|| Spring Break Vacation Schedule
- April 1-5 (No School)
- Classes resume Monday, April 8
|| School board meeting Tuesday, April 16
- 6:30 p.m.
- District board room: 364 S. Park St.
- Meeting open to the public
|| District breaks ground on High School Skills Center
Walla Walla Public Schools conducted a
public groundbreaking ceremony Monday, March 25. The Southeast Area Technical Skills Center is located on the campus of Walla Walla Community College. The building is expected to be completed March 2014 with classes beginning Fall 2014. 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.
This project is fully funded by the state of Washington.
The legislature has funded a total of $11,519,000 during the 2011-13 biennium for this project. In February, Walla Walla Public Schools accepted the nearly $8.3 million bid from Leone and Keeble, Inc. of Spokane, WA to construct the facility. Two of the project’s major subcontractors are from Walla Walla: Walla Walla Electric and Cutting Edge Plumbing & Mechanical.
"The Southeast Area Technical Skills Center provides more opportunities for learning and is a great partnership with Walla Walla Community College," Superintendent Mick Miller said. "The more educational options we have in the valley, the better it is for students."
The Walla Walla Skills Center will be a branch campus of the Kennewick School District’s Tri-Tech Skills Center. Walla Walla Public Schools anticipates the Skills Center will serve 60 Full-Time Equivalent students when it opens and grow to 160 FTE in future years. High school students will attend for a three period block in either the morning or afternoon. Career and Technical Education courses at Walla Walla High School will still be offered.
|| Plumber’s effort saves district thousands
District Energy Manager John Butenhoff discovered Prospect Point Elementary had been using approximately one-third more water the past five months. Butenhoff said the leak increased the school’s water bill $500 to $1,000 a month. District plumber David Locken used a Water Leak Detector featuring an acoustic listening device to locate and repair the leak at Prospect Point. Thanks to John and Dave for collaborating on this project.
|| School zone law enforcement emphasis patrols to begin after spring break
City and County law enforcement officers will conduct School Zone Law Enforcement Emphasis Patrols beginning Monday, April 8. The patrol emphasis will continue throughout the month of April.
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.
Walla Walla Public Schools appreciates the support and use of resources from area law enforcement officials to keep everyone safe in Walla Walla school zones.
|| Kindergarten and Open Enrollment Registration dates April 22-May 3
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.
|| Pioneer Middle school teams with Safe Travels Alliance to improve school zone safety
Pioneer Middle School Principal Mira Gobel has teamed with the district school zone safety committee Safe Travels Alliance and city representatives to evaluate safe student drop-off and pick-up zones and to improve parking for staff and visitors. The most significant change is designating the school’s main parking lot in front of the school for parents and visitors only.
Additional staff parking was created near the science building portables on the north-side of the campus by relocating a storage container. A storage container on the south-side of the school is also being relocated to offer more staff parking in this space.
Pioneer Middle School staff will be issued staff parking passes so only cars with the passes can park in the designated staff parking areas during school hours beginning April 8. Police officers will patrol these areas to enforce the new rules.
"Our local law enforcement officers will be diligent in helping everyone be safety conscious," Gobel said. "We are positive that enforcement of the safety zones and new parking configurations will take care of some of the running between cars, darting out into traffic, and other problems we have experienced."
Police officers will also conduct a School Zone Law Enforcement emphasis campaign beginning Monday, April 8 at Pioneer Middle School and at all district schools. The emphasis will focus on obeying speed limits, yielding to pedestrians, talking on cell phones and texting while driving. Drivers are reminded to avoid the "No Parking" areas at Pioneer Middle School. Also, there is no double parking allowed on Bridge St. as parents pick up and drop off students and "U turn" violations will be enforced.
"We encourage parents to utilize the parking spaces that are available in front of the school when dropping off and picking up students," Gobel said.
|| Wa-Hi students win WSU Murrow awards
WSU’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication announced the winners of the 2013 Murrow High School Journalism contest on March 22. In the category of Best News Writing, junior Bryson Gobel and sophomore Hannah Mitchell’s article titled "Allocation: Where does the money go and why?" received third place."The process was long, and it took a lot of organization and coordination to complete the article, but seeing all the work brought together was worth it and extremely rewarding," Gobel said.
The article explained the process of ASB allocations. "It was a lot of work, and it required missing a lot of sixth period, but it was a lot of fun. I think that the ASB class really appreciated our effort," Mitchell said.
In the category of Best Website, the Wa-Hi Journal also received third place. "My goal as Editor-in-Chief this year was to improve the website and receive an award," Online Editor-in Chief Quinn Anderson said. "This is an honor that I am ecstatic to receive. It is nice to know the hard work of my staff has paid off."
The Wa-Hi Journal submitted print editions, articles and the URL of their website to this contest. The Murrow High School Journalism contest is open to high school journalism programs in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Alaska.
|| 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: Bicycle 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.
|| Homelink and YMCA team to support Walla Walla Kids Read
Thanks to Patrick Carmen for providing Walla Walla elementary students an amazing learning experience through his Walla Walla Kids Read program. Students traveled to Whitman College Monday and Tuesday to participate in this annual event.
