Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - May 26, 2023

In this Issue:

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories

NO SCHOOL Monday, May 29 – Memorial Day Holiday

There is NO SCHOOL Monday, May 29 in honor of the Memorial Day Holiday. Thank you to the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Let us remember those who courageously gave their lives. Join us as we remember and honor our heroes.

Walla Walla Public Schools names 2023 Graduates of Distinction recipients

Walla Walla Public Schools names this year's honorees for the Graduates of Distinction program. They are: Norm Passmore – Class of 1972; Mary Vixie Sandy – Class of 1978; Steve Bughi – Class of 1978 and Tera Watts Davis – Class of 1998. This is the highest honor bestowed by the district.

These individuals have distinguished themselves in their communities and careers, and they continue to bring honor to the district. Celebrate alongside these distinguished alumni at a reception in their honor on Monday, June 5 (details listed below). Listen to their stories and hear who helped shape their lives during their school years.

Date: Monday, June 5, 2023
Time: 4 to 5:30 p.m.
Place: Walla Walla High School Commons (800 Abbott Road)
NOTE: This event is open to the public.

Electric school bus ribbon cutting ceremony planned

Community members are invited to get a close up look at the district’s first of three electric school buses during a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday, May 30 at 10 a.m. at the SE Washington Transportation Cooperative (1162 Entley St., Walla Walla, WA 99362).

The district received an award from the Department of Ecology for its "Air Quality Clean Diesel Electric School Bus Grant” to fully fund the three electric buses and charging stations. Walla Walla Public Schools has partnered with Columbia Rural Electric Association to provide incoming power for the charging stations.

Walla Walla Public Schools will begin using the electric school bus in late May for local bus routes. The remaining two buses are expected to arrive over the summer and will be operational next school year.

Graduations and End of Year Celebrations

Opportunity and Walla Walla Online Graduation
• Wednesday, June 7
• 6:30 p.m.
• Walla Walla Fairgrounds
• LIVE STREAM LINK - https://bdnw.live/wwoandoppgrad

Lincoln High School Graduation
• Thursday, June 8
• 6 p.m.
• Walla Walla Fairgrounds
LIVE STREAM LINK - https://bdnw.live/lincolngrad

Walla Walla High School Commencement
• Friday, June 9
• 7 p.m.
• Walla Walla High School
LIVE STREAM LINK - https://bdnw.live/wahigrad

Walla Walla Online 8th Grade Recognition
• Tuesday, June 13
• 6 p.m.
• SEATech Multipurpose Room

Pioneer Middle School 8th Grade Recognition
• Tuesday, June 13
• 7 p.m.
• Walla Walla Fairgrounds

Garrison Middle School 8th Grade Recognition
• Wednesday, June 14
• 7 p.m.
• Walla Walla Fairgrounds

School Stories
Wa-Hi Athletics Postseason Update, May 25, 2023 – By Athletic Director Chris Ferenz

Last weekend was fantastic for our Blue Devils here at Walla Walla High School. We had two teams claim District 8 Championships and 25 student-athletes qualify for the state track and field championships.

Friday, May 19th saw the Lady Blue Devil fastpitch softball team defeat the Mount Spokane Wildcats 4-2 in the District 8 Championship game. Senior Sidney McCauley delivered a 3-run homerun to propel the Blue Devils to the win. Next up for the team is a 9:00 am game vs. Bishop Blanchet on Friday, May 26th in the first round of the WIAA State Fastpitch Championships being held at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey, Washington. Fans can follow the action on KGDC Radio as well as the WIAA Tournament Central 

Saturday, May 20th, the boys tennis team concluded their District 8 tournament in Kennewick as the top 3A team in both the MCC and GSL. In singles play, Ken Higgins (Jr) qualified for the state tournament as well as the doubles team of Robert Horton (Jr) and Micah Case (Sr). The tennis team heads to Vancouver, Washington to start play on Friday, May 26th at the Vancouver Tennis Center. Blue Devil fans can follow the action at WIAA Tennis Tournament 

