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Student Aides.

The Small-School AD's Salvation

WITH VERY FEW exceptions, small-school ADs are required to do a lot of other things, such as coach and teach. At Blue Ridge H.S., I coach varsity baseball and teach three hours of an eight-hour school day.

The preparation, instruction, and evaluation in teaching cannot be delegated to anyone else, while the coaching duties, preparation and supervision of athletic events put a further strain on my time.

Most people are unaware of the little differences between the small-school and large-school AD's duties. Blue Ridge H.S., with an enrollment of about 300 students, has offered as many as 13 varsity sports. Larger schools may offer 15 to 17 varsity sports, but generally provide more levels of competition in each sport, which necessitate more coaches and athletes.

To offset these additional responsibilities, the large-school ADs require a full-time secretary and often at least one more assistant AD.

At Blue Ridge, one of our library clerks works part-time as a secretary in the athletic department. Although her work in the athletic office is not her primary role, her help is priceless.

Her athletic department duties include writing entry fee and game-official checks, preparing contest programs for home events, and preparing mass sports-related mailings. Another of her important roles is reminding the AD of the things that have to be done.

Several years ago, when the Blue Ridge athletic programs were expanding in numbers and levels, it became apparent that we needed assistance. We got lucky. We found the answer in office aides -- students who could alleviate some of my time-consuming duties.

I now have five of these aides, all female, and all current or former athletes. It may be a reverse sort of chauvinism, but I have found that female students make the best office aides.

Four of them work one period a day and the fifth works two periods. Each of them has specific responsibilities, which occasionally overlap.

Upon reporting to the office each day, their No. 1 responsibility must be their studies. They must do their schoolwork first. Their office duties come second.

Since I teach classes in the second, third, and fourth periods, I have two office aides come in for the first period and a single aide in for the second, third, fourth, and sixth periods.

It is sometimes difficult to assign work for the periods I am in class, but as the year goes on, the aides become more aware of their responsibilities.

First Period

The first-period aides probably have the greatest demand put on them. Each Monday and Thursday they have the responsibility of sending out reminder cards for upcoming events.

On Monday, they mail cards to the opponent and officials for the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday events. On Thursday, they mail cards to the opponent and officials for the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday events of the next week.

Monday is a particularly busy day for the first-period aides. Teachers must turn in their weekly academic-eligibility records by the start of the school day. I compute the weekly list and then prepare a notification form which goes out to each student found ineligible for the week.

After sealing the notification, the first-period aides deliver it to the student's first-period class, then deliver a sealed notification master list to each in-season head coach. Finally, they mail a sealed-notification to the parents of the ineligible student-athletes.

Friday, the athletic office sends out a two-week schedule as a reminder to the coaches, transportation department, administration, mainoffice secretaries, media, and maintenance department. This is an updated version that reflects any changes from the original season schedule.

The first-period aides make up copies for each person and place them in the proper school mailboxes. They also fax the schedules to the necessary media outlets.

The first-period office aides have fewer duties on Tuesday and Wednesday. They may help with program information preparation, contract mailings, computer dataentry, or updating the three-month dry erase calendar kept on the athletic office bulletin board.

Second Period

The second-period aide spends most of her time entering information into the athletic office calendar program. This information is used to produce calendar pages for two different notebooks. One notebook (letter size) is used as a reference when scheduling contests and officials. The other notebook (smaller) is carried in the athletic director's brief case.

When not entering data in the calendar program, the second-period aide helps out in other ways. She may do such things as copy and mail contracts, deliver memos to coaches, or inventory equipment.

Third and Fourth Periods

This office aide has responsibilities that expand during the course of the school year. She is primarily responsible for entering information into the athletic office scheduling program, which has the capability of printing contracts for contests and officials as welt as producing labels for opponents and officials.

After the aide prints the contracts and labels, she will prepare the contracts for the signing and mailing. She will also file contracts when they are returned to the athletic office.

Sixth Period

The sixth-period aide's responsibilities are less carefully defined. Because I am in the office during this period, she will usually assist with tying up the loose ends from the earlier periods.

She will also prepare mailings that have to go out before the end of the day, enter information in either the calendar program or scheduling program, and spend time copying, collating, and stapling paperwork.

Forget-Me-Nets

One thing I have learned over the years is to recognize the student-aides for what they accomplish. Here are some of the little things I try to do:

* List the names of the office aides on program-information sheets.

* Put the names of the aides on the office computer screen saver )"BRHS Athletic Department Office Aides: Brenda, Erin, Kara, Rhiannon, and Shawna" scrolls across the athletic office computer screen).

* Keep gum in the desk and candy on the desk.

* Allow the aides to buy athletic apparel (sweatshirts, caps, etc. ..) at cost.

* Remember the aides at Christmas. Last year they received personalized BRHS Athletic Dept. sweatshirts.

* Say thanks when they leave the office, regardless of what got done.

Despite the efforts of these student aides, there are still numerous duties for the athletic director.

I usually arrive at the office between 6:30 and 7:00 AM each school day. I leave at 3:30 PM, except during baseball season. I return to the school at 5:00 PM on days of home volleyball, football, and basketball games. I leave at the conclusion of these events.

Without the help of my championship team (Kara Jiles, Erin McKinley, Shawna Kidd, Rhiannon Ross, and Brenda Ruch), I doubt whether I'd ever be able to get away.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:help athletic directors do their job
Author:Blumer, Bruce
Publication:Coach and Athletic Director
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2001
Words:1115
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