Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - Jan. 4, 2013

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories


District Stories
 Wa-Hi Principal offers public tours of school
Walla Walla High School Principal Pete Peterson is organizing public tours of Wa-Hi to educate the community on the school’s facility needs. Please help share this information with parents and community members. We need people to come on campus to learn more about its needs. There are many opportunities to participate. Below is the tour schedule. Ballots mail out to voters Jan. 25 and must be postmarked by Feb. 12.

Wa-Hi Bond Tours

Saturday Tours
- January 12, 19 and 26
- 1 to 3 p.m.
- Wa-Hi Commons (tours begin)

Drop-in Tours
- January 11 & 25
- 9 to 10 a.m.
- Wa-Hi Main Office (tours begin)

Tours Prior to Wa-Hi Basketball games
- January 4, 5, 12, 15, 26
- 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
- Wa-Hi Main Gym Lobby (tours begin)

 School board votes to return any excess funds from Wa-Hi bond proposal back to taxpayers
During a special meeting December 21, Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors voted to return excess funds to the taxpayers should voters approve the February 12, 2013 special election proposal to modernize Walla Walla High School and the project comes in under budget. The vote was 4-to-1 with school board member Mr. Carrera voting against the resolution.

Board members approved Resolution No. 15-2012 to officially revise the bond proposal to state the district will reduce the tax burden on the district’s property owners should there be any excess bond funds once the project is completed.

"If this helps us pass the bond, then I’m all for it," said Anne Golden, School Board President. "We are good stewards of taxpayer’s dollars and we want to continue to model this practice."

Visit the district website at

www.wwps.org to learn more about the Walla Walla High School bond proposal.

 Superintendent Miller takes viewers on a walking tour of Wa-Hi
Walla Walla Public Schools will seek a $48 million bond on the February 12, 2013 Special Election to fund a $69.6 million modernization of Walla Walla High School. A new video has been added to the district web site and YouTube page featuring Superintendent Mick Miller taking viewers on a walking tour of the campus. Staff and students describe the facility and its needs. View the video and learn more about the bond proposal at: www.wwps.org

Per the bond proposal, all of the existing 1963 buildings will be remodeled and upgraded in the design to reduce costs. The project is eligible for $21.6 million in State Matching dollars which will be used on the Wa-Hi project.

Cost is an increase of 68 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. The recently approved College Place School District bond was $2.67 per $1,000 of assessed value.

 No School January 21 - Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday
There will be no school Monday, January 21 in observation of Martin Lurther King, Jr. Day. Classes resume Tuesday, January 22.
 Superintendent’s Patron Tour program will take community members to Blue Ridge, Wa-Hi and Lincoln HS
Superintendent Mick Miller is continuing his Superintendent’s Patron Tour program Wednesday, January 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Guests will visit Blue Ridge Elementary, Walla Walla and Lincoln High Schools as part of the program.

This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the Wa-Hi bond proposal and see the needs first-hand. Patron Tour guests will meet with Superintendent Miller, tour schools and conclude with lunch and a debriefing. If you are interested in participating in a Patron Tour, contact Communications Director Mark Higgins: 509.526.6716 or by email: mhiggins@wwps.org.

 Explorer referrals begin this month
Referral forms and information for the 2013-14 Explorer (Gifted Education) Program will be available in all district elementary and middle schools this month. Parents with students in grades 2 through 7 will be able to contact their child’s teacher or school learning specialist/middle school counselor for more information. Program information will also be available on the district website.

Walla Walla School District’s Explorer Program provides students of high academic and intellectual ability with designated time to explore concepts in greater depth. Classes are currently offered for students in grade three through eight. The Explorer curriculum for third through fifth grades focuses primarily on mathematics, science, oral and written communication and critical thinking skills. Elementary students are bussed to Sharpstein Elementary School for two half-days per week. At each middle school, curriculum focuses on the humanities, drawn from the areas of language arts and social studies, and offers advanced, but parallel, learning opportunities.

The referral deadline will be slightly earlier this year: February 13, 2013. All referred students will take a norm-referenced standardized test and those who qualify for further testing will participate in cognitive abilities testing, also at their home schools. In all cases, parents will be notified of the results of the process, and a child not selected one year may be referred again in subsequent years. For more information, please contact the Walla Walla School District Curriculum and Instruction office: 509-526-6735.

 City receives grant dollars to install sidewalks near Garrison Middle School
CITY OF WALLA WALLA -- The City of Walla Walla submitted three grant applications this fall to the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) and all three requests were successful in receiving funding awards. The projects receiving grants consist of:

1. The Rose Street pavement rehabilitation project – phase 1. This project received $200,000 from TIB’s pavement preservation grant program. This grant will supplement local funding for the inaugural project funded by the Transportation Benefit District (voter approved 0.2% sales tax increase). Construction is expected to begin in July 2013.

