Presenting the Class of 2019

On Tuesday, June 11, our entire community came together to celebrate the achievements of Lake Washington Girls Middle School's Class of 2019.

Photo by Dan DeLong P’19.

Photo by Dan DeLong P’19.

Señora Charito delivers the faculty address to the graduates and guests.

The Knowing of You

At this moment, there is a deep divide and a rumbling awakening happening in the world. The opportunity for change is palpable. Over and over again, you have heard the call to action...and you have leaned in to that call.

I have seen in you a passionate questioning of images defining beauty and success in the media.

I have seen in you an unshakable knowing that the ability to freely love and identify in a way that feels like home to you, is a human right.

I have seen in you a justified raging at the injustice and violence disproportionately impacting religious minorities and people of color.

I have seen in you a courageous journeying to better understand your individual privilege and your place within the systems making the rules.

I have seen in you a defiant understanding of your intellect and your rightful place within all institutions.

I have seen in you a desire to stand up, to use your voice, and to act. And have continuously been in awe of the way you grapple with concepts that require a level of introspection and vulnerability most people do not dare expose.

So here is my call to action for you, my deepest wish for you all: Be brave. Be brave enough and radical enough to be present for your own life experience in the same way you are present for others. You see, your power is in the knowing of YOU.

Your power is in the ability to love every freckle, a strand of hair, square inch of skin, and curve, of YOU. It is only then that you can identify the pressures and fabricated standards imposed by others.

Your power is in valuing yourself enough to know that you are deserving of being treated equitably. It is only then that you will able to identify the inequities around you.

Your power is in unapologetically being able to recognize and savor joyful moments in the same way you pause for sorrow. It is only then that you are able to truly connect with the human experience and recognize the full scope of humanity in others.

Your power is in knowing your worth so deeply that you are not defined by, but rather lifted by, both praise and criticism. It is only then that you will be able to celebrate the triumphs and contributions of others equally to yours.

Your power is in recognizing that being still and taking time to breathe and notice the richness of your senses and the business of your mind allows you to engage in your life more intentionally. It is only then that you can notice the offerings of nature, notice the discomfort of facing a personal bias, and notice the smallest gesture of love.

Your power is in focusing on what truly reflects your values and beliefs, not on what or who is in the spotlight. It is only when you do NOT equate importance with who or what gets more attention by others, or who or what is the loudest in the room, or who or what is the latest trend, that you are able to build authentic relationships, recognize the value of what you and others bring to the table, and act in a way that aligns with your truth.

Your power is in owning every single one of your strengths with pride and your challenges without judgement. It is only when you own all of you that you can partner with others in a way that makes everyone better.

Your power is in freely and frequently expressing GRATITUDE, so much gratitude, and in persistently and consistently practicing SELF-COMPASSION. It is only by appreciating the multitude of gifts that life gives you (tiny and big ) that you are not held hostage by jealousy and feeling less than, and it is only by treating yourself with kindness and care that you can practice true compassion towards others--because then you know what it feels like.

Working on understanding, loving, and accepting YOU is not selfish it is powerful. I believe with all of me that every single one of you has just what is needed to make those around you feel connected and included. You have what is needed to notice injustices and speak uncomfortable truths. You have what is needed to embrace joy and express gratitude. You have what is needed to bridge the deep divides and fuel the rumbling awakening of the time.

So my call to action is not a small request: Be courageous, be daring, and be radical enough to invest in the knowing of YOU.

Photo by Dan DeLong P’19.

Cleveland High School

Garfield High School

The Northwest School

Garfield High School

Garfield High School

Cleveland High School

Ingraham High School

Seattle Academy

The Bush School

The Northwest School

Lakeside School

Garfield High School

Franklin High School 

Ballard High School 

Bishop Blanchet High School

Daegu International School

Franklin High School

The Northwest School

Ingraham High School 

The Bush School

Roosevelt High School

University Preparatory School

Bishop Blanchet High School

The Downtown School

Franklin High School

Franklin High School

Cleveland High School 

Garfield High School

Franklin High School

Garfield High School

Holy Names Academy

Franklin High School

Roosevelt High School

Franklin High School


West Seattle High School

Lakeside School

Garfield High School

Thank you to Dan DeLong P’19 for taking pictures of the event! Head on over to Smugmug to see them all.

