Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - April 26, 2019

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Director of Bilingual Education accepts Federal Way position; Edison Principal named replacement 

Walla Walla Public Schools Director of Bilingual Education and Latina/o Outreach Dr. Victor Vergara has accepted a position with the Federal Way School District. His last day will be July 1. Superintendent Wade Smith has appointed Edison Elementary Principal Dr. Julie Perron to replace Vergara.

“We wish Dr. Vergara and his family the best as he takes the next step in his career,” said Smith. “We appreciate all he has done to improve our Bilingual Education program, including leading an expansion of the dual language program to Green Park Elementary next school year.”

Perron is fluent in Spanish with strong skills in additional languages. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, a Master of Arts in Administration, Curriculum and Instruction, and a PhD in Leadership Studies. Her dissertation was a case study on the efficacy of dual language. Dr. Perron has also consulted for various school districts throughout her 20-year career in the areas of Sheltered English for Academics, Equity and Diversity and Social Justice, as well as English Language Development strategies, Common Core, and building school community. Prior to accepting the Edison principal position in 2016, she was principal of Whitaker Elementary in California.

“While I am going to miss Edison immensely, I am elated to know that I will continue to help lead Walla Walla Public Schools in a new capacity, and look forward to supporting Edison as well as other areas of the district,” said Dr. Perron.

Walla Walla Public Schools has opened the Edison Elementary principal position and is seeking highly qualified bilingual principal candidates. The position closes May 10. Hiring information is available on the district’s website (www.wwps.org) under the Employment tab.

Doepker named Garrison Middle School Principal 

Walla Walla Public Schools has named Kim Doepker principal of Garrison Middle School from a vast pool of qualified candidates. The comprehensive hiring process included applicants screening, interviews, walkthrough committees and a stakeholder meet and greet opportunity event. The entire process involved nearly three dozen staff, parents, and a school board representative.

“My philosophy of education is rooted in my conviction that “children are the focus of the schools” and that all decisions must be prioritized through this lens,” said Doepker. “It is an honor to have the opportunity to work with students, school personnel, parents and community members for educational excellence at Garrison Middle School.”

Kim Doepker has 28 years of experience in public education and is currently serving as the Principal of Blue Ridge Elementary in Walla Walla. She was assistant principal at Pioneer Middle School prior to her leadership role at Blue Ridge. Doepker also has classroom teaching experience, was a learning specialist and literacy coach.

“Kim Doepker has the skills and experience which make her a great fit to lead Garrison Middle School,” said Walla Walla Public Schools Superintendent Wade Smith. “She is a proven educational leader with a focus on improved academic achievement and supporting the needs of the whole child.”

Current Garrison MS Principal Robert Elizondo has accepted the Touchet School District superintendent position. His last day as Garrison Middle School Principal is June 30, 2019. Doepker will report as new principal July 1.

Superintendent Smith has appointed Green Park Elementary Dean of Students Justin Vernon interim principal at Blue Ridge Elementary for the 2019-2020 school year. He served as an elementary assistant principal at Highline Public Schools prior to coming to Walla Walla. Vernon was also a math coach and dean of students at Highline Public Schools and has over 10 years of elementary teaching experience.

“The School Board is leading a 10-month process to review elementary enrollment, early learning expansion considerations, and potential reconfiguration/consolidation of elementary schools,” said Smith. “They are still many months away from any direction so we want to ensure we remain flexible to accommodate whatever decision is made.”

School Board survey on Early Learning and Addressing Elementary Enrollment open through May 1

Survey Link 

Walla Walla Public Schools is conducting a survey to get input on the school board’s Elementary Consolidation Review and Early Learning Expansion study. This comprehensive study is centered on potential elementary consolidation by the 2020-2021 school year and an assessment of early learning program needs and the potential development of an early learning center. This brief survey asks participants to share views and ideas on these topics. The survey remains open until May 1.

School board members will make site visits to elementary schools, conduct surveys, review enrollment data, analyze district finances and study preschool program options as part of the study. School board members will make a decision in early November. Visit the district website and click on the Elementary Consolidation Review and Early Learning Expansion tab to take the survey and learn more about the study.