2. The Orchard Street Sidewalk Improvements project. This project received $161,760 from TIB’s sidewalk grant program adding to the $269,330 in Transportation Enhancement grant funding previously secured for this multi-partner project (Walla Walla County, Walla Walla School District, Valley Transit, Walla Walla County Fair Board, City of College Place, City of Walla Walla). This project will provide safety enhancements and add sidewalks to both sides of Orchard Street between 9

thAvenue and Chase Avenue. Construction is scheduled to begin in June 2013.

3. The Wilbur Avenue Street, Sidewalk and Utility Improvements project. This project received $535,207 from TIB’s Urban Arterial Program. This project will reconstruct Wilbur Avenue from Whitman Street to Pleasant Street including new curbs, sidewalks, street lights and utilities. Other funding sources for this project include the 0.2% voter approved sales tax from the city’s Transportation Benefit District and Infrastructure Repair and Replacement program (IRRP) funding (IRRP is funded through the city’s water, sewer and stormwater utility rates). Construction is slated to begin spring 2014.

Questions about the grant awards may be directed to the Engineering Division at 527-4537.

School Stories
 Blue Devil Athletic Hall of Fame names Class of 2013
Walla Walla High School Athletic Hall of Fame is inducting five new members Saturday, January 12 during the Kennewick basketball game. The ceremony will be held between the girls’ and boys’ double header basketball games at approximately 7:15 p.m.

The Blue Devil Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2013: Eric O’Flaherty - Class of 2003, Phil Reser - Class of 1965, Bill Till - Class of 1952, Randy McDougall - Class of 1968 and Dick Turner - Class of 1952.

"In1992, the men who had played football for Coach Felix Fletcher raised over $200,000 to help build, finish and furnish the Felix Fletcher Team Room and establish the Blue Devil Athletic Hall of Fame in memory of their coach," said Bill Bieloh, Athletic Hall of Fame Chair. "Since that time, the room and the Hall of Fame have been, and continues to be supported by donations from Wa-Hi alumni."

These five outstanding Wa-Hi athletes will join the 43 outstanding athletes and citizens who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. A reception will follow the induction ceremony in the Fletcher Athletic Team Room for the new inductees, former inductees, family, friends and Big Blue Boosters.

Eric O’Flaherty - Class of 2003: As a senior, Eric was a Big Nine All Conference pitcher and named the leagues’ Player of the Year. He was drafted out of high school by the Seattle Mariners and was the first rookie in major league history to post a sub 1.00 ERA in 70 appearances. He is also the first pitcher in Mariners history to begin his major league career with seven consecutive wins. He is currently pitching for the Atlanta Braves.

Phil Reser - Class of 1965: Phil started 70 consecutive baseball games for the Blue Devils and led the team in hitting, RBI’s and stolen bases. In the summer, he hit .459 for the American Legion team and moved on to the University of Idaho where he earned all Big Sky honors. In 1968 he led the NCAA nationally in doubles, was third in RBI’s and eleventh in hitting with a .408 average. He finished his career at Idaho hitting .416 and was awarded the prestigious Rich Fox Award for the athlete who had the highest four year grade point average. He signed a professional contract with the Chicago Cubs and finished his career with the Triple A Tacoma team in the Pacific Coast League.

Bill Till - Class of 1952: Bill played football, baseball and basketball for the Blue Devils earning eight varsity letters. He was All District in basketball as a senior and was elected captain of his football, baseball and basketball teams. He was named to the All-State High School Football Team and was awarded a football scholarship to the University of Washington. At graduation from Wa-Hi, he was honored with the Brown Trophy which was awarded to the most outstanding athlete in the class. Bill coached football at Pasco High School and in 1962 his team was the league co-champions along with the Wa-Hi Blue Devils. He was also named the league football coach of the year in 1974.

Randy McDougall - Class of 1968: Randy played football, baseball and wrestled for Wa-Hi earning eight varsity letters. He was an All Conference running back in football and twice placed in the district wrestling tournament. He was All Conference in baseball batting .386 as a senior. He received a scholarship to the University of Idaho then transferred to Walla Walla Community College where he was recognized as one of the top five receivers in the nation. He finished his college career at Weber State where he twice earned second team All Conference honors in football and was the Big Sky 177 pound wrestling champion. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos and finished his football career in Canada where he played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders as a defensive back.

Dick Turner - Class of 1952: Dick lettered in football, boxing and track at Wa-Hi, was the student body president and played the lead role in the all school play, "January Thaw". He was All Conference in track as a junior and senior, and was the track team’s captain as a senior. He won the state track meet with a javelin throw of 189’8" which was the third best throw in the nation by a high school athlete. He was selected as a Scholastic Coach Magazine Track All American. He was the undefeated league and district champion as a 200 pound heavyweight boxer. He was so good that he won many of his bouts by default because coaches of the other teams would not let their boxers get into the ring with him.