L-Dub D&D In The News

Mr. E and D&D In The News!
Kudos to Mr. E and D&D for the press they're garnering...but more importantly, for the fun they're having!

Article on LWGMS D&D in The Stranger
You may have seen coverage of Mr. E and the D&D Club in The Stranger (if not, pick up a copy and check it out)! The article is available here online (photos are from last year, but coverage is current).

Podcast Covering LWGMS D&D Club/Class
The Behold Her podcast did an episode on Mr. E and the D&D Club that was just released. It's older audio from last year but was just published.

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

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.

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 to read!

You can view all of the photos on Sumugmug!


FuerzaBots Making Trash into Treasure

The FuerzaBots are at it again! LWGMS's Robotics Team – the school's fourth – has been working hard building and programming their robots, creating their trash-themed LEGO® models, and working to complete missions on their specialized TRASH TREK playing fields. They have also been busy finding solutions to real-world problems by delving into trash-use problems right here at L-Dub.

As many of you may know, FIRST LEGO League introduces students to real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO-based robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface. Our FuerzaBots, guided by their imaginations and adult coaches Ms. Christine, Ms. Cristina, Rob Sim P'16 and Tim Ross P'18, discover exciting career possibilities and, through the process, learn to make positive contributions to society.

The FuerzaBots get to:

  • Design, build, test and program robots using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology
  • Apply real-world math and science concepts
  • Research challenges facing today’s scientists
  • Learn critical thinking, team-building and presentation skills
  • Participate in tournaments and celebrations

The FuerzaBots, comprised of sixth grade students Alicia, Ryan, Helen, Elliot, Vivian, Luci, and Edie, seventh grade students Sophie, Emiko, and Audrey, and eighth grade students Maya, Julia, and Isabel, have been tackling this year's Challenge as a unit. Each Challenge has three parts: the Robot Game, the Project, and the FLL Core Values. Teams of up to ten kids (on the competition floor), with one adult coach, participate in the Challenge by programming an autonomous robot to score points on a themed playing field (Robot Game) and developing a solution to a problem they have identified (Project), all guided by FLL's Core Values – that friendly competition and mutual gain are not separate goals, and that helping one another is the foundation of teamwork. 

The FuerzaBots Robotics Team heads to the North Seattle WA FIRST LEGO League Qualifying Competition this Sunday, December 6.

This year, the 2015 FIRST® LEGO® League TRASH TREKSM Challenge, 290,000 children ages 9 to 16 from over 80 countries will explore the fascinating world of trash. From collection, to sorting, to smart production and reuse, there is certainly more to trash than meets the eye. The FuerzaBots have been working diligently on the Robot Challenge for which, over three months, they designed, built, and programed four robots, one of which will tackle as many obstacles of natural disaster aftermath as possible in 2.5 minutes. The FuerzaBots dove into programing the "brick" – the brains – of the robot, and they quickly learned how the sensors work, and in what situations they would be used. They also mastered how the motors work to make the robot go forward, backward, and to turn, as well as how to make the robots pick items up and move levers. As of today the FuerzaBot's robots can complete eight of the ten course obstacles. The girls are putting the finishing touches on their TRASH TREK project this week.

They've also been asked to work to solve a real-life problem pertaining to trash in the "project" section of the Qualifying Competition. As LWGMS students do, the FuerzaBots sought to solve a problem right here in our school community.

58,140 plastic bags on top of each other it would be as tall as Seattle’s Great Wheel!

58,140 plastic bags on top of each other it would be as tall as Seattle’s Great Wheel!

From the FuerzaBots:

"Through surveys and observation, we found that 68% of L-Dub students use plastic baggies in their lunches. That’s over half the school! We also found that of the plastic baggie users, 34% use them five or more times a week! 

On average then, our community uses 323 plastic baggies per week. That’s a lot of plastic baggies going into a landfill each week! This would total to 58,140 plastic baggies in a school year. If you were to stack 58,140 plastic bags on top of each other it would be as tall as Seattle’s Great Wheel. That’s terrible!

We all know this is a problem we needs solving, so the FuerzaBots have produced a video tutorial for making a DIY Reusable Snack Bag. Hopefully, everyone will try to make and use these bags. We suggest if you can't, though, that you buy reusable baggies, or switch to wax paper."

