Sequim athletes and fans will enjoy games in a newly-named stadium and field this coming fall, after school leaders on Monday agreed to honor the ancestral lands the facility rests and a revered Sequim High School sports fan.
Following the recommendation of a committee assigned to consider facility names, Sequim School Board directors approved the naming of the district stadium on West Fir Street to stáʔčəŋ, a S’Klallam word pronounced “stah-chung” and meaning “wolf,” and the field to Myron Teterud’s Field, after the longtime, late SHS sports fanatic.
The committee included seven members: Dustin Brenske, Jamestown S’Klallam deputy director of Social and Community Services; Jessica Humphries, Jamestown S’Klallam Youth and Teen Program Coordinator; Sequim Alumni Association president Lorri Gilchrist; Judy Reandeau Stipe, Sequim Museum & Arts executive director; Sequim High School principal Shawn Langston; SHS athletic director Craig Brooks; and Joan Zook, Sequim School District’s interim superintendent.
“We have a historic opportunity,” Stipe said Monday evening, prior to the vote.
“I am overwhelmingly excited; all the people we’ve told love the idea of stáʔčəŋ Stadium; we’re excited to be part of this.”
The committee met twice — April 28 and May 6 — and the proposal that came out of those meetings had overwhelming and unanimous support and enthusiasm, Zook said.
“I’m very excited that this was the outcome,” Sequim School Board president Eric Pickens said.
“I could see decisions coming to the board as incredibly difficult decision if it didn’t come to the board the way that it did. It speaks to the community about people coming together and listening, thoughtfully.
“I’m getting some goosebumps just talking about it.”
Teterud, who rooted on SHS athletics for the past six decades, died April 30, 2021, at 81. He suffered a stroke in 2018.
For months prior to his death, Sequim Alumni Association members and other community members advocated for naming the athletic facility after Teterud.
Gilchrist, a Sequim High 1970 graduate, offered her organization’s thoughts in support of honoring Teterud at Monday’s board meeting:
“Fields and stadiums are typically named after hall-of-fame type folks, which is great. But naming the field after Myron says something about our community, that we value our fans as much as we do our athletes,” she said.
“The players come and go but Myron was there through decades, whether teams were winning league titles or losing every game of the season and everything in between. When people come across the field name and they ask ‘Who was Myron? Why was he a big deal?’, it’s an opportunity to talk about loyalty and sportsmanship and being true to your school, an unwavering support of all things Sequim.
“His enthusiasm continued through the years as he attended almost every football, basketball, baseball game and track event. He sold tickets, handed out programs, greeted fans, encouraged the band, helped the cheerleaders get the crowd cheering while always wearing purple and gold and his Letterman’s jacket.”
Langston said he appreciated the formal process the district constructed, as he and other staff had over the years received recommendations on naming portions of the schools facilities.
He said other district have made similar dual naming processes, such as a school naming a gymnasium for an individual or entity,and that gym’s floor for another individual or entity.
“There was unanimous feeling that these were the recommendations they wanted to bring to the board for consideration,” she said.
Bibaj named student rep
School district representatives have named Desara Bibaj the Sequim School Board’s students representative for the junior class in 2022-2023.
Board directors Maren Halverson and Jim Stoffer interviewed candidates and selected Bibaj, whose sister Alisa served as a student representative the past two years.
“I was really impressed with the caliber of candidates; this was not an easy choice to make,” Halverson said.
“She really impressed us with her communication skills.”
Bibaj joins incoming senior student representative Calem Klinger on the board this fall.
Stoffer noted that directors will be having further discussions this summer about a process to accept advisory votes from students.
At the board’s June 6 meeting, Pickens said other districts across the state are forming similar policies to allow advisory votes from their students.
“There are some topics that are not appropriate for them to vote on, just as there may be some for individual members to not vote on,” he said.
Director Larry Jeffryes said the district should be very careful in how they set up policy that would allow for student advisory vote.
“I think once they got used to the idea that we’re going to ask them (for a vote) … it would work out fine,” he said. “We’ve had some good student reps; they’ve been amazingly insightful.”
Director Patrice Johnston concurred.
“[This policy] gives them a voice,” she said. “I think that’s important not only for them but the students they represent.”
Capital projects gain traction
Wenaha Group project manager Chris Marfori updated the board on progress for the district’s Capital Projects Levy, noting that fire alarms at the Helen Haller Elementary portables were scheduled to be installed in July.
Roof repair and recoating at Sequim Middle School and Olympic Peninsula Academy are slated to begin in July and August, but may carry over into the school year, he said.
Design work on the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems at Olympic Peninsula Academy and Sequim High School is scheduled to be in-process throughout the summer, Marfori said, with the goal of getting OPA’s system ready by the fall.
Sequim High School’s HVAC system will take much longer to design, Marfori said, because the system upgrade will affect virtually every building and will need to be staged.