NEWPORT CITY – Even though Bob Davis, North Country Union High School's football coach, announced his resignation last month, the school board didn’t formally approve it until Tuesday evening.
Davis deserves a lot of credit for the work and dedication he gave to the team over the past 29 years, Principal Bill Rivard said. Davis made a difference in the lives of a lot of students.
“Truly the only job I ever wanted to do was coach football at North Country,” Davis told the board. “I want to thank all of you for the support through the years. The community has been great. We haven’t always been successful on the playing field, but we don’t measure success that way.”
Davis got his start in football as a student at North Country and continued playing through college. Davis also taught the moral and character building side and not just the fundamental side, Board Chair Arne Amaliksen said.
The players knew what to expect and what was coming, Board Member Richard Nelson said.
“You taught a lot of life lessons to these kids,” Nelson told Davis. “It’s a lot of personal sacrifice on yourself, so thank you.”
Sports are as important as academics because they are often the hook that keeps students performing well academically, Rosemary Mayhew said.
Superintendent Bob Kern said Davis inspired the players. “He certainly stresses character in his program,” said Kern. “I think that is so valuable for our students.”
School directors also accepted Jose Batista's request to withdraw his retirement in 2013. In a letter written to the Board, Batista stated, “I have many more productive teaching years ahead of me.”
In other business, North Country Career Center’s adult education program, in corporation with such organizations as the Community College of Vermont, is providing additional classes. One program, explained Eileen Illuzzi, is the Governor’s Career Readiness Certificate Program. North Country is working collaboratively with the Department of Labor and the Community College of Vermont. North Country has done a similar program in the past.
“Instead of competing for the same students, we’re trying to work hard with the different state agencies and community college to do what each facility does best,” said Illuzzi.
The program is also working with Northeast Kingdom Learning Services to help the adult students improve their educational levels.
Faculty Representative Helen Poulin told the board that the school had a lot of teachers and students “adopt” families in need for the holiday. Poulin said the students and staff provided a dinner and presents. “You couldn’t ask for a better outcome,” said Board Member Rick Geisel, who helped with the project including making the deliveries. “The expressions on the moms' faces were unbelievable.”
Kern thanked all the schools, students and community organizations who helped those in need. “It’s amazing,” he said.
The board also approved the donation of a 3D printer from Numia Medical Technology LLC. The Computer Assisted Drafting Design (CAD) program will use the printer. The price for the printer new three years ago would have been around $28,000. Numia Medical could have sold the second hand printer for at least $15,000.
“This technology is what’s out there right now,” said Director of the North Country Career Center Richard Hoffman.