Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - November 13, 2009

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School board meetings Tuesday, Nov. 17
- Public Work Session (Capital Project discussion) - 6:00 p.m.
- Public Work Session (Superintendent Search) - 6:30 p.m.
- Regular meeting - 7:30 p.m.

All meetings open to public
Location: 364 S. Park St.

Superintendent search community meetings - November 17
Community and parents asked to weigh in on what they are looking for in a new superintendent

Sessions: Tuesday, November 17
- 12 noon to 1:30 p.m.: Community (Parents may attend if they can’t participate in the 5 p.m. session)
- 4 to 5 p.m.: Walla Walla Public Schools staff (classified and certificated)
- 5 to 6 p.m.: Parents (Community members may attend if they can’t participate in the 12 noon session)

Location: District Board Room - 364 S. Park St..

For those not able to attend these meetings, input forms will be available at the district office and each school. An electronic survey will also available online beginning Nov. 16 at: www.wwps.org

With the retirement of Dr. Richard Carter, following 10 years as superintendent, the community is faced with the important task of employing a new administrative leader for the Walla Walla School District. To assist the school board in the superintendent search, Dr. John Fotheringham of Northwest Leadership Associates has been employed as the search consultant.

As a part of his responsibilities, Dr. Fotheringham will be in the district Tuesday, November 17 to solicit opinions from staff, parents and community members to help determine the profile to be used in seeking the person most qualified to become superintendent.

“The board of directors desires to have significant involvement of district residents and district staff members in determining the qualities we want in the new superintendent,” School Board President Mary Jo Geidl said. “Please take advantage of this opportunity to participate in the initial phase of the superintendent selection process.”

The following meetings have been set to outline the superintendent search timeline and collect responses necessary to establish the selection criteria. The meetings will be in the school district board room at 364 S. Park Street.

For more information:
District Communications Director Mark Higgins
E-mail: mhiggins@wwps.org

Winter weather is coming: District school closure communications plan
At Walla Walla Public Schools, we make every effort to post up-to-the-minute school closure information due to inclement weather or any circumstance that would delay or cancel the normal school schedule. Decisions to delay or close school usually are made by 5:30 a.m. or earlier. This triggers the district’s comprehensive school closure/delay announcement plan. The district makes every effort to begin announcements by 6 a.m.

Announcements include:
- Media release (radio, tv, newspapers)
- Telephone automated message (staff and parents)
- Web posting (www.wwps.org)
- Staff e-mail (GroupWise)
- E-news message (sign up on the district web site)
- Twitter message (twitter.com/wwschools)
- Orange signs posted in front of schools

Sharpstein students welcome new baseball team to Walla Walla
Thursday afternoon hundreds of cheering Sharpstein Elementary students and staff welcomed the Walla Walla “Sweets” baseball team to the community. The new Walla Walla “Sweets” baseball team will consist of 25 college baseball players from throughout the United States competing in a Northwest - all wood bat - league from June through August. Home games will be played at Borleske Stadium. Walla Walla native JC Biagi was named the manager of the new Walla Walla Sweets baseball team.

Fourteen year major league baseball player and part owner of the team Jeff Cirillo was in attendance Thursday. His message to students stressed the importance of working hard in school and enjoying time with family. He encouraged the students to seek him out at “Sweets” games and talk to him about baseball or whatever is on their minds.

“I often had to pinch myself during my career,” said Cirillo. “I’m very humbled about the blessings I had during my career. Just because I was a major league ball player, don’t be afraid to come up and talk to me. I look forward to meeting people in the community and helping our players develop their skills. I plan to be in Walla Walla a lot during the summer.”

Pacific Baseball Ventures, LLC owners and team officials:
- John Stanton
- Terry Gillespie
- Jeff Cirillo
- Greg Shaw
- Mikal Thomsen
- Peter Van Oppen
- Zachary Fraser

For more information about the Walla Walla “Sweets,” please visit: www.wallawallabaseball.com

District parent takes the reigns of the Carnegie Picture Lady program
Carnegie’s Picture Lady Program is up and running again thanks to Edison Elementary parent Augusta Farnum who is chairing the program. Recently 32 volunteers completed the Kandinsky, Picasso and Chagall workshop. Armed with posters, Power Point presentations, paint, wire, pastels, and mono print techniques, the volunteers have been challenged to present and conduct an art project with as many students as possible in the elementary classrooms at Edison, Berney, Prospect Point, Sharpstien, Green Park, Blue Ridge, and Assumption.

