Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - May 26, 2006

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District names new Wa-Hi Principal
Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors today during a special board meeting named Darcy Weisner the new principal of Walla Walla High School. Weisner succeeds current Principal Brian Pendleton who announced in March his intentions to resign at the end of the school year.

Weisner has spent the past three years as Assistant Principal at John R. Rogers High School in Spokane’s District 81. Rogers High School has nearly 1,700 students and is in the state’s 4A classification.

“I'm honored to have this opportunity and am aware it comes with a heavy responsibility,” Weisner said. “ Walla Walla School District has been at the forefront of educational innovation in the state of Washington and I want to continue to articulate and facilitate the vision for the district. Walla Walla is perceived as a quality place to live and raise a family and I am committed to carry on that proud tradition.”

Weisner has demonstrated experience in curriculum, instruction and assessment practices, and has shown an ability to work effectively with teachers to improve instruction using data to drive decision making. Weisner spent 20 years as a high school classroom teacher in four school districts throughout the state of Washington. He has extensive educational training in clinical supervision, Understanding by Design, Mentor Matters, and developing small learning communities within large comprehensive high school settings.

“We have found the right person at the right time to lead our high school,” Superintendent Dr. Rich Carter said. “We were very impressed with his ability to connect and relate with students and build relationships with staff, parents and members of the community.”

Weisner earned his Administrative Certification from Washington State University, Master of Arts in Education Degree from Lesley University, and completed his undergraduate studies at Western Washington University with a major in history and minor in Social Studies.

Professional Associations
• National Association of Secondary School Principals
• Washington Association of Secondary School Principals
• Washington Secondary School Athletic Administration Association

Walla Walla Public Schools used a broad-range hiring committee of more than 40 people including staff, students, school board members, administrators, parents and community members to help make its final selection.

“We used a rigorous and comprehensive hiring process,” Deputy Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan said. “Our process included exercises to demonstrate leadership capacity, relationship and team building, instructional practices and student learning strategies. We are confident we have selected the best person for this job and are happy to have him on board.”

For more information about the hiring of Darcy Weisner, contact Deputy Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan at (509) 526-6711.

No School Monday (Memorial Day)
Have a safe and happy Memorial Day Holiday. No classes Monday, May 29. School resumes Tuesday, May 30.

Personnel Report from May 26 Special Board Meeting
New Hires
Administrative: Darcy Weisner, Principal, Walla Walla High School

Certificated: Kyle Hurst, Science Teacher, Pioneer Middle School
Jacqueline Martinez, Elementary Teacher (.5 FTE), Sharpstein Elementary
Keith Michels, Social Studies Teacher, Walla Walla High School

Certificated: Marquilyn Shields, Physical Education Teacher, Garrison Middle School, 5 years
(• Resigning .4 FTE -- will continue as a .6 FTE PE teacher at Walla Walla High School)

Classified: Heather Cline, Bilingual Para-Educator, Sharpstein, 1 year
Veronica “Bonnie” Torres, Para-Educator, Berney, 31 years

Wa-Hi Swimmer named area Male Athlete of the Year
Congratulations to Wa-Hi Junior Carl Jones for being named Male Athlete of the Year at Monday’s Blue Mountain Youth Recognition Evening at the Marcus Whitman Hotel.

Earlier this year Jones swam his way to the 500 Freestyle title and second place in the 200 ‘free’ at the Federal Way state meet. Jones is currently training for the World Championship trials to be held later this summer in Irvine, CA.

Standout golfer and 2005 Wa-Hi graduate Max Reinland was a finalist in the competition.

Sharpstein launches new primary literacy model
Day one of a two year model to develop best practices and professional development in literacy kicked off Thursday as Sharpstein primary staff members completed an intensive day of collaborative training.

Led by Title One Coordinator Judy Peasley and Sharpstein Title One teacher and coach Kerri Coffman, primary grade teachers, para-educators and support staff examined the school’s current literacy model, student data and teaching strategies.

Goals of the literacy model are:
• Create a vision for literacy at Sharpstein
• Develop a common understanding about the district’s Three Tier Model (to meet the instructional needs of all students using specific resources developed for student success in early grades.)
• To help teachers become better reading instructors

“This model incorporates working with a literacy coach to ensure the needs of all students are met,” Coffman said. “We’re excited about this ongoing professional development model. It’s not a one-day training where you are expected to go back to your building to be an expert and teach these strategies. It’s ongoing and team effort.”

Altrusa Club donates funds to support literacy projects
Thanks to the Walla Walla Altrusa Club members for a generous donation of $1,000 toward six literacy projects in our schools. Individual grants were given to Nancy Watkins, Garrison; Siomara Garcia, Green Park; Sara Erwin, Edison; Linda Seibold, Sharpstein; Kim Kelsay, Pioneer; and Laura Reiter, Prospect Point.

The Altrusa organization has been funding literacy projects for many years. District teachers are invited to submit written proposals and the group meets to decide how best to spend the $1,000 raised for this purpose. This year, there were 13 proposals and six were funded.

Staff Baby Watch -- It’s a girl
Congratulations to Prospect Point 3rd Grade Teacher Jenny Withycombe and Pioneer Explorer/Gifted Teacher Adam Withycombe on the birth of their daughter Kennedy Renee Withycombe.

She weighed 8lbs. 11oz. and was 22" long at birth. She was delivered at 6:49 p.m. on Tuesday, May 23. Mom and baby are doing fine. Edison Principal Nancy Withycombe is the proud grandma.

Walla Walla bus driver places first in regional competition
Congratulations to Transportation Department bus driver Traci Munns for her first place finish last weekend at the ESD 123 Regional School Bus Safety Competition. Traci now qualifies to compete at the State Level where she will be competing against the top finishers from all over the state.
Public School Employees union votes to ratify contract
During Thursday’s Public School Employees (PSE) general meeting and barbeque at the Wa-Hi Commons, all 45 members in attendance representing the Walla Walla Chapter voted unanimously to ratify the proposed 2006-2007 contract with Walla Walla Public Schools.
Public School Employees award scholarships
Also during Thursday’s Public School Employees (PSE) general meeting and barbecue, PSE President Larry McCauley announced this year’s recipients of the local PSE scholarships of $500 each.

The winners are:
• Elida Flippo - Food Services cook at Sharpstein (received the PSE Members’ Scholarship for continued education)
• Jacob Riley - Wa-Hi senior received the PSE Dependents’ Scholarship (his mother is Pioneer Para-Educator JoEllen Riley.

McCauley also announced Wa-Hi student Kate Stone is this year’s recipient of the Washington State PSE Dependents’ Scholarship. Kate, daughter of Sarah Stone who works in the Wa-Hi Copy Center, will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship and receive recognition at the All Staff Breakfast June 9.

Governor Gregoire’s husband postpones Walla Walla visit
Governor Christine Gregoire’s husband Mike Gregoire has postponed his visit to Walla Walla until this fall due to scheduling conflicts. He was scheduled to visit Walla Walla Tuesday, June 6 and read to Prospect Point third grade students in Becky Rausch’s class. Gregoire plans to reschedule the visit for September or October.

End of Year Events -- Mark your calendars!

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

Retirement Celebrations (remaining)

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

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

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