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Maria P. Gonzalez

Stories by Maria P.

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Voters to decide on Wa-Hi bond issue

The district wants to do a $69.6 million renovation of the school.

The district wants to do a $69.6 million renovation of the school.

Grant to help put local, fresh foods in schools

A federal grant will pay for education, outreach and locally produced food.

WALLA WALLA — Children in Walla Walla Public Schools will see more local, fresh foods in school lunches thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Spokane author in Walla Walla for book signing

WALLA WALLA — As a young woman, Victoria Thorpe followed a strict conservative and Christian upbringing, one that told her evil was perpetrated by evil people, and that something like the death penalty was justly merited when handed out.

College Place board OKs pair of school names

'College Place High School' and 'John Sager Middle School' were approved Thursday.

COLLEGE PLACE -- The College Place School Board has approved official names for its new middle and high schools.

Board eyes potential excess school bond funds

The board has not decided what to do about any leftover funds from the Wa-Hi bond, if it passes.

WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla School Board plans to hold a special meeting before Dec. 28 to decide what to do with any excess funds from a Walla Walla High School bond should the measure pass in February.

Grant helps Athena school buy iPads

ATHENA — Students at Athena Elementary will soon have new tablet computers to use for learning in classrooms.

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Plans take shape for new Davis school

The building, which has roots that date to 1906, will be demolished and a new school built.

COLLEGE PLACE -- Change is fast approaching for Davis Elementary, which will be rebuilt into a larger, modern facility starting next year thanks to a bond measure approved in April.

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Woman makes her dreams come true

Sandy Flores is the first Latina to be sworn into the bar locally.

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Grandpa’s walk through childhood polio

In the kitchen one day I caught my two boys talking about their grandfather, my stepdad.

Panel to study needs at Lincoln High School

The School Board plans to form a committee to study the district’s smaller high school in the spring.

WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla School District is looking to form a committee that will study facility needs at Lincoln High School, with the goal of making a recommendation for improvements.

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Students see how they stack up at stacking

They were joined by an expected 450,000 people across the world for the seventh-annual World Stacking Association Stack Up! day.

Funds raised, goat kissed, pies thrown ...

In other words, the Green Park Math-a-thon – the schoolwide math test pledge drive that pays for a variety of programs – was a success.

WALLA WALLA -- Green Park Elementary School Principal Mike Lambert kept his promise to kiss a goat if students reached their goal of raising $12,500 for their school.

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New home, new life for Picture Lab

Picture Lab has new digs on Main Street but hearkens to its roots, which stretch to the 1970s.

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Education, community outreach converge at Walla Walla library

Whitman READS connects college faculty with youngsters at the library.

WALLA WALLA -- There is only one mountain Bob Carson has scaled twice in his life. And between that first climb and the second, this particular mountain underwent an explosive transformation.

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School District to seek Wa-Hi bond

The total project cost would be $69.6 million if voters approve the measure in February.

WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla School Board has agreed to pursue a $48 million bond to modernize and update Walla Walla High School.

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Health center opens to serve Blue Ridge students

Parents must fill out and turn in a consent form and health information packet before their children can use the services.

WALLA WALLA -- A new school-based health center has opened at Blue Ridge Elementary.

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Teen Cuisine

In a Garrison Middle School classroom, rows of desks give way to kitchen stations with stoves, blenders, utensils and an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Grant to help promote STEM education

WALLA WALLA — A local nonprofit that brings science explorations to middle school girls has benefited from a donation from the Verizon Wireless Foundation.

Walla Walla High school plans get airing

WALLA WALLA — A small crowd gathered in the Walla Walla High School auditorium Wednesday night to hear Walla Walla Public Schools Superintendent Mick Miller review plans for updating the district’s two high schools.

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Youthful Walla Walla activist wins national acclaim

'Arthritis Today' featured Allison Wanichek, 11, an arthritis sufferer who raises funds and awareness of the ailment.

