Josie Hampton

Photo by Katrina Cardinal
Peninsula High School

November Athlete of the Month Josie Hampton says one of the things she enjoys most about playing volleyball is how mentally tough you have to be to play the game. “Hardly anyone scores a point in volleyball without someone else making a mistake, and a lot of the time you’re the one making the mistake,” she explained. “You have to be able to shake off things you do wrong in order to win.”


This was something that was a challenge to Josie when she first picked up the sport she has since g...

Peninsula High School
Nolan Casey

Photo by 

Now a senior starter on the Peninsula High School football team, it almost didn’t happen for Nolan Casey. During his sophomore year, Nolan recalls the challenges of playing against competitors much bigger than him. It was such a grind that he nearly gave up. “I thought of quitting, but my coach talked to me and convinced me that quitting would be a mistake. Let’s just say, coach was right,” he said.


Nolan’s junior year he became a starter at inside linebacker and is doing so again his senior season. H...

Teachers have many options once they receive their degree or certification. They can choose elementary, middle or high school, or a specific subject in which to practice. New teachers, however, don’t always get to pick exactly what they want right off the bat. March teacher of the Month Erica Griswold knew she wanted to work with younger children, graduating with a degree in K-8 elementary education with a special education endorsement. But it was a call from the principal at Vaughn Elementary that would help her to find just the right students...


Henderson Bay Big Picture High School is one of only a few dozen like it across the country. The school is built around strong staff/student relationships where students are empowered to learn while pursuing their interests. Students get hands-on learning in professional environments alongside a mentor as they explore their interests. They develop an individual learning plan where they are supported in pursuing their interests while also taking a mix of academic and exploratory classes. One of those mentors is Greg Brashear, who has come to lo...

For the past two years, Gig Harbor Living Local magazine has awarded businesses and community members that stand out with our ‘Finest Awards.’ Voted on by the community, dozens of awards were handed out this past fall including the winner of our favorite award, Person of the Year, recognizing individuals who positively impact the community. The readers cast their votes and Pat Schmidt was honored with the award. Let’s find out more about our Person of the Year.

Q. What were the reasons that brought you to call Gig Harbor Home?

A. I was born and r...

Dawn Barnes knows firsthand that not all students learn at the same pace. December’s teacher of the month is the Title I and Learning Assistance Program (LAP) reading specialist at Minter Creek Elementary. Title I is federally funded while LAP is a state-funded program established by the Washington State Legislature in 1979. The object of both programs is to accelerate the achievement of students performing below grade level by providing supplemental academic support.

Dawn’s students visit “the barn,” her name for the special learning space, fou...

S

eptember’s teacher of the month has 20 years’ experience and in those 20 years has felt just about every emotion one can think of. “A teacher’s day is never dull. Some experiences are funny, some are scary, some are infuriating and some will bring you to tears,” says Brad Collins. Thankfully for Collins, a lifelong passion for being an educator brings more joyous days than negative ones.

Collins has been at Peninsula High School the past nine years teaching various science courses to grades ninth through 12th. These included chemistry, AP and s...

There’s an old saying that goes, ‘Those who cannot do teach.” However, Heather Jones has a different theory on her profession. “I would argue that those who teach actually get to do it all and all in the company of incredibly enthusiastic 10-year-old people,” she said.

Heather is wrapping up her 15th year in the profession and is currently a fourth grade teacher at Evergreen Elementary School. She enlightens her students in core studies like math, science and social studies while also mixing in language and the visual arts. Like many young peopl...

Math is a subject that gets progressively more challenging as you continue to advance your knowledge of the subject. For some, the way mathematics work comes easy, but for others it’s a struggle to reach for the moment where all the information finally clicks and the problem is solved. That is the moment that our April Teacher of the Month strives for.

Paula Grande teaches math classes to seventh and eighth grade students at Key Peninsula Middle School and has been teaching for more than 20 years. Being a math teacher takes patience, and Paula s...

Please reload

RSS Feed
Gig Harbor Living Local