The FIRST Lego League (FLL) Robotics Regional Tournament is this Sunday, December 6, at Ballard High School in Seattle. During the tournament, teams have three rounds on the competition tables to get the best score possible. When not competing with their robots, teams give their research presentations, and are interviewed about the technical design of their robots and how they work as teams. Regional qualifiers may advance to the championship event in January. The winners of the Champion's Award, the most prestigious award, may be eligible to participate in a variety of post-season tournament opportunities both domestic and abroad. This, their first year, our FuerzaBots, whose motto is "Code Like a Girl," are excited to be participating in the tournament and will be focusing on getting as far as they can and learning from the mistakes they make along the way.

Join us to cheer on the FuerzaBots Robotics Team as they head to the North Seattle WA FIRST LEGO League Qualifying Competition!

Where: Ballard High School

8:00a – Team Check-in Opens
8:30a – Coach Meeting
9:00a – Judge Sessions Begin
12:30p – Opening Ceremony
12:45p – Robot Game
4:30p – Awards Ceremony

Go, FuerzaBots!

A Day of Service

Today, Ms. Klema and a group of about 20 LWGMS students, faculty, and families are spending time with our friends and neighbors at the Immaculate Conception Church (adjacent to the school) preparing Thanksgiving meals for about 500 "senior citizens and shut-ins in our neighborhood". Immaculate Conception Church parishioners donated the food and money to support the effort, and today the volunteers are peeling, chopping, smushing, mixing, packing, and stuffing all of the delicious food. Tomorrow, on Thanksgiving morning, some of our students and families are coming back to help with delivery. Today is not a school day. It is a day of service. Thank you to our participants for their help, and caring for our community.

Intel® Girls and Women

Intel will continue to take action to engage and inspire girls and women to participate in computer science and engineering fields through hands on, applied maker activities. – Intel

Thank you to Kristan Weller P' 15 and the fifteen ambassadors from the Intel Girls and Women initiative – Lizabeth Anderson, David Lin, Jane Mareth, Basu Nagarahalli, Carolyn Russell, Kirsten Spoljaric, Rex St John, Nadia Steere, Phillip Stephens, Allison Takeuchi, Kristan Weller P’15, Merrie Williamson, and Hope Yonemitsu – who came to L-Dub this week to spend time with the 6th grade, exposing them to STEAM in action! The Intel crew taught the girls about different concepts of circuitry, connectivity, electricity through activities using Makey Makey circuit boards, and a few simple, everyday materials. The girls designed and built Pac Man controllers using Makey Makey boards, graphite in pencils, and Play Doh, and they also made pianos with Makey Makey boards, alligator clips, fruit, aluminum foil, and a computer. Everyone got their hands on the materials, learning about their different properties, and everyone had a ball. We are so grateful for the Intel team’s generosity, time, intelligence, and humor...and for the strong women and feminists – those supporting the in the room!

Concepts we learned

Electricity: a form of energy that is carried through wires and is used to operate machines, lights, etc.  Electric current or power
Conductor: a material or object that allows electricity or heat to move through it
Insulator: a material that allows little or no heat, electricity, or sound to go into or out of something
Open Circuit: a discontinuous circuit through which no current can flow
Closed Circuit: the complete path that an electric current travels along
Ground: electrical connection with the ground

What we used

  • Makey Makey circuit boards
  • Computers
  • Scratch – computer program
  • Alligator clips
  • Conductive/Non conductive classroom objects
  • Brains – the most advanced computer ever created



Intel's Key Recommendations to Engage Girls and Women in Making

  • Build more girls- and women-inclusive maker environments in public places like libraries and schools.
  • Design maker spaces that enable open-ended investigation of projects meaningful to girls and women.
  • Develop initiatives that give girls more access to makers their own age and female mentors. 
  • Encourage parents to “embrace the mess” and engage in making with their children.
  • Align making activities, such as coding and making hardware, with current trends and personal interests to attract girls.
  • Include facilitators in maker spaces to create a safe, supportive, inclusive environment for girls and women.

Read the entire MakeHers: Engaging Girls and Women in Technology through Making, Creating, and Inventing report here.

Thank you, Intel!


