New coaches at Ballard High

Both the Ballard High varsity football coach and the varsity girls basketball coach quit a few months ago, and now there’s word of their replacements. John Bowers, formerly the recruiting coordinator and secondary coach for the Western Washington Vikings, is taking over the Beavers’ football team. And Derek Fulwiler, who was the assistant head coach for the boy’s basketball team at Ballard, is the new varsity girl’s head coach. You may remember, the girl’s basketball team had a historic season, but coach Karen Blair quit in protest because the girl’s team does not have a team room like the boys.

Fundraiser planned for Skillings

A gathering for Joseph Skillings, the Ballard teacher recovering from an attack at a Capitol Hill bus stop, will be held this Sunday afternoon. “Bring your checkbook to make a donation, or bid on one of the silent auction items,” explains the invitation. “All funds collected will be used to make sure Joseph is taken care of during his road back.” The gathering will be held at the Steve Jenson gallery, 1424 10th Ave., beginning at 3:30 p.m. While many of Skillings students would probably like to attend, organizers ask that the gathering be limited to adults. If you’d like more information, please email Will Anderson at the address listed on Skilling’s CaringBridge page here.

Skillings: ‘I was just helping her’

Joseph Skillings, the Adams Elementary teacher who’s recovering from that vicious attack in January, spoke to the media for the first time (watch KOMO video). “I was just helping her,” he said of the attack, when he intervened to help a woman who was being accosted at a Capitol Hill bus stop. Skillings has made incredible progress in his recovery, but his speech is slowly coming back. “I’m working with therapists that are helping me get my… cause my head is a little bit unratched in some areas,” he says, still struggling to get the right words out. “I want to get better and do my job. It’s going to take me a while to get back on board.” Family and friends say they’re organizing a fundraiser and auction on March 16th. More details on that soon. Meanwhile, police have made no arrests in the case.

Adams Elementary kids honor Joseph Skillings

Kids at Adams Elementary set out to fold 1,000 paper cranes tonight in honor of teacher Joseph Skillings, who continues his road to recovery at Harborview Medical Center. (Here’s the significance of the 1,000 paper cranes.) I stopped by the PTA meeting where the kids were folding and coloring, but I was nicely told that the news media was not allowed to attend. (My Ballard is the news media? We don’t know what to say.) Fortunately, Skillings’ friends and family are doing a terrific job updating his condition online. According to the latest entry in his journal, Skillings was able to walk to the hospital cafeteria for the first time. “He ordered food from the cook and ate quite a bit while he talked with friends. Getting away from his room made him really happy. He remembered again how much he missed his class and the other students at Adams,” explains the journal. As for the investigation into his attack, police have made no arrests to date. We’ll keep you updated.

Skillings slowly improving, still no arrests

Students from Adams Elementary signed a big yellow banner for Joseph Skillings, who’s recovering at Harborview Medical Center after getting attacked at a Capitol Hill bus stop for trying to help a woman in distress. Now the banner is hanging in his room, and Skillings is “bragging” about his students, according to the latest entry from friends and family in his online journal. Meanwhile, it’s been a few days since police released a sketch of the suspect, and there’s no word of any arrests. And if you missed it, the Times wrote up a story on Sunday about Skillings and his “core ethic” of teaching his students to help others.

Ballard teacher attacked for calling 911

A teacher from Adams Elementary School is in serious condition after trying to help a woman who was being harrassed by some guy at a Capitol Hill bus stop. Joseph Skillings called 911 when he witnessed the harrassment, but the man saw him on the phone and attacked him. Skillings suffered a seizure and was rushed to the hospital. “He is a big part of the school,” an administrator from Adams Elementary told the PI. “Everyone’s really upset.”

Update: KING 5 did a story on Skillings and his friends here in Ballard helping him. You can watch the video here. A web site has been set up here to help Skillings with his recovery.

Ballard High girls remain undefeated

It was the clash of the unbeatens in girls basketball last night, but Ballard High obliterated Roosevelt, 50-26.  Jeanette Hansen, a 6-foot-5 foreign exchange student from Denmark (Ballard’s secret weapon), scored 10 points.  “It was really big,” she told the Seattle Times. “A lot of people didn’t think we could beat Roosevelt, but we beat them pretty well.” The Beavers are now 6-0.  “Ballard appears to have enough firepower to be a KingCo frontrunner all season,” predicts the Seattle PI.  As for Roosevelt, their coach had this to say after the game: “We got out-everythinged.”

The Ballard team. Any guesses who’s Jeanette Hansen here?