Walla Walla Sch. Dist.
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News Releases
Lincoln High School Ribbon Cutting ceremony a huge success (Photo) - 10/05/22

WALLA WALLA - Hundreds of former students, staff and community supporters visited Lincoln High School Wednesday, Oct. 5 to celebrate with the school district during the official Ribbon Cutting ceremony marking the final steps of the historic bond-funded project. Guests marveled at improvements of the 95-year-old school as they toured the campus to see the updated classrooms and renovated facilities made possible thanks to the successful November 2018 bond measure overwhelmingly approved by voters with a 73 percent yes vote.

Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith served as Master of Ceremonies during the event. He shared the history of the school which opened in 1927. Superintendent Smith summarized the improvements made on campus, thanked everyone involved in getting the project approved and completed, and acknowledged the nearly 50 local contractors and vendors who worked on various bond-funded projects. Improvements at Lincoln High School include a new entry and black box theater addition, renovated classrooms, modern heating and cooling system and elevator for ADA accessibility. The project also includes parking lot improvements, enhanced safety and security features and energy efficiency improvements.

Superintendent Smith also introduced former Principal Jim Sporleder to the podium to share stories about his tenure as principal of Lincoln High School from 2007 to 2014 as part of his 32 year career in education. Mr. Sporleder was featured in the documentary Paper Tigers released by KPJR Films in 2015. Paper Tigers helped shed light on how Adverse Childhood Experiences impact academic achievement and the need for more social and emotional support systems in schools. Sporleder said he is proud of his time at Lincoln High School and is thrilled to see the improvements to the school.

The formal program ended with the ribbon cutting, marking the official opening of the newly renovated and expanded facility. More than 200 people attended the ceremony and toured the school. Thanks to everyone for your support in making this amazing project come true.


Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors Special Meeting/School Board Retreat: October 6, 2022 - 10/05/22

Supporting documents are available via the following link:  https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Organization/997
Board of Directors Meeting Schedule & Information:  https://www.wwps.org/district/information/school-board/board-meeting-schedule

Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors Regular Study Meeting: October 4, 2022 - 09/30/22

Supporting documents are available via the following link:  https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Organization/997

Board of Directors Meeting Schedule & Information:  https://www.wwps.org/district/information/school-board/board-meeting-schedule

Wa-Hi students named National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists (Photo) - 09/29/22

WALLA WALLA - Congratulations to Walla Walla High School seniors Lily Franklin and Erin Iverson. They join 16,000 students across the nation to be named semi-finalists in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered next spring.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. These students rank in the top 1% in Washington state. About 95 percent of the semi-finalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and approximately half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.

Congratulations as well to students Jackson Adams, Marcus Christopher, Danielle Schmode and Kai Sinnott for being named National Merit Commended Scholars.


Reminder! Walla Walla High School Ribbon Cutting and Tour Today at 4PM - 09/21/22

WALLA WALLA - Join us today at Walla Walla High School for the ribbon cutting celebration marking the completion of this historic bond project. There will be school tours and the commemoration of the new student plaza in the name of legendary Walla Walla High School Principal Dick Neher. Mr. Neher's family will be in attendance and his son Mike will share a few words about his father. 

The district expects hundreds of community members to be in attendance. There will be excellent photo and video opportunities. Below are all the details. We hope you can make it. 

Event Details:

The district continues to deliver on its bond promises with the announcement of ribbon cutting ceremonies and campus tours of all three major renovation projects. Please mark these dates on your calendar and celebrate with the school district on these historic accomplishments.

Walla Walla High School

  • Wednesday, Sept. 21  /  4 to 6 p.m.
  • Ribbon Cutting, BBQ, Tour & Dick Neher Plaza Commemoration


Pioneer Middle School

  • Wednesday, Sept. 28  /  4 to 6 p.m.
  • Ribbon Cutting & Tour


Lincoln High School

  • Wednesday, Oct. 5  /      4 to 6 p.m.
  • Ribbon Cutting & Tour


Walla Walla High School senior receives prestigious state leadership award (Photo) - 09/21/22

WALLA WALLA - Congratulations to Walla Walla High School senior Miki Joshua for receiving the Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA) Student Leadership Award. This award recognizes students who have created or played a significant leadership role in initiatives or programs that promote inclusivity, access and belonging in their school and community. Joshua serves on the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council to bring student voice addressing specific needs of high school students.

“Miki has taken a leadership role by advocating for students, supporting belonging, cultural competency and awareness, and playing a pivotal role in a student-directed video used to elevate student voice and experience to support staff development,” said Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith. “Miki was the cofounder of the students for social justice club at Wa-Hi, the founder and President of the black student union, a member of the Green club, GSA, girls league officer, participated in the district’s diversify our narrative initiative, and received the district’s building belonging award.”

