Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - May 19, 2006

In this Issue:

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Walla Walla Public Schools bond measure fails
Walla Walla Public Schools $53.9 million bond issue was failing when polls closed Tuesday, May 16, garnering just 40 percent of the yes votes. School measures in Washington state require a 60 percent super majority to pass.

Superintendent Rich Carter is asking community members to visit the district’s website and provide him input pertaining to facilities needs to help the district plan its future moves. All district schools and students stood to benefit from the measure through additional technology, maintenance and safety funding, while Edison Elementary, Paine Alternative, Walla Walla High School , and Support Services would have seen significant improvements.

“Obviously we are disappointed about the results, but we are going to go back out to the community to listen to their concerns and find out what we need to do to address them,” Superintendent Rich Carter said. “We feel we did a good job educating the community about the district’s most urgent needs, but we’ll need to go back and address the concerns of those who didn’t support this measure.”
Carter stressed the district’s needs are not going away. He said he plans to go back to the community to discuss how we are going to prioritize and pay for these needed improvements.

“Through this process we have gained a great deal of information which will help guide us as we meet with the community and staff to discuss a contingency plan,”  Carter said. “Since school bonds are the only way to fund school improvement efforts and our needs are not going away, we will take time to listen to the concerns of the community before going back out with a plan to address our vast facilities needs.”

Election totals when polls closed:
Approved: 3,640 (40.32%)
Rejected: 5,387 (59.68)

For more information, contact Communications Director Mark Higgins at (509) 526-6716 or by e-mail: mhiggins@wwps.org.

Superintendent Rich Carter addresses staff regarding bond failure

Dear Staff,

I want to thank you for all your hard work helping educate our community about our district’s facilities needs. I’m so proud of the courage you showed, despite the odds we faced, in joining our district in addressing these needs to the public.

Yes we are disappointed, but now it’s time to celebrate the end of this school year and all we have accomplished. We have a lot to be proud of and thankful for as we wrap up another very successful school year.

We plan on taking a break from our facilities issues during the summer months and will pick back up in August when school resumes.

We’ve learned a lot over the last year and we have many great ideas that have been presented to us from our staff and community. We’ll begin discussions in August on where we need to go to resolve the vast facilities needs of our school district.

We have worked hard to educate our community, and also our staff, regarding our district’s most urgent facilities needs. There can be no doubt that we have stimulated a strong dialogue about district facilities and our future needs.

After a much needed summer break, we will count on you to help us forge a new path to address these issues. We stand united in our commitment to having quality learning environments for our staff and students.

Keep in mind, 40 percent of the people saw the need as presented and supported this measure. Let’s consider this a good first step in a long journey to bring all our schools up to industry standards.

I thank the school board for their courageous move to put this measure before our community for a vote. It was not an easy decision for them to make, and they knew this going in, but they were willing to take the risk so our community and staff could learn more about our facilities needs.

The sun is still shining today and we have a bright future. Let’s make each day special as we wrap up the school year.

I look forward to seeing all of you at the All Staff Breakfast, Friday, June 9.

Thanks again for all your support

Rich Carter

Pioneer music students to perform at Farmer’s Market Saturday
Students in the Pioneer Orchestra & Choral Programs will be performing Saturday, May 20 at the Farmer’s Market downtown.

Concert schedule is as follows:
• 9:00 AM - 6th Grade Choir
• 9:30 AM - 6th Grade Orchestra
• 10:00 AM - 7th Grade Girls Choir
• 10:15 AM - Combined 7th Grade Girls & 7/8th Grade Boys Choirs
• 10:30 AM - 7/8th Grade Boys Choir
• 10:45 AM - 7/8th Grade Orchestra

If it’s raining, the groups will be performing at the Pioneer Cafeteria 15 minutes later than the times stated above.

Student pleas help put Tomato Soup back on the school lunch menu
By Pam Milleson - Food Services Director

With a new Nutrition and Fitness policy in place and procedures to guide this policy set to take hold next school year, the district is looking at ways to improve the nutrition value of our school lunch program. I made a decision to take the tomato soup off the popular cheese zombie menu in order to help reduce the overall weekly sodium. This was a healthy schools decision, not a cost or budget issue.

