Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - December 19, 2014

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories

Golden praised for school board leadership

Newly elected School Board President Sam Wells thanked outgoing President Anne Golden for her service the past two years. Golden has served on the Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors since 1987. She is the former President of the Washington State School Directors Association and is a past member of the National School Boards Association. Prior to presenting Golden with a token of appreciation, Wells reflected on the accomplishments of the district during the past two years and praised her leadership and dedication to service.

School Performance Reports available for public view

School Performance Reports have been completed and are now available online - www.wwps.org. They are also available in limited quantities at all school buildings after winter break. Each district is required to provide these reports annually to give parents and community members easily understandable information on educational programs and assessment results.

Each report includes a brief statement of the mission of the school, enrollment statistics, expenditures per student for the school year, student attendance and graduation/dropout rates, historical information on the school building and an invitation to all parents and citizens to participate in school activities. They also list district and building goals as well as highlights from the previous school year.

Each report also specifically directs the reader to the appropriate pages of the Washington State Report Card website which shows current and historical state and national assessment scores, teacher information and much more specific student demographics.

Personnel Report from December 16, 2014 School Board Meeting

Classified: Jameson Clark, Para-Educator (temporary), Blue Ridge/Sharpstein Elementary
Roy Lightle, Bus Driver, Transportation
David Parker, Bus Driver, Transportation
Madison Snider, Para-Educator (temporary), Blue Ridge Community Preschool

Coaching: Mike Patterson, Head Boys’ Golf Coach, Walla Walla High School

Certificated: Robert Maib, Industrial Arts, Walla Walla High School, 33 years
· Effective June 12, 2015

Classified: Trula McFarley, Para-Educator, Green Park Elementary, 13 years

Certificated: Robert Maib, Industrial Arts, Walla Walla High School, 33 years
· For the remainder of the 2014-2015 school year

Classified: Guadalupe Fraire, Para-Educator, Blue Ridge Elementary, 22 years
· November 2014 – February 2015 (exact return date TBD)

Legacy Ford steps up to help families

Thanks to Legacy Ford of Walla Walla for donating toys and meals to 30 district families in need this Holiday Season. Toy donations are still being collected at the downtown dealership, Shopko, JTI Tractor and Book and Game. Donations for older children are still needed.

“It’s about giving back to the community and making sure the kids in town have a present to open on Christmas,” said Ross Russell, Legacy Ford General Manager who is coordinating the project. “It’s something we do every year and we enjoy seeing the kids happy.”

Winter Break Holiday Schedule

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

District considers GESA Credit Union branch at Walla Walla High School

Executive Director of Business Services Ted Cohan reported to school board members Dec. 16 the district is meeting with GESA Credit Union to discuss the possibility of opening a satellite branch at Walla Walla High School. GESA would also offer financial literacy classes, student work opportunities and banking support as part of the agreement. No decisions were made.

School Stories
Gardea presented Distinguished Principal award

Prospect Point Elementary Principal Chris Gardea was recently selected Distinguished Elementary Principal for the Lake Wallula Region for 2014. Assistant Superintendent Laure Quaresma presented his award during the Dec. 16 school board meeting.

Gardea is now eligible for the National Distinguished Principal award to be decided next Fall. Gardea has been principal at Prospect Point since 2008.

Nominators said Chris Gardea has demonstrated integrity, leadership and a commitment to children. 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.

“Mr. Gardea is visionary, goal-oriented and focused on closing the achievement gap” said Quaresma. “Chris has outstanding communication skills and is adaptable and innovative in his thinking.”

Ballet Folklorico donation to help purchase new dresses

Shakespeare Walla Walla Executive Director Ron Williams presented a check for $2200 to Board President Sam Wells and Ballet Folklorico coach Norma Arceo. The funds were raised through successful shows at the GESA Power House Theatre this fall in support of Hispanic Heritage Month. The funds will help purchase dresses and other equipment for the program.

