repurposed materials that…
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Word Cloud for 6th and 7th grade poems

Inspired by Maya Angelou, 6th and 7th Grade poets use their voices.

Students in Georgia Chehade’s 6th/7th Grade Humanities class read and analyzed the poem, “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou as part of their class celebration of Black History Month in February. …
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Hologram lab in Upper School Physics class

Physics students learn about light and create their own holograms.

Students in physics class have been working through a unit on light over the last few weeks. Our more recent labs have had us working on the refraction (bending) of…
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Three members of the Class of 2021

Declaration Day 2021: Graduating seniors announce their fall plans

West Sound Academy seniors were on campus on May 17 for their last day of classes as WSA students. They also took time to make a special announcement to the…
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Kitsap COVID logo

Running the World Should Be Modeled After the Kitsap COVID Vaccine Clinics

My mother always taught me to write thank you notes whenever anyone has done something kind or generous for me.  Well, this is less a blog and more a thank…
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Closeup of nostoc on the WSA parking lot - Karen Mattick photo

Mystery on Campus

A few years ago, walking the long way back to my classroom from Baker Hall, I noticed a strange growth hugging the curb in the parking lot behind Ryan Hall. …
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WSA Pandemic Theatre Company

How the West Sound Academy Pandemic Theatre was born

On March 16th of 2020 the COVID-19 Lockdown hit West Sound Academy, classes were moved into the virtual classroom indefinitely.  The after-school theatre program was producing their first musical, Once…
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Comfort, Fear, Learning, Growth

Put down your Comfort Goggles

In 2020 most humans are seeking comfort or seeking to comfort others especially as we a face a grim winter of COVID-19 statistics.  Recently, a friend posted an oldie but…
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Barrie and Lisa give high fives during the tear-down project

WSA is Breaking Through Barriers

One of WSA’s greatest assets is its campus with 20 beautiful acres of fields, huge trees, and four charming buildings. Before March 2020, no one would have ever imagined we…
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Invitado- Jessica Outlaw's 10th Grade Spanish class

¡Hola! ¡Bienvenidos a la fiesta!

Students in Jessica Outlaw’s 10th Grade Spanish class have been studying vocabulary related to food, clothing and celebrations during Mod B. Señora Outlaw decided that the best way to assess…
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Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh

Solutions, and Other Problems

I have started and stopped writing a new blog post for almost six weeks now. There is so much going on in the world and in my own life that…
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Using Literature to Recognize Authenticity

As an English teacher, there are few things better than watching students read a piece of literature and become inspired about real world issues. In the 8th grade, we started…
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Jello pieces on white background - Britannica ImageQuest

Juggling with Jello

I have been trying to write my school year kick-off blog post for two weeks, and, much like the last six months, writing a compelling, relevant, and upbeat blog has…
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Curtain call for She Kills Monsters - Young Adventurers Edition

Solving the puzzle in IB Theatre – by leaping in the dark.

During my time at West Sound Academy, I have experienced one of the most exciting and challenging moments in my teaching career. Learning to teach and breathe the IB curriculum…
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Barrie's cat Oscar - entirely satisfied with the "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order

That Feeling as a Leader When You Have to Disappoint People

As a leader and Head of School, I try to say “yes” as much as possible. Even if it is really a no, I work hard to find a mutually…
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Aida helps out with College Declaration Day

Announcing! College destinations for the Class of 2020

West Sound Academy seniors came back to campus on May 12 – not all at once, of course, but on a staggered schedule so they could maintain social distancing requirements. …
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Amigos in IB Spanish

Seniors reflect on their experiences at WSA – en español.

Last week WSA seniors in IB Spanish showcased their language skills and reflected on their time as students at this school. Their presentations were heartwarming, funny, and very memorable. They…
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Class of 2020 in their silly pajama pants

Keeping Traditions Alive For the Class of 2020

There is no doubt that 2020 has opened the new decade with all the grace and decorum of a wrecking ball.  The disruption caused by the coronavirus quarantine will have…
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Ms. Nordleaf-Nelson's 9th Grade English Class

West Sound Academy students rise to the challenge of the online classroom.

It’s 12:30 on a Tuesday afternoon, 6th period, and time for West Sound Academy 9th Grade English class to meet.  The teacher, Gretchen Nordleaf-Nelson, sits at her laptop and admits…
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Alayna Garvin

Why IB at WSA?

