Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - Sept. 30, 2022

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Lincoln High School Ribbon Cutting Celebration Oct. 5
The district continues to deliver on its bond promises with its final ribbon cutting ceremony and campus tour of Lincoln High School following a major renovation and expansion. Please come celebrate with the school district for this historic event.

Lincoln High School
• Wednesday, Oct. 5 / 4 to 6 p.m.
• Ribbon Cutting & Tour
Messages of thanks heard throughout Pioneer Middle School Ribbon Cutting ceremony

A large crowd of curious supporters visited Pioneer Middle School Wednesday, Sept. 28 to celebrate with the school district during the official Ribbon Cutting ceremony marking the final steps of the historic bond-funded project. Guests were in awe of the improvements as they toured the campus to see the updated classrooms and renovated facilities made possible thanks to the successful November 2018 bond measure overwhelmingly approved by voters with a 73 percent yes vote.

Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith served as Master of Ceremonies during the event. He shared the history of the school which opened in 1949. Superintendent Smith summarized the improvements made on campus, thanked everyone involved in getting the project approved and completed, and acknowledged the nearly 50 local contractors and vendors who worked on various bond-funded projects. Improvements at Pioneer Middle School include a remodeled 1950's gym, new locker rooms, new auxiliary gym/fitness center, new entry addition, new cafeteria and renovated 1950's wing and classroom addition. The project also includes additions to the main building for science and art classrooms.

Superintendent Smith also introduced former Superintendent Dr. Ellen Wolf to the podium to share stories about the devastating fire at Pioneer Middle School in 1990. Dr. Wolf recalled what it was like managing the crisis, organizing the double shifting of students at Garrison Middle School and renovating the damaged spaces. She said throughout the entire 12-month process, the community stepped up and put the best interest of children first at every step.

The formal program ended with the ribbon cutting, marking the official opening of the newly renovated and expanded facility. Nearly 200 people attended the ceremony and toured the school. Thanks to everyone for your support in making this amazing project come true.

School Board Regular Study Meeting 

Tuesday, Oct. 4
Walla Walla Public Schools District Office (364 S. Park St.)
5:30 p.m. – Regular Study Meeting
Board Meeting Agendas, Minutes & Recordings 

October NO SCHOOL days

• No School – Friday, Oct. 7 (Professional Day)
• No School – Thursday, Oct. 13 & Friday Oct. 14 (Parent/Teacher Conferences)

Nominations now open for Graduates of Distinction

Nominations are now open for Walla Walla Public Schools' Graduates of Distinction program. This program, in its 23rd year, provides an avenue for recognizing high school graduates of Walla Walla Public Schools. These outstanding graduates have distinguished themselves in their communities and professions. This award also provides a platform to honor Walla Walla Public Schools staff members who were the most inspirational in their lives.

The Walla Walla Public Schools Graduates of Distinction selection committee encourages you to consider nominating a Walla Walla Public Schools graduate for this prestigious award. This program is the highest honor for district graduates.


Nominations are due March 15.

Should you have questions or need assistance, feel free to contact Walla Walla Public Schools Director of Communications and Program Chair Mark Higgins at 509-526-6716 / mhiggins@wwps.org or Susie Golden at 509-526-6715 / sgolden@wwps.org.

Graduates of Distinction Selection Committee

Mark Higgins, Chair
Doug Bayne
Tera Davis
Roger Esparza
Paul Schneidmiller
Ron Higgins
Terri Trick
Mary Jo Geidl
Susie Golden
Sergio Hernandez
Susan Prudente
Joanne Martin

Graduates of Distinction Award Recipients ~ 1999-2022

James F. Aylward 1946
Richard P. Neher 1949
Karen E. Glover 1968
Dr. Eric Johnson 1968
Michael Murr 1969

Gordon S. Riess 1944
Dr. William C. Dement 1947
Wilber Pribilsky 1951
Philip N. Lane, Jr. 1962
Bruce T. Bjerke 1968

Gordon L. Jaynes 1946
Ned Lange 1952
Eugene Blattman 1954
Jeanne Parker Miller 1969
Vickie Anderson-VanZandt 1972

