Positively Pasco: Issue #180
June 5, 2023
District Annual Report Now Available
The PSD 2022-23 Annual Report to the Community is now available online. Discover more about the district’s priorities, statistics, finances, bond 2023, PEAK! Partners, and more.
This year, we will have a limited supply of printed copies, which will be available in the Public Affairs office.
For more information, contact Cassie Galvez.
Summer Programs for Pasco Students
Pasco School District is offering several programs and supports for students this summer! Check out our Summer Programs webpage for more information about our summer food program, elementary, middle, and high school programs, migrant program, mental health resources, camps, and more!
Visit the PSD website for your copy.
Student Board Rep Applications Open
Attention students, or parents of students, who will be a junior or senior during the 2023-24 school year! Student Board Representative applications are open for the 2023-24 school year.
This is a great opportunity for students passionate about making a difference in their school community and wanting to have a voice in decision-making processes. As a Student Board Rep, students have the chance to work with district leaders, communicate with fellow students, and provide valuable feedback on district policies and initiatives.
Apply by Friday, June 9, 2023. Interviews will be held in-person on June 20, 2023, at the Booth Building.
Learn more about being a Student Board Representative.
Hazel Health Mental Heatlh Services Available to PSD Students All Summer
PSD offers mental health services through a partnership with Hazel Health. With Hazel, students can speak with a licensed therapist from school or at home during the school year, and all summer. The district has made these services available so that all students have access to mental health services, without a long wait time to see a therapist.
Available Now: All Students, at no cost to families
Hazel services include:
Short-term therapy visits: Therapy sessions can help students cope with everyday issues such as anxiety, bullying, withdrawal, grief, peer and family relationships, depression, not enjoying things they used to enjoy, or simply not feeling like themselves.
Care coordination: Family Resource Managers from Hazel work closely with families to coordinate their child’s care. If your child needs additional services outside of what Hazel can offer, Hazel will help families connect with great local providers.
Therapists who care: Hazel therapists know how to connect with children and teens. Their multilingual team practices culturally competent care for all students.
Learn more about Hazel Health.
PSD Hosts Richard L. Lenhart Transportation Center Ribbon Cutting
We proudly celebrated the grand opening of our Richard L. Lenhart Transportation Center, which was named in honor of our fallen bus driver, Richard L. Lenhart.
This new, state-of-the-art facility covers 29,997 square feet across two floors, features nine offices, staff training, conference and meeting rooms, and nine shop bays. The building was constructed to support maintenance and operations of over 200 buses between the Pasco and Finley school districts’ transportation departments.
Thank you to the Pasco Chamber of Commerce, Tri-City Regional Chamber, and Tri-City Hispanic Chamber, The Lenhart Family, our Transportation Department, and all of our contractors for helping us celebrate an amazing man and building. And thank you to our community for supporting the 2017 bond, which helped fund a part of this project.
Astronaut Dr. Ellen Ochoa Visits Ochoa Middle School
Ellen Ochoa Middle School (MS) had an incredible day hosting the renowned astronaut Dr. Ellen Ochoa! As the school is named after her, it was an absolute honor to have her pay a special visit.
Dr. Ochoa engaged with our students, delivering an inspiring speech that left everyone in awe. Not only that, but she also showcased her extraordinary talent on the flute alongside our talented school band during an unforgettable assembly.
This marked Dr. Ochoa's fifth visit to Ochoa Middle School; her connection to our institution is truly special. Her last visit, back in 2015, had a profound impact on our students and staff, and we're grateful to have her back once again.
In celebration of Dr. Ochoa's visit, combined Ochoa MS Orchestras performed a powerful piece called "Reach for the Stars." This composition, dedicated to the students of Ellen Ochoa Middle School, embodies the essence of Dr. Ochoa's famous quote, "Don't be afraid to reach for the stars." It was composed by the talented Allen Madsen, Music Instructor at Ochoa MS.
Bus Drivers Needed
Help drive students to success! Apply to be a bus driver and take advantage of the many benefits.
High school diploma or GED
Valid WA driver’s license and five years of driving experience
Clean driving record
Able to pass an exhaustive background check
Must be able to work flexible hours
The district will train qualified candidates. Apply at Pasco School District’s website.
