2017 Social Justice Film Festival Inspires

L-Dub’s 4th Annual Social Justice Film Festival was last night at the Broadway Performance Hall, and we are so grateful to all of our students and families who joined us in support the Class of 2017. Thank you also to the Alhadeff family for making the event possible and supplying wonderful Majestic Bay popcorn!

As part of the Social Studies class and the Walls to Bridges program, each eighth grader worked with her classmates to agree on a topic, generate a thesis, create a storyboard, integrate interviews, videos, and still photos, and edit a five-minute film that will inspire our audience to act, to think, and to discuss issues important to our students.

At the end of the screening, guests jumped on smartphones and voted for their favorite films. The results were tallied and real time and Ms. Hearn announced the winners...

The Dark Side of Disney
By Amy and Anabelle

1617 SJFF Best Thesis: The Dark Side of Disney

Living in a Hateful World
By Madison, Georgia, and Hazel

1617 SJFF Best Call to Action: Living in a Hateful World

More Than a Diagnosis
By Celia C. and Olive

1617 SJFF Most Original Idea: More Than a Diagnosis

I Am More Than a Body
By Megan, Charlotte, and Nadia

1617 SJFF Best Overall Film: I Am More Than a Body

Congratulations to ALL of our filmmakers. We learned so much from – and about! – you!

You can watch all of the films here...

Jamie (James) and the Giant Peach

Roald Dahl’s story of a giant peach floating to New York is, at its core, a tale of finding your family and your group, even if they are a bunch of larger-than-life insects. The cast and crew of this production took this story of figuring out how to fit in and put their own spin on it, beginning with a brave girl named Jamie and a group of social-justice-loving bugs on a mission to save the world. Just like in life, Jamie and her family of bugs encounter a wild cast of characters, and thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of every sixth grader, the Hollywood Agents, the Botanical Garden Club, some seagulls, and a few sharks come to life. We even added some Oompa-Loompas to the mix. The seventh grade cast members handled multiple parts, foreign languages, and songs added at the last minute. Many of the seventh graders re-wrote the lyrics to songs and added hilarious scenes to the script; their creativity was key to this show. Finally, the eighth grade crew took charge of running songs, choreographing dances, coaching actors, painting sets, making films, and creating costumes out of whatever they found in the drama closet. With initiative and gusto, the eighth graders solved problems, managed a huge cast, and made it all come together. This is truly a show created and produced by the students.

But, the students did not do it without some help from L-Dub teachers, parents, and volunteers. This year, we are so lucky to have Ms. Andi as our Musical Director, and she brings encouragement for the singers and a flair for the dramatic to our shows. Our Artistic Director, Ms. B, continues to outdo herself with managing the crew and bringing her own creative talents to the production. As always, the organization and oversight of Ms. Colleen and Ms. Meredith make sure the students get to where they are going, while Ms. Eva works on the frontline to turn their plan into a reality (and bakes a really fine chocolate cookie) while working on slam poems and dance moves. Ms. Hearn and Ms. Lindsey help make sure the girls can be seen and heard as they remind everyone to project and “cheat out.” Thank you to Ms. Chelsea for making the peach and Mr. E for getting it to the theatre in two pieces! Thanks to all the faculty and staff who drove buses and cars to and from the theater, and came to see the show (often more than once!) And lastly, thanks to parents, families, and friends who do their fair share of driving, making cookies, and listening to actors run their lines and sing their songs. 

There’s something happening here...


Check out all the photos on Smugmug!

Grammarians Unite!

While National Grammar Day is observed in the United States on March 4, today was Grammar Day at L-Dub, and all of our girls were into it! Many dreamed up and wore grammar costumes – you know, visual representations of grammar rules, puns, phonetic mix-ups such as spoonerisms, obscure words and meanings, clever rhetorical excursions, oddly formed sentences, double entendres, and such. Maya B ’19 was Night Knight, wearing a shining armor festooned with stars; Ella H ’19 was covered with sponges and luffas as she was Self Absorbed today; Truly ’18 was Iced-T, a T covered with snowflakes; Destiny ’17 had a pillow under her shirt and was Destiny’s Child…the list goes on.

Sister groups were in four teams – Punctuation Nation, Flawless Clauses, Grammar Slammers, and Sentence Menace – and traveled around the school to participate in Grammar Poster Study and Grammar Games; to watch and learn from 8th grade produced and directed Grammar Dos/Don’ts films; to read and distill the secrets hidden in Grammar Comics; and finally, to rock a Spelling Bee. 

Check out all the photos on Smugmug!

There was so much spirit and hard work put into Grammar Day this year! Thank you Ms. Eva and all of our students for making it so fun!

L-Dub Students Lead Black History Month

Black History Month at Lake Washington Girls Middle School

L-Dub students Savannah ’17 and Soleil ’17 have launched a #BlackHistoryMonth project to introduce important, influential, and inspirational women of African-American history to our community. Some women already adorn our red lockers, but many will be curated by the pair themselves.