Survey to weigh-in on Wa-Hi window options open through May 3

Survey Link   

Walla Walla Public Schools has opened a survey seeking community input on the types of glass and paneling for the Walla Walla High School renovation. The district will be replacing the original windows throughout the campus to improve energy efficiency and safety. Safety experts recommended tinting the top panels and incorporating non-transparent bottom panels to improve safety. The district has assembled a demonstration mock-up featuring four different top window options, with varying levels of tinting. In addition, four different bottom panels are also included for input. The survey is available on the district’s website and closes May 3.

NOTE: It is recommended survey-takers visit the window mock-up located near the Walla Walla High School main entrance on Abbott Road, in person prior to taking the survey, as pictures/images in the survey do not accurately reflect the window options.

WWPS Art Show May 16-19

• Walla Walla Public Schools Student Art Show
• Thursday, May 16 to Sunday, May 19
• 4 p.m. Gala Opening on May 16
• Marcus Whitman Hotel Explorer Ballroom lobby
• Light snacks provided and live music
• Separate judging category for 3D artwork
• New tradition: Event publicity poster art features Gracie Nelson’s art. She was the Superintendent’s Award winner last year

Walla Walla Valley Day of Champions event time for special needs students to shine 

Students with special needs from Walla Walla, College Place, Prescott, Milton Freewater, Athena Weston and Dayton school districts will participate in the 2nd Annual Walla Walla Valley Day of Champions May 9 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Walla Walla High School’s Dave Klicker Track.

This fun and inspiring event hosted by the Walla Walla Public Schools’ Special Education Department provides students the opportunity to compete in a variety of events with the support of Wa-Hi ASB Leadership students, cheerleaders and other Wa-Hi students serving as “peer buddies.” District office staff will be on campus supporting the event in a variety of roles. Kiwanis members will be volunteering their time as well.

Area firefighters from Local Union 404 will be on campus with a fire truck, which will serve as a backdrop for a photo station to capture special moments during the event. Parent and community leader Lawson Knight is volunteering as the event announcer and Sweet Lou from the Walla Walla Sweets Baseball team will be on campus to join in the fun. Lunch time is sure to be fun with Janet Byerley of Jazzercise. Awards will be given to the Most Inspirational Athlete and the Most Involved Peer Mentor. All participants will receive medals of achievement and t-shirts.

“This event is an opportunity to showcase the abilities of our students,” said WWPS Special Education Director Libby Thompson. “By giving them a day to shine while having fun, all students, staff and families are empowered.”

For more information, contact the district’s Special Education Department at (509) 526-6724.

Day of the Child May 10

District teams with Fort Walla Walla Museum for FREE Day of the Child event.
• Friday, May 10
• 4 to 8 p.m.
• Fort Walla Walla Museum (755 Myra Road)
• Free food for the first 500 guests
• Community agencies in attendance to share information
• Games, bouncy houses, face painting
• Live local music: Salvador Hernandez, Robert Elizondo, Ballet Folklorico (Norma Arceo) and Laura Angula
• Free entrance to Fort Walla Walla Museum

School Stories
Wa-Hi Drama presents Seussical the Musical 

Seussical is a conglomeration of Dr. Seuss stories, following Horton the Elephant through a series of adventures. It is family friendly and perfect for young children.

Show Dates and Tickets:
• May 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 @ 7 p.m. and 4 & 11 @ 2 p.m.
• Walla Walla High School Auditorium
• Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for students and may be purchased through the Wa-Hi ASB office, online at intouch.wwps.org, or one hour prior to curtain if available

Cinco de Mayo Family Festival Friday, May 3 

On Friday, May 3th, 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. Dinner will be provided by Martin Lugo and Moisés Soto for the first 400 people who attend the event. Entertainment will feature performances by local groups and school programs. The activity fair will include many community partners, colleges, universities, and school clubs that families or children would enjoy. Those activities will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thanks to the following students for painting the school’s spirit rock in advance of the event: Edlyn Carvajal, Kaysa Villagomez, Robert Rodriguez, Cresencia Cerda, Leyza Diaz, Yuridia Albarran.

