Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - May 31, 2024

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
District thanks community during groundbreaking ceremony for historic Capital Levy projects

More than 100 community stakeholders flocked to Walla Walla High School Thursday to celebrate with the school district for the groundbreaking of the historic Capital Levy construction projects. Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith served as the master of ceremonies for the event which included speeches from School Board President Ruth Ladderud and community members Lawson Knight and Robert King. The Walla Walla High School JROTC performed colors as the Chamber Singers sang the National Anthem to start the ceremony.

Thank you was the theme of the event following the successful February 13 Capital Levy approved by voters to improve outdoor athletic and activity facilities at Walla Walla High School, Pioneer Middle School and Garrison Middle School.

“We are so thankful to the community for making these projects become a reality for our students, faculty and families,” said Superintendent Smith. “We will continue to be great stewards of our community’s resources to ensure we deliver on every promise made to voters.”

General contractor Hellas Construction, one of the nation’s leading sports field construction companies, has secured Eagon Excavating and Construction Services of Walla Walla to complete the excavation and site work at Walla Walla High School for both turf fields and the tennis courts.

Walla Walla Public Schools is pleased to announce that many of the outdoor athletic and activity facilities projects included in the Outdoor Capital Levy are ahead of schedule. Slated to be completed by early fall on the Wa-Hi campus are the 8 new tennis courts, JROTC “Raider” Obstacle Course, both artificial turf fields and field lights. The Klicker Track at Wa-Hi will be resurfaced and the safer track throwing events area will be developed north of the existing track. The new track at Pioneer Middle School is also scheduled to be completed by September, along with the repair and resurfacing of the Garrison Middle School track. Lights at both the softball and baseball fields at Murr Sports Park are estimated to be finished prior to spring. The Wa-Hi football team will play at Borleske Stadium this upcoming season for the last time before transitioning to the Wa-Hi campus in the Fall 2025, a year sooner than earlier projections.

For more information on the Capital Levy construction projects, visit the district’s Capital Levy website: https://www.wwps.org/departments/fac-op/capital-levy


Day of Champions brings community together

The annual Day of Champions, held this year on Friday, May 24, was an energetic gathering that brought together athletes with disabilities from Walla Walla, Athena-Weston, Prescott, Milton-Freewater, and College Place schools districts. Participants competed in a variety of track and field events and switch-adaptive games, showcasing their skills in a supportive community atmosphere. The event was beautifully inaugurated with the Wa-Hi Cheer team and the JROTC color guard providing an enthusiastic and patriotic opening ceremony. Wa-Hi ASB students also assisted as peer support for participants. The day was filled with enthusiastic performances in many different accessible activities, joyful celebrations, and an overwhelming sense of community and achievement, making it a truly memorable event for all involved.

“I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you for the incredible effort and dedication you put into making our Day of Champions a success,” said Special Education Director Barb Casey. “The joy and excitement on the faces of our champions were a testament to the hard work and passion everyone brought to the event.”


Community invited to Graduates of Distinction reception

Walla Walla Public Schools will be honoring this year’s Graduates of Distinction Monday, June 3 at 4 p.m. at the Wa-Hi Commons. This year’s recipients are: Tricia Copeland Lubach – Class of 1985; Bill Fleenor – Class of 1969; Doug Gwinn – Class of 1932; Karen Hedine – Class of 1972 and Dean Lodmell – Class of 1952. This is the highest honor bestowed to graduates 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 and listen to their stories and hear who helped shape their lives during their school years.

RECEPTION DETAILS
Date: Monday, June 3, 2024
Time: 4 to 5:30 p.m.
Place: Walla Walla High School Commons (800 Abbott Road)
NOTE: This event is open to the public.


School Board Regular Study Meeting

Tuesday, June 4, 2024
Walla Walla Public Schools District Office (364 S. Park St.)
5:30 p.m. – Regular Study Meeting
Board Meeting Agendas, Minutes & Recordings: https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Organization/997


Retirement Celebrations (remaining)

Berney Elementary School
When: 6/5/2024 @ 2:30 PM
Where: Berney Library
Who: Jane Kuschatka

Green Park Elementary School
When: 6/5/24 @ 3:00 PM
Where: Green Park Library
Who: MaryLynn Mele and Gayle Harwood

Sharpstein Elementary School
When: 6/13/2024 @ 3:15 PM
Where: Sharpstein Lobby
Who: Maria Garcia, Cindy Lemke, Laurie Schuetze

Pioneer Middle School
When: 6/13/2024 @ 5:00 PM
Who: Brian Richard and Shannon Debeaumont



School Stories
Wa-Hi Athletics Postseason Update by Athletic Director Chris Ferenz

The Blue Devil Girls Track and Field team capped off a successful 2024 spring season by capturing the WIAA 3A State Track and Field Championships at Mt. Tahoma HS over the Memorial Day weekend. The meet saw Walla Walla outpace Mercer Island by 12.5 points and Silas HS by 28.5 to dominate the team scoring.