Charlotte Wirth 1944
Robert I. Brunton 1953
James K. Hayner 1968

Gene Frank 1946
Mark Anderson 1973
Irene Gonzales 1980

Harold R. Frank 1941
Ned Shafer 1961
Jeffrey Frank Ray 1978

Gerwyn A. Jones 1928
Dr. George Cole Williams Jr. 1947
Michael Maiden 1968

Val Jensen 1947
Dr. Stephen Hayner 1966
AnnRene Joseph 1973

Dr. Neil V. Follett 1944
Barbara D. Johnson 1967

Claro E. Bergevin 1941
Gretchen Miller Kafoury 1959
John E. "Jack" Pelo 1974

R.F. "Dick" Monahan 1958
Daniel DeSiga 1967
Greg Ralston Pepin 1968
Dr. Philip Phillips 1975

Richard K. Knuth, Ph.D. 1969
Mary Jane Towner-Glaser 1971
Tim Donaldson 1979

Edward Aliverti 1950
Lt. Gen. Robert D. Beckel 1955
Larry B. Siegel 1969
Drew M. Bledsoe 1990

John P. Folsom 1962
Jill A. Largent, M.D. 1968
Megan Ferguson Clubb 1974

Carol Minnick Santa 1962
Dan Reid 1974
Craig Nelson 1981

Thomas L. Copeland 1942
Daniel J. Hess 1968
Paul H. Schneidmiller 1970
David Wagner 1993

Judy Chamberlain Holloway 1962
Richard "Dick" Moeller 1963
Carol M. Barker 1974

Gary Hanson 1976
Mark Kajita 1987
Jerry Zahl 1962

Bruce Hunt 1974
Jeanne Eggart Helfer 1977
Richard D. Simon, Jr, M.D. 1968

Terry Atchison 1966
Dr. Randall Kenneth Barton 1971
Dr. Elizabeth MacDonald 1995

Dr. Tony Billingsley 1993
Scott Krivoshein 1983
Mary Lux Stumph 1983
Peggy Needham 1982

2020 – NO PROGRAM (COVID-19)

Elizabeth "Libby" Frazier Class of 1973
Judith Ann Huntington Class of 1964
Garth Lindsey Class of 1962
Mike Monahan Class of 1960
Allison Bingham, PhD Class of 1977
Kathy Covey Class of 1973

Russ Colombo Class of 1974
Deborah Underwood Class of 1979
Mark Thompson Class of 1970
J.P. (Jack) Fredrickson Class of 1952

District seeks substitutes at downtown job fair

Ruben Alvarado (Communities in Schools Regional Director), Mindy Meyer (WWPS Human Resources Director), John Griffith (Transportation Director) and Pamela Milleson (Nutrition Services Director) recently participated in the Walla Walla Job Fair in downtown Walla Walla on Sept. 21. Approximately 40 local businesses and agencies had booths set up at the job fair. Walla Walla Public Schools is currently recruiting substitutes for a variety of positions. Contact the WWPS Human Resources Department or visit the district’s website for more information on employment opportunities -- https://www.choosewallawalla.org/

School Stories
Fall 2023 Parent/Teacher Conference Schedule

Berney Elementary
Monday, October 10 - 3:00-6:45 p.m.
Wednesday, October 12 - 3:00-6:45 p.m.
Thursday, October 13 - 7:30-3:00 p.m.

Edison Elementary
Monday, October 10 - 3:00-6:45 p.m.
Wednesday, October 12 - 3:00-6:45 p.m.
Thursday, October 13 - 8:00-3:00 p.m.

Green Park Elementary
Monday, October 10 - 3:00-6:45 p.m.
Wednesday, October 12 - 3:00-6:45 p.m.
Thursday, October 13 - 8:00-3:00 p.m.

Prospect Point Elementary
Monday, October 10 - 3:00-6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, October 12 - 3:00-6:30 p.m.
Thursday, October 13 - 8:00-12:00 p.m., 12:30-3:00 p.m.

