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

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...
tenino tiny house

Tenino High School Students Build a Tiny House for a Big Gift to the...

Everyone is talking about tiny houses these days. They are the subject of television shows and magazine articles and frequently appear on display at...

Help When you Need It: SPSCC Offers Scholarship Support

For many, if not most college students, funding their college education is a challenge. Navigating the world of financial aid, grants, student loans and...
North Thurston Public Schools

CTE Classes Prepare North Thurston Public School Students to Excel at Life

Walking through the halls of Nisqually Middle School last fall, you might have imagined for a moment that you’d been transported to Hawaii. The...
tumwater middle school

Principal Jon Wilcox Connects with Students, Staff at Tumwater Middle School

Thinking back to my own middle school years, I recall the principal’s office was not somewhere you wanted to find yourself. However, today I...
Intercity transit

Intercity Transit Teaches a New Generation the Benefits of Biking

Spring is nearly here and the masterminds behind Intercity Transit’s Walk N Roll Youth Education Programs are busy at work as they prepare to...
Saint Martin's University

Notre Dame Professor Examines the Intersection of Faith and Science at Saint Martin’s University’s...

On Wednesday, March 29, Saint Martin’s University will host Celia Deane-Drummond, Ph.D., a professor of theology from the University of Notre Dame and the...

Olympia Community School Offers Enrichment for Your Upper Grade Child

Third, fourth and fifth graders are at a unique spot in their educational careers. They’re not little kids anymore and they’ll soon be facing...
Youth Action Day

Youth Action Day Links Washington Students with Legislature

For one weekend each January, Olympia’s Capitol campus is especially busy. Just over 20 days into the legislative session, it becomes filled with students from around...
Sequoia's Treehouse

Explore your Options at the Thurston County Alternative Education Fair

Kids today spend more time inside than children ever have, thanks to technology. Video games, social media, YouTube – they all make it easy...
mathcounts

Local Middle School Mathletes Advance to State Competition

Submitted by SCJ Alliance If a 3-ounce can of tomato sauce costs $1.68, what is the price per ounce in cents? In just seconds, local mathletes...

Olympia High School Students STAND for Tolerance

At Olympia High School, students have a wealth of opportunities to serve and get involved in their community. Volunteer-based clubs, like National Honor Society,...
timberline yearbooks

Timberline High School Shares Yearbook Memories with Alums

Luckily for me, anytime I want to reminisce about high school football games, my favorite teacher, and many other memories, I can just open...
East Olympia Elementary

Celebrate National Engineers Week with East Olympia Elementary

February plays host to National Engineers Week, and inside the classrooms and library of East Olympia Elementary, students are hard at work preparing for...
spscc teacher

SPSCC’s Patricia Dunsmore Encourages Students to ‘Owe Something Back’

Patricia Dunsmore loves going to school.  “The first thing you should know about me is that it took me 23 years to get my...
preschool olympia

Parents Are Teachers at Eastside Cooperative Preschool

“A parent is their child’s first teacher.” Brianne Winkelman and Tiffany Leighty, the teachers at Eastside Cooperative Preschool, are firm believers in this poignant truism....
lacey loves to read

Lacey Loves to Read Celebrates Diversity with Award-Winning Author

Submitted by Lacey Loves to Read Every year students, parents, teachers and community members come together to celebrate Lacey’s love of reading and literacy with...
Olympia Community School

Olympia Community School: Individual, Meaningful Education Since 1973

Walking into Olympia Community School (OCS), a scene of students preparing to play outside greets me. Little arms are thrust into coat sleeves and...
Saint Martin's University

Saint Martin’s University Professor Crafts Book about the Ever-Changing American Dream

Change is all around us.  The marching clock brings transitions and resolutions. But some concepts are timeless, like the ever-elusive American Dream. However you...
tim graham

Tim Graham – Tumwater High School Athletic Director Receives National Honor

When Tim Graham took over as Tumwater High School’s athletic director in 1999 one bit of advice has always stuck with him. “I was always...
brent bryant

The Sobering Thoughts of Brent Bryant

In 2012, ThurstonTalk writer Anne Larsen interviewed Brent Bryant while he was a golf coach with Tumwater High School. At the time, he said,...
washington youth academy

Six Thurston County Teens Graduate from Washington Youth Academy

Submitted by Washington Youth Academy Six teens from Thurston County were among the 149 cadets who graduated from the Washington Youth Academy on December 17...
Olympia high school peer tutoring

Students Teach Students at Olympia High School

For an hour each day after school, the Olympia High School library is transformed into a quiet, relaxed environment in which students of all...
yelm ffa

Yelm High School Wins National FFA Title

Winning a major award can put the recipients into a near state of shock. Time slows down, everything becomes a bit surreal and people...
dave heywood

Dave Heywood Brings Theater to Life for Black Hills Students

Dave Heywood joined the staff at Black Hills High School 20 years ago with no intention of taking over the theater department. However, five years later,...
tnbc fundraiser

A Griffin School Student’s Mission to Help Young Women Survive Breast Cancer

By now, most people are aware that breast cancer exists. But did you know that breast cancer in women under age 50 is becoming...
Olympia high school

Time in a Bottle: Freshman Jack Sawyer Opens Personal Time Capsule Hidden at Olympia...