Black History goes far beyond the 28 days of a calendar, and could never be covered in one month. From its troubled beginnings of oppression and trying periods of segregation that birthed the movements that inspired change, leading all the way up to those who ignited new waves of magic and empowerment, there is definitely a lot to cover. Soleil and Savannah are bringing recognition to both the ups and down of the black experience, acknowledging triumphs and pioneering causes, and many stories that didn’t make it into textbooks. The influential leaders, agitators, and un-sung heroes they are highlighting have made their mark in history, and at L-Dub, we celebrate them.

My intention for our black history month projects is to honor and celebrate the ones before us who have made a way for black people in America. I also want to give light to the ones who are not as publicized and known. There are many many people who have helped create change and began movements, organizations, and brought hope to get us to where we are today. Without our heroes in history we would not be this far in our journey to peace, freedom, hope, and equality. I want to make sure that we take the time out this month to recognize and honor our black heroes. The month of February should not be where we stop, we have to make sure we carry this with us all year and appreciate our history forever.
— Savannah '17
My intention for black history month is to really understand and know why we are where we are today. Without these fantastic activists, that we have decided to highlight this month, black people would still be in slavery, there would still be bathrooms determined for white and blacks, people would still be sitting in the back of the bus, and equality would be forgotten. I want us to know where we started but I also want our community to know that we have to pick up where these heroes left us and to be just as brave as our black heroes. Because we are far from done. Without these activists, I wouldn’t be able to be in a school like L-Dub. I wouldn’t be able to be in such a diverse, respectful community where we can celebrate each other’s differences. I wouldn’t even be taking on such an amazing project like I am now. So, together we will celebrate this amazing month and celebrate these amazing heroes.
— Soleil '17
Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler

Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler

(February 8, 1831-March 9, 1895)

→ Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler was the first African-American woman to receive a medical degree in the U.S. 

→ She was raised by her aunt, who most likely influenced her decision to go into the medical profession, especially since medical care for the needs of poor blacks was almost non-existent during the antebellum years.

→  Between 1852 and 1860, Crumpler worked as a nurse in Charlestown, Mass. However, a wider door had been opened for women physicians across the country, possibly due to heavy demands for medical care of Civil War veterans, leading a new generation of women — including Crumpler — to pursue an M.D., which she earned in 1864 from New England Female Medical College. 

→ It was an amazing achievement, being the first woman of color to break down the walls of racism and sexism. 

→ After the war, Crumpler moved to Richmond, Va., where her main focus was on the health needs of freed slaves. Her experience there, and later in Boston, led her to publish her now-renown Book of Medical Discourses In Two Parts, one of the first known medical writings by an African American and an early guidebook on public health.

Ella Josephine Baker


Ella Baker was an active civil rights leader in the 1930s, she fought for civil rights for five decades, working alongside W.E.B Dubois, Thurgood Marshall, and Martin Luther King, Jr. She even mentored well-known civil rights activist, Rosa Parks.

Around 1940, Baker became a field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. She traveled extensively, raising funds and recruiting new members to the organization. In 1946, Baker became the NAACP's national director of branches. She later resigned from her NAACP post.

In 1957, Baker joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference as its executive director at the request of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The SCLC was a civil rights group created by African American ministers and community leaders. During her time with the SCLC, Baker set up the event that led to the creation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960. She offered her support and counsel to this organization of student activists.

While she left the SCLC in 1960, Baker remained active in the SNCC for many years. She helped them form the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in 1964 as an alternative to the state's Democratic Party, which held segregationist views.


Action for Equality

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the Women's March for Equality. It was empowering, and we were thrilled to have so many L-Dub students, alumnae, families, and friends marching arm in arm. Now what? As a school, we invite you to take part in the Women's March 10/100 days campaign. This is a movement where every 10 days, a new way to take action is released. The first one is to write a postcard to our Senators about what we believe in, and how we will fight for it in the in the future. On Thursday, February 2, Student Council is hosting the first event for all those who want to take action: Post-card-making. We invite all members of our community to come and speak out and up to our officials about what matters to you. More information – about this and upcoming actions – will be given at all school meetings

Please join us. It's going be, as we in Student Council often say, so boss.

– Olive '17, Student Council President

Check out the photos from the March below. All of the photos are on Smugmug!

A reflection from a parent who marched in DC:

In nearly 50 years I don't remember ever seeing a crowd a quarter that size in DC. The sound, the energy, the pride, anger, and joy were palpable. It was for all three generations of us such a ray of hope in a dark political time. Memorable were the surging cries as we passed Trump Tower, the tight press of people on all sides, the smiles and conversations exchanged with strangers from all over, the bold and clever signs, and the fierce call-and-response chants filling the air. As Anne Elise 18's mother, it thrilled me to hear the strong voices of the women leading us into the future. For her, meeting people such as a woman from Louisiana whose family stopped speaking to her when she chose to march, made her strongest memories. The commitment and sacrifice of so many gave us hope. We also loved getting texts and photos of the Seattle March and the L-Dub contingent while we marched down Constitution Avenue!
– Margaret Bradford P'18

Festival of Lights 2016

Lake Washington Girls Middle School Festival of Lights/Poetry Night: Odes to the Real: Authoring Authenticity.

This year's Poetry Night's theme was Odes to the Real: Authoring Authenticity.

