Graduates of Distinction honored for excellence
Tuesday evening Walla Walla Public Schools honored this year’s Graduates of Distinction. Honorees are: the late Edward Aliverti, Class of 1950; Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Robert D. Beckel, Class of 1955; Larry B. Siegel, Class of 1968; and Drew M. Bledsoe, Class of 1990. Note: Due to scheduling conflicts, Drew Bledsoe is unable to participate this year and will be honored next June with our 2012 Graduates of Distinction.
Edward Aliverti: The late Edward Aliverti was Valedictorian for his 1950 graduating class at Walla Walla High School. He attended WSU, where he continued musical studies and earned degrees in music education and communication in 1955. He spent the early part of his career as a high school vocal music educator in Edmonds and Seattle, Washington, then earned his counseling certification from Seattle University in 1965, continuing to work at the high school level until 1971. He moved to Edmonds Community College and worked in various administrative capacities, retiring in 1988 as Associate Dean of Student Services.
Education was only part of Aliverti’s legacy. In the 1950’s, he became an amateur wrestling announcer. Although he never directly participated in the sport, he earned many regional and national accolades, including induction into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and being named Man of the Year by WRESTLING USA magazine in 1992. As a life-long musician and arts advocate, he founded and directed the Sno-King Community Chorale and helped develop The Fantastic Stardust Follies - a group of professionals in their 50’s through 80’s who have been performing Broadway hits since 1998. His nominators were Betty Landoni Scoralle and Don Locati. They said his most inspirational staff would have been Wa-Hi Principal Robert Klavano and Band Director Russell Larson.
Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Robert D. Beckel: By the time Robert D. Beckel graduated from high school in 1955, he had set scoring records in basketball, soloed in a small aircraft and received a Senatorial nomination be in the first graduating class of the Air Force Academy, then under construction in Colorado Springs. From 1960 to 1970, he served as a pilot, spending two of those years as a solo flyer with the Thunderbirds Aerial Demonstration team. He flew 313 combat missions in South Vietnam from December 1967 until January 1969.
In the 1970’s, Beckel was an Air Force legislative liaison for the House of Representatives and then chief aide to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Beckel and his late wife Donna (McAdams - Class of 1956) were committed to education, the environment and welfare of basic airmen throughout his 32-plus years of service to our country. He has also been a generous contributor to the Air Force Academy and to the New Mexico Military Institute, where he served as superintendent for eight years after his “official” 1992 retirement. His nominator was Les Johnson. His most inspirational staff member was Major Charles Flanagan Jr., his high school ROTC instructor.
Larry B. Siegel: Siegel was active in student leadership, sports and clubs while an undergraduate. He earned degrees from both the University of Washington and Willamette Law School, before returning to his hometown to practice law. He first worked as Deputy Prosecutor for Walla Walla County before going into private practice with the law office of Reese, Baffney, Schrag and Siegel. He started his own law office about 15 years ago and specializes in assistance for the elderly.
Larry has been a very active participant in the Walla Walla community.. He has volunteered “pro bono” legal advice for members of the Senior Center for more than 30 years and he donates legal assistance to many other non-profits, including Blue Mountain Humane Society, Planned Parenthood, Children’s Home Society and Friends. He currently is active on the boards of Helpline and Blue Mountain Community Foundation and twice chaired the Walla Walla United Way Campaign.
He teamed with fellow attorney Tom Baffney to establish The “Big C” golf tournament in the early 1980’s. Over the years, it netted more than $100,000 for cancer-related organizations such as Hospice, St. Mary Medical Center, Herring House and the Susan Komen Foundation. Larry also has been a youth sports coach for area baseball, soccer and basketball teams. His nominator was Jim McCarthy. His inspirational staff member was Alvis East, his 5th and 6th grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary School.
Outstanding staff recognized by peers with Staff Achievement grants
Congratulations to this year’s Staff Achievement Grant recipients, nominated and chosen by teachers and support staff for superior performance; innovation; exemplary leadership; exceptional service or contributions to the Walla Walla Public Schools.