Free summer camps for Wa-Hi Classes of 2022 & 2023

June 17-21 Blue Mountain Field Science Camp 9-4: Daily field trips to unique landscapes across the valley (in partnership with Blue Mtn Land Trust & Whitman College.)
June 24-28 Sports Science: Discover the Science behind Sports.
July 8-12 Powered by Math: Real life math plus a field trip to a regional dam to explore hydropower.
July 22-26 CSI Walla Walla: Forensic Science Camp includes a trip to the Pendleton Crime Lab.
August 5-9 Fly Away with Math: Real life math plus field trip to the Air traffic Control Center.
August 19-23 Brain Games: Is it real or is it your mind playing tricks on you?

*Camp cost covered by funding from WSU GEAR UP to incoming freshman and sophomores at WWHS.

Sign up sheets available in the GEAR UP centers at Garrison MS, Pioneer MS and Wa-Hi, For more information, call (509) 526-8640.

Big Blue Boosters Silent and Live Auction May 18

Big Blue Boosters is beginning a new tradition with its inaugural Silent and Live Auction fundraiser Saturday, May 18 at the Walla Walla Fairgrounds Pavilion from 5 to 9 p.m. Auction packages include outdoor adventures, tickets to Seattle sporting events and gift certificates to local businesses. Tickets are $40 per person, which include a catered prime rib dinner, side dishes and beverage. Table and sponsor packages are also available.

Proceeds benefit Walla Walla High School athletics to ensure local coaches and athletes have the support necessary to field competitive teams and provide a quality experience for student-athletes. Funds will be used to purchase sports equipment, technology for coaches and other necessary projects for the athletic program.

“The Big Blue Boosters promotes athletic excellence, pride and sportsmanship,” said Big Blue Boosters President Steve Wanichek. “This auction will serve as an annual fundraiser, celebration of the athletic year and an appreciation for our supporters.”

Silent and Live Auction Items:
• Reserved parking spots at home contests
• Pheasant hunts
• Fishing trips
• Fair, Round-up, and Farm City Pro Rodeo passes
• Weekend stay at Cameo Heights
• Gift certificates to local merchants
• Tickets to Seattle sporting events
• Box tickets and bus ride to a WSU event
• House cleaning
• Dump run
• Assistant coach for your favorite Blue Devil team
• Tennis lessons from Wa-Hi coaches
• Pickleball paddles, balls, and lessons
• And many more items are still coming in

To purchase tickets, visit the Big Blue Booster website: www.bigblueboosters.org/

Contact: Steve Wanichek: gobigblue999@gmail.com

Wa-Hi students receive Washington State Opportunity Scholarships

Congratulations to Walla Walla High School seniors Kalea Soto, Alyssa Drader, Cana Baez, Erick Corona, Leslie Galindo, Karen Maldonado Fajardo, Lynely Salazar, Elena Simon Salas and Fatima Rodriguez Perez for receiving Washington State Opportunity Scholarships. This scholarship funds up to $22,500 towards the cost of college for students majoring in STEM career fields.

“We are so proud of these students as many have been in our AVID program for four years and have the goal of becoming the first generation in their families to graduate from college,” said Walla Walla High School Science teacher Jen Hein. “This award reflects the sheer determination and grit they have exhibited throughout high school, while the financial assistance will allow them to make their goal of going to college a reality. In addition, as a science teacher, it is exciting to see so many students choosing to go into STEM fields.”

About the Scholarship:
The Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) was created in 2011 to address unfilled seats in the high-demand sectors that drive our economy like aerospace, engineering, technology and health care as well as rising tuition costs at Washington colleges and universities. Businesses and the Washington State Legislature joined forces to fulfill the promise of better education and career opportunities for Washington students. Together they have created a unique public-private partnership, with significant support from founding partners Boeing and Microsoft and matching dollars from the State. This first-of-its-kind program supports Washington students from low- and middle-income households to attain bachelor’s degrees in high-demand fields including science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and health care through scholarships of up to $22,500 as well as professional development, skills-building workshops and genuine industry exposure to help increase the rate at which students enter our state’s workforce.

Free physicals at 5th Annual Wa-Hi Sports Physical Round-Up 

Walla Walla High School’s 5th Annual Sports Physical Round-Up is Tuesday, May 21 from 3 to 7 p.m. at Walla Walla High School. Wa-Hi has partnered with Providence Medical Group and their physicians again this year to offer FREE comprehensive sports physicals. This event is open to everyone in the surrounding communities, but is limited to those entering the 6th through 12th grades next year.