Also on Saturday, at the District 8 Track and Field Championships, the Blue Devil Track and Field team had 25 student-athletes qualify for State Track at Mt. Tahoma High School. Action begins, today, May 25th and concludes on Saturday, May 27th. Individual District 8 champions were Cami Martin (triple jump), Brody Hartley (3200M), and Jake Hisaw (300 hurdles). The Big Blue Train had three relay teams qualify for state: (1) boys 4x100, girls 4x200, and girls 4x100. You may find up to the minute results and live stats at WIAA State Track and Field 

Earlier in the week, the Blue Devil boys and girls golf teams competed at their state championship tournaments in the Olympia area. Senior Emerson Schulke qualified for round 2 of the tournament after a strong day in round 1. Emerson finished her senior season by placing 43rd in the tournament. The girls team finished day 1 in the top 15 of the 3A tournament, however only the top 10 advanced to day 2. On the boys side, Freshman Nile Dumser had three birdies and six pars in his opening round but was unable to make the cut for day 2. Congratulations to all our golfers for their hard work and strong play in representing WWHS at the state level.

Into the Blue activity allows 9th grade students to connect to Wa-Hi

Walla Walla High School is excited to announce Into the Blue – Service, Fun & Connection is coming to Wa-Hi September 11-14. Into the Blue is a spin-off of the wildly popular Big Blue Weekend event from years past. This free event is for all freshmen and focuses on helping students transition to high school in a fun and supportive environment. Students will spend two days and one night at Camp Wooten following a kick-off celebration at Walla Walla High School. Activities at Camp Wooten will help build belonging, strengthen the school community and engage students in school from the beginning of the year.

“This experience aligns beautifully with our District’s new Strategic Plan, Vision 2030,” says Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith. “During our listening sessions we heard from students and parents how important it is to support students as they transition to high school and this event will help foster relationships and connection between students and with staff.”

Volunteers are needed to help make this event a success. There is a specific need for a photographer/videographer and people with specialized outdoor skills and medical backgrounds. Please contact Carina Stillman at cstillman@wwps.org if you are interested in volunteering.

Into the Blue is made possible thanks to a generous donation from the Walla Walla Public Schools Foundation. The schools foundation would like to especially thank Scott & Kim Morasch, The Stubblefield Trust, and the Mary Garner Esary Trust for their support. More information will be coming out in the coming weeks about the event schedule.

If you would like to contribute to the future of this program, please visit www.wwpsfoundation.org and consider donating to the Into the Blue Fund today. Your gift will help make this incredible program possible for future Wa-Hi students.

Thanks to the foundation and state grants, a similar experience is also being programmed for Lincoln High School students.

District to continue to provide most school supplies for families next school year

Most school and classroom supplies will continue to be provided for all Walla Walla Public Schools students and families throughout the 2023-24 school year. For elementary-aged students there is no expectation that families procure specific school supplies, cleaning/hygiene products, or other classroom materials for their child. Middle and high school students are asked to only bring a limited set of individual supplies with them to campus.

See below for a summary of district-provided and family-provided items:

Preschool/Head Start
• Head Start provides all school supplies (e.g. pens, pencils, markers/crayons, glue, tissue, or other classroom supplies)

• WWPS provides all school supplies (e.g. pens, pencils, markers/crayons, glue, tissue, or other classroom supplies)
• Families provide: Backpacks

Middle School/High School
• WWPS provides composition notebooks.
• Families provide: 3-ring binder with loose paper, writing utensils (pencils/pens) and a backpack

NOTE: If families need support with purchasing items, please contact your child’s school and ask for the intervention specialist.

