By Jeanne Sager
CALLICOON July 12, 2002 The process of merging three school sports programs into one hit another bump in the road Tuesday evening.
After the first year of Sullivan Wests Bulldog sports program (the first year students from the Delaware Valley, Narrowsburg and Jeff-Youngsville campuses of the district joined together to play on the same teams), board of education members raised questions about some of the athletic departments procedures at its regular July board meeting.
After the end-of-the-year sports awards ceremony held in June, board member Tim Lanese approached Athletic Director Dave Franskevicz to question changes made from the awards ceremonies of the original districts to this years program.
Of main concern for Lanese was the awarding of senior plaques, similar to the prizes handed to seniors in the original Jeff-Youngsville district for their participation in various school sports.
This year, instead of awarding seniors with plaques for participation, coaches decided to use a point system to decide who should be honored for their contribution to school athletics. A total of 17 seniors, both boys and girls, were awarded a senior select plaque for their participation in a number of sports their junior and senior years, as well as any honors or leadership positions earned since seventh grade.
The top girl and boy in the points bracket were then given the Most Valuable Senior Athlete distinctions.
Lanese, whose son was a senior in this years Sullivan West/Jeff-Youngsville class, was concerned that seniors expected to receive a participation plaque as they had in the past.
Were these students notified? he asked Franskevicz during Tuesdays board meeting.
The athletic director explained that the students were not notified because coaches did not complete the end-of-year sports program until late in the school year.
Besides, he explained, they did not realize that it would create a problem.
We had a new merged program, but we had no awards to hand out yet, he explained. One school had one thing, one school had another they had to be brought together without repetitions.
Franskevicz called his coaches together to create a new awards system for the new program.
Some prizes, many of which carry the name of alumni, were carried over from the old system and changed into district-wide recognitions.
However, in an effort to keep from repeating awards or handing out prizes coaches did not deem fair, some of the original campus awards were dissolved.
All kinds of awards are not going out anymore, said Margie Tenbus, principal at the Jeff-Youngsville campus and a mother of Narrowsburg graduates.
That includes the senior participation plaques.
According to Franskevicz, participants already receive letters from the district for their efforts. An award for participation seemed like a duplicate prize to the coaching staff.
You changed the whole concept of the award, Lanese said. You didnt expand it for the three districts.
Its not the same, its not a duplication, he continued. Youre taking away an award that everyone gets and just giving it to those up for the MVP.
A plaque got changed that didnt have to be changed, he noted, explaining that to the students it seemed like they were being penalized this year for not ranking high in the points system. To my son, you held something back, and Im sure other students felt that way too.
According to Board President Jeff Nober, students in the Narrowsburg district also received certificates as seniors for all their efforts without a points system another award dissolved by the athletic department this year.
Franskevicz noted that the coaching staff did not mean to penalize any of the students.
He agreed to return to the coaches next year and discuss instituting a new award that will honor seniors for their efforts regardless of how many points theyve collected.
Franskevicz also suggested reinstituting a board liaison to the athletic department so board concerns can be addressed earlier. Nober and board member Rich Sandler, who had been appointed to serve on an athletic department committee at a meeting shortly after the districts merged in 1999, agreed to attend Franskeviczs next coaches meeting.