Leadership is often a lonely pursuit.
The decisions are difficult, the criticism fierce and the second-guessing constant.
That being said, I want to take a moment to commend the Warren County School District for a couple of things – the way they handled the Sheffield football situation, and on a larger scale, their overall response to the ever-fluid world of COVID-19.
The Sheffield football program was in a tough spot. They lost their co-op with Abraxas for this season because of COVID, and quite simply didn’t have the numbers. Watching their one game against Keystone, this was evident.
What to do, however, when you make the difficult decision to pull the plug after the season has already started? Do you simply tell those kids that still want to play, sorry, you can’t. It is the rule, after all.
Or instead, in what can best be described as unique times, do you ignore the co-op rule for the purposes of common sense and allow those kids that still want to compete to do so this season?
The Warren County School District chose the latter, as did the PIAA and Districts 10 and 9. And they got it done quickly. Those Sheffield players, because of the approved co-op with Warren, were at Dragon practice on Thursday.
Kids are resilient, they will make it work. Warren head coach Mark Morelli has been in the game a long time – he and his staff will make it work. These are unprecedented time, ones that sometimes require the rules to be thrown out in favor of what makes sense. Kudos to all involved for doing that in this case.
On to the bigger scale, the WCSD and other districts throughout the area, because of decisions made by Governor Tom Wolf, have had to map out their own safety guidelines and procedures to deal with the ever-present pandemic.
Whether you love or hate Wolf, it’s hard not to be impressed with the way our district and others have responded.
I heard a lot of doomsday predictions before school started that they would last maybe two weeks, there would be an outbreak, and everyone would be back to virtual learning.
That hasn’t been the case.
Without out getting into the minutia, there are overwhelming reasons why. The WCSD, Superintendent Amy Stewart, fellow administrators and teachers were all prepared. They may not have dealt with anything like this before, but you wouldn’t know it.
The transition has been as close to seamless as could be expected. Teachers, who have enough on their plate to begin with, had to adapt to teaching in the age of COVID. They have done just that, showing tremendous poise and leadership in the process.
Because of that, students are able to be around their friends, in the best place possible for them (in person) and learning.
Our school administration is often the first to be criticized when something goes wrong, and the teachers aren’t far behind them.
I say it’s time we all give them a big round of applause for the job they are doing, because they are absolutely crushing it.