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Willow Public School changes name

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Innovation Charter School sign

A new sign posted outside of what was Willow Public School on the St. Patrick Catholic Church property advertises the new name: Innovation Charter School.

Walla Walla’s only charter school, formerly called Willow Public School, has changed its name to Innovation Charter School.

Chelsea Hendrickson, creative marketing director for Innovation Charter School, said the name better describes what the school is all about.

“The name is to focus on a passion for an innovative learning environment,” Hendrickson said. “We’re hands-on and project-based. … We want our kids to be innovators.”

Hendrickson said the change of name accompanies other changes at the school.

“We have done a lot of changes in terms of curriculum and focus and mission of the school, and we thought it was time to be able to reflect those changes visually and outwardly as well,” Hendrickson said.

Hendrickson said new leadership brought these changes.

“(Superintendent) Brenda McDonald and (Principal) Paige Albrecht came on last year to kind of realign the school because it had been having some struggles academically,” Hendrickson said. “So last year they began revamping and restructuring some things, and the name change is the culmination of all that work they have been doing.”

Hendrickson says much of the re-energized focus is on empowering students, and the hope is that comes out in the name.

“A big piece of our mission is to create an environment where students can really choose to take risks, can make mistakes, learn new things and build their future,” Hendrickson said.

Jeremy Burnham can be reached at or 509-551-8896.


Jeremy Burnham covers education and Columbia County for the Union-Bulletin. He is a recent graduate of Eastern Washington University, where he studied journalism, and is an Eastern Eagle fanatic.