Staff Achievement Grant recipients receive a $1,500 stipend and five days of paid release time for professional growth activities. These outstanding educators are recognized by their peers as the best of the best. Congratulations!
2010-2011 Staff Achievement Recipients
- Veronica Esparza, Receptionist, Personnel Department
- Casey Monahan, English Teacher, Walla Walla High School
- Lori Parnicky, Music Teacher, Sharpstein Elementary
- Kay Schisler, Secretary, Curriculum Department
- Jesse Torres, Para-Educator, Green Park
Gillespie Golden Onion recipients demonstrate excellence in the classroom
Longtime Walla Walla residents Dr. Mike Gillespie and his wife Sue established the “Golden Onion Award” to provide school supplies, equipment and professional development funds to Walla Walla educators. This is the first year of the award.
The “Golden Onion Award” is presented annually to three district teachers representing elementary (P-5), middle school (6-8) and high school (9-12) grade levels. Each recipient will receive $500 for use in their classroom or to better their teaching skills. The awards are peer nominated and peer judged.
- Elementary Award: Kathleen Gilmore, Special Education (Autism)
- Middle School Award: Shannon Ahrens and Sue Schulz (Garrison MS Science Teachers)
- High School Award: Julie Johnson, Walla Walla High School Social Studies Teacher
Parents learn strategies for addressing bullying and gang issues
On June 2, 12 parents and 15 children participated in the “Be A Hero, From Age Zero,” District Parent Involvement Program coordinated by Connie Taylor-Randall, Principal on Special Assignment. Parents trained in three areas: reading, mathematics, and bullying and gang prevention.
Presenters included Diana Erickson – Bilingual Coordinator, Anne Swant – District Math Coach, Mark Thompson – Risk Management Specialist, and Federico Diaz – Community Partner. Parents were offered the opportunity to have dinner with their children and free child care at the YMCA. Taylor-Randall said the district will continue working in these areas to increase student achievement and build capacity for parent involvement.
Parent Involvement National Standards:
Standard 1: Communicating - Communication between home and school is regular, two-way, and meaningful.
Standard II: Parenting - Parenting skills are promoted and supported.
Standard III: Student Learning - Parents play an integral role in assisting student learning.
Standard IV: Volunteering - Parents are welcome in the school, and their support and assistance are sought.
Standard V: School Decision Making and Advocacy - Parents are full partners in the decisions that affect children and families.
Standard VI: Collaborating with Community - Community resources are used to strengthen schools, families, and student learning.
Personnel Report (from June 7, 2011 school board meeting)
Employment - (Certificated) - Saul Martinez, Art Teacher, Pioneer Middle School
Resignation/Retirement - (Certificated) Linda Lohrmann, Learning Specialist, Green Park, 18 years
Kerri Baltzor, Para-Educator, Walla Walla High School, 2 years
Virginia Rios, Para-Educator, Green Park, 14 years
Laura Segovia, Para-Educator, Blue Ridge Head Start/ECEAP, 2 years
Ed Stites, Para-Educator, Green Park, 4 years
(Athletics) - Jim Eggart, Middle School Athletic Director, Pioneer Middle School, 5 years
Leave of Absence - (Certificated) Kerri Finkbiner, Health Clinician, Sharpstein Elementary, 7 years
• Kerri will be on a leave of absence for the 2011-2012 school year
Georgi Delgadillo will transfer from Green Park Elementary to Garrison Middle School for the 2011-2012 school year. She will teach science.
Teacher Berta Herrera Trejo will transfer from Green Park to Blue Ridge Elementary to teach Bilingual First Grade next year
Karan Jamieson will transfer from Walla Walla High School to Berney to provide Special Education teaching services for the 2011-2012 school year.
New district video promotes schools
The district Communications Department has produced a new video highlighting the school district. The seven minute video features district staff and students. The video will be used to help promote the district in the community. View it online: www.wwps.org
- District web site & welcome packets
- District employee recruitment
- Area business employee recruitment
- Chamber of Commerce
||District updates Bullying Policy
Tuesday night School Board members approved a revision to Policy No. 3207 - Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying to meet new state requirements.
