Anton Grube, seen here at the Philomath High graduation ceremony in June with his daughter Reese, resigned from the School Board to return to coaching. (File photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

After occupying a seat on the Philomath School Board for the past three years, Anton Grube decided to take advantage of an opportunity to get back on the sideline of a high school soccer game.

The move became official on Wednesday night with the School Board accepting Grube’s resignation and opening up the position to applicants. Grube will join the Philomath High girls soccer coaching staff of Mat Phelps, a move that also became official Wednesday night with the board’s approval of a consent agenda that included personnel changes.

A school district policy prohibits Grube from serving on the School Board if he’s also coaching.

“When I was coaching the boys’ side of the program, I had explored whether I could do both,” Grube said. “The district had confirmed with OSBA — the Oregon School Boards Association — that as an employee of the district, which technically a coach is, I can’t also serve on the board.”

Grube served as the Philomath High boys head soccer coach from 2011-18, resigning from the position to be able to watch his older daughter play. Grube ran for the School Board and won the seat for the four-year term that he had been serving.

“My daughter was participating in athletics in the fall and she’s graduated and my younger daughter doesn’t currently participate in athletics and so the opportunity came up and it was pointed out to me,” Grube said. “So, I looked at it and I’m excited to coach again in something that I certainly enjoy, and in a way, I feel like I can continue to serve student athletes in the district.”

Grube said that through the experience of watching meetings for several years and then serving himself on the School Board, he takes away a positive feeling despite some of the challenges that the governing group has endured over the past few years.

Grube expressed an appreciation for volunteers who serve the community.

“I think about the City Council, the fire board and others where they’re volunteers,” Grube said. “Just having a greater appreciation for those folks, the time that they put in in service to our community.”

The school district opened up the position to applicants on Thursday. The deadline to apply was set for 2 p.m. Aug. 5, and the remaining four board members are expected to interview candidates and make a decision at a special session on Aug. 9.

“It had wonderful moments and it certainly had some challenges that were more difficult,” Grube said about his time on the board. “I encourage folks who appreciate living in what I consider to be a very wonderful community and to consider participating in the various opportunities where they can volunteer.”

In other news from the July 13 meeting:

• After coming out of a complaint hearing in a closed meeting that lasted about 90 minutes, the board unanimously approved a motion “to not substantiate the public complaint that was heard in executive session.” The board did not release any details publicly about the situation that unfolded with Chair Rick Wells only saying that the complainant and respondent both provided statements and the board considered the information at the hearing.

• The board unanimously chose Wells to continue as board chair and approved Joe Dealy unanimously as the vice chair in separate votes.

• The board unanimously approved to continue holding regular meetings on a third Thursday each month.

• The board unanimously approved a collective bargaining agreement with the local chapter of the Oregon School Employees Association. Superintendent of Schools Susan Halliday called the negotiations a good process and recommended approval.

• The board approved a consent agenda that included several personnel moves and staffing adjustments, including the resignation of Denee Newton as the Philomath High dean of students. Co-op agreements with Alsea High School in swimming, baseball and softball were also approved.

• Christopher McMorran provided an update for the board on the local option levy renewal effort, which will go on the general election ballot in November. McMorran read a draft version of the ballot title summary, which has a 175-word limit.

Brad Fuqua, Philomath News

Brad Fuqua has covered the Philomath area since 2014 as the editor of the now-closed Philomath Express and currently as publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He has worked as a professional journalist since 1988 at daily and weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Arizona, Montana and Oregon.