April 11, 2020
The Seattle Times | By Bob Condotta
Surprise! Seahawks Quandre Diggs and Michael Dickson zoom into virtual classes at Seattle high school
Like all of their counterparts throughout the state, the students at Summit Sierra High School in Seattle have had to adjust to attending classes online since the middle of March.
This week, though, when they logged onto their computers for classes, they were joined by a couple of surprise guests – Seahawks Quandre Diggs and Michael Dickson.
Diggs, a safety, on Wednesday popped in to virtual meetings of classes of every grade at the four-year high school, spending additional time talking to seniors, many of whom are dealing with the knowledge that they will have a senior-year experience unlike any they imagined.
“He talked to them about how to make the best out of their situation,’’ said Ayanna Gore, the principal of the charter school located in Chinatown’s International District that first opened its doors in 2016. “He spent the most amount of time with our seniors just encouraging them and answering their questions about college.’’
Dickson then met on Friday with a class of freshmen that had won a competition for their ability in handling the challenge of self-directed learning.
Each answered questions from students on topics such as how they are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and favorite school subject. One student was able to proudly display to Dickson her dog, a 4-year-old Chiweenie.
“She’s hanging out,’’ Dickson replied.
Gore said the visits originated when the Seahawks reached out and asked if the school might be interested in having a couple players “come and crash’’ a virtual class. The Seahawks had been looking for a school with which to connect a few players to support and encourage students adjusting to the challenge of virtual learning.
Initially, students were told only that “somebody special’’ might crash a class, Gore said. “And they started making up all kinds of rumors,’’ she said with a laugh.
The day before, they were told it would be a Seahawk.
“But we didn’t tell them who,’’ Gore said. “They were so excited.’’
Many students logged on wearing a Seahawks jersey.
Diggs made a point to tell students to do their best to follow guidelines for battling the coronvarius pandemic.
“After all of this is over we are going to have to be back outside, go back to normal school,’’ Diggs told students. “We are going to have to continue to take directions important because that’s all that matters at this point. … I see a lot of people not taking this stay-inside (direction) serious, but I think as a whole we need to collectively do that.’’
Dickson was asked about his current routine — he said he’s still able to get in some punts regularly — and what he would think if the NFL played games this season without fans.
“If we had to have no fans in order to have a season go ahead you would take it,’’ he said. “But it would be different. It wouldn’t be good. But I’d rather have a season with no fans then no season at all. A lot of it can be done through TV and you still have that sense of community through (having a season). So if it’s just for one year and we have to do it, we have to do it.’’