Assistant Superintendent Laure Quaresma reported most of the changes pertain to offering more prevention and intervention strategies and programs in district schools.
Edison students reading success leads to theme park tickets
This week, 96 Edison students received a free ticket to Silverwood Theme Park because of their participation in the Reading is the Ticket program. Students received the ticket for reading 600 minutes outside of their school day in a six week period during the spring. Students will be able to use their tickets for free admission to the theme park during their summer vacation.
“We are thankful that we are able to participate with Silverwood in this program,” said Principal Josh Wolcott. “Reading outside of school is an important component of student achievement and the tickets provide an extra motivation to do some reading.”
||Edison students raise funds for Japanese earthquake victims
Edison teacher Kay Barga, presented a check for $291.64, to Terry Hackney from the American Red Cross. The funds were donated by Edison students following the recent devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Mrs. Barga spearheaded the efforts to start the penny drive that students donated to. Funds were donated to the Red Cross’ Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami fund.
Hundreds watch Walla Walla High School Commencement via live video web stream
More than 500 people watched Walla Walla High School’s Commencement live on the internet from a video web stream.
“We had great comments about it and there were some that called and told us they watched it on their TV at home,” said Walla Walla High School Technology Teacher Dennis DeBroeck, who coordinated the broadcast. “One of the exchange students told me that his mom in Sweden watched him on the graduation stream. He said she watched the whole graduation and saw him many times.”
DeBroeck reported there were a few technical glitches during the first-ever web stream broadcast of the commencement ceremony. He said a microphone was turned off near the band area and a network jack had to be replaced. He says he will debrief on the entire production and make it even better next year.
Blue Devil Boys Youth Basketball camps scheduled
The Blue Devil Boys Basketball program will be offering their annual elementary and middle school basketball camps in June. The elementary camp will be June 13 to16 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Walla Walla High School gym and open to any boy who will be entering grades 3, 4, or 5 next fall.
The middle school camp will be June 20 to 23 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Wa-Hi gym and is open to any boy who will be entering grades 6, 7, 8, or 9 next fall. All campers will receive a t-shirt and instruction by the Wa-Hi coaching staff and players. Any player interested in attending either camp can sign up at the door or print off a form on the Wa-Hi website under “Athletics”. For more information contact Head Coach John Golden at Jgolden@wwps.org.
All-Area softball: Wa-Hi’s Ambler area’s top player - By Katie Dorsey, Tri-Cities Herald staff writer
WALLA WALLA — The circle can be a pressure cooker for softball pitchers, but in the heat of big moments, Alyson Ambler is as cool as they come.
“I definitely like to stay calm,” the Walla Walla junior said. “I like to be in control. Once you’re nervous, you’re not in control of your nerves and what your actions are.”
The Herald All-Area MVP’s levelheadedness in high-intensity situations helped the Blue Devils win their first state championship. Ambler threw two shutouts at state, including the title game against Marysville-Pilchuck, and smacked two home runs on the final day in Spokane.
“She has been able to control her emotions and use that adrenaline and energy to her favor,” said Wa-Hi’s Jerry Humphreys, the Herald Coach of the Year.
Ambler has gone 25-0 over the last three regular seasons, including 11-0 this year. She also pitched the Blue Devils to three victories against CBBN 4A rival Richland — two of those for the district and regional titles.
“She’s an extremely hard worker,” Humphreys said. “She has high expectations of herself, and she expects everyone else to do their job and come along with her.”
After Wa-Hi tied for third at state last year, a hungry Ambler spent much of the offseason perfecting her pitching and hitting in the cages. The practice paid off. She split innings — and first-base duties — with senior Hope Klicker, last year’s Herald All-Area MVP, and they led the Blue Devils to an 11-1 CBBN 4A record. In 70 innings, Ambler recorded a sterling 0.40 ERA with 146 strikeouts. At the plate, Ambler hit .500 (33-for-66) in the regular season with six home runs and 27 RBIs. But for all her spectacular statistics and accomplishments, she sees room for improvement.
