Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - Feb. 22, 2013

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District Stories


School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
 School Board plans public meeting Tuesday, Feb. 26 to discuss failed Wa-Hi bond proposal
School board members are conducting a public work session Tuesday, Feb. 26 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the district board room (364 S. Park St.) to discuss the failed Wa-Hi bond proposal. This will be an opportunity for the school board to discuss options and listen to input. We truly want your voice to be heard during this process and welcome your involvement!
 Chief Financial Officer to retire in June
Chief Financial Officer Pat Johnston announced she plans to retire June 30, 2013. Johnston has been employed in the district for 21 years, including five as CFO. She thanked her staff for their dedication and support over the years.
 Blue Ridge teacher named state presenter for new Teacher and Principal Evaluation Project (TPEP)
District on track to meet new legislative requirements

Assistant Superintendent of Personnel Laure Quaresma, WWVEA President Margo Piver and Blue Ridge Elementary teacher Tina Brennan updated the school board Tuesday night on the Teacher/Principal Evaluation Project (TPEP).

Walla Walla Public Schools is piloting the new model this year with about 20 percent of district teachers. Quaresma reports the State Steering Committee recommends all districts move to the new evaluation system for all classroom teachers and principals in 2013-14, with some classroom teachers on the Focused and some on the Comprehensive model.

Teachers will be evaluated on the eight state criteria as well as the student growth criteria and impact on student learning. Quaresma reports the local districts will have flexibility on which types of assessment tools to use to determine the student achievement gains measured between two points in time. Quaresma thanked the TPEP team for investing their time and talents into developing an implementation plan which is ahead of the legislative timeline. Brennan was selected by the state to serve as a TPEP presenter. She will be authorized to facilitate training throughout the state. Previously, district staff had to travel to Tri-Cities and Yakima for this training which impacted time and district funds.

 Board approves resolution denouncing Sequestration
School board members Tuesday night unanimously approved a resolution urging Congress and the administration to avoid sequestration by amending both the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the American Taxpayer Relief Act. This move was taken to help mitigate the drastic cuts to education the sequestration would cause across America.
 District representatives testify in Olympia in support of applied diploma option
 School board member Cindy Meyer and Superintendent Mick Miller traveled to Olympia Feb. 8 to testify in favor of Senate Bill 5477. This bill would allow for an applied diploma as well as a standard diploma. Miller says an applied diploma would allow students to take fewer math and English courses and "substitute" courses in applied areas such as technology, fine and performing arts, and career and technical education.

"While the bill is not perfect, I believe it is a step in the right direction," Miller said. "Currently, the diploma in Washington is "one size fits all" and is very much geared for four year college entry requirements."

This year, 16,000 seniors in Washington are on track to graduate in regards to the credits they have earned, but have not met the end of course exams in Algebra or Geometry. Students have one more chance with a "collection of evidence" as an alternative assessment.

"I am supportive of this because it gives kids more options and provides more relevance to their educational experience," Miller said. "Candidly, I do not believe this particular bill will be successful moving out of committee, but the discussion has begun."

 Bond chair praised for dedication and support
School board members and Superintendent Mick Miller thanked Walla Walla Citizens for Schools Co-Chairs Craig Sievertsen and Shannon (Murdock) Bergevin for organizing activities to educate the community on the Walla Walla High School bond. They devoted a tremendous amount of time and energy on the proposal. Thank you for a job well done.
 Energy Management program saves nearly $400,000 during the year
Superintendent Mick Miller updated the school board on the district’s Energy Management Program Tuesday night. This year the district saved $383,888 through cost avoidance via reduced energy usage.

In year 13 of the program, the district spent $1,198,574 in utility fees (electric, gas, water). In actual dollars, the district spent nearly $15,000 more this year than last year. Miller said this is impressive in a time of rising energy costs. Miller thanked John Butenhoff for his work as the district Energy Manager and said the program is effective.

 Personnel Report (from 2/19/13 school board meeting)


Benjamin Colvin, Technology Specialist, Technology Dept.

Guadelupe Mendez, Kitchen Assistant, Blue Ridge Elementary

Brad Nelson, Technology Specialist (temp) Technology Dept.



