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Barnhart excited to be overseeing athletics at CV

UPDATED: Wed., Aug. 9, 2017

Butch Walter has followed through on his plans to retire as an assistant principal and activities director at Central Valley High School.

The longtime AD had initially announced his plans to retire after the 2015-16 school year, then postponed those plans for an extra year and stayed on for 2016-17.

In the end, one postponement was enough.

This summer CV promoted Robin Barnhart as Walter’s replacement.

“I have some big shoes to fill,” she said. “But he also left the program in really good shape and I’m excited to take the job.”

The move into school administration is a first for Barnhart, who was selected Teacher of the Year by the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce in January 2016.

As a business teacher and DECA adviser, Barnhart was also a longtime assistant track and field coach for the Bears.

The move into administration, she said, is bittersweet.

“I have a lot of friends who are teachers and who are still in teaching,” Barnhart said. “I really believe in the current technical curriculum we have here in the district, and I’m going to be sad not working with the DECA program.”

The school’s activities director oversees DECA, forensics, band and theater programs as well as athletics.

“Our theater program is just incredible and our students are going on to find work in theater production in the community, and I think that’s awesome,” Barnhart said. “And the CV band is just fantastic.

“Butch left the programs in great shape. I’m not expecting having to hire any coaches. We have a lot of programs where the coaches have been in place for quite a while and there’s a lot of stability.”

Barnhart is the third woman in the Greater Spokane League to be a school’s athletics coordinator, joining Stacy Ward at Ferris and Jennifer Harmer at Rogers.

“One of the great things about the GSL is that everyone is incredibly supportive,” she said. “Paul Manfred at Gonzaga Prep is like a mentor to the new ADs. I have Ken VanSickle (the University AD) on speed dial, and I talk with him frequently. I called Jamie Nilles at West Valley and picked his brain before I applied for the position, and I got some very good advice from him.

“I’m trying not to call Butch and let him ease into retirement, but he’s going to stay involved and help out with the wrestling program. I think that’s great for both Butch and the program.”

Barnhart said she was part of the interview process for the hiring of new volleyball coach Jason Allen.

“That was before I was hired as AD,” she said. “Butch and I both were on the interview committee. But when it came to actually hiring Jason, I was with the DECA kids in New York.”

For this year’s junior and senior volleyball players, Allen will be the third head coach they have played for at CV.

“Jason is the first in-building volleyball coach we’ve had in quite a while and he has a lot of enthusiasm,” she said. “I am hopeful that he can bring some stability to that position. I think that will be very good for the program.”

Barnhart said she is eager to get up to speed on any number of issues and programs at the state level, and she would like to be actively involved with the state’s governing body, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.

“I do plan to be active on the state level,” she said. “There’s a lot there that I need to get up to speed on, and I’m excited to get started.”

Fall football practice begins Aug. 17, with the rest of fall sports kicking off the following week.

CV opens the football season Sept. 2 at Coeur d’Alene. The first day of classes at CV is Sept. 6.

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