Sharilee West - Blog

from the West Wing January 14th, 2015

As I sit down to write my blog article today, it is with many mixed emotions. On one hand, it is good to be back in school after the Christmas holidays and see all the kids again. Fairview is such a wonderful place to be, and it’s always good to be back into a routine. On the other hand, I received news on Monday that my college roommate’s husband had passed away. What hard news to hear and process. It reminds me of the ups and downs, ebb and flow experience that we all share called life. Please allow me to share with you part of the story of my roommate’s husband and my friend Bob. Bob was a teacher and spent most of his career teaching high school band. Bob has an incredible sense of humor and always made me laugh. As I have read posts on his Facebook page over the years, it has often been filled with comments from former students telling how much he had meant to them, how he had inspired each one, and often how he had made them laugh. It was obvious that he was well liked and the true embodiment of what it means to be a teacher. Since his passing Monday afternoon, Facebook has been filled with so many more positive comments about this wonderful man. Bob was diagnosed with cancer several years ago. He battled this terrible disease for these many years always with a positive attitude, always with humor. Read More

Sharilee West - Blog

from the West Wing December 17th, 2014

Last week my thoughts were from the perspective of Joseph. You know, Mary’s betrothed; Jesus’ step father. As I have continued to think about Joseph, I continue to be in awe of what a truly amazing man he must have been. This week, however, I would like to share some of my thoughts about Mary. Although scholars disagree about Joseph’s age at the time of his marriage to Mary, the general consensus of Mary’s age at the time is between 12 and 14. While this seems quite young in our day and culture, it was the accepted age for betrothal and marriage in Bible times. The Bible tells us that Mary and Joseph were betrothed, which was more binding than what we would consider an engagement. They would have exchanged vows and promised to remain pure until the marriage was consummated between six months and a year later. This gave the groom time to prepare a house for his bride and the family they would have together. But we all know that God had chosen Mary to give birth to His son. The Bible tells us that Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel. He greeted her with these words, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you.” The young Mary was understandable confused and troubled by these words. Gabriel continued by saying “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you Read More

Sharilee West - Blog

from the West Wing December 10th, 2014

Have you ever really thought about the Christmas story? I mean, really thought about it? Sure, we all know the basics. Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem. Jesus is born. Angels appear to the shepherds and they go to see the baby. Wise men follow a star and present gifts to the child. There it is; the simple story. “Unto Us a Child is Born.” But I started thinking about how some of the main players might have felt during this time. What we can read in the Bible is just a few verses, actually took place over a span of many months and even years. My thoughts went to two of the main characters, Mary and Joseph and I began to wonder how all of this affected them. Today I would like to share some of my thoughts about Joseph. We know that Joseph was a carpenter by trade and that he was betrothed to Mary. The Bible does not tell us how old he was. Scholars give a range of possible ages from late teens to possibly 85 – 90 years old. Regardless of his age, the marriage was undoubtedly an arranged one and the two may not have known one another very well. So, here we have a carpenter of unknown age engaged to a young woman he may or may not have known well. At some point before they are married, Joseph finds out that Mary his betrothed, is pregnant. Again, the Bible doesn’t tell us Read More

Sharilee West - Blog

from the West Wing December 3rd, 2014

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.” So begins a popular Christmas song. One of my grandsons tweeted on Thanksgiving, “Be prepared, my friends. These are the last hours before we are bombarded by Christmas music and peppermint flavored everything.” Here at Fairview the big tree is up and decorated in the main hall; many thanks to Bill, Edwin, Lori and Sheila for making that happen. There are banners and wreaths in the gym for church services on Sundays. The Christmas programs will take place next week. The kids are excited. I think, if we’re honest, we’re all excited by this time of year. However, as I have been following the news of late, I began to wonder if it really is “beginning to look a lot like Christmas.” It seems that every day the news is filled with some type of tragedy. Lives are being shattered in so many ways. There are protests of injustices both here and around the world. Last night, as I was thinking about this conundrum, I began to realize that the fact that there is unrest all around us is actually what makes everything “begin to look like Christmas.” Oh, the unrest and tragedy around us is not what we like to focus on at Christmastime. It’s much nicer to concentrate on cookies, presents and hot chocolate sipped in front of a blazing fire. But those warm, fuzzy feelings are only what we have grown to expect around Christmastime. The truth of the Read More

Sharilee West - Blog

from the West Wing November 26th, 2014

This weekend is the time when we will celebrate Thanksgiving; a holiday steeped in tradition, both historical and personal. Last week I shared with you George Washington’s, our first president, Thanksgiving Proclamation. This week, I would like to share with you Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863. It was this proclamation that established Thanksgiving as a National Holiday. The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as Read More

Sharilee West - Blog

from the West Wing November 19th, 2014

Next week we will set aside one day to gather with family and friends and celebrate Thanksgiving. As I was preparing our Family Chapel lesson for this month, I did some research on the origins of Thanksgiving. It was quite interesting to read some of what has become “tradition”. Part of what I found is that each and every president since Abraham Lincoln has given a formal Thanksgiving Proclamation, even though in 1938 the fourth Thursday of November was officially designated a national holiday. Today I would like to share with you the first presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation, given by our first president, George Washington.   WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:” NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; Read More

