Monday, May 19, 2008

Campaign for Coach!

At our last Board meeting, athletic director Tim Zieroff proposed that we name our football stadium in honor of former Coach David Hansbarger. To that end, he also prepared a list of the Coach's accomplishments for our consideration. Let me share some of that with those of you who didn't grow up here.

"One of the most successful football coaches in Northwest Ohio Athletic League history, the former Bulldogs' mentor turned a struggling grid program in the early 1970's into a legitimate contender in which his teams captured two Northern Border League championships and five Northwest Ohio Athletic League titles while going undefeated twice in 1975 and 1981 during his outstanding tenure.

"Hansbarger, whose career record is 154-87-5 from 1972-1995, also guided the Bulldogs to their first post-season appearance in the 1995 Division IV state football playoffs. An active member in the Ohio Football Coaches Association, he has served in various capacities with the organization.

"His other honors included being named in the Region I Coach of the Year in 1975, '81, '90, and '95 and also coached the Ohio High School North-South All-Star Game in 1991 and the Ohio-Pennsylvania Big 33 All-Star Game in 1996."

Coach Hansbarger is a member of the Ohio High School Hall of Fame (not just ours!), and has a plaque honoring him hanging in the Ohio State University Stadium. (gate 8A on the East side)

The impact on individual lives beyond the practice field has endeared Coach Hansbarger to many former students. To some, he was a second father - to others, the only father figure they had during their high school years. This man made a positive impact that is still guiding others today, as evidenced by the many emails we have received on the matter.

At our May meeting, I expect that we will take a vote on naming the stadium in his honor. Stay tuned!

Interesting Stats

Not sure if you were aware of this, but we are in the midst of contract negotiations with the teachers union (SEA). As most of my life was spent working at The Andersons, in Personnel, I have no union negotiation experience (they are a non-union company). I have been told that the SEA with their OEA representative (translation: attorney) draft up their list of "wants" - and our negotiating team along with our attorney draft up a list of "offers", and then they try to hash things out in the middle.

Here are a few statistics for you to mull over. According to the last census, the average household income in Swanton was $42,000 or so. That is HOUSEHOLD income - generally a 2-income family combined. Conversely, the average teacher salary in our school district is $47,000 and some change. Interesting, eh??

While you're thinking that over, here is another fact for you. During the course of investigating the possibility of raising GPA requirements for athletic participation, I got a look at a report generated at the high school of students at the 70% level ("C") or lower. This report listed the person's name and each subject where the grade was at 70% or less. There were 209 students on that list. We have less than 600 kids in the entire high school student body, so this number represents a third of our kids who are doing poorly in school. The vast majority were far below the 70% line, and there were far too many kids flunking out of every single class.

Preliminary results from state testing are also grim. Yet, the average years of service of our teaching staff is very high.

So put those facts together, and see what you come up with.