Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - May 6, 2016

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories

Teacher Appreciation Week: May 2-6

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week and a time to say thank you to our dedicated educators. Tuesday night, Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan reported to school board members Walla Walla Public Schools has the best teachers in the state and he is proud to call Walla Walla his home. Earlier this week, Assistant Superintendent Chris Gardea and Assistant Human Resources Director Liz Campeau delivered tokens of appreciation to teachers. Thanks for all you do!

Personnel Report 

Administrative: Dirk Hansen, Assistant Principal, Walla Walla High School
Certificated: Tracy Gerbino, Fourth Grade Dual, Edison Elementary School
Abigail Luckstead, Science, Pioneer Middle School
Classified: Rodney Outlaw, Para-Educator, Lincoln High School

Matt Bona, Principal, Sharpstein Elementary School, 10 years
Dr. Tracy Williams, Director of Curriculum - District Office, 23 years

Rachel Dee, Special Education, Garrison Middle School, 1 year
Valerie Mims, Second Grade, Blue Ridge Elementary School, 1 year
Lacey Nerdig, Special Education, Green Park Elementary School, 3 years

Sean Healy, Para-Educator, Lincoln High School, 3 months
Sherry Heinrich, Health Clinician, Green Park Elementary, 7 years
Pedro Hernandez, Head Custodian, Edison Elementary School, 21 years
Judith Meier, Cook, Prospect Point Elementary School, 11 years
Sandra Pfeifer, Para-Educator, Berney Elementary School, 9 years
Mireya Vargas, Intervention Specialist, Wa-Hi Opportunity Program, 15 years
Ashley Georgia, Dance Coach, Walla Walla High School, 2 years

Classified: Linda Barker, Head Secretary, Lincoln High School, 25.5 years

May is Partners in Learning Month

Walla Walla School District established Partners in Learning Month in May 2010. This month the district sent more than 130 proclamations and letters of recognition to our Partners in Learning.

“We so appreciate the individuals, businesses, organizations and agencies who partner with the district throughout the year to support our students,” said School Board President Cindy Meyer. “We strive for Excellence in Every Classroom and each of these partners offers unique experiences and opportunities for our students and staff.”

During Tuesday school board meeting, the district recognized its Partners of the Year. These partners have made significant contributions to our school district, staff and students.

Partners of the Year
• AMVETS Post 1111
• World Wide Travel Services
• WW County Traffic Safety Task Force
• Children’s Resilency Initiative

District partners with C2C for community outreach

C2C Community Outreach Public Event
- Thursday, May 12
- 6:30 p.m.
- Carrie Center (711 Carrie St)

Walla Walla Public Schools is teaming with C2C to reach out to families that have typically been under-represented in district conversations. District leaders will ask guests what is working, what needs improvement and how we can best work together. Bilingual Coordinator Angie Pedroza will help the district capture the feedback from this informal gathering. District leaders are also doing a neighborhood walk May 10 at 6 p.m. to inform neighbors about Thursday's event.

School Stories
Public invited to Wa-Hi Cinco de mayo celebration

- Friday, May 6
- Walla Walla High School Commons
- 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

On Friday, May 6, the Walla Walla High School Latino Club is sponsoring a Cinco de mayo celebration in the Walla Walla High School Commons area. The festival will feature a career and activity fair as part of the celebration. The expected fair will include many community partners, colleges, universities, and school clubs. Dinner will be provided by “Dora’s Deli” for the first 400 people who come to the event. Music by Chiawana High School’s Mariachi will be featured. There also will be performances by local community and school groups. The activity fair will include information tables and activities that families or children would enjoy. Those activities will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Annual Art Show features area student artists

Walla Walla Public Schools is hosting its Annual Art Show at SEA-TECH (525 Campus Loop - WWCC) now through Sunday. There will be hundreds of art pieces on display from Walla Walla High SchooI, Lincoln High School, Pioneer Middle School. Garrison Middle School and College Place High School. There will be a Building Principal's Award, Superintendent's Award and Community Partners Award.

