Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - Feb. 19, 2016

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
District names finalists for superintendent position

Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors named Dr. Kent Kultgen, Dr. Molly Ringo and Mr. Wade Smith as the three finalists to compete for the open superintendent position. The superintendent finalist candidates will return to the district February 29, March 1 and 2 for full-day meet and greet sessions with staff and the community at the district office board room and then conduct follow-up interviews with the school board. Current Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan is retiring June 30, 2016. The new superintendent will assume the duties of the position July 1, 2016.

Finalist Candidates Professional Highlights

Dr. Kent Kultgen, Superintendent – Helena School District; Helena, MT
Dr. Kultgen has been Superintendent in the Helena School District since 2012. He was also Superintendent of the Stevensville Schools, Stevensville, MT and Choteau Schools, Choteau, MT. He has 11 years of experience as a Social Studies teacher in Choteau Middle and High Schools and Hindale School, grades 7-12. He received his Doctorate and Master’s Degrees from Montana State University and his undergraduate degree from Northern Montana College. He is a Helena Chamber of Commerce board member and is active in the Helena Rotary Club.

Dr. Molly Ringo, Asst. Superintendent for Teaching and Learning – Everett Public Schools; Everett, WA
Dr. Ringo has been Assistant Superintendent for K-12 Education in the Everett School District since 2012. She has also served as Executive Director for K-12 Education and Human Resources for Everett during her tenure. She has also been the Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and Student Learning and Executive Director of Personnel for the Puyallup School District. Other administrative assignments include Director of Curriculum for the Highline School District and Elementary principal assignments in the Auburn School District and Corvallis School District. She has special education teaching experience in Oregon. Dr. Ringo received her Doctorate degree from Columbia University and Master’s Degree in Special Education from Portland State University and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Oregon State University. She completed her undergraduate studies in elementary education at Oregon State University. She is active in the Everett Public Schools Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Snohomish County and the Snohomish County YMCA.

Mr. Wade Smith, Deputy Superintendent – Hermiston School District, Hermiston, OR
Mr. Smith has been Interim/Deputy Superintendent for the Hermiston School District since 2011. He assumed the role of superintendent for Hermiston School District from 2011 to 2013 while the superintendent was on military leave abroad. He was also Assistant Superintendent for Support Services for Hermiston School District for four years and Assistant Superintendent and Principal of the Morrow County School District. He has been a secondary education science teacher in the Long Creek School District. Mr. Smith is enrolled in a doctorate program through Concordia University. He earned his Administrative/Superintendent license through Lewis and Clark College and has a Masters of Arts in Teaching and Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Willamette University. He is President of the Hermiston Kiwanis Club and Co-chairman of the Hermiston Futures Task Force.

Meet the Superintendent Candidates Public Forums
- Dr. Molly Ringo - Monday, February 29 - 5 to 6:15 p.m. (District boardroom 364 S. Park St.)
- Dr. Kent Kultgen - Tuesday, March 1 - 5 to 6:15 p.m. (District boardroom 364 S. Park St.)
- Mr. Wade Smith - Wednesday, March 2 - 5 to 6:15 p.m. (District boardroom 364 S. Park St.)

No school February 25 and 26

There is no school Thursday, Feb. 25 and Friday, Feb. 26 due to school conferences. Classes resume Monday, Feb. 29. 

Snow make-up date announced

Winter weather forced the district to cancel school Dec. 4. Board members voted to revise the 2015-16 school year calendar. June 8 will now be a full day of school and Thursday, June 9 will serve as the snow make up day. This will be a half day for all students and the last day of school for the year. 

Board meeting date change

The March 1 regularly scheduled school board meeting has been moved to Thursday, March 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the district office. The March 1 meeting date and time conflicted with Superintendent finalist interviews. 

February 2016 – Parent/Teacher Conference Schedules

Berney Elementary
Wednesday, February 24: 3:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 25: 8:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Blue Ridge Elementary
Feb. 16 through 24: Teachers will schedule and hold their own evening conferences.
Thursday, February 25: 8:00 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Edison Elementary
Wednesday, February 24: 2:15 - 6:45 p.m.
Thursday, February 25: 8:00 a.m. –7:00 p.m.

Green Park Elementary
Tuesday, February 23: 3:15 – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 24: 2:15 – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 25: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Prospect Point Elementary
Monday, February 22: 3:30 – 7:15 p.m.
Wednesday, February 24: 3:30 - 7:15 p.m.
Thursday, February 25: 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Sharpstein Elementary
Tuesday, February 23: 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 24: 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 25: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Garrison Middle School
Wednesday, February 24: 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 25: 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 25 (arena): 3:45 – 7:15 p.m.

Pioneer Middle School
Tuesday, February 23: 4:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, February 24: 4:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 25: Professional Day

Lincoln High School
Monday, February 22: 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 24: 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 25: 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Walla Walla High School
Wednesday, February 24 (Drop In Arena): 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 25 (Classroom): 7:30 a.m. – Noon
Thursday, February 25 (Phone, e-mail progress reports): 12:45 – 6:15 p.m.

Wednesday, February 24, Scheduled Conferences: 4:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 25, Scheduled Conferences: 7:30 a.m. – 6:15 p.m.

