Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - May 10, 2013

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories


District Stories
 National Teacher Appreciation Week: Thank you Walla Walla teachers!
This is National Teacher Appreciation Week. May 7 was National Teacher Day. This is an excellent opportunity to thank our teachers for all they do to provide a quality education for Walla Walla youth. In addition to serving as instructional leaders throughout the school year, teachers also nurture and help develop the whole child.

Teachers also work as coaches, club advisors, arts directors and more to ensure Walla Walla children have opportunities for success. Thank you to our teachers for making Walla Walla a great place to live and raise a family!

 Walla Walla Public Schools receives clean state audit
Walla Walla Public Schools received "no findings" in the independent accountability report summarizing audit results from the Washington State Auditor’s office. This risk-based audit determines the safeguarding of public resources and legal compliance. State auditors studied data from Sept. 1, 2011 to August 31, 2012.

"In the areas we examined, the district’s internal controls were adequate to safeguard public assets," stated the report which was presented to Walla Walla Public Schools May 7 during an exit conference. "The district also complied with state law and regulations and its own policies and procedures in the areas we examined. We would like to thank staff for their cooperation and timely response to our requests during the audit."

State auditor’s examined the following:

- Cash receipting

- Procurement (bidding)

- Evaluation of financial condition

- Associated Study Body

- Payments/expenditures – credit cards

Audit Report Highlights:

Financial Statements: Internal Control Over Financial Reporting


No deficiencies in the design or operation of internal control over financial reporting·

No deficiencies that we consider to be material weaknesses

Federal Grants: Internal Control Over Major Programs


No deficiencies in the design or operation of internal control over major federal programs·

No deficiencies that we consider to be material weaknesses

"We take seriously our role of maintaining accountability, fiscal integrity and transparency in our all our operations," Superintendent Mick Miller said. "This accomplishment is a team effort, but I especially want to thank the staff in the Business Office for their attention to detail and professionalism which played a key role in our success."

Walla Walla Public Schools next audit is scheduled to be conducted in late 2013 or early 2014. It will cover accountability for public resources, financial statements, and federal programs.

 School board Carrera member resigns position
Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors approved the resignation of school board member Max Carrera during the May 7, 2013 director’s meeting. Carrera will resign his seat effective August 1, 2013.

Carrera is currently serving year two of his second four year term. He is chairing the Lincoln High School Location and Facility Committee and wants to conclude this work before his time on the school board is completed. Carrera cites additional demands on his time, personally and professionally, as factors for needing to resign his position.

"It has been a pleasure to serve on the school board and I feel honored to have been a part of a group of people who I deeply respect," said Carrera, a 1985 Walla Walla High School graduate.

The Board of Directors will begin a process August 2, 2013 to appoint a person to complete Carrera’s term. The school board has 90 days to complete this process. Application forms and additional details on the appointment process will be made available August 2. The newly appointed director will then stand for election November 2015.

"Mr. Carrera has been a dedicated member of the Board of Directors and has contributed greatly to the success of Walla Walla Public Schools," said Superintendent Mick Miller.

 Personnel Report (from May 7, 2013 school board meeting)


Jeanette Alvarez, Bilingual third grade, Edison, (2013-2014 school year)

Silvia Rascon, Bilingual fourth grade, Edison, (2013-2014 school year)



Brett Cox, Assistant Principal, Garrison Middle School, (7 years)


Amanda Bess, Bilingual First Grade, Green Park, (3 years)

• Amanda will continue as a .5 FTE ESL teacher

Jesse Briones, Physical Education/Spanish, Lincoln High School, 35 years

Susan McKay, School Psychologist, Special Programs, 1 year

Candice Tan, Special Education, Blue Ridge Preschool, 1 year

• Candice will continue as a .5 FTE Special Education Preschool Teacher

Peggy Tierney, School Psychologist, Special Programs, 21 years


Janet Ihle, Health Clinician, Blue Ridge Elementary, (1 year)

Leave of Absence


Carolyn Pemberton, Math, Walla Walla High School, 8 years * Carolyn will be on leave for the first semester 2013-14

Trula McFarley, Para-Educator, Green Park Elementary, 12 years * For the 2013-14 school year

Ita Trejo, Para-Educator, Prospect Point, 6 years * For the 2013-14 school year

 District Names Graduates of Distinction Honorees for 2013
 Walla Walla Public Schools names this year’s honorees for the Graduates of Distinction program. They are: Carol Minnick Santa, Ph.D., Class of 1962: Daniel J. Reid, Class of 1974; and Craig Nelson, Class of 1981.

