Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - May 22, 2009

In this Issue:

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No school Monday - Memorial Day Holiday
- Classes resume Tuesday, May 26
Last day of school
Friday, June 12
• Early dismissal schedule
End of Year ceremonies scheduled
Edison Farewell Party - Tuesday, June 9
3 to 5 p.m. (Tours of original Edison)
7 to 8 p.m. (Farewell Program)

Garrison Middle School 8th Grade Recognition
Wednesday, June 10 - 7 p.m.
Cordiner Hall (Whitman College)

Pioneer Middle School 8th Grade Recognition
Thursday, June 11 - 7 p.m.
Wa-Hi Large Gym

Lincoln Alternative High School Graduation
Thursday, June 4 - 6 p.m - School Gym

Walla Walla High School Commencement
Friday June 5 - 7:30 p.m.
Walla Walla High School grounds (near Commons)

Walla Walla Police alert community about luring incidents
Wednesday evening Walla Walla Police Sgt. Matt Wood used the district’s telephone system to release the following message to parents and staff regarding recent luring incidents in our community:

Walla Walla Public Schools parents and staff:
This is Walla Walla Police Stg. Matt Wood. I’m using the district’s telephone system to communicate an important message about recent luring incidents in our community. We have had several reports of an adult male driving a white car approaching young children and trying to get them in his car.

He often offers gifts, or toys and has even told the children he was asked by their parents to pick them up. Please talk to your children about the dangers of getting in a car with a stranger. We encourage students to walk in groups and never get in a car with someone they don’t know. We take this very seriously and are working to find this person of interest. Tell your children to report any incident to you and school officials. Contact the Walla Walla Police Department or your school administrator if you have any information regarding these luring attempts.

2009-2010 calendar revised to eliminate Learning Improvement Day
School board members Tuesday night approved the 2009-10 district calendar revision. The revision was necessary after state legislation this session eliminated a Learning Improvement Day (LID).

School will be in session Thursday, September 17. This day was previously slated to be a Learning Improvement Day. There will be no school Friday, May 7. This move allows the district to meet required student day count and builds in a possible snow make-up date for the 2009-10 school year. The revised 2009-2010 calendar will be posted on the district website soon: www.wwps.org.

Personnel Report (from 5/19/09 school board meeting)
New Hires
Suzann Rose, Kindergarten teacher, Prospect Point

Rayni Lambert, Special Education Dept. Secretary, Wa-Hi
Eva Madrigal, Para-Educator, Sharpstein
Yara Martinez, Para-Educator, Sharpstein

Julianne Anderson, 5th grade, Berney, 4 years
(Julianne is resigning .2 FTE and will continue at .8 FTE (.6 FTE LAP and .2 FTE second grade)
Ryan Kauffman, Physical Education Specialist, Prospect Point Elementary, 1 year

Erin Partlow, Assistant Athletic Secretary, Wa-Hi, 13 years
Betty Jo Vercio, Health Clinician, Green Park, 1 year

Leave of Absence
Richelle Palmer, Instructional Coach, Pioneer Middle School, 5 years
- Richelle is taking a .5 FTE LOA to serve as WWVEA president and will be a .5 FTE for 2009-10 (Reading Specialist/Title I Coordinator at Blue Ridge Elementary)

Ben Ugaldea, Library Media Specialist, Berney, 5 years
- Ben is taking a .5 FTE LOA and will be a .5 FTE for 2009-2010 (LMS at Pioneer Middle School)

Walla Walla Latino Club plans Saturday car wash
- Latino Club Car Wash
- Saturday, May 23
- Super One Foods (710 S. 9th Ave)
- 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- Proceeds will be used for Latino Club Activities (50%) and for the Latino Club Scholarship Fund (50%)
Meliah named Wa-Hi head girls basketball coach
Congratulations to Jill Meliah for being selected as the new Head Girls’ Basketball Coach for the Walla Walla High School Blue Devils. Meliah is a Language Arts/Reading teacher at Garrison Middle School.

Meliah replaces Jack Mehn who resigned to take the Assistant Principal position at Pioneer after a very successful stint as the Head Coach for the Blue Devils.

Meliah was a former Wa-Hi standout player and has been the Assistant Head Coach at Wa-Hi for the last five years, according to District Athletic Director Don Wilkins.

Walla Walla High School Choral Benefit concert
The Walla Walla High School Choral “Farewell” Concert will be presented on Thursday, May 28 at 7 p.m. at the WWHS Auditorium. This is the final concert of the year and salutes our graduating seniors. The concert will feature all of the choral groups at the high school: Cantabile, Chansons, Treble Ensemble, Chamber Singers and Concert Choir.

