Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - April 21, 2006

In this Issue:

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District names Volunteers of the Year
In celebration of Volunteer Appreciation Month, Tuesday night Superintendent Rich Carter announced Ada Taylor, Brian Hearden, and Maribeth Bergstrom as the district’s 2006 Art Regier Volunteers of the Year.

This award is presented in recognition of the volunteers in our schools and their important contributions to our students and educational program.

This Year’s Recipients

Ada Taylor - Wa-Hi Drama Department
Nominators - Lynn Junke, Ron Higgins, Susan Morasch, Glen Mitchell, Terri Gilbert, Connie Taylor Randall
Volunteer Highlights
• 13 year volunteer as the Wa-Hi Drama Department ticket coordinator (this is her last year in this capacity)
• Her organizational skills ensure proper recording and reserving of tickets for drama productions
• She fields calls for tickets, handles money, logs all tickets and works at the box office during all productions
• Known as “Queen of the Box Office  — service with a smile!

Brian Hearden - Wa-Hi Drama Department
Nominators: Brian Senter and Dan Johnson
Volunteer Highlights
• Volunteer Wa-Hi Drama Department set designer
• Has designed and produced countless set pieces over the past two years
• His set designs have helped raise the bar for the production quality of our high school drama shows
• Also serves as the backstage manager during productions
• Helped raise additional funds for the Drama Department through coordinating a donation campaign from local business

Maribeth Bergstrom
- Wa-Hi Drama Department
Nominators: Brian Senter, Dr. Ted Bergstrom, and Dan Johnson
Volunteer Highlights
• Volunteer Wa-Hi Drama Department costumer
• Her artistic talents help bring our high school shows to life
• For each production she designs and produces hundreds of costumes — some 300 for last month’s successful Beauty & the Beast
• Also helps organize backstage efforts during productions
• Takes time to keep a log of costume items after each production and put them in storage for use in future shows

The Award
The Art Regier Outstanding Volunteer Award was instituted in 1991 as a memorial to “Grandpa” Art  Regier. Regier, a retiree who devoted years of service to elementary schools in Walla Walla , epitomized the spirit of volunteerism in education. His tireless dedication and concern for the students he served are the inspiration for this award.

Criteria for Selection
Criteria for selection may include the following:
1. Exceptional service or contributions to the children of Walla Walla Public Schools
2. Unusual dedication
3. Demonstration of care, compassion and empathy

District leaders to discuss bond and educational issues at Synergy AM breakfast
Walla Walla Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Rich Carter will provide a local State of Education address and an overview of the May 16 school improvements bond issue during the Chamber of Commerce Synergy AM breakfast Tuesday at 7 a.m. at the Marcus Whitman Hotel.

Carter will be joined by Assistant Superintendent Linda Boggs, School Board President Mary Jo Geidl and Citizens for Schools Chair Jim Hayner.

The panel will discuss local educational issues and break down the May 16 school bond. They will discuss bond finances, explain why it is better to replace these buildings than remodel them, lay out how the district is addressing its facilities needs over time, and show how all district facilities stand to gain from the May 16 measure.

They will also field questions regarding the bond issue and public education in Walla Walla.

Staff recognized for earning National Board Certification
School board members this week honored Wa-Hi English as a second Language teacher Diana Erickson and Green Park 5th grade teacher Elissa Stites for receiving their certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Requirements included authoring a detailed professional portfolio, video taping classroom instruction and passing a challenging assessment to test subject knowledge. An estimated 400 hours of work was required to earn this certification according to Len Taruscio.

Spring WASL in full swing
Students in grades 3 through 8 and 10th joined their peers across the state this week in taking the state WASL tests to assess their skill levels in reading, writing, math and science. District students in grades 3 through 8 will be taking the WASL tests assigned for their grade level through May 5 as the state has designated this three week window for schools to develop a schedule for testing their students.

All district sophomores tested in mathematics Tuesday and Wednesday and in science on Thursday and Friday. This schedule is consistent with all schools across the state per the state mandated assigned timeline. Tenth graders will receive results June 12 or 13. This new push to get test results back earlier will allow students who did not meet standards to take advantage of a summer school program to prepare for the WASL re-take during the week of August 7-11.

Students who wish to participate in the summer re-take will register on-line at the end of June. Meeting standards in all areas assessed via the WASL is a new graduation requirement beginning with the class of 2008. Students will have five opportunities to take the tests to meet the state standards required for graduation. WASL results for students in grades 3-8 will be available in August.

Grade level testing/subjects
• 3rd grade: Math and Reading
• 4th grade:, Math, Reading and Writing
• 5th grade: Math, Reading and Science
• 6th grade: Math and Reading
• 7th grade: Math, Reading and Writing
• 8th grade: Math, Reading and Science
• 10th grade: Reading & writing (tested last month), math and science (this week)

“Students in grades 3 through 8 and grade 10 have spent 4 or 5 days this week seriously involved in taking the Reading, Writing, Math, and Science WASLs,” Assessment Director Len Taruscio said. “Teachers have been trained in how to proctor this statewide test and have set both a serious tone as well as a comfortable atmosphere for students to do their best.”

