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Town turns out to support teacher

Community members and students are rallying around a first-year teacher whose contract was not renewed for next year.

Social studies teacher Ryan Frazier is a “provisional” teacher, meaning his status is probationary for the first three years of his career in a single district, Superintendent Steve Quick said.

The process for non-renewal of a provisional teacher’s contract is different from that of a tenured teacher.

About 20 parents, students and colleagues attended last Tuesday’s School Board meeting to plead for Frazier’s retention.

“He’s lived in Oroville all his life. He grew up wanting to teach. He wanted to make a difference,” resident Karen Hicks said. “There was a huge show of support.”

Resident and former teacher Pam Leslie, who taught Frazier in Oroville schools, called him “a fantastic teacher” who sometimes thinks outside the box.

“He’s a great guy and a great teacher,” she said.

Parent Lisa Cone said her 14-year-old son, Nick Clase, learned of Frazier’s contract non-renewal and insisted they go to the next board meeting. He joined several other students with signs and special T-shirts showing support.

“My son is very upset,” she said.

Clase had Frazier for Pacific Northwest history.

“He made learning fun again for them,” Cone said, adding that her son was excited about doing homework for that class.

“If we had more teachers like Ryan Frazier, my son would be so excited to be in school,” she said. “What’s happening isn’t right. I hope the board will recognize that.

“There’s so much support for him, I can’t fathom where this is coming from. The kids were in unison for him.”

Quick said people’s show of support was a bit premature, since he hadn’t yet had an opportunity to meet with Frazier about the non-renewal. That informal meeting took place last Wednesday.

Frazier could not be reached for comment.

He said he could still choose to offer Frazier a contract or, if Frazier appeals to the board, the board could reverse the superintendent’s decision.

The next board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. June 23 in the district office, 816 Juniper St.

Quick said a non-renewal is not unusual and is not a career-breaker.

In general, “every district looks for a good match,” he said.

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