cheering kids

WA-Hi Journal goes online

Have you been missing the WA-Hi Journal and its 4 times per year publication? Well, good news....its back but in a new format. In the past, the WA-Hi Journal published a minimum of 4 issues per year at a cost of $600 plus per issue. However, many students said they didn't read it or sometimes it didn't even get handed out to them.

In the fall, the WA-Hi Journal class began exploring other options for getting the news out to students. They still published articles on current events on the Walla Walla High School home page but that wasn't really a great format for a newspaper. After some discussion, the class made the decision to explore online formats.

An online format for a publication has several benefits. First, it is a much more cost effective way to get information out to students. There is a yearly fee for hosting the site but it can be used to publish unlimited articles without costing more. Second, the website has the ability to host other media, such as a picture gallery and video. Finally, it allows information to be more timely. In the past, articles were written and then publish but often weeks after the activity or event happened. With an online version, we can get information out on a daily basis, thus making the articles and the publication much more relevant to the students. All of these are wins for the school.

We are excited about the opportunity to inform the students about WA-Hi and look forward to hearing what students and staff think about the new format. Check us out at and let us know what you think!


Dance like no one's watching

The dance season started at the beginning of August and they had a great season. Dance team co-captain, Aanika Swant, explains that the season began with learning routines for games and assemblies. They perform these routines at football and basketball halftime shows.

In October, the team began to learn routines for dance competitions. They compete is 2 categories….Pom and Dance. There are three qualifying competitions during the season and if the team scores at least 190 in two of the three competitions they can go to the district competition. This year the WA-Hi dance team did get a high score and qualified.

Districts was held March 9 at Pasco High School. A team must score at least a 210 at districts to qualify for state. They scored 236 to take 1st in Pom and a score of 233 to take 4th in Dance and qualify for state.

The dance team traveled to the Yakima Sundome on March 23 to compete at the state competition. They danced very well and placed 6th in Dance and 7th in Pom. Great job WA-Hi Dance Team!


Orchestra receives superior ratings at CBMEA

The WA-Hi orchestras traveled to Southridge High School to participate in the CBMEA (Columbia Basin Music Educators Association) regional large group festival on Wednesday, March 13.

Julie Woods, WA-Hi Orchestra teacher, says this about the performances. “The string orchestra performed selected movements from Peter Warlock's Capriol Suite & Vivaldi's Concerto for Strings in D Major. They were adjudicated by Dr. Edward Dixon & Adrienne Shields. The symphony orchestra performed Glinka's Overture to Ruslan & Lyudmilla & Mendelssohn's String Sinfonia No. 2 in Major. They were adjudicated by Dr. Paul Luongo & Adrienne Shields”.   

Both the string and symphony orchestra received exceptional ratings for their performances.  


Every 15 Minutes challenges students to make smart choices while driving

On Thursday, March 14 and Friday, March 15, Walla Walla High School participated in the Every 15 minutes program. This program was planned and organized by Walla Walla County Traffic Safety Coalition, law enforcement and emergency personnel and the WA-HI ASB. It was centered around the Every 15 Minutes event to bring awareness to the dangers of drunk and distracted driving.


    The main goal was to teach teenagers the severity of drunk and distracted driving by having them experience the effects of being involved in a driving accident without the “real-life” effects of having been involved in an accident. Statistics show that 37,000 people die yearly in traffic fatalities, 94% of which are preventable.


    Every 15 Minutes originally referred to the statistic where an individual dies of an alcohol related car crash every 15 minutes. Though the incidents of these crashes have been decreasing since the 80’s, it is still important to recognize how impactful they are. The program has changed to recognize that Every 15 minutes a traffic fatality occurs in the US; the most due to drinking or distracted driving of some sort.


    Wa-Hi’s Every 15 minutes program started 22 years ago with a primary focus on drinking and driving. Throughout the day students were pulled out of their classroom to represent the actual deaths of those who have died in driving accidents in Walla Walla County. The “grim reaper” came to class to get participating students while someone else read a brief obituary of the person they represented. Students had their faces painted white, dressed in a black gown and wore lanyards with information about the victim they represented. They then returned to class as a “walking dead” person and weren’t supposed to talk or participate the rest of the day.


    Student participants of the program spent a night outside of home to work on various activities including their final letters to their families explaining their deaths. They also took the time to work on a skit which was presented to the seniors on Friday to represent the aftermath of a car crash.


    Raising student awareness of making smart choices behind the wheel has dramatically decreased youth drinking and driving accidents in our area. According to Nancy McClenny-Walters, Target Zero Manager of the Walla Walla County Traffic Safety Coalition, “After years of participation in this program Walla Walla High School has had no drinking and driving related deaths during Homecoming, Prom and Graduation”.



February GO BLUE students of the month announced

Congratulations February GO BLUE students of the month! Eight students were chosen by their teachers to be February’s students of the month. These teachers believed that during the month of February these WA-Hi students provided an exceptional example of what a WA-Hi student is and should be. This is how they responded when asked why they thought they were chosen to be students of the month.



Dominic Bayer- “I like growing myself; seeing how far I can go, and bringing other people up with me.”

Daniel Flores- “I try to be an excellent student and citizen.”



Jada Hilliard - “I do a good job on my tests.”

Jessica Rasmussen - “I’m outgoing and inclusive during class activities.”



Zachary Moore: “I balance school, hobbies and work and I guess, I’m funny.”

