Learn more about the educational resources available in Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and throughout Thurston County.  Find stories about kids, teachers, and staff that are doing good things in our community schools.

Education

Washington State Science Standards Event Tacoma teacher Josh Simondet

Celebrating Science with Local Teachers, Administrators, and Students

Science is all around us. Teaching about the amazing natural world we live in, the wonders of technology, and how everyday things move, work,...
Brock Williams as Dr Seuss

Tenino Principal Brock Williams Takes Readers Under His Wing

“You are always a penguin, no matter where you go in life!” For the 320 elementary students at Parkside Elementary School in the Tenino...
South Puget Sound Community College Cameron May music faculty

SPSCC Welcomes John Guarente and Cameron May to Music Department

A new kind of composition is in the works for South Puget Sound Community College’s (SPSCC) music department. John Guarente and Cameron May recently...
Sandstone Distillery Diesel Tour

Sandstone Distillery Aims to Educate by Collaborating with Centralia College

With the Northwest leading the way in craft distilleries, it’s no wonder Washington has our fair share of them. It seems in recent years...

Good Listeners Like Judy Murphy Make Great United Way Reading Buddies

Judy Murphy is a Reading Buddy volunteer for first graders at South Bay Elementary through the United Way Reading Buddies  program. “It’s a great...
North Thurston Public Schools Compassion Project Charter

North Thurston Public Schools Celebrate Compassion

Compassion is more than just acknowledging the struggles of others. By definition, it’s also the desire to do something to help. Compassion has no...
charter college pharmacy

Charter College’s Externships: On the Job Training in the Medical Field

If you have been working a low level, menial job and crave a change, you could be employed as a medical assistant or pharmacy...
Saint Martin University Science bldg-signing the beam

Saint Martin’s University Breaks Ground on New Science Building

Saint Martin’s University has long been recognized as a regional jewel. With nearly 125 years spent teaching, guiding, and caring for the community, they’re...
Big Brothers Big Sisters Group of Mentees

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Washington Launches MentorU

This month, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Washington (BBBS) proudly kicks off their highly anticipated program, MentorU at Tumwater High School. “MentorU is...
SPSCC Foundation back to school services for students

SPSCC Foundation Services Ensure Back to School Success

Ready or not - back to school is upon us. And whether that realization excites or terrifies you, students at South Puget Sound Community...
The Evergreen State College Thurston Talk student writer tour-11 (1)

What Makes The Evergreen State College Tour Stand Out?

The Evergreen State College defines itself as “a progressive, public liberal arts and sciences college located in Olympia, in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.” A...
Young learners thrive at Sound to Harbor Early Learning Centers

Opportunities for the Mind and Heart: Sound to Harbor Early Learning Programs

It’s people like Melanie Scrivner who changes lives – one child and one family at a time. Working with Sound to Harbor Early Learning...
Thurston County Food Bank Vehicles

SPSCC Auto Department & Thurston County Food Bank Unique Partnership Benefits Many

Thanks to proximity and a mutually shared passion for service, the partnership between the Thurston County Food Bank and South Puget Sound Community College’s...
Advanced Health Care Quartet of Owners

ProCare Academy: Launching Skilled Healthcare Workers

Meaningful work with meaningful pay can be challenging to find even when unemployment is seen as low. Advanced Health Care’s ProCare Academy prepares people...
SPSCC in Yelm High School Students

Exciting SPSCC Opportunities Coming to Yelm This Fall

South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) is providing several new opportunities for Yelm residents to complete high school and get college credit starting fall...
OSD Student Reps Group with Board

New Olympia School District Student Representatives are Excited for the Upcoming School Year

Summer is usually a break from school. Teachers, students, school faculty, and parents all can have a rest from thinking about education. However, the...
Saint Martins Univeristy MED-HESA-Jackie Clark

Saint Martin’s aims to Educate Future Leaders in Higher Education

While many people know the role of faculty in a college setting, they may not realize the other leadership roles that play a part...
ORLA Environmental Pilot Project Students

ORLA Students Work to Solve Stormwater Runoff at Environmental Pilot Project

Over the last two years, first through sixth grade students of Olympia Regional Learning Academy (ORLA) Montessori have participated in an educational water quality...
SPSCC Clipper Scramble Fist Bump

