Publisher’s Notebook: About that editorial …
December 17, 2011
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.
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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.