The poetry elective’s performance was inspired by Amanda Gorman’s poem, At the Age of 18: Ode to Girls of Color. Below is an excerpt from that poem:

“...I know my color is not warning, but a welcome.

A girl of color is a lighthouse, an ultraviolet ray of power, potential, and promise

My color does not mean caution, it means courage

my dark does not mean danger, it means daring,

my brown does not mean broken, it means bold backbone from working

twice as hard to get half as far.

Being a girl of color means I am key, path, and wonder all in one body…”

Thank you to Dan DeLong P'19 for these stunning photos of the event. See more on Smugmug, and stay tuned for video!


The Phantom Tollbooth

Lake Washington Girls Middle School presents The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth tells the story of Milo, a bored child with nothing better to do than put coins in a magical tollbooth and take off on an educational adventure to rescue Rhyme and Reason. With the help of a crazy cast of characters, Milo discovers the wonders of words and numbers as well as ways to get out of the Doldrums, to see things from others’ perspectives, and to find the hero inside of himself. It’s a bit like students at L-Dub who put their faith in the magical adventures of middle school with all its lessons about words, numbers, empathy, creativity, and becoming a hero. Just like Milo, L-Dub students are accompanied on their journey by all sorts of crazy characters, and our play has had the benefit of some truly creative and talented people. The sixth graders brought energy and enthusiasm to every song and dance whether they had to wear pajamas or an umbrella hat. The seventh grade brought the characters to life and helped add some dynamic diva moments with revamped songs based on classics from Whitney Houston, Cyndi Lauper, Mariah Carey, and the Weather Girls. Finally, the entire eighth grade did it all: painted, sewed, glued, built, printed, and choreographed. As the crew members worked on all things technical, from lighting the show, setting sound and music cues, and creating projections, the rest of us got to sit back and enjoy the magic of Milo’s journey through the Kingdom of Knowledge.

While the students put their all into getting ready for this show, they did need some help from many teachers, parents, and volunteers. We could not have done this show without our musical director, the talented Ms. Andi, or our Artistic Director, the patient Ms. B. Theater week comes together because Ms. Colleen and Ms. Meredith coordinate the many moving parts, while Ms. Eva and Ms. Hearn make sure the actors are where they should be and are saying what they’re supposed to say (with volume and enunciation). Thanks to all the faculty and staff who ran to Blick for more paint and glue, drove buses and cars to and from the theater, and came to see the show (often more than once!) And lastly, thanks to parents, families, and friends who fill the theater with laughter and love.

Here’s to the hero in all of us!

Check out all of the photos on Smugmug!

Still We Rise

Dear L-Dub community,

If you could bottle the resilience and support in this building, you could fix everything. The past 12 hours have been an arc, indeed.

After the election was called last night, I did some thinking. After some time with my own feelings, I sent this note to the faculty and staff:

Dear all,
We have some work to do.

We are going to have kids with big questions, big fears. They will mirror and magnify our own. Our job tomorrow will be to help our students begin to answer for themselves how the country elected this president, this congress. And then, we will need to help them see that the country will, in fact, come out on the other side of this. Most important, we will need to guide our students toward action, perseverance, resilience, louder voices, and continued marching. Still we rise.

As we arrived at school, we mobilized. As girls arrived–many with tears in their eyes–we huddled and figured out our best course of action. I want you to know about the care and expertise that came together in that moment; with the best interest of every child in mind, faculty and staff made our plan for the day. Sadly, that plan looked very close to our crisis response plan: make space for feelings, keep the routine, reassure kids that everything is going to be okay. In that way, it was a road we’d been down before.

But in so many other ways, it felt new. We realized that we must push even harder for our girls to take their places in the world. That in this moment, the fight against sexism, racism, homophobia, and xenophobia must grow in strength. That we can do it.

While students were engaged in classes and conversation, our board convened for a previously scheduled meeting. We took a moment to consider the impact of the day and our work as stewards of the institution. The board wrote and approved this statement to the LWGMS student body:

The board met today and unanimously agreed that we will continue to work tirelessly for social justice, equality, and L-Dub – and to fulfill our primary purpose to help you continue to become strong in mind, body, and voice.  We care about each and every one of you.  

A lot has happened so far today, already. The girls watched Hillary speak. They met. They had a fiery civic debate about the electoral college. They hugged each other, cried, and sang. Some watched President Obama’s message. They created a Gratitude Wall. In my R&R group, students were thankful for music, books, animals, community, their opportunities, “my mom”, knowledge and connection provided by the internet, dogs, and “all the girls here--in every grade--because we support each other like sisters.”  They made plans to “spread hope” in small ways this weekend. They were kind to each other, and in doing so, they took more steps to make the world better.

As I write this, they are having a dance party. There’s that beautiful resilience.

When you talk to your daughter this evening, I encourage you to focus on the ways in which we are united, rather than where we are divided. Regardless of your feelings towards the results of last night's election, let's move forward together. Thank you for giving our girls the courage and conviction to face the future with hope. Still we rise.

If you’d like some resources for talking with kids about the election, here is a start.

