Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - May 4, 2007

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School board converts to “paperless” board meetings
This week school board members went to “paperless” meetings in an effort to cut costs and improve efficiencies. Board members now review information on their computers in advance and during board meetings as part of the district’s new electronic system.

The move to go paperless is a trend across the nation. District Technology Department staff, Janis Barton director, developed the system which allows board members to review agendas, reports, web links and other information essential to conducting board business.

Special thanks to Technology Department’s Cory Fish for his expertise creating the system and Pam Nichols for her support in training. By developing this system internally, the district is expected to save nearly $10,000 per year.

Willcuts receives Science Education Award
District elementary science coordinator Peggy Willcuts recently received the Washington State Laser 2006 Science Education Advocate Award and a $5000 check to use for district science related educational activities.

“I have the vision that we could empower each student to become a scientifically literate person - someone who has an understanding of science and the nature of science such that it allows them the excitement and passion for the world around them,” Willcuts said.

Willcuts is also a Science Specialist for Pacific Northwest National Labs in Richland. She has dedicated her professional career to serve as an advocate of science education in Washington State by working at the local, regional, state and national levels for education reform. She is also currently pursuing a doctorate from WSU in Educational Leadership.

Garrison teacher shares Japan Fulbright experiences
In what she described as a life changing experience, Garrison reading teacher Grace Ogoshi reported at Tuesday night’s school board meeting on her trip to Japan earlier this year as part of the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program. Ogoshi was one of 600 educators, out of 2,300 applicants, to participate.

She traveled to selected host cities where they had direct contact with Japanese teachers and students in an effort to promote greater intercultural understanding between the two nations. Ogoshi said teachers in Japan are highly respected.

She said since Japan has limited natural resources, education is considered the country’s highest priority. She was impressed by the students’ behavior, honesty and determination to receive an outstanding education.

Legislative session positive for education
Tuesday night Superintendent Rich Carter, Business Manager Aron Rausch and Special Programs Director Laura Droke reported on the state’s 2007 legislative session which ended last week.

According to the report, the session was positive for public education. Funding was made available for all-day Kindergarten at schools with high poverty rates, health care allocations appear to have kept pace with inflation, an increase was given for fuel, utilities and other non-employee related costs, and I-728 funding will increase across the state. For a complete overview on this session, visit www.wssda.org.

Personnel Report (from 5/1/07 school board meeting)
• New Hires
(Certificated) Nathaniel Carrara, Special Ed. Behavior Classroom, Garrison
Jodi Grove, Kindergarten, Edison
Kim Lawbaugh, Science, Pioneer
Jessica McDaniels, Kindergarten, Blue Ridge
Staci Spencer, Explorers/Gifted, Pioneer

(Classified) Jamesette Rukavina, Para-Educator (Braillist), Special Programs

• Resignations/Retirements
(Classified) Claudia Salazar, Para-Educator, Prospect Point (3 years)

• Leave of Absence
(Certificated) Elisa Weinman Pogue, Preschool Teacher, 17 years
• Elisa was on a leave of absence for the 2006-07 school year

Blue Ridge celebrates Cinco de Mayo
Today Blue Ridge was a sea of RED, GREEN, and WHITE to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Students were encouraged to to wear one or all three of these colors. The day features an All-School Assembly and grade level presentations.

Fifth grade students made posters and presented information in the classrooms of their younger classmates.

Balloons to launch from district schools
Get an upclose look at hot air balloons featured in this year’s Balloon Stampede during early morning launches from all district schools Friday, May 11 at 6 a.m. This is a great opportunity for children and families to participate in one of the many events scheduled for this year’s Balloon Stampede.

For more information about this year’s Balloon Stampede, contact Jennifer Castro at the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce, 525-0850 (ext. 201).

District hosts Technology Fair
The district’s Technology Department is hosting a Technology Fair Wednesday, May 9 at the District Office from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Staff and community members are invited to see district teachers demonstrate how they use technology in the classroom.

* (Note: 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. is designated for Edison Staff Only)

Wa-Hi plans Cinco De Mayo celebration
• Friday, May 4
• Wa-Hi Commons

5:30 to 6:30 p.m. - Soccer Tournament
6 to 7:30 p.m. - Dinner by La Monarca/comida por La Monarca
7:30 to 8:30 p.m. - Music and Entertainment/música y entretenimiento
8:30 p.m. - Prizes and Piñatas/premios y piñatas
9-10 p.m. - Dancing/Baile

Questions in English?
Contact: Mike Gwinn (526-8621)

¿Preguntas en espaDol?
LLlame a: Javier Hernandez (526-8638)

Pick up your complimentary dinner tickets @ the event / Obtenga sus boletos de cena gratis en la entrada.

Pioneer Choir Director named district’s Staff Spotlight Employee of the Month for May
Pioneer Middle School Choir Director Michael Jones prides himself on using creativity to help students improve and maximize their singing talents.