These individuals have distinguished themselves in their communities, professions, or careers and continue to bring honor to the district. Celebrate alongside these distinguished alumni at a reception in their honor on Tuesday, June 3rd (details listed below). Listen to their stories and hear who helped shape their lives during their school years.


Date: Tuesday, June 3, 2013

Time: 5:30 to 6:15 p.m.

Place: Walla Walla School District Board Room


Carol Minnick Santa, Ph.D.

Carol is currently Educational Director and owner of Montana Academy which provides education and support for troubled youth. She also created Project CRISS (Creating Independence through Student-owned Strategies). Her nominator was classmate Judy Chamberlain Holloway. Her most inspirational staff members were Donald Kamp (Math), Robert Schweger (Drama) and Elizabeth Kirkman (Latin/Grammar).

Daniel J. Reid

Dan has worked for Opp & Seibold General Construction Inc. in Walla Walla for 22 years and currently is the General Manager. He has been very involved in local civic, athletic and non-profit organizations from 1991 to the present. His nominator was his sister-in-law Hali R. Myers. Dan’s most inspirational staff member was his high school English/Literature teacher Richard "Dick" Poole.

Craig Nelson

Craig and his brother Reid are Co-Presidents of Nelson Irrigation Corporation in Walla Walla. He has been very involved in local athletic and non-profit organizations, and he spearheaded a campaign in 2004 to renovate the Garrison Middle School track. His nominators were his wife, Mindy, and children: Luke, Bailey and Madison Nelson. Craig’s most inspirational staff members were wrestling coach/ math teacher Al Sievertsen and track coach/math teacher Ron Huntington.

 District names Partners of the Year
May is Partners in Learning Month. The district established Partners in Learning Month in May 2010. This month the district will send more than 130 proclamations and letters of recognition to our Partners in Learning.

"We so appreciate the businesses, organizations and agencies who partner with the district throughout the year to support our students," said Anne Golden, School Board President. "We initiated Partners in Learning Month to raise awareness of the important role our partners have in our school system."

Superintendent Mick Miller presented plaques to the district’s 2013 Partners of the Year. He thanked them for providing essential support to help Walla Walla Public Schools offer a first class educational program

2013 Partners of the Year

• JL Stubblefield Trust

• Big Blue Boosters

• Abajian Toyota

• Books for Babes

 Retirement Celebrations 2012-2013 (remaining)
District Office

- Pat Johnston

Thursday, June 6 / 3-5 p.m. / Board Room

Green Park

- Bob Gregoire

Tuesday, May 28 / 4 p.m. / Library

- Mike Lambert

Friday, May 31 / 4 p.m. / Gym

Head Start/ECEAP Preschool @ Blue Ridge

- Marilyn Day

- Sandy McCoy

Wednesday, June 5 / 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. / Blue Ridge Cafeteria

Lincoln High School

- Jesse Briones

- Thursday, May 23

- 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Walla Walla High School

Wednesday - June 12 / 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. / Wa-Hi Commons

Wa-Hi Staff to be honored:

- Jim Briggs

- Craig Buchanan

- Karen Dazell

- Carol Franklin

- Shelley Mann

- Pamela McBride

 National School Nurses Day
May 8 was National School Nurses Day. National School Nurses Day was established in 1972 to foster a better understanding of the role of school nurses in the education setting. Your School nurse has the education and clinical background to serve in a pivotal role to provide expertise and oversight for school health services and promotion of health education in the school setting. School Nurses improve the health and academic success of students.
School Stories
 Elementary Explorers class donates bench for school
District Elementary Explorer teacher Mary Cortinas and students in her program recently donated a bench for the school bus waiting area at Sharpstein Elementary. District maintenance staff installed the bench at no cost to the Explorer Program. The Explorer classes sold Snow Leopard Trust items three years ago and again this year to raise funds for the bench. The students used 65 percent of their sale proceeds to fund the Snow Leopard Trust, an organization for sustainable practices and job creation in countries where snow leopards live. Remaining funds were used to purchase the bench.
 Pioneer students meet governor during leadership trip
Pioneer Middle School teacher Chris Plucker and several students from his Leadership Class reported to school board members Tuesday night on their recent overnight trip to Olympia to meet with elected officials. The students met with District 16 Representatives Terry Nealey and Maureen Walsh and Senator Mike Hewitt.