It’s Time to Get to Work
How to talk to your children about the 2016 Election - Russell Moore
LA Times Commentary
The Day After – Teaching Tolerance
Messages Your Children Need to Hear

As Hillary Clinton said today, “To all of the little girls...never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”


Patti Hearn, Head of School

'A Raisin In The Sun,' strong impact lingers


Our school had a wonderful opportunity to work with Seattle Repertory Theater to attend the production of A Raisin in the Sun and work with SRT staff in pre and post-play workshops. The pre-show workshop allowed students to kinesthetically explore the themes of the show and the post-show workshop allowed students to respond to the show in more depth and make connections between the show and the world they live in. Inspired by Lorraine Hansberry, students worked together to create and share stories that include the perspectives and backgrounds they want to see represented in our media.

Prior to watching the play, students read and discussed the Langston Hughes poem Harlem. Students identified the feelings of a dream deferred and potential feelings of frustration. After watching the play, students debriefed in Humanities classes about the main ideas, issues, and individual character's dreams deferred. Students talked about race, class, segregation, and made connections to current events and personal stories of identity. 

The story of the Youngers – a poor black family living in Fifties Chicago, facing opposition for merely having the gall to move into a white neighborhood – represents a major fault line in American society which is still bruisingly relevant today. “What they think we going to do – eat ’em?” asks one. “No, honey, marry ‘em”, is the reply. 

In addition to being an amazing piece of work, the girls were inspired to learn that Lorraine Hansberry holds the historic distinction of being the first black woman playwright ever produced on Broadway.

It was a powerful experience that provided wonderful opportunities to discuss history, identity, and the power of dreams.

One Act Festival

In a month that welcomes the season of summer, the end of the school year, and magical new adventures on the horizon, a festival with the theme of Midsummer was fitting. 

Our festival began with a whirlwind course on the works of Shakespeare, with impish helpers creating mischief. We then sharpened our focus to examine one of his plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with its tale of unrequited love and misdirected magic – magic caused by that same imp. And finally, we found ourselves back in school, with a show about a cast and their drama teacher rehearsing for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, while that same imp tries to help and causes trouble again.                        

Eighth graders, thank you for making this production better than we thought it could be and for being good sports about whatever we asked you to do, whether it was sing, dance, dance badly, wear that costume you don’t like, change your costume a dozen times, say your lines in a fake voice, say your lines in three different voices, say your lines under a donkey head, play a boy, play a girl, play a boy playing a girl, fall, cut lines, add lines, or hit your friend in the face with a pie. Thanks for being the crew – and the squad – for each other. 

If we shadows have offended, know but this and all is mended: That you have but slumbered here, while these visions did appear, and this weak and idle theme, no more yielding, but a dream.

Thank you to you all,


Check out all of the OAF photos on Smugmug.


At Lake Washington Girls Middle School (LWGMS), thirty-four eighth grade girls have embarked on a mission to change Seattle. Throughout the year, the students have participated in monthly workshops on issues like identity and ally-ship, as well as explorations of historical movements for social change. This program, in conjunction with the social studies curriculum, gave students the time and space to examine privilege and oppression and to develop tools to become agents of change.

Walls to Bridges has opened so many new paths for me in how to change the world. It gave me the tools to seek out injustices and help change them. It has opened the door to how to be an ally and to recognize my own privilege and my responsibility to help make change.
–Stella, LWGMS, Class of 2016.

Walls to Bridges has showed me that everyone is capable of doing something to make the world a better place, but it won't happen if we just sit around. If helped me understand that if you are not ready to take on something big then you can start small and work your way up. You will make a difference no matter what you do.
–Ella, LWGMS, Class of 2016.

The Walls to Bridges program has taught me that I can make a big difference starting with a small action.
–Greta, LWGMS, Class of 2016.

Walls to Bridges has taught me that making change isn't easy but always starts with something small.  It starts with recognizing my own biases and seeing how relevant things are in my world that didn’t always seem pertinent to my life.
–Mara, LWGMS, Class of 2016.

Walls to Bridges tells you to sit down and write about what makes you angry, and by the time you're finished you have released everything that was holding you down. There is no better feeling than having said what you exactly thought.
–Vera, LWGMS, Class of 2016

As a citizen of Seattle, I feel that it is crucial to acknowledge issues that our society faces and take action on them before anyone else is hurt.
–Maddie, LWGMS, Class of 2016.


The eighth grade class selected one injustice to focus on for the final project, and they decided to engage in a direct action campaign about transgender bathroom rights, a topic that has recently been in the headlines. The class examined the injustices faced by the transgender community and learned about the discrimination and harassment that occurs when trying to use public restrooms. A recent study shows that 70% of transgender people have experienced a negative reaction while in their preferred restroom. Most experienced verbal harassment, threats, questions about their gender, or stares and strange looks. More alarmingly, the students learned that 9% of trans people were physically assaulted such as being forcibly removed from a restroom, hit, kicked, or even slapped.

Using the skills learned in class, the students have taken up a stance of support of creating equality for transgender people in public bathrooms around the city. These students are raising awareness of the dire situation around the harassment of transgender and genderfluid persons in bathrooms across the country. They are passing out stickers to local businesses and spreading the word through social media. Why are they doing this? Because these students have learned about the importance of standing up for those who are being hurt, whether physically or emotionally, the power of defending the rights of all people.

