Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - October 9, 2009

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Superintendent Carter to retire at end of school year
Walla Walla Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Richard B. Carter announced during the October 6 school board meeting he plans to retire at the end of the 2009-2010 school year culminating a 37 year career in public education. Dr. Carter started his tenure in Walla Walla July 1, 2000. His last day will be June 30, 2010.

“When the end of the year arrives, it is my greatest hope that the legacy I leave in the Walla Walla Public Schools is a stronger organization than when I arrived,” Carter said. “I want all the school board members, administrators, teachers and staff to know that my success has always been based on their success. Together, with a caring and committed staff and guidance by parents and community and business leaders, we have shaped one of the highest quality educational institutions in the state; one that we can all be proud of.”

Carter taught in the classroom and as a coach and PE specialist in Victoria , Australia ; Casa Grande , Arizona ; was a teacher, eventually becoming a principal, at Hood Canal School District ; and Superintendent at Carbonado School District. Dr. Carter was Superintendent of White Salmon Valley School District in White Salmon, Washington, from 1990 to 2000, when he was chosen to be the Superintendent of Schools for the Walla Walla Public Schools.

“Dr. Carter’s contribution to Walla Walla Public Schools is greatly appreciated,” School Board President Mary Jo Geidl said. “His vision for the future has led to many positive changes in the district, such as instituting all day kindergarten and teacher collaboration, overseeing construction of Sharpstein and Edison Elementary Schools , and establishing a Transportation Co-op with 90 percent funding by the state. It will be a challenging task to find a replacement for him.”

School board members will begin discussions about superintendent search options. No plans have been made at this time.

Highlights during Carter’s tenure at Walla Walla Public Schools:
- Created a culture for acceptance of change
- Developed a focus on curriculum and stressed every child is a learner
- Improved state test scores in math, reading, writing and science
- Kept the district in stable funding conditions despite increasing expenditure pressures
- Increased teacher professional development opportunities, including Wednesday collaboration time
- Organized successful school elections: Edison bond and three M&O levies
- Developed the Southeast Washington Transportation Cooperative and Support Services facility
- Received National Energy Pacesetter Award for recording more than $2 million in savings
- Applied for and received funding for feasibility study and pre-design for a high school skills center
- Completed district boundary revision for elementary and middle schools
- Developed all day kindergarten program in district elementary schools
- Began Dual Immersion programs at Sharpstein & Edison Elementary Schools
- Supported National Board Certification program (31 Walla Walla teachers now certified)
- Created K-12 Common Collaboration to offer teachers more time to improve instruction
- Completed and dedicated modernized Sharpstein Elementary (2001)

Carter received his BA from California State University at Chico, a Master’s in Adaptive PE from Arizona State University, a Master’s in Educational Administration from Pacific Lutheran University , and his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Seattle University. Carter is a member of local, regional, and state school administrator’s professional associations and of the National School Boards Association. Locally, he is a member of the YMCA Board of Directors, the Borleske Stadium Board of Directors, Leadership Walla Walla Graduate, and Rotary Club of Walla Walla. He is a charter member and past Chair of the regional GEAR-UP Grant Committee (Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Under-graduate Programs) for Washington State University .

Carter says in retirement he and his wife Nancy plan to travel, play golf and spend more time with their two daughters, Robyn Lynn, 29 and Amy Jean, 27.

FFA Tractor Team wins state title
Congratulations to the Walla Walla High School FFA Tractor Driving team for recently winning the state competition in Puyallup.

There are two parts to the competition. Part One is a knowledge test. There are 50 questions about tractor safety and operation. Part Two is a skill drive. Students drive a tractor attached to a 6 foot trailer. They maneuver through an obstacle course in reverse and then forward. Contestants are timed and must complete the course under two minutes and 30 seconds without hitting cones while driving in a safe manner.

State Title Team members include:
Levi Swenson- Junior (Levi also placed 1st as an individual)
Drew Swenson - Sophomore (Drew also placed 2nd as an individual)
Austin Leber- Sophomore

“The team spent many hours practicing for the drive and studying for the test,” FFA Advisor Lindsey Butcher said. “They were the only team with two perfect drives and all three boys received 100 percent on the knowledge test. I am very proud of them as their hard work has paid off.”

Walla Walla High School also fielded the first all girls tractor driving team. This team placed in the top ten.
All Girls Team members:
Nicole Smith - Junior
Audrey Smith - Senior
Natalie Crum - Senior

“They also did very well at the competition,” Butcher said. “It was nice to see girls being involved in a contest that is dominated by boys, not to mention they beat over half of them.”

Enrollment counts hold steady
Deputy Superintendent Dr. Bill Jordan reported to school board members Tuesday night the district’s enrollment figures for October are similar to September’s count.

The district is reporting 5818.75 FTEs in October, up slightly from the 5808.27 count in September. These figures do not include AEP and Running Start programs. The district remains above its budget target of 5650 FTE.
Key Club organizes family-friendly Halloween public event
The Walla Walla High School Key Club, advised by teacher Shelley Mann, is organizing Trunk-or-Treat Saturday, Oct. 31 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Academic Parking Lot at Walla Walla High School. This free, family-friendly event offers Walla Walla children trick or treating opportunities in a safe environment. High School students decorate their cars and put on costumes as they pass out treats. Guests are asked to bring a can of food for the area’s food bank. For more information, contact Shelley Mann at: smann@wwps.org.
Albertsons supports Campbell’s Labels for Education program
Tuesday night Sharpstein Elementary Principal Laure Quaresma thanked Albertsons during the school board meeting for its support of the Campbell’s Labels for Education program. Labels for Education rewards schools with cash-like points anytime Campbell’s soup or other product labels are collected and submitted to the company. Quaresma said Albertsons’ contributed to the program which generated thousands of dollars for schools to use for supplies and/or equipment.
Volleyball team supports Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Thursday night the Walla Walla High School Volleyball team sponsored a Breast Cancer Awareness event. The team encouraged fans to wear pink and donate to the cause. Donations help support the St. Mary’s Cancer Center. The Wa-Hi Volleyball Coach is Audra Cummings.

