Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - November 12, 2010

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Superintendent Mick Miller encourages everyone to celebrate American Education Week
November 14 – 20 is American Education Week and I am grateful for the opportunity to take a moment to talk about Walla Walla Public Schools.

First off, our schools are not perfect. We are the consummate “people business” and with literally thousands of human interactions on a daily basis in our schools, we are bound to make mistakes. However, also encapsulated within those thousands upon thousands of human interactions are expressions of caring and hope as well as teaching and learning.

I am extremely proud of the staff of the Walla Walla Public Schools, our students and our community. Our teachers, and all the staff who support them, are better trained and prepared than at any time in our District’s long and storied history. We are charged with teaching all of our children, not just those for which learning comes easily or those from families who are in a better position to support their child’s education. This is a charge that we take extremely seriously.

Despite what is often portrayed, our students are great. Overwhelmingly, they do what we ask, they get along with each other and they are learning. Yes, without question, we have days when kids do get in trouble … remember when you were young? Yet that is the exception, not the rule. Being a child in 2010 can be challenging, but our kids are resilient, they learn and they are terrific. I am very optimistic about our future.

I am extremely thankful to our community for their support of our schools. First and most importantly, thank you to our parents for caring about, supporting and loving their own children. Secondly, thank you to the community for your financial support of our District. The state of Washington provides basic education funding that does not meet our obligation to our students. Federal funds, and to a greater degree local dollars, make up the difference. Our local dollars support most of the capital buildings and improvements in the District. Without local financial support, our District would look remarkably different; we need and thank you!

School board meeting Tuesday, November 16
Tuesday, November 16
6:30 p.m.
364 S. Park St. (district board room)
Open to the public

Thanksgiving Holiday Break Schedule
- Early Dismissal: Wednesday, November 24
- No School: Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26
- Classes resume Monday, November 29

Coffey Communications donates $5000 to the Friends of Blue Ridge Playground Project
Special thanks to Coffey Communications for donating $5000 to “The Friends of Blue Ridge Playground Project” to help replace the school’s 30-year-old playground equipment.

Coffey Communications has donated $10,000 over the past five years to help district schools build new playgrounds.

“They are a wonderful company who cares about the community, schools and our children,” Blue Ridge Principal Kim Doepker said. “This generous donation brings us much closer to our goal of $35,000 to provide our students safe and fun playground equipment.”

Special thanks to district parents, community leaders and sisters Staci Wanichek and Cassie Rothstrom for helping secure this grant and playing a key role in the Blue Ridge Playground Project fundraising effort.

Walla Walla High School Drama department presents Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”
The Walla Walla High School Drama department will be producing Jon Jory’s 2005 adaptation, of Jane Austin’s classic novel Pride and Prejudice.

In this sweeping adaptation the main curtain never closes as the set is changed right before the audiences eyes. John Jory uses story theater style to propel the plot with characters narrating directly to the audience, moving us deftly through the story.

The play contains the original live accompaniment created by Kristin Vining-Stauffer, as both underscoring, and music that she has composed for the many balls. The production will open Thursday November 11th at 7:00 PM in the Walla Walla High School Performing Arts Auditorium. Tickets are $6 for students and $12 for adults.

The show will run on the dates of November 12,13 and 18, 19 at 7 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on November 20. The Box office is open from 4-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday in the auditorium lobby. Call 527-8613 during those hours to reserve tickets or email Bsenter@wwps.org

Food Service staff coffee sale supports Christian Aid Center
Walla Walla Public Schools Food Service Coffee Sale Fund Raiser is underway. Proceeds will be donated to the Christian Aid Center to help children and families in Walla Walla.
- Orders taken: Week of November 15-19
- Delivery date: November 23.
- The second round of orders will be taken: December 1-15 with a delivery date of December 17

This year we will be offering your choice of Regular or Decaf as well as Beans or Ground:
- Decaf Beans: $12.00
- Decaf ground: $12.25
- Regular Beans: $11
- Regular Ground: $11.25

All orders must be paid in full before orders are placed on November 20 and December 16. Contact Jolene Queen to place orders:
- Email: jqueen@wwps.org
- Telephone: 526-1771

Walla Walla and Columbia County School Retirees Association names mini-grant recipients
The Walla Walla/Columbia County School Retirees Association announces the recipients of the Fall 2010 mini-grants. Each year the association provides 10, $100 Mini-Grants to active members who are still working in our schools throughout Walla Walla and Columbia County. The use of the grant money is focused mainly on projects directly serving children and staff in our schools throughout the region.

