School district’s ‘Secret Society’?
January 29, 2007
Dear Editor:What do Superintendent Diana Sirko, Assistant Superintendent Bev Tarpley, and newly recruited football coach Mike Sirko have in common? They all worked for many years in the Colorado Springs school system; Colorado Springs, best known as the home of the Air Force Academy and a stronghold of the religious right. Have I got your attention?Now, I am not suggesting any of the three aforementioned people have brought any religious convictions to the Aspen school system – just the opposite.Nor am I suggesting that “Hollywood Nepotism” has found a home in Aspen under the term, Head Football Coach. Nor am I suggesting that I was more qualified for the job then Mike Sirko. Nor am I suggesting that the current crop of “People of Influence,” in respect to the school administration, are not upstanding American’s with the best interest of “the kids,” being first and foremost.What I am suggesting is that the process is broken. That the way the administration and Aspen School Board (to which I am sure is happy I didn’t get elected), “BLEW IT!” when it came to the way they handled the “Travis Benson Replacement Search” for a new head football coach.What I am suggesting is that by being so secretive as to who applied, and who was on the interview committee (come on – the job was for head football coach, not school superintendent), the “powers that be” sent the wrong message to the kids, the parents and the community. Hiding behind the “we can’t talk about it” curtain only goes so far.History teaches us “Secret Societies” suggest an exercise of power for the “greater good,” according to those in the “Society,” whose members usually hide in the shadows, and hold meetings in cellars. Maybe not applicable in Aspen, as the only cellars we have are wine cellars.I am not suggesting the administration purposely did anything wrong. But by not answering a few simple questions like who applied for the job, they give the appearance that there is “something wrong in Denmark,” or in this case, behind the doors of the $40,000,000-plus school built by all the taxpayers.Luckily, it is not too late to produce a list of who applied for the job. It is a choice that the administration and/or school board can make, which would be the first step to pulling back the curtain with the hope of re-examining the process. The result would be to actually send a message to the kids that sometimes even those in charge make mistakes. They also might consider apologizing to Travis.Assuming neither will take place, I am asking those that did apply for the head football job to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 920-1799, so I can compile a list for the public to see.P.S. Travis, thanks for all your hard work. I know your players, the fans who attended the games, the teaching staff, and most of your coaches, respected and appreciated your efforts.Andrew KoleAspen