Oroville school board approves redistricting map

OROVILLE – The Oroville School Board approved a map outlining the redistricting of the school district into four school director election areas based on the 2010 census data.

The map also takes into consideration that voter-approved change from five director districts to four, with the fifth director’s position being “at large.” Although only one candidate can serve from each of these sub-districts, voters from throughout the school district may cast their votes for one director from each position, as well as the at-large candidate. The redistricting plan was prepared by an outside agency, Sammamish Data, which did the redistricting last time it took place, according to Superintendent Steve Quick, who recommended approval to the board.

The superintendent was asked if there was a possibility that the redistricting plan may face a challenge within the 45-day period allowed by state RCW following approval, sending it to court. According to Joeseph MacClean, certified elections official with the Okanogan County Auditor’s office, the 45-day period would include the candidate filing week in June when all five director’s positions are up for election.

“I just feel very confident that even if a resident requests a review, I do not see that a judge would overrule or require the boundaries to be redrawn,” said Supt. Quick in an email to the Gazette-Tribune after the meeting. “I feel that if people in the community were really concerned about the new boundaries, they would have shown up at the meeting for public comment, provided written comment or come to the board meeting tonight and signed up for public comment.

During the meeting Quick pointed out that the RCW also allows for monetary penalties if a judge determines an objection is filed frivolously. He also pointed out that only one person attended the single public comment hearing where the redrawn map was discussed and that he felt none of the comments from that meeting were grounds for not allowing the redistricting to proceed as planned.

“My recommendation is that we move forward with the redistricting and if there is an objection filed we deal with it at that time,” said Quick to the board.

School Director Verle Rowton made a motion to approve the redistricting as one of several items in a consent agenda. It was seconded by fellow Director Rich Solberg and approved.

“The bottom line is that I hope that the auditors will accept our new director district boundaries and we can move into filing week without a problem. Ultimately district members now have the chance to run for a position in either the district they live or they can file for the at-large position. With all five board positions open, it could be an interesting filing week as well as election,” said Quick in his email.

Before making his motion to approve the consent agenda, Rowton suggested the district’s gratitude be expressed to the Oroville Booster Club for the many donations they had made. These included items J through O — $1094 for track equipment, $2500 for football pads and pants, $609 for tennis rackets and bags, $990 for Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) State Registration, $1,368 for travel suits for the soccer team and $3,813 for basketball uniforms. The PTO has also made a donation of picture frames for the elementary school and Wal-Mart donated $250 to the music department.

Also on the consent agenda was Item F: “Move to approve motion 04.25.115 – Approve Non-Renewal for winter coaches for the 201102012 school year: Carl Iverson – Head Basketball Coach.”

With approval of the consent agenda, Iverson was fired from the position of head boys’ varsity basketball coach, a position he’s held for the past six years at Oroville.

Earlier in the meeting, Tam Hutchinson, who coaches both varsity football and baseball, asked to speak on Coach Iverson’s behalf, who has been coaching boys basketball at Oroville for eight years, six as head coach. Iverson also is the varsity soccer coach and assists Hutchinson with the football team.

“As a technician Carl is outstanding, he knows his game, he knows sports,” said Hutchinson. “About being too emotional… as a coach and as a player at all levels I can say if you’re not emotional your not competitive. Carl is one of the most competitive coaches I know and that’s why he is so successful.”

Hutchinson said he feels Iverson may need to learn how to modify his emotions and approach different players, especially the younger ones, in a different way, as Hutchinson himself said he has had to learn to do.

“I would like you to reconsider and consider having him return to our program. We would be hard pressed to find someone else with his dedication,” Hutchinson said.

Other items in the consent agenda included the resignation of teachers Wilma Colburn and Vicki Haney at the end of the school year and the approval of several winter coaches for high school and junior high athletics. Item F, the decision to not renew Carl Iverson for varsity basketball coach was tabled until the two absent school directors, Amy Wise and Patti Garrett, could be present to discuss the coach’s evaluation by the Athletic Director, upon whose recommendation the non-renewal is based.

In other sports related news, Student Board Rep. Connor Thompson reported that the Oroville football team opens its season by playing their first game at Qwest Field in Seattle. The game is scheduled for 12 p.m. on Sept. 3, 2011 against the Darrington Loggers as part of the Emerald City Kickoff Classic.

More on Monday’s school board meeting in next week’s issue of the Gazette-Tribune. The next Oroville School Board meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 23 at 5 p.m. in the boardroom at the district office located at 816 Juniper Street.