Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - April 9, 2010

In this Issue:

(Click on article
to read more)

Ron Higgins to direct district’s Technology Department
Longtime administrator and educator Ron Higgins has been named to direct the district’s Technology Department as part of a reorganization plan to reduce costs in the wake of state funding cuts to Walla Walla Public Schools.

Higgins is currently the district’s Director of Assessment and will continue managing these efforts in his new role. Higgins has also been an assistant principal and math teacher at Walla Walla High School. Current district Technology Director Janis Barton will be reassigned next year to an open position in the district.

Higgins said he will work to keep the district on the cutting edge of technology offerings in the school system.

“We have a dedicated team of professionals in our Technology Department who are committed to ensuring our staff and students have the technical tools they need to succeed in the 21st Century,” Higgins said. “My role will be to provide the leadership and support necessary to deliver on these vital services.”

District breaks ground on new Support Services facility
Wednesday staff and community members gathered to celebrate the start of construction on a new Support Services facility. The development of a new Support Services facility represents the second phase of a project to relocate the Support Services and the Transportation Department from 325 S. Park Street to 1162 Entley Street near Koncrete Industries. This facility will house the warehouse, maintenance, grounds services, print shop, and food services.

The project is being funded from state matching dollars generated by the Southeast Washington Transportation Cooperative project currently under construction. The SEW Transportation Cooperative, which will offer school bus maintenance and repair service to Walla Walla, Prescott, Dixie and ESD 123 school buses, generated a 90 percent state match or an approximate $4 million state match. These dollars were then dedicated to fund the Support Services facility.

“I’m very proud of the cooperative nature of this project,” School board member Dan Hess said. “It was a complicated process, but came together brilliantly.”

T.W. Clark Construction, LLC will serve as general contractor for the new Support Services construction project. T.W. Clark Construction is also the contractor on the Transportation Cooperative facility. Construction has begun and is expected to be completed next winter.

Big draw for Wa-Hi Boys and Girls Golf Teams Fundraiser Scramble
Congratulations to district parents Gary and Terri Hanson for organizing a successful Walla Walla High School Golf Teams Fundraiser Scramble March 26 to help raise money for the school’s golf program. The effort raised approximately $8500 to support the Wa-Hi Girls and Boys golf teams.

Nearly 100 people participated in the event which provided an opportunity for contestants to play golf with a Wa-Hi golf team member or a golf team alumni. There were prizes, a longest drive competition and fun for all. Special thanks to the Walla Walla Country Club for providing the facilities to host the event.

Volunteers needed to help Pioneer students assemble food packets for hungry third world children
Pioneer Middle School students and families will be packaging meal packets for third world children Friday, April 16 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Additional volunteer support is needed. The project is linked to the “Children of the Nation” organization. Volunteers will be assembling food packets which will be shipped directly to Africa, the Dominican Republic and Haiti to feed hungry children.

“A truck from Children of the Nations will come from Seattle with all packaging materials and supplies needed for the project,” said Pioneer PTA President Holly Carrera. “We are seeking 50 to 60 volunteers for this event. We held a candle fundraiser in December with 100 percent of the proceeds going to support this project.”

For more information, contact Carrera at: mcarrera@charter.net.

Girls Rock the House program inspires girls to lead
Tuesday evening, five area middle school students presented their mock legislative bills to a panel of judges as part of the “Girls Rock the House” program. Girls Rock the House is a national initiative for 8th grade girls in political districts represented by women of the House of Representatives. Walla Walla is in the state’s 5th District represented by Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers.

Parents Katherine Southwick-Hess and Donna Wujek organized the effort after getting a call from McMorris-Rodgers encouraging them to get involved.

“At first I thought I can’t possibly take on another project, but you just can’t say no to the congresswoman,” Southwick-Hess said. “It’s been an amazing experience working with these girls and watching them gain confidence and skills.”

The program offers students a six-week hands-on learning experience about the United States political system. One of the girls will advance to represent Walla Walla at the district competition and possibly win a trip to Washington DC. The Walla Walla representative will be named next week.

Area middle school students Allison Wujek (Assumption), Mary Crowley (Assumption), Elli Rassbach (Pioneer), Brelynn Hess (Pioneer), Ambria Mourning (Pioneer) each selected an issue they were passionate about to research and then presented recommendations for addressing their issues in the form of legislative bills. Topics ranged from social issues and the economy to efforts to improve educational opportunities.

