Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - Dec. 5, 2014

In this Issue:

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Winter Break Holiday Schedule

- No School Dec. 22 to Jan. 2
- Classes resume Monday, Jan. 5

School Board work session and regular meeting Tuesday, Dec. 16

- 5:30 p.m.: Public Work Session - School board will discuss goals for 2015
- 6:30 p.m.: Regular school board meeting
- Meeting agenda and supporting materials available online prior to the meeting
- Both meetings open to the public
- Meeting location: 364 S. Park St. (Board Room)

District leaders meet with Pacific Power for emergency preparedness

Superintendent Bill Jordan met with Bill Clemens of Pacific Power Corp. to review power outage emergency procedures. Clemens said Pacific Power Corp. strives to have reliable power, but weather conditions can cause outages on occasion. He says good communication with district leaders is critical during power failures to ensure safety.

Odd Fellows residents and Sunrise Rotary welcome district leaders

School Board member Ruth Ladderud and Superintendent Bill Jordan met with residents of the Odd Fellows Home to discuss educational issues. The visit is part of a community outreach plan to connect with Walla Walla citizens. Topics included Initiative 1351, Common Core Standards, College Place High School impact and the Southeast Area Technical Skills Center. District leaders also met with the Sunrise Rotary this week for a similar presentation. 

Superintendent Jordan discusses Initiative 1351 in December Pulse video

The December Pulse video is now on the district's YouTube page and web page - www.wwps.org. This month, Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan discusses the recent School Directors' Conference in Spokane. He also reviews Initiative 1351 and previews the holiday concert series. Please take five minutes to view this brief update.

Receive text messages for school delays and closures

Parents and staff members have the option of receiving text messages for school closures, delays and other district information. To Opt-In, Text the word alert to 22300. 

School Stories
2014 Holiday Concert Series (remaining concerts)

December 9: Green Park 4-5 holiday program, 1:30 p.m.
December 9: Wa-Hi orchestra concert, Wa-hi Auditorium 7 p.m.
December 10: Garrison 7 & 8 grade concert, Garrison 7 p.m.
December 11: Pioneer 7 & 8 grade concert, Wa-Hi Auditorium 7 p.m.
December 12: Green Park tour, around town
December 12: Prospect Point program, K-1 9 a.m.; 2-3 10:30 a.m.; 4-5 1 p.m.
December 12: Wa-Hi choir to grotto, Portland
December 15: Sharpstein program, K-1 10 a.m.; 2-3 12 p.m.
December 15: Edison K-1 program, 1 p.m.
December 15: Wa-Hi band concert, Wa-Hi Auditorium 7 p.m.
December 16: Edison 2-3 holiday concert, 2-3 10 a.m.; 4-5 1 p.m.
December 17: Edison holiday tour, around town
December 17: Wa-Hi choir concert, Wa-Hi auditorium 7 p.m.
December 18: Wa-Hi band holiday tour
December 18: Berney K-2 program, 12:30 p.m.; 3-5 1:45 p.m.
December 18: Blue Ridge Program, Pre School 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
December 19: Berney holiday tour, around town
December 19: Blue Ridge Holiday Program, 1 p.m. Blue Ridge
December 19: Pioneer music assembly, 9 a.m. Pioneer
December 19: Wa-Hi choir at St. Mary’s Hospital, 12 p.m.

Prospect Point Principal named regional Distinguished Principal

Prospect Point Elementary Principal Chris Gardea was recently selected Distinguished Elementary Principal for the Lake Wallula Region for 2014. Gardea is now eligible for the National Distinguished Principal award to be decided next Fall.

Nominators said Chris Gardea is a visionary, goal-oriented and focused on closing the achievement gap. His nominators went on to say he has experience with coordinating school-wide efforts and promoting instructional change through the implementation of the Common Core Standards with elementary math curriculum. Gardea is technology savvy and is an expert with Google for Education computer applications.

“Chris Gardea is an outstanding principal and we are so glad to have him in our district,” said Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan. “He’s dynamic, works hard and pays close attention to how the students in his school receive the best service possible.”

Gardea has been principal at Prospect Point since 2008. During his time as principal of Prospect Point Elementary the school has earned the Center of Educational Effectiveness School of Distinction award two times, as well as being a Washington Achievement Award Winner in the area of Science. Gardea served as Assistant Principal at Prospect Point from 2004-2007. He was Walla Walla Public Schools Director of Mathematics during the 2003-2004 school year.

