June 2019


Soccer and lacrosse teams claim state titles
By Eric Ormseth, Reporter and Eleanor Yarkin, Reporter

  Despite Vashon’s small population compared to its competitors, two Island sports teams have proven to be fierce competition, dominating throughout the spring season. This year, the boys soccer team and the boys lacrosse team won state championships.
Boys Soccer
  For the first time in their history, the high school’s boys soccer team claimed the 1A State Championship title after a victorious game on May 25. The team played against Winlock/Toledo United and won with a score of 3-1.
  “It’s unbelievable,” head coach Benjamin Bork said. “Sometimes I still can’t believe it happened. It is such a high bar to reach, and we [reached it].”
After finishing first in both the Nisqually league and district play last year, the team expected to do well. Leading up to the final game, the team was focused and confident.
  “We couldn’t be scared,” junior Jeremiah Bogaard said. “We had control of the game.”
During the game, the team played well, with senior Tommy Delargy scoring the first goal at the 24th minute. The team kept up their aggressive play for the remainder of the match...Read More

Crew makes headway towards nationals
By Garrett Mueller, Business Editor

  For nine months, both Vashon Island crew teams have been training for the climax of their season — the chance to place in regional competition and go on to nationals.
Regionals took place from May 17 through 19 in Vancouver, Washington. Rowers could qualify for nationals in the single, double, pair, quad, four or eight events. Some of the events have lightweight counterparts as well.
  Nationals for crew will be held at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida, on June 8. To advance to nationals, rowers had to place in the top three at their respective regional competitions.
  “Nationals is the one race you have to actually qualify for, so you know you’re racing the best of the best from each region,” junior rower Kate Kelly said. “It’s great to see all types of people there that are so good at what they do.”...Read More

Spring sports wrap up
By Joseph LaVigueur, Reporter

  Girls tennis competed in their league tournament on May 9.
  Paisley Lieske finished fourth overall in singles play and qualified for the district competition.
  Tobin Vaughan and Lia Crawford played as a doubles team in the number one position, while Lauren Henley and Ashley McArthur played as a doubles team in the number two doubles position. The two teams then played one another for the third and fourth positions and qualified for districts.
  The District tournament was on May 15 and 16.
  There, Lieske faced off against Charles Wright Academy’s number two single, winning for fourth place.
  Vaughan and Crawford beat the Olympic number two team, but lost to Charles Wright’s number one and two teams. They placed fourth...Read More


Baron to resign in June
By Mari Kanagy, Publishing Editor

  As the school year is coming to a close, so is assistant principal Alanah Baron’s work with the district. After three years in the position, Baron is moving on to become an assistant principal at Skyline High School in Sammamish, Washington.
  Baron announced her resignation to administrators on Monday, May 13. Later that day, principal Danny Rock sent out a staff-wide email announcing that she would be leaving the district next year.
  “Moving to a bigger school and a bigger district is part of my own trajectory in terms of my career path,” Baron said. “I’m moving to a school that is quite large, that has over 2,000 students. I’ll be part of a really big administrative team, and so that’s going to afford me a lot of opportunities for my own professional growth.”...Read More

McCleary-based budget cuts finalized, staff salaries negotiated
By Elizabeth Lande, Copy & Managing Editor

  In March, the school district released a tentative list of budget cuts aimed at keeping the district’s finances balanced. Included in the cuts were recommended staff reductions, which sparked outcry from faculty and community members alike.
  Now, after a district-wide public meeting, union pay negotiations, and the conclusion of the state legislative session, the budget cuts have been finalized.
  While staffing reductions were always seen as necessary by the district, no employees or faculty members have been let go. Instead, reductions were made through resignations, retirements, and leaves of absence. The total staffing...Read More

Softball field renamed to commemorate Rochelle Munger
Aidan Janssen, Reporter & Designer

  Elementary school physical education school can be a difficult class to lead, as teachers must instruct students about their bodies while simultaneously finding fun ways to keep the same kids active. On Vashon, grade after grade of students fondly remembers their own PE teacher, Rochelle Munger, for the energy and compassion she to brought to class.
  Munger’s passing in 2018, after a long battle with cancer, was felt strongly across the district, by staff and students alike.
  To preserve her memory, athletic director Andy Sears and numerous community members renamed and refurbished the high school softball field in her honor.
  Munger was well liked by her students. She would often play her banjo in front of Chautauqua to greet the students as they arrived at school, and also performed at school assemblies.
  Growing up on Vashon, Munger made a name for herself as an excellent softball player, graduating in 1982 after earning numerous awards and competing in multiple leagues...Read More

