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School Board


The board of directors is an elected body of respected community members who are responsible for the direction of the schools. The board is the authority for local school regulations, policy, programs, and procedures within the framework of state law. As board members, they are responsible for translating the educational ideals, values, and goals of the community into concepts of policy. They ensure goals are set to provide long-range planning; the district budget is balanced; legal interests are protected; and that buildings and grounds are maintained. The superintendent of schools reports directly to the board of directors and sees that all policies are implemented.

Regular school board meetings are held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month (February, March, May, June, September, October, November) and on the third Tuesday of each month (January, April, July, August, December). Regular board meetings begin at 5:30 p.m. during the school year and 4 p.m. during summer months. Meetings are held in the administration building, 364 S. Park St. Special meetings and work sessions are scheduled as needed.

Meet Your School Board


Sam Wells - (Position #1)

Sam Wells was elected to the WWPS Board of Directors in November 2013.

Mr. Wells moved to the Walla Walla valley in January 2000 and has been a financial advisor with Edward Jones since 2004. Between he and his wife, Joyce Wells, they have three children who have attended various Walla Walla School District schools and programs.

He has been active with the Blue Mountain Humane Society, Junior Achievement and Walla Walla Noon Rotary.

District Committees:

  • Administrative Finance Committee*
  • Classified Negotiations**
  • Instructional Review Committee*
  • Technology Task Force*

Type of Committee:  *Administrative, **Board Sub Committee

Contact: swells@wwps.org  (509) 527-3000
Term ends: 2021

Terri Trick - (Position #2)Trick Terri Photo web

Terri Trick was appointed to the WWPS Board of Directors on May 29, 2018.

Mrs. Trick moved to Walla Walla in 1983 with her husband Roger, a park ranger with the National Park Service. They have three grown children, all of whom graduated from Walla Walla High School. Mrs. Trick earned a BA from the University of Utah in English and Spanish and a Masters of Education from Washington State University in English as a Second Language and Bilingual Education. Active in many Little Theatre of Walla Walla productions, she has also served on the LTWW board of directors. She is active in American Association of University Women and is on the board of directors of Friends of the Farm Labor Homes (Valle Lindo). She has been an educator in Walla Walla for over thirty years.

In her spare time, Mrs. Trick enjoys the great outdoors, travel, and playing the piano for contra dances with her friends in the Wednesday Night Band.

District Committees:

  • Administrative Finance Committee*
  • Equity & Access Committee*
  • Graduates of Distinction Committee*
  • Safe Schools Committee*

Type of Committee:  *Administrative, **Board Sub Committee

Contact: ttrick@wwps.org • (509) 527-3000

Term ends: 2019

Ladderud-RuthRuth Ladderud - President (Position #3)

Ruth Ladderud was appointed to the WWPS Board of Directors on October 2, 2012.

Mrs. Ladderud, an administrative assistant at Whitman College, has lived most of her life in Walla Walla. She attended Prospect Point Elementary School, Paine Elementary, Garrison Junior High, and graduated from Walla Walla High School, Whitman College (biology) and WSU (animal science). Her husband, John, is a veterinarian and they have three children who all graduated from Walla Walla High School.

Mrs. Ladderud has spent many hours volunteering in the schools and at the district level. She was recently honored with the 2016 Whitman College Pete and Hedda Reid Service to Walla Walla Award.  She has served on both the High School and Community Facilities Task Force and is active in 4-H and American Association of University Women.

District Committees:

  • Administrator Consult and Confer**
  • Administrative Policy Committee*
  • Career/Technical Education***
  • Head Start Policy Council***
  • Legislative Representative***

Type of Committee:  *Administrative, ***Other

Contact: rladderud@wwps.org • (509) 527-3000

Term ends: 2019


Dr.  David Hampson - Vice President (Position #4)

Dr. David Hampson was appointed to the WWPS Board of Directors on August 27, 2013.

Dr. Hampson is a physician at the Urgent Care Clinic, Providence St. Mary Medical Center.  He and his wife Theresa have three grown children, all graduates of Walla Walla High School. 

He has been active as a leader in youth activities and as a school volunteer since moving to the community in 1990.  Most of his spare time over the past two decades has been dedicated to his family and youth in the community. 

District Committees:

  • Administrative Policy Committee*
  • Equity & Access Committee*
  • School Health Advisory Committee *

Type of Committee:  *Administrative

Contact:  dhampson@wwps.org • (509) 527-3000
Term ends: 2019


Derek Sarley - (Position #5)

Elected in November 2015, Derek Sarley is a communications consultant who for 20 years has worked with clients in many industries, including education. He and his wife Erin, a professor in Psychology at Whitman College, have two young daughters. Mr. Sarley is a native Pennsylvanian who has also lived in Arizona, California, Washington DC and Texas, where he graduated from Rice University. Since settling in Walla Walla, he has been active with the Walla Walla Public Schools Community Facilities Task Force and the independent group Citizens for Schools working to find solutions to the district’s building needs.

District Committees:

  • Certificated Negotiations**
  • School Health Advisory Committee*

Type of Committee:  *Administrative, **Board Sub Committee

Contact: dsarley@wwps.org • (509) 527-3000
Term ends: 2019

School Board Meetings

Our hope is that you will leave our meeting with a better understanding of your public schools and the school board that you’ve elected to oversee them.

Our Meetings Are Open

Our meetings are open to the public and nearly all our discussion will be held in the open. The exception would be if it is necessary to discuss personnel, litigation, bargaining agreements, complaints against an officer or staff member, or real estate transactions where disclosure would be damaging. In those cases, we may occasionally go into a closed or “executive” session.

We Have Something in Common

School board members are elected officials, who serve four-year terms of office. In addition to making a number of decisions at school board meetings, we try to keep lines of communications open with our community and represent the needs of the district before state and national representatives.

We serve on the school board because we care about providing quality education in our community.

Citizens' Comments, Questions & Concerns

We welcome your comments and questions during the time set aside in the meeting for public comment. Should you wish to speak, we ask that you provide your name and address, so we can follow up with you if necessary.

Please follow our normal protocol:

  • Keep your comments brief and to the point.
  • Do not reflect adversely on the political or economic view, ethnic background, character, or motives of any individual.

If a concern cannot be solved by first talking with the teacher, principal, or appropriate district personnel, or if you have a specific complaint about an employee and you have attempted to solve the situation with the person’s supervisor and/or superintendent, the issue may be forwarded to the board for hearing. Please inform the superintendent or board president in writing at least one week prior to a regular meeting requesting to meet with them. The hearing may be conducted in executive session, meaning the public and the media are not in attendance.

You may also present a concern to the board during the time reserved for hearing public comment. If this is the case, we ask that you follow the same protocol already outlined when addressing the school board.

When you address the board during the Citizens' Comments section of the meeting, we will listen carefully to your statement. If a response is needed, we will direct it be made in a timely fashion, by phone or in writing, if necessary. Comments made at a board meeting are part of the public record.

Other Comments/Questions

If you prefer, please write any comments and questions with your phone number and submit to the superintendent, who will respond.

WALLA WALLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS • 364 South Park St. • Walla Walla, WA 99362 • Phone: 509-527-3000 • Fax: 509.529.7713

SS-logo-alert-transparent Safe Schools Tip Line: 855.976.8772