Category Archives: Schools

Hero in SPU Shooting Struggles With Status

After the tragic shooting at Seattle Pacific University last Thursday, June 5th, the student hero who stopped the shooter, Jon Meis, has received an outpouring of generous donations. However, the hero of the SPU shooting has also been struggling with his new status, as he also grieves the incident himself.

Meis acquired his status as a hero last week, when Aaron Ybarra allegedly walked into the school’s Otto Miller Hall, shot and injured several students – killing one – and was attempting to reload when Meis tackled him and held him down until police arrived. At the time, Meis was working as the building monitor at Otto Miller Hall.

In the hours and days that followed the incident, the public learned Meis’ name and also the fact that he was engaged to be married to Kaylie Sparks on June 21st. Someone leaked his and his fiancée’s Target and Crate & Barrel wedding registries, and by noon on Friday, June 6th, the Crate & Barrel registry was almost completely bought out (the Target registry still has a couple of things available for purchase). After that, Seattle ESPN Producer Jessamyn McIntyre set up a GoFundMe campaign to thank and recognize Meis for his heroic actions.

The campaign raised $50,325 in just two days, from 1,684 contributors. Donations were disabled this morning (Monday, June 9th), after Jon Meis released an official statement, in which he requested that all future donations be given to the victims through Seattle Pacific University’s “Rise Above Fund”.

“As I try to return to a normal life in the aftermath of this horrible event, I pray above all things for strength for the victims and their families,” Meis said in the statement. “I know that I am being hailed as a hero, and as many people have suggested I find this hard to accept … However, what I find most difficult about this situation is the devastating reality that a hero cannot come without tragedy. In the midst of this attention, we cannot ignore that a life was taken from us, ruthlessly and without justification or cause. Others were badly injured, and many more will carry this event with them the rest of their lives. Nonetheless, I would encourage that hate be met with love. When I came face to face with the attacker, God gave me the eyes to see that he was not a faceless monster, but a very sad and troubled young man.”

A GiveForward campaign has been started to cover the funeral costs of Paul Lee, the 19-year-old student who was killed in Thursday’s shooting. SPU alumnus Michael Hasegawa-Yun started the page to help as best he could. “I just felt like I wanted to help out,” Hasegawa-Yun said to the Associated Press. He has not yet had contact with Lee’s family. “I just figured they wanted their privacy.”

As of 3 p.m. on Monday, june 9th, Paul Lee’s GiveForward campaign had reached $15,576 in donations from 289 people. GoFundMe campaigns have also been created for Sarah Williams and Thomas Fowler, two other victims of the shooting who were injured. Sarah’s fund has raised nearly $3,500 and Thomas’ has raised $110.

Click here to donate to the general SPU “Rise Above” fund for the victims, their families, and the SPU community as it recovers from this tragic event. Click here for recovery information for the SPU community.

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City Terminates Lease for Northwest Center, Gives 6 Months to Vacate

Late last month, the Northwest Center in Queen Anne was given notice by the city that the school has six months to vacate their location.

The Northwest Center has been in their location on the corner of Florentia and 1st Avenue West for 28 years, but now the Seattle School District (the owner of the building) wants to take back the lease of the building for their home schooling program, the Cascade Parent Partnership Program.

The building was previously the North Queen Anne Elementary School, which was closed in 1991 because of low enrollment. But now that the school district is experiencing a boom in enrollment, they need their renter to vacate to make room for the district’s students.

The Center is “A leader in advancing equal opportunities for children and adults with developmental disabilities … [They] provide early intervention, inclusive early childhood education, teen programs and after school programs,” according to their website.

It was founded in 1965, and has since helped thousands of children and adults with and without disabilities.

Watch the KING 5 News report below:

Dr. Flip Herndon, the Seattle School District’s Assistant Superintendent for Facilities and Capitol Projects, says, “In order to get the work done, to be ready for the K-12 students to be served in that building, we have to start the work in July otherwise, it won’t be ready.”

So, the Northwest Center has to vacate within six months. And while the staff at the Center is understanding of the need, they don’t feel six months is enough time. “I feel like they’ve dropped a bomb on us,” The Northwest Center’s President & CEO Tom Everill told KING 5 News. “To do the build-out of lease improvements, obtain licensing and move the whole community in six months, it’s just not feasible.”

A Seattle Times report said that parents of children at the Northwest Center believe that at least two years are needed to handle all of the logistics, licensing, and permits necessary for a successful move.

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Rummage Sale at John Hay Elementary for Japan Disaster Relief

On Saturday, May 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., students from John Hay Elementary in Queen Anne will be hosting a rummage sale.  The proceeds from the sale will go toward disaster relief for Japan.  Students will also be selling baked goods and coffee at the event.  Please come out and find a “treasure” or some goodies for a great cause!

Coe Cares Bake Sale This Sunday

The Coe Cares project from Coe Elementary is holding a bake sale this Sunday to raise funds for Japanese relief efforts after the recent tsunami.   Proceeds will go the non-profit organization Doctors Without Borders.  The bake sale will run from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm and baked goods are still needed. So if you’ve got grandma’s secret chocolate chip cookie recipe, put it good use and help to aid those in need.  If you simply want to buy baked goods or make donations, visit the sale in front of the Queen Anne Avenue Starbucks this Sunday, March 20th.