WALLA WALLA -- A local girl is being recognized by a national magazine for her work raising awareness for juvenile arthritis.

Cuts could hurt Head Start children

About 1,400 slots are predicted to be cut in Washington state, with about 32 children impacted locally.

Walla Walla man heads anti-death penalty coalition

James Robles was named leader of the group’s board. Also on the board is Walla Walla resident Dick Morgan.

Speaker: How children learn can teach us much

Andrew Meltzoff spoke at an annual luncheon for the local Early Learning Coalition.

WALLA WALLA -- Scientists are continuously learning from the rapid way children learn during the first few years of life.

Lincoln eyed for improvements

The city’s smaller public high school could be renovated or entirely replaced under a pair of proposals.

WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla School Board continues to explore facility improvements at Lincoln High School. But whether the district should remodel, rebuild, or explore other options for the city’s smaller public high school is still unclear.

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Wa-Hi bond proposal on horizon

The School Board needs to decide by next month whether to seek money for an overhaul of the school, which if approved would likely be complete by 2017.

WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla School Board is nearing making a decision on whether to seek a bond next year to upgrade Walla Walla High School.

Enrollment bounces around

Walla Walla Public Schools has seen enrollment drop so far for this school year.

WALLA WALLA — Local school districts are seeing a mixed trend of enrollment in the new school year, with some having gains after years of sliding numbers, and others having enrollment drop following years of growth.

Athena-Weston, Milton-Freewater on track to bring back valedictorians

The title, as well as that of salutatorian, hasn’t been awarded in either district in many years.

Maple Street standoff affects local schools

Students in some Walla Walla Public Schools were temporarily impacted by the standoff on Maple Street. Lincoln High School and Garrison Middle School, both in the area of the standoff, were placed on temporarily lockdown until police took control of the scene.

Wa-Hi class establishes college scholarships

College-bound students who graduate from Wa-Hi or Lincoln can apply for the scholarship, so long as they demonstrate financial need and an ability to succeed.

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Assumption lunches take a healthy turn

The school has entered a partnership with Walla Walla Community College to put healthier food on the table.

WALLA WALLA — The food arrived fresh and hot to Assumption Catholic School, made to order by culinary students from Walla Walla Community College.

Health center at Blue Ridge moves ahead

Plans call for an expansion of the offerings across town at the Health Center at Lincoln.

WALLA WALLA -- Plans are moving forward to establish a school-based health center at Blue Ridge Elementary.

WWCC again in top 10

The college, a finalist last year, has been named one of the nation's top community colleges.

WALLA WALLA -- For the second year in a row, Walla Walla Community College has been named one of the top 10 community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute. The recognition puts the college in the running for a share of $1 million in cash prizes to be awarded to the top five colleges in March.

Test results show strengths, weaknesses

The exams provide a snapshot of student achievement, but are not the only assessment.

Walla Walla area schools gain in state tests

Students are performing better than the state as a whole in several subjects.

Local students continue to make academic gains in the state assessment exams taken this spring, according to results released today by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Schools to get test results

The results will be used to set goals for improvements.

WALLA WALLA — Results from the 2012 state standards exams are due out next week, and with them will come new, more realistic goals for measuring and improving student achievement.

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Blue Ridge Elementary School fire ruled accident

WALLA WALLA — A Monday morning fire that damaged part of Blue Ridge Elementary has been ruled accidental, officials said.

Alternative ed boosted in Walla Walla

The School District is relaunching its Opportunity Program this fall.

WALLA WALLA -- Students in Walla Walla Public Schools will have another option for earning a high school diploma starting this fall.

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Cleanup continues at Walla Walla school

After a fire Monday, officials aim to open Blue Ridge on time on Sept. 4.

WALLA WALLA -- Cleanup at Blue Ridge Elementary is ongoing this week after a basement fire Monday morning near the school's kitchen that damaged part of the building and resulted in significant water and smoke damage.

