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Decker deserves support

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Editor,

I write in support of coach Gale Decker. As a former student, it is my stance that Coach Decker should maintain an active role in the Ronan school’s cross country program or in any capacity within the school’s athletic department. 

I had the fortune of learning from Coach Decker in his roles as teacher, coach, mentor and friend throughout my young life. My first experience with Coach Decker was in third grade as I entered Little Dribblers with hopes that he could turn me into a Ronan Maiden one day. He did just that, not only by the teaching the basic skills I needed to perform on the court, but instilling confidence in me as an individual. This confidence I carried both on and off of the court, and I carry it to this day. In addition, he taught me respect for my teammates, my coaches and my community — all of this proudly made me a Maiden.

In eighth grade, I was rewarded with the opportunity to be in Coach Decker’s advanced math class. Today, I still reference methods he taught me to perform simple math in my career. 

During three of my four years at Ronan High School, Coach Decker continued to coach and mentor me. I clearly recall starting our first day with the Maiden Mile: a 1-mile timed run to start the season. While I may have dreaded my first morning of practice on that particular day, I can look back and appreciate how it taught me to push and challenge myself. 

I’m entering my eighth year of living and working in New York City. Having had a successful career in real estate, this year I’ve decided to open my own company. One of my favorite sayings that Coach Decker left engrained in my head: “Good. Better. Best. Never rest until good be better, and better be best.” Throughout my tenure here, and as I move forward as a small-business owner at 28, that saying embodies my personal career path. It is a testament to Coach Decker that a phrase he taught me in my formative years pushes me to grow today. 

I would hope that Ronan’s young students have the same opportunity I had to be mentored, trained, motivated, encouraged or stimulated by Coach Decker as he did for me. I would be disappointed to think that such a rewarding experience for young students and athletes in their early development was prevented by the school district.

Whitney McGuire
RHS Class of 2002
New York City

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