Walla Walla Public Schools
Week in Review - March 17, 2017

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District Stories

School Stories

Community Stories

District Stories
District Elementary Dual Language Program now accepting applications for 2017-2018
Walla Walla Public Schools is now accepting applications for kindergarten dual language programming for the 2017-18 school year. Applications to apply for this exciting opportunity at Edison Elementary School are available on the district website under the Bilingual Education tab, at neighborhood elementary schools or the district office (364 S. Park St.). http://www.wwps.org/programs/bilingual

Completed applications must be returned by Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Applications may be delivered to the district office; e-mailed to kschisler@wwps.org; or mailed to: Walla Walla Public Schools, 364 South Park Street, Walla Walla, WA 99362. Once an application is received, parents will be contacted by the Teaching and Learning Department to set up a specific time for students to be tested and screened. A lottery system for enrollment may be activated based on the number of students who qualify for this program.

The goal of the program is to ensure that all students who participate achieve proficiency in both Spanish and English. Considerations for application:
· Children should be developmentally on target in his/her native language; and
· The child has already expressed an interest in different people, places and things; and
· The child desires to become fluent in Spanish and English; and
· As a family, there is support for learning a second language through school attendance, participation in school
events and practice of both languages in your home.

If you have any questions about this process, please contact the Teaching and Learning Department at 526-6735.
School board meetings Tuesday, March 21

Tuesday, March 21 meetings
- 5 p.m.: Special School Board Meeting/Work Session
- 6:30 p.m.: Regular School Board Meeting
- Both meetings open to the public
- Location: Anne Golden Boardroom (364 S. Park St.)


District students impress Patron Tour guests 

Thursday 17 community members toured Lincoln High School, Garrison Middle School and Blue Ridge Elementary School with Superintendent Wade Smith for a behind the scenes look at district schools as part of his Superintendent’s Patron Tour program. The Patron Tour program was developed to provide an avenue for stakeholders to see learning in action, develop a better understanding of programs and activities offered and have an opportunity to have a questions and answers session with the superintendent.

“I was happy to see schools I haven’t visited and learn about what they offer and how they are using the curriculum,” said participant Liz Hair. “It’s always good to see where our tax money is going. I encourage everyone to go on the next tour. You can meet your superintendent and the staff at the schools and they are very interesting.”


AM VETS dedicate new flag at district office

AM VETS Post 1111 recently conducted a flag retirement and new flag dedication at the district office. This winter’s harsh weather damaged the flag. We appreciate the support of AM VETS as we properly honor the American flag and the freedom it stands for in our country.


Walla Walla High School staff visit recently remodeled Davis and Wapato High Schools 

Tuesday, Walla Walla High School staff on the school’s Facilities Improvement team traveled to Wapato and Yakima to tour recently modernized schools as part of the district’s Long-range Facilities Improvement Planning process. Teachers, support staff and Principal Pete Peterson were part of the group which visited Davis High School and Wapato High School. Both schools were modernized in the past few years following successful bond measures. Wa-Hi staff took photos and notes and asked questions of administrators, staff and students at the schools. The tours served as an information gathering step as the district begins refining its needs and developing options for potential solutions. 


City honors Bill and Diana Erickson for community service

Mayor Allen Pomraning recently attended a district school board meeting to honor Diana and Bill Erickson for a lifetime of service to the community. He announced March 7, 2017 as Diana and Bill Erickson Day for the City of Walla Walla. Pomraning read proclamations to the school board citing years of educational and community service to the children of Walla Walla. Diana and Bill Erickson are active with the Latino Club, Cinco de Mayo celebrations and Equity and Access Committee projects. Pomraning said their civic service was truly appreciated. Walla Walla Public Schools also appreciates their service to the school district and community. Congratulations to Diana and Bill Erickson on an award well deserved. 


Kindergarten Resource Fair April 12

- Wednesday, April 12
- 6 to 7:30 p.m.
- Walla Walla Fairgrounds
- Community and school informational booths on site
- Pick up kindergarten registration packets and meet principals and staff


Spring Break schedule

- No school Monday, April 3 to Friday, April 7
- Classes resume Monday, April 10


School Stories
State grant funds International Sources of Strength program to promote the power of connection and hope

W2 for Drug Free Youth secured a $20,000 state grant to fund high school student and staff training, follow-on support and awareness campaigns through the internationally acclaimed Sources of Strength program. Sources of Strength features 450 school teams in five countries, 26 U.S. states, three Canadian Provinces and 12 First Nation communities.

The mission of Sources of Strength is to provide the highest quality evidence-based prevention for suicide, violence, bullying and substance abuse by training, supporting, and empowering both peer leaders and caring adults to impact their world through the power of connection, hope, help and strength. W2 for Drug Free Youth coordinator and long-time community activist Peggy Needham wrote and secured the grant with support from Walla Walla Public Schools and Education Service District 123.

