Washington HS: Feb. 2022 Newsletter

News & events from the corner of Ainsworth & Tule

Main Office Memo

Greetings Patriot Families,

We’ve just wrapped up first semester (although many of our students are hopefully taking advantage of their extended semester opportunities), and second semester is starting off strong. January was a challenging month as many of our students and staff missed in compliance with COVID protocols. Due to sub shortages, staff members that were here gave up planning periods to provide coverage for their colleagues and worked diligently to catch students up that missed days of instruction. As principal, it seemed overwhelming at times, but our students worked hard to catch up and our teachers supported each other, and it seems like we’ve made it through the most significant struggles still intact. I can’t express how proud I am of our students (with the support of family and friends) and our staff in overcoming the challenges to end first semester.

While January brought its share of challenges, we’ve also enjoyed a degree of “returning to normal” to close out the month. To commemorate MLK, our Black Student Union, under the leadership of Mr. Las Dulce, planned and delivered an outstanding in-person assembly (each grade level attended on separate days for four days). Students shared historical accounts and music that highlighted the contributions of Dr. King. Our athletic programs continue to thrive, with basketball, wrestling, flag football, and boys swimming all winding down while girls bowling just completed another successful regular season that saw the team qualify for districts and several individuals qualify for the state tournament. Finally, our drama program put on an outstanding production of Leaving Iowa which concluded last weekend. It was great to be in the theatre again to watch our students perform in front of a live audience. Thanks to Ms. Iverson, the cast, and all of the people that supported behind the scenes.

As we approach mid-winter break in a couple of weeks, I hope that each of you takes time to refresh and rejuvenate. I’m looking forward to a great second semester and hope to see you at an upcoming school event.

Go Pats!

Brent Whitemarsh


Upcoming Events

  • January 31 - start of Semester 2
  • February 4 - last day for discussions about Sem 2 schedule (see details in Counseling Center notes)
  • February 14-18 - World Language Testing @ WHS. Deadline to register is February 9th! More details here: https://www.smore.com/un8ak-whs-upcoming-world-language-testing
  • February 15 - Pierce County Skills Center Open House, 5:30-7:30pm, 16117 Canyon Rd E, Puyallup, WA 98375
  • February 21-25 - Midwinter Break/No School
  • March 15-18 - Student Led Conferences (10:25am early release for students)
  • March 29 @ 6pm, March 30 @ 1pm - FPSD Running Start Info Session (on Zoom)
  • For sports info, see Athletics section below!

What's Happening at Washington HS


This month in advisory students will be learning the importance of resumes and creating their own resume. Students will also be reviewing and reflecting on 1st semester grades, setting goals for 2nd semester, choosing classes for next year and planning for the future. Students will share their resumes, classes for next year and post-secondary plans with parents at upcoming student conferences in March. Student conferences will be held March 15th and 16th . More information on conferences to come next month.

February is Black History Month

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. The story of Black History Month begins in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history.

The Black History Month 2022 theme, “Black Health and Wellness,” explores "the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also other ways of knowing (e.g., birthworkers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, herbalists, etc.) throughout the African Diaspora. The 2022 theme considers activities, rituals and initiatives that Black communities have done to be well."

Source: https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/black-history-month

Student Spotlight: WHS Black Student Union

The first Black Student Union began at San Francisco State College in March 1966. Here at Washington HS, supported by staff advisor Chance Las Dulce, the BSU aims to provide a safe space for BIPOC students while also providing an opportunity for leadership, activism, and education about current issues they are facing.

We would like to highlight what 3 members of the WHS BSU had to share as our February student spotlight. Here's an interview with Zarina Miller/12th grader, Myshayla Lee/11th grader, and Nakiya-Rene Jastillana/12th grader.

What made you want to join BSU?

Zarina - I joined BSU my freshman year and I immediately felt a place at Washington. I joined because it's a place to express myself and my black culture to the school and community.

Myshayla - I joined BSU my freshman year (strongly encouraged) by a family member to join but was it was worth it.

