Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - March 22, 2013

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories


District Stories
 Spring Break Vacation Schedule
• April 1-5 (No School)

• Classes resume Monday, April 8

 Hess to retire from school board
School board member Dan Hess announced Tuesday night he is retiring from the school board at the end of his term. Hess said he wanted to announce early so there is ample time for potential school board members to meet the May 13 to 17, 2013 filing period.

There will be a primary in August if there are two or more candidates running for the position. The November General Election determines the winner. The new school board member will be sworn in at the December 2013 school board meeting.

Hess served two terms from 1985 to 1993 and is in his third term on the school board after being re-elected in 2010. Thanks so much to Dan Hess for his service to Walla Walla Public Schools!

 Walla Walla Public Schools plans Skills Center public groundbreaking ceremony
The district is planning a

public Groundbreaking Ceremony Monday, March 25, 1:30 p.m. at the site. The Skills Center will offer high school courses in construction trades, welding, renewable resources and health occupation programs. Partnering districts include Dayton, Waitsburg, Touchet, Prescott, and College Place. The building is expected to be completed March 2014 with classes beginning Fall of 2014.

Groundbreaking Ceremony

Date: Monday, March 25

Time: 1:30 p.m.

Location: Site of SEA-TECH Skills Center Site (on the campus of Walla Walla Community College)

 Personnel Report (from March 19, 2013 school board meeting)


Sarah Rathbun, First Grade, Edison, 2.5 years

Leave of Absence


Angie Butler, Science, Pioneer Middle School, 7 years

* Angie is taking a .5 FTE leave of absence for the 2013-14 school year. She will continue as a .5 FTE science teacher.

Maria Garcia, School Psychologist, Special Programs, 17 years

* Maria will continue as RTI Coordinator in the Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Department

Margo Piver, Library Media Specialist, Prospect Point Elementary, 18 years

* Margo will continue as a .5 FTE Library Media Specialist and fulfill her duties as Walla Walla Valley Association President for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years.

 School Zone Law Enforcement emphasis to begin after spring break
 City and County law enforcement officers will conduct a School Zone Law Enforcement Emphasis beginning Monday, April 8. Officers will be issuing tickets for infractions. This effort is to remind community members to use caution in school zones, especially as the weather improves and more youth bike and walk to school.

 School accepts Asset Preservation Maintenance plan
Facilities Support Director Dan Johnson presented the district’s Asset Preservation Plan to school board members per state requirements. School Board members accepted the plan as presented.

The online data collection program is a mechanism to score and inventory building facilities based on their condition and other criteria. Johnson said he was skeptical of using the plan at first but has since found it a helpful tool. He said the Asset Preservation Plan will allow him to be more proactive in directing maintenance efforts. He said the district places a high priority on maintenance and he praised the staff for their professionalism and hard work.

 Kindergarten and Open Enrollment Registration dates set for 2013-14 School Year
Walla Walla Public Schools Kindergarten and Open Enrollment registration period is Monday, April 22 to Friday, May 3. Kindergarten registration will be conducted at the student’s attendance area elementary school. Parents wishing to pick up the kindergarten registration information may do so at their child’s school beginning April 15. However, the completed registration forms will not be accepted until April 22.

Open Enrollment and Kindergarten Registration Hours:

- Monday, April 22: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

- April 23 to May 3: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Parents/guardians who wish to open enroll their child to a school outside of their attendance area may pick up Open Enrollment application forms at their attendance area school during normal business hours beginning April 15; however, forms will not be accepted in the receiving school until Monday, April 22.

If there is space available to accommodate open enrollment requests, then priorities outlined in School Board Policy No. 3130 will be used to determine movement of a student. School Board Policy manuals are available for public viewing at all Walla Walla Public Schools and the Administration Office. School Board policies are also online at http://www.wwps.org/leadership/board.htm#11.

Please contact your attendance area school for more information. District boundary maps are available at all schools, the Administration Office at 364 South Park Street, and online at www.wwps.org . Click on the District A to Z link and then click on Boundary Map.