“We want this experience to be one of hope, help and strength,” said Needham. “Our community has suffered many tragic losses in the past few years. The Sources of Strength program provides a platform to bring our community together to focus on increasing communication and breaking the codes of silence. It promotes communication both peer to peer and adult to peer.”

Free Sources of Strength Public Event
Thursday, March 30
6:30 p.m. (doors open)
7 p.m. (program begins)
Cordiner Hall (Whitman College)
Lincoln and Walla Walla High School students will discuss the awareness campaigns they plan to implement, including:
· Sources of Strength Awareness
· I Am Stronger Campaign
· Trusted Adult Display
· What Helps Me Campaign
· Sources of Strength Week
· A Strength a Month
· Passive messaging: posters, videos, PSA’s, social media
· Active messaging: one-to-one, presentation to class, staff, and community

“Sources of Strength is an ongoing peer driven, adult guided process to promote hope, help and strength on our campuses and communities through youth and adult connectedness,” said Needham. Come to Cordiner Hall on March 30th to learn more about this program and support our local youth as they introduce this program to our community.


Prospect Point students take top honors at Elementary School Math Contest

Congratulations to Prospect Point students on the school’s math team for taking first place in last weekend’s Walla Walla Valley Elementary School Math Contest at Blue Ridge Elementary. This annual event, sponsored by Walla Walla School District and organized by volunteer Laura Schueller, included a series of four timed problem sets that test the mathematical thinking of 4th and 5th grade students. This year, a total of 92 students from Assumption, Berney, Blue Ridge, Davis, Edison, Green Park, Prospect Point, and Sharpstein elementary schools competed. Kai Lincoln from Edison Elementary took first place honors in the individual competition. Congratulations to all these outstanding students:

Prospect Point Elementary team:
- Brandon Bui
- Abbie Carlsen
- Jake Carvalho
- Jeffrey Chun
- Macy Eggart
- Wyatt Jenes
- Om Nair
- Louis Tennier
- Madeleine Van Cleve
- Liam Wells
- Grant Wood
- Hanna Wright

Coaches: Debbie Smyth and Kami Kuhlmann

The top-six places overall in the individual competition were:
- Kai Lincoln, Edison 1st
- Daniel Balof, Assumption 2nd
- Anna-Sofia Foster, Green Park 3rd
- James Didelius, Assumption 4th
- Louis Tennier, Prospect Point 5th
- Aaron Middlemas, Davis (tied) 6th
- Colton Struckmeier, Berney (tied) 6th


Wa-Hi student uses first aid training to save the life of choking teacher

A fast-thinking Walla Walla High School senior used the Heimlich Maneuver to come to the assistance of her beloved teacher who was choking Thursday morning while teaching class. Senior Mariam Hart witnessed Fine Arts Teacher and Department Head Julie Laufenburg bent over and turning red in the face during her 3rd period Advanced Placement art class. Suddenly, Laufenburg stood up, grabbed her neck and in a raspy voice weakly asked for help. Hart soon realized her teacher was in trouble.

“I started to lose track of what was going on,” said Laufenburg, following the harrowing experience. “I was trying to get air, but couldn’t breathe. I definitely needed assistance.”

Hart, who is a Cadet Major in the school’s JROTC program quickly leaped up from her desk and let her training and instincts take over. She is CPR certified through the American Red Cross and has had extensive first aid training through the JROTC program. Although she is only 5’2" tall, Hart properly positioned her hands on her taller teacher’s chest and used several powerful thrusts to clear the airway.

“It was 15 seconds of intense adrenaline,” Hart said. “Something really bad could have happened, but because of being prepared, it didn’t go badly.”

Hart said she has tremendous respect and appreciation for Laufenburg and says she loves her hands-on approach to teaching and learning. Hart serves as the JROTC battalion’s operations officer. Laufenburg said she was not surprised to see Hart step in to help.

“She has always demonstrated tremendous leadership skills,” Laufenburg said. “I’m so thankful she was there for me.”


Lincoln High School Presents:  Little Shop of Horrors

Saturday March 18 show time, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday March 19 show time, 2 p.m.
Saturday March 25 show time, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday March 26, 2 p.m.

All shows are at The Village Hall Theatre at Walla Walla University 204 S. College Ave. in College Place, WA. The suggested donation is $10 for adults and $5 for students.
Seymour- Senior Skyler Billman
Audrey- Junior Pelagia Wauchek
Orin the Dentist- Junior Peter Janis
Mushnik- Junior Kaiden Reser
Ronnette- Sophomore Cira Shoemake
Crystal- Senior Makenzie Remus
Chiffon- Junior Alex Peterson
Holly- Sophomore Kendra Jones

Little Shop of Horrors is sci-fi rock musical about a nerdy florist name Seymour Krelborn who finds a new breed of plant that he names Audrey II. The Audrey II brings him fame, fortune, and love all at the cost blood and murder. At first the plant is cute and harmless, but it soon grows into an out of control carnivore that takes away everything that Seymour loves. The characters are zany and memorable. Audrey, Seymour’s love interest is an insecure bombshell who puts up with her abusive boyfriend Orin Scrivello D.D.S. Mr. Mushik, Seymour’s boss, is only interested in becoming rich. The play is narrated by four girls who live on Skid Row.