Nakiya-Rene - what made me want to join BSU was knowing that I'd be a part of a community that I could feel comfortable in, welcomed, and supported.

Is there an achievement or contribution you're most proud of?

Zarina - I am proud of being a part of the Brookdale elementary Black family night and helping them express their voice to administration.

Myshayla - I'm most proud of speaking at the MLK Assembly in my first year of joining. I have had no experience publicly speaking but still stepped up and think I did an ok job first time.

Nakiya-Rene - The MLK Assembly. Everyone did their part, and I felt proud knowing that we put it all together ourselves. Also, getting to sing at the assembly was pretty rewarding as well.

What about BSU inspires you?

Zarina - Being around my people :) and seeing everyone come together to make beautiful projects.

Myshayla - This club inspires me to be confident to be bold and black.

Nakiya-Rene - What inspires me is seeing the community it creates. Every Tuesday, even if I'm having a terrible day, I look forward to seeing the few people that might be there after school to meet with each other. It's so amazing for me to simply see a group of people like me smiling, enjoying themselves, and feeling accepted and comfortable. Even though that's sort of a simple reason, It speaks volumes for the black, and other POC communities.

What do you think other people (students, staff, community) should know about BSU?

Zarina - BSU welcomes everyone, we love to educate.

Myshayla - Everyone is welcome. It is not only for black people!

Nakiya-Rene - I think they should know that it's not just a club that talks about the oppression the black community faces. It's a family and a community. I only just met some of the people in BSU this year, and since the first day it felt like I was with family. We go there to be in a space where we know that there will be zero judgement over how we identify or how were born, we go to be around people who can relate with you, and we go because we know it'll be fun. BSU isn't just for Black and Brown students. We welcome any and all people who want to learn more about the community, and to become a part of it in some way.

What is a challenge that you think BSU faces? How can the WHS community help support BSU through that challenge?

Zarina - Not many students know what we do and some people come and go. WHS community can help by encouraging students to join and tell them how great it is!

Nakiya-Rene - A challenge I think BSU faces is that we aren't as recognized as the more popular clubs or organizations. I don't mean this in the way that BSU wants more attention, I mean that just like other smaller clubs, It's likely that we aren't as highlighted or acknowledged as the more popular groups like football, ASB, etc. I think the WHS community can help fix this challenge by dedicating more time acknowledging the smaller clubs/organizations on and around campus that represent WHS just as much as the sports teams, ASB, etc. might.

Is there anything else you'd like to share about BSU?

Nakiya-Rene - Black Student Union has been one of the biggest highlights of my year. And I owe that all to the members on BSU, and our great advisor Mr. Las Dulce who dedicates his time to making us feel accepted and loved. I think that everyone should try and find a community like BSU. Find the people that make you feel good being who you are.

Photos from WHS MLK Assembly - hosted by WHS BSU Students

Staff Spotlight: English Language Arts Department

The ELA department is facilitating two weeks of lessons to honor and celebrate Black Lives Matter at School Week as well as Black History Month.

We are working on incorporating key principals of BLM into the curriculum, covering systematic racism and it's impact on society. For instance, while reading the novel Fences, Juniors will be exploring the continued impact systematic racism and redlining has on access to housing in America. At each grade level, one system was chosen as a focus--a system that sets up each of our upcoming units by building background information and frontloading important vocabulary.

Big picture

February 8th - VOTE on Props 1 & 2

On February 8, voters will have an important choice to make on two levies that support all students enrolled in Franklin Pierce Schools. Propositions 1 and 2 are replacement levies which means that tax rates will not increase.

  • Proposition 1: Educational Programs and Operations Levy accounts for approximately 15% of annual operating budget and pays for things not funded or only partially funded by the state: teachers, paraeducators, counselors, nurses, athletics, curriculum adoptions, routine maintenance of school facilities, security measures, transportation, special education, McKinney-Vento, etc. Prop 1 replaces an existing levy passed by voters in 2018 at $4.74/ $1,000 with a new levy set at $2.50/$1,000 from 2023-2026.

