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Now is the time


Dear Editor, I am writing to you today to ask for your assistance in making public the plight of the Gander Collegiate high school hockey team. On Oct. 16, Greg Drover, the school principal, made an announcement in the school regarding the cancellation of school hockey for this school year. This disappointing announcement came as a surprise to the parents of those students who have played on the team in the past. After contacting Mr. Drover, I was told that the decision to cancel school hockey had been made because we were unable to secure a teacher sponsor for the team. Upon further investigation, I was made aware that a teacher had expressed interest in becoming the teacher sponsor for the hockey team, but was denied eligibility on the grounds that he/she was a substitute teacher. The school district's position on the matter is that the teacher sponsor for school activities must be an individual who is under contract to the school district.

Letters to the Editor - Dear Editor,

I am writing to you today to ask for your assistance in making public the plight of the Gander Collegiate high school hockey team. On Oct. 16, Greg Drover, the school principal, made an announcement in the school regarding the cancellation of school hockey for this school year. This disappointing announcement came as a surprise to the parents of those students who have played on the team in the past.

After contacting Mr. Drover, I was told that the decision to cancel school hockey had been made because we were unable to secure a teacher sponsor for the team. Upon further investigation, I was made aware that a teacher had expressed interest in becoming the teacher sponsor for the hockey team, but was denied eligibility on the grounds that he/she was a substitute teacher. The school district's position on the matter is that the teacher sponsor for school activities must be an individual who is under contract to the school district.

At that time, I contacted the Nova Central School District board office with my contention that if the board considers an individual to be qualified to step into a classroom to teach my child, why would they not consider that substitute teacher capable to volunteer as a teacher sponsor for extra-curricular activities? This question has been presented to the Director of Education, where it is currently being examined. The issue has been before them for several days now with no decision.

In response to the time it was taking the board to reach a decision in the matter of allowing a substitute or retired teacher to act as teacher sponsor, I wrote another message to the Director on Oct. 24. I had a communication from this individual just this morning (Oct. 27) stating that the board must act with due diligence in this matter, and that she'd trust that the school principal would advise the parents when it was appropriate to do so.

I replied that the school hockey team cannot afford to wait an undetermined amount of time for a decision from the board. While I completely understand the need for due diligence on their part, the clock is ticking on the hockey season and our ability to hold onto our ice time at the Gander Community Centre.

I have sent a letter to the teachers of Gander Collegiate and St. Paul's schools pleading for someone to help our school hockey team. I am now asking for support from anyone in our community who can step forward to help to resolve the situation that we find ourselves in.

As I have stated several times in the past few days, I think that there is a much bigger issue at stake here than just a high school hockey team. The very future of extracurricular activities in our schools is in jeopardy. I firmly believe that without school sports teams and other after school associations, the spirit of the school and pride in the school will suffer.

I am asking for the community's support to save this hockey team, thereby supporting our youth in the future.

Thank you for

your time,

Geri Holden

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