• Alumni

Alumni

Welcome Alumni of The Bush School

Whether or not you graduated from The Bush School — if you attended even for just one year — you are a member of the Bush alumnae/i community and an invaluable part of the history and the future of the school. The Bush School Alumnae/i Office strives to keep alumnae/i engaged in the school community and connected to teachers, classmates, and friends.
Contact the Alumnae/i Office at alumni@bush.edu.

Alumni Events

List of 3 events.

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Alumni News

Alumni Profiles

List of 6 news stories.

  • A Remarkable Tradition

    A Remarkable Tradition

    Each January for the past three years, I have attended the Young Alumnae/i College Brunch, an event produced by The Bush School’s College Counselors (Melissa Lanctot and Alice Huang) and the Alumnae/i Association. This incredible program begins with a brunch where alumnae/i are able to reconnect with each other, our friends in the senior class, and faculty/staff from the Upper School. From there, a small panel of college sophomores field questions from the college counselors and the senior class. Their questions range from how Bush prepared us for college and what we find the hardest part of college, to the items we are most relieved to have brought to school, and anything in between. I am so fortunate to have been able to attend this event once as a Bush School senior, and twice as a panelist.

    Looking back, I remember going to this event as a senior and listening to the young alumnae/i share their college experiences. Initially, I thought it would be nice to see friends who had graduated, but did not expect to pick up sage advice. While I was listening to the panel, I was amazed at the fact that those young alumnae/i were only one year ahead of me in school. These alumnae/i, who just nine months earlier had been seniors at Bush, were now college freshman (“young alumnae/i”, how fancy that sounded). It seemed that they acquired all of the maturity and wisdom to fill the part in such a short time. As a result, I began to realize the transformative effect that one semester of college could have on an individual.

    Having now served twice as a panelist for the Young Alumnae/i College Brunch, the event continues to be meaningful, but for different reasons. When I return to campus to talk about college, I’m reminded of the remarkable community that shaped me. From nurturing me as an elementary school student to preparing me for life beyond high school, The Bush School crystallized my desire and passion for a lifetime of learning. From listening to my peers answer a myriad of college-related questions, I know we all share this sentiment. The Young Alumnae/i College Brunch is truly a remarkable tradition, and I want to thank The Bush School Alumni Association and the College Counseling Office for putting it on every year and inviting me to be a part of it.

    Grant Friedman
    The Bush School, Class of 2015
    Middlebury College, Class of 2019
     

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  • Photo by parent Tom Nickels

    The Team


    Bush Athletics is an important aspect of Blazer life for students, past and present. The Bush School Alumnae/i Association is proud to share that the 2016 Cross-Country Team had an outstanding showing at the State Meet in Pasco, WA on November 5. Two of our girls finished 15th and 37th out of hundreds of participants. After winning the Emerald City League Championships and the District Championships, the boys had another excellent performance at the State Meet, coming in third as a team. They brought home the first trophy from a state championship since 2010. Congratulations to all runners and coaches for completing a historic season for The Bush School.

    Before the state meet, Ike Everard '18 wrote the following article for The Rambler.

    The Bush Blazers Varsity Cross Country Team was the shining jewel in our fall season. They stand out not only for their success, but as a testament to what strong team chemistry can help achieve.
    “We are a group of kids who wouldn’t normally hang out, but we are very cohesive [as a team],” says junior runner Ethan Widlansky. “The Team,” as they are known around campus and on their team-issued sweatshirts, certainly show the fruits of such cohesion. Seven Blazer runners placed within the top thirteen at the Emerald City League championships this season. As Ethan says, “The team is super fun, and we gel super well.” The bonding of the team began months before this moment.

    Senior captain Tom Fahlman says the summer practices were an opportunity to fantasize about what could be achieved during the season. Through Coach James Batey's ingenious coaching and the open-mindedness of the runners, the performance of the team this season has been nothing short of astounding. Coach Batey knows that under any successful team lies a strong foundation.

    In part the result of preseason training, the team’s work ethic has bloomed faster than a runner in the final stretch. Senior Eamon Oldridge said of a recent practice, “It was supposed to be a cooldown day, a recovery day, but kids were still trying to push themselves.” Practices are so exciting that runners who have to make up tests after school sprint to the gym in order be on time.
    The state tournament lies ahead. The Team is hopeful and confident. “I don’t want to jinx it,” said Ethan, “but I think we have a real chance to do something special.” The Team will be tested in the upcoming weeks, but if this season has proven anything it is that whatever happens will be embraced with smiles, laughter and cheers.
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  • The Smiles Received

    Hello! My name is Rayna Burgett and I am a Senior at The Bush School. After four years of participation, I am now a co-leader for The Bush School chapter of Teen Feed. Teen Feed is a student-based organization in Seattle that focuses on helping homeless youth. Once a month, students spend their evening preparing and serving a delicious meal for local disadvantaged teenagers. I am looking forward to our next Teen Feed on November 8! In addition to our monthly project, we host a fundraiser at Bush before every Venue. It’s during this evening that Bush parents, students, and staff are invited to attend. Teen Feed is the perfect opportunity to bond with the greater community and is rewarding for anyone who chooses to be involved. 