  • Proposition 2: Technology Levy pays for staff and 1:1 student computing devices, classroom technology, network infrastructure that supports all of the devices, safety technologies, telecommunications, technology help desk and technicians, etc. Prop 2 replaces an existing levy passed by voters in 2018 at $.41/1,000 with a new levy set at $.41/$1,000 to support continued investment in technology from 2023-2026.

Have questions? Visit www.fpschools.org/vote or contact the Public Information Office at info@fpschools.org or (253)298-3087.

Counselor's Corner

General Notes

Greetings from the Counseling Center! We've been very busy here working out second semester schedules, meeting with Seniors for post-secondary plans, and already starting to prep for pre-registration and courses for next year!

A few items to note:

  • Pierce County Skills Center Open House will be IN-PERSON on Tuesday, February 15th from 5:30-7pm. Learn about PCSC programs, meet instructors & current students, and learn about our online application process for the 2022-23 school year.
    --> Check out their website HERE
    --> Check out their informational video HERE

  • World Language Testing (AVANT) - February 14-18. Registration is DUE to Counseling Center by February 9th. More info HERE - https://www.smore.com/un8ak-whs-upcoming-world-language-testing

  • Running Start Info Sessions for all FPSD 10th & 11th graders -- March 29 at 6pm and March 30 at 1pm, both will be held on Zoom (virtual). Come hear about the Running Start programs at Bates Tech, Clover Park Tech, Pierce, and Tacoma CC.

  • Pre-Registration for next year will begin with Class of 2023 in March. We proceed in grade level order -- current 11th, 10th, 9th, then 8th.

  • Schedule change requests -- Counselors will NOT consider schedule change requests for a different lunch, switching to be with friends, or wanting a different teacher.

    WHS school counselors will only consider schedule changes within the first 5 days of the semester for the following reasons:

    • Incorrect placement level (example: placed in Algebra 3-4 but haven't taken Algebra 1-2 or Geometry yet)
    • Already taken/passed the class -- with the exception of band, choir, advanced drama and PE, courses can only be taken ONCE for credit. You cannot take the same elective twice, if you already passed it.
    • Student failed a class & needs to retake for graduation requirement purposes
    • Student is missing a class for graduation requirement
    • "Hole" in the schedule (missing a period)
    • More than one class scheduled during the same period (duplicate)

    THANK YOU to all students, families, and WHS staff for your patience as we work through ironing out issues with second semester schedules.

National School Counseling Week -- February 7-11

National School Counseling Week 2022, “School Counseling: Better Together,” sponsored by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), will be celebrated from Feb. 7–11, 2022, to focus public attention on the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems and how students are different as a result of what school counselors do. National School Counseling Week highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career.

School counselors are certified, experienced educators with a master’s degree in school counseling. School counselors design and deliver school counseling programs that improve student outcomes. They lead, advocate and collaborate to promote equity and access for all students by connecting their school counseling program to the school’s academic mission and school improvement plan. They uphold the ethical and professional standards of ASCA and promote the development of the school counseling program based on the following areas of the ASCA National Model: define, deliver, manage and assess. The combination of their training and experience makes them an integral part of the total educational program.

“School counselors work with all students to remove barriers to learning by addressing students’ academic concerns, career options and social/emotional skills,” said Jill Cook, ASCA executive director. “School counseling programs help to increase student achievement and provide a much-needed resource for students, parents, teachers and administrators. School counselors are integral to student success.”

Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Week -- February 14-18; Random Act of Kindness Day -- Feb. 17

For those that value kindness, Random Acts of Kindness Week encourages people out there to be loud about how easy it is to give to others. This holiday centers around making kindness a standard for others to follow to make society a better place to live in.

This week is all about showing appreciation for those around you, seeing others in need and taking action, and instilling kindness in today’s youth so the future can look a little brighter.

