Joe Schmitt writes a weekly blog called The Good Life, featuring information about the region’s history, culture, climate and economy. The blog also showcases new residents, clubs and organizations, outdoor recreational opportunities and local events.
This fall, members of La Salle High School’s 2010 graduating class entered college, marking the third consecutive year the school’s students achieved 100 percent to college and other post-secondary education. With the current school year well underway, today’s La Salle students have much to look forward to under the guidance of dedicated faculty and staff. “We have phenomenal teachers preparing these kids for success,” says Tim McGree, La Salle High School president. “We are all focused on helping each and every student achieve whatever it is they hope to achieve.”
Hands-On Learning Thanks to the support of the Yakima community, La Salle students pursue achievement in a setting that inspires and nurtures. The newest addition to the campus, the Gamache Science Center, opens its doors to students for the second year. The state-of-the-art, 10,000-square-foot space houses four lab/classrooms and a host of animals and reptiles, including Free-Range, a green iguana who makes his home there. In addition to offering students a variety of hands-on learning opportunities in classes from physics and environmental science to biology, the science center will allow La Salle to advance the development of their on-campus fish hatchery project initiated as part of an exciting partnership with the Yakama Indian Nation. La Salle environmental science students also share the excitement of this program with local elementary school students. La Salle’s Creek Keepers implement environmental restoration programs along Ahtanum Creek and host classes from at least five area schools for hands-on, creek-side field trips.
Community and Culture Like the rest of La Salle’s campus, the Gamache Science center was made possible by the generosity of local benefactors, as well as some volunteer hands-on labor. Grandparents of students attending the school constructed and installed custom cabinetry valued at $300,000 in the lab/classrooms. “We’ve had a lot of support,” says McGree. “There are a lot of people who want to see this dream come true.” According to McGree, the campus is approximately two-thirds complete. Plans for a new student center have been completed, but the school still has funds to raise before construction can begin. Of course, it takes more than state-of-the-art facilities to guide students toward success. La Salle students come from varied backgrounds with a desire to achieve and they find a culture that supports them in meeting those goals. “We have high expectations,” says McGree. “But, the students take pride in meeting them because they know there are people here who care. We’re committed to seeing every student succeed. Whatever culture the kids come from, here they find one of love and respect.”