Festival accepts Pioneer students' film

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A video produced by Pioneer Middle School students Brian Mott, Malcolm Gabbard and Nate Brewer has been accepted in the documentary category by the National Film Festival for Talented Youth recently.

Their 7-minute-long video, "Black Door Art Gallery," is about a Walla Walla art gallery, located above Tallman's Drug Store, and its proprietor Gerald Matthews.

NFFTY is the largest youth film festival in the world, according to the March 4 Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review online.

This year nearly 700 films were submitted in all genres; only seven were accepted in the documentary category.

"I am amazed that in the very first year we have entered films into the NFFTY competition, these students had their film selected," said Dan Calzaretta, Pioneer Middle School Explorers and humanities teacher. "This is a longterm project that takes commitment to the subject matter, to your co-film makers, and to your vision for the film."

He said the students made documentaries last year for C-SPAN, but they didn't care for this year's topic so they searched for and found NFFTY.

"The students put in between 10 to 15 hours of work for every one minute of finished film," Dan said. "They did all the work from start to finish. This says a lot about their dedication to the project and to each other. It also shows that when we provide students with opportunities for relevant, rigorous and real-world projects they will amaze us with what they can do."

The NFFTY will be April 28-May 1 in Seattle. "Black Door Art Gallery" will be shown May 1.

Brian is the son of Mimi and Kevin Mott; Malcolm's parents are Jean Tobin and Brian Gabbard; and Nate is the son of Tanya and Bert Brewer.

For more about the film festival, see www.nffty.org.

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Exchange Club of Walla Walla Youth of the Month awards went to Walla Walla Community College Alternative Education Program seniors Edgar Diaz and Flor Miriam Castillo and Lincoln Alternative High School seniors Chelsea Humphrey and Ryan "Shorty" Heighes.

A luncheon was held in their honor. They each wrote an essay on the theme "America's youth and community service: Shining the light of volunteerism."

Their bios and essays are eligible to compete for the Exchange Club of Walla Walla Youth of the Year Awards and a special $1,000 college scholarship.

Edgar is the son of Francisco and Juanita Diaz. He enjoys painting with watercolors in his spare time. Once he graduates from AEP, he plans to pursue his degree as a registered nurse. He realized he wanted to help people while attending Garrison Middle School and set his goal to become a nurse. Through AEP, Edgar has completed more than half of the pre-requisite course requirements to apply for the WWCC nursing program, will complete his nursing assistant certificate this quarter and is doing his clinicals at Park Manor. AEP staff nominated Edgar for the Exchange Club award because of his excellent attendance in the program during his two-year enrollment and his positive influence on those around him. He says his parents helped him stay focused in school and encouraged him to surround himself with positive friends early on.

Flor is the daughter of Maria Delaluz Flores and Jose Castillo. She's been motivated to be diligent in her school work because of husband Andrew Romo and 2-year old son Giovanni. She attends school fulltime and works at Yammi Teriyaki before undertaking her roles as wife and mother. She moved to Milton-Freewater from Mexico six short years ago and dreams of becoming a fashion designer. she sketches designs during her spare time. She manages to be a solid student academically and to overcome language barriers and a delay in her education because of her pregnancy. One AEP instructor said Flor transferred late into his math class and she continues to seek extra help outside of class to catch up and already has one of the highest grades in the class. She has accomplished much because of her desire to work hard and because of the high expectations she sets for herself. One instructor said the world does not need more students like Flor but the world needs everyone to be more like Flor.

Chelsea started at Lincoln second semester of her freshman year. She passed only one class at Walla Walla High School her first semester before transferring. "We are absolutely delighted that she decided to make the change. Since being at Lincoln she has been a star. She has accumulated 44 As, 17 Bs, and only eight Cs," school staff reported. She has been involved in school activities, excelled in her classwork and has been a delight to have around. She finished her graduation requirements early and is busy applying for colleges.

Shorty started at Lincoln as a junior with four longtime friends the staff has referred to as the "rock band." Shorty stood out because of his outgoing, quirky personality, excellent academics and good interpersonal relations with students and staff. He passed all of WASL tests on his first try and has maintained a 3.3 GPA at Lincoln. He also completed most of his graduation requirements early and plans to attend WWCC this spring.

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Dayton High School sophomore Alex Naylor spent a week in early March participating in the Washington State Senate Page Program during the eighth week of the 2011 legislative session.

Students across the state can work in the Legislature through the House and Senate page programs. They run errands and deliver mail among other duties. They also spend time in the Senate Chamber and in page school learning about parliamentary procedure and the legislative process.

Sponsored by Sen. Mike Hewitt, R-Walla Walla, Alex was one of 18 pages participating.

"I enjoyed being able to page on the floor (of the Senate chamber)," Alex said in a release. "It was interesting to listen to what each senator had to say and be so close to their debates."

He is passionate about being involved in government. As a member of Youth and Government he visted the Capitol previously and was excited to return. He is a member of the Future Business Leaders of America and competes with classmates in Knowledge Bowl competitions. He is also a competitive downhill skier and plays on Dayton High School's football team. He is the son of Paul and Lisa Naylor of Dayton.

Junior high and high school students interested in the Senate Page Program may visit www.leg.wa.gov/Senate/Administration/PageProgram/.

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Cougar Henderson, a Walla Walla High School sophomore, recently served as a page in the Washington House of Representatives, the March 4 Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review reported. He was sponsored by Rep. Terry Nealey, R-Dayton. Paging presents students with a unique educational opportunity to participate in the legislative process. Their duties vary from ceremonial tasks, such as presenting the flags, to operational chores like distributing amendments during legislative sessions. Cougar is the 15-year-old son of Marne Henderson of Dayton and Tony Henderson of Walla Walla. For more about the House page program, see www.leg.wa.gov/House/Pages/HousePageProgram.aspx

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or 526-8313.
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