Tuesday, February 5, 2013
While science rooms and heating systems at Walla Walla High School have received much attention, I’m advocating for what the bond will do for the music and drama programs.
I am a Wa-Hi alum, Music Booster president, and a parent who was born and raised here. With the passing of this bond, the music and drama programs will be brought far closer to the level of facilities they need and deserve.
As you may know, Wa-Hi’s music, drama, band and orchestra programs are run by incredibly talented teachers, whose programs are often recognized as among the best in the state. For years, these dedicated educators have benefited our students beyond measure, as well as adding to the life and culture of our community.
They and their students contribute much to the positive aspects of what it means to live here in Walla Walla. When the pep band blasts out energized music at a basketball game, or the mixed ensemble donates its time to sing at Providence St. Mary Medical Center, or the drama department puts on an unforgettable performance of “The Sound of Music,” we all benefit. These programs deserve our high praise and our high support.
It’s amazing to see them work with their current limited spaces. Since the “new” auditorium was built 20-plus years ago, these programs have grown dramatically. Did you know the drama department has no classroom, no dressing rooms and no space to design and properly store its sets? Did you know the drama, choir, band, orchestra and guitar classes share only two rehearsal rooms and one practice room?
If students can accomplish what they do within the confines of their current limited spaces, imagine what they could do with proper facilities — how much more they could learn, grow and ultimately share of their emerging talents!
It’s our role as a community to reward excellence and enhance learning, not stifle it due to limited facilities. Now is the time to return our thanks and demonstrate our appreciation. They have earned upgrades and an expansion worthy of their efforts.
We are a better place to live when our schools are properly designed not to confine the imaginations of our students, but to nurture them, and encourage more of the great work being done. This portion of the remodel represents less than 7 percent of the total cost, but will make a huge difference for these programs. Please join me in voting “yes.”