Consideration for the WASA recognition is based on criteria that includes demonstrating leadership and serving as a role model by participating in, and organizing events that promote respect for diversity, equity and individual differences. Joshua was selected to serve on Rep Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ Youth Advisory Committee and the Association of Washington Student Leaders the past two years. 

“Very few students statewide receive such recognition from the Washington Association of School Administrators,” said Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith. “Miki is a shining example of one of Walla Walla’s finest who has a bright future ahead of her.”

PHOTO - Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith presents Walla Walla High School senior Miki Joshua with the Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA) Student Leadership Award.


Attached Media Files: Miki_Joshua_WASA_Award.jpg
New program offers free mental health services to all students (Photo) - 09/20/22

WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla Public Schools launched a new mental health services program with Hazel Health this week. This program is available for all students, at no cost to families.

With Hazel, students can speak with a licensed therapist from school, or at home. The district is making these services available so that all students have access to mental health services, without a long wait time to see a therapist.
Hazel services include:
• Short-term therapy visits: Therapy sessions can help students cope with everyday issues such as anxiety, bullying, withdrawal, grief, peer and family relationships, depression, not enjoying things they used to enjoy, or simply not feeling like themselves.

• Care coordination: Family Resource Managers from Hazel work closely with families to coordinate their child’s care. If the child needs additional services outside of what Hazel can offer, Hazel will help families connect with local providers.

• Therapists who care: Hazel therapists know how to connect with children and teens. Their multilingual team practices culturally competent care for all students.

Sign Up TODAY - my.hazel.co/wwps


Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors Regular Business Meeting: September 20, 2022 - 09/16/22

Supporting documents are available via the following link:  https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Organization/997
Board of Directors Meeting Schedule & Information:  https://www.wwps.org/district/information/school-board/board-meeting-schedule

Sharpstein Elementary partners with Blue Zones to promote healthy lifestyles (Photo) - 09/15/22

WALLA WALLA - Blue Zones Project of Walla Walla has officially certified Sharpstein Elementary into its program to support a higher quality of life. Blue Zones Project is a community-wide, evidence-based approach to improve health and well-being in making healthier choices easier for everyone. Blue Zones focuses on making it easy for schools to teach students how to lead longer, happier lives by making smart choices about staying healthy. Blue Zones activities encourage students to have better eating habits, live a tobacco-free life and increase physical activities.

"Blue Zones is a perfect match for the Sharpstein community, and we could not be more excited about being certified,” said Sharpstein Elementary Principal Maria Garcia.

Sharpstein Elementary staff and students are organizing a school-wide event Thursday, Oct. 27 to celebrate getting certified by Blue Zones. The event will include a walking school bus from the Rose Garden at Pioneer Park. School buses will drop students off at Pioneer Park before school on this day so all students have the opportunity to participate.

Blue Zones October 27 Event Highlights
• Moving Naturally:  Walking School Bus
• Eating Wisely: Special tasting with Farm to School
• Connection:  Grade Level Buddy Day
• Right Outlook: Our school counselor will conduct mindfulness activities

“We are working on getting live music to welcome the kids into the school that day, and also getting Sweet Lou to be present,” said Garcia. “We expect to have fire and police personnel present for the walking school bus as well.”

All Walla Walla Public Schools are working to become Blue Zones certified. To learn more about the Blue Zones Project, visit: https://wwvalley.bluezonesproject.com/home


Attached Media Files: Blue_Zones_Graphic.png
Latest ThoughtExchange seeks input on what is going well and what can be improved (Photo) - 09/07/22

WALLA WALLA – This month Walla Walla Public Schools is beginning Phase 2 of a six phase Strategic Planning process by gathering input from stakeholders in a variety of ways. Over the next several weeks, the district will engage parents, staff, students and community members through face-to-face meetings, focus groups and other engagements.

Phase 2 will also include a public ThoughtExchange engagement to survey stakeholders on what is going well and what can be improved. The ThoughtExchange survey opened today and will remain open through September 23 at 4 p.m. Students, parents, staff and community members are encouraged to participate and is made available in multiple language formats.

Phase 1 of the planning processes kicked off with an introduction and preliminary ThoughtExchange in May. When asked what are the most important skills and attributes our graduates must gain in order to prepare them for success after graduation, consistent themes across stakeholder groups emerged. The twelve thoughts receiving the highest scores included many soft skills and traits such as respect, problem solving, perseverance, critical thinking skills and work ethic.  

Question: What do you value most about Walla Walla Public Schools and what can we do better to prepare our students for the challenges and opportunities of the future?

Please click on the link to join the exchange and share your input:. 

Learn more about ThoughtExchange - https://www.wwps.org/thoughtexchange

“District leaders will begin to synthesize this feedback in late fall and then work on developing and refining a draft plan by winter,” said Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith. “The district’s work will conclude in spring 2023 after the school board and district leadership team have operationalized and finalized the plan in preparation for a 2023-24 school year implementation.”

Visit the district’s Strategic Planning website to learn more: https://www.wwps.org/strategicplan