Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - February 22, 2008

In this Issue:

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District levy passing -- additional ballots to be counted Friday
The district’s Replacement Levy was passing with a 54 percent approval rate after Tuesday’s election results were tallied. Walla Walla County Assessor Karen Martin said remaining ballots will be counted Friday afternoon, but said she did not expect the levy percentage to dip below the simple majority requirement of 50% plus one vote.

As of Tuesday night, 3016 voters said yes to the replacement levy while 2,521 voted no. Touchet, Dixie, Waitsburg and Prescott School Districts were also passing replacement levies as of election night.
Board approves bond refunding
Move expected to save taxpayers nearly $400,000
Board members Tuesday night took another step to saving taxpayers nearly $400,000 by refinancing existing district bonds with a lower interest rate.

Senior Vice President Trevor Carlson of Seattle Northwest Securities said interest rates are at near all-time lows and make it attractive for the school district to refund the bonds at a lower rate. He said all of the approximately $380,000 will go back to Walla Walla taxpayers. The process is expected to be completed by March 20.

State inspectors give bus fleet thumbs up
Tuesday night Superintendent Rich Carter presented Transportation Director Steve Olson with a Certificate of Achievement for recent Washington State Patrol school bus inspections.

“The Washington State Patrol school bus inspection team and I wish to commend your district and those persons responsible for the maintenance of your buses and for the outstanding bus inspections of winter and summer 2007,” said Jan Clarence, Regional Transportation Coordinator from ESD 105.

Superintendent Carter thanked the Transportation Department staff for their hard work and efforts to keep the equipment in good working order and safe for transporting students and staff.

Regional basketball tournament continues Friday
- Wa-Hi Girls vs. Lewis and Clark - 4:00 p.m.
- Wa-Hi Boys vs. Wenatchee - 9:00 p.m. (loser out)
Friday, February 22
Toyota Center (Kennewick)
Adults - $8
Students w/ASB - $6

“If the boys win on Friday they will play again at 1 p.m. on Saturday and if they win that game they will play a second game at 7 p.m. on Saturday,” District Athletic Director Don Wilkins said. “Our girls will play for sure on Saturday, if we defeat L-C we will play at 3 p.m. on Saturday for the Regional Championship. If we are defeated by L-C we will play at 11 a.m. on Saturday and if we win that game we will play a second game on Saturday at 7 p.m.”

Daily ticket prices for the tournament are $8 for adults and $6 for students with ASB cards and senior citizens. Coaches may use their Washington State Coaches Association membership card to get in this event.

Personnel Report (from 2/19/08 school board meeting)
• New Hires - None to report

• Resignations/Retirements
(Certificated) Evie Dutton, First Grade, Prospect Point, 26 years
Karie Hickerson, Special Education, Pioneer, 12 years
Jack O’Brien, Third Grade, Berney, 18 years
Kathryn Rudell, Second Grade, Green Park, 10 years
Jani Kay Smith, Second Grade, Prospect Point, 35 years
Patricia Verdun, Marketing, Walla Walla High School, 2 years
Mary Ann Zapata, Bilingual Second Grade, Blue Ridge, 30 years

(Classified) Don Carlyle, Bus Driver, Transportation, one month

Deadline approaching for Balloon Stampede design coloring contest
“Going Wild in Walla Walla” is the theme for the 2008 Walla Walla Balloon Stampede, and the hunt is on for suitable T-shirt designs. The Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce has issued the call for the commencement of the annual coloring contest in grades K through 5.

Elementary school students have been invited to submit their best art work for consideration. The winning artist will receive $25 in cash, free T-shirts, a class party at school, VIP status at the Stampede kick off party on March 14, and much more!
“The most coveted prize, of course, is to see your child’s art work on the front of hundreds of T-shirts at the Balloon Stampede,” Event Planner Jennifer Castro said.

Entry forms were distributed at Walla Walla and College Place schools and are also available on line at www.balloonstampede.com.

The deadline for returning your child’s artwork is Monday, March 3. Art may be given to your child’s teacher or delivered directly to the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce at 29 E. Sumach.

For more information about this press release, contact Jennifer Castro at 525-0850 x201, or email her at jcastro@wwvchamber.com

WSU Gear Up organizes post high school planning event
WSU GEAR UP and the Walla Walla High School Career Center are teaming to help seniors who have not made decisions about what to do after high school. The planning event will be held March 5 from 4:30 to 8 p.m in conjunction with Spring Conferences.

“Agencies who have options for seniors who haven’t applied or made plans for after they graduate have been invited,” said Pat Hanford, Wa-Hi Career Center Specialist. “In attendance will be colleges with rolling deadlines, WWCC, technical schools, service organizations, military recruiters and many local employers. About 40 have agreed to attend so it should be a great opportunity with a lot of good information for students.”

