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CCSD trustees consider athletic trainer position

Christine Kuklica
ckuklica@lahontanvalleynews.com

The Churchill County School Board of Trustees agreed at their Thursday night meeting to have a committee look into possible grants for an athletic trainer.

Trustee Matt Hyde informed the board several parents had approached him regarding their concerns about not having an athletic trainer available to monitor students’ practices and games.

“I agree with the parents that we need an athletic trainer,” Hyde said. “But I think the tricky part will be finding a way to come up with the funding. Schools in the surrounding area each handle it differently … we need a trainer just like we need first- and fourth-grade teachers.”

Phyllys Dowd, director of Business Services, said the district could fund the cost of an athletic trainer; however, in order to do so, a few things would need to be cut to fund the position.

Trustee Greg Koenig said at the moment he doesn’t believe the position can be sustained if a trainer is hired. He said in a year from now the budget won’t be pretty and more than likely the position would be cut.

New trustee Kathryn Whitaker allowed past experience to sway her decision. She said last year her son sustained a concussion that had him out for the entire season.

“My experience with the athletic trainer was a positive one,” she said. “Although the coaches are trained, they aren’t trained as well as the athletic trainer. The trainers are able to spot signs of injury the coaches might miss.”

Whitaker said she would like to add the athletic trainer position back but only if funding can be found for the position.

There are 550-600 student athletes in Churchill County School District.

Carmen Schank, another trustee, said she cannot support the position because it is an extracurricular activity.

Becky Dodd, president of Churchill County Education Association, said she doesn’t have a problem with the position being brought back as long as it’s not funded out of the general fund.

Debbie Smotherman, Churchill County Middle School office manager and president of the Classified Association, said last year the trustees were presented with budget cuts and positions to eliminate and the group decided to keep the dean of students and eliminate the athletic trainer.

“This was part of the discussion last year, and the committee said to get rid of the athletic trainer, so you all did,” she said.

Irritated, Koenig addressed Dodd and Smotherman and said they are arguing for the sake of arguing after the trustees said they wouldn’t bring back the position unless grant funding was found to sustain the position.

Other items the trustees approved or discussed include the following:

Approved sending automated calls as part of the budget process to teachers and parents.

Approved contract for Brian Byrd, Phyllys Dowd, Steve Russell, Dawn Whitten and Lisa Bliss.

Approved modifying Policy 5136.2 regarding requirements to extend participants in all extra curricular activities.

Approved leaving preparation time at the end of the day and approved a survey in the spring.

Approved to ratify the 2015-2016 School Year Tentative Agreement between the Churchill County School District and the Nevada Classified School Employee Association.

Approved to ratify the 2015-2016 School Year Tentative Agreement between the Churchill County School District and the Churchill County Administrators Association.