Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - Dec. 20, 2013

In this Issue:

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
Winter break schedule

- No School: December 23 to January 4
- Classes resume Monday, January 6

Board members take oath of office

Tuesday night, Superintendent Mick Miller administered the Oath of Office for school board members Sam Wells, Cindy Meyer and Ruth Ladderud. Wells and Meyer have been elected to four year terms and Ladderud will stand for election in 2015.

School board members elect new officers

Anne Golden was unanimously elected by school board members to serve another term as board president. Cindy Meyer was elected vice president for 2014.

Tour Prospect Point, Wa-Hi and Lincoln High School during Superintendent’s Patron Tour

Superintendent Mick Miller invites you to join him for a behind the scenes look at Walla Walla Public Schools. The Superintendent’s Patron Tour program is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the district, ask questions, tour local schools and enjoy lunch together.

- Wednesday, Feb. 12
- 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (lunch provided)
- Tour sites: Prospect Point Elementary, Wa-Hi, Lincoln HS (tour begins at district office - 364 S. Park) St.)
- RSVP by contacting Mark Higgins at: 526-6726 or mhiggins@wwps.org

Personnel Report (from 12/17/13 school board meeting)

Gloria Alonso-Rodriquez, Kitchen Assistant, Wa-Hi
Kristopher Bland, Para-Educator (temp.), Lincoln HS
Stephanie Maldonado-Salgado, Assistant Secretary, Nutrition Services
Chau Peng Ng, Kitchen Assistant, Prospect Point
Gabriela Salazar, Para-Educator, Blue Ridge
Lori Storey, Kitchen Assistant, Blue Ridge
Kanet Turner, Para-Educator (temp.), Sharpstein

(Certificated) Julie Johnson, Psychology, Wa-Hi, 21 years
Deborah Rowland-Smith, Speech Language Pathologist, Special Education, 32.5 years

(Classified) Scott Harvey, Assistant Custodian, Berney, 6 years

Leave of Absence
(Certificated) Audra Cummings, Health/Fitness, Garrison Middle School, 9 years
* For the remainder of the 2013-14 school year

(Classified) Sandy Leos, Head Start/ECEAP, Green Park, 3 years
* For the remainder of the 2013-14 school year

Toys for Tots donates children’s books for district students

District students will receive early gifts this holiday season as Toys for Tots donated 12,000 children’s books. The books were made available after Pierce and King Counties were not able to take this year’s donation from Toys for Tots. The donation is from Venden Publishing owned by model Kathy Ireland, according to The Moms Network Director Beth Swanson who helped make the arrangements.

The books and learning games are for students in grades P-5. The items will be distributed before winter break. Thanks to Beth Swanson and Toys for Tots for donating this generous gift to the district for the Holiday Season.

Special thanks to Dan Johnson, Penny Taylor and Kelly Gabel for organizing the books for delivery.

21st Century grant provides programs for at-risk youth

In August, Walla Walla Public Schools was awarded a $2.5 million 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) grant by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

This initiative is the only federally appropriated funding source specifically allocated for after school programing, according to a report Tuesday night from Brent Cummings, 21st CCLC Program Director.

Blue Ridge, Garrison, Pioneer, Lincoln, and Wa-Hi (9th grade) are the targeted district schools, based on federal demographic requirements, serving at-risk youth in an after school setting.

“These programs offer exciting, engaging, and dynamic enrichment activities, as well as numerous academic intervention opportunities for the student body,” said Cummings. “Significant community partnerships provide supplemental resources and help ensure the success of the grant.”

Site Directors:
Ruben Hernandez (Blue Ridge), William Hammond (Garrison), Martin Fortney (Pioneer), Jeremy Gradwohl (Lincoln), Andrew Sayers (Wa-Hi).

Community Partners:
Walla Walla Public Library, YMCA, Walla Walla Health Department,
City of Walla Walla (Parks & Rec), Whitman College, WWCC and BMAC

School Stories
Wa-Hi adds smallbore rifle club

Tuesday night, school board members approved the formation of a Wa-Hi Blue Devil Smallbore Precision Rifle Club. This club will prepare the top high school precision rifle shooters for college-level NCAA smallbore rifle shooting, according to JROTC Rifle Coach Mark Mebes.

The club, which will consist of three to five members, will meet one night per week at the Wa-Hi range under the supervision of Mebes and Lt. Col. Bill Bialozor. Three, .22 caliber, single shot rifles will be used. Strict safety procedures are in place, according to Bialozor. The equipment will be donated to the club and Mebes and Bialozor are giving their time so there are no additional costs to the district.

Pioneer Middle School students donate blankets to Helpline

The Pioneer Middle School Power Team raised $340 by selling Candy-Grams during lunches in December. They used the proceeds to purchase 50 yards of fleece and created 25 blankets. More blankets were also donated to the project. In total, approximately 45 blankets were donated to Helpline Walla Walla by Pioneer Power Team.