Senior Video Series – Patrick Hubbard

Class of 2023 – Patrick Hubbard, Wa-Hi

Walla Walla Public Schools is producing a video series this spring featuring seniors from across the school district. This series – Meet Washington’s Most Sought-After Graduates – aims to showcase how prepared these soon-to-be graduates are for life after high school. New videos will be released each week leading up to graduation ceremonies in June.

Please take a few minutes to watch these videos and see why these amazing students are great representatives of the district’s Vision Statement of Developing Washington’s Most Sought-After Graduates.

Popular Homelink Program to return this fall to support homeschool families

Walla Walla families’ homeschooling their children will have more local options this fall with the return of the Homelink Program. Homelink is a K-5 parent partnership program between Walla Walla Public Schools and the parents/families of local homeschool children.

Students have the option to attend Homelink classes at the Carnegie Learning Center, a convenient downtown location, one to three days per week for in-person Arts, hands-on Science, Physical Education and hands-on problem solving (Brain Games). Students have the option to access off-campus learning at home from their parent with support provided by WWPS teacher consultants. The program will be housed at the Carnegie Library Building, located downtown at 109 S Palouse St.

“Parents remain the primary instructional provider, with Homelink teachers providing guidance and support,” said Homelink Director Tom Porter. “Homelink supports homeschooling families through classes, curricula, equipment and more.”

Students may meet with highly qualified teachers on campus up to three days a week, depending on the student’s grade level, the student/family schedule and other considerations. Staff and families collaboratively work together to create a personalized Written Student Learning Plan.

“Homelink has a library with a wide variety of books organized and labeled according to the reading level,” said Porter. “Families can also access all district-adopted curriculum as well as propose alternate curriculum choices that support the Written Student Learning Plan.”

Homelink Program Highlights:
• Families are partnered with a certificated teacher
• The certificated teacher will help families pick the curriculum, track progress, and support families
• Students check in weekly with the certificated teacher for their attendance
• Parents conference with certificated teachers once a month
• Optional on-site enrichment classes are offered

Home School Parent Input Survey
• Please take a few minutes to complete this brief survey: https://forms.gle/UVcF9pdxBXk4ry8U7

• Valery Gentzler - Teacher
• Tressa Baker - Teacher
• Mary Burt - Science Teacher
• Tom Porter/Rob Ahrens - Director
• Sonia Towes – Secretary

Information Night Planned
• Tuesday, May 30
• 6 p.m.
• Opportunity Program (1917 E. Isaac Ave, Walla Walla, WA)

Homelink Information
• Contact Sonia Towes: stowes@wwps.org / 509.526.2060.

WEBSITE - https://homelinkww.org/

Legion awards Eagle Scout of the Year to Washington state youth

Walla Walla High School senior Jackson Adams has been named The American Legion’s Eagle Scout of the Year for 2023. The selection was made by The American Legion’s Youth Activities Sub-Committee during the Legion’s Spring Meetings, May 10-11. As the National Eagle Scout of the Year, Adams is receiving a $10,000 college scholarship.

The committee also selected three runners-up who will each receive a $2,500 scholarship – Taylor E. Bell of of Murfreesboro, Tenn; Charles Hiatt of Manhattan Beach, Calif.; and Samuel Mozzillo of Athens, N.Y.

Adams, a senior at Walla Walla High School and member of Scouts BSA Troop 305, was nominated for the National Eagle Scout of the Year award by American Legion Post.
For his Eagle Scout project, Adams “knew I wanted to give back to the environment where I spent much of my Scouting career and decided to incorporate my growing environmental science experience.” He first looked into restoring a neglected trail in the North Folk Umatilla Wilderness, but a flood “stripped away” all access to the trail. He then connected with the Tri-State Steelheaders, an organization devoted to improving salmon habitat. Together, they worked on the construction and installation of three locks for the Walla Walla river that would serve as spawning pools for salmon being reintroduced by the organization. Once again, his plans were disrupted, this time by the 2020 pandemic.

