by Sheldon Ocker
July 12 board of education work session
After an examination of the outside strength and conditioning program for Revere athletes, Superintendent Michael Tefs recommended that the board of education end the district’s relationship with Sculpt Fitness in Bath and sign a one-year contract with ACTIV Physical Therapy in Richfield.
The board ratified the recommendation 4-0 (Mike Kahoe was absent). Before the vote, board President Keith Malick allowed Sculpt Fitness owner Josh Dickey to speak.
“It’s been an absolute blessing to run the strength and conditioning program here for the last three years,’’ he said. “All of our strength coaches have enjoyed the opportunity, and I think there has been a successful piece that we added to the school.’’
However, Dickey expressed dissatisfaction with the communication process and not being able to address complaints the district had about his services.
“I’d be lying to myself and you guys as a board if I didn’t say I was a little disappointed with how this went down. ….The most that I heard about what may be going on was I sat in a meeting with the AD [Don Seeker] and Andy [Revere High Principal Andy Peltz].’’
Dickey felt he was blindsided by the decision not to renew Sculpt’s contract.
“If I hadn’t talked to Don and made a few phone calls, I wouldn’t be sitting here tonight,’’ he said. “I wouldn’t have known this was happening.’’
Dickey said he would have liked more of a “heads up’’ and a chance to adjust his program if it wasn’t meeting the district’s needs. He also questioned the administration’s decision to survey coaches and talk with parents but not poll students.
Sixteen coaches answered the survey: eight representing boys teams, six representing girls teams and two (swimming and track) teams that include boys and girls.
Dickey said he held several question and answer sessions to iron out issues for parents.
“Of the four times we held them, eight total parents showed up,’’ he said. “So if there was that much wrong with the programs going on, I feel like we would have filled the auditorium, and I would have had a lot of questions to answer.’’
Dickey said that after word began leaking to the community that the district might change strength and conditioning providers, he received “40-50 emails and messages from past and current students about how much they appreciate the program.’’
Before voting, on the suggestion of board member Diana Sabitsch, the board went into executive session. When the work session resumed, Malick asked Tefs, “Are you able to provide a rationale for your recommendation?’’
Said the superintendent, “It [the new fitness studio] is just a different model. Not many people can say anything negative about Sculpt, Josh in particular. He’s a terrific owner and represents his business well.
“But I think the high school administration and some of the coaches in particular want to try a different model. That’s why you’re seeing a one-year contract instead of a multi-year contract.’’
Contracting with AVID Physical Therapy will cost the district $4,625 per month on the 12-month contract. In addition, the district wiil pay AVID $1,156 for July 25-Aug. 1.
In contrast to previous years, Treasurer Rick Berdine said the food service budget is not bleeding red ink.
“Food services is in a very positive cash position,’’ he said. “I never thought that would be possible. I think I should quit while I’m ahead.’’
Berdine gave credit for the turnaround to Nutrition Services Supervisor Aaron Gnap, the installation of vending machines more than a year ago and the injection of COVID money from the government.
In the past, food services ran deficits of as much as $100,000.
Berdine said a section of roof at the middle school will be replaced next year. Bids have been submitted, and the treasurer thinks the cost of the project might be under $300,000.