Pat Johnston, Chief Financial Officer, Business Office, 21 years


Pamela McBride, Science, Walla Walla High School, 30 years

Jo Anne Poulson, Physical Education Specialist, Pioneer Middle School, 22 years

Beverly Ziska, Language Arts/Reading, Pioneer Middle School, 13 years


Silva Gomez, Life Skills Assistant, Green Park Elementary, 1.5 years

Leave of Absence


Connie Hernandez, Intervention Specialist, Pioneer Middle School, 1.5 years

• For the remainder of 2012-13 school year

 State AP Scores Rise Along With Participation Rate
(RELEASED BY OSPI) - More Washington students are taking and passing Advanced Placement exams, according to a national report released today.

The College Board’s ninth annual "AP Report to the Nation" shows that 20,581 Washington students (or 32.8 percent) in the class of 2012 took at least one AP exam. That number represents an increase of 1,276 (6.6 percent) from 2011 and 12,068 (62.5 percent) from 2002.

Not only did participation increase again this year, so did scores. In 2012, 20.0 percent of Washington’s 12th graders scored a three or greater – a score that generally qualifies for college credit – on an AP test. In 2011, 18.4 percent of students scored a three or greater; in 2002, 9.6 percent.

The 10.4 percentage-point increase in the past 10 years ranks Washington eighth among all states. The national average for the same period was 7.9 percent.

"We’re seeing great results all over the state," said Randy Dorn, state superintendent. "More students are taking AP tests, and more are passing them. And that’s helping them be prepared for college and career."

Compared to 2011 results, the number of test takers and college-ready scores increased for all subgroups:

- American Indian/Alaska native (participation +5.3 percent, college-ready scores +26.0 percent)

- Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander (participation +7.1 percent, college-ready scores +9.5 percent)

- Black/African American (participation +8.5 percent, college-ready scores +6.9 percent)

- Hispanic/Latino (participation +8.3 percent, college-ready scores +14.5 percent)

- White (participation +6.2 percent, college-ready scores +7.0 percent)

"Our students are up for the challenge," said Barb Dittrich, supervisor for the AP program at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. "AP courses and exams are rigorous. Our teachers are doing a great job of helping students succeed at this high level."

AP exams, which are offered in 34 subjects, are given each May and are scored on a scale from one to five. The most popular AP exams for Washington’s class of 2012 were (in order): English language, U.S. history, English literature, calculus AB, U.S. government and politics, world history, biology, statistics, chemistry and psychology.

Washington ranked 15th in the nation with the greatest number of 12th graders (20.0 percent) scoring three or greater on AP exams – Maryland was first at 29.6 percent. The national average was 19.5 percent.

For more information and to view the "AP Report to the Nation," including state-by-state results, please visit www.collegeboard.com/apreport.

School Stories
 Walla Walla Community College president encourages AVID students to stay the course
Walla Walla Community College President Dr. Steven L. VanAusdle was the keynote speaker at the 4th Annual AVID Academic Recognition and Family Night. AVID students were recognized for academic achievement and performance. VanAusdle told the students education and developing skills are critical in today’s job market. He said WWCC is ready and willing to help them continue on a path to success.

The AVID program supports students by providing them with skills necessary to be successful in college. AVID students are expected to access rigorous curriculum. The AVID elective class is an avenue for students to acquire skills in communication, critical thinking, note-taking, peer-tutoring, organization and time-management.

 Wa-Hi JROTC shooters compete in Salt Lake City
The Walla Walla High School Junior ROTC shooting team competed in the Army JROTC National Rifle Tournament in Salt Lake City, Utah on Feb. 18 and 19.

Competitive shooters from both precision and sporter teams took to the firing line. The Blue Devils Cadet Battalion precision shooting team took 2nd place in Salt Lake City and 4th place in the nation. The two precision team shooters who placed were: Cadet Staff Sgt. Sarah Jameson, a-17-year-old junior, who, placed third and Cadet Capt. Caitlyn Lasseigne, an 18-year-old senior, who placed sixth.

The sporter team took sixth place in Salt Lake City and 17th in the nation.

 Lincoln High School principal to discuss state graduation hurdles during presentation at Whitman College
Student's for Education Reform of Whitman College invites the community to Maxy Auditorium Tuesday, February 26 at 7 p.m. to hear a presentation on Lincoln High School. Lincoln faculty and students will be speaking as well as Principal Jim Sporleder.