The highlight of the trip was spending more than 20 minutes with Governor Jay Inslee. The students also presented Governor Inslee with a hot air balloon painting signed by the entire class. Students reported Governor Inslee took time to listen to the questions and respond with thoughtful answers. The group’s Capital Building tour guide, a retired teacher, called Principal Mira Gobel to personally tell her the Pioneer students were amazing. He said they were the best group he’s ever had since taking the job. Plucker said he would like to make this trip an annual tradition. The students raised funds to cover the trip’s expenses.

 Celebrity Chef Maneet Chauhan to judge Walla Walla High School Culinary Competition
Walla Walla High School has been selected to participate in "The Cutting Edge Tour – Seeking America’s Top Teen Chef" competition Friday, May 10, with Food Network Chopped Judge Chef Maneet Chauhan.

Three Walla Walla High School students, who are being mentored by three Walla Walla chefs, will be competing against teenagers from 17 high schools throughout the United States. The event is from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on the campus of Walla Walla High School (800 Abbott Road). Walla Walla High School Culinary Arts teacher Barbara Buttice is coordinating the event.

Walla Walla High School Student Competitors:

- Ian Davidson, 17 (Mentor: Chef Chris Teal of Public House 124)

- Zachary Newby, 15 (Mentor: Chef Jairo Regal from Whitehouse Crawford)

- Brandon Williams, 17 (Mentor: Chef Antonio Campolio from The Marc)

Students will compete in a 40-minute cooking challenge in Room 20 of the Walla Walla High School Science Building. Chef Chauhan will judge the competition. The event is linked to the ProStart National Restaurant Educational Foundation which seeks to develop the best and brightest talent for tomorrow’s restaurant and food service industry. Chef Chauhan will name the winner of the Walla Walla High School competition at approximately 3:20 p.m.

The winning Walla Walla High School student with receive a deluxe knife set and be eligible to win a trip to Washington DC which includes cooking with one of the featured chefs of the White House Chef Tour. The winner of the national high school competitions will be announced at the National Restaurant Association Show, Saturday, May 18.

 Wa-Hi ACT science test scores soar above national averages
Tuesday night, Walla Walla High School Principal Pete Peterson reported to school board members results from recent ACT testing. The district currently tests students in grades 8, 10 and 11. Peterson said the district is considering including 7th grade students in the future. Students are tested in English, Math, Reading and Science.

Peterson said the exams are aligned with Common Core state standards. Wa-Hi students are above the national benchmarks in all subject areas. He said students can also meet Collection of Evidence requirements if they score high enough on their ACT.

 Walla Walla High School graduation gowns needed
 Walla Walla High School Assistant Principal Mark Pickel is seeking graduation gowns for students in need. Gowns of all sizes are needed.

"If anyone has a graduation gown that has been sitting in your closet looking for a new place to hangout we have just the place," Pickel said. "All you have to do is drop it by my office or the ASB office."

Mark Pickel, 509-526-8602 / mpickel@wwps.org

 Tickets available for Big Blue Weekend Fundraiser
-Thursday, May 23

- Jacobi's Restaurant

- 6 p.m. (Appetizers, silent auction, and music by Gary Winston)

- 6:45 p.m. - Dinner (Spaghetti & meatballs, salads, and garlic bread), program & live auction

- Tickets: $30 per adult

- Contact Chris Blackman @ 520-2158 / bcblackman@msn.com for tickets

 AVID Club plans Staff vs. Students soccer match
The Walla Walla High School AVID Club invites the community to the Blue Devil College Cup Staff vs. Student Soccer Game Wednesday, May 15 at 5 p.m. The game is a club fundraiser. The proceeds support the AVID Club's Blue Devil College Cup Scholarship. Three Wa-Hi seniors will be awarded the scholarship during the half time.

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 the skills in communication, critical thinking, note-taking, peer-tutoring, organization, time-management etc. In addition, AVID elective class members become a family.

 Blue Ridge student wins Chamber t-shirt design contest
Blue Ridge Elementary student Cheyenne Webb was this year’s winner of the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce Children's Art Contest. Webb designed the children's t-shirt. Her artwork was selected out of 512 entries. This week, Cheyenne was surprised in her class where she was presented with shirts for herself and her family. She also received $25 in cash and a party for her class.
 Spring musical Bye, Bye Birdie final weekend!
This is the last weekend to see this spring’s Wa-Hi Musical "Bye, Bye, Birdie." A rock singer travels to a small Ohio town to make his "farewell" television performance and kiss his biggest fan before he is drafted. This show is full of colorful characters and fabulous dancing. Tickets are on sale now. Box office hours are weekdays 4:30 to 6 p.m. and one hour prior to shows. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for students.

Bye, Bye, Birdie Show dates: (box office - 526-8613)

- May 9 @ 7 p.m.

