Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - Jan. 5, 2024

In this Issue:

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
School Board Recognition Month

January is School Board Recognition Month. It’s a great time to recognize our school board members who selflessly give their time and energy in support of high-quality public schooling for our youth.

Please thank them for volunteering their time and playing a critical civic role that helps form the bedrock of our democracy—public education. As a crucial bridge between the local community, the school district and our families, their efforts are instrumental in helping all of us realize the hopes and dreams we have for the children of Walla Walla.

Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors:
Alayna Brinton
Ruth Ladderud, President
Kathy Mulkerin
Derek Sarley
Terri Trick, Vice President
Eva Maxwell, Student Representative
Hailey Thrall, Student Representative


Early dismissal Jan. 12 (TK-12)

Attention families! Friday, Jan. 12, 2024 - Early Dismissal for Students (TK-12)

Early Dismissal Times:
• 11:45 a.m. - Transitional kindergarten students at the Walla Walla Center for Children and Families
• 11:40 a.m. - Elementary students (K-5)
• 12:25 p.m. - Middle and high school students (6-12) – Note: SEATech dismisses at 12:15 p.m.
• Lincoln High and Lincoln Open Doors will have classes until 12:30 p.m., but will not have afternoon classes

Early dismissal days are an opportunity for staff to participate in professional development opportunities to support student learning.


No School Jan. 15 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day

There is NO SCHOOL Monday, Jan. 15 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Classes resume Tuesday, Jan. 16.


Remember to Vote – Feb. 13, 2024

Ballots for the Feb. 13, 2024 Special Election will mail out to voters the week of Jan. 22. The district’s Educational Programs and Operations Levy and Capital Levy to improve outdoor athletic and activity facilities will both be on the ballot. Please remember to return your ballots by Feb. 13. Levy Information: https://www.wwps.org/levy2024

Voter Information:
• 315 W. Main St (Room 203)
• (509) 524-2530
elections@co.walla-walla.wa.us


Nominations due March 15 for Graduates of Distinction

Nominations are now open for Walla Walla Public Schools' Graduates of Distinction program through March 15. This program, in its 24th 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.

More information, including nomination packet forms that may be typed and printed, is available on the district's website:
• Forms: http://www.wwps.org/programs/graduates-of-distinction

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
Ruth Ladderud
Mary Jo Geidl
Susie Golden
Sergio Hernandez
Susan Prudente
Joanne Martin

Graduates of Distinction Award Recipients ~ 1999-2023

1999
James F. Aylward 1946
Richard P. Neher 1949
Karen E. Glover 1968
Dr. Eric Johnson 1968
Michael Murr 1969

2000
Gordon S. Riess 1944
Dr. William C. Dement 1947
Wilber Pribilsky 1951
Philip N. Lane, Jr. 1962
Bruce T. Bjerke 1968

2001
Gordon L. Jaynes 1946
Ned Lange 1952
Eugene Blattman 1954
Jeanne Parker Miller 1969
Vickie Anderson-VanZandt 1972

2002
Charlotte Wirth 1944
Robert I. Brunton 1953
James K. Hayner 1968

2003
Gene Frank 1946
Mark Anderson 1973
Irene Gonzales 1980

2004
Harold R. Frank 1941
Ned Shafer 1961
Jeffrey Frank Ray 1978

2005
Gerwyn A. Jones 1928
Dr. George Cole Williams Jr. 1947
Michael Maiden 1968

2006
Val Jensen 1947
Dr. Stephen Hayner 1966
AnnRene Joseph 1973

2007
Dr. Neil V. Follett 1944
Barbara D. Johnson 1967

2008
Claro E. Bergevin 1941
Gretchen Miller Kafoury 1959
John E. "Jack" Pelo 1974

2009
R.F. "Dick" Monahan 1958
Daniel DeSiga 1967
Greg Ralston Pepin 1968
Dr. Philip Phillips 1975

2010
Richard K. Knuth, Ph.D. 1969
Mary Jane Towner-Glaser 1971
Tim Donaldson 1979

2011
Edward Aliverti 1950
Lt. Gen. Robert D. Beckel 1955
Larry B. Siegel 1969
Drew M. Bledsoe 1990

2012
John P. Folsom 1962
Jill A. Largent, M.D. 1968
Megan Ferguson Clubb 1974

2013
Carol Minnick Santa 1962
Dan Reid 1974
Craig Nelson 1981

2014
Thomas L. Copeland 1942
Daniel J. Hess 1968
Paul H. Schneidmiller 1970
David Wagner 1993

2015
Judy Chamberlain Holloway 1962
Richard "Dick" Moeller 1963
Carol M. Barker 1974

2016
Gary Hanson 1976
Mark Kajita 1987
Jerry Zahl 1962

2017
Bruce Hunt 1974
Jeanne Eggart Helfer 1977
Richard D. Simon, Jr, M.D. 1968

2018
Terry Atchison 1966
Dr. Randall Kenneth Barton 1971
Dr. Elizabeth MacDonald 1995

2019
Dr. Tony Billingsley 1993
Scott Krivoshein 1983
Mary Lux Stumph 1983
Peggy Needham 1982

2020 – NO PROGRAM (COVID-19)

