Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - Feb. 16, 2024

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Voters approve both Walla Walla Public Schools levies

Walla Walla voters sent a strong message of support for Walla Walla Public Schools Tuesday on election night as 65 percent voted YES on the 2024 Replacement Levy, and 58 percent voted YES on the Outdoor Athletic and Activity Capital Levy.

Approval of both measures ensures the continuation of programs and learning opportunities funded by the Replacement Learning Levy and critical improvements to outdoor athletic and activity facilities at Walla Walla High School, Pioneer Middle School and Garrison Middle School. Capital Levy construction will begin this summer with all projects slated for completion by Fall 2026.

Thank you Walla Walla for your votes of confidence as we work together to realize our vision of Developing Washington's Most Sought-After Graduates.


School Board Regular Business Meeting & Executive Session

Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024
Walla Walla Public Schools District Office (364 S. Park St.)
5:30 p.m. – Regular Business Meeting
7:35 p.m. – Executive Session (not open to the public)
Board Meeting Agendas, Minutes & Recordings: https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Organization/997


No School Feb. 19 – Presidents Day

There is NO SCHOOL Monday, Feb. 19 in honor of Presidents Day.


School Stories
James named new Walla Walla High School Head Football Coach

Walla Walla High School has a new Head Football Coach with Justin James named to take the helm next fall. James was one of three finalists vying for the position made vacant with the recent resignation of Coach Greg Lupfer. Justin James grew up in Walla Walla and graduated from Walla Walla High School where he played football, basketball and baseball.

“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to be the Head Coach of my alma mater,” said James. “The experiences I had and the lessons I learned as a player in this football program helped shape me into the person that I am today. I’m a better coach, teacher, father, and husband because of what I learned through football. This is the experience I plan to provide to our athletes.”

James is currently a 5th grade teacher at Sharpstein Elementary and was the Wa-Hi Freshmen Head Football coach this season. He has been a football coach at Wa-Hi since 2009 in a variety of roles, including Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Line Coach. James also coached baseball at Wa-Hi for 11 years.

“This program must be rebuilt on a set of core values,” said James. “Our core values will be rooted in every aspect of this program and will shape our players into successful leaders of this community and beyond. We will produce not only better football players, but also better people. We will provide memorable experiences, meaningful relationships, and positive outcomes for everyone involved.”

James says he will get to work immediately to begin charting a new future for Blue Devil Football. He says supporting programs, increasing strength and development opportunities and building relationships with students to increase participation numbers will be focus areas as he begins his tenure.

“I will work tirelessly and devote myself to rebuilding every aspect of this program into something that our community can rally around because they will recognize the discipline, dedication, and determination we display on and off the field,” said James.


National School Resource Officer Appreciation Day – February 15, 2024

February 15 was National School Resource Officer Appreciation Day. Walla Walla Public Schools extends its deep appreciation to Walla Walla High School Resource Officer Deputy Ian Edwards for his contributions to the students and school. SROs bridge the gap between youth and law enforcement, embracing a triad concept of school policing by serving in informal counseling, educational, and law enforcement roles to support the students and communities they serve. They are invaluable and essential members of the education community, deserving unwavering respect and support from the public in the pursuit of maintaining safe schools and protecting students. Please join us in honoring Deputy Edwards and his impact as our School Resource Officer.


Wa-Hi musicians earn All State honors

Congratulations to the following students for being selected to WMEA 2024 All State Honor Ensembles.
Jordan Fox - Treble Choir
Asher Sutton - Symphonic Choir
Simone Wheeler - Treble Choir
Teresa Wheeler - Treble Choir
Micah Vawter - Wind Symphony
Jazz Zanger - Symphonic Choir


Annual JROTC Competitive Teams Benefit Dinner & Auction

- Annual JROTC Competitive Teams Benefit Dinner & Auction Saturday, March 2
- Walla Walla High School Commons. Doors open at 5 p.m.
- A Chef’s Creation featuring Marty Bray will be providing his usual exceptional fare and tickets are just $25!
- Contact Tony Marrero at amarrero@wwps.org, or visit the Boosters’ website, wahijrotcboosters.org, or call Gene Gossett at 509.520.0778 to learn more!


Wa-Hi JROTC Precision Team Captures Washington State CMP Title

Walla Walla High School’s JROTC Precision Rifle Team traveled to Puyallup, WA last weekend to compete in the Washington State CMP 3 Position Air Rifle State Championship. Seven shooters from the program competed in the match that consisted of 20 shots from the prone position, 20 shots from the standing position and 20 shots from the kneeling position for a total of 600 points possible for each shooter.

The match has the potential to qualify the Blue Devils for the CMP National Championship in Ohio this summer. The highest scoring teams nationally will receive invitations directly to the national match. Teams not qualifying directly may receive invites to the regional championships in Utah in April, where teams will compete for qualifying spots to advance.
Cadet Lieutenant Hannah Goin turned the highest score for Wa-Hi’s team with a 576, 3 points ahead of Cadet Corporal Claire Calvert’s 573 with Cadet Captain Micah Vawter just behind with a 570. Cadet Corporal Evan Graham produced a 569 and Cadet Staff Sergeant Adam Fundak finished with a 565.

