Jaffrey-Rindge residents turned out to school board meeting Monday night advocating again for A.D. David Springfield

  • Residents of the Jaffrey-Rindge Cooperative School District continued to speak in favor of current athletic director David Springfield during a school board meeting on Monday at Rindge Memorial School. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Residents of the Jaffrey-Rindge Cooperative School District continued to speak in favor of current athletic director David Springfield during a school board meeting on Monday at Rindge Memorial School. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Residents of the Jaffrey-Rindge Cooperative School District continued to speak in favor of current athletic director David Springfield during a school board meeting on Monday at Rindge Memorial School. Staff photo by Ashley Saari

  • Residents of the Jaffrey-Rindge Cooperative School District continued to speak in favor of current athletic director David Springfield during a school board meeting on Monday at Rindge Memorial School. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Residents of the Jaffrey-Rindge Cooperative School District continued to speak in favor of current athletic director David Springfield during a school board meeting on Monday at Rindge Memorial School. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Residents of the Jaffrey-Rindge Cooperative School District continued to speak in favor of current athletic director David Springfield during a school board meeting on Monday at Rindge Memorial School. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 5/7/2019 1:13:06 PM

For the second meeting in a row, supporters of Jaffrey-Rindge Athletic Director David Springfield filled the school board meeting, pushing to speak on Springfield’s behalf.

Last week, an agenda for the school board meeting was released that included a nomination for activities director – a new position to encompass the duties of athletic director. The nominee was Heather Linstad, a former Division I women’s ice hockey coach. However, on Saturday, a revised agenda was released removing Linstad’s name and the discussion of an activities director nomination.

“The district wanted to do further due diligence before bringing forth a nomination,” School Board Chair Laurel McKenzie told a crowd of about 50 people who attended Monday’s meeting.

The board declined to comment any further on the matter.

A group of parents, community members and students have been protesting that the district has not put forth a nomination for David Springfield, who has been the athletic director for the past two years.

Initially, McKenzie told the audience public comment would be limited solely to items on the agenda. However, after significant pushback from the crowd, almost all of whom were there to speak in favor of Springfield, the board acquiesced to taking public comment.

Several audience members said Springfield should be the obvious choice.

“Unless there’s been some gross infraction, how about we support our teachers and coaches?” said Ron Record of Rindge. “Let’s let common sense rule. Why are we messing with stuff that’s not wrong? I don’t get it. It should be a slam dunk.”

Several students, many sitting in the crowd in their baseball uniforms, spoke in favor of Springfield.

Student Anthony Gauthier said there was more value in having an athletic director who had a long history with the students and had known many of them since they were in grade school.

“How do you think that would be best, to take away someone who has been our coach from second grade?” Gauthier said.

Student Jacob Tremblay of Jaffrey said Springfield could easily adapt to the position, which includes coordinating not only sports but clubs and extra-curricular activities.

“It’s not just sports he cares about,” Tremblay said.

Margie Clark-Kevan, who coaches swimming at Jaffrey-Rindge, said though basketball is Springfield’s main interest, he has never given less priority to the swim team.

“I never felt neglected,” she said. “I feel respected as a coach and I respect him as an AD.”

Student Dustin Bergeron, 18, of Jaffrey, questioned if there was anything they could do, as the community, to have Springfield put forth as a nomination.

“Is there any chance we can nominate Dave Springfield?” he asked.

“I think you’re doing the right thing. You’re expressing your views and we’re listening,” School Board Vice Chair Charlie Eicher told Bergeron. “We’re listening attentively.”

Superintendent Reuben Duncan scheduled a drop-in feedback session at the front offices at the Jaffrey-Rindge High School on Wednesday, May 8, and said he would “take the comments and feedback into consideration” when putting forth a nomination for the position for the board to vote on.

When asked when the board would take up the nomination of the activities director, McKenzie said the board did not know, and would only take it up following the board’s due diligence.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.


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