School Stories
 Walla Walla High School choirs excel at regional event
Walla Walla High School Choirs took part in the Columbia Basin Music Educators Association large Choir Festival at Kennewick High School March 20. More than 150 students sang in two large choirs: the Symphonic Choir (mixed) and the Combined Women’s Choir. Both groups received Superior ratings from the adjudicators.

The Combined Women’s Choir (Treble Ensemble, Belles Voix and Chansons) sang "There is Sweet Music Here," "I’m Goin’ Home on a Cloud," and "Aya Ngena." They were accompanied by Melissa Cadieux on piano. Percussionists for the Zulu Folksong "Aya Ngena" were Jonathan Baker and Kristina Savalesky. They received high praise from the judges in the areas of expressiveness, tone, and balance.

The Symphonic Choir (Concert Choir and Chamber Singers) performed "Daniel, Daniel, Servant of the Lord," (solos by Cougar Henderson and Jonathan Baker) followed by "Shenandoah" by James Erb. They closed with the gospel favorite "City Called Heaven" accompanied by Gary Hemenway on the piano. Soloists on the last piece were Addily Dyer and Hannah Herbert. The choir was praised for their expressive performance. The ensembles are directed by Norbert Rossi.

 Prospect Point plans April bike rodeo
The 2nd annual Bike Rodeo is scheduled for Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon in the Prospect Point parking lot. This event, open to students and their families, promotes bicycle and road safety, and physical fitness. There will be eight activity stations for students, including: helmet fittings, bicycle tune-ups; rules of the road, and an obstacle course. Once students have completed every station, names will be put into a drawing to win two new bicycles. Event sponsor: Bike Barn.
 The Moms Network teams with district schools for annual Diaper Drive
District schools are supporting The Moms Network Diaper Drive April 15-19. The Diaper Drive collects new diapers that are donated to Sonbridge Community Center, Helpline and Catholic Charities of Walla Walla. These service organizations then distribute them to low-income families in the Walla Walla Valley. All size diapers and pull ups are needed. The most requested sizes are 3, 4, and 5. Any money donated will be used to purchase diapers.
 Walla Walla High School student wins Future Problem Solving competition
Congratulations to Walla Walla High School student Jennifer Cho for winning the Future Problem Solving State Scenario Writing Competition in the Senior Division (grades 10-12). Her entry has been entered into the International Competition which is being held at Indiana University in Bloomington in early June.

Three Wa-Hi Future Problem Solving teams have qualified for the State competition to be held April 10-12 in Stanwood, Washington. This year's topic is Ocean Soup.

 Walla Walla Sunrise Rotary Club teams with elementary students to eliminate polio
 The Walla Walla Sunrise Rotary Club has launched its Pennies for Polio program in the local elementary schools. The goal of the program is to raise awareness of polio and how close the world is to being polio free. The program includes a fund raiser to help End Polio Now! Although there are only three countries in the world that are endemic, it will take a significant effort to eradicate polio for good, according to Sunrise Rotary. All funds raised will be sent to the Rotary Foundation’s Polio Plus fund.

"We would like to encourage parents, family members and neighbors to send their elementary school children with donations to help support the program, which runs until March 29," said past president Craig Sievertsen. "Walla Walla Sunrise Rotary is thankful for the hard work of the students, teachers and community to help End Polio Now."

 Prospect Point’s PALS program supports Pennies for Polio
Prospect Point Elementary’s Peer and Leadership Support program (PALS) led by 5th grade teacher Kate VanCleve, will be coordinating a school-wide coin drive to support Pennies for Polio. Craig Sievertsen, from the Sunrise Exchange

Club solicited the help of local elementary schools to join their organization in raising money to help the global eradication of polio.

Every penny counts, so help us help others by donating your coins to this worthy cause," VanCleve said. "Students will be collecting money through Friday, March 29."

 Hummus in our Schools week
Students across the district were exposed to hummus this week as part of the Farm to School program. The hummus was made with local garbanzo beans from Blue Mountain Seed.

"Please thank the nutrition services staff at your school for the extra work they do to bring local foods to the students," said Beth Thiel, Farm to School coordinator.