In arguably the best track and field performance at the state meet by a Walla Walla athlete, senior Ashlyn Nielsen earned four (4) gold medals with first place finishes in the 100 (first in school history) and the 200 while also anchoring state championship 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams. Joining Nielsen in the 4x200 was Carly Martin, Jailyn Davenport, and Cami Martin. In the 4x100, Nielsen teamed with Cami Martin, Adisyn Andrews and Davenport to capture the team’s second relay championship. In addition to the two (2) medals in the relays, Davenport finished 2nd in the high jump and 5th in the 200 to also earn four (4) medals at the meet. Not to be outdone and also earning four (4) medals, Cami Martin started the meet with a PR of 37’11 in the triple jump for a 2nd place finish and the first 8 points of the meet for the Blue Devils. Cami finished the meet earning a 7th place finish in the long jump. Also scoring points and earning medals were juniors Lilian White (2nd place shot put) and Kirsten Anderson (6th in pole vault). Congratulations to all the girls track team members for a successful season where they competed together with grace and determination.

Head Track Coach Eric Hisaw (3 state championships in 6 years) and his assistant coaching staff: Mike Locati, Scott Magnaghi, Keith Michels, Stacey Haveman, Josh Ashley, Amy Hisaw, Ryan Lackey, Linsey Haxby and Marianne Smith continue to build a track and field program that is centeredon the belief and practice that “We ARE what we REPEATEDLY DO, excellence then is not an act, but a HABIT!!”

At the boys tennis state championship tournament in Vancouver, WA, senior Ken Higgins played to a 1-2 record while making his second appearance in two years. Ken’s back-to-back appearances at state was the first for a boys tennis player at Walla Walla HS in 15+ years. Congratulations to Ken and good luck as he prepares to join the Whitman College men's basketball team next Fall.


JROTC cadets announce post-secondary plans

Congratulations to the following Wa-Hi JROTC cadets upon announcing their plans after high school.

Zuzim Garcia
• Enlisted into the Active Duty, 68W Combat Medic with duty station of choice, Ft. Lewis WA. Will enter as a PFC/E3 due to his four years in JROTC

Aviella Wilson
• Enlisted into the Active Duty, 68W Combat Medic with duty station of choice, Ft. Lewis WA. Will enter as a SPC/E4 due to her four years in JROTC and recruiting Zuzim Garcia to join

Janae Helm
• Accepted at BYU Idaho, Culinary

Micah Vawter
• Interviewed and accepted into Hillsdale College MI. He was awarded the Merit scholarship for 16K per year, 8K for music (saxophone) per year, and a one-time scholarship for 5k from the Civilian Marksmanship Program (air rifle).

Josiah James
• Plans to enlist into the Coast Guard

Tristan Ek
• Earned the JROTC Pepin Scholarship 1.5K, joined Army Reserves and will attend EWU ROTC.

Adam Fundak
• Walla Walla C.C. Diesel Mechanic

Wyatt Block
• Accepted into Walla Walla C.C., Diesel Mechanic

Angela Lindsey
• Accepted into EWU, Human Resources

Matthew Staffen
• Seeking enlistment in the Army, Active Duty

Phineas Kerr
• Accepted into Walla Walla C.C. Diesel Mechanic

Octavio Osorio
• Accepted into EWU for Accounting

Eden Garcia
• Accepted into Walla Walla C.C., Marine Biology

Claire Wooster (Junior)
• Enlisted into the Army Reserves. Plans to attend EWU, ROTC


Whitman professor shares research with Wa-Hi students

Dr. Arielle Cooley, Associate Professor of Biology at Whitman College, visited Peggy Payne's plant biology class last Thursday to share her research on the genetics of "monkeyflower."  Dr. Cooley asked students to observe the flower size and pigment patterns of the plants she brought and then asked students to hypothesize about each species' pollinator.  Students appreciated working with different generations of flowering plants and observing the distribution of traits.  Dr. Cooley's presentation was a timely capstone topic for Payne's students' pollination biology unit.


