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Walla Walla School District Board of Directors Special Meeting: May 30, 2017, 1:30 p.m. at WWPS Administration Building - 05/26/17

Walla Walla School District Board of Directors Special Meeting: May 30, 2017, 1:30 p.m. at WWPS Administration Building

Supporting documents are available via the following link: http://www.wwps.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2705&Itemid=1028&jsmallfib=1&dir=JSROOT/2017/2017-05-30+BOARD+MEETING2

Walla Walla School District Board of Directors Special Meeting: May 30, 2017, 11:45 a.m. at Blue Ridge Preschool - 05/26/17

Walla Walla School District Board of Directors Special Meeting: May 30, 2017, 11:45 a.m. at Blue Ridge Preschool

Supporting documents are available via the following link: http://www.wwps.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2705&Itemid=1028&jsmallfib=1&dir=JSROOT/2017/2017-05-30+BOARD+MEETING1

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Faith_Dowsett_YOY_2017.jpg
Exchange Club names 2016-2017 Youth of the Year recipients (Photo) - 05/22/17

WALLA WALLA - The Walla Walla Exchange Club has named Waitsburg High School senior Jacob Dunn and Touchet High School senior Faith Dowsett Youth of the Year recipients for the 2016-2017 school year. Each student received $1000 checks to help support their higher education plans.

Dunn and Dowsett were selected among a pool of representatives from high schools throughout the Walla Walla valley. Participants are seniors selected by their local high schools to represent their schools in the Exchange Club's Youth of the Month program. A selection committee of Exchange Club members reviews the Youth of the Month nomination packets and selects two seniors to receive Youth of the Year awards. This year's program theme was "Inspiring Communities to become a Better Place." Participants write essays related to this theme and share them with club members during luncheons at the Marcus Whitman Hotel and Conference Center. They also document their school activities, volunteer efforts and academic achievement success. Mark Higgins is the program chair. Dunn also received the Exchange Club Northwest District Youth of the Year award and another $1500 to offset college expenses.

Dowsett plans to attend the University of Washington in the fall in pursuit of a business degree. She is the daughter of Chris and Robin Dowsett. She has been a member of Touchet's School system since kindergarten and is currently attending the Running Start program at Walla Walla Community College. She holds a 3.96 GPA and will earn her Associates degree and high school diploma in June. She enjoys serving as President of her Future Business Leaders of America Club, teaching community ukulele lessons with the National Honors Society, volunteering through clubs and her church, and playing the bass guitar.

Dunn plans to attend Washington State University in the fall and study architectural engineering. His parents are Martin and Rebecca Dunn. He maintains a 3.9 G.P.A. at Waitsburg High School. Dunn was a scholar athlete in football, basketball and baseball in 2014, 2015 and 2016. He is a member of the National Honor Society, Knowledge Bowl and Student Council. He has received academic awards in math, science, agricultural science and an Outstanding Community Service award in 2014.

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Mike_Kay_Photo.jpg
Mike_Kay_Photo.jpg
Walla Walla Public Schools hires three experienced administrators (Photo) - 05/17/17

WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors approved the hiring the following administrators during its May 16, 2017 school board meeting.

Facilities and Operations Director
Walla Walla Public Schools announces Mike Kay has been named Director of Facilities and Operations. He replaces current director Dan Johnson who is retiring in August.

Kay brings vast experience in public education leadership to the district. In addition to having classroom experience, he has been an administrator at the secondary and central office levels. Kay has been employed by the Hermiston School District since 2004 and is currently the Executive Director of Operations. In his current role at Hermiston, he oversees facilities, transportation, career and technical education, food service, print shop, athletics and activities, and student home builders. Under his leadership, Hermiston was the first school district in Oregon to implement the full suite of the School Dude facility management system. Walla Walla Public Schools also uses School Dude.

"Superintendent Smith worked with Mike Kay for nine years in Hermiston and reports he has seen first-hand his amazing skills in action and ability to foster a positive culture within the department," said Human Resource Director Liz Campeau. "Kay also assisted Superintendent Smith with the $70 million bond project as well as a $5 million athletic stadium build during their years together in Hermiston."