Homelink continued its rich tradition of providing the backdrops for the Walla Walla Kids Read program. Jessi Gisi, who is a YMCA employee, partnered with Homelink this year to support the project.
"She was aware that Vicki Shafer, our former Homelink art teacher had retired, and wanted to make sure this opportunity was available," said Homelink Principal Connie Taylor Randall. "Not only did she facilitate the creation of these characters by facilitating student learning, but she collaborated with Boise Cascade who donated the cardboard to make this possible. She went above and beyond to make this successful!"
Thanks for all those involved for making this year’s Walla Walla Kids Read program a success.
|| Chef-in-Schools program features Olive Café owner
Thursday Chef Jake Crenshaw, owner of The Olive Café, worked with Green Park Nutrition Services staff to create delicious pizza totally from scratch. The Chef-in-School project is part of the Farm-to-School program and aims to create new scratch recipes that utilize local fruits or vegetables. The program also helps identify new, time saving kitchen equipment to assist staff in scratch cooking.
"Although new foods can be a tough sell to students, school surveys show the Chef-in School meals have been very popular in the other four elementary schools," said Beth Thiel, Farm-to-School coordinator. "Thank you to the Chef Crenshaw and Nutrition Services Department for this wonderful collaboration and for bringing the best food possible to the students."
|| Nobel Laureate, Rigoberta Menchú visits Walla Walla High School students
On Wednesday, March 27, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Rigoberta Menchú, visited the 4th period classes of Refugio Reyes, Kim Kelsay and Casey Monahan. As an indigenous K'iche' woman from Guatemala, Rigoberta Menchú has been an advocate and speaker for the civil rights of the indigenous people of her country.
In 1992, she received the Nobel Prize which brought to light the disparity, racism, and exploitation of the Mayan people in Guatemala. During the 36 year Guatemalan Civil War, fought from 1960 to1996, an estimated 200,000 people were killed mostly by death squads organized by the government, according to Menchú.
Her visits with classes included discussion about her continued work for peace throughout the world, the foundation she established with the Nobel Prize money, Mayan culture, beliefs, language, and the continued need for healing in her homeland due to the loss of life during the civil war. Even though the war ended 18 years ago, families still suffer from its effects and experiences, according Menchú. Rigoberta Menchú’s visit to Wa-Hi was sponsored by Whitman College ASWC.
|| Walla Walla High School Rifle Team takes 3rd at National Championship
The Walla Walla High School Army JROTC Precision Rifle Team returned this week from the All Service National Championship where the team finished third in the nation.
"The precision team has really worked hard," said Army JROTC Instructor and Rifle Team Coach Sergeant First Class Mark Mebes. "All of these cadets have fired in high stakes matches before, so they knew what they needed to do to perform well at the national level. They spent a lot of time this year mastering the mental aspect of this sport."
Team commander Cadet Capt. Caitlyn Lasseigne, an 18-year-old senior and returning member from last year’s 5th place nationally ranked team went into this competition with the right focus.
"We didn’t talk about scores, or winning," said Lasseigne. "Each shooter came to the match completely intent on doing the things that we have been practicing all year. We had some ups and downs, but by the second day of competition we knew we could nail it. Everything just felt right."
At the end of the first day of shooting, scores were extremely close with Walla Walla holding on to 3rd place by only three points out of a possible 2400. On the final day everything came together and the team pulled out a personal best score of 2318, giving them a two day total of 4613, eclipsing the former team record of 4600 set at the Junior Olympics National Championship last July. Cadet S. Sgt. Sarah Jameson, a 17-year-old junior and returning competitor from last year’s team as well, was the team top shooter both days, shooting a combined total of 1187, and a one day match personal best of 585. Team members Cadet S. Sgt. Andrew Jenkins, a 17-year-old junior, and Cadet S. Sgt. Allison Juergensen, also a 17-year-old junior, also shot personal best scores of 581 and 577 respectively.
The JROTC National Championships include a preliminary round in which JROTC Cadets nationwide compete in local matches for a chance to shoot in a regional championship in one of three locations. The winners of the regional matches receive an invitation to the national championships, held each year in Anniston, Alabama in March. Out of 7,300 JROTC Cadets that compete in preliminary round, less than 250 will make it to the national match. At the awards ceremony following the match, the team was awarded a trophy and individual medals. Cadet Jameson was also awarded the Gold Junior Distinguished Rifle Badge by the Civilian Marksmanship Program. The Distinguished Badge must be earned through years of competitive national level shooting in which the shooter consistently places in the top tier. Less than 600 badges have been awarded since the program began over 20 years ago.
Next month, the team will be travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico to compete in the CMP Western Regional Championship with the goal of winning an invitation to the Junior Olympics National Championship this July. Walla Walla’s precision rifle team holds a cumulative GPA of 3.818.
|| Pioneer Middle School teacher brings Odyssey of the Mind state event to Walla Walla
Last weekend, Pioneer Middle School hosted the Washington and Oregon state Odyssey of the Mind competition. Pioneer teacher Dan Calzaretta coordinated the event. Three teams from Walla Walla, all from Pioneer Middle School; two from Oregon; two from Spokane, and one from Yakima participated. Odyssey of the Mind is an international competition.