Musical selections will include a medley from “The Little Mermaid” and “Les Miserables.” Other offerings will range from choral anthems to the pop hits “Boy from New York City” and the ABBA standard “Take a Chance on Me.”

The concert is also promoted as a benefit concert for Ray Marrero, father of choir senior Amelia Marrero. Ray has been battling cancer this year and the choir would like to make this an opportunity for our community to support their family. The regular concert donation of $2 is being suspended and concert goers will have the opportunity to give any amount they would like to for this worthy cause. All funds donated will go to support the Marrero family’s medical expenses.

Exchange Club of Walla Walla announces Youth of the Year award winners
Congratulations to Walla Walla High School senior Allen Yu and Walla Walla Valley Academy senior Stephanie Merritt for receiving Exchange Club of Walla Walla Youth of the Year Awards for the 2008-2009 school year. The students received their awards Monday during a special program at the Elks Club.

These students each receive a $1,000 college scholarship, commemorative plaques and entrance in the district-level Youth of the Year competition.

This year’s Youth of the Year Essay Theme was: “America’s Youth - Stepping Forward to Change the Beat of America”

Allen Yu
Parents: Bessie Yu and Ronny Yu.
- 3.993 GPA.
- 13 advanced or Advanced Placement courses
- State award winner of Future Business Leaders of America (public speaking and business ethics)
- Senior class president
- National Honor Society member.
- Wa-Hi Journal staff member
- Amnesty International member
- Co-founder and Director of a two new clubs (Government Affairs Committee and the Security Council)

Allen hopes to attend a four year college and major in political science and business. He wants to become a lawyer and eventually a U.S. Senator

Stephanie Merritt
- Parents are Bert and Denise Merritt
- During the school year, Stephanie lives with her aunt and uncle, Danielle and Cameron Stewart in Walla Walla
- She has attended WWVA for three years
- She is vice president of the senior class
- She has taken part in two mission trips with one to the Galopagos Islands
- She has served as a volunteer at the Christian Aid Center
- She serves as a counselor for elementary aged children in her local church
- She was on the Lewiston High School swim team as a freshmen and also a member of WWVA’s Acro Gymnastics team
- She has been a member of the academy choir
- She plans to attend Walla Walla University and is considering nursing

Wa-Hi FFA Agriculture Issues team wins Washington state title
Team advances to national competition in Indianapolis

The Wa-Hi FFA Ag Issues team recently won the state title. Team members had been working on the Wallula Energy Resource Center issue for more than a year, according to Advisor Arch McHie.

“It was great to see all of their hard work validated,” McHie said. “The tremendous support of the community and their willingness to see our presentations made all the difference. By the time we competed at the state contest we had done well over twenty public presentations.”

The Wa-Hi FFA Chapter will have two teams participating at the National FFA convention next October in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Floral Team won the state contest in March.

Advisor Arch McHie reports the Walla Walla FFA Chapter had another great Washington State FFA convention:

Ag Issues – State Champions
Natalie Crum, Natalie Norby, Emily Larreau, Audrey Smith, McKenzie Sirmon, Levi Swenson

Food Science – 4th, Emily Allen – 2nd place High Individual
Emily Allen, Kasey Parsons, Drew Swenson, Briawna Dinwiddie, Megan Wright

Ag Sales and Service – 6th
Natalie Norby, Natalie Crum, Nicole Aichele and Jessica Ramsey

F.A.R.M. Team – 7th
Devyn Humphreys, Sydney Fullmer, Ashley Ramsey, Bridon Maiden

“This was the first year we have had a Food Science Team. The kids worked really hard to prepare for the state contest. A lot of time during lunches and after school really paid off. For Emily to place 2nd in her first contest was very impressive. I am super proud of all of them.” (Lindsey Butcher)

Parenting seminar tailored to Walla Walla’s needs
A ParenTeen Seminar will be held on May 30 in the Wa-Hi Auditorium. Sponsored by local youth pastors, this secular program features Chap Clark and is geared toward equipping parents to both understand and nurture their children in a constantly changing cultural environment. The evening seminar will be tailored to the specific issues and needs of students in the Walla Walla Valley.

The seminar begins at 7 p.m. and the cost is $5.00 per person. Scholarships are available. For more information, please visit the ParentTeam website: www.parenteen.com or contact nate@wwpcusa.org or craig@trinitywallawalla.org
Blue Ridge students SOAR into leadership roles
As the SOAR program has evolved, so has student interest in school, according to a report to school board members Tuesday night from Principal Connie Taylor-Randall, Para-Educator Tara Jasper and several Blue Ridge students.