Meet Angela, a senior at Chiawana High School and Running Start student at Columbia Basin College. Angela is thrilled to share her amazing experience with Running Start classes. The best part? Flexibility! These college courses give her the freedom to create a schedule that works best for her while saving precious time towards earning her bachelor's degree. Angela has set her sights on an incredible future. This Fall, she will attend Washington State University Pullman to pursue her passion for criminal justice. Her ultimate goal is to make a difference and land a job in the police force. When she's not busy studying, you can find Angela with her nose buried in a book. She absolutely adores reading.
Congratulations Calendar Art Contest Winners
Congratulations to our 2023-2024 calendar art contest winners! The theme this year was ‘Pasco School District – You Belong’ and student artwork was judged by community organizations and district employees.
Students were surprised in their classrooms with a copy of their artwork and a gift card kindly donated by Gesa Credit Union, our calendar sponsor. View and download the pictures from our Pasco Calendar Art Contest webpage. Look for your copy of the PSD calendar in early September!
Chiawana High School Student Kaiya Bates Places First Place in DECA Competitive Conference
Nine Chiawana High School DECA Chapter members traveled to Orlando, FL., to compete in DECA Inc.’s International Career Development Conference.
Kaiya Bates, Chiawana High School Senior, competed with over 150 students in the Project Management Community Awareness category and won first place. Her presentation consisted of a 20-page written paper and presentation for the DECA competitive event of Project Management Community Awareness. In addition, Kaiya shared her mental health story and how she created C.A.L.M. Kits for elementary schools in Pasco after receiving generous community donations.
This is the first time a Chiawana High School student has won first place during the International Career Development Conference.
Other Chiawana students who earned gold-standard school-based recognition include Meia Ng, Alex Osorio, Haileigh Morrison, Ava Duran, Jace Crawford, Casey Foster, Kenzie Gress, and Kennedy McBride.
Washington State Teacher of the Year Visits Chiawana High School Students
Chiawana High School hosted Dana Miles, the 2023 Washington State Teacher of the Year, who visited their Deaf Education Program. Dana teaches Work Experience and Bilingual (American Sign Language/English) Language Arts at the renowned Washington School for the Deaf (WSD) and is an exceptional educator and the first Deaf teacher ever to receive this prestigious award!
During Hawk Time in Deaf Ed, Dana gave a captivating presentation to students. Dana also brought her Deaf parents, who are retired teachers from WSD.
Dana expressed her gratitude in her own words, saying, "It was wonderful meeting all of you! I left your high school feeling inspired and all! The presence I experienced from all the staff was warm and welcoming. The deaf/hh students are FORTUNATE to be surrounded by amazing, brilliant, and friendly staff. I’ve learned so much from my visit. I feel grateful for your time in sharing your programs and your students as well."
Chiawana High School Students Winners of the MESA USA Engineering and Design Competition
Congratulations to Chiawana High School's (CHS) Ryan Abastillas and Bradley Caulfield, who are the MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science, Achievement) USA Engineering and Design Competition winners. These amazing 9th-grade students will represent the State of Washington at the National MESA Competition on June 26 - 29 in New Mexico. Both students are members of the CHS STEM program, and this marks the fifth consecutive year that CHS has represented the State of Washington at the National MESA competition. Good luck, Ryan and Bradley!
For more information, contact Angie Jarvis.
Chiawana High School Students Host Annual Campus Clean-Up Day
The Chiawana High School (CHS) Natural Helpers hosted their annual campus clean-up with over 100 students, staff, and community members in attendance. Volunteers worked together to clean up the campus and planted new shrubs at the front of the campus. Thank you to Gesa Credit Union for sponsoring this event and Wingstop, Fiesta Mexican Restaurant, and Kona Ice of Tri-Cities for donating food and treats for all the volunteers.
For more information, contact Angie Jarvis.
Pasco High School Welding Students Wrap up the School Year with Field Trip
Pasco Welding Club students participated in an annual field trip to the Walla Walla Foundry to culminate a full year of learning, leadership training, and industry preparation. Several of the program's top students learned about bronze casting and fabricating. Following that tour, students stopped at the Local 598 Union Hall in Pasco and learned all about the pipefitter and steamfitter union apprentice and training program. One of the biggest goals of the CTE programs at Pasco and Chiawana High Schools is to prepare students for career-level jobs after high school. These trips give students first-hand knowledge of the opportunities that exist and the current job markets that are available to them.
For more information, contact Jacob Munden.
