Kristen Thomas
Posted on 05/03/2024
Kristen Thomas

A beloved educator for over 20 years, Kristen Thomas helped build Newcastle Elementary School, and continues to shape the minds of Newcastle’s first graders.


Mrs. Thomas’ and her Lion Adventure at Newcastle Elementary

So many memories and here are a few…21 years ago I was on the Core Team to build our school… walking around the “frames and beams” of our school in a hard hat! Convincing the architects that we needed tack-able walls for art displays…spending thousands of dollars on all the things inside our school…putting 500 desks together in the gym…deciding our mascot and hoping for Newcastle Newts!

 Getting a district moving truck all to myself and 143 boxes...Christy Otley at the helm as our Principal…inventing the first “staff costume” for our PTSA Halloween Carnival (Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head with Mr. Neugebauer)…then more joined to become dominoes, a club sandwich, the Wizard of Oz characters, jellyfish and a box of donuts!...all 400 kids on the playground dancing to prepare for the Issaquah Salmon Days Festival show…did the art work for the event and ended up traveling to Africa that summer with the group that connected all this!...our amazing music teacher Robin Wood and the school wide Folk Life event…and building the enormous Big Rock Candy Mountain in the middle of the hallway!

Saying tearful goodbyes as we lost our friends to teacher heaven: Mr. Hunter (5th grade teacher), Michelle Robinson and Katie Tinnea (Kindergarten teachers)…the staff flying paper airplanes off the second floor down to the library, staff cake decorating contests for Dr. Seuss’ birthday…staff playing the Hungry Hungry Hippo game in real life, on scooters in the gym! Families joining in our own version of the Amazing Race…and BEST OF ALL the CHILDREN that have come my way…figuring 20 a year, makes 400 little lions…each one unique, full of adventures, learning and laughing in my classroom world.

Happy Birthday Newcastle Elementary…cheers to many more! 
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