September 5, 2017
On Wednesday, August 30, 2017, it was brought to my attention that some trophies at the high school had been discarded and thrown in the garbage. To be clear, this was never the intention, but a result of poor communication coming from the district office. When the decision was made to throw items away that had been stored for more than a year in storage containers, due to mold and moisture concerns, we were unaware that trophies were in the construction storage containers.
The disposal of trophies was an accident, a result of poor communication. Please understand that no one has the right or authority to discard trophies, as they are part of the school’s historical record. There is a lengthy and exhausting process that must be followed to discard historical records, which includes several steps and several different boards and organizations. Even then, items are not completely discarded but given to other agencies, such as the Fleming County Historical Society for safekeeping. Though many may see trophies as irrelevant, I do not. Trophies are part of the school and district’s record. More importantly, they are the result of many hours of hard work, sweat, and blood by students, coaches and parents. As a district, we must always recognize student achievement and success.
Upon learning of this last week, the district is taking immediate action to prevent an occurrence like this from ever occurring again. All trophies that were damaged will be replaced as soon as possible and housed at the high school in a prominent place where all can enjoy and celebrate. All trophies and plaques must be securely stored and inventoried. Based on this situation, we also discovered that no official list of trophies is kept. We have started the process to begin cataloging the trophies at Fleming County High School, as well as, in other schools. There is never an excuse for discarding student achievement!
Ultimately, I have to take the blame for this mishap, as discarding of items were not correctly followed and protocols for trophies and plaques were not in place. I want to apologize to the athletes whose achievement was discarded like “dinner scraps.” Throwing student achievement away with scraps is not what happens in a “District of Distinction,” as those districts take more pride in student achievement. The disposing of student achievement clearly shows that we have work to do and we are committed to not allowing things like this to happen again.
To those parents and students who notified the school administration of trophies being in the garbage, thank you for doing so. I also apologize for you having to see student achievement, so freely thrown to the curb. As a district, we have to do a better job of communicating, so things like throwing student achievement away do not occur. I can only imagine how parents and students felt upon learning of this. As superintendent, this was sickening and disheartening to think we could discard something so quickly that was achieved by our students.
Again, I apologize. We will immediately begin the process of identifying and repairing the trophies that were damaged. In addition, we will start to inventory all trophies in all schools and work to start ensuring that trophies and plaques are stored and cataloged properly. If you have any information that can help us identify any missing trophies in any school, please contact me at 606-845-5851 or via-email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian K. Creasman