Todd Hill selected as new school board member

Todd Hill takes the oath of office for the Oroville School Board. Hill was selected to fill the spot vacated by Christina Rise, who resigned her position after moving from her region of the district into another from which she wasn't elected. Photo by Gar

Todd Hill takes the oath of office for the Oroville School Board. Hill was selected to fill the spot vacated by Christina Rise, who resigned her position after moving from her region of the district into another from which she wasn’t elected. Photo by Gar

OROVILLE – Todd Hill, an Oroville police officer and father of four, was selected to fill the seat vacated by Christina Rise on the Oroville School Board.

Hill was chosen by the current school directors, Amy Wise, David Nutt and Rocky DeVon, at their meeting on Wednesday, June 27. Hill and Anne Marie Ricevuto both expressed interest in the position and were interviewed for the job, being asked to answer six questions each. After the interviews and a short executive session, Wise made a motion to choose Hill and it was seconded by Nutt and passed.

Hill has lived in Oroville for nine years and grew up in Okanogan, moving into law enforcement through Explorer Scouts, he said. He was a reserve officer for Okanogan and Tonasket before joining OPD in 2003.

“I believe I can help the board through my experience with the police in service to the community and through my life experience. I feel I can contribute to the board,” said Hill.

Regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the district, Hill said he felt that the curriculum was a strength, having heard several positives about it. He said the maintenance of the buildings seemed to be a negative.

The new board members said he would be available to the citizens to talk to them about board issues and listen to complaints and bring them to the board.

He was asked if he was willing to spend extra time to learn how to be an effective board member.

“I have time to do the reading or go online or attend a workshop. My wife is very supportive and my police chief is also supportive,” Hill said.

When asked what special skills he would bring to the board, Hill said, “I have the ability to deal with difficult decisions and keep my emotions out of it. I also have the ability to listen to people and understand what they are telling me.”

Hill said as a supervisor at the police department he is also used to dealing with tight budgets, learning to get training for his fellow officers when money was tight.

Following Hill’s appointment the board elected officers to fill the positions of chairperson and vice chairperson. DeVon, the current vice chairman or vice president of the board, was nominated to step up to the chairman position by Wise. Nutt made a second to the motion and it was passed. Nutt nominated Wise to be vice chairwoman and it received a second from Hill and passed.

Under good news and announcements it was said that several kids were taking advantage of summer school. A change this year is that although work can be done online at home, students must come to school.

“This ensures they are making progress,” said high school principal Kristin Sarmiento.

In his superintendent’s report, Steve Quick said he had taken a couple vacation days and attended a workshop on how to become a better football official. He also attended a civil rights workshop that talked about gender, bathroom and locker room issues.

“A lot of things we don’t, or haven’t had to, deal with,” said Quick.

Quick said that work continues on working toward facility updates and renovation.

“We will be looking at the strategic plan at next month’s meeting, the goals that need to be set and the timelines,” said Quick.

There are several maintenance items being address over the summer, including playground fencing, new carpet and deep cleaning of the classrooms and buildings, according to Quick.

“We put in a bid for new playground equipment that the Manson School District is surplussing and are trying to get through the permit process for the crow’s nest (at the football field). The property the crow’s nest sits on is actually the city’s… we need an MOA and shoreline permit. Howard Zosel is working hard on the plans, as well as Harold Jensen and his son.”

Elementary principal Joan Hoehn reported that she and OHS principal Sarmiento recently finished four full days of training in Spokane.

“They had some great workshops, Kristin and I split up so we could cover as many as we could. There were lots of things to do with the principal’s assessment. It is inspiring to see Washington move forward,” she said.

Hoehn also said she attended training with several staff members on using iPads.

“There is a lot of really good technology and good apps that are available to buy,” she said.

In her report, Sarmiento said that it was a great conference.

“It focused mostly on the TPEP (Teacher/Principal Evaluation Pilot) program. There is still lots of movement, it is a reality,” she said.

Sarmiento also said people should celebrate kids in Washington State doing better than ever.

“Our sophomore class passed at 90 percent in reading and writing, the best we’ve ever done,” said Sarmiento.

She added that the district had received a five-year Upward Bound grant through Washington State University, as did Tonasket School District.

While other districts are already in the Upward Bound Program “we are two of only eight percent that received new grants,” said Sarmiento.

The board voted to approve a consent agenda that included items A through T. Among these were resignations from Danny Vassar, Jordan Weddle and Rich Hutchins. They moved to approve Billy Monroe for a fourth grade teaching position, hiring Chuck Ricevuto for the 2012 summer weight training and several coaches for spring sports. The coaches are Mike Pitts, soccer; DeHaven Hill, golf; Tam Hutchinson, baseball; Dane Forrester, softball; Harold Jensen and Tony Kindred, high school track and Doug Kee and Pat Smith, junior high track. The tennis coach position is still unfilled.

The board also set dates for the upcoming board meetings for the next school year, all are scheduled on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. The dates in 2012 are July 30, Aug. 27, Sept. 24, Oct. 29, Nov. 26 and Dec. 17. In 2013 they are Jan. 28, Feb. 25, March 25, April 29, May 29 and June 24.

In addition the board accepted several donations from the Oroville Booster Club, including $480 for Yearbook Camp; $2000 for Challenge Day 2012; $1824 for girls soccer uniforms and $250 to the Leadership Class for a motivational speaker assembly.

As business manager Shay Shaw was not present, Supt. Quick gave an overview of the district’s financials for June. These included payroll of $432,000, $77,000 for supply orders for next year and one curriculum purchase, $16,000 to Apple Computers to update labs (to come from special education and levy tech funds), $1079 for a convection oven purchase for the high school lunch program (offset by a grant) and $3400 to Dell Computers for the high school business program (mostly paid for through a grant).

The district also paid $1600 for a camera that attaches to a school bus’ “STOP” paddle. The camera can be moved from bus to bus wherever there might be a problem with drivers not heeding the flashing red lights and stop paddle. The camera can take a photo of a driver not following the law.

“We have been having problems with people not stopping for the bus on one route in particular, but the camera can be used on all the busses,” said Quick.

The district ended the school year with an increase in enrollment over the previous year. Enrollment was 639 FTE, about 40 students over w
hat the district had budgeted for, according to Shaw’s report.

“Shay has submitted plans for next year’s budget to the ESD (Educational Services District),” concluded Quick.

The next meeting of the Oroville School Board will be Monday, July 30 at the district office at 816 Juniper St. beginning at 6:30 p.m.

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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