||Levy Thank You! - By Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith
On behalf of nearly 6,000 students, 800 employees and our five-member Board of Directors, I would like to thank our community for their overwhelming support for Walla Walla Public Schools’ Feb. 11 Replacement Education Levy. This vote of confidence continues a 50-year legacy of levy support.
Approval of the levy ensures continuation of the critical programs, opportunities and experiences for our students. Music, arts, honors classes, athletics and enhanced safety measures are just a few examples of how local levies fill in the gaps not funded by state dollars. Not only was the election night’s levy approval rating the highest in 26 years in Walla Walla, it was also the strongest approval rating statewide for All DISTRICTS of similar size and larger, setting the highest of bar for some 145 enrichment levy votes that were on the ballot statewide. This overwhelming community support is a testament to our collective success and momentum, reaffirming what recent surveys, indicators and student accomplishments continue to reveal.
We are on the right track with a bright future ahead for Walla Walla students and staff alike. I am both proud and humbled to serve as your superintendent. I’m blessed with an awesome opportunity to work with some of the finest students, educators, support staff, and leaders in the state.
My colleagues, School Board and I are grateful for your support and do not take your trusted investment for granted. Through our ongoing efforts towards maximizing transparency and fiscal accountability we will continue our pragmatic approach to maximize the critical levy resources you have entrusted with us. We will follow through with our promises by allocating resources precisely towards the programs and opportunities we said we would fund. Thank you all for your support, encouragement and trust as you continue to help us spark the imagination, passion, and futures for thousands of our students. Together, we will achieve our vision of Developing Washington’s Most Sought-After Graduates!
||Behavior Team update – Meeting the social and emotional needs of students
Tuesday night Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Christy Krutulis and Lead Behavior Specialist Jennifer Matson briefed school board members on the district’s Behavior program. The adoption of the new strategic plan in 2017 served as the spring board to put more resources and focus on addressing the social and emotional needs of students. The first step was establishing a five-member Behavior Team to support the initiative. Building level teams were then created to localize support at each school.
They reported progress from the past three years. There is now trauma training in August for new staff. Professional development in small and group settings happens regularly. A new publication “Monthly Behavior Bytes” serves as a tool for communicating strategies. Matson and Krutulis said the district will begin researching Social Emotional Learning curriculum next year. They hope to have it in place by 2022 to better address the needs of students and support their learning.
• Jennifer Matson, Lead Behavior Specialist
• Kristen Duede, Mental Health Specialist
• Nicole Hyatt, Behavior Specialist
• Heather Lane, Behavior Coach
• Mia Murray, Behavior Coach
WWPS Behavior Team Mission
The mission of the district SEL is to develop capacity to incorporate SEL in an aligned and equitable system to ensure positive life outcomes for all students in conjunction with families and the community.
||Personnel Report (February 18, 2020 School Board Meeting)
Classified: Scott Gingras, Bus Driver, SE Washington Transportation Co-Op
Pablo Grimaldi, Grounds Worker, Facilities & Operations
Certificated: Betsy Russell Carroll, Preschool Teacher, Head Start Preschool, 6 years
- Betsy was on a leave of absence for the 2019-2020 school year
||Wrestlers head to state this weekend - By Coach Jacob Butenhoff
Ruben, Nayeli, Annelise, and Jake are all amazing examples of Wa-Hi Wrestling. They are very hard workers and have committed themselves to the sport of wrestling by training year round on the mat and in the weight room on top of being incredible students in the classroom and the game. Their fortitude and discipline towards continual growth and improvement has and will keep paying off as they continue to chase their dreams in wrestling and in life. We are proud of all their efforts.
Both Nayeli Flores and Annelise Whitaker have really set the stage for Girls Wrestling in Walla Walla. Their attitude and courage will have lasting impacts on the culture of wrestling in Walla Walla. They are truly the first of their kind!
Nayeli Flores is wrestling at 100lbs and going into the state tournament with a 31-11 record. She is as fearless as she is scary with a physical style of wrestling. She has racked up 23 pins and 63 takedowns so far. Nayeli is resilient and demonstrates incredible toughness.
Annelise Whitaker boasts a record of 36-3 with 26 pins. She too is tough and a great competitor. She has only given up 6 takedowns all year and it is because she refuses to give up. She has a 3.9 GPA and a very bright future in front of her. Annelise has made more history by becoming our first ever girls District champion and Regional champion. We haven’t had a district champ since the 2015-2016 season and have not had a regional champ since 2012.