Sharpstein Elementary
Tuesday, October 11 - 3:00-6:45 p.m.
Wednesday, October 12 - 3:00-6:45 p.m.
Thursday, October 13 - 7:30-3:00 p.m.

Garrison Middle School
Tuesday, October 11 - 4:00-7:30 p.m. (arena in the gyms)
Thursday, October 13 - 8:00-11:30 p.m. (arena in the gyms), 12:00-3:30 p.m. (drop-in classrooms)

Pioneer Middle School
Tuesday, October 11 - 3:45-7:15 p.m.
Thursday, October 13 - 8:30-3:30 p.m.

Lincoln High School
Wednesday, October 12 - 3:45-7:15 p.m.
Thursday, October 13 - 8:00-3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, October 12 - 3:45-7:15 p.m. (drop in)
Thursday, October 13 - 7:45-3:15 p.m. (scheduled)

Walla Walla High School
Wednesday, October 12 - 3:45-7:15 p.m. (arena style in large gym)
Thursday, October 13 - 8:00-11:30 a.m. (scheduled), 12:30-3:30 p.m. (arena style in large gym)

WWCCF – Transitional Kindergarten
• Monday, Oct. 10, 3-6:45 p.m.
• Wednesday, Oct. 12, 3-6:45 p.m.
• Thursday, Oct. 13, 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

WWCCF - Head Start and ECEAP
• Tuesday, Nov. 8, 3:00-6:00 p.m. (as needed)
• Wednesday, Nov. 9, 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
• Thursday, Nov. 10, 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

Walla Walla Online
K-12: Oct. 12 -3:45 - 7:15 p.m.
K-12: Oct. 13 – 8 a.m.- 3:30 p.m.

Opportunity Program
Wednesday, October 12 - 3:45-7:15 p.m.
Thursday, October 13 - 8:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Stroe boys impress state fair judges with sewing skills

This past weekend, 7th grader Kittrick Stroe and his older brother, 8th grader Mihai Stroe competed in the 4-H State Fair Fashion Revue Contest. Both Stroe boys made their outfits, then modeled them for judges. They were evaluated on the fit of the garment, quality of construction, and knowledge of sewing techniques. Kittrick and Mihai were eligible to compete in the State Contest, following their top placement in the county fair, held in August. The State Fair in Puyallup contest has two levels of competition: the first is the Daily Fashion Revue, held on each of the four Saturdays of the month-long fair, and the second level of the contest is held on the final Sunday of fair – only those contestants that earned Merit Awards at the Saturday qualifying contests were invited back to compete on Sunday.

Mihai won Grand Champion at Walla Walla County Fair, as well as the first day of competition on Saturday, with Kittrick taking Reserve Grand Champion at each contest. However, younger brother, Kittrick was awarded Grand Champion on Sunday at the Finals round. Mihai was awarded Reserve Grand Champion, thus earning Walla Walla County a clean sweep of the State Contest in the Intermediate division, in which the Stroe boys competed. Mihai and Kittrick are both accomplished sewers, or seamsters – as male sewers are called.

“This is their sixth and seventh year making clothing and competing at various contests,” said their mother Liz Stroe. “Until this competition, Kittrick had never beat his older brother. Although he only beat him by one point, Kittrick has enjoyed his moment to shine!”

Taste Washington brings locally grown foods to school cafeterias

Walla Walla Public Schools is participating in the Washington State Department of Agriculture Taste Washington Day on October 5. Taste Washington Day is an annual celebration of Washington-grown foods served in school meals during the fall harvest season. Schools connect with local farms to make the most of the valley’s bountiful fall harvest. Taste Washington Day WWPS will feature bison tacos for lunch. The bison are raised by Eckler Mountain Bison operated by local rancher Van Seney of Dayton, WA. The district purchased 150 lbs. of ground bison for this event. Students will have additional entrée choices. The district received a $47,000 Farm-to-School purchasing grant which enables it to purchase Washington grown products.

