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Cooper Elementary mourning loss of Gracie Snider

Cooper Elementary mourning loss of Gracie Snider

Cooper Elementary School is grieving the loss of Gracie Snider, a 10-year-old fourth grader at the school, a star student and soccer player who died in a car accident last weekend while coming home from a game in Yakima.

Cooper Elementary has suffered a great loss, with everyone in mourning. The situation is even more difficult because Gracie's mom Gretchen is the school counselor. She's like the rock of the school, but can't be at school right now. Now students and staff members are leaning on each other and doing what they can to keep Gracie's memory alive.

"We have a desk in our class right now that is empty and it's Gracie's spot," Fourth grade teacher Janelle Campasino said.

"There is a void that is going to be there because she is not there," former teacher Tiffany Santos said.

"Gracie was probably one of the kindest, most amazing children you will ever meet," Cooper Elementary Principal Rona Williams said.

Last week she was running around on the playground, and learning math and science in Ms. Campasino's class.

"I'm so struck at the impact one small little girl had on so many people," Campasino said.

Newtech Skill Center popularity driving major expansion

Newtech Skill Center popularity driving major expansion

At a time when state lawmakers are questioning the usefulness of some technical schools, one local center that trains high school students is so popular, it's outgrown its current space.

Newtech Skill Center in North Spokane works with students from 11 different districts, teaching them technical skills like culinary, automotive, welding and fabrication to name a few. One of their main goals is to make sure that every student that leaves here is ready for the workforce or for higher education.

In the kitchen, aspiring chefs are busy cooking everything from savory to sweet.

"Great food just prepared right here in the kitchen," student Isaac Demaine said.

Demaine is still in high school but, like all the other students at the skill center, spend half their day at Newtech.

"We learn everything from making pasta to baking, to practically anything and everything," Demaine said.

Newtech director Will Sarett said one of the center's main goals is that every student earn at least one industry recognized certificate.

Dr. Redinger's SPS Progress Report for May

In her May Progress Report, Spokane Schools Superintendent Dr. Shelley Redinger explains what ThoughtStream is and how the district is using it to communicate with parents and the greater Spokane community.

Whitworth in need of volunteers for Million Meals event

Whitworth in need of volunteers for Million Meals event

From Whitworth University:


Whitworth University students are partnering with local nonprofit Generation Alive in a major meal-packaging event Saturday, May 3, at the Fieldhouse on the campus of Whitworth.

Learn about Spokane Schools Options at community meetings

Learn about Spokane Schools Options at community meetings

From Spokane Public Schools:

The Spokane Public Schools Department of Innovation will be hosting three community outreach meetings to share the changes taking place within the district.


Information will provided about current and proposed Option schools, the charter authorization process and Pride Prep, the first charter school. There will also be plenty of time to ask questions about the SPS Portfolio of School Options.

Spokane schools lose control over federal funding

Spokane schools lose control over federal funding

Washington lost a federal waiver that gave the state $40 Million for education. Spokane Public Schools said none of that money was lost, however school districts just lost control over how the money is spent.

Washington state has become the first to lose its federal waiver for requirements of the No Child Left Behind education law. State education officials said they received an email Thursday that they were losing the waiver because the state did not meet the U.S. Department of Education's requirement to include statewide student test results in teacher evaluations.

Most states have been given a waiver from some elements of the federal education law as a stopgap until Congress acts to reauthorize the law.

The state has been operating under a conditional waiver for the past two school years.

The move means 17 schools in Spokane alone will suffer.

The loss of the waiver doesn't mean lost money, but it might as well. The people impacted most are students who need help at the poorest schools, according to Director of Early Learning Dr. Lorna Spear.

Students to compete in Citizenship Tournament finals

Students to compete in Citizenship Tournament finals

After months of learning the ins and outs of government, 15 Washington students will put their knowledge to the test in the conclusion of the first Citizenship Tournament from former Congressman George Nethercutt.


The Nethercutt Foundation Citizenship Tournament aims to get students more involved in the democratic process. Over the past year, more than 550 students from 40 schools have been completing civic activities to get one of five spots for 4th, 8th and 12th in the finals on Saturday.