Ruben Lozano is pure effort and attitude. He is an absolute warrior. He is holds a record of 26-16 and leads the team in takedowns with 85. He is a kid that is up every morning moving irrigation lines and farming before he comes to morning weights. I have never heard him complain, he just keeps working. He is a young man that will continue to give back to our wrestling family and our Walla Walla community. Furthermore, Ruben Lozano is the first 2x state qualifier since 2009.
Jake Humphrey is on the rise as a sophomore. His explosive power has led him to a 26-9 record while beating multiple previous state champs and placers this year. His character is phenomenal and his expectations rub off on those around him. He made the decision to put himself in the most difficult weight class and bracket in the state. It’s a great example of his willingness to overcome any obstacle in his way. It’s been a pleasure to coach him and we look forward to many more years of fun.
As a coaching staff, we are very blessed and grateful for such incredible kids.
||Kindergarten Dual Language Program Informational Nights
Families interested in having their child learn English and Spanish are encouraged to attend one of the district’s Kindergarten Dual Language Program Informational Nights. This is a great opportunity to learn about the application process and ask questions.
Meeting Date Options:
Monday, March 2
• Green Park Elementary (1105 E. Isaacs Ave)
• 6 to 7 p.m.
Wednesday, March 4
• Edison Elementary (1315 E. Alder St)
• 6 to 7 p.m.
Information: Contact Marilyn Melgoza at 509.526.6784 or firstname.lastname@example.org
||District teams with Corps of Engineers for Engineering Week
Recently 200 Wa-Hi and SEATech students met with members of the Corps of Engineers to learn about their work as part of Engineering Week. Corps of Engineers employees presented to the Wa-Hi Chemistry, Engineering, and AMPED students as well as the SEATech Construction Technology classes about the roles engineers play in society. They discussed the different types of engineering and informed the students about an upcoming egg protection competitions.
Students were invited to create a method to protect an egg so it will speedily go through a gravity-fueled maze. Winners of the competition at each school are invited to go on a field trip to one of the Corps-operated dams for an in-depth tour of the structure and turbines.
Earlier this year the Corps partnered with Walla Walla High School when they brought several female staff members to the school for a Women in Leadership presentation. Students learned about multiple engineering disciplines from different women engineers. They also have an engineering job shadow program for Walla Walla High School students to visit the Corps offices and learn more about this career opportunity. Thank you to the Walla Walla branch of the Army Corps of Engineers for this valuable partnership.
||2020 Conspiracy of Hope Talent show tonight
• 2020 Conspiracy of Hope Talent Show
• Friday, Feb. 21
• 7 p.m.
• Wa-Hi Auditorium
• Cost: $5 with all proceeds supporting the Wa-Hi Winter Wish Program and Dave Meyer Foundation.
• 14 amazing acts
||FFA Alumni Dinner
• 6th Annual Pot of Blue and Gold presented by the FFA alumni
• Saturday, March 21, doors open at 5 p.m., dinner at 6:15 p.m.
• Community Center at the Fairgrounds
• Catered dinner and auction, live music by the Froghollow band starting around 8 p.m.
• Tickets $30 each
• To purchase tickets, visit this website: http://wallawallaffaalumni.weebly.com/tickets.html
• Information: Contact Staci Humphreys - (509) 386-3484
||Kindergarten and Early Learning Roundup
• Wednesday, April 1
• 6 to 7:30 p.m.
• Walla Walla Fairgrounds
• Pick up the 2020 Kindergarten registration packet
• Learn about Early Learning options and resources
• Meet principals and teachers
• Visit community and school informational booths
• Information: Call Pam Clayton - 509.526.6785 or email@example.com
||We Are Wa-Hi – Planning Your Future
• Tuesday, Feb. 25
• 5 to 7 p.m.
• Wa-Hi gym
• Students and families of current 8th-11th grade students are encouraged to attend
Join us to learn about the many opportunities and pathways available to students. This event features an academics/course fair, information sessions and clubs and sports fair. Childcare is provided.
||Behavior Health Town Hall Meeting
The Walla Walla County Behavioral Health Council will be hosting a Town Hall Meeting on March 2 to discuss priorities related to the one-tenth of one percent (.001) sales tax that provides funding for local behavioral health services in Walla Walla County.
There will be an opportunity to review data, ask questions and weigh in on the top three priorities being considered for future behavioral health funding. If you have any questions, please contact Walla Walla County Department of Community Health at 509-524-2650 or email Nikki Sharp or Peggy Needham.
