Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - May 9, 2008

In this Issue:

(Click on article
to read more)

No School • Friday, May 9
There is no school Friday, May 9 due to Spring Professional Day. Classes resume Monday, May 12.
Three options surface from boundary study
Boundary Committee Chairs Chris Gardea and Dana Jones presented a progress report to the school board Tuesday night during a special public work session.

This broad-based committee has been meeting throughout the school year to prepare for a new, larger Edison Elementary and to address concerns of overcrowding at some district elementary schools.

The Boundary Review Committee has narrowed its scope of study to three options. All three options change Prospect Point from a four section school to a three section school and keep enrollment at district elementary schools similar. Blue Ridge is the exception. It would remain a two section school due to sharing space with Head Start/ECEAP preschool students.

No changes to boundaries for middle school are included in the three options. The Boundary Committee is expected to begin sharing options with the community and staff soon. Changes are expected to be in effect in the Fall of 2009. The last boundary adjustment was made in 1995.

Federal and state auditors give district clean reports
The district received good news from recent state and federal audit reports. No findings were reported in either the Accountability Audit Report and Report on Financial Statements and Federal Single Audit according to a report to school board members Tuesday night from Business Manager Pat Johnston.

“The Audit Summary concluded the district complied with state laws and regulations and its own policies and procedures in the areas examined,” Johnston said. “Internal controls to safeguard public assets were found to be in place and operating efficiently.”
Former student honors Wa-Hi English Teacher
Congratulations to Walla Walla High School English Teacher Kristina Duncan for receiving Eastern Oregon University’s Inspirational Teacher award. She was nominated by former student Wendy Wernette (mother is Berney Para-Educator Debbie Wernette). Wernette said Duncan had a tremendous impact on her high school career and continues to be an inspiration to her.

Deputy Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan presented her with this recognition certificate recently. Jordan said he could tell from the students present that she has a special relationship with them.
Prospect Point Country Fair and Carnival - May 16
• Bring your family and friends and c’mon out for a mighty good time.
• Festivities will be on Friday May 16, 2008 and run from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.
• Activities include, games, contests, food, and live entertainment.
• Hope you can make it out!

For more information, contact Kara Schulke at: jkschulke@charter.net

District Names Graduates of Distinction Honorees
Walla Walla Public Schools names this year’s honorees for the Graduates of Distinction program. Honorees are: Claro E. Bergevin, Class of 1941, Gretchen Miller Kafoury, Class of 1959, and John E. (Jack) Pelo, Class of 1974.

These individuals have distinguished themselves in their communities, professions, or careers and continue to bring honor to the district. Celebrate alongside these distinguished alumni at a reception in their honor on Tuesday, June 3, 2008 (details listed below). Listen to their stories and hear who helped shape their lives during their school years.

Date: Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Time: 6:15 to 7:30 p.m.
Place: Walla Walla School District Board Room

Claro E. Bergevin is a 1941 graduate of Walla Walla High School. Retired since 2002, Bergevin was a respected leader in the local farming community. He was a breeder of registered Horned Hereford cattle for more than 30 years and he farmed in both Walla Walla and Franklin Counties, raising a variety of crops. For 22 years, he also managed fertilizer and chemical plants in Touchet and Pendleton. During World War II, he served in the Marines and saw action at the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. He has kept contact with his Marine comrades for more than 60 years and will be hosting a gathering for them later this year.

On the community front, Bergevin has been a Walla Walla School District Board member, a county Planning Commissioner, member of the Frenchtown Recreation Club Board of Directors for 18 years, and active supporter for Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days. In 1995, he was the fair Parade Marshall. In retirement, at the age of 85, he still serves the community with his work on the Frenchtown preservation and restoration project.

Bergevin and Betty, his wife of 61 years, are parents of five children. In one of his nomination letters, his granddaughter Tera Zohner wrote: “Claro has instilled in his children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren an overwhelming love for family and community that spreads beyond the bounds of Walla Walla. His devotion to our family’s history and future knows no limits and he is truly a hero to each of his family and friends.”

Bergevin was nominated by his children: Terry Bergevin, Karen Bergevin-Zohner, Mike Bergevin, Debbie Bergevin-Beal and David Bergevin.

