NASELLE — The Naselle-Grays River Valley School District Board of Directors authorized hiring a new K-12 principal and a new head boys’ basketball coach during a regular monthly meeting May 21.
Joining the district as principal will be Stephen Doyle, pending a background check. Doyle holds a bachelor’s degree from Whitworth College in Spokane, as well as a master’s degree in social work from Walla Walla College.
He earned his school administration credential from City University and taught at Evergreen Public Schools in Vancouver for 14 years. He served as assistant principal of Moses Lake High School in the just-ending school year.
William Olsen will be the new head boys’ basketball coach, pending a background check. Olsen graduated from Wahkiakum High School and attended Lower Columbia College and Clark College.
He coached at Wahkiakum (Cathlamet) for 34 years. During that time, his teams earned eight league titles in the 2B classification and, he coached three State 2B player of the year athletes. Olsen has been a multiple-time coach of the year in the 2B Central League and coached in two All-State games.
In other personnel matters, the board acknowledged these resignations: Brian Macy, head boys’ basketball coach (Macy will continue as athletic director and teacher); Herlet Padilla, half-time cheer coach (she will now be sharing the cheer coach position with Blair Gray); Steve McConnell, bus driver; and, Quinn Donlon, K-12 principal (Donlon is looking to relocate to the Tri-cities area).
Hiring approvals were given for: Blair Gray, half-time cheer coach; and Kayti Updike, middle school volleyball coach.
Departing K-12 Principal Donlon acknowledged several members of the Knowledge Bowl team, Monte and the Pythons, who placed sixth overall at the State Bowl. Donlon also discussed the success of the recent student play “Annie,” congratulating the actors, actresses and director Karl Johnson.
Members of the group of students who traveled to Washington, D.C. as part of the Close-Up program provided the board with a presentation on their trip. From that presentation, it was evident the trip had a positive and lasting impact on the attendees.
Superintendent Lisa Nelson reported on the individual accomplishments of NGRVS middle school athletes in the recent Middle School League Track Meet. Nelson also noted the high school’s athletes had accomplished an enviable trifecta as District Champions in Baseball, Softball and Track and Field.
Nelson noted she had received a complimentary letter from Chinook Observer correspondent Patrick Webb. In the text of the letter Webb stated, “I just wanted you to know how much I truly appreciate the welcome I continue to receive at Naselle schools, either when I have a camera and notebook in hand to write stuff for the newspapers, or when I am wearing my Ilwaco Masons ‘hat’ and doing Bikes for Books. I have experienced cordial relations from schools at the six places in the USA where I have lived these past 39 years — including those where a family member has taught — but nothing like the welcome I receive at Naselle. You folks really are a class act. What is so noticeable is the politeness of the students and the helpfulness of the adults. There is an enthusiasm that is commendable. My next encounter with you folks will be at Cheney next week. Here’s hoping for continued Comet success on the track. (of course, I am supposed to act like an ‘impartial’ journalist!)”
Other board news
Nelson reported the K-12 student population is at 325 (the same as at the beginning of the school year) and that of the NYCS is 66, down 9 from the start of the year.
Nelson noted High School graduation is June 8, starting at 4 pm.
Nelson said Financial Officer Kent Simpson is retiring and will be at the school for the last time May 23. The board expressed appreciation for Simpson’s assistance and requested a congratulatory card be made available for board members to sign. ESD-112 will assign a replacement for Simpson in the near future.
Board member and legislative liaison Amy Chadwick provided a report on legislative actions during the recent session.
In other business, the board approved the following: a resolution delegating authority to the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA); supplemental contracts for the Naselle Youth Camp summer school for Rudolph, King, Baker, Moten, Teubner, Updike, Bloom, Messing, Blaylock and Smith; use of school facilities and transportation for student summer activities; and, overnight summer travel for school activities.
The next regular board meeting will be June 18 in the Middle School starting at 6:30 p.m.
—Nick Nikkila is a member of the NGRVSD board.