Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - March 23, 2007

In this Issue:

(Click on article
to read more)

High school study focus of work session
Superintendent recommends Community Task Force

Tuesday night during a public work session school board members began what is expected to be a lengthy process to develop a common vision for Walla Walla’s high school experience.

School board President Anne Golden began the meeting explaining how post-election feedback following the rejected May 2006 bond issue pushed for this study.

She said input called for more information on options for high school programs, facilities and concepts.

Numerous common themes surfaced from the school board’s “Listening Campaign” including:
• Replace vs. remodel existing Wa-Hi buildings
• Second high school option
• College Place High School (future potential)
• Alternative Education (including Vocational Tech Center)
• Athletic facility options

Golden said it will be important from the outset to identify what outcomes this study is expected to produce and to develop parameters to help ensure the work is done efficiently.
Superintendent Rich Carter detailed an organization plan for creating a community led Task Force to oversee and manage the study. His plan includes a school board led process for identifying task force leaders and members.

Carter recommended a third-party facilitator to help maintain objectivity and provide support to the task force. His plan also calls on district administrators and staff to serve as technical advisors.
Golden said the next step is to develop a timeline for the next several months to keep the process moving along.

Energy program hits $2 million savings mark
The district continues to save money and support strategies to conserve energy, according to a report Tuesday night from Energy Manager John Butenhoff.

The district began the program in 1999 and Year Seven tallies reported last night reveal nearly a $2 million savings to the district. This represents a 26 percent “Total Energy Cost Avoidance,” according to Butenhoff’s report. Education of staff regarding conservation strategies has been a key factor in the success of the program, according to Butenhoff.
“We have established an energy ethic with each teacher, employee, and administrator,” Butenhoff said. “People determine and control the use of energy. I want to recognize our staff’s efforts.”

Management and detailed accounting make up the other components of the program.

School Retirees Appreciation Week - March 19-25
School board member and Walla Walla/Columbia School Retirees Association member Mary Jo Geidl read a proclamation from Governor Gregoire recognizing School Retirees Appreciation Week during Tuesday night’s school board meeting.

Geidl then presented current association president Joan Helm with the proclamation and thanked her for her efforts to advance public education and the teaching profession.

Personnel Report (from 3/30/07 school board meeting)
• New Hires
(Classified) Linda Joshlin, Para-Educator, Paine

• Resignations/Retirements
(Certificated) Tricia Sobottka, Science, Pioneer (6 years)
• Tricia was on a leave of absence for the 2006-07 school year
Allison Peck, English, Opportunity Program, 17 years
• Allison is resigning .325 FTE and will continue as a .375 FTE English teacher
Ann Wallace, English, Paine (3 years)

Susan Pearson, Para-Educator, Garrison (16 years)
• Susan was on leave of absence for the 2006-07 school year

• Leave of Absences
(Certificated) James Hill, Math, Wa-Hi (5 years)
• James was on a leave of absence for 2006-07 school year

Carnegie Center ‘Picture Ladies’ link art to education
Tuesday night Marilyn Miller, Shirley Rodenberg, Stacy McPherson and Joan McPherson showed off some of the artwork scheduled to be on display throughout May at the Carnegie Art Center as part of the 2007 Family Show. The “Picture Ladies” reported to school board members on this year’s theme -- Wind, Water and Weather.

The goal of this program, established in 1980, is to introduce art and history to school-aged children. This year’s show features Edward Hopper, Winslow Homer and Claude Monet. Additional information will be sent out to schools later this spring. For more information on this event, contact the Carnegie Art Center at 525-4270.

Berney teacher earns National Board Certification
Berney Elementary is the home of the most recent National Board certified teacher in Walla Walla Public Schools as 4th grade teacher Laura Grant-Herriot received her notification letter this week.

Laura was scheduled to have earned her certificate earlier this school year, but her file had to be re-reviewed after one of her video tapes was inadvertently lost. Once scoring board added in the points from the video tape she passed with high honors.

“She is certainly worthy of the award,” Berney Principal David Talley said. “We urged her to make contact with someone at the state level to assist her in looking into the error. We are glad it was cleared up and that she was recognized for her hard work.”

Edison student takes first place at Elementary Math Contest
Last Saturday 150 4th and 5th grade students from 15 schools throughout the region came to Berney Elementary to compete in the Walla Walla Valley Math Contest. Edison’s Justin Seymour took first place in the individual category while Columbia-Burbank earned top team honors (see complete list below).

With the help of more than 40 volunteers, these students were given the chance to compete by taking tests in Addition/Subtraction, Multiplication/Division, Spatial Relations/Patterns, and Team Problem Solving.

