Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - February 9, 2007

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Edison Bond approved
Walla Walla County Auditor Karen Martin said this afternoon with only approximately 100 ballots remaining uncounted, today’s count of 576 ballots which pushed the Edison Bond tally to 61.14 percent is not likely to change before the election is officially certified February 21.

Principal Nancy Withycombe, School Board President Anne Golden and Deputy Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan let out a yell of joy as they received today’s count at 2:35 p.m. at the WW County Courthouse.

The Walla Walla County Auditor projects there are not enough ballots remaining uncounted to impact this decision. A 60 percent yes count - or “Super Majority” - was required for approval.

“This is an exciting day for Edison students, parents, staff and the entire community,” Superintendent Rich Carter said. “I want to thank our community for sending this strong statement of support for kids and education in the Walla Walla valley.”

Business Manager Aron Rausch says project architects from Architects West will soon be visiting Walla Walla to discuss a timeline for the design process.

Count totals: (as of 02/09/07)
Approved: 5,278 (61.14 percent)
Rejected: 3,354 (38.86 percent)
Total votes counted: 8,632

Two Walla Walla High School students arrested today in connection to school threats
Both students emergency expelled

A Walla Walla High School sophomore boy was arrested early this afternoon by the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Department in connection to Monday’s bomb threat which caused an evacuation of the campus. The student was emergency expelled and is in the custody of the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Department.

In a separate incident on campus, a Walla Walla High School junior boy was arrested this afternoon in relation to a school threat and threat against school personnel. The student was emergency expelled and is in the custody of the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Department.

“We take these incidents seriously and worked diligently all week to find out who these individuals were,” said Walla Walla High School Principal Darcy Weisner. “This work was a collaborative effort with the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Department and our staff. We are committed to making our school a safe place which supports learning and opportunities for success.”

Collaboration schedule discussion continues
No decisions to alter schedule made Tuesday night

School board members conducted a public work session Tuesday night to review all of the findings from an intensive study on the district’s Wednesday collaboration schedule. Collaboration time offers staff a consistent block of time to improve instruction.

The work session provided a forum for school board members to hear all of the information presented on this complicated issue. After months of study which included parent and staff surveys, discussions with outside district officials and numerous planning meetings, no decision was made to alter the current schedule.

Assistant Superintendent Linda Boggs said she will organize notes and suggestions from Tuesday night’s work session and bring this information back to the school board during the February 20 regularly scheduled meeting.

Tuesday night reports from Principals Jim Sporleder (Garrison), Dana Jones (Pioneer), and Darcy Weisner (Wa-Hi) revealed specific challenges for secondary schools if they moved away from a late start schedule. According to their reports, most of the challenges revolve around student safety, supervision, learning trends, and student program demands.

Boggs said teacher collaboration remains a high priority and is positively impacting learning. She went on to say next year the district will continue to offer dedicated time for teacher collaboration and training.

“The discussion for creating the best schedule to do this work will continue a while longer,” Boggs said. “We will continue to work with families to find ways to make whatever schedule is agreed on work for them.”

Governor’s husband reads to Prospect Point students
Monday Governor Christine Gregoire’s husband, Mike, visited Prospect Point third grade teacher Becky Rausch’s classroom to read to students. During his 45 minute visit, he stressed the importance of reading daily for at least 20 minutes.

The book Mike Gregoire read to Prospect Point students is titled The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, by Jon Scieszka.

The “First Gentleman” is hoping to visit an elementary school in each county during the 06-07 school year.

Wa-Hi senior qualifies for Junior Olympics in precision marksmanship
Two Wa-Hi shooting teams headed for nationals qualifiers in Colorado Springs

A Walla Walla High School senior has qualified for the upcoming Junior Olympics to be held March 11-13 in Colorado Springs, CO. She’s a member of the school’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps shooting team. She and her teammates will also travel to Colorado Springs March 1-3 for a finals qualifying round to advance to national finals among all JROTC programs in the Army, Navy and Marines.

Cadet Major Amber Criss, 17, is captain of the WWHS shooting team, and is currently the top-ranked shooter on the precision team. The school also has a competitive sporter team. Both teams will compete this weekend in LaPine, OR, at a regional all-services JROTC match. Criss has previously won first place in nationals competition when she was a freshman, and placed second as a sophomore. She also serves as the second in command of the school’s JROTC cadet battalion.