Kay also has past administrative experience in the Hermiston School District as the Director of Athletics and Activities, Support Services and as an assistant principal. Previous to his employment in the Hermiston School District, Kay had nine years of administrative experience in the Medford School District specializing in Alternative Education and Athletics. He was named the Hermiston School District Administrator of the Year in 2009 and received the National Association of Agricultural Oregon Educators Outstanding Administrator Award in 2010.

Kay holds an Administrative/Superintendent's license. He earned his Master's Degree in Education Policy, Foundations and Administration from Portland State University and has a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Distributive Education from Oregon State University.

"Walla Walla Public Schools is a very exciting place to work and I look forward to the opportunity," Kay said. "Education has been a great fit. I enjoy watching students grow and develop the skills needed to succeed. It's neat reconnecting with them 10 to 15 years later and learn our involvement had a tremendous impact in their lives."


Director of Bilingual Education and Latino Outreach
Walla Walla Public Schools named Mr. Victor Vergara the new Director of Bilingual Education and Latino Outreach.Vergara will report to his new assignment July 1.

This new position represents one component of many to be implemented next school year as part of the Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors strategic planning efforts to increase Latino/a outreach and close the achievement gap, according to Superintendent Smith.

"In addition to Mr. Vergara's role, many other ambitious steps are being taken to improve student engagement and learning outcomes," said Superintendent Smith. "A Latino community liaison will be hired and additional after school and summer school opportunities for students will be implemented. We will also offer additional middle school elective experiences beginning this fall and add competitive middle school soccer next school year."

Vergara was named Oregon's 2012 Middle School Principal of the Year. He was also honored with the 2016 Distinguished Latino Educator of the Year award and is currently President of the Oregon Association of Latino Administrators. He is a two-time recipient of Oregon's closing the achievement gap award.

For the past three years, Vergara has served as high school principal for the Academy of International Studies, a Bilingual High School in Woodburn, Oregon and Head of Schools for the International Baccalaureate for all four High Schools in Woodburn. Previous to his high school principal position, he was Principal at Woodburn's Valor Middle School for six years, a school that offers Bilingual Education to its students in Spanish and/or Russian.

"Significant accolades have been earned by Woodburn School District over the last 10 years which has achieved incredible success despite extremely challenging demographics, lauding one of the state's highest graduation rates for Latino and ESL students at near 90%," said Superintendent Smith. "The results experienced at both schools under Mr. Vergara's leadership are nothing short of exceptional."

Vergara emigrated from Chile 18 years ago with no English skills. He worked extremely hard to master the English language and soon enrolled in college, according to Smith.

"After graduating he began his educational career teaching bilingual education at the 4th and 5th grade levels for seven years before assuming the assistant principal position at Valor Middle School in 2005," Smith said. "He is currently defending his doctoral dissertation to be completed this summer on the topic of culturally responsive school leadership for Latino/a student success."


Edison Elementary Principal
Walla Walla Public Schools named Dr. Julie Perron the new principal of Edison Elementary School. Current Principal Dr. Jennifer Cowgill is returning to the classroom to help develop the district's new middle school Spanish World Language Program. Her last day as Edison Elementary Principal is June 30. Dr. Perron will report to her new assignment July 1.

Dr. Perron was one of three finalists for the highly-competitive position. Perron is fluent in Spanish with strong skills in additional languages. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, a Master of Arts in Administration, Curriculum and Instruction, and a PhD in Leadership Studies. Her dissertation was a case study on the efficacy of dual language and the important components of leadership that must be considered.

