CHS Monument

Recap of our 2022 Memorial Ceremony at the Forest

It was supposed to rain, but fortunate for us, the clouds lifted, the sun shone through, and it was a beautiful day at the CHS Memorial Forest. Here is a recap of the day.

Arrival and Trek to the Rock
Two busses brought CHS students and five faculty members to attend this year’s Memorial ceremony and trek to the “Rock.” Together we walked along the path where, decades ago, other CHS students walked. We stood in front of the massive natural stone monument upon which they fixed hand-crafted bronze plaques (made in the metal shop) that listed the names of their classmates killed during World War II. Although, sadly, the individuals who stole the plaques years ago got away with the theft, the Rock still bears witness to what happened. The CHS spirit of the students who established the Forest in the first place lives on.
After the trek, our Vice President, John Barton ’54, told the story of the Forest and declared, “Cleveland High School is the only school in the universe with a Memorial Forest!”
Learn more about the history of the forest:

The Meaning of the Gold Star
John also explained the meaning of the term “Gold Stars.” During World War II, as in World War I, a flag with blue stars hung in a family home window displaying how many children were in harms way serving in the war effort as members of the Armed Services. When any children died in the war, a gold star took the place of the blue star.

CHS Gold Stars

Taps and Presentation of the Flag
Four helpful CHS students held the Flag while our president, Bernie Moscovitz, played taps on his authentic Civil War Bugle in place of a Colorguard. Afterward, Bernie presented to Marni Reecer in memory of her father, Lt Col J.A. Getchell, USMC, who fought in Vietnam.

Guest Speaker – Emil Martin ’42
Emil eloquently recounted his experience during World War II to an attentive, respectful audience of young and old Eagles. We hope to document more of what he said in a future post. All recognized him and his service and respected his generosity in taking the time to give his testimony.

The Quiz
Bernie Merkowitz challenged everyone with a quiz of facts culminating in several thoughtful anecdotes delivered as informational and food for thought! More on that in a future post as well!

Coffee, Snacks, Photos, and Conversations
Duke, a student from CHS, was there to record the event, and we hope to share some of his footage soon!

Lunch at the Salish Lodge – a new tradition?
Although we had initially planned to meet for lunch at the Roadhouse Inn, they could not accommodate us, so we opted to meet at the Salish Lodge at Snoqualmie Falls. It was a perfect gathering place, with delicious food, good company, and a fantastic server who brought lots of smiles to the table.

Aerial View of Memorial Forest

Development Rights Proposal Passed Unanimously

Our proposal to sell the development rights of the CHS Memorial Forest went before the full school board today and . . . PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.  Noel Treat served as the attorney for SPS.  In the discussion prior to the vote, the line most commonly stated was our line . . . It’s a WIN-WIN-WIN situation.  SPS wins, King County Parks wins, and the CHSAA wins.

The proposal also included the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between SPS and CHSAA, which calls for $150,000 for a new lyceum, and CHSAA would be allowed to put up a new sign calling it the Cleveland High School Memorial Forest.

Board Meeting Minutes Excerpt:

Cleveland High School Memorial Forest Conservation Easement Agreement with King County and Memorandum of Understanding with the Cleveland High School Alumni Association (Ops, February 4, for approval) Approval of this item would authorize the Superintendent to execute a Conservation Easement Purchase and Sale Agreement with King County and to execute a Memorandum of Understanding between Seattle Public Schools and the Cleveland High School Alumni Association in the form of the draft agreements attached to the BAR, with any minor additions, deletions, and modifications deemed necessary by the Superintendent to implement these agreements. (Updated Since Introduction) Director Hersey moved to approve this item. Director Rivera-Smith seconded. Director DeWolf noted the update since introduction to add an excerpt from the Cleveland High School alumni newsletter. Directors spoke in support of the item.

This motion passed unanimously.

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