To spread awareness, they have created a Direct Action Campaign called Peequality. On June 11 and 12, 2016, the students will distribute posters and stickers that explain the issue and that show support for the basic right of having safe spaces. The stickers and posters can be placed in stores to show that the business supports transgender bathroom rights and will protect transgender people from harassment and discrimination. The students have created a website and instagram account where additional information on their campaign can be found.

For Additional Information Please Contact:
Contact: Jenny Zavatsky, Social Studies
Phone: 206.709.3800
Email: peequality@lwgms.org
Website: lwgms.org/peequality
Instagram: @peequality


About Lake Washington Girls Middle School
Lake Washington Girls Middle School, Seattle's first middle school for girls, located in Central Seattle, is a place where girls explore, experiment, discover, create, and learn about themselves and the world around them. Since 1998, LWGMS has challenged its students with high standards and helped every LWGMS girl find the tools she needs to succeed. Here, girls are empowered to think critically, develop leadership, and enjoy learning through an integrated curriculum proven to prepare girls for success in high school honors and college preparation courses.

Our students are learning to use tools that will serve them well: hand tools, power tools, digital tools, and the tools of their own strong voices. They work with computing platforms alongside hammers and saws and sewing machines. They are take apart computers and build their own. They are making films, which allows them to own and create media in a way that no generation before them could do. They are sewing clothes that light up and they are 3-D printing a robotic hand. More importantly, they are learning that they have the power to solve problems, to innovate, and to invent. And that is really what we are teaching them: to find solutions, to overcome obstacles. We are teaching them that struggle and failure are normal – and that effort is a crucial part of eventual success.

The creative confidence the girls get while they are at Lake Washington Girls Middle School completely translates beyond any classroom.

Press Resources


Spring Sports Roundup

Ultimate Frisbee

The Fuerza Ultimate Team had a glorious season! Improved skills resulted in more wins and big smiles from our players. The coaching trio of Jake Evans P'17, Josh Woods P'16, '17, and Ashley Harper P'16 took our girls to ultimate heights not before seen at L-Dub. With both D1 (mostly 8s and 7s) and a D2 (mostly 6s and 7s) teams, players worked hard, played fair, and had a lot of fun this season. And, while we will be graduating our eighth graders to their new high school teams, we look forward to our returning players for another great season next school year. 

Thanks to our fabulous coaches and our volunteer family members! We are appreciative of all you do for our athletes and our school!

Check out all of the Ultimate photos on Smugmug.

Track and Field

Our Track & Field Team boasted 29 athletes this season making L-Dub the second largest track and field team in the Cascade Middle School League. Coached by Annie Barrett P'16, Curry Knox '01, and Tess Schorr, the team competed in five league meets. Each athlete was encouraged – and most accepted the challenge – to try a new event as well as working on their individual times and distances. Field events such as discus, long jump, and shotput were very popular this year with athletes continuing to better their personal goals. Thank you coaches Annie, Curry, and Tess! While we say good-bye to our eighth grade athletes, we look forward to the 16/17 season and the return of all of our rising seventh and eighth grade athletes!

Lead by a strong group of 8h graders, this year’s Fuerza track team set records for participation at almost 25% of the student body, filling all events at each meet. 18 of the 28 participants achieved personal bests in our final championship meet.
— Coach Barret

Track and Field meets require a large number of volunteers. And L-Dub families always step up to help! A huge thanks to all of our family volunteers; without you our athletes could not compete. Thank you also for driving, feeding, and celebrating with our girls. You are simply put, The Best!

Thank you to Alicia '18, Josh Woods P'16, '17, and Annie Barret P'16 for the photos! Check out all of the Track and Field photos on Smugmug.


The 2016 Fuerza Basketball just finished the season with the school's largest and most winning team. The biggest success of their season though, was in the determination and joy each athlete brought to every practice and game. The tone for this success was set by our fabulous coaches – Joe Sherman P'17, Liz Little P'18, Alex McGough P'16, and Adam LeVasseur P'16. While the eighth and seventh grade players honed their on-court skills, the sixth graders were introduced to a sport from which they learned more about themselves as athletes. 

There are many thanks to bestow: to our coaches for leading our players through a fabulous season; to our transportation coordinator who got us where we needed to go; to our uniform coordinator for keeping the numbers and sizes straight; to our end of season hosts for opening their home to pizza and party; to all of our parents and guardians who drove our players all over the city and beyond; and to our fans!

The mighty Fuerza Basketball teams ended their seasons on March 17th against two very strong Seattle Hebrew Academy teams. The D1 team barely lost a close game and the D2 team came away victorious. Every school we played against this season was overwhelmed by the number of girls we had participating. We had a total of 29 players between both teams and every player participated fully in each game. It was amazing to see the development of our teams as the year progressed, culminating in impressive performances in the final game. Special thanks to all the coaches and the many parents who helped support us especially Leigh Hardiman, our transportation coordinator. See you next season with even more girls participating!
— Coach Sherman P'17

Check out all of the photos on Smugmug.

Go Fuerza!

Pi Day!