Art Show Schedule:
Friday, May 6 from 4 to 6 p.m.
Saturday, May 7 from 12 noon to 2 p.m.
Sunday, May 8 from 12 noon to 2 p.m.

Walla Walla Valley Honda Adopts Blue Ridge Elementary In The Friends Program

Walla Walla Valley Honda, a sponsor and supporter of the child mentoring programs offered by Friends of Children of Walla Walla is the first business in the Walla Walla valley to adopt a school, Blue Ridge, according to Friends Executive Director Jim Byrnes.

“In response to a presentation by the staff at Friends, Blake Underriner, managing partner for the Dealership, generously incentivized all employees to become mentors in the Friends ABC program by compensating them one hour each, per week, for the entire school year starting fall of 2016 at Blue Ridge Elementary School,” Byrnes said. “The ABC program will match WWVH employees to mentor one child each during lunch at Blue Ridge.”

Friends of Children of Walla Walla is a child mentoring agency founded in 1999. Their mission is to improve the Walla Walla Valley Community one child at a time. They also have ABC programs at Davis Elementary in College Place and Prospect Point Elementary in Walla Walla.

Final stages for Wa-Hi track installation

Contractors for Beynon Sports Surfaces Inc. continued work on the new Walla Walla High School track this week as the base rubber surface was put down. They will continue work Monday to seal the track base rubber. Weather permitting, the final blue surface is expected to be applied Wednesday with prep, layout and line painting the following week. Please stay off of the track area until the orange fencing is removed and the track is properly cured for use. The public will have access to the track once it is completed. 

Former state first lady visits preschool program

This week Mona Locke, wife of former Washington state Governor Gary Locke, visited the Head Start/ECEAP preschool program at Blue Ridge. She toured the school and discussed what Walla Walla Public Schools is doing to support early learning. She also visited with children and staff during her stay.

“She was very interested in our Trauma Smart model and impressed with our Early Achievers Rating,” said Director Kerri Coffman.

National Merit Scholarship program recognizes Wa-Hi students

The National Merit Scholarship program has recognized juniors Hannah Cabasco, Noah Deitrick, Stella Gryler, John Hoffman, Amelia Mott and Cameron Peters on the basis of their PSAT scores. Approximately 50,000 PSAT entrants will compete in the next level of the program. In September these high scorers will be notified through their schools that they have qualified as either a Commended Student or Semifinalist. 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 screening of approximately 1.5 million entrants each year—and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements.

"This is a wonderful recognition of some of our best and brightest students,” said Principal Pete Peterson. “Now, we will wait to see if they move forward in September and beyond so we can assist in any way needed."

Note correction: It was previously reported in the Week in Review these students were National Merit Scholarship recipients. This information was not correct. These students have advanced to the next step in the process, but their final status will not be determined until next year.

Head Start/ECEAP students visit local farm

Preschool students in the Head Start/ECEAP program visited Welcome Table Farm this week to learn more about locally grown food. Students toured the farm and asked many questions. 

WWHS JROTC top scoring Cadets win promotion/awards

The Walla Walla High School JROTC “Blue Devils” Cadets Battalion recently announced its newest cadet honorees for March 2016. Competitions were held for Cadet of the Month, Athlete of the Month, and Marksman of the Month for March. Each of the winners was rewarded for their achievement and merit.

Cadet Cpl. Trenton Janson, a first year Cadet in Company F, was promoted to his new rank after winning Cadet of the Month. Cadet 1st Sgt. Jeffery Warner a third year Cadet in Company A was awarded with the Physical Excellence Ribbon for competing and winning Athlete of the Month. Cadet Cpl. Connor Hoeft, a first year Cadet in Company F of the battalion was promoted to his new rank after scoring the highest in the Marksmanship of the month competition.

The top cadets in each of the categories were selected among candidates from our Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps companies who were inspected and examined by a board of advanced cadets, according to Lt. Col. Bill Bialozor, Senior Army Instructor for the WWHS JROTC program.

