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Senior legacy auction benefits Marysville Arts and Technology High School

TULALIP — The third-annual Senior Legacy Auction offered attendees an opportunity to get a hands-on look at one of the learning tools for which funds were being raised.

At the Tulalip Resort Hotel and Casino March 14, seniors from the Marysville Arts and Technology High School were demonstrating the use of one of the interactive whiteboards that they’re hoping to buy for all the school’s classrooms.

“I’m sad that I’ll be gone after this year because I won’t get to have fun doing this,” said Arts and Tech senior Sabrina Passaway, as she tapped the computer-projected images on the screen of the Promethean ActivBoard to scroll through different diagrams. “After the first five minutes of looking at it, I was like, ‘Let me try it.’ You can go on the Web with the board to pull up videos and articles, and then add notes to them on the board. It’s like a huge tablet.”

Passaway touted the board as “amazing for arts students, or any students.” She plans to major in both computer science and arts.

Fellow Arts and Tech senior Allie Boyd, who wrote volunteers’ names and reminders to buy raffle tickets on the board, joked that it would keep her from texting on her cell phone during class.

“I like the interactivity of it, where everyone in class can text answers to questions on their own touch-pads,” said Boyd, as she tested the board’s language teaching applications, which include recordings of different phrases in English and other languages. “It really fits with an arts and technology school.”

Kelci Rogers, also an Arts and Tech senior, believed so strongly in supporting this year’s Senior Legacy Auction that she spent five months crafting a handmade Scrabble game, with a wooden board and letter pieces made out of glass and copper, for her senior project and the auction.

“I taught Scrabble to fifth-graders,” Rogers said. “I love the whiteboard. It’s the coolest thing our school could get. I love the sound effects, but I also love that it has an application for teaching American Sign Language.”

Ann Reed, technology director for the Marysville School District, touted the whiteboards as products of the Marysville-based Advanced Classroom Technologies, and cited both research studies and her own observations of the technology’s effectiveness.

“Kids are more visual now than we were,” Reed said. “This gives every student a voice, through personal voting devices, rather than having them raise their hands and wait to be called on. Teachers can receive immediate feedback from every single one of their students, without anyone getting skipped. One study found that even novice teachers experienced a 17 percent to 37 percent increase in student learning from the whiteboards. I’ve been amazed to see the student engagement.”

“We need to keep up, not only with other districts, but other countries, and we’re behind the game,” said Jimmy Williamson, president of Advanced Classroom Technologies. “We’ve heard from teachers who were ready to retire, who felt rejuvenated by the ActivBoards enough to stay on for a few more years.”

Between the wrap-up of the silent auction and the start of the live auction, Brett Magnan, executive vice president of operations for the Tulalip Resort Hotel, led a round of mutual thank-yous between members of the school district, the Tulalip Tribes and the surrounding community. After praising Lana Magnan, his wife, for her third year of chairing the Senior Legacy Auction, he honored retiring Tulalip Tribal Board Director Stan Jones Sr. for his 44 years of service, which began when the Tribes only had three employees.

After the Tulalip drumming, dancing and singing group had blessed the four corners of the room, group member and fellow Tribal Board Director Glen Gobin noted that his own son was an Arts and Tech graduate, who had been in attendance for the first Senior Legacy Auction. While he thanked Lana Magnan, Tribal Board Chair Mel Sheldon Jr. joined in paying tribute to Jones, as well as Quil Ceda Village manager and state Rep. John McCoy, both of whom were in attendance.

“We’re coming together for the right reasons, to support our kids and their education,” Sheldon said.

Lana Magnan and fellow volunteer Shelly Berry then honored Sheldon and the Tribes in turn, by presenting him with a plaque in recognition of the $42,000 that the Tribes have donated to the Senior Legacy Auction. Sheldon added to that total when he won the $1,000 raffle, by choosing to turn over all his winnings to the Senior Legacy Auction.

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