ETCETERA - Sharpstein garden bears fruit for young cultivators


The folks at Sharpstein Elementary know that a garden can produce a wealth of experiences for its students, such as planting, harvesting, prepping, cooking and tasting the results of the harvest, and it can teach nutrition, math, science, history and geography.

Students reaped these benefits from the garden on school grounds, according to Beth Thiel. She and other volunteer parents and grandparents provided some of that hands-on learning.

Every class visited the garden. The kindergarteners received an introduction to the process and tasted kohlrabi, (a German turnip), and heirloom chocolate cherry tomatoes.

First-graders harvested the tomatoes and peppers they planted in the spring as kindergarteners to make a tasty salsa, Beth said in her report online at Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review. Weeks later, some students were still making salsa at home with their new recipe.

The second grade milled corn from the garden, made dough and squished that into tortillas for quesadillas. "We learned that corn comes in many colors, was first cultivated in Mexico and was originally a form of grass. The students then ground the corn, made dough, pressed dough into tortillas and volunteer grandparents made quesadillas. Everyone in the class enjoyed the tasty treat."

Some of third grade harvested and tasted carrots and others harvested lettuce seeds to keep over winter for planting in the spring, a complement to their science unit on seeds.

Fifth-graders harvested, scrubbed, cut, prepared and cooked the potatoes they planted and served them to the school. In the process, geography entered the picture when they learned the history of the potato. Also they learned about its nutritional value and healthful ways to cook it.

Fourth graders will complete the most important activity of maintaining the garden's healthy soil. They will learn the composition of healthy soil and a variety of ways to maintain healthy soils while carrying out the various methods in the garden, Beth said.

"The success and continued utilization of the school garden is dependent on volunteers and accommodating teachers," she said. Beth is thankful for important contributions of the many who helped with class activities and the fall cleanup attended by parents and students.

Sharpstein garden will hold its annual seed sale Jan. 6-13. Garden club takes place Wednesday afternoons from 1:40-2:45 p.m. starting April 18.

Sharpstein salsa

Sharpstein Elementary School students make salsa based on this recipe:

  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
  • cup onion, small dice
  • cup diced bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon diced jalapeno peppers (no seeds) (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon/lime juice
  • cup fresh, chopped cilantro
  • teaspoon salt

Mix and serve.


The competition has been fast and furious for members of the Walla Walla and Lincoln High school debate teams this fall.

Wa-Hi's first tournament was in early November with nearly 700 kids around the state in the contest, Wa-Hi coach Jean Tobin said. "The students were very successful and really did a great job representing Walla Walla," she said.

Students began preparing before school started, devoting hours to research, writing, revising and arguing. "I think this is a tribute to the hard work of all the students that competed," Jean said.

Jim Hanson, Whitman College's debate coach, provided guidance over the last two years. There is also a group of parents who've volunteered countless hours helping everyone prepare, including Annie Capestany, Heidi Brigham, Nancy Forsthoefel, Dona Dunovant, Kami Kuhlmann, Shirley McLaughlin, Katie Christianson, Joe Cooke and Carl Christianson.

The first event was the 39th annual Whitman College Debate Tournament. Walla Walla placed third in individual events out of 49 schools attending from Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Additionally, Walla Walla tied for sixth in Congressional Debate. Jean described it as among the nation's most prestigious and largest tournaments. Overall, Wa-Hi, with 26 students competing, ranked 15th based on scores in four forms of debate and nine individual events.

In individual events, Machado Mijiga and Calvin Brigham took first and second, respectively, in Senior Division Editorial Commentary. Kera Parsons took third in senior Interpretive Reading and Marisol Beck placed fourth. Hope Grant-Herriot placed second in senior Oratory. In Junior Division, Anna Apostolidis-Morefield and Ben Parsons took first and second in Expository Speaking. Emma Gregoire placed sixth in Oratory. Kate Kuhlmann was a point shy for the finals round of Expository.

In Congressional Debate, Hope Grant-Herriot and Machado Mijiga advanced to the finals round in Senior Division. In Junior Division, Maggie Herriot, Nathan Myers and Jennifer Cho advanced to the finals and Jennifer Cho placed fourth.

Additionally, in Lincoln-Douglas debate Rosa Tobin earned fourth speaker overall in senior.

Walla Walla High School's two senior L-D debaters, Rosa Tobin and Calvin Brigham had 3-3 records and were one round from breaking into the quarter final round. The Public Forum team of Julia Cosma and Kera Parsons went 3-2 in Champ Division and barely missed the quarter finals. The Novice Divison team of Malcolm Gabbard and Emily Prull also went 3-2 in Public Forum debate and were ranked 11th.

During Veterans Day weekend, the Lincoln team joined Wa-Hi for the 2011 Ike Invitational Debate Tournament at Eisenhower High School in Yakima.

The combined team walked away with first place in individual events, first in debate and first overall. Walla Walla and Lincoln students competed in 12 events.

Here's how students placed in individual events:

Oratory - Second place senior, Hope Grant-Herriot, whose oratory was on cultural stereotypes about obesity. First place novice, Emma Gregoire, who speech was about misrepresentations of home vs. hospital births. Second place novice, Tristan Moore, who discussee complications of first impressions.

Expository - First place senior, Anna Apostolidis-Morefield with a speech on national anthems. First place novice, Ben Parsons, presenting on the game "Mindcraft;" third place Kate Kuhlmann, on conspiracy theories; and fourth place Sabine Vernon, on past and present implications of the Spanish Influenza.

Editoral Commentary - First place senior, Julia Cosma; second place Machado Mijiga. Second place novice, Kurt Funk.

Dual Interpretation -Second place senior, Hope Grant-Herriot and Marisol Beck.

Humorous Interpretation - First place senior, Konor Clark; first place novice, Malcolm Gabbard.

Interpretive Reading - First place senior, Marisol Beck; second place, Kera Parsons; third place Hope Grant-Herriot. Novice, fourth place, Lupe Beck.

Impromptu Speaking - First place novice, Emily Prull; second place, Nathen Myers.

Extemporaneous Speaking - Senior, second place, Rosa Tobin; Bryan Preston placed fourth. Novice, second place, Emily Prull

Tall Tales - Senior, third place, Machado Mijiga

In Debate, Walla Walla had four of six debaters who competed in the final rounds

In the Lincoln-Douglas Debate, students argued a resolution that individuals have a moral obligation to assist those in need. Rosa Tobin and Calvin Brigham competed in the final round. Brigham took first place negating the resolution and Tobin placed second. Kendall Dunovant took third. In novice, Tristan Moore took first.

In Public Forum, students debated the resolution that direct popular vote should replace the Electoral College in presidential elections. Julia Cosma and Kera Parsons upheld the electoral vote and took first in the final round against Eisenhower debaters.

The Wa-Hi team of Bryan Preston and Sean Hamilton had the best record in Senior Public Forum debate, winning three of four preliminary rounds.

Wa-Hi also dominated in Novice Public Forum debate, with Malcolm Gabbard and Emily Prull taking second and Anna Apostolidis and Ben Parsons taking third.

In Congressional Debate students debated more than 25 legislative proposals over two months. Marisol Beck won second overall and Machado Mijiga took third in senior. Nathen Myers won second in novice. They competed Nov. 18-19 in Spokane Valley.

Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at or afternoons at 526-8313.


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