After a few weeks of online schooling, he took it upon himself to learn about computer-aided design and 3D printing. “As masks became increasingly common, I started to design and 3D print a variety of COVID Personal Protective Equipment, which I distributed to my local hospital,” he said. “My ear savers, a collection of mask straps that relieve pressure on the wearer’s ears, became especially popular.” When a local news article mentioned the ear savers, community members began asking how they could help.

Adams began a community-wide effort to provide 1,000 ear savers to frontline workers. In the end, he more than doubled his goal.

“I was tested mentally and emotionally, but I am proud to have persisted through each setback,” Adams said. “As I look toward the future, I can’t wait to apply the leadership, organization and communication skills that I honed during my project in my future endeavors in Scouting, service and beyond.”

Adams will be studying mechanical engineering at Northwest University this fall. Adams will receive a trip to The American Legion’s 104th National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in August to be honored alongside the other American Legion youth program champions.

Walla Walla High School names National Honor Society inductees

Walla Walla High School inducted 47 juniors into the school's National Honor Society chapter which selects students based on scholarship, character, leadership, and service. New members represent the top 11% of their class in terms of meeting all four national standards. Students are initially selected for candidacy based on merit and grade-level coursework and then they apply for further consideration of the remaining NHS pillars to be evaluated through teacher input and Faculty Council selection. Current NHS senior officers emceed the ceremony: President Jackson Adams, Vice-President Christian Luna, Secretary Paige Harvey and Treasurer Abigayle Hedges. All Class of 2023 NHS members assisted in the annual ceremony as outgoing chapter members.
Ollie Allen
Analie Avalos McBain
Arika Berrier
Stella Billingsley
Elizabeth Bottoms
Brandon Bui
Olivia Cassetto
James Coleman
Tila Davalos
Claire Davis
Kaela Eckel
Fern Farnam
Aimee Foster
Anna-Sofia Foster
Zechariah Frierson
Kali Gerber
Eden Glaus
Sofia Glaus
Whitney Griffith
Clarabelle Hall
Sophia Haugen
Ken Higgins
John Hughett
Keegan Isenhower
Wyatt Jenes
Piper Kubrock
Kai Lincoln
Cami Martin
Mateo Maxwell
Quintin McLaughlin
Brock Munsey
Morgan Perron
Zoe Phavong
Paige Prudente
Finley Reed
Lupita Rodriguez
Zane Rupe
Olivia Shiffler
Jesse Snyder
Hailey Thrall
Turner Van Slyke
Micah Vawter
Isaiah Velazquez
Fiona Vrapi
Kasey Wegner
Paige Wilcox
Henry Wutzke

Circuit Craft Camp planned this summer at Garrison Middle School

We’re happy to announce the 6th Annual Circuit Craft Camp (formerly named “Robotics Camp”), June 20-23 at Garrison Middle School. This no-cost, four-day summer enrichment program is open to all middle school students enrolled in Walla Walla Public Schools. Circuit Craft Camp provides young people with the opportunity to engage in hands-on, creative activities related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Participants will have access to tools, equipment, structural and craft materials and electronics that involve designing and building physical objects. Students will be encouraged to experiment and explore different ideas. They will be presented with topics on programming and circuitry with an emphasis on collaboration, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.
Registration Link 

Public invited to dedicate new Walla Walla High School Spirit Bell and Time Capsule

It was 42 years ago when staff and students gathered at Walla Walla High School on a chilly January day to dedicate the school’s new spirit bell monument project that was designed and constructed by staff and students. During this historic ceremony in 1981, the students also tucked away a time capsule with items of the day to open sometime in the distant future.

The district invites the community to take part in the sequel to this historic event, Friday, June 2 at 10:50 a.m. on the campus of Walla Walla High School for the dedication of the next generation spirit bell monument. Participants will be installing the 1981 capsule inside the new monument in addition to a new time capsule commemorating recent years’ artifacts and memorabilia.