Providence Medical Group is providing more volunteer physicians this year to improve waiting times. Visit the Walla Walla High School Athletic Department website or stop by the school’s Athletic Office to get the required permission form. Students are asked to bring the completed form, signed by both student and parent, to the event, or bring their parent and fill out the form at the event. All three pages are required to participate.

Contact Britt Adkins in the Athletics Office for more information: bdadkins@wwps.org or (509) 526-8633.

Wa-Hi FFA Plant Sale next week

• Sale dates: May 1-3
• Sale times: 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
• Location: Walla Walla High School outside the CTE building
• A variety of beautiful plants, hanging baskets, cedar patio planters and metal garden art accessories will be on sale.

FFA students compete at state event

Five Walla Walla High School FFA members placed 7th at the State Environmental and Natural Resources Career Development Event on Monday, April 22.

Mila Flowers, Serena Jacob, Lily Pinkleton, Brandon Pulliam and Amy Wagner traveled to Stanwood, Washington for the competition along with FFA Advisor, and event coach, Peggy Payne.

Fifteen teams from across Washington participated in soil profiling, GPS navigation, water quality testing and analysis, waste management, species identification, data analysis and a natural resources knowledge test. This was the first year Walla Walla High School has entered this event.

Blue Devil Strong plans May 10 suicide prevention walk

Blue Devil Strong, Reach Out Walla Walla and WW County Department of Community Health are proud to announce the second annual suicide prevention walk to be held at the Walla Walla High School Dave Klicker Track on May 10, 2019, starting at 7 p.m.

Community partners include students from Walla Walla Community College, Garrison Middle School, NAMI, Comprehensive Health Care, Catholic Charities, VA Medical Center, Triple Point, Providence St. Mary Medical Center. The event is designed to promote hope, help and strength. Informational booths will be set up by 6:30 p.m. and will provide local information and resources to youth and families.

Together we can stop suicide in Walla Walla! Register at the Evenbrite website for this free event:

For more information contact Jessalyn Waring Bruce jwaring@co.walla-walla.wa.us or Peggy Needham pneedham@co.walla-walla.wa.us at Walla Walla County Department of Community Health (509) 524-2684.

Community Stories
Walla2Hoops AAU basketball club announces spring and summer development program 

Walla2Hoops announces its spring and summer boys and girls offseason basketball development program. These sessions and clinics are included as part of the membership dues for current 2018-2019 athletes at no additional fee. All sessions are also available to new athletes for $50. Visit www.w2hoops.com and click on JOIN to sign up. The W2Hoops offseason program will be facilitated by Stephen Garnett, Dustin Baker, and Matt Price-Huntington. W2Hoops is also hoping to add sessions with Gary Winston.

“Our club mission includes a commitment to developing fundamental skills of the game,” said President Matt Price-Huntington. “Our organization strongly believes the off season is the time to improve and grow as a player. We also want to provide safe and positive activities for Walla Walla youth as we support the character development of all our athletes.”

Dates for our Skills & Strengthening Sessions ‪from 5:30 - 7 p.m.‬ at Berney Elementary:‬‬‬‬
• Friday, April 26
• ‪Friday, May 3‬‬‬‬‬
• Wednesday, May 8‬
• ‪Friday, May 17‬‬‬‬‬
• Wednesday, May 22
• ‪Friday, May 31‬‬‬‬‬
• Wednesday, June 5‬
• ‪Friday, June 14‬ (place TBD)‬‬‬‬
• Wednesday, June 19‬ (place TBD)

Dates for our Sunday Shooting Clinics ‪from 2- 3:30 pm‬ at the Wa-Hi Main Gym:‬‬‬‬
• Sunday, April 28‬
• ‪Sunday, May 5‬‬‬‬
• Sunday, May 19‬
• ‪Sunday, June 2‬‬‬‬‬
• ‪Sunday, June 9‬‬‬‬
• ‪Sunday, June 23‬‬‬‬‬

Dates for our 3-on-3 Summer Workouts, ‪time and place TBD:‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
• Tuesday, July 9‬
• Thursday, July 11‬
• ‪Tuesday, July 16‬‬‬‬‬
• Thursday, July 18‬
• Tuesday, July 23‬
• Thursday, July 25‬
• Tuesday, July 30‬
• ‪Thursday, August 1‬‬‬‬‬

Walla2Hoops is a 501C3 Non-Profit basketball club which operates under the umbrella of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). Walla2Hoops provides an enriched basketball environment with a mission to create a positive competitive culture focused on developing character and basketball fundamentals.