Gretchen Miller Kafoury is a 1959 graduate of Walla Walla High School and a 1963 graduate of Whitman College. After college, she and her husband volunteered as one of the Peace Corps workers in Iran. In 1977, she was elected to the Oregon State House of Representatives and began a public service career that spanned two decades. Following her three two-year terms in the Oregon House, Kafoury went on to serve as Multnomah County Commissioner, then Portland City Councilwoman. She currently serves on the Portland Housing Authority Board of Commissions, while teaching at Portland State University’s College of Urban and Public Affairs.

Throughout her career and in her personal life, Kafoury has advocated for affordable housing, community development, criminal justice, civil rights and health care. Several of her nominators agreed that she “has been a champion for fairness and justice.” Among her many honors are a Whitman College Alumna of Merit award, Outstanding Alumna and Urban Pioneer awards from Portland State University, and the dedication of the $10 million Gretchen Kafoury Commons by the Portland Housing Authority in 2000.

Kafoury has two grown children. Deborah is a 1989 Whitman College graduate who has followed in her mother’s footsteps, serving in the Oregon State Legislature and now running for county commissioner. Katharine is a graduate of Evergreen State College in Washington. She is a personal trainer and regular participant in running events in the Portland/Vancouver area.

Kafoury was nominated by Donna Cook Gardner of Walla Walla.

John E. (Jack) Pelo is a 1974 graduate of Walla Walla High School and 1978 graduate of Washington State University. He worked as an accountant with Price-Waterhouse in Seattle prior to returning to Walla Walla in 1983 to work for the Coca-Cola Bottling Company, serving as Manager of the Northwest Division. In 1996, he was offered the opportunity to move to Salt Lake City, where he became President and CEO of Swire Pacific USA, a Coca-Cola bottler for 11 western states that employs nearly 2,000 people. In addition to his role with Swire, Pelo also is chairman of the board of directors of the American Beverage Association.

Pelo has been an active community leader and volunteer in both Walla Walla and the Salt Lake City area. He has been both member and officer of the Exchange Club of Walla Walla; he served on boards for Walla Walla Community College Foundation, the Walla Walla YMCA, Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Salt Lake City, Washington State University Foundation, and Key Technology, Inc.; and he has coached youth teams for Junior Jazz basketball, YMCA basketball and Walla Walla Pacific Little League baseball. In 1995, with co-chair Tom Madsen, he headed up a successful $3.5 million renovation campaign for the Walla Walla YMCA.

Pelo and his wife Melinda (a 1975 Wa-Hi graduate) have three children: Ryan, Kevin and Katie. Pelo’s parents, Dick and Kay, still live in Walla Walla, so he maintains close ties with the local community.

He was nominated by Pete Reid.

For more information, please contact Kay Schisler, 526-6735, kschisler@wwps.org

Pioneer students inducted into National Junior Honor Society
Wednesday evening Pioneer students and families enjoyed an inspiring candlelight induction ceremony for new National Junior Honor Society members. Current 8th grade members passed the torch representing the high ideals of the society to forty-seven 7th grade inductees. This is the largest number of new inductees in over 10 years.

The current NJHS officers, Megan Thompson, Madeline Jacobson, Tabitha Jones, Jocelyn Vargas, and Andrew Hoffman, all gave motivating speeches, charging the new members to excel in scholarship, citizenship, leadership, service, and character. New members gave flowers to family members as a symbol of gratitude for family support. Students and families celebrated with a short reception following the ceremony.

Personnel Report (from May 6 school board meeting)
• New Hires
(Administrative) Liz Campeau, Assistant Director of Personnel, District Office

(Certificated) Dan Calzaretta, Explorers Teacher, Pioneer
Olga Velazquez, Bilingual Kindergarten Teacher, Prospect Point

(Classified) - Elizabeth Adkins, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent, District Office
Alfredo Avalos, Para-Educator, Lincoln Alternative H.S.
Martha Burroughs, Food Service Assistant, Walla Walla High School
Russell Kinsfather, Ground Worker, Facilities Support
Megan Murray, Personnel Secretary, District Office

• Resignations/Retirements
(Certificated) Edward Eckles, Math Teacher, Lincoln Alternative H.S., 3 years
Megan Poulson, Physical Education Specialist, Pioneer Middle School, 3 years
• Megan was on a leave of absence for the 2007-2008 school year

(Classified) - Brad Erdman, Grounds Worker, Facilities Support
Jill Gentry, Para-Educator, Garrison Middle School, 1.5 years
Rayleen Hicks, Head Secretary, Special Programs, 7 years
Toby McCandless, Para-Educator, Blue Ridge, 1 year
Kristine Nowak, Para-Educator, Pioneer Middle School, 1 year

• Leave of Absences
(Certificated) Peggy Willcuts, District Science Coordinator, Lincoln Alternative H.S., 18 years
• Peggy will be a LASER Facilitator for SE LASER Alliance
Karen Scott, Special Education Teacher, Wa-Hi, 18 years

Maryelyn Hebel will be relocating from the Business Office to take the position of Administrative Assistant in the Curriculum Department.

