Omak will keep vocational programs

— The Omak School District does not have plans to change the agriculture and family and consumer education programs after the retirement of two longtime educators at the end of the school year.

The district is seeking applicants for the full-time positions now filled by agriculture teacher Gale Wilson and family and consumer science teacher Barb Pearson.

“At no time did the (Omak High School) administration, Omak School Board or this office ever consider eliminating” either position, Superintendent Erik Swanson said last week. “We have stated this publicly several times in multiple settings; however, some individuals seem to have not understood.”

Some community members were concerned the district might cut the programs after Wilson and Pearson’s retirements. During the February board meeting, Scott Vejraska asked about the FFA program’s future.

He was told there were no plans to cut the program.

During the April 4 board meeting, which was a rescheduling of the March 27 meeting, Wilson and Pearson addressed the board about the positions after the high school asked students what classes they would like to take next year.

As administrators began planning for next year, teachers were asked what sorts of classes they’d like to teach, in addition to ones already offered, and students were asked if they were interested in any of the courses.

Principal David Kirk told School Board members that not all the class possibilities would be offered and that students would be counseled to make sure they sign up for required classes.

“Student pre-registration data reflects demand sufficient to justify a full-time ag position and a full-time family/consumer science position,” Swanson said later. “We are casting a wide net to get the best possible candidates for interviews.”


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