Sharilee West - Blog

from the West Wing November 12th, 2014

Today our first quarter report cards were sent out. I am always impressed at how well the students at Fairview do. Each one is a unique individual and I believe that at Fairview our teachers do a phenomenal job helping each child reach their potential. That being said, there are times when our children, for a variety of reasons, don’t receive the highest grades. That can be frustrating for a parent. However, allow me to share some insight taken from Love and Logic that might help for those less than perfect times. “There’s no doubt that grades are important! Because they are so important, many parents make the mistake of displaying a lot of anger and frustration when their kids get poor ones. When this happens, kids spend more energy thinking about their parents’ anger and frustration than thinking about how their grades will affect their lives. Listed below are some quick tips for responding to poor grades: Spend most of your energy commenting on the good grades. The key is to help your child feel so good about what they do well that they will be willing to work harder at what they don’t do well. Display sadness over the bad grades. Experiment with saying, “This is so sad. I’m sure glad that I didn’t get that grade. The good news is that we are going to love you regardless of how well or poorly you do in school.” Ask questions about the bad grades like “What are your Read More

Sharilee West - Blog

from the West Wing November 5th, 2014

The other day I had an interesting experience that got me thinking about how I try to operate my life sometimes. My mom had dropped her cell phone, the back fell off and battery popped out. She put it all back together, but the screen was blank, even after putting it on the charger. We decided to go get her a new phone and after some long deliberation we finally decided on one that would suit her needs. The clerk took her phone to transfer the information, flipped it open and when I glanced over, the screen was turned on. I asked, “What did you do to get the screen working?” “I turned the phone on,” was her simple reply. All of a sudden it hit me. Of course, when the battery came out, the phone would have been turned off. Neither my mom nor I had thought to simply turn it back on again. We had a good laugh, thanked the clerk for “fixing” the phone and went on our way, feeling a little sheepish I might add. I’m sure the clerk is getting a lot of mileage out of the story as well. That experience got me thinking about how I sometime approach life. I’m going along, living my day to day life and everything is wonderful. In the busy-ness of life, I begin to neglect some of the things that are most important for my spiritual well being. My prayers are shorter; my time in the Word Read More

Sharilee West - Blog

from the West Wing October 29th, 2014

Once again we have come through another rather devastating week; another week where a seemingly senseless act changes the lives of so many in the twinkling of an eye. So many questions; so few answers. As the days unfold, there are increasing opinions of why and still no answers. As I reflected on some of the events of the past month, I was impressed with the thought of hopelessness. If you remember, the daughter of a dear friend took her own life in a moment of despair. Hopeless. This past Friday, a young man shot five friends, intending to kill them all, and then turned the gun on himself in a moment of despair. Hopeless. Last night as I was praying, the words to the following song came through. In Christ alone my hope is found He is my light my strength my song This Cornerstone this solid Ground Firm through the fiercest drought and storm What heights of love what depths of peace When fears are stilled when strivings cease My Comforter my All in All Here in the love of Christ I stand Christ alone. What a thought. Truly it is in Him that we can find hope in the world drowning in hopelessness. Christ alone can and will give peace and comfort when there are more questions than answers. In our morning devotion time this morning, Mrs. Bratcher shared the testimony of Nancy Writebol, one of the missionaries infected with the Ebola virus last summer. The following Read More

Sharilee West - Blog

from the West Wing October 22nd, 2014

Most of you should know by now that I am a big fan of Love and Logic. Please forgive me if I use this venue to periodically share with you some snippets from the writings of some of the leaders from Love and Logic. I thought this following was a good reminder to me and I hope it will provide you will some things to think about.   The other day I caught myself giving a lengthy speech about the importance of kids doing their chores and respecting their parents. Unfortunately, the speech was not to a group of people at a Love and Logic event. It was to my seven-year-old son in response to his eye-rolling and huffing about having to clean up after the dog.   I used to be a parenting expert. That is…until I had kids.   Parenting is tough because we love our children. Since highly effective teachers also love their students, they struggle with the same temptations. We want the best for them. We worry that they’ll become irresponsible. We sometimes feel panicked because they don’t seem to be turning out the way we hoped. As educators we mourn when we aren’t reaching a child in the way we hoped.   Lots of intense feelings can muddy our minds and leave us forgetting that we can’t talk tykes…or teens…into being respectful, responsible and self-controlled. In fact, the more extensive our vocabularies become, the less effective we become.   The more words we use when Read More

Sharilee West - Bio

Sharilee West

I am a native Seattleite, the only daughter of a Church of God pastor. My dad pastored a congregation in south Seattle until I was a sophomore in high school. My family moved into Seattle proper at that time and I graduated from Lincoln High School in 1967. By the way, my dad’s picture is the one on the left as you come in the main door of the school. I graduated from Seattle Pacific College in 1974 (yes, it was only a college then) with my teaching degree. I later received a Master of Education form Seattle Pacific University in 1992. I came to Fairview Christian School in the fall of 1987. My first teaching assignment was a 5/6 combination class. The next year, I moved to the 3rd grade class and continued in that position for 6 years. I was away from Fairview for four years but returned in the fall of 1999 as the middle school math/science teacher. I enjoyed that position for ten years until the summer of 2009 when I was asked to become the school administrator. I met my husband, Lew, on a blind date in 1997, and we were married on Valentine’s Day in 1998. Together we are blessed with four adult children and nine grandchildren; six boys and three girls ranging in age from 5 to 18. My son and his family live in Kansas City, Kansas; my daughter and her family live in Ingalls, Indiana; Lew’s daughters and their families live in the Seattle area. I love my job at Fairview Christian School, particularly being able to serve such wonderful families alongside an outstanding staff. As the Apostle Paul so eloquently says, and I will take the liberty to paraphrase, “I am confident that God, who began a good work at Fairview will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”