Board seeks to reignite school spirit
By Halle Wyatt, Co-Content Editor
  After a campaign fueled by donuts, specially designed pins, and a mixture of optimism and determination, juniors Talia Spurlock and Alexia Taisey have been elected as co-presidents of the ASB Executive Board. They are joined by vice presidents Jeremiah Bogaard and Cameron Bedard, secretary Maya Harrison, treasurer Jackie Bostock, and sound commissioners Chris Fontina and Kylie Cemulini.
  Spurlock and Taisey have been taking leadership classes since junior high and have been involved in ASB student cabinets throughout high school. Spurlock was also elected on the McMurray student council prior to her experience with ASB.
  “I’ve always kind of had the mentality [that by] being very involved in the school ... you’ll get the best school experience,” Spurlock said.
Taisey is also motivated by the desire to make high school more enjoyable for her peers...Read More


Some things are just not translatable
By Klara Plenk, Reporter

  Before I came to the U.S., I expected there to be a drastic division between American and German culture. However, living in this country during the school year has shown me that comparing two cultures is more complex than just making a list of pros and cons.
  My hometown and Vashon seemed to be similar at first glance — small, liberal, not too hot or cold, and close to a big city. My expectations regarding differences were based on a very basic idea of culture — language, food, traditions, and the American spirit.
  After eight months in America, I have learned a lot about each country’s unique characteristics. Still, I can feel the impact of globalization increasing the understanding between cultures until the sense of difference gradually begins to fade.
  There are hardly any products from home that I have missed while in America because grocery stores everywhere offer a variety of German brands. Even if there is something that I can’t find here, I can always ask my family to send me a package, which makes Germany feel physically closer than it actually is...Read More

Riptide adviser leaves for Virginia
By Isabelle Spence, Associate Editor  The Riptide serves an important role in the school community and for the students who choose to participate in it. The class provides new opportunities, an important education in journalistic methods, and most of all, a strong support system in the staff.
  However, the paper did not begin this way. Many of the most important elements of the class would not be possible without Steven Denlinger, the newspaper’s current advisor. Now, after six years of advising the paper, Denlinger is moving onto the next phase of his career in Stafford, Virginia. As the staff prepares for this change, students have reflected on the many lessons they have learned from him over the years.
  For most high school students, their first interactions with Denlinger took place in one of his English classes. Here, Denlinger sought to teach more than the required material. He often went above and beyond when it came to helping students, even at the expense of his personal time...Read More


Valedictorian Q&A
By Mari Kanagy, Publishing Editor

  With graduation rapidly approaching, schools across the country will be celebrating the achievements of their students, with special recognition given to students of high academic standing. Vashon has a reputation for high performance, with the graduating class often having two valedictorians.

  This year, however, there are four valedictorians, each graduating with a 4.0 GPA: Lucy Boyle (LB), attending Oregon State University Honors College; Julia Macray (JM), attending University of California Davis; Mabel Moses (MM), attending University of British Columbia; and Garrett Mueller (GM), attending Brigham Young University.

  The Riptide decided to sit down with each of the valedictorians to discuss their habits and experiences from high school, while also looking forward to the future.

Do you have plans for beyond college?
LB: “I’d like to do something where I get to be outside and travel. I definitely am interested in natural sciences and research opportunities.”...Read More

Ceramics artist Ravenna Nelson imbues her art with past experiences
Catherine Brown, Reporter & Photo Editor

  From working with locals artists to commissioning her work online, senior Ravenna Nelson has excelled in the world of ceramics. With the help of many mentors and friends, both in and out of school, Nelson has been able to follow her passion for art, and learn more about herself in the process.
  Nelson is currently a senior at the high school. She has lived on Vashon her entire life, and has been a student in the district since kindergarten.
During Nelson’s time at Chautauqua, a local artist visited her art class to teach an artist-in-residence course.
  “We made birds with Liz Lewis when I was in third grade, and since then, clay has always interested me in its ability to be functional and appealing to the eye,” Nelson said.
Nelson sees all mediums of art being a fun and creative hobby, but has always been most attracted to ceramics.
  “I felt [ceramics] was something that I was kind of good at from [a young age],” she said. “Even my loon we made in third grade. I was like, ‘This is cool, I didn’t know you can take mud and turn it into something.’”
  Nelson has been mentored throughout her pottery journey by high school art teacher Kristen Dallum.
  “Having Ravenna as a student is a total joy and inspiration,” Dallum said. “She is not only super talented at the technical skills of working with clay, [but] she is also always willing to learn new techniques and put in the time and effort to [figure] them out.”...Read More

Pirate Talk
“What is your weirdest memory from this year?”