Judges Anne-Marie Zell Schwerin, Director of the Walla Walla YMCA, Mira Gobel, Associate Principal at Walla Walla High School and Jennifer Northam, Public Relations Coordinator for Downtown Walla Walla Foundation, were selected to judge because they are successful women leaders in the community and serve as role models for the Girls Rock the House participants. Learn more about Girls Rock the House online at: http://www.girlsrockthehouse.org/.

Boggs schedules meeting on middle school dual language program
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Linda Boggs announced she is organizing a meeting Thursday, April 15 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the district board room to discuss the district’s dual language program.

The focus of the meeting is to address concerns the district is fielding in relation to a decision to not create a new program by extending the dual language program in middle school to students in grades 7th and 8th. Historically, the district’s dual language program has always been a K-5 program, but this year the district was able to offer a component of a dual language program at Garrison Middle School for 6th grade students.

Boggs recently sent a letter to parents with children in the Garrison 6th grade program stating the 6th grade dual language program will continue next year at Garrison. She also explained that due to shrinking budget revenue, limited qualified staff, and other middle school course demands, the district will not offer the program beyond 6th grade.

“We know this is a great program and share the disappointment parents are feeling,” Boggs said. “Afterschool programs, online offerings and other options for students to maintain and develop their language skills in middle school may be a possibility. These will be topics on the April 15 agenda.”

For information about the middle school dual language parent meeting, contact the district’s Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Department at 526-6734.

District represented on Community Council’s Program Committee
Communications Director Mark Higgins will represent Walla Walla Public Schools on the Community Council’s 2010 Program Committee. The group will meet six times this spring to study, select and prioritize issues and topics for the Community Council Board of Directors to consider for adoption. The issue approved by the board will be thoroughly explored during a six-month community study to begin in the fall. District parent and long-time community activist Thomas Sawatzki has volunteered to chair the 2010 Program Committee.
Taylor-Randall and Blue Ridge PTA to received Arbor Day award
Congratulations to the Blue Ridge PTA and former Principal Connie Taylor-Randall for being nominated to receive a 2010 “City of Trees Arbor Day Award.” The award will be presented at the April 14 City Council meeting at City Hall at 7 p.m.

The award nomination is in recognition of the tree planting effort organized at Blue Ridge last April. Thirty-seven Blue Ridge students and their families participated by planting 70 new trees at Blue Ridge.

“This was a great turnout and by all reports, a great day for all involved,” said Jim Dumont, City of Walla Walla Parks and Recreation Director in a letter to Taylor-Randall. “Your enthusiasm for your students and community is truly contagious and I am sure these students ‘caught’ an appreciation of trees and their role in the environment.”

Walla Walla High School Drama Department Presents “The Wizard of Oz”
This show is the musical version with all of your favorite songs!
Show dates: May 6, 7, 8, 13,14 and 15
Shows times: 7 p.m. (special 2 p.m. matinees are on Saturday May 8 and 15)
Location: Walla Walla High School Performing Arts Auditorium
Ticket Prices: $6 dollars for students and $12 for adults.
Tickets sales: Tickets go on sale in April and can be reserved by calling (509) 526-8613, the Wa-Hi Box office

Comments from Director Brian Senter: “This is a great show, and, with an added twist of excitement, this will mark the first time that Wa-Hi actors will fly on stage! Flying by Foy from Las Vegas will be in town to rig and fly the actors. Don’t miss Glinda’s bubble and those scary flying monkeys, not to mention the Wicked Witch of the West. This is a classic with a wonderful story and beautiful singing! Fun for the whole family!”
School in session Friday, May 7 - Snow make-up day
School will be in session Friday, May 7 as a result of a snow make-up day. This date was originally scheduled to be a no school day, but December’s ice storm forced the district to use May 7 as a snow make-up date.

Classroom Close-Up features Walla Walla High School math teacher
This week Walla Walla High School math teacher Vivian Glaeser 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 Glaeser is now playing on regional stations.

Walla Walla High School earns Jostens National Yearbook Design Recognition
The Royal Blue pages featured in 2010 Gotcha Covered Look Book

Walla Walla High School’s yearbook, The Royal Blue, has been recognized for excellence and featured in the 2010 Gotcha Covered Look Book, Volume 8. Published annually, Jostens’ Look Book is a collection of spreads from outstanding yearbooks and their creative themes, cool covers, dazzling designs, relevant coverage, storytelling copy and action-packed photography. The Gotcha Covered Look Book features the extraordinary work of yearbook staffs and advisers from around the world and is a popular resource for yearbook advisers and staffs seeking creative design and coverage ideas, trends and inspiration.