“Success has been reported all over town,” Farnum said. “Please keep an eye out for the first projects at the teacher conferences!”

For more information on the Picture Lady Program, contact Augusta Farnum at abeel@gohighspeed.com.

The Picture Lady would like to recognize:
Mari Sanders, Jayne Eacker, Cheryl Heller, Mimi Mott, Emily Tillotson, Laure Quaresma, Jenny Lemma, Karen Bayne, Jane Baffney, Cyndy Knight, Sara Stadola, Sarah and Adam Sisk, Jack Kammer, Aaron BoBrow-Strain, Krista Davidson, Catherine Blethens, Tiffany Jenes, Jean Gibbs, Sue Fink, Melissa Gardner, Mary Ann Duffy, Anna Conway, Kelly Nelson, Lisa Stott, Trevor Dorland, Denise Shives, Kara Billingsly, Denise Isenhower, Theresa & Dan Adam, Kirsten Leal, Jennifer Sievers, Scott Caldwell. Heidi Cohan, Elizabeth Calder, Shirley Rodenberg, Becky Musick, Kay Schisler, Kelly Gabel, Penny Taylor, Patrice Townsend, Darcey Fugman Small and The Carnegie Board Staples, Walla Walla Electric, Platt, ProBuild, Yale Glass, Sysco, CreekTown, Whitehourse Crawford, Home Depot, Walla Walla Community College Parent Child Co-Op and Walla Walla School District.

Walla Walla High School Band Student Selected for 2010 Washington All-State Symphony Orchestra
Walla Walla High School senior Anna Tupper-Bridges has been selected to participate in the 2010 Washington All-State Symphony Orchestra at the Washington Music Educators’ State Conference in Yakima, held in February during President’s Day weekend. Ms. Tupper-Bridges, daughter of Kari Tupper and George Bridges, plays flute in the Wa-Hi Wind Ensemble.

This is a high honor, as the very best woodwind, brass and percussion players are selected for the Symphony Orchestra; then the rest of the woodwind, brass and percussion selected for All-State go into the Wind Ensemble and Concert Band groups. Students across the state submitted MP3 auditions to be considered for the conference. Ms. Tupper-Bridges was selected for All-State Wind Ensemble two years ago.

Walla Walla High School band director, Andrew Ueckert, declared, “Trust me, this is a big deal. Congratulate her when you see her!”

Walla Walla High School Students Selected for 2010 Washington All-State Choir
Four Walla Walla High School seniors and one junior have been selected to perform in the Washington All-State Choir in February. Choral Director Norbert Rossi said, “More than 2,400 students auditioned for the All-State groups this year. Please take a moment to congratulate these students.”

Denali Molitor, Treble Choir, Soprano 2 (Senior)
Natalie Ingersoll-Allen, Treble Choir, Alto 2 (Junior)
Samantha Herriot, Symphonic Choir, Alto 2 (Senior)
Willa Schober, Symphonic Choir, Soprano 1 (Senior)
Daniel Lockart, Symphonic Choir, Tenor 1 (Senior)

Whitman College hosts youth Holiday Baseball Camp during Thanksgiving break
The Whitman College baseball team is hosting an indoor Holiday Baseball Camp early Thanksgiving week - Sunday, Nov. 22, Monday, Nov. 23, and Tuesday, Nov. 24, for baseball players from ages 6 to 18. The players will be divided into age groups of 6 to 12-year-olds and 13 to 18-year-olds, according Mark Michaud Jr., assistant baseball coach and camp director.

The younger group is scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon, and the older players from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The camp is designed for athletes who want to develop their baseball skills over the winter months in top-notch facilities such as the newly renovated Sherwood Center, said Jared Holowaty, head baseball coach. Camp attendees will be the first group to use Sherwood’s drop-down batting cages located in the new gym. The camp cost is $100; contact Coach Michaud at 522-4438 or michaum@whitman.edu.