Check out the photos on Smugmug

Fall Field Trips: 7th Grade Service Learning

This week is Fall Field Trip week at L-Dub. Every fall the entire student body heads off campus with faculty members and hits the road, somewhere where they will stretch, learn, grow, and most likely even feel uncomfortable. For sixth grade students, this is their first chance to work on their LWGMS resilience. For seventh and eighth grade students, they are expanding on their foundations, pushing their boundaries, and coming back together as a group.

The 7th grade Service-Learning-themed trip is intended to help the girls and their teachers understand issues facing currently homeless and hungry populations, to humanize members of our community for whom this is a reality, to learn about organizations that are serving currently homeless populations, and to teach ways of advocating and acting toward change.

To prepare for their experience the girls underwent Companionship Training with Kae Eaton, Companionship Coordinator and Spiritual Director from the Mental Health Chaplaincy.

The group also spent time – in class and at home – with the following resources:


On the first day of their journeys, the girls heard from speakers from Real Change and FareStart, and then they set out on public transportation, bags on their backs, to the following locations to offer their help and support: At Union Gospel Mission Hope Place, a group of girls helped out at the Children's Activity Center and served dinner; at Mary's Place the group offered their services to the Kid's Club and brought and served dinner to the guests at Bianca's Place, emergency family night shelter and home to 40 moms, dads, and kids; a third group brought collected donations of food and supplies to and spent time with the residents of Tent City 3, and then headed to Teen Feed to serve and share a meal with the kids there. The final group went to Jubilee Women's Center to spend some time with the residents and help prepare gift bags and birthday card for them. 

The 7th graders also collected food and supply donations for Tent City 3.

The 7th graders also collected food and supply donations for Tent City 3.

Everything worked out well last night. The Lake Washington Girls Middle Schoolers came ready to work.

The Middle Schoolers were so “into it.” I taught some of them to use the dishwasher and it seemed they could hardly believe that someone would let them operate the machinery. They really liked operating it! Every one of the students was willing to do whatever needed to be done. Of course, with middle schoolers, one does have to give a lot of instructions. (E.g., they poured the milk but I later noticed that they had only filled the cups half full.)

Thanks for putting the whole event together. Donna and I have nothing but praise for the Middle Schoolers. They clearly wanted to serve and stayed on task the entire time. Donna and I were both very impressed with their “work ethic.”
— Steve Layman, SPU Professor and Teen Feed Volunteer

All of the groups then walked or took public transportation to Epiphany Parish to spend the night in their shelter. The Parish has a strong relationship with Teen Feed and also watches out for the homeless in countless ways, particularly in helping people find places to stay overnight. Epiphany hosts Operation Nightwatch, a shelter for a small group of currently homeless men every Friday night. The girls learned about this operation and slept on the same floor the men share on Friday nights.

Today the girls met with Chaplain Eaton to debrief, process, reflect, and discuss what they learned, feel, and intend to do from here. Later today they are making their way on foot and via public transportation to Camp Long in West Seattle where they will spend some time as a group making a plan for their next steps in their Service Learning journey.

On September 23 a group of students will be giving a presentation about their classes' experience to our Board of Trustees at their annual retreat. The Board is committed to using the information our students bring to them to inform their strategic planning decisions in all aspects of the operation of the school.

Graduation 2014

The Class of 2014 – the last LWGMS class of 18 students – graduated on June 17 in the company of approximately 200 friends, family, and mentors. The ceremony was a wonderful end to the girls' time at L-Dub...of course, each student spoke. Ms. Eva delivered the faculty address, and there weren't too many dry eyes in the house. Good luck, ladies! You are indeed strong in mind, body, and voice!

Ms Eva's Speech

What they don’t understand about birthdays and what they never tell you is that when you’re eleven, you’re also ten, and nine, and eight, and seven, and six, and five, and four, and three, and two, and one. And when you wake up on your eleventh birthday you expect to feel eleven, but you don’t. You open your eyes and everything’s just like yesterday, only it’s today. And you don’t feel eleven at all. You feel like you’re still ten. And you are—underneath the year that makes you eleven.

Like some days you might say something stupid, and that’s the part of you that’s still ten. Or maybe some days you might need to sit on your mama’s lap because you’re scared, and that’s the part of you that’s five. And maybe one day when you’re all grown up maybe you will need to cry like if you’re three, and that’s okay. That’s what I tell Mama when she’s sad and needs to cry. Maybe she’s feeling three.