She currently serves as a school principal of Whitaker Elementary, a Title One elementary school in California. She maintains an impressive sixteen-year track record as an elementary building principal, with extensive experience in dual language school leadership. Before assuming her first principal role in Cornelius Elementary, a dual-language school in Forest Grove, Oregon, she served as an English Language Development Specialist and elementary dual language teacher. In addition to her elementary education leadership experience, she has also served as an adjunct professor at various universities, including Eastern Washington, Whitworth, Gonzaga, and currently National University. She has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses in Advanced Reading Methods, ELD Methodology, Second Language Acquisition, Leadership and Collaboration, and Leadership and Change among others. Dr. Perron has also consulted for various school districts in the areas of Sheltered English for Academics, Equity and Diversity and Social Justice, as well as English Language Development strategies, Common Core, and building school community.

"We are absolutely delighted that we were able to recruit someone with such deep expertise and experience like Dr. Perron to our district," said Superintendent Smith. "No doubt she will serve as an integral asset to all of us in our transition to a wall-to-wall dual school and help elevate Edison to become Washington State's most sought-after dual language school!"

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Walla Walla School District Board of Directors Special Meeting & Regular Board Meeting: May 16, 2017 - 05/12/17

Walla Walla School District Board of Directors Special Meeting & Regular Board Meeting: May 16, 2017

Supporting documents are available via the following link: http://www.wwps.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2705&Itemid=1028&jsmallfib=1&dir=JSROOT/2017/2017-05-16+BOARD+MEETING

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Pete_Peterson_Staff_Photo.jpg
Peterson accepts Director of Assessment and Student Services position (Photo) - 05/10/17

WALLA WALLA -- Walla Walla High School Principal Pete Peterson is transitioning to the district office after accepting the Director of Assessment and Student Services position. Current Director Kerri Coffman recently resigned her position after accepting a position in her hometown school district of Athena-Weston.

"It has been my honor to lead the staff and students at Wa-Hi for the past seven years, and I will always consider myself a Blue Devil," Peterson said. "While I will miss the staff and students immensely, I am excited to work with our district leadership team at a systems level to support all students in Walla Walla Public Schools."

Peterson will manage and assess student testing data, local and state testing cycles, and associated professional development in support of districtwide assessment needs. His student services responsibilities include managing the district's homeless student program, district level discipline, drop-out prevention and post high school transitions.

"Pete Peterson brings extensive experience in secondary leadership and coordination with regional higher education partners," said Superintendent Wade Smith. "This central office role provides an opportunity for him to grow professionally and utilize his skill-set in a critical area of district operations."

Peterson has been principal at Walla Walla High School for seven years. He will assume his new duties July 1. The job posting for a new Walla Walla High School principal will be made public May 11. An extensive selection process, including interviews, school walk through visits, and public "Meet and Greet" sessions, is tentatively set to begin the week of June 5. The new principal will begin July 1.

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Attached Media Files: Pete_Peterson_Staff_Photo.jpg
American Association of University Women honor area high school students - 05/08/17

Walla Walla, WA -- (May 8, 2017) -- The American Association of University Women--Walla Walla Branch honored 18 juniors from area high schools for their work in Science, Technology, and Mathematics at the Walla Walla Public Schools' Boardroom on Monday, April, 24, 2017, at 7 p.m. Dr. Peggy Payne, a science and AVID teacher at Walla Walla High School, spoke about her educational and work experiences, and she encouraged the scholars to investigate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) courses during college and find mentors to guide their educational and professional pursuits. Dr. Payne credits a college professor with inspiring her to pursue science and advanced degrees.

High Schools in our branch area include: Walla Walla High School, Lincoln High School, College Place, Prescott, Touchet, WWVA and De Sales. The following young women were honored on April 24th at the reception: Maddy Thomas, Mary Ann Holtzinger, Neriah Cortez, Katia Sanchez, Hannah Kromm, Cora Jo Borgens, Katie Skramstad, Miriam Gogl, Karissa Stubblefield, Natalie Parsons, Cleo Castaldo, Dharma Mendoza, Pelagia Wauchek, Katie Leinweber, Christiana Zaugg, MacKenzie Harting, Alicia Pacheco-Espana and Angie Brizuela

AAUW was founded in 1881 to promote education and equity for women. The Walla Walla Branch was chartered in 1921, and we currently have over 135 members. Membership is open to men and women who hold a two year degree or higher from an accredited college or university.