2021
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

2022
Russ Colombo Class of 1974
Deborah Underwood Class of 1979
Mark Thompson Class of 1970
J.P. (Jack) Fredrickson Class of 1952

2023
Norm Passmore Class of 1972
Mary Vixie Sandy Class of 1978
Steve Bughi Class of 1978
Tera Watts Davis Class of 1998



WWPS Levy Measures on Feb. 13 ballot

LEVY INFORMATION     

The renewal Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) Levy and a Capital Levy to improve outdoor athletic and activity facilities will be on the Feb. 13, 2024 special election ballot.

The EP&O Levy, often referred to as the “Learning Levy,” is not a new tax. It replaces the expiring levy approved in 2020 and requires voter reauthorization every four years. Its renewal maintains programs and offerings not funded by the state and has been approved consecutively at the ballot box for over half a century in Walla Walla. EP&O Levy funds make up 15% of the Walla Walla Public Schools budget and provide for the continuation of honors classes, music, art, drama, school safety, technology, nursing, athletic programming, financial literacy, driver education, counseling and support staff. Altogether, the levy funds over 110 teaching and support staff full-time positions and more than 230 part-time positions across the district.

Replacing the same rate approved by voters in 2020, the EP&O “Learning Levy” remains capped at $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value. It will run from 2025 to 2028.

The short-term Capital Levy will be used to update outdoor spaces for athletics, activities, JROTC, physical education, marching band and other outside programming, including community use. These improvements were identified by the independent Outdoor Athletic and Activity Advisory Committee and address the priority projects most in need of upgrades to maximize access, safety and participation. In order to minimize impact to taxpayers, the district has identified grants and outside funding sources to help reduce costs. As a result, the Capital Levy rate is estimated to be no more than 38 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value and will automatically expire after six years. The Outdoor Capital Levy would cost about $3 per month for every $100,000 of assessed value. For a home assessed at $300,000 the annual cost would be $114 per year or $9.50 per month through the six-year Capital Levy time frame.

Ballots for these levies will mail out to voters in late January. Both levy propositions require a simple majority to pass, 50% plus one vote.

THE EP&O “LEARNING LEVY” WILL CONTINUE TO FUND:
• Arts Programs
• Band, Choir and Orchestra Programs
• Honors & Advanced Placement Classes
• Theater/Drama
• School Safety
• Foreign Language Programs
• School Nursing/Health Services
• Explorers and Highly Capable Program
• Athletics, Activities and Clubs
• Driver Education
• Counseling and Intervention Specialists
• Facilities Maintenance & Custodial Staff
• Classroom Technology and Technology Staff
• Physical Education
• Educational Assistants/Para-Educators
• Library and Media Services
• Staff Professional Development and Training
• Curriculum and Classroom/Lab Supplies and Materials

THE PROPOSED 38 CENT SHORT-TERM CAPITAL LEVY WILL:
• Replace the 60-year-old original tennis courts at Wa-Hi
• Install an all-weather track at Pioneer MS for athlete, school and community use
• Repair the 43-year-old Garrison tennis courts (Chubb Courts) and resurface the 20-year-old track
• Consistent with all league schools, install high-quality artificial turf playing surfaces and field lighting (low spill/low glare) in order to maximize utilization, participation and post-season play at both the Klicker and Hayner Park fields at Wa-Hi
• Install outdoor lighting (low spill/low glare) in order to minimize instructional loss and maximize family participation for baseball and softball players
• Install elevated bleachers with ADA access at the Klicker Track and Field site for soccer, football and track and field spectators
• Provide adequate access to restrooms and changing rooms for high school athletes
• Construct a JROTC "Raider Obstacle Course" for student, first responder and community use


School Stories
JOIN US! Unlocking Insights: Decoding Social Media and Kids with Jeff Utecht

Join us for an illuminating evening with Jeff Utecht, a distinguished international educator and technology consultant, on Thursday, January 11 at the Walla Walla High School Commons. In a world where kids' social lives have evolved from bike rides to video games and social networks, Jeff will be your guide to understanding this digital shift. Let's come together to decode, understand, and embrace the social lives of our digital generation.

