The Weekly, 1986
The Lakeside Mystique
The Weekly, Seattle's Newsmagazine
January 8-14, 1986
by Schuyler Ingle
(Here are only the first three paragraphs of a lengthy article.
Lakeside School, located on Seattle's extreme northern
border at 145th and the Freeway, has been the main pillar of Seattle private
secondary education since the 1920's. It began, as one bald-domes
alum says, as "an Anglican redoubt on the last frontier." Situated
on a Currier & Ives New England campus, it loks the role still.
Ned Skinner ('37) went there. Alex Fisken ('40) is a graduate, as is Governor Booth Gardner ('54). So, too, are Walter Walkinshaw ('34), Stuart Anderson ('41), T.J. Vassar ('68), Bill Gates ('73) and Deano the Clown ('68). If those names are all male, that's because Lakeside used to be a boys' school. Back then it was a boarding as well as a day school, a place for a sound education and personalized character building. (Some of the students were in considerable need of such building.) The boarding ended in the early 1960's. In the early 1970's Lakeside merged with Saint Nicholas School for Girls, substantially changing in character while overnight doubling in size. It is still the premier private school in the Northwest -- our Exeter, our Eton.
The reputation rests primarily on academic achievement, which has always been stressed at Lakeside. Since the time of the Depression the faculty has been excellent, give or take a lame-brained teacher or two. There were times when a signature on the tuition check, or the family name, was all that really mattered. That was when times were tough and public schools enjoyed far more prestige. Not like today.
Lakeside now holds the mortgage on private education in Seattle. The upper school has the pick of the student litter, 400 hand-selected boyes and girls. "Lakeside attracts the best students who can afford to go to a private school," says English Department head Anne Stephens. "I can't imagine a student going to another school over Lakeside."
...Ski boats and the Tennis Club in the summer; Crystal Mountain and Sun Valley condos int he winter. That's the look. It can camouflage the fact that as an institution, Lakeside is more dedicated than ever to high-powered, high-pressure learning.
...[Lakeside students] are competitive, academically aggressive, and they keep their eyes on each other as much as they do on the bottom line of their lives: their grades. They are smart. Real smart. ...