By Rob Potter
FALLSBURG While students and teachers throughout Sullivan County are excited that the 2008-2009 academic year will begin this week in all eight of the county’s school districts, none may be more excited than Tim Bult.
On July 1, Bult started his new job as the Director of Physical Education and Athletics at Fallsburg Central School. He takes over for Janet Carey, who retired at the end of June.
“Things have been very good,” Bult said of his first couple of months at Fallsburg. “Everyone, from the coaches and teachers to staff members to administrators, has been very welcoming and helpful. They’ve helped me get whatever I need.
“Some of the juniors and seniors have stopped by to visit,” he added. “It was nice meeting them and I can’t wait until school starts so I can get to know all of the other kids.”
One of Bult’s first duties was to select the coaches for the Comet and Lady Comet varsity, junior varsity and modified sports teams this fall.
“I met with all of the prospective coaches and talked with them about their coaching philosophies and goals,” Bult said.
After meeting with those coaching candidates, Bult made his recommendations to Fallsburg Superintendent Dr. Ivan Katz, who approved of those men and women chosen by Bult. Those candidates were then officially approved by the Fallsburg Central School Board of Education.
Soon after taking the AD position, Bult talked with Jay Shapiro, who is the Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds at Fallsburg, about the high school soccer field. The field was in rough shape and Bult felt it could pose a safety hazard to players.
So with the approval of Katz and the board of education, Bult and Shapiro worked on improving the field. They began a strict program in which the field was raked, fertilized, overseeded and watered.
Bult noted the field has responded very well to the treatment and should be in excellent shape for the season’s first match on Thursday afternoon when the Comets’ varsity soccer team hosts The Family School Falcons.
Bult comes to Fallsburg after spending the past 12 years at Liberty Central School. For the first 10 years, he was the Liberty AD. He spent the past two years as a physical education teacher in the high school.
But Bult’s connection to Liberty goes much deeper than a dozen years as a teacher and AD. He graduated from Liberty Central School in 1989 and then earned an associates degree in Applied Science at Sullivan County Community College in Loch Sheldrake.
Then Bult moved on to SUNY Cortland. He played two seasons on the school’s football team and earned a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education.
He then received a master’s degree in Science and Education from SUNY New Paltz.
In December 1995, Bult began working as a substitute teacher in the Jeffersonville-Youngsville, Liberty, Livingston Manor and Monticello school districts. Then in February 1996, a full-time physical education teaching position opened up in Liberty and Bult was hired for that job.
During his years at Liberty, Bult earned his Education Administration degree from SUNY New Paltz. The 30-credit program consisted of 24 classroom credits and six credits for a year-long internship, which he completed at Liberty.
Naturally, Bult, who spent five seasons playing semi-pro football for the Orange County Bulldogs, has fond memories of working in the Liberty district.
“I had great kids in Liberty,” he said. “I had some great times there.”
When talking about Fallsburg, Bult, who has lived less than five minutes from the district’s junior/senior high school building for five years now, smiles brightly.
“This district is quietly ready to experience great times in the athletic program,” he said. “We have good athletes, a good coaching staff and great support from the administration and community.”
Bult noted that his goals include restoring some pride in the Comet and Lady Comet teams and seeing the members of those teams excel in the classroom and on the playing field.
“I’m glad to be here at Fallsburg,” he commented. “I want to help our kids become the best they can be. I hope to be here for a long time, because I think we have some great times ahead here at Fallsburg.”
Bult said that one of the biggest supporters of the Fallsburg athletic program is the Fallsburg Comet Booster Club.
He suggested that any community member who wants to help the club should contact Patty Bertholf by sending her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.