No decisions made on Oroville School Sports

OROVILLE – Although a highly anticipated vote on school sports was expected at their last school board meeting, the decision was put off until a later date.

The board had wished to make the decision by the June 29 meeting, but an ongoing Unfair Labor Practices dispute brought by the Oroville Coaches’ Association (OCA) delayed the vote, according to School Board Member Verle Rowton.

However, since the board meeting, representatives of the OCA and the school board, as well as Athletic Director Greg Farley, High School Principal Steve Quick and Superintendent Ernie Bartelson have met with a mediator, according to Bartelson.

“We had a mediation hearing last Wednesday to try and resolve the extra-curricular issue,” said Supt. Bartelson. “Chuck (Ricevuto, OCA President) will take it to the Coaches’ Association to review and it will also be reviewed by the board.”

The Oroville School District finds itself in a financial crisis due to the loss of both Levy Equalization and I-79 money. With a shrinking student enrollment basic education funds are also down. Because of the crisis some extracurricular activities, like some of the sports, may be cut next year.

According to the Superintendent, the mediation included community input supplied by a committee chosen by the board to try and come up with a plan that would allow the school to keep as many of the sports programs as they could.

“The community input was part of mediation as was input from several sources… the mediator kind of meshed them all together,” Bartelson said.

The superintendent said he couldn’t release details of the mediation until both sides had approved and signed the agreement.

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 the 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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