In the midst of economic hard times, the enthusiasm of students, efforts of a committee and generosity of a corporate group came together to fund new uniforms for Weston Middle School students.
The primary drive came from two students, Holly Hill and Riley Faircloth, now seniors at Weston-McEwen High School, who in spring 2009 wanted to change their mascot and school colors.
Since Athena and Weston school districts united in the early 1970s, WMS had been the Panthers, said John Bartron, WMS math and PE teacher and athletic director.
Comparable-sized middle schools with whom WMS competes share the same colors and mascots as their respective high schools and often are on the same campus, John said. However, Weston-McEwen High School is in Athena and WMS is in Weston.
Student lobbyists Holly and Riley circulated petitions at the middle school, which were presented in fall 2010 as a resolution to make the change, which the school board approved.
"Of course all the students wanted to immediately know when we would be getting our uniforms. I just laughed. Changing out uniforms is usually done on a seven-year rotation ... one sport at a time," John said.
The district subsequently experienced very lean times financially, finding itself no longer with a budget to address a stitch of the uniforms.
Up stepped the TigerScot Pride Committee, which took on the need for new uniforms as a fundraiser.
This past summer, it applied for a $5,500 grant through Wildhorse Foundation (which serves on behalf of the Wildhorse Resort & Casino and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation).
The committee projected uniforms would cost in the $7,000 range, John said.
"Our grant proposal was accepted. The Foundation grant, along with monies from our parent group at the school and school district were used to purchase new football, volleyball and basketball uniforms (both boys and girls) in red, black and white." And the main gym received new protective red and black mats. The total came to just over $7,200.
Students and the committee followed up on a promise made in their grant proposal to Wildhorse Foundation that they would put on a style review to model all the new gear and did so at the school's recent annual talent show.
Joanna is now responsible for the Adopt-A-Bird program, which they want to more actively promote.
"Looking for a unique, one-of-a kind gift? Instead of purchasing a partridge in a pear tree, how about a peacock in a pine tree or a majestic Mandarin meandering in a pond?" Joanna said.
The Adopt-A-Bird program ensures quality care for the birds that are visited annually by thousands of visitors.
Adoptions at the $25 level yield a personalized adoption certificate, fact sheet with information about their bird and a "Supporter of Pioneer Park Aviary" decal.
Adopters at the $1,000 level will receive a personalized adoption certificate for all the birds in a specific pheasant enclosure; an informational fact sheet on the pheasant species; a "Supporter of Pioneer Park Aviary" decal; a special personalized nameplate on the pheasant enclosure; and invitations to all Aviary special events.
For more details on giving, see pioneerparkaviary.com to adopt a Pioneer Park Aviary bird. Donations are tax-deductible, Joanna said. For more information call 509-527-4403.
Walla Walla High School Speech and Debate Team attended the Whitman High School Debate Tournament at Whitman College in November. Twenty-four students from Wa-Hi competed in a variety of events.
"The Whitman Tournament continues to be one of the most prestigious tournaments in the United States, with more than 50 schools and 500 students attending," said Jean Tobin, Wa-Hi Speech and Debate Team coach. It is a qualifying tournament for the Debate Tournament of Champions, an honor reserved for a select number of tournaments.
In Wa-Hi's fourth year at the tournament, students had their best showing yet with third place in individual events and a tie for eighth overall, out of the 52 schools attending.
In individual events, Wa-Hi had students in almost every finals round.
Senior Division: Marisol Beck, senior, third in editorial commentary, presenting a speech on "women in binders"; Anna Apostolidis, sophomore, first in expository, presenting on the development of the English language; Rosa Tobin, senior, fifth in impromptu; Kera Parsons, senior, third place interpretive reading, selections on the theme of control.
Junior Division: Kate Kuhlmann, sophomore, fourth in expository, presenting a speech on communism; new team member Ricky Entrop, sophomore, made it to the finals and earned fifth in expository, presenting a speech on coffee; Emma Gregoire, sophomore second in oratory, discussing the issue of hatred; Anna, fifth in humorous interpretation, Shakespeare abridged; Emily Prull, sophomore, first in impromptu; Ben Parsons, first in interpretive reading, selections on the theme of families.
SDLqI am proud of all our students, but I am especially pleased that Walla Walla High School finally had students 'break out' of the general competition into the out rounds of Public Forum Debate and Lincoln-Douglas. The past three years, despite strong performances, we have never had competitors from Wa-Hi break out in these forms of debate at this tournament. It is a great way to start off our year," said their coach, Jean Tobin.
In Congressional Debate: Jennifer Cho, sophomore, fifth in Junior and her second year receiving an award in congressional debate at Whitman; Anna, Junior finalist; Marisol, finalist Championship Congress.
Students in the congressional category debate on up to 30 different topics for the first half of the year and then another 30 the last half of the year. At this tournament topics included a 20 percent flat tax and voter identification laws.
In Public Forum students debated the November topic, "Resolved: United States foreign policy in the Middle East undermines our National Security." Malcolm Gabbard/Emily Prull, sophomores, Intermediate Octa-Finals; Ben Parsons/Gerrod Peck, sophomores, Intermediate Octa-Finals.
This was Gerrod's first time and he debated up a division to compete in Intermediate. Emily, Intermediate Top Speaker in Public Forum.