Bond Tours Sunday
Sunday, April 23
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

• Edison Elementary
• Paine Campus
• Walla Walla High School
• Support Services

This is your chance to tour facilities, ask questions and get accurate information on the May 16 bond issue. Ballots mail out Friday, April 28. For more information, contact Communications Director Mark Higgins at 526-6716.

Bond Information online

Personnel Report (from April 18, 2006 school board meeting)

Classified: Kathy Jordan, Head Secretary, Blue Ridge Elementary
Coaching: Jillian Huber, Head Girls’ Volleyball Coach, Walla Walla High School

Certificated: Julie Dodson, School Psychologist, Special Programs, 4 years
Aneliese Stein, Physical Education Teacher, Walla Walla High School, 4 years

Classified: Gilbert Cunningham, Head Custodian, Blue Ridge Elementary, 24 years
Rosa Martinez, Assistant Secretary, Pioneer Middle School, 4 years

Leave of Absences
Certificated: Jenny Alford, Kindergarten Teacher, Sharpstein Elementary, 6 years
Greer Bevel, Social Studies Teacher, Walla Walla High School, 4 years
(Greer was on a leave of absence for the 2005-2006 school year)
Amy Reed, 4TH Grade Teacher, Blue Ridge Elementary, 3 years
(.5 FTE Leave requested for the remainder of the 2005-2006 school year and for the 2006-2007 school year – Amy will continue as a .5 FTE 4th grade teacher)
Tricia Sobottka, Humanities/Science Teacher, Pioneer Middle School, 5 years
Adam Withycombe, Explorers Teacher, Pioneer Middle School, 3 years
Jenny Withycombe, 5th Grade Teacher, Prospect Point Elementary, 3 years

Classified: Barbara Woodland, Health Clinician/Assistant Secretary, Blue Ridge Elementary, 10 years

Art About Agriculture comes to Carnegie Art Center
“Art About Agriculture”
Tour dates: May 2 to June 2
Special Opening Ceremony: Sunday, April 30 from 1 to 4 p.m.

The 2006 Tour celebrates the theme -- Designing from Nature. This theme is based on Thomas Jefferson’s admiration of nature and agriculture.

The 28th annual Docent family exhibit opens Sunday, April 30 from 1 to 4 p.m. with a County Fair theme.There will be many 4-H students demonstrating their program, art activities and the FFA members will bring their sheep. At 3:30 p.m., the Walla Walla Art Club will present student awards for their art projects.

Area teachers are encouraged to participate with their classes for a one hour guided tour, complete with hands on projects to enhance learning about art and agriculture. To book a tour, call Marilyn Miller at 529-5042 or Mary Towner at 525-3904.

Wa-Hi proposal calls for more and larger teaching stations
By Architects West

The proposal for the new Walla Walla High School calls for 104 teaching stations. This is 10 more than the current 94 teaching stations.

However, the number of teaching stations is only a part of the picture for presenting Walla Walla High School needs. An analysis of spaces should include both a quantitative and qualitative needs assessment.

A classroom count gives a quantitative picture of needs, but the educational suitability analysis done in the master plan gives a qualitative analysis of the needs.

For example, currently there are 11 science rooms, but the need is for 12 science rooms. The 11 existing rooms are not quality learning spaces. The current science rooms are very small and do not have the necessary utilities and lab stations necessary to teach a “hands-on” science program.

In some programs, critical spaces are simply missing. The music rooms are too small and lack some of the necessary spaces that exemplify a top-quality music facility (e.g. lack of practice rooms, lack of space for computer-assisted music instruction, lack of storage for music equipment, etc.)

Another way to compare the existing school with the new proposal is to evaluate the area per student.

The existing school has about 125 sf/student based on an enrollment of 1880 students. The new proposal provides about 160 sf per student.

The 2006 national median average is 162.5 sf/student and the high quartile is 187.5 sf/student.(School Planning and Management Magazine 2006 construction report)

So, the new proposal has more and larger teaching stations.

District holds I-728 Public Forum
Tuesday evening Assistant Superintendent Linda Boggs conducted the district’s annual I-728 Public Forum. Boggs provided an overview of the state initiative passed by voters in 2000 to help lower class size and provide extended learning opportunities for students in need.

She also discussed a spending plan for 2006-2007. This year approximately 20 teachers districtwide were funded with I-728 dollars to lower class size. I-728 funding also funded a portion of the district’s extended learning program, professional development and construction to lower class size.

An electronic copy of the district’s I-728 Community Report is available on the district’s website (www.wwps.org) under the District News section.

Green Park Elementary celebrates a Century of Class
Green Park Elementary celebrates a ‘Century of Class’ with special Centennial Week activities – May 15-20. Mark your calendar and make plans to salute Green Park’s 100th Birthday.

