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Weston principal, student knit a relationship

Billie Heath, left, advises Weston High School senior Doneisha Johnson and Weston principal Maurene Stanton on their technique of knitting scarves for the battered women’s shelter. A contract learning student Johnson will donate all the finished scarves to the battered women’s shelter as part of her senior project. - SARAH ARNEY The Arlington Times
Billie Heath, left, advises Weston High School senior Doneisha Johnson and Weston principal Maurene Stanton on their technique of knitting scarves for the battered women’s shelter. A contract learning student Johnson will donate all the finished scarves to the battered women’s shelter as part of her senior project.
— image credit: SARAH ARNEY The Arlington Times

ARLINGTON — It’s an unlikely sight to see at the school board meeting — Weston High School principal Maurene Stanton knitting feverishly at the same time her school was named in the top 10 highest performing alternative schools in Washington state by the BERC Group.

Stanton knits with a student, Doniesha Johnson, every Monday from 1 - 2 p.m. with Billy Heath serving as their teacher/consultant.

“I asked Doniesha to come up with a project that we could do together,” Stanton announced at the board meeting. They plan to donate the results of their knitting time together to the battered women shelter.

After a month of Mondays knitting, they had little to show for it, however, except for the half-done scarves in their hands.

“I learned that Doneisha is a perfectionist,” Stanton said of her student during their Nov. 24 session.

The session before they both realized they had been adding stitches, and instead of a long, narrow neck scarf, they had both created a bandana-like triangle.

Stanton fixed hers; Johnson tore hers apart and started over.

Johnson said she’s not the knitting type.

“I’ve always been very active,” she said, adding that she enjoys coaching basketball at the Boys & Girls Club. As a student in the contract learning program, she hopes to graduate with her class next year.

“We thought up several different ideas of what to do together, like working out, or riding bikes, but decided on knitting, so we could talk, too,” Johnson said.

“I always thought that Maurene was a perfectionist,” she said adding that she’d like to make hats and socks, too, until Heath described how they are made.

“Well, maybe not.”

Stanton said she enjoys getting to know her student better.

“It’s a treat to be able to just spend time with one student focussed on something together,” Stanton said.

Johnson said she liked the fact that they both were starting from scratch.

“It’s good because we don’t know what we don’t know together,” Johnson said.

“And we are able to laugh about it,” they all laughed.

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