Pasack Valley School Board Considers Girls’ Wrestling Equity

In a recent meeting of the Pasack Valley School Board, members and staff of the Pascack Valley Regional High School District convened to discuss topics ranging from the introduction of a girls’ wrestling assistant coach position to staff recognition.

A portion of the meeting was dedicated to discussing the introduction of a part-time assistant coach position for girls’ wrestling. The board members expressed enthusiasm about the growth of girls’ wrestling in the county and state, but questions arose about the part-time nature of the position.

The limited scope of the position was attributed to the current level of interest and the specific needs of the girls’ team. Officals emphasized their proactive approach, stating, “We’re trying to actually get ahead of that now. We’ve got three girls who are potentially interested at Hills.” They expressed a commitment to ensuring a coach would be available, and the possibility of revisiting the decision for a full-time position if the girls participate in every coed meet.

The conversation revealed that there had been no girl wrestlers at Hills for several decades and none at Valley. Questions were raised about the possibility of girls from Valley training at Hills, but it was clarified that due to separate programs, this would not be feasible. However, a coach could potentially oversee girls at both schools.

The board discussed the importance of sending a message to girls that a coach would be assigned to them, to prevent losing potential interest. A member raised the point, “How can you recruit if you don’t have a coach?” prompting further discussion on whether a full-time coach had been considered and if budgetary constraints played a role.

The board agreed to investigate the regulations and history surrounding combined teams, noting, “I think there are certain organizations that allow it and certain that we are separate.” The superintendent and athletic directors were tasked with providing a summary on what defines a regional team and what prohibits one.

Separately, Joseph Blundo led a segment celebrating notable individuals from Pascack Valley High School, including veteran educator and photographer Christine Back, who was lauded for her 25 years of service and recent prestigious award from the New Jersey State Council of the Arts. Maria Henderson, Walter Pilea, and Stephanie Tomaselli were also acknowledged for their significant contributions and years of dedicated service to the school.

In addition to the discussions on staff and wrestling, the meeting also featured student reports presented by Drew Varian and Madeline Gibbs, highlighting various activities, club initiatives, and the success of the school’s athletic teams. Mr. Blundo emphasized a significant donation event organized by Rivervale Country Club, which raised over $12,000 for Camp Raspberry, a local organization supporting special needs children.

A resident named Vita Becker addressed the board, requesting that her homeschooled children be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities at Pascack Valley. Ms. Becker emphasized the lack of local options for her son’s interest in robotics and noted that other towns in Bergen County allow homeschoolers to join extracurriculars. In response, the board committed to reviewing the current policy through a policy committee meeting, aiming to expedite the process to avoid losing a whole year.

The meeting concluded with members praising the enthusiasm of teachers and the positive atmosphere during back-to-school nights at both Hills and Valley. A council member from Hillsdale announced his candidacy for mayor and requested support from those residing in Hillsdale.

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