Area musicians greet students at Sharpstein

Each Wednesday this fall, the sweet sounds of music have greeted Sharpstein students as they enter the school and get ready for their day to begin. These Wonderful Wuzical Wednesdays, as they are called, bring local artists to share their talents and expose students to a wide variety of music styles and instruments. Some of the musicians are Sharpstein parents. Most recently, local blues guitarist, and Wa-Hi security guard, Gary Winston and vocalist Erika Ingersol wowed students and staff with a mini-concert that had students, parents and staff clapping and singing along.

"These musical Wednesdays have been awesome!" says Principal Matt Bona. "They have given many students a chance to hear live music that they would not otherwise be able to experience in their everyday lives. It has been great to see community musicians volunteering their time to come in and perform. We are extremely grateful for them taking the time to share their talents with us and hopefully inspire future musicians here at Sharpstein!"

Sharpstein welcomes community musicians to come and share their talents with students from 7:30 to 8 a.m. one Wednesday morning. Please contact the coordinator at (509) 529-3527 to get on the schedule.

Wa-Hi students take top honors in national WordWright Challenge 

A team of students representing Walla Walla High School recently won highest honors in this year’s WordWright Challenge, a national competition for high school students requiring close reading and analysis of many different kinds of prose and poetry. Participating with 596 school teams from all across the country, the school’s eleventh graders tied for sixth place in the nation in the year’s first meet, held in October. The premise behind the WordWright Challenge is that attentive reading and sensitivity to language are among the most important skills students acquire in school.

Students at the school who won the highest individual honors in the meet included juniors Cora Cole (who earned a perfect score), Emily Atkinson, Seth Chapman, Brian Mott, and Amanda Skurski; and senior Nick Brittain. Freshmen Mary (Grace) McKeirnan and John (Cameron) Peters both earned honorable mention. More than 69,000 students from across the country participated in the meet. The students were supervised by Jill Meliah.

Lincoln High School wins top honors at downtown parade

Congratulations to Lincoln High School for taking 1st Place honors in the Best of Show category at this year’s Macy’s Downtown Parade. The student’s and staff created a float in the image of “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” This award marks a string of first place awards in the parade the past several years. Great job Lincoln!

The Transportation Department won for best grade school entry. The bus was decorated in a holiday bears theme.

Pioneer students go on shopping spree for Toys for Tots

Pioneer Middle School National Junior Honor Society members, under the direction of adviser Alba Biagi, raised more than $1,400 to support the local Toys for Tots program. NJHS students raised money through candy sales, movie night, homeroom competition and community donations. NJHS students and Biagi went shopping Sunday, December 15 to buy toys for area children.

"The Toys for Tots program was our community service project for the year and our kids worked hard to help other kids in our community have a great Christmas,” said Biagi. “I'm so proud of them and we had a great time shopping!"

Community Stories
Walla Walla Police Department accepting applications for the Law Enforcement Citizens Academy

- Classes start January 21, 2014
- 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Tuesday evenings for 11 weeks
- Registration is required along with a background

The Law Enforcement Citizens Academy is an exciting 11 week program hosted by the police department. This program targets people in the Walla Walla Valley, 18 years or older, who want to learn more about Law Enforcement and the Criminal Justice System. Offered FREE of charge, this hands-on, interactive, behind the scenes program is taught by experienced police officers, who share their unique perspective on law enforcement.

The classes will be held every Tuesday night starting January 21 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The Law Enforcement Citizens Academy will conclude April 1 with a graduation ceremony, special speaker and dinner. The classes will be held at various locations throughout the city. The class size will be limited to approximately 30 participants.

Topics covered will include: Patrol –The Backbone of the any law enforcement agency, Detectives and Investigations, an introduction to the K-9 Unit, Gangs, Drugs, “the use of force”, SWAT operations and equipment, “Up on the Hill” – Penitentiary Perspective, Sheriff’s Office and Jail tour, Juvenile Justice System, Domestic Violence, and Community Programs such as DUI prevention / education, School Resource Officer, Crime Victim Advocacy, and Crime Prevention Programs.

Why the Law Enforcement Citizens Academy?
The Walla Walla Police Department sees the Citizens Police Academy as an effective opportunity for our citizens to “connect” with law enforcement on a continuing basis, to the benefit of both law enforcement and our community while creating better understanding and communication between citizens and law enforcement through education!

To apply for the Walla Walla Law Enforcement Citizens Academy visit the city website. Or contact the Walla Walla Police Department to submit an application or pick up a hard copy of the application. For more information contact the Crime Prevention Unit, Vicki Ruley at 524-4409.

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