Olympia High School freshman Jack Sawyer doesn’t remember the first time he visited the hallways of OHS. But his mom does. Rosie Sawyer was pregnant...
saint martins visit

Sixth Graders Get a Taste of Saint Martin’s Through University Visit

The truth, so the saying goes, can set you free. But what happens when it’s taken to an extreme? That was one of the...

Student Voices Heard by North Thurston Public Schools Administrators and School Board

Voices of North Thurston Public Schools (NTPS) students are being heard. New Superintendent Dr. Deb Clemens introduced the Student Voice initiative as part of...
tumwater food pantry

Food for Thought – Tumwater High School Students Help Meet Basic Needs

For Tumwater High School senior Jayson Haury the summer of 2016 proved to be inspiring. During that time he was able to attend the...
saint martin's university

Saint Martin’s University’s Microsoft Academy Helps Veterans Transition to Tech Jobs

When Ryen Macababbad prepared to leave the military after nearly a decade and two active duty deployments, she was unsure about the future. “For...
marshall middle school

Getting Mindful at Marshall Middle School

In all his years of teaching, Tom Condon had never seen anything like it. On multiple occasions the science, social studies, and horticulture instructor...

Olympia Foreign Exchange Students Gain New Understanding, New Appreciation

A little over a year ago, Karli Reiter, a current senior at Olympia High School, boarded a plane to Barcelona, Spain. Reiter participated in Rotary...
Olympia High School Student Senate

Olympia High School Steps Up Student Senate

At this year’s first student senate meeting at Olympia High School, attendees were asked to share their name, grade level and something they love...
black hills high school

Digital Cold Turkey: Black Hills High School Students Give Up Phones as Part of...

Jessica Aguilar had no desire to give up her cell phone - not for a day, let alone a week. But when NBC’s Today...
timberline avid

Timberline High School AVID Students Organize Fundraiser to Visit More Colleges

Being a high school student these days is no easy job, but at Timberline High School there’s a program to help them learn the...

Bookmobile Drives Imagination at Olympia Timberland Library

Beep! Beep! Make way for Olympia’s newest interactive art installation. The Olympia Timberland Library, in partnership with local artists, recently revealed the bookmobile -...
North Thurston Public Schools

North Thurston Public Schools Welcomes New Superintendent Dr. Debra Clemens

A new school year is upon us. Pencils are sharpened, lockers are clean and backpacks are packed with new supplies. And, in North Thurston...

Love for Life Long Learning at Senior Services of South Sound

Walking through the aisles of spiral bound notepads and reams of blue-lined paper reminds me of my own back-to-school days. The seasonal page is...
saint martins move-in

Largest Freshman Class Moves In at Saint Martin’s University

This Friday, more than 200 students, along with their parents, will be welcomed on the Saint Martin’s University campus for Move-In Day and orientation...

New Elementary School Brings New Possibilities for Peter G. Schmidt Students, Teachers, and Staff

A fresh start is coming for students, teachers, and administrators at Peter G. Schmidt. Tumwater School District voters approved a 2014 bond to build...
saint martins

How to Help Students Get a Healthy Start to the New School Year

Every year, a few weeks after school starts, Dr. Emmanuel Eusebio sees them: the kids with headaches and stomachaches brought on by the stress...
hood canal schools

Chambliss Keith – Hood Canal Schools Teacher Uses BOOTS to Impart Trust for Selves...

Chambliss Keith, a K-8 teacher at Hood Canal Schools, is known for closing the books, locking the classroom door and heading for the woods...
saint martins engineering

The Right Stuff: Saint Martin’s Engineering Team Takes Second Place in National Big Beam...

Submitted by Saint Martin's University For a hardworking team of Saint Martin’s University civil engineering students, several months of planning, building and testing ended triumphantly...
south sound ymca power scholars

Power Scholars Academy Students Gain Months of Learning in Only Weeks at the South...