Centennial Schedule

School Tours
Monday, May15 to Wednesday, May 17
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Thursday, May 18 and Friday, May 19
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 20
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon

Carnival and Spaghetti Dinner
Thursday, May 18
4 to 8 p.m.

100th Birthday Party
Friday, May 19
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Children’s program begins at 5:00
- Special memory lane Power Point presentation
- Birthday cake and ice cream

“This is a wonderful time to visit and renew old friendships,” Green Park Principal Mike Lambert said. “Green Park has played such an important role in the history of our community and we hope you’ll take time to stop in and help us celebrate a Century of Class.”

For more information, contact Centennial Coordinator Kathy Goodwin at (509) 526-7144 or Green Park Secretary Susan Stroe at (509) 527-3077. Green Park is located at 1105 E. Isaacs Ave. in Walla Walla.

District schools receive state recognition for achievement gains
Assessment Director Len Taruscio read a letter from State Superintendent Terry Bergeson this week honoring the district students for Academic Achievement.

The district received recognition in seven areas for reducing by 10 percent the number of students who missed state reading, writing and math targets in grades 4, 7 and 10. The recognition plaque is on display in the district board room.

Wa-Hi Future Problem Solving team qualifies for international competition
The Wa-Hi Future Problem Solving team of Jeff Ladderud, Ryan Campeau, Holly Erwin, and Tyler Hurlburt won the Intermediate Division (grades 7-9) of the Future Problem Solving State Final Competition recently and has qualified for the International Competition Finals to be held in Fort Collins, Colorado June 1-4, 2006.

“This will be the second time that this team has won the State Finals and they hope to do as well at the International Finals,” Coach John Buissink said.

Six Wa-Hi teams went to the State Finals that were held in Stanwood, Washington. Three of the remaining teams placed in the top six.
• Intermediate Division - 6th Place: Derek Reid, Jose Gomez, Jennifer Cains, and Claudia Vargas
• Senior Division - 5th Place: Josh Ness, Maeve McClellan, Emily Pinney and Katie O’Brien
• Senior Division - 6th Place: Nicole Sawatzki, Nick Hurlburt, Lindsay Cole, and Chris Schulz

Also, Annie Erickson of Pioneer took 2nd Place in the individuals and a junior team coached by Garrison Explorers Teacher Beth Clearman took 8th Place -- team members: Greggory Heller, Beth Myer, Emily Schueller and Sean Hollenbeck.

Citizens for Schools Bond Benefit Saturday

Bond Benefit
(Silent Auction/Buffet Dinner)
Saturday, April 22
6:30 to 10 p.m.

Location: Walla Walla Community College Main Campus
Cost: $25 per person

For Tickets Contact:
Dondi & Andrea Cortinas

Jim Hayner, Chair - Citizens for Schools

District seeks experienced administrator for Wa-Hi
The search for Wa-Hi’s next principal is now in full swing according to a report Tuesday night from Superintendent Rich Carter. Carter said the district seeks a top notch educator who has successful experience as a secondary school administrator and classroom teacher.

“We are looking for someone who listens to the needs of students, staff, parents, district and community,” Carter said. “The successful candidate must value and support staff and have a passion for students and their success.”

Wa-Hi Principal Hiring Timeline
- Applications deadline: May 12
- Interviews: TBD
- Final Selection: End of May
- Report: July 1

Wa-Hi and DeSales students named Exchange Club Youth of the Year recipients
Walla Walla High School senior Gerard Duncan, Jr. and DeSales High School senior Ben Wolfram were named the Exchange Club of Walla Walla Youth of the Year recipients for the 2005-2006 school year. These outstanding high school seniors will receive $1,000 college scholarships and qualify for Northwest regional honors.

“I continue to be amazed at the quality of students we have in our Walla Walla valley,” Exchange Club President Mark Higgins said. “These students perform in the classroom, get involved in school activities and give back to their community through volunteer service. On behalf of the Exchange Club, we salute these students and wish them well in all their endeavors.”

This year’s Youth of the Month/Year Essay Theme:
Youth and Exchange - “Today’s Youth—Building A Stronger America Through Community Service.”

Gerard Duncan, Jr.
• National Honor Society member
• Music (band, jazz band, choir -- also plays guitar)
• Has held student government and club positions
• Member of the Key Club
• Active in church activities at Assumption Church
• Active volunteer in the St. Vincent de Paul Food Drive (twice a year)

Ben Wolfram
• 3.971 GPA
• 4 years of student government at DeSales
• Member of every AP class offered at DeSales
• Participant of School History Club Tour (London, Paris, Rome)
• Participant in jazz, pep, concert bands, golf, football, baseball, drama and Knowledge Bowl
• Boy Scout, earned Eagle Scout rank
• Volunteer within his Lutheran Church (Habitat for Humanity)
• Page in Olympia for Dave Mastin
• Member of Ski Patrol