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Leadership Kitsap is taking applications for the class of 2014. The application deadline is April 15, 2013, for this intensive 10-month training program. If you are interested in becoming more knowledgeable about the Kitsap area and learning how to make a positive impact in civic issues affecting your community, Leadership Kitsap is for you.

The mission of Leadership Kitsap is to educate, prepare and connect a new group of committed leaders for community involvement in Kitsap County. The program’s vision is to create a community where there is a diverse network of effective leaders educated in public policy issues and committed to serving as stewards.

Accordingly, its programs are designed to help participants acquire not only a fuller sense of the wide array of critical issues affecting the Kitsap community, but also the skills necessary to motivate and engage others in collaborative efforts to resolve them. read more »


The Washington Supreme Court has ruled that the state Legislature isn’t making enough progress toward finding more money for K-12 education in answer to the court’s decision in the McCleary school-funding lawsuit.

The high court told lawmakers they must have something better to report after they finish their work in spring 2013.

“Steady progress requires forward movement. Slowing the pace of funding cuts is necessary, but it does not equate to forward progress,” wrote Chief Justice Barbara Madsen in the order filed Dec. 20.

In January, the Supreme Court ruled the state isn’t meeting its constitutional obligation to amply pay for basic education. read more »


OLYMPIA — The Employment Security Department has expanded a popular service that allows Washington residents to learn computer software programs for free.

For the past two years, the department provided free access to online Microsoft courses. Now, under a contract with Skillsoft, the course selection has been broadened to include software by Adobe, Apple, IBM, Intuit, SAP and others.

In addition, users no longer are limited to taking courses only for software they own. As a result, the entire collection of Web-based courses is available to every registered learner.

“This represents an exponential increase in the size and value of the service we’re offering,” said Employment Security Commissioner Paul Trause. “Good computer skills are essential in most jobs these days, and these courses will help thousands of workers improve their chances of getting good jobs and advancing their careers.” read more »


Keri Trimble, 33, an employee at a utility call center, was shopping for an online college so she could take classes at night and on weekends.

Trimble rejected Apollo Group’s University of Phoenix, the dominant player in the market for selling Internet degrees to working adults. Instead, she chose Arizona State University’s program, which typically charges almost 30 percent less.

“The cost was outrageous,” said Trimble, of Sacramento, Calif. She added, “I didn’t think that graduating from the University of Phoenix would give me the respect that comes with a degree from a traditional four-year college.” read more »


In “the good old days,” schools emphasized “reading, writing and arithmetic” taught to the tune of the hickory stick.

But today, we seem to have created a two-tiered education philosophy. College-bound students are encouraged to learn science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). But STEM skills are not emphasized for students going directly into the job market, the military or to a trade school.

That’s a mistake.

Part of the problem started with our parents’ generation. For example, my father was a World War II veteran who used the GI bill to become a journeyman electrician. He was good at math and science, and over his 50-year career, he became a master electrician certified to work on everything from toasters to utility substations. read more »


The nationally accredited Olympic College Culinary Arts Program is interviewing students interested in a career in culinary arts and hospitality management for the upcoming winter quarter. A short video explaining the program is available on the program website at this link.

Financial aid and worker retraining assistance is available to qualified applicants and scholarships are available through the Olympic College Financial Aid Office. There is ongoing advising and information by appointment (360-475-7571 or slammers [at] olympic [dot] edu) in the Bremer Student Center of the Bremerton campus next to the bookstore. The session lasts about 1.5 hours. read more »


West Sound Technology Association is sponsoring a town hall and panel discussion on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education on Nov. 15 in Poulsbo.

Research indicates students make the decision to pursue STEM careers by the time they are in middle school. To have an educational system that provides for workforce needs, it should be built on a foundation of STEM literacy for all students, especially in the early grades. The current and future economy will be increasingly based on STEM as these transform all sectors. Workers skilled in STEM fields will be increasingly in demand.

The public is invited to attend and participate as a K-20 STEM panel discusses connecting efforts from critical elementary grades to higher education and employers, and creating tomorrow’s leaders. read more »

Wealth And Estate Planning

School is back in session. If you have school-age children, you’re probably busy getting them acclimated to another year of hitting the books. But the school years go by quickly, so it won’t be long before your kids are ready to head off to college. Will you be financially prepared to help them? read more »


Olympic College will host its annual Science, Engineering and Mathematics Information Night on Oct. 15 from 6-7:30 p.m. This free informational open house is aimed at high school students, parents of students, and all those considering careers involving science, engineering or mathematics.

The event will be held in the Science and Technology Building lobby on OC’s Bremerton Campus, located at 1600 Chester Ave., and is sponsored by the college’s Mathematics, Engineering, Sciences, and Health (MESH) Division.

“Employment opportunities in science, engineering and math are continuing to grow nationally, and OC provides a fantastic opportunity for students interested in SEM,” said Dr. Mark Harrison. read more »

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