His music room comes alive with energy the minute students enter class as his love for music makes choir a school favorite. Michael grew up in Walla Walla, attended the University of Kansas and is now in his 17th year in the district.

Let’s meet Michael Jones...

Place of work: Pioneer Middle School

Job Title: Choir Director

Years in district: 17

Birthplace: Walla Walla

High School: Walla Walla High School

College: University of Kansas (go Jayhawks!)

Favorite Food: Bangkok 103

Favorite Movie: “Amadeus” and “Wallace & Grommit”

Favorite Music: Jazz

Favorite Book: Lord of the Rings Trilogy

What do you love most about your job? Being creative every single day (well, almost every day)

Hobbies: Camping, fishing, hiking, playing jazz whenever possible, and sleep

Most memorable moment: My most memorable moment as a teacher was when Pioneer burned down during my first year on staff.

Something no one would know about you: I was a disco-dancing clothing model in 6th grade (Wait, I didn’t WANT anyone to know that . . . oops).

Wa-Hi Prom Court named
Congratulations to the following Wa-Hi students for being named royalty at last weekend’s prom at the Walla Walla Community College.

King - Robert Boettcher
Queen - Jeraldin Enriquez
Prince - Tan Onwimon
Princess - Jennifer Keyes

Community leadership sought for high school study
School board members will soon begin contacting community members to serve on a Task Force to help the district conduct a comprehensive study of the high school experience.

School board members are seeking names of community members (with contact information if possible) who might be interested in serving. Send names to Marilyn Brown in the Superintendent’s Office (526-6715 or mbrown@wwps.org)

The following areas, and others, are expected to be studied by the High School Task Force.
• Replace vs. remodel Wa-Hi
• Second high school option
• College Place High School
(Future options/possibilities)
• Alternative Education
(Programs & facilities)
• Vocational Tech Center possibilities
• Athletic facility options

Pioneer’s Mariachi group performs today
Pioneer Middle School has a new Mariachi group, led by music teachers, Mike Jones, Bill Gilbert and Julie Woods.

The group is performing today (Friday, May 4) at the following locations:
11:10 a.m. - Prospect Point Elementary
11:55 a.m. - Pioneer Middle School
12:30 p.m. - Downtown Title Plaza
2:00 p.m. - Berney Elementary

Wa-Hi Drama Department “The Crucible” now showing
Remaining Show Dates:
• May 4, 5, 10 and 11 (7:00 p.m. curtain time)
• May 12 (2:00 p.m. curtain time)

Location: Walla Walla High School Auditorium

Cost: $6 - Students & senior citizens / $8 adults

Tickets: WWHS Auditorium Box Office open April 23-May 11 / Monday-Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. and one hour before curtain time.

About the play...
The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller in 1953, is a haunting illustration of what happens when personal responsibility for evil is denied. Set in 1692 during the Salem Witch Trials, it was meant to reflect upon the McCarthy witch hunts of the 1950s and is a sobering look at the problem of guilt by association. It opens with a Puritan town’s conservative minister witnessing a group of young girls participating in forbidden revelry.

The minister summons a clergyman who specializes in witchcraft to the town, and he is able to draw out a confession from a young maid who says she has made a pact with the devil. Soon the other girls confess and begin accusing those who cross or disbelieve them, and the town is torn apart by hatred and paranoia. The lengths to which the characters will go to eradicate perceived wickedness from the community will send shivers down your spine. This will be a performance you will not want to miss!

Crucible Cast
Betty Parris - Desiree Helm
Reverend Samuel Parris - Peter Anderson
Tituba - Preethi Thomas
Abigail Williams - Ryan Campeau
Susanna Wallcott - Jennifer Wickham
Mrs. Ann Putnam - Elizabeth Hicks
Thomas Putnam - Challan Robertson
Mercy Lewis - Sydney Boyd
Mary Warren - Kristin Glaeser
John Proctor - David Ross
Rebecca Nurse - Lindsie Wagner
Giles Corey - Jacob Hafen
Reverend John Hale - Thomas Rowley
Elizabeth Proctor - Anne Marie Jones
Francis Nurse - Stephen Trego
Ezekiel Cheever - Preston Loomer
John Willard Herrick - Andrew Benzel
Judge Hawthorne - Ethan Spence
Deputy-Governor Danforth - Daniel Rose
Sarah Good - Joanne Coleman
Hopkins - Michael Bell
Ann Ward - Lori Goodwin
Ruth Putnam - Taylor Spence
Martha Corey - Kaylee Stack

Crucible Leadership
Director: Brian Senter
Assistant Director: Vivian Glaeser
Producers: Mindy Meyer and Carina Stillman
Costumer: Maribeth Bergstrom
Set Construction: Kevin Loomer
Art Work: Wendi McCloy