Edison Elementary PTA to host a Pancake Breakfast fundraiser at Applebee’s Saturday
Edison Elementary PTA will host a Pancake Breakfast fundraiser at Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill Saturday, Nov. 14 from 8 to 10 a.m. Tickets are $5. A limited number will be available at the door. Ticket price includes a short stack of pancakes, sausage and drink of your choice. Edison parents and students will seat guests and clear tables.

Proceeds from the breakfast will fund the dinners provided at no charge to Edison students and their whole families during three winter Family Fun Nights in January and February. Applebee’s is located at 1602 Plaza Way behind Safeway. Call Edison Elementary at 527-3072 for more information.

WSU conference promotes higher education for Latino students
Recently seven Walla Walla High School students, along with 255 other high school students, attended the 13th Annual Children of Aztlán Sharing Higher Education (CASHE) conference at Washington State University. The CASHE Conference, hosted by Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/o de Aztlán (M.E.Ch.A), promotes higher education for Latina/o high school students throughout Washington State through multicultural leadership and awareness workshops, while developing a network for students seeking higher education. The students were able to attend through the financial support of the Education Talent Search program and the staff of Explorer Post 311.

Walla Walla High School students in attendance were:
- Luis Jaimez
- Grasiela Ocampo
- Sandra Marin
- Krystal Bautista
- Alejandra (Juliette) Olivos
- Azucena Duran
- Sarai (Roxy) Luna

One of the highlights of the CASHE conference for three Walla Walla High School attendees was the announcement that Luis Jaimez, Krystal Bautista, and Azucena Duran have been admitted to WSU next fall through the university’s “Assured Admission” program. The “Assured Admission” program provides academically talented students with immediate admission to WSU during the college application process. Washington state high school students who are ranked among the top 10 percent of their high school class or who have a GPA of at least 3.50 are assured admission to Washington State University through this program.

Walla Walla High School debate team off to a great start
Recently Walla Walla High School’s new Debate Club, coached by Green Park Elementary teacher Jean Tobin, attended the prestigious Whitman College High School Debate Tournament. Wa-Hi students competed with more than 500 students from throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Freshmen Carrie Moore, Jessica Allen, Hope Grant-Herriot, Rosa Tobin, Madison Bronstein, Calvin Brigham, Bryan Preston, Kera Parsons and Sophomores Machado MIjiga and Clement Cantil competed in a variety of events including Impromptu Speaking, Expository (an explanatory speech with visual aids), Oratory (a persuasive speech), Interpretative Reading, and Humorous Interpretation. Most students also competed in the Lincoln-Douglas debate. The topic this term is Resolved: Public Health Concerns Justify Compulsory Immunizations.

Machado Mijiga and Clement Cantil both made it to the final round of Jr. Impromptu Speaking. Machado Mijiga took 1st place in the Speaker overall in Novice Lincoln-Douglas Debate.

“All students received positive comments and high marks in their respective events, making this an encouraging beginning to a new program at Walla Walla High School,” Tobin said.

Students have been preparing to compete for the last two months, according to Tobin.

“The tournament is physically and mentally challenging, with students competing from 4 p.m. on Thursday until 10 p.m. later that night, and then Friday competing from 8 a.m. until 10:30 p.m.,” Tobin said.

The competitive debate season begins in October and concludes in March. Our next tournament is November 20th and 21st at Eisenhower High School in Yakima, WA.

The Walla Walla High School team was supported by the addition of parent judges including Annie Capestany, Heidi Brigham, John Wong, and Fred Moore. Additionally the coach of Whitman College’s Speech and Debate program, Jim Hanson, has been incredibly supportive of our club, providing mentoring from members of his nationally ranked team and monetary support, according to Tobin. Community members Kevin Loomer, Debi Holmes, and Bob Withycombe also volunteered and lent their expertise to help prepare students.

“The office staff at Wa-Hi was very helpful guiding us through the process of starting this new club and helping us prepare to compete — with special acknowledgment to Susan Morasch,” Tobin said.

Jean Tobin is the debate coach and club advisor. Walla Walla High School Social Studies teacher Drew Gomsrud is also a club advisor.

Garrison Night School adult education program registration next week
Registration for the Garrison Night School adult education program begins Tuesday, November 17, at 5 p.m. at Garrison Middle School . Classes begin Monday, November 30 and end Thursday, February 25. Garrison Night School is a partnership between Walla Walla Community College and the Walla Walla Public Schools.