The AAUW Scholar Recognition program recognized outstanding Junior female high school students in the areas of Science, Technology, and Mathematics. These are areas where women are traditionally underrepresented and AAUW is working to encourage young women to explore these fields, including Engineering, as viable options for their future careers.

AAUW President Gretchen Hormel welcomed the packed room filled with scholars, their families and their inspirational teachers. Hormel encouraged them to learn more about AAUW and its mission supporting women since 1881.

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Julie_Laufenburg.jpg
Area students to showcase talents during Spring Art Show (Photo) - 05/08/17

WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla Public Schools presents the 4th Annual Spring Art Show May 11-14 at SEA-TECH featuring art from Walla Walla High and Lincoln High Schools, Pioneer and Garrison Middle Schools and College Place High School students. A variety of art, including digital displays, will be featured during the show. Please drop in and support the talents of these amazing young artists. This is a free, public show. Special thanks to ArtWalla for sponsoring the event.

Art Show Schedule
- Thursday, May 11 -- 4 to 7:30 p.m.
- Friday, May 12 -- 4 to 6 p.m.
- Saturday, May 13 -- 12 to 2 p.m.
- Sunday, May 14 -- 12 to 2 p.m.
- Location: SEA-TECH (525 Campus Loop on the campus of Walla Walla Community College)
- Free, public show

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Attached Media Files: Julie_Laufenburg.jpg
District names Partners of the Year - 05/03/17

WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla Public Schools named Catholic Charities of Walla Walla, Friends of Children of Walla Walla and Whitman College Student Engagement Center Partners of the Year. The recognition is linked to Partners in Learning Month. Walla Walla Public Schools established Partners in Learning Month in May 2010. This month the district sent nearly 150 proclamations and letters of recognition to our Partners in Learning.
"We so appreciate the individuals, businesses, organizations and agencies who partner with the district throughout the year to support our students," said School Board President Dr. David Hampson. "We strive to Develop Washington's Most Sought-After Graduates and each of these partners offers unique experiences and opportunities for our students and staff."

Catholic Charities of Walla Walla
Catholic Charities of Walla Walla and its Director Tim Meliah play a critical role in our community with a mission to serve and advocate for those who are vulnerable. This organization began providing service in 1912 in the greater Spokane area and now serves 13 counties throughout Eastern Washington. The Walla Walla branch of the organization specializes in counseling, senior citizen housing and volunteer support, immigration services, and emergency assistance. Walla Walla Public Schools has developed a strong relationship with Tim Meliah through its Crisis Response program. His specialized counseling and people skills are appreciated when working through grief and supporting families during these most difficult times.

Friends of Children of Walla Walla
For nearly 20 years, Friends of Children of Walla Walla has helped young people in the Walla Walla Valley engage in safe, youth-focused friendships with adults. Director Jim Byrnes is steadfast in supporting the Friends mission of creating positive change in the lives of families -- one child at a time. The program hinges on providing a child a caring adult relationship once a week for at least one year. Friends utilizes two strategies to make these connections. One way is the Community Based Program, and the ABC School-based mentoring program is another way to make connections. Friends now has programs or pilots in 10 schools in the Walla Walla and College Place School Districts. Adult volunteers in the ABC Program visit once a week with their young friend, with all visits occurring on school grounds during lunch time.

Whitman College Student Engagement Center
Since 2010, the Whitman College Student Engagement Center has been connecting Whitman College and Walla Walla Public Schools students. The partnership continues to grow as this year more than 350 Whitman College students are volunteering in district schools, under the leadership of Associate Dean for Student Engagement Noah Leavitt. Whitman students provide tutoring services, act as role models and enrich program activities.

