Archive for the ‘Not sports? Tough!’ Category

There’s a time for teaching, and a time for eating. This is the time for eating. (Photo courtesy Christi Messner)

It was more than a well-polished apple.

Community members came together this week and pooled financial resources to show appreciation to local teachers and support staff.

Led by Coupeville Elementary teacher Christi Messner, the effort produced a lunchtime repast to commemorate Teacher Appreciation Week.

But it wasn’t only teachers who benefited, as bus barn employees, custodians, maintenance, open den, food services, and district office workers joined them in chowin’ down.

Sunshine Drip provided the goods, with everyone getting sandwiches, cookies, chips, salad, and a variety of drinks.

Response was strongly positive.

“This is what small town USA is all about!,” said Pamela Davison-Schroeder. “I’ve lived all over this country, I’m proud to call Coupeville home. What an amazing group of beautiful people.”

Messner’s big sister, CHS/CMS Attendance Secretary Barbi Ford, agreed with the sentiment.

“Everyone at CMHS were very appreciative of all the effort that went into this event,” she said. “It was a big hit!

“Thank you Chris, for all you do to support everyone in our school!”

Messner actually raised enough money, she plans to buy gift certificates for local businesses, then hold a drawing to reward some lucky teachers.

And, it’s not too late to get in on the teacher love as our educators continue to provide a lifeline to students during the Age of Coronavirus.

To donate towards the gift certificates, use the allofus@whidbey.net account on PayPal or the Christi Messner account on Venmo.

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The kitchen at Currents Bistro endured heavy damage in an early-morning fire. (Beth Kuchynka photo)

An after-hours fire heavily damaged the kitchen at Currents Bistro early Saturday morning.

The restaurant, housed in the building where Christopher’s on Whidbey operated for many years, is located at 103 NW Coveland, sitting between The Bayleaf and Coupeville Auto Repair.

Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue, the Oak Harbor Fire Department, and North Whidbey Fire and Rescue responded to the commercial fire, and damage was contained largely to the inside of the building.

Currents Bistro owners released the following statement on Facebook:


I am sad to report there was a large fire at Currents Bistro last night.

The kitchen was destroyed.

We will be closed for repairs for an extended period of time.

We will keep you updated through Facebook and the web site.

We will reopen as soon as it is possible.


Tim Grove was part of the final group of customers to dine at the restaurant Friday night, and offered support to the workers and owners.

“Me, (wife) Mindy, and Ben and Kimberly Robinett were the last guests to leave after enjoying an amazing dinner and being treated like royalty by our waitress, Michelle Blouin,” Grove said. “My heart goes out to the owner’s and staff.”

Kimberly Robinett agreed with the sentiments.

“So sad for Currents. Hope we can get them back and running. Such a great gem to our community.”


Firefighters work to contain the fire, not allowing it to spread to other businesses on Coveland. (Bryan Hamilton photos)

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Coupeville grad CJ Smith is a fully-commissioned officer with the Mercer Island Police Department. (Photo courtesy Charlotte Young)

He’s Instagram official.

Coupeville grad CJ Smith was sworn in as a fully-commissioned officer with the Mercer Island Police Department Monday, but he got that sweet little extra internet recognition Wednesday morning.

Smith, son of Chris Smith and Charlotte Young, and older brother of Hunter and Scout Smith, graduated from the Basic Law Enforcement Academy.

He spent five months-plus at the academy in Burien, receiving 720 hours of law enforcement training.

Now it’s on to the streets of Mercer Island, where the former Wolf three-sport star begins field training this week.

During his time in Coupeville, the man known as Captain Cool (at least in Coupeville Sports stories…) played football, basketball, and baseball for the Wolves.

CJ arrived in town midway through his sophomore year, and immediately made an impact in all three sports, with his work on the diamond garnering the biggest raves.

He pitched the Wolves to an Olympic League title in 2016, the first baseball crown for the program since 1991.

After high school graduation, CJ studied Criminal Justice and played baseball for Green River College alongside Hunter.

Making the jump from being a starting pitcher to a relief ace, CJ stormed out of the bullpen to become Auburn’s answer to Mariano Rivera, earning accolades as a shut-down closer.


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Dr. Lance Gibbon

He’s moving up.

Dr. Lance Gibbon, Superintendent of Oak Harbor Public Schools since 2013, has been offered a similar position by the larger Snoqualmie Valley School District.

He would replace that district’s current Superintendent, Dr. Robert W. Manahan, who is retiring at the end of the school year.

Gibbon emerged as Snoqualmie’s choice after a national search, and will start his new job July 1, if an employment contract is finalized.

“We look forward to welcoming Dr. Gibbon to the Snoqualmie Valley,” said Snoqualmie Valley School Board President Melissa Johnson. “His experience, energy, and collaborative leadership style is the right fit to be our next superintendent.

“The Board has no doubt that he is the right person to work with our incredible district leadership team and staff, students and families, to continue progress toward our vision of being the best district in Washington State.”

Before being hired as Oak Harbor’s Superintendent, Gibbon was the district’s Assistant Superintendent for six years.

Prior to that, he was Principal of Fidalgo Elementary School in Anacortes and an Assistant Principal in the Lake Washington School District.

Gibbon earned a doctorate in executive leadership and superintendent credentials from Seattle Pacific University.

The Snoqualmie Valley School District is one of the largest in the state, covering 400+ square miles and serving students from Snoqualmie, North Bend, Fall City, and parts of unincorporated King County.

It has 7,200 students in preschool through 12th grade.

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An Oak Harbor High School senior gets really into his artwork. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

The pandemic can’t crush creativity.

Oak Harbor High School handed its seniors boxes of sidewalk chalk and let them go crazy in the parking lot, and wanderin’ photo man John Fisken was there to capture the Pablo Picasso’s and Frida Kahlo’s at work.

To see more photos (and download what you want for free), pop over to:

Senior Chalk 2021-03-17 – John’s Photos


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