HomeHillsborough BeaconHillsborough OpinionHILLSBOROUGH: School board member Cohen urges public to express views on athletics

HILLSBOROUGH: School board member Cohen urges public to express views on athletics

To the editor: 
Proceeding my swearing in to be a member of the Board of Education over 18 months ago, I’ve received non-stop information that our school administration has negligently supervised the athletic programs in our upper-level schools.
Their reply is to counsel me that “good board-manship“ places upon me a special burden to try to work within a set of processes, that as a member of the board I must not undermine the administration. That we have no “fix it” rights, that all I am responsible for is his review and to recommend policy.
Well, after all this time I must apologize to the many students, parents and like-minded community who exhibit pride in our school’s athletic accomplishments. Like you I spent countless nights and weekends and invested many road hours watching my kids participate in athletic competition. I know the extended benefits and the hard work that our children put forth while balancing their scholastic, social and sporting lives. They are amazing resilient, smart leaders, learning life’s lessons at such an early age.
I have invested countless hours and had many conversations with our administration attempting, in good faith, to institute corrective actions, yet all I receive are lectures from fellow board members warning me, and “rope a dope” machinations that never amount to any serious response to my efforts.
In consideration of privacy issues regarding this matter I’m reticent to detail these problems, but suffice to say that the community at large “gets it” and understands my frustrations.
I’ve failed to have any of these issues resolved and as a result decided the only course of action is to reach out to you the taxpayer, the volunteer coach, the parent, the students or just the fans of Boro Pride.
We are so fortunate to live here, one of the best towns in the USA, where our school administration demands excellence from our scholastic leaders in the educational community employing first-rate teachers, staff and administrators.
Unfortunately, this administration has neglected our community of student athletes, their parents and the public at large accepting mediocrity.
Where is this very same search for “excellence” required of teachers in our school athletic programs? Why isn’t excellence a bar reached for by the administration, a bar not defined by wins alone but by metrics beyond — teaching and developing skills, preparing our kids to be great teammates and leaders and able to deal with and overcome adversity? It is an unexplainable conundrum.
Therefore I am left to write this letter to urge all concerned to join me and share their concerns and complaints at our meetings, in public. Together we can make a difference and hold the administration accountable and finally pull their heads out of the sand. 
Steve Cohen 
Hillsborough 

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