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Published December 25, 2018
OUSD honors Rossiter, welcomes Daoust, elects officers, and hears about fire danger
Outgoing Orinda Union School District board member Julie Rossieter was honored for her eight years service. Photo Sora O'Doherty

There was a large turnout on Dec. 10 to honor outgoing Orinda Union School District board member Julie Rossiter. Mayor Amy Worth came to celebrate her and to show her appreciation of her leadership. Representatives from the offices of Rep. Mark Desaulnier and state Sen. Steve Glazer also sung Rossiter's praises. First elected in 2010, Rossiter served eight years. Contra Costa County Supervisor Candace Andersen praised Rossiter's leadership on the school board, adding, "You gave up your life for eight years."
Rossiter spoke of leaving as "overwhelming and bittersweet." She reflected on how much has happened in the past eight years, major changes such as common core with its new testing and the master facilities plan adopted by the board. "The district is in a good place," she concluded, as she welcomed Liz Daoust. "I'm excited for Liz to come aboard," she said, welcoming her perspective and energy as an educator.
Daoust, newly elected, was sworn in by Andersen, along with re-elected board members Carol Brown and Jason Kaune, who appeared telephonically because he was out of town. Following the swearing in, the meeting observed a moment of silence for the deaths of Miramonte student Luca Giro and Glorietta parent Alex Rudd.
Hillary Weiner was unanimously elected president of the board, and Cara Hoxie was unanimously elected to serve as vice president.
Fire danger concerns
A group of local residents spoke to the OUSD board about a situation that they consider to be a fire danger. Vic Ryerson and other residents of Ivy Drive described how their homes bordered one side of a creek while Orinda Intermediate School owns the opposite bank of the creek. The school's side of the creek bank from the bridge at the entrance to the school down to the main playing field is heavily overgrown, Ryerson said. George McGregor said that while the Ivy Drive neighbors try to keep their side of the creek maintained, they fear the fire danger posed by the dead trees, oak and Monterey pine, and other combustible fuel. Ryerson said that one Fourth of July a young person started a fire with a firecracker in the creek area, and three years ago a contractor who was clearing weeds for the purpose of fire abatement also started a fire.
Steve Zanke suggest that the board undertake a study of the creek maintenance, and Jill Oberheim told the board of her fears of fire, especially in the wake of the recent Camp Fire. Ryerson agreed that in a wildfire situation with strong winds, a fire would quickly spread from the OIS side of the creek to his and the other neighbors' backyards.

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