Blevins addresses Board of Education

 

December 17, 2020



Kelsea Blevins, who until recently was Superior’s head volleyball coach, addressed the Superior Board of Education during the public forum held Monday evening, with the following words:

“Good Evening,” she said.

“This is a devastating end for me with Wildcat Volleyball. I love volleyball. I am here tonight because what you do, what you say, how you act and treat people….it matters. I can be mad, but I will also be kind. If you don’t have kindness, what do you really have?

“I am not here to talk only about my coaching position, I am also here as a teacher who is deeply concerned about the decisions that are being made that affect the students of Superior High School. It’d be much easier to sit at home and do nothing, but as I have to tell my girls all too often, it is important to have integrity. When there is an issue, you don’t handle it on social media, you talk face-to-face. Now, yes social media blew up, but I did not post anything about anyone other than a simple thank you to the community for their support.


“When I graduated with my masters in education from Hastings College, we were told that if ever put in a difficult situation, we must only ask ourself one question. That question should guide all educators, administrators and people who make decisions in education that affect the lives of others. That question is, “Are we doing what is best for kids?”

“I have witnessed first hand that decisions are being made by a very small, united group of people who don’t seem to be asking themselves this question. Since being fired from coaching volleyball, I have had eight teachers approach me and say, “I’m trying to get out” – these are both new and experienced teachers who are seeking jobs elsewhere or ending their careers early. They fear the ‘direction’ Superior is going.

“It concerns me that I have also had fellow coaches and teachers come to me and say, “I am scared to do my job because I teach or coach students with vocal parents who have so much power. Judgement is so often cast without a full understanding.

“Doing what’s best for kids is empowering coaches and educators to feel comfortable and supported to do their jobs – what they have been trained as professionals to do.

“I have a team where 20 plus girls (out of 26 total) are devastated that their coaches are not coming back next year. When I called them that night to let them know that I would not be coaching next year, almost every one cried or didn’t know what to say because they were completely in shock. Multiple starters and a few non-starters have said they don’t plan to play volleyball next year at Superior.


“I’m encouraging them to play, because time on the court with teammates and coaches can create some of the best memories of your life. I know because I’ve made them here with my teams.

“I received over 150 personal texts and messages from former players, parents, area coaches and community members after I was fired from coaching.

“Here’s what some of our students had to say-

“I have so many memories from volleyball. I wish I could have recorded some of our practices just to feel the joy that our team brought my senior year. You are such a great coach and I feel so blessed to have had you teach me and make me better both on and off the court. I want to simply say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank You Coach.”

“You helped create some of the best days of my life on that volleyball court and in the classroom. Your love for the game inspired me to fall in love with the game and I can never repay you for that. God blessed you with such a compassionate, caring, hardworking and intelligent personality that I had the absolute pleasure of getting to call you my coach. Thank you for everything you’ve done not only for me, but for so many others. Thank you for leading so many teams to state and for teaching me to always have a relentless pursuit of my goals.”


“Thank you for supporting me for four years. You’re one of the reasons I stayed alive through high school.”

“Hey Coach, I just wanted to let you know that you deserve much more than what you are receiving. You were one of my favorite coaches and are still one of the best teachers I ever had! You are still and always will be an amazing role model, teacher, coach and person. Don’t let anyone tell you different. I’m so sorry about what happened, its so disappointing and disrespectful. Just know that I will always root for you as you did for me!”

“This gives you a glimpse of how the students of Superior felt about our volleyball program. According to their words, they left with what any parent would want for their child. Character, drive, work-ethic, appreciation and memories to cherish forever. I challenge all of us –with future next decisions – Let’s be different, let’s be better and lets be sure to ask ourself – “Is this what’s best for our kids?”

Three volleyball players also spoke at the Superior Board of Education meeting. A portion of their remarks are as follows:

“Coach Blevins has been training us since third grade. She is a great role model. She always tells us that working together as a team is important and we are here together to represent our team. Our practices are encouraging and uplifting. We work hard and everyone got better this year.”

Another said, “We would not have had the courage to stand up here tonight if it wasn’t for Coach Blevins.

A third one said,“Coach Blevins has been here for 11 years. She took us to state four years in a row.

Also at the meeting, there were different groups of people there in support of Coach Blevins:

a) Alumni and former state champion volleyball players.

b) Current volleyball players and students.

c) Parents who appreciate her work as a Spanish teacher and parents of players on the team.

d) Fellow teachers and coaches.

 

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