SPSCC’s Annual Clipper Scramble Golf Tournament Supports Student Success

The smell of sizzling salmon and wood smoke drifts out of the fire pit and across the green at the Olympia Country and Golf...
Saint Martins University Abbot Neal portrait

Saint Martin’s University Honors Abbot Neal’s Lifetime of Fruitful Service

In 1938 the average cost of a new house was less than $4,000, a gallon of gas was 10 cents, and Howard Hughes broke...
FRESH Students

Tumwater FRESH: Cultivating Crops and Community

On April 17, a crew of six high school students helped build a garden for a low-income family. Fourteen others stayed at FRESH’s (Farm-Rooted...
The Evergreen State College Beekeeping Learning

Evergreen Grad Student Annie Pocklington Creates a Buzz Among Local High Schoolers

Honeybees face an uncertain future. Over the last several decades, population numbers have fallen due to disease, colony collapse disorder, and widespread pesticide use....
NTPS homeless students-graduating seniors

North Thurston Public Schools Homeless Education Staff: Overcoming Homelessness on the Road to Graduation

High school graduation is a very, very big deal. It's the culmination of more than a decade of hard work and dedication by the...
Tamana Girls

Visiting Japanese Band Sparks Friendships with Griffin Students

Where else can you see a welcome dance by Squaxin tribal members, a greeting from Mayor Cheryl Selby, a brilliant performance by visiting Japanese...
City of Lacey Playground Pals & Free Summer Lunch Summer fun

The City of Lacey is Keeping Summer Fun and Kids’ Bellies Full

Summertime brings out the kid in all of us. Long days, balmy nights, and festivals around every corner are a perfect break from the...
SPSCC Barb Linzy

Back to College: Multigenerational Success Story at SPSCC Graduation

Graduating from college is a notable milestone for anyone at any point in their lives. But this year’s ceremony at South Puget Sound Community...
The Evergreen State College Ellen Shortt Kokua

Connecting Students with Community: Evergreen’s CCBLA

If you talk to Ellen Shortt Sanchez, the first thing you will notice is that she doesn’t say “I” very often. When she tells...
Kelly Boone

Tumwater High School Seniors Share Top College Tips

Going off to college can be both a scary and exciting experience. Opportunities for study, new relationships, travel and independence all appear in the...
North Thurston School District Aspire Say Hello Day

North Thurston Public Schools Promotes Student Safety on Many Levels

School safety is often in the news and always on the minds of watchful parents. But for families within the North Thurston Public Schools...
Forest Circle Time Acorns NW

ACORNS NW: Local Outdoor School Provides an Inclusive Nature Experience

The Olympia community is invested in quality alternative education. With programs like the Olympia Regional Learning Academy (ORLA), Avanti High School and many others...
SPSCC Brewing Distilling Program Frank Addeo Brew Barrels

SPSCC Announces New Brewing Distilling Program

A new industry is growing in the region and South Puget Sound Community College is leading the way with an innovative Associate in Applied...
North Thurston Public Schools volunteerism-

North Thurston Public Schools: Encouraging Lifelong Volunteers

In North Thurston Public Schools, serving others is part of the school culture and the strategic plan. One of the district’s core beliefs is...
Saint-Martins-University-Barbara-Clarkson-Honorary-Degree-Recipient

Saint Martin’s University Graduation Honors Beloved Saints

Saturday, May 12 was the Saint Martin’s University 2018 Commencement. This year’s class represented students from 28 American states and territories and more than...
SPSCC Presidents Club Inductees

SPSCC Inducts Largest Group Ever to the Lifetime Circle of the President’s Club

On May 3, a group of people from our local community and beyond gathered together in celebration at South Puget Sound Community College’s Lacey...
North Thurston Auto Class

Second Generation Students Continue Legacy of North Thurston’s Automotive Technology Program

Framed certificates and awards line every available space along the walls of Brian Stretch’s classroom at North Thurston High School. A total of 40...
Saint Martins University Environmental studies biology club

Exploring the New Saint Martin’s University Environmental Studies Major

Any new beginning is a labor of love. When that start is a fledgling field of study at an esteemed local university, success comes...
The Evergreen State College Dylan and Spencer develop skills

First-Year Evergreen Student Blazes New Trail

I pass Dylan Kuehl as he talks with someone at a table outside of the library at The Evergreen State College. Wearing a flannel...
TESC Mathleague OlympiaHS