- May 10 @ 7 p.m.

- May 11 @ 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.

Mid-Columbia All-Conference athletes named
- Girls Tennis: Second Team, Allison Mehn and Rachel Schueller

- Boys Tennis: First Team, Ruslan Kuznetsov / Second Team, Connor Christensen

- Boys Tennis: Coach of the Year, Bryan Eggart

- Baseball: Second Team, Adam Mathews (pitcher)

- Soccer:

First Team, Ricardo Saldana / Second Team, Jose Maya and Francisco Sanchez / Honorable Mention, Martin Barrera

- Softball:

First Team, Ellie Rassbach (pitcher), Mattie Smyth (outfield) and Jordy Storm (second base)
Second Team, Jacie McDaniels (shortstop) and Kendsey Hill (catcher)

Honorable Mention, Madelyne Aichele (designated hitter)

Community Stories
 The Moms’ Network announces a new support group - Parenting Teens Together
The goal of Parenting Teens Together is to provide a safe place for parents of teens to share experiences, obtain knowledge and access local resources: espousing the belief that "it takes a village to raise a child". The groups’ core values consist of Confidentiality, Respect, Empathy and Grace.

The group meets on the 3rd Thursday of each month and invites guest speakers to address topics of special interest. Meetings are lecture-based with an emphasis on discussion, Q & A and open sharing. The meetings are not limited to the main topic and local resources will be available for all parents who attend. The next meeting is May 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Green Park Elementary School Library. Guest speakers are Mark and Mary Lynn Thompson. Mark Thompson is a Crisis and Bullying Prevention Specialist and travels nationwide teaching civility. More importantly, Mark and Mary Lynn have survived the raising of five teenagers.

"We are thrilled that Mark and Mary Lynn have accepted our invitation to share their insight into parenting teens," says Amber Broel, parent and Moms’ Network member.

Parenting Teens Together was founded by local parents in conjunction with The Moms’ Network. For more details visit www.themomsnetworkww.com or contact Amber Broel at broelae@gmail.com

 Acroknights bring Dr. Seuss books to life
The Walla Walla Valley Academy AcroKnights team will bring Dr. Seuss books to life during their 15th annual Home Show on Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19, at Walla Walla University. In keeping with the Seuss theme, the team will perform daring and mischievous acrobatic stunts from ‘A to Z.’

The entire gym will be transformed into Seusville with a colossal fish bowl, fluffy thneed trees, and a giant Seuss hat. Everybody’s favorite feline, the Cat in the Hat, will narrate the evening and characters such as the Grinch and the playful Thing One and Thing Two will make appearances. Free tickets will be handed out to children during their sneak peak performance at the Balloon Stampede on Friday, May 10 at 5 p.m. on the lawn at the Fairgrounds.

The shows are May 18 at 9 p.m. and the 19 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are available at: WWVA (509-525-1050), Book and Game, The Chamber of Commerce, and Walla Walla University Bookstore. Pre-sale tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children ($10 and $5 at the door).

 Baker Boyer Ducky Derby and Relay for Hope child abuse prevention event
The Baker Boyer Ducky Derby is Saturday, May 18 at Walla Walla Community College. Tickets are on sale now. This event is presented by the Exchange Club of Walla Walla. All proceeds stay local to support the HomeTeam Parent Aide program and for positive youth activities. For a second year the Baker Boyer Ducky Derby welcomes the HomeTeam’s 4th Annual Relay for Hope ‘Walk Away Child Abuse’ Run/Walk as part of the festivities. Relay for Hope features a 1-Mile, 5K/10K run/walk, free Columbia REA Family Fun Festival and Kid Olympics.

May 18 Event Schedule:

- 8:30 to 11 a.m.: Relay for Hope-1-Mile, 5K & 10K run/walk along Mill Creek Trail

- 11:15 a.m.: Kids Dash will kick-off the Baker Boyer Ducky Derby

- 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Columbia REA Free Family Fun Festival and Kid Olympics

- 2 p.m.: Baker Boyer Ducky Derby Race Begins

Registration Fee for Relay for Hope ‘Walk Away Child Abuse’ Run/Walk

- Cost: 1- mile $20, 5/10K Individual w/ no shirt $25, Individual w/ shirt $35

- Register online at www.active.com or Call Children’s Home Society at (509) 529-2130

- Form a team with family, friends, and coworkers or participate as an individual

- For Registration and Sponsorship Information, contact Stephanie Biegel or Debi Allessio at Children’s Home Society of Washington, (509) 529-2130 or stephanieb@chs-wa.org; debia@chs-wa.org

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