“We were Sus-East champions,” Julie Gates said, recalling how as a high school freshman, she tended goal for Oxford’s varsity field hockey team. Gates, a 1981 graduate of Oxford, talks about those long ago days with pride and acknowledges the impact the program and coach Sue Franco had on her as a teen.
“She was my mentor,” she said.
That field hockey program, once a point of pride for the district, no longer exists. It is one of a string of athletic and extracurricular cuts Oxford and other districts have made in past years as a result of both financial pressures and declining enrollment.
This year Oxford didn’t have enough kids to field a boys’ soccer team. In May, the district will graduate fewer than 60 students. In the mid-90’s, when its enrollment peaked, it had more than 100 graduates.
Gates, whose eldest son graduated last year and younger son is in high school, serves on the district’s school board. She said she’s been disappointed to see programs cut due to participation, but is encouraged by other offerings that have been added as the school changes and evolves to meet the needs of its students.
The biggest change, and one that has been a focus of media coverage and community debate, is implementation of the Common Core curriculum…
Written by Melissa Stagnaro, Evening Sun Contributor. Read the full article at evesun.com.