Class of 2001
Charolette York starting working at Olympic College during the early 1970’s, prior to and in the early days of Title IX. She was a trailblazer for young female athletes and a champion for their rights, continually watching to make sure women’s programs were treated equally in regards to quality of officials and playing venues. She is best remembered as a tireless advocate who worked to further the opportunities for girls in sport, both at OC and in the community.
In her early years at OC, she was a physical education instructor as well as coach for OC volleyball, basketball, and tennis. York also served as the OC women’s commissioner for 29 years and on the NWAACC Executive Board for six years. In addition, she served stints as the regional volleyball and basketball chairs along with chairing the NWAACC softball committee for nine years. As a coach, she led the 1978 Ranger Volleyball team to the NWAACC Volleyball Championship Tournament.
York helped get five softball teams together to form the first varsity league and fought to bring them under one umbrella with men’s baseball. Today, 26 women’s fastpitch teams play in the league, now known as the NWAC. For York’s “enthusiastic support and dedication to NWAC Softball” the conference tournament’s Most Valuable Player will forevermore receive the Charolette York Award.
As a physical education instructor, York taught classes in health, nutrition and fitness. Her daughter, OC staff member Linnea Hess remembers that, “she always led by example. There was not one thing she would ask of her students that she could not do herself. Many in the community would see her running with her classes. She always said that she would stop teaching when she could not do what she asked of them.” At the age of 40, York started running marathons. She ran more than 20 of them and both qualified for and ran the Boston Marathon.
In addition to her college responsibilities, York was a co-founder for the Kitsap County Amateur Softball Association as well as the Peninsula Women's Basketball Board, the official’s organization for women's basketball. Charolette officiated both women's volleyball and basketball. She also was a well-known ASA softball umpire as well as being a leading ASA Junior Olympic spokesman both on the district, state, and regional levels. The ASA awarded her with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her work. She also was inducted into the Kitsap Oldtimers Hall of Fame.
York passed away in 2000.