The 2009-2010 Royal Blue was created by Margaret Kammer, Editor-in-Chief, Jamie Robison, Business Manager, and staff members Rachael Adkins, Peter Anderson, Alex Bennett, Jordan Christensen, Stephani Conatser, Samantha Coronado, Loren Eng, Serena Goins, Sarah Hemenway, Jennifer Lopez, Samantha Marchington, Matt Nelson, Alexys Partridge, Presley Peck, Thomas Rowley, Sandybell Salazar, Irene Ureno, Claudia Vargas, and Melissa Webb under the direction of, Kathi DeBroeck, Walla Walla High School yearbook adviser.

“I am truly impressed each year as a new staff comes together and creates an amazing book of history for Wa-Hi’s students. The 2008-2009 staff was no exception—they each spent hours on the design and creation of the book and I’m proud that Jostens has chosen them to be recognized for their hard work,” said Kathi DeBroeck, yearbook adviser

The Walla Walla High School Royal Blue was one of only 518 yearbooks selected from over 3,000 submitted to a panel of judges that included nationally recognized scholastic journalism professionals and award-winning yearbook advisers. Yearbooks are unique, limited edition books created by students to capture stories and events for all the schools students. The Royal Blue is a great example of the inclusive quality of yearbooks and chronicles what is most relevant to this year’s school community.

“Yearbook staffers exemplify the incredible design, photography and journalistic talents of today’s students and their ability to capture once-in-a-lifetime stories that will be relished for generations,” said Gary Lundgren, Jostens senior program manager/education. “The yearbooks chosen for Jostens’ 2010 Gotcha Covered Look Book reflect the sophistication and relevance of yearbook programs and demonstrate why yearbooks remain so popular among students as a means to capture and share their school experiences and traditions.”

Kathi DeBroeck and her yearbook staff received a copy of Jostens’ 2010 Gotcha Covered Look Book and certificate from Jostens to recognize their outstanding achievement.

About The Royal Blue
The Royal Blue was first published in 1915. Since that date, a Yearbook has been published every year recording this history of Wa-Hi and its students—a copy of each book has been preserved and stored in the vault at the high school.

About Jostens
Minneapolis-based Jostens is a provider of products, programs and services that help people tell their stories, celebrate important traditions and recognize achievements. The Company’s products include school yearbooks and other memory book products, scholastic products such as class rings and graduation products, and products for athletic champions and their fans. Jostens is a subsidiary of Visant Corporation, a marketing and publishing services enterprise servicing the school affinity, direct marketing, fragrance and cosmetics sampling and educational and trade publishing segments.

Sweets seek patriotic singing talent
Local and Regional performing talent sought for National Anthem
Local singers will have the chance to be a part of the inaugural season of Walla Walla Sweets baseball, as the club announced today that it is seeking talented artists to perform the National Anthem prior to the start of each home game. Performers with a knack for creating beautiful music and who have a love for the nation can be a part of the excitement at Borleske Stadium, as the Sweets will be presenting a live production of the anthem each home game.

“The National Anthem is one of my favorite parts of being at the ballpark,” said Sweets Community Relations Coordinator Beth Swanson. “We are excited to provide this opportunity for local and regional talent to perform and to have this tradition be a part of the experience at historic Borleske Stadium.”

Those wishing to perform will find it easy to apply. Applications can be found at www.wallawallasweets.com, and by clicking on the Borleske Stadium tab in the menu, and then by selecting “Special Events”. There, applicants can apply online or by downloading, printing and faxing in a paper application. You can also pick up an application at the Sweets downtown offices, located at 109 East Main Street in Walla Walla. Performers will be asked to either provide a demo audio file (CD or .mp3) or provide two references to their singing ability. Those with questions can contact Beth Swanson at 509.522.BALL (2255) or via email at beth@wallawallasweets.com.

The Sweets, an expansion franchise in the West Coast League, will open up the 2010 season by hosting defending league champion Wenatchee AppleSox at Borleske Stadium on June 8. Season tickets are now available by calling 509.522.BALL (2255) or by visiting www.wallawallasweets.com.

About the Walla Walla Sweets:
Walla Walla Sweets is a professionally operated baseball club in the West Coast League. It is led by a group of civic-minded individuals with strong ties to the Walla Walla region and to the game of baseball. The Walla Walla Sweets will strive to provide their fans, sponsors, business partners, and investors with the very best in competitive baseball and entertainment, including atmosphere, comfort, food & beverage, safety, competition, fun and value. For more information, please visit www.wallawallasweets.com.

Walla Walla Sweets
Beth Swanson
E: beth@wallawallasweets.com
P: 509.522.2255