 Walla Walla High School Scholarship Fair
Walla Walla High School announces its first annual Scholarship Fair to be held on January 15 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Wa-Hi Commons. The purpose of the Fair is to provide an opportunity for local scholarship sponsors to meet Wa-Hi students and share application forms and eligibility requirements for their scholarships. Scholarships are available for a wide variety of post high school education programs, including specific skill training, community college, and university programs.

All local clubs and organizations that offer a high school scholarship are encouraged to be part of this event. Contact the Wa-Hi Career Center at 509-526-8680 to reserve a table at the Fair or to obtain further information regarding this event.

 Pioneer Middle School sends gifts to heal broken hearts to Newtown, Connecticut community
Pioneer Middle School students, with the leadership and support of Principal Mira Gobel, recently made thousands of origami cranes out of paper to send to the students and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School following their tragic school shooting.

In ancient Japanese legend, the crane is considered one of the mystical creatures and is believed to live for a thousand years. According to the legend, if you make one thousand origami cranes -- one for each year of the crane’s life -- and make a wish, the crane will grant the wish.

The Pioneer students and staff made a wish that the people of Newtown Connecticut will have their broken hearts healed. They made another wish that such a tragedy would never happen again. Pioneer Middle School students and staff also plan to make cranes for Green Park, Edison, Berney, Blue Ridge, Prospect Point, and Sharpstein Elementary Schools, as well as for their own school.

 Walla Walla Public High Schools Scholarship Fund tops $25,000 mark
Walla Walla High School graduate Jerry Zahl, who founded the Walla Walla Public High Schools Scholarship Fund, reports it has already grown to over $25,000 in just nine months. This is an endowment fund managed by the Blue Mountain Community Foundation. Zahl established the fund to help students receive money for college for generations to come. Gifts are welcome

from anyone, at any time, according to Zahl. Gifts may be made by mailing the Blue Mountain Community Foundation at P O Box 603,Walla Walla,WA; or online at bluemountainfoundation.org.

Community Stories
 Citizens for Schools Meeting to discuss Wa-Hi Bond - Tuesday, Jan. 8
The Walla Walla Citizens for Schools meeting date has been changed to Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 6:30 p.m. in district office board room. It was originally scheduled for Monday, Jan. 7.

- Meeting Topic: Walla Walla High School bond proposal

- All staff and members of the public are welcome to attend

- Meeting contacts: Craig Sievertsen (509.301.5205 / csievertsen@bannerbank.com) & Shannon Bergevin (509.301.1449 / shannon.bergevin@expresspros.com)

 Public library invites community to "Library Saturday" tomorrow
- "Library Saturday"

- Saturday, Jan. 5

- 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

- Visit the library for stories, hot cider, art, cookies, music, fun and thousands of great books. Special guests make the party come alive so be ready for surprises.

"The library is a huge bargain," says Liz George of the city library. "The new nonresident card is just $68 for your whole household. If you live in Walla Walla, your taxes cover the cost of our exceptional library and you are entitled to a library card. The card is free. A Walla Walla household pays just $68 in tax per year to enjoy 121,246 books, movies, audiobooks, e-books, cake pans and more. Amazing. With our new $68 nonresident card, the same $68 per household rate is available to anyone, from anywhere. Wow. Many families who live in Walla Walla county are eligible for a $68 rebate too."

 2102 Marine Corps Toys for Tots Drive a huge success in Walla Walla - By Beth Swanson
As the US Marine Corp. celebrated the 65th Anniversary of the Toys for Tots Foundation, Walla Walla celebrated its 6th annual Toys for Tots Drive in the Valley.

"I am so grateful to the community for embracing Toys for Tots" says Beth Swanson, local Toys for Tots coordinator. "The support we receive from businesses, organizations and individuals enable us to reach over 350 local families in need with the basic idea that every child deserves Christmas. It is truly overwhelming for me the level of giving in our community."

This year toys were distributed to 996 local children in Walla Walla and Columbia County ranging in age from newborn to 18 years old. Once again Toys for Tots worked closely with St. Vincent de Paul, Walla Walla Public Schools, Children’s Home Society, the YWCA, the medical centers and other nonprofits to insure that every child in the Walla Walla Valley received a little Christmas.

Thank you to all the organizations that supported the campaign this year; The Moms’ Network, Book & Game, Community Bank, the Early Learning Coalition, Providence St. Mary Medical Center, Falkenbergs Jewelers, Inland Cellular, Assumption School, AAA Washington, NAPA, O’Brien Chevrolet, Windermere, John L. Scott, Walla Walla Bread Company, Parent to Parent, Walla Walla Sweets, Legacy Ford, Walgreens, Bank of America, Gesa Credit Union, Starbucks, Pioneer Middle School, Wa-Hi, Sweet Putt, Del Taco, YWCA Ice Chalet, Va Piano, Sunrise Dental, Carnegie Art Lab, Wal-Mart, Pepsi, AmericanWest Bank, Waitsburg Hardware & Mercantile, the Country Cupboard in Dayton, the Church of the Latter Day Saints Missionaries, St. Paul’s Church and the Combat Veterans International Motorcycle Group.

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