Wally Heidenson is a third-generation graduate of West Valley High School from 1972.
“I only lived a mile from the school, but I hadn’t set foot inside it since I graduated,” he said.
That has changed since Heidenson became West Valley’s boys tennis coach and a substitute teacher.
He realized that other graduates might be in the same situation.
Which is why he is part of a move to form the West Valley Alumni Association. The group will hold an all-class reunion from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday.
Students will conduct guided tours of the school.
“The school has every yearbook since 1927 except for a couple during the war,” said Heidenson. “The school is building a database of graduates and thought it would be neat (to have the reunion).”
Heidenson sees the potential for fund-raising for school needs, such as tennis court repair.
“We’re trying to get more community involvement in the school, for people to serve as positive role models, to say it is OK to get good grades and be a success,” he said.
The association is starting a Hall of Fame for prominent graduates and hoping to help students find summer jobs and learn to be accountable.
“There are things we can do to tie past graduates into the kids there that I think would be absolutely super,” Heidenson said. “We’re really excited.”
Pennypinching at CV
Central Valley School District has received one of the top bond ratings of any school district in Eastern Washington.
The district sold $9.5 million of bonds with a rating of AA-. This was the first issue out of a total $23 million approved by voters in February. The district will build an elementary school at Liberty Lake and upgrade various other schools.
The top rating means better interest rates, which translate into savings of $150,000-$200,000, estimated Central Valley business manager Ed Mikesell.
West Valley Russian winners
Eight Russian students from West Valley High School came home winners from a statewide competition at the University of Washington.
“We swept it!” said Merrie McIvor, Russian teacher at the high school.
West Valley winners at the Spoken Russian Olympiada include the following: Oxana Ivanshchenko won a gold medal in the native-speakers category.
At the third-year level, Jesse Cox won a gold medal, a $500 scholarship to study Russian this summer at UW and the chance to compete nationally for a month’s trip to Russia. Cox also has been named a Spokane Scholar for foreign language.
Brian Boothe won a gold medal and certificate at the second-year level. Also at that level were silver medal winners Wanda Cox and Mark Nance, and Liz Wells, bronze.
First-year students Jennifer Castor and Katie Caudill won bronze medals.
After the competition, the West Valley students went out to a Russian bakery. They astounded the owner, McIvor said, by ordering in Russian. “It was really fun. He was delighted.”
High 5 conference time
More than 200 seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders are gathering today at the Spokane Valley United Methodist Church for the annual High 5 Conference, to learn ways to stay drug free.
Speakers at the conference include Bill Doba and John McDonnell, assistant coaches for Washington State University football team.
Techie awards for U-Hi
Each of eight University High School students who competed at a technology education competition in April will advance to nationals in the Technology Student Association competition.
U-Hi winners include the following:
Evan Sims, Dan Harris, Damian Cronkhite, Jessica Jayne Coombs, Jim Giesen, Brett Seefeldt, Rob Lochmiller and Mark Stoeser.
And artsy awards for U-Hi
Four University High School art students will their work displayed at the new Washington State Historical Museum in Tacoma.
T.R. McCollough, Todd Foster, Stacie Schimmels and Kim Woodbury, all students in Mackenzie Hawley’s Titan Art Productions class, will have their work honored as banners at the museum.
The students researched, designed and wrote about various types of transportation, including a river boat, a locomotive and a rail trestle.
Good souls at Holman Gardens
Several good souls at Holman Gardens let me know that I erred last week in my description of the retirement home as a “residential care center.” Mea culpa.
The best-humored message came from resident Larry Bolks, who corrected my mistake and then wrote, “Funny thing is, I just checked our two large outdoor signs. One says ‘Holman Gardens,’ so we occasionally get calls from people about buying plants.”
Concluded Bolks, “I would not trade it for any other retirement home.”
, DataTimes MEMO: If you have news about an interesting program or activity at a Valley school or about the achievements of Valley students, teachers or school staff, please let us know at the Valley Voice, 13208 E. Sprague, Spokane, WA 99216. Call: 927-2166. Fax: 927-2175.