1. Mike Welch and other new Central Valley teachers listen to a lecture by University High Vice Principal Laurie Sheffler during an orientation Friday. "My head is about to pop," Welch said of the daylong program. Photo by Steve Thompson/The Spokesman-Review
2. The year hasn't started, but the halls were crowded last week when East Valley High students lined up to register for classes. Photo by Steve Thompson/The Spokesman-Review
Alexander Gerst, right, walks with Greg Utecht in a field of sweet corn. Gerst, from Mannheim, Germany, has been living with the Utecht family for six weeks. Photo by Steve Thompson/The Spokesman-Review
1. Chuck Booten's room is a staging area for his move to the East Coast. He will attend a Navy ROTC orientation in Rhode Island before going on to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Photo by Steve Thompson/The Spokesman-Review
2. Chuck Booten is about to pack for his move to Massachusetts. He'll be bringing the earmuffs he uses to shut out distracting noise while he's studying. Photo by Steve Thompson/The Spokesman-Review
1. Patricia and Ludlow Kramer at the site of the Orchard Avenue Park playground equipment, for which they donated $8,000. Photo by Steve Thompson/The Spokesman-Review
2. The play equipment is being put to good used by neighborhood children.
The new principal at East Farms Elementary has worked 21 years - all his career - for just such a job.
Mike Uphus, counselor and principal designee at Adams Elementary School in the Central Valley School District, will take over the principal's job that Jim Hammond resigned from earlier this summer. The East Valley School Board decided Tuesday to hire Uphus.
"I've taught at a lot of different grade levels over the years. This was always my idea of where I would like to be," Uphus said. He has taught second through sixth grades, all in Central Valley schools.
Uphus said he attended the meeting East Valley Superintendent Chuck Stocker held in July to gain public comment on qualities the community wanted in its next principal.
"It sounded like a community I wanted to be a part of," Uphus said. Uphus' wife, Linda, is principal at Sunrise Elementary School.
Mike Uphus "will just do an excellent job for them," said Central Valley Superintendent Wally Stanley.
More than 20 people applied for the East Farms position, Stocker said, and the East Valley board interviewed eight finalists.
The three girls tooled down Broadway on the hottest day of the summer, with no air-conditioning in their car.
But a deal's a deal, and the trio had two gourmet lunches to deliver.
Tracy Orvis, Shauna Monson and Diane Orthouse are among 19 University High School students who started working a year in advance to raise money for a month-long trip to Europe next summer.
1. Ruth Paap in the back yard of her home on University Road. The house, once the Trent school, was purchased in 1920 for $150. Photo by Steve Thompson/The Spokesman-Review
2. Drivers on Upriver Drive can get a glimpse of Hazelle Hofseth's home, nestled among Ponderosa pine trees. Photo by Shawn Jacobson/The Spokesman-Review
1. Roy Betlach, family man, retired sheriff and lover of mules, works with two at his Valley home. Colton left is Gus, named for Roy's father Augustus. Photo by Christopher Anderson/The Spokesman-Review
2. Strong in his youth from the heavy lifting of orchard work, Roy Betlach is still hearty and able to outride those younger than him. Photo by Christopher Anderson/The Spokesman-Review
Spokane County Parks and Recreation Director Wyn Birkenthal has hired a private security company to help manage Liberty Lake Park this season.
The unusual arrangement came about after the first person Birkenthal hired this season as ranger didn't work out. "This was a person who didn't adapt well to living fulltime at the caretaker's residence, as the job requires."
Bryant Robinson, currently the staffer responsible for the condition of the county's softball fields, will become ranger in 1997.
The new Liberty Lake Elementary School has a construction budget, an architect - even an official name.
The Central Valley School Board approved the name last month. But construction won't start for another year or so.
What is taking so long?
The past few months have been spent in what the experts at the Central Valley School District call "ed specs" - the specifications for what educational concepts the community wants incorporated in the school.
When Susan Creed reads a story, her voice rolls over the rhythms, pauses for effect and booms in all the right places - with never a "shhhh" in sight.
Her audience wiggles sandaled toes, eyes each other and giggles in all the right places.
This is storytime for preschoolers at the Valley Library: a chance for children to learn about the literary side of the English language, for parents to learn how to most effectively read a story to their little ones and for Creed to spread the joy of reading.
1. Alex Zendo led the Liberty Lake Fourth of July Parade on Thursday. Young and old, some 1,000 of them, lined the street for the annual exercise in patriotic pageantry. Photo by Steve Thompson/The Spokesman-Review
2. Tim Horkstra and Russell Kinney had fun flying big flags behind their bikes in the Liberty Lake Fourth of July Parade. Photo by Steve Thompson/The Spokesman-Review
3. Kate McCaslin didn't want to miss the festivities.
Neighbors at Orchard Avenue Park have accepted plans to install playground equipment.
Those plans now include a rail fence to protect children from traffic at Park and Bridgewater. That agreement was reached at a meeting Monday between about a dozen residents and parks officials.
A new program for high school dropouts will start this fall at Central Valley's Barker Center.
School officials expect as many as 30 or 40 students to work under two teachers, Jana McKnight and Julie Rosenoff.
One day recently I watched a driver beat me through the intersection of Mission and Pines. He came up behind me on Mission, eastbound, cut through a parking lot onto Maxwell and turned onto Pines.
What a jerk. But it worked. He was long gone before I was through the light.
Like a lot of people who deal with Valley traffic on a daily basis, I'm always in search of an easier way from here to there. But that's not my kind of shortcut.
People living near Orchard Avenue Park will meet Monday with county parks officials to discuss the placement of playground equipment at the park.
"We're not objecting to the playground equipment. We think it's the greatest thing since this park evolved," said Dorothy Knechtel.
She and a few other neighbors are concerned that the equipment is to be installed too close to the corner of Park and Bridgeport.
The Central Valley School District is offering a handful of classes that go beyond the ordinary for summer school.
Young engineers can design and build magnetic levitation vehicles. Kids who want to do more on computers can learn how to do animation.
Drama, arts and water ecosystems - there are courses for all these interests.
CORRECTION: June 22, 1996; V6
Whitworth College professor Thomas Tavener, who was mentioned in last Saturday's Valley Voice, is alive, well and still making music. An article profiling April Dawn Vogel stated otherwise.
April Dawn Vogel looks out from her studio in Millwood. Photo by Steve Thompson/The Spokesman-Review
The Central Valley School Board has approved the controversial four-period day, along with several stipulations suggested by Superintendent Wally Stanley.
The vote at Monday's board meeting was 4-1. Kay Bryant opposed the proposal, in a rare split vote. Bryant said she believes the current proposal has too many unanswered questions.
But the majority of the board wanted to move forward with the change, following another year of planning with start-up in the fall of 1997.