At WSA, we strive to prepare learners for the world beyond our classrooms. At all grade levels, we encourage students to improve their thinking, research, social, and communication skills. We…
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Heart and WSA campus

Teachers work to answer the question: What does Commitment to Care mean at WSA?

At the end of February, WSA staff and teachers engaged in a three-day in-service discussing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).  One of the standards of excellence in education that the…
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Olivia with her project for her Humanities final exam

Using Project-Based Learning to Build a Culture of Trust in the Classroom

Middle school is an interesting time. Not only are students expected to adapt to a new school, expectations, and social scene, they are experiencing profound changes within themselves. Many adults…
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The new Barrie - after the haircut!

It’s Kindness Week at WSA! Join in and plan your own act of kindness.

NPR reported on February 8th that 2020 has started off as the third wettest year on record!  As good Pacific Northwesterners, we should be used to the winter liquid sunshine.  …
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WSA Presents: The Importance of Being Earnest

West Sound Theatre Company Presents “The Importance of Being Earnest” in February

The West Sound Theatre Company (West Sound Academy) will present Oscar Wilde’s endlessly entertaining comedy The Importance of Being Earnestjust in time for Valentine’s Day!  Gretchen Nordleaf will direct West Sound…
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6th and 7th grade first semester final, January 2020

6th and 7th Grade students plan and create projects for their final exam.

This year in 6th and 7th Humanities students have dedicated time to exploring their own creative spark. Their final, instead of focusing on specific content from the course, was focused…
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FTC Interleague Championship 01-11-2020

WSA Robotics team finishes the season at Tesla Interleague Championship playoffs.

WSA’s Robotics team competed in the Tesla Interleague championship event of the FIRST Tech Challenge on January 11 at Baker Middle School in Tacoma. Thirty-four schools from the Puget Sound…
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Open yourself up to be ready to learn…

On Thursday, December 19th, West Sound Academy Alumni from the Classes of 2018 and 2019 joined our current juniors and seniors for an informal talk on what to expect with…
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Barrie Hillman standing at the TEDWomen stage - December 2019

Lean Into the Light

Last week, I had the great privilege of attending the annual TEDWomen conference in Palm Springs. My first intention in going was to help support WSA’s work to host our…
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WSA Robotics team at FTC Regional competition on 12/08/2019

West Sound Academy Robotics places second in the FTC regional qualifier

The WSA group arrived at King’s Schools Campus in Shoreline at 9:30 a.m. for the First Tech Challenge regional competition on December 8 – the second regional qualifier of the…
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WSA Robotics visits Silverwood School

WSA Robotics takes their tech on the road to Silverwood School

WSA’s Robotics team packed up their robots and took them for a visit to Silverwood School in Poulsbo on December 4.  Co-captains Aidan Phelan and Emma Longworth and team members…
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WSA Knowledge Bowl - Practice Competition, December 2, 2019

What is Knowledge Bowl, and is it fun?

West Sound Academy has a Knowledge Bowl team that holds practices twice a week.  The goal of these practices is to help the team get ready for the three regional…
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WSA campus in Fall

Financial Aid is giving way to Sliding Scale

In every professional development opportunity I have participated in over the last two years, the prevailing message has been about innovation and implementing progressive ideas in the education world.  Change…
Read More
WSA's 2019-2020 Robotics team

West Sound Academy Robotics Club Placed Second in the First FTC Regional Qualifier

It was an early rise for our West Sound Robotics Club last Saturday!  Our group arrived at King’s Schools Campus in Shoreline at 9:30 a.m. for the First Tech Challenge…
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Gsellman family Halloween party

Get plugged in…..the right way!

