Highline Public Schools athletic programs receive $25,000 from Alaska Airlines


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Alaska Airlines has announced a $25,000 gift to Highline Public Schools to support school athletic programs, including the much-needed replacement of athletic equipment.

“We are deeply grateful for Alaska Airlines’ generosity to our schools,” said Superintendent Susan Enfield. “School athletic programs give our students opportunities to build teamwork and leadership skills and excel outside the classroom. Many students will benefit from this gift.”

The contribution was announced at an event celebrating Alaska Airlines’ community partnerships. Among the guests was Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

“This donation is a way to continue supporting both athletics and academic excellence, which is a way to say thank you to Russell for his passion and commitment to the community,” said Joe Sprague, senior vice president of communications and external relations.

In addition to the gift announced this week to Highline Public Schools, Alaska Airlines has been a major contributor to the Highline Schools Foundation, funding a $5,000 college scholarship and a program to expose female students to careers in technology fields.

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13 Responses to “Highline Public Schools athletic programs receive $25,000 from Alaska Airlines”
  1. Thank you, Alaska Airlines for your contribution to Highline Public School’s athletic programs in addition to your ongoing financial support! Oh boy does Highline need a boost of support!

    With the transition from traditional to small high schools in Highline in 2007-09, physical education and athletic programs has suffered from low priority and loss of community support. Half of Highline’s high school students are offered little to no physical education at the alternative and small high schools they attend. Both Evergreen and Tyee athletic programs took major blows when the schools divided into small school learning environments by leaving alumni without an alma mater to support. Both campuses run athletic programs with embarrassing bare-boned budgets
    .
    When my son attended an Evergreen small school and qualified for the 2014 WA State Swimming 2A Swimming Championships, I had to buy him an appropriate racing Speedo swim suit, sweat pants (athletes were only issued a sweat jacket), and a swim cap. Apparently, the athletic department could not afford a $3.50 swim cap. He swam in the finals placing 3rd in the 500 Freestyle as the only swimmer without an identifying school on his swim cap. His swim coach who also coached the boys and girls programs for Highline High School and Tyee, and who received 2014 Seamount Conference Coach of the Year for both the girls and boys swim teams was rewarded by the Highline School District with a non-renewal of her contract! Not only did she guide my son to a top-three state finish, she developed non-swimmers to qualify for the conference championships over the course of their high school swimming careers.

    The Evergreen winter sports banquet that year was a joyous and inspiring event as we celebrated Evergreen athletes and their accomplishments. Athletes received applause, hugs and certificates. Sadly, Evergreen could not afford to reward Evergreen varsity athletes with school sportsmen letters. At the same time, the Highline School District found it in their budget to build a $1.4 million artificial turf field and lights at Mount Rainier High School that summer!

    I hope the school district can begin to look at district high school athletic programs with an eye for student fairness and opportunity across the district. If Russell Wilson toured Highline district high schools and their athletic facilities, what would he think about this district’s performance at ensuring athletic parity and opportunity for all high school students?

    • devilsadvocate says:

      Yep, I was there with my wife and daughter (who is also on the evergreen swim team) and what should have been a joyousness night had more tears than it should have had and they weren`t tears of joy.
      Being an alumni of Evergreen myself and remembering back it seems like Evergreen is getting swept under the carpet. Sad

      • startyourown says:

        Maybe somebody in the know can clarify this.
        I dont know if this is true or not but I had heard that schools like Mt Rainier and Kennedy and a few others allow their swimmers access to year-round swimming at the pools whereas you have schools like Evergreen who pretty much can only practice at practice during the season unless they want to pay a swim club like the white-waters (or whatever they are called). Then you have those poor kids at schools like Tyee where they dont even have a pool and have to get bussed to evergreen to swim at practices and meets then get shit on if they arent there by a certain time.
        I realize money has probably has a lot to do with it at schools like Mt Rainier and Kennedy along with a few others but in the fairness of the game and sport, is it really?
        I have seen the girls (and guys) that swim for these schools and even their condition and body structures tell you something.

        • Here is an article published in the Seattle Times today about the Evergreen Community Aquatic Center!

          http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/white-centers-beloved-pool-hits-middle-age-despite-little-money/

          Evergreen Community Aquatic Center, our community indoor swimming pool, is still open because of so many dedicated people who have fund-raised, rolled up their sleeves and reached in their pockets to keep the doors open. ECAC provides public swimming lessons, group rentals, swim team and splashing fun times for White Center’s low income families and swimmers from around the area. I am proud to support ERAC and enjoy swimming there!

          Both Evergreen and Mount Rainier pools are operated by managements groups in public/private partnerships. The Highline School District owns the land and pool buildings, and the management groups maintain the facilities, provide aquatic programs and pay employees. Highline High School, Tyee and Evergreen swim teams train at Evergreen, and MRHS trains at the Mount Rainier pool. Yes, it is quite a haul for student swimmers on the Tyee Campus to swim every day at Evergreen, and their dedication is admirable!

          Strangely, none of the Evergreen small high schools provide swimming PE classes for their students at the pool which sits on the Evergreen Campus. We live in an area surrounded by water, learning to swim and be safe in the water should be a PE priority for all Highline students.

          • startyourown says:

            Thats right Sarah, people like you and me reached into their pockets to help keep that pool open for the kids.
            I`m just talking about the swim programs her, not foorball, baseball, etc, but…………
            Can someone tell me, do the fine folks at schools like mt Rainier, Hazen, Lindbergh and few others have to reach into their pockets to keep their pools open?
            Do the parents have to shell out the money for their swim caps and suits.
            I`ve noticed almost all the schools have caps with their schools letters on them, swimsuits the same, then you see EHS, Highline and Tyee come out with hopefully at least the same color caps (to at least match their schools) and more different swimsuits that you see at your local beach trying to compete on what I see as an uneven playing field. Call it sour grapes if you want to, I really don’t give a damn but from what I see, its got some truth in it.

    • John Castronover says:

      The haves and the have nots shameful sad and embarrassing,Sarah thank you for sharing your story with us, it’s important to continue to keep the citizens in our community informed and aware of the questionable spending habits and poor stewardship of our tax dollars within The Highline School District Board.

      • Jimmy says:

        Yes and if the school district was spending money on Speedo’s for teenage boys I bet more questions would be asked. Some people may understand there more aerodynamic but most people would most likely not realize that Then think some coach has immoral intentions.

  2. Burien Human says:

    Wasn’t the small schools Bill Gates idea? Are we stuck paying for the billionaires follies again?

  3. John Castronover says:

    Alaska Airlines enjoys Millions of Dollars in Tax Exceptions and Subsidies from our state,has laid off and outsourced hundreds of good paying jobs that our community so deeply needs…Yeah, let’s all stand with Superintendent Enfield and thank Alaska Airlines for their kind and generous donation of 25 thousand dollars?

    • Jimmy says:

      So I got my calculator out and a $8.00 hr job at 8 hrs a day for about a year minus holidays (345 days) equals $24,840 and the Washington state minimum wage is at $9.47 hr and sea-tac minimum wage is at $15 hr. So john castronover it seems as if you would rather have one employee get payed way under what they deserved to do there job. Instead of a company using that money to help some school districts athletics program out. Seems a little selfish I am not much of sports fan my self but I can understand that a athletics program can help keep kids healthy and motivated in life. It can also help to keep them from hanging out with the wrong people (gangs,drug dealers,car thief’s and republicans) ok sorry I threw in the last one as a joke well kind of haha.

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