Ten weeks of summer: Athletics prepares for 2014-2015 school year

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.20.23 PMWhen ice cream trucks replace school buses on the roads, Baltimore County Public Schools shuts down for the summer, right? Not quite.

Of the school system’s 18,783 employees, 1,032 work in the BCPS central offices. While some of those 1,032 employees hold 10-month positions, most central office staff hold 12-month positions and spend the summer months preparing for the next school year.

For each of the 10 weeks of summer, a 12-month central office employee will answer a series of questions about his or her staff’s preparations and projects for the 2014-2015 school year. This week, Blake Lubinski, an intern in the Department of Communications and Community Outreach, interviewed Michael Sye, coordinator of the Office of Athletics.

Blake Lubinski: “What is the structure of your office?”

Michael Sye: “The Office of Athletics is a team of four – me; Lynette Mitzel, supervisor of athletics; Patricia Marston, administrative secretary; and Brad Kressman, resource teacher for the Allied Sports program. Together, we support a total of 29 sports in Baltimore County’s 24 high schools.”

BL: “What are the responsibilities of your office?”

MS: “In addition to supporting sports in the high schools, the Office of Athletics provides guidance to school personnel in recruiting and hiring diverse and qualified candidates for athletic leadership positions; serves as the liaison between the commissioner of officials, the officials’ organizations, athletic directors and coaches; informs principals and athletic directors of rule changes, trends or recommendations that impact interscholastic athletics; maintains records of all athletic games and events; prepares countywide schedules for all interscholastic athletic teams; provides funding for transportation for athletic events; and appoints District VI representatives on the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) sports committees, among other things.”

BL: “How do those responsibilities change during the summer?”

MS: “The Office of Athletics has busy summers as we actually take on more responsibilities over the summer in preparation for our upcoming fall sports season. For example, our student-athletes and coaches return back to our campuses two weeks before school opens. This makes it so important that the schedules are being created, transportation and officials are being scheduled and equipment is being ordered to ensure that our schools are ready to go on August 13. In addition, we are interviewing coaches to fill vacancies and preparing our coaches’ meetings, which begin on August 11.”

BL: “What projects does your office have planned for this summer?”

MS: “We are currently working on the expansion of our middle school athletic program as we will be adding badminton this fall. We will continue to expand and promote our Allied Sports program, which affords students with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in interscholastic sports alongside their non-disabled peers. We also are continuing to work on promoting baseline impact testing and will be organizing a concussion awareness week.”

BL: “What are your office’s goals for the upcoming school year?”

MS: “Our office’s goals for the upcoming school year are to increase participation for all sports, hire more certified and credentialed coaches, increase the number of certified trainers at our schools and expand our middle school athletic program.”

BL: “How is your office preparing to meet those goals?”

MS: “The Office of Athletics is preparing to meet these goals and others by meeting with all stakeholders – students, parents, coaches and booster clubs – to gain their input as we create a comprehensive plan that will address BCPS athletic goals and needs.”

Phew! Talk about a busy summer, indeed! Summers like these just go to show that there’s no such thing as a “slowdown” for Team BCPS!



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