Blue Ridge Preschool
Monday, February 22: 3:45 - 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, February 23: 3:45 – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 24: 3:45 – 5:45 p.m.
Thursday, February 25: 8:00 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Personnel Report (from February 16, 2016 School Board Meeting)

Certificated: Kristin Glaeser, Drama .8 FTE (temporary), Walla Walla High School
Classified: Rick Pummel, Assistant Director of Technology, Technology Department

Certificated: Natalie Allen-Tibbling, History, Lincoln High School, 24 years
Tina Brennan, Fourth Grade, Blue Ridge Elementary School, 6 years
Milissa Gierman, LAP, Berney Elementary School, 17 years
Lynn Junke, English/Language Arts, Pioneer Middle School, 13 years
Karen Leier, Third Grade, Green Park Elementary School, 22 years
Terry Morgan, Kindergarten, Sharpstein Elementary School, 26 years
Judy Peasley, Fifth Grade, Edison Elementary School, 32 years
Carolyn Pemberton, Math, Walla Walla High School, 11 years
Scott Tibbling, Physical Education, Walla Walla High School, 30 years
Josh Wheatley, Math/Science, Opportunity Program, 3 years

Classified: Eunice DeWitt, Para-Educator, Green Park Elementary School, 22 years

Classified: Jazmin Ornelas, Assistant Secretary, Edison Elementary School, 2 years
- For the 2016-2017 school year

District considers adding bus loop at Green Park Elementary

Executive Director of Business Services Ted Cohan reported during the Tuesday evening school board meeting the district is considering taking advantage of the Isaacs Ave. construction project to add a bus loop on the south-side of Green Park Elementary. This would separate parent drop-off and pick-up from school buses and improve safety. A similar bus loop was installed at Prospect Point and is working well. Ideally the project would be completed in the summer of 2017 and be in place to start the 2017-2018 school year. The cost for the bus loop is approximately $230,000. District officials will need to make a decision by May to meet the permitting and bid requirements timeline.

School Stories
School zone safety team conducts Sharpstein site visit

Members of the district’s School Zone Safety Team traveled to Sharpstein Elementary recently to do an assessment of the school as it relates to school zone safety. The team, which includes Ki Bealey (City Public Works Director), Steve Potter (WW Police), Kathryn Southwick Hess (Safe Travels Alliance Chair), Dan Johnson (WWPS Facilities Support Director), Steve Olson (WWPS Transportation Director), Mark Higgins (WWPS Communications Director) and parent volunteers Karri Bruce and Heather Burr, looked at the school bus loading zones, signage, painted curbing and parent drop-off and pick-up areas.

The group will get together again with Principal Matt Bona to review the notes and discuss if any adjustments or changes are recommended. The School Zone Safety Team has conducted site visits at all district schools. Many improvements have been made across the district as a result of this work. The team is also reaching out to local law enforcement to encourage them to have more police car presence is school zones from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. as another strategy to improve safety.

Damaged playground equipment replaced at Prospect Point

This week contractors installed new playground equipment at Prospect Point. The original playground equipment was damaged this winter when a car lost control at night and hit it. The students will be able to use the new playground starting next week.

AVID Recognition Night planned at Walla Walla High School

The AVID Department and AVID students invite the community to attend the annual AVID Recognition Night. The event begins in the commons with dessert at 7 p.m. and transition to the Performing Arts Auditorium for student speeches and presentations from 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Latino Club teams with Whitman College to explore Cesar Chavez

The Walla Walla High School Latino Club and the Whitman Teaches program is organizing an event to learn more about Cesar Chavz at the school’s auditorium on Friday, March 4 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. The program will feature a short film on Cesar Chavez, groups discussions, and student statements about how Cesar Chavez has made a difference in the lives of farm workers. The program is expected to draw about 100 students. 

Wa-Hi student named semi-finalist for National Merit Scholar program 

Congratulations to Ryan Manny for being named a National Merit Scholar Finalist. Ryan made the final cut from more than 16,000 semi-finalists. The process now moves to the final round  to determine 7,400 winners. The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), a test which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.5 million entrants each year.

SEA-TECH teams with Big Cheese pizza for fundraiser

Community members are invited to support the SEA-TECH ASB at Big Cheese Customer Appreciation Day Wednesday, February 24. A portion of the proceeds will help support the SEA-TECH ASB.

“This is a wonderful fundraising and volunteer opportunity for our students to earn money for our school ASB,” said CTE/SEA-TECH Director Dennis Matson. “Hope to see you there to enjoy pizza at a great price and support our students!”

Community Stories

AAUW annual Book Sale starts today and continues over weekend

Don’t miss the 41st Annual AAUW (American Association of University Women) Book Sale at the Marcus Whitman Hotel, Friday, Feb. 19, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 20, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb 21, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please note the new earlier start time on Friday. Children (14 and younger) each receive one free book from the extensive children’s section.  The Book Sale’s approximately 40,000 books are divided into more than 40 categories.  Prices range from $.50 to $4 for most titles.  A special book section featuring rare, collectible books are priced individually. Credit and debit cards will be accepted this year, along with checks and cash.  Proceeds from the sale fund local scholarships for women returning to college, and local educational projects and events.

Parks & Recreation update

- Mother & Son Superhero Bash - February 20 - Ages 3 & up - $15
- Father & Daughter Valentine Ball - February 27 - Ages 3 & up - $15
- Belly Dancing - Starts March 3 - Ages 12 & up - $65

You must pre-register for all of these events and space is limited so don't wait. For more information on these programs or to register, please go to www.wwpr.us. Like on Facebook! www.facebook.com/wallawallapr

Girls Council teams with Whitman College students to present “Operation Beautiful”

Girls Council is planning “Operation Beautiful” Friday, February 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. at its headquarters at 401 W. Main Street, Walla Walla.  Whitman College students are pitching in for this evening of fun aimed at changing the way participants see, not the way they look.  There will be fun, food and prizes. For more information call the Girls Council at (509) 524-8845.

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