To the Sports Editor:
This is in regard to Mike DiMauro's column on July 3 claiming that St. Bernard School, established in 1956, is doomed all because of a poorly coached baseball team.
Really? The claims made by a few disgruntled fathers of two baseball players is going to bring down one of the oldest academic institutions in the area?
Instead of measuring a school based on its athletic performance, what about the graduation rates? Or the standardized test scores? How about praise for the teachers who work hard to educate these students on topics that will one day lead to paying careers?
I hear too much slander for St. Bernard in the news these days, but only over the baseball team.
Face it, former coach Bill Buscetto was a shady coach, who wasn't just fired on a whim. And the most recent coach was stuck in an impossible situation. And these kids are in high school. If they need monitoring after school hours maybe it's time to start hiring babysitters.
I say let these parents do what they want to do. Hire a new coach that will build a new team from the ground up and focus more on the things that really matter. But what do I know? I'm just a Fitch alumna and a proud sibling of a St. Bernard student.
To the Sports Editor:
While I understand Mike DiMauro was writing to a sports audience, he should have understood that his opinions would offend Saint Bernard alumni and current students.
A beloved teacher of Saint Bernard School once said, "Run from a teacher who tells you what to think; run to a teacher who tells you how to think." In this mindset, I find my authority in criticizing Mr. DiMauro's column on July 3: "St. Bernard isn't winning many friends these days."
Mr. DiMauro slanders the St. Bernard name through the use of interviews from disgruntled parents, continuing to bring up the Coach Buscetto situation, and using an outdated quote from a teacher. However, Mr. DiMauro fails to mention a few points.
Primarily, readers need to recognize that we students do not identify St. Bernard as "a school on a hill" with arrogant ideals and standards from the 1980s. As a Saint and incoming senior, I wish to claim our identity as a Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School. This network of Catholic schools has five spiritual values that we acknowledge: humility, compassion, simplicity, trust, and zeal. Let it be noted that Saints should regard these values in the classroom, on the playing field, and at home.
Furthermore, St. Bernard is not the sports-oriented school it was in the '80s; rather, it is made up of community, spirit, and scholarship. The school should not be condemned for shortcomings of the baseball team. Mr. DiMauro makes it out to seem that baseball is all St. Bernard is worth. In comparison, the scholarship aspect of the school is thriving. Is the public aware of the three Gold Key winners that our visual art department proudly produced this year? Or the 22 inductees to the National Honors Society this spring? Our school is so much more than sports.
In criticizing my school, I wish Mr. DiMauro had recognized the zeal and dedication of the staff, administration included. A struggling baseball team does not declare the school is approaching an expiration date. While it is a problem for the scheduling of baseball practices to be inefficient, it is more of a problem for parents to question what their children are capable of in that time. If the concern is what trouble they could cause afterschool, parents should be supporting the school's disciple rather than ridiculing it.
The public should be less concerned with St. Bernard School's enrollment numbers and more concerned with the presence of biased information. The school most certainly can continue conducting business, but only with the proper support it deserves. After all, attending a Catholic school is a choice, not mandatory. "The value of a Catholic education" deserves more credit than Mr. DiMauro gives it.
Ms. Patten was St. Bernard's junior class president during the 2011-12 school year