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

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...
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...