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Highly Capable Program Recommendation Committee

Highly Capable Recommendation Committee seeks parent input - Please complete by April 12

The Highly Capable Recommendation Committee was formed this fall to review the Highly Capable program to ensure it best supports the needs of students. The committee has examined the history of the district’s Highly Capable program and reviewed state and federal laws pertaining to this program. The group also studied other gifted programs throughout the state and assessed recent findings from outside consultants that examined the district’s program.

In February, the Highly Capable Recommendation Committee developed draft recommendations to enhance offerings and improve the program based on this comprehensive process. The committee’s work is posted on the district’s website under the program tab, Highly Capable.

The committee is now seeking parent, staff, and stakeholder feedback to refine the recommendations which put students and their learning first. Please take a few minutes to complete the brief survey by Wednesday, April 12.

Draft Recommendations (Review Prior to taking survey)

Survey Link

Contact Assistant Superintendent Chris Gardea for additional information or if you have questions.
- cgardea@wwps.org
- 526-6711

District forms committee to provide recommendations for Highly Capable Program

Assistant Superintendent Chris Gardea is leading the School Board directed “Highly Capable Program Recommendation Committee (HCC). This group is comprised of parents, teachers, principals, a School Board Member (non-voting), the Executive Director for Teaching and Learning, and the Superintendent.  

Highly Capable Program Recommendation Committee (HCC):
Joy Bader (Parent Representative – Berney Elementary)
Shannon Bergevin (Parent Representative – Garrison Middle School, Prospect Point and Berney Elementary)
Megan Blair-Cabasco (MS Teacher – Pioneer Middle School)
Mary Burt (HS Teacher – Walla Walla High School)
Kim Doepker (Elementary Principal – Blue Ridge Elementary)
Bruce Dumser (Parent Representative – Prospect Point)
Robert Elizondo (Middle School Principal – Garrison Middle School)
Cheryl Heller (Thrive – Various schools)
Holly Howard (Parent Representative – Pioneer Middle School)
Tim Justice (Parent Representative – Prospect Point, Garrison Middle School)
Barbara Mosher (Parent Representative – Berney Elementary)
Erica Munsey (Parent Representative – Pioneer Middle School)
Erin Pahlke (Parent Representative – Green Park Elementary)
Pete Peterson (High School Principal – Walla Walla High School)
Suzanne Sullivan (Parent Representative – Sharpstein Elementary, Garrison Middle School)
Becky Waggoner-Schwartz (Parent Representative – Pioneer Middle School, Walla Walla High School) Sam Wells (Board of Directors)
Wade Smith (Superintendent)
Chris Gardea (Assistant Superintendent)
Christy Krutulis (Executive Director of Teaching and Learning)
Kay Schisler (Administrative Support)
Susie Golden (Administrative Support)

Committee Charge:

Walla Walla Public School’s Board of Directors requests the HCC to complete the work necessary to provide Kindergarten through twelfth grade program recommendation to the Board of Directors on May 2, 2017, to be considered for implementation beginning the 2017-18 school year.  The Committee is tasked with the following charge:

  • Review the history of the Highly Capable Program in WWPS
  • Review applicable state and federal laws, requirements, and mandates associated with highly capable programs
  • Review the current model being offered in Walla Walla Public Schools
  • Review the outcomes, findings, and recommendations from the 2015-16 outside consultant and committee work
  • Perform additional study and research as may be required
  • Provide multiple opportunities for parent, stakeholder, and staff input to inform program recommendation

The Board of Directors charges the committee to use the following criteria in developing its recommendation.  The committee’s recommendation: 


  • be financially sustainable and programmatically feasible
  • be research-based to best support the needs of highly capable students
  • provide a scaffold program, supporting KG-12th grade alignment

For questions, please contact Assistant Superintendent Chris Gardea at 509.526-6712 or via email at cgardea@wwps.org

Meeting Notes & Highlights

WALLA WALLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS • 364 South Park St. • Walla Walla, WA 99362 • Phone: 509-527-3000 • Fax: 509.529.7713

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