Chester High alumni vote to name gymnasium

M. Kate West
Chester Editor

“It will still be the Chester High School gym, it will just have Darold Adamson’s name on it,” said alumna Joan Sayre Feb. 23 at the conclusion of the vote on the initiative to name the CHS gym.

Although other names were mentioned in discussion, Adamson was the only individual nominated for the honor.

“Darold was a CHS teacher, coach and principal from 1957–1984. There have been other coaches, but the longevity is his,” said Sayre.

Sayre commented on the unanimous vote, “We can also do a plaque and place in the gym or other area of the school where we recognize all coaches—past, present and future.”

Among those Sayre thought should be listed is Luana Gakle.

“In the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s there were no sports for girls. Luana was an English teacher, gym teacher and coach. She was responsible for beginning many of the extra curricular sports and cultural activities for girl students,” Sayre said.

The Feb. 23 vote continues the most recent process started by several of the alumni in December 2009. At that time they presented an initiative to the Plumas Unified School District board in which they stated their desire to name the school gymnasium after Adamson.

As a result of the presentation, Lake Almanor Basin board representative Sonja Anderson formed a local committee to discuss the idea. Anderson, who attended the meeting, said she would report the results of the vote when the PUSD board meets March 9 in Portola.

Anderson also said, “Although I am only one vote among five, I don’t anticipate any obstacles to your request.”

July 3 dedication
In anticipation of PUSD board approval, the group began planning a dedication ceremony, barbecue and social near the football field. In looking at a date that would likely work best for the greatest number of alumni, July 3, was selected, because nearly all those that return home usually do so around the Fourth of July.

Nonprofit or not
Chairing the group of approximately 25 alumni, Bing Miller brought up the topic of checks being received in support of a formalized CHS Alumni Association. She talked about the need for a federal identification number to cash the checks and open a bank account. Discussion was held on the potential of starting a nonprofit organization.

Miller also said, “Alumni Bill Wickman has sent information on the possible use of the Plumas County Education Foundation to deposit these funds.” She said he verified the foundation was current in status and only needed to seat a new board of directors.

She said the foundation was a totally separate entity from the school district and banking through that organization would protect those alumni funds.

CHS Principal Scott Cory advised members that schools in Chester also had a similar organization called the Renaissance Foundation. He said this foundation, too, was not connected in any way to the school district and he offered it as an option to the alumni.

“We could also use a couple of more board members,” he added.

Several alumni expressed an interest and said they would like to attend a Renaissance Foundation meeting to learn more about how everything operates.

In follow-up, school secretary Cheryl Henry said Feb. 25 that she would be working to set a meeting date within the next three weeks.

Trophy cases
Miller said alumna Marie White had spoken to Janice White of the Collins Company about the potential donation of lumber for the construction of trophy cases and that feedback about the donation was very positive.

During the continuing discussion, Cory was asked if it would be possible for the wood shop students to build the cases. He agreed and suggested that members of the group get together with him to do a walk around the school to look for potential sites where the cases could be located.

Cory said it would be an important first step to ensure approval was received by the school’s insurance program. A committee will be formed to do the walk around and basic design of the trophy cases.

Improved communication
“We are extremely pleased with the number of alumni who are e-mailing and calling in their input. It is our goal to have past students from every decade join and be involved in the association,” said Sayre.

She also said the group was building a master list of names, graduation years and e-mail addresses.

During the Feb. 23 meeting, the group asked all interested graduates to send an e-mail to member Marie White.

For more information about the proposed association or the dates of future alumni meetings, contact committee members Bing Miller at 258-2533, Joan Sayre at 258-2677 or Marie White at 258-9800.

Correspondence may also be directed to the Chester High School Alumni Association, P.O. Box 146, Chester, CA 96020.

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