Mini-Grant winners Fall 2010 recipients:
- Polla Laib: 2nd grade teacher, Dayton (Polla will purchase sets of books for advanced readers.)

- Dallas Dickinson: Secretary, Dayton (Dallas will purchase a 15"Digital Picture Frame to display activities of the children from Dayton Elementary.)

- Nichole Hansen: Kindergarten teacher, Davis School, College Place, (Nichole will purchase admission to the Children’s Museum for her class.)

- Veronica Esparza and Kathy Gifford: Administrative Staff at Walla Walla Public Schools District office (They will purchase a 15"digital Picture Frame for the district office displaying pictures of students, teachers and activities from throughout the District, and also to provide treats for the many guests to the front office of the administration building.)

Walla Walla and Lincoln Alternative High School students compete in prestigious Whitman College debate
Students from Walla Walla High School and Lincoln Alternative High School teamed up to compete against more than 500 students from throughout the Pacific Northwest at the prestigious Whitman College Speech and Debate Tournament November 4-6. The students debated topics included public health, Afghanistan War, immigration reform and Intelligent Design. Walla Walla High School Debate Coach Jean Tobin said the Whitman Debate tournament is extremely competitive.

“Our team set a goal this year of having at least one student make it past the preliminary rounds of debate and into the ‘out rounds’ as they are called in debate,” Tobin said. “Walla Walla High School Sophomore Calvin Brigham helped us achieve this goal by winning five of his six preliminary debates.”

Walla Walla High School debate competitors:
- Machado Mijiga (junior)
- Calvin Brigham (sophomore)
- Rosa Tobin (sophomore)
- Carrie Moore (sophomore)
- Bryan Preston (sophomore)
- Marisol Beck (sophomore)
- Julia Cosma (sophomore)
- Kera Parsons (sophomore)
- Kendall Dunovant (sophomore)
- Konor Clark (sophomore)
- Hope Grant-Herriot (sophomore)
- Koby Humbert (sophomore)
- Keith Opsal (senior)
- George Lopez-Vargas (freshman)
- Sarah Martin (freshman)
- Kimberly McLaughlin (sophomore)
- Jean Tobin, Coach

Lincoln Alternative High School debate competitors:
- Heidi Schoessler
- Stephen Barfoot
- Joel Galan
- Bailey Peterson-Huff
- Reyn Hodgson
- Johannah Paine
- Erica Wauchek, Coach
- Jessica Barkl, Coach

Rosa Tobin, Konor Clark and Kendall Dunovant also had a successful tournament in debate, breaking even with three wins, three losses. Students competed in two different forms of debate: Lincoln-Douglas and Public Forum.

“Our most successful showing, however, was in the speech events,” said Jean Tobin. “We had six students competing in final rounds in speech events,” Tobin said. “Walla Walla High School placed 7th out of the 20 schools competing. Given the quality of the competition, I had not anticipated such a strong showing overall.”

Special thanks to parents volunteers Annie Capestany, Fred Moore, Shirley McLaughlin, John Wong and Heidi Brigham for all their hard work. Also, thanks to Brooke Bouchey and Jeremiah Gradwahl from Lincoln who also attended the tournament and provided support. The team’s next tournament is in Yakima, Washington at Eisenhower High School on November 19-20.

Support group for grandparents raising grandchildren meets first time on November 18
Walla Walla's Kinship Navigator Program invites community grandparents and other family caregivers raising grandchildren, nieces, nephews, siblings or others to its first "Grandparents and Family Caregivers Support Group" meeting on Thursday, Nov. 18, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in St. Patrick Church's St. John of the Cross Room, 408 W. Poplar. Child care will be provided.

Leslie Hamilton, Kinship Navigator for Walla Walla, Columbia, Garfield and Asotin counties, is located in the St. Patrick Catholic Church's rectory at 408 W. Poplar and her position is funded by a Department of Health and Human Services federal grant. Her newly-created office currently helps with legal, financial and educational issues faced by grandparents and other
family members raising children. This support group will add another dimension to the program.

Questions can be addressed to Hamilton at 509-522-8220 or lhamilton@cfcstricities.org.

2010 Walla Walla “Toys for Tots” campaign underway
The annual Walla Walla “Toys for Tots” Campaign is underway. This is the 63rd year for Toys for Tots and the 4th year of the Walla Walla Campaign. Nationally, last year the Marines Corps Reserve and volunteers distributed over 16.7 million toys to 7.5 million needy children. Last year in Walla Walla, new unwrapped toys were distributed to 706 local children. All toys collected will be distributed to local families and children from Walla Walla to Dayton. This year “Toys for Tots” is working with St. Vincent de Paul to ensure every child in the Walla Walla Valley receives a little Christmas.

