‘The Voice of the Valley’ sign’s off for the final time

Chris Cowbrough
Sports Editor/Publisher

One of the Colville valley’s best-known voices—and faces—has put a wrap on a teaching, coaching and radio play-by-play career that has spanned decades.

Larry Pember, 79 (as of June 30), smiles when he thinks about the students he has taught and the listeners he has reached as the pre-eminent “Voice of the Valley” for KCVL/KCRK sports.

“It’s not often a guy gets to retire from the same job twice,” pointed out Pember, who started his part-time sports radio gig back in 1983 and worked as a teacher, coach and later substitute teacher for many years and many teenage faces at Colville High School.

“I am going to miss all the associations I have had at the high school…the kids…and announcing those games and being able to bring our local folks some high school sports coverage over the radio.”

But none of us are getting any younger and Pember says that physically, at least, the time has come to sign off on a sidebar career he has enjoyed.

Workhorse sub

Pember taught for more than 39 years. He retired as a teacher at CHS in 1999 after a 22-year stint there. In 2005, he returned to the halls of CHS as a substitute teacher. He says he’s “probably averaged about two to three days a week subbing” at the high school.

That’s a lot of good stories and fond memories.

He said he always enjoyed his forays through the halls of CHS academia and other short stories. If substitute teaching can be a minefield for the uninitiated and even the grizzled and experienced, well, Pember was never daunted.

Hats off to Larry.

Experience and expedience are both great teachers and Pember has those in spades.

“I never had any trouble substitute teaching. A lot of those kids have parents who were former students of mine.”
Pember has always been old school in the classroom.

Back in the day, teachers were accorded respect by students because that’s the way it was and that is what was expected. That concept can go somewhat lacking in the current 21st century public school environment.

Read the entire story in the June 29th Statesman-Examiner