Senior - Ruta Milewksi: “Mr. Callender had my math class prank Mr. Per Lars Blomgren by having multiple timers go off in his classroom.”

Junior - Matthew Jones: “Watching another student burn popcorn in the den and setting the fire alarm off.”
Read More

Arts leader empowers youth through musical theater
By Savannah Butcher, Reporter

   Marita Ericksen has been following her passion for singing since she could hum, and has been dedicating her time to Vashon’s youth since 1988. Ericksen founded the Musical Theater program at the Vashon Center for the Arts and also sings for Vashon Island Chorale, where she is currently the Co-Assistant Director.
  For as long as Ericksen can remember, singing has been a central point in her life.
  “My mother said I sang before I could talk,” Ericksen said.
From a young age, Ericksen knew that her passion and love for singing would ultimately become a career.
  “In third grade, I had to sing ‘Silent Night’ in Norwegian in front of the whole school and their parents for a Christmas program,” Ericksen said. “My dad said he could see my knees knocking. But I knew then, in third grade, that this is what I’m probably going to do.”
  Ericksen’s work with Vashon Center for the Arts (VCA) started with the Vashon Island Youth Chorus. In 2002, she took over the program, changing its focus to musical theater...Read More


Values affirmed as the staff enters a period of transition
By The Editorial Board

  Fifty-five years ago, the Riptide began as modest publication with only a few pages per issue. Since then, the publication has grown significantly in size and expertise, as well as received national recognition by the National Scholastic Press Association (First Class) and Columbia Scholastic Press Association (Gold Medalist).
  Next year, the newspaper’s long-time adviser, Steven Denlinger, will be leaving to take an advisory position in Stafford, Virginia. During this time of change and growth, it is important to hold onto our roots and remember what makes the Riptide so important to its students, the school, and the greater community.
  On the Riptide, we value quality at every level of the newspaper. Through our program, putting together a single issue requires countless hours from a host of staff members including reporters, editors, photographers, and designers. These efforts pay off in a polished final product, often leading to positive recognition from the greater journalistic community. This system also allows for students to develop pride and confidence in their work, making it easier to accept negative critiques.
  We value the emphasis placed on upholding professional journalistic standards throughout the class. Early on, students are taught how to write a proper news story, work on layout and design, and understand the significant role that law and ethics hold in journalism. Most importantly, we never allow our role as a student-run high school newspaper justify low standards of journalistic rigor. We take pride in telling real stories in hopes that they will have an impact the school and community...Read More

Arts and Entertainment

Vashon dancers leap into spring productions
By Milo Carr, Reporter, & Savannah Butcher, Reporter

  As summer approaches, Vashon Island’s two most prominent dance companies, Blue Heron and Vashon Dance Academy, are preparing for their respective performances. The island community routinely turns out in high numbers to watch the shows, rewarding the dancers’ long-term commitment.
  This year, Vashon Dance Academy (VDA) is performing “The Wizard of Oz.” Freshman Isa Sanson-Frey and junior Gwynne Valencia will be alternating leads, sharing the role of Dorothy. Valencia will also be playing Glinda the Good Witch, while Sanson-Frey’s second role is the Wicked Witch of the West.
  “This year our teachers decided to give us two roles,” Sanson-Frey said. “One role they think would challenge us, and one role that’s more or less in our comfort zone.”
Dancers have been rehearsing since late February, and believe that their hard work will pay off.
  “It’s always a little nerve-wracking because you want it to be perfect, and it’s hard to feel ready, but the show always comes together,” Sanson-Frey said. “It’s always really fun and beautiful.”...Read More

‘Pokémon: Detective Pikachu’ serves its namesake
Aidan Janssen, Reporter & Designer

  For more than 20 years, the massively popular Pokémon series has been a major part of youth culture. Now more than ever, this shows no signs of stopping. The franchise has spawned video games, films, toys, and card games, among other forms of entertainment. With the recent release of “Pokémon: Detective Pikachu,” it appears that at least a bit of what made the franchise great is being injected back into the Pokémon.
  Directed by Rob Letterman, best known for directing “Shark Tale,” “Pokémon: Detective Pikachu” tells the story of Tim Goodman (Justice Smith), a lonely boy who claims to want nothing to do with Pokémon, Lucy Stevens (Kathryn Newton), an intern for a news publication, and Detective Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds). The movie explores the unusual connection between Pikachu and Tim, made possible by their ability to understand each other, as they search for Tim’s missing father, Harry Goodman...Read More

