Walla Walla Public Schools

Switch to desktop

School Board


The board of directors is an elected body of respected community members who are responsible for the direction of the schools. The board is the authority for local school regulations, policy, programs, and procedures within the framework of state law. As board members, they are responsible for translating the educational ideals, values, and goals of the community into concepts of policy. They ensure goals are set to provide long-range planning; the district budget is balanced; legal interests are protected; and that buildings and grounds are maintained. The Superintendent of Schools reports directly to the board of directors and sees that all policies are implemented.

Regular school board meetings are held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month (February, March, May, June, September, October, November) and on the third Tuesday of each month (January, April, July, August, December). Regular board meetings begin at 6:30 p.m.during the school year and 4 p.m. during summer months. Meetings are held in the district office, 364 S. Park St. Special meetings and work sessions are scheduled as needed.

Adopt-A-School Program

School board members are participating in the Adopt-a-School program to get them in buildings more often. This program is an outreach plan school board members have developed. The Adopt-a-School program allows directors to develop deeper and closer relationships. They may attend activities and receive briefings on their adopted schools.

Adopt-a-School Assignments:

  • Sam Wells - Lincoln High School, Pioneer Middle School, SEA-TECH
  • Cindy Meyer - Berney Elementary, Walla Walla High School
  • Ruth Ladderud - Blue Ridge Elementary, Preschool, Prospect Point Elementary
  • Dr. David Hampson - Garrison Middle School, Opportunity, Sharpstein
  • Derek Sarley - Edison Elementary, Green Park Elementary

Meet Your School Board


Sam Wells - (Position #1)

Sam Wells was elected to the WWSD Board of Directors in November 2013.

Mr. Wells has been a financial advisor with Edward Jones since 2004. He has three children. They attend Walla Walla Public Schools at Pioneer Middle School and Walla Walla High School.

He has served on the board of the Blue Mountain Humane Society and was board president from 2009-2011. He also has been active with Junior Achievement and the Walla Walla Noon Rotary Club.

District Committees:

  • Administrative Finance Committee*
  • Career/Technical Education***
  • Classified Negotiations**
  • Explorer Advisory Committee**
  • Instructional Review Committee*
  • Technology Task Force*

Type of Committee:  *Administrative, **Board Sub Committee, ***Other

Contact: swells@wwps.org  (509) 527-3000
Term ends: 2017


Cindy Meyer - (Position #2)

Longtime district volunteer and fourth generation school board member, Cindy Meyer was elected to the school board in 2005. Meyer has a B.A. in Geology from Oregon State University. Her husband, Joe Meyer, is a hospitalist at Providence St. Mary Medical Center. They have two grown daughters, both graduates of Walla Walla High School.

Meyer has been a frequent volunteer in the schools and at the district level.

Meyer currently serves on the nominating committee for the Washington State School Directors’ Association and on the Innovative Schools Task Force.

District Committees:

  • Administrative Negotiations**
  • Administrative Finance Committee*
  • Bilingual Education Recommendation Committee**
  • Children's Resilience Initiative***
  • Classified Negotiations**
  • Legislative Representative***

Type of Committee:  *Administrative, **Board Sub Committee, ***Other

Contact: cmeyer@wwps.org • (509) 527-3000
Term ends: 2017

Ladderud-RuthRuth Ladderud (Position #3)

Ladderud, an administrative assistant at Whitman College, has lived most of her life in Walla Walla. She attended Prospect Point Elementary School, Paine Elementary, Garrison Junior High, and graduated from Walla Walla High School, Whitman College (biology) and WSU (animal science). Her husband, John, is a veterinarian and they have three children. Two are Wa-Hi graduates and her youngest attends Walla Walla High School.

Ruth has spent many hours volunteering in the schools and at the district level. Ruth was recently honored with the 2016 Whitman College Pete and Hedda Reid Service to Walla Walla Award.  Ruth has served on both the High School and Community Facilities Task force and is active in 4-H and American Association of University Women.