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District invests $500,000 in elementary curriculum - 05/03/17

WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla Public Schools took a giant leap forward last night in supporting the district's youngest learners by investing nearly $500,000 in Pearson's ReadyGEN for K-5 English Language Arts and Spanish Language Arts curriculum. This significant adoption provides teachers and students literacy materials, in Spanish and English, which are aligned to standards and rigorous enough to support students in becoming Washington's most sought after graduates.

"This adoption is a critical step in supporting students in becoming proficient readers and writers with skills to meet College and Career ready standards," said Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Christy Krutulis. "This significant investment in quality rigorous materials is also a critical step toward developing aligned and coherent systems and will pay dividends in years to come for student learning."

It has been nine years since elementary teachers were provided core curriculum materials for reading and writing. Since this time there has been a shift in standards and a recognition students need regular practice with complex text and need the opportunity to build knowledge as they are building reading and writing skills, according to Krutulis.

Over the last 18 months, more than 40 staff have been involved in the process of selecting and piloting materials. The Peason ReadyGEN materials rose to the top during this process.

"The adoption of these materials will provide teachers the instructional supports needed to ensure all Walla Walla Public School elementary students have access to rigorous and aligned instruction," said Curriculum Coordinator Casey Monahan. "A teacher on the Instructional Materials Review committee excitedly noted the increase in reading and writing skill students will now have when moving to the secondary level will support their learning of social studies content, for example."

Next steps for implementation of these new materials has already begun. Professional learning for staff is being systematically developed to support teachers as they move to using ReadyGEN to support students at all levels to achieve proficiency in their literacy skills. Professional development opportunities will begin this summer and continue next year.

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State Board of Education to hold meetings in Walla Walla May 9-10 - 05/02/17

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING SCHEDULE:

Tuesday, May 9 - Community Forum from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Student Panel - 5:45 p.m. to 6:05 p.m.
Walla Walla Community College
Main Building D, Titus Creek Café
500 Tausick Way, Walla Walla, WA 99362

Wednesday, May 10 - State Board of Education Meeting (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Student Panel - 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Walla Walla Community College
Water and Environment Center, Room 2023/2024
500 Tausick Way, Walla Walla, WA 99362

NOTE: Each student panel will have two high school and two community college student participants. The student panel members will reflect on college and career readiness. Panel members will speak about experiences that prepared them for college/careers as well as any barriers they faced in school for college & career readiness.

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Perron recommended for Edison Elementary School principal position - 05/01/17

WALLA WALLA -- Walla Walla Public Schools Superintendent Wade Smith is recommending the hiring of Dr. Julie Perron as the new principal of Edison Elementary School. Her recommendation will be presented to the Board of Directors May 16 to complete the official hiring process. Current Principal Dr. Jennifer Cowgill is returning to the classroom to help develop the district's new middle school Spanish World Language Program. Her last day as Edison Elementary Principal is June 30. Upon approval of Superintendent Smith's recommendation, Dr. Perron would report to her new assignment July 1.

Dr. Perron was one of three finalists for the highly-competitive position. Perron is fluent in Spanish with strong skills in additional languages. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, a Master of Arts in Administration, Curriculum and Instruction, and a PhD in Leadership Studies. Her dissertation was a case study on the efficacy of dual language and the important components of leadership that must be considered.

She currently serves as a school principal of Whitaker Elementary, a Title One elementary school in California. She maintains an impressive sixteen-year track record as an elementary building principal, with extensive experience in dual language school leadership. Before assuming her first principal role in Cornelius Elementary, a dual-language school in Forest Grove, Oregon, she served as an English Language Development Specialist and elementary dual language teacher. In addition to her elementary education leadership experience, she has also served as an adjunct professor at various universities, including Eastern Washington, Whitworth, Gonzaga, and currently National University. She has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses in Advanced Reading Methods, ELD Methodology, Second Language Acquisition, Leadership and Collaboration, and Leadership and Change among others. Dr. Perron has also consulted for various school districts in the areas of Sheltered English for Academics, Equity and Diversity and Social Justice, as well as English Language Development strategies, Common Core, and building school community.

