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How rare is this?

November 13th, 2013 · 10 Comments

By Reporter Steven Smalley

If you enjoy your life in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood and are not inclined to move away from our idyllic setting, you’re not alone. Consider the makeup of the 8th grade class at Catharine Blaine K-8 School. By one informal count, 28 children or 46% of the 60-student class have been together since kindergarten. In this era of fast-moving careers and vocational priorities, nearly half of the 8th grade student body has remained with each other in school for the past nine years. (Full disclosure: reporter’s daughter included.) Some call that remarkable.

“We love Magnolia. It feels like a small town,” says Timothy Colligan, father of 8th grade student, Zach. “It’s a sense of community and belonging. It’s not something you see elsewhere in Seattle.”
Other parents offer similar sentiments.
“They moved me around when I was a kid. I didn’t like it,” says John Bossen, father of Tiana. “I love Magnolia and the stability of being in the same place. I moved away, and I moved back. It’s good for the kids to be together. You know where home is.”
Conversely, some parents grew up here and never left.
“I went to Queen Anne and my husband went to Blaine,” explains Margorie Lynch. Her daughter Katie is now one of the 8th graders. “We’re locals who never moved. We love the area.”
Nearly every parent who spoke with Magnolia Voice mentioned of a strong sense of belonging.
“Kids are walking to school and everyone knows each other. These are great neighbors and I feel included in the community,” agrees Christine Segat, mother of Jennifer.
Come and stay – Magnolia is exceptional in the eyes of many.
 
The 8th grade classmates of Blaine School, together for nine years.
(Front row, l-r) Julia Haworth, Tiana Bossen, Jake Potts, Reed O’Neal, Ajay Tse, Hanna Uselding,
Rachel Givens, Cameron Doyle, Mathew Fisher. (Middle row, l-r) Carter Alberts, James Schubert,
Ryan Aust, Amika Smalley, Guss Simpson, Jennifer Segat, Karla Torres, Therese Evangelista,
Riley Travis, Katie Lynch, Alexi Rundall. (Back row, l-r) Jaeger Kulik, Mathew Paulsen,
Barrett Fowler, Jack Clark, Zach Colligan, Caitlin Phillips, Lily Whipple (Not pictured: Kristina Anderson).

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  • Magnolia Newby

    It’s nice that these kids have been together since kindergarten. But, I have to disagree with the parent who said that the sense of community found in this neighborhood (which is not really true) can’t be found anywhere else in Seattle. Sounds like a person who has never lived in another Seattle neighborhood.

    We moved here a few years ago from Ravenna and so far we have found Magnolia to be extremely unfriendly and insular. A far cry from Ravenna.

    • ericsmith

      I agree with you, but perhaps for the kids it is different. They get to see the same people every day throughout the school year. The parents go to work in other places than Magnolia and don’t talk much over a back fence in their free time. I think Seattle in general is quite cold..people rarely open up to strangers the way they do elsewhere. The climate? The demographics? Anyway, the kids are fortunate and maybe they will stay in touch over the years.

      • Magnolia Newby

        I’m sure it’s great for the kids and I’m honestly happy about that.

  • Village Voice

    Please do not advertise this. If you do everyone will move here. Just tell them it rains a lot and is colder and foggier than the rest of Seattle or something.

  • John Boy

    Sounds like Deliverance. Can you hear the banjo?

  • Not impressed

    46% sounds really low, honestly. I would guess that the number is probably around 85% at my children’s school.

  • Heywood

    Private school?

  • MagnoliaGirl

    I love living in Magnolia and I agree that there is a sense of community, especially when you visit the Village or drive down the street and see people talking to each other. I love how quiet it is, how family-oriented it is, and how beautiful the neighborhood is. I’ve lived here for 8 years now and have never regretted moving here. I just wish that the housing/rental prices were more affordable. If I didn’t love being in the neighborhood so much, I would have already moved. I’ll be looking for a house in the next year because the skyrocketing rent in Seattle year over year is killing me financially and I need some stability in my housing costs. Sadly, my search will be forced to take me out of Magnolia, and quite possibly Seattle, because I just can’t afford a mortagage on my salary as a single young woman.

    • ericsmith

      I understand your pain. If you have kids in school, aim for an area with a higher rated school district (Bellevue, for example) . If you don’t have kids, it is better to get location than a better house. I love Magnolia because it is a wonderful neighborhood and there are many bargains still to be found her if you get an older home with maybe one bath. If that doesn’t work, you must move, indeed, to another neighborhood. Many people move south of Seattle to Columbia City etc for affordable housing cost, or to West Seattle, but if you can qualify in Magnolia, although you get less for your money than, say, in Northgate, you get the wonderful neighborhood and proximity to parks and the city we have here. I wish you good luck in your search.

  • Lance Richmond

    I was a volunteer in Mrs. Westlake’s class (2nd grade?) and I see many of those wonderful kids in the 8th grade picture. Very fond memories of that group. I’ll definitely have to attend their graduation in June.