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Congratulations to the GO BLUE Students of the Month for October!

GO BLUE Student of the Month is a way to recognize students who have shown the Blue Devil values of Grit, Ownership, Belonging, Lifelong Learning, Understanding and/or Engagement. Students are nominated by school staff members.

This month, the focus is on students who demonstrate Grit; defined as Blue Devils are determined to be successful in all areas of their lives.

122 students were nominated by staff for exhibiting this trait. Two students from each grade level were then selected as October Students of the Month.

Mr. Schumacher met with these students and highlighted the reasons why the nominating teacher selected them. He adds, “These students were recognized for demonstrating Grit. These individuals demonstrate passion and perseverance towards being successful learners both in and out of the classroom.” Each student was presented a certificate and a GO BLUE t-shirt to celebrate their efforts.

Below are reasons these students were chosen.

Aaliyah Cardenas was acknowledged by Mrs. Meliah for keeping on track with her schoolwork while on a trip. She said, "Aaliyah did a great job of keeping up on the work, emailing me her answers, and not skipping a beat when she came back to class. I appreciate her willingness to take responsibility for her education when she was gone."

Rihanna Vieyra was nominated by Melanie Medina. “Rihanna has shown grit so many times in Geometry this month and this year; if she first doesn’t succeed, she is always the first one to come in to improve her quiz or test scores. She is thorough, dedicated, and has a positive attitude through all the ups and downs of math class!”

Yareli Santana Contreras was cited by Mrs. Hein who wrote, “It is Soo nice to see you asking more questions and just showing that you can do ANYTHING when you put your mind to it! Hard work pays off!” Mrs. Mouat nominated Yareli for working hard to catch up. “I’m really proud of her for showing such grit and determination and I’m so glad she’s part of our second period class because I know that she’s a role model for others.”

Emi Harris was nominated by teacher Mina Meyer who said, “Emi started the year strong-she’s tackled even the trickiest concepts with persistence and tenacity, refusing to accept anything less than mastery. She continues to demonstrate relentless dedication to her education. She is an excellent role model, and a delight to have in class”

Josiah James was recognized by Keith Michels siting “He showed a high level of accountability by being willing to come into school after class to complete his missing assessments. He also contributes insightful comments in classroom discussions. I sure appreciate his positive presence every day.”

Chloe Busch was noted by Ms. Mouat because, “Her insight into the texts, her commitment during the test prep sessions, her camaraderie with her peers all reflect rigor and a determination to succeed. She is a student who exemplifies grit and mettle and I’m so delighted to get to have her in class again.”

Sativah Pastor O’Neel was nominated by Amy Reed. She appreciates that “Sativah shows GRIT through her willingness to improve her overall performance. She may not always want to do it, but she prevails none the less. It’s inspiring to see her lean into the hard work and achieve her goal. Sativah demonstrates GRIT consistently, and I know this quality in her will serve her well in life.”

Rosilyn Duckworth was selected by JROTC instructor Marrero. “Ms. Duckworth has gone above and beyond as the logistics officer ensuring cadets have been issued their uniforms and are prepared for their monthly uniform inspections. She is motivated, dedicated to the program, and takes initiative to make thing better.”

You can find the link for a list of all the October nominees here.

On November 19, 2022, five Walla Walla High School JROTC cadets attended the Military Appreciation Football game at Eastern Washington University (EWU). Upon arrival to the campus, cadets were given a tour of their Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Program, their facilities, and the campus. LTC Van Meter, Professor of Military Science, and MSG Cantu, Senior Non-Commissioned Officer, personally spent time with the cadets to speak about the ROTC program and why they should attend EWU. After the visit, Kaden Kerr stated, “This campus tour really made up my mind about applying for an ROTC Scholarship at EWU. I am really excited about attending college.”

Cadets were honored to attend as local veterans were recognized and surprised by the Air Force flyover of a refueling aircraft at approximately 500 feet above the stadium. An ROTC tradition at home games was the firing of their canon every time the home team scored. Josiah James got to fire the canon two times during the game. “That was really cool to fire off their canon,” said Josiah.

Anthony Marrero
Walla Walla H.S.

Congratulations to Mozea Havens, violin, on her acceptance into the 2023 Washington Music Educators Association All-State Orchestra, & Ember Richardson, cell,o on her acceptance into the 2023 National Association for Music Education's All-NW Orchestra. 

This is the result of years of hard work and many hours of practice.
They'll be participating in these honor ensembles in Bellevue on February 16-19, along with other musicians across the state and Northwest. 

Congratulate them when you see them!

Congratulations to the GO BLUE Students of the Month for September!

GO BLUE Student of the Month is a way to recognize students who have shown the Blue Devil values of Grit, Ownership, Belonging, Lifelong Learning, Understanding and/or Engagement. Students are nominated by school staff.