Pasco High Early Chilhood Education Class Learns about Bezos Academy
Pasco High School's Early Childhood Education class received a presentation from Bezos Academy to learn more about early childhood education and career opportunities. Pasco High CTE loves to see the tie-in of the credentials they offer in their classes being made by real-world professionals in the fields students are interested in. Bezos Academy is a Montessori preschool that opened its doors in January 2023.
Learn more about about Bezos Academy.
Pasco High Students Compete in Washington Music Educators Solo and Ensemble Contest
Pasco High School Students competed in the Washington Music Educators Association WMEA/WIAA State Solo and Ensemble Contest in Ellensburg. The event showcased the talents of some of the best student musicians in various categories, such as solo performances, small ensembles, and large ensembles from across the state. Five soloists and four ensembles were named as finalists and competed at state. The Percussion Ensemble won 3rd place amongst the best music programs in Washington State. Congratulations to these outstanding students:
Rieken Rimmasch, 12th grade, mallets solo
Miguel Garcia, 11th grade, tube solo
Michael Lopez, 12th grade, clarinet solo
Leeah Huston, 10th grade, euphonium/baritone solo
Madison Elizondo, 12th grade, timpani solo
Bella Miranda (12th), Maritza Velasquez (12th) and Madison Elizondo (12th), percussion trio
Miguel Garcia (11th) and Daniel Chuquizuta Cruz (11th), trombone duet
Bella Miranda (12), Maritza Velasquez (12), Madison Elizondo (12), Jayden Bazan (11), Jack Fredrickson (11), Levi Czebotar (12), Reiken Rimmasch (12), Gavin Frank (10), David Reyes (11), and Jared De La Fuente (11), percussion large ensemble
For more information, contact Catherine Valdez.
Congratulations to our North Star Winners
Congratulations to the following employees:
- Tamar Mendoza, 7th-grade teacher, Reynolds Middle School
- Juliette Hungate, Resource Room teacher, Reynolds Middle School
- Donna Miller, 6th-grade teacher, Reynolds Middle School
- Elida Fernandez, Psychologist, Reynolds Middle School
- Whitney Billman, 8th-grade teacher, Reynolds Middle School
- Sofia Soto, Home Visitor, New Horizons High School
- Margarita Sotelo-Alpizar, Financial Analyst, Fiscal Services
- Glenn Whitcomb, IT Operations Manager, Booth Building
- Britney Colby, ELA Instructional Coach, Livingston Elementary
- Caroline Berry, Resource Room Teacher, Livingston Elementary
- Amanda Duarte, Teacher Intervention Specialist, Curie STEM Elementary
- Christy Grimm, ELA Instructional Coach, Curie STEM Elementary
- Darren Hansen, School Psychologist, District Wide
- Maria Hernandez, Head Custodian, Curie STEM Elementary
- Davina Ward-Pink, ELA Instructional Coach, Markham Elementary
- Chenyn Johnson, Health Fitness teacher, Markham Elementary
- Maria Chavez, 5th Grade teacher, Frost Elementary
- Axel Garcia, Counselor, Pasco High School
Staff Presented with Outstanding Educator Awards
The Ben Franklin Special Education PTA proudly presented "Outstanding Educator" awards to three exceptional educators from the Pasco School District!
Let's celebrate these outstanding individuals who have significantly impacted the lives of their students and our community.
Madeline Serrano, a dedicated general education teacher from Three Rivers Elementary, was recognized for setting standards for inclusion. Madeline's passion for helping every student succeed, her unwavering dedication to education, and her fearlessness in facing challenges head-on make her an extraordinary role model.
Kami Taylor, a special education teacher at the Pasco Early Learning Center, was honored for shining brightly as she appreciates and attends to the unique needs of each student. Kami's nurturing approach and ability to create a positive classroom environment allow children to flourish and thrive.
Armando Castrellon, Principal of Curie STEM Elementary, was recognized for his exceptional efforts in making students feel comfortable, safe, and excited about each school day. Armando's commitment to creating a welcoming environment goes above and beyond, fostering a sense of belonging and support for every student.
To honor their achievements, these outstanding educators received a beautifully framed keepsake certificate and thoughtful gifts generously donated by Papa John’s Pizza and Nothing Bundt Cakes.
Congratulations to our 2022-2023 Retirees
Congratulations to our 2022-2023 retirees who have made a difference in the lives of our students, families, and community.