This decision did not go unnoticed by our students -- especially those at Edison. Third grade Edison students from Mrs. Kaaen’s class felt strongly about getting tomato soup back on the menu. They talked about boycotting school lunch, but decided to write letters and send posters first to see if this approach would get their beloved tomato soup back on the menu. It worked. Although elementary school lunches are still a little high in sodium, I was so impressed with the students’ efforts we decided to bring tomato soup back.

We will have tomato soup and cheese zombies one last time this year, Thursday, June 1. Next year we are looking at low sodium cheese in the zombies and low sodium soup.

Below I’ve included some of the comments from the students’ letters and posters. I think you’ll see why they were so convincing. I am proud to be a member of a district where teachers take a real life opportunity to work with students in such a productive positive manner.

From Emmy:
“I have been going to Edison for 4 years. My favorite food is your cheese Zombies……….Can you look for a different kind of tomato soup with less sodium?”

From Alex:
“….one of my favorite lunches is cheese zombies with tomato soup. Thank you for planning all the good, healthy lunches for us. I really wish we still had tomato soup with cheese zombies. Cheese zombies just aren’t the same without tomato soup. Cheese zombies are dry without tomato soup too……If there is too much sodium in tomato soup, then why don’t you take away other foods like: chicken-stir-fry and soy sauce.”

From Brelynn:
“…Cheese Zombies taste bland without tomato soup. Plus not as many kids will order them. I know tomato soup has a lot of salt. So you try looking for a brand with less. Or take away other foods with a lot of salt too.”

From Colton:
“….Maybe you could make home made tomato soup, but not put so much salt in it.”

Poster themes:

Berney set for annual Talent Show
Berney Elementary has scheduled its annual Talent Show, Tuesday, May 23 at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. Call the school office at 527-3060 for more information.

FFA students take home more state titles
Congratulations to the Wa-Hi FFA Issues and Marketing teams for winning state titles at the recent FFA state competition in Pullman.

“On behalf of the FFA, Arch McHie and myself we would like to thank you for your contributions towards developing the reading, writing, listening and work skills that enabled our FFA students to win the following State Championships at the State FFA Convention,” FFA Advisor Mike Martin said. “Many of you may recognize some of the names as former or current students. Once again thank you for developing their skills so all we had to do was put on the finishing touches.”

Andi Bughi
Jill Bughi
Ciera Christensen

Issues Team
Robin Backus
Yvette Nunez
Zack Harvey
Alison Buckley
Jordan Palmer
Anna Forge
Kristan Frerichs

Job Interview
Anna Forge (2nd Place)

Governor Gregoire’s husband to visit Walla Walla to read with Prospect Point students
In support of Governor Christine Gregoire’s Reading Initiative, her husband Mike is set to visit Walla Walla Tuesday, June 6 and read to Prospect Point third grade students in Becky Rausch’s class.

He is scheduled to arrive at 9:15 a.m. and read for approximately 45 minutes to more than 50 students. Mr. Gregoire will read ‘The True Story of the Three Little Pigs,’ by Jon Scieszka. He plans on signing the book when he is finished and donating it to the school library.

Walla Walla Art Club awards district students
The following students from Walla Walla Public Schools each received $20 from the Walla Walla Art Club for their outstanding work on display at the ‘Art About Agriculture’ feature at Carnegie Art Center.

1. Maribel Hernandez (Walla Walla High School)
2. Ellyn Hill (Walla Walla High School)
3. Carmen VanDerwark (Walla Walla High School)
4. Hanah Sanford (Paine Alternative School)
5. Ann Ladderud (Garrison Middle School)
6. Yuridia Cobian (Garrison Middle School)
7. Sawyer Neiffer (Pioneer Middle School)
8. Ryan Barber (Pioneer Middle School)
9. Grace Johnson (Homelink)

Interviews for new high school principal begin today
Today Deputy Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan organized an interview team to conduct the initial interviews for the new Wa-Hi principal position.

