Oroville School Board meets new staff members

 

As part of their continuing effort to tour school district facilities, members of the Oroville School Board invited those at their Monday, Aug. 26 meeting to join them in the bus garage. Here Transportation Manager/Director Jim Bretz discusses the district's latest bus purchase, a 78-passenger, rear-engined "pusher" International. Bretz told School Directors Rocky DeVon, Amy Wise and Travis Loudon, as well as Superintendent Steve Quick, that the bus has had wiring problems and has had to be repaired under warranty several times. "In fact, the bus didn't even make it across the tracks on the (SR. 97) bridge the first time it went out," said Bretz. In addition, Bretz pointed out that the district is replacing gravel garage floors with concrete one bay each year. Gary DeVon/staff photo

As part of their continuing effort to tour school district facilities, members of the Oroville School Board invited those at their Monday, Aug. 26 meeting to join them in the bus garage. Here Transportation Manager/Director Jim Bretz discusses the district’s latest bus purchase, a 78-passenger, rear-engined “pusher” International. Bretz told School Directors Rocky DeVon, Amy Wise and Travis Loudon, as well as Superintendent Steve Quick, that the bus has had wiring problems and has had to be repaired under warranty several times. “In fact, the bus didn’t even make it across the tracks on the (SR. 97) bridge the first time it went out,” said Bretz. In addition, Bretz pointed out that the district is replacing gravel garage floors with concrete one bay each year. Gary DeVon/staff photo

OROVILLE – After fulfilling duties serving ice cream at the district’s open house, the Oroville School Board held a later-than-usual board meeting in which they met several incoming staff members and toured the bus garage.

The board and members of the public at the meeting Monday, Aug. 26 were introduced to Jay Thacker the new basketball coach, Steven Gunderson, Jan Ottman and Ryan Frazier. Each told the board a little bit about themselves. Thacker, who is a Physical Education teacher, grew up in Walla Walla and went to Gonzaga University. Gunderson, the new High School Counselor, is originally from Bellingham, then did his undergraduate work at Western Washington University, before participating in a special Masters program at Gonzaga for counselors. Ottman, who will teach 7-12 math, has taught 17 years at Tonasket and was born and raised in Tillamook, Ore. Frazier, who will be teaching 7-12 social studies and history, grew up in Oroville and went to school here. He said his background was in alternative schools.

“I’m very excited about our new staff,” said Oroville High School Principal Kristin Sarmiento.

Julie Tyus, a kindergarten teacher at Oroville, played a short video of her class last year. She talked about “whole brain teaching” or “power teaching.” She said the strategy helped to focus her students on the task at hand and to pay attention to the teacher. The program will be introduced to additional grades in th coming years.

“It’s a nice way to speed up the transition and a great way to make it through the day.”

Board Chairman Rocky DeVon said his son benefited from the strategy last year in Tyus’ class.

“He had a task to do and gave him something to focus on. I’m glad the first grade is going to start that… I’m excited to see it integrated and how it works with all the grade school.”

In his Superintendent’s Report, Steve Quick said the board had met in a retreat at the Pastime Bar & Grill and talked a lot about student assessments.

“This gave them a general idea on who we’re doing compared to the rest of the state… there are some good results, but there are some gaps,” Quick said.

The superintendent also reported that the main part of the elementary roof is finished with only a few items remaining.

“We also opened the bids for the elementary gym roof and the lowest bid was for $108,000,” said Quick, who added the original bid was for between $155,000 and $156,000 and that was why it was separated out.

“It seems it was well worth it to put out the gym bid separately,” said Quick.

Work is continuing on installation of the new HVAC system at the high school where they are still waiting to drill the wells for the geothermal system.

“We will probably transition from the old system to the new one in October, just before winter hits,” said Quick.

The superintendent said the Crows Nest at the football field was also nearly completed. He expressed the district’s appreciation for all the volunteers that have been helping.

One-to-One Computing, getting one computing devise into every students hands, one of the board’s goals for this year, is also getting closer to a reality.

He said that the schools Technology Specialist, Ed Naillon had set up two new iPad Carts.

“Ed has worked really hard to set up carts for both buildings,” said Quick.

The superintendent also read a letter of appreciation from North Valley Community Schools for all the district does to aid that popular program.

In their reports, High School Principal Kristen Sarmiento and Elementary School Principal Joan Hoehn told the board that there was a good turnout for the open house in both buildings earlier that evening.

Sarmiento said she and Hoehn had attended training workshops on Teacher Principal Evaluation Project (TPEP), which is being implemented around the state.

The board approved a large consent agenda. Among the items approved was the resignation of Brett Fancher as the district’s Athletic Director and the hiring of Tam Hutchinson in that position. Sarah Marlow was hired as Elementary School Counselor. Kelsey Bourn resigned as Assistant Girls Basketball Coach, Kelsey Cleveland resigned as a high school teacher and Assistant Softball Coach and Eric Cleveland resigned as assistant high school wrestling coach. Kayla McKinney was hired as junior volleyball coach.

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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