Berney teacher nominates fellow educator for national prize

Berney Special Education teacher Cindy Daves went on medical leave this fall and fellow teacher Dave Larson stepped in to take over her classroom. Daves nominated Larson for a $250 national Chicken of the Sea pay-it-forward prize to purchase school supplies. The prize was granted to Larson and Tuesday he received his award during an all school assembly.

“I was also humbled by the kindness and thoughtfulness of our co-worker, Cindy Daves, who made the nomination,” said Larson. “We will gratefully put the materials to good use and into the hands of our students.”

Wa-Hi bowler earns state honors

Walla Walla High School student-athlete Miranda Doyle was named the Girls Bowling Student Athlete of the Week by the WIAA. During that span of time, Miranda averaged 160.5 with a high game of 182 and helped lead the Bowling Team to their first match win against Connell and a game win against Kennewick.

Pioneer National Junior Honor Society brings holiday cheer to area families

Pioneer Middle School National Junior Honor Society members and adviser, Alba Biagi, would like to thank everyone who participated in their Salvation Army fundraiser. NJHS students raised money through concession sales and movie nights. NJHS students and Biagi went shopping and spent more than $1,000 raised to support the Salvation Army with the purchase of toys, clothing, and shoes for kids in our community.

"Our Salvation Army drive was a success! The Salvation Army Holiday Assistance program was our community service project for the year and our kids worked hard to help other kids in our community have a great Christmas. I'm so proud of them and we had a great time shopping!" said Biagi.

Sharpstein change drive supports Walla Walla hospital

The Sharpstein PTA recently organized its annual Change-for-Good drive. This  year, the 5th grade students selected Providence St. Mary Foundation as the beneficiary. Earlier this week the students presented a check for $267.36 to the foundation.

Volunteers needed for Senior Presentations

Senior presentations for the Class of 2015 will be held February 18 , 19 and March 24. Assistant Principal Mark Pickel is organizing the presentations and is extending an invitation for the community to participate on a reviewing panel.

“This is a great way to see how our seniors are getting one step closer to graduation and beyond,” Pickel said. “The presentations made by our seniors are wonderful and makes me proud to be a Blue Devil.”

To learn more or sign up for a presentation, contact Mark Pickel: 509-526-8602 / mpickel@wwps.org

Whitman student receives internship to work with AVID students

Congratulations to AVID tutor Molly Emmett for being awarded the 2015 Spring Internship Grant from Whitman College. Emmett will work for Walla Walla School District with a specific focus on the AVID program.

“We are so fortunate to have a dedicated position which will exclusively support AVID and whose primary focus is to develop alternate sources of funding for the AVID program in Walla Walla,” said Sue Weber, WWPS AVID Coordinator.

Below is a brief description of Emmett’s responsibilities:
1. Research and write various types of grants for the district
2. Reach out and develop ongoing community partnerships which will support AVID
3. Work with AVID student ambassadors to speak at local organizations (e.g. Rotary, Exchange Club, Kiwanis etc.)
4. Promote the internship to Whitman and college peers so that this internship will continue

Berney students visit Whitman Planetarium 

Recently Berney Elementary students visited the Whitman College Planetarium. Andrea Dobson, Chair of Astronomy at Whitman College, facilitated the visit.

“It’s a good thing to encourage our young people to look up, particularly in a world that is lit 24/7,” Dobson said. “They are not necessarily going to be thinking about the Earth as a little blue marble hanging in this vast space. If I can give them some pointers in the planetarium about things they might look for, it might encourage them to go out after dark and take a look at the sky.”

Community Stories
When School Is Out – The YMCA Is In!

The YMCA is now registering for winter camps while school is closed for the Christmas season. There are full-day or half-day child care options for children ages 5 years old to 12 years old.

Camps sessions:
- Dec 22, 23, 24, 26, 29, 30, 31 and Jan. 2

The camp includes a fun packed day of rock climbing, arts & crafts, swimming, outdoor recreation, sports and much more. Space is limited. Call the YMCA at 525-8863 to register or register on line at www.wwymca.org.

You do not have to be a YMCA member to take advantage of this fun safe option for your children.

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

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