Garrison students honored for character
During last week’s Garrison Academic Recognition Assembly six students, all of whom were nominated by their teachers, were recognized for displaying strong character traits that correspond with the “Six Pillars of Character.” The six traits are Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship.

Award Recipients:
Jesus Sosapavon - 6th grade (Trustworthy)
Jaime Quaresma - 6th grader (Respect)
Iris Salazar-7th grade (Responsibility)
Brandon Ogden - 7th grade (Fairness)
Omar Soto - 8th grade (Citizenship)
Lindsey Rowe - 8th grade (Caring)

Wa-Hi students serve as legislative pages
During the week of February 11th, Walla Walla High School students Arón Castro and Michael Murphy Walsh served as legislative pages in the Washington State House of Representatives. Arón’s parents are Javier and Drucila Castro.Walsh is the son of 16th Legislative Representative Maureen Walsh of Walla Walla. The students were sponsored by local lawmakers.

“During the week Arón and Michael had a great opportunity to see how the legislative process works in our state government,” District Bilingual Coordinator Diana Erickson said. “Pages serve various duties during the week including ceremonial duties and distributing bills and amendments.”

Each day pages are required to attend two hours of legislative school where they learn more about the legislative process. Time is also provided so that students can do their homework since they are missing school during the week they serve as pages. “This has been my best experience so far,” stated Arón. “I learned how bills are developed and passed and how the legislature works.”

“Besides being a page, Arón is active in the Walla Walla High School Latino Club, a member of the BPA Science Bowl team, and has participated in the National Hispanic Institute debate programs for the past year,” Erickson said. “Arón is also a member of the Board of “Friends of Farm Labor Homes.”

Art Regier Outstanding Volunteer Award nomination announcement
2007-2008 Nomination Announcement
Nominations for the annual Art Regier Outstanding Volunteer Award are now being accepted. Forms are available at the district office and area schools. 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 28.

Each nomination may be accompanied by no more than three letters of recommendation. Recipients will be recognized at the April 15 school board meeting.Contact Communications Director Mark Higgins for more information, 526-6716.

Latino Club students name Staff Members of the Month
The Walla Walla High School Latino Club is pleased to recognize Gary Winston Sr., Armida Contreras, and Kerri Tucker as Latino Club Staff Members of the Month for February. This recognition by Latino Club students is based on the staff members’ helpfulness and faithful service to Latino Club members.

Mr. Winston is a new Security Guard at WA-HI and has already made an impact on the students. “Mr. Winston…is very friendly…and always has a positive attitude with students. He is open to talking to you about anything…he makes WA-HI a safe place to be and …he is also nice.” Latino Club Students

Armida Contreras is the front desk secretary in WA-HI’s main lobby. She is starting her third year at WA-HI. “Mrs. Contreras… helps me a lot with questions I have…about school every day.” Latino Club Students

French Teacher Kerri Tucker is in her second year at WA-HI. “Madame Tucker… is very supportive of her students; always trying to help them succeed. She is an excellent person that teaches her students very well. Elle est trés amusant gentil est sympathique” Latino Club Students

District translator passes away
Sunday the district’s primary contract-based translator Sergio Pena died. He is survived by his wife, Alma, and his 12 year-old-son, Alexis. At this time the family has chosen not to have a funeral service. Walla Walla Public Schools staff extend our heartfelt sympathy to the Pena family.

If you desire to make a financial contribution to the Sergio Pena family, a fund has been set-up at College Place Presbyterian church. Donation checks can be made out to the church (please note on the check that it is for the Sergio Pena family).

You can send your donation directly to the church or send it to the Administration Office to the attention of Rayleen Hicks in the Special Programs Department.

The church address is:
College Place Presbyterian
325 NE Damson Ave.
College Place, WA 99324

Walla Walla High School hosts college planning night
Event: Invitational & College Bound Night
Location: Walla Walla High School – Commons Building
Date: March 13
Time: 5:00-8:30 p.m.

Families are invited to enjoy a free dinner provided by El Sombrero Mexican Restaurant and learn about High School & College Planning, Requirements, and Expectations.

The keynote speaker is P. Van Buskirk, author of Winning the College Admission Game. Each family will receive a free College Planning Workbook.

Event Sessions:
Middle School Students
- Walla Walla High School Club Booths & Activities
- High School Planning, Graduation Requirements & Student Panels

High School Students
- “Getting From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be”
- College Representatives & Admissions/Scholarship Information

Middle & High School Parents
- Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) Representative
- Scholarship Opportunities & Procedures
- “We’re Talking… They’re Not Listening” – Student motivation strategies

Classroom Close-Up features Opportunity Program teacher
This week Opportunity Program Teacher Stephanie Gomsrud is featured via the district’s Classroom Close-Up series.

A 60 second radio spot highlighting Gomsrud is playing on several stations. A fun, photo-filled newsletter and the radio spot will be posted on the district website (www.wwps.org -- A to Z section) next week.