    My time with Teen Feed has made a big impact on me. When I first volunteered for Teen Feed, I didn’t know what to expect. I got involved because it seemed like a great chance to give back to the community in a fun and easy way. My experience has proved to be so much more than that. The smile I receive from each person who comes through the food line truly makes me feel like I am accomplishing something great. For some, baking cookies, pouring orange juice, or doing the dishes may seem like small tasks; but the help it provides local, underprivileged teens is an indescribable amount. 

    Throughout my years in high school, I have seen the program positively change the community in a countless ways. For example, it brings people together, allowing for new friendships and personal interactions to form. Additionally, it improves the both lives of the people coming through the line as well as those working in the kitchen. With every “thank you” given, it further strengthens my motivational drive, encouraging me to give back to the community. Teen Feed is important because it creates an atmosphere of compassion and warmth. Ultimately, being involved with Teen Feed is an extremely rewarding process that makes me eager to help those around me now and for years to come. Go Teen Feed!
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  • Leaving it All on the Court

    Hello! I am Sally Boggan '09 and as a Bush volleyball coach, staff member, and alumna I have logged more hours at The Bush School than perhaps anywhere else in the world. Many of my hours have been spent in Schuchart Gym, honing my volleyball skills, and more recently helping students to develop their own. My experience playing volleyball at Bush from the Sixth Grade through my senior year ignited a passion for the sport. In college, this passion drove me to create a club volleyball program at Whitman.
     
    While I was a leader of many clubs and organized countless events during my time as a Bush student, leading my volleyball team (on and off the court) is where I became a true leader. I was never the best player on the team, but what I lacked in skill, I made up for in effort and determination. This is true for many Bush athletes. As a small school we may not attract all the premier athletes, but we do attract smart players who are willing to put their all into perfecting their craft. In volleyball, this means going for every ball, never giving up, and leaving it all on the court. I always tell the girls I coach: I don’t care if you can’t dig a tough ball, but I do care if you don’t try. I don’t care if you can’t swing hard enough to make big kills, but I do care if you don’t bother to find a smart spot to place the ball on the opponent’s court.
     
    In my third year coaching at Bush, I am inspired to see today's students finding the same joy on the court as I did years ago. Please join us on October 21 for the Fall Blazer Bash during the Upper School Volleyball games.
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  • Convocation Speech from Head of School

    Opening of School, 2016

    It is my pleasure to welcome our staff, teachers, parents, guardians, friends, and students—especially the Class of 2017—to The Bush School's 2016 convocation.
    I am standing in front of you today at the beginning of my 19th year as an educator in independent schools. I find myself here, after almost two decades in education, because school has always felt like home to me. It is the place where I feel most comfortable, most at ease, in the company of scholars, counselors, grammarians, historians, storytellers, fact finders, and and truth seekers. The men and women who plan meticulously to make a lesson thorough, resonant, compelling, and engaging were and still are my heroes.
     
    I was a curious child, a dutiful student. I loved school and I wanted nothing more than to discover something new, to meet and exceed my teachers’ expectations, and to hopefully become one of them. I aspired to do what they did, to cultivate students’ natural talents and share my love of the written word, analysis, reason, and TRUTH with a new generation of aspiring scholars.
    Since I enjoyed school, I worked hard and did well in most subjects—I won’t go into the story of the B- in P.E. Without exception, my favorite subject was history. From an early age, I had teachers who taught me and my classmates that history was more than merely identifying key names and dates, capitals or geographic borders, but stories made up of real people. People with agency and vision. And people of unassailable character. People who acted with guile and cunning. And people who acted benevolently. These historical figures were fascinating, compelling, and without fail, they were almost always male, almost always white, and presumably straight.
     
    This history did not always accord with the version of history I learned in my home. The assumptions and attributions were different. I was raised knowing the valiant men and women who fought for our country were of every color, background, and faith. I knew that the edifices, institutions, economies, and social movements that make up our country were built with the ingenuity and labor of people who looked like me. Decades ago—when I was your age—I rarely heard this version of our history in school.
     
    I often wondered which was the real truth—the one I was learning in school or the one I learned at home.
    As a child, it was confusing. Yet, it made me eager to learn about the truth of our collective past. It was the reason I wanted to become an educator—to elevate the voices and experiences of individuals and groups who were not part of the canon, and to ensure that young students of all races, ethnic backgrounds, genders, and experiences would be able to find their truth in schools.
    And it is what led me to The Bush School; an institution that is never complacent. Our school community is reflective, generative, compassionate. Our academic values promote scholarship, following one's passions, and discovering one's truth.
     