Students' hard work during the school year can unfortunately be diminished by summertime learning loss. Reportedly, during the summer months, children who lack quality...
spscc foundation

The SPSCC Foundation – Supporting Students, Enriching Education, Creating Community

South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) is a bustling campus hub nestled on 102 acres in west Olympia. Most Thurston County residents recognize the...
north thurston public schools

North Thurston Says Farewell to Fearless Leader Raj Manhas

Raj Manhas could be described as an accidental educator. He was never a classroom teacher nor did he earn any advanced degrees in education. Yet,...
olympia fbla

Olympia High School FBLA Send 12 Students to National Competition

Alli Redd was a transfer student from Houston. Vin Somasundaram was an incoming freshman. Neither had any clue what FBLA was. Fast forward two years and...
olympia tumwater foundation scholarship

Olympia Tumwater Foundation – A Legacy of Supporting Education

When Peter G. Schmidt, Sr. established the Olympia Tumwater Foundation in 1950 and donated the Tivoli Fountain on the Capitol Campus to the citizens...

Comcast Honors Thurston County’s Young Leaders

Mehar Nallamalli thought he was making a difference. As an intern at the United Nations, he gave speeches on how to eradicate homelessness in...

STEM Prepares Kids for the Future at Northwest Christian Private Schools

STEM programs are giving local students, from preschool to high school, real life skills in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)....
saint martins

Saint Martin’s University Offers Summer Courses for Students of all Ages, Interests

If you’re looking to further your education this summer, Saint Martin’s University, tucked away on 300 acres in Lacey, offers Summer Session, which provides...
mikayla la frenier

Mikayla LaFrenier: North Thurston High School’s Delegate to the Congress of Future Medical Leaders

Mikayla LaFrenier, a junior at North Thurston High School, secured a spot in an exclusive club. This year, a limited number of high school...
libby kamrowski

Five College Students Return to ThurstonTalk’s Team for the Summer

This summer, ThurstonTalk welcomes back four college students that have interned with us in the past.  Watch for bylines from Maddie Elliott, Libby Kamrowski, Isabelle...

ThurstonTalk Interns Reflect on a Year of Freelance Writing

Compiled by Kate Scriven, ThurstonTalk Associate Editor The ThurstonTalk high school intern program is finishing our fourth year. In that time, we have mentored more than...
story warren wolves

Olympia High School’s Story Warren Receives National Recognition for Wolf Research

Originally published May 2, 2016 Chatting with Olympia High School junior Story Warren, she may seem like any other student you pass in the halls....
spscc drafting

SPSCC Drafting Students Prepare HomesFirst for Construction

Both South Puget Sound Community College and the local non-profit HomesFirst are focused on changing lives, and this time they’re doing it together. The...

The Addams Family Comes to Capital High School

Capital High School has always been known for their outstanding theater program. Their newest production, The Addams Family, is based on the book by...

Capital High School’s Link Crew Welcomes Freshmen with Open Arms

High school can be a scary experience, especially for incoming freshmen on their first day. It can be intimidating to be thrown into a...

Higher Education Opportunities Abound at Thurston County Colleges

What do we do after high school? Well, this is certainly a loaded question. There are so many options and so little time. Choosing...

Battle of the Books Makes Reading Competitive at Capital High School

How do you encourage students to read? And once you get them reading, how do you get them to branch out? Capital High School...
oly fed volunteer

Olympia Federal Savings Offers Woodland Elementary School a Slice of P.I.E.

Much like an apple pie brings sweetness and sustenance to hungry tummies, the P.I.E. Program brings community collaboration and capital to North Thurston Public...
mathcounts

Local Middle School Mathletes Advance to State Competition

Submitted by SCJ Alliance Quick! How many integers between 1 and 500 are divisible by 3? In just seconds, local middle school mathletes from Jefferson and...
spscc aspen institute

SPSCC Recognized as One of Nation’s Best Community Colleges

Good news for South Sound residents: one of the best community colleges in the country is right in our backyard. Every two years, the Aspen...
expanding your horizons

Expanding Your Horizons – SPSCC Hosts STEM Camp for Girls

For 27 years South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) has hosted an annual daylong conference for middle school girls to explore careers in science,...
washington center

Olympia Junior Programs – Delighting Children Through Live Theater for 76 Years

Most local parents are familiar with Olympia Junior Programs, more commonly referred to as OJP. If you grew up in Thurston County, you probably...
north thurston transportation

What Local Funding Makes Possible for Students in North Thurston Public Schools

There’s a saying that a community is only as strong as its schools. Around the South Sound, many local school districts are preparing for...
black hills high school

Black Hill’s Austin Toth Turns His Life Around

Austin Toth was fired up and angry as he stood in the principal’s office after being taken there by campus security officers. He was...

