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M. Kate West
Decades of Lake Almanor Basin youth, parents, sports fans and friends will not only celebrate Independence Day but the selection of past Chester High School principal Darold Adamson as grand marshal of the 90th annual Chester Fourth of July Parade.
In looking at the history of Adamson one only need look at his longevity, the impact he made on generations and the fact that he is both respected and beloved by persons of all ages.
Throughout his 42 years as an educator, Darold Adamson was a teacher, coach and principal.
His tenure in the Lake Almanor Basin began in 1957 when he was hired as a teacher and head varsity basketball coach. As time passed he served as the assistant varsity football coach and then head junior varsity football coach.
Continuing to teach, Adamson gained in extracurricular responsibility when Chester’s first principal, Bob Batha, asked him to assume the role of head coach for varsity football and basketball. Batha also asked him to accept the position of athletic director.
Looking back at that time, alumnus Ron Myers said, “Darold wasn’t done yet! When the weather permitted he was also the head varsity baseball and track coach.”
Myers added, “Most of the students who attend CHS during the 1960s called Darold ‘Coach,’ versus ‘Mr. Adamson,’ because he was coaching all year long.”
Adamson was known for taking care of his players and emphasizing good sportsmanship. He is also credited for the installation of a new football field.
“This came about after Darold refused to play a home football game in 1966 because he felt the field was unsafe,” Myers said.
He said that because of Adamson’s decision all football games played that year were away games.
“A new field was installed the next summer. It was graded and irrigated; volunteer parents and players laid the sod. Darold thinks that’s why he has a bad back to this very day,” added Myers.
Adamson is also credited for the development of the school’s first baseball field.
In sharing history, Myers said Adamson sold real estate at the Lake Almanor Country Club office for developer Ed Clifford.
“Ed donated a lot for Darold to sell to make money for the CHS athletic program. He was able to get the Plumas Unified School District to match the money and all proceeds were used to develop the baseball field,” Myers said.
In the fall of 1970, Adamson was hired as the assistant principal by new principal George Cooper.
Adamson held this position for four years until he advanced to the position of principal in 1974, a position he held for 12 years.
At the time of his retirement as principal of Chester High School in 1986, he had tallied a total of 29 years at the school.
He is credited with many achievements beyond the installation of the football and baseball fields.
“Under his leadership a new wing was added to CHS that housed the library, science and art classrooms,” Myers said. “He also is responsible for adding the new auto shop, new bleachers and curbs on the track.”
As a result of the stellar example Adamson set in the classroom, on campus and in the community, many of his students went on to coach sports and several of the teachers he supervised went on to become principals and school superintendents.
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