District Committees:

  • Bilingual Education Recommendation Committee**
  • Certificated Negotiations**
  • Community Facilities Task Force*
  • Head Start Policy Council***

Type of Committee:  *Administrative, **Board Sub Committee, ***Other

Contact: rladderud@wwps.org • (509) 527-3000

Term ends: 2019


Dr.  David Hampson - President (Position #4)

Dr. David Hampson was appointed to the WWPS Board of Directors on August 27, 2013.

Dr. Hampson is a physician at the Urgent Care Clinic, Providence St. Mary Medical Center.  He and his wife Theresa have three grown children, all graduates of Walla Walla High School. 

He has been active as a leader in youth activities and as a school volunteer since moving to the community in 1990.  Most of his spare time over the past two decades has been dedicated to his family and youth in the community. 

District Committees:

  • Administrative Policy Committee*
  • Equity & Access Committee*
  • Graduates of Distinction Committee*
  • Safe Schools*
  • School Health Advisory Committee *

Type of Committee:  *Administrative, **Board Sub Committee, ***Other

Contact:  dhampson@wwps.org • (509) 527-3000
Term ends: 2019


Derek Sarley - Vice President (Position #5)

The newest member of the board, elected in November 2015, Derek Sarley is a communications consultant who for 20 years has worked with clients in many industries, including education. He and his wife Erin, a professor in Psychology at Whitman College, have two young daughters. Derek is a native Pennsylvanian who has also lived in Arizona, California, Washington DC and Texas, where he graduated from Rice University. Since settling in Walla Walla, he has been active with the WWPS Community Facilities Task Force and the independent group Citizens for Schools working to find solutions to the district’s building needs.

District Committees:

  • Administrative Policy Committee*
  • Certificated Negotiations**
  • Community Facilities Task Force*
  • Community Outreach*

Type of Committee:  *Administrative, **Board Sub Committee, ***Other

Contact: dsarley@wwps.org • (509) 527-3000
Term ends: 2019

School Board Meetings

Our hope is that you will leave our meeting with a better understanding of your public schools and the school board that you’ve elected to oversee them.

Our Meetings Are Open

Our meetings are open to the public and nearly all our discussion will be held in the open. The exception would be if it is necessary to discuss personnel, litigation, bargaining agreements, complaints against an officer or staff member, or real estate transactions where disclosure would be damaging. In those cases, we may occasionally go into a closed or “executive” session.

We Have Something in Common

School board members are elected officials, who serve four-year terms of office. In addition to making a number of decisions at school board meetings, we try to keep lines of communications open with our community and represent the needs of the district before state and national representatives.

We serve on the school board because we care about providing quality education in our community.

Work Sessions

Before making a decision on a topic, we will often schedule an informal work session prior to a regularly scheduled business meeting to get input from all interested parties. Your comments are most welcome at work sessions, as we consider all perspectives before making a decision during the regular board meeting.

Citizens' Comments, Questions & Concerns

We welcome your comments and questions during the time set aside in the meeting for public comment. Should you wish to speak, we ask that you provide your name and address, so we can follow up with you if necessary.

Please follow our normal protocol:

  • Keep your comments brief and to the point.
  • Do not reflect adversely on the political or economic view, ethnic background, character, or motives of any individual.

If a concern cannot be solved by first talking with the teacher, principal, or appropriate district personnel, or if you have a specific complaint about an employee and you have attempted to solve the situation with the person’s supervisor and/or superintendent, the issue may be forwarded to the board for hearing. Please inform the superintendent or board president in writing at least one week prior to a regular meeting requesting to meet with them. The hearing may be conducted in executive session, meaning the public and the media are not in attendance.

You may also present a concern to the board during the time reserved for hearing public comment. If this is the case, we ask that you follow the same protocol already outlined when addressing the school board.

When you address the board during the Citizens Comments section of the meeting, we will listen carefully to your statement. If a response is needed, we will direct it be made in writing in a timely fashion, by phone or in writing, if necessary. Comments made at a board meeting are part of the public record.

Other Comments/Questions

If you prefer, please write any comments and questions with your phone number and submit to the superintendent, who will respond.

School Board Meeting Dates

Copyright © 2013 Walla Walla Public Schools. All Rights Reserved.

Top Desktop version