Edison BIG Truck Rally poster contest winners named

Last week hundreds flocked to the Edison campus for the Edison BIG Truck Rally. Congratulations to the following students for creating winning designs for the event’s poster contest.

• Carson Weeks, Edison, Age 8
• Joseph Baker, Green Park, Age 11
• Malcom Thomas Karow, Sharpstein, Age 6
• Abby Payne, Edison, Age 8
• Emmalee Keeton, Sharpstein, Age 8

Each student receives a $20 gift certificate to Inland Octopus. A special thanks goes to Bob at Inland Octopus for donating
$100 in prizes.

District to study Transportation Co-Op
Superintendent Rich Carter reported to school board members Tuesday night the district is beginning to study the possibility of having a Transportation “Co-Op” in Walla Walla to provide bus maintenance for regional school districts. Carter helped develop one in White Salmon prior to coming to Walla Walla.

State funding is available for facility development for these types of operations. The primary advantage to regional school districts is lower bus maintenance and parts fees. Carter said this is in the preliminary stages of planning but is targeting a November timeline to put together a funding proposal for state legislators to consider.

Seussical the musical next two weekends
“Seussical” opened Thursday night at Walla Walla High School’s Auditorium and runs through May 17. That’s right, Dr. Seuss — “the Musical.”

The main plot centers around the loveable elephant Horton as he attempts to save the people of Who-ville from certain death. There is a rhyme around every corner and extremely clever songs - just what you would expect from “the Seussical.” This is one for all ages to rejoice in and enjoy.

Performances schedule:
May 8 - 7 p.m.
May 9 - 7 p.m.
May 10 - (2 shows) 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
May 15- 7 p.m.
May 16 - 7 p.m.
May 17 - 2 p.m.

We are planning two Special Event Matinees on Saturdays, May 10 and 17 with drawing for door prizes (children 12 and under, please) and a photo opportunity with the ‘Cat in the Hat’ and other characters after the show.

Ticket Box Office is located in the lobby of the Wa-Hi Auditorium at 800 Abbott Rd. Walla Walla, WA. The Box Office is open Monday-Friday through May 16 from 4-6 p.m. and one hour before curtain on Saturdays. Order your tickets by phone by calling 526-8602 during the Box Office hours.

Green Park Carnival promises to be fun
Bring your family for a fun night at Green Park School’s Outdoor PTA Carnival!
• Thursday, May 22
• 4 pm - 8 pm.
• Activities include: carnival games, jumping castle, food, silent auction and more

Creative exercise helps Blue Ridge students learn
Blue Ridge Elementary Physical Education Teacher Sue Hansen and several students demonstrated their new exercise regiment known as “Bal-a-Vis” or Balance Auditory Visual Exercise to school board members Tuesday night.

Students use rubber racquetball and bean bags to complete a number of activities designed to help improve hand and eye coordination, balance and thinking skills.

Hansen said the students often work in teams or groups so it also promotes team building and friendships. Most of all, Hansen said it’s just plain fun and the kids love it.

Former NFL player Peter Sirmon to appear at Inaugural Central Washington Football Golf Tournament
Former Walla Walla High School student and stand-out football player Blaine Bennett is organizing the Inaugural Central Washington Football Golf Tournament.

Thursday, May 15
1:30 p.m.
WW Country Club.

Bennett recently received the head football coaching position at Central Washington University. He plans to recruit heavily in the Walla Walla Valley and is interested in building relationships in our area. Bennett recently signed Class of 2008 students David Weisner and Michael Najera to play at Central.

Bennett hired former Wa-Hi grad and NFL player Peter Sirmon to serve as linebacker coach and Eastern Washington area recruiter.

Many Walla Walla Public Schools staff and influential community members are actively supporting this tournament. For information on the tournament, contact Marc Yonts at 509.540.9553 or by e-mail: myonts@wwps.org.

Classroom Close-Up features Sharpstein teacher
This week Sharpstein Teacher Julie Schisler is featured on the district’s Classroom Close-Up weekly series.

A 60 second radio spot highlighting Schisler 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.