Upcoming Events, June 2019

- June 8
- Showbox Sodo
- Tickets starting at $17

Music History - The Life and Music of Maurice Ravel
- June 9
- Tickets starting at $18

Rich The Kid
- June 13
- The Showbox
Read More


Changes at VCC aim for financial sustainability and resident wellbeing
By Eleanor Yarkin, Reporter

  Tracing their roots back to 1928, Vashon Community Care is no stranger to change, and the transition taking place this year will have a lasting effect on the island, impacting residents, staff, and the community. They hope to ensure the organization will remain sustainable and functional.
  Over the course of a 90-day transition, Vashon Community Care (VCC) is switching from a skilled nursing-care model to a memory support-care model. While skilled nursing provides short-term concentrated rehabilitation or long-term nursing needs, a memory care-support model will focus on providing care to those with memory-related conditions.
  “With memory care, we’re also going to be creating more of an advanced assisted living,” VCC community relations and development director Anne Atwell said. “We’ll have assisted living as it is, and we’ll have memory care, but … we’ll provide services in assisted living that we don’t now provide.”...Read More

Islanders given the option for a new healthcare system
Hannah Spranger, Co-Content Editor

  For years, Vashon’s healthcare situation has been out of the hands of residents, and instead under the control of the limited number of clinics who are willing to work on the island. Recently, an alternative option has arisen for the island’s healthcare situation — a hospital district.
  A hospital district would offer a change from government-funded healthcare to property tax-funding. Islanders would pay a set amount of taxes each year, which would be determined based on the healthcare needs of the island and King County’s levy rates.
  “[A hospital district] would provide us with a sustainable income flow because everybody pays their taxes every year,” Vashon Maury Health Collaborative (VMHC) member Annie Miksch said.
  This vote was brought forward for the first time in 2006, but did not receive enough support to pass on the island. A new petition for the option of a hospital district on the island has gained enough signatures to be on the ballot for the general election in November 2019. To be on the November ballot, the petition needed 10 percent of the voters from the previous general election, and the petition received almost double that amount of signatures.
  The petition has faced very little push back from residents who were asked to sign it.
  “The signatures were just to get it on the ballot,” Miksch said. “Whether you’re in favor or opposed, we just want to give that choice to the island.”
  Neighborcare, the current main health care provider on the island, is not considered sustainable. Currently, the business is losing over 300,000 dollars every year. It is predicted that Neighborcare will only be able to last to the end of the year...Read More

Young farmers pursue agriculture on Vashon
By Elizabeth Lande, Copy and Managing Editor

  Farming has long been integral to Vashon, with the island supporting a sizeable population of small-scale farmers who choose agriculture over more traditional career paths. As the average age of U.S. farmers rises, it often comes as a surprise to meet young adults pursuing farming.
  Islanders Keller Cyra and Zoe Marzluff are two such people. While they didn’t set out to become farmers, their college experiences ultimately led them to start island farm Gracie’s Greens.
  “[An internship] kind of sparked an interest and sort of changed everything that I was interested in up to that point,” Marzluff said.
  Marzluff then took a second internship, this time with Sun Island Farm on Maury Island. There, she met Cyra, who was living on Vashon.
  The two worked together on the farm the following summer, and in 2015, they took a farming-related opportunity in Hawaii. They gained experience on coffee farms and delved into microgreens, plants they have continued to grow since returning to Vashon last year.
  While Cyra and Marzluff didn’t originally plan on settling on Vashon, the decision came naturally.
  “We’re fortunate having worked on farms here, and also, because Keller has grown up here, to have a lot of community support already,” Marzluff said. “That makes starting … a farming business here a lot easier.”..Read More

The Ruby Brink offers new take on dining
By Eric Ormseth, Reporter

  The historic property has changed ownership multiple times in the past decade, previously housing multiple different restaurants and other assorted businesses. But according to its owners, the new business across from The Hardware Store — The Ruby Brink — is here to stay.
  The Ruby Brink is a combination of a bar and butcher shop that recently opened for business in the heart of Vashon. Locally owned, the business seeks to become a public gathering place for the Vashon community, as well as an option for island dining.
  “We serve lunch and dinner, but we don’t call ourselves a restaurant,” co-owner Lauren Garaventa said. “It’s more of a bar or a public house, so we’re open all day, every day. It’s casual enough that we don’t take reservations. It’s not a fine dining upscale restaurant; it’s a place for people to hang out, move around, and be comfortable.”...Read More