On Tuesday, inside Cleveland Hall’s Clearinghouse on Native Teaching & Learning, distinguished visitors were urging faculty researchers to involve elders in curriculum planning.  “I’m really interested in those tribal values,” said Wendell Jim “Walsax” (’84), a member of WSU’s Native American Advisory Board, said. He worries that vital cultural knowledge will be lost to the ages. “Those elders, they’re going.”

Leadership campers Vanessa Hillman, left, and Jaycee Goudy show off headbands they made from T-shirt sleeves

Meanwhile, 56 teenagers were on campus for the fifth annual Leadership Development Camp, a collaborative effort of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and the College of Education.  The teens are here for a week, learning to blend their heritage with an expanded view of the world, learning to take charge, learning to cooperate.  Creating Web pages.  Working hard. Laughing a lot. Tribal elders would no doubt approve.

Tuesday’s campus visit by advisory board members included special recognition for the researchers who produced “From Where the Sun Rises: Addressing the Educational Achievement Gap of Native American Students in Washington State.”  Still to come: Thursday’s (June 11) Hip Hop Show and Awards ceremony.  The leadership campers will show off their singing and writing talents, as well as their oh-so-hip-hop clothes created from recycled materials.

In memoriam
Rudy Johnson was a teacher, principal, Everett School District superintendent and Skagit County’s United Way director. Not bad for a two-time high school dropout,” reads the Everett Herald obituary.  He is also a graduate of the WSU College of Education. Johnson spent 40 years as an educator in Washington and Oregon, climbing the ranks from teacher to principal to superintendent.

A paper water bottle, and other bright ideas
Having a bright idea is one thing; taking it to market is another.  That’s the kind of lesson that comes with the territory for young entrepreneurs who enter WSU’s Imagine Tomorrow competition.  Everett teenager Jordan Steeves has been learning that as he tries to market his prize-winning paper water bottle.  One of its selling points is that it can be recycled.  Only not in his own community.   The list of winning ideas for the 2009 Imagine Tomorrow event is impressive.  (“Alternative Hydrogen Production”? Whatever happened to science fair ideas such as “The Effect of Light on Plant Growth”?)  Also impressive are the are folks who volunteered to help with the Pullman event, including education majors Brinn McKinney, Colleen Heckman and Tiffany Walker.

Reading matter
U.S. Effort to Reshape Schools Faces Challenges
. Arne  Duncan, President Obama’s education secretary, wants to take school turnaround efforts nationwide on a scale never tried before.
K-12 Chief Tapped as Education Dept. Takes Shape As U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan fills top spots, his focus is on “real passion” and entrepreneurial spirit.
Students prefer real classroom to virtual world. College students were given the chance to ditch a traditional classroom for an online virtual world. Fourteen out of fifteen declined.