Dear Gene:

For what it’s worth to the board, I wanted to express my unwavering support for Skip Laird as a coach, a teacher and a top-quality human being and role model.

I’ve known Skip since we played high school baseball together. I’ve been in Skip’s classroom a number of times over the years to speak with his students about higher education, and I’ve seen the manner in which he interacts with his students. He is an outstanding communicator, patient but firm. His students obviously respect him, which is certainly not the case with all teachers.

Skip is everything I would want in a teacher and a coach. He tells his students and athletes at the outset what the ground rules and expectations are, and then with sensitivity and firmness goes about the business of teaching and coaching. He is one of the best prepared, most hard-working and knowledgeable individuals I know.

Skip instills in young people the values of hard work, commitment and honesty, values that are sorely lacking not only in many young people, but in those who should be their role models. At the same time, his teams are ambassadors for Corry, and the success of those teams is an excellent reflection on a community that frankly needs all the positive image it can get.

It is absolutely inconceivable to me that Skip would not be retained as coach of the golf and wrestling programs. Future students, the school district and the community at large will be the losers if the School Board allows this to happen.

Steve Bishop

Pittsfield

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