 Walla Walla High Schools sophomore takes state title in Expository Speaking
Walla Walla High School sophomore Anna Apostoldis-Morefield won the 4A state title in 4A Expository Speaking. This is her second year in finals at state as last year she was also in the finals in the same event.

"Expository speaking is similar to Original Oratory in that students must write and memorize an 8 minute informative speech," said Speech and Debate Coach Jean Tobin. "Anna's speech is about the origins of the English language and has received rave reviews all year. This event has been very competitive in our district this year as three of the top four expository speeches in the state came from our district."

More than 20 Wa-Hi Debate team members attended the State Individual Events Tournament last weekend. Senior Marisol Beck placed 3rd in the State in 4A Original Oratory. Original Oratory challenges students to write and memorize a persuasive speech. Beck gave a powerful speech about the importance and benefits of "coming out of the closet" with our personal 'secrets' - small ones and big ones.

"In the four years that we have had a Speech and Debate program at Wa-Hi, we have had two State Champions -- an impressive accomplishment," Tobin said. "I am very proud of how hard these two students worked this year, starting in September, to meet their goal. They both knew they wanted to be in state finals and have never lost sight of that goal."

Tobin said Beck’s mother Annie Capestany was instrumental in helping both students achieve success.

"She helped me edit and suggest revisions for their speeches and also helped offer suggestions throughout the year on how to modify their performance," Tobin said.

This weekend, the team travels again to Tacoma for the State Debate tournament. The tournament is divided into two categories: Speech and Debate. Wa-Hi is sending six students to compete in the four events.

 Judges impressed with Wa-Hi Orchestra musicians - By Orchestra Teacher Julia Woods
The Wa-Hi combined orchestras traveled to Hanford High School today to participate in the CBMEA Orchestra Festival. They received a superior rating for their performance. Judges Bruce Walker and Julia Salerno were particularly impressed with soloists Jennifer Cho, violin; Nathanial Lynn, violin; and Kelsey Gabel, viola.
Community Stories
 Exchange Club Easter Egg Hunt Saturday, March 30
The Walla Walla Exchange Club is holding its 5

4th Annual Children’s Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 30 at 9 a.m. at Pioneer Park. This year’s Easter Egg hunt features 26 prizes, including three bicycles, which will be awarded in categories, 1-3 years old, 4-6 years, 7-10 years and special-needs. The event is free and open to the public.

The event is a long standing community event that was started by the Walla Walla Exchange Club in 1959. The hunt was held in Wildwood Park until 1999 when the location was changed to Pioneer Park. There are approximately 40,500 individually wrapped chocolate Easter eggs weighing in at about 480 pounds.

About the Exchange Club:

The Walla Walla Exchange Club started on Saturday, March 26, 1949, in the Georgian Ballroom of the Marcus Whitman Hotel. The club sponsors a variety of activities that support and draw attention to our central mission, which is the prevention of child abuse here in the Walla Walla Valley. Our main fundraiser to help the children in our community is the Baker Boyer Ducky Derby coming up on May 18, 2013.

Thanks to:

Special thanks to sponsor Alexandria Communications and volunteer Master of Ceremonies Jim Bock. Also thanks to the men of Beta Theta Pi from Whitman College,the women of Kappa Alpha Theta from Whitman College, the City of Walla Walla Parks and Recreation Department, Main Street Starbucks, Walmart, and the Walla Walla Fire Department.

For more information call Tina Bradbury at


 WISE program accepting applications for this summer
Do you know a local middle school student who would benefit from the annual Whitman Institute for Scholastic Enrichment (WISE) program? Applications are now available online. Current 7th and 8th graders from low-income families or those who would be the first in their families to go to college are especially encouraged to apply.

The program takes place on campus Aug. 11-13 and introduces participants to college life, with the goal of encouraging them to make college plans of their own. There is no cost to participate. Students stay in dorms, eat their meals in the dining hall and attend classes taught by Whitman professors. There is also a parent workshop focusing on the financial aid process.

Applications are due May 31. Questions? Contact coordinator Sonja Aikens ataikenssl@whitman.edu or visit the WISE website.