This is the state final for Washington and Oregon and the first time the state event has been held in Walla Walla. Teams competed in several categories. Some of the categories included a vehicle creation in which the cars navigated a course. In another category, balsa wood structures were built and judged on how much weight they could hold. Other categories included literature and drama in a public performance.
"Odyssey of the Mind encourages creative thinking and problem-solving," Calzaretta said. "It is a perfect competition for middle school students."
|| AAUW increased scholarship amount
Because of the financial success of the annual book sale, the local branch of the American Association of University Women increased the Educational Scholarships from $1500 to $1800. The deadline for application is April 19.
Scholarships are intended for women who completed at least one year of college, followed by an interruption in their education. Applicants must be a resident of Walla Walla, Columbia or Umatilla County. Scholarship applications can be completed online or printed from the website. Transcripts, proof of financial need and a brief essay are also part of the application process.
Scholarship funds will be directed to the college of the recipient’s choice to be used as needed for educational expenses. Detailed information is at the AAUW website: http://wallawalla-wa.aauw.net. Local contacts are Debbie Dumont at 509-525-1088 or firstname.lastname@example.org and Jeanne Beirne at 509-525-7401 or email@example.com.
|| Students free at Rick’s Boxing Club
- Free boxing membership for all students
- Club hours: Monday-Friday, 6 to 8 p.m. / Weekends: Road work (times vary)
- Students must maintain a C average
- Homework support and academic expectations are part of the program, including book reports and cursive writing
- Written parent permission required
- Gym Location: College Place
- Information: Rick Brown, 509.386.1294 / Mosetta Brown, 509.386.1293
|| Trilogy program plans Run for Recovery fundraiser
- Trilogy Recovery Community is hosting their third annual Run for Recovery
- Four mile run
- Saturday, April 13
- Rooks Park
- Check-in begins at 9 a.m. with the run starting at 10 a.m.
Come run, walk, or jog, and support Trilogy in their efforts to provide comprehensive recovery support services to youth and their families struggling with dependency on alcohol and other drugs. Dogs and strollers welcome. Registration is $15 through March 31, and $20 through April 12 ($25 day of race registration). Register at www.trilogyrecovery.org.
|| 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.
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
|| Walla Walla High School alum graduates top of the class at law enforcement academy
(SUBMITTED BY THE WALLA WALLA COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT)
Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Christopher Johnson graduated from the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission’s Basic Law Enforcement Academy at the top of his class. Johnson also received numerous awards including the class’ Top #1 overall graduate award.
Deputy Christopher Johnson has been a resident of Walla Walla for nearly 20 years and is a graduate of Walla Walla High School. He completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from the University of Idaho and simultaneously earned a commission in the United States Navy as an Ensign. Designated as a Naval Aviator, Deputy Johnson was stationed at Naval Air Station Pensacola. Due to forced reductions within the Navy, Deputy Johnson was released from active duty into the Navy Reserve. In 2007, his transfer to the United States Marine Corps was approved and he reported to Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA in October of that year to begin The Basic School. Deputy Johnson graduated from The Basic School in July 2008 and was then assigned to Fort Knox, KY to attend the Armored Officers Basic Course. After completing the course in December 2008, he was assigned to Company B, 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division based out of Yakima, WA.
Deputy Johnson deployed with Company B in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as a Mobile Security Detachment platoon commander. While deployed, his platoon completed or supported 59 combat missions throughout the Al-Anbar and Nineveh Provinces of Iraq. Upon his return in September 2009, Deputy Johnson remained with Company B, 4th Tank Battalion and became their Executive Officer. In January of 2011, Deputy Johnson deployed to Afghanistan as the advisor to the Chief of Staff for Afghan National Army Development. He arrived at Camp Eggers, Kabul, Afghanistan in April of 2011 and assumed command of the Afghan National Army Directorates pool of linguists and became the mission security coordinator for all combat missions conducted by the Directorate. While in Afghanistan, Deputy Johnson coordinated and led 53 combat missions throughout the Kabul and Paktia Provinces of Afghanistan. Deputy Johnson was promoted and is currently the Commanding Officer of Company B, 4th Tank Battalion. After returning home from Afghanistan, Deputy Johnson began working as a Sheriff’s Office Court Security Officer at the Walla Walla County Superior Courthouse. He was hired in August 2012 as a Walla Walla County Deputy Sheriff and began his law enforcement training. Deputy Johnson is married with one daughter.
Deputy Johnson is another outstanding example of the quality individuals who are starting careers with the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office in order to serve our community," said Sheriff John Turner. "In the past two years of BLEA and COA academy graduates, the WWSO has enjoyed two #1 graduates, one #2 graduate, and one #3 graduate; these are great jobs and tremendous accomplishments by these new employees serving our county."
|| 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the WISE website.
|| 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 email@example.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.