What the WASCO?


Starting in 1918, Pasco High School School’s newspaper was known as the “Wasco.”  The school newspaper failed in 2014 because it cost a lot of money.  Now it is back and better than ever. 


There are many different speculations for what Wasco means.  Some say that it is a mashing of the words “Pasco” and “Washington.”  Or “West Pasco.”  These don’t really make that much sense seeing as in 1918, Pasco wasn’t big enough to be separated into West and East Pasco like today.  

Others say that it is a word in another language.  In the old English, the word Wasco was used to describe the “divine law of love.” Now, we don’t think that teenagers of any era would agree to have their school newspaper named the “divine law of love,” so we think we can rule this one out. 

 In the Cherokee language, “Wasco” refers to a large body of water.  To the Cheyanne Indians, “Wasco” meant “grass people.”  But, neither one of these make any sense for a newspaper. 

Wasco could also refer to “the one who holds the cup” based on the Wasco-Wishram Indian word. 

To be honest, we don’t know what Wasco means.  Because the newspaper started in 1918, we don’t have anyone alive who knows why it is called Wasco.  

The Old Wasco 

The most recent publication year of the Wasco was 2014, when it was cancelled because of the cost of the newspaper.   

 In 2014, the newspaper’s cost wapredicted to be $6,000 per year. 

The troubles with the printing cost started in the 1980’s when the school newspaper started being more sporadic.   

Through the years, club facilitators have tried many things to help lower the costs. From sending the paper out less often, to adding more advertisements, to making it into a newsletter.   

Due to this large cost, the 2014 Wasco Club decided to try to go digital with the newspaper, but the digitizing didn’t work out because there was only one member of the club working on it. 

When asked why he thought the Wasco will be more successful Mr. Stueckle, principle at Pasco High School, said, “We weren’t ready for an online newspaper in 2014. That’s seven years ago. Tons have changed in seven years.” He goes on to explain that how we get the news has changed in many ways in seven years.  From the fact that we have more social media to most people getting their news online rather than reading paper versions. 

Wasco Today  

After a seven-year hiatus, Wasco is back in business. With the help of our advisor/advisor, Mr. Tyler Hockaday, we are fulfilling our mission statement as seen here, “The (New) Wasco, is a student-produced publication dedicated to reporting serious news, creating enticing/entertaining features, delivering thought-provoking editorials in order to inform, enlighten, educate and entertain the Pasco High School staff/students and beyond.” 

This basically means that Wasco is written by students.  We are trying to report serious news, produce cool features, and write stimulating articles that are written to inform and entertain anyone who reads the newspaper. 

The new Wasco is straying away from its predecessors outdated and modernly unrealistic formats and is now easily accessible online. This has been achieved through Mr. Hockaday’s earnest efforts to obtain the funds necessary for the creation of a website and an app (yes, an app is in development). This is very promising for Wasco because news can be distributed through modern methods, making it more likely for teens to be engaged in the community of Pasco High School by simply clicking a few buttons and having access to up-to-date news. 

If you are interested in joining in on the action, sign-up for Journalism next year or the coming years, so we can help the new school newspaper grow.  All a student must do is talk to their counselor.  

For more information about the students running the Wasco, click here.