Because the way you grow old is kind of like an onion or like the rings inside a tree trunk or like my little wooden dolls that fit one inside the other, each year inside the next one. That’s how being eleven years old is.

Sandra Cisneros is writing about turning eleven, but I think that’s how graduating from middle school may be too. I think you may not feel quite like a graduate--yet. You may not feel like a high schooler—yet. Part of you will always be the sixth grader who was scared to go on that trip to Yakima. Part of you will always be that seventh grader who cried during the night hike. You are still the girl who forgot her lines in Willy Wonka or the girl who failed that math test because she forgot to study. Each of you is the person you are because you have experienced all that you have—you are the same girl, just with more layers, just with more rings.

And tonight, I want to encourage you to celebrate that. I want you to remember all that you have experienced—the successes and the failures—because your identity today was forged from the metal of those challenges and accomplishments.

Don’t misunderstand me—I don’t want you to live in the past. But I do want you to live with it. There is no question that your futures are bright and all of us are here tonight to affirm that. But remember where you came from, and honor the memory of the girl who has struggled and shined in the years that led you here, to this graduation ceremony.

I was tempted to read from your writer’s notebooks tonight. Tempted to share excerpts from your personal essays and memoirs and the GEMs that have adorned the walls for the last three years. You know I love to share your writing with others–and make you share it too–you know how I love to see your parents cry (so I’m not the only one)–but mostly I wanted to share those to remind you of your capacity for reflection and insight. I wanted to remind you that you know how to make meaning in your writing, and, in so doing, you know how to make meaning of your lives.

You have searched for your truths and found them in surprising places: in the bunk bed Mari bravely and defiantly descended when she was seven, in the tortuous Stehekin hike  Grace endured in 100-degree weather, trying desperately to channel Charlie Bucket’s positivity, in Lucy’s high green-belt test and the martial art tenets that continue to inspire her to love and accept herself, in the third-grade geometry lesson that allowed Emmy to find her inner Hermione Granger. Meaning was discovered in Mengmeng’s triumphant bicycle ride and the wasps that swarmed her in second grade, in Ruby’s visit to the 9/11 memorial site where she finally understood her mom’s wisdom that small gestures do not go unrecognized, and in those Nanjing University classrooms where Maya Noble proved to herself that she was “good enough.”

A former L-Dub student recently shared an essay with me by Joan Didion, in which she explored her own reasons for keeping a writer’s notebook. She wrote:

Perhaps it is difficult to see the value in having one's self back in that kind of mood, but I do see it; I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind's door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends. We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were.

I like that idea of keeping “on nodding terms” with the people we once were. Sometimes, looking back helps us move forward, helps us be who we want to be and not simply who we accidentally become. I don’t know if you will continue keeping a writer’s notebook, but I hope you will always live in a way that honors your experiences, that you remember and reflect. As you know, you will not necessarily recognize the significance of those events as you live them; you know that those epiphanies often come much later. I’m sure that Sophia did not recognize her burgeoning feminism the very moment that boy offered to kick for her in that elementary school kickball game; nor did Alma realize how giving up soft drinks would bring her as close to God as it did. And as much as Mia has always loved and admired her big brother, she may not have realized just how much she relied on him until he went off to college.

The girls you once were are not far away from the young women you’ve become. Some days you will cry like you’re three or whine like you’re six or talk incessantly during a Monday morning meeting when you’ve been asked repeatedly to be quiet… (that was the eighth grader in you). And you may not want to be that girl again, but you might be, and that’s okay. You were your better selves too. Your smarter selves, your more compassionate selves, your braver selves.

You are the  Rae who can  show up at school with her pants on backwards and laugh about it, the Izzy who continually trips over her own feet but doesn’t really care because she always finds her footing eventually--and in cute shoes too, the Jumping Josephine who will always wear ponytails and old Converse and laugh as loud as she likes because --why not?. Azura will always be the girl who danced foolishly but fearlessly with her Monkey troupe during field day in 6th grade--and won, and Sadie the girl who enthusiastically donned a clam hat and rapped about ocean acidification in front of strangers, or Maya Lazo who proudly picked THE MOST green beans on Senor Alvarez’ farm. Helen is the same person who sang Girl on Fire at the top of her lungs around the fire pit where her daisy chain fed the flames, and Savita, the girl who dug deep for the courage to ROAR at Poetry Night. You are those girls. Take those selves with you too.

