Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - March 14, 2008

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School board meeting and public work sessions Tuesday
Tuesday, March 18
- 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. (public work session -- School based health centers)
- 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. (public work session -- Virtual School)
- 7:30 p.m. (regularly scheduled board meeting)

364 S. Park St. (District Office)
All Meetings Open to Public

Gardea named Prospect Point Elementary principal
Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors during a special board meeting Wednesday approved the hiring of Chris Gardea as principal of Prospect Point Elementary. Gardea will succeed Rick Nebeker who is retiring at the end of the school year.

Gardea served as Assistant Principal at Prospect Point from 2004-2007. He has spent the past year as the district’s Director of Mathematics.

He also has seven years experience as a classroom teacher:
- Pioneer Middle School – four years (Math, Reading and Language Arts)
- Waitsburg Elementary – two years (6th grade teacher)
- Meadow Brook Intermediate, College Place – one year (6th grade teacher)

“With Gardea’s past experience at Prospect Point and across the district, I think he is an excellent match,” Superintendent Dr. Rich Carter said. “Gardea will need staff and parent support to carry on the proud tradition of the high academics and involvement at Prospect Point. We’re confident he will be successful.”

Gardea received his undergraduate, graduate and administrative credentials from Eastern Washington University. He is also co-chairing the district’s Boundary Review Committee and is a board member for Walla Walla Camp Fire Boys and Girls.

“I’m excited to go back and continue working with the Prospect Point community,” Gardea said. “They have a strong tradition of parent involvement, a caring staff and students who are enthusiastic about their learning. I’ve always wanted to be a principal and there is no better place than Prospect Point.”

Lincoln principal receives Chamber award for community improvement
Lincoln Alternative High School Principal Jim Sporleder received a “Catalyst in the Community” award from the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce for his transformation of the alternative school. Sporleder says changes are reflective of input from the students. Enrollment increases, additional programs and a new sense of school pride have resulted since Sporleder took over a year ago. Sporleder credits staff and students for the improvements.

“It is difficult to receive the award without acknowledging the district, Lincoln staff and community partners,” Sporleder said. “As a staff we listened to what the students were asking for and we have been able to deliver on a lot of their requests. As a community we have given Lincoln students a voice and we have come together in partnership to provide programs to meet the diverse needs of our students. I’m proud to be a part of the Walla Walla School District and a member of this community. I am especially proud of our students and staff that have worked so hard to provide a culture of care, a safe learning environment, and a variety of classes to enhance their learning.”

Wa-Hi Culinary Arts teams place 3rd in state competition
Congratulations to the Wa-Hi Culinary Team for placing third in the state 2008 Boyd Coffee ProStart Invitational cooking contest in Spokane. All six Wa-Hi team members in Barbara Buttice’s class received a fifteen hundred dollar culinary college scholarship and a medallion.

“Their hard work paid off by placing 3rd overall out of 25 teams from 45 Washington high schools,” Buttice said.

Teams of students competed in several different contests according to Buttice, including:
• preparing a three-course meal in less than an hour
• knife skills
• general knowledge
• case management.

Walla Walla’s two teams have been practicing for several months to prepare for this event. They had the pleasure of demonstrating during parent conferences this past week, according to Buttice.

Tanner Cole, Loren Eng, Elisha Mendoza and James Metzger participated in the culinary competition demonstrating their creative abilities through the preparation of a three-course meal consisting of an appetizer, Artichoke and Fennel Caponata, main dish, Lamb with a Balsamic reduction sauce, fried stuffed rice balls, and a colorful touch of steamed green beans and carrots. The final course was an Italian canoli filled with a candied citron and ricotta cream. Their performance during the practical session was observed and rated by judges from leading post-secondary colleges and universities and the restaurant and food service industry.

Jennifer Dean, Loren Eng, Tanner Cole and Rachel Todorovich participated in the management competition demonstrating their knowledge of the restaurant and food service industry by competing in two different events. In the case study, students were tested on their communication skills and their ability to apply their knowledge of the restaurant and food service industry to practical situations. The second portion of the competition, the quiz bowl, is a question and answer event similar to the Jeopardy game.

A variety of educational opportunities were available, including Chef Ray Due, CEC teaching them how to create art from fruits and vegetables. Chef Noble Masi taught students the scientific reasons for how and why baking ingredients work.

ProStart is sponsored by the Washington Restaurant Association and its education foundation. It’s a two-year program that brings together industry professionals with teachers in the classroom, helping students to complete an accredited curriculum that prepares them for a career in the restaurant and hospitality business or for college. Walla Walla’s program is in its third year of competition. The program is just beginning to build. Students have volunteered working many community events in order to gain experience in professional kitchens.

District refinances bonds to save taxpayer thousands
Walla Walla Public Schools this week refinanced a portion of its outstanding bonds in order to take advantage of lower interest rates saving taxpayers more than one quarter of a million dollars over the next three years.

Superintendent Rich Carter emphasized the approximately $256,000 in savings will flow directly to taxpayers through reduced tax levies and are not available for district expenses.

“This is a direct savings to our community members in the form of taxes they expected, but will not have to pay,” Carter said.

The district accomplished these savings by approving the issuance of $7,510,000 in refunding bonds on March 12, 2008.

“The district has been monitoring bond market conditions over the past year and recent low interest rates allowed the district to exceed its savings target,” Interim Business Manager Pat Johnston said. “Interest costs averaged 2.60% on the new bonds compared to 4.89% on the old debt.”

