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50 ¢ Happy Valentine’s Day Thursday, February 14, 2013 VOL. 18, NO. 28 School chief resigns from interim spot By Megan Hansen Editor The Coupeville School District Board of Directors held an emergency meeting Friday after interim Superintendent Karen Koschak resigned. Koschak resigned via email last Thursday citing a family medical situation. Her official resignation date will be Thursday, Feb. 28, but she will be using accrued leave “to attend to family medical demands in the immediate future.” “If the medical situation permits, I would plan to return for some time in February to guide the curriculum adoption process, however, at this point in time I cannot determine whether that will be possible,” Koschak wrote. She was scheduled to hold the superintendent position through the end of the year while the district searched for a new chief. During the board’s meeting Friday, it accepted the resignation and appointed Gerald W. Jenkins as the new interim. Jenkins is the superintendent for Northwest Educational Service District 189, which covers school districts in five counties. See SCHOOLS, page 12 Decision made for Parker Road changes By Nathan Whalen Staff Reporter In response to public concern, the Washington State Department of Transportation, working with Island Transit and Island County, unveiled plans to alter three intersections on Highway 20 near Outlying Field and Island Transit’s headquarters. The transportation agency wants to close the intersections of Old Smith Prairie and Parker roads with Highway 20. Plans call for funneling traffic from Parker Road to Morris Road. Then a left turn lane and a right turn lane will be installed on Highway 20 at the intersection of Morris Road. Officials from the Washington State Department of Transportation had a list of eight options to consider for improving the road conditions on such a windy stretch of HighSee ROADS, page 12 Nathan Whalen photo Coupeville artist Roger Purdue shares a story with Coupeville resident Gary Piazzon during Sunday’s gathering to celebrate the local artist. Purdue honored for festival images By Nathan Whalen Staff Reporter A longtime Coupeville artist and educator was honored for his work helping the Penn Cove Water Festival this week. Roger Purdue, a woodworker who has for decades designed the logo for the annual festival, was honored for the artwork he has contributed over the years. Dozens of people, along with several representatives from the Samish Indian Nation, attended an event Sunday to unveil the latest logo for the Water Festival that takes place May 18 in Coupeville. During the unveiling, Purdue received several gifts from the Samish Indian Nation, which is based in Anacortes. He received a cedar hat decorated with an eagle feather and a button blanket, both of which were made by members of the Samish Nation. “I’m at a loss for words. Thank you, thank you,” Purdue said while Rosie Cayou, Samish Indian Nation cultural development coordinator, wrapped the blanket around Purdue and placed the hat on his head. The blanket was made by Diana and Pat Dunn, also members of the Samish Tribal Nation. Purdue has donated new designs for the Penn Cove Water Festival for more than 20 years. Each logo, which will eventually be placed on posters and T-shirts promoting the festival, keeps within the Native American tradition highlighted by the festiveal each year. Canoe racers from Native American tribes across the Puget Sound region and First Nations peoples in Canada descend upon Coupeville to compete in a day-long series of races in Penn Cove. The Water Festival also features Native American dancers, singers, storytellers and foods. Cayou sang two traditional songs during the image release event. She also touched upon the similarities between Purdue’s family history and herown. They both have roots on Orcas Island. Purdue also ensured his legacy of Native American inspired images will continue to be featured in upcoming festivals. He donated 15 years worth of images. Susan Berta, longtime volunteer who helps organize the canoe races and head of the Orca Network, shared how Purdue started designing the images, the first of which was based on water drop and a canoe, and how they became more elaborate over the years. “I’m so happy to have come to know you. Your generosity has been amazing,” Berta said during the meeting. The day also provided a chance for interested people to sign up to volunteer for the May 18 festival. Organizers always need help to organize such an event that is held in two parts of Coupeville and takes leaders about 12 months to organize.

Whidbey Examiner, February 14, 2013

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