The original monument was replaced as part of the bond renovations. Contractors did an excellent job carefully dismantling the original spirit bell structure and rebuilt it nearby its original location, consisting of a larger time capsule chamber, new signage, and preserved items from the original high school on Park Street when it was demolished in 1976 to make way for the YMCA. Senior classes, over the last three years during construction, have been collecting memorable items of the day to put into a new time capsule to be preserved for the future. The 1981 time capsule is set to be opened at the Class of 2023 50th reunion.

Retired educator Jerry Cummins, who helped with the project in 1981, will share stories about working with the students four decades ago. The district is also reaching out to Wa-Hi Class of 1981 graduates to help put their time capsule back into the structure alongside students from the Class of 2023.

Wa-Hi plans Finals Frolic

• Wa-Hi plans last dance of the school year
• FINALS FROLIC (all students invited)
• June 2 in the Academic Building courtyard from 8-10 p.m.
• The theme is NEON

Registration open for Wa-Hi summer sports programs

Registration for Wa-Hi Summer sports programs is now open. Please make sure physicals are up-to-date. Contact coaches directly for more information regarding schedules and program details.
Sign up on Family ID: https://www.wwps.org/resources/parents/familyid

• Boys Basketball 
• Girls Basketball 
• Football 
• Volleyball
• Girls Soccer
• BDSC (Blue Devils Strength and Conditioning) 

NOTE: Incoming freshmen are eligible for their preferred sports program and incoming 6th grades are eligible for BDSC and Co-Ed Tennis. If you are in need of assistance, contact the Athletic Office at (509) 526-8633 or at khammond@wwps.org.

Senior Party planning committee announces parent meeting

Attention all families of graduating seniors. The next SENIOR PARTY PLANNING MEETING is Tuesday, May 30 at 6:30 pm in the Wa-Hi library. Parents of seniors, please plan to attend as we finalize details for the post-graduation party at the YMCA on Friday, June 9. 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. to celebrate our graduates! Committees need help setting up and staffing the event and all are invited to participate.

ALL SENIORS are invited to the YMCA on Friday, June 9 following graduation for fun, food, and prizes to celebrate! THERE IS NO CHARGE TO SENIORS TO ATTEND.

ALL SENIOR FAMILIES and friends/family are needed to help set up and staff--signup link follows so please sign up, plan to help (especially for the late shift) so we can make this a NIGHT TO REMEMBER!

Email laura.norris1119@gmail.com or khubbard@wwps with any questions or to sign up if you cannot access the link.
Thank you to all the helpers and donors and WE'LL SEE YOU GRADUATION NIGHT!

This is not a school-sponsored activity

The Little Theatre of Walla Walla is proud to offer two youth productions this summer 

“The Secret Garden”, is an original Missoula Children’s Theatre rendition and a joyful retelling of a story of hope and celebration. This production features Mistress Mary Quite Contrary embarking on a journey from India to her uncle’s home in England. Along the way she makes friends with the hilarious Canadian Geese and the colorful Giant Bugs that Rock! In time she learns to appreciate everything around her, including the Moor Animals and the helpful Fireflies.

Auditions: Monday, June 26, 10-12, plan to stay the full two hours
Ages: rising 1st through 12 grade students
Roles: up to 60, including assistant directors
Rehearsals: Monday-Friday, June 28-July 1, 10:00 am - 2:15 pm, depending on role
Performances: Saturday, July 1, 3:00 pm and 5:30 pm
Admission: $10, festival seating

“King Arthur’s Calamity” is an Upstage Teen production set in Camelot just before Arthur becomes king. The old queen would like to retire but she wants her successor to be worthy and good to her people and not, if you please, the very ambitious Earl of Nasty. Merlin the Magician is instructed to determine who shall be the new king. Of course, he brings forth the rock with a sword thrust into it. The person who can pull out the sword will be king. The Earl of Nasty tries and fails, but young Arthur, a page, easily extracts it. Then the Earl of Nasty locks Arthur in a dungeon but…it's just not that easy to fool Merlin! This production invites students to be involved at every level; actors, costumes, set, etc., while being guided by long-time Little Theatre volunteers.