    This ethos is etched in our school’s history. As Midge Bowman ’51—a former Bush teacher, parent, and Interim Head of School 1996–1997—told me when we spoke this summer, Bush girls used to read and discuss John Keats’ "Ode to A Grecian Urn". In the last stanza of the poem, Keats writes:
     
    'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'
    These words are a part of the school’s three guiding principles: truth, beauty, and purpose.
     
    We began the year with an all-staff meeting in which we shared what brought us to teaching and to The Bush School. For one faculty member, it was being able to wake up excited that he wouldn’t know what the day would hold, what experiences he would share with his students, and how he would be changed by them. For another, it was an opportunity to be subversive. For others, it was lit. Sharing literature with a student and watching their eyes beam as they read a passage. For others, it was the camaraderie of their colleagues. The sense that there is always more to learn and more to teach.
    These personal truths make our school community unique, diverse, and inspiring.
    I would ask each student to think about, "What is your truth?" "Who are you at your core?," and "How can we as adults help to nourish that truth?"
    I would ask our families to share your stories, histories and truths with them as well.
     
    Over the last two years I have learned about The Bush School and discovered many truths about what makes this place special.
    Here are a few of those truths:
    Kindergartners and Eighth Grade students are equally susceptible to uncontrollable laughing bouts that are only made worse by “trying” not to laugh.
    I have learned that the only thing better than watching Bush sports teams win a game is watching them shake hands and congratulate their opponents after the game.
    I have learned that our parents and board spend as much time, effort, and energy in their volunteer roles at the school as many people spend on their jobs.
    I have learned that there is no greater comfort than knowing there will be a fresh breakfast sandwich, waffle, or baked oatmeal (with that irresistible cream sauce on top) in the morning to get our day going. And the sad truth is that we sometimes take it for granted.
    I have learned that our teachers never stop thinking and worrying about your children. About whether they are reaching them and helping them become their best true selves. And about how they’ll try differently tomorrow.
    I have learned that gray hairs actually are a sign of maturity and distinction.
    I know that each day we are fortunate to walk onto this beautiful campus where sinks run, buses are maintained, repairs are made, and cars move onto and off campus in an orderly fashion. I also know that these things do not happen on their own.
    I have learned that there are more 49ers fans among us than you would believe.
    I have learned that Dr. Seuss is a genius of the first order.
    I have learned that change is as hard on an institution as it is on individuals. That change comes at a cost. And sometimes it's the loss of the funny, demanding, loving teachers we spent days and decades with here at The Bush School.
    And I’ve learned that there is nothing better than pretending to walk up to the Upper School and pause to listen to a group of students work out a new song for class or for themselves.
    These are my truths about The Bush School.
     
    One of my favorite children gave me a card with a quote from Maya Angelou, the great poet, author, dancer, and artist who died in 2014 at the age of 86.  “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty."
    When I think back on changes to our school over the past years I often fret over the changes rather than reflect on its beauty.  I look out now and see beauty. The beauty of 656 students, 107 faculty, and staff discovering and sharing their truths.
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  • Dylan Young ’88

    “Bush was an overwhelmingly supportive and normal experience,” says Dylan Young ‘88. “This alone may seem a trite statement. However, I was a C7 quadriplegic back in the 1970s and ‘80s and people tell me having a normal experience was a remarkable thing. Kudos to Bush.”

    Dylan is living life. He has placed first or second at the national level in four different sports: wheelchair track, wheelchair rugby, masters rowing, and disabled sailing. “I was a founding employee of a company that went public on the NASDAQ, and today I am a personal trainer with a graphics design certificate,” says Dylan. “I serve my sailing club as an officer. I know how to cook. I am studying German, and I travel as much as I can.”

    “Certainly, I consider myself very fortunate,” says Dylan. “I think what I most assimilated from Bush is the virtue of having a well-balanced life. I can be focused, but I do not let any one thing dictate or define my life. I feel everything should be given a finite amount of time. I enjoy the creativity found in doing things well but efficiently. And hence I enjoy the down time this creates. This philosophy frees me up to consider my next move and tackle the next thing.

    “I did not expect all of these achievements. I believe it is a message of Bush to do many things and not focus solely on academics. I will often press on through mediocrity based on a feeling that I simply belong there. In answering these questions I have conjured a Bush motto: Every effort is worthy of some praise. Maybe this motto will be obtuse to many, but it reflects the memory of my Bush experience. The motto gives you the confidence to try new things and the positive vibes to carry on in good or bad experiences.”
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