Wa-Hi JROTC cadets participate in the program to develop leadership skills and to strive to be better citizens. Many cadets compete on drill, marksmanship and physical training teams and get to travel to and compete at meets that include Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy cadet programs from the 16 schools in the Cascade Division.

Meet the Garrison Principal for Coffee

The Moms’ Network is excited to announce the May coffee meetings at Garrison Middle School with Principal Robert Elizondo. The May meetings will concentrate on State Tests and Summer Programs. On Wednesday, May 11, the event will be in Spanish and on Friday, May 13 the event will be in English. Both coffee meetings begin at 8 a.m. at Garrison in room 171. Please check in at the front desk to get a visitors badge and directions. All parents and guardians are invited to participate including 5th grade parents of students who will be attending Garrison in the fall of 2016. For more information or to suggest a topic please contact Armida Contreras at acontreras@wwps.org

Music students perform in state contest

Congratulations to the following Walla Walla High School music students for performing in the 2016 WIAA State Solo & Ensemble Contest.

“This group of musicians are truly some of the finest High School Musicians in the State of Washington,” said District Music Coordinator Roger Garcia.

Music Students:
- Hannah Cabsaco - Clarinet
- Romey Drabek - Soprano
- Peter Hoffman - Viola
- Brisa Reyes - Alto
- Derek Swanson - Tenor
- Hannah Cabsco & Kelli McKern - Small Woodwind Ensemble Category (Clarinet Duet)
- Lavinia Tang & Bryson Jacob - Small String Ensemble Category (Violin Duet)

Entrepreneurship class students join H&R Block Budget Challenge - By Wa-Hi Journal

Motivated by the opportunity to achieve a $100,000 scholarship, Entrepreneurship students spent ten weeks paying bills on time, learning about student loan debt and interest, managing a credit card and other expenses, dealing with unexpected events, and stashing money away in their 401k’s in an attempt to earn the big money. The H&R Block Budget Challenge simulation ended on April 21 with 21 students who learned about personal finance but didn’t win the ultimate prize.

The Entrepreneurship class, which is a new Wa-Hi course this year, participated in the H&R Block Budget Challenge with 53,520 other students. Sophomore Andrew Buttice topped the charts at number 49, followed closely by senior Andrew Ungerecht at number 270.

“My strategy was to plan ahead. I saw when bills were coming in, and I planned ahead by putting them into the spreadsheet and saw how much I could put into my savings,” Buttice said. “I learned the most from the quizzes.”

Because of the timing of the simulation, students were still paying bills during the school’s spring break, dealing with a cash flow on a tight budget. Every participant managed the same overall scenario, but based on decisions made prior to the game, like choosing between two auto insurance options or which retirement plan, students had to make independent decisions and track their own money to balance their current and future cash needs during the game.

“If entrepreneurs don’t have a good handle on their own personal finances, it’s rather hard to be successful with business finances,” School of Business teacher Gay Buissink said. “There was a steep learning curve with the simulation this year that won’t be there next year. The class ranked number 170 out of 2,450 classes. I really think the students did very well for a first run at this.”

A daily leaderboard helped students know where they stood in the Challenge. The H&R Block Budget Challenge website emphasizes learning-by-doing, even through mistakes, and staying engaged was critical to student success, including downloading the app and receiving notifications from the simulation.

Junior Abby Coombes ranked number 621 and earned a perfect score, 100 percent, in the engagement rating for the game. “I had the app on my phone, so when I got bored, I’d check it,” Coombes said. “I checked it a lot.”

The Entrepreneurship class includes units in economics, marketing, business law and finances, all topics that entrepreneurs need to think about. “The class is an overview of business, but I try to keep it lively and fun,” Buissink said. “Students do have the opportunity to create their own potential business and pitch it, like on Shark Tank.”

SEA-TECH benches on sale now - get them while they last!