This past weekend I had 16 kids in my 1000 square foot house. Full size kids that take up a lot of space. The massive pile of shoes by the…
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River and Noah look through Spanish children's books

IB Students Read Spanish Children’s Books, Then Create Their Own

This week IB Spanish students enjoyed reading some children’s books.  They analyzed what verb tenses were used and found three new vocabulary words per book.  They were transported back in…
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She Kills Monsters: Young Adventurers Edition

West Sound Theatre Company Opens “She Kills Monsters” this November

Join West Sound Academy students as they present She Kills Monsters: Young Adventures Edition, November 15-17 at the William D. Harvey Theatre, Olympic College – Bremerton, Washington. She Kills Monsters…
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Sam A and Sam H at Robotics practice, October 26, 2019

WSA Hawks and Safire Phoenix Robotics Team Practice ‘Coopertition’

West Sound Academy’s First Tech Challenge Robotics team is busy as they race to build and program a robot that can execute the challenging maneuvers and build requirements prior to…
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FIRST Tech Challenge

Collaborating and Strategizing: WSA Robotics Meets Up with Girl Scout Team

October is a busy time for First Tech Robotics teams all around the country as they race to build and program a robot that can execute challenging maneuver and build…
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Trick or Treat So Kids Can Eat

WSA Thespians & Student Council Ask for Food Donations, not Candy, in October

By Grace Schmitt ’20 and Phillip Cox ’20 The West Sound Academy Drama Club and Thespian Troupe #8175, in cooperation with WSA Student Council, will be collecting non-perishable food donations…
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Parents Walk the Learner’s Journey on Curriculum Night

On September 10, 2019, WSA staff and faculty welcomed parents to campus for Curriculum Night which provided an opportunity for parents to experience the Learner’s Journey. Connecting in-person to the…
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Arjun, Jen, Paige, and Tyler at 2019 Fall Gathering

New, new and more new!

By Barrie Hillman   It’s a new school year and WSA is kicking it off with lots of new things! The most exciting change is our new logo, designed by…
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2019 Commencement Speaker Shares Advice from Graduates

West Sound Academy’s Class of 2019 came to the House of Awakened Culture in Suquamish on May 24 for an evening of graduation and celebration – the school’s 18th annual…
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Announcing! College Destinations for the Class of 2019

Congratulations are in order for students in the Class of 2019 as they celebrate college success.  They were accepted at 40 four-year colleges and universities in the United States and Canada and were offered $2,191,802 in grants, awards…
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WSA Team Wins 2nd Place at WA State Knowledge Bowl XXXVII

West Sound Academy’s team of top academic competitors, aka Manifest Westiny, won 2nd Place in Division 1B at the Washington State Tournament XXXVII at West Valley High School in Yakima on March 23, 2019.…
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WSA Theatre Company Presents: See How They Run

The classic 1940’s farce See How They Run, by Philip King, will be performed by the West Sound Academy Theatre Company as their spring drama production at Restore Church, 20081 Viking…
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Knowledge Bowl

WSA Knowledge Bowl is headed to State Tournament in March

West Sound Academy’s Knowledge Bowl team competed in the third and final regional competition of the season at Fort Worden on February 7, 2019.  WSA’s top squad, WS1 (aka “Manifest Westiny”) had…
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Open yourself up to be ready to learn…

By Catherine Freeman / December 19, 2019

On Thursday, December 19th, West Sound Academy Alumni from the Classes of 2018 and 2019 joined our current juniors and seniors for an informal talk on what to expect with…

READ MORE >
Barrie Hillman standing at the TEDWomen stage - December 2019

Lean Into the Light

By Catherine Freeman / December 11, 2019

Last week, I had the great privilege of attending the annual TEDWomen conference in Palm Springs. My first intention in going was to help support WSA’s work to host our…

READ MORE >
WSA Robotics team at FTC Regional competition on 12/08/2019

West Sound Academy Robotics places second in the FTC regional qualifier

By Susan Trower / December 9, 2019

The WSA group arrived at King’s Schools Campus in Shoreline at 9:30 a.m. for the First Tech Challenge regional competition on December 8 – the second regional qualifier of the…

READ MORE >
WSA Robotics visits Silverwood School

WSA Robotics takes their tech on the road to Silverwood School

By Susan Trower / December 5, 2019

WSA’s Robotics team packed up their robots and took them for a visit to Silverwood School in Poulsbo on December 4.  Co-captains Aidan Phelan and Emma Longworth and team members…

READ MORE >
WSA Knowledge Bowl - Practice Competition, December 2, 2019

What is Knowledge Bowl, and is it fun?