Date: Thursday, January 11 at 6 p.m.
Location: Walla Walla High School Commons (FREE pizza & childcare provided)
Schedule:
- 5:30 to 6 p.m.: Pizza - Families to Get Settled
- 6 to 6:45 p.m.: Family Digital Citizenship Activity (Parents and Students)
- 6:45 to 7:30 p.m.: Parent/Guardian Conversations (students will excused for other activities)

Keynote Topic: Decoding Social Media and Kids
Explore the Evolution: From hanging out on bikes to connecting in virtual realms, Jeff will walk us through the transformation of students' social lives, drawing parallels with the past and highlighting the unique aspects of today's digital interactions.

Insights for Caregivers: Raising a digital generation comes with its challenges and opportunities. Jeff will share essential insights and strategies that caregivers need to navigate the complexities of the digital landscape, fostering a healthy relationship between kids and technology.

Pizza and Onsite Childcare Provided: Enjoy a worry-free evening! We'll have delicious pizza for everyone, and onsite childcare will be available to ensure you can fully engage in the presentation.

Why Attend:
Gain a deeper understanding of your child's digital world. Whether you're a parent, educator, or community member, this event is your opportunity to decode the social media landscape, equipping you with the knowledge to support and guide the next generation.

Who Should Attend:
• Parents and Guardians of Students (of any age or grade level)
• Educators and Teachers
• Community Members Interested in Digital Literacy


Wa-Hi senior receives prestigious Chamber of Commerce award

Congratulations to Walla Walla High School senior Turner Van Slyke for receiving the Future Business Leader of The Year award from the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce as part of its Business Award Showcase. This recognition is awarded to a high school senior who displays leadership qualities every day- qualities like honesty, integrity, dependability, respectfulness, and compassion. This student succeeds in academics as well as community service and serves as a role model to their peers.

Turner serves on the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council and has been active in enhancing climate change awareness and initiatives. He participates in Cross Country and Track and Field and was named Homecoming King. Turner also serves with Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith on the statewide Education Roundtable made possible thanks to a partnership between the Gates Foundation and The Scholar First. Learn more about Turner and his award by clicking on the link and watching the video: https://www.wwvchamber.com/bas/


Community Stories
Walla2Hoops 7th grade boys AAU basketball team punches its ticket to state 

Congratulations to the Walla2Hoops 7th grade boys AAU basketball team for qualifying for state at the Turkey Tip Off tournament in Tri-Cities. The team will compete in the Washington Middle School State Tournament in March in Spokane.

“Initially this tournament was under Division 1 mixed bracket and was intended to be D1 7th Graders & D2 8th Graders, but at the last minute the 8th Grade bracket collapsed and we found ourselves playing D1 8th graders,” said Coach Jose Chavira. “We found ourselves in some tough games, but it was good to see the kids step up to the occasion and finish ahead of all the other 7th grade teams to earn a spot at state.”

W2Hoops 7th Grade Boys Team
Jose Chavira, Coach
Luis Chavira
Brock Ashley
Brayden Shivell
Graeson Parsons
Colton Davis
Brandon Frye
Logan Hale
Julian Reed
Mason Kubrock
Braiden Martindale
Titus Hodgins

About Walla2Hoops AAU Basketball Club
The 2023-2024 AAU basketball season runs from October 2023 to March 2024. The club consists of approximately 21 teams and nearly 200 athletes grades 2-8. Players represent Walla Walla Public Schools, College Place Public Schools, Assumption Catholic School, Touchet School District, Rogers Adventist School, Dayton School District, Pendleton, Waitsburg School District, Weston School District, St. Basil Academy and homeschool students.

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.


Join us for a new year and new programs at the Walla Walla Public Library 

Starting today, January 5, every first Friday of the month Walla Walla Public Library partners with Carnegie Picture Lab to offer fun and simple take-and-make art kits for kids of all ages. Visit the library in person at 238 East Alder Street until 7:00 pm to pick them up; limit one per child please.
This Saturday, January 6 at 10:30 a.m., join the library for a Winter Wildlife Celebration and meet local children's author Sherri Maret, author of "The Twelve Days of Winter: A Winter Wildlife Celebration," long-listed for the Reading the West Book Award and nominated for the Washington Book Award.

Back by popular demand every Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., Big Feels Yoga helps kids & caregivers connect their feelings to their bodies every Wednesday as we learn to "work it out!" with instructor Jen Crane.
Every Wednesday from 5:30-7:00 p.m., Bilingual Baby Zone offers young children and caregivers a chance to connect in Spanish and in English, with a bilingual Spanish/English story time at 6:00 p.m.

Do you love to strategize, dominate opponents, and stretch your mind muscles? Join us every Saturday for the WWPL Chess Club, hosted by teen volunteers at 11:00 a.m. Whether you're a casual player, grand master, or total newbie, chess is for everyone & all levels of play are welcome. Come experience the Community, Competition, & Culture of the world's most dynamic game!

Find a full listing of library programs and events at www.wallawallapubliclibrary.org or call 509-527-4550.


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