Publisher's Notebook: About that editorial ...

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Bryce Jacobson, publisher of the Craig Daily Press

We’ve received plenty of feedback here at the Craig Daily Press regarding Wednesday’s editorial about sports and coaching performances at Moffat County High School, so much that I felt it necessary to explain a bit more about the opinion conveyed.

These opinion pages are designed to share and create dialogue, and with those goals in mind, we believe Wednesday’s opinion was a success.

The newspaper’s opinion — note that Wednesday’s editorial was the work of newspaper representatives, not the editorial board — attempts to convey feelings and views of our staffers and sentiments we’ve heard in the community.

We believe Wednesday’s opinion provided an accurate viewpoint of the feelings many in our community have regarding the current state of athletics at MCHS, as well as expectations overall on the court, field of play and in the classroom.

However, we’re not foolish enough to believe Wednesday’s opinion is shared by everyone, nor do we believe we attempted to make that point.

We’ve heard from numerous people this week on both sides of the fence — those in support of the opinion, and naturally, those against.

Because there have been some misinterpretations of what we were trying to state Wednesday, allow me today to clarify some key points.

First, and perhaps most importantly, the Craig Daily Press was not suggesting that every coach at MCHS other than the two praised by name as exceptions should be removed from their position.

Some have described the editorial as irresponsible. A blanket statement calling for the removal of numerous coaches would have indeed been that.

However, that’s not what the editorial stated or advocated for.

What the editorial stated, or at least what it was intended to state, was that few coaches at MCHS should feel comfortable that their positions are secure long-term.

We were asking for coaches whose teams and programs have been struggling for several years now reshape and reinvigorate their athletes, teams and programs to a level that reflects well on the community.

We don’t believe asking for improved performance and results is irresponsible or out-of-bounds. Perhaps that’s difficult for people in the education field to understand, but those of us in private business are constantly held to a standard of performance, or else.

I also want to clarify the belief by some that Wednesday’s editorial was too harsh in claiming that most high school coaches are underachievers.

We don’t believe this to be the case, either. There are good and valuable coaches at MCHS, more than the two cited as examples of stellar leaders of their teams.

However, right or wrong, we believe a public perception exists that most high school programs are not reaching the levels expected by the community.

My personal opinion is that standards, be they athletic, academic or otherwise, at MCHS specifically and the school district generally, are not what they should be.

The notion that “we’re just Craig,” or “it’s just Moffat County,” is a losing and destructive one that permeates, and fosters mediocrity.

Our students shouldn’t be asked to settle for something less than great.

They shouldn’t be subjected to people who set the bar far lower than what they’re capable of.

Greatness is not a destination, it’s a journey, a goal. Striving for anything less is unacceptable.

That’s the message we sought to state Wednesday.

Under my direction, the Craig Daily Press has been a big supporter of all things related to MCHS and the school district.

As long as I’m publisher, our level of support won’t change, and neither will the newspaper’s practice of issuing an opinion or creating a dialogue on topics some find disagreeable.

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Comments

onewhocares 3 years ago

To CDP editorial board,

You should not have to apologize for speaking the truth. There are great coaches/teachers, but Christian Villard's comment a while ago, to the effect (regarding Moffat's low district CSAP test scores) that we shouldn't have to compete with Denver schools, etc cause we are much smaller said it all. Despite our size, we should be striving to be the best; not letting familial relationships, religion and political beliefs stymie our kids education & sports successes, which I believe is a real problem here. So don't apologize for the truth...it needed to be said. (Sadly, why do you think we have so few students go off to college & graduate? Or have soooo many girls pregnant before graduation or soon thereafter? The kids have to have the confidence to face the outside world armed with knowledge and an open mind. )

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happyone 3 years ago

The children also need parents who are involved. Parents who will take on some of the responsability of how their children turn out.

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onewhocares 3 years ago

You are so right happyone. I'm sorry I didn't not include that very important aspect to a child's success. I really do detest politicians (all of them), but Hilary Clinton was right, when she made the statement "it takes a village to raise a child." Children truly are our greatest gifts from God and we as a society, from the parents to the schools have forgotten that. We can not have "everything" like the totally misguided fallacy of today's world would like you to believe and sadly the cost to not sacrificing careers, money, image, cars, etc has been our children being left behind at so many levels-emotionally, mentally & physically. What's more important than healthy, confident, empowered, thriving children at all levels? In the end-nothing!

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Jon Pfeifer 3 years ago

I don't really care how well the sports teams do in terms of wins and losses. High School sports is about learning hard work, responsibility, teamwork, and leadership skills. And unless things have changed since I went to high school, the coaches are first and foremost educators. Trying to make a coach feel "uncomfortable" because their teams aren't winning every year is like punishing them for taking on something extra because they care about the school community. That's what extracurricular implies. If the editorial board wants to try to measure the accomplishments of student athletes by following them beyond high school, then that would be worthwhile. Implying that mediocrity is the norm in this community is not constructive. You're not creating a dialogue, you're perpetuating negative thinking. That's easy and lazy. Try focusing on the positives a bit more. By highlighting those, maybe you'll convince yourselves and some others that this is actually a community in which striving for excellence is a worthy endeavor.

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hikecal 3 years ago

Having been a former resident of Moffat County, I’ve continued to follow the events in Craig through the Daily Press. I’m saddened by the negative articles that continue to be written by the editorial board, regarding the Moffat County School District. During a time when schools districts are facing the largest budget cuts in the history of education, a time when the economy is in a slump and families are greatly impacted by loss of homes & jobs (adding additional complexity to educating children who may be in a classroom hungry, or worried where they will sleep that night, etc.), a time when many parents are working more hours just to make ends meet (resulting in lack of parental support -putting even a greater burden on teachers and staff). In addition to the mounting challenges the school district is facing, they have to contend with a local newspaper running negative articles. Maybe if some of that energy were put into making the Craig Daily Press more than a “mediocre” publication, striving towards excellence in publications, there would be less mistakes in punctuation, grammar, spelling errors, etc. And maybe, just maybe, they would find topics to write about, that would bring people together in a positive way to help “brainstorm” ideas and find solutions to meet the challenges facing the school district.

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Brian Kotowski 3 years ago

onewhocares:

I was in radio, once upon a time. At one of my early small-market gigs, we did a weekly interview with the local school superintendent, as part of our public service obligation.

On one occasion, the supe was shilling for the district’s literacy initiative, and brought a parent with him. Her son had been having a hard time with his reading, and had benefitted from the school’s program. Though she was pleased, she remained frustrated at what a struggle it was.

I related a personal story: I too, had had a devil of a time learning to read. My parents bought some flash cards with basic words printed on them. Every morning, the cards were arrayed on the kitchen table, arranged in simple phrases. I was required to read them after breakfast. One of my parents was always there to help me sound it out, but I had to do the work. Their efforts were successful, and it was like water downhill thereafter.

I suggested to the mother that she might try something similar. She looked at me as though I had sprouted horns and a tail. “Do I look like a teacher? That’s the SCHOOL’S job!”

Which is just a long-winded way of saying that I couldn’t disagree more strongly with you and Hillary. It doesn’t take a village. It takes parents. Unfortunately, some who procreate really shouldn’t.

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Tammy Showalter 2 years, 12 months ago

@ Brian_Kotowski I am with you 100%. I don't need the school trying to do my job.

For the newspaper....what were those sayings we grew up with "if the shoe fits" "truth hurts"... You printed an opinion and you got feedback...hopefully most was positive even if they didn't agree? Otherwise what was their point in giving you feedback?
those who "excuse" themselves "accuse" themselves, right?

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