MT. VERNON - The head boys' basketball coach and the cheerleading adviser at Grant Union High School tendered their resignations at the March 12 board meeting of Grant School District No. 3.

The school board accepted resignations from basketball coach Mike Workman and cheerleading adviser Cindy Lemcke as part of the consent agenda.

In other personnel actions, the school board hired Sam Cronin and Brian Delaney as assistant high school baseball coaches in a job-share position. The board also hired Jake Bacon as Mt. Vernon Middle School track coach.

In a separate item, the board voted unanimously to accept the non-renewal of probationary Spanish teacher Adam Barrett for 2003-2004. Barrett also coaches girls' basketball at the high school.

Grant Union High School principal Mark Witty reported that the high school student body has raised $11,000 to install underground sprinklers at the football field. This fund, raised during the Cycle Oregon cross-state bicycle tour, will be supported by money from the Living Skills class and the sports boosters. Frank Stinnett Plumbing of John Day provided work on the system.

Gail Enright, principal at the middle school, reported that 85 students had signed up for track this spring. For music students, the band festival is at Athena on April 23, the all-district band concert at GUHS is May 28 and the all-district choir concert is May 29.

Seneca School hosts its seventh- and eighth-grade play on April 12.

The board voted to adopt a 2003-2004 school calendar which begins the day after Labor Day, Sept. 2, and ends June 9.

Jessie Lewis, advocate for Friends of Skateboarders, asked the school board to endorse the need for a skateboard park in Grant County. The request was taken under consideration. The school board has declined to approve the Blue Mountain Junior High School campus as a site for a potential skate park, noting that the site is being reserved for education-related uses.

In his superintendent's report, Newell Cleaver dispelled rumors about closure of the Blue Mountain Junior High School. He explained that a four-year process and a facility review led the school board to close the school, effective this school year, due to declining enrollment. The building is usable and safe for occupancy, although there are upgrades that are needed, Cleaver reported.

Also, Cleaver said the school district has avoided laying off staff, but if layoffs occur, he said the administrative staff would be looked at first. The goal, however, is to save money through attrition, or the discontinuation of positions following the voluntary departure of staff.

Lance Stoneman with the Grant County Adult and Juvenile Parole and Probation Department escorted a pair of juveniles, who apologized to the school board for causing property damage by skateboarding on the roof of Humbolt Elementary School.

Next regular school board meeting is 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, at Seneca School. The board held a special board meeting and work session on Wednesday, March 19, at the district office.

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