So when you open your eyes tomorrow morning after the tears and the hugs and the laughter and the festivities of tonight, and everything’s just like yesterday, when you wake up and still feel like an 8th grader only you’re really not anymore, don’t be disappointed. Be grateful. For the future that will arrive sooner than you expect, and the past that is over all too soon. Like that tree trunk, those rings remain, and you will grow new ones. And for that evolution, you can be grateful.

I cannot in good conscience end this speech without paying homage to a phenomenal woman whose wisdom and grace will outlive all of us. While Maya Angelou offered us countless gems of inspiration and sage advice, I found something that made me think of all of you and how much you enrich the lives of all of us:

When we find someone who is brave, fun, intelligent, and loving, we have to thank the universe.

On behalf of the L-Dub faculty and staff, I thank the universe for all of you. Congratulations, and good luck.

–Ms. Eva

Our Graduates:

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Bottom, L to R: Ruby, The Northwest School; Mia, Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart; Mengmeng, Lakeside School; Savita, The Northwest School; Maya, The Northwest School; Isabel, Garfield High School; Sophia, Garfield High School; Maya, Ingraham High School; Azura, The Nova Project. Top, L to R: Josephine, Garfield High School; Alma, Aviation High School; Helen, The Northwest School; Rae, The Northwest School; Mari, Holy Names Academy; Emmy, Holy Names Academy; Sadie, Seattle Preparatory School; Grace, Franklin High School; Luci, The Nova Project.

Head on over to Smugmug to see all of the graduation photos.

"L-Dub has taught me that being shy and getting the answer wrong will not end the world and that furthermore, there is no concrete definition of a L-Dub girl. She is not just the funny girl, or the model student, because that’s not how personalities work. She could be both those things if she wanted. An L-Dub girl is strong in mind, body, and voice in her own unique way. And that is what makes this school so beautiful and hard to leave. But I think I’m ready to say goodbye, and leave as not the funny girl or the model student, but as myself only: strong in mind, body, and voice in my own quirky, unique way. And I cannot thank L-Dub enough for that."


"Finally, thank you to my parents for enrolling me in this school, because if you hadn’t, I would not be here right now. Instead, I would be at Washington Middle School, lost among a thousand other people. If I hadn’t gone to L- Dub, I would never have had the courage to spontaneously break into song at the top of my lungs without feeling awkward about it or to tell a class of 34 sixth graders (and four seventh graders) what it’s like to have autism. My journey began with you, and for that, I am eternally grateful."


"L-Dub taught me how to try new things that push me out of my comfort zone. Starting in 6th grade with Fiddler on the Roof and singing for the first time in front of a huge crowd. Me singing. All the way to becoming a high green belt in Karate. Since the first day of school, this community has pushed me to take risks, with the amigas boards until today, sharing my speech with all of you.

But I am not going to be sad. I am going to listen to my favorite poet, Dr. Seuss who says, “don’t cry because its over, smile because it happened.” And he’s right."


Happy International Day of the Girl!

 Happy Second Ever International Day of the Girl Child! Across the world thousands of girls are letting their voices be heard and demanding the world to respect our rights and freedoms.

Last year, Lake Washington Girls Middle School student body president Rachel ’13 and Head of School Patricia Hearn spearheaded the effort, along with the Seattle Girls’ School chapter of Richard’s Rwanda-IMPUHWE, and other organizations, to have Seattle join with other communities to commemorate the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 66/170, which designates October 11th as the International Day of the Girl Child. The entire Lake Washington Girl Middle School Class of 2013 went to Seattle City Hall to meet with Councilmember Mike O’Brien to accept the official proclamation. It was a very exciting day!

We're very happy to know that so many wonderful people and organizations are supporting this day and girls around the world!  And while Malala Yousafzai did not win the Nobel Peace Prize today, her nomination raised awareness about the incredible work she's doing for girls education globally. Everyone at LWGMS would like to thank Malala. She's truly an inspiration!


Welcome to a new year!

It has been a great first week so far. The Class of 2014 is leading with strength, grace, and poise, the Class of 2015 is spunky and feeling confident with a year under their belts, and the Class of 2016 is, well, awesome. They're doing a great job learning all things L-Dub! We're so happy you're all here. Welcome to 2013/2014! 

To see all of amazing students, head here