The Secret of Yelm Dollars for Scholars’ Success

Larry Schorno has led hundreds of auctions, but Yelm Dollars for Scholars has a special place in his heart. “It’s my passion,” he says....

Nancy Miller – Unexpected Gift Ties Donor and SPSCC Associate Professor Together

In my freelance writing career, I have never hugged an interviewee at the end of our conversation. When I met Nancy Miller, Associate Professor...
marshall middle school

Marshall Middle School Students Spread Warmth, Find Inspiration on Day of Compassion

On the bright, cold Friday afternoon before Thanksgiving this year, a group of middle school students and volunteer parents arrived at the Artesian Well...
spscc classes

Pathway Program Offers Integrated Learning at SPSCC’s Lacey Campus

When Madeline Christensen hears a bit of information in her English class, she’ll often remember having heard the same thing in Psychology. Equally, she...
north thurston high school

David Quitugua – Contributing Extra Hours to Help North Thurston High School’s Life Skills...

Most high schoolers are focused on the freedom of driving a car, beginning applications for college, and attending the next school dance. While many...

Olympia Chemistry Teacher, Wayne Beeson, Ignites the Fire of Learning in Students

I think that we can all admit chemistry is a class that may be hard to endure. But people like Olympia High School chemistry...
river ridge stem

New STEM Program Ignites Learning at River Ridge High School

Containing the excitement in his classroom is McCurdy Jones’s biggest challenge. “I don’t really have to motivate the students,” he says. “They’re engaged. Now...

Capital High School’s DECA Chapter Succeeds Year after Year

  By Hali Ehresmann, Capital High School Intern to ThurstonTalk As an internationally recognized association of high school and college students, DECA is a great way...

Construction Expands Learning Opportunities for North Thurston Public Schools Students

  By Heidi Smith The hallway at Evergreen Forest Elementary School in Lacey is covered with arrows leading students and staff from classroom to classroom. “We...
lp brown reunion

LP Brown Alums Celebrate with a 50 Year Reunion

  By Lynn West Nestled in the woods of West Olympia, LP Brown Elementary School welcomed its first students in 1965. John Tillman was a first...
caytlin johnston

Caytlin Johnston – Local Teen Crusades Against Distracted Driving

  By Katie Doolittle Strong, brave, compassionate, exceptional: these words epitomize Caytlin Johnston’s character. As one of her teachers at North Thurston High School described her,...

Gordon Chamberlain Rocks as Capital High School’s New Assistant Principal

  By Claire Smith, Capital High School Intern to ThurstonTalk The tides have shifted and changed at Capital High School in the administrative offices.  When you think...

Students Show Patience, Eagerly Await Remodeled North Thurston High School

  By Rachel Booth, North Thurston High School Intern to ThurstonTalk North Thurston High School, home of the Rams, has recently begun construction on its new...
griffin school

Griffin School Looks to Add More Technology in Each Classroom

  By Amy Rowley Emily Schall, a teacher at Griffin School, greets her middle school students. Each one is carrying an iPad as they settle into...
olympia orchestra

Olympia High School Musicians Catch Beatle Mania

  By Kathryn Millhorn There’s no denying the musical legacy of the Beatles. They’ve sold more than 600 million albums worldwide, recorded the most covered song...
freedom farmers

Freedom Farmers Grow Food for Olympia School District Students

  By Grant Clark Remember outdoor classroom - that rare time when your teacher would migrate the entire class outside to take advantage of an unusually...
cpr classes olympia

Where to Find CPR Classes around Thurston County

  By Mary Ellen Psaltis Each participant came for a different reason, but we all came for the same result. Everyone wanted to be competent at...
brady olson north thurston

North Thurston Public Schools Collaborates with Other Districts, Law Enforcement to Prevent School Violence

  By Heidi Smith Unlike most school shootings, the one that occurred on April 27, 2015 at North Thurston High School did not end in tragedy....
olympia high school

Olympia High School Students Travel to New Orleans to Help Families Get Back into...

  By Donna Wilson On the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a group of Olympia High School students volunteered to spend their spring break building houses...
north thurston public schools together

TOGETHER! Partners with North Thurston Schools to Foster Student Success

  Just in time for Halloween, 9-year-old Ashlin Veltri’s short story “The Sharp, Sharp Secret” will be published on Amazing Kids! Magazine’s website. Ashlin, a...

Chris Woods: On Learning, Legacy, and Leaving

  By Kelli Samson Tumwater, I hope you know how lucky you are. It’s rare in life to be truly in a moment and to deeply understand...