Volunteering for extracurricular activities was a hot-button topic prior to this year's contract agreement between the Ontario government and the province’s teachers.
Unless a deal was reached, the unions threatened, there was a possibility teachers would not coach teams in the fall or volunteer their time for other after-school activities.
The deal achieved harmony this fall but the question I keep asking myself is how many teachers actually volunteer their time for after-school activities such as sports.
If such records are kept, no one has offered me a copy.
I raise this issue in light of this week's news that Huron Heights was pulling the plug on its boys’ hockey team that was to compete in the WCSSAA league.
The teacher that was to coach the team is on a medical leave and school administrators were unable to find another staff member willing and able to take on the responsibility.
Dave Clipper, who coaches the girls’ hockey team at Huron Heights, took care of the boys’ team during tryouts and a tournament last week but that was only a temporary solution.
He couldn’t coach both teams.
So vice-principal Darcy Mintz launched a search for a replacement and came up empty.
This should come as something of a surprise as Huron Heights has only six teams competing in the winter season and more than 70 teachers on staff. I actually came up with the number 73 when I went through the names listed on school’s website.
Extracurriculars, of course, aren’t limited to sports and I’m sure there are many teachers involved with plays, clubs and other worthy endeavours.
There are also plenty, I’ve been told anecdotally by teacher/coaches during the past five-and-half years as a high school reporter, that head directly to their car at the end of every school day and go straight home.
In the meantime, the boys that successfully earned a spot on the Huron Heights hockey team are out of luck.
They wanted to play and no one was willing to make it happen.
And that’s really too bad.
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Congratulations to the Jacob Hespeler Hawks, who captured the WCSSAA junior football championship on Tuesday night with a 23-14 win over the Preston Panthers.
Elijah Cruickshank and Josh Gilpin scored touchdowns for Jacob Hespeler, while Isaac Mapp and Jordan Brubacher had scores for Preston.
Jacob Hespeler and Preston, of course, met in the WCSSAA senior final less than two weeks ago so don't rule out a rematch of that game in the next year or two.