For more information, contact: walla2hoops@gmail.com

Kirkman House plans Mother’s Day Victorian Tea

The Kirkman House is hosting a Mothers’ Day Victorian Tea on Saturday, May 11, at 1:00 pm. The event will feature all the finery and elements of a high tea accompanied by a vintage fashion show. Invite your Mother, daughter or friend to join you for this special event. Tickets may be purchased by calling 509-529-4373 or in person during regular hours. Tickets are $25.00 for non-members and $20.00 for museum members. Reservations are required.

Camp Invention at Edison Elementary this summer

Let your child’s imagination run wild while exploring connections between science, technology, engineering and innovation. Secure a spot at the Camp Invention® program TODAY. Camp runs from July 8-12 at Edison Elementary.
Use promo code A15CAMPEVENT to save $15! invent.org/camp / 800-968-4332

Drug Take Back Day

Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Walla Walla Police Department, 54 E. Moore St
• Waitsburg Fire Department, 234 Main St with WW Sheriff Deputy

Sunday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Walmart parking lot with the College Place Police Department

Drug Take Back rules include:
- NO Sharps or syringes
- No Mercury thermometers
- No Oxygen Containers
- No Chemotherapy/Radioactive Substances
For more information contact Vicki Ruley at 509-520-3735

Group Yard Sale for youth traveling to France & Italy

Kerri Tucker’s youth travel group is hosting a yard sale 4/27 & 4/28 at 1832 Snitily Lane (across from Scarpelli, off Tietan) to raise funds for their trip to France and Italy in June.  Youth will also be selling baked goods, and accepting donations.  If you have any items you’d like to donate for sale, please contact Kerri Tucker at ktucker@wwps.org. This is not a WWPS sponsored trip.

AAUW Walla Walla awards scholarships to 9 young women to attend Tech Trek Science Camp

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) Walla Walla Affiliate is excited to announce nine local 7th grade girls have been selected to receive scholarships to attend the 2019 AAUW Tech Trek Science and Math camp this summer at Eastern Washington University. Funds for these and other local scholarships and educational projects are raised through the annual Kitchen Tour and Book Sale. Tech Trek is an exciting and engaging one-week summer camp for girls featuring hands-on science and technology classes, with opportunities to meet inspiring women role models, and a unique college campus experience. 2019 recipients listed below:

Garrison Middle School
• Tazie Betzler
• Stella Billingsley
• Keegan Isenhower

Pioneer Middle School
• Analia Avalos-McBain
• Abigayl Binney
• Alana Betts
• Kiara Rodriguez

Willow Public Charter School
• Hope Todd-Henningsen
• Isabelle Zanger

City invites community to FREE Arbor Day event at Pioneer Park Saturday

• Come celebrate Arbor Day and the City of Walla Walla receiving its 25th Tree City USA designation.
• Fun activities, exhibits, crafts, educational information, champion tree tours, talking trees, food trucks, raffles, free seedlings and more.
• Saturday, April 27
• 12 to 3 p.m. at Pioneer Park

City Parks & Rec Update

• Blue Mountain Baseball League (formerly known as Babe Ruth) – Ages 13-16 - $75 - Tryouts April 29 at 7pm
• Youth and Adult Art Classes taught in Spanish - $12 - $80
• All Comers Track & Field Meet – May 5 – Ages 12 & under - $3/$5 onsite registration
• Lacrosse Class/Camp - Grades 1 – 8 - $40 - $60
• 2019 Veterans Memorial Pool Passes are on sale!
• Scholarships available for youth programs. To apply stop by the Parks and Recreation office at 55 E Moore St.

For more information on these programs or to register, please go to www.wwpr.us
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