- Kathy Legard
- Mary Ann Elizondo
- Keming Zhang
- Enedina Montez
- Maria Provenzano
- Gwen Ripley
- Mary Probasco
- Severa Fuentes
- Norma Vela
- Robyn Dunnagan
- Margaret Hall
- Deborah Luhrs
- Deborah Price
- Jacqueline Borgens
- Dana Graff
- Steven Graff
- Julie Jenkins
- Marc Larrabee
- Tracy Lugo
- Pamela Wright
- Tatyana Lebedeva
- Roy McCoskey
- Vincente Acosta
- DeAnna Henning
- Sidney Sarver
- Ramiro Licea
- Debra Lopez
- Brant Jamerson
- Sandra Henry
- Mary Wiltse
- Linde Jolley
- Julie Cummings
- Kay Blank
- Emilia Jasen
- Barbara Pierce
We look forward to celebrating our retirees at a reception on Tuesday, June 13, at 4:30 pm in the Booth Building Board Room. Each retiree will be presented with a Crystal Apple and a scroll commemorating their years of service and dedication to the district. These tangible symbols of appreciation are a token of our deep gratitude and admiration for their tireless efforts.
For more information, contact Anna Tensmeyer.
Support Pasco Students
Lady Riverhawks Kids Summer Soccer Camp
Learn the fundamentals of soccer with the Chiawana girls soccer team and coaching staff! They aim to promote a positive learning environment for all campers and to have fun. All campers receive a T-shirt. Please bring a water bottle!
When: June 16, 8 am – 12 pm
Where: Chiawana High School Soccer Field, 8125 W. Argent Rd., Pasco
Grades: 2nd - 8th Grade
Cost: $50 per camper (each additional child is $20) and payment can be made through SchoolPay.
Registration: Email camper information and payment receipts to Sam Nunez.
For more information, contact Sam Nunez.
Chiawana Girls Kids Basketball Camp
Come and learn the fundamentals of basketball with the Chiawana girls basketball team and coaching staff. They aim to promote a positive learning environment while having fun and developing skills.
When: June 27-29
- Grades 1-4; 9 - 10:30 am
- Grades 5-8; 11 am -12:30 pm
Where: Chiawana High School Gym, 8125 W. Argent Rd., Pasco
Cost: $60 per camper
Registration: Students can register online.
For more information, contact Gary Jonas.
2023 Graduation Ceremonies
- Delta High School: Thursday, June 8 at 7 pm, Three Rivers Convention Center, Kennewick
New Horizons High School: Friday, June 9 at 7 pm, Edgar Brown Stadium, Pasco
Pasco High School: Saturday, June 10 at 10 am, Edgar Brown Stadium, Pasco
Chiawana High School: Saturday, June 10 at 6 pm, Edgar Brown Stadium, Pasco
There are many important things to know about graduation ceremonies being held at Edgar Brown Stadium this year, including expanded seating options, enhanced viewing experiences, and photos of graduates for purchase. Please view the 2023 Graduation Information webpage for more details.
All of the ceremonies will be livestreamed, and the livestream links are available on the graduation livestream webpage.
For more information, contact Jennifer Kindle.
Come to our community's Juneteenth event and enjoy music, food, games, entertainment, vendors, an art showcase, a water park, a resource fair, and more!
When: Saturday, June 17, 12 - 6 pm
Where: Kurtzman Park, 331 S. Wehe St., Pasco.
PSD has a booth at the upcoming Juneteenth event, where we will share information about the district.
For more information, contact Gracie Valle-Chimal.
Mariachi & More Festival
Attend the Mariachi & More Festival and enjoy performances by talented artists and delicious food, crafts, and activities for all ages.
When: Sunday, June 25, 12 - 7 pm
Where: Columbia Park, Kennewick
PSD has a booth at the upcoming Mariachi & More Festival, where we will share information about the district.
For more information, contact Gracie Valle-Chimal.
Pasco Back to School Night with the Dust Devils
Save the date for Pasco Back to School Night with the Dust Devils sponsored by Gesa Credit Union.
When: Thursday, September 7; doors will open at 6:30 pm, and the game begins at 7:10 pm
Where: Gesa Stadium, 6200 Burden Blvd., Pasco
For more information, contact Ana Munguia.
Last Day of School