This forum is not only for the Whitman and Walla Walla communities to learn more about Lincoln High School, but also for the audience to learn about current legislation that is detrimental to students who attend Lincoln and other high schools around Washington. If you have any questions please contact Sara Sonnenblick at sonnense@whitman.edu.

Event details

- Tuesday February 26

- 7 p.m.

- Maxey Auditorium

- Jim Sporleder with faculty and students from Lincoln High School

 Edison artwork to be featured by Washington State Arts Commission mobile app
The Washington State Arts Commission has selected various artworks from the State Art Collection to be on a mobile app that features objects, places, and stories of artistic or other cultural significance. The app will feature Mauricio Robalino’s Walla Walla Blossoms located at Edison Elementary. The app is expected to be available to users Monday, March 4. At this time, just 30 of the more than 4,500 artworks in the State Art Collection will be featured.

The app is called "StQRy" (pronounced "story") and it will be accessible for free to anyone with a smart phone or other mobile device, such as a tablet. This means that from the mobile device, users can learn about the artwork at a site through informative text and photos; map the artwork’s specific location; and share favorites with other app users.

For more information, contact Janae Huber at: janae.huber@arts.wa.gov or 360-586-2420.

 Middle School Solo & Ensemble music students perform strong at regional competition
 Garrison and Pioneer Middle School students recently traveled to McLoughlin Middle School in Pasco for a music competition. Students prepared and performed Solos, Duet, Trios, etc. for adjudication and ratings. The Garrison Middle School music program brought the largest number of students in the region with 55 different entries in the contest. Pioneer Middle School had 23 entries in the contest.

Garrison Middle School

23 - Superior Ratings

26 - Excellent Ratings

2 - Good Ratings

Pioneer Middle School

13 - Superior Ratings

8 - Excellent Ratings

 Wa-Hi Debate Team takes first place in all categories at state qualifying tournament - By Coach Jean Tobin
February 15 and 16, 24 Wa-Hi students competed in the State Qualifying Tournament in Speech and Debate at Chiawana High School in Pasco. Eleven schools competed including: Chiawana, Cascade, Eisenhower, Othello, Ephrata, Moses Lake, Wenatchee, Liberty Bell, Pasco and Eastmont. Walla Walla High School placed 1st in the 4A division in Individual Events, Debate and Overall. Walla Walla has competed in the tournament the last 4 years and this is the first time we placed first in all categories as a team.

In Debate the results were:

- Congressional Debate, Emma Gregoire (sophomore) placed 4th and will be attending the State Debate tournament. This is Emma's second time qualifying for the State debate tournament. Jennifer Cho is 2nd alternate.

- Public Forum Debate: Kera Parsons and Julia Cosma (seniors) placed 3rd and will be attending the State Debate tournament.

- Lincoln-Douglas Debate: Although they had only a few days to prepare on a new topic ( Resolved: The United States is justified in intervening in the internal political processes of other countries to attempt to stop human rights abuses) Wa-Hi's top LD debaters rose to the challenge. Kendall Dunovant (junior) placed 2nd and Calvin Brigham (senior) was District Champion in LD debate. Calvin was undefeated at the tournament. Both students will be attending the State Debate tournament. This is Calvin's third time qualifying for the State Debate tournament.

In Policy Debate, Bryan Preston and Sean Hamilton (seniors) will also be competing at the State tournament after earning a spot based on their performance at previous tournaments this year.

The State Debate tournament will be held March 22 and 23 at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.

In Individual Events we qualified almost all our competitors to the State Individual Events tournament held March 16 at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.

Five District Champions in Individual Events:

- Hope Grant-Herriot (senior) and Kurt Funk (sophomore) in Dual Interpretation, Marisol Beck (senior) in Original Oratory, Anna Apostolidis-Morefield (sophomore) in Humorous Interpretation, and Kendall Dunovant (junior) was District Champion in both Extemporaneous and Impromptu Speaking.