Poll Everywhere Link will be activated the night of the Town Hall Meeting: Poll Everywhere Link
||Walla2Hoops hosts AAU Tournament of Hoops this weekend
Walla2Hoops is hosting its annual AAU Tournament of Hoops February 22-23. Nearly 200 Walla Walla valley boys and girls, ranging from 3rd to 8th grades, will be competing in the two-day basketball tournament. Games will be played at several Walla Walla Public Schools, College Place High School, DeSales High School, Walla Walla YMCA and Whitman College. Game schedules may be viewed on the Tourney Machine app.
“We are expecting about 87 teams to compete in the tournament,” said Walla2Hoops Club President Matthew Price-Huntington. “This is an excellent opportunity to come out and cheer for our future high school basketball players.”
The following local Walla2Hoops teams are registered to play in the tournament:
3B Blue Eagles (Ashley Reavis)
3B W2Hoops (Erik McCollaugh)
4B Little Devils (Ricky Kulberg)
4B W2 Warriors (Kellen Clemens, Austin Roberson)
4G W2Hoops (Luis Ocanaz)
5B W2Hoops (Ryan Davenport)
5B Rebels (Bryan Eggart)
5G Sparks (Catelyn Webber, Jordan Mintz)
6B W2Hoops (Bruce Dumser)
6G Vision 6 (Donny & Polli Jo Weaver)
6G Team BC (Brie Bridgeland, Annie Boyd)
7B Walla2Hoops-Coram (Mark Coram)
7B W2Hoops Ocanaz (Luis Ocanaz)
7G W2 Vision 7 (Donny & Polli Jo Weaver)
7G W2Hoops Blues (Bryan Eggart)
8B W2Hoops Carrara/Unck (Nate Carrara, Eddie Unck)
8B W2Hoops Gardea (Chris Gardea)
8G W2Hoops Rebels (Tony Billingsley)
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 about the club or to provide donations for the scholarship program, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
||Pacific Little League at the Veterans Medical Center sign-ups
“So Kids Can Play” - Baseball for Girls & Boys
• New Division AREA WIDE Intermediate 50/70 for Ages 11-13 ($75.00)*
• Note: You have choices at cheaper fees, 7 innings, stealing bases & leading off.
• Challenger Baseball for the physically or emotionally challenged ages 5-20 ($30.00)
• Majors Division ages 9-12 ($75.00)
• Minor Player Pitch ages 7-11 ($75.00)
• Minor Coach Pitch ages 6-9 ($75.00)
• Tee Ball ages 4-7 ($60.00)
Super 1 Foods in the deli February 24, 25 and 26 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Email John or Karen Zodnick at email@example.com (no Facebook, please) for Registration Forms, Medical Release Forms and Volunteer Forms.
Four try out dates & times for ages 9-13 year olds begins March 1.
Questions? Call 509-520-8447
||City Parks & Rec Weekly Update
• NEW Blue Mountain Pre Tee Ball League – Open to boys and girls ages 3 &4 (age as of 3/30/20) - $40
• Blue Mountain Girls Softball – Grades K-6 - $40 - $55
• Spring Softball Skills Clinic – Ages 7-14 – March 28 – $35 - Pitching and catching clinic - $15
• Blue Mountain Baseball League – Ages 12-16 - $75
• St Paddy’s Day Dash – March 15 at 10am. 5k & 10k for ages 10 & up - $25. NEW Leprechaun Lap (1k) at 9:30am for ages 10 & under $15. Shirts included.
• Youth Fencing – Beginning Classes for ages 9-18. Cost is $60. Saturdays 8:50 – 9:50 and 10am – 11am. Equipment provided.
• Adult Fencing – Classes for ages 18 and up. Cost is $75. Saturdays 11:10 – 12:10. Equipment provided.
• Youth Art Class (taught in Spanish) for ages 5-13. Cost is $20. Mondays 5pm – 7:30pm.
• Ukulele Class Ages 12 and up. Cost is $65. Mondays 1:30-2:30pm or Thursdays 6:30-7:30pm.
• Veterans Memorial Pool Passes – February prices Youth/Senior/Veteran $60 Adult $70 Family $150. Prices will increase on March 1.
• Adult Soccer League Ages 16 and up. Cost is $400 per team.
• Scholarships available for youth programs. For information contact the Parks & Recreation office at 509-527-4527.
For more information on these programs or to register, please go to:
• Web: www.wwpr.us
• Like us on facebook: www.facebook.com/wallawallapr
• Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wallawallapr/