Under Jordan’s leadership, each candidate will complete a series of tasks and meetings to help the district narrow its preliminary field down for the selection of finalists, who will be named at a later date. Jordan said he hopes to have a principal named by the end of the month. The new principal will step in July 1 to replace Brian Pendleton who tendered his resignation earlier this school year.

The district is also in the process of hiring two assistant principals. These positions will not be filled until the new principal is hired so he/she can be involved in the selection process.

End of Year Events -- Mark your calendars!

Green Park’s 100th Birthday Party
Friday, May 19, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Green Park Centennial Tours
Saturday, May 20, 9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.

Garrison Middle School
National Junior Honor Society Induction
Wednesday, May 24 - 7:00 p.m.

Baccalaureate: Celebration of Faith
Cordiner Hall
Tuesday, May 30
7:30 p.m.

Opportunity Graduation Reception
Wednesday, May 31 - Opportunity building (919 S. 2nd) - Open House style dessert, 5 to 6 p.m.

Graduates of Distinction
May 31 - Board Room, 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Wa-Hi Academic Recognition
May 31 - Wa-Hi Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Paine Campus Commencement
June 1 - Paine Gym, 6:00 p.m.

Wa-Hi Commencement
June 2 - Wa-Hi grounds, 7:30 p.m.

Pioneer 8th grade Recognition
June 6 - Cordiner Hall, 7:30 p.m.

Garrison 8th grade Recognition
June 7 - Cordiner Hall, 7:00 p.m.

Last Day of School
June 8 - Early release

All Staff Breakfast
Friday, June 9
7:15 a.m. (breakfast served)
8:00 a.m. (program begins)
Wa-Hi Commons

District Summer School
June 19 to July 20

WASL Remediation Summer School Program (offered by ESD 123 @ Wa-Hi)
June 28 to August 3

Summer WASL Retakes
August 7-10

End of Year Music Concerts
• Wa-Hi, Garrison and Pioneer Jazz Band Concert
Tuesday, May 23 - 7:00 p.m. - Wa-Hi Auditorium

• Wa-Hi Spring Concert featuring: Cantabile, Chansons, Treble Ensemble and String Orchestra
Wednesday, May 24 - 7:00 p.m. - Wa-Hi Auditorium

• Wa-Hi Spring Concert featuring Chamber Singers, Concert Choir and Symphony Orchestra
Thursday, May 25 - 7:00 p.m. - Wa-Hi Auditorium

• Garrison Band and Orchestra Concert
Thursday, June 1 - 7:00 p.m. - Garrison Gym

Retirement Celebrations (remaining)

Blue Ridge Elementary
Gilbert Cunningham
Thursday, June 1
3:30 -5:00 p.m.

Edison Elementary
Meredith Mitchell and Suzanne Sams
Monday, May 22
3:45 - 5 p.m.
Edison Gym
All staff is invited

Garrison Middle School
Jackie George, Shirley Hixson and Glen Mitchell
Thursday, June 1
3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Garrison Library

Green Park Elementary
Sue Westergard
Tuesday, May 30
3:00-5:00 p.m.

Pioneer Instructional Coach awarded AAUW scholarship
The Walla Walla branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) recently awarded $4,000 in local scholarships to four local Walla Walla women, including Pioneer Middle School Instructional Coach Richelle Palmer. Congratulations to the recipients.

Richelle Palmer began her teaching career after graduating from Linfield College in 1982. She has taught at the elementary level for 17 years and earned her Master’s degree in literacy/education in 1992. She is currently employed as an instructional coach by the Walla Walla School District and teaches reading and writing classes for prospective teachers at both Washington State University and Eastern Washington University on a part-time basis. Richelle is planning to apply to Eastern Washington University to earn her Administrative Credential.

Brenda Anderson completed her Associate’s Degree in Nursing (A.D.N.) in 1981 at Walla Walla Community College. She has been employed at St. Mary Medical Center since 1982 and is currently working two part-time jobs while completing her BSN degree. For the past three years she has been the Campus Lab Coordinator for the Walla Walla Community College nursing program while working as staff nurse in the emergency room at St. Mary Medical Center. She plans to finish her BSN degree in December, 2006 and enroll in the MSN program through the University of Phoenix On-line. After completing these degrees, she would like to become a full-time faculty member in the nursing program at WWCC while maintaining on-call status in the emergency room at St. Mary Medical Center.

