News & Announcements


What's Happening at Hamilton

Message from Hamilton PTSA President

Dear Hamilton Friends and Families,

As the school year comes to a close, I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to serve as your PTSA President. It has been my pleasure to spend the last two years working on behalf of our students, teachers, staff members and families.

Through the support of so many in our community, HIMS PTSA has been able to provide an amazing array of events, enrichment opportunities and support to our school. Take a look at this list of some of the programs and support we have provided or contributed to in 2014-15:

    •    First Day Coffee for 6th Grade Parents and the Welcome Back Parent Party, and funding for the “We All Belong” mentorship program for incoming students;
    •    Classroom guest speakers, the Writers in the School Program, HIMS Night of the Arts and the Science Expo, productions by the Drama classes, visits from Artists in Residence to International Arts classes, and the Reflections Arts Competition (with online gallery);
    •    A $10,000 grant to subsidize the cost of HOST after-school classes for all students, funding for after-school sports uniforms and an extra Track coach, participation of Hamilton students in the La Chispa Leadership Conference and funding for Hamilton’s ground-breaking 100% Human Project;
    •    So many great staff appreciation events! a BBQ Lunch, a Brown Bag Lunch, a Chinese New Year Lunch, a St. Patrick’s Day Lunch, a Cinco de Mayo Lunch, a Teacher Breakfast during Teacher Appreciation Week, plus funding to subsidize some additional events staged by the staff;
    •    The always awesome Pi Night in March, the 8th Grade Spring Dance, the Ice Cream Social for New Students, 8th Grade Promotion, and, thanks to PTSA volunteers, refreshments were provided for the Hawk Pride ceremonies held each month at HIMS;
    •    Parent education events and community meetings with guests Stand-Up Mathematician Matt Parker and sex educator Jo Langford, as well as a Walk to School Day Event, an SPS Bell Times information session and four evening meetings with incoming 6th graders at their elementary schools;
    •    Funds for Staff Professional Development, a grant to support the employment of a Tech Specialist at HIMS, a supplies allowance for each teacher/counselor, a new laminator, a program that offered mini-grants to teachers, $3,000 in Library support, new pedestrian flags for the area, and emergency prep funds for the school.  PTSA also provided funds for scholarships, clothing and food donations and a summer backpack program (operated by the YMCA) to benefit Hamilton families.

Finally, due to a banner year of fundraising and corporate matching, Hamilton PTSA was also able to grant $15,000 to the school to replace and refurbish the much-used Hawk’s Nest.  We look forward to seeing the renewed space!

Our Communications officers, Erica Jorgensen and Lisa Smith, have worked diligently this year to publish an informative Hamilton Weekly News and Hamilton website, and our publications are the envy of other middle and high schools.  However, as we move forward into a next school year with a new district-wide content management system, Lisa and Erica are considering some changes to our communications practice.  We would be very grateful if you could take this survey and share your thoughts: Many thanks to Erica and Lisa!

I’d also like to offer special thanks to the other members of our phenomenal PTSA Board and core team: Barbara Vaughey, Tami Herlocker, Deb Sundblad, Tara Lee, Elizabeth Carson-Cheng, Malinda Bailey, Michelle Fasser and Karen Davis, Mary Orth and Annie Hayward, Leda Gonacharoff, Lauren Marshall, Shannon Frizzell, Allison Eva, Rebekkah Madden, Lynn Lee and Jen Hurley.  I have been lucky to work with each of you this year, and to watch your dedication and hours of work positively impact Hamilton International Middle School.  Thanks also to all of our wonderful volunteers, who contributed their valuable time to work on events, or on PTSA committees.  Your time, talents and energy are deeply appreciated.

Thanks also to Barb Burrill, who along the HIMS Green Team has been a wonderful support in producing events this year.  Teachers, staff members and administrators, your positivity and partnership is so meaningful to PTSA, and I have been honored to work with you this year.  Many thanks to Katie Niskanen and Sheila de la Cruz in the front office for always being available with a helping hand and a smile, and to the HIMS’ Fiscal Analyst, Rachel Smith - I don’t know how we’d do it without you!

I hope you all have a fantastic, relaxing summer, and for those of you moving on, best wishes for all your future endeavors!  I look forward to the 2015-16 school year under the leadership of incoming President Lisa Smith.

Lisa Melenyzer
President, Hamilton International Middle School PTSA

Typing Agent – Summer and 2015-16

Typing AgentParents: Typing Agent will be available for students to access during June and July.
Using Firefox, students can continue keyboarding lessons at using their current username and password.

