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School board appoints search committee

Volunteer efforts on two fronts commanded the attention of the Hood River School Board this week.

The first will deal with confidential files and the other will be very much out in the open air.

Wednesday the board approved the screening committee that will go through the applicants for school superintendent in early February. The board appointed six citizens, one from each of the school board districts, as well as teachers, staff members and an administrator to serve on the committee.

The district recently began its search for a superintendent, following Jerry Sessions’ resignation Jan. 1; applicants much apply by Jan. 27. Assistant superintendent Rick Eggers serves as interim superintendent until July 1.

The citizens are Heidi Ribkoff (nominated by director Patricia Schmuck), Don Nunamaker (by Anne Saxby), Robyn Voetterl of Cascade Locks (by Randy Holmstrom), Dick Arnold (by Sue McCarthy), Kathy Nishimoto (by Mike Oates) and Steve Gates (by Dan Bubb). Rounding out the screening committee are high school co-principal Martha Capovilla, Hood River Education Association president Kelvin Calkins, Cascade Locks principal Chris Daniels, May Street teacher Linda Drew, business manager Gwen Gardner, Wy’east Middle School teacher Gus Hedberg, and maintenance worker Terry Zwanziger.

“We very much appreciate that these people want to help,” said board chairwoman Jan Veldhuisen Virk. “It is going to be a big job.”

The other volunteer effort, known as “Eagle 2003” should hit the ground by March at the high school’s Henderson Stadium, according to Gary Fisher, a Hood River contractor. The board approved a proposal by Fisher to construct long-needed restroom facilities and a concrete and brick plaza in place of a dirt — or mud — area at the north end of the stadium.

High school co-principal Steve Fisk also presented, and introduced Logan Fish, an HRVHS senior who designed the project. The letters “HRV” will be spelled in brick on the plaza, which will be surrounded by benches and feature a space for a portable barbecue. A short concrete sidewalk will lead to the restrooms to the northwest of the stadium.

Another feature of the project will be a portable “Eagles’ Nest” building to be used for concessions and fundraising. High school students will help build it, and also help in landscaping and other aspects of the project, Fisher said. He also envisions a brick walkway linking the stadium’s east entrance and the flagpole at the north end.

“We have to step forward and make things happen for our kids,” said Fisher, who got the “Eagle 2003” idea along with friends last fall when visiting stadiums at Intermountain Conference Schools during the 2002 football season. Fisher and Brian Hoffman of Hood River have rallied contractors including plumbers, excavators, electricians, and others, along with high school classes to do the project.

All labor will be donated, but $40,000 must be raised for materials. An “Eagle 2003” fund has been established through the Associated Student Body fund at HRVHS. Fisher said it will benefit sports programs and classes at the high school, and also serve the community since Henderson Stadium is used by groups such as Community Education, Relay For Life and Special Olympics.

“This is a community project. I want people to get fired up about coming to this stadium and having a good time,” Fisher said. “It’s a big art project for everybody to enjoy.” Fisher said he hopes to have the entire project done in time for 2003 commencement ceremonies in June.

Fisher and Fisk needed board approval to proceed with the capital improvement project, and following the detailed and enthusiastic presentation by Fisher, unanimously approved Bubb’s motion:

“I move we get out of their way and let them work.”

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