Auditions: Tuesday, July 18, 9:30 - 11:00 am
Ages: 13-17 (roughly)
Roles: up to 20, additional student creativity needed for each production area
Rehearsals: Monday-Friday, July 24 - August 4, 9:30 - 11:30 am
Performances: Friday and Saturday, August 4 & 5, 7:30 pm
Admission: $10, festival seating

These creative opportunities are made possible through community grants (Walla Walla’s 100 Women Who Care, the Sunny Day Foundation, ArtWalla, and Exchange Club of WW), and a partnership with The Finch.

For more information, call Kate at 509.301.8000.

Community Stories
Camp Fire Afterschool Program Update

Summer Camp registration is open! We are announcing the themes for all 10 of our program weeks on Instagram. If your child has a special interest relating to one of our themes, or if they just need an opportunity to broaden their horizons and make new friends this summer, consider signing them up for even 1 week of camp. Register online at https://www.wwcampfire.org/summer.

Registration for the last 3 weeks of after school camp is also open at http://www.wwcampfire.org/programs.

We are hiring a new Executive Director. Job description and application instructions can be found here: https://www.wwcampfire.org/employment

We are also looking for guest presenters for Summer Camp. Email natalie@wwcampfire.org if you're interested.

Join Walla Walla Swim Club

• Tryouts are planned for the Walla Walla Blue Warriors Swim Club
• Summer spots are now available
• Fun, healthy, competitive activity
• Call Coach Erika Miller for additional information: 509.525.8863

COCOA announces Juneteenth Jubilee

COCOA would like to invite everyone in our community, especially families with children, to come to the Juneteenth Jubilee on Saturday, June 17, 2023. The event will take place in Washington Park from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Our celebration of joy and the end of enslavement in America is FREE and ALL ARE WELCOME. We will have FREE food, beverages, games, music, crafts, and more. We hope you join us! Follow us on Instagram (wwjuneteenth) and Facebook (cocoawwv).

City Parks & Rec Update

Summer Program Registration is now open.

Recreation Programs
• Fall Youth Soccer – Grades K-8. Cost is $50.
• Fencing - 8 years and up. Cost is $20-$75.
• Golf Lessons – 7 years and up. Cost is $48-$50.
• Little Kicks Soccer – Ages 3-5 years. Cost is $70.
• Little Sluggers – Ages 3-5 years. Cost is $50.
• NFL Youth Flag Football – Grades K-8. Cost is $50.
• Pickleball – Ages 9 years and up. Cost is $30-$60.
• Symbol Quest – All ages. Cost is $15.
• Toddler Dance Party - Ages 6 months-10 years. Cost is $10.
• Walla Walla Soccer Alliance Skills Clinic – Ages 7-11. Cost is $60.

Veterans Memorial Pool Programs
• Lifeguard Training – Ages 15 years and up. Cost is $190.
• All Levels Hatha Yoga – All Ages – Cost is $12-$180.
• Aqua Splash – Ages 16 years and up. Cost is $15-$130.
• Discover Scuba – Ages 10 and up. Cost is $75.
• Sea Monkeys – Ages 16-16 years. Cost is $45.
• SUP Paddle Board Yoga – Ages 15 and up. Cost is $35.
• Swimming Lessons – Ages 3 months and up. Cost is $31-$35. Session 2 registration opens June 23.
• Total Body Aqua Aerobics – Ages 16 and up. Cost is $15-$85.
• Water Walking – All Ages. Cost is $25.

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

Nature Kids: BioBlitz

Blue Mountain Land Trust and Umatilla National Forest with many others present
Nature Kids: BioBlitz
Saturday, June 3rd | 9 am - 1 pm | FREE
Location: Rooks Park
Games, Nature Walks, Outdoor activities and fun!

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