Auburn man appointed VP at Highline College | School briefs

Michael V. Pham has joined Highline College as vice president of Administrative Services.

For the Reporter

Michael V. Pham has joined Highline College as vice president of Administrative Services.

A resident of Auburn, Pham comes to Highline from Seattle Central College, where he also held the position of vice president of Administrative Services. He has 27 years of experience in higher education, all within Washington’s community college system.

“Michael Pham has a reputation as a highly effective leader and a well-liked colleague,” said Jack Bermingham, Highline’s president, in his announcement of Pham’s appointment. “His many skills and wealth of experience in the community college system will be an asset to us here at Highline and contribute to our continued success.”

Pham earned his master’s of business administration from City University and his bachelor’s degree from Central Washington University. His college education began at Seattle Central College, where he earned an associate of arts degree and an associate of science degree.

Pham replaces Larry T. Yok, who retired in March after eight years with Highline as vice president.

County Green Schools Program recognizes Auburn schools

The King County Green Schools Program is recognizing 55 schools, including eight from the Kent School District, for their conservation achievements.

Lakeland Hills and Lea Hill elementary schools are being honored for their Level Four Sustaining Green Schools efforts. To qualify, a school selects and completes an additional conservation practice or educational strategy from the program’s Best Practices Guides, while sustaining the conservation strategies the school achieved during the first three levels of the program.

Olympic Middle School is being recognized as a Level Three schools for its water conservation and pollution prevention efforts.

Auburn Mountainview High School, Mt. Baker Middle School, and Ilalko, Lake View and Washington elementary schools are begin recognized as Level One schools for their waste reduction and recycling practices.

Schools from 33 cities and 15 school districts in King County are engaging students, teachers and staff in reducing waste and recycling, and conserving water and energy, with help from the King County Green Schools Program.

The program involves students and school employees in learning about and practicing resource conservation.

“The King County Green Schools Program directly supports our goal of increasing the County’s recycling rate from 53 percent to 70 percent,” said Pat McLaughlin, director of the King County Solid Waste Division.

During the last school year, 75 percent of participating schools achieved recycling rates of at least 40 percent, and 15 percent of those schools reached recycling rates of 60 percent or better.

The program has served a growing number of schools each year, from 100 schools in 2009-10 to 216 schools (40 percent of the schools in King County outside the City of Seattle) in 2014-15. The program also assists school districts, with 12 districts participating.

To learn more, visit here.

CodeDay Auburn

The Technology Program at Green River College, in partnership with StudentRND and, hosted CodeDay Auburn, a 24-hour coding event for high school students, on May 23-24.

The event drew nearly 60 high school students to Green River’s main campus for a fast-paced, all-night coding frenzy that allowed participants to pitch project ideas, then form teams to create apps and games.

Students enjoyed unlimited pizza and soda, and at the event’s conclusion, prizes were awarded by a panel of judges to teams who came up with the most creative websites, apps and games.

CodeDay Auburn also provided the Green River College Technology Program with a valuable opportunity to promote its Bachelor of Applied Science degree program in software development to area students.

Similar CodeDay events took place in 27 other cities including Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Nashville, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and New York, giving CodeDay Auburn a national feel.

Green River faculty and staff and Technology Program industry partners volunteered to chaperon and supervise the event.


Kaitlyn Nichole Jensen, a 2014 Auburn Mountainview High School graduate and a pre-nursing major at the University of Arizona, has become a member of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS). Jensen, who has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her years of schooling, was recently offered a job as an athletic training technician for Arizona’s football team. …

Auburn’s Gina L. Cardenas (elementary education) and Ryan J. Rogers (bachelor’s, social work) were awarded academic degrees at Saint Martin’s University’s commencement ceremony May 9. … Auburn’s Haylee Ball (freshman, education) and Brooke Good (sophomore, business administration) made dean’s list at Saint Martin’s University for spring semester.

More than 800 students earned a GPA of 3.5 or higher to earn dean’s list honors at George Fox University, a Christian college in Oregon. Among those earning the recognition were the following Auburn students: Drew Camp, senior majoring in engineering; and Ryan Hance, a junior majoring in engineering. …

Auburn’s Quincy Jones made the dean’s list for spring semester at Warner Pacific College (Portland). …

Central College (Pella, Iowa) student Nick Lemmon of Auburn presented during an Undergraduate Research Symposium on May 5-6. Lemmon presented “A Metaphysical Comparison Between the Most Prominent Ancient Eastern and Western Philosophies” as part of a series discussing history research. …

The Auburn School District Board of Directors recently recognize Marilyn Hoksbergen, head custodian, for her outstanding service. Hoksbergen is in her 25th year in the Auburn School District. She has held head custodian positions at Auburn Mountainview High School, Rainier Middle School and currently in the James P. Fugate Administration Building. In addition to her full-time custodial job, she is in the second year of her two-year term as president of the600-member Public School Employees of Auburn. “Marilyn is a joy to have as our custodian. She always has a friendly hello and a smile on her face,” said Emily Harman, HR and athletics assistant. …

The school board also recognized Cameron Fairchild, a senior at Auburn Riverside High School, for being an outstanding student. Fairchild is the ASB president, maintains a cumulative 3.9 GPA, is on the newspaper staff, is a theater technician and in the chess club. He will attend Seattle University in the honors program next year and plans to become an oncologist. …

The following Gonzaga University students from Auburn graduated during the May 11 commencement ceremony. The students have either completed their undergraduate degree or are expected to complete their degree requirements this year. Students included: Sarah Butler (bachelor of arts, English, with a minor in religious studies, cum laude); Aleksey Kozlov (B.A., philosophy, magna cum laude); Emily Morisawa (bachelor of business administration); and Alyssa Weber (bachelor of science, nursing, cum laude).