Lincoln High School drama teacher Riki Wauchek directs this amazing Lincoln cast. Misha Guderian, new choir teacher at Lincoln, is the music director. Finally, Rhonda Copeland is the choreographer. Although the play is about a man-eating plant, it is appropriate for children who can understand the plant is not real.

For more information contact Riki Wauchek at 509-527-3083 or ewauchek@wwps.org


Walla Walla High School Cheer team advances to national competition

Walla Walla High School cheerleaders are preparing for a trip to the USA Nationals in Anaheim, California. The cheerleaders submitted a video of their routine and received a score to advance them, according to Coach Carrie Lujan.
“They will be competing against other stunt groups from across the country,” said Lujan. “They will be performing a one minute stunt routine.
Assistant coach Marchand McCauley choreographed the routine for the advanced group and Lujan choreographed the routine for the intermediate group.

Advanced Group:
- Hayley Taylor
- Breanna Baltrusch
- Nattilie Jackson
- Kiran Maini

Intermediate Group:
- Haley Pugliese
- Kaytlyn Dahlin
- Lauren Mendoza
- Chloe Williams



Nights of Dance, A Citywide Performance

- March 30 & 31
- 7 p.m.
- $10 (Tickets can be purchased at intouch.wwps.org or at the door)
- Wa-Hi Auditorium
The Walla Walla High School Dance Team will be providing two wonderful evenings of dance for the public. Patrons will see styles of dance including hip-hop, popping, jazz, musical theater, ballet, & pom. Berney Elementary’s Dance Crew, directed by Elizabeth Jagelski, will be there as will Walla Walla Dance Company, directed by Idalee Hutson-Fish, and the Walla Walla Dance Company, directed by Nancy Wells. Finally, Walla Walla High School’s Dance Team, coached by Emma Eskil & Merrit Morris, will present numerous routines including their state competition dance routine, River. Senior dancers will be recognized and there will be a tribute to past dance teams.


Wa-Hi Jr. ROTC marksmanship team captures conference championship, team captain sets two new league

The Walla Walla High School JROTC “Blue Devils” Precision Rifle Team fired a season high score to capture the 14-school Cascade Mountain League, Two-State Championship in a drill competition and rifle match hosted at home on March 11. Teams from Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine programs participated.

Nearly 100 competitive high school marksmen from Washington and Oregon Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps programs converged on the Wa-Hi rifle range to compete in the final regional match of the 2016/2017 season. Cadets use .177 caliber, match-grade air rifles in sporter and precision levels, and fire on a 10-meter range.

Before a hometown audience, the Blue Devil Precision squad turned out its best performance so far this season, posting a 2,297 out of 2,400 points to clinch the championship over long-time rivals North Salem High School. Cadet Capt. Daniel Enger led the team by setting a new Precision Class league record of 594 out of 600. His score edged out North Salem’s Taylor Gibson by 6 points, also setting a league record in the kneeling position of 199 out of 200.

“We have had a lot of matches cancelled this season due to the weather,” said Sgt. 1st Class Mark Mebes, Wa-Hi JROTC rifle team coach. “In most seasons we hold five league matches. This is only our second league rifle match this year.”

In the sporter class, the team championship went to Lebanon High School from Oregon, with Walla Walla coming in second place, shooting a 2,033. The team was led by Cadet Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffery Warner, who fired a career high score of 518 out of 600 points, followed by Cadet 1st Sgt. Christopher Davin with a 506. Cadet 1st Sgt. Gavin Acevedo at 505 and Cadet Sgt. 1st Class Michael Lemons rounding out the team score with a 504.

“This was our highest team score all season,” said Warner. “Everyone on the team broke 500, which is something we have been trying to do all year long. It was great to see it all come together for our last match.”

In individual shooting, Warner took first place in the Expert class, followed by Wa-Hi’s Cadet 1st Sgt. Braden Salcedo in 2nd place with a 505. In the Sharpshooter class, first place went to another Walla Walla High School shooter, Cadet Pvt. 1st Class Katherine Thompson who posted a 490. In the Marksman category the Blue Devils took the first and third positions, with Cadet Sgt. Jacob Bradshaw at a 470 and Cadet 1st Lt. Sydnee Walker shooting a 456. Third place in the Open class went to freshman Cadet Corporal Grace Anderson who posted a 476.