Open enrollment & kindergarten registration begins Monday
Walla Walla Public Schools Open Enrollment and Kindergarten Registration period is Monday, March 17 to Friday, March 28, 2008.

Parents/guardians who wish to open enroll their child to a school outside of their attendance area may pick up open enrollment application forms at their attendance area school during normal business hours beginning March 10, however forms will not be accepted in the receiving school until Monday, March 17. Kindergarten registration will be conducted at the student’s attendance area elementary school.

If there’s space available to accommodate some but not all open enrollment requests, then the priorities outlined in School Board Policy No. 3130 will be used to determine movement of a student. School Board Policy manuals are available for public viewing at all Walla Walla Public Schools and the Administration Office. School Board policies are also online at: www.wwps.org.

Open Enrollment/Kindergarten Registration Hours:
Monday, March 17 - 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tuesday, March 18 – Friday, March 28 - 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Please contact your attendance area school for more information. District boundary maps are available at all Walla Walla Public Schools, the Administration Office at 364 South Park Street and online at www.wwps.org. For additional information, contact any district elementary school or contact Elizabeth Adkins (WWPS Curriculum Department) at (509) 526-6734 or
by e-mail at: badkins@wwps.org.

A new twist on educational “assessment”
Does educational “assessment” need to hold the same connotation as “Fire!” shouted in a crowded room? Carol Rutz, director of the writing program at Carleton College, will make the case for answering “no,” when she visits the Whitman College campus Tuesday, March 25.

Rutz, whose talk is being cosponsored by the Whitman Center for Teaching and Learning and the Mellon Foundation Grant on Assessment, will speak at 7:30 p.m. in Olin Hall 130, 814 Alder, on the Whitman campus. Her presentation, “Assessment as Scholarly Research,” is free and open to the public.

Rutz maintains that educational assessment need not create panic if assessment is considered scholarly inquiry within a research agenda. When approached as research, she said, assessment frames investigation into problems that need to be understood and solved. Her presentation will present a model for assessment as well as practical examples.

CONTACT: Lenel Parish, Whitman College News Service, (509) 527-6167 -- parishlj@whitman.edu

Public School Employees union members support local organizations
Recently district Public School Employees union members donated $400 to three Walla Walla organizations which support area youth. Walla Walla Camp Fire Boys and Girls received $100 for its after school program which serves 215 students at five district elementary schools. Big Blue Boosters received $150 and $150 was donated to the Wa-Hi Music Boosters.
Exchange Club Easter Egg Hunt Saturday, March 22
The Walla Walla Exchange Club is holding its 49th Annual Children’s Easter Egg Hunt on March 22 at 9 a.m. in Pioneer Park.

This year’s Easter Egg hunt features 21 prizes, including three bicycles, which will be awarded in categories, 1-3 years old, 4-6 years, 7-10 years and special-needs.

Special thanks to sponsor Alexandra Communications and volunteer Master of Ceremonies Jim Bock. For more information call Jim Peterson at (509) 301-1077.

Walla Walla Spring Concert Schedule
March 18
• Wa-Hi Choir & Orchestra Concert, 7 p.m. - Wa-Hi

March 20
• Pioneer Band & Orchestra Concert, 7 p.m. - Wa-Hi Auditorium

March 27
• 35th annual WWPS District Choir Festival, 7 p.m. - Wa-Hi Gym

April 10
• Berney Concert, 1 p.m., Berney Gym

May 8-10
• Wa-Hi Drama -- Seussical Production, 7 p.m. - Wa-Hi Auditorium

May 15-17
• Wa-Hi Drama -- Seussical Production, 7 p.m. - Wa-Hi Auditorium

May 20
• WWPS Jazz Night, 7 p.m. - Wa-Hi Auditorium

May 21
• 35th Annual WWPS District Orchestra Festival, 7 p.m. - Wa-Hi Auditorium

May 22
• 35th Annual WWPS District Band Festival, 7 p.m. - Wa-Hi Auditorium

May 29
• Wa-Hi Choir Spring Concert, 7 p.m. - Wa-Hi Auditorium

June 3
• Spring Orchestra Concert; 7 p.m. - Wa-Hi Auditorium; featuring: Wa-Hi String Orchestra; Wa-Hi Symphony Orchestra; Pioneer 7-8 Orchestra; Pioneer 6th Gr. Orchestra; & the Senior Awards

Edison PTA sponsors “The Peace Movement” dance and drama production
Edison Elementary PTA is sponsoring a free, public program of dance and drama titled “The Peace Movement” Sunday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Wa-Hi Auditorium (800 Abbott Road).

The family-friendly program features Seattle-based DASS, an all-terrain dance troupe with choreography by Daniel Wilkins. Also featured is choreography by Blue Heron Nia practitioners of Walla Walla and the Dance Center with choreography by Idalee Hutson-Fish.

“It has been heartwarming to have so many artists not only share the vision of a culture of non-violence, but to use their art form as part of that process,” says Anne Bullock, program coordinator. “I know the community will appreciate the dance and drama performance the artists have prepared.”

The performance is part of the March of Peace, a community wide celebration of peace, geared specifically toward the shared vision of establishing a culture of non-violence. For more information, call 520-8443 or visit the website: www.abullock.com/marchofpeace/

Classroom Close-Up features Green Park teacher
This week Green Park Elementary Fourth Grade Teacher Diane Mires is featured via the district’s Classroom Close-Up weekly series.

A 60 second radio spot highlighting Mires 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.