Give students resources they need


This summer there was a proposal on the ballot for an aquatic center to be constructed in Walla Walla. It was rejected by the people of our town for the same reasons as before: The classic, “It doesn’t affect me, so why should I pay?” or the idea that it was too costly especially for seniors who don’t think they will benefit from it.

Feb. 12 voters will decide whether to approve the funding of the Walla Walla High School modernization bond, where the money goes to improving our town’s public high school.

Once again, this proposal is similarly for kids, and only certain people are impacted. Once again, property owners will have to pay a property tax increase. And once again, this may be met with the same apathy, and the same lack of forward thinking. But this time something has to change!

It has been said the greatest gift you can give a child is the gift of an education. More specifically, a good education, the chance to achieve something great, and to learn all that a student can.

Wa-Hi is doing its best to live up to these expectations, but how can it keep up when the school doesn’t have the resources it needs? Many science labs are unable to be performed due to lack of equipment, space, and safety. With over 1,800 students, there are nowhere near enough computers to go around. Whether we like it or not, we are now in the technology age. We need to modernize the 50-year-old school.

While we are bringing the students up to standard, we might as well bring the school up to quality. The classrooms at Wa-Hi have no air conditioning. As an eighth grader at Garrison Middl School, I can speak from experience about the unregulated temperatures at school, with a burning-hot gym, and a cold science room. Most adults wouldn’t tolerate that in a workplace, so we shouldn’t make our students and teachers accept it either.

And best of all, every one of those ugly portables will be gone, so our school will return to the beautiful campus it was designed to be.

Wa-Hi needs these renovations, and the only way possible is a 68 cent per $1,000 increase in property tax on the assessed value of your home. . This is an investment in the children of our future, and a contribution to the improvement of a workplace and learning facility. This is a proposal that can’t be overlooked and a plan for improvement that cannot be dismissed.

I urge you to vote “yes” for the Wa-Hi modernization bond.

Renee Heller

Walla Walla



fatherof5 says...

Nice letter, Ms. Heller. I, too, was disappointed for the kids of our community (and my own kids) when the aquatic center bond failed, but the Wa-Hi bond is significantly more impactful. Even for those who do not directly benefit from improvements at Wa-Hi will still benefit from higher educational achievements in our community and improved property values that go hand-in-hand with good schools.

Posted 7 February 2013, 6:43 p.m. Suggest removal

Iopine says...

Are you kidding me - I guess at my age I'm very suspicious but when I read this letter and then to find out it supposedly was written by an 8th grader I was amazed! Either this child should have multiple scholarships available and be going on to a college somewhere or somebody is the real reason for the world being in the shape it is today. I had to read it twice but it seems to me to be written in the 3rd person and with language that is not usually used by that age. I could be wrong but it sure is strange to read a letter like this when most students can't put out an essay this good.

It also appears that this student has experience with the high school already but stating they go to the Garrison Middle School. Very interesting?

fatherof5 - this wouldn't be your child would it?

Posted 7 February 2013, 6:52 p.m. Suggest removal

fatherof5 says...

No, she's not mine, but for once we are in full agreement. This is a pretty impressive letter for an 8th grader. (My daughter is a 7th grader at Garrison...maybe they know each other.)

Regardless of the position she is taking, it is great to see kids participating in a civic and civil dialogue.

Posted 7 February 2013, 7:42 p.m. Suggest removal

Doceo says...

Sir, you are indeed wrong. Renee Heller is an 8th grade student at Garrison. I have had the pleasure of knowing her family for several years. She has a brother who recently graduated from Walla Walla High School which accounts for her familiarity with the school. I assure you that there is nothing nefarious regarding her letter. She serves as a fine example of a Walla Walla Public School student and there are many like her. She and many others will benefit from a modernized high school.

Posted 7 February 2013, 9:29 p.m. Suggest removal

fatherof5 says...

I see that I misread your comment, namvet. You weren't just pointing out how impressive her writing was for an 8th grader, you were accusing her of not writing it. That's too bad. Thanks for clarifying, Doceo.

Posted 8 February 2013, 8:02 a.m. Suggest removal

Iopine says...

Well I guess if they are gaining this education now it wouldn't hurt anybody to hold off for a couple of years while the economy settles down? :)

Posted 8 February 2013, 6:19 a.m. Suggest removal

fatherof5 says...

Will Renee's great writing abilities make up for a lack of lab experiences when she is applying to top colleges in four years and competing against students who have had the opportunity to take more advanced science classes?

Posted 8 February 2013, 8:08 a.m. Suggest removal

Iopine says...

Mister, you are really reaching now!

Posted 8 February 2013, 6 p.m. Suggest removal

fatherof5 says...

My eldest daughter is applying for colleges now. I can assure you that the best colleges look at what kind of classes the students have taken, particularly AP classes. The AP Chemistry program at Wa-Hi could be so much better with proper facilities. It is debatable whether or not it even passes AP muster as it is. Colleges look at this. They also track their own students' rate of success and form opinions about how well students from certain high schools perform. This informs enrollment decisions of higher end colleges. A limited science curriculum disadvantages our kids. This is reality, not a reach.

Posted 8 February 2013, 7:50 p.m. Suggest removal

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