This month, 110 students were nominated as GO BLUE students. Two students from each grade level were then selected as September Students of the Month. Principal Mr. Schumacher recognized the students for the exceptional examples they provide as model students, and presented them with a certificate and a GO BLUE t-shirt.

Below are reasons they were chosen.

Ellee Rhodes was nominated by Mrs. Payne for her creative work on a design project in class. She said, "Ellie is focused, mature, kind, pleasant and a great role model."

Eli Bona was nominated by two of his teachers. Mr. Magnaghi appreciated Eli’s “hard work and dedication to learning!” Mr. Martin said, “It is always a pleasure to have polite and respectful students like Eli.”

Emilee Barnes was nominated by Mrs. Hein who wrote in part, “You brighten up 6th period every day! I love your positive “can-do” attitude and energy that you bring to class.” Mrs. Higgins also nominates Emilee and said, “Emilee is determined to be successful and puts a lot of effort in her schoolwork.”

Hayden Bayne was nominated by teacher Angela Sallee who said, “Hayden continually puts forth his best effort in class. He is the first to do anything. He is first to help, participate, apologize, and celebrate.”

Alana Betts was singled out by teacher Amy Reed who wrote that Alana “is a student leader through her display of inquiry and the way in which she expresses genuine curiosity.” Mr. Heezen said Alana is “Outgoing and a wonderful student to have in class!”

Tova Hensley was noted by Mr. Martin because, “This year she has made attendance an area of focus, and has not missed a day.” Jen Mouat said, “I’m continually impressed with her grit and determination.”

Abigayle Hedges was twice nominated. Mr. McHie said, “Her willingness to help others in class is very much appreciated. She takes care of others before herself." Another staff member, Mrs. Cassetto said, “She has taken initiative to communicate with students and teachers and goes out of her way to offer help to others.”

Jordan Mann was selected by teacher Sarah Moore. “Jordan is always on task, works hard, and one of the most kind, gentle, and helpful person I’ve ever met.”

You can find the link for a list of all the September nominees here.

Walla Walla High School’s JROTC Sporter Rifle Team claimed the Washington State CMP Championship title in a match held at the Spokane Rifle Club this weekend. Eleven shooters from the program competed in the match that consisted of 20 shots from the prone position, 20 shots from the standing position and 20 shots from the kneeling position for a total of 600 points possible for each shooter.

The match has the potential to qualify the Blue Devils for the CMP Western Regional Championship in Salt Lake City, Utah this April. The highest scoring teams and individuals will receive invitations to the regional match, where teams will compete for qualifying spots to advance to the national level in July.

In the Sporter Class, sophomore Cadet Sergeant Saphira Rynaski turned the highest score for WAHI’s team, capturing the state championship title with a 517, a single point ahead fellow teammates Cadet Corporal Isabel Dalan, Cadet First Sergeant Chanze Martz and Cadet Lieutenant Aviella Wilson who all finished on a 516. The team, which included Cadet Command Sergeant Major Gerardo Soto who finished the day at 499, produced a team score of 2048, taking first place in the state over the sporter team from Puyallup, WA by over 300 points.

“This is the second match in a row that Rynaski has emerged as our highest sporter class shooter” commented Rifle Team Captain Ben Nelson on Saturday after scores were posted “She has really been on a roll so far this year.”

WAHI’s Precision Class team took home bronze with a score of 2240, six points behind Spokane Rifle Club’s Gold Team. Puyallup’s Sabertooth Squad won the Precision Class team event for the state with a 2285. The scoring team, consisting of Nelson as well as Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Kaden Kerr, Cadet Captain Raquelle Justice and Cadet Lieutenant Micah Vawter completed the 60 shot course with Kerr producing the team’s highest score at 568 and Justice a point behind with a 567.

“It has been several years since a WAHI marksman has captured the state sporter class title.” Said Blue Devil Rifle Team Coach Mark Mebes “This is a real accomplishment for this young shooter and for this team. It will likely qualify them for the regional match in Utah.

The Blue Devils begin training this week for a trio of matches in early December in Spokane which include Washington State Junior Olympics and a Cascade Mountain League JROTC Rifle Match.

Photo gallery below:
#1 Cadet Captain Ben Nelson
#2 Cadet Captain Raquelle Justice
#3 Cadet First Sergeant Chanze Martz
#4 Cadet Lieutenant Angela Lindsey
#5 Cadet Lieutenant Aviella Wilson
#6 Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Kaden Kerr
#7 Cadet Lieutenant Micah Vawter
Cover Photo: Cadet Sergeant Saphira Rynaski

WALLA WALLA - District officials are pleased to announce that the Traffic Safety Program will be returning as a class offered at Walla Walla High School. The semester long course will include Financial Education & Traffic Safety, and will fulfill a .5 general elective or occupational education credit. This course will be available, at no cost, during the school year to any active student of Walla Walla Public Schools. A condensed summer offering will also be available for students/families, with first priority given to WWPS students, but also available to non-district students for a fee.