Student accounts and classes will be uploaded for the 2015-16 school year sometime in August, and at that time, students will probably lose their summer access to Typing Agent. Given the positive feedback received by teachers and students for Typing Agent, SPS Curriculum and Instruction has purchased licenses for grades 1 – 12 for the 2015-16 school year.

Garfield High School Summer Academy

For students that will be attending Garfield High School next year:  Garfield High School Summer Academy (formerly Summer Bridge).  This year we are running the program from July 6 – July 31 from 9:00 – 3:30 at Garfield.  There will be a Humanities block as well as a STEM block during the day as well as an advisory period.  Students will be taught by Garfield High School staff and the University of Washington teacher prep program will have about 60 students helping out in the classrooms as well.  Students who attend will earn a 0.5 elective credit toward their graduation requirements. The Summer Academy is open to ALL 8th grade students who will be attending Garfield for 9th grade.  The sign up paperwork is linked here.

HIMS Green Team interviewed by KING 5

It was fun and education all in one for the HIMS Green Team, which spent a recent afternoon raising awareness about pesticide spraying at Hamilton and Wallingford Park. In addition to the dozens of park visitors they spoke to, our costumed crew was also interviewed by reporters from King 5. Way to go Green Team!

If you haven't signed the Green Team's petition yet, you can do so HERE.

Here's the segment that ran Sunday night on King 5 ...

HIMS Student Wins Top Honors at National Reflections Contest
Hamilton 8th grader Hannah M. won an “Award of Excellence” for her animated short film "5 Green and Endangered Frogs" in the national PTA Reflections contest, middle school-film division.  Hers, along with other winning works of art from around the country, will be shown in an exhibit at the Department of Education in Washington DC in January, 2016.

Reflections encourages students to create art works inspired by a theme. This year’s theme was “The world will be a better place if…”.  Works compete first within their school, with the opportunity to advance to city, state and national levels (click here to see list of HIMS pieces which advanced).  This is the second time that a work by a HIMS student has advanced to the national level in recent years. 

5 Green and Endangered Frogs

The theme for next year’s Reflections contest is “Let Your Imagination Fly.”  Students may submit original artworks, inspired by the theme, in the areas of visual art, photography, film, music composition, dance composition, and literature.   The deadline for submission is typically in late October.  But it’s not too early to start working on projects now!  

Principal Search Announcement

Dear Hamilton community,

Today I am pleased to announce the appointment of Tipton Blish as the new principal of Hamilton International Middle School, starting on July 1, 2015. Mr. Blish replaces Cindy Watters, who after three years at Hamilton and five years with Seattle Public Schools is leaving the district at the end of the school year to return to her prior career as an international educator.

Mr. Blish has served as Hamilton’s assistant principal for the past two years. Before coming to Hamilton, he served his administration internship at Ballard High School. He also taught language arts and held several other leadership positions at Ballard High.

Mr. Blish was chosen for this position through an extensive process in the Hamilton community that included the input and participation of staff, building leadership and Hamilton families. The group recommended Mr. Blish for the position because of his strong student interaction skills, his understanding of Hamilton’s complexity and opportunities, and his ability to foster a sense of place for all. Mr. Blish was then interviewed by Hamilton’s executive director of schools, the assistant superintendent of Human Resources, the assistant superintendent of Teaching and Learning and myself. We all agree that Mr. Blish has demonstrated a solid commitment to Hamilton and is ideally positioned to continue the great work at Hamilton.

Mr. Blish holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Middlebury College in Vermont and a master’s in teaching from Seattle University. He earned his administrative credentials and an Educational Specialist degree from Seattle University as well. He plans to hit the ground running, refining and implementing a leadership transition plan, preparing for growing enrollment, adding to Hamilton’s strong teaching staff and celebrating the great work of Ms. Watters and others in the Hamilton community leaving at the end of the school year.

I know you join me in expressing gratitude to Ms. Watters for her tremendous leadership. We wish her well on the next chapter of her educational career.

Thank you for the high expectations that you set for every student and for all that you do.


Larry Nyland
Seattle Public Schools

HIMS Spirit Wear Store is Open for Business!

Get your Hamilton shirts, caps and more at the HIMS Spirit Wear Store!

Be sure to bookmark it and visit throughout the year to find HIMS T-Shirts, Outerwear, Hoodies and more, with delivery straight to your home.

Happy Spirit Shopping!
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