“Students seem to view our school more as a community and began asking for ways they could be school leaders,” Taylor-Randall said. “These included team building, cooperative group tasks, action planning, communication skills, and leadership observations and connections.”

Students reported how the SOAR program has helped them as students and as young leaders.

Students now have the opportunity to become “Soaring Eagles.” Each month classroom teachers nominate students who show good behavior based on the school’s SOAR Guidelines...
S - Solves Problems
O - Outstanding Decisions
A - Academic Excellence
R - Respectful

Nominees must obtain signatures from staff members who agree that their behavior has been exemplary. Once the student has the signatures, they are then honored with their Soaring Eagle necklace at a school-wide assembly.

Retirement Celebrations - 2008-2009 (remaining celebrations)
Green Park Elementary
MaryJo Fontenot
Wednesday, May 27
3-5 p.m.
Green Park Library

Garrison Middle School
Karen Sinclair-Okerlund
Thursday, May 28
3:30-5:00 pm.
Garrison Library

District Office
Laura Droke
Wednesday, June 10
3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Board Room (364 S. Park St.)

Sharpstein Elementary plans Art Auction - Discover, Imagine, Create
Come view and purchase Sharpstein students’ art creations!
- “Evening of the Arts”
- Wednesday June 10
- 7 p.m.
- Sharpstein School (410 Howard St.)

Call Sharpstein Secretary Barbara Brown for more information: 509.527.3098

Blue Devil Athletic Development registrations accepted
Program Goal: Improve Overall Athletic Ability for All Sports
• For Boys and Girls Grades 6-12
• June 30 to August 7 (Monday - Thursday)

Daily Schedule
Session 1: 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
• Incoming 9th-12th grade students

Session 2: 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
• Incoming 6th-8th grade students

Session 3: 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
• Incoming 9th-12th grade students

Instructors: Eric Hisaw, Amy Hisaw, Ryan Carter

Location: Wa-Hi Weight Room
Cost: $30 pre-registered and $35 at the door

Note: Students will need a medical release and a parent permission form. Both forms are available at the Wa-Hi Athletic Office, or at the gym during the program. (PHYSICALS ARE NOT REQUIRED)

Make checks payable to Wa-Hi Athletics
Mail to: Wa-Hi Athletics, c/o Eric Hisaw - 800 Abbott Rd, Walla Walla, WA 99362

Public invited to Edison Elementary Farewell Celebration
Edison Elementary staff and students invite the community to join them in celebrating the end of an era during a farewell ceremony at the 73-year-old school, Tuesday, June 9. Celebrate Edison’s vast traditions and historical significance by honoring past and present students and staff. The new Edison Elementary is under construction and scheduled to open Fall 2009.

Date: Tuesday, June 9

School Tours of original building - 3 to 5 p.m.
- Former administrators and staff, alumni and current students will escort guests through original building
- Memorabilia will be on display in the gym
- Alumni presentations and a photo slideshow will be on the big screen

Farewell Ceremony - 7 p.m.
- Welcome from Principal Nancy Withycombe
- Introduction of previous principals and staff in attendance
- Introduction of alumni by decade in attendance
- School Board member Anne Golden speech
- Edison Choir performance
- Alumni stories
- Refreshments, tours and displays

Location: Edison Elementary (1315 E. Alder)

Nancy Withycombe, Principal
Email: nwithycombe@wwps.org

Youth Health Fair features $10 sports physicals
Walla Walla General Hospital teams with Walla Walla Public Schools to sponsor event

Walla Walla General Hospital and Walla Walla Public Schools have teamed to host a Youth Health Fair Sunday, May 31 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Walla Walla General Hospital.

The event features low cost sports physicals for students in grades 6-12. Sports physicals are $10 each. All proceeds will be donated from Walla Walla General Hospital to the Walla Walla Public Schools Athletic Department to pay for sports fees and equipment for students in need.

The Health Fair also features health screenings, information and educational activities for the entire family.

Event Fact Sheet:
• Walla Walla General Hospital and Walla Walla Public Schools partner to provide a Youth Health Fair featuring low cost sports physicals - $10 each.

• Sunday, May 31 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Walla Walla General Hospital

For more information contact:
Sharryl Toews, Walla Walla General Hospital
E-mail: ToewsSL@ah.org

Dan Calzaretta, Walla Walla Public Schools event coordinator
E-mail: dcalzaretta@wwps.org

Classroom Close-Up features Garrison teacher
This week Garrison Middle School teacher Marcia Follett is featured as part of the district’s Classroom Close-Up series. A fun, information filled newsletter will be posted on the district website next week - (www.wwps.org). A radio spot featuring Follett is now playing on regional stations.