R. Susan Kelley
graduated with honors from Whitman College with a degree in psychology in 1996. After working as a Major Gifts Officer at Whitman for the past five years, she decided to change careers and resigned her position to begin taking pre-nursing courses at Walla Walla Community College. Her career plans are to enroll in the nursing program at WWCC and complete her A.D.N. degree, take the state R.N. exam, begin working, and obtain her BSN through Washington State University.

Danielle Van Dyke completed her BA degree in Multidisciplinary Studies in December, 2003 at Eastern Oregon University graduating with honors. She is currently teaching 3rd grade at Freewater Elementary School. Her career goal is to obtain her Master’s degree in Curriculum Instruction and Development from Eastern Washington University in 2007.

Personnel Report (from May 16 school board meeting)

• New Hires
(Certificated) Sean Reid, Fifth-Grade teacher, Sharpstein
Julie Schisler, Primary Elementary Teacher, Sharpstein
(Classified) Benjamin Mount, Transportation Coordinator, Transportation

• Resignations/Retirements
(Certificated) Carrie Phipps, Science Teacher, Pioneer, 7 years
Mary Lynn Thompson, Speech Language Pathologist, 9 years
(Resigning .2 FTE - will continue as a .8 FTE SLP
Maria Garcia, Psychologist, Special Programs, 10 years
(Resigning .2 FTE - will continue as a .8 FTE Psychologist)
Joshua Reed, Third Grade Bilingual Teacher, Prospect Point, 3 years

• Leave of Absence
(Classified) Rolando Tello, Bilingual Para-Educator, Sharpstein, 4 years
• Was on a leave of absence for the 2005-2006 school year

Exchange Club recognizes area students for overcoming obstacles to graduate

This week the Exchange Club of Walla Walla recognized Wa-Hi Seniors Jessica Hansen and Alicia Western, Prescott Senior Kyle Sudaholnik, and Walla Walla Valley Academy Senior Benjamin Pettibone for receiving the Accepting the Challenge of Excellence (A.C.E.) Award. Pettibone was recognized as the club’s A.C.E. Award Student of the Year.

The ACE Award recognizes high school students who have overcome significant obstacles in their pursuit of a diploma. These “ at-risk” students have often overcome great physical, emotional, or social obstacles, often with little recognition, and are now eligible for high school graduation. All of the students were recognized with a plaque and a financial award to help pay for college.

“These students have all demonstrated courage, determination and positive attitudes to be in the position they are today,” Exchange Club President Mark Higgins said. “We hope the recognition from the Exchange Club will further motivate them to work hard to reach their true potential.”

During Monday’s Exchange Club meeting, Garrison Library-Media Specialist and Exchange Club A.C.E. Award Chair Jackie George told the following stories about this year’s recipients.

• Wa-Hi Senior Jessica Hansen’s story...

Jessica Hansen was nominated by her counselor at Wa-Hi, however she attended DeSales through her sophomore year and has taken a number of courses through Running Start at Walla Walla Community College.

Jessica has always been a very capable student who made good grades and worked hard at whatever she undertook. However, on September 5, 2005, she was involved in a nearly fatal automobile accident. Rushed to Oregon Health Sciences University, an emergency Bone Flap surgery was performed to allow her brain to swell unrestricted. It was more than 3 weeks before her brain returned to normal size. The early prognosis was not good, it was felt that there was a good chance of permanent impairment. After several weeks in the hospital, and hours of retraining -- even learning how to brush her teeth -- and physical therapy, Jessica was able to return to Walla Walla determined to finish her final year of high school and proceed to college.

She enrolled winter quarter at WWCC, just 4 months after her accident. Her determination to excel sped up a recovery that can take years in many cases to only a few months. She has continued to take classes and has met her goal to graduate with her class. Jessica is aware of some differences and challenges since her brain injury. With sheer determination she works through each obstacle to find a way to get over or around it. She and her parents have made arduous efforts to bring about her recovery.

