Parents Form Group

April 6, 2018

Parents and community members in Oxford, Ohio presented their group called the Community Unified for the Advancement of Talawanda Athletics to the district's board of education last week. According to an article for the Journal-News, one of the main goals is to create more cooperation between the board and community to help improve the athletic culture and increase passion for Talawanda High School athletics.

“Athletics are an integral part of the school climate, and we as a group want to continue making sure our Talawanda students are given the best opportunity for success now and in the future,” group member Cathi Hainline told the board of education. “For more than 60 years, Talawanda has been offering strong academics as well as strong sports teams. Our hope is that we continue seeing that expectation moving forward.”

Members of the group are calling for passion from the coaches, the board, superintendent, students, as well as the community. They also noted that the creation of this group was not a reaction to a specific coach or sport. Instead, the group hopes to change the trend of student-athletes discontinuing their participation in athletics. Hainline noted that out of the 30 sixth graders that began playing football in 2012, only eight of them stayed on through their junior year in 2017.

Talawanda graduate and parent Bryan Price believes that much of the problem stems from the lack of support from district leaders, which leads to athletes leaving Talawanda for other schools. In a statement posted on their Facebook page on March 14th, the group outlined the changes it hopes can be made in the school’s athletic program:

“The Community Unified for the Advancement of Talawanda Athletics is proposing that the school and community come together in a unified approach to do what is best for the students of Talawanda. Some of the issues that we would like to see addressed are:

1. Increased participation for all sports teams.

2. Increased cooperation between high school and youth programs.

3. Stronger sense of community among high school sports teams. For example, supporting other teams through attendance at games or events. (The football team goes out to cheer for the baseball team. The baseball team goes to watch the school play. The basketball players attend the band concert.)

4. Increase in the stakeholder input. (Parent/community surveys or input regarding qualifications of coaches, overall performance, etc.)

5. Unification of schools and community for the betterment of ALL students-athletes.

This is not an all-inclusive list.”

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