Garfield High School’s Athletic Director has been on administrative leave since October following violations of the football team’s eligibility rules. Following a FOIA request, Seattle Times reports that Jim Valiere was officially fired by the school district April 11 following a lengthy investigation, including allegations he misused district funds and awarded grades to athletes that were not earned.
From Seattle Times:
The investigation alleged that Valiere provided 19 Garfield athletes with “secret waivers” that allowed those students to participate in sports without following pay-for-play rules. That action was deemed to be an improper gift of district funds.
The investigation also alleged that Valiere awarded two students grades for an independent-study Spanish class they did not earn. Both students told an investigator they didn’t do coursework to justify the grades, the letter said.
The investigation also alleged that Valiere misled the KingCo Conference and Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) by underreporting the number of ineligible Garfield football players who participated against Sammamish. It also alleged that Valiere hired a club soccer coach as a boys assistant in violation of WIAA rules.
However, Valiere maintains that he has been unfairly maligned and has requested an open hearing to dispute the findings.
“I don’t think there ever was, really, an investigation,” Valiere said. “The investigation they had going was just to find more dirt to try and bury me.”
Since when do athletic directors have the ability to post grades? Something majorly lacking about that reporting.
Athletic Directors are also sometimes teachers.
I think that Mr. Valiere is right, there was no “investigation”.
More to the story than we’re seeing in the news. The club soccer coach didn’t coach any of his own club team members, & he was hired when the original coach fell seriously ill, leaving the team w/o a coach.
And, like ?? said, when do AD’s have the ability to post grades.
UGH, I’m so sick of SPS!
This controversy continues to mystify me. The garfield football program and baseball team seems to be deliberately mismanaged to discourage participation by students, or at least allowed to decay through lack of oversight and staff cooperation. My initial thought is that the principal and administrative staff see no value of athletic programs to the overall goal of raising testing results. Due to the punitive measures of No Child Left Behind, low test scores result in removal of principals and teachers as well as placing the entire school on “probation” until scores rise. Race to The Top equally pits school districts against each other in a cutthroat corporate model where only the strong will survive. Where do athletic programs fit into this model of funding schools and choosing administrators? My guess is that they are seen as a distraction at best and a useless drain on resources to most principals.
When I went to High School the principal would have the athletic director’s back when hiring soccer coaches or playing students who didn’t qualify academically. This time it seems the athletic department is on it’s own, they negotiate the complicated rules of WIAA and county conference at their own peril. I do not envy the job of a football coach to follow the conflicting rules of eligibility for students to play and the demands of making tactical decisions on the playing field. Coaches want to win games, teachers want to have academic success; the two goals need to be integrated somehow,(by administrative staff) to educate young people.
What I see is principal Howard making the decision to let coaches and athletic directors make bad decisions and take the blame on them selves. My son plays Garfield football and watched two highly qualified coaches let go in mid season, and the principal stepping in to enforce letter of the law, regardless of the conflicting patchwork of requirements between the school, district and conference. His meetings with parents left us the impression of support for his staff without the promise of fairness or transparency. Watching the decisions of hiring in the baseball program only reinforces my belief he either does not care how athletics are run or actively chooses incompetence in a desire to see them fail.
The quiet firing of Coach Allen without an appeal is just another example of disconnect between athletics and academics. You need both to teach people how to be life long learners rather than just good test takers. I don’t blame principal Howard as much as I blame the system of education that wants short term results to a endemic problem of inequity and lack of imagination. De-professionalization of teachers by breaking their union and undervaluing their pay is another example of short sighted priorities.
Well, after this, I’d say that Valiere’s career in education is over as a result of this. They’ll either blacklist him from other teaching/coaching positions at other school systems or revoke his teaching license. In any case his career may be over, but he can always start a new career. Let’s see, he can get a job as a grill cook for McDonald’s or other fast food restaurant, dishwasher, cook, or server for a local Shoney’s, Ruby Tuesday’s or other dine-in restaurant, greeter, stock person, or sales clerk for Wal-Mart, bagger, stock person, or grocery clerk for Publix or Kroger, assembly line associate at a factory, stock person for a warehouse, custodial engineer (janitor) at one of the other businesses or schools in the area, luggage expeditor (bellhop) at the local Holiday Inn, sanitation specialist (garbage man) for the local landfill/dump, used car sales man, digging ditches for the city/county, or working as a gas station attendant. He’ll have plenty of new career options and this “recruit” should not be given a free pass. If he is dropped from the UW scholarship, he too can begin one of these new careers as well.