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Johanna Shieh receiving Unleashed award from David Goehner, ESD 105 public information officer and Unleashed program coordinator


Allison Fay receiving Unleashed award from David Goehner, ESD 105 public information officer and Unleashed program coordinator


We want to recognize our students who earned awards last June. The Yakima Herald-Republic’s “Unleashed” student journalism program recognized some of its most outstanding contributors of the past year during the annual summer presentation of the section’s student awards on June 14.


Awards in categories were selected by Unleashed program coordinator David Goehner with the assistance of YHR head photographer and Unleashed photo mentor Shawn Gust. The program is supported through a co-op administered by ESD 105 involving several of the region’s public school districts and private schools. The 2016-2017 Unleashed team has involved 34 students from schools all over the Yakima Valley.


In 12 months, the high school students in the Unleashed team produced 351 published articles, 92 photos printed in the newspaper, 19 online-only articles, 44 online-only photos, and 27 illustrations. The 2017 Unleashed awards recognize the most excellent student work from this past year’s output.


West Valley High School Award Winners:


The Marathon Award:  McKenzie Jamieson, 2016-2017 junior and 3rd year Unleashed member, for her achievement of having something she’s written appear in each bi-weekly section of the Unleashed since December 21, 2014.  McKenzie holds the all-time program record for most consecutive appearances in the newspaper’s Unleashed section, and her streak grew to 65 installments with the issue of June 4, 2017, published just prior to the awards ceremony.


Year’s Most Contributions:  McKenzie Jamieson for producing a total of 43 individual items that were published in print or online during a 12-month period.  McKenzie’s total included 34 print stories, 6 print photos, 1 online-only story, and 2 online-only photos. Mckenzie has been the runner-up for this achievement the past two years.


Year’s Best Personality Feature:  McKenzie Jamieson for “WV grad attends GOP convention” (about 2016 WVHS graduate Jack Pickett’s experiences as a delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention).


Reviewer of the Year:  McKenzie Jamieson for frequently introducing readers to sometimes little-known creative works through her numerous reviews of music, books, and TV shows throughout the year. She wrote 14 reviews during the past year, more than any other Unleashed member.


Best TV Review (Honorable Mention):  McKenzie Jamieson for “‘This Is Us’ works on several levels.”


The Utility Player Award:  Allison Fay, 2016-2017 junior and 2nd year Unleashed member, recognizing the wide variety of her article topics this past year, the consistent high quality level of those articles, and the high number of quality photos she’s produced. Allison also drew an illustration for the first time this past year and registered the second-highest total of published items (just behind McKenzie Jamieson) among the entire Unleashed team during the year.   


Column of the Year & Best Humor Writing:  Johanna Shieh, 2016-2017 junior and 3rd year Unleashed member, for “A vision in three acts” (about the 2016 presidential race).


Best Group Story Contribution:  Johanna Shiehm for “Meet the team members: Johanna Shieh.”


Best Sports Photo (Honorable Mention):  Freida Raj, 2016-2017 junior and 1st year Unleashed member, for photo of hurdlers in race at West Valley High school.


Best TV Review (Honorable Mention):  Freida Raj for “Lost in Stars Hollow: ‘Gilmore Girls’ has a relatable vibe that draws you in.”


Year’s Best Personality Feature (Honorable Mention):  Freida Raj for “Meet the presidents: Corban and Charskie Kinloch” (about the twin brothers serving as WVHS ASB president and vice president).


Special Award for Excellence in Column writing:  Gretchen Schowalter, who was a West Valley sophomore student during 2015-2016 and an Unleashed member that year before moving to the Tacoma area last summer. This award recognizes her final article, “A big part of succeeding in life is learning to build bridges” (about building a model bridge as a class project and using that as a metaphor about learning to connect with people after moving into a new school).   


Best Team Coverage: West Valley 2016-2017 juniors McKenzie JamiesonAllison Fay, and Johanna Shieh, with Davis High School junior Amelia Pruiett, for their combined contributions to the Unleashed cover section’s feature on “Catching Fire: ‘Pokémon Go’ a national phenomenon with a Yakima presence. McKenzie wrote a review of the game and with Johanna co-wrote a main overview article about the game. Allison wrote a roundup of weird national news stories related to the game. Amelia provided several illustrations for the cover section and articles.


Congratulations, students!

Posted by WVSD  On Sep 14, 2017 at 4:35 PM



The solar panel project that was installed on the roof of the Junior High is going strong!

This project started a few years ago via a grant from Blue Sky and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, and we’re proud of the amount of energy generated by these panels.


You can see the amount of power generated today, weekly, monthly, yearly, and over the lifetime of the project by clicking here.


Students in our 8th grade Green Sustainable Energy class learn about renewable/sustainable energy. This class culminates in the spring with a visit to the Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility and Renewable Energy Center, which is run by Puget Sound Energy. 


Learn more about tours to Wild Horse here.

West Valley Junior High School was recognized by OSPI (Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction) in 2013 as a Lighthouse School for STEM Education (science, technology, engineering, and math).


We’re excited about the learning opportunities this program offers our students!

Posted by WVSD  On Sep 14, 2017 at 4:34 PM



We are proud to share that US News and World Report recognized West Valley High School in the top 8% of high schools in Washington State.

We also earned a “bronze medal,” which means we are a high-performing school based on our state exam performance and high graduation rate.


We are pleased to share our ranking with the community and will keep working hard to continually improve and offer the very best to our students.


You can read more about our school’s ranking here

Posted by WVSD  On Sep 14, 2017 at 4:34 PM
Posted by WVSD  On Aug 31, 2017 at 12:26 PM
Posted by WVSD  On Aug 31, 2017 at 12:26 PM
Posted by WVSD  On Aug 31, 2017 at 12:26 PM
Posted by WVSD  On Aug 31, 2017 at 12:25 PM
Posted by WVSD  On Aug 31, 2017 at 12:25 PM
Posted by WVSD  On Aug 31, 2017 at 12:25 PM


The mission of the West Valley Schools Foundation is to enhance education opportunities and experiences for all students of the West Valley School District by raising money to fund programs, projects, materials, and activities that benefit students of our school district, but are beyond the scope or ability of the school district. That is what we do!


To date, our foundation has funded grants from teachers and administrators that enhance learning by providing field trips and science and technology curriculum that are not currently funded by the state. In addition, we provide grants to purchase materials for West Valley School teachers to use during everyday learning opportunities in classroom. Our organization has funded over $50,000 in grants to the West Valley School District. These funds are made available by donations, sponsorships, and fundraisers. 


Our primary fundraiser is “Evening in the Orchard,” a dinner and auction at Johnson Orchard on Summitview Avenue. The next one will be held on Saturday, September 16th at 5:00 p.m. Tickets are $50 for the Dinner & Auction, which includes two drink tickets.


To purchase tickets or ask questions, contact Monique Stine at (509) 930-1911.  Information about our foundation can be found at our website, here.


We look forward to seeing you at our event!

Posted by WVSD  On Aug 31, 2017 at 12:24 PM
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