At L-Dub, on Pi Day, we mean business. "Pi (Greek letter " π ") is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159. ...Pi is a constant number, meaning that for all circles of any size, Pi will be the same." Got it?

This past Monday, we celebrated Pi Day at L-Dub! The girls had prepared by memorizing many (many) digits of the number Pi, families sent in delicious pies (thank you, all), and the STEAM department planned some new activities to celebrate this mathematical holiday! This year we looked closely at how the number Pi shows up in unusual places, we made our annual Pi chain, the girls made their own abacus, and they learned the Chinese method for multiplication....in Spanish!

Thanks again to families for sending in such yummy pie and to students for fully embracing the countless wonders of Math!

Oh, Math! We love you so!



The WIZard of Oz!

The second show of the year for L-Dub’s Drama Department features another girl’s quest. Quite similar to Alice, Dorothy’s journey takes her on an adventure that includes singing, dancing, and general mayhem; a perfect combination for our school full of energy and talent. The entire cast and crew of The Wizard of Oz brought so much energy to every phase of the show, from adding scenes, songs, and dances, to creating beautiful projections and sets. There was no end to the girls’ willingness to try a new dance or sing a new song. In fact, there were some great ideas added just days before opening night. The hardest part of directing this show was limiting the girls’ energy and ideas – if we had another week of rehearsals, I’m sure there would be even more great songs, additional scenes, new characters, and some major dance numbers. 

As with any LWGMS production, there are so many people who contribute to the girls’ experience: Ms. Lindsey creates skillful and beautiful accompaniment: Ms. Chelsea makes magic happen with hot glue, cardboard, paint, and well-curated trips to Value Village: Ms. Eva and Ms. Hearn encourage the actors to speak with conviction and volume; Ms. B takes the eighth grade crew members and teaches them how to run a seamless show; Anne Gienapp coaches the girls to sing with precision and harmony; Ms. Colleen makes sure the girls are where they need to be; and the eighth grade crew brings enthusiasm, organization, and leadership to their sisters’ production. The entire L-Dub community contributes to these shows from faculty and staff to family members who drive set pieces and kids to the theater, and then come to the shows to cheer on the girls. 

We hope you enjoyed L-Dub’s version of a trip down the Yellow Brick Road!

Check out all the photos on Smugmug!

Greek Mythology Trading Cards

After studying Greek Mythology in 7th grade Humanities, each girl made a "trading card" for a Greek god, goddess, or monster. Trading cards include basic information about the assigned god/goddess/monster, including families ties, special powers, and personality. Students also sketched simple illustrations and symbols for their trading cards.

Taking it to Heart

Last week we welcomed 70 smart, strong, and wonderful women to share their stories and advice with the Class of 2016 at this year's Creative Connections luncheon. Eighth grade students facilitated roundtable discussions about the journeys our guests had been on to get to where they are today and how they encountered and rejected stereotypes and inequities along the way. The conversations were deep, lively, and very informative. The eighth grade students will be sharing some of what they learned with the rest of the student body next week, including...

  • Take risks and never stop.
  • Think outside the box! The uncomfortable can be very informative.
  • Find ways to overcome obstacles – they aren't walls.
  • Look for mentors who are challenging and nurturing.
  • Challenges can be formative.
  • Always remember: your voice and your ideas are important.
  • Marry your passion to STEM.
  • Speak out against injustice and challenge the status quo.
  • Women are stronger together!

We were so thrilled by the energy, enthusiasm, and kindness our guests showed the eighth grade, and we want you to know that we are taking your advice to heart.

Highlights from the event...

Eva McGough addressing the guests.

Eva McGough addressing the guests.

"This piece...was a collaboration among three girls who were inspired by a young poet named Nate Marshall. He was featured in a documentary their class watched about a spoken word competition, or poetry slam, called Louder Than a Bomb. We call that style of poem an ego-trippin’ poem, and we used Nate’s piece as a mentor text, one that taught us how to employ hyperbole and allusion and wordplay. More important, however, was what it taught the girls about honoring and celebrating their authentic selves. They loved the rhyme and the wordplay and the collaboration, but they also loved the swagger of it. It was a license to brag and permission to boast. And in doing so, they also sent out a call to others to embrace what’s real about who they are.

We wanted these girls to perform for you today because it’s not often that you see young women, or any women for that matter, celebrated for being brash and outspoken. We’re not used to it, and girls aren’t typically encouraged to try that on. You should know that every student in their class had the option of writing an ego-trippin poem, but few did. Many resisted. They worried they would sound conceited, stuck-up. It was risky – that kind of self-promotion. And they’re right. It is risky. And here at L-Dub, we want girls to take risks. And in our society, we NEED girls to take risks. We need Beyonce to raise a fist during the Super Bowl’s halftime show and we need Hillary Clinton to demand a seat in the oval office. We need girls to recognize that “self-assured is NOT cocky, that standing tall is NOT shadowing others, that confidence IS marvelous,” and we need all of you to help us celebrate when girls find the will and the courage to speak up."
—Eva McGough, Humanities Chair

Patti Hearn, Head of School, addressing guests about the Myth of Effortless Perfectionism