WWPS is also serving the following foods as part of the Taste Washington celebration:
• Plums from R& R Produce, WW
• Asian Pears from Edwards Farms, Milton Freewater
• Plouts from Calhoun Family Fruits
• Corn from Birch Creek Farm, WW
• Cherry Tomatoes, Sweet Peppers, peaches, lemon cucumbers and nectarines from Frog Hollow Farms WW
• Cherry Tomatoes and Radishes from Welcome Table Farm

Community Stories
Pioneer’s Sophia Sorenson’s composition debut

The Walla Walla Symphony, as part of the first concert this season Tuesday, October 4, is premiering 2 pieces by young composers. One of those pieces was written by Sophia Sorenson, an 8th grade cellist at Pioneer. She's participated in the Symphony's SPARK sessions, which are free online composition courses.

“As her orchestra teacher, I'm thrilled for her,” said WWPS Orchestra teacher Julia Woods. “It's a fantastic opportunity and a big step in her musical endeavors.”

Tickets for the concert can be found HERE   

Walla Walla County Fire District #4 Open House

The Volunteers and Auxiliary of Fire District #4 welcome the community to attend their upcoming open house:
• Saturday, October 8
• 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
• 2251 South Howard Street
• Free Hot Dogs & Pop
• Blood Pressure Checks
• Fire Prevention Information
• Equipment and Vehicle Displays
• Pictures of the Kids
• Life Flight If Available

Panama: Environmental Science Adventure-Spring Break 2024

Longtime district and community advocate Kathryn Southwick Hess is teaming with Science teacher Clayton Hudiburg to plan an EF Tour trip to Panama for Spring Break 2024. This experience is focused on environmental science. Surfing, ziplining, and whitewater rafting all in one trip. Traversing hanging bridges atop jungle canopies. Mud hut building with your own two hands. Prepare to get your hands dirty—and your sneakers, and your T-shirt—as you explore Panama, a country of natural beauty (emphasis on natural), rich culture, and of course, thrilling adventure. This is not a Walla Walla Public Schools sponsored activity and the district is not responsible.

Kathryn is planning an informational meeting:
• Tuesday, 4 October
• 7 p.m.
• Walla Walla High School Science Building (Clayton Hudiburg’s classroom)
• There is a $200 Early Bird Discount for travelers who enroll after this meeting
• Meeting RSVP: required - https://bit.ly/3DaCDOn

Walla Walla Valley Disability Network 2022 Ability Walk & Roll Sunday

• Join individuals with special needs and/or disabilities and those who love them, to walk and roll the inside loop of Fort WW Park (1/2-mile loop). A T-Shirt, goodie bag, medal, and activities are included as part of the registration.
• Sunday, October 2
• 1 to 2:30 p.m.
• Fort Walla Walla Park, Walla Walla (755 NE Myra Road, parking near Museum/limited, please carpool)
• $15 per person (children under age 3 – FREE!)
• Find more information and registration forms (in English & Spanish) at: https://www.wwvdn.org/

Kirkman House Sheep to Shawl

The Kirkman House Museum, located at 214 North Colville Street in Walla Walla, will host the annual Sheep to Shawl event Saturday, October 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Weather permitting, the majority of activities will be held on the lawn. Twin lambs and their mother will be on the grounds. Various Kids First activities will be offered throughout the day and several local musical groups will provide entertainment.

Also featured will be crafts and hobbies using wool and other fibers, including spinning, weaving, knitting, needle felting and various methods of making lace.

Parks and Recreation Update

• Fall Cemetery Tour – October 1 - FREE
• Movie in the Park – Hocus Pocus – October 1 – FREE
• Spooktacular Decorating Contest - Decorate your porch, yard, car, pickup, tractor, or other vehicle.
• Pumpkin Carving Contest – Ages 3-12 years. October 20. FREE
• Fencing – 8 years and over - $20-$75

Do you have the Parks and Recreation App? Easy access to game schedules, program registration and more! Download it from your App Store/Google Play Store - Walla Walla Parks and Rec

For more information or to register, please visit our website at www.wwpr.us. If you have questions, feel free to contact the Parks & Recreation Office at 509-527-4527, recreation@wallawallawa.gov 

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