 Walla Walla Kids Read returns March 25 and 26 featuring two of America’s most beloved children’s authors
Walla Walla Kids Read Quick Facts

- Event dates: Monday, March 25 and Tuesday, March 26

- Patrick Carman on Monday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. for 4th and 5th graders

- Matthew Holm on Tuesday for 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders

- Community Event on Tuesday evening at Edison 6 p.m. featuring a book signing, the biggest book walk in town, and and other activities!

- www.wallawallakidsread.com

- Walla Walla Kids Read is also being webcast this year

In its sixth year, Walla Walla Kids Read 2013 will host Patrick Carman and Matthew Holm, two of America’s most beloved children’s authors. Carman and Holm will entertain and educate over 3500 local students and an estimated 20,000 via live webcast. Dates for the event are Monday, March 25 and Tuesday, March 26, 2013. The event will be held on the Whitman College campus at Cordiner Hall.

"Our young readers are going to love hearing from Matthew Holm, the illustrator of the wildly popular Babymouse series," says Founder and Chair, Patrick Carman. "First, second, and third graders are going to flip for Matthew! And I finally get to present to 4th and 5th graders for the first time in the six year history of Walla Walla Kids Read. I couldn’t be more excited!"

As part of the 2013 program, Mr. Carman will also visit each Walla Walla elementary school and speak with all public school kindergartners. WWKR is dedicated to nurturing and encouraging young readers and supporting local and national educators in creating lifelong readers. Our author selections are designed to inspire, educate, and encourage students to pursue reading and writing. The primary goal is to provide a nationally known author presentation to every K-5th grade student in the Walla Walla valley every year. Walla Walla Kids Read includes large scale events at Cordiner Hall on the Whitman College Campus, along with a community event on the evening of March 26 and four opportunities for schools outside the area to tap into live webcasts.

All costs associated with our events are funded by Walla Walla Kids Read, including author fees, webcast fees, facility use, and transportation for Walla Walla Public Schools. School kits with information, activities, and books are also supported by Walla Walla Kids Read.

For a full list of books, the complete schedule, and all the details, please visit: www.wallawallakidsread.com.

For more information on this year’s writers, visit their websites:

- www.patrickcarman.com

- www.matthewholm.net

 Tryouts for Second Annual Sweet Onion Jam 2013 music festival planned March 30
Local student musicians are sought to participate in the Second Annual Sweet Onion Jam. Auditions are Saturday, March 30 from 3 to 5 p.m. at Suite 111, 19 E. Birch St. Email Andrew Sayers at sayersandrew@gmail.com to sign up or for additional information.

Sweet Onion Jam Event Details:

- Saturday, April 13

- 2 to 5 p.m.

- YMCA lawn.

What is the Sweet Onion Jam?

Sweet Onion Jam is a family friendly talent show of musicians in elementary school through high school playing all styles of music. The audience can vote for the group they like best by donating a dollar per vote. The money raised will go towards the Walla Walla Public Schools music programs. Last year, the event brought in more than $800.

 Sasayama sister city students to visit district schools
 The Walla Walla Sister City Committee will be reaching another milestone with the arrival of 19 high school students from our sister city Sasayama, Hyogo, Japan. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the two week home stay program that was initiated in 1994. More than 400 students from Sasayama and Walla Walla have participated in this program since its inception.

This year students arrive at the Walla Walla Regional Airport at 8:30 p.m. on March 24 where they will be met by their host family and members of the Walla Walla-Sasayama Sister City Affiliation Committee. They will begin their busy schedule Monday morning. First on the agenda is a visit to the Walla Walla Council Chamber where Mayor Barrow will present a proclamation declaring the week as Walla Walla Sasayama Sister City Week.

During their stay, students will visit Walla Walla High School, March 26; Garrison Middle School, March 27; and Edison Elementary School, March 28.

The Walla Walla-Sasayama Sister City Affiliation Committee was established in 1972 for the purpose of promoting peace, international goodwill, cultural understanding, and friendship. The home stay program is just one of the avenues that helps with the mission of the organization. For more information, contact the Chairman Robert Keatts at: robert_wwscc@yahoo.com or visit their facebook page "WallaWalla SisterCity"

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