The precision class shooters competed on Wa-Hi’s electronic-scored Megalink Rifle Range, equipped with the same target sets that the Olympic Training Center uses. The precision matches were well attended on Saturday, due to the fact that electronic target images are available on a large screen TV in the range.

“This system is making shooting a more spectator friendly sport. Each time a shooter fires a shot, microphones inside the target box triangulate the shot and send the image of the shot to a monitor that the shooter can see. The shot and the score then appear on the large-format TV screen in the range. You can watch each shot register almost the instant it is fired. This team has been doing a lot of work the last few weeks getting ready for this match. It was great to see it all come together and have the team know they can shoot a score like this,” said Coach Mebes.

In addition to the team captain’s record-setting scores, teammate results were: sophomore Cadet Sgt. Madeline Steinle with a 575, Cadet Sgt. Brock Betzler at 573, Cadet Capt. Sammantha Scott at 568, Cadet Maj. Justin Mebes
with a 562 and Cadet 1st Lt. Connor Hoeft posting a 553, according to Enger (who was promoted to Cadet Major this morning (March 14) at the Blue Devils’ Battalion staff meeting.

The Blue Devil Precision Team has resumed training this week with a focus on upcoming matches. The team will travel to Anniston, Alabama on March 22 for the JROTC National Championship, followed quickly by the Civilian Marksmanship Program Western Regional match in Salt Lake City in early April.

“Two of our shooters, Daniel Enger and Brock Betzler have also just learned that they have received invitations to the Olympic Training Center for Junior Olympic Nationals in April,” said Coach Mebes. “Those two young men will be training for that match as well.”


AVID showcase comes to Pioneer Middle School

Regional superintendents, district leadership teams, school board members and principals will converge on the campus of Pioneer Middle School March 21 to attend the AVID Showcase event. The AVID in Action showcase provides educators an opportunity to learn more about this college readiness program. They will visit classrooms, hear from students and talk to staff about AVID. Principal Mira Gobel will host the event. 


Legendary Walla Walla High School coaches named to state Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Charlotte Wirth and Marda McClenny for being named to the Washington State Girls Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame Class of 2017. They are being honored tonight at King’s High School. Wirth coached at the current school 1964-1977, finishing with four state trophies (2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 4th).  McClenny won state championships in 1979 and 1983. Walla Walla High School will honor them during a halftime program in December. 


Police and firefighters team to conduct drug and alcohol awareness parent meeting 

Date: Wednesday, March 29
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Walla Walla High School Commons

City of Walla Walla police officers and firefighters/paramedics will lead a parent discussion about communicating with children about drugs and alcohol use. These local experts will offer strategies for holding children accountable for their actions, how to spot indicators the child is using alcohol or drugs and what drugs are currently trending on the streets of Walla Walla. All the presenters are currently working the streets of Walla Walla and see firsthand how drugs and alcohol are negatively impacting the community and homes.


Community Stories
Rotary Club offers Youth Leadership Award

The Rotary Clubs of District 5080 (WA, ID and BC) offer an intensive, one-week leadership training program for young people, ages 18-25. The program incorporates, through a number of excellent presenters, challenging small and large group work and interaction with approximately 50 other young adults. It provides opportunities to discover and strengthen leadership skills in an encouraging environment.

The dates are July 1-8. The camp will be held in Castlegar, B.C. (Canada) at Selkirk Community College at no cost. Over the years, we have had several Latino Club members attended including Alondra Hernandez, Chantel Lopez, Veronica Ocampo, Kayla Krain, Ruby Villegas, Erika Torres, and Lizbette Morin. You might ask them to tell you the benefits of the program.

The Walla Walla Rotary Club is planning to send two students this year. We are looking for applicants who demonstrate leadership or leadership potential in our community who would benefit from eight days of leadership training, fun, and new friendships.

Applicants must be 18 to 25 years old, a high school graduate, and have or be able to get a passport or enhanced drivers license to travel to Canada. Contact Bill Erickson - wteric@charter.net - 509 520-4655


Carnegie Picture Lab art making opportunity Saturday

Carnegie Picture Lab has teamed with the Walla Walla Symphony in an art making and music listening event for families at the Walla Walla Public Library. Learn about Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, enjoy a brief abstract painting lesson with artist Kandyce King and listen to pianist Jackie Wood play excerpts from Pictures at an Exhibition while children paint! Artists of all ages and abilities are invited to participate.
- Saturday, March 18
- 11-11:45 a.m. & 12-12:45 p.m.
- Walla Walla Public Library


City Parks & Recreation community update

Washington Angels Softball Clinic - March 18 - 5-13yrs - Wa-Hi
Fielding & Hitting Clinic - $35
Pitching & Catching - $15
Space is limited and filling up fast!

For more information on these programs or to register, please go to: http://www.wwpr.us or like us on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/wallawallapr


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