Etcetera - 10/12/10

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Raise expectations and see better results. This is the philosophy of Ralph Brown, principal at McLoughlin High School, who has set the bar high for students.

Students are capable of more than they are often given credit, he said. An example of the increasing graduation rate is the result of those raised expectations.

Mac-Hi offers a new leadership class for student leaders that is taught by Tim Hutchison and assisted by Susie Ellis.

The elective class is considered a privilege to attend, according to a press release from the Milton-Freewater School District.

Staffers refer students for the class, beginning with student body officers.

"The class goal is to train our students up to be leaders not only in the school but also in life," Tim said. "This group of kids has already made major changes to the school atmosphere and we are excited to see what they will do next.

"I am continually amazed by their creativity and work ethic."

The principal said the new emphasis on students taking a larger role in leading their classmates has already made a difference in morale at the high school. One longtime teacher said the first assembly of the year was the best in memory.

Students were enthusiastic, and are starting to show more class pride, the release said. In spirit assemblies students now sit with their class to compete for spirit recognition.

Leadership Class students suggested a "Pink Day" to raise money for local cancer causes and they organize the school blood drive for the Red Cross. They recently dove into the homecoming spirit, filling each day with themes and activities , such as Mardi Gras day, Class Colors, and Favorite Character day.

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To put students in contact with their regional heritage, Fort Walla Walla Museum encourages teachers to book field trips there.

The Museum's main visitation season concludes on Oct. 31, but it will remain open on a limited basis through December, noted the online Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review.

Admission-free, docent-led school tours in 2010 are available through funding from Boise's Wallula Mill, Blue Mountain Community Foundation, Mary Garner Esary Trust, Milton-Freewater Area Foundation and Pacific Power Foundation. Obtain more details from the Museum at 525-7703.

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WalMart presented $100 gift cards to 10 Blue Ridge Elementary School teachers being outstanding educators. The online Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review reported that those recognized for their efforts are Tina Brennan, Corey Hobbs, Kelsie Loree, Sue Hansen, Toni Lynn Steele, Brenda Kirk, Kristen Garcia, Margaret Yount, Michael Garcia and Phyllis Garanzuay.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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