Pi Anyone? High School Students Compete in State Math Tournament

Crunch, crunch, 3.14 crunch, 6398 crunch… This is the sound of your mind on “math.” More specifically, it will be the sound of area high...
North Thurston Public Schools School Board Members 4

North Thurston Public Schools’ Board Members Combine Outreach, Oversight and Strategy to Support Students

When Melissa ‘Mel’ Hartley visited a fifth-grade class recently and told the students she was a school board member from District 3, the students...
chs

Exploring Podcasting at Capital High School

Whether it’s in the car on a road trip or at home, you’ve probably listened to a podcast in recent years. Podcast topics can...
Tumwater High School Knowledge Bowl Club members

Tumwater High School’s Knowledge Bowl Club makes Learning Fun

Knowledge Bowl is a scholastic club and competitive forum that allows students to expand and test their knowledge on a wide range of subjects...
Panorama

Partnering with Panorama on the Road to Success

Aging, as they say, is inevitable. But it doesn’t have to mean slowing down or losing touch, especially for residents of Lacey’s vibrant Panorama...
Chryss James and daughter

Mother-Daughter Duo Learn to Lead as Masters of Public Administration Students at Evergreen

It’s a beautiful sunny Saturday on campus at The Evergreen State College, and the Masters in Public Administration students are hard at work inside...

ORLA: A Place of Learning and Community

Robert Frost once wrote a lovely poem about a road not taken. I have often thought the last line, “I took the one less...
Charter College Medical Assistant Careers Steve Bolt family

Charter College Students Graduate to New Lives

When Michael ‘Steve’ Bolt graduated from Charter College, it wasn’t just about starting a new career. It was about creating a new life. The...
Pope John Paul II High School STEM catapult

Pope John Paul II High School Students Practice STEM while Serving the Community

Last year, students and staff at Pope John Paul II High School (JPII) were very pleased to have Brother Guy Consolmagno as the keynote...
IB diploma candidate

An Introduction to the IB Program at Capital High School

As the school year enters its second half, high schoolers returning in the fall may start thinking about classes for next year. College-level classes...
Heidi Dickinson school volunteer

A Place for Parents: Volunteering after Elementary School

During a child’s elementary school years, it’s easy to see how you might fit in: donate supplies, teach a small group, be a reading...
OHS Poetry

OHS Students Recite Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud (POL) is a nationwide competition in which students participate by reciting poems selected by the Poetry Out Loud website or book. Olympia students also...
McKinney Vento Program Capital High School Jennifer Hewitt

The McKinney-Vento Program: Giving Hope to Youth and Families in Transition

As you walk through the halls or step into the bathrooms at Capital High School you’re faced with posters that ask simple questions. They...
Dental assisting - spscc

A Picture of the Dental Assistant Program at SPSCC

This year the dental assistant program at South Puget Sound Community College is upgrading its radiography equipment to a new digital Panorex radiograph machine....
Evergreen students in classroom

Evergreen State College’s PLE Program Integrates Real-Life Learning

Returning to school later in life or starting college as an adult can often be a challenging experience, especially if students find they have...
Olympia Community School STEM

Olympia Community School: Educational Excellence since 1973

As a former public-school teacher, I made the assumption, long ago, that I was well-versed in the educational options and opportunities available to our...
Timberline HS theater

The Twists and Turns of Timberline High School Theatre

Lacey's Timberline High School has one of the strongest theatre programs in Thurston County. Currently, the theatre is hosting their annual Dramafest. Dramafest includes five different one-act plays, all...
Lacey Loves to Read

Lacey Loves to Read and It’s Contagious

Teaching children of all ages to love books is both a joy and a delight. But encouraging young readers does more than provide laughter,...
Lisa Rao Lacey Elementary

Lacey Elementary Thrives on the Power of Parent Volunteers

Lacey Elementary is one of 14 elementary schools in the North Thurston Public Schools. Its unique layout and design earned it the nickname “The...
boston harbor elementary technology

Olympia School District 2018 Technology and Safety Levy Aims to Level the Playing Field

In theory, public schools are supposed to be level playing fields, with every child having equal opportunity to achieve success. In practice, that’s not...
SPSCC Native Students

Igniting Dreams at the SPSCC FIRE Summit

Access to education is a key pillar of the American Dream. For some in our region, it remains just that: a fleeting dream that...
Yelm High School Graduation

