Dear Fleming Countians,
With the start of the 2019-2020 Athletic Season, I wanted to take the time to communicate our vision. Just like our vision for the teaching and learning process, the vision for athletics is to be “distinctive.” We want to be the best in the classroom and on the field and court. We have talented athletes, but as I communicated back earlier in the summer, we have not always provided athletes with the opportunities they deserve and need to succeed. Our focus on each student requires that we help support each student’s passion for sports. We can use sports to keep many of our students engaged and on track academically. Honestly, we have failed to connect how athletics can help students become college, career, and life ready. The district’s equity policy challenges us to create opportunities and experiences where each student feels valued and empowered.
As I explained to coaches yesterday, we have an incredible opportunity to rebuild and put Fleming County back on the map for athletics; without sacrificing our district’s academic standing. This will not be an overnight process, but we must take the first step. We must focus on all aspects of player development, helping each player to develop the skills, strength, and tenacity to win. We challenge each player to commit to winning more this year than in the past. A commitment to winning begins with a positive team culture and positive player attitudes. We are communicating to athletes during team meetings that to win - attitude is everything. We cannot stress enough the importance of "team” and not individual achievements or recognitions. Great athletes understand the importance of “team” first, which only lends to individual success later.
We have also instructed coaches to address any negative attitudes or behaviors immediately by closely following the district’s Student-Athlete Handbook and Fleming County Schools’ Code of Conduct. Likewise, we have outlined expectations for coaches regarding team culture, program development, professionalism, and growth. To be the best, we must all have high expectations and a clear focus on our vision to win. Coaches must also commit to creating the best program that leads to success. Just as we are not in the business of missing instructional goals in the classroom, we are not in the business of missing athletic goals on the field or court. We have never communicated expectations to coaches or students pertaining to athletics, and I take full responsibility for that missed opportunity.
We believe that success breeds success, so as students win in the classroom, on the field or court, they will also win elsewhere in life. We must support each athlete and coach as they begin this journey. They need our support by our presence at games and matches. Student-athletes need to see us cheering them on - in a positive and energized manner. Students get in free so there is no reason our bleachers and stands should not be full every game or match.
Last week, I gave each school their athletic committee volunteers to be voted on by their SBDMs. Because of the summer break and vacations, we are running a little behind schedule. However, the work behind the scenes has continued. We hope to convene the athletic committee within the next couple of weeks so they may begin their critical work for the district. The committee’s guidance and creation of a long-term strategic plan will be invaluable to the Fleming County Athletic Program.
I would also encourage everyone to visit the Fleming County High School campus to see the upgrades and updates we have made to the baseball, football, softball and soccer fields, with more to come. Again, our students deserve opportunities to win and we are working hard to make sure that every program has what they need to win. Just as we are among the top school districts in Kentucky academically, we expect our athletic program to be among the top.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 606-845-5851 with suggestions, feedback, or concerns. Feel free as always to stop me out in the community like many of you do - I want to hear from you, need your ideas, and value your input. To return the Fleming County Athletic Program to dominance, we need stakeholder input and support. Working together is the only way we help student-athletes to win. It is my belief that we can win in the classroom and on the field and court for students. Thank you for your continued support of Fleming County Schools.
Our Journey Continues…
Brian K. Creasman