Wa-Hi Summer Youth Sports Camps

Summer Football Program
• May 28, 2024 to Jul 31, 2024
• Meeting times: 9-11am Mon-Thurs. Boys Grades 9-12
• Starting at age: 14 years; Up to age: 18 years
• Minimum grade 9; Maximum grade 12
• This program is for High School grades 9-12 ONLY

Summer Soccer Program- GIRLS
• May 28, 2024 to Jul 31, 2024
• Meeting times: Soccer trainings 4:30 - 6:00pm
• Minimum grade 9; Maximum grade 12
• This program is for High School grades 9-12 ONLY
• Soccer will be on Murr field due to construction

Summer Soccer Program- BOYS
• Jun 17, 2024 to Jul 31, 2024
• Meeting times: 6:30-8PM
• Starting at age: 13 years; Up to age: 19 years
• Minimum grade 9; Maximum grade 12
• This program is for High School grades 9-12 ONLY
• Soccer will be on Murr field due to construction

Summer Volleyball
• May 28, 2024 to Jul 31, 2024
• Meeting times: 8:30-10 AM grades 9-12
• Minimum grade 9; Maximum grade 12
• This program is for High School grades 9-12 ONLY
• Large gym

Summer BOYS Basketball
• May 28, 2024 to Jul 31, 2024
• Minimum grade 9; Maximum grade 12
• This program is for High School grades 9-12 ONLY
• Large gym/small gym

Summer GIRLS Basketball
• May 28, 2024 to Jul 31, 2024
• Meeting times: TBA grades 9-12 only
• Minimum grade 9; Maximum grade 12
• This program is for High School grades 9-12 ONLY
• Large gym/small gym

Summer Track & Field
• Jun 17, 2024 to Jul 31, 2024
• Minimum grade 9; Maximum grade 12
• This program is for High School grades 9-12 ONLY. (Incoming Freshman are able to participate)
• Location: TBA

Summer Wrestling
• May 28, 2024 to Jul 31, 2024
• Minimum grade 9; Maximum grade 12
• This program is for High School grades 9-12. (Including incoming Freshman)
• Wrestling room

Summer Cross Country (Grades 6-12)
• Jun 17, 2024 to Jul 31, 2024
• Minimum grade 6; Maximum grade 12
• This program is for grades 6-12. (Incoming Freshman & 6th graders are able to participate)
• By the track running routes around campus

Summer Tennis (Grades 6-12)
• Jun 18, 2024 to Jul 31, 2024
• Minimum grade 6; Maximum grade 12
• Location: Walla Walla High School Tennis Courts


Wa-Hi Orchestra Program awards

Congratulations to the following Wa-Hi Orchestra students for receiving program awards. They are:

Outstanding Musician - Jesse Snyder

Arion Award - Fern Farnam

Wa-Hi MVP Orchestra Award - Caleb Milligan

National School Orchestra Award - Elena Morales

Director’s Award - Zane Rupe

Tutti Award - Elena Morales

String Orchestra Leadership Award - Hania Gonzalez-Lara & Naomi Rupe

String Orchestra Musicianship Award - Lars Sandven

Orchestra seniors:
Danielle Angotti, viola; 8 years of orchestra

Fern Farnam, cello; 8 years of orchestra

Kaitlyn Flinders, violin; 8 years of orchestra

Ashley Mendoza, violin; 8 years of orchestra

Caleb Milligan, bass; 8 years of orchestra

Elena Morales, violin; 8 years of orchestra

Kieron Moreno, viola; 8 years of orchestra

Finn Mosher, violin; 8 years of orchestra

Zane Rupe, bass; 8 years of orchestra

Jesse Snyder, cello; 7 years of orchestra



Community invited to Garrison Middle School Business Convention

Eighth grade Garrison Middle School Social Studies students in Conor Fish and Beth Clearman's classes will be hosting a business convention in the large gym Friday, June 7, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Parents and community members are invited to attend.

Student partnerships will be on display in the gym with their proposed business plans. Guests will be given 10, “fake” $1 bills to "invest" in the businesses they think are worthy. All friends, family and community members are encouraged to attend and participate in the convention.


The SUMMER Blue Devil Strength and Conditioning 2024 Program is now open on FamilyID

• Blue Devil Strength and Conditioning program
• Monday - Thursday, June 24- August 15
• Directed by Florida State Strength and Conditioning Coach Drew 'Butch' Buchkoski
• You have the option to sign up for the new BDSC-APX Program ($50 fee). It is open for grades 6-12. PLEASE select the best option for your child.
• If you need financial assistance, please contact our Athletic Director Chris Ferenz and select the option at check out.
• Sign up through FamilyID and select the best option for your athlete
https://students.arbitersports.com/organizations/walla-walla-high-school


Class of 2024 Senior Party volunteers needed

The Class of 2024 Senior Party is at the YMCA Friday, June 7 following the Commencement ceremony. Volunteers are needed. Click on the link to sign up for one of the volunteer options.
https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0B48ADAE29A3F5C52-48553972-graduation#/

NOTE: This is not a Walla Walla Public Schools sponsored event.


Graduations and End of Year Celebrations (remaining)

Opportunity and Walla Walla Online Graduation
• Wednesday, June 5
• 6:30 p.m.
• Walla Walla Fairgrounds
• LIVE STREAM LINK - https://bdnw.live/wwoandoppgrad

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

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

Walla Walla Online 8th Grade Recognition
• Tuesday, June 11
• 6 p.m.
• Carnegie Learning Center (109 S. Palouse St.)

