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).