The Falcon Flyer
Sadness struck the halls with the news that dramateacher Pam Cressey has been diagnosed with pan-creatic cancer. According to Jacob Axelson, a member of the dra-ma program, when Cressey was admitted to the hos-pital, a bile valve blockage was found in her liver.“They went in, and [...] they didn’t know what was wrong with her and soshe had her surgery [...] but her test results came back [on Sept. 22] andshe has pancreatic can-cer,” said Axelson. According to the Hirsh- berg Foundation for Pan-creatic Cancer Research,“Seventy-ve percent of pancreatic cancer pa-tients die within the rst12 months of the diagno-sis. The 5-year survivalrate is 5 percent.” Whilethis statistic seems grim,Cressey’s case of canceris different from the usu-al patient.Cressey accepts hercancer and is ready to doanything to ght it. “I’mgoing to have a meeting with one of my oncolo-gists today, I’m meetingthree of them, the three best in Seattle; so I’mgetting three differentopinions today on what chemo and radiation to start.My surgery, which was a really big part of getting ridof what was in there. It was really successful, I’vehad absolutely no problems from it except trying torecover from it so I can start the next step, which ischemo and radiation. I’m ready.”Tamara Barnhart, Cressey’s friend and colleague,said, “She’s got to recover for four weeks, and thenshe’ll start chemo therapy. And then, from what shetold me is she’ll probably do a month of chemo thera-py. And then she’ll have a month to rest, for her body to recover, then she’ll do another month of chemotherapy. So it will be early Spring before she’s all n-ished with that.”Mario Penalver, rst year teacher, is the guestteacher for the drama program during Cressey’s ab-sence. According to Penalver, it has been challeng-ing. “Cressey’s a really wonderful person and she hasleft quite a mark on this place. I don’t expect myself to replace her. I expect that I’ll try to keep up the fort while she’s gone.”Plans for the continuation of drama are in place. Auditions for Pamelot, the special musical in honorof Cressey, are being held October 13 -15; Mr. Penoli- ver is leading that effort.Drama member Allison Combs said, “We’re allreally worried, I think [...] we’re just trying to think positive right now, but we are pretty worried abouther.” When asked how the staff and students can sup-port Cressey right now, Principal Diana Pratt said, “Ithink one of the things is to do what they can to stay in touch with her. We’ve got plans for helping withcooking. We have other plans for helping for otherthings that are hard to do when recovering from amajor surgery, housekeeping, cooking is another one.Then in addition to that, kids are planning a musicaltribute. The other thing they’re doing is moving for- ward with the drama program, as Mrs. Cressey would want us to do. [...] Also, fundraisers for the AmericanCancer Society.”The Livestrong fundraiser took place last Friday to support Cressey and all other cancer ghters andsurvivors.Student Craig Heffner said, “We all just love herand honestly, without Cressey, I don’t think I would be an actor.” When asked what she wanted to say to the staff and students, an emotional Cressey said, “I just needthose prayers. [...] Tell them thank you, from the bot-tom of my heart and to keep it up, because I’m notdone yet.”
Treasured director battles cancer
Vice principal, Ian McFeat joins the administra-tion team and replaces Gary Melton who departedin the spring of 2009 to Malaysia, where he becamea principal. Although McFeat is new to Kentlake, he iscertainly not new to Washington. He attended highschool in Eastern Washington and later transferredto Pacic Lutheran University. At PLU, McFeatearned degrees in writing and teaching.For the next nine years he pursued his teachingcareer in the Tacoma School District. Recently, heearned his principal’s certication, which coincided with the vice-principal opening. As an administrator, McFeat has the opportunity to implement new ideas, one of which is the one-minute music warning bell. He hopes to make it apermanent change.McFeat has other plans as well, he said, “…bemore visible in the classroom” and show supportfor the teachers and what they do. Also, to makesure students do not fall through the cracks,McFeat wishes to be visible to the student body.McFeat seems to have already made impres-sions on some of the students. An anonymous junior said, “He seems like a cool guy and has agood personality. [It] seems like he knows how toget things done in a fun and interesting way, likethe music in the halls the last minute of passingperiods.”Kentlake has also made an impression on him.McFeat is in awe by the majority of the studentschoosing what is right and also by their intelli-gence. In addition, he said, “the wealth of clubs isall so overwhelming,” while the parental supportevident in the school is amazing.Outside of school, McFeat has a profound in-terest in soccer and in poetry. McFeat also enjoys working on Volkswagen buses during his freetime, which is less now because of his two youngdaughters.
New Vice Principal roams the building
Photo by Cynthiann Heckelsmiller
Pam Cressey picketing for the teacher’s strike.Vice Principal Ian McFeat
Photo by Matt Davis