Whitman College student and former debater Lydia Kautsky was helpful as an assistant coach and volunteer in helping prepare Wa-Hi Public Forum debaters for this tournament, Jean said.
Lincoln-Douglas students debate the November/December topic: "Resolved The United States ought to guarantee Universal Health Care to its citizens." Kendall Dunovant, senior, made the senior quarter-finals. By placing in the top eight at this tournament in the senior division makes Kendall one of the top Lincoln-Douglas debaters in the state of Washington, Jean said.
Additionally, Bryan Preston and Sean Hamilton competed in Policy Debate, an extremely competitive and difficult form in which Wa-Hi has never before participated and earned a 3-3 record.
They were coached by Adam McKibbon of Whitman College, who volunteered his time to help after Bryan expressed an interest in participating in this form of debate.
"We are lucky to have amazing parent support," Jean said. Annie Capestany, Nancy Forstheofel and Paul Apostolidis helped the team during the tournament by judging and chaperoning.
The Debate Team hosted a district tournament earlier this month at Green Park Elementary School, Jean added.
This one went very well and they enjoyed great parent and community support including Damien Sinnott with Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce, George Burgess from Walla Walla Community College, who helped judge. Judging and food also came from parents Keven Peck, Kristi Entrop, Katie Christianson, Annie Capestany, Martin Telstad and Kami Kuhlmann, Jennifer Northam, Bruce Cole, Heidi Brigham, Nancy Forsthoefel, Mary Bialozor, Christian Cosma, Lucy and Norrie Gregoire and Vanessa Prull.
Wa-Hi placed first overall and first in individual events and second to Pasco in debate.
In individual events, open oratory, Emma Gregoire earned first, Marisol Beck tied for second; Open Extemp, Emily Prull first, Malcolm Gabbard second, Bryan Preston, third; Open Expos, Kate Kuhlmann second, Hope Grant-Herriot third
Novice Expos, Ricky Entrop, first; Open H.I., Anna Apostolidis-Morefield, first; Novice H.I., Gerrod Peck second
Open Duo, Hope/Kurt Funk, third; Open Impromptu, Bryan Preston, first, Emily Prull, second, Kendall Dunovant, third; Novice Impromptu, Mattie Bialozor, third; Open Interpretive Reading, Ben Parsons second, Kera Parsons third
Novice Interpretive Reading, Cora Cole, first; Open Ed Com., Marisol Beck, first; Novice Ed Com., Ben Northam second; Open Tall Tales, Ben Parson second, Hope Grant-Herriot, third; Novice Tall Tales, Gerrod Peck first, Ricky Entrop, third.
In debate, Open SPAR, Kera Parsons first; Novice SPAR, Gerrod Peck, second. SPAR is a humorous form of impromptu debate where students have a minute to prepare speeches on topics such as "My mother is scarier than a zombie."
Open Public Forum, Bryan Preston and Sean Hamilton, first, Malcolm Gabbard and Emily Prull second. The December topic was, Resolved, The U.S. government should prioritize tax increases over spending cuts.
Open Lincoln Debate, Kendall Dunovant, third; Novice LD, Mattie Bialozor, second. LD debaters continued to debate whether or not the U.S. should guarantee universal healthcare for its citizens.
Open Congress, Emma Gregorie, second, Emily Prull third; Novice Congress, Mary Adamski, third
Wa-Hi's next tournament will be the second weekend in January at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. They will be working over the winter break to prepare for the all-new debate topics.
Two young Walla Walla women are serving as student ambassadors for the Washington State University College of Nursing in Spokane.
The recent appointments of Walla Walla High School graduates Olivia Newhouse and Sarah Hicks runs through their anticipated graduation in May 2014, according to Sarah's mom, Kay Hicks. They were interviewed from a pool of 40 candicates and two of the five ambassadors chosen.
A student for three years on the WSU Pullman campus, Olivia transferred to the nursing campus in August. While at Pullman, she was on the Crimson Girl's Dance Team. She's the daughter of Lou Holm and Frank Newhouse of Walla Walla.
A four-year WSU swim team member, Sarah graduated from the Pullman campus in May with a major in foreign languages/Spanish and a minor in human development. Her parents are Kay and Rod Hicks, also of Walla Walla.
As goodwill ambassadors, Sarah and Olivia support the College of Nursing mission provide a friendly, comfortable atmosphere for invited guests at activities, college tours and events.
They also promote continued high academic standards, challenge negative attitudes and comments with positive solutions for the goodwill of the college, student body and campus.
They aid the college in alumni and donor relations, fundraising efforts, student recruitment and public relations/communications efforts.
In less than half an hour, five Pheasants Forever members displaced enough dirt to bury a 500-gallon guzzler tub at a Woodward Canyon site, said PF member Larry Boe.
Members Randy Snyder, Doug McKay, Carl Bisgard, Jim Sonne, PF president, and Gary Benson ran the shovels to get 'er done on Dec. 1
Meanwhile, Jan Benson and Larry planted 30 Woods' rose bushes to replace rodent-killed shrubs. Later in December, they'll put in the remaining 100 or so roses at sites and install the guzzler water-collecting apron.
Want to help out? Contact Larry at email@example.com .
Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or afternoons at 526-8313.