No Excuses: Yelm Community Schools Aim for 100% Graduation Rate and Beyond

Decked out in graduation caps and gowns, the high school seniors began their walk and the crowd, predictably, went wild. One difference? The audience...
Avanti High School students

Avanti’s “Mini Units” Build Big Community

Every high school has little quirks, traditions and activities that set it apart. Avanti High School in downtown Olympia has several. Avanti is a...
SPSCC Foundation Scholarships

Local Organizations Help Dreams Come True Through SPSCC Scholarships

A young person with big dreams, fresh out of high school. A single parent looking for a way to support their family. An adult...

SPSCC Homestay Program Creates Lasting Memories for Host and Student

I have a terrible memory when it comes to my childhood. But one thing I remember very clearly was when my family hosted a...

Saint Martin’s University Honors Seven Distinguished Alumni

On February 23 - 24, Saint Martin’s University will welcome alumni back to campus to celebrate their alma mater and reminisce together. It’s a...
SPSCC

South Puget Sound Community College Opens Center for Transition Studies

South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) is passionate about helping every person achieve their educational goals, regardless of their past educational background. The opening...
Tenino FFA

Geraldine Maxfield Creates Leaders Through Tenino Future Farmers of America

It is not a stretch to say that Tenino High School’s agriculture teacher, Geraldine Maxfield, is passionate about Future Farmers of America. Since Maxfield...
Saint Martins University

Coming to Saint Martin’s in 2018: Environmental Studies

One day several months ago, Dr. Aaron Coby, associate professor of biology and associate dean of the Saint Martin’s University College of Arts and...
Hour of code, olympia

OSPI Celebrates Computer Science Week with an Hour of Code

It is truly amazing how our classrooms have evolved over the last 20 years. From chalk boards to Smart Boards. Pencil and paper workbooks...
TRL

MyTRL: New Online Tool For Students Through Timberland Regional Library

MyTRL is a virtual library card that provides access to all of the Timberland Regional Library’s online services to students. This includes math, science...

These Women are Shifting Gears in the SPSCC Automotive Program      

Step into the shiny automotive building at South Puget Sound Community College and right away you will notice something that may be unexpected. It...
Scott Cutler

Black Hills High School’s Aviation Program Soars with Teacher Scott Cutler

It is not every day you get to walk into a high school classroom and see students learning to put together actual airplanes that...

Charter College Offers Supportive Learning Environment for Working Students With Families

When Leanna Summers first entered the Medical Assistant certificate program at Charter College, she had not attended any classes since high school. “I’d never...
New Market Skills Center

New Market Skills Center Celebrates 31 Years of Training High School Students

When I was in high school, the big push was to take as many upper-level courses as you could to prepare for college. Unfortunately,...
Teen Library Council

Olympia Teens Transform Library into Gathering Place

As technology has become more prevalent in our lives, libraries have faded into the background as untapped fountains of knowledge. It can be hard...

Evergreen Staff Members Connect Creativity to the Community

The Procession of the Species takes place every spring in the streets of downtown Olympia and is a feast for the senses. The multi-colored...

Heather Sisson: Making STEM Relevant for Students and Teachers

  The month of October means fall colors, changing weather and - if you’re an elementary school student -  an annual visit to the pumpkin...
Nathan Peters

Alum Nathan Peters Credits SPSCC for a Career He Never Imagined

There was no doubt that Nathan Peters wanted to go to college. He had applied to nine private schools and one public school as...
video

Thurston County Superintendents Attend Roundtable to Discuss State of Affairs in Education

Superintendents from the four largest school districts in Thurston County gathered recently for a roundtable discussion. Thurston Community Media (TC Media), hosts these roundtables...
FIRST Robotics

Saint Martin’s to Host Kick Off for FIRST Robotics Contest in 2018

The tagline for the FIRST Robotics Competition is ‘The ultimate sport for the mind.’ Alternatively, high school participants call it “The hardest fun you’ll...