"We are absolutely delighted that we were able to recruit someone with such deep expertise and experience like Dr. Perron to our district," said Superintendent Smith. "No doubt she will serve as an integral asset to all of us in our transition to a wall-to-wall dual school and help elevate Edison to become Washington State's most sought-after dual language school!"

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vergara_victor.jpg
Vergara recommended for new Bilingual and Latino Outreach director position (Photo) - 05/01/17

WALLA WALLA -- Walla Walla Public Schools Superintendent Wade Smith is recommending the hiring of Mr. Victor Vergara as the new Director of Bilingual Education and Latino Outreach. His recommendation will be presented to the Board of Directors May 16 to complete the official hiring process. Upon approval of Superintendent Smith's recommendation, Vergara would report to his new assignment July 1.

This new position represents one component of many to be implemented next school year as part of the Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors strategic planning efforts to increase Latino/a outreach and close the achievement gap, according to Superintendent Smith.

"In addition to Mr. Vergara's role, many other ambitious steps are being taken to improve student engagement and learning outcomes," said Superintendent Smith. "A Latino community liaison will be hired and additional after school and summer school opportunities for students will be implemented. We will also offer additional middle school elective experiences beginning this fall and add competitive middle school soccer next school year."

Vergara was named Oregon's 2012 Middle School Principal of the Year. He was also honored with the 2016 Distinguished Latino Educator of the Year award and is currently President of the Oregon Association of Latino Administrators. He is a two-time recipient of Oregon's closing the achievement gap award.

For the past three years, Vergara has served as high school principal for the Academy of International Studies, a Bilingual High School in Woodburn, Oregon and Head of Schools for the International Baccalaureate for all four High Schools in Woodburn. Previous to his high school principal position, he was Principal at Woodburn's Valor Middle School for six years, a school that offers Bilingual Education to its students in Spanish and/or Russian.

"Significant accolades have been earned by Woodburn School District over the last 10 years which has achieved incredible success despite extremely challenging demographics, lauding one of the state's highest graduation rates for Latino and ESL students at near 90%," said Superintendent Smith. "The results experienced at both schools under Mr. Vergara's leadership are nothing short of exceptional."

Vergara emigrated from Chile 18 years ago with no English skills. He worked extremely hard to master the English language and soon enrolled in college, according to Smith.

"After graduating he began his educational career teaching bilingual education at the 4th and 5th grade levels for seven years before assuming the assistant principal position at Valor Middle School in 2005," Smith said. "He is currently defending his doctoral dissertation to be completed this summer on the topic of culturally responsive school leadership for Latino/a student success."

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Attached Media Files: vergara_victor.jpg
Congratulations WAHI musicians!! - 05/01/17

Walla Walla High School Sent 7 individuals/groups to compete in the Washington Music Educators State Solo & Ensemble Contest Friday and Saturday, April 28th and 29th, at Central Washington University in Ellensburg.

The following musicians qualified to compete this year -

Eunice Ra & Bryson Jacobs - String Duet
Keeli McKern & Hannah Cabasco - Clarinet Duet
Eunice Ra - Cello Solo
Blake Averette - Piano Solo
Trevor Kytola - Tenor Voice
Hannah Cabasco - Clarinet Solo
Cassie Dixon - Soprano Voice

These musicians qualified for this state competition by winning their regional solo & ensemble contest earlier in the year.

Here are the results!

Eunice Ra & Bryson Jacobs - String Duet - Received Superior Ratings
Keeli McKern & Hannah Cabasco - Clarinet Duet - Placed Second in The State
Eunice Ra - Cello Solo - Received Superior Ratings
Blake Averette - Piano Solo - Received Excellent Rating
Trevor Kytola - Tenor Voice - Received Superior Ratings
Hannah Cabasco - Clarinet Solo - Placed Second in The State - this is her second year in a row placing in the top three!
Cassie Dixon - Soprano Voice - Did not compete due to illness


Congratulations WAHI Musicians!
We are truly fortunate to have some of the best high school musicians in the state.



Roger Garcia
Walla Walla School District Music Coordinator