Albert Rukwaro
Special to The Gardner News
There was spirited debate at the Gardner Edgerton school board meeting Nov 12 as members disagreed on the best way to honor distinguished coaches, teachers, students or community members.
The debate was spurred by a request by Jan Bechard, Gardner, to name the main high school gym or basketball floor after former high school coach and teacher Don Bechard.
Education services staff members proposed that the district conducts research and come up with a rubric establishing the criteria for naming facilities.
Greg Chapman, member, said that establishing new rules as the board considers the request from Bechard would be unfair.
“I wouldn’t want a new rubric that would affect the current candidate,” he said. “That’s changing the rules of the game midway.”
But Rob Shippy , member, disagreed saying that since the current policy is vague a new rubric needs to be established before the board considers the Bechard request.
Shippy said that the current board members don’t know whether there have been such requests in the past.
“Let’s find ways to honor these coaches equally. I don’t want the responsibility of picking one person over the other,” he said.
Lana Sutton and Tresa Boden, members, said that naming facilities after coaches or teachers or other distinguished members of community was not a good idea.
“I’m afraid of opening this box. We have amazing teachers, coaches and mentors. I don’t want to be the one to choose one over others,” said Sutton.
“We only have one gym and one basketball floor at the high school and yet we have lots of great people. We need to find other ways to honor the people,” said Sutton.
She said that If the end goal is to honor Bechard, it doesn’t have to be a facility.
Shippy made a motion for staff to develop a rubric that would not include the naming of facilities after people in the community. His motion was seconded by Boden. The motion passed.
Kristin Schultz, member, proposed a counter motion for staff to develop a rubric that includes provisions for naming facilities after distinguished people in the community. That motion failed.