To request toys, pick up applications at St. Vincent de Paul (308 West Main Street) November 22 to December 3 or St. Paul’s Church (323 Catherine Street) December 5 to 10. Toys will be distributed December 18 and 19 from St. Paul’s Church.

“Toys for Tots” Drop-off locations include:
- Book & Game -38 E. Main Street
- Community Bank – 28 E. Alder Street
- Providence St. Mary Medical Center – 401 w. Poplar
- Inland Cellular, 1605 SE Meadowbrook , College Place
- Kirkman House Museum 214 N. Colville Street
- AAA Washington, 1361 Dalles-Military Road
- WW Motor Supply – 1830 E. Isaacs Ave
- Applebee’s – located behind Safeway on Plaza Way
- Tumac Outdoor Equipment – 902 W. Rose Street
- Tumac Machinery – 3037 E Melrose Street

“Toys for Tots” events:
- City Slickers Cut-a-thon on Sunday November 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Get a free hair cut in exchange for a new toy or cash donation. City Slickers is located at 14 West Main Street, downtown Walla Walla.

- Downtown Toy Drive – Saturday, November 27 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the corner of 1st & Main Street. Meet our local Marines, learn more about Toys for Tots and make a donation.

- Book & Game: From November 1 to December 15 Book & Game (1st & Main Street) will be giving a 20% discount for anything at the store purchased for Toys for Tots.

For more information please visit the local website www.walla-walla-wa.toysfortots.org or contact Beth Swanson at 509-301-7471 or bethswanson@charter.net

Walla Walla Valley Select Baseball program begins fundraising effort for new Garrison Middle School backstop
The Walla Walla Valley Select Baseball program, under the direction of fundraising chair Peggy Needham, is taking donations to replace the aging baseball backstop at Garrison Middle School. The backstop was originally installed by the Rotary Club of Walla Walla in 1958 for use as a Pony League field. Needham says the current condition of the backstop, including the rusty poles, wires and holes, pose a safety hazard.
“This backstop is in desperate need of replacement,” Needham said. “Not only is the Garrison field utilized by the middle school, it is utilized by summer ball as well. It would be wonderful to have an additional field to use for summer and fall baseball programs.”

The Walla Walla Valley Select Baseball program is seeking $8500 to pay for the materials for the project. Walla Walla Public Schools has agreed to pay for the cost of the installation. The new backstop will also be moved forward to enhance competitive play, allow for additional fan seating, and improve safety by increasing the overhang to lessen the chance of cars and spectators being hit by foul balls. Needham said in addition to the backstop, her group would like to raise money to install shelters over the dugouts to keep the players protected.  She said a sign will be provided by Key Technology and installed on the backstop recognizing financial contributions of $500 or more. 

Needham says an account has been set up at Banner Bank titled “Garrison Backstop Project” and donations will be accepted at any branch. Donations are tax deductible. Funds may also be mailed to:

Walla Walla Valley Select Baseball
129 East Alder Suite 201
Walla Walla, WA 99362
FED ID # 27-0387105

About Walla Walla Valley Select Baseball
- Walla Walla Valley Select Baseball was originally started in 1998 as the Cub’s traveling baseball team (which was actually part of the Babe Ruth program).
- Then they added the Blues (originally called the Royals who were coached by Ryan Carter) a younger team coached by JC Biagi and Luke Hamada to cover a younger age group (13-14).
- Both teams have been active based on the number of kids wanting to play year-to-year.
- This year they held a fall baseball program for youth ages 13-16 at Murr FIeld.  We had 23 kids participate and would have had more, but lack of time to advertise hurt the program.  We had kids coming into the complex halfway thru the season wanting to play.
The mission for Walla Walla Valley Select Baseball is:
WWVSB is to provide opportunities for the youth in our community to participate in a progressively competitive and increased skill level of baseball competition.  WWVSB is designed to provide those players of competent skill level and attitude the opportunity to develop and compete at a higher level of play.  We will strive to instill in each player discipline, hard work, accountability, sportsmanship and fair play.
WWVSB - Manager Mike Needham
Coaches Kevin McNeil
Zach Armijo
Thayne Stone
2010  WWVSB Board Members
President - George Flippo
VP - Wes Hibner
Accounting - Thayne Stone
Secretary - Carla Haen
Fundraising - Peggy Needham

Classroom Close-Up features Head Start Preschool teacher
This week Head Start/ECEAP Preschool Teacher Lora Chesnut 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 Chesnut is now playing on regional stations.