Athletics Director position expanded

At last night’s board meeting, Mark Trout’s title was changed from Director of Athletics to Director of Athletics & Extracurriculars.  The goal with this position change is to ensure all our extracurricular activities are under the guidance of a seasoned leader who is committed to providing the best possible extracurricular experiences for our students.  In recent years, with administrative cuts combined with increased pressures from mandated requirements, extracurricular oversight has fallen through the cracks.  In addition, having athletic, academic, music, drama, and other programs under one person will provide consistency in the way we provide for students no matter what their interests.

This position has been moved on the administrative scale to a higher salary level to account for the additional responsibilities, but Mr. Trout will NOT be receiving a salary increase at this point.  His salary, like all district administrators, is frozen.  He is taking on the increased responsibilities for no extra pay, just as many other district administrators and individuals in all types of jobs are doing.

In addition to Mr. Trout, we are hoping to hire one or two assistants to help in the effort of managing, evaluating, administering and adding new extracurricular programs.  These positions, if added, will be through the Partners for a Drug-Free Milford Miami Township, and paid for by a grant.  There will be no increase to the district’s budget, yet our programs and our children will benefit greatly.

As part of the Athletic Committee, we have been talking about how to improve extracurricular activities for several months.  I am excited about Mr. Trout’s being willing to take this on, as he is a proven leader and has done a tremendous amount for our athletic programs.  It makes perfect sense to me to add non-athletic extracurriculars to his role – this ties all our programs together, and will enhance all our offerings.  It emphasizes that all extracurriculars are important to the district.  As we move forward, Mr. Trout and his assistant(s) will also be looking for other activities in various areas to add to our offerings.  These may perhaps be short-term (even a few weeks), and will give our students even more outlets to participate and engage.

Extracurriculars are an extremely important part of the educational experience.  No matter what activity your child chooses to be involved in, valuable lessons are learned.  Skills specific to the activity, teamwork, commitment and more are learned by being part of the band or choir, tossing a saber in Color Guard, performing in a play, building sets, or competing as part of academic team.

These are also often the things that keep kids in school, and, as research shows, out of trouble with alcohol, drugs, sex, bullying, etc.  Students are required to maintain certain grade point averages and sign drug- and alcohol-free pledges in order to participate.  This is good for our students and our community, and builds strong citizens for the future.  It’s in everyone’s best interest to have strong, engaging, and varied extracurricular offerings.

Please join me in welcoming Mr. Trout to his new role.  I will update this article as we move forward.

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