Reinventing Renaissance at Tumwater High School

On September 5, the day preceding the start of the 2017/2018 school year at Tumwater High School, the freshman class of 2021, anxious with...
SPSCC

Applied Learning: SPSCC Alumnus Helps Design Remodel for CAD/BIM Program

As a teacher, there’s no greater thrill than seeing your students successfully apply what you’ve taught them. Imagine, then, how Professor Mike Murphy feels....
Saint Martin's University

Move-In Day: Saint Martin’s University Welcomes Largest Freshman Class Ever

Do you remember when you were a freshman in college? Hauling the bags, boxes and bins up flights of stairs and down unfamiliar hallways?...
SPSCC Foundation

SPSCC Foundation and PSE – Partners in Preparation

Whenever we hear about a natural disaster, weather emergency or mass casualty event, the news is full of stories of the community coming together...
Medical Assisting program

Charter College Offers New Careers, New Lives

Dr. Bruce Higdon has taught at different schools and worked in many industries, but when it comes to making a difference, nothing in his...
Big Brothers Big Sisters

A Farewell, But Not Goodbye for 9 Year Big Brother Match

On November 6, 2008 Sam Genia, then only six-years-old, was matched with Big Brother Jim Fulton through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Washington....
FFA Thurston County

Yelm FFA’s Damon Heard-Shackleford Overcomes Autism to Show at Thurston County Fair

When Laurie Shackleford, mother of Damon Heard-Shackleford, age 15, went to orientation at Yelm High School for incoming students last year, she happened upon...
North Thurston Public Schools

North Thurston Public Schools Launches New Strategic Plan

All students empowered and future-ready. This is the new collective vision statement for North Thurston Public Schools, the largest and most diverse district in Thurston...
patrick murphy

Olympia School District Welcomes Superintendent Patrick Murphy

When students in the Olympia School District return to school this fall, they will have a new Superintendent. Patrick Murphy will be spending the...
Earlyse Swift

Tools of the Trade Scholarships for SPSCC Students

Most of us are familiar with the term “Tools of the Trade.” But have you ever thought about how someone learning a trade could...
Madeline Xi Cui Friedman

Evergreen Internships Enrich the Educational Experience

The Evergreen State College is built on a tradition of sustainable value. Students find themselves not simply experts in one field, but explorers, scientists...

Olympia Native Brad Furber Shared Entrepreneurial Insights with Saint Martin’s 2017 Graduates

On Saturday, May 20, graduating students at Saint Martin’s University had the opportunity to gain inspiration from commencement speaker Brad Furber, an entrepreneur and...
saint martin's university

For Saint Martin’s Students, Service Is Learning

I walked into a meeting room at Family Support Center’s Pear Blossom Place on a Saturday morning in April, at the invitation of Susan...
MyGlove

Care and Compassion Drive Surabhi Mundada’s Passion for Science

Surabhi Mundada’s journey as a scientist officially began in fourth grade when she studied the physics of pendulums. Since then, every year of her...
CenturyLink

Black Hills Aeronautical Engineering Teacher Scott Cutler Awarded CenturyLink Grant

Scott Cutler, who teaches a very unique aeronautical engineering class at Black Hill High School, was recently awarded a $3500 Clarke M. Williams Foundation...
SPSCC brew program

South Puget Sound Community College Brews up Innovative New Program

Here in Washington, and specifically in Thurston County, it seems like new breweries and distilleries are popping up all over the place. From mom...
Rachel hodes

Rachel Hodes Speaks Up as Olympia School Board Student Representative

As the end of the school year draws near, many students at Olympia High School are looking forward to warmer weather and some time...
Olympia High School Knowledge bowl

“Oly Roman Empire” Takes 2nd At State Knowledge Bowl Meet

On March 18, 2017, Knowledge Bowl teams from all over Washington state converged in the gymnasium of Arlington High School. After opening remarks, tournament...
tumwater high school theater

Three Tumwater High School Thespians Head to Nationals

Even in our digital, electronic age, the theater is alive and well. It’s estimated that in the Spring of 2016 alone, more than 47...
Gravity Learning Center

Students Get a Second Chance at Gravity Learning Center

Heather was in and out of homelessness and had dropped out of high school. When she turned twenty, she came to the Gravity Learning...
cispus

High Schoolers Head Back to Camp Cispus as Counselors

Contrary to common perception, most fifth graders in the Olympia School District don’t dread coming back to school after Spring Break. They look forward...
more self love

Maddy Ford Teaches Peers to have More Self Love

Last year, the More Self Love campaign was launched at Olympia High School. The campaign, created by current OHS senior Maddy Ford, consists of...