“We are excited about our performance today,” said Rifle Team Captain Vawter after Saturday’s match. “This was our highest scoring match so far this year as a team. None of us have ever competed on this range before. Sometimes that brings up a shooter’s intensity and helps them focus.”

The scoring team, consisting of Vawter, Goin, Calvert and Fundak produced a total of 2284 out of 2400 points, taking first place in the state, only 3 points ahead of the Spokane Junior Rifle Club.

“Calvert and Graham shot career-high scores today.” Said Rifle Coach Mark Mebes “As the two newest members of our precision squad, those are encouraging results.”

Next week Wa-Hi’s Rifle Teams travel to Salt Lake City, Utah for the Army JROTC National Service Championship.



Elementary Science Nights planned

Be sure to mark your calendars for Elementary Science Nights. Learning stations include the Catapult Challenge, Magnification, Ice Cream, Slime, Fossils and more. All events are from 6 to 7 p.m. Thanks to the Whitman College Science Outreach program for partnering with the school district to bring these exciting activities to elementary schools.
• Edison- March 7
• Sharpstein- February 29
• Prospect Point- April 11
• Green Park- April 18
• Berney- April 25


Save the Date! Important High School Registration activities planned

• Feb. 20: Incoming 10th & 11th grade parent/student informational mtg (Wa-Hi Library – 6 to 7:30 p.m.)
• Feb. 23: Incoming 11th grade registration in class
• March 1-27: Incoming 10th grade registration in class
• March 4-7: Secondary Parent/Teacher Conferences
• March 11: High School Counselors visit middle schools
• March 11: Parent Presentations for incoming 9th grade families (Wa-Hi Commons: Garrison MS 6 p.m. / Pioneer MS 7 p.m.)
• March 11: We Are Wa-Hi Pre-Registration Fair (Wa-Hi Gym – 6 to 8 p.m.)
• March 19: Incoming 9th Grade Registration for Garrison MS in class
• March 21: Incoming 9th Grade Registration for Pioneer MS in class

Contact your child’s school counselor for additional information.


Community Stories
Community Resource Fair Success

On Valentine’s Day, Walla Walla Public Schools partnered with The Housing Authority, Providence Population Health and Greater Health Now to provide a Community Resource Fair at The Housing Authority gym. This event featured organizations, resources, and basic needs items for our families and community members needing extra care and support. More than 150 people attended.

“It was a fantastic event yesterday,” said WWPS Family Engagement Coordinator Pam Clayton. “We all felt blessed to be a part of it.”

Each vendor provided information, and basic needs items were given away to participants. Raffle items were also available.


AAUW Book Sale Feb. 23-25 at Marcus Whitman Hotel

You and your family are invited to attend the 59th Annual AAUW (American Association of University Women) Book Sale at the Marcus Whitman Hotel, Friday, Feb 23, 9 am – 7 pm; Saturday, Feb 24, 9 am – 7 pm; and Sunday, Feb 25, 9 am – 4 pm. Children (14 and younger) each receive one free book from the extensive children’s section (Picture and Chapter Books). There is also a Young Adult category, featuring books for 12 to 18-year-olds, with more adult themes than children’s Chapter Books. The Book Sale’s approximately 40,000 books are divided into more than 40 categories. Prices range from $1.00 to $4.00 for most titles. Picture Books are $1.00 and Chapter Books are $1.00 for paperbacks and $2.00 for hardbacks. The Collectible Books section featuring rare, collectible books are priced individually. Credit and debit cards will be accepted, along with checks and cash. Proceeds from the sale fund local scholarships for women returning to college, and local educational projects and events.


City Parks and Rec Update

• Mad for Laughter Yoga – Open to all ages. FREE.
• Mother Son Superhero Bash – March 2. Open to all ages. Cost is $25.
• St Paddy’s Day Dash – March 16. Open to all ages. Cost is $20-$35.
• Pre Tee-Ball – Open to ages 3-5 years. Cost is $40.
• Youth Baseball Spring Training (Hitting, Pitching, & Fielding Camp) – Open to boys and girls grades 3rd-8th grade. Cost is $90.
• Blue Mountain Girls Softball – Open to girls Kindergarten – 6th Grade. Cost is $45-$55.
• Youth Spring Lacrosse Academy – Open to boys and girls in pre-school (4 years) – 3rd grade. Cost is $40.
• Youth Volleyball Camp – Open to boys and girls grades 4th–8th. Cost is $50.
• Walla Walla Soccer Alliance Skills Clinic – Open to boys and girls ages 6-11 years. Cost is $60.
• Adult Softball Leage (Men’s, Women’s, Co-Ed) – Ages 16 years and up. Cost is $580-$920 per team.
• Veterans Memorial Pool Passes on sale. Family Pass $160, Youth/Senior/Veteran $60, Adult $70.
• M.E.L.T Fitness – Ages 12 years and up. Cost is $12-$40.
• Fencing – Ages 8 years and up. Cost is $20-$75.
• Pottery Studio Helpline SoupPort Bowl - Donations and painters are needed. $10.89 each.

Youth scholarships available. Visit www.wwpr.us or the Parks and Recreation office to apply.

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.


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