Concern expressed to board over coach’s resignation

TONASKET – Teresa Hawkins expressed her concern over the resignation of varsity basketball coach Glenn Braman during the public comment portion of the Tonasket School Board meeting on Monday, March 12.

Hawkins, wife of longtime varsity football coach Jay Hawkins, said she was concerned that the direction of the school district concerning its coaches was taking an ugly turn.

“I’m concerned with the resignation of coach Braman,” she said. “I’m concerned because my husband is also a coach. I’m not comfortable with how that came about.”

Hawkins said she had heard second-hand remarks attributed to a school board member that fed into her concern.

“I’m hoping the school board acts as a board, and not on individual agendas,” she said. “I hope we’ve learned from the process that went down.

“I think it’s sad if we let a group of parents who are upset or who have a vengeance with a coach from a long time ago to come in and rally people up to make a decision to not reinstate a coach. I think it would be really sad if we have to go around the community to bring in support to show that a coach has just as many people, and more, (supporting him) as those who complained about him.”

Citing her experience as a coach’s wife and as a mother of an athlete coached by others, Hawkins said that athletics teaches kids to deal with adversity, but that parents encourage that growth.

“We want the situation to be perfect for our kids,” she said. “But what do we teach them when we run to every need they have?

“(Coaches) love the game, they’re competitors, and they want to teach kids to work together, to go out in life and be successful. Kids can’t be successful if their parents don’t let them grow as individuals. That’s a part of athletics. Nothing is going to be perfect.”

Hawkins said she was concerned that situations that contributed to Braman’s resignation, as well as rumors about her husband’s position, could damage the reputation of the district.

“People want to come to this district,” she said. “It’s because of you guys (the school board) up here. You have done a great job of keeping this school district as one of the elite.

“Don’t ruin that. Don’t let that happen, you guys.”

In other business, superintendent Paul Turner read a proclamation from Governor Christine Gregoire honoring classified school employees. Board member Catherine Stangland read off the list of all TSD classified employees’ names.

Principals from each of the schools presented their mid-year student data to the board

The board also reviewed information about switching over to a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) phone system as presented by Jive Communications, which answered questions via a video conference call. They later approved switching to a VOIP system at a meeting last Thursday.

Jive is currently serving the education market in 23 states, offered lifetime pricing and, significantly, qualified, for e-rate discounting that is calculated through the district’s free and reduced meal rate. The board requested a few days to think about the information presented, and at a special meeting on Thursday, March 15.

The school board next meets on Monday, March 26.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He is single with a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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