Pioneer Middle School 8th Grade Recognition
• Wednesday, June 12
• 7 p.m.
• Pioneer Middle School (main gym)

Garrison Middle School 8th Grade Recognition
• Thursday, June 13
• 7 p.m.
• Garrison Middle School


Community Stories
City Library Update

Families and kids of all ages are invited to Rainbow Day at the Walla Walla Public Library this Saturday, June 1. We'll have all things rainbow including fun art and science activities, so wear your most colorful gear and join us!
Summer Reading starts this Saturday, with great prizes for all ages—including moms, dads, grandparents, babies, toddlers, and students! Visit the library's website at https://www.wallawallapubliclibrary.org/calendar/summer-reading/all-together-now to sign up online, or visit the library in person for a paper reading log. Simply check off each day that you read from June 1-August 17, then claim your reading prizes at each milestone. Generous donations from local businesses mean there's lots of great prizes, so join us! Find a full listing of library programs on our website at wallawallapubliclibrary.org or find us on Facebook. The library is open 10am-7pm Monday-Friday and 10am-3pm Saturdays at 238 E. Alder Street downtown, or call us at 509-527-4550.


District staff and students featured in Walla Walla Choral Society’s final concert 

The Walla Walla Choral Society’s final concert of the season, on June 2, 2024, will be Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living. This extraordinary five-movement composition, completed in 2013, is an extended setting of the Requiem, scored for mezzo-soprano (sung by Wa-Hi Choir teacher Sarah Thomson) tenor, soprano, choir, and orchestra.

Traditionally, a requiem is a prayer for rest for the deceased. However, in Dan Forrest's innovative work, this prayer becomes a plea for rest for those who are struggling through pain in this life. The final movement, Lux Aeterna, portrays light, peace, and rest – for both the deceased and the living.

For this concert, the Choral Society welcomes student singers and musicians from College Place High School and Walla Walla High School to perform this beautiful composition in a special event for the Walla Walla Valley.

Members of the Wa-Hi choir, and WWPS staff members Sarah Thomson (mezzo-soprano soloist) Julie Woods (double bass), Caleb Condie (violin), & Erica Walsh (flute) also join the Choral Society for this concert. Tickets are available here: https://events.humanitix.com/walla-walla-choral-society


Wa-Hi Class of 2024 Baccalaureate June 2

• Walla Walla High School Senior Send-Off Baccalaureate
• All Walla Walla High School Class of 2024 students and families of all denominations welcome
• Sunday, June 2 at 6:30 p.m.
• Walla Walla High School Commons
• Refreshments and Social Time following
• NOTE: This is not a Walla Walla Public Schools event


City Parks and Rec Update   

Youth, family, and adult Recreation Programs
• Lil Tykes Music Time – Open to ages 1-5years. Cost is $50.
• Father’s Day Mug Class – Open to all ages. Cost is $15.
• Qi Gong – Open to all ages. FREE.
• Singles Walk – Open to all ages. FREE.
• Walking For Fitness – Open to all ages. FREE.
• CJOY Yoga in the Park – Open to ages 12 years and up. Cost is $11-$171.
• NFL Youth Flag Football – Open to boys and girls in K – 8th grade. Cost is $55.
• Fencing – Ages 8 years and up. Cost is $20-$75.
• All Comers Track Meet – Open to Ages 1-12 years. Cost is $3.
• Fall Youth Soccer – Open to grades K-8. Cost is $65.
• Walla Walla Soccer Alliance Skills Clinic – Open to ages 6-11 years. Cost is $65.
• UPlay (onsite registration) – Open to ages 7-12 years. FREE.

Veterans Memorial Pool
• Swim Lessons StarBabies, StarTots – Open to ages 6 months to 3 years. Cost is $35.
• Swim Lessons Starfish Swim School – Open to ages 3-16 years. Cost is $35.
• Swim Lessons Starfish Stroke School – Open to ages 5-16 years. Cost is $35.
• Sea Monkeys – Open to ages 6-16 years. Cost is $65.
• Toddler Time – Open to ages 6 months to 3 years. Cost is $10.
• Adaptive Swim Friday – Open to all ages. Cost is $5-$20.
• Introduction to Diving - Open to ages 6 years and up. Cost is $35.
• All Levels Hatha Yoga – Open to all ages. Cost is $12-$180.
• Discover Scuba – Open to ages 10 years and up. Cost is $79.
• Lifeguard Certification Course – Open to ages 15 years and up. Cost is $200.
• Lifeguard Recertification Course – Open to ages 15 years and up. Cost is $75.
• Veterans Memorial Pool Passes on sale. Family Pass $190, Youth/Senior/Veteran $75, Adult $85.

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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