Anthony Swanson: “I didn’t skip any classes and I had a good month.”



Zachary Arend - “I think it’s because I’m trying to be the best person I can be.”

Luis Bahena - “I’m respectful, I always get to class on time, and I’m always working hard.”


Staff members of the month were Lori Finn and Marqui Shields.


Choir competes in Regional Solo and Ensemble contest

Choir students of Wa-Hi competed in the Regional Solo and Ensemble contest at Hanford High School on February 23. Students competed against all high schools in our region. Wa-Hi choir teacher, Colleen Hatch, rehearsed with the Treble Choir and Belles Voix choir groups and coached various students along with their individual voice teachers. Each group or soloist had 10 minutes to perform but the two ensemble groups perform without a composer.  

Students can receive Excellent and Superior ratings. Peter Hoffman got a Superior Plus (I+) which is the highest rating one can get in the contest.

Other awards:

Caroline Blethen and Amanda Loney - Placed 1st in the Small Sop/Mezzo/Alto Ensemble Category

Peter Hoffman - Placed 1st in the Bass Category

Dominic Walker - Placed 2nd in the Baritone Category

Shemar Irizarry - Placed 2nd in the Tenor Category

Lydia Anderson - Placed 3rd in the Soprano Category

Belles Voix choir- Placed 3rd in the Large Sop/Mezzo/Alto Ensemble Category


FBLA members qualify for state competition

On February 8, students from WA-Hi competed at the FBLA Regional Conference in Tri Cities. Members competed in more than 70 events ranging from cyber security to social media campaigns. Competitions involved presentations, speeches, online tests, and interviews.

Twenty-two students from Wa-Hi placed in the top six in at least one event and have qualified to compete at the state competition which will be held from April 10 to 13. The annual State Business Leadership Conference for the Future Business Leaders of America will be held in Seattle.

Those who place among the top four in each event are eligible to move up to the National Leadership Conference held June 29 to July 2 in San Antonio, Texas.

Qualifying Members:

Natalie Manny

Ethan Goss

Magnus Frederickson

Dane Gomsrud

Julian Coleman-Hernandez

Hannah Peha

Nianzu Yan

Emma Jenkins

Luci Sullivan

Ellie Sieverstan

Marissa Manny

Bradley Anliker

Alicia Newcomb

Jarett Peha,

Anthony Mckerinan

Michelle Foster

Oliver Telander

Aaron Christopherson

Samir Ashford

Carolyn Bergman

Jackson Leinweber

Jordyn Helm


January GO BLUE students of the month

We would love to acknowledge the exceptional students of January. These students have exceeded expectations and impressed teachers thoroughly enough to select them. The following Blue Devils have affected the quality of life at Wa-Hi, making it easier for teachers and students. When asked why they believe they were nominated for this award, they responded with this:


9th Grade

Maxwell Wooster-

“I am pretty friendly and try to be the best student I can be.”


Nathan Feistner-

“I enjoy school and helping people.”


10th Grade

Brody Folk-

“I am helpful and enjoy going to class.”


Neliah Williams-

“I always try to help out in my classes.”


11th Grade

Keeley Hall-

“Mrs. Payne is really nice and I’ve been in her class before.”


Grace Anderson-

“I was chosen because I help others learn more.”


12th Grade

Catherine Janis-

“I am the dance choreographer for an upcoming Wahi musical and just really love being a dance director.”


Hannah Peah-

“I am working on a research project for FFA!”


The entire list of January nominees can be viewed here.

Staff Recognition: Cassie Buska, Jen Hein, and Clayton Hudiburg


December GO BLUE students of the month announced

We would love to acknowledge the exceptional students of December. These students have exceeded expectations and impressed us thoroughly. The following Blue Devils have affected the quality of life at Wa-Hi, making it easier for teachers and students. When asked why they believe they were nominated for this award, they responded with this:


9th Grade:

Meadow Fauver Ramirez-

“I try hard in class.”


Hunter Page-

“I have a positive attitude”


10th Grade:

Sergio Contreras Ortega-

“I’m a person who likes to make other people happy.”


Dezzaria Martz-

“I like to help the school out and I volunteered at the basketball game.”


11th Grade:

Dylan Ashbeck:

“Mostly just be nice to people; get work done”


Skyler Walker:

“Being nice.”


12th Grade:

Paulina Ochoa:

“I don’t really know why. But I think, well, this group really needed help so I stepped up.”


Also included was 9th grader, Clara Sharon and 12th grader, Cheyenne Smith. Congratulations!!


See all nominees here


Hair, Helm, and Utschinski Recognized

Hair, Helm, and Utschinski Recognized with All State Teams Honors


Junior Hannah Hair and Senior Noelani Helm recognized with All State Teams honors by Washington State Volleyball Coaches.

State Volleyball teams 2018

Patrick Utschinski was recognized by The News Tribune. The News Tribune says, "Powerful left tackle for the Blue Devils is one of the state's top offensive line recruits in the 2019 class, and chose WSU over offers from Oregon State, Eastern Washington and others.  4A MCC first-team pick." Link to full story

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Walla Walla High School

WAHI logoletters web800 Abbott Road
Walla Walla, WA 99362
Ph) 509-527-3020
Fx) 509-527-3034

Safety Tipline: 855-976-8772

The Walla Walla School District does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The Assistant Director of Human Resources, 364 South Park Street, Walla Walla, Washington 99362, (509) 527-3000, has been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination.