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Shoreline Christian School Alumni Monthly E-Newsletter
November 26, 2015

 2015 Presidential

This year's Presidential Report went out in the mail this week. You can also find a digital version of the report on the SCS website by following this link.

Homecoming Week

This year we will be hosting two fantastic homecoming events the week of December 14. On Tuesday night, December 15 don your green and black to the Watson Groen Memorial Gym and cheer on the high school basketball teams as we face Concrete High School. Games at 4:30, 6:00, and 7:30. We'll have an alumni bump game, take a group photo, and if you're a Watson Groen or Shoreline Christian alum, you get in free!

Then join us December 17 at 7:00 pm in the First Christian Reformed Church of Seattle (the church across the parking lot from the school) for our annual Christmas Concert as we celebrate the season with music.  Take part in the alumni tradition of singing of Peace, Peace then reminisce with friends and faculty at the alumni reception following the concert.

These Times They are a Changin'
When I arrived at Watson Groen Christian, I was amazed by the number of electric typewriters that were available to the students.  Granted, there were different models and each keyboard had a different sensitivity, but fingers just seemed to fly effortlessly across the keys.  Fast forward a few years: the typing room is now filled with computers, and again, some are more responsive than others.   

The other day, I asked my freshmen to find out how quickly and accurately they could type.  They all went online and measured anywhere from 20 to nearly 100 words per minute with 90% or higher accuracy.  I then challenged a few of them take out their phones, go to the same website, and take the same test.  One student could do about 30 words a minute on a standard keyboard and over 50 words per minute on his phone using just his thumbs with a 4" screen.  I just shook my head in disbelief.

Changes to technology are happening at unprecedented speeds.  While schools often rush to find or condemn the latest and greatest, we need to step back by remembering that technology is only a tool.  As a tool, it is most valuable when rooted on a strong foundation and focused in a clear trajectory.  Therefore, schools like ours need to do a better job of articulating what they want to accomplish and asking if and how technology can help them get there.

To that end, I invite you to explore two documents.  The first is our foundation: the latest edition of our handbook that explains the basis of Shoreline Christian School. The second provides our trajectory: Mr. Bratt outlines in a blog post some of the changes we are making to the way we do high school due to the opportunities technology provides.

For those of you who want to think more about the topic, I invite you to check out the Rewiring Faith and Tech Conference that a couple of SCS parents and I attended  on November 7 in Bellevue.  This is an event that our school helped to sponsor.  I understand there will be follow up opportunities coming in the spring.  Maybe I will take my young texter along to help me take notes.

Tim Visser
SCS Administrator
Featured Alumni: Danielle Valdes
Submitted by Danielle Valdes , class of 2011
Upon graduating from Shoreline Christian, I began studying at Seattle Pacific University. My freshman year, I began exploring majors while also working part-time as a job coach for individuals with disabilities, and began developing and leading a volunteer relational ministry program at Union Gospel Mission Men's shelter. My sophomore year, I discovered music therapy, and saw that SPU was the only university in the state that offered this program - I immediately knew this is what I wanted to study.      
Music therapy is the intentional and functional use of music to achieve therapeutic goals. Essentially, we use music to reach non-musical goals. We study the brain's response to music, and how to use musical elements to reach certain parts of the brain. Our brains light up when we listen to music, and even more when we are interacting and playing music - music reaches all areas of the brain! Music therapists work in conjunction with other healthcare professionals, doctors, surgeons, teachers, therapists, and more to help individuals who may respond well to what we have to offer.
A music therapy student fulfills all the music major requirements as well as clinical foundations in psychology, physical therapy, biology, and special education. We also begin our practicum upon being selected into the program. While in the program, I continued developing the homeless ministry at UGM as well as began to explore further program work as a job coach, eventually working at Seattle Children's Hospital my senior year. I also began working at the education and outreach department at the Seattle Symphony - called Soundbridge - in the summer of 2014. 
This June I walked in my university graduation ceremony, and will receive my degree upon completion of my required 6-month full-time music therapy internship. I decided to stay local, and complete a joint internship between Music Works Northwest in Bellevue and Snohomish County Music Project. My first half of internship at Music Works was working mostly with individuals on the autism spectrum and adults with developmental disabilities. My second half of internship at Snohomish County has me working with Alzheimer's memory care, and adjudicated youth at the Denney Juvenile Justice center. I also work with at-risk and referred adjudicated youth, Vietnam war vets, PTSD, gang prevention, and trauma care surrounding the Marysville shooting last year. I've also have the privilege of working with the 3rd grade class at Shoreline Christian.
I will be finished with internship the week before Christmas, and will be sitting down to take my board exams and become a board-certified music therapist (MT-BC) at the end of December!
I still work with Soundbridge on my days off of internship, and am receiving a promotion in January to do further work with the symphony, and help create music therapy sites that we can serve. I am also in the process of getting in contact with various hospitals and organizations in the area, hoping to develop a music therapy program or programs of my own. (If anyone has any potential connections for me, please let me know!)
I won't forget the amazing and loving SCS community and how it gave me the confidence and ambition to pioneer the amazing field of music therapy in the city of Seattle.

Memorial Garden Plaques
In celebration of our 60th anniversary, a space was created for stories - past and present - a memorial garden. 

Now we need stories!  You can tell your story on a plaque that will be attached to the faces of the benches.  Learn more here.

Featured Alumni Stories:
Each month we like to feature an Alumni in our newsletter.  This is a great way for alumni to re-connect. We would love to hear from you about where you are and what you are doing now.  Share your story with us.

Did you have a reunion this year? We'd love to hear about it!

Class of 2005 - 10 Years
Class of 1995 - 20 Years
Class of 1985 - 30 Years
Class of 1975 - 40 Years
Class of 1965 - 50 Years