Celebrating Women’s History Month Shorewood-style

Stories that make up some of Shorewood’s women staff


Photo courtesy by Leslie Silver

by Anya Farwell and Ursula Stickelmaier, Section Editor & Co-Editor-in- Chief

First celebrated in 1987, Women’s History Month has been celebrated worldwide and has served as a reminder of the hard work that women have gone through to leave the stereotype of “housewife” behind and enter an era of gender equality. We use this time to celebrate the list of achievements made by women, something that the female staff of Shorewood has contributed to heavily.

Among the ranks of female teachers that have accomplished something incredible in their lifetime is science teacher Julia Slade, who is also a self-published science fiction author who can be found under the pen name J.F. Slade on Amazon. “I am definitely a science fiction nerd,” Slade says. “I consume it probably more than I should.” Slade loves older stories such as “Ender’s Game” written by Orson Scott Card, as well as newer sci-fi works such as the Amazon Original show “The Expanse.”

Slade always knew she wanted to write. “I’ve come up with stories ever since I was a little kid and I kind of just, over time, started 

writing them down. And then suddenly I was writing books.” Though being a self-published author isn’t easy, Slade comments on there being a lot of work that goes into making a good product for readers when you don’t have the help of a big time publisher. What’s important is that “you are doing this for you and that you’re enjoying it.”

Another powerful female teacher is Leslie Silver. Though most may not know this, Silver is an avid runner and has participated in marathons across the world. “Most of my Marathons are in New York. I’ve done seven New York [runs], Bermuda and Napa Valley,” Silver says. Silver also participated in the first Rock and Roll Marathon in San Diego, a marathon that became increasingly difficult when she ran out of water during the race.

Silver has also done a lot of hikes around the world, especially in Washington. She has done 

international hikes around Kilimanjaro, Everest base camp, and Machu Picchu as well as several hikes here in Washington. “I have done a bunch of hikes around Mt. Rainier that are insanely gorgeous,” Silver said. Most can’t imagine traveling that much for a hike or a run, but Silver has done more than you 

can count.

On the subject of mountainous accomplishments, Lori Chase beat all odds in the medical world. In 1959, when Chase was 4 years old, doctors found a rare tumor on her kidney that they later discovered to be a Wilms Tumor. This tumor is a form of cancer that spreads quickly throughout the body and attacks the kidneys, abdomen, and lungs. 

Chemotherapy, still being introduced to modern medicine during this time, would be found in large cities, one of them being Children’s Hospital in Seattle. Giving Chase 3 times the amount of radiation doctors would prescribe for a cancer patient today, Chase made an outstanding recovery, and is now part of the 1.5% of people that survive the Wilms Tumor. Now Chase expresses her gratitude for surviving through art, and helping children and highschool students realize their true potential in the arts. 

If you’ve ever been curious about the art of performing, Assistant Principal Melyssa Stone is the one to go to. Earlier this year, Stone auditioned for and landed a role in the 5th Avenue’s production of “Into The Woods.” As with anything, it is difficult to juggle multiple responsibilities at once, especially when those responsibilities are as major as what Stone deals with. When dealing with these challenges Stone says, “There are ways to choose projects and theatres that help you manage, but regardless of what an actor does when you’re not on stage, it’s important to keep those creative parts of yourself alive. We are each more than our job titles!”

Stone has been performing for a long time and has become very experienced in the profession. “I’ve been lucky enough to do a lot of different sorts of performances: performing with a hip hop violinist, singing backup vocals for a famous rock star, doing work as a studio vocalist, and more!” And though she’s performed many times she says the hardest challenge she faces continues to be the mental focus shows require, “You can doubt/criticize yourself constantly, but that gets in the way and can totally throw you. Staying in a good head space is vital to a good performance.”

Shorewood is full of amazing female role models that not only work hard to make the school a better place but also go out there and make the world just a little more interesting. So thank you to all those hard working women that come here and make school better.