NA-FC Board adds soccer at middle schools PDF Print E-mail
Written by George Browning   
Wednesday, 21 June 2017 08:05

By Josh Suiter
Special Correspondent

The New Albany-Floyd County School Board approved soccer as a sanctioned middle school sport for boys and girls during their June 12 meeting.

The board discussed the proposal during their May work session. Prior to this change, the corporation’s three middle schools were running soccer clubs with volunteer coaching staffs. The approval of soccer as a sanctioned sport is for the 2018-2019 school year and will enable each school to have paid staff.

Prior to the board’s discussion of the agenda item and their vote, Natalie Thurston of New Albany, who was one of the volunteer coaches thanked the board for the opportunity present at the work session. “It was a great opportunity for you all to see how much excitement there is in the community for soccer. We would love to have you all come to any of our soccer games. Anytime you want to come we would love to have you and show you around because it is a blast.” she said.

Board member Jenny Higbie expressed her appreciation for the volunteer coaches and the parents who made the program possible. “You have generously and lovingly given your time to these kids and this program. At last count, we had 242 children involved in soccer. I would love to see it transition into a school sanctioned sport in order to be more inclusive for all children. I stated at the last meeting that we had children at Scribner and Hazelwood that despite being on the soccer team the last 3 years have never been able to attend an away game because their family doesn’t own a vehicle.”

The board approved the item by a vote of 7-0. But discussions regarding coaching salaries and uniforms will continue over the next year. Board Vice-President Lee Ann Wisehart also noted that the corporation is the first in the area to make soccer a sanctioned middle school sport.

The board also approved the promotions of two staff members. Jamie Crick, Spanish teacher at New Albany High School, was promoted to be the Assistant Principal of Staff Development at New Albany High School. Nicole Warren, Special Education Facilitator at Mt. Tabor Elementary, was named Administrative Intern at Grant Line Elementary.

In addition, Jenica Miller, a Floyds Knobs incoming sophomore at Floyd Central High School who is in a wheelchair, addressed the board after Board President Becky Gardenour made a comment in a previous meeting about students with disabilities participating in the NJROTC program at Floyd Central.

“When some of you look at me and other people like me, you are probably thinking we have cognitive disabilities, but most of us do not. We have the same hopes and dreams as any other person. How would you feel if someone told you, that you couldn’t do something due to race, age, sex or other inapplicable things? You might feel mad or even furious. Now, I want you to take those feelings and stand...or sit... in our shoes. That’s how we feel when someone says we can’t do something,” she said.

“For me, being in choir makes me feel like I am part of a team and I am helping and contributing to the success of my team. For other kids, it may be band, ROTC, or maybe even a sports team. Some of us have to work 10 times harder to do it, but we will try and never give up. Accessibility laws and the constant positive support of our family, friends, and teachers help us reach our goals. For me singing in choir some days can be a challenge because of my breathing,” she said.

Miller also mentioned that she won the Medal of Honor in Girl Scouts in 2013 when in the 5th grade after her nurse became ill and needed help and Miller was able to let emergency personnel into the house. “We do not let our physical disabilities get the better of us. Instead we push through our disabilities and do not let them hold us back,” she said.

“The recent comment about disabled students and the ROTC program shows a lack of knowledge about physically disabled students. A disabled student should be able to take any class he/she wants, so I challenge you to find a way to make all of the classes accessible for disabled students. Our disabilities do not define us. We are valuable contributors to the NAFC School System and to the world,” she said.

Other items of interest from the board meeting included:

The approval of a contract for the corporation’s bus drivers. Fred McWhorter, Chief Business Officer, said the tentative agreement is a 3% raise over two years. It includes a 1 percent raise for drivers in the first year and 2 percent raise in two years. The board approved it 7-0.

The board recognized the Floyd Central High School Orchestra who won the State Championship at the Indiana State School Music Association State Finals. They were one of five schools to have all three of their performing arts programs–choir, orchestra and band – qualify. The board presented Orchestra Director Doug Elmore and the 106 member orchestra with a plaque.

The board also discussed live streaming future meetings. The board decided to explore the idea further and ask Deputy Superintendent Dr. Brad Snyder to look into further options.

The board has canceled their work session scheduled for June 26.