Patti Hearn, Head of School, addressing guests about the Myth of Effortless Perfectionism


"What can schools do to battle the myth of effortless perfectionism? Girls get all these messages from media and society – and maybe from their schools and maybe from their parents – that they should be able to do everything well: do well in school, do well in sports, have a lot of friends…all with pressure to post all this success and happiness on social media. And there’s this other insidious expectation that they should be able to do so much so well without much struggle, without really trying that hard. In other words, “I woke up like this.” If you think back to the words of Corina, Celia, and Zoe who started us off today, you can see that they are aware of – and they are critically analyzing – this element of our culture where people sometimes measure their self-worth via the validation of social media. “You might think I need to get a life,” they said, “but at least if I don’t get a like, it’s alright.”"
—Patti Hearn, Head of School

Jenny Zavatsky, Assistant Head of School, addressing guests about LWGMS's filmmaking programs.

Jenny Zavatsky, Assistant Head of School, addressing guests about LWGMS's filmmaking programs.





"Teaching girls how to make film is also a social justice issue for women. You all know the statistics: women make up only 18% of all the directors, writers, and producers in the film industry, and that includes independent films. If we only look at the top 250 domestic grossing films, women directed only 9% of those popular films. And those are the films that saturate the media and damage girls’ self esteem around body image and leave us with so few visible role models for women. When I think about the topics our eighth grader chose this year, I wonder how different the world will be when women get behind the camera. We already know that when men direct films, only 9% of the protagonists are women but in films directed by women, female characters make up 40% of the protagonists. Women making films tell stories about women, and I know that girls have some great stories and a lot to say about privilege, equality, and justice."
—Jenny Zavatsky, Assistant Head of School




You can see all of these photos and more on our Smugmug site!

Startup Weekend GIRLS 2016: Making Change!

Thank you to EVERYONE who made Startup Weekend GIRLS such a huge success.

Thank you to GeekWire and Startup Seattle for covering the event...click to read!

You can view all of the photos on Sumugmug!


Festival of Lights, 2015

Behind the Scenes of Poetry Night
— by Vera ‘16

The lights shine brightly in my eyes and my stomach clenches nervously. The adrenaline left over from the nerve wreaking hour and a half of bumper-to-bumper traffic makes my body want to jump up and run around the room. People shift restlessly in their seats. They stare at us expectantly, waiting for us to start. The night of the Festival of Lights has finally arrived. Months of preparation and anticipation have lead up to this night.

But what is this Festival of Lights celebrating? “Every celebration is about the girls. Every celebration is about you,” Ms.Falk said in a interview. She went on to say that at L-Dub we value expressions of mind, body, and voice, and poetry is a “...beautiful burst of voice,  an expression of gratitude, a gift to the community.”

The amount of effort that goes into this wonderful night is huge and comes from everyone at L-Dub. Ms. Falk, Ms.Eva, Ms. Jenny, Señorita Jacquie, and the rest of the Humanities Department begins to consider dates, times, the budget, and organizing the students at the beginning of the school year. Then, about a month later, under the direction of Ms. Falk, the Poetry Elective students begin to orchestrate the event. First, they come up with a theme. This year the theme was “Never Alone,” and it came from a poem written by Sophie ‘17. This poem was inspired by Sarah Kay’s If I Should Have a Daughter, which was the last poem performed at Poetry Night.

If I Had a Daughter by Sophie ‘17

If I had a daughter I would tell her,
listen to your heart,
into your soul
you know what is right.
If I had a daughter I would tell her
the earth is your home.
Without it
you wouldn't exist!
what you do to the earth
you do
to yourself.
The animals
are your brothers
and sisters
treat them like you would any human.
They have rights,
and they have souls,
they are no different than us on the inside.
If killing or torturing a human is a crime,
why shouldn't it be a crime to kill or torture an animal?
there may be times when you feel covered
in shadows.
Stuck in,
an endless,
but hope and love will always find a way.
you are
never alone.
Remember help and light will,
be there for you when you need it most.
You are
never alone.
You must
never give up
if you are the light at the end of the tunnel.
You must
never give up
if the race hasn’t even begun.
The stars are high up,
don’t think you can’t,
build a ladder to reach them.
the waves,
of the sea may try to pull you down,
to the depths,
but don’t think,
you’ll go down,
without a fight!

Next, the students designed the set and t-shirts. Everyone contributed ideas – some of which were used and others stored for later. The idea eventually selected was “trees with holiday lights wrapped around them in honor of the Festival of Lights.” Next came the t-shirt design. This year Maggie, Addie, Rhys, and I drew the design with others contributing to the design and composition. In a interview Maggie said that it felt “nice to draw it” and that she was “proud of it.” Everyone in Poetry Elective was proud of everything each of them had contributed by the end.

Once the planning and designing was done, the poetry crew built and set everything up. Ms.Lindsey polished up the t-shirts and ordered them. Ms.Chelsea built and perfected all the sets. Ms. Christina sets up the lights and sound.  Ms. Blaisdell put the finishing touched on the program and prepared to photograph and shoot the performances. All the students on Poetry Crew assisted whenever they were needed. So many people in our school were involved.