Students in the SEA-TECH Advanced Manufacturing and Welding program have created beautiful benches that are now on sale to the public. These benches are perfect for your home or business. These durable and decorative benches are $400 and the table is $325. They are powder coated, stained in a solid color stain (cedar or redwood) and available for pick up at SEA-TECH (525 Campus Loop -- WWCC). Custom orders are also being taken. For more information, contact instructor James Polson at 509-526-2000 or by email at jpolson@wwps.org.

Wa-Hi Drama presents The Little Mermaid

The Wa-Hi Drama Department is pleased to present Disney’s The Little Mermaid with performances at 7 p.m. on May 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, and 21 and 2 p.m. Saturday matinees May 14 and 21.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the ASB office between 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., or at the box office located in the Wa-Hi auditorium foyer one hour prior to curtain, or online at intouch.wwps.org. If you have questions about ticketing or the production, please email info@wahidrama.org.

GEAR UP announces Summer Programs

May 7 Eastern Washington University……... EWU, Cheney
June 10-11 Idaho Campus Visits………………………. Boise State and TBD
June 20-22 Greater Portland Area Campus Visit PSU, Western Oregon, Pacific U
June 27-30 WSU Cougar Discovery………………….. WSU—Tri– Cities
June 25-July 1 Washington Business Week………….. Seattle University
July 11-14 Prep for College Success……………….. WWCC
July 18-21 Prep for College Success……………….. WWCC
July 24-30 Washington Business Week…………... Central Washington University
August 8-11 Algebra 2 Readiness Camp…………….. Walla Walla High School
August 8-11 College Essay Writing Workshop……. Walla Walla High School
August 15-18 Summer STEM Camp…………………….. WWCC

Blue Day at Prospect Point promotes Juvenile Arthritis awareness

Prospect Point  students organized Blue Day today to raise awareness about Juvenile arthritis (JA). Also known as pediatric rheumatic disease, JA is an umbrella term used to describe the many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions or pediatric rheumatic diseases that can develop in children under the age of 16. Juvenile arthritis affects nearly 300,000 children in the United States.   Today’s event was being spearheaded by 5th grade student Jack Wanichek, along with the PALS program.  The students produced a Public Service Announcement which is airing on Charter Media.

Blue Devil Athletic Development (BDAD) summer program 

- Athletic strength development and conditioning
- June 27 to August 4
- Grades 9-12 time options are 8 to 9 a.m. and 10 to 11 a.m.
- Grades 5-8 time is 9 to 10 a.m.
- Cost: $30 per person
- Register with FamilyID on wahibluedevils.org or in the ASB office
- Information: Contact Eric or Amy Hisaw - ehisaw@wwps.org / ahisaw@wwps.org

Community Stories
Car seat check up

Local statistics show 9 out of 10 car seats are installed incorrectly. Nationally certified car seat technicians will be available to ensure your child’s car seat is installed correctly.

- Tuesday, May 24
- 2 to 5 p.m.
- Children’s Home Society (1612 Penny Lane)
- Free

Altrusa Spelling Bee results

Altrusa International of Walla Walla hosted its annual Spelling Bee Saturday, April 30, at the SEA-TECH Skills Center. Sponsors included Advanced Sign Concepts, Key Technology, Narum Construction, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Columbia REA, Les Schwab Tires, Graphic Apparel, Jacky’s Flowers, Larry Siegel Law Office and Walla Walla Public Schools.
Following are the top spellers from each grade level competition:

5th Grade:
First Place: Brock Munsey (Berney)
Second Place: Angel Arteaga (Vista Hermosa)
Third Place: Mohit Patel (Green Park)
Fourth Place: Marcus Christopher (Berney)

4th Grade:
First Place: Aaron Middlemas (Davis)
Second Place: Kieron Moreno (Edison)
Third Place: Meg Hokanson (Prospect Point)
Fourth Place: Mason Wilwand (Davis)

3rd Grade:
First Place: Eva Carlson (Prospect Point)
Second Place: Abby Rolfe (Prospect Point)
Third Place: James Didelius (Assumption)
Fourth Place: Gianna Guzman (Assumption)

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