Wa-Hi debate students place at UPS tournament


Two dozen Walla Walla High School students competed at the University of Puget Sound Debate Tournament in Tacoma on Jan. 12-13.

“Most of the top teams in the state compete at this tournament, so, while I had hopes that some of our students would do well individually, I did not anticipate our team receiving a team award,” said their coach, Jean Tobin.

In public forum debate, where partners debate and the topic changes every month, four Wa-Hi teams tackled the resolution “On balance, the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission harms the election process.”

Three of the teams “broke out” into elimination rounds, Jean said. In junior division, sophomores Gerrod Peck and Ben Parsons made it to quarter-finals; and seniors Kera Parson and Julia Cosma and sophomores Malcolm Gabbard and Emily Prull made it to senior division quarter-finals, ranking them as two of the top eight public forum teams in the state.

Wa-Hi sent more students into the final junior super congress round four in congressional debate than any other high school in the state.

These students teamed up to research both sides of more than 25 bills so that they would have speeches ready. Their diligence, as well as the hard work of assistant coach and parent volunteer Annie Capestany paid off, Jean said.

Making it to super congress were sophomores Anna Apostolidis, third and top presiding officer; Emma Gregoire, seventh; Kate Kuhlmann, ninth; and Mary Adamski, 10th. In the senior division, senior Marisol Beck, Wa-Hi’s only congressional participant, advanced to senior super congress.

Wa-Hi also had a strong performance in individual events:

In senior division oratory, Marisol placed fourth with a speech on secrets and “coming out,” and Emma placed fifth with a speech on hatred.

In senior division expository, Anna placed second with a speech on the evolution of the English language. In junior division expository, sophomore Ricky Entrop placed sixth with a speech on coffee.

In junior division interpretive reading Cora Cole placed second with reading on death.

Junior Kendall Dunovant ranked 16th out of 68 competitors in senior impromptu speaking. And Jordyn Englander ranked 16th out of 52 competitors in junior impromptu speaking.

Students and coaches also received support at the tournament from parents Carl and Katie Christianson and Vanessa Prull .

The team’s most recent event was a district tournament Saturday in Moses Lake.

Members of the Walla Walla Valley Quilt Guild are piecing together their first-ever quilting seminar/workshop, said Barbara L. Larson, secretary.

Quilting Basics will be from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 12 in the group’s regular meeting space, the Blue Mountain Community Church Fellowship Hall, 938 Sturm Ave.

Everyone who enjoys quilts, from beginners to experienced quilters are welcome to attend, Barbara said.

Members will present demonstrations of various skills and techniques. Participants will be encouraged to move freely through the room to observe and learn in their areas of interest or need and finished quilts will be displayed.

While members participate in the annual September Quilt Festival at the Walla Walla Fairgrounds, the Walla Walla Valley Quilt Guild is a separate entity from the Walla Walla Quilt Festival Committee, Barbara said.

“Our Guild is about service, as well as awareness and appreciation of quilts and education of quilters in our area. Presenting workshops such as this Quilting Basics program is part of our education effort.”

The Guild serves the larger community through ongoing projects such as providing the First Steps and DDD programs with baby quilts.

“House” quilts are made to say ‘welcome home’ to area Habitat for Humanity families. The Women’s Shelter has benefitted from 30 bed quilts and tote bags in which to deliver personal toiletries for individuals there. Other special projects include supporting a sewing program at the Washington State Penitentiary and donating boxes of fabric and other sewing supplies needed there.

Focusing its meetings on business, learning and fun, the Guild meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m., but at 6 p.m. in July and December.

Educational presentations at meetings might be a member showing a technique or some new find, or it may be a guest speaker brought in to demonstrate or lecture. “We have had travelogues on quilting tours to Europe, pictures taken at national quilt shows, even a nicely done effort by one of our members to annual quilt show in Sisters, Ore.

During their Show and Share time members exhibit quilts they made, describe their apprehensions and triumphs in completing their projects and elicit ooohs and ahhhhs over their choices in color, pattern, unique design, and the joy of a completed project, Barbara said.

They hold Sew-In meetings one Saturday and one Sunday each month where members and their friends can bring their sewing machines and sew on whatever they want to make progress that day.

Whether hand- or machine-sewn, items they make are up to the individuals, their interests, talents and artistic approaches.

Jess Berry, currently the guild’s sole male, has won multiple ribbons for his needle-turned applique quilts, all done by hand. He has taken best of show awards around the Northwest. A couple of the members are artists-turned-quilters who do art quilts and challenging designs.

“It is always fun to see what they will bring to Guild.” They have a designer or two who create blocks with a computer quilt design program.

In their midst, there are quilting teachers, quilt store owners and those who quilt for others, Barbara said.

Some have published quilt patterns and have been published in national quilt magazines. A few belong to other quilt groups and bring to the Guild lessons they have learned there. “We are a busy group. And, we are having fun,” she said.

Barbara, who serves on the 2013 guild executive committee as secretary and member directory, shares duties with Candy Graves, president; Lianne Schellenberg, vice president; and Sherry Moran, treasurer. Additionally, Sherry and Jessica Murff manage website technology and regular Facebook posts.

From working members to the retired there are 72 members of whom 35-45 members making meetings, depending on the weather and season. The quilters range from 20-something to nearly 90. In fact their most senior member recently completed a quilt she had worked on for 40 years.

“We even have had grandmothers bring their granddaughters to show quilts that they have made. Usually those girls are 10-14. My 7-year-old and 5-year-old granddaughters were so excited to come share a little doll quilt they made themselves while here with me for a week,” Barbara said.

Find out more about the group online at wwvqg.com, “like” them on Facebook or write 644 Plaza Way, P.O. Box 328, Walla Walla, WA 99362-4325

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


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