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School Board votes Jan. 18 to honor the SHS graduate who was killed a year ago while serving as a police officer

SUBMITTED PHOTO - On Jan. 18, the Sherwood School Board approved naming the football field at Sherwood High School after slain Seaside Police Officer Jason Goodding.Last year, impassioned pleas were made to name the Sherwood High School football field after Sgt. Jason Goodding, and advocates came to Sherwood School Board meetings to show their support, but the board initially declined to pursue the idea.

What a difference a few months makes.

On Jan. 18, the School Board voted 4 to 0 to name the football field after Goodding, a 1994 SHS graduate who became a Seaside Police Department officer and was killed in the line of duty a year ago on Feb. 5, 2016.

The initial pitch was made at the June 8, 2016, board meeting by Jon Dickover, a SHS graduate and teacher who was a friend of Goodding's, but board members felt that naming structures after people might start an unsustainable precedent.

In 2004 the School Board had agreed to name the SHS stadium the Aaron J. Contreras Memorial Stadium, after the SHS graduate was killed while serving as a Marine helicopter pilot in Iraq in 2003.

But Goodding's supporters were determined to keep the project alive. Following the June 2016 board meeting, some SHS alumni formed the Bowmen Family Foundation to support Sherwood families and started working on renaming the football field with School Board Director Patrick Allen.

At the Oct. 12, 2016, board meeting, Dickover made another pitch and described how the foundation had raised money to help Goodding's wife and two children and create scholarships for SHS students "and are gladly continuing our efforts to help others in honor of our friends Aaron and Jason who have passed before us."

Dickover added that with Allen's assistance, they came up with a plan to name the playing field the Jason Goodding Field with the foundation paying for signs plus plaques for Contreras and Goodding.

At that time, the vote on a $247.5 school bond measure that included a new high school was still in the future, but Dickover said that if voters approved it, the new high school could have a Memorial Stadium and Field with a memorial for other fallen alumni.

The School Board voted 5 to 0 at the October meeting to start the renaming process that led to the January vote to implement the plan, and in the meantime the bond measure passed.

No one spoke during the public hearing on the proposal to rename the SHS football field, after which Allen made a motion to rename the field after Goodding, and board members cast their unanimous vote in support.

"This is the culmination of a process that went on over three or four meetings since last summer to rename the football field," Allen said. "The sense of the board has been that the name would remain at (the original SHS), and a broader memorial will be created at the new high school."

Board Chairwoman Jessica Adamson added, "We are pleased that you have worked with community members on this. This is really great news, and it's great to recognize an alum."

No timetable was mentioned for when the signs and plaques will go up, but everyone can look forward to next fall when the SHS Bowmen play on the Jason Goodding Field in the Aaron J. Contreras Memorial Stadium.

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