Gardea spent three years as a classroom mathematics teacher at Pioneer Middle School. He served as an administrative intern at Pioneer Middle School from 2001 to 2002. Gardea held classroom teaching positions in Waitsburg School District from 1998 to 2000 and College Place School District from 1997 to 1998.

He holds a Continuing Principal Certificate. He earned his Master’s in Educational Leadership from Eastern Washington University (EWU) and also completed his undergraduate studies at EWU. Gardea is a member of the Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP), National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).

“The Walla Walla School District has offered me opportunities and guidance throughout my career that are irreplaceable,” Gardea said. “I could not be where I am without my family, and the staff and students of Prospect Point Elementary. I would not be able to do my job without these people and the support and encouragement they give me daily.”

Wa-Hi Softball standout signs to play at Fordham

With offers to play softball at Boston College, Georgia Tech and Fordham University, Walla Walla High School standout softball player senior Jordana Storm recently signed her national letter of intent to play at Fordham University. Storm began playing softball at age six through the Blue Mountain Girls Softball Association. Former Wa-Hi Softball coach and mentor Jerry Humphreys started the local league.

“I can not imagine the path my life would have taken had the league not formed,” Storm said. ”I always had a drive to play for Jerry Humphreys in high school. His coaching shaped the player and person I am today.”

Fordham University is located in New York City. Jordana grew up in Walla Walla and wasn’t sure the big city would be a good fit as she reviewed her offers.

“But when I stepped on campus I had a gut feeling that I belonged there,” Storm said. “I enjoyed every minute of my official visit, and as soon as I got home I had pretty much made up my mind that I would become a Fordham Ram.”

Jordana was a multi-sport athlete as a freshman and sophomore where she also played volleyball, basketball and swim team. She decided during her junior year to focus on softball year-round and joined a traveling softball team, the Washington Ladyhawks Gold out of Puyallup, WA. This commitment requires hours of practice on the west-side and tournament play throughout the country. Jordana is planning a career in the medical field specializing in cancer support. She is interested in being a genetic counselor and helping those who have cancer and those families who are affected by it as well.

“I have enjoyed my classes and teachers at Wa-Hi and am happy that I started Running Start at WWCC in my junior year,” Storm said. “I will graduate this spring with both my high school diploma and my Associated Arts degree from WWCC.”

Look for Jordana and her teammates on the field this spring as they compete for another Mid-Columbia Conference title.

Walla Walla  High School students receive Exchange Club of Walla Walla Youth of the Month awards

Congratulations to Walla Walla High School seniors Veronica O’Campo and Lexi Swenson for receiving Exchange Club of Walla Walla Youth of the Month Awards this month. These students will also be eligible to compete for the Exchange Club of Walla Walla Youth of the Year Award and a special $1,000 college scholarship. Mark Higgins is the program coordinator.

2014-15 Youth of the Year Theme:

Veronica O’Campo
Parents names: Leonor Bahena (mother)
GPA: 3.414
Veronica has been involved in honors and advanced placement (AP) throughout her years at Walla Walla High School. Her course load includes Honors Geometry, Honors Sophomore Science, Honors Sophomore English, Honors Algebra 2, AP Language and Composition, AP Biology, Honors French 5-6, and Honors Pre-Calculus. She has been in the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) student for four years.

She has been a member of the Latino club for four years. She currently serves as President of the Latino Club and was Vice President during her junior year. She is a teacher assistant for Garrison Night School and volunteers to help organize the Cinco de Mayo celebration for the community. Next year she plans to attend either Seattle University or University of Washington.

Lexi Swenson
Parents names: Doug and Brenda Swenson
GPA: 3.613
Lexi is an outstanding student and has been a member of the National Honor Society for the past two years. Class load highlights include, AP Literature, AP US Government, AP Language and Composition, Honors Algebra 3-4, Honors English 10, Honors Geometry, Honors English 9, and Honors Freshmen Science. She has been a member of Future Farmers of America (FFA) for four years. She was a member of the Wa-Hi Choir for 9th and 10th grade.

FFA Highlights
- FFA Sentinal 10th grade
- FFA Vice President 11th grade
- FFA President 12th grade
- 3rd at State for Agricultural Issues 10th grade, 2nd at State for Agricultural Issues 11th grade.
- Showed steers at fair from 2011-2014.

