Each week, Clover Park School District (CPSD) will highlight a school or profession in our district on our social media pages with a #SuperSchoolShoutout where we celebrate the students and staff that make our district beam with pride.
This week, we celebrated Thomas Middle School!
Thomas is the largest middle school in the district, with nearly 1,000 students. Mann and Woodbrook middle schools were combined into Thomas four years ago. Blending these two proud student and staff populations took time as the school opened shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic, but today, Thomas boasts a community of strong and unified Titans.
Each elementary school on JBLM feeds its students to Thomas, so there is a high military population. Thomas is one of the many CPSD schools that hosts a wide array of music, art and CTE courses, including robotics, world drumming, leadership and more.
Thomas students and staff are champions of the district’s Four Pillars of Student Success, creating lifelong learners who demonstrate character and leadership. These Four Pillars are displayed on the walls of their gym and act as tenants shaping the school culture and curriculum.
“I always look forward to seeing our students bring their ‘Four Pillar selves’ to school, which are their best selves,” Principal Steve Seberson said. “The staff does the same thing and comes to school as their ‘Four Pillar selves’ so they can lead by example and support our students in their work.”
We continued our shoutout to Dower with eighth grader Lila Ward and chief custodian Yongju Hong.
Lila is a military-connected student who moved to Thomas after living in Maryland. This year, she is proud of herself for getting good grades in all her courses, including her most challenging class, PE.
English language arts (ELA) is Lila’s favorite subject because she loves writing. Currently, her class is working on a narrative piece, which can be fictional or nonfiction. Lila decided to tie her second favorite subject, history, into her narrative by writing about World War II.
Lila caught the attention of her teacher and Thomas administrators in her CTE robotics course because of the leadership skills she has shown working with a Life Skills student and a paraeducator as they all learn the basics of coding and engineering. “They’re so fun to work with,” she said. “I like learning about programming and experimenting with different programs to get the robot to do what you want.”
Hong has been a member of the CPSD team for 10 years, working at Evergreen Elementary School before becoming the chief custodian at Rainier Elementary School Year. She joined Thomas Middle School in May and has become an integral part of the Titan family.
Hong is grateful for the opportunity to maintain a much larger school than the elementary schools she was used to. Cleaning and maintenance can be challenging, physically strenuous work, but her sense of accomplishment makes the job worthwhile.
Hong takes pride in her skills to keep the school clean, create a comfortable environment for the students and ensure smooth operation. “It brings me joy to tidy and manage the school so that students can live healthy and safe lives,” she said. “When I see a neatly dressed school every morning, it becomes my source of daily motivation.”