Ag-Issues team debates Wallula “Clean Coal” plant
Members of the Walla Walla High School FFA Agriculture Issues team, advised by teacher Arch McHie, reported to school board members Tuesday night on their state championship presentation. This year’s issue debates whether a “clean coal” plant should be constructed near Wallula.

The team is tuning up for the national competition in Indianapolis, Indiana. McHie thanked the community for allowing the Ag Issues team to make public presentations in preparation for their competitions. FFA students reported they have learned a lot through this experience and are excited for nationals.
Wa-Hi English teacher acknowledged for scoring Advanced Placement exams
Walla Walla High School English teacher Lori Dohe received a thank you letter from Trevor Packer, Vice President of the College Board’s Advanced Placement Program for her significant contributions during the 2009 AP Reading. Dohe was one of 423 AP English teachers who joined forces with college faculty who teach in the same discipline to score 338,190 AP exams in Daytona Beach, FL.

“The careful evaluation of students’ work by highly qualified professionals is one of the most important aspects of the AP program,” Packer said in his letter.

Dohe’s experience in Florida had an unusual twist. She was only able to score a portion of the time due to a medical emergency.

“I only managed to score for three of the eight days due to an attack of appendicitis,” Dohe said. “I left my appendix in Daytona Beach.”

Personnel Report (from 10/6/09 school board meeting)
• New Hires
Elisabeth Entrena, ESL Teacher (temporary), Edison
Jodi Guttromson, Para-Educator (temporary), Blue Ridge
Paula Merson, Food Service Assistant, Pioneer
Cassie Sears, Assistant Secretary for ASB/Athletics, Wa-Hi

Jeannie Sullivan, Cook, Edison, 11 years

Walla Walla High School Latino Club elects new officers
Walla Walla High School Latino Club recently elected new officers for the 2009-2010 school year.

The newly elected officers are:
President - Alex Ramos
Vice President - Krystal Bautista
Secretary - Karina Torres
Treasurer - Luis Jaimez

The purpose of the Walla Walla Latino Club is:
a. To promote the educational, cultural, and representation of the Latino Community at Walla Walla High School;
b. To develop and implement activities to develop relationships and understanding of all students in the high school community;
c. To mentor and provide information to increase the educational and career opportunities of Latino students;
d. To provide opportunities for club members to serve Walla Walla through community service.

Crest Club book fair proceeds benefit YWCA
Walla Walla High School’s Crest Club, an all senior girls honor club, recently wrapped up their September Book Fair. The book fair generated a donation of $275 worth of books to the YWCA and Wa-Hi Library.

“A big thank you to our faithful volunteers Laura Schueller, Vicki Reardon and Aislynn Beckstrand,” said Advisors Peggy Payne and Michelle Higgins. “We hope to make this an annual event, as Crest Club continues to carry out its mission of community service.”

Parent Information meeting focuses on struggling learners
A free workshop for parents who have a child who struggles with academics or behavior at school is scheduled for Wednesday, October 14 at 7 p.m. at the WWPS District Office, 364 South Park, Mill Creek Room.

• Learn about new ways Walla Walla is providing help to students when they first start to struggle
• Ask questions to find out how your child’s school is providing extra help for these students
• Find out about parent’s role in the process

The meeting is a component of Response to Intervention (RTI). RTI is a tiered process the district uses to help students when they first begin to struggle in school. It uses periodic screening of all students to identify those who need extra help. Research-tested interventions are provided and student data is collected and used to make educational decisions.

For more information:
Maria Garcia, RTI Coordinator, WWPS - (509) 301-2991
Karen Blaine, RTI Coordinator, PAVE - (509) 928-1522

Meeting provided by:
- Walla Walla School District and RTI
- Information for Families, A Program of Partnerships for Action, Voices for Empowerment

Military Service Academy Open House
Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ office is organizing an open house for parents and students in grades 9-12 interested in applying for a military academy upon graduation from high school. Please contact the Congresswoman’s Spokane Congressional District Office for information at 509-353-2374 or log onto her website at mcmorrisrodgers.house.gov.

Wednesday, October 14 – Walla Walla Open House
6 to 9 p.m.
Walla Walla High School
800 Abbott Road
Walla Walla, WA 99362

State funding linked to next week’s school bus ridership count
The Transportation Department is gearing up for next week’s annual state ridership count, October 12-16. State funding for school bus service is based on this counting period. Walla Walla students will be counted on the morning bus routes to school. Parents of children who ride school buses are encouraged to have their children ride the school bus during this counting period to help secure crucial transportation funding. Letters in both English and Spanish have been sent home to parents.

Classroom Close-Up features Sharpstein teacher
This week Sharpstein Elementary teacher Claudia Salazar 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 public service announcement radio spot featuring Salazar is now playing on regional stations.