Shooters at this level of competition fire the same high-quality precision air rifles as are used in the Olympics. These are not to be confused with the “BB guns” and “pellet rifles” often used to introduce novices to marksmanship and shooting.

The shooting team is coached by Master Sgt. Gerry Taylor, a retired soldier, and former member of the award-winning Army shooting team. WWHS competitive shooting team members going to Colorado include:

Precision Team:
Cadet Major Amber Criss, 17, senior
Cadet Sergeant TaMaka Swartout, 16, sophomore
Cadet Corporal Elliott Holt, 14, freshman
Cadet First Lieutenant Geoff Lewis, 17, junior
Cadet Staff Sergeant Cole Smith, 16, sophomore

Sporter Team:
Cadet First Sergeant Thomas Christen, 16, junior
Cadet Private Logan Heater, 16, freshman
Cadet Private Alex Hedine, 17, junior
Cadet First Lieutenant Cody Nordheim, 17, junior
Cadet Sergeant Alexa Hummel, 16, sophomore

JROTC cadets learn military science and leadership skills. The Walla Walla High School cadet battalion has several voluntary programs for its cadets including award-winning drill and ceremonies teams, as well as competitive shooting teams.

Students shine during Pioneer Academic Recognition Program
Tuesday night Pioneer Middle School held its annual Academic Recognition Program. This event is designed to honor students in 6th, 7th & 8th grades who have achieved a 3.0 or better g.p.a. for the first 2 quarters of the school year.

Fifty six percent, or 355 students, qualified this year. Approximately 300 people were in attendance. Walla Walla High School Principal Darcy Weisner was this year’s guest speaker.

Penguin expert named keynote speaker for Great Explorations in Science and Math
Local volunteers are planning for the American Association of University Women (AAUW) “Great Explorations in Science and Math” event Saturday, March 24 at Whitman College for girls in grades 5 to 8.

Longtime event coordinator and former school board member Jeanne Beirne reported to the school board on the event at Tuesday’s meeting.

Beirne said this year’s event will feature Elizabeth Skewgar as the keynote speaker. Skewgar -- a doctoral candidate in biology at the University of Washington -- is an expert on penguins. More than 250 girls and 50 volunteers are expected to participate.

Event highlights
• 20 hands-on workshops
• Panel discussion (getting girls excited about math and science)
• Use of Whitman College classrooms and labs
• Keynote Speaker - Elizabeth Skewgar (penguin expert)
• 250 participants and 50 local volunteers

Event Facts
Date: Saturday, March 24
Time: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: Whitman College
Registration: Forms will be sent home with girls (grades 5-8) and available at district schools.

Garrison Middle School bomb threat Thursday
School evacuated as safety precaution
A bomb threat was discovered at Garrison Middle School late Thursday morning. Students were evacuated to the community building at the Walla Walla fair grounds.

Law enforcement did a complete sweep of the school and found no device. Students were sent back to Garrison at approximately 1:30 p.m. to finish the school day. There were normal dismissal times and normal parent and bus pickup schedules yesterday. All planned after-school activities occurred as usual.

Drugs and gangs discussion Monday
The Walla Walla Police Department and County Drug and Gang Task Force are sponsoring a “Drugs and Gangs” discussion Monday, February 12 at 7 p.m. at the Wa-Hi Auditorium.

Those in attendance will learn more about the following: which drugs are prevalent in our area, the paraphernalia involved, manufacturing of meth, what to watch for in children, gang activity in the WW valley, gang signs and symbols, and more.

This event is free and is co-sponsored by the Wa-Hi PTSA and administrative staff.