Finally, after months of preparation on the behalf of the Humanities Department, Poetry Elective, Poetry Crew, and all L-Dub students, the night finally arrived. Everything was ready. Everyone’s lines were memorized, the stage was set up beautifully, the new microphones (wow, what a gift!) were tuned and ready, the Poetry Crew was ready to assist people on and off stage, and the Poetry Advice Wall was all set up. The lights went off and the Evening of Words began.

Never Alone, original works by LWGMS's 2015 Poetry Elective students Mena, Eliza, Helen, Magda, Sophie, Destiny, Rhys, Valerie, Greta, Vera, Emily, Harriet, Grace, Maggie, Gemma, and Addiemaymae. Lake Washington Girls Middle School Festival of Lights, December 17, 2015.

The Way, an original poem by Iyra '16. Lake Washington Girls Middle School Festival of Lights, December 17, 2015.

The shadows of L-Dub students twirl and leap on the walls of the Immaculate Conception church hall. These dancing shapes perfectly reflect the strength, energy, and emotion of the poems being presented at the 2015 LWGMS Festival of Lights. Strands of tiny shining lightbulbs illuminate the room, bringing an aura of celebration and contemplation as the eventful night begins.

Like That, an original poem by Celia '16, Corina '16, and Zoe '16. Lake Washington Girls Middle School Festival of Lights, December 17, 2015.

The night starts off with a powerful poem from the poetry elective, centered around the idea of advice and having one another’s back. It’s heartwarming; a glorious introduction to the rest of the sweet, moving, and intensely captivating Poetry Night. This event solidified the idea that at L-Dub you are never alone, and the poetry elective students did an incredible job of it!

—Lucia '17

The walls of the Immaculate Conception Church hall reflected the energy produced by the eagerly waiting relatives, friends, parents, and students. The white lights decorating the brown paper trees made by Ms. Chelsea added a feel of emotion and wonder. The girls performing poems either sat tapping their feet nervously or talking with friends. You could tell the night was going to be magnificent.

—Anne Elise '18

Fall Sports Season Wrapup

Our Fuerza fall sports season wrapped up with a volleyball tournament, a soccer win, and cross country championship. Our L-Dub athletes had fun, learned and improved their skills, and balanced the joy of athleticism and teamwork with the competitiveness of their chosen sport. Thank you to every one who made this season such a success!


Cross Country

We just finished our second season of Fuerza Cross Country. When I first got involved last year I had few hopes or expectations for the team other than to simply have fun – and make sure that by the end of the season the girls enjoyed running a little more than they did at the beginning. Simple enough. It’s fair to say we accomplished this… but through the course of the season – as individuals and as a team – we achieved so much more. One of my favorite sayings about running is: “running never takes more than it gives.” At some point during the season, whether in a race or practice, every girl faced a moment of doubt, concern, or maybe even mild anxiety. And every girl faced that challenge, pushed through, and learned volumes about herself in the process. We also learned that cross country is a true team sport – not just in the scoring of the meets, but also in how we all show up and support one another. And yes, we won the championship meet two years in a row (!!!), but I’m even more proud of how the girls showed up to practice and meets each day and gave it their all…and had a ton of fun too!

I’m super proud to have been one of the founding Fuerza XC coaches, and incredibly thankful to have had Erik and Jeff coach along with me…and also have Colleen, Chika, and all the other parents supporting with car pools and race-day logistics. What an amazing season! With only three graduating eighth graders (shout out to team captains Mena, Tess and Nora!), Erik and Jeff are sure to have another amazing team on their hands next year. I can’t wait to come cheer for the girls. GO FUERZA! 
– Coach Adam


Three years ago I began helping out with soccer when my daughter Gemma started LWGMS in sixth grade. Back then it was a team comprising one eighth grader, several seventh graders, and a group of sixth graders of widely varying experience – all of them wearing sneakers. Our first game was against a super organized team of dark-blue uniformed, giant gazelles, but nothing stopped us. We had so much fun fun that season....we even won the last game 1-0, the lone goal coming just before the final whistle. :)

The constant thrill is watching the incoming sixth graders form the core of every team. Each year they arrive ready to make it happen. Soccer at LW is a fantastic opportunity for girls of all levels from beginners to the club select and premier level, yes we have all, to come together and experience forming a team that is focused and together and, most satisfying, having fun.

The thrill would be to keep coaching FUERZA soccer forever. 
– Coach Colin

Photos and video by Joe Sherman P'17.



Fuerza volleyball had a season full of fun and competition…with lots of smiles and hard work. We started in the warm afternoons of September, catching water balloons to practice our footwork. The girls endured red forearms from endless bumping and sore hands from setting. Most of all we worked on serving, culminating in our game at Seattle Country Day where our serve rate was close to 100%. This season there was a dash of spiking and we even had a few spikes in some games, much to the excitement of everyone involved. Our teams exemplified the LW value of sisterhood with a lot of spirit and support (for good and bad plays). Additional memories include: bus rides, pizza, a new group cheer for the beginning of games, Dead Fish and Murder (your daughters can explain), human knots and skittles colored by unicorns. Hopefully the girls left with many great memories!
– Coach Shawn