By Tiffany L. Rehbein
The possible addition of girls' softball, boys' cross country, and both girls' and boys' soccer as activities at Havre High School will be the major items of discussion at a public meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Havre High School cafeteria.
"The purpose of the meeting is to obtain public input in regards to the number of athletic programs and the possibility of adding soccer for men and women, cross country for men, and softball for women," said Ric Floren, task force facilitator.
The task force, formed by Superintendent of Havre Public Schools Kirk Miller, is made up of 19 people, who represent certain areas ranging from coaches to students to community members.
The purpose of the task force has been to review the possible addition and/or elimination of student athletic activities at Havre High School.
"There will be no convincing anyone of anything," Floren said about the public meeting. "The (task force) membership will gather input and put it in written form and present it to the board of trustees."
At the public meeting, the task force members' only responsibility is to record the public's input concerning adding these sports.
The forum will be used to provide the School Board of Trustees with additional information in the spring, prior to any decision that might be made concerning this subject.
The meeting is not intended to convince the task force membership of anything, Floren said.
The comments recorded by the task force will be of a single flavor. For example they might read, "In support of soccer," or "Against soccer." A tally sheet will be provided to the school board with numbers for and against each sport.
Written comments are also encouraged at the meeting. Any written comments will also be presented to the school board.
"The meeting will not be a debate on merits," Floren said, "but rather an opportunity for citizens to give their input."
The task force membership includes the following: Board of trustees, Jim Heberly, Denise Thompson; director of operations, Ric Floren, task force facilitator; personnel/Title IX director, Karla Wohlwend; Havre High School principal, Jim Donovan; Havre High School activities director, Charlie Klimas; transportation director, Ginger Zanto; Havre High School booster club, Lela Patera; Havre Middle School administrative representative, Barry Zanto; Director of City Parks and Recreation Department, Dave Wilson; Havre High School coaches, John Ita, Scott Filius; Havre High School students, Jayla McPherson, Kris Myers; soccer association, Debi Rhines; youth softball association, Kristi Kline; cross country, Ron Watson; at-large representatives, Wells Lamey, Dan Shepherd.