ROSBURG - Several relatives, friends and supporters of boys varsity basketball coach Ryan Bjornsgard expressed their feelings to members of the Naselle Grays River Valley School Board Tuesday night, May 18, at the Board's regular monthly meeting held in the Rosburg School.

The board voted 3-2, last month, not to renew Bjornsgard's coaching contract. He had been the varsity boys head basketball coach for the last seven years.

Board chair Deanna Gjovik later issued this announcement: "The board appreciates hearing the [community] input, and doesn't take it lightly. We also recognize that the process could have gone smoother, and there was some misunderstanding about the process, public misunderstanding as well. This still does not change the decision of the board that was made at the last board meeting."

Several community members, with Paul Bjornsgard leading off, addressed the board. Following Paul Bjornsgard, others spoke regarding the non-renewal of Ryan Bjronsgard's head boys basketball coaching contract: Peter McGuire, Chris Dorman, Judy Indermark, John Didion, Steve Gacke, Aoy Marion, Lori Dearmore and Jon Dearmore. All of those speaking disagreed with the board's decision and voiced their support for the "non-renewed" coach.

In other matters, the board took the following actions on personnel: Accepted the resignation of Berniece Helton - second grade teacher; approved a one-year leave of absence to Brian O'Connor; accepted Paul Jarret's letter of resignation as assistant basketball coach; hired Wendy Macy as second grade teacher; hired Brian Macy as high school teacher; hired Brian Macy as head boys basketball coach; and hired James Moten as vocational teacher

In other business, the board: Moved to allow Justin Laine to administer the Healthy Youth Survey in the fall of the 2004-2005 school year; approved the use of a school bus for the summer swimming program; tabled the superintendent's evaluation; tabled the superintendent's contract; approved the non-represented contracts for the 2004-2005 school year; approved the summer school contracts.

The board also moved to allow the Naselle Youth Camp to use the track facility to test their residents on May 24 and May 25; and moved to approve the list of appraisers and authorized the superintendent to select the most appropriate candidate to conduct the appraisal of the property that adjoins the west side of the school district property.

The board will set a date in June to review the superintendent's evaluation with him.

Track coach Debbie Denny thanked all volunteers that help at the home track meets.

Counselor Justin Laine distributed the ITBS scores and explained the results to the board.

In the superintendent's report: Superintendent Gerald Schmidtke reported the estimated general fund balance at $201,564 with enrollment at 316, NYCS 149 and R/S two.

He reported the food service program being in the black and will report next month. Schmidtke also reported that the top part of the gym siding will be replaced, and the reader board in front of the school is in the process of being repaired. Schmidtke stated the district received the tax back from the IRS and the PEP grant is still looking good.

Public school principal Karen Wirkkala reported: The emphasis on WASL continues, Wahkiakum County Economic Development met at the school, on May 12 elementary school students went on field trip to Columbia Theatre, a Pacific County Deputy visited the school and met with students regarding drug education, the K-4 music concert was May 19, the High school music program is May 25, June 9 High School students who passed the WASL will attend a Mariners game, and June 12 is graduation.

NYCS principal Robin Andrea reported enrollment at NYC at 163, and expects June 1 enrollment to be 159 students. The camp school will run a full summer school program, and Andrea thanked the board for following through with the hiring of staff. He stated that June 25 will be a NYCS graduation.

Individual board member reports: Mrs. Gjovik stated she has a conflicting date on graduation. Board member Steve Sultemeier will take her place to hand out the diplomas. The board will set a date in June to review the superintendent's evaluation with him.

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