Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - June 21, 2013

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District Stories
 School board approves receipt of Lincoln High School Community facility report
No action taken on recommendations

Tuesday, June 18, Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors approved receipt of the report from the Lincoln High School Community Facility Study Committee co-chaired by Max Carrera and Lori Finn. The broad-based group met five times from January to May to prepare the report and recommendations. The school board did not take action on any of the recommendations in the report.

The report recommends the district build a new school at its current 4th Street location. The committee stated in its recommendation a new building would be less expensive, offer more flexibility and have the least impact on students during construction. The current school was built in 1927 for elementary students. Committee members said the current location best suits the school with its proximity to social services, and Valley Transit bus lines. Many students also live within walking distance of the campus.

The committee also recommends the district establish an Alternative Education Advisory Committee, "institutionalize" the school’s culture and create a public awareness campaign of the school’s recent successes.

The school board will meet at a later date to discuss the recommendations within the report.

Committee Members:

Max Carrera, Co-Chair, Lori Finn, Co-Chair, Katherine Boehm, Eric Gordon, Mark Higgins, Holly Howard, Pat Johnston, Lawson Knight, Ruth Ladderud, Julia Leavitt, Tim Meliah, Mick Miller, Steve Moss, Cindy Widmer, Charlotte Bouta, Steve Burdick, Dick Cook, Alex Demambro, Dan Hess, Dan Johnson, Dean Lodmell, Jim Sporleder, and Mari Tupper.

 DeBroeck to direct Southeast Area Technical Skills Center
Walla Walla High School Technology teacher Dennis DeBroeck has been named the Director of the Southeast Area Technical Skills Center which is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2014. DeBroeck will also teach the Digital Media Technology program at the SEA-Tech Skills Center. He will continue teaching technology classes full-time at Walla Walla High School during the 2013-2014 school year while also providing planning support for the SEA-Tech Skills Center. DeBroeck will work full-time at the SEA-Tech Skills Center once it opens. DeBroeck has been employed by Walla Walla since 1994.

"I am incredibly excited to have Dennis DeBroeck heading up the new SEA-Tech Skills Center," Superintendent Mick Miller said. "He is a kid magnet. Also, Dennis has a vision as to how a rural skills center can be successful and he is the person to lead us."

The Washington state legislature approved a total of $11,519,000 to fund the design development, construction and equipment for the Southeast Area Technical Skills Center in Walla Walla during the 2011-13 biennium for the 36,000 square feet facility located on the Walla Walla Community College campus, off of Isaacs Ave. WWCC is leasing the land to Walla Walla Public Schools for $1 per year. The district’s matching portion of the project cost is the value of the lease over 30 years. The state funded the remaining portion of the project. This funding allowed the district to break ground on the project March 2013.

Leone and Keeble, Inc. is the project contractor.

The skills center will initially offer digital media technology, welding, renewable resources and health occupation programs. The SEA-Tech Skills Center will be a branch campus of the Kennewick School District’s Tri-Tech Skills Center. Partner districts: Dayton, Waitsburg, Touchet, Prescott, and College Place.

 The Health Center receives $100,000 grant from Washington Women’s Foundation
Washington Women’s Foundation has awarded The Health Center a $100,000 grant to help fund clinic coordinator positions to serve at Lincoln High School and Blue Ridge Elementary School. The Health Center was one of five nonprofit organizations in the state, and the only Eastern Washington organization, to receive a $100,000 grant. The Health Center will use the grant over a three year span.

"Our clinic coordinators provide the backbone of vitally needed and successful services for children," said Holly Howard, The Health Center Executive Director. "This year, 340 organizations applied for funding from all over the state, and The Health Center was the sole grant winner in the area of health."

According to Howard, the Washington Women’s Foundation seeks out innovative programs that address critical needs in a community. They specifically noted The Health Center’s success at reaching high risk students at school, providing needed services that reduce truancy and absenteeism, and boosting learning and graduation rates, Howard said.

