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Barry steps down from school board


After five years leading the Grand Coulee Dam School District Board of Directors and a total of nearly a dozen years on the board, Joette Barry resigned Monday night because she is moving out of the district.

“We’re the longest renters in the United States at the same address,” she joked after the meeting to explain the move. The house they’ve been renting in Electric City for years will be sold by its owner, who lives in Arizona.

Joette and her husband, Jim, own a house in Coulee City and will be moving there within six weeks, but it won’t be easy.

Director Ken Stanger said that Barry’s strong leadership was crucial in siting the new school on the property already owned by the district in Coulee Dam rather than in Electric City.

The Barrys, who have put 12 children of their own through the district, plus four exchange students, will still commute from Coulee City so that two more children in their home can attend Lake Roosevelt.

The resignation was not easy, Joette noted, choking up. “There are so many things we still want to do.”

She said the state’s new school funding system is not as equitable as legislators have said, and the Grand Coulee Dam School District will have to find ways to adjust.

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