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'Success Goes Sour' for Coach

October 02, 1987

It was with a mixture of sadness, disappointment and envy that I read the article about the resignation of Tokofsky. I will miss the close camaraderie that I have had with Tokofsky and his team members over the past 12 months. No one but other coaches can fully understand the demands of this particular job. One of the greatest pleasures I have right now resides in the comfort I receive from knowing that there are at least 50 or so other coaches in the city who share with me the frustrations, exasperations and pressures which are the bedfellows of being an Academic Decathlon coach.

The disappointment lies with the loss to the competition. By winning the national championship last year by an unbelievable and unheard of margin, Tokofsky and his team raised the level of competition to new heights. His team's success proved for all of us that high school students, provided with the appropriate motivation with or without proper support, can achieve a virtual mastery of the various subjects within the confines of this competition.

More than anything I feel envy. The personal and professional costs associated with coaching are too great. The district simply does not and probably never will support this program with necessary resources. Last year the district provided $250 per school for the purchase of books and supplies. The cost of the books for only one of the 10 events would greatly exceed this amount.

Most teachers can understand the symptoms which can lead to the resignation of a fine coach like Tokofsky because classroom teachers face maddening, impossible tasks daily, quite often under circumstances that non-teachers would find laughable.

JOHN L. REECE

Academic Decathlon Coach

University High School

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