The mission of Garrison Night School is to promote the education of Hispanic parents by connecting them to the school community, preparing them for a General Education Diploma and facilitating their enrollment in college, thus raising the educational level and standard of living of the family.

Classes are held at Garrison Middle School (906 Chase St.) in Walla Walla. Classes this year include General Education Diploma (GED) preparation and four levels of English as a Second Language (ESL). These classes are from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Two new classes, Basic E-Learning and Parent Leadership Training, will be offered nightly from 5 to 6 p.m. Beginning Spanish for native English speakers will be taught on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. and Advanced Beginning Spanish for native English speakers will be taught on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m.

A $25 registration fee which covers all classes taken is required for the E-Learning, GED and ESL classes. Some scholarships are available as is a free children’s program. The fee for the Spanish class is $150. The children’s program once again will be providing an Early Literacy Program for the preschool aged children called Estrellita. This program was started last year through a literacy grant through the United Way of Walla Walla County.

For additional information regarding the Garrison Night School, contact Program Coordinator Melito Ramírez at (509) 526-8638 or by e-mail at mramirez@wwps.org or Diana Erickson at (509) 526-6771 or by e-mail at derickson@wwps.org. Program Location - Garrison Middle School is located at 906 Chase Street.

Weisner and Winston sign college basketball letters-of-intent
Wednesday Walla Walla High School seniors Michael Weisner and Gary Winston signed college letters-of-intent at the Felix Fletcher room at the Walla Walla High School main gym. Weisner signed to play basketball at the University of Montana, while Winston will play basketball at the University of Idaho.

Weisner and Winston are hoping to lead the Blue Devils to another state tournament run this season. Basketball practice begins Monday. The first game of the season is Friday, Dec. 4 against Pasco at the Wa-Hi main gym. A complete sports schedule is online at www.wahibluedevils.org. Look for the McDonald Zaring Insurance (MZI) winter sports pocket schedules at district schools and area businesses in the coming weeks.

Follow the district on Twitter
The district is now signed up on Twitter at: twitter.com/wwschools

“We want to use all the vehicles available to share our messages,” Communications Director Mark Higgins said. “It’s important to do whatever we can to keep our stakeholders informed and engaged in the work of the district.”

District Twitter Page Profile:
Name: WW Public Schools
Location: Walla Walla, WA
Web: http://www.wwps.org/
Bio: Walla Walla Public Schools - Student Achievement #1

Walla Walla High School Drama Department Presents: O Lovely Glowworm
Show dates: November 13, 14, 19, 20, and 21 (remaining)
Show times: 7 p.m., except for one matinee on November 21, when the show will be at 2 p.m. - as well as at 7 p.m.
Show location: Performances occur in the Walla Walla High School Performing Arts Center.
Show director: Brian Senter
Play by: Glen Berger.

O Lovely Glowworm brief description:

Our narrator, a blind, deaf, formerly dead, stuffed goat, finds himself alive again and in terrible pain. Out of desperation, he conjures up “scenes of great beauty” to distract himself from the pain and to figure out just how he wound up in this conundrum.

A heroic story of love and heroism evolves into the heroic story of how the Silent Valveless Water Waste Preventer was invented. Inspired by scraps from a Dublin rubbish heap, circa 1918, that blew in front of the tethered goat before blowing away again.

The play is directed by Walla Walla High School drama instructor Brian Senter, with yet another extraordinarily creative set designed by Kevin Loomer. Maribeth Bergstrom has also returned working her magic on the production’s costumes.
Ticket Reservations can be made by contacting the Box Office at 509-526-8813 between 4 and 6 p.m. weekdays now through the end of the production. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students.

KEPR TV to report on Pioneer’s new camera system
Friday KEPR TV reporter Holly Zuluaga visited Pioneer Middle School to report on the school’s new security camera system. This fall the district installed camera systems at Pioneer and Garrison Middle Schools. The district also completed the camera system at Lincoln Alternative High School. The security systems will be used to support the safe and civil schools program.

Pioneer Middle School Assistant Principal Jack Mehn was interviewed and asked to explain how this tool will be used to keep staff and students safe. The story is expected to air tonight on KEPR TV.

Classroom Close-Up features Head Start preschool teacher
This week Head Start/ECEAP preschool teacher Candance Anderson 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 Anderson is now playing on regional stations.