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Letters to The Platteville Journal for July 22
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Volleyball academics

After seeing a picture in a recent issue of The Journal, a few parents questioned why our daughters were not included in the photo. The picture honored the 2014–15 Platteville varsity girls’ basketball team, as well as the individual members of the team, for their achievement of receiving state All-Academic honors. The caption below the photo simply stated these four girls were missing from the photo. After questioning our daughters as to why they were missing from the photo, they stated they were never asked to be included in it.

Frankly, we found this all appalling. Earlier in the season these girls were asked to write an essay on why they felt they should be on the PHS girls basketball team. They all completed the essay and were asked to join the 2014–15 girls basketball team during postseason play. They all did everything that was asked of them by the coaches. This included daily practices, games, scrimmages, team meetings, and any weekend activities planned by their coach.

After parents met with the coaching staff to try to resolve this issue all we got was finger-pointing and excuses. However, we did find out that the girls’ GPAs were included on the nomination form to be averaged in with the rest of the team to qualify the varsity basketball team for this award. Three of the four girls hold a perfect 4.0 GPA, so I am quite sure they helped raise the average of the team. 

Along with not being asked to participate in the photo with their teammates, they also did not receive their individual medals for this accomplishment at the Awards Day. Their medals were there, but when one of the girls asked if they were for them, they were told the medals were extras and not for them.

At the next School Board meeting, a group of parents went to express their concerns. A few days later, one concerned parent received a telephone call from the superintendent, who continued to point fingers (toward Mr. Eric Newton who is no longer with the school district or in the country for that matter). There were no apologies, no being sorry for the oversight, nothing!

In the middle of June, when the announcement that Platteville won the award, I did some checking into on the status of the volleyball All-Academic individual and team awards. I learned that the award certificates were sent to PHS in the middle of May. I also learned that the high school office indeed received the awards. Again these girls were not recognized.

As the head volleyball coach last season, as I typically do, I nominated the 2014 PHS Varsity volleyball team for an All-Academic Team Award. Two of the eligibility criteria for this award include that the head coach must be a current member of the Wisconsin Volleyball Coaches Association and that the application be completed by March 1. The WVCA All-Academic Team is designed to honor high school varsity volleyball players who have proven excellence in the classroom.

At my own expense, I paid the membership dues to be a part of the WVCA, as I was told for seven years that the Platteville School District does not cover coaches’ membership dues and fees. The All-Academic individual and team awards are to be personally signed and dated by the head coach of the season awarded. 

As a member of the educational business myself, I find it shameful and reprehensible that Platteville’s superintendent and high school principal would keep Platteville student–athletes from receiving their All-Academic individual and team awards. The 2014 varsity volleyball team received the All-Academic Team Award with a cumulative GPA of 3.86, and 13 of the 15 members received All-Academic Individual Awards. They accomplished this while playing at a very high level of competition during a season that ended with playing in the state tournament and ended with losing to the eventual state champions. Quite an accomplishment by anyone’s standards!

As a parent of a student–athlete who should have been recognized and honored for an outstanding accomplishment, I find it inexcusable. My daughter was jibbed out of this recognition not once but twice!

These honors are very prestigious and can be used in the future by these young ladies when applying for scholarships, college applications, and even future job opportunities. We have to ask the question: If we, as parents, would not have noticed this unacceptable lack of judgement by the administration, would our daughters been made aware of their accomplishments at all?

This troubles me greatly, as I see the effort not only my daughter puts into athletics but also academics at Platteville High School. I also am well aware of the countless time these families have spent getting girls to and from practices and late night games. All to return home and spend more time working on homework or studying for a test.

Are these athletes not the model student–athletes Platteville High School strives to produce? The WVCA takes the time to honor these students because they realize the effort put forth by these student–athletes. This is very sad how our Platteville young student–athletes are not only treated, but the lack of recognition received by these students when they do achieve such a high level of accomplishment.

Yvette Updike

Walker hates Wisconsin

In “The secretive GOP” July 15 Bev Johansen asks: “How did Wisconsin get to this sorry, sorry place in just a few short years?”

I offer the following answer. In 2010 the good people of Wisconsin elected a governor that, by all accounts, hates our beautiful state. He hates our schools; he hates clean government; he hates our universities; he doesn’t seem to care about our environment; he hates labor; he hates the elderly; and he definitely hates Milwaukee. In short, he hates The Wisconsin Way.  

What was it that led the good people of Wisconsin, mostly those along the crimson red counties hard by our eastern shore, to believe Scott Walker should be the one to lead us? Were they duped? Or, was it simple jealousy that made them want public employees neutered? Not until we have mercury in every lake and two guns in every home will he rest. Fighting Bob La Follette must be turning in his grave. God help us.

Fritz Domann


Amish and Kendall

Our Amish neighbors in the Town of Kendall seem to have more than their share of difficulties getting approval from the township board of supervisors. Sometimes they need a little help. 

For example, at Monday night’s meeting, Lafayette County Sheriff Reg Gill spoke on behalf of Amish resident Elam Allgyer’s request to install a driveway at the intersection of New Line Road and Truman Road. 

The sheriff gave distances from respective hills to the intersection in question, referring by the various distances to safety factors involving traffic coming in either direction on Truman Road to the intersection where Amish buggies would be crossing or turning.

What dynamics would elicit the appearance of the county sheriff’s department at a township meeting? 

In a dynamic word: justice. Amish residents have met with short shrift when they come face to face with Town of Kendall officials who have historically thrown up barriers to their requests. 

To his credit, Sheriff Gill appealed to the town board to approve Allgyer’s driveway request. Without his intervention, Allgyer’s request may have been denied. The board approved the measure by voice vote 2–1. Voting no was town chairman Micah Bahr. 

The vote provoked an angry outburst from resident Mark Kieler, who raised his voice to Sup. Don Christensen, taking him to task about his yes vote. 

What does this portend for the future of Amish–Kendall board interactions? Let us hope the board and its Amish-phobic operatives will strive for better understanding and better relations.

Don Schultz
Mineral Point


The Platteville Journal will print most letters to the editor, regardless of the opinion presented. The Journal reserves the right to edit material that is libelous or otherwise offensive to community standards and to shorten letters The Journal determines are excessively long. All letters must be signed and the signature must appear on the printed letter, along with a contact number or email for verification. Some submitted letters may not be published due to space constraints. “Thank you” letters will not be printed. All letters and columns represent the views of the writers and not necessarily the views of The Platteville Journal.