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Magazine names Issaquah a top town for families

By Staff
The Issaquah Press
Issaquah has been named one of the Best Towns for Families in 2015 by “Family Circle” magazine.


Issaquah has been named one of the Best Towns for Families in 2015 by “Family Circle” magazine.

To compile the list, the magazine’s team of editors worked with Onboard Informatics, a New York City research firm that provides real estate, demographic and other data, to select 4,500 cities and towns with populations between 10,000 and 100,000. From that, about 1,400 localities having a high concentration of households with median incomes between $60,000 and $110,000 were selected.

“Family Circle” then assessed which places best met its family-friendly criteria — including affordable homes, quality schools, access to health care, low crime rate and financial stability — and ranked them from top to bottom. “Family Circle” selected the 10 winners from among the highest-rated towns.

Here is what “Family Circle” wrote about Issaquah:

Stephanie Huling, 46, and husband Brent, 46, who own a technical recruiting firm, love summer in their hometown, especially hiking the Cascades or going inner tubing or wakeboarding on Lake Sammamish with kids Tyler, 19, Maddi, 17, and Chloe, 14. Surrounded by three large mountains near the tip of Lake Sammamish, this town 17 miles southeast of Seattle is a destination for family-friendly excursions.

Stephanie and Brent chose Issaquah 18 years ago for its schools and small-town family environment. The active lifestyle is an added bonus. The Hulings routinely hit the trails for forest walks and mountain biking. A family favorite: Poo Poo Point on Tiger Mountain, which is a popular launching spot for paragliding and hang gliding. Says Stephanie, “Our best days are spent with our kids outside.”

Issaquah’s schools are active and healthy as well. For the past decade, the Issaquah School District has consistently ranked among the top five in Washington on state assessments. Seven of the district’s two-dozen schools received the Washington Achievement Award for 2014–2015, honoring the state’s top-performing schools.

Although this former coal-mining town has grown exponentially over the past decade, for the Hulings, Issaquah’s size is just right.

“It’s a big town but also a small town,” says Stephanie. “You feel like people have your back.”

GOOD DEEDS — The Issaquah Schools Foundation invests nearly $1 million a year in student-related programs such as mental health initiatives and after-school homework help.

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