The tests were scored while the students enjoyed a pizza lunch. The awards were presented while many proud parents looked on. Special thanks to event coordinator Laura Schueller for all her efforts making this year’s event successful. Although there were numerous individual and team victories, the top overall individual and teams were:

Top Teams
1. Columbia-Burbank
2. Sharpstein
3. Prospect Point
4. Green Park
5. Assumption
6. Berney

Top Individuals
1. Justin Seymour (Edison)
2. Nathan White (Columbia)
3. Natalie Fink (Prospect Point), Nick Fuller (Sharpstein), and Seth Chapman (Sharpstein)
4. Andrew Hayunga (Assumption), Phong Pham (Berney), Russel Skorina (Green Park)
5. Felicia Martinez (Freewater)
6. Maddy Payne (Green Park)

AAUW scholarship deadline near
The April 6 deadline for submitting applications for the 2007 Local AAUW Scholarships is fast approaching!

Applications will be accepted from women who meet the following requirements:
1) They must be able to provide transcripts from at least one year of college, followed by an interruption (time lapse) in education.
2) They must submit two letters of recommendation from someone familiar with their educational background and goals.
3) They must be residents of Walla Walla County, Columbia County, or Umatilla County. The scholarship committee is seeking women who demonstrate a desire to continue their education by completing or adding to their degree. While past academic performance will be considered, of equal importance is the person’s clearly demonstrated community involvement and enthusiasm for future community commitment. The individual financial need of the applicants will be considered in making the awards.

The scholarship funds will be directed to the college of the recipient’s choice to be used as needed for educational expenses. (Please note that the scholarship is only awarded once per recipient.)
The application can be accessed at the AAUW website: http:// www.aauw-wallawalla.org/. If you have questions about the scholarships, please contact Linda Moats at 541-938-2471 (moats@valint.net) or more information.

Completed applications must be received by April 6, 2007. They should be mailed to Alice MacDonald, AAUW Scholarship Committee, 1429 Taumarson Rd., Walla Walla, WA 99362. Final candidates may be required to participate in a personal interview with the scholarship committee. The recipients of the award will be notified by the first week of May and introduced at the AAUW annual dinner meeting on May 15th.

Paine plans Car Wash and Bake Sale tomorrow
Paine Alternative Campus will be having a Car Wash/Bake Sale at Super 1 Foods parking lot Saturday, March 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. There will be a group of 16 students trying to raise money to help fund two trips scheduled in April and May to Seattle.

The students must maintain a 2.5 GPA, have no discipline referrals and NO unexcused absences from here out in order to go.

To make a donation or learn more about this event and program, contact Intervention Specialist Brooke Bouchey at 527-3083 or bbouchey@wwps.org

CORRECTION - District’s Special Education Coordinator wins Retirees Association grant
Last week it was reported Cindy Nass was the district’s Bilingual/Migrant Coordinator following her receipt of a $100 mini-grant from the Walla Walla/Columbia School Retirees Association. Cindy is actually the district’s Special Education Coordinator. Sorry for the error.

She plans to use the mini-grant to help middle school special education teachers in their quest of teaching decoding and comprehension reading skills. To accomplish this, three copies of eight different novels will be purchased which would
reinforce students with the reading skills they have been working on.

Great Explorations in Math and Science keynote speech open to the public
Cordiner Hall will be the scene of the Great Explorations in Math and Science conference tomorrow. The workshops are geared towards the interests of girls in grades 5-8, but the keynote speech is open to the public.

The speaker is penguin researcher Elizabeth Skewgar, talking about Penguins, Politics and Possibilities. Elizabeth studies penguin migration in Argentina and Chile for her PhD research at the University of Washington. Before she became a penguin person, Elizabeth worked as a diplomat for the U.S.Department of State.

The keynote speech will be in Cordiner Hall at Whitman College, corner of Park and Boyer Streets, from 12 noon until 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 24. No registration is required to attend the keynote speech.

For more information, contact Jeanne Beirne, jbeirne@hscis.net, 525-7401 or Carol Morgan, pcmorgan@charter.net, 525-3531 or go to the AAUW website at www.aauw-wallawalla.org.

Graduates of Distinction nominations sought
Walla Walla Public Schools graduates who have distinguished themselves in their communities, professions, or careers will be formally recognized this spring through the Graduates of Distinction program.

Nominations for inductees to this special program are now being accepted. Application forms are available at the district office, 364 South Park Street, and under District A-Z on the district website.

They must be completed and returned by April 15, 2007. Inductees will be recognized during a public reception and at the Wa-Hi Academic Recognition evening.

Art Regier Outstanding Volunteer Award nomination announcement
2006-2007 Nomination Announcement

Nominations for the annual Art Regier Outstanding Volunteer Award are now being accepted. Forms will be sent out to all staff this week.

This 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.

Send completed nomination forms to the Communications Department (364 South Park Street, Walla Walla, WA 99362) through Friday, March 30.

Each nomination may be accompanied by no more than three letters of recommendation.
Recipients will be recognized at the April 18 school board meeting.Contact Communications Director Mark Higgins for more information, 526-6716.