“With pitching, I’ll keep working on movement pitches, making sure they’ll be moving at the time I want them and where I want them,” said Ambler, who will play this summer for the American Pastime Gold team in California. “With hitting, I’ll work on not missing pitches where pitchers make mistakes.”
Several Division I schools have noticed Ambler’s talent, passion for softball and 3.8 grade-point average. Ambler said she hasn’t decided where to attend college but that she is interested in pursuing medicine, “maybe as an ER nurse or ER doctor.”
If anyone can handle that kind of pressure, she can. Ambler heads a first-team crew of five Blue Devils, including Klicker at first base, second baseman Libbie Jimenez, shortstop Andrea Hamada and outfielder TraeAnn Payne. Richland landed four first-team players: catcher Bethany Burch, third baseman Bailey Walthers, and outfielders Dora Hernandez and Sydney Cejka.
Completing the first team are Connell pitcher Ashley Thompson and utility player Kate Hawk, who led the Eagles to a 1A state championship, and Kamiakin ace Lindsey Kamphuis.
First team: P — Alyson Ambler, jr., Walla Walla; Lindsey Kamphuis, jr., Kamiakin; Ashley Thompson, so., Connell; C — Bethany Burch, sr., Richland; 1B — Hope Klicker, sr., Walla Walla; 2B — Libbie Jimenez, so., Walla Walla; 3B — Bailey Walthers, jr., Richland; SS — Andrea Hamada, jr., Walla Walla; OF — Dora Hernandez, jr., Richland; TraeAnn Payne, jr., Walla Walla; Sydney Cejka, sr., Richland; U — Kate Hawk, sr., Connell
MVP — Alyson Ambler, Walla Walla
Coach of the year — Jerry Humphreys, Walla Walla
Second team: P — Lindsey Walchli, sr., Richland; Caitlin Klepper, sr., Southridge; Haley Hess, jr., River View; C — Kendsey Hill, so., Walla Walla; 1B — Alyssa Martinez, jr., Othello; 2B — Cydney Elgin, jr., Richland; 3B — Krysta Beach, sr., Kamiakin; SS — Maddie Chambers, sr., Richland; OF — Carlie Richards, fr., Kamiakin; Lexi McCracken, jr., Richland; Ashlen Ayres, sr., Kennewick; U — Remy Bradley, jr., Hanford
Honorable mention: Marissa Menchaca, jr., Pasco; Kenzie Koch, jr., Prosser; Mallory Jones, sr., Southridge; Melanie Oord, fr., Kamiakin; Jalissa Hutchins, sr., River View; Brenda Rodriguez, sr., Othello; Tasha Gentry, sr., Moses Lake; Ashlyn Lyons, fr., DeSales; Kayla Bjorge, sr., Connell; Megann Galloway-Cooley, so., Hermiston; Shanika Sawyer, jr., Connell.
Read more: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2011/06/07/1520153/all-area-softball-wa-his-ambler.html#ixzz1ObnBXrFc
Ambler named 4A WIAA Female Athlete of the Week
Walla Walla High School Junior Alyson Ambler was named the WIAA 4A Female Athlete of the week for May 22-28. District Athletic Director Don Wilkins nominated Ambler based on her dominating performance at the WIAA State Softball Tournament.
The Walla Walla High School softball team recently won the 4A state softball title to become the first team in school and Big Nine history to win state. Ambler has gone 25-0 over the past three seasons.
“She was very deserving of the award,” Wilkins said. “I have presented her with her certificate and a letter from WIAA Executive Director, Mike Colbrese. She will also receive a t-shirt denoting her selection.”
See more online at: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/highschoolsports/2015197599_statestars01.html
Walla Walla’s Alyson Ambler named Gatorade Softball Player of the Year: Sandy Ringer: Seattle Times
For the second straight year, a girl from Walla Walla has been named the Gatorade Washington Softball Player of the Year. But it’s not the same girl as in 2010.
CHICAGO — In its 26th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, today announced Alyson Ambler of Walla Walla High School as its 2010-11 Gatorade Washington Softball Player of the Year.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Ambler as Washington’s best high school softball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year award announced in June, Ambler joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Alicia Hollowell (2000-01, Fairfield HS, Calif.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.), Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.), Angela Tincher (2002-03, James River HS, Va.) and Kenzie Fowler (2006-07, Canyon del Oro HS, Ariz.).
