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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Post-flu Bears team rarin’ to run

Dennis McGuire has spent the past couple months deeply involved with health care. The Central Valley High School girls cross-country coach has nursed his young athletes through a season-long outbreak of the flu that has tested his exceptionally deep roster.

Community forums will focus on CV district facilities

Central Valley School District parents, residents and community members are invited to attend a Capital Facilities community forum Thursday from 7 to 8 p.m. at North Pines Middle School, 701 N. Pines Road. It is the first of three forums scheduled to allow district patrons to give input on current and future school buildings and what the district should be doing in terms of repair, remodeling and new construction. The district formed an 18-member Capital Facilities Planning Committee in May to develop a six-year capital facilities plan, including a 25-year bond plan. The committee includes parents, administrators, government officials and industry experts.

Bible before school

Every Thursday, a group of Central Valley High School students shuffle into Good Shepherd Lutheran Church for Bible study before their school day begins. The new ministry was the idea of Liberty Lake Community Church youth minister Andrew Fouche, who brought it to Gordon Fitch, who runs the youth programs at Good Shepherd, Christ Lutheran and Holy Trinity Lutheran churches. Fouche said he thought it would be ideal to hold the weekly event at Good Shepherd, directly across the street from the high school.

CV play simply laughable

The comedy “Laughing Stock” is this year’s fall play at Central Valley High School. The play highlights a group of summer actors who try to put on three plays simultaneously: “Dracula,” “Charlie’s Aunt” and “Hamlet.” Their bumbling attempts lead to a host of missed entrances, exploding props and dropped lines in a play that isn’t suitable for young children.

Teacher has legal woes

University High School teacher Mike Cronin, who was reprimanded earlier this year for reportedly touching a female student and a female staff member inappropriately while drunk, has been charged with driving under the influence three times since 2004 and stated in court documents that he is an alcoholic. The Central Valley School District’s investigation into Cronin’s behavior also turned up allegations by several students that he appeared to be drunk in class several times in late 2008. A local business owner also said she had barred Cronin from her store because of his drinking and harassment of female staff and customers.

Putting music in motion

Many marching bands perform during the halftime shows of their schools’ football games, but Saturday was all about the bands at the Pacific Northwest Marching Band Championships held at Joe Albi Stadium. The bands – East Valley High School, Cheney, Southridge from Kennewick, Kennewick, University, Pasco, A.C. Davis from Yakima, West Valley from Yakima, Bozeman, Mt. Spokane and Central Valley – showed up to win.

Continued commitment

Truth be told, football really isn’t a seasonal game. Sure, there are calendar dates set aside for the first day of practice and first game and, yes, there are dates set aside for playoff games right through the championship game.

EV sees fewer students

The number of students enrolled at Valley school districts is all over the map, with some districts hardly changing. East Valley, however, was 164 students short on the first day of school, a number that has rebounded somewhat. West Valley is on the other end of the spectrum, seeing an increase of nearly 100 students at the high school alone. Student numbers are crucial to districts. The state pays $5,000 for each full-time student, providing the lion’s share of a district’s income. Each spring, districts estimate how many students will enroll in the fall and budget accordingly. A huge drop in enrollment means the district will have too many teachers on staff and not enough money to pay for them. A steep increase forces a district to scramble and hire teachers at the last minute.

Sick days spreading

Swine flu is likely to blame for higher-than-normal absences at Inland Northwest public schools, officials say. East Valley Middle School canceled after-school activities two days in a row because of an unusually high number of sick students. Nearly 10 percent of Coeur d’Alene High School’s students have been absent so far this week, and 21 percent of the students at Central Valley’s Barker High School have been ill for three days.

Teacher back after rebuke for behavior

University High School teacher Mike Cronin went back on the job this month after receiving a letter of reprimand for allegedly inappropriately touching a female student and a female staff member while drunk. Documents released by the Central Valley School District this week in response to a public records request show Cronin was placed on paid administrative leave on Jan. 30 while several complaints involving his behavior were investigated.

CV teacher faces road rage trial

Central Valley High School science teacher Scott Winslow is facing felony criminal charges over an alleged road rage incident June 9. The school district placed Winslow on paid administrative leave Monday, said district spokeswoman Melanie Rose. The district was unaware of the charges until receiving a packet of court documents in the mail that morning, she said. The same documents were mailed anonymously to The Spokesman-Review.

Girls soccer teams young but talented

When they were freshmen, Central Valley High School girls soccer coach Andres Monrroy marveled at the potential his young players had and looked forward to three more years of escalating success. When they were sophomores, he saw them make significant strides, only to have their season broken down by injuries that sidelined as many as six of his starters.

CV schools seek alternatives after cuts reduce busing

Students at four Central Valley elementary schools that rode the bus last year now have to walk after the school district cut several bus routes from McDonald, Progress, South Pines and University Elementary schools. South Pines now has no bus routes except some special education buses because the school’s entire attendance area falls within a one-mile radius of the school.

Strapped districts spread the burden

As students return to schools throughout the Inland Northwest, they’ll notice changes wrought by budget woes: more kids in the classrooms, athletic games played closer to home, fewer buses, old textbooks. Tyler Pfeffer’s first-period class at Shadle High School on Thursday had 37 students, he said. But district officials say that number won’t stand.

Bears of experience

When Rick Giampietri started his football coaching career, it was a different game. On the national stage in 1969, the National Football League and the American Football League had yet to merge, a move that would happen a year later. Vince Lombardi was beginning his lone season as head coach of Washington, helping the team in the nation’s capital snap a 14-year losing streak by going 7-5-2, but would be dead from colon cancer a year later.

Back to the books

This first day of school is no ordinary one for Freeman School District. The old high school has been largely torn down for an “aggressive modernization,” and high school classes will be meeting in portables across the road next to the elementary school.


It’s a day usually greeted with either terror or joy – the first day of school. The smell of freshly sharpened pencils and the rustling of fresh paper will soon fill the halls of local schools. Most greater Spokane Valley school districts generally adopt similar schedules, but this year the late Labor Day holiday has caused beginning and ending dates to vary by as much as a week in some cases.

More schools miss feds’ goal

Compared to the previous year, twice as many schools in Spokane Public Schools failed to meet federal standards under the No Child Left Behind Act in 2008-’09, officials announced Friday. Statewide, the number of schools and districts that failed to make “adequate yearly progress” on the Washington Assessment of Student Learning in at least one of 37 categories also rose.