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School’s decision on coach ‘regrettable’

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I graduated from Ronan High School in 1996. Gale Decker was my math teacher in the seventh grade, my basketball and track coach through high school, and has remained a friend over the years. I have great respect for Mr. Decker as a teacher, coach, and human being. He is skilled and knowledgeable as a coach, and has helped many student athletes reach their potential and achieve success during his years of dedicated service at Ronan High School. But more than that, he treats all students with respect and kindness, regardless of abilities or skill levels. I believe this is what makes Mr. Decker unique among coaches. Of course, winning is always the goal, but with his humor and wise perspective, you never get the feeling that that is what matters most. 

I am grateful for having had Mr. Decker’s positive influence in my formative years. He holds a place in my heart and the hearts of many of my friends and former teammates. I was astonished and perplexed to hear that his contract as head cross-country coach was not renewed this year. I am disappointed for the students of Ronan High School, whose best interests were clearly not factored into this regrettable decision.

Zeffy Feist

Anacortes, Wash.


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