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Date night for a superintendent offers lots of activities

Being the Superintendent of Schools in the Lake Pend Oreille School District certainly has its share of challenges. Having close to 600 total employees, 3,900 students, and ensuring that our instructional program meets student needs certainly keeps me on the move. However, when it comes time to relax and unwind, my position affords one of the great perks of any job in the area. I get the opportunity to attend our many student activities free of charge. Fortunately, my wife Diane enjoys these activities as well. It has become our night out on the town. We have been doing a lot of dating this fall and couldn’t be happier.

I have known superintendents who like to disconnect from work on the nights and weekends when no meetings are scheduled. Those evenings are few. However, I like to take advantage of these opportunities to watch our students and staff in a venue far different than the classroom. This is the area of student activities; one in which the LPOSD is one of the state’s leaders.

Are there better places to watch games than Memorial Field or Clark Fork? Watching the moon come up over the Antelope Mountain in the clear evening sky at Clark Fork is special. Seeing the Wampus Cat running the sidelines only adds to the fun. Feeling the breeze at Memorial Field in late August or early September, at an evening football or soccer game, can’t be beat. With the stands packed with students and parents, the band playing fight songs to accompany the action, we feel like we are part of something very special.

Watching our female athletes on the soccer pitch and volleyball courts reminds us that Title lX has truly made a difference in the lives of our students. As we sit cheering them on, it reminds both of us how great it is that our young women can participate in athletics; something that challenges them physically and mentally. This is far different than before Title lX when women were confined to clubs, social teas, and other events in high school. My wife was a very good athlete, but high school afforded her nothing athletic beyond cheerleading.

Recently, we sat in on some of the many Saturday events that occur. We have begun scheduling more games on Saturdays to prioritize classroom time, as well as to provide more opportunities for parents and community members to watch. Watching an SHS swim meet at POAC is a noisy, steamy and exciting event. These athletes understand how to compete, but also how to encourage each other. The same is true for our cross country team runners from SHS and Clark Fork. We recently attended the Sandpoint Invitational Cross Country meet at Dover. Despite the downpour of rain and a breeze, the area was packed with runners and cheering parents.

As fall sports begin to wind down and our successful teams advance to playoffs, there will be a bit of a lull between seasons. We will miss the cheering crowds, the green grass on which the games are played, and the warmth of the sun. However, in a short time we will be able to take part in the excitement of basketball games and the grittiness of wrestling matches in warm gymnasiums.

In addition, as the year moves forward we get the opportunity to hear our choirs sing, bands perform, and thespians ply their craft. We truly enjoy the band concerts at the different elementaries, although we do know the songs by heart at the end of our tour. Our elementary musicals are great fun and always have a different twist to them. Secondary musicians and vocalists invariably offer a stellar performance and the holiday concerts always bring a sense of the season to us. Finally, the comedy and drama that we enjoy when watching our young performers reminds us of how much courage it requires to be a part of a school play.

I encourage you and your family to join us in the support of our many activities. Our high school and middle school teams are well coached, play hard, and demonstrate good sportsmanship. Our young performers demonstrate confidence and poise.

You can always get a good seat at an affordable price! Come join us.

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Author info

Dick Cvitanich Dick Cvitanich is the Superintendent of Schools for the Lake Pend Oreille School District. He has been an educator for 33 years, and became superintendent for LPOSD in 2006. He was educated at the University of Washington where he earned a BA in History and a Superintendent's Credential. He has been married to Diane for 32 years and they have raised three sons who "taught us as much as we taught them." "I have a passion for public education and the role it plays in our democracy. In my free time I read, ski ... come to think of it, I don't have that much free time."

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