Archive for Thursday, September 16, 2004

Soccer to be added as high school sport

September 16, 2004

It will only be a matter of time before Baldwin High School students are bending it like Beckham.

The Baldwin Board of Education approved in a 6-1 vote Monday to add soccer to the district activities offered to students. Board Member Scott Lauridsen was the lone dissenter.

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The board's decision comes after months of requests and pleas from the Baldwin Soccer Association -- made up of district patrons and students -- to add soccer to the activities offered to high school students. The program is slated to start in the fall of 2005.

Board members agreed to add the activity upon the soccer association's proposal to fund the entire program for three years.

According to the proposal, the soccer association will pay 100 percent of the program's expenses, including equipment, transportation, coaches and officials.

The proposal also states the association will be responsible for improving and maintaining, including scraping, re-seeding and striping, the field area north of the high school to make a suitable practice and game soccer field.

As part of the board's approval, the program will be re-evaluated at the end of the three-year period to determine whether it will continue. If the program were to continue after the three-year period, it would likely be funded by the district.

"We're blessed with this opportunity here. I don't think we could ask for anything better than what's being offered," Board Member Lonnie Broers said. "It's a win for the district, a win for the students and a win for the budget."

Lauridsen didn't see it that way.

"How can you ensure this has zero impact on the budget?" he said. "I'm not sure we know what all the costs will be."

He said he was also concerned that the fundraising done by the association to fund the soccer program would take away from the other activities already offered by the district. He said patrons can afford to donate only so much money, and if they chose to give to the soccer program, they might not give to other programs they had contributed to earlier.

"There's only a limited amount of fundraising that can be done," he said. "This is going to impact the rest of the activities, I'm confident it will."

Lauridsen said he thought that if the district believed the soccer program was a worthwhile activity, then the district should fund it completely, and not rely on an outside organization.

"I'm all for this, but I would like to see the board fund all the activities at the appropriate level," he said.

Estimated costs for a soccer program include $2,400 for a head coach, $1,800 for an assistant coach, $1,440 for eight home games, which includes officials and time keepers, and $1,000 for away games.

Board Member Alison Bauer said compared to other activities offered, soccer was one of the least expensive. She said she believed this was a cost-effective way to provide a much-wanted program for the district.

"We can serve a lot of kids for not much money," she said. "I really feel this is too good an opportunity to turn down."

Board President Ed Schulte said though he had reservations about adding another activity when it wasn't known if or when state funding would increase for schools, he still believed it was a good opportunity.

"My perception is this is a very generous offer, a very positive thing," he said. "I suggest we move forward with it."

In other business, the school board:

  • Met in executive session for negotiations and personnel. Following executive session, the board approved the resignations of Steve Pierce, BHS Spanish teacher, Amy Berg, BESPC student council sponsor, and Melanie Gorden, bus driver.

The board also approved the employment recommendations of Lori Krysztof and Marcia O'Neil, BESPC student council sponsors, Nate Penny and Charlie Manifee, BJHS assistant football coaches, Aman Reaka, BJHS assistant volleyball coach, Jill Chester, BJHS volleyball coach, Troy Webb, BJHS assistant boys basketball coach, Marsene Feldt, BJHS yearbook sponsor, Tara Parker, BJHS cheerleading sponsor, Aaron Anderson, BHS assistant football coach, Lindsey King, BHS freshman volleyball coach, Glory Kubin, curriculum director's secretary, and Carol Folks, bus driver.

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