"As the only independently operated school-based health center in our state, The Health Center is leading the way for other rural communities by demonstrating an effective model of partnership with schools, community medical resources, and other stakeholders," Howard said. "This grant support allows us to continue to help vulnerable children thrive."

Howard cautions the community that the Washington Women’s Foundation grant does not solve The Health Center’s ongoing challenge of sustaining adequate funding. She notes rising operational costs, insurance and other fees related to providing these services as threats to the program.

"The Health Center is keeping students healthy, in the classroom, and ready to learn," Howard said. "We continue to need the support of the community to ensure these services remain in place. We are a critical partner in the lives of these amazing children."

Learn more about The Health Center online: thehealthcenterww.org

 School Board Public Work Session – Tuesday, June 25
The Walla Walla School District Board of Directors has scheduled a public work session at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, June 25. Purpose of the work session is to discuss and review the District’s 2013-14 preliminary budget. The work session will be held at the WWPS Administration Building, Board Room, 364 S. Park Street, and is open to the public.
 Personnel Report (from June 18, 2013 school board meeting)

Michelle Enriquez, second/third grade, Sharpstein
Justin James, Fourth Grade, Green Park

Bethany Kelly, Speech Pathologist (Temp.), Special Programs

Katherine Redar, Special Education, Garrison Middle School

Alice Thomas, Art, Garrison Middle School

*Dennis DeBroeck, Teacher/Director, SEA-Tech Skills Center
* Dennis will teach 1.0 at Wa-Hi in 2013-14 and provide SEA-Tech Skills Center planning on supplemental contract.


Frieda (Mara) Palumbo, Head Start/ECEAP Family Advocate, Blue Ridge Elementary

 Retired district librarian receives regional leadership award
Former Walla Walla Public Schools librarian and longtime area volunteer Jackie George received the Southeast Washington Association of School Administrators Community Leadership award. Superintendent Mick Miller recommended George based on her years of community service and passion for learning.

"Jackie retired as a Library Media Specialist in Walla Walla Public Schools in 2006, but she has yet to abandon her interest in helping students love books and reading," Miller said.

Most of her volunteer work has taken place at Lincoln High School, where there has never been a paid librarian position. Her first task was to inventory all of the books in the current "library" and make decisions as to whether or not to keep them as viable selections for high school students. According to Principal Jim Sporleder, many of the books had been purchased at yard sales and were not appropriate for secondary learners. "Just that undertaking," he said, "was a huge job."

George then organized and categorized the remaining books into a student-friendly check out system. She sought staff input as she made recommendations for new additions to the library and helped put together literature sets requested by teachers. Sporleder said the staff and students will always be grateful to Jackie for turning a collection of random books into a "viable resource for our students and helping us purchase high interest books that they have actually enjoyed checking out."

George continues to volunteer at Lincoln every Tuesday. Additionally, when time permits, she gives of her time to mentor our new staff in all areas "library."

Jackie George is also active in the Exchange Club of Walla Walla. This organization hinges on three pillars of service: child abuse prevention, Americanism and youth activities. Jackie and her husband Ed attend the national and district conference annually and volunteer hundreds of hours a year locally. For years, she chaired the Exchange Club’s Accepting the Challenge of Excellence or A.C.E. Award Program.

The ACE award recognizes students who have had circumstances in their lives that have made it hard for them to succeed. Despite the odds, they have exhibited excellence in turning their academic and personal lives around after being faced with significant challenges. Her involvement helped inspire students to continue making good choices and realizing their potential.

Jackie also helps support the City of Walla Walla Library efforts to engage children in learning and many other civic initiatives.

School Stories
 Big Blue Weekend early registrations now accepted
Students may egister early for Big Blue Weekend 2013, October 4-6. Please check out the Big Blue Weekend website for information and complete the necessary forms. Spaces fill up quickly each year, so students are encouraged to register over the summer. Please contact Carina Stillman cstillman@wwps.org or Mindy Meyer mmeyer@wwps.org if you have questions about this great event!


