Issaquah High School stadium could be named after Gary Moore
May 19, 2009
By Chantelle Lusebrink
Issaquah School Board members heard a proposal last week to change the name of Issaquah High School’s stadium in honor of former football coach and teacher Gary Moore.“Since the words pride and tradition already represent the high school, the timing is perfect to carry that motto into the new school being built,” said Mardi Nystrom, a community member and school employee, who brought the proposal. “With pride in its history, let us honor Issaquah High School tradition by honoring Gary Moore, so that the new generations of students will know the example he set on and off the field.”
Moore was a coach and teacher at Issaquah Junior High School and Issaquah High School for 39 years. During his 28-year tenure at Issaquah High School as its football coach, the team won 137 games, lost 76 and tied four. During that time, Moore led the team to three King County championships and was named Coach of the Year by the National High School Coaches Association in 1984.
As an educator, he not only acted as a mentor to his players, but to countless children he taught in physical education, special education and drivers education classes, Nystrom said.
Moore retired from Issaquah in 2002, but his legendary character preceded him when he returned home to Pierce County, said Superintendent Steve Rasmussen.
Rasmussen said he had heard of Moore’s achievements in Issaquah, but he got to know him personally when he and fellow alumni of Franklin Pierce High School, in Rasmussen’s former district, raised more than $15,000 for the school’s library.
Moore died of a stroke Sept. 11. He was 68.
Board members are allowed to name school buildings and athletic facilities in accordance with policy 6114:
“Specific portions of a building may be dedicated to individuals with approval of the Board of Directors. Within the bounds of the district policy, each individual district site may also develop a memorial policy that is specific to that location.”
Appropriate enduring memorials can be scholarships, library or media materials, appropriate pictures, plants and monetary gifts to specific programs or a specific building.
If approved, all that would be necessary is a new sign for the school’s stadium by fall 2010.
A student and faculty committee would approve the sign, which Nystrom said she hopes will have his name and some statement or quote about Moore that tells visitors something about him.
According to early price estimates, a new sign would cost about $700.
School board member Chad Magendanz asked if any donations had been made to the cause so far. Nystrom said there hadn’t, but she does have commitments from several community members, Moore’s family members and former players and students to provide full funding for the sign.
Several of those people signed on in favor of her proposal, including Patrick Murphy, the district’s executive officer of secondary schools, and Paula Phelps, principal at Issaquah, several other principals, teachers, Moore’s family, former students and players.
She also said funding could be raised quickly, adding she would gladly write the check herself to get it done.
School board members didn’t vote on the proposal, but said they would bring it forward for discussion and community input on a future agenda.