Exchange Club honors Walla Walla Youths of the Year

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Spring graduates Christopher "Chris" Neal and Emily Schueller received Exchange Club of Walla Walla Youth of the Year awards for the 2011-2012 academic year. Christopher graduated from the Alternative Education Program at Walla Walla Community College and Emily from Walla Walla High School.

They each received $1,000 college scholarships and will be entered into the district-level competition against students from throughout the Northwest. The Youth of the Year theme is "All Aboard! Today's Youth, Strengthening America One Community at a Time."

The club's selection committee included Mark Higgins, chairman; Doug Case, Kim Armentrout, Tina Bradbury, Jim Bock and Rich Eagon; and Christopher Neal from the Alternative Education Program.

The son of Michael and Terri Neal, Chris graduated with honors from the program with an associate of arts degree and his high school diploma. He plans to transfer in the fall to Eastern Washington University and work toward a bachelor's in criminal justice.

He made the president's and vice president's lists every quarter. He was an active member of the 2012 All-Washington Community College Academic Team. While in the Alternative Education Program, he was nominated for the Neil M. Palmer Outstanding Research Paper Award and accepted to the Sherwood Trust Community Leadership Program.

Emily's parents are Laura and Albert Schueller. Maintaining a 4.0 GPA, she is a National Merit Scholar recipient, and an Advanced Placement Scholar who took advanced courses in history, government, biology, physics, Spanish, calculus and literature.

A violinist since age 7, she participated in music and drama programs at Wa-Hi. She played on the school's tennis team and volunteers with Blue Mountain Humane Society by helping cats get ready for adoption at Petco. She also helps her mother organize and support the Elementary Math-a-thon contest. Emily plans to study environmental engineering to design new green technology at a university.

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According to John Lesko with Walla Walla Catholic Schools, a number of familiar faces are leaving the system this spring. The Rev. Pat Kerst is moving to St. Mary's Parish in the Spokane Valley. During his service in the Walla Walla Valley, Pat pastored all three parishes in Walla Walla and was canonical administrator for the WWCS.

Third-grade teacher at Assumption Beth Call and Cliff Olds, Spanish teacher, retired at the end of the 2011-2012 school year.

Diane Chamberlain, music teacher at Assumption, and Chris Johnson, art teacher, resigned their position at the end of the 2011-2012 school year.

"Each of these individuals has played significant roles not only for WWCS, but more importantly in the lives of many students and families in WWCS schools," John said.

John recognized Lori Wahl, HOPE chairwoman, and those who assisted her for making HOPE such a success. "As with our other major WWCS fundraiser, Sausage Fest, numerous people are needed to make such events run so efficiently and successfully. We can all be proud of these efforts and through these efforts we were able to produce not only great community events, but financially successful events as well."

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For the third time, Michael Scheel, AP European history teacher at DeSales Catholic High School, was asked to be a reader for the College Board AP European History Exam, held this year in Kansas City, Mo.

About 500 high school history teachers and college professors are selected by the College Board to be readers for this exam, said Nancy Metro, director of admissions and community relations for Walla Walla Catholic Schools, in a release.

Those who are selected once are invited back based on performance. AP readers also interact with members of the AP Development Committee responsible for revising the AP course curriculum and designing the exam.

Michael said, "After my 2010 experience I felt more prepared to teach my AP students how to write a quality essay for the exam. In fact the next year my class scored in the top third on the essay portion. Discussing teaching, achievement and assessment strategies with college professors and other high school history teachers from around the country has no doubt made me a better teacher. The experience of sharing ideas about a subject you are passionate about with other professionals is priceless."

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The Walla Walla Public School District honored this year's retirees for their years of service, dedication and efforts in helping Walla Walla children receive an outstanding education, according to an item in the Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review.

Those honored include: Ardis Dick, 22 years, Blue Ridge para-educator; Diana Erickson, eight years, district office CIA/GMS bilingual Coordinator; Jeanine Griffin, 10 years, Pioneer food service assistant; Susan Hansen, 29 years, Blue Ridge PE specialist; Maryelyn Hebel, seven years, district office CIA administrative assistant; Kristin Lee, 22 years, Sharpstein second-grade teacher; Susan Morasch, 25.5 years, Wa-Hi bookkeeper; Jill Parcells, 20 years, Green Park kitchen manager; Sue Parrish, 22 years, Garrison science teacher; Connie Pinza, 27 years, Edison para-educator; Jeanne Ruecker, 26 years, Wa-Hi counselor; Vicki Shafer, 18 years, Homelink art teacher; Elissa Stites, 30 years, Green Park fifth-grade teacher; and Mary Matau, 19 years, retiring in December 2012, Wa-Hi social studies.

Retirees received an engraved Golden Apple from the district. Certificated staff received a special poster and and classified staff also received a token of appreciation.

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The World of Business at Junior Achievement BizTown saw an influx of 70 or so Berney Elementary fifth-grade students who participated in the event in Yakima.

Teachers Laura Grant, Debbie Schade and Tammy Baker organized the trip, made possible through grant funding, the Walla Walla Public School Week in Review reported. BizTown focuses on financial principles and business, fosters work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.

Students learned about the economy, government and taxes. They opened a bank account, wrote checks and went to work for a mock business during the day-long event. They also learned how to apply for jobs, create a resume and got interview tips.

Students from Berney's three fifth-grade classes left at 6:30 a.m. and returned at 5 p.m. Twenty-four parents volunteered to help provide supervision and support.

The Walla Walla FFA chapter performed strongly at the Washington State FFA convention in Pullman. They were among 3,000 other FFA members from across the state.

In Food Science and Technology, they placed first; Veterinary Medicine, second; Agricultural Marketing sixth; F.A.R.M., seventh. First-year greenhands made the top 16 of 76 and Samantha Zuger received her state FFA degree.

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The Walla Walla FFA Chapter qualified to participate in the National FFA Food Science and Veterinary Medicine Career Development Events during the 85th National FFA convention in Indianapolis, Ind., in October. Members of the food science team include Megan Wright, first place individual, Wash. state; Peter Sirmon, third place individual; Drew Swenson fifth place individual; Allie Juergensen, sixth place individual; and Kayla Stewart.

Members of the Veterinary Medicine team include Alexis Hughes, second-place individual Wash. state; Megan Wright, seventh place individual, Ashley Ramsey, ninth place individual; Sadee Long and Addelin Chapman.

"These kids have spent countless hours after school, in the evening and on the weekends preparing for these events and their performance at State was incredible," said Lindsey Butcher.

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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