The 5-foot-8 junior right-handed pitcher and first baseman led the Blue Devils (27-1) to the Class 4A state championship this past season. Ambler posted a 15-0 record in the circle along with a 0.57 ERA and 171 strikeouts in 98 innings pitched. The 2011 Columbia Basin Big 9 4A Division MVP batted .506 with nine home runs, 36 runs scored and 34 RBI. She hit home runs to account for the only run in both the state semifinals and state final, tossing a shutout to beat Marysville-Pilchuck, 1-0, to claim the title. Ambler has maintained an unweighted 3.78 GPA in the classroom. The sports editor of her school newspaper, she has volunteered locally as a peer mentor, a youth tutor, a softball coach and at a retirement home in addition to donating her time coordinating a free dog-grooming community service project.
“Alyson Ambler is a dream player,” said Larry Farnworth, Ambler’s ASA coach with American Pastime from California. “She’s got an unbelievably powerful bat. She’s a very good pitcher and she’s also a very good outfielder. She brings it all to the party.”
Ambler will begin her senior year of high school this fall. The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by ESPN RISE and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport. Ambler joins recent Gatorade Washington Softball Players of the Year Hope Klicker (2009-10, Walla Walla), Amanda Fitzsimmons (2008-09, Auburn Riverside) and Sam Skillingstad (2007-08, Shadle Park), among the state’s list of former award winners.
To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners, and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com.
“BDAD” - Blue Devil Athletic Development program June 28-August 4
- Improve Overall Athletic Ability for All Sports!
- For Boys and Girls Grades 5-12
- June 28 to August 4
Weekly Schedule (Monday - Thursday)
- Session 1: 8 - 9 a.m. (for incoming 9th-12th grade students)
- Session 2: 9-10 a.m. (for incoming 5th-8th grade students)
- Session 3: 10-11 a.m. (for incoming 9th-12th grade students)
Instructors: Eric Hisaw & Amy Hisaw
Location - Wa-Hi Weight Rm & Gym
Cost: $30 pre-registered or $35 at door
Note: Students will need a medical release and a parent permission form, which they can get at the Wa-Hi Athletic Office any time or at the door.
Information: Contact Eric Hisaw at 527-3020 or by e-mail at: email@example.com or Amy Hisaw at firstname.lastname@example.org
2011 Opera Camp Workshop - “An intensive summer repertory experience”
ALICE IN WONDERLAND, AN ORIGINAL OPERETTA BY KRISTIN VINING
“a contemporary youth opera written with developing voices in mind”
- August 1 to 5 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- August 6 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Culminating Performance is August 6 at 7 p.m.
- Workshop and Culminating performance at Wa-Hi Performing Arts Auditorium.
Summary: Students age 13 and above will engage in an intensive Opera Workshop under the direction of Kristin Vining (Instructor of Piano at Whitman College), Julie Jones (Director of Vocal Arts at WWCC), Dr. Christine Janis (Professor of voice at WWU/Artistic Director Choral Society), and Brian Senter (Director of Drama, WWHS). Days will include rotations in Alexander Technique, Dance, Theatre, Freedom in Performance, Confidence Building, Staging (interpretation of movement), and Individualized Coaching. Students will have opportunities for growth in such areas as singing, acting, stage crew, production, technique, costuming, instrumentation, set design and makeup.
Submit applications, along with a $50 fee (some scholarships are available by request), by July 1, 2011 to Walla Walla High School, Attention: Brian Senter, 800 Abbott Road, Walla Walla, WA 99362. Information and Applications can be found on the Wa-Hi Website: wahibluedevils.org. Follow the link for Performing Arts and Drama.
||Class of 91’ Reunion planned for August
- August 12, 13, & 14
- Various activities and events are planned over the three days
- Visit the Class of 91 Reunion website for all the details: www.wallawallabluedevilsclassof91.myevent.com