If you’re looking for a great way to participate in this week, please take a look at the Random Acts of Kindness calendar, linked in the picture!

Class of 2022: Updates

Financial Aid Completion

The Class of 2022 has been issued a Financial Aid completion challenge!

  • When 15% of the Class of 2022 (30 students) completes a Financial Aid application, we will get the WHOLE class a treat!
    -->> DONE!!! Seniors were able to pick up a sweet treat at the end of the Financial Aid Advising Day meeting on 11/12. If your student was not there, please have them come see Mrs. Moore in the Counseling Center to pick up their prize.

  • When 25% of the Class of 2022 (50 students) completes a Financial Aid application, the students who have completed a FAFSA or WASFA will be eligible for a prize, which could include FREE cap & gown, FREE prom tickets or a FREE yearbook!
    -->> DONE!!! Prizes will be drawn and announced on Friday, February 4th!

  • When 40% (80 students) completes a Financial Aid application, the WHOLE Senior class will get a reward!
    -->> Currently at approximately 60 students completed. Please see Mrs. Moore or Mrs. Plutko for help with completing your financial aid application!

Counseling Center Contact Info


FREE Sports Physical Clinic, February 25th, 4-7pm @ PLU

Click the above button to register for a FREE sports physical at PLU (208 Garfield St S #101) Questions? Contact WHS Athletic Director, Pam Spitzer-Olson (pspitzer@fpschools.org) or Ellen Wong, PLU Nursing Clinical Project Coordinator (ewong@plu.edu)

Winter Sports Updates

Boys Basketball

Boys Basketball will face off against our rivals, the Franklin Pierce Cardinals on Friday Feb. 11th. C Team plays at 3:30; JV at 5:15; and Varsity at 7:00. Let’s pack the Dome Pats!

Girls Basketball

Our girls’ basketball team has been greatly improving despite all the setbacks that we have come across in the time of Covid. We have a young group of players who continue to show dedication, leadership, perseverance. The girls recently had 3 tough home games in row and come out with two wins against Evergreen and Foss. The support for our team is greatly appreciated so don’t miss out on February 8th/Senior Night against our cross-town rivals FP and come help celebrate a great career for 3 of our Seniors, Malaejah Smith, Serenity Lasky, and Zarina Miller.

Boys Swimming & Diving

We are nearing the end of our season and there have been some huge accomplishments from the two new Washington HS swimmers. Jhillian Guevarra recently hit a personal record for the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:25.38. Kyeran Varble has worked very hard to perfect his backstroke and swam his first 100 backstroke event last week against Enumclaw and did a great job!


The cheer team would like to give a big thank you to our 3 amazing seniors Chloe Moffett, Kayla Newmen, and Naliana Rosales. who have put in so much time & effort and hard work and dedication! Our team will miss them greatly as they head off to their next chapter in life but are excited for them & wish them the best and we will be rooting from them always! Friday February 11th, we will be collaborating with FPHS cheer with a halftime performance at the Rival basketball game!

Spring Sports - Register NOW on Family ID

Did you know that you can already register for Spring Sports?

Registration is open and must be completed by the first day of practice. Register here: https://www.familyid.com/programs/2021-2022-athletic-registration-14

For athletic participation, an ASB card must be purchased, fines cleared, and a sports physical turned in to Ms. Olson before the first day of practice. (Physical examinations expire two years after the signed date).

If you are a transfer student, please contact the WHS Athletic office for eligibility. You may not practice without paying your fines or returning uniforms etc. This policy will be strictly enforced.

Spring Sports start February 28th

  • Boys Baseball
  • Boys Soccer
  • Boys & Girls Track & Field
  • Girls Fastpitch
  • Girls Tennis

Check Out the Patriot Athletics Website

The South Puget Sound League (SPSL) has partnered with VNN to provide a streamlined experience for students, parents, and community members to get information about Patriot Athletics!

For up-to-date information on games, scores, rosters and more, go to https://whspatriotsathletics.com/