The following students also placed in their respective events:

- Emily Prull (sophomore), 2nd place in Impromptu

- Rosa Tobin (senior), 3rd place Impromptu

- Kate Kuhlmann (sophomore), 2nd place in Expository

- Anna Apostolidis-Morefield (sophomore), 3rd place in Expository

- Gerrod Peck (sophomore), 2nd place in Humorous Interpretation

- Sean Hamilton (senior), 2nd place in Extemporaneous

- Kera Parsons (senior), 2nd place in Interpretive Reading

Also qualifying for the State IE tournament from Wa-Hi:

- In Extemp: Rosa Tobin, Malcolm Gabbard (sophomore), Emily Prull

- In Impromptu: Malcolm Gabbard, Calvin Brigham, Sean Hamilton, Bryan Preston. Simone Tiulaepa (freshman) is 1st alternate

- In Expository: Ricky Entrop (sophomore), Sabine Vernon (sophomore)

- In Oratory: Emma Gregoire

- In Interpretive Reading: Cora Cole (sophomore) and Julia Cosma

- In Dramatic Interp: Mattie Bialozor (freshman)

I am extremely proud of the hard work of all the students on our team. Our wonderful parent volunteers at this tournament included: Katie and Carl Christianson, Vanessa Prull, Annie Capestany, and Heidi Brigham. George Burgess, a former Wa-Hi student and current professor at the Community College, helped prepare our Public Forum debaters and judged at the tournament. Adam McKibbon, a former Whitman debater, helped work with our Lincoln-Douglas competitors.

 The Walla Walla High School ASB invites community to Conspiracy of Hope Variety Show tonight
Tonight is the last Conspiracy of Hope Variety Show for the school year. Don’t miss out. Show time is 6 p.m. and is held in the Wa-Hi Auditorium. Admission is $5. All proceeds go to the Dave Meyer Foundation and the Walla Walla High School's Winter Wish Week program.
 Five JROTC cadets earn promotions
Connor Buckley, a 16-year-old junior, was promoted to cadet 1st Lt. and was placed command of the company. Buckley is charged with ensuring his company runs efficiently and in keeping with the proud tradition of Wa-Hi JROTC.

Loren Kauffman, a 16-year-old junior, was promoted to cadet 1st. Sgt. and is responsible for training and well-being of the cadets in the company.

Kurtis Crump, a 17-year-old junior, was promoted to cadet Staff Sgt. and assumed the duties of platoon sergeant.

Mattie Bialozor, a 15-year-old sophomore, was also promoted to cadet Staff Sgt. She was installed as a platoon sergeant several months ago.

Beau Remus, an 18-year-old senior, was promoted to cadet Sgt. and assumed his new post as a squad leader.

The WWHS JROTC command and staff extend a formal congratulations to all the well deserving individuals who earned new positions in the battalion.

Community Stories
 Grandmothers Round Table plans forum to showcase resources available to families
The Grandmothers Round Table will present a forum entitled: "Are We Preparing Our Children for the Changing World? What Resources Are Available in our Community to Help Our Children and Families?". The Forum will be held Monday, March 4, 7 p.m. at the Walla Walla Community College Conference Center, Room 185.

Panel members include: Meagan Anderson-Pira, Director of the Children's Home Society; Connie Taylor-Randall, Walla Walla Public Schools, Brooke Bouchey, Intervention Specialist at Lincoln Alternative School, and Mike Bates, Director of the Walla Walla Juvenile Justice Center.

The Grandmothers Round Table is a non-partisan organization focusing on educating the public on issues of interest in the Walla Walla Valley. The Grandmothers Round Table Forums welcome all ages, genders, and political views.

For more information, contact Pat Yenney at (509) 529-6574 or Linda Moats at bmoats@q.com.

 Time to Register for Great Explorations
On Saturday, March 23, the Walla Walla branch of the American Association of University Women will present Great Explorations, a science, technology, engineering and math adventure for 5th through 8th grade girls, at Whitman College, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.

The highlight of this year’s event will be the appearance of real-life CSI investigator, Jody Wolf, Assistant Crime Lab Administrator for the Phoenix Police Department, who will be the keynote speaker at noon in Maxey Hall.

Before Jody’s presentation, girls will have the opportunity to attend three exciting workshops offering informal, hands-on experience with careers that utilize science, technology, engineering and math.

Now is the time to send in registrations, to be more likely to be in workshops with friends, and to get first choice of workshops. The fee to attend is $5 and scholarships are available. For more information on registration, scholarships or questions on any of the events, please contact Carol Morgan,

pcmorgan@charter.net, 525-3531, visit the AAUW website at www.aauw-wallawalla.org, or find us on Facebook.

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