She is a varsity tennis and soccer player. She was team captain on the soccer team. She plans to attend Walla Walla Community College for two years and transfer to University of Idaho to study Agricultural Economics.

Pizza deal stocking stuffers

Pioneer Middle School Explorer teacher Dan Calzaretta and parent volunteer Kathryn Southwick Hess are once again planning a trip for Walla Walla students. They recently took a group of students to Europe for an amazing adventure. This time they are planning a trip to Belize for spring break of 2016.

They are organizing a pizza fundraiser in partnership with Big Cheese Pizza. Pizza certificates are available for $10 for any gourmet pizza which is a $19 value.

“These make great stocking stuffers,” says Calzaretta.

If you would like to purchase a certificate, send an email to trip coordinator Kathryn Southwick-Hess, mrstravelmama@gmail.com. She will make the arrangements for payment and certificate delivery.

Green Park’s Brenda Kirk featured in “Why I Teach” series

Green Park Elementary first grade teacher Brenda Kirk demonstrates her passion for education in the “Why I Teach” series. Brenda teaches in the Transitional Bilingual program. She has been a pioneer in this area of education for several decades. Click on the link below to learn more about Brenda Kirk.


Prospect Point forms FIRST Lego League Robotics Teams

Seventeen 4th and 5th grade Prospect Point students have joined together to comprise two FIRST Lego League (FLL) teams. Prospect Point parent, Anne-Marie Anderson, was motivated to start a team after searching locally and failing to find a team for her 4th grade son to join. Thanks to the support of volunteers from the Army Corp of Engineers, parents and Principal Chris Gardea, teams were formed.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), is a nationwide program founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people to be interested and participate in science and technology. The FLL theme changes each year and is drawn from real events in society. This year’s theme revolves around “How do people learn?” There are three primary activities a team works together to accomplish. First, teams need to build and program via a computer a small robot to accomplish challenges. Second, they investigate a research topic, and then prepare a presentation.

Finally, teams incorporate FLL Core Values that include Gracious Professionalism and Cooperation throughout the season. All of these activities culminate in a competition with other teams at a regional tournament, which will be on December 13 at Chief Joseph Middle School in Richland, WA. Students on the two teams have spent evenings and weekends since mid-October working hard to be ready. The “Master Builders” team is coached by Army Corp of Engineers Jeff Lyon & Kyle Shea, and parent Anne-Marie Anderson. The “Fantastic Fours” team is coached by parent volunteers Tim Justice, Les Tyrrell and Damon Burke.

Community Stories
City Parks and Recreation Department Youth Indoor Soccer and Winter Tennis camp registrations accepted

Indoor Youth Soccer
- Late registrations still accepted
- Cost is now $60
- Sign up today while space is still available.

Winter Tennis Camp
- January 5 to 8 or 12 to 16
- Camps available for ages 4 to 18
- Space is limited.

For more information on these programs or to register, please go to www.wwpr.us. Like us on facebook! www.facebook.com/wallawallapr

Walla Walla Sister City informational meeting planned

Walla Walla Sister City Committee will be conducting an information meeting for their 2015 home stay visit to sister city Sasayama Japan on December 10, 2014. The meeting will be at Garrison Middle School at 6 p.m. in the Library. Students and their parents who are interested in participating in the program are cordially invited to attend.

Information: Robert Keatts, Chairman - 525-0049

The Moms’ Network sponsors the Holiday Reading Room

The Moms’ Network is excited to once again sponsor the Holiday Reading Room. As we all scurry to get our holiday shopping done, the Moms’ Network is excited to provide a little family time at the Walla Walla City Library. On Saturday, December 6 from 10 a.m. to noon the children’s area of the library will be filled with holiday cheer and reading. Come enjoy treats, hot chocolate, holiday crafts and holiday stories.

The Walla Walla Symphony is also joining in the fun this year with surprise visitors from the Nutcracker Ballet. A sneak peak of the Symphony’s Ballet will be at 11 a.m.

The Holiday Reading Room is a free family event and every child will receive a free book.

The Moms’ Network of Walla Walla is a grassroots organization that provides an opportunity for parents to communicate, receive and exchange valuable community and parenting information, network with each other and be actively involved in the community. Since inception, the Moms’ Network has advocated for families, provided support for early learning, supported volunteerism, and provided educational opportunities for parents. For more details please contact Beth Swanson at 509-301-7471 or beth@themomsnetworkww.com.

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