Weekly Feature

2018-07-11 / Front Page

Secrecy surrounds track coach’s resignation

Sweet Home
by DAVID F. SHERMAN Managing Editor

Students and parents from the Sweet Home community spoke Monday night for more than 90 minutes about the values of a varsity track and cross country coach who suddenly resigned from his position.

As per policy, no board members or administrators engaged in dialogue with any of the speakers, citing the fact that this was a personnel matter.

The coach in question, Brian Lombardo, was not in attendance.

Jacob Wisenberg presented the board with a petition bearing more than 750 names asking it to reconsider Lombardo’s departure.

Many speakers cited Lombardo’s status as a role model, mentor and father figure.

Patty Shoemaker, a retired teacher, said he epitomizes the Sweet Home mission.

“This is inconceivable to many. I believe that in hindsight you have a great injustice,” she said.

Beverly Roberson, whose daughter, Rachel, graduated from Sweet Home in 2015, recalled how Lombardo approached the girl when she was in eighth grade and encouraged her to come out for track.

She ended up running for her school for five years, all under Lombardo’s guidance. Rachel later said, “That was the day that changed my life.”

Greg Davis made the biggest impact of the night when he brought dozens of medals, patches and plaques to the head table as evidence of Lombardo’s value as a coach.

But like other speakers, he said the trophies were not as important as the life lessons he taught to countless students.

Thomas Brevara said he appreciates all Lombardo did.

“The things he taught, no one can take away. His resignation is something you need to look back at.”

The Sweet Home boys outdoor track and field team won its seventh straight large schools title in May.

The next voting meeting of the Sweet Home Board of Education will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21, in the Norman C. Vergils Community Center, 1901 Sweet Home Road, Amherst.

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