• Wa-Hi Senior Alicia Western’s story...
Alicia Western also comes to us from Wa-Hi with a very circuitous route to graduation, including time at the Opportunity Program, the degree completion program at WWCC, and finally reentering Wa-hi and continuing with the Running Start program.

After relatively uneventful freshman and sophomore years, Jessica started her junior year of high school five months pregnant. However, she did not miss a step along the way of her educational path. She attended Paine until her daughter, Emily, was born and then switched to Opportunity, which allowed her to do most of her work at home and be with her daughter. She returned to Wa-Hi full time for her senior year and decided to renew her participation in the high school soccer program. Her coach, Genie Huntemann, talked of the joy that it has been to have Alicia, once again, on the soccer field. She returned a little slower, a little rusty, but with a worldly view that had matured and changed from her freshman and sophomore years. Occasionally she showed up with Emily in her arms when a babysitter didn’t show up on time, because “she wanted to be with the team.”

Finishing her high school diploma was not the only education Alicia has worked on these last two years. She is only a few credits short of receiving her Associate’s degree from WWCC. All of this course work has been accomplished with over a 3.5 GPA and while taking full responsibility for her daughter. Her counselor commends her for having worked as hard at being a parent as she has at being a student. In Alicia’s own words, “School is the key to a better life for my daughter and me. I want to get as much school as possible so I can provide a good life for my daughter.”

• Prescott Senior Kyle Sudaholnik’s story...
As an elementary and middle school student, Kyle was anything but a good student or role model. Teachers and coaches who worked with him in the middle years saw him as disruptive, inattentive, and constantly trying to draw attention to himself. Kyle suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and it has only been with his own true grit and the help of his parents, school staff, and his doctor that Kyle found a way to adapt to and overcome the barriers placed in front of him.

Prescott is a small school and most of Kyle’s teachers have known and worked with him over an extended period of time. Without exception these teachers have noted great positive change in Kyle’s life. Kyle realized that education would seriously impact his future and he had better do something to improve himself. He went from being a student that did not behave well enough to participate in a classroom setting let alone earn passing grades, to one who participates appropriately in discussions, turns in all of his assignments, studies hard and earns above average grades.

The same has been true on the athletic field, from a student who could and would not stay on task during practices which earned him a lot of bench time, Kyle has become one of the most competitive players on the field and one willing to help out the younger players, as well. Kyle has also worked this year as a student aide with the elementary music program where he is seen as a positive leader with the younger students and a big help to the teacher.

Walla Walla Valley Academy Senior Benjamin Pettibone’s story...

Benjamin Pettibone will soon graduate from Walla Walla Valley Academy, a simple statement, but one that has so much more meaning. In 2004, at the age of 18, with no formal schooling behind him, Benjamin Pettibone enrolled at WWVA as a sophomore.

Because his father did not want him enrolled in formal education, Ben’s early schooling was done in the home and with his decision to enroll at WWVA, his father told him to move out of the house. Ben was fortunate that an aunt and uncle were willing to give him a place to live. Those who knew Ben at this time described him as insecure, extremely quiet, always walked with his head down and rarely looked anyone in the eye.

By the end of his first year, Ben’s self-esteem had gotten a boost. He reached out to other students, was accepted by them and elected a student body officer for his junior year. WWVA is a private school with a healthy tuition for those attending. Ben has worked three jobs during the last two years to pay his tuition and support himself. In addition, he has hours of homework nightly, and he volunteers a significant number of hours tutoring, assisting at a nursing home, going on a mission project to Peru, and working with Pathfinders youth group at church.

His original plan was to graduate in 2007, but with heavy class loads and additional correspondence courses, Ben will meet graduation requirements a year early, with a 4.0 grade point average, and accomplish his goal of preparing himself for higher education. His schoolmates call him “Minute Man,” always willing to help, even at the last minute. He is recognized by everyone as one who never complains about his problems and faces difficulties in an upbeat mood.