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A W.I.S.E. step

The painting of a tall, sturdy tree with brilliant green leaves, emerging boldly from the earth, represents Lillian Lowery’s life and ambitions. The roots, seeped into the earth, are her foundation — her family, friends and teachers who have been her support system. The trunk then rises out of the earth and through space.

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Education: A new ball game

Children of the Walla Walla Farm Labor Homes summer program welcomed special guests Friday. Members of the Walla Walla Sweets baseball team arrived at the camp to meet with the children served by the summer camp, sign autographs, read books, and even play a quick baseball game.

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One part science, one part excitement equal success

Students took part in the second annual Hispanic Youth Exploring Engineering and Sciences camp.

Liz Ortiz and Lorena Esquivel turned to each other for support as they each assembled their Hyper Peppy robotic vehicles. The girls, both 16, read each other the directions, helped each other find and then screw in the right pieces, and waited to make sure they were on the same steps.

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Kids, adults go ape for Recess Monkey

For inspiration writing their first album, members of Recess Monkey looked no further than the rooms where they spent their days. Band mates Jack Forman, Drew Holloway and Daron Henry met as teachers at University Child Development School in Seattle.

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New road for WWCC culinary arts program

WWCC's culinary arts program carves its niche as the Wine Country Culinary Institute.

Dan Thiessen took over leadership of the culinary arts program at Walla Walla Community College with change in mind. Thiessen came to the college a year ago to lead the culinary program, which had grown from offering a few cooking classes to becoming an accredited degree program. With a newly renovated kitchen and a distinct food and wine culture in the area, Thiessen took on the job of rebranding the program.

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Walla Walla summer festival leaps into dance

The 2012 Walla Walla Summer Dance Festival will “Leap Into Dance” Saturday, starting a weeklong celebration of the art. A series of community events will culminate on July 27 with a Grand Festival Performance featuring visiting performers from Oregon, Seattle and New York City.

School update to include designs for Davis

The College Place School Board will hold a public work session Thursday at 5:30 p.m. to share the latest information and answer questions on plans to rebuild Davis Elementary. The work session will be followed by the board's regular monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Both meetings are open to the public and will be held in the district's conference room, above the Sager gym, 1755 S. College Ave.

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Music’s building blocks come to life

Musicians in the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival played to a young audience at DeSales.

If music is like the blueprints for a building, then a composer is the architect. And just like an architect, a composer builds starting with a foundation, and then adds important layers, with final touches and details to make the work unique. That was the theme of the "Sounds Like Fun!" children's concert coordinated by the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival on Thursday. Held in the DeSales Catholic High School gym, the event drew dozens of area children, and helped kick off the 2012 Chamber Music Festival. The concert, with a theme of "Construction Site: How to Build a Piece of Chamber Music," introduced children to clas

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Singers at Park Plaza, Lincoln High team up for concert

WALLA WALLA -- A love of singing has brought together two unlikely groups. Members of the Lincoln High School choir have been singing with the Park Plaza Senior Choir since earlier this year. On Wednesday, the two groups will sing as one during a concert at Walla Walla Community College's China Pavilion.

Getting kids on their feet, excited and moving to the beat of ... Zumba Day!

Elena Enriquez huddles with a group of students to select the morning's play list from her iPad.Enriquez explains after the morning workout that she typically picks the songs Blue Ridge Elementary students dance to on these special mornings. But with the

WWCC carpentry program shelved

Low enrollment and market forces will put the program on hold for a year, officials say.

WALLA WALLA -- Walla Walla Community College will suspend its carpentry program next year due to low enrollment and instability in the construction market. Each year, WWCC carpentry students learn the fundamentals of new home construction by building a ho

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Event adds up to understanding math

The everyday use of math was the focus of an enrichment opportunity for Sharpstein Elementary students and families recently. Dan Coffey, Title I specialist at Sharpstein, said the "Math with Meaning" event held the evening of Feb. 23 drew close to 80 students. The program was open to all students in kindergarten through fifth grades and their families.