“We are so thankful that our School Board has stepped up to prioritize this critical opportunity for our students and their families,” states Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith. “Parents and students alike have shared how important financial literacy and access to driver’s education is. This initiative is just one more example of our board leaning into the work of removing barriers for families and ensuring students graduate high school with the essential skills and knowledge for lifelong success.”

The district anticipates the course will be offered both semesters, in addition to the summer option, on an ongoing basis. The course will be offered both Zero and 1st Period on the Walla Walla High School campus beginning second semester this school year. During the first half of the semester, students will learn important financial education topics such as income, benefits, taxes and budgeting. During the second half of the semester, students will complete the Traffic Safety portion of the course, which includes 30 hours of Traffic Safety Education, 6 hours of scheduled drives, 4 hours of observations, and 12 hours of home-driving practice. This experience will fulfill all of the state requirements necessary to schedule an official Department of Licensing drive test and earn a license.

To be eligible to sign up for the course, students must be at least 15 years old and have obtained a learner’s permit from the DOL by April 10, when the Traffic Safety portion of the class begins.

Additional information about the program and registration for spring semester can be found here: https://www.wahibluedevils.org/c-p/courses/traffic-safety-and-financial-literacy

Families are encouraged to register for spring semester by Friday, December 16.
Mark Higgins
Walla Walla Public Schools
Director of Communications and Community Relations

Wa-Hi Girls Swim team competed at the District swim meet held Oct 28 - Oct 29 at Gaither Pool in Kelso, WA.

Alana Miller (Wa-Hi senior) qualified for 3A state in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke by having the top time in both events. She is the lone Wa-Hi swimmer to advance in an individual event.

Wa-Hi 400 free relay team, composed of Ellie Isenhower (Wa-Hi freshman), Alana Miller (Wa-Hi senior and team captain), Emily Meliah (Wa-Hi freshman), Abi Guest (Wa-Hi sophomore), Audra Zanes (Wa-Hi Senior and team captain), and Lani Nunez (WA-Hi sophomore), placed second at the district level, also qualifying for state.

Also at districts, Emily Meliah placed 3rd in the 100 free and 4th in the 50 free, and Eliana Isenhower placed 3rd in the 200 IM, and 6th in the 100 breaststroke.  

WaHi girls won the district meet outright for the first time (we can find) in the history of the program. That’s pretty amazing !

The state meet will be held November 11-12 at King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, WA.

85 high school Junior ROTC marksmen representing 13 rifle teams from Washington and Oregon met on Saturday, November 5 in Lebanon, Oregon for the first Cascade Mountain League JROTC Drill Meet Rifle Match of the 2022-23 season. The high school marksmen filled 5 relays at Lebanon High School to test their marksmanship skills in the first of 5 contests that the Cascade Mountain League conference will hold this season. Shooters competed in 3 position rifle matches consisting of 20 record shots in the prone, standing and kneeling positions.

In the sporter class, sophomore Cadet Sergeant Saphira Rynaski fired the Blue Devil’s highest score with a 530 out of 600, taking the gold medal in the Open Class and firing a new personal record. Leading WAHI’s sporter team to a 2nd place finish was WAHI’s second highest scorer, Cadet Command Sergeant Major Gerardo Soto taking the silver medal in the Expert Class with a 519 followed closely by teammate Cadet Lieutenant Aviella Wilson who took bronze behind a 518. The Blue Devil Sporter team was rounded out by Cadet First Sergeant Chanze Martz finishing on a 504, for a silver medal in the Sharpshooter Class and Cadet Master Sergeant Clayton Johnson who claimed silver in the Open Class with a 498. The team finished the day with a total of 2038 points out of 2400, only 18 points behind the winning team from Lebanon High School.

“These are the highest sporter class scores that we have started the season with in a long time.” Said WAHI Rifle Coach Mark Mebes on Saturday after the match “Wilson and Soto both have national match experience that they are bringing back this season. It will be exciting to see how far we can take this team over the next 9 months.”

In the Precision Class, Walla Walla marksman Cadet Captain Tristan Scott claimed gold with a final score of 573, followed close behind by Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Kaden Kerr with a 568 to take home the silver.

At the conclusion of the day, Walla Walla’s Precision Team took first place over the team from Salem, Oregon, 2242 to 2015. WAHI’s precision team included Scott and Kerr, as well as Cadet Major Maximus Malone and Cadet Captain Raquelle Justice.

“We shot a fairly solid score today” Said rifle team captain Cadet Captain Benjamin Nelson “We have only been working on our prone and kneeling positions for about a week, so I expect to see scores rise dramatically over the next month.”

Walla Walla’s Rifle Teams return home this week to begin training for the Washington State CMP Championships to be held in Spokane on Saturday.