By Susan Trower / December 5, 2019

West Sound Academy has a Knowledge Bowl team that holds practices twice a week.  The goal of these practices is to help the team get ready for the three regional…

READ MORE >
Music elective class, Spring 2019

In Concert: 11th Grade Advanced Music Elective

By Susan Trower / December 5, 2019

WSA Presents:  11th Grade Advanced Music in Concert Paul Burback, Director

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The WSA drum

In Concert: Music Ensemble Elective

By Susan Trower / December 5, 2019

WSA Presents: Music Ensemble in Concert Paul Burback, Director

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Listen to Your Art

Listen to Your Art’s Friday Sound! – CANCELED

By Susan Trower / November 25, 2019

Come to the WSA Amphitheater for live music by local bands and performers. $5 for students, $7 for adults, $15 for families of 3 or more Proceeds benefit The Trevor Project,…

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WSA campus in the fall

Sliding Scale Tuition Information Meeting

By Susan Trower / November 25, 2019

Barrie Hillman, Head of School at West Sound Academy, will present information and answer questions on the school’s new Sliding Scale Tuition program. This meeting is for families of currently…

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WSA campus in the fall

Sliding Scale Tuition Information Meeting

By Susan Trower / November 25, 2019

Barrie Hillman, Head of School at West Sound Academy, will present information and answer questions on the school’s new Sliding Scale Tuition program. This meeting is for families of currently…

READ MORE >
WSA campus in Fall

Financial Aid is giving way to Sliding Scale

By Catherine Freeman / November 25, 2019

In every professional development opportunity I have participated in over the last two years, the prevailing message has been about innovation and implementing progressive ideas in the education world.  Change…

READ MORE >
WSA's 2019-2020 Robotics team

West Sound Academy Robotics Club Placed Second in the First FTC Regional Qualifier

By Susan Trower / November 5, 2019

It was an early rise for our West Sound Robotics Club last Saturday!  Our group arrived at King’s Schools Campus in Shoreline at 9:30 a.m. for the First Tech Challenge…

READ MORE >
Gsellman family Halloween party

Get plugged in…..the right way!

By Catherine Freeman / November 4, 2019

This past weekend I had 16 kids in my 1000 square foot house. Full size kids that take up a lot of space. The massive pile of shoes by the…

READ MORE >
River and Noah look through Spanish children's books

IB Students Read Spanish Children’s Books, Then Create Their Own

By Susan Trower / November 3, 2019

This week IB Spanish students enjoyed reading some children’s books.  They analyzed what verb tenses were used and found three new vocabulary words per book.  They were transported back in…

READ MORE >
Education First

Europe June TREC 2021 Mandatory Interest Meeting

By Susan Trower / October 31, 2019

Lionel Pummell will present details on the 2021 June TREC trip he is leading to see World War II historical sites in England, France, and Germany. The meeting is mandatory…

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Washington State Knowledge Bowl

Washington State Knowledge Bowl Tournament XXXVIII – CANCELED

By Susan Trower / October 31, 2019

Washington State Knowledge Bowl Tournament XXXVIII has been CANCELED

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She Kills Monsters

WSA Presents: She Kills Monsters

By Susan Trower / October 30, 2019

West Sound Academy Theatre Company Presents She Kills Monsters  by Qui Nguyen Directed by Gretchen Nordleaf-Nelson November 15, 16, & 17 Friday, 7 PM Saturday, 2 PM and 7 PM Sunday, 2…

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She Kills Monsters

WSA Presents: She Kills Monsters

By Susan Trower / October 30, 2019

West Sound Academy Theatre Company Presents She Kills Monsters  by Qui Nguyen Directed by Gretchen Nordleaf-Nelson November 15, 16, & 17 Friday, 7 PM Saturday, 2 PM and 7 PM Sunday, 2…

READ MORE >
She Kills Monsters: Young Adventurers Edition

West Sound Theatre Company Opens “She Kills Monsters” this November

By Susan Trower / October 30, 2019

Join West Sound Academy students as they present She Kills Monsters: Young Adventures Edition, November 15-17 at the William D. Harvey Theatre, Olympic College – Bremerton, Washington. She Kills Monsters…

READ MORE >
Sam A and Sam H at Robotics practice, October 26, 2019

WSA Hawks and Safire Phoenix Robotics Team Practice ‘Coopertition’

By Susan Trower / October 28, 2019

West Sound Academy’s First Tech Challenge Robotics team is busy as they race to build and program a robot that can execute the challenging maneuvers and build requirements prior to…

READ MORE >