Personnel Report (from 2/6/07 school board meeting)
• New Hires
(Certificated) Jackeline Garanzuay, Spanish teacher, Wa-Hi
(Classified) Kary Boyer-Phillips, Food Service Assistant, Wa-Hi
Kathryn Farrell Guizar, Para-Educator, Paine
Kerrie Talbott, Food Service Assistant, Green Park

• Resignations/Retirements (Note: Certificated resignations/retirements are effective at the end of the 06-07 school year)
(Certificated) Kay Barga, 2nd Grade teacher, Edison, 16 years
• Kay will continue as a .5 FTE teacher at Edison
Debora Rossi, 2nd Grade teacher, Edison, 2 years
• Debora will continue as a .5 FTE teacher at Edison
Julie Gaffney, English teacher, Wa-Hi, 9 years
(Classified) Linda Knowles, Bus Driver, Transportation Dept., 1 year

Winter Sports teams schedule after-season banquets
Wa-Hi’s winter sports teams have made plans for the end of season awards banquets to recognize the accomplishments of student athletes, coaches, and teams. The following is a schedule of award ceremonies planned:

Freshman Girls’ Basketball
Dessert Banquet
Monday, February 12, 2007
6:30 p.m. Commons

Freshman Boys’ Basketball
Dinner Potluck
Thursday, February 15, 2007
7:00 p.m. Commons

Boys’ Swim Team
Dessert Potluck
Thursday, February 22, 2007
7:00 p.m. Commons

Boys’ Basketball
Dessert Banquet
Monday, February 26, 2007
7:00 p.m. Commons

Dinner Potluck
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
6:30 p.m. Commons

Girls’ Basketball
Dessert Banquet
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
7:00 p.m. Commons

“We appreciate the support our program receives from the school board, district staff, administration, community, and students,” District Athletic Director Don Wilkins said. “As an integral part of our program, we hope you will join us in recognizing the accomplishments of our outstanding student athletes.”

Walla Walla High School music students advance to state
Congratulations to the following outstanding Wa-Hi musicians who recently were selected to compete at the State Solo & Ensemble Competition in April at Central Washington University in Ellensburg.

Winner: Anna Tupper-Bridges
2nd Alternate: Andrea Ely

Winner: Emily Crouter

Snare Drum
1st Alternate: Tom Calister

Winner: Jeremy Ueckert

Winner: Jeremy Ueckert

Soprano 1
Qualifier: Kelsie Davisson
Qualifier: Rebecca Bagley
1st Alternate: Sydney Gabbard
2nd Alternate: Delene Hutchison

Soprano 2 (Mezzo Soprano)
Qualifier: Malia Millgard-Lewis
Qualifier: Morgan Filan
1st Alternate: Natosha Locken
2nd Alternate: Eva Reich

1st Alternate: Ali Fowler

1st Alternate: Jerromy Kerby

Qualifier: Joel Herbert
1st Alternate: Justin Buley
2nd Alternate: Daniel Rose

Men’s Vocal Small
Qualifier: Boettcher/Trego Duet
1st Alternate: THT Trio

Women’s Vocal Small
Qualifier: Davisson/Schneidmiller
The following students participated in Solo Ensemble Contest:

Caleb Mayberry, Krista Mayberry, Ryan Campeau, Casey Hutchinson, Erica Burmood, Marika Wenberg, Cassie Abernathy, Mariana Cains, Emma Burgess, Jordan Ely, Andra Ely

Soprano I: Stephanie Juergensen, Sierra Tinhoff

Soprano II: Kristin Glaeser, Eva Reich, Jennifer Riggle, Krystal Schneider, Tonya French, Eva Rieke, Rachel Pellicer, Alyssa Barnett, Anne Marie Jones, Crystal Copeland, Bekah McConnell

Alto: Alli Fowler

Tenor: Daniel Rose, Thomas Rowley

Bass: Preston Gilbert, Robert Teal

Women’s Duet: Holly Erwin & Chloe Robinson, Esther Martinez & Rachel Rieke, Nicole Spriggle & Natosha Locken, Julia Matschukat & Nichole Locken

Men’s Vocal: Jerromy Kirby & Brad Scott

JRR Trio/Stephanie Juergensen, Kassandra Rodriguez & Rachel Rieke

Violin: Whitney Christiansen, Spring Lonneker, Haleigh Downing,Christy Turner, Jeff Ladderud, Paul Froese
Viola: Jonathan Barnes
Cello: Andrew Hall, Helen Reich

Men’s Vocal Small
Winner: Boettcher/Trago Duet