 Garrison Space Project Launches Balloon - By Bill Erickson
On Monday, June 17, a weather balloon launch at the Garrison Middle School football field, led 20 students involved in the Garrison Space Project on a 120 mile chase across the Palouse region, ending eventually in the northwest corner of Whitman County. The students and their van drivers, project coordinator Brent Cummings, Martin Fortney, and Jeremy Gradwohl were helped by a chase crew of advisors: Frank Skorina from WWCC, Andrea Dobson, Marin Meades and Emma Dahl from Whitman College, and Bill Erickson from the Wa-Hi Latino Club. The students and advisors located the balloon several hours after it landed in a wheat field about a mile from the nearest road.

Prior to the launch, it took about an hour and a half to prep the camera platform and fill the balloon with 150 cubic feet of helium. The girls, with the help of Garrison Middle School science teacher Sue Schultz and retired Garrison science teacher Sue Parish, went through a checklist developed weeks before to make sure all the requirements and cameras were set before launch. This included a call into the FAA to provide a pre-flight notice of the high altitude balloon launch, which occurred at 10:30 am.

The students, who have been involved in the six week program that focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, chased the balloon through the Washington towns of Dayton, Dusty, Colfax, St. John, and Ewan, and eventually located the balloon just west of Rock Creek Lake in Whitman County. During the balloon’s four hour flight, it reached a maximum altitude of 105,835 feet or 20 miles. As a follow-up to the flight, the students will analyze data and review and edit the video taken during the flight. A final presentation will be made to their families, community members, and sponsors.

Student participants in the Garrison Space Project, with the support of 3R’s mentors Nallely Facio, Brenda Lopez, and Eduardo Duran, are: Fatima Alvarado, Angie Alvarado, Yesenia Balderas, Angeles Hernandez, Rubi Lopez, Sarai Lopez, Cynthia Macias, Lizbeth Maya, Cynthia Montalvo, Isla Ortiz, Yolanda Osorio, Axel Patino, Jaelyn Pineda, Kimberly Pureco, Sonia Robles, Andrea Romero, Itzel Salazar, Diana Sandoval, Joycelyn Sotelo, and Samantha Vivanco.

The project’s mission was to develop an interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in Latina students at Garrison Middle School. Funding sources included an initial $1500 grant from the Walla Walla chapter of the American Association of University Women (4 GoPro Cameras), $250 from Nelson Irrigation (GoPro Micro SD Cards), $200 from Columbia REA (Camera chargers and battery packs), $200 from Exploring Post 311 (First Fruits Fund via the Blue Mountain Community Foundation), and Valley Vision (donated anti-fog wipes for cameras). In addition, Whitman College Outreach Coordinator Sue Burt provided funding to help transport the students to pre-launch educational opportunities in the community. Larry Dobson helped provide assistance with the rocket lab and camera mounts, and Whitman College astronomy/physics professor Andrea Dobson purchased the $700 balloon kit.

 Blue Devil Athletic Development (BDAD) Summer Program
Dates: Monday, July 1 - Wednesday, August 7

Incoming 9-12 grades: 8-9 a.m. or 10-11 a.m.

Incoming 5-8 grades: 9-10 a.m.


- $30 pre-register (postmarked by June 21)

- $35 registering at the door

- Registration form on Wa-Hi website


Eric Hisaw: ehisaw@wwps.org / Amy Hisaw: ahisaw@wwps.org

 Parent and teacher team to offer New York City trip during Spring Break 2014
Longtime parent volunteer Kathryn Southwick and Pioneer Middle School teacher Angie Butler are planning a student trip to New York City during Spring Break 2014. This trip is for students in grades 7-12. This trip will feature opportunities for music/drama/arts students and includes theatre workshop classes.

Learn more at:



Community Stories
 None to report this week
None to report this week
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