OROVILLE – The new slate of top administrators at the Oroville School District took the opportunity of last week’s Oroville Chamber of Commerce meeting to introduce themselves and talk about the upcoming school year.
Steve Quick, who stepped up from junior-senior high school principal to superintendent this summer introduced his replacement, Patricia Scott, as well as new elementary school principal, Gary Pringle.
Superintendent Quick discussed his new role at the school district and said he had been going over policy for the last couple of months and looking at the district’s facilities, especially the elementary school.
“The elementary school is definitely a priority… it is an old building, well used and looks the part,” he said at the Friday, Aug. Aug. 13 chamber meeting. “We are going to need to replace the roof and I know that could be tough in these economic times… it will not be an easy sell.”
Quick said he and the staff would be looking at revamping the curriculum, especially with the new levy that passed.
Principal Scott said she had mostly spent her time so far “just listening to people” and learning about the school and community.
“You’ve got to have your things ready, because once the school starts the time just goes,” said Scott, who has spent over a dozen years as a principal for kids in grades seven through 12.
The principal who hales from Texas originally said she loves sunshine. She is Oroville’s first female high school principal and said her diminutive height is not a drawback.
“I’m just as mean as any guy and I’ve been five foot for a long time, so it doesn’t phase me,” she said with a smile and a soft Texas drawl.
Scott worked at Waterville before coming to Oroville and before that was at Friday Harbor and Gig Harbor. Her work at Waterville, where they went from having two principals last year to one this year, is what got her looking at Oroville. That, and her connection with Quick, who served as Oroville’s Athletic Director as well as principal last year. Through their work with their respective sports programs and the Leadership Classes Scott and Quick had the opportunity to talk and he recommended she apply for the Oroville job when it became available.
The new principal told the chamber members that the district had a new social studies and music teacher at the junior-senior high school.
“She’s five foot and I’m five foot three,” said Principal Pringle, who was surprised to be taller than one of the administrators.
Pringle agreed with Quick that the elementary school was “well loved” and well used.
“Let’s get it cleaned up and get to rocking and rolling,” he said.
The new principal said while he checked out the school while interviewing for the job his wife was checking out the community.
He said his wife ran into a few characters who shared with her directions to the nearest McDonalds – “Take a left at the first light. They usually don’t tell you the lights about 40 miles south, but they told her,” he said.
His wife is already on Oroville’s Streetscape Committee, he said, adding, Oroville reminded him of where his grandmother lived in Medford, Ore. and how friendly it was.
During the interview process he said he got a chance to walk around the school.
“The kids sold me on the job, they were very polite and they like to read. A first grader opened the door for me and called me ‘sir,’” he said.
Pringle said it is more than he and his wife that are so taken with Oroville. The Pringles have a son now in his senior year at the University of Washington. He is usually busy with school or his duties as president of his fraternity, according to Pringle.
“He said he’d come visit in Oroville for a day or two because he was busy. After a few days he decided to spend a week, then he decided to stay two weeks and got his girlfriend to come over,” said Pringle.
Also addressing the Chamber of Commerce was Richard Gideon, who played a DVD on “PE for Life” a program he hopes will be adopted by the school district. He said he felt fortunate that all three of the district’s administrators were there to see the short presentation. He also discussed how Physical Education programs should be for all ages and all students, not just those participating in athletics. He pointed to several studies that show physical exercise vastly improves students academic achievement.
Arnie Marchand, representing the Borderlands Historical Society, followed up on a letter from the society to the chamber requesting $1200 that was taken in by the chamber’s ice fishing festival that is earmarked for the operation of the Visitor Information Center. The board has given approval to issue a check to the Historical Society for that amount.
There was a report on the recent Wine Festivals and Film Festivals. The “Toast of Summer” Wine Festival had 150 paying attendees and grossed over $3000 in its first year. After expenses it is estimated the festival will clear between $500 and $1000. The wine festival, which featured wines from the region, as well as the local beer, should do better next year as some of the fixed costs will not have to be spent for things like banners and